Why The First Law of Thermodynamics is Utterly Irrelevant

There are many adherents to the Calories In/ Calories Out (CICO) theory that constantly bleat about “It all comes down to the First Law of Thermodynamics”. The First Law of Thermodynamics refers to a law of physics where energy cannot be created or destroyed in a closed system and is ALWAYS true. It certainly holds true in the complex world of human physiology, but is completely irrelevant. What the CICO people think it means is that if you reduce calories intake, you must lose weight. Of course, it means nothing of the sort. So, let’s see why. The main reason is that the most important part of CICO is NOT the Calories In, but the Calories Out and the Insulin. Here’s our representation of the human body.CICO1

You have Calories In, Calories Out and Fat Storage. This is, of course the fatal flaw of CICO – there are two compartments where calories can go after being eaten, (Calories Out and Fat), not one. It is not a one compartment problem. CICO adherents believe you take calories in, subtract calories out and whatever is left over is dumped into fat stores like a potato into a sack. So, they believe that fat stores are essentially unregulated. Every night, like a store manager closing its books, they imagine the body counts up calories in, calories out and deposits the rest into the fat ‘bank’. Of course, nothing is further from the truth.

Instead, every process in our bodies is highly regulated. Whether we burn calories as energy or whether it goes towards fat storage is tightly controlled by hormones. As we eat, calories go in. Calories go out as basal metabolism (used for vital organs, heat production, etc) and exercise. Fat can go into storage or it can go out of storage. CICO3

What controls this decision? We can all agree that the main hormone involved is insulin. As we eat, insulin goes up. Notice that insulin does not respond to calories equally. Some calories (white bread) will raise insulin a lot, and others (butter) will not raise insulin at all. This should have been the first clue that calories are not the common language of weight gain/loss. The body has no receptors for calories and has no way of measuring calories.

Consider two foods that are equal caloric values – a plate of cookies versus a salad with olive oil with salmon. As soon as you eat, the body’s metabolic response is completely different and easily measured. One will raise insulin a lot, and the other won’t. So why do we pretend like the body cares about calories. That’s like saying that foods that are blue are the same – whether they are blueberries or blue raspberry Gatorade. The body doesn’t care about color, so why would I? In the same way, the body doesn’t give two sh**s about calories, so why should we? However, the body DOES care a lot about the hormonal response to the foods we just ate.

Since we are eating more at that moment than can be used by the body, some of this food energy gets stored away, either as glycogen or fat. This is insulin’s role. It stores food energy through the processes of glycogen synthesis and de novo lipogenesis (making of new fat in the liver). CICO5

When we stop eating, insulin starts to fall. This is the signal to first stop storing food energy. As we continue to fast (say, during the night), we need to move some of this food energy back out from our stores to power our metabolism. Otherwise, we would die during our sleep, which obviously does not happen.CICO2

OK. So far, so good. Now let’s put some numbers on it. Let’s assume we are not gaining or losing weight, but have 100 pounds of fat we’d like to drop. Assume a daily average intake of 2000 calories. This is what it will look like.

Since Calories In and Calories out are balance, and Fat is neither going up or down, everything is in balance. The body wants to burn 2000 calories to stay warm and feel good. So what happens when we decide to lose weight? The CICO people say that all you need to do is reduce your calories in. You don’t need to worry about what you are eating because ‘it all comes down to calories’. So, eating a calorie reduced, low fat, high carbohydrate diet, insulin levels stay high, but calories comes down. They do this on shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’, but this is the exact same strategies that all the universities, and governments use too.CICO7

What happens?

You reduce your intake to 1200 calories per day. Since insulin remains high, you cannot get any energy from fat stores. Why? Because the dietary strategy you are using (Caloric Reduction as Primary) only concerns itself with reducing calories, not insulin. Remember that the high insulin is telling the body to store energy as fat, or at a minimum, not burn fat (inhibits lipolysis).

So, as you reduce your caloric intake to 1200 calories in, the body is forced to reduce it’s metabolism to only 1200 calories. No energy is available anywhere else. This is precisely what happened on the Biggest Loser as seen in the study featured in the New York Times. This is also precisely what happens during any caloric reduction diet. That is why these diets are doomed to fail. Studies of this strategy estimate failure rates at 99%. Notice that the First Law of Thermodynamics is not being broken in any way. It is irrelevant.

The lower metabolism means you feel feel cold, tired and hungry. Worse, the weight eventually plateaus and then as you decide that it’s not worth it, you start to eat more, say 1400 calories thinking that it’s still not as much as you used to eat. Hunger hormones are increased because the body wants to burn 2000 calories.  You are only taking in 1400 and burning 1200, so weight starts coming back. Sound familiar?CICO6

Well, that was fun. What happens when you use dietary strategies that instead target insulin? Low carb High Fat (LCHF) diets, ketogenic diets, and the ultimate insulin-reducing strategy, fasting all target the reduction of insulin. What happens?

Since the point of these diets is to lower insulin, stored food energy (fat) can be broken down to power the body. Since the body wants to burn 2000 calories a day, it burns 1000 calories of fat and 1000 calories from food. What we would predict is that basal metabolic rate remains the same, appetite is decreased and weight is steadily decreasing. Guess what? That’s exactly what is shown in studies. In Dr. David Ludwig’s study and Kevin Halls new study, ketogenic diets do not have this dreaded metabolic slowdown.

Remember, the body actually wants to burn 2000 calories a day. If insulin is low, then the body can get its energy from fat stores as well as food. Anecdotally, hunger is decreased with ketogenic diets. Many people say they only want to eat 1000 calories because they are full. But they don’t feel the same metabolic shutdown because the body is getting the other 1000 calories from fat. Notice that no Laws of Thermodynamics are being broken.

The effect is even more striking with fasting. I can only recount my experiences in the Intensive Dietary Management program. We’ve put over 1000 people on fasts of various durations. Many of them drag themselves since they have no energy. After fasting, their energy is massively increased. But despite this, they report that their appetite has shrunk to barely 1/3 of what it was previously. They often tell me they think their stomach has shrunk.

In a sense, it has. But if people are eating less because they are less hungry and then losing weight, that’s GREAT. Because we are now working with the body, instead of fighting it. With caloric reduction diets, people constantly fight their hunger and deny themselves food. Here, people are turning away food of their own volition. Because we lowered insulin.FREGLY

Notice once again, that the First Law of Thermodynamics is not being broken. There are no calories created out of thin air. It is simply irrelevant to human physiology. I studied biochemistry in university and took a full year course on thermodynamics. At no point did we ever discuss the human body or weight gain/ loss. Because it has nothing to do with thermodynamics. If anybody mentions the ‘first law of thermodynamics’ regarding weight loss, you, too will know that they are just not very smart. Or maybe they just haven’t really thought about what thermodynamics actually is.

