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Billy Craig's 6000 Kcal Diet

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Health Discussions' started by jaywills, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. jaywills

    jaywills Member

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    For those of you who have not heard of billy craig, he conducted an eating experiment based on the premise the more you eat the more you burn and if food = constant there is no need to store fat.

    I was just wondering if anybody can shed some light on the billy craig 6000 kcal diet in which he claimed he had to stop because he was losing weight. Has anybody tried it and been successful? Does anybody know more about this experiment he conducted? I.e his macro breakdowns

    Logically to me this premise makes perfect sense. But before i deep dive and eat a lot more calories i was after some thoughts and experiences.
     
  2. Curt :-)

    Curt :-) Member

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    "Had to stop because he was loosing weight" suggests that he was loosing TOO MUCH weight, which, on 6000 calories, I find VERY hard to believe...
     
  3. tara

    tara Member

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    I've not tried it. If I recall correctly, he got very hot (temperature) and very lean, and people kept telling him he needed to eat more. Maybe he described it as hyper-thyroid or maybe I just guessed that? He described that experimental diet as not very good, because he was very focussed on controlling calories precisely, and he was eating a lot, so he ate lots of processed food that had calories ready counted on the packet, where he would normally preferred to prepare more of his own food and have more control over ingredients. It may have still been relatively low in PUFAs, though. He was very focussed on strictly controlling calories and timing. I think it was at least 5 or 6 meals spaced through the 24 hr day including one in the early hours (large bowl of cereal and milk at 2ish am?). I think he gradually worked up to 6000 calories over a few months, and then maintained it for 6mths. He was a young man, was not overweight to begin with, and had a physically active lifestyle that would have used a bit of energy. He wanted to test/demonstrate the theoretical the idea that you stated - the body will find ways to use the food if it stays constant - and his n+1 was consistent with the theory.

    I'm inclined to believe his story.

    My guess is it would work for some people but not necessarily everyone, depending what sort of damage/imbalances we are already carrying. But who knows? It would certainly be an interesting experiment, if not one I'm itching to try myself at the moment.

    I like his other story, too, about how he lost his job as a gym instructor - he was bad for business cos he kept encouraging his clients to eat more and train less.
     
  4. tara

    tara Member

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    Afterwards he did not recommend it - he thought it was too extreme and very unpleasant. He thought 4000/day would probably be better for many people.
     
  5. Jennifer

    Jennifer Member

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    I'm not sure what your current health status is, jay, but I think it's VERY important to note that Billy wasn't comming from a starved or sick state when he did his experiment.

    I researched into refeeding about two years back when I couldn't gain weight and was trying to recover from my back injury and severe osteoporosis. I had extreme hunger that would leave me starving at even 3000 calories a day. I was looking for proof that my insatiable hunger and my need to "binge" at the time was justified. I just wasn't healing and I figured my body needed the extra calories despite what the doctors felt was a reasonable caloric intake.

    I read up on the Minnesota Starvation Experiment and gathered information from people like Billy Craig and Chiefrok, a frequent commenter on 180 degree health who also has experience with refeeding and losing weight. Here's his website in case you're interested:

    http://www.chiefrok.com/blog/life-times ... ey-part-1/

    I refed for about a year and a half, eating as much as 10,000 calories per day during extreme hunger days, but most of the time I averaged around 6,000 cals a day.

    My lowest weight was 70 pounds and I started the experiment at 95 pounds. My weight eventually plateaued at 145 pounds, about 40 over my normal weight before I got really sick. As soon as my hunger took me back to 2500 - 3000 cals a day, the weight slowly came back down to around 110 pounds and I was no longer hungry all the time.

    So if your coming from illness or extreme weight loss/dieting, my advice is to let the experience of the men in the Minnesota Starvation Experiment be your guide for what to expect when refeeding. I find their's is more common than Billy's or Chiefrok's experiences. Though, I do know a member on the peatarian forum who refed, but kept to more of a Peaty diet and didn't gain like I did, but if I remember correctly, he also backed off the 10,000 calories early on when he noticed quick fat gain. If you search for the Minnesota Starvation Experiment on peatarian, you should be able to find my conversation with him.
     
