One is the cause and one is the effect, conventional wisdom has them switched

So I was listening to the 2 Keto Dudes podcast and something Richard Morris said struck me as extremely important. There’s a lot of heated debate in fitness and nutrition about “Calories In = Calories Out” – also known by the shorthand CICO. The basic premise is that: You lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you need, including calories from exercise. This thinking also assumes that people who are fat got that way because they eat too many calories (it’s a character flaw they should be deeply ashamed of) and they stay that way because they are too lazy to just exercise (again, it’s a character flaw they should be ashamed of). People who are fat got that way and stay that way because they indulge in “sinful” behavior and as a society we condemn them, mock them and denigrate them openly. It’s pretty much the only socially acceptable prejudice nowadays.

I think that line of thinking is stupid and reprehensible, among other things.


Here’s what I got from Richard’s comments. Conventional wisdom says that:

(Calories Consumed) – (Calories Burned) = (Calories Stored as fat)

Everything I’ve seen (with decent science behind it, and the fundamentals of how insulin works) say that instead:

(Calories Consumed) – (Calories Stored as fat) = (Calories Burned)

It’s a slight change in the order – which one is the cause and which one is an effect, but let’s look at what this means: If we take the standard CICO model and I eat 2000 calories a day, my BMR burns off 2500 calories (it was actually 2218 last time I had it measured but let’s keep the math simple) and I do absolutely no other exercise during the day I would have a negative energy balance of 500 calories. The standard model says each pound of fat is 3500 calories, so my 500 calorie deficit would have me losing 1 lb a week. Isn’t that a nice simple story? Guess what, our bodies aren’t that simple, especially considering the active metabolic management we have going on. If you cut intake by 500 calories a day, your body isn’t going to simply continue on at 2500 BMR, it will adapt down to fit the energy it’s given… unless you are able to mobilize the stored energy you have it your fat cells.

There’s a problem with that: if you have high levels of insulin in your blood, your body WILL NOT allow you to access energy stored as fat. From an energy balance standpoint, if your insulin is too high, you have the same energy stores as a theoretical person who has 0% body fat. Neither of you will have access to stored energy in fat and both will run out of energy when your blood glucose drops. “Carb Coma” anyone?

So let’s look at that second equation, it may not be a perfect model for the human metabolism but it’s far closer to explaining the observable data. So I eat 2000 calories in a day. If I eat mostly bread, fruits, and other carbohydrates; my body will dump insulin into my blood in an effort to deal with the potentially toxic levels of glucose running around. My cells (particularly my fat cells) will key off the insulin and dutifully pull the glucose out of the blood. I’ll be able to burn some of that 2000 calories in my muscles but much of it is going to go straight to fat storage. Let’s say that 500 calories (a number I’m making up out of thin air, again: easy math) gets stored – that means I only get to use 1500 calories for “keeping the lights on”… except I need 2500 today. My body will figure out a way to keep things going, either by breaking down non-essential muscle cells or other means, but you can be certain I won’t feel like running up the stairs, going for a walk… or anything. I’ll just want to lay down and find some food so my cells can get some energy (except the same insulin issue will arise). Eventually, my cells will get used to reduced calorie availability and my base metabolic rate will go down to fit what is available. Nature abhors a vacuum.

On the other hand, let’s assume I eat 2000 calories in a day, but most of that is in the form of calories that do not create an insulin response: a moderate amount of protein (so I don’t have to cannibalize muscles to rebuild cells), the smallest amount of carbohydrates possible, and the remainder of those calories as fat. This page about “Intermittent Fasting” does an astounding job of explaining how the different macronutrients affect insulin (and debunks the “you should eat many small meals” myth), but the short version is: fats have little discernable insulin response, protein has a slight-to-moderate response and carbohydrates cause a massive insulin response. Don’t believe me? ask a type 1 diabetic about dosing insulin for 500 calories of rice vs. 500 calories of cheese. So back to the thought problem: I have 2000 calories but my blood sugar didn’t spike and my insulin didn’t spike either. For argument’s sake let’s say 100 calories get stored away somewhere (probably as glycogen in my liver or muscles) so I still have 1900 calories to work with. I need 2500, so I need 600 more from somewhere… well my insulin is low… so I can mobilize energy stored in fat cells! Holy cow, I have all the energy I need! (usually 100,000 calories or MORE).