Nutritionists on the other hand, especially the calorie counters, can’t seem to say enough about Thermodynamics. They have ‘science’ envy. They desperately want the quantitative and theoretical backing of hard science and therefore pretend that human physiology is like physics, with its hard rules and laws.T2DEpidemic3

New flash, guys. Physiology is physiology and physics is physics. Don’t mess the two up. The CICO people are Fregley. He is the character in ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ who is the unpopular kid who wants desperately to be liked. CICO people desperately want the approval of hard science that they are willing to pretend that physiology is physics. Sorry buddy. Just because you have physics envy, doesn’t mean you get to make up stuff. …. (I was going to put in a very crass and crude joke about the Freudian concept of penis envy all for the sake of a few cheap laughs. Against my better judgement, I have removed it.)

You also can’t use the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for your bowel movements. The Bernouilli Effect doesn’t apply to the urine stream. Physics is physics. Physiology is physiology. Deal with it.

Sometimes I’m asked the question about the difference between fasting and calorie reduction. Doesn’t fasting reduce calories? Yes, but that’s not the point. Fasting is about reducing insulin. This allows you to release some of the stored fat energy so that you don’t need to or even want to eat so much.

What drives me crazy is this. The Biggest Loser study proved that cutting calories is a terrible, horrible, no good and very bad strategy, virtually guaranteed to fail. So, in all these articles talking about the Kevin Hall study, what do the ‘experts’ suggest instead? Cutting your calories!! The only thing worse are those ‘experts’ who claim that that the key is not to define success by weight loss. Win the Diet Wars by not even trying. Buddy! People want to know how to lose weight. Success is defined as weight lost, not loving your body the way it is. As Justin Bieber would say – Go Love Yourself. I wanna know how to lose weight. That’s what The Obesity Code is all about. If you want to know how to lose weight, first understand what causes weight gain.

What happens when you recommend a diet that is guaranteed to fail? When you might get a huge worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Unfortunately, all the nutritional authorities all belong to the same CICO cult, and we are all paying the price for their stupidity. You thought Scientology was bad. CICO is even worse. Let’s consider these simple facts. We’ve recommended cutting calories for weight loss for the last 40 years. During that time, we’ve had a huge obesity epidemic. All the science suggests that caloric reduction as primary is doomed to fail. Senior researchers, academic physicians and virtually all health associations continue to recommend it. They are sheep, constantly bleating. Count your calories! Cut your calories! It all comes down to calories! Anybody who believes otherwise doesn’t believe in the universal laws of nature! I have physics envy!

One article interviewed ‘leading obesity experts’ and came up with these tips. Exercise regularly. Cut calories by avoiding high fat foods. Eat breakfast. Count calories. So, in other words, they would give the exact same advice that we’ve been giving for the last 40 years even as the obesity epidemic overwhelms our health care system. Hey, Julia Belluz, the 1980s called, they want their diet advice back.


The lunatics are running the asylum – and they all believe in the First Law of Thermodynamics. In discussing the physiology of obesity, the First Law of Thermodynamics is not wrong – it’s irrelevant.


111 Responses

  1. Thank you Dr Fung, reading this article made me realise why our appetite goes down on LCHF. Is it because of these sleazy shysters who have ruined whole nations health just so they can live lives of luxury?

    In effect we have been treated like a bunch of lab rats.

    Read this and get angry, very angry.


    • michael pollard

      With regard to Bernoulli effect.
      I fly microlights and am obsessive about flying. I did very well in my exams, but failed the question on where lift comes from, as the commonly held belief is that air moving over an airfoil’s upper surface moves faster than the lower. The often used example is blowing air over a sheet of paper, which will rise QED, Bernoulli proven!
      This is still being taught and almost entirely wrong. Simply, aeroplanes fly by squashing enormous quantities of air downwards equal to the weight of the ‘plane. Bernoulli contributes about 2%. Doubtful? Stand under a hovering helicopter or behind a spinning propellor.
      It seems to be the human condition that once a theory becomes ‘common accepted knowledge’ then challenging it puts you in the firing line.
      Look at poor Semmelweis:

  2. Thank you Dr. Fung, I too have been confused on the difference between fasting and CICO, but you have made it clear and I find your writing so entertaining! I get so excited when I see a new blog post, thank you for your time.
    I read an article online that said gastric bypass may be the new recommend treatment for diabetes and am so bummed because really, all these people are getting with this surgery is forced fasting and that is why it works so well!

    • seebrina

      Leah- I agree, I just watched several of the Bypass doctor shows and felt terrible for those people that had their insides messed up with surgery and then they all were spouting how healthy they were eating afterwards. Cereal with skim milk, lots of fruit and orange juice, low fat yogurt, white rice and on and on eating numerous times a day. I was just so upset. One show however did have a disclaimer at the end that this ” Was the medical advice that was still appropiate in 2012″. So there was alittle hope there that they know now its bunk. I really hope Dr Fungs writings and findings will get around and adhered too. Makes me want to jump into the fray and get the word out. Makes me wonder what these surgeons think later as their patients start to gain weight back.

    • Hi Leah,

      I had gastric bypass surgery. However, I am definitely following the ketogenic lifestyle and am extremely healthy! I refuse to be on the silly diet the “nutritionist” recommended for me. Low cal, low fat…give me a break. I’ve done my best to educate her and she just won’t hear of it. So, I’m on my own. Sort of.

      Thank God for this blog and the many other ketogenic/LCHF pages on the internet, Facebook, etc. While I’m swimming in very uncharted waters, I will not abandon this way of eating for the rest of my life.

      I’m still trying to figure things out since my insides are different from most, but I’m enjoying very good health, just not very good weight loss. Well, wait. I have lost 115 lbs but I’m stuck now so someone wonderful is helping me on one of the ketogenic sites on Facebook.

      Thank you Dr. Fung. I am enjoying everything about all of this!

  3. Dr. Fung,

    As usual, a concise, clear message. Given that we have been pounded with the calories in/calories out theory for most of our lives, it’s hard to let go of that, but what you have said is absolutely correct. For 4 months now, without fail, my husband and I have done a LCHF diet. When you add fat to your diet it tastes so good and is so satisfying. We often fast, short and longer ones, but when we do eat it’s a celebration of food!! And butter…. and olive oil! We feel energized, satisfied and happy. There is something about eating with zero guilt that is also wonderful.

