My Personal Non-Ketotarded Keto Diet To Achieve Fat Loss and Lean Gains Simultaneously


I’ve been a bit camera shy for a few years now. Probably a few more than a few… I guess my lesson is, be careful of letting two spinal injuries, concomitant chronic pain over months and years—with concomitant self-medication—begin to rule your life because when the pain is over, the downward gradient may be just the beginning.

It can happen to the worst of us. You should have seen me by about 3 months ago, early April 2017. Well, here. this is about the best I can do because, as I say, I avoided cameras.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.38.57 AM

No calves, skinny arms, skinny legs, and a spare tire.

I hadn’t been in a gym—or near an actual man-weight—in like four years, and a year and a half of that time I spent in pain until lumbar surgery in May ’15. By last April—2 years later, and after a dark, cold, wet and frozen winter spent mostly by myself and dogs at 4,200 feet elevation in “mountainville“—I was a mess. I was drinking too much, too often, felt very unhealthy, and weighed 203.5 pounds net.

Time for Spring Cleaning.

…They say love conquers all, which is complete touchy-feely bullshittery for feeble minds, but it is true that I’m in love with my wife and I also knew that my time was on lease pending her retirement from school teaching in a couple of months; if, I didn’t get back to being the man of the house: in word, deed, and also fucking looking the part, for Christ’s sake!

That’s when I began the calorie tracking, or, better: energy input and output management using my brain and available tools like smartphone apps (LoseIt!), a kitchen scale, and a Fitbit (integrated with LoseIt!). I maintained a variable average 600-800 calorie deficit and by “variable,” I mean that the Fitbit tracking data enabled dynamic, real-time management of energy input, owing to higher or lower levels of energy output activity. Setting a fixed energy intake level, without regard to variable outputs, is really ‘tarded; and you’ll fail.

Alternatively, just cut carbohydrate to nil, lower protein to concentration-camp levels, and just eat more fat. Be a Ketotard (See here and here). And whatever you do, especially don’t use a tracking device: Is Your Fitness Tracker Sabotaging Your Weight-Loss Efforts? That’s an absurdly ridiculous question by one of the New Ketoshysters, Andreas Eenfeldt, aka “Diet ‘argumentum ad verecundiam‘ Doctor.”

Let me digress on that for a fit-bit. Does Andreas really believe his dupes, sycophants, and marks to be so pathetically stupid that they’ll not notice…

Here’s another reason why calorie counting is a truly bad strategy for weight loss. Not only is it very hard to estimate exactly how many calories you eat, it’s almost impossible to estimate how many you burn.

According to new research even wearing a fitness tracker is not helping estimate calories either. In fact, they are wildly off – by as much as 93% on average!

Shorter Andreas: “Just take the Fat Bomb. It may be 800 calories, it may be 1,200. Your tracker or app won’t tell you and you won’t know how many steps to take or how much you ought to get off your ass. Just do it. Take the fat bomb. Get on the net. Represent!”

Just look at this obvious weasel crap:

  1. WTF is “estimate exactly?”
  2. WTholyF is “almost impossible to estimate?”
  3. WTmutherFingShit is “as much as 93% on average?”

#3 is ‘almost impossible to estimate’ the absurdity of. Walk a mile, or hell, walk for 15 minutes at a nice robust pace. Now, be very dutiful to your Fitbit Tech when it tells you that you walked 370 feet, or 14.3 miles, and I guess you get to take your preferential pick. This is how stupid he thinks you are.

…Does Tom “Fat Head” Naughton’s admonition in his documentary—that’s it’s laudable to have as a tenant that you have a functioning brain, apply only when it’s not inconvenient to use it instead of Andreas’ advice to just throw up your hands in despair and follow the Ketotard Diet Approach?

Visit My New Facebook Group: “Richard Nikoley’s Ketotard Chronicles

By using your brain, you can overcome the limitations of both being way off on your inputs (neither 100 calories nor 600 calories is correct for that large bowl of chicken soup…use your head and gain experience) and your outputs. For instance, I set up my Fitbit as the instructions call for. Walk a good distance normally across the room, count your steps, measure the distance, and do maths. I came out to 30″ stride length. All Fitbit does is count steps. It applies your stride length, does maths, gives the distance walked, and uses an algorithm to estimate calorie burn based on your personal body parameters. I decided to compare it to a GPS for a 2.5-mile walk.

My Fitbit overestimated the distance by a whopping 7/100ths of a mile (a few hundred feet over a distance of 14,000 feet). I set my stride length to 29″ and the next walk, it underestimated by 14/100ths of a mile, twice the “error” magnitude, but in the other direction. We’re closing in. This is fun. It’s fun to use your functioning brain! So, 29.6″. Better: 7/100ths under. We’ve narrowed it to a 2/5ths-of-an-inch margin of error. Then 29.8″. On the next walk, Fitbit said I walked 2.77 miles. GPS said I walked 2.77 miles. That’s all it took. A 1/5th of an inch correction from my initial ‘almost impossible to estimate’ stride length setting. But, I ended up ‘estimat[ing] [it] exactly.’

[Check out the two must read at the end of the post, and pay particular attention to Lyle McDonald’s section on NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Turns out it can be big, into caloric 4-figures, and it also turns out that Fitbit does a damn decent job of accounting for it in my experience.]

…Stuff that in your bacon, cheese, salami, pepperoni, and more bacon frittata with sour cream and guacamole on top, Andreas!

By doing it smarter, my progress was certain, measurable, and pleasing. Just before the Memorial Day weekend, so serious had I become that I ditched alcohol completely. It turned out to be easy. I’ll explain all of that in a post of its own soon, but I’m approaching the 6-week point.


My first whole body selfie in quite a while, June 10-ish, 2017. I can tuck in a shirt!

By late May, a bit before that photo, above, I was down to 193.5 for a 10-pound weight loss in two months using exactly what DietDoctor Eenfeldt advises you not to use—in lieu of consuming Fat Bombs. By sheer happenstance, the weight loss roughly corresponded to the 1.5 weekly loss rate that I had selected in LoseIt! What a miracle! That’s when I cut out alcohol altogether. Let’s chalk that up to a gracious sacrificial offering to the God of The Benevolent Accident.

To put this all in perspective, here’s the essence of what I did the first two months of true and not fake ketosis (see here and here for the difference between true and fake ketosis):

  1. Daily average—no-shit-no-excuses—caloric deficit of 600-800 calories
  2. “Hyper” lean-ish protein intake averaging 1 gram per total pound of body weight daily. Call it 200g.
  3. Eschew added fats everywhere (at most, a pat of butter or drizzle of EVOO here & there)
  4. Manage the rest of the calories by means of the already given fat that comes in the foods—especially the sacred hyperprotein—then carbohydrate, up or down, according to the Fitbit calorie burn. Some days, this can be 200-300 grams of carbs—even “carbonated sugar water”—on my objectively true ketogenic diet!
  5. A minimum of 12 hours from the last calorie in the evening to the first calorie the next day. Go 14-16 hours sometimes. Extend to 24-30 hours once every week or two.

I didn’t expect see happen what really happened, once I cut out the booze entirely—rather than just cut down as I’d been doing for a while. Up to then, the hyperprotein served to guard lean mass, but that’s about it as far as I could tell.

