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Kit Perkins Gets Himself Results, Blogs: Go Figure

And why shouldn’t he? Tell me again how the food giants were there for him. How about his friends, who told him, most likely: "everything in moderation?" The drug companies? The media? How about academia and research institutions with with their CAFOs of Grant Whores?

Nobody was there for Kit Perkins who was supposed to be there — who one might expect to be there — and consequently, at the tender age of 21, Kit ends up looking like this. But I suppose that looks pretty average to most folks in our increasingly acclimated society.

Kit before
Kit Before

Kit writes:

When I went to college, my focus shifted to academics and social matters, and before long I had stopped exercising completely. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was headed down a risky road in a poorly maintained vehicle.

My junior year in college, the wheels fell off. Mounting personal issues, paired with a heavy load of engineering coursework, resulted in severe stress, and my friends and I medicated with beer and video games. I became more sedentary, slept less, and was constantly worrying about one thing or another. My lifestyle led to significant weight gain, and by the summer, I was at 200lbs with very little muscle on my 5’10” frame.

What I think is that Kit was very fortunate to head down this path very early in life. For me, I was always pretty reasonable in body composition until the latter half of my 30s, then dind’t do anything about it for 10 years until I found myself at 235lbs on that same, 5’10" frame.

But while I don’t think the paleo mileu mandates a low carb approach, it can certainly be effective for the initial weight loss.

I moved back in with my parents and was set to take a few quarters off from school for an internship in the bay area. The week I was set to start work, the company all but went under and I was stuck with nine free months and no job. Suddenly I lacked purpose and began doubting my self-worth.

Salvation came in the form of pick-up hockey and home cooking. My parents had been low-carb for years (my brother and I complained for years about the bacon smell originating from the seemingly unhealthy diet), and though I didn’t realize it at the time, I’m sure my carbohydrate intake dropped significantly during this time period. I was lucky enough to find another job, and spent the remainder of my time at home working and playing hockey 2-5 times per week.

I lost roughly 40 lbs during my stay at home. I looked better, felt better, and regained the confidence and sense of self-worth I had lost.

And then he went back on his own. Oh, oh.

I returned to school last March, determined to maintain my rediscovered health (and waistline). Shopping for myself again, I ate nothing but salads and pasta. School limited hockey to once per week, so I started jogging and mountain biking. I watched my portions and used low-fat pasta sauce and salad dressing.

Over three months, I gained almost ten pounds. My new clothes were getting tighter, I was losing stamina on the rink, and I was hungry after every meal. It didn’t make any sense. This was the first attempt I had made at watching my diet and I was exercising more, but I felt worse and was gaining fat. Now I realize I was starving and getting fat at the same time.

Yes, I know: calories count. Or so they say. Lots of controversy about that and who knows if it will ever be resolved; so until then, I think I’ll just stick with reader and commenter Nigel Kinbrum’s adage: "calories count, but why bother counting?" It just seems that for me and a lot of others, we felt the most hungry when gaining fat and the most satiated while losing fat.

This also illustrates the inherent limitations with the low-carb dietary approach. Does it work? Absolutely, very effectively for most, but in so many cases, only to a point, and that point is not the leanness and muscular strength retention — and even increase — you see in paleo folks. Why? Well, because low-carb is sort of a license to eat easy crap. paleo excludes easy crap in favor of real food: meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, and maybe nuts & dairy if it works for you. Chiefly, exclude all wheat (and other gluten grains or grains in general), refined sugar, and anything with former industrial lubricants: vegetable and seed oils.

Let’s see how that worked out for Kit.

I went home for a week in June before starting summer school, and my dad was in great shape. He told me he had been eating a “paleo diet.” He pointed me to Mark’s Daily Apple, Robb Wolf, and Free the Animal; I was off and running. I bought The Primal Blueprint, and the science of insulin management struck a chord with me. I looked back at the cycles of body composition I had experienced in my young life, and it seemed to hold true – carbohydrate was a problem.

I scheduled my birthday at the end of July for a last Neolithic hurrah, then embarked on a low-carb paleo/primal lifestyle on 8/2/10. For the first six weeks, I tracked my dietary intake and body weight, and wrote a post every day on a blog constructed for that purpose (now indexed here).

Maybe the carbohydrate was a problem, maybe it wasn’t, but the point is, taking a Paleo/Primal approach does two things: first and foremost in my view it eliminates Dr. kurt harris’ "Neolithic agents of disease." Second, it is typically, at most, moderate carb.

The story gets better, as expected.

In those six weeks, I lost 13.6lbs, and got my abs back. I had boundless energy and no crippling hunger. It was easy to get out of bed every morning, and I found I actually enjoy cooking when the food tastes good. I was actually excited to see people I hadn’t in awhile, instead of embarrassed to show my added pounds. For the first time since high school, I craved activity. Suddenly, the couch wasn’t enough for me; I wanted to be enjoying the sunshine and challenging myself athletically.

This lifestyle has also had the unexpected, but certainly welcome effect of lowering my stress. I used to worry about everything. I’m not sure how it happened, but now I am an expert at letting it go; I truly release the stress of everyday issues from my body and mind. Perhaps it is because I feel confident in my health in a way I never have before.