    For years we have felt bad if we “over-ate”. No more of that. Now we eat full fat and unprocessed meats and vegtables until we are full and satisfied and the end result? My husband has completely reversed his diabetes with no medication, he has lost close to 45 pounds and I have lost 35 pounds, with minimal exercise, lots of good sleep and comfort knowing we are on the path to true health. Thank you for all you do. You are a true hero Dr. Fung.

  4. Liz Ingratta

    Seriously Dr. Fung! I love this post!

    I’ve been preaching about you since I discovered you four months ago; your site and your book have changed my life.

    This post is a fantastic explanation of how our bodies use and store fat in a way that the layman can understand. I’ve shared it on FB and have bought more copies of your book to give away to people that I know have been struggling with diabetes and weight issues for years.

    Bravo! Please continue doing what you are doing, saving lives!

  5. Indeed, the lunatics are running the asylum… again, thank you Dr. Fung for disproving CICO… what is good about LCHF is that you don’t need to count calories, you just eat real foods…

  6. Alex Kamas

    LOVE IT!!! This flat out works people. I just love your writing. I learn a lot and laugh a lot. “Physics envy” …. hahahaha. So great.

  7. Restless Leg Syndrome

    I do want to tell everything this. I have had severe restless leg syndrome since I was 12 years old. (I am 53 now) I have tried every natural remedy known to man through the years but I have had to resort to medication to get any relief.

    Never presuming that this diet would help this condition, you can imagine my astonishment as I have achieved almost complete remission. Since we know that this condition originates in the brain, the only thing I can conclude is a fat-fueled brain is the “cure”, at least for me.

    Given my husband has reversed his diabetes, I have cured my restless leg syndrome and we have lost close to 100 pounds between us, we will never go back to eating like we did before. Thank you Dr. Fung.

    • Sue,

      My wife suffered terribly with RLS until a blood test revealed she was severely anemic. She began taking iron and in a matter of days was back to normal. She has also since joined me on this LCHF journey and dropped 25 lbs.

      • Chris,

        I’m so very glad she was able to get relief!!! Supplementing with iron was one of the first things that I did, and that did bring some relief, but not nearly enough. Before beginning this diet sitting for more than 2 hours would result in having to walk around. I hadn’t gone to the movies in years. Long car rides were awful and plane rides? Yea, I just drugged myself. Like I said, I can’t imagine I haven’t tried everything!! And I certainly never even gave it a thought when we started this diet… it was all about my husband and reversing his diabetes. So I truly was shocked that this has helped me to the point of almost complete relief.

        Good luck on your journey and thank you so very much for your input.

    • My opinion follows. Reducing insulin resistance (IR) via low carb and/or intermittent fasting (IF) corrects, helps, prevents, and/or cures:

      overactive bladder
      skin tags
      heart disease
      idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy/heart failure
      blood pressure
      blood chemistry (eg, LDL, HDL,….)

      If you want to fritter away some time, do searches for these. For instance, type “insulin resistance tinnitus” or “insulin resistance tinnitus study” and see what you get. All of the above are related to IR. Personally, I think high carb diets (and eating too many times per day) CAUSE IR, which then CAUSES all of those conditions (and probably many more). However, all of these only have associations (IR is associated with tinnitus), although some have studies indicating reducing insulin via low carb (hard to find studies on specific conditions with fasting) is beneficial for the condition (tinnitus comes to mind), and other have plausible mechanisms for operation (heart failure comes to mind).

      Basically, the diet we’re told to eat (high carb, many meals per day) is likely killing us.

      • BobM,

        Thanks for the reply! And I did do a little pecking around, this is from the Mayo Clinic:

        “Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus only you can hear. This is the most common type of tinnitus. It can be caused by ear problems in your outer, middle or inner ear. It also can be caused by problems with the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound (auditory pathways)”.

        So there are cases of Tinnitus that might be caused by a disconnect in the brain!! And I agree wholeheartedly with you….. high carbs and constant eating is likely killing us.

      • Yes. IR is the mother of all non-communicable diseases. See the work of the father of syndrom-x, Gerald M. Reaven, and dr. Joseph Kraft, the writer of Diabetes Epidemic and You.

      • I don’t know about the tinnitus and overactive bladder. As I do not have OAB I, honestly, can not comment on that 1st hand. However I do have tinnitus which occurred long before I had insulin resistance. Further I’ve been fasting? for about a week now with one meal per day of between 700 and 800 calories ingested between 5pm and 8pm. That leaves 21 hr/day of fasting. I still have tinnitus and, after a brief drop in weight, I once again stalled.

        So, I fast 21 hrs/day everyday initially dropped 6 lbs but for days now, I just oscillate between 202 and 203. I am not hungry, for the most part. And the only time I was tired and cold was a day I went to the gym and burned, allegedly, 640 cals leaving a net cal for the day of 200. Still no drop in weight. I am at a complete loss to explain why I am not dropping weight like a rock. Morning fg is generally 91 to 92 with the occasional excursion to 95 and once to 101 (after a bad night’s sleep).

        • I’ve had this problem too and have come to realize that it takes time to heal insulin resistance, which is likely the reason we stall out for a while. Your morning blood sugar numbers are still higher than ideal, I think, which would indicate that your body is still trying to heal itself. My fasting blood sugar numbers have been in the 70’s, when I’ve had them taken at the doctor’s office. Hang in there! 🙂 You’re doing great!

  8. studies have shown that calorie cutting also lowers insulin. does it not lower it in large enough swings to be effective? as in lower overall inulin but never below a certain required base line? no one ever seems to address this point. any diet lowers insulin if calories are lowered. and as far as I know you can not lose weight if your calorie input remains the same as before attempting to lose weight. studies have shown that. if I am weight stable on 2500 calories of a sad diet and I switch to 2500 calories of lchf I will lose not one ounce of weight.

    • cj –

      Insulin response is complicated – see the work of Dr. Joseph Kraft (http://www.thefatemperor.com/blog/2015/9/7/kraft-summary-re-post-for-those-who-missed-it is a good place to start). Once the body has adapted to constant glucose challenges, reverting to a normal physiology is not instant. It takes time, and – for some people – the path back may be unavailable. As Peter (http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/) has often said, “it depends on how broken you are.”