But, once I did—within the same caloric deficit, same protein, and same everything regime—I began to gain weight not attributable to water retention flux. I felt different; like, muscles seemingly wanting to flex, to get a breather. I looked better in the mirror and the clothes already fitting better were beginning to fit betterer.


Second workout. Three full days after the first, because the recovery from the first was A Total Bitch, Dude!

Rather than worry or fret about weight gain—like a girl, or your quotidian ubiquitous beta-male—I instead went with the visceral take on it and I added two more variables, keeping all else constant. I went back to the gym and added 5-6 grams of creatine monohydrate daily, rain or shine, to my hyperprotein and disciplined caloric deficit regime.

Here’s what my very, very, very complex and complicated workout involves—and very, very and exceedingly complicated entailing—with all long-tails expeditiously accounted for in triplicate ethical and practical form:

  1. Dr. Doug McGuff’s BIG-5

There is no #2. But, I did want an app for that; so after two workouts where fucks given would have impressed almost any rational female virgin, of age, on earth, I downloaded StrongLifts. Very similar, only free weight—which is more manly—and 72/72 virgins agree—it’s more reps and sets (5×5), which might be good or better, depending. I’m so into it after three sessions that I’m doing all the warmups just to get more of it.

Squats, 3x per week? Yes. Gotta problem with that? It also has deadlifts once per week. My last deadlift, before StrongLifts, was over four years ago, when I pulled 325 x 5 and 305 x 4, for a second set. This session—that included DL—I decided to take it easy for the first one and set up for 155. Of course, 5 reps and then a 2nd set were a cinch. But I was surprised it even felt like weight at all. Trust me: 300# and above feels like weight.


My favorite comment so far: “You look like an ax murderer.”

So, this pic represents a 6-pound weight gain—from 193.5 to 199.5 in two weeks, after 2 months of a steady drop from 203.5 to 193.5, essentially only managing basal energy balance, with forays into intermittent normal activity.

Pants fit better than ever, as do my XL tanks (in the good way). This is by no means even close to the end of the road and represents a violation of my personal oath to myself that I would not publish until THERE, Mutherfuckers. Done! But I made that personal oath when I only had the idea of what it would take and not the certainty that it does indeed work slightly better than drinking Fat Bombs and sitting around finding comment threads in which to add, “you’re not eating enough fat; try a fat bomb.”

I have 2-3 months to go at the same rate until I’m lean enough to go shirtless. As a serious blogger with over 4,500 posts since 2003, I had to weigh that oath with the progress I’ve been surprised about. It’s a euphoric thing for a waste like me; it’s not irrational. That’s a kinda magic. It’s so fucking objective that it bites me, making sure I’m awake.

But, what then happens over the next two to three months as I revel privately in my self-adoration, keeping all to myself for a Big Reveal? How many struggling, decent, and honest souls with flaws just like I’ve just told you about—only different by elements and degrees—are going to fall victim to the likes of jimmy moore, Adam Nally, and Andreas Eenfeldt when in that same 2-3 months they could be mocking and ridiculing them?

See, that’s the only payment I seek for doing all this (see here and here). I seek to see tons of average folk mocking and ridiculing these shysters publicly. Unafraid to do so. Happy to do so. Enthralled to do so.

Finally, I’ve a bit of merit to show off, I guess. Ha! Yea, I know I do.

…There are two posts you need to read to fully understand much of what’s underlying this, and so that you don’t need to listen to fucking Ketoshysters ever again (see here and here to know all about Ketoshysters):

  1. Can you gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? (Menno Henselmans)
  2. Bodyrecomposition Mailbag 4 (Lyle McDonald; the last two sections, on NEAT and lean gain on caldef, are the prescient ones)

No man is an island—though I maintain that every man ought to craft his own life in trying to be the best and biggest volcanic island he can be. It has been an exceedingly long road for me. I did not have the benefit of ever being some kind of health nut, muscle head, or gym rat early on. I was an entrepreneur employer who got fat like most folks do…just different sources of distraction and stress and life.

And, it has fucking plagued me for years: how it’s so much easier to gross $3.5 mil in a business year by my own wits than to fucking get to a normal, lean body composition. The good news: if you can get to being lean from being fat, getting rich might be a cake walk. Priorities.

Like I said, I’m no island. Here’s my short list of those who’ve been essentially instrumental in me developing my own dot-connector, integrator, synthesizer way about stirring up as much shit as I can in all of this Ketotardedness.

  1. Alex Leaf. He gets top mention because it was his admonition in my podcast with him to “target lean proteins” that I can trace back to the very start of my renewed thinking that led to all the above.
  2. Martin Berkhan. Dude was force feeding me protein at 180-230g daily in a caldef back in 2010, and I got results, but I was so locking locked into the Paleo-dogma narrative and being the shit-stirring celebrity of it that I didn’t catch a clue.
  3. Lyle McDonald. He’s always been right and the only thing ever to outwiegh that rightness is his humility about it.
  4. Anthony Colpo. It was The Fat Loss Bible way back 5 years ago that motivated me to reach out to him to say he’s right. We’ve been correspondents ever since. Calories count and are fundamentally crucial. Fuck off and read it, if you can’t understand it beyond luxuriuous Fat Bombs by those wanting you to pay them to give you dispensation for your gluttony.
  5. Luis Villasenor. This fucker-dude is poised to take the global Spanish-speaking world by climatological cataclysm. He was such a relief to discover as I was getting increasingly perturbed by the general Ketotardedness being exploited by Ketoshysters. He emphasizes: ketosis is by means of caloric deficit, gains are by means of adequate to hyperprotein, and that, most importantly, you chase gains, not ketones. Ketones are evidence that you’re doing it right (caloric deficit).
  6. Marty Kendall. I first took note of the importance of nutritional density back when I debated 3o-bananas Durianrider whoeverthefuck years ago and on a whim, challenged vegans to tell me how much of their diet would roughly equal 4 ounces of beef liver. Five pounds of mixed fruit is the correct answer. Marty takes this sort of thing to way new levels.
  7. Mike Julian. He knows everything and he’s everywhere, all at once, and serves as catalyst, gauge, yardstick, and check for all of what I’m trying to do everywhere.

What am I trying to do?

Ha, LOL. I’ll not stop until I see the Ketoshysters as a pile of quivering jello, in a puddle of tears.

You thought I was insufferable when I got drunk every day…. Be careful what your kind soul and conscience wishes for.

Richard. Out.

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


  1. Hap on July 2, 2017 at 18:24

    Interesting post…..I’m glad you cleaned yourself up…..

    Nice rotator cuff tear repair……..must be old as arthrotomy scars a thing of the past.

    There are a lot of things people should not be doing and in fact, the adding by subtraction philosophy , although old, is just not suited to the modern interventionist/fraudster/ketoshyster…..etc.

    But this strategy is powerful ………beginning with intermittent restriction of oral substrate (ie food). If anyone tells you that this is “easy”…..well good for them. Generally, it is not. And why so……well….it is a stressor and stressors have to cause stress. Jesus Christ.

    then there is exercise….a really strange concept given that formal exercise is mostly a modern invention, to make up for the normal activities of ancients. How the hell could sitting 10 hours a day at a computer screen be healthy. So we are forced to “exercise”.

    There are stressors that are mildly uncomfortable but not subtraction that appear to me very worthwhile. Although thermal stress is fashionable in the sauna spas of big cities……heat and cold stress has benefit and little iatrogenics…that have not been subject to millenia.

