Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Eat as Much as Possible Diet

Edit (6/25/2014):  I will be migrating to a new site to share information on life.  I also will be releasing a book based on my experiences and ideas.  I will post the link once the site is fully developed.

edit (7/29/2014) Please see 

The Eat as Much as Possible Diet

I'm Scott Schlegel, I have no formal education in health, fitness, or nutrition.  I think this has helped me.  Most inventions are made by people with minimal formal education because education teaches rigidity, not creativity.  I have an Electrical Engineering degree.  This has helped because the body's "control systems" are a big part of this theory.

This is not complete.  However it should provide a model for nutritional choices from the following standpoints: science, theory, observation, folklore, Chinese medicine, evolutionary biology and even mysticism.

I tried to build this through deduction - forest first, trees second.  Too often Western science focuses on a single piece of a whole, determines whether that piece is "good" or "bad" and then assigns the whole that same label all while ignoring conditionals.

This is only what I've found in myself and observed in others. I'd like to thank Danny Roddy, Ray Peat and Matt Stone for helping me discover more about myself and the world.  Many of the ideas below may be theirs combined with my own.

Though the problems are complex, the solution should be simple so here is Occam's Razor: 
You will eat sugar or your body will eat itself.

I found that thinking about things came up with better answers than reading studies.  Though, most of what I say can be confirmed by studies.  Google them yourselves.

If you are on some type of diet or exercise regimen, I encourage you to read this with a very open mind.
If you are not on a diet or exercise regimen, I encourage you to skip reading this.

A few basic premises:
1)  Energy is required for basic cellular functions.
2)  Stress increases energy requirements.
3)  The body, especially the brain, wants homeostasis and adapts to achieve it.

All the following pieces seem to fit together like any good theory.  This made it very difficult to separate.

The Man
We've all met him.  He eats whatever frequently.  He ages well, is strong, and doesn't force exercise.  Or in the case of her, she has good skin, beautiful hair, and strong white teeth despite eating sugar.

We've also met unhealthy "healthy" people.  I loosely define unhealthy as unshapely, poor skin tone, thin hair, dry skin. Or that phrase "He was so 'healthy,' I can't believe he had a heart attack."

The Case for Calories
It's time we move past the "eat less, do more" concept for body fat loss.  I've seen so many people try this and I never understood why they don't lose fat.  There is an important distinction here.  Body fat and weight are not the same.

Weight can fluctuate with bone density, muscle density, body fat, and water content.  Body fat is the least dense so it will have a much smaller effect on your weight.  Weighing yourself to measure success or failure is self-defeating.  I read once that most lost weight during caloric restriction and exercise is muscle mass.

Logic alone:  The extrapolation of forcing more exercise than what you eat is starving to death.  If your sole goal is having a six pack, don't eat.

The more calories an organism consumes and uses as energy - not through forced exercise, the more complex the organism will become.  Maximum genetic expression.  There's a reason why those in richer countries typically are taller and have sexier physiques - they consume and use more energy.  A great analogy of this is the earth - while some life may exist in the Arctic, the life forms are far less complex than that of a tropical location.

The diet I lay out below allows maximum calorie consumption with minimal body fat gain.  Because basic biological functions (brain, heart, liver) are all satisfied, the body has a surplus of energy for peripheral circulation, hair growth, nails, skin, higher pulse rate, youth hormone formation, and personality.  This warm, life-giving environment facilitates repair, rebuilding and laying down new healthy tissue.

The Case for Sugar
White cane sugar is processed through a charcoal filter removing all toxins.  This provides a source of calories that are not hard to digest, do not leave blood sugar elevated and do not interfere with thyroid hormone.  Blaming sugar for the inability to turn sugar into energy (diabetes) is like blaming fuel for your car's transmission problems.  More on an alternative theory of diabetes later.

It doesn't contain co-factors, but neither does the sugar your body generates from fat or protein.

Logic alone:  If the body's main energy source is sugar (glucose), why would you purposefully eat things deficient in it?