      It also helps to remember that the body is not a bomb calorimeter – we don’t actually “burn calories.” We use the chemical energy liberated by certain processes to drive other processes necessary to sustain life. Multiple processes to release that energy are available, with varying degrees of efficiency. If the necessary energy is not available – locked away in storage because the key to open said storage is not available – then the body will reduce output. There is no other option. The alternative is also true: in overfeeding studies, heat production is ramped up and the body fights to expend more calories (extra spontaneous activity). Different subjects gain highly variable amounts of weight, and most (if not all) is immediately lost when the overfeeding ceases.

      Another helpful way to think about it is not just fuel, but ingredients. The body needs certain ingredients to function – not just energy, but micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. If those are sufficient (from existing stores on hand or intake), then the next requirement is energy. Again, that can come from stores or intake. Insulin controls access to fat (energy) stores. To use your example, someone doesn’t need to take in 2500 kcal of energy to burn it — if the stores haven’t been locked and the key thrown away. If they do match energy intake to energy expenditure, if nutrient status is replete, their weight will remain stable.

      A not-so-minor problem, of course, is that we don’t really know the caloric content of any given food portion. In a lab setting, it can be planned pretty closely, but unless you manufacture an artificial item from individual elements, you’re dealing with at least some uncertainty. In the real world, with real food, the error bars accumulate. The glorious thing is that the body doesn’t need us to consciously control all this – like any other animal, our inbuilt systems manage it just fine.

      Bottom line – quality matters more than quantity, unless the quantity is seriously deficient. Energy deficiency is more easily managed than nutrient deficiency. The latter will keep you hungry until the body’s need is met. J. Stanton did a whole series on that, summarized in this: http://www.gnolls.org/3662/what-is-hunger-and-why-are-we-hungry-j-stantons-ahs-2012-presentation-including-slides/.

      • Walter Bushell

        If you know accurately the calorie content of a substance chances are that it is not food, because as you say it’s probably a highly manufactured substance.

      • Great post! Very informative!

    • I don’t have a study on losing weight while eating LCHF at maintenance calories. But Sam Feltham at SmashTheFat.com did some over-eating studies. He barely put on weight eating 5,000 calories of LCHF for 3 weeks, but put on 18 pounds eating the same calories of HCLF for 3 weeks. Search Youtube for SmashTheFat

    • This is possibly incorrect based on what Dr. Fung is saying. If you switch to a LCHF diet, maybe your basal metabolism will run at it’s actual desired level of 2700 calories due to the reduction of insulin. With that being the case, your diet of 2500 cals will now cause weight loss because your body will use 200 cals worth of fat from your fat stores. This particular line of reasoning still meets the first law of thermodynamics, and has been experienced by MANY LCHF dieters!

    • “if I am weight stable on 2500 calories of a sad diet and I switch to 2500 calories of lchf I will lose not one ounce of weight.” – that’s what the CICO hypothesis says. You should test it for real and see.

      When Kevin Hall did something very similar in a metabolic ward study recently the participants did indeed lose weight, and there was a measured increase in calories out.

      Cue “it was only water weight” whingers…

      • Kevin Hall’s recent study showed a temporary increase in energy expenditure of ~100kcals/day on the ketogenic diet due to a temporary increase in LBM/FFM oxidation (i.e. loss) during fat adaptation. It went away once the subjects were fully in ketosis.

        That’s a metabolic DISadvantage. 😀

    • deirdra

      Most who recommend calorie cutting also recommend eating less fat, therefore more carbs and eating 4-6 times a day “to keep your energy up”. This INCREASES insulin levels and keeps them up all day, turning people into fat-storage machines. Eating 1000 cals/day LCHF IFing is not metabolically the same as 1000 cals/day of high-carb mini-meals.

  9. Melinda

    Jason, can I just say you are my hero?

    Thank you for all you are doing to improve the health of everyone!

    Quick question to you and to everyone else: How do we get our kids more aligned with this way of eating? Yes, we control what comes into the house, but once they become teenagers and have a bit of pocket money, they tend to eat at fast food restaurants and guzzle soft drinks like water. Any ideas?

    Thanks again!

    • Sadly the way the world eats is completely different than how “we” eat. I know as an adult my husband and I have a hard time eating correctly and well when we eat out. And you and your kids do have to live, to some degree, in the real world. We love to cook so this way of eating hasn’t been too difficult for us, but with young children it might be a little more difficult. And yes, once they are older they will sometimes get fast food… pizza and pop. There really isn’t much you can do other than instil in your kids that whole, unprocessed food will give them a life of good health. Just be a good example.


      • Teenagers are old enough to understand the “science” good and bad. The more you learn, the more you can help them learn the reasons. I have 5 children, two teenagers. As I understand more, I tell them (all ages, not just teens) how to make good energy choices and why. When they eat with me, they feel the difference. None of them are overweight but I still want them to make good choices (for the long-term effect) The more GOOD information they have, the better choices they can make.

    • Isabela

      Talk to them! Every day. And set an example. Also, cook healthy foods with them. Allow them to choose which veggies they want to eat, and offer plenty of real fatty protein.
      Yes, for now they will still get junk food and enjoy it, but later, they will remember your talk and know what they have to do. You don’t need them to be perfect, just 80% perfect will be better than the majority of teens.
      I see this in my 16 yo. She still enjoys her pizza etc. but lately this happens less and less, and she tries to cook/prepare food by herself: eggs, salads, cut up veggies… Her favorite dinner is rare steak and salad with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados and feta.
      Also my 8 yo is enjoying treats – but she knows which ones are more likely to harm her, and sometimes, when she’s not happy about her little belly, she consciously avoids them. Her favorites are cucumber, and tons of it, and pork ribs.

    • seebrina

      Melinda, Yes talk to them and set an example. My daughter just turned 17 and I’ve been trying to educate her for years. And you are right as soon as she has a chance she buys all kinds of crap, they actually nicknamed her ‘snacks’ at work due to her munching. And she is putting on weight much to my chagrin. Yesterday she said she wanted to try the bulletproof fasting since her working out isnt working. So she must have been listening to me since i’ve been talking about it alot lately. And she sees the weight falling off me in the last couple weeks. I started with Lchf and am now doing bulletproof because iam menopausal and very resistant.

  10. Juan Daniel Reich

    I agree completely.

    What I find to be, by far, the toughest part of all this is that the lunatics running the asylum way, WAY outnumber the sane people. So the “battle” is really tough. Specially for a “regular Joe”. I can cite studies, refer to books, web sites, blogs, videos…. the CICO/Lunatics are a determined bunch and the cognitive dissonance bought to people by 40 years of (bad) advice is really hard to crack.