The paleo/primal diet has been like a drug for me. I can’t get enough of the science of nutrition and diet; I’m constantly thinking about how the body works. Since those first six weeks, I’ve been experimenting with my health and fitness, all on a strong paleo base. Most recently I’ve been experimenting with Leangains and I’ve added quite a bit of muscle. In addition to this passion for knowledge, I developed a love for writing, a rare romance for an engineer.

Well damn fine congratulations to Kit. He looks like a human again. Here, see?

Kit
Kit After

Do make sure you take a scroll up to see the before shots. [Update: Kit emails in that, "I didn’t notice this until now, but the lefthand picture in the two "after" pics is actually sort of a middle pic – after living with my parents, but before really going paleo/primal."]

I thought it would be a good time to post something like this owing to the higher visits the last few days, probably as a result of the debate with raw vegan frutarian Harley Johnstone of 30 Bananas a Day. They seem to think that meat makes you fat. In science, the above is what you call falsification of that hypothesis. The cool thing about Popperian falsification is that it only takes one single instance to know you need not consider it any further. Translation: PLONK!

And for you new visitors, vegan visitors, this is no fluke. Check out Tim. Or, this "Sterling" transformation. Who hasn’t heard of Super Mike? And Chris? He’s singing a different tune. Murray to this day constitutes one of the most amazing transformations ever. Anyone remember how Austin in Singapore turned his life around? And how about Michelle and Timothy?

And finally, one of the most recent, Mel, a PhD biology researcher. All of the resources at her disposal and yet, she had to come to some guy’s blog to find a sound path for living and looking the way a human animal is supposed to look.

You likee? Then shout it to the mountain tops. Let others know, because they don’t know. Facebook and Twitter buttons are up top. Just do it.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

39 Comments

  1. Kit Perkins on April 19, 2011 at 10:37

    Thanks for posting my story. Looks great!

    • christina_aurelius on April 19, 2011 at 11:27

      Kit, you look handsome and manly. Two adjectives that don’t apply to as many males as they should. Your transformation is inspiring!



  2. Primal Toad on April 19, 2011 at 10:43

    Great story Kit! Thanks for sharing Richard! These never get old.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 10:49

      They never ever do, PT. And they’re always my favorite. It’s why we do what we do, at the end of the day.



  3. Adam Landry on April 19, 2011 at 10:51

    Way to go Kit! I love to share these stories with friends and family that are concerned about my dietary lifestyle.

    Keep them coming Richard!

  4. » Real Results – FTA Feature engrevo on April 19, 2011 at 10:52

    […] at Free the Animal posted a great feature about me today. Big […]

  5. Kit Perkins on April 19, 2011 at 10:54

    For any interested, the full story that I sent to Richard: http://bit.ly/eppBeI

  6. Sean on April 19, 2011 at 11:12

    Great transformation, Kit. Congratulations.

    Richard, I don’t think this is an example of Popperian falsification. I consider Popper to be something of a blowhard. I think Kit’s just the opposite, an example of a tried and true formula.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 11:37

      Oh, and Sean, in case you have never seen this, here has long been my touchstone for explaining the notion of falsifiability to people.



    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 11:29

      Sean:

      Having debated with people for years about Popper, I always do this: he is to be taken in context. Falsification is only valid in the strict sense of a scientific proposition, ie hypothesis. People tend to view or interpret too broadly and end up with ridiculous notions that you can’t know anything if Popper is to be believed.

      And so, if the hypothesis is something to the effect: meat as a significant percentage of calories will make you fat, stated as a scientific hypothesis, this is a pure, one-off falsification.

      Of course, it’s only vegans and the vast majority of western civilization that seems to advance such a hypothesis, so nothing to worry about.



    • Sean on April 19, 2011 at 11:55

      Richard, my knowledge of Popper is neither deep nor wide. Could you give an example of Popper applying falsification only to hypotheses?



    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 11:57

      Why? I’m simply giving him credit for working out details. If you imagine I wish to champion him, wrong place and wrong dude (me).



    • Sean on April 19, 2011 at 12:13

      In that case, doesn’t your form of falsification simply reduce to the scientific method?



    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 13:53

      Yea. Riddle me that.



    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 13:55

      And I’ve always looked upon it as admonition, a line never to be crossed.

      That’s thet stregth of Popper. Context.



  7. Mallory on April 19, 2011 at 13:29

    hmm….cute, primal… single?!

    • perkinskit on April 19, 2011 at 13:47

      haha not single. I have a wonderful girlfriend of over 5 years. 🙂



    • christina_aurelius on April 19, 2011 at 15:47

      Well, Mallory and I can admire the merchandise from afar.



    • Bonnie on April 22, 2011 at 11:20

      She must be thrilled!



  8. Jessica K on April 19, 2011 at 20:06

    Great job and looking good, Kit! It is amazing to me how my definition of normal size has changed as I’ve changed. I’m down about 45 pounds and there is no turning back ever!

  9. Paul Verizzo on April 19, 2011 at 20:20

    Great work (or was it?), Kit! You look like guys looked like when I was coming of age in the 1960’s.