The Case Against Water and The Case For Salt
The bottom line is that water drops your body temperature.  It may "boost" energy expenditure, but it's worthless energy expenditure - we'll get to useful energy expenditure later.  If severely dehydrated (mouth dry), go ahead, otherwise, I suggest avoiding it.  Your urine can be slightly yellow - it's really okay.

Do you think people ever sat around drinking plain (no minerals) water?  Because water is deficient in minerals and vitamins, it absorbs and wastes these crucial metabolic substances.  I suspect that your cells retain more water when less water is consumed.  This makes your muscles, skin tone and skin thickness all appear healthier.  If you eat a high fluid diet (milk, juice), salt will help you retain nutrients and perform the opposite functions of what plain water does.  Feeling cold?  Eat some salt and sugar.

Most Asians avoid drinking plain water with meals.  Is this due to it diluting stomach acid?  What about how it wastes body's metabolic minerals that are needed to turn the food to energy?

Hierarchy of Needs
As I started to eat much more, I found the body has tons of ways to use excess calories when it does not receive "store fat" signals.  Think of all the functions the body performs as a hierarchy of needs - energy for heart, energy for brain, energy for detoxification, energy for repairing tissue, energy for peripheral circulation and body heat, energy for personality.  In Red Queen, the author points out that men sometimes sacrifice immunity in order to make testosterone.

The exact order is going to depend on the signals you give your body based on your nervous system sensing "damage" as I mention below.  If you exercise a ton, your body may forego some things in order to repair those muscles if it senses that developing those muscles somehow enables survival.

Sex hormones will more powerfully shape your body than exercise.  Attracting women has been very easy since I started this.

Hollywood ruined what is naturally sexy to us - why would being skinny be attractive in any kind of survival situation prior to modern civilization?  It signifies no wealth and no strength.

It seems the lowest natural priorities are peripheral body heat and personality.  Neither enable core survival. Personality is only crucial for replication.  This is important for the species, but not the organism.  I'm sure you've noticed how people with higher body fat content are generally more jovial while it's near impossible to coax a smile out of an anorexic female.

Is personality a mechanism to use up excess energy?  I've noticed I joke around a lot more while eating more and dance a lot more around my apartment.

Eating incredible amounts (6000-10000 calories a day) has boosted my creativity, body temperature, and personality.  If you've reached a high resting pulse rate (70-80) and have warm hands always it signifies that all more important bodily functions are satisfied.  Not only that, but if you have high peripheral temperature, your skin is being healed instead of forgotten as a luxury. And that is why most people try to remain healthy - vanity.

I've spent a few days purposefully eating white sugar the entire day for experimental purposes.  I went on a date to a pizza place one night.  I love pizza and couldn't eat a thing.  I know this seems stupid, but it shows how a steady flow prevents overeating all at once.  The body hates rapid changes.  Control systems overshoot and makes it harder to reach homeostasis.

Your gut is designed to keep everything eaten outside (the digestive system is a long tube) your body for selective digestion.  I've read that higher calorie diets thicken the gut which should help limit the amount of "bad" stuff absorbed and control uptake.  Think of how much more prominent it seems stomach and gut diseases are in third world countries where guts would necessarily be much more thin.

Do Situations Define Food?
You may notice that the foods in my feasting abundance category are generally easily found by humans and align with the natural taste desire - except for beef liver. Seeds, nuts, grains, safe-to-eat greens and small ruminants would all require some work to find and process.  

Beef liver and heart contain all metabolic nutrients I listed due to their high mitochondrial content and mimimal anti-metabolic substances.

Alcohol was used to preserve food for the future. It's interesting that alcohol seems "designed" to make us store fat, increase personality in the short term, and increase copulation to enable survival of the species. It increases aromatase which increases conversion of the building hormones to estrogen which some researchers say causes insatiable sexual appetite.  At the cellular level, estrogen seems to also cause uncontrolled replication.  I suspect this is why females with breast cancer have high estrogen to progesterone ratios.

I do not consider alcohol a positive stressor (see below) because it depresses the body's ability to create energy.  Since creating energy is necessary for defending against stress, there is no way it can be positive.  However, I still drink.

Because the body can create most amino acids and fatty acids from glucose, the body will store fat and muscle as the last sources of reserve energy behind glycogen. It seems rather obvious that using them as primary diet sources (meat and fat) in place of carbohydrates is counterintuitive.  I recommend the following macronutrient ratios, but I do not count or pay attention to it.  