  11. Your book is outstanding. I would give it a 15 out of 10. Five years ago, not knowing anything about the issues associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome, I started reading. I to, have spent a considerable amount of time with thermodynamics – closed systems (remember physical chemistry) and open systems, those power plants you use as analogies. What has always astounded me is the attempt to use thermodynamics as a frame work to model the human body and the disease referred to as obesity.

    What hit me initially is that the people invoking the first law, are not really applying it correctly. The second thing that hit me was that there was never any reference to the second law, which naturally leads you to the concept of thermodynamic efficiency. Now you can model the human body correctly as an open system, with a thermodynamic efficiency, but doing it correctly will involve orders of magnitude more work than is ever described, and what would be the result? It is doubtful that it will reveal some magic insight into the problem of obesity. It is like saying all food should be viewed in terms of the enthalpy of combustion when it is reduced to carbon dioxide and water. If this was the only thing that mattered you could eliminate biochemistry, cell biology, large swaths of medicine to definitely include endocrinology.

    I am a retired engineer and what really matters is that automatic control system governing those power plants you describe in your book. You use them to illustrate how they might be controlled when the fuel is cut by some large amount. The output (work) may change, but every component in that system is going to be working at a different efficiency (second law) and numerous adjustments will be made. In other words you get less work for the given energy input.

    Not to even acknowledge that the human body, orders of magnitude more complex and more complicated than your power plant, in a state of automatic feedback control via your brain and hormones (homeostasis) that fortunately you have little conscious control over by changing one input, really bears on the scientific competence of the CICO crowd invoking the 1st law. For anybody that actually has studied and applied thermodynamics, either in science or engineering, these people seem to be overt frauds.

  12. Dr. Fung, could you please address the fact that the Biggest Loser contestants do, in fact, lose weight while they’re on the show? CICO is working for awhile, anyway, isn’t it? I understand that the long-term effects are terrible, but the short-term seems to work.

    • Ellen, I’m sure Dr. Fung will answer soon, but I wanted to give you my perspective on it, since I have been through it (not the show, but the real life, self-inflicted version!)

      Yes, when you first start severely cutting your calories, after eating really bad for years, what are the first things you give up? Soda? (HFCS, sugars) Fast food (Carbs, sugar)? Cookies and candy (More carbs and sugar)? So, inadvertently, you have started to lower your carbs without intending to. The weight starts to come off.

      You go to the gym every day and kill yourself in aerobics/step/Zumda class. 3 times, 4 times a week. You walk, you run, you bike. You lift weights, you work out on machines. You think you are burning a TON of calories! But in reality, you are only burning about 5% of the calories your body burns every day.

      In all, after a few months of this, for me personally, I only lost 14 lbs. But once I did the real low carb (below 20%) with intermittent fasting, and STOPPED going to the gym, I lost 45 lbs.

      That’s how that works.

    • honeycomb

      He has answered that question. Here on the blog and in his book.

      Try doing a little research .. i.e. reading right here on this very blog for your answer.

      Hint: All diets cause weight loss. Not all diets are followed 100%. And, CICO will go to a heavier weight after those few months to less than a year later.

      • Hint: I have read it, thanks. If calories truly don’t matter at all, not in the very slightest, and it’s all insulin-related, then there should be no weight loss whatsoever. None. If you eat 50 calories of white bread every hour during the day, you shouldn’t lose even an ounce of fat. But people do. It seems to me that the hormonal explanation, though critically important, is as oversimplified as the CICO explanation. So oversimplified that it doesn’t add up.

        • I have never heard or read Dr. Fung saying that “calories truly don’t matter at all, not in the very slightest.,” rather, the control of fat storage is dominated by insulin levels, not simply calories in minus calories out. In this particular blog, the overall process is described in a simplified schematic manner. Your white bread example seems to assume that Fung means that insulin is a simple switch turning off fat burning entirely. Of course that’s not the case, and I don’t see that idea in the article. But current science is clear that the body will react very differently to 50 calories of white bread than it would to 50 calories of pecans.

    • deirdra

      Biggest Loser also involves several hours per day of exercise (often while being screamed at or shamed), and exercise lowers insulin. When contestants return to work and normal life, they don’t have the time to exercise all day long to reduce their insulin levels, so their low-calorie carby foods raise their insulin levels, don’t satiate them, so they get hungry several times a day, making it difficult to avoid straying from the diet. They are doomed to fail unless they take a job or replace their hobbies with ones that involve exercising several times a day – not for CO, but for insulin reduction.

    • Walter Bushell

      The point is not to lose weight; the point is to lose *fat* a frequently ignored detail with devastating consequences.

      AFAIK, one of the frequent disasters is the cycle of reducing by calorie restriction which causes loss of muscle followed by a weight regain period when the diet is abandoned, followed by another diet from a worse position repeat ad infinitum or death.


    That’s all that needs to be said.

  14. Desmond Govender

    Thank you Dr Fung. Interesting, so does that mean if i am fasting i am trying to reduce insulin levels but since i am still taking my insulin “shot” (although reduced) i am defeating the purpose of fasting?


    • Desmond,

      NO! By fasting you will eventually be completely off your insulin! Just stay the course…. strict LCHF and IF. Someday you’ll be completely drug free…. slow and steady wins the race! Enjoy the journey!

  15. Wenchypoo

    CICO people desperately want the approval of hard science that they are willing to pretend that physiology is physics

    And science has come back to shoot them in the foot time and time again–so much so, that the U.S. dietary guidelines have loosened their stranglehold on fat and cholesterol, and the new nutrition data labels now must reflect the amount of ADDED SUGAR (but looses the “fat from calories” line). W#ho knows? Maybe one day, they’ll allow imported yogurts that aren’t made with FF milk and loaded with sugar (like they have in Britain and Greece).

    The ship is turning, but ever so slowly…just like Obama kept saying he was “gonna turn this ship around” on healthcare. It appears this particular ship may be turning faster on the INSIDE than on the outside.

    • deirdra

      Sadly, some CICO proponents have been pushing for listings on nutrition labels saying how long you would have to walk/run to “burn off” the calories of one serving. Hopefully they will not prevail.

      • Walter Bushell

        What was it it would take 3 hours of mountain biking to work off a Big Mac. Now with a large soda with fries and dessert perchance an 8 hour day?

        The absurdity should be obvious. You’re going to have to work out like Durian Rider to keep the fat from accumulating. Most people can’t fit a full time job 56 hours a week into their schedule.

  16. Dr Fung,
    Thank you for finally setting things straight. I only hope that more people will read your articles and start healing.