    My brother has done a lot of work consulting and setting up weight loss clinics. Some months ago on one of my very frequent bike rides to one of the public beaches (Sarasota, Florida), I did an informal survey of bodies. Sort of to see how many potential clients his clients might have.

    Once I put sort of numbers on what I’ve been seeing for several years, I was amazed. Although I don’t recall exactly, it was something like 70% of the people were significantly overweight. Very, very few of the women looked like the girls did when I was growing up. Ditto for the guys.

    I”ll be 65 in a few weeks. I can honestly say that my (still somewhat overweight) body is better than 90% of the male bodies on that beach, REGARDLESS OF AGE! Is that pathetic, or what?

    I’ve been mostly paleo for almost two years. Slacked in the winters, but overall, low carb, lots of meat, no liquid dairy besides cream in my Cuban coffee, etc., you know the drill.

    It works.

  10. Tim on April 19, 2011 at 20:34

    That’s me, “Tim” in that link. Paleo is still working fine! I now have a one year old baby boy. He is being built right on Mother’s milk, animal sourced foods, and smashed up veggies. Thanks, Richard!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 20:36

      It’s always great to hear from someone a few years down the road still going strong. It’s a way of life.



  11. Tim on April 19, 2011 at 20:43

    100% way of life. I read up on all the blogs and books, listen to podcaststs, and spread the info to interested parties. The Paleo stuff extends into family, community, business, too. My little caveboy is developing like our ancestors would have expected, I assume. It is profound, but it is simple.

  12. Rachel on April 20, 2011 at 05:37

    Dude, you look smokin’ hot. Congratulations!

  13. 04/21/2011 » CrossFit Mount Laurel - on April 20, 2011 at 18:41

    […] “Kit Perkins Gets Himself Results, Blogs: Go Figure” Free the Animal Posted in WOD SHARE THIS Twitter Facebook Delicious StumbleUpon E-mail « 04/20/2011 No Comments Yet […]

  14. Chad Daring on April 20, 2011 at 19:27

    I found this page @leangains, kudos on the loss, amazing transformation, but I cant help but look at the after pictures and notice how pronounced your ribs are, that seems to be leaning on unhealthy, from an outsider point of view. Is there something I dont know about being that level of lean? I”ve always been told that you should maintain a double digit (but not crazy) body fat percentage to be “healthy”

    • perkinskit on April 20, 2011 at 19:44

      Honestly, I think I’m in the double digit BF%.

      I’m getting my BF checked Friday morning as part of a study I’m participating in. I’ll be sure to check back in and let you know the results.



    • perkinskit on April 22, 2011 at 11:29

      According to this morning’s test (bioimpedance), I’m at 10.3% BF.



    • Chad Daring on April 22, 2011 at 11:50

      That I would never have guessed, though I do admit I didnt realize that the two shots on the bottom were both “after” just one is you flexing the abdominals, so I do realize that those aren’t ribs (doh!)



    • perkinskit on April 22, 2011 at 14:55

      Wow I can’t believe I didn’t notice this earlier. Both of the “Before” shots are from before I moved back with my parents.

      The “After” shot on the left is after I had gained 10 lbs trying to do it the low-fat way, and the right “After” pic is what I look like now. None of the pics are “flexed”.



    • perkinskit on April 22, 2011 at 14:57

      The picture progression here is a little clearer:

      http://www.engrevo.com/blog/real-results-fta-feature/



    • perkinskit on April 22, 2011 at 14:59

      Also I look sleepy in many of the pics because I take them first thing in the morning. 🙂



    • Bonnie on April 22, 2011 at 11:22

      Those are not his ribs, they are nicely developed serratus anterior muscles.



  15. Rachel on April 20, 2011 at 22:07

    It is SO much harder than you think to have dangerously low bodyfat. He is JUST FINE, trust me. When you are used to overweight bodies everything else looks extreme. This is what a healthy human should look like. My guess is he is hovering close to 10% BF, but anything 6% and up is fine for men. Women need more.

  16. […] loss. Earlier, CarbSane engaged her critics on insulin. From Kit Perkins, a correspondent of Richard Nikoley, comes a good line indicating the link between hunger and fat regulation:  “for me and a lot of […]

  17. Dana on April 24, 2011 at 09:45

    “low-carb is sort of a license to eat easy crap. Paleo excludes easy crap in favor of real food: meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, and maybe nuts & dairy if it works for you.”

    No, being lazy is a license to eat easy crap. The only time I ever eat something like an Atkins bar is if my inner brat is out to play and I decide I want junk food. I tell myself it beats the hell out of potato chips. Most of the time, it does.

    But you could, for instance, do the Atkins plan on nothing but Paleo foods. Easily. Actually I recommend that to people who want to still eat carbs but need to know how much is too much. Even potatoes will make you fat if your metabolism is already screwed up.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2011 at 09:55

      Atkins does not exclude crap, not in the slightest. Just look at all the low-carb websites. Paleo absolutely excludes crap.



  18. […] for any vegans who do stop by with an open mind, here's what real results look like. Kit Perkins is the most recent success. Check out Tim. Or, this "Sterling" transformation. […]

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