    I spent some time reviewing the benefits and potential cautions…..and then diving into the molecular biology…where all the modern “rationalizations” reside. There are too many too mention but one sort of sticks out….ie heat and cold stress is important in maintaining lean muscle mass. It’s not good for muscle hypertrophy…most likely. However, we really do not need the biology to give this a try because for thousands of years, folks have and still use thermal stress and they are not fucked up by hidden risks.

    • Victoria perry on July 2, 2017 at 20:27

      Nice work, looking good and healthy again. Don’t forget to keep riding that bike, biking is the best aerobic activity ever (easy on the joints). Running makes people grimace but biking makes them smile. I truly believe outdoor exercise is the real fountain of youth.

  2. MC on July 2, 2017 at 22:28

    Third pic. You look fucking good man.

  3. linkdrop on July 3, 2017 at 01:26

    Richard, I believe I have read every post and every comment on your blog since Art Devany’s inaugural paleo seminar in Vegas. You’ve had some dark moments over the years. It’s good to see you back on top. Don’t over do it, and take it easy going forward my friend. Oh, and keep on looking after that wife unit of yours – she’s a keeper 🙂

    • linkdrop on July 3, 2017 at 01:30

      I meant it about taking it easy too. Really. Just slow down and smell the mountain air a little.

  4. David S. on July 3, 2017 at 02:18

    Long time reader, first time commenter…

    Just wanted to say congrats, and a huge thanks for both the inspiration, and the steadfast “fucks-not given”. Long may it continue this way.

  5. Barbara on July 3, 2017 at 04:54

    Amazing! Great inspiration to me personally for keeping up with the calorie counting and the FitBit. Calorie counting may not be perfect but seeing trends (and those “Insights” on LoseIt into where I spend the majority of my calories) has been eye opening. Past keto-tarded habits unconsciously ingrained came to the forefront quickly when I started measuring the added fats, nut butters, etc. Dropped three pounds in a week getting that under control and still losing consistently since.

  6. Justin Owings on July 3, 2017 at 05:01

    Glad to hear of the progress, Richard! One thing I’ve returned to more and more is that bodybuilders have figured a lot of this stuff out. Yes there’s a good bit of dumb bro science in BB, but there are also lots of people with objective results.

    My read: diet to lose weight or gain weight, depending on surplus/deficit. Type of weight gained or lost is a function of exercise. Add weight lifting to gain muscle on a surplus or protect lean tissue on a deficit. You eat to lose and you eat to gain; you lift to maintain or you lift to gain. Exercise is not for losing weight.

    (Brad Pilon was on top of this for years too).

    It’s amazing to me to see how extreme the low carb dogma has gotten. I abandoned low carb 7 years ago and have had visible abs with variable vascularity for 6 years and 9 months. Due to lack of time (3 young kids!) I just maintained and never seriously attempted a bulk. However, I’m starting to entertain actually upping my diet so I can legitimately put on some mass and get my lifts up. My squat is only at about 1.25X BW max which makes me angry. I only finally started doing deads about 3 months ago but I’m up to 2*335 and adding a rep/week and/or 10lbs. I’m trying to dial in form on both of these lifts before I up my diet and try to put on mass. I also need to consult my trainer (Martin).

    Anyway, excited to hear about your directional changes.

  7. weilasmith on July 3, 2017 at 06:26

    Richard- congratulations!! I will be rooting for you. I follow art de vany, but the problem i have with him is that he has never been fat, never been out of shape, never has food cravings. his theories did work for me for a solid 3 years from 44 years old to 47, but now that i’m 52, the easy maintenance i used to have following his principles is just not there anymore. now he has some new principles, which i will give a try for these 2 months. i am in the beginning stage of videoing and photographing my progress. i never had injuries to deal with, but i don’t sleep well, and the usual prescriptions about sleep hygiene, 5 htp, probiotics (they were working for 3 solid days and they still will work if i have a big break in between use), hormone replacement (can’t do it due to family history of breast cancer), just don’t cut it. so while injury has been holding you back, sleep is my main problem.

    what will you do to try not to injure yourself again? why weren’t you doing those things before?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 3, 2017 at 07:59

      Not trying to show off in the gym. Don’t care about the weight numbers or the pace. Before, I pursued more weight faster.

      It’s not altogether certain my lumbar deal was workout related. Apparently, there are genetic tendencies. My dad and two of my three younger brothers all got the exact same L4-5 herniation, same symptoms of excruciating butt, hip, and leg pain down one side. All had surgery which was successful, as was mine.

      The cervical one a few years prior fixed itself in 2-3 months. That was almost certainly a case of overstretching the nerves down my right arm, jerking too hard on heavy deads after a few weeks off, no warmup, and no appropriate decrease in load.

    • Weilasmith on July 3, 2017 at 11:12

      Richard, my husband’s side of the family also is prone to soft tissue (tendon, disc, meniscus) injuries. You are probably more vulnerable-especially now that you are older. I always stop at twinges of pain. Be careful.

  8. cremes on July 3, 2017 at 06:42

    Richard, good to see you improving yourself again. It’s heartening.

    I’ve been struggling with rising blood pressure the past several years. I eat “primal” (whole foods) and drink probably 3x per week, but BP was on a steady rise. Strength training 3x per week (mostly body weight) kept me looking good and fit, but had no positive impact on BP or weight.

    Recently I was turned on to HeavyHands which was a bit of a minor exercise craze in the early 1980s. It was started by a doctor named Leonard Schwarz who noticed that Nordic skiers (cross country) had the highest VO2MAX of any modern day athlete; higher than soccer players, basketball, marathoners, swimmers, cyclists, etc. He figured that 4-limb cardio is superior in every way to 2-limb cardio (e.g. running). His book is chock full of (slightly dated) science backing up his exercise regime.

    I bought his out-of-print book from Amazon about 7 weeks ago and have had remarkable results. I started with 3lb weights and was surprised how thoroughly they kicked my ass in a 40m session. I started doing 40-60m cardio sessions *walking* on a track 3x per week. As my strength endurance improved I added another pound to the dumb bells. I am now up to 6lb weights. I maintain 70-85% max heart rate during the session. At 44, that’s between 125 & 145 (roughly).

    My blood pressure was 140/100 at the start of this. Seven weeks later it is now routinely 110/65 and my resting heart rate is 52. In all of my years of exercising, I have NEVER had such a great BP or such a low resting HR.

    My weight went from 203 down to 185 and has recently moved UP to 191 or so. So, I have seen a similar weight change to what you describe in your post above. I did do a 5-day Potato Hack about midway through and lost 5lbs or so of water. During the month of June I also gave up booze but I’m back at it now (though with lower frequency and amount).

    I am getting great definition in my arms, shoulders, back, and abs from lifting these tiny little weights 100 times per minute for 40-60m 3x per week. With no other training other than these light weights I can do 10 perfect-form pull-ups. I imagine I’ll be able to increase that total just by keeping at this for another several weeks. My strength endurance is increasing rapidly.

    I can’t praise this cardio workout system enough. It might make a nice supplement to your Big-5.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 3, 2017 at 08:10

      VERY interesting, Cremes.

      And who hasn’t been amused watching the ladies in their colorful garb doing power walking with those silly little purple neoprene covered dumbells?