  17. Yvonne Homewood

    Thank you Jason Fung!!! This is exactly how I lost 10kg & gained it all back again incl. 2kg more, the low fat/high carb reduced calorie diet I was on (I was marathon training at the time) didn’t just mess with my body, it also messed with my mental health badly. I’ve been Keto for 15 month now and it changed my life forever, my weight is stable and more importantly my mind is better than it’s ever been. Your article was a lightbulb moment for me ?Awesome stuff ??

  18. Lucylaw

    With every weekly post I understand a little more… Thank you so much, Dr. Fung.

  19. Please watch following u -TUBE presentation by one doctor in India :


  20. diglaji

    Very informative blog. I am interested in high fat low carb diet. One thing I did not understand why insulin is high on a 1200 calorie diet. Is it so because of the quality of food eaten. Would it still be high if you ate 1200 calories in high fat low carb diet?

    • diglaji: The insulin will get low in a high fat-low carb diet. The case of high insulin will be if it is a high carb-low fat one….

  21. Hahaaaaa. Love your sense of humor. You are a Superhero!

  22. Noel Spanier

    “First Law of Thermodynamics refers to a law of physics where energy cannot be created or destroyed in a closed system and is ALWAYS true.” The irrelevance is quite simple. We are, and live in an environment of dynamic complexity, that is to say, an OPEN System (Peter Senge,1990). Thank you Jason for your revolutionary science and breaking out of the closed system paradigm (Thomas Kuhn, 1962).

    Senge, 1990, THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE .

  23. I cannot wait for your new book on fasting

  24. Dr. Fung,
    You stated in your clinic you have not seen any difference between female’s and male’s fasting. What about someone post Menopause?

  25. Joan Day

    Thank you, from this senior -who can not get enough of your “brilliance, and great humour” . You are are a “Canadian Treasure ” , we are lucky to have you– your work can not go unnoticed now with the internet–please keep the bogs, books and podcast coming–you are helping so many people out there in “cyber land”–you may not even know how many you are helping…

  26. 1st law of thermodynamics in diets:

    calories in (CI) = calories burned (CB) + fat gain (FG) + muscle gain (MG)

    Therefore, CI – CB – FG = MG

    Thus, I can get muscular by doing nothing. 😉

  27. You’ve made a fatal mistake – there are two compartments in the body for storage, not one.

    There’s Fat Mass AND Fat-free Mass (a.k.a. LBM), and they have completely different energy densities. Ref: http://nigeepoo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/bray-et-al-shows-that-calorie-is.html

    Therefore, your information is invalid.

    • leavemealonegoaway

      Dr Fung talks extensively about the 2 compartment storage issue in many posts and videos.

      It would seem the ‘fatal mistake’ is making an inflammatory comment on a blog where one obviously has done no reading.

      • In that case, “You have Calories In, Calories Out and Fat Storage. This is, of course the fatal flaw of CICO…” is a strawman argument, as CICO doesn’t claim that at all.

        Don’t expect me to read everything that Jason Fung has written, and I have zero intention of watching any videos.

        If Jason Fung is denying that calories count, how come he’s using a calorie-based approach to weight loss i.e. fasting?

        Are you going to refute Bray’s study which clearly shows that weight (FM + FFM) change is directly proportional to the amount of Energy Surplus, or are you just here to troll?

        • From Bray’s:
          “Changes in Body Composition
          The weight gain in the low protein diet group was 3.16 kg”(FM+FFM)”, about half that of the other 2 groups (normal protein diet: 6.05 kg”(FM+FFM)”; high protein diet: 6.51 kg”(FM+FFM)”.”
          “The rate of weight gain”(FM+FFM)” in the low protein diet group was significantly less than in the other 2 groups ( P <.001)."

          quote:"…which clearly shows that weight (FM + FFM) change is directly proportional to the amount of Energy Surplus, or are you just here to troll?"

          The energy surplus was equal in the three diets, but the low protein diet (less insulin promoting diet) produced less weight gain, so how (FM+FFM) change is directly proportional to Energy Surplus? Or I missed something?

          • You’ve missed reading the info’ in “The Energy Balance Equation”.

            As LBM/FFM has a much lower energy density than FM, 3,500kcals of FM weighs 1lb, whereas 3,500kcals of LBM/FFM weighs 5.7lbs. LBM/FFM changes distort weight changes, and the Low Protein group had a very different (lower) LBM/FFM than the other 2 groups.

            I should have added the proviso “provided that LBM/FFM doesn’t deviate significantly from the norm.” My bad.

        • honeycomb

          But you expect us to listen to what you (re: not listening or reading Dr Fung) say / write.

          You’re a legend in your own small little mind / world.

    • Bray ? LOL. Only 2/3 of the additional calorie intake appears as stored fat or fat free body mass in his overfeeding study. Explain that.

      Composition of diet counts – the low protein diet in the Bray study gave significantly different body composition and energy expenditure outcomes despite the same level of additional calories.

      ie “a calorie is not a calorie”

      • Do you have reading comprehension problems? I made it perfectly clear that WEIGHT (FM + FFM) change is proportional to the amount of Energy Surplus. I made no claims about FM change, FFM change or anything else, other than the fact that low protein intake is bad for gaining/retaining FFM.

        Nobody is claiming that “a calorie is a calorie” where body composition, health, well-being etc is concerned other than you lot, so you can take your strawman and shove it where the sun doesn’t synthesise Vitamin D.

  28. and what happens is you eat a 1000gr carbohydrate containing vegan diet?

    People says you drop weights. What about insuline in this case?

  29. Greetings Dr. Fung: another great post. Thanks. Also nice interview with Robb Wolf. The one thing I was hoping was that you two would talk a bit more about fasting and kidneys or CKD as he has posted an excellent article on same.

    As I’ve mentioned before here many other fasting websites warn against fasting with reduced kidney function. For me personally when my ha1c is low my CKD improves.

    I hope to get your take on this when convenient. Again, BIG THANKS for all you write, film and do. Your work is cherished by many. THIS is true medicine!!!!!

  30. For what it’s worth, I’m not claiming that Low-carb/keto diets don’t work, as I successfully used the Atkins Diet to lose 28lb when I was Insulin Resistant (IR) back in 1997. I managed to reverse my IR in 2008, so I can now eat a varied diet based on whole, minimally-refined animal & vegetable produce with occasional treats and be lighter than my lowest weight on the Atkins Diet. IR has many possible causes and reversing it should be people’s No 1 priority as it’s bad for health, but I guess you already know that! There’s information on how to reverse IR in the blog post linked below.