3:1 Carbs to Protein, 2:1 Protein to Fat in terms of grams.  A little Fibonacci there huh?  23 times your lean weight in calories per day - more if you are active.  You don't have to stress about these numbers.

The Body's Control Systems and Is Diabetes Caused by Lack of Dietary Sugar?

You can barely see it, but thyroid hormone T4 is converted to T3 by the liver and T3 is combined with Cholesterol and Pre-Formed Vitamin A to make Pregnenolone.  The diet I've laid out keeps you in the progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone region and maximizes T4 production.  You can quickly see that anything that harms thyroid or liver causes the whole system to fall apart.

As I just mentioned, glucose can be stored as fat or protein.  The anti-metabolic foods in the chart above seem to trigger this mechanism through depressing metabolism.  If you start reading labels or paying attention to what most baked goods and restaurant foods are made with, you'll notice they mix up the columns above frequently.  Baked goods like cookies or bread are made with Crisco or Vegetable oil, sugar and then one of the grain flours.  This is what gave sugar a bad name.  The Crisco says "slow your metabolism down" and "store this as fat" and then the sugar doesn't get used as energy.  I suspect this is the largest cause for body fat storage.

Pigs and chickens do a poor job destroying the toxic omega sixes from their soy and corn feed.  They concentrate the worst parts of each of those foods.  It's interesting that Biblical style diets also don't eat these animals.

Unfortunately, because we are another single stomach ruminant, we store a lot of fat as omega six.  This is good for survival because arachidonic acid and linoleic acid suppress metabolism (thyroid hormone T4) for long term survival.  When you don't eat sugar, your body uses the HPA stress axis to convert these to sugar. They are released into the blood stream and they're called "free fatty acids."  These "free fatty acids" in your blood simultaneously suppress metabolism, reduce insulin sensitivity, and cause blood sugar to rise without even eating sugar.

Another long-term survival mechanism of the body is muscle. When the body needs more sugar, it uses cortisol to mobilize amino acids.  Circulating amino acids, specifically tryptophan, cysteine, histidine, methionine, phenylalanine, also suppress metabolism to enable survival for a longer time.  It's really a brilliant design, but not something you want to use if you want to live instead of survive.  This is why I don't advocate eating protein powders or refined muscle meats as they inhibit your body's ability to convert carbohydrates to energy.

As diabetes is based on measuring blood sugar 12 hours after any meal, it seems more like that test is measuring how well the body is converting (adaptation, right?) stored muscle and fat into sugar.  They've found that people with diabetes frequently have higher cortisol (muscle to sugar) which correlates with what I'm saying.  If someone has markers of stress and circulating amino acid and fatty acids, they will be more likely to rapidly store a meal as fat simply because their metabolism is suppressed.

When I frequently eat sugar, I notice my blood sugar drops much more rapidly.  When I was doing a very low carb diet, my fasting blood sugar was 85.  After doing a very high starch diet for six months, it dropped to 75.  Counter-intuitive, but how many things in life are?

Excessive exercise would also cause your body to become very efficient at converting stored muscle and fat into sugar.  This may sound good, but that process relies on stress hormones.  It would also make sense that if you do grueling exercise, your body will suppress itself the rest of the time in order to save up fat for your meaningless task.  And it seems to, resting pulse is very low for distance athletes - mine used to be 42 on a low calorie, high veggie diet.  Distance athletes, considering the amount of calories expended via forced exercise, typically have higher body fat percentages than body builders.  Do fun exercise.

(Mild) Injury and Adaptation
As I will point out later, all the below concepts are conditional in that glycogen or blood sugar are available to handle the stress and therefore, does not require HPA stress axis activation.

There is a case for mild injury to the body as a means for improvement and increasing the complexity of the organism.  This concept is also called 'hormesis' by some.  I did not always believe in it, but here are some examples.