      I hope yours are purple, or at least violet. 🙂

    • cremes on July 3, 2017 at 12:03

      I need to add to my earlier comments. I’ve been following the (never ending) series on what causes heart disease written by Dr. Kendrick. His part 28 of the series finally gave some concrete advice/suggestions at the end (see here:

      Anyway, in addition to HeavyHands, I have also started taking 1 gram of vitamin C per day, drinking 4oz of Pomegranate juice, and taking 1tsp of L-Citrulline in the morning and another before bed.

      It’s possible that those other items made my BP better, but I’ll note that I actually started them all 2-4 weeks *before* I started HeavyHands. My BP got marginally better from the L-Citrulline (likely) and maybe better from the Pomegranate juice (though its efficacy reportedly diminishes with time).

      Regardless, none of those foods or supplements made me well or made me stronger. HeavyHands did.

      Glad to see a few other commenters know of this exercise routine. I have been using a nice set of baby-aspirin-orange 6lb-ers at the gym. The 7lb-ers are a bright purple, so I have that to look forward to. 🙂 8lb-ers and up are all black.

    • SteveRN on July 3, 2017 at 23:23

      Found a few articles talking about Heavy Hands, I was looking for an post Clarence Bass put up a few years back on it. Looking at the picture of Dr. Schwartz in this article, dude was pretty damn buff for being in his 80’s!!

    • SteveRN on July 3, 2017 at 23:28
    • cremes on July 4, 2017 at 09:18

      Thanks for that link to Good article.

      BTW, here’s the HeavyHands Walk Plus DVD video up on Youtube.

      I finally made it all the way through the 47m video and it kicked my ass. Recall that I’ve been doing HH now for 7 weeks and have worked up to 6lb bells. I did the video using 8lb-ers (that’s all I had at home) and it was *hard.* Just doing a little marching and swinging in my family room got my heart rate to 83% of max.

      My wife came back from walking the baby and commented on my vascularity. I was also *soaked* and dripping sweat. I don’t recommend this workout to poseurs, hipsters, or cunts of any stripe.

    • VW on July 4, 2017 at 13:13

      OK, now I’m interested in this.

      I saw your comment on Amazon.

      Tell me the basics and I’ll start tomorrow. I’m not buying the old hardback/paperback. I already have a 2-pound dumbbell.


    • hap on July 4, 2017 at 18:58

      since you are taking pics of for lose it…..perhaps gyou could sign up for app and report to us results?

    • cremes on July 5, 2017 at 05:52

      VW, here are the basics. For every step you take, pump one arm a single time. Step-pump, step-pump. That’s as simple as it gets.

      The book talks about Level I, II, and III pumps. That refers to how high you are pumping. If you pump from hanging straight down to your waist, that’s about a foot of movement and is Level I. If you pump from straight down to chest or shoulder height, that’s about 2 feet of movement and is Level II. If you pump to head height or above, that’s Level III. The higher you pump, the harder the work.

      The more muscle you engage, the harder the work but *paradoxically* it feels easier. For example, shadow boxing with a torso twist engages quite a bit more muscle and will get your HR soaring. But (to me) it feels easier than just bicep curls while walking. The more muscle you engage, the better off you are.

      I recommend watching the youtube video that I linked above. It will give you several good examples of arm movements beyond the bicep curl. Wear a heart-rate monitor if you have one otherwise take your wrist pulse midway through for 6 seconds and multiply by 10. That will give you a rough HR. If you aren’t getting HR up above 120, pump and walk faster.

      Good luck.

    • Jim on July 5, 2017 at 06:32

      In his book “The Purposeful Primitive,” Marty Gallagher – a guy who coached Ed Coan, Kurt Karwoski, and a few other major powerlifters – swears by the Heavy Hands thing for cardio.

    • VW on July 5, 2017 at 07:15

      I’m about to take off on a HH workout and give this a go. I took this morning off from work, so might as well do something new and interesting.


    • Mark J on July 5, 2017 at 08:36

      I’m not sure which is dorkier, heavy hands or Nordic Walking. I tried both over the weekend and I got strange looks for each. Somehow I feel more justified using trekking poles on the sidewalk than pumping yellow hand weights. That and I kind of enjoy cross country skiing (Nordic Walking was invented for them to train in the summer).

      Richard, Nordic Walking would have the advantage of being useful up on your trails, and would be more of a ‘stealth’ workout than heavy hands.

      Either way, thanks Cremes for the reminder. I remember hearing about heavy hands from Clarence Bass. Now this has led me to Nordic Walking which I’ve done twice now and am enjoying it.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2017 at 08:51

      Yea, I was thinking about that. You could even adapt extra weight to the tops of your walking poles.

    • Mark J on July 5, 2017 at 08:58

      Yup, you could do that (extra weight on the poles (at some point). You can also control how much ‘push’ you give the pole and it creates more or less resistance. I also plan on walking with my weighted backpacking pack (which I did with the heavy hands trial…I must have looked a sight in the neighborhood).

    • VW on July 5, 2017 at 09:14

      I just did a 24 minute session. My Fitbit tells me that my average heart rate was 114, with a high of 120. (My “cardio fitness,” according to Fitbit, is 57.) I am 51 years old.

      That’s a very tough workout. I will shoot for two a week and go from there. I run and do push-ups currently, but will add this for a few months.

    • cremes on July 8, 2017 at 07:39

      Just got back from my Saturday morning HeavyHands workout. Did 45m with 6lb weights and maintained between 70-82% max heart rate the whole time. Did some strength training, ab wheel work, pull ups, etc. and then spent 30m in a 190F sauna.

      It’s an hour later and I took my blood pressure. 113/61. Holy shit this works.

      It took me a LOT OF EFFORT to get here (3x per week for 8 weeks) but I feel great. Muscle tone is again like I had at 25 (I’m actually in better overall shape now I think).

    • Jo tB on July 9, 2017 at 02:10

      Cremes, YES Heavy Hands exercise!! I found his exercise video on YouTube and did it quite a while. Unfortunately I can’t find it any more. It was such fun to do and see how he did it.

    • Jo tB on July 11, 2017 at 10:36

      I stand corrected, the HeavyHands Instructional video is still on YouTube!

    • VW on July 11, 2017 at 11:08

      “I stand corrected, the HeavyHands Instructional video is still on YouTube!”

      *posts Daily Motion video*

      Just kidding.

    • cremes on July 15, 2017 at 16:00

      Decided to try the Versaclimber at the gym today. I was first turned on to it by an article on Mark’s Daily Apple. See here:

      Like HeavyHands, it’s a 4-limb cardio workout (as opposed to the usual 2-limb cardio like running). Anyway, I tried that today instead of HeavyHands. Yeah, this is a killer cardio workout too. I am still recovering from surgery on a ruptured quadricep tendon from last August. I have about 80% strength back in the injured leg so I’m still rehabbing it. Well, the versa climber shredded my quads today. That was unexpected and very very welcome.

      So, in addition to my HeavyHands workouts, I think I’ll probably add a 15m Versaclimber (100 – 130 feet/min) session a few times a month.

      Highly recommended.

  9. PrettayyyGood on July 3, 2017 at 07:14

    Looking great, Richard!

    Excited to hear about your strategy for ditching the hooch. Recently purchased a book called “This Naked Mind” in an effort to ditch booze for good. The approach is similar to Dr. Sarno’s who I believe you are familiar with. I had so much success with “Healing Back Pain” that I’m hoping the strategy will translate to abstaining as well.

