Is It High-Fat or Is It “High-Fat?”

— Prepare for a no-BS dietary epiphany; scare quotes are the clue

I'm very confident in guaranteeing that by the time you finish this post, you will:

  1. Understand dietary energy balance, utilization, and storage unlike you never have before, no matter how long you've studied it
  2. Slap your forehead, exclaim ah-ha, and/or kick yourself...whichever your proclivity...once you realize how something so damn simple, that was staring you right in the face, was nonetheless so elusive.

How could you have missed it?

Well, it kinda turns out that we're all a lot more ideological, biased, and confirmation-seeking than we care to admit. Even worse, knowing that one thing is bullshit often unjustly bolsters, in our own minds, that other thing we believe to be true or far better—even when they aren't mutually exclusive or in any way co-dependent.

So, for instance, knowing that dietary extremes like vegan on the far left and carnivore on the far right are bullshit does not automatically make whatever other ideas you might have even a gram more credible or correct. You still have to establish that, and falsifying other dietary approaches is no help.

Doesn't make you right

What's most often the case—and most often overlooked by naysayers—is that if any dietary intervention holds significant popularity for a significant length of time, it's because there's something to it.

What do we have that's been around a long time?

  • Vegan
  • Low-calorie
  • Low-fat
  • Low-carb
  • Paleo
  • Whole foods
  • High-fat (or is it really "high-fat?")
  • Vegetarian
  • Ketogenic (with adequate nutrition)
  • CRON (caloric restriction optimal nutrition)
  • Intermittent fasting and TRF (time-restricted feeding)
  • Carnivore

There are probably others...this is the top-of-my-head list. I don't include total fads, hacks, superfoods, etc.

Each of those have cases to be made for them and that's why they persist...all with lots of adherents, advocates, and practitioners. A dietary intervention goes away (or never catches on) because of lack of interest in enough people—which then becomes self-fulfilling because there's no money to be made, so nobody at all is investing anything to advance it.

What I'm about to go over will dovetail into the partial validity of each of those diets. That is, it explains the successful weight loss on those diets, independent of caloric consumption. No, I've not spent a lot of time figuring out how it does so for each one. I just simply know it has to be so, intuitively, just because this thing staring you right in the face is so fundamental; it's both a priori, and a posteriori.

I have given significant thought to why it works, specifically in low-carb, "high-fat," high-protein, and ketogenic diets. And Paleo, I suppose...since Paleo has so much crossover with just about all the diets. By the end of this post, I'm going to have sound dietary advice nailed down, and it's going to be clear like never before just why that advice is the way to go for both weight loss and maintenance (including lean-mass preservation and growth).

And I'll explain this. Plus, more food photos and methods to absolute madness. Plus, a nearly unknown gym hack that delivers enormous benefit and almost anyone can do.

Before I jump into the epiphanic details, you should go over the prerequisite post: How Do You Change The Weight of the “Water Weight?” Then, grab yourself a hot beverage of choice, wait until it loses enough calories to be palatable, and just hope it doesn't lose any weight.

  • How Many Grams in a Calorie?
  • Massing It All Together
  • High-Fat or "High-Fat?"
  • My Own Habits (food, walks, swims, weights, protein, fat, carbs, sauces, cayenne, massaman, yacon, Wegovy)

How Many Grams in a Calorie?

Everybody is familiar with calories per gram of macronutrient. Four per gram of carbohydrate and protein, nine per gram of fat. It might seem trivial to invert those fractions, but have you ever done it, and having done so, sat back and contemplated what it could mean? And then, what does what it means, mean? And so on...

Oh, snap. You've gone and hit the nefarious, cruel, and downright greedy paywall. Why can't everything just be free? And why this bait and switch trickery! Well, because this isn't a hobby or side-gig for me, anymore. And, I hate popups, ear-piercing sounds, and ads for bullshit and crap you probably don't need. It's a primary source for making a living now. And, I'm good at it. Twenty years and 5,000+ posts. I'm on the cusp of things a lot. I'm right about stuff...a lot. Point-blank: that sort of thing saves you a lot more than the price of the Membership. Join now.

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 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