  6. superhuman

    superhuman Member

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    i also find it very hard to believe in his experiment
     
  7. pboy

    pboy Member

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    I can only imagine what tara says is true...the most ive ever eaten was probably around 4000...maybe less, like 3500 and a lot was liquidy...I don't see how time or GI space could allow for much more than that in a normal sized person without massive discomfort. Just based on time of preparing and consuming, if you want fresh food, its hard to really get a lot over 3500-4000. The only ways is to just smash in fat, like chocolate bars or ice cream, or drink a lot of alcohol. Maybe something like bacon too. Its never comfortable and a waste of time I think...even if you were malnourished and trying to rebuild as fast as possible, I think youd still be better off around 4000 or a bit less, cause otherwise youd probably be in pain or do damage

    the same thing happened to me as with jen when I needed to recover weight, I would never feel full no matter how much I ate, id be compelled to eat morning from wake until right up to bed, and I honored it...albeit with some non ideal stuff, mostly good, and I still...eating morning to night, never really got much over 3500-4000 calories....id have exploded if I ate 10000!
     
  8. superhuman

    superhuman Member

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    It all depends, i would have had no problem eating 6000 kcal a day but im active aswell and all that but i would get fat as f**** and so would everybody else exept tour de france riders or olympic swimmers etc.

    Thats what i dont like or think is good with Billys article and the information because it has NEVER been done before in labs or by anyone. Eating more to loose more or loose weight in general does not WORK thats just it, nobody has ever managed to do it.

    He claimed he did it by only eating the exact amount of calories each day at the exact time each day etc etc but even so NOBODY has managed to do it again. So it means you can just store it in the other "woo woo subjective bull**** "research or whatever you wanna call it" and leave it there. Because there is nothing scientific about it
     
  9. tara

    tara Member

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    I haven't reread all these to pick the best or fullest telling of his story, but you'll find references and explanations in some of these:
    http://www.billycraig.co.uk/apps/search?q=6000

    I believe it would be hard to eat that much fresh home prepared food, but he wasn't doing that. If you are prepared to supplement with really high energy density easy-to-digest food you can get a lot more in.
    As far as I know he was reasonably healthy when he started the experiment, but he had had periods of worse health previously (recovered from low carb by reintroducing carbs).

    He does have a theory to explain it. It seems plausible, though not studied enough to confirm when and exactly how it works. If you eat too little or too inconsistently, your body adapts by taking every opportunity it can to eat more and store fat to survive the apparent famine. If it consistently gets more than it needs, unless other factors are interfering, it finds ways to use the extra energy, like raising metabolism, increasing NEAT, hopefully repairing anything that's got run down from malnutrition, speeding digestion, and eventually the body gets the message that it doesn't need to prioritise storing fuel for the future, cos it can rely on a steady supply. At that point it may drop the set point back to your natural level if it had been elevated. I think it won't work for everyone because some of us have other factors messing us up, or we've been malnourished for so long that our bodies will never quite trust us to keep up the food supply. I also think it probably won't put everyone into the fashionably lean category, because that may not be the healthy natural set point for many people. I wouldn't expect this technique to reliably get people into unhealthily low bf percentages.

    Being slightly hyperthyroid (top of euthyroid range) may well be good, but being much above that can apparently be quite problematic - not something I'd aim for.

    How do you know nobody else as managed to do it? I have read reports from others that claim they increased calories a lot (not necessarily to 6000), gained weight, then slimmed down again.

    There are also studies with larger numbers of people showing it is common for thinner people to eat more than rounder people. The most common consequence of calorie restrictive dieting is medium or long term weight gain.

    Singular: anecdote, plural: data. I have no reason to doubt the truth of his story, though I haven't seen evidence stronger than his own reports. There is nothing scientific about denying reality because it doesn't fit a particular theory. For a scientific theory to be any good, it has to be consistent with the known data, otherwise it is disproven.

    Billy was pretty active (I think he is/was a competitive cyclist). He mentioned calculating on an extreme day that he may have burned 13000 cals.

    I wonder whether your idea of getting 'fat as ***' would in reality be a normal weight, ie not the extreme low body fat you seem to be aiming for. I wouldn't count on Billy's method being an effective way to lose weight (or fat) if you are already starved down to very low body fat.
     