  10. ramon on July 3, 2017 at 07:41

    Good job Richard. It’s easy to get in the slow downward spiral of self medicaiton, been there too.

    “What gets measured gets managed”, atributed to Peter Drucker but no proof he wrote this version.

    Or a blue collar version from my line of work,
    “You get what you inspect, not what you expect”.

    We happen to be dieting at the same time, I weigh every day at same time and take BF readings. I enter in every macro nutrient to an online tracker and enter in exercize info from heart rate monitors. Data is good.

    • pzo on July 5, 2017 at 19:40

      Good quotes, whatever the sources.

      Over the eight years I’ve been here and at MDA, I can’t count the number of people who refuse to measure and record and then can’t understand why they aren’t losing weight. Because, like you know, “I’m not eating very much.” Despite the obvious evidence otherwise.

  11. Leah on July 3, 2017 at 08:01

    This is what ditching paleo-eat-fat-butter-in-my-coffee and adopting calorie counting with a Fitbit did for me. The most surprising thing of all is how easy it is to live knowing that no particular food is off limits, just the amount of food that is ingested. Keep it healthy, high-protein and non-processed most days, live a little on other days. Twenty pounds gone and an 8% improvement in body composition. When people ask me what I did to lose weight and I tell them the simplicity of it they do not believe me, and almost no one gives it a try. Not gimmicky enough I guess, even though the results speak for themselves and I have easily maintained this loss for over a year.

  12. Kris on July 3, 2017 at 08:47

    Good on you Richard. I can so relate, especially the distraction, stress and life part. Thanks for the inspiration and the resources.

  13. thhq on July 3, 2017 at 09:02

    What really knocks me out are those cheap sunglasses.

    I fully believe that weight loss muscle wasting caused me to snap my right supraspinatus tendon. Under all that shoulder fat there was muscle too. Splitting wood and chainsawing, or maybe digging out stumps broke it.

    • thhq on July 3, 2017 at 09:05

      Left not right. At the worst I had to lift my left arm with the right to put it on the steering wheel. It took an MRI for the orthopedic surgeon to see it, not vidible on xray. About 2 years to fully reattach and heal.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 3, 2017 at 10:32

      I’ll have you know that those are $170 Ray-Ban Wayfarer IIs.

      Had my first par of the original Wayfarer in gloss black frame in 1984.

    • Hap on July 3, 2017 at 14:04

      thhq….perhaps you should have indulged yourself in a 190F sauna session twice a week while losing weight.

      I am also led to believe that cold stressors would probably do same.

      o/w… is not a crime to go to the doctor when you have that kind of weakness. Did you not have pain as well?

    • thhq on July 3, 2017 at 21:49

      Perhaps hal….

      This is bringing back old paleohacks memories of the quilt…though for him it was cold….

      And travis culp, in response to my remark that grains didn’t bother me, saying that I was asymptomatic…

      And matt, in the last post that I recall, saying that paleo was for sick people…


  14. Catherine H. on July 3, 2017 at 09:11

    Fantastic post: I’m bookmarking it for future reference. You look great! And scary, which is a compliment. Thanks so much for posting this–you’ve had a huge influence on my own weight loss (37 pounds down in just over 3 months, 55 to go) after floundering on low carb and the PHD. PHD helped pull me out of the low carb swamp, and your blog has done the rest (and The Secret Life of Fat, by Sylvia Tara–highly recommended.) I can’t wait to look into all the resources you mentioned here.

  15. Michelle on July 3, 2017 at 09:49

    Ok, Richard, you talked me into it 🙂 Just ordered a Fitbit Charge 2 as my old Amazon pivotal tracker won’t work anymore. I’ve had some success recently dropping weight by going higher protein, lower carb, lower fat but I feel like I could have more consistent results if I am actually tracking what I am eating rather than guessing.

    I read your stuff, then ponder and hunt around and tinker. I have learned to love biohacking!

    My current synthesis of things I’ve learned around here and elsewhere, which is working fairly well:

    Eat 2 X a day, 10ish and ish. Thanks to Art D I am adding some randomness and different food amounts and with the current higher protein, it really helps kill the urge to browse around for food. Lots of lean cuts of meat and the occasional in season fruit really work well. Protein power if I am in a rush. Low fat dairy every day, especially fat free greek yogurt because I am white as sour cream and genetically adapted to dairy. 🙂 Plus it makes me happy!

    No food after 5 pm, or before 8 am. That killed my heartburn. Lots of fluid.

    Some supplements are good 🙂 Magnesium, potassium from the pretend salt, K2, vitamin d, pregnenolone. Potato starch, green banana flour, inulin powder mix I make every day at different times. A dose of Elixa every couple of months and Swanson probiotics with Concentrace in between.

    Tracking blood glucose and blood pressure every day. I’ve dropped 40 pounds this year just with what I’ve been doing so far (many many more to go) and both bp and BG have gone to normal.

    Practicing gratitude every day. I know it’s hokey sh*t but our family is under extreme stress and I find it helpful to remember and write down the good things while practicing not dwelling on the bad.

    Bicycling. I put my fat azz on a bike every day and ride up and down the country lane we live on, to my neighbor’s chagrin. I can barely do it but it’s improving daily. I push myself to go a bit farther every day.

    I am hoping by adding the fitbit and scale and really tracking calories eaten/expended I can kick this up a notch.

    My thanks to the commenter that suggested HeavyHands. I’d forgotten about that and I inherited some pink ladybells from my dear departed MIL. Lovely woman and I will be glad to remember her when I am flinging the ladybells around. Youtube has all the great HH workouts and I will add a bit of that mojo as well.

    As I learn new things or get better feedback, I will adjust from there.

    Love you Richard for all that you do. You’ve been a great encourager to me for some time now.

  16. ramon on July 4, 2017 at 06:35

    and I messed up the link

  17. Marc on July 3, 2017 at 20:21

    Congrats. Total accountability …and success!

    I too dropped my wait by actually counting calories. Dropped from 182 to 155-57
    But in hindsight …..
    The biggest body reset (body recomposition) I believe came from my infrared sauna.
    Been in that beautiful thing at least 4 times a week the last 18 months….
    Something very serious going on there…lots of research out there but my n=1 and my wife’s is all we need to know. Yes we eat ” right” and “exercise” but we believe it was the sauna that delivered the transformative knockout punch .
    Greatest “gift ” we’ve bought ourselves to dates.

    As my Japanese teachers used to say ” keep a going”

    • Richard Nikoley on July 3, 2017 at 20:53

      Have never heard of infrared saunas.

    • Hap on July 3, 2017 at 21:19

      Infrared saunas are the rage in spas. Operate at lower temps than traditional. The best of them combine three infrared bandwidths and engineered for low EMF and ELF. ceramic heaters probably better than carbon.

    • ramon on July 4, 2017 at 06:34

      Dave Asprey, of course it’s him, has a one pager on one of his biohacking sites about the benefits.

    • Hap on July 4, 2017 at 09:49

      The DETOX angle on saunas is bunk. The asprey article is magazine hype. With hyperthermia conditioning you will sweat at lower core temperatures making the cooling effect more efficient. He was right on that score.

      Even the temperatures numbers are off…..generally too low, even for mixed infrared.