The sun provides mild injury that touches every nerve ending in the body.  When efficient energy is available, the body's structure adapts to the sun.   Africans have very thick hair likely due to this - to protect the brain from radiation, and studies have shown vitamin D is crucial to hair growth.  Additionally, it may "remind" the body to heal certain parts as this mild stressor forces the nervous system to notice something is wrong and in the right conditions, the body may repair something that was not repaired completely before.

I used to get sunburn.  Not any more.

The high altitude treatment.  Oxygen is deficient in high altitudes.  This is necessarily stressful for the organism in the short term.  The organism will retain more CO2 which seems to be used in the absence of oxygen for metabolism.  CO2 also dilates blood vessels, seems to increase metabolism, suppress serotonin and boost body temperature.  You can have lab work done to see if you have healthy metabolism by measuring CO2 levels.

Exercise.  Whether reading, walking, riding, painting, being funny, running, lifting, the body's nervous system recognizes usage and damage.  Then, only in the presence of abundant energy, it can more develop that part. No matter your genes, your body will "tune" up the functions you use the most - taxi drivers have much larger hippocampi than the rest of the population.

Beauticians use exfoliation as a mild injury. Massage therapists also stimulate the nervous system via mild injury.

Gravity exerts force on your body, and enables bone growth and apparently enables heart health.

Antioxidants.  Some scientists are confused at why anti-oxidants can also be pro-oxidants.  Resveratrol is a poison grape vines make to protect themselves from insects.  It has powerful healthy effects in experiments.  Is it because it stimulates the nervous system, and therefore the body's natural healing mechanisms?

I speculate that the body's endogenous natural healing mechanisms are more powerful than any exogenous nutrients or super foods.  These are only enabled by calories turned to energy which dictates body temp and pH. Endogenous enzymes and hormone production are very sensitive to pH and temperature.

It is a shame people buy into the genetic predetermination thing so much.  You can do whatever you want provided you "injure" yourself enough and have adequate energy to repair it.

"The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint, the greats were great because they paint a lot" - Macklemore "Ten Thousand Hours"

"Knowledge" versus Instinct
You have cravings.  Bonobos have cravings.  They follow theirs.  We ignore ours due to our "knowledge" of what is good or bad for us.  People have powerful cravings for salt and sweets.  The only enzyme in our mouth for digesting food is amylase - for digesting carbs.  With powerful signs like this, why do we ignore them?  Glucose can be converted into amino acids and fatty acids.  The body can allocate as needed.

This list of foods above are foods that increase my appetite (left) and foods that blunt my appetite (right).  The effects on my appetite are measured using body temperature, how full I feel and pulse rate after their consumption.

What if foods that make us feel full are foods that the body doesn't want?

What if those that increase our hunger are foods that the body wants more of?

People get terrified of sugar because it increases appetite and they assume they'll get fat - I'm saying that's not necessarily the case.  

Tropics / Arctics and Vitamin D
Food from the tropics seem to discourage fat storage.  A tropical climate represents abundant food to the body.  No reason to store body fat.

Hot showers, high body temperature (greater than 98.6), high vitamin D (represents large amounts of sun to the body) all seem to mimic this environment and discourage fat storage.

Cold water fish (salmon) have a higher body fat content.  Food is less abundant in cold conditions.  I wonder if cold triggers a mechanism to store body fat for "hibernation" the same way animals do for winter.  The body possibly stores fat around organs possibly to keep them warm.

If salmon were made of saturated fats, they'd be frozen solid.  Their fat becomes breaks down very easily at room temperatures and cooking temperatures.  It smells awful.  If things go rancid easily, why would we expect them to not break down in our bodies?  Coconut oil, beef tallow and clarified butter do not go bad at room temperature.

The omega 3's in salmon protect against diets high in omega 6's.  I avoid omega 6's and therefore do not need omega 3's.

Oxygen, Vitamin C and Fruit Acids
It is well known that oxygen is indispensable part of cellular respiration.  At the molecular level, you will notice in my chart below, that sugars and fruit acids have nearly three times as much oxygen as fatty acids. This results in healthy metabolism and release of CO2 instead of anaerobic metabolism creating Lactic Acid, which is toxic to the liver.