The funny thing is: this all still works if you decide you’d like to fast for several days. Your insulin is low and you have all the energy stored you could possibly want. Many people report massive energy after 36+ hours of fasting (you still drink water and get electrolytes). Anyhow, that’s the rant for today. If CICO is true then if you are overweight it’s because you suck as a human being, stop eating so much and should just get up and move more – is that really so hard? If the alternative is true (and I believe it is), then you are overweight because the foods you’ve been told are “healthy” (“low fat” cookies? “whole wheat” bread?) have messed up your insulin response to the degree that you are storing much of the energy you consume. So get rid of the rice, the pasta, the bread, THE SUGAR and go for the foods that will make you healthy. A ketogenic diet is essentially taking this a bit to the extreme, it’s a major intervention for people whose metabolism and insulin response are broken because of years of too much junk. Many people appear to be just fine living mainly off carbohydrates, that’s fine for them – I’m not one of those people.

I tell people I don’t eat sugar because I’m allergic to it, “how do you know you’re allergic to sugar?” they say. Simple: it makes me fat.

By | 2017-06-21T10:24:19+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Camping, Podcasts, Ketofest, and Flavor Poll

This entry is part 176 of 176 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

My awesome wife reminded me that I hadn’t posted any “cool stuff” in a while – there’s a reason for that =) I blew through 8 days of vacation in a single pay period, it was fun (I should have grown a beard!).

Last week I spent 4 days at various “forest activities”: 3 days at 11 year-old boy scout camp with my oldest boy, then 1 day with both my boys at the annual “Father and Son’s” campout, both had no cellular signal – meaning no Internet, no NOTHING. Keto-wise the campouts were fairly easy: I just brought along Keto Chow for breakfast and lunch in a cooler, on Tuesday I actually had 5 meals packed in the cooler because we were going to be staying the night. When it was meal time, everybody would have to dig out the stoves and clean up after – I just grabbed a blender bottle and drank it. Cleanup involved rinsing the bottle out (and later running it through the dishwasher when I got home). Easy-peasy, nailed my macros effortlessly. Here’s a sperical photo of pitching tents (drag around the photo for fun):

The week before that was spent with my wife’s family at Yellowstone National Park. We try to do a trip with them every year, even if it’s just for a day or so, and none of her family had ever been to Yellowstone. Instead of getting a bunch of hotel rooms in West Yellowstone, we opted to rent a house in Island Park and split the cost – ended up like $165 per person for the entire week. We had (really slow) Internet when we were at the house but nothing in the park. Again, I had Keto Chow, but I was using Hydroflask bottles so I wouldn’t need a big cooler, it worked exceptionally well!  The photo below was taken at “Norris Geyser Basin” when we were eating lunch, everybody else had sandwiches – I had Chocolate Peanut Butter Keto Chow =)

So let’s talk about some cool stuff: Some of the podcasts I’ve been listening to. The one I just finished was the “Salt Fix” episode by 2 Keto Dudes. Really interesting stuff about salt – I’m going to grab the book  and I already ordered some Redmond salt (which is coincidentally from Utah, but way South of where I live) – I got the coarse stuff because I want to use that with a salt grinder and for the “salt on the tongue” thing while fasting that Carl talked about in the episode. The mineral analysis for Redmond salt can be found here.

Fun anecdote about Redmond Salt. My dad knew a guy when he was in Texas/Arkansas who was from Redmond Utah, when people would ask the guy about his history he would report that he had saved up money by “working in the salt mine” – said it with a straight face too. The working conditions, even back then were actually descent but it sounded pretty ominous =)

I also have been catching up on the KetoVangelist Podcast – the “Low Carb Cruise” episode was pretty interesting, especially the story of the lady apologizing. I’ve seen that sort of thing myself and it’s frustrating to know I could help but don’t want to push people, it’s really something they need to WANT to change for themselves. How do you let people know you have a fix without being pushy? There’s the key I guess. Anyway, I don’t think I would need to work very hard to convince my wife to go on the May 2018 Low Carb cruise – except our kids would still be in school for another 2 weeks, that’d make it a little difficult =(

Anyway, the penultimate item is regarding KetoFest in July (not to be confused with Keto Con – which is in September). The “upper management” (myself and my wife) will be attending KetoFest – we’re not going as vendors or anything, just as regular people. If you’re going you should give us a fist-bump or something =) While we’re out of town, the same excellent people who kept everything running whilst we were in Yellowstone will be making sure orders go out and everything is dandy.