    Low-carb/keto diets DO work for free-living people who have IR or T2DM, but they work by reducing/eliminating postprandial hyperinsulinaemia and its adverse effects on Energy Intake & Energy Expenditure.

    As people who don’t have IR or T2DM lose more weight on a HCLF diet than on a LCHF diet, how do you explain that fact using the carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis of obesity?

    Ref: http://nigeepoo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/how-low-carbohydrate-diets-result-in.html

    • honeycomb

      This twice you’ve placed your blog linkbin a post .. feeling neglected .. you act more spam than a expert.

      • honeycomb

        link in .. not linkbin .. darn fingers & smartphone.

        • If you had a blog containing all your evidence, you’d link to it.

          As nobody on here has anything of any value to offer e.g. refutation of my evidence with better evidence of your own, I’ll leave you to your echo chamber.

          I was hoping for some feedback from the organ grinder rather than his monkeys. :-/

          • honeycomb

            Here’s your feedback .. insulting us for refusing to follow your spam link / marketing trick isn’t gonna get us to click on your click bait link .. there’s your feedback.

  31. Lucylaw

    For what it’s worth, I’m not going to any blogspot titled “nigeepoo” for any scientific advice 🙂

    • Hey dude, I went to your website and you look like the pillsbury doughboy. Your dietary advice is as valid as a homeless man giving a lecture about how to become a billionaire. 😉

  32. leavemealonegoaway

    Imitation is a sincere form of flattery in life.

    In the blogosphere, similar can be said about dedicated trolls…they validate a post by haranguing in the comments section, while a) admitting they have no idea what the site is about and b) promoting their own page.

    This thread rocks by any measure 🙂

    BTW, remember what Carly Simon said re ‘is about you’…

  33. I think everyone in this “Nigel thread” really needs to chill out. Name calling, etc. is never the right thing to do. I’d bet Dr. Fungi and many here have no issues with differing views being offered up in a respectful manner.

    Sadly, in many ways, the Internet has both dumbed us down, lowered our attention spans, and allowed us to lose simple manners.

    Relax, everyone! Thanks!

    • leavemealonegoaway

      Agreed. Best plan is to completely ignore people who go out of their way to be inflammatory. They feed off of the reactions.

      I promise to mind my manners and offer zero chow to this kind of poster. Thx for the reminder.

  34. Sorry…Dr. Fung, not Fungi (damn auto spell)!

  35. Dr Fung, I am a 5,7″ 57 year old woman who weighs 130lbs with normal blood sugar. Is IF appropriate for me to lose 10 lbs?

    • Mary many people over thousands of years have fasted, not just people with weight or health issues. People within the normal weight range have 30 or more days of reserve fuel.

  36. Why didn’t the physics teacher marry the biology teacher?
    Because the chemistry wasn’t right.

    A real joke found in a joke book, but obviously refers to the unhappy relationship between the desperate CICO-paths and the thermodynamics nerds.

  37. I agree with Joan – I believe Jason is a “Canadian treasure”!!!!

  38. I agree with Nina and Joan….and I think he is a Fun guy too !!!

  39. Kim Hammond

    But what if you are diabetic. Fasting glucose number was 24 when tested for the first time, Metformin and glycoside have it down to 9 on a good day and I consider that my norm. But can a diabetic really fast? Even as suggested in your book. I am lucky to get an appointment with my doctor once a month with the wait lists here so “careful monitoring ” is not likely. Does fasting not just increase the numbers as if you were fasting for a glucose test?

    Am I too focused on the number not the issue? I loved the book so many revaltions!

    • Hi Kim,
      Lots of people here are diabetic, myself included. I have seen numbers like yours in the past. Before starting a fast on 2/1/16 my fbg was 17. During my fasts i had fbg as low as 3.5 without any medications at all. For the last couple of weeks I have not put any restrictions on the carbs I ate or on sugar and no medications either. This morning my fbg was 7.1. I still have a way to go, I was just testing how I had progressed.

  40. matthew

    I’m sorry but this article is not correct. The First Law of Thermodynamics (FLoT) simply states that Energy is neither created nor destroyed but only changes form. The article is misleading. Every calorie of energy can be accounted in every system but, in animals, the path that energy takes is dependent on upon the physiology. Throughout the entire article the author states how the FLoT is not broken. So if the law applies all the way through, how then is it irrelevant? People unfortunately tend to not read entire articles nor do they look at the research that people cite in their articles/blogs (this article had no citations). Somebody would read the first paragraph of this post, feel the call of the onion rings and go hog wild because somebody has told them that the CICO is irrelevant and that humans are somehow special and are beyond the basic laws of physics. This post does not show that the FLoT is irrelevant; It makes it quite clear that the FLoT is completely relevant but not in isolation. Calories go in and something has to happen to this energy. What this article is saying is that those calories do not necessarily go out and that there are other things to consider when looking at weight management. If you go out and consume 7000 calories a day, there will be consequences. At the end of the day, regardless of what path those calories take, you can follow the flow of energy and account for every single calorie of energy that was taken in. I think that a more responsible title would be, “Factors to Consider Beyond CICO In Weight Loss.” To say something like, “New flash, guys. Physiology is physiology and physics is physics. Don’t mess the two up.” has absolutely no basis in science. Every calorie of energy can be accounted for and that is all the FLoT says. People should do their own homework on lipogenesis, adipose tissue, beta-oxidation, chemical potential energy, triglycerides and the FLoT.

    • honeycomb

      Matthew .. I have a degree in Nuclear Engineering. I have had Heavy Thermo training in College and in the Navy and now as a Commercial Nuclear Operator. I guess I am what you would call an expert. Don’t try this at home 😉

      I am also a jock. You’ve probably heard of those smart active types. I “are” one.

      I have no problem with the article. In fact maybe you could do some further research with a book called “slimology” by Sam Feltham. It’s a short read .. like less than an hour if you read quick.


  41. I understand that the first law of thermodynamics is still preserved in a low insulin setting with the fat in storage making up for the remainder of the calories OUT, keeping energy output constant.


    Are we intentionally keeping “calories IN” on the low side by fasting?

    In that case, how is is this model different from the CICO (or CRaP) model?

    • Never mind, I think I answered my own question by reading some more of this blog.

      The answer, kinda, is here


      The above link cites studies comparing fasting (intermittently) to chronic caloric restriction. Both groups tend to lose the same absolute amount of weight.

      The way I understand it then, is that the key to weight loss is still in ingesting less calories. It’s just a matter of doing it intermittently versus chronically. The former lowers insulin without lowering your basal TEE (and burns fat efficiently) while the other supposedly keeps you at risk for further insulin resistance and dropping your TEE.