Fruit acids, like Citric Acid and Malic Acid, also provide powerful digestive aids for minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Vitamin C seems to be crucial to stress relief in all mammals but four:  humans, apes, guinea pigs and a bat.  They manufacture it from glucose when under stress.  Vitamin C has a half life of about four hours depending on stress levels.  A steady flow seems wise.  Additionally, vitamin C helps remove heavy metals from the body.  They interfere with liver conversion of thyroid hormone T4 to T3, which is the most important hormone for metabolism.
Respiratory quotient is how efficiently oxygen is used by the body to produce CO2.  Notice how deficient in oxygen fats and alcohol are.

The Case Against Fiber
Plants, seeds, nuts, grains are loaded with natural plant toxins such as phytic acid, goitrogens, oxalic acid.  The plants likely create these to enable their survival and replication of their species by inhibiting digestion in animals and humans.  I learned this the hard way eating a lot of seeds, nuts and grains that ended up giving me bile reflux until I read a book called "The Fiber Menace."  

Around that time, I also heard about "The Gerson Therapy" which advocated eating no fiber and minimal fat to cure cancer.  It was incompatible with my view of health at the time.  Now I know fiber is indigestable and forces your body to waste tons of energy trying to process it.  It irritates your gut causing serotonin to form - which creates extreme mental alertness, and as Danny Roddy has pointed out over and over, is a stress hormone.  Yet doctors prescribe it to people.

Logic alone:  Why would you want to eat something indigestable?  Is it designed to make your brain feel good because eating something that would only be considered food during a famine like tree bark or seeds?

A friend once told me her grandma and grandpa escaped Nazi Germany and were using coffee grounds for food.  Some people in Africa eat clay.  Anything becomes food in certain situations.

Caloric Restriction as a means to Longevity
"I ain't tryin to survive, I'm tryin to live" - Masta Ace.  This sums up my beliefs on this subject.  Would you rather have your 20s twice or your 80s?  However, I will acknowledge it.  A lot of those studies were done on animals that were raised on low calorie diets.  Your body was developed at a certain rate of calorie consumption.  If you cut back lower than that, you are limiting your body's potential.  Now imagine if I was only raised on 500 calories, my body adjusted to that, and then I was able to eat 1000 calories, my body would love it, and maybe live longer.  Tortoises live very long with very little activity.

Coconut Oil, Butter, Milk Fat and Gelatin
I've had a very difficult time finding why coconut oil is beneficial to thyroid.  I can only speculate that coconut oils tightly bound medium chain saturated fats resist (I've read they resist the carnitine pathway into cells) being turned to energy which forces your body down the carbohydrate metabolism path.  Another possible benefit is that they mix with the highly omega six body fat in your body and keep those fats from being drawn into production as well as prevents them from being oxidized (lipid peroxidation) as it resists temperatures better.  Butter and milk fat have similar characteristics.  I swear by all three.

I also have trouble connecting dots for gelatin.  It's loaded with glycine - a very basic building block of all things structure.  It's deficient in all of the thyroid inhibiting amino acids mentioned above.  However, I can't think of a reason why I should be eating dissolved joints of cows.  I speculate that because gelatin is crucial to forming connective tissues and joints (more important than muscle), that the body is not prone to draw it into energy production like it does with muscle tissue.  This would also force the carbohydrate pathway.  I've had pretty good results with it.

Vegetarian Girls and Cruciferous Vegetables
We've seen the figures of vegetable juicing females.  Minimal curves, low muscle content.  I suspect this is due to the actions of cruciferous vegetables suppressing of thyroid hormone which limits all sex hormone production.  Interestingly, these vegetables seem to enable survival for a long time through their metabolism suppressing effects.  Their high vitamin K content prevents calcification of cells associated with cellular death.  However, I think while this may work for being thin and "preserving" the body, they may not be useful for maximal genetic expression.  Vitamin K is also high in cheese.  Maybe you can eat Cruciferous vegetables at night when you aren't able to feed as frequently.

I always wondered why people who went to bed earlier typically appeared healthier.  Well, night causes the body to pre-emptively start generating glucose via the HPA Stress axis.  By going to sleep, you limit your body's energy needs - temperature drops, activity drops.  It would have been impossible to find food at night in the pre-modern world.  We are still slightly animalistic.  We breed more in January soon after the sun begins rising again. Our appetites increase and decrease with sun cycles.  Our social activities change with moon cycles.