      Infrared could be good especially if mitigate the EMF….and the Chinese crap is very unreliable.

      However, to state that infrared is easier on the body than traditional and make that a focus…is bogus. A stressor has to be a stressor (within dose limits)or adaptive biology does not kick in.

      One concern for home use is power r requirements. Electricity can get expensive in high wattage appliances.

    • Marc on July 4, 2017 at 15:13

      Hap…..all of it is bs nothing but marekting ploys….but since all the corners of this globe do some type of sweating protocol…thats where i decided to put my belief and again n=1 was so profound..thats what im going on.
      There is sometype of serious benefit to a daily deep question about it..thats where the focus needs to be…not all this woowoo..just my 2 cents and from experience

      Crap forgot,…our sauna has no measurable impact on montlhy bills….literally 5 bucks a monthh and thats with daily usage .

    • ramon on July 5, 2017 at 10:34

      I sweat in the houston heat.

    • Maddie R on July 5, 2017 at 12:34

      Forget Asprey’s sauna stuff… Love Rhonda Patricks sauna resources and she’s not selling anything. We love HOT sauna in this house. Some researched truth to the detox stuff, but really, nice research on reductions in all-cause mortality. Specifically though, we make it a regular practice bc of 60% reduction in alzheimer’s incidence

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2017 at 13:15

      So let me get this straight. The infrared is not actually fucking hot, like as in, the ones at the gym or wherever that are like 210 or something?

    • Hap on July 5, 2017 at 14:54

      infrared is hot….but at operating temperature almost 50+F lower than traditional you don’t get that same feeling. Still sweat….as infrared penetrates fairly deep in to tissues. Core temperature will absolutely rise substantially, not heat deprived. It’s easy to control in a number of ways.

      AFAIK the main problem is the EMF and ELF. EMF can be pretty high although Swedish standard, if applied, is low ….due to effective mitigation (ie shielding). The heating elements should be placed so that they face the body and cover the area.

      If you’ve ever had a cheap infrared lamp and got under it, you would get the drift.

      However, some salesman is going to have to work very hard to convince me not to go for a traditional finnish “wet” sauna. I’ve been going to a place that has a traditional sauna and I’m fine with it.

      I still am not certain what difference in power consumption separate infrared from electrically heated rocks. I’m already in the upper tiers of California prices.

      Perhaps a follower who has bought one and did the comparisons can shout out.

      If you want to know more consider calling one of the several podcasts Rhonda Patrick has done on Hyperthermic Conditioning. This is definitely not a fad,although recent boost in popularity as science catching up with practice.

    • Hap on July 5, 2017 at 21:41

      OK…to make it easy on you
      there should be an attached .pdf with the sauna science….reasonably comprehensive.

    • Alex on July 8, 2017 at 14:22

      Far infrared saunas heat the body directly with radiant heat, without raising the temperature inside the sauna very high. The inside of mine stays below 130. I like FIRs because they only need 15 minutes to warm up, and they don’t use a lot of power. But, I hardly ever use it any more because 3x per week I do sauna with friends who have traditional wood-fired saunas. The best is sauna in the dead of the Iowa winter, when one can enjoy what I call the enlightenment of thermal equanimity. It’s 160F inside the sauna and in the 20s or lower outside, and they’re both great places to hang out, soaking wet, in a bathing suit.

  18. Hugh on July 4, 2017 at 07:56

    I’ve followed a similar trajectory and after a 4 year layoff from lifting weights I’ve been back in the gym and counting calories these past 3 or 4 months. Muscle memory is a beautiful thing and it’s been a real pleasure to see my lats & traps fill out on a calorie deficit.

    There’s freedom in calorie counting. Weight gain & loss distilled down to a simple math problem. I used to have this narrative that I struggled with my weight, that I had a weight problem, and any time I lost weight it would invariably bounce back. The truth is that when I’ve gained weight in the past, it’s not “rebound” weight – it’s that I’ve chosen to not be responsible for what I’m consuming. It’s not like I woke up one morning with 5 or 10 or 15 pounds more fat, it’s that I bury my head in the sand and eat whatever the fuck I want for months on end.

    Compare that to the black box that Jimmy Moore & Matt Stone are playing with. I was reminded of Matt’s last blog post about finding the mythical metabolic state where weight falls off regardless of exercise and calorie consumption – that is until you experience any stress in life or have a late night beer. Checking the post just now, down in the comments Matt admits that he has since left this mythic state and doesn’t know his way back.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 4, 2017 at 08:38

      Check out that section on NEAT in Lyle’s post. I believe this accounts for one hell of a lot. I always wondered why, when the day seems rather similar to the last, especially over last winter locked inside most of the time, the Fitbit would sometimes show a burn of like 1,000 calories more. Then, if I really think about it, the day wasn’t the same at all. I was more active, but not in any formal way. Perhaps it was the day I cleaned up the kitchen, did a bunch of laundry, changed sheets, went to the store, went to the post office for the mail, drove down to the country disposal site for a run, then did some big honking pot or soup or something.

      People think formal exercise is the key and sure, it’s helpful. But the science on NEAT shows that far more significant is to just plain be active and then, don’t use that activity to run amok on lots of treat calories. That’s why so many construction workers are fat. Their activity is there, but they think they can eat whatever, however much.

      Once you start tracking calories it’s quick and easy to tell how damn easy it is to ingest an additional 1-2K calories on a whim.

    • Limey on July 4, 2017 at 12:14

      Just out of curiosity, does the Fitbit stay on when you’re getting jiggy with Mrs N?

  19. Paul on July 5, 2017 at 02:35

    Some reflections,

    Richard, good on you for the changes you have made and stuck to.

    The leaner you get, the more interesting the challenge becomes.

    Out of everything I tried, the best solution to long term maintenance of low body fat for me has been calorie cycling around activity. Low calorie days offsetting maintenance days do wonders for sustainability.

    Good luck with maintaining the deficit, and if over the long term eating below maintenance fucks with you, switch to maintenance for 6 weeks and change your focus and goals to pure muscle gain.

    A break from dieting on the way down can really help.


    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2017 at 06:09

      Paul, this is the cool thing about the Fitbit integration, which takes account of both NEAT and formal exercise. It even picks up on a bike ride, automatically.

      So, LoseIt has me at 1750 calories daily. That would be for sitting on my where burn will be 2300-2500, so there’s the 600+ deficit. Then, of course, I could have a workout day level as well, say 2050. But in this way, it’s dynamic and real time.

      So, yesterday, I didn’t even take a walk, because from 7am to 2pm I was doing a kitchen project that requires dismounting, rearranging, and remounting a couple of the upper cabinets, retiring and moving the undetcabinet microwave, and of course, there were fasteners that broke and had to be extracted, tons of lifting, lowering, holding in place to set fasteners, etc.

      No formal exercise, yet Fitbit picked up on it and gave me a 450 cal bonus, so could have done 2200 cal and stayed at the deficit. With my high protein (170g yesterday), I don’t seem to be getting in a hole. I didn’t use the binus yesterday, but sometimes I do, and now and then, like last Saturday, I’ll blow the whole thing by 200-300 calories over.

      See the attached pic.

  20. linkdrop on July 5, 2017 at 11:50

    Richard, I recall you’re a bit of a pro when it comes to vitamin D3. Cronometer has me undershooting D3 levels by about 50%. Now, my question is: how much D3 comes from diet and how much does the body make itself? Is 50% from dietary sources ok or is supplementation in order? Do you still supplement with D3?