  42. […] приложение. Это очень хорошо объясняет в развёрнутой статье на сайте Intensive Dietary Management канадский доктор Джейсон […]

  43. I agree the human metabolism is not working as simple as CICO. However, even this approach leads to short term weight loss. That’s why shows like The Biggest Loser seem to work. The problem is to keep the weight off as shown many, many times. Ketogenic diets and intermittetent fasting might not have this problem but the article doesn’t link to any studies that show longterm (+5 years) weight loss with these kinds of weight reduction diets. Maybe there are none, yet. But then it would be too early to make such claims.
    Furthermore, the article more or less implies that obesity and poor health are the same. And that is not true (see Linda Bacon’s research for evidence). I think weight loss shouldn’t be a focus in public health campaigns but actual healthy habits like nutritious food, exercise, stress reduction etc. Some people will loose weight, others won’t but what does it matter when they’re healthy?
    If anyone wants to loose weight they should go for it but it is not necessarily a path to a healthier lifestyle.

  44. This article does a great job of explaining the mechanism of weight loss through insulin control. However, all the 1st law of thermodynamic bashing is juvenile. In fact, this article does a good job of explaining how the 1st law of thermodynamics is upheld in a complex system where there are two sources of energy (body fat+ food) and an adaptable system that lowers energy output proportional to the input. I think it would be a better article if the author tried to reconcile the two concepts.

  45. […] via Why The First Law of Thermodynamics is Utterly Irrelevant – Intensive Dietary Management […]

  46. I think the flaw in this argument is that people with a weight issue generally eat MORE than their metabolic requirement, so cutting calories makes sense for them, and these people also have a low muscle/adipose tissue ratio, so resistance training is essential.

  47. […] превышал поступление. Можно прочитать на эту тему статью доктора Джейсона Фанга, почему первый закон термодинамики не работает. […]

  48. All discussions regarding nutrition and the laws of thermodynamics should acknowledge a few facts that often get confused. Outside of nuclear reactions like fission or fusion, energy is conserved and mass is conserved. Most importantly, since human metabolism only involves chemical (not nuclear) reactions, no energy is converted to mass, and no mass is converted to energy. If you gain weight, it’s because more mass has entered your body than left your body. How much does your mass increase if you eat 100 g of almonds with 600 Calories? 100 grams. How much mass do you lose if 100 grams leaves your body? 100 grams.

    So what’s the point of Calories? Calories are a useful unit of measure since they get closer to the real point of food, which is to provide usable energy to your body. However, as you know, that process is highly complex, thus we’ll be having fascinating arguments on the details for decades to centuries to come. The important part of the transfer of energy from food to your body involves mostly chemical potential energy in the form of chemical bonds. Food is mostly hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen, regardless of whether it’s carbs, fats or proteins. We breathe in oxygen (O2), which reacts with molecules from food, which ultimately leads to the conversion of ADP to ATP, and it’s the ATP that provides the usable energy needed to move muscles, keep the brain running, build tissue, and so on. These chemical reactions generate water and carbon dioxide (CO2) as waste products. Our bodies do a good job of keeping water in balance, but the CO2 leaves our body as a waste product. We inhale O2, and exhale CO2. What’s the main difference? C, carbon. There’s most of your weight loss.

    Then what is the best way to lose more weight? I don’t know. I can tell by the blog and comments that you all know more about what works and what doesn’t than I do. Does it make sense that exercise would work? Yes, in the sense that anything your body does to use up the ATP (converting it back to ADP) will signal your brain to increase your breathing, which brings in more oxygen, which breaks up more fat or carbs or proteins to generate more ATP from ADP, resulting in more CO2 as a waste product, leading to more weight loss. Can you cheat and just breathe more? I don’t think so. The involuntary part of your brain has to decide that there is too high of a CO2 to O2 ratio in your blood and then increase breathing to bring it back into balance. If your body isn’t using up the ATP, then it can’t use up all the extra O2 when ‘hyperventilating’, so you can’t generate CO2 as a waste product to lose weight.

    What does your body decide to do with all the carbohydrates, proteins and fats when they enter your body? When you exercise (or just exist), how does your body decide to break up the carbohydrates, fats or proteins to convert more ADP into ATP to keep your body running? I have no idea, but that’s ultimately what this blog and many researchers are trying to figure out. I would hope, though, that including some of the basic physics and biochemistry involved in metabolism would help bring focus to a lot of these discussions.

  49. How long does your metabolism take to restore itself after beginning IF after being ruined on CICO?

  50. Dr. Fung,

    I am confused about this model. You say that caloric reduction isn’t the answer but in one of the models above you show that 1000 cal of calories in but 1000 cal of fat burning will lead to 2000 cal of calories out. Isn’t that a basic caloric reduction diet? I do believe in insulin reduction but sounds like caloric reduction is also part of the solution as well.


  51. Micah S

    Dr Fung

    I read your entire article in detail. I know you posted it about a year ago and I’m late to the party, but I have some insights that I want to share with you because I think you’ve made some major errors in judgement.

    1) Your overall message (insulin is very important to fat storage, and food choice is important to insulin response) is a good one for people to understand. Thanks for sharing this.

    2) Your attack on Julia Belluz shows an incredible lack of integrity on your part. I read the entire article of hers that you linked to. Not once did she mention CICO or thermodynamics. In fact, that article isn’t even about her opinions. It’s an informal review of expert opinions. You may not agree that the people she interviewed are experts, but none of the quotes she published said anything about CICO, or thermodynamics​ either. So not sure where you’re getting that.

    3) You imply that because the public health profession has been telling people to cut calories for 40 years, but over the same time period obesity has skyrocketed, that that advice is terrible. This is correlation without causation, which any good scientist should be able to recognize. Your representation implies causation and is wholly misleading.

    4) Additionally, in your quantified example, with fasting and low insulin level inducing foods, you still reference a calorie deficit on a daily basis. This is insanely hypocritical, considering your article’s subject is primarily about berating people who think calorie reduction will help weight loss.

    Overall you seem to have very little scientific integrity. But thanks for the knowledge about the effect insulin has on fat storage. That was very interesting.

  52. Werner K Kujnisch

    I eat only raw grass fed beef, raw organic farm fresh eggs and organic butter … once a day. I weighed 155 lbs last fall and
    now i weigh 120 lbs. I work out twice a day on my air rowing machine and enjoy a pain free body. I’m 70 years old and been zero carb for over 3 years.

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