And finally, I’m playing around with a bunch of flavors for Keto Chow 2.1 – what flavors do YOU think would be best to bring out first? (you can vote for 2)

Flavors we should try for v2.1 (vote for 2)

View Results

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By | 2017-06-20T15:48:02+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour|0 Comments

Flavor(s) of the Week(s) June 19-(undefined): 15% off sale on all Keto Chow 1.9*

The original reasoning for doing the “Flavor of the Week” sales was to move along flavors we had too many of. It’s done a good job of that =). Usually, the process for deciding what flavor to put on sale each week involves looking at the shelves and saying “Yep, we have too much Snickerdoodle, do that one!”. Right now we’re getting down to the last few flavors of version 1.9 so we’re just going to put the entire v1.9 product line on sale – until further notice, it’s all 15% off, the sale will end when we run out =). We have a handful of Strawberry “Day” packs, a few “Samples” in various flavors; and Chocolate Fudge, Snickerdoodle, and Strawberry in the “Week” package.

I was asked if we’re going to be having a sale on v2.0 anytime soon. We’re actually a bit worried we’re going to run out of the v2.0 stuff (I’m looking at you: Salted Caramel!) before the next batch of 2.0 is made. That’s why I’m not running any advertising, or coupons or any promotion until we (1) get the freaking samples going, grrrr…. (2) have a massive inventory such that we are able to handle a spike in orders without running out of existing customer’s favorite flavors.

By | 2017-06-19T07:01:49+00:00 June 19th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Sample all the Things! v2.0 finally available

This entry is part 175 of 176 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

We’ve had a lot of fun with Keto Chow 2.0 Samples. The short version of it is: the machine that was supposed to be making the samples isn’t working right and we’re having to manually package the samples until that gets resolved. You can read more about the issues on this previous post.

Last week we made the determination that we needed to do something to get a workable solution in place, especially since the supply of v1.9 samples is almost entirely gone – along with the old sample bundle. So I contacted the manufacturing facility and arranged to get part of the bulk powder that’s been waiting to be made into samples. For now, we’re going with simple zipper snack bags and a printed label – it’s kinda ghetto and costs significantly more to produce compared to the cooler packaging that they’re supposed to be in… but it’s a viable solution FOR NOW. I used the real barcodes on the ghetto labels so you will be able to scan them into Cron-o-Meter and other tracking apps, which is cool. It should be noted that we won’t be offering individual samples of the different flavors outside of the bundle yet, if you want to try Keto Chow 2.0 you’ll have to get all of them in the bundle. The only exception to this is Chocolate 2.0 – the manufacturer had a couple hundred samples so we have those for sale on the samples page.

Anyhow, the Sample Bundle for 2.0 is available – and we have a preponderance of black Blender Bottles so we’re back to packaging the sample bundle with a Keto Chow branded Blender Bottle. It’s everything you need to get started with Keto Chow! Fun fact: the vanilla sample is included in the bundle – we’re still a few weeks out on getting the fixed Vanilla 2.0 in large bags, so this bundle is currently the only way to get vanilla Keto Chow 2.0!


Artwork adapted from Hyperbole and a Half (her FAQ says I can use it so long as I have “Proper credit includes a prominent, easily visible link to the source of the material you want to use” – DONE! =)

By | 2017-06-16T09:42:29+00:00 June 16th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Flavor of the Week June 12-June 18: 20% off sale on Snickerdoodle 1.9*

We’re doing a sale on the 21 meal “week” bags of Snickerdoodle v1.9. Instead of the normal $80 price for the 1 week bag, you can get it for $64.00 – and if you buy 4 at a time you’ll get an additional 5% off bringing it down to $60.80 per bag! (plus you’ll save a bunch on shipping 4 compared to 4 shipments of 1). Oh and while I don’t think we will sell out of the Snickerdoodle this week during the sale, because we won’t be restocking any of the 1.9 flavors I suppose I should include:

*while supplies last

By | 2017-06-12T06:31:27+00:00 June 12th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , |0 Comments

Flavor of the Week June 5-June 11: 15% off sale on Strawberry Blast 1.9*

We’re doing a sale on all sizes of Strawberry Blast v1.9 – it’s actually the only flavor we still have in all 3 sizes (3-meal “day”, 21 meal “week”, and single meal “sample”). Instead of the normal $65 price for the 1 week bag, you can get it for $55.25 – and if you buy 4 at a time you’ll get an additional 5% off bringing it down to $52.49 per bag! (plus you’ll save a bunch on shipping 4 compared to 4 shipments of 1). Oh and while I don’t think we will sell out of the Strawberry Blast this week during the sale, because we won’t be restocking any of the 1.9 flavors I suppose I should include:

*while supplies last

By | 2017-06-05T05:52:49+00:00 June 5th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Keto Chow 2.0 Samples and “Day” packages, where are they?