    I hate supplements by the way. Food sources are always better IMHO. Whey is as far as I would normally go.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2017 at 12:12

      Meh, used to be highly interested in it. I think if you’re above 40, you’re OK on that score. Sunshine is far preferable to supps, but supps are better than low levels.

      I wouldn’t pay attention to chronometer on that score, except to eat foods that have some D. Eggs are actually re-formed D, not the prohomorne, as in D3 supps. Only way to know is get tested.

    • pzo on July 5, 2017 at 19:48

      So you’d rather suffer low D levels than take a supplement? Wow.

      I’ve been on 10,000 IU’s/day for some years. Many of them I was outdoors in the Florida summer sun, regardless. My D level is 74, and I supplement with K2 and A to make a strong pyramid that those three are the foundation of.

    • linkdrop on July 7, 2017 at 17:59

      @pzo if Jesus wanted us to take supplements he would have made vitamin and supplement trees. The lord gave us real food trees, Mary Jane and sun dials to tell when it’s 4:20 pm.

  21. Nocona on July 5, 2017 at 19:21

    Great read Richard and glad you are doing better, but now I’m thinking of starting a blog called: “FitBitTards”.

    I know deep down you’re an ‘ol softy. How bout a picture of you smiling?

  22. pzo on July 5, 2017 at 19:58

    Coincidentally, I’ve been going down the same road. And no stinkin’ Fitbit needed.

    Last Christmas I was overweight again and I was shocked to see that my arms, decent as little as less than two years ago were flabby! Yeah, I get sarcopenia (I’m 71, but wow…….)

    As In the past I record my food intake, I run 1000 to 1500 cal/day deficit after cycling. Recorded on my Diet Organizer, no Fitbit needed.

    I don’t know how you manage to eat so much protein. I’m running 120-150 grams and that’s with using a whey/peanut powder shake.

    Like you, the end result is that one can gain muscle and still lose fat. I’m seeing the results, too.

    Body by Science changed my workout thinking back in 2009. I’ve modified it, I shoot for his 90 seconds to exhaustion, reduce the weight, go at it again, do it once more. In and out in 20 minutes on four machines and free barbell.

    Your list of guru’s is spot on. I’ll have to check out the one’s I’m not familiar with.

    • pzo on July 13, 2017 at 07:04

      Celebrating! Dipped under 200 pounds this AM! From 243 at Christmas.

      I looked at my Diet Organizer charts for the last few months, and I can see that when I upped the protein in mid-June, the weight came off faster and more consistently. Simple as that.

      Simultaneous with increasing upper body mass and strength, I saw my first hint of biceps in a long, long time the other day.

      And I’m not shunning carbs. Prior to fruit season, about 100g/day of “clean” carbs. Now, I’m eating many pieces of fruit, typically 150g/day. And, looky there, the weight still keeps coming off. I think 50-100g/day is still a good goal for the obese and first timers, but if your weight is pretty much near where it should be, you can up it.

  23. Tyrker on July 7, 2017 at 01:12

    Wow, you do deadlifts after two spinal injuries and surgery?
    And weighted squats?
    I thought these exercises were contraindicated in these circumstances.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2017 at 06:24

      It has been a good long while, I’m lifting at less than half the weight I used to, taking very slow and easy.

  24. Robert on July 7, 2017 at 11:02

    Amazing results, looking great! And thank you for the update, it boosts motivation. Your tidbits in comments earlier helped me to carry on, and I’m seeing good results too. 3 kg down, about 6 pounds that is, in a couple of months. I don’t have much more to lose, but looking for visible abs, and that will probably take time.

    I was steeped on low carb dogma that counting calories doesn’t work. Well, it works great so far. I’m glad you attacked the Fitbit post on diet doctor, though I’m just using the step counter on the phone. But same principle, if I’m active enough , the Lose it app gives me a bonus of 200-300 kcal.

    The first month was hard, but very enlightening. I had gotten into a routine of “rewarding myself” too much I now realize. Nothing like dieting to get back on track, food is just fuel. And less alcohol comes as a necessity when counting calories. We were in the habit sharing a bottle of wine, but now we are sharing half a bottle. Too much alcohol makes you sluggish, and it’s empty calories.

    My experiments leads to the same conclusion, protein is King for satiety and weight loss without muscle loss. I’ve been trying carbs+fat, and although healthy and home cooked, it just doesn’t satisfy. 1200+ kcal pizza and wine, and I still want more. 600 kcal of huge chicken breast and sides, and I don’t want anything else. The theory that you’ll have cravings to seek out more food until your amino acids need is fulfilled seems to be true for me.

    Soups and chilis based on beans/legumes + lean meat is the ultimate food for me. Very satisfying meals for around 400 kcal. Keeps me going for really long.

    • Hap on July 7, 2017 at 11:33

      There’s another “strategy” for cutting food intake (calories)…that has synergystic benefits.

      Try and enforce a minimum 12 hour “fast” between your last meal and the next . Best way to do this is stop eating anything after 7 or 8pm and do not eat, not even coffee…until 8am or 9am. The trick is actually to stop eating and snacking late.

      This will synch your master clock (SCN) with your peripheral organ and cellular clocks…. You don’t want those clocks to be confused that it is day time by eating at night as this will result in metabolic dysregulation, which over time is stinky.

      Furthermore, although no additional caloric restriction is advocated following this principle, any study following subjects who participate shows that they voluntarily and spontaneously consume less food. I leave it to you to ponder how that works.

      Another one of these it’s not only how much you eat or what composition your diet, but when you and and don’t.

    • thhq on July 7, 2017 at 14:32

      It may seem odd @hal but Yudkin was a 3 small meals 3 snacks guy.

      The first big proponent of low carb wasn’t a fasting kind of guy at all. Between the late night cup of cocoa and the bacon and egg breakfast was 8 hours at most.

    • thhq on July 8, 2017 at 08:57

      If counting calories caused you to lose weight,

      You’re asymptomatic.

      Your weight loss is only a figment of your calorietarded imagination.

      Get back to your keto boy.

    • Robert on July 8, 2017 at 11:31


      Hahaha, I’m determined to be one of the 1-2 percent that succeeds losing and keeping the weight down with calorie counting, just like you did! Low carbers are steeped in the belief that you shouldn’t need to count calories. I guess it’s one of their few unique selling points, and the main one being controlling blood sugar in T2D.

      But like Linkdrop commented, I also feel in control. And it’s so easy when you get in to it. This after feeling out of control for some time, weighing a few kg more than I wanted despite eating “healthy”.

  25. pzo on July 8, 2017 at 06:04

    I’m within 1.6 pounds of my arbitrary weight goal of 200. Started at 243 at Christmas. And replacing upper body muscle loss all the while.

    I looked at my Diet Organizer and saw that during most of that time, my median protein was probably about 145 g/day. In the last few weeks, more like 200. And the weight has fallen off even faster. Obviously, the protein has gone up based on just body weight as the latter comes down. OTOH, ignoring gains in my upper body, it’s remained constant in terms of LBM, until these last few weeks.

    Typical net calorie deficit has been 1400, diet and exercise. But I’ve noticed an amazing self-regulating ability with this high protein diet. For instance, on the Fourth my son in law and I cooked three versions of pork ribs, of which I ate 9 ounces net. I ate almost two pounds of watermelon, plenty of cornbread with butter, Asian coleslaw, and cherries. About 3400 calories!