  10. superhuman

    superhuman Member

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    Remember billy sells a product aswell. Everyone seems to claim they eat more and loose weight.
    The super obese fat f**** in USA also claim that they almost dont eat anything. Every research done on them where they self report and all that and they check. They claim they eat 1500 kcal but in reality they eat like 4000kcal a day.

    Subjective data is rubbish data or i should say self made data is rubbish data.
    Wouldnt you think ANYONE in the medical or science field that studies metabolism would have picked SOME of this up that it may be a possibility. There are some few differences in terms of metabolic rate for people but that is not much that has been monitored.
     
  11. tara

    tara Member

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    True, he does sell his coaching services.
    True that quite a few do. Then there are whole lot of others who promote severe restriction.
    I would appreciate you losing the abusive language.
    When measured and compared with self-reports, studies have found that self-reporting from memory is not in general reliable - on average people underestimate how much they eat at all weights. That's why so many calorie calulators based on self-reported data are way to low for most people.

    I happen to think he is probably being truthful and meticulous, but you don't have to trust or believe him - that's up to you. A small number of self-reports/anecdotes are not strong evidence, but they aren't necessarily rubbish. A lot of this forum is about people learning from each other's subjective anecdotes, and trying things to see what works for ourselves. You don't have to value this information, but some of us find it helpful.
    Actually, Billy learned this theory (that consistency is important) in school - he didn't make it up himself - and wanted to try it out. There are lots of studies showing that restrictive dieting tends to be followed by gaining more fat than was lost, even on lower calories than before dieting, and a few that showed it sometimes happened even when people stuck to their restrictive diets. It has been well known for a long time that too low calorie intake leads to reduced metabolism.

    Haidut's post is related:
    viewtopic.php?f=75&t=4671&p=56481#p56481
     
  12. Jennifer

    Jennifer Member

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    I grew up with a mother who struggled with her weight. She struggled with it her whole life while the rest of her siblings were thin. I've watched her eat barely anything and exercise for hours on a treadmill where the only thing she lost were toenails.

    I also had a friend growing up who was considered obese and her mother had her on a diet from the time she was six while the rest of her siblings and classmates were thin and ate whatever they wanted.

    I have a 90 year old grandmother who, to this day, worries about what she refers to as her "pot" a.k.a her belly so she won't allow herself treats. She recently panicked because she misplaced her pin that she got when she succefully lost all her baby weight doing Weight Watchers back in the 1970's. Here's a 90 year old who, every night, asks God to come take her yet she won't eat whatever the h*ll she wants because she has a "pot!"

    The reality is no person wants to be stared at with dirty looks or insulted and ridiculed on a daily basis. No person wants to try diet program after diet program or weight loss pill after weight loss pill or exercise regimen after exercise regimen. It takes a pretty desperate soul to go under the knife to reduce the size of their stomach where they wind up getting sick every time they eat more then a few bites of food.

    And being referred to as fat f**** on a daily basis has been motivation enough for those suffering with obesity to reduce their calories to obscenely low amounts and yet they still suffer with obesity.

    We're on a forum with many members who find themselves here because they destroyed their health in an attempt to shed excess weight and the sad fact is, there will continue to be people who stumble on this forum for that very same reason. Our epidemic is not from a lack of willpower, this much I'm sure.

    Here's a quote from Ray I find interesting:

    "In my teens and twenties, I needed about 8000 calories per day when I was physically active, about 4000 to 5000 when I was sedentary, but after I took thyroid, I needed only about half as many calories. Thyroid is the basic regulator of blood glucose, and it causes it to be fully oxidized for energy, so that it produces ATP efficiently, on relatively few calories. If blood glucose falls, because it's being used very quickly, the body responds with stress hormones, including glucagon, adrenalin, and cortisol. They cause fat and protein to be burned for energy, while in hypothyroidism, glucose can still be used inefficiently for glycolysis, producing lactic acid, displacing bicarbonate and carbon dioxide. This causes mineral imbalances, with effects including cramps and nerve-muscle tension, which produce heat and waste energy. When you first start taking thyroid again, your tissues will need some extra magnesium, during the time when the dose is increasing, and when the mineral balance is restored your temperature and metabolic rate might decrease a little. Orange juice, milk, and coffee are good for the main minerals, while salting your food to taste." RP
     
  13. superhuman

    superhuman Member

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    Jennifer: its just that im so frustrated with so many liars out there and there are SOOO MANY.
    I promise you if you have monitored your people 100% all the time you would found out the reason why they did not loose weight. I promise you they ate alot more then you saw or told you.