Drawbacks to This Theory
As your metabolism tunes up, you will have an insatiable appetite.  Keep eating.  I recognize that this is not a economic diet plan so clearly this is not for everyone, and certainly the entire world could not eat like this. You may gain a little body fat initially until you re-normalize and then you should start becoming more muscular.

You will find that because your HPA stress axis has no practice generating sugar due to constant feeding of sugar, your blood sugar drops more rapidly when you are not fed and that might cause mild stress until you eat again.

Do not feel guilty eating a lot.  Do not eat fast.  Enjoy food.  Stay moderately active - dance, stand up more, walk, talk, think, read.  Watching TV requires no energy expenditure - therefore no development.

Frequent statements:
I feel tired when I eat carbs.  If you've been running on stress hormones for a while, suppressing them with carbs will make you tired.  Manic energy doesn't necessarily indicate health.  Adrenaline is very powerful, but should be used in emergencies only.

I feel amazing after I exercise at a grueling pace.  See above.


  1. Being an EE also, I recognize your correct thinking process. On the other hand, my feeling is that the discussion above tries to make a highly complex process (nutrition) fit together logically. Maybe it does for you, but unlike circuit analysis, people are all different (as you acknowledge) and as such, there will be wholly different outcomes across the "spectra" of human beings.
    At 87 years of age, I think that I have nutritionally been mostly correct. However, I know that I've done many incorrect things, but I'll take your suggestions selectively (like in a cafeteria), add my experience, and maybe come up with an optimum blend. Thanks for writing.

  2. Hey Mr Bud Wood. I am glad you wrote and that you made it to 87. I've known everything about nutrition about five times in my life. Ha. I agree with Matt Stone when he said if you arent confused about nutrition, you haven't studied it enough.

    The above is a combo of Ray Peats work who has a phd in Biology, the work of a married pair of doctors called "The Perfect Health Diet" and then Roddy and Stone who seem to be very open minded well read independent researchers.

    I wondered if I was trying to convince myself it was right as I wrote it and by applying logic.

    As I explored all kinds of bad health concepts for the last eight years, I usually couldn't logically conclude they were right. Sprouting, juice fasting, low carb, high fat, only meat, whole grain, vegetarian, vegan. There are great health and logic arguments against all those.

    Unfortunately even if I'm right now, my body and skin are already tarnished from choices of the past. This makes determining who is right almost impossible.

    There is much more to this story. And in my opinion, it must even get into the origins of mankind. Genetic researchers say the chromosomes are so protected that each baby gets nearly perfect DNA that the mother develops. If you trace this back, it implies very small amounts of changes between us and whereever we came from. And if we all came from the same place, we must not be very different.

    I do think that northern europeans have adapted to polyunsatured fat diets from fatty fish have more thoroughly than those of African descent who would have rarely consumed them. I believe traditional african diets were high in tubers and fruits. Diabetes is much more prevelant in the African community. Their consumption of highly concentrated vegetable oil is a blink of the eye in terms of evolution.

    The only foods I know high in digestable carbs and also high in fat are coconuts and milk. Both have near zero polyunsaturated fats. Nature can be our guide.

  3. Awesome post! I was wondering if you could please write up a sample day of eating for you? I have been trying to follow eating guidelines essentially like these but I end up eating fruit, honey and cheese for most of my meals and it's somewhat difficult going out sometimes. Thanks in advance!

  4. Please reach out to me on Facebook because messaging will be a little easier.

    Kathleen, depends where you live, but you should be able to find stuff at restaurants. Most cuts of beef are going to be okay - just avoid the sauces if you want to be particular about it. Seafood: shrimp, oysters, mussels are all good. I drink a lot of 0% fat milk in the day. I drink a lot of OJ in the day. Both are divisible and keep the metabolism up. Cheese, cottage cheese, and coffee with sugar and milk is okay. Gelatin is a supplement worth considering.

  5. Your assertion that the body can create amino acids from glucose is incorrect. It can only create fatty acids from glucose.