    I did not weigh myself the next AM, did not want to see that number. But by the morning of the sixth, I was right back where I was on the Fourth. Now, two days later, down another five pounds. No smoke and mirrors, just plenty of protein, exercise, resistance training. And, of course, weight loss begets weight loss as there is less estrogenic activities from fat cells.

    Two important matters about alcohol: First, spirits do NOT get metabolized into positive energy. Long metabolic story I’ve researched, but the proof is that through most of my last decade, I drank an average of 500ml of spirits or equivalent most nights and still lost weight.

    If you aren’t a Richard or my friend Alan who can just stop drinking, there is more than hope: I have been taking 50mg of Naltrexone an hour before I expect to drink. My cravings essentially disappeared. I have a strong habit of drinking in the evenings, as much as for the habit as the buzz. But now I drink, typically, 40% of what I used to. As little as 20%.

    I did a summary forum posting with links on this Sinclair Method here:

    • ramon on July 10, 2017 at 10:48

      fascinating. My aunt recommended low does naltrexone to me years ago for the same thing.,

    • ramon on July 10, 2017 at 12:27

      Do you think a physician would prescribe it if I told him I wanted to stop “self medicating”?

    • Hap on July 10, 2017 at 15:30

      low dose Naltrexone is not 50mg….more like 3mg.

      It will knock out your opiod receptors for a couple hours… Theory is that through negative feedback you will get rebound internal opioid upgregulation….which may have numerous salutory effects mediated through the opioid system, including immune modulation.

      I believe there is a dedicated low dose Naltrexone (LDN) page onthe net.

    • pzo on July 10, 2017 at 18:34

      Low dose Naltrexone is not at all related to alcohol use. Fibromyalgia? Something.

      @Ramon, how would I know? Read up on the links. I think I mentioned, that doctors are all over the map on prescribing or not. I have had only a one year relationship with my physician, not exactly warm. Yet, when I presented the evidence in writing, “Sure, you can be my guinea pig.” There is a small list of “Nal friendy” docs on the C3 Options change lives forum. You can get it from India, although a lot more expensive than if on your health insurance list. If you have it!

      I am now starting week five. Last week I decided to drink as much as I wanted to one night. I had no desire to continue after hitting 50% of my old habit.

    • Hap on July 10, 2017 at 20:46

      LDN is advocated for a lot of conditions…..MS, depression, pain syndromes, opiate addiction to name a few. It is also used therapeutically for alcohol addiction.

      Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. Therapeutic doses are in the range of 50mg.

      Low Dose Naltrexone is single dose, usually at night (but sometimes in day) with the intent to produce rebound endogenous opioid compound synthesis…..said to last for hours and sometimes even the entire day.

      It is quite simple and easy for a compounding pharmacy to make you LDN in pill or liquid form. Liquid is best because you can titrate doses easily .

  26. Hap on July 7, 2017 at 16:15

    This is not really formal fasting……it’s sleeping and not going to bed filled with alcohol or desserts or chips.

    I”m just offering up something that happens to make sense. I agree in principle with the Godfather (Art DeVany) that it’s about renewing cycles. Repair occurs when not eating and rebuilding occurs when providing substrate. You can do this many ways but aligning with natural cycles and natural selection is typically and maybe never , a bad idea. Get into the flow….as they say. The scientific community is catching up with traditions and other wisdom that has been baked into the cake….and more in line with our biology.

    Dont’ be shootin’ the messenger.

  27. linkdrop on July 7, 2017 at 18:01

    Richard, good to see you updating your book. Perhaps the update your talking about could coincide with you hitting your goals?

    • linkdrop on July 7, 2017 at 18:03


    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2017 at 20:49

      Yea, that’s the plan. September / October timeframe.

    • linkdrop on July 8, 2017 at 02:29

      I’ve been mimicking your current experiment myself and the most profound impact it is having on me isn’t the weight loss itself, but the degree of control I now feel I have over my weight. Having that control makes me feel a lot more confident in what I am doing and I don’t feel overwhelmed with bunk science about what to and not eat.

      Keep your protein high, calories in your target range and eat real food. All other impacts are either minor or just bullshit.

      Can’t wait for the update. Ciao.

  28. MICHAEL SENOFF on July 10, 2017 at 10:19

    Here are a bunch of downloadable Heavy Hands Audio Interviews From Long Time Users.

    • cremes on July 12, 2017 at 04:48

      Thanks for posting this!

      I also appreciate the Dailymotion video link that VW posted. From there I was able to find (and download) 3 more HH-related videos that are all out of print. What a great resource. If I find myself getting bored with my current routine, I have 90m of additional footage to check out to devise some “new” moves.

  29. Alesia on July 11, 2017 at 19:30

    Nice post. What kind of shoe are you wearing in the last 2 pics? They look pretty minimalist. (I’ve been looking for a durable, thin soled shoe.)

  30. Stuart on July 17, 2017 at 13:58

    I suggest you look into this before increasing weight on lifts. I also had back problems and was messed up by physiotherapist who caused additional permanent injury.

    medical grade step counter with accelometer try a simple New lifestyles NL-2000 much more reliable readings.

    keep up the good work.

  31. Robin H on July 20, 2017 at 09:54

    Looking good Richard. Are you still playing with the potato hack at all? What’s your take on it now after all your experimentation?

  32. pzo on August 20, 2017 at 06:13

    High Protein Re-do: Saw The Holy Land back in July, dipped under 200 pounds. August 1, went to Colorado to visit daughter, friends, and ex-gf, still the love of my life. She last saw me in 2009 when I was hitting my pork peak, 280 pounds. It was right after that I changed my life via MDA, mostly. Been up and down since.

    Anyway, perhaps you can imagine my pleasure telling Carol that I weigh the same as we did when we were dating, 1994-1996. “Good for you!” I did qualify that to be honest, loss of upper body, still some loose belly fat. Not the same composition, although in clothes one wouldn’t know.

    I decided before going I was not going to worry about what I ate, or how much. I was back up to 207 a couple of days after my return. Went back on The Chain Gang of food recording, I’ve only been on my bike twice. And lo and behold, the pounds are falling off again. Down five pounds eight days later, and those days included a couple of low will power, high calorie ones. Still, averaging 5/8# a day, with several over one pound.

    Protein running 170-210 grams a day. That is hard to attain on a calorie deficit, it requires whey and peanut butter flour and eating meats that are almost always white and lean. Including fish. But I do eat butter, EVO, eggs, sardines, so I’m not an ascetic about this.

    It would be real interesting to get a handle on the science behind this. As I mentioned above, alcohol does not metabolize as if we are a calorie bomb. Otherwise my old drinking habit would have packed on the pounds. It took a lot of sporadic research to find out why, that our bodies do not extract energy from the ethanol, but eventually expel it in our breath. (Hello, Breath O Lyzer.)

    The Potato Hack, IIRC, suggests that our body needs to hit its fat stores to make the insulin needed to process all that starch. But we don’t know for sure, although I suggest that there is almost always a calorie (and protein) deficit at work.

    So what’s happening with the very high protein diet? We may be confident that we aren’t cannibalizing our lean body mass, no need for that to happen. Yet, the fat drops off.


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