TL;DR: there will be no “Day” packs of Keto Chow 2.0 – just get three samples; except that we don’t yet have the samples yet, because: reasons.

With Keto Chow 2.0 being manufactured in a commercial facility there were some changes to the product line that needed to be made. One of the decisions we had to make was about the 3 meal “day” packs. Having 3 sizes per flavor is… well… 50% more than having 2 (I can Math!) and having more products adds complexity and diminishes economies of scale. So instead of having Day packs, the plan was that we would price the individual meal (samples) low enough that you could buy 3 for close to the cost of the “day” package. By doing this we could aggregate the quantities for the samples and days together and the aforementioned economies of scale would kick in – if it costs 1x each to make 2000, then it costs around 0.6x to make 56,000. That sort of thing.

So with that plan in mind, we ordered the packaging material to make really a lot of samples. We were supposed to be getting samples of each flavor as each flavor became available and all would be well. Except that didn’t happen (as you may have noticed – we don’t have any samples of Keto Chow 2.0 right now).

The machine that forms the packaging is having problems with the printed plastic film – specifically the flat sheet is formed around a metal horn and then sealed into a long tube, and as the film goes past the metal former it’s dragging on the metal and breaking. Right now we have a few dozen samples but nothing like what we need. Here’s a video that shows how stick packaging is supposed to work:

Cool right? Except when it doesn’t work =( So the plan now is to reprint the packaging on a different film, we’re supposed to be getting the packager and printer together to determine what media to use so we can get things rolling as soon as possible, hopefully we can have some progress this week and maybe get something in by mid June. The saddest part is the $7800.40 worth of printed film that’s useless – maybe I can use it as 6 inch wide wrapping paper for the next 200-300 years.

By | 2017-05-30T08:02:00+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Flavor of the Week May 30-June 4: 15% off sale on Rich Chocolate 1.9*

This week we’re getting started a little late of the sale because of the holiday, I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day. We’re doing a sale on Rich Chocolate v1.9 – normally I’d say “all sizes” but we only have Rich Chocolate in the 21 meal “week” size, though we do have quite a lot of those. Historically, it’s the most popular flavor of Keto Chow. Instead of the normal $65 price, you can get it for $55.25 – and if you buy 4 at a time you’ll get an additional 5% off bringing it down to $52.49 per bag! (plus you’ll save a bunch on shipping 4 compared to 4 shipments of 1). Oh and while I don’t think we will sell out of the Rich Chocolate this week during the sale, because we won’t be restocking Rich Chocolate 1.9 I suppose I should include:

*while supplies last


By | 2017-05-30T06:20:57+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Now Available: Keto Chow 2.0 Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Mocha

Got a surprise today: when I called the facility we’re using to manufacture Keto Chow 2.0 to ask if there was any progress on the samples (there isn’t, we’re still trying to figure out what to do but likely we’re going to have to print new packaging on different media) they told me that the rest of the flavors were ready. I assumed they meant they had Banana ready but no: they had Chocolate Peanut Butter, Banana, and Mocha ready for us. I was home sick in bed trying to sleep, so naturally we drove down (twice) to pick up the finished stuff. I’ll have correct inventory amounts in tomorrow but for now you can go ahead and place your orders! As of now, we have all the flavors of 2.0 except vanilla.

By | 2017-05-25T15:51:29+00:00 May 25th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, Site or Store Stuff, Soylent|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Strawberry Keto Chow 2.0 now available

This entry is part 174 of 176 in the series Ketogenic Soylent


We have strawberry flavored Keto Chow 2.0 available now. The 1.9 Strawberry had a pretty muted flavor that, frankly, I wasn’t really a big fan of – it needed more strawberry! With 2.0, the Strawberry actually tastes like strawberry.

By | 2017-05-23T18:51:44+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, Site or Store Stuff, Soylent|Tags: , , |2 Comments