    All the studies that have done where they monitor people it proves it time and time again that it does not vary much and when they put people on say 1200 kcal like they claim they have eaten and not lost weight, they loose weight.

    Its true there are some metabolic gifted people i should say or diseases or conditions that stray from this. But remember they are very very very very very very very very few.
    RP in his teens and twenties like all teenagers need alot more calories since they are growing and all that so alot of things matters and also in terms of hormones etc. So maybe like he said he was suffering from something or a condition that just made him waste calories and more people are able to do that when they are teens and are growing.

    But again the reason i think Billy is full of ***t is because he could never done this thing again with himself or other people under a supervision. So then it just proves its just like any other WOO WOO raw food guru claims he can travel through space and time and have talked to jezus and seen the future. It sounds good on paper and fantastic on paper but thats just it.

    Also the theory Billy is reasoning with makes ALOT of sense but the mind can make anything make sense, its the body thats running this ***t. And EVERY scientific studies done on metabolism and calorie intake and all that has not dissproved this. It can vary as much as 18% when people have reduced calories for a long time
     
  14. Jennifer

    Jennifer Member

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    Yeah, I totally understand your frustration with the liars and gurus, superhuman. Trust me! I'm just as frustrated. And though I'm big in promoting that people eat when they're hungry, I don't want to imply that we will all get the same results that Billy got if we just cram in tons of calories. I'm certain most of us will see weight gain. Whether or not this is a temporary state in order for the body to do repair work is anyone's guess at this point. All I can look to is the MSE study, but even it's findings are debatable given that the test subjects had no prior history of disease or dieting.

    You make excellent points about conditions, diseases and the metabolically gifted being determing factors in how many calories people can eat, but I have to disagree with you when you say they are rare. I'm not so certain they're as rare as people (not just you) think or as rare as they once were. Given that dieting creates metabolic/systemic damage and so few have managed to escape our diet culture, this leaves me to believe that there's lots of obesity that stems from diseases/conditions. For me and this is just me, when the exceptions are that many, they throw the rule right out the window.

    I know my mom's inability to lose weight stems from illness so I'll take her out of the equation, but how do we explain me?

    My weight when I was younger was around 110, but I was getting in less then 1800 cals daily. I know this for a fact because I was meticulous about counting my calories so I wouldn't outgrow my flyer position in cheerleading, something I'm not proud of.

    I currently eat over 3,000 calories and weigh 110. That's over a 1200 calorie increase to maintain the weight I had when I was a teenager and much more active given that my injury has benched me for the time being.

    So how do we explain this when clearly I wasn't metabolically gifted in my youth?
     
  15. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    That's a nonsense comment, it's just made-up. It's as made-up as any claim you read elsewhere to the reverse.

    What is all your experience with this? Have you worked clinically with clients assessing their diets and monitoring them 24/7 to come up with your conlclusions?
     
  16. pboy

    pboy Member

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    that Peat quote about thyroid is interesting. It makes me think americans are in fact maybe just iodine deficient, they probably get plenty protein and selenium. It actually would make a lot of sense...most people hardly meat the minimum of 150mcg, which is just enough to prevent goiter! By no means a healthy amount. Just the fact that oxygen alone in abundance is required for 38 atp''s from glucose rather than 2...makes me think the fact people are living indoors with stale stagnant air and have pollution outside, that alone is a HUGE factor, and lack of sunlight, especially around high noon when its most effective
    sun probably has more to do with immunity, but the air with actual metabolism and weight, and iodine potentially
     
  17. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    In the beginning of KMUD weight loss interview RP mentioned one study that
    was done 30/40 years ago. They used to believe that any one can lose weight
    if they eat below 1700 calories. This is based on studies in 1920 or 30s
    on healthy people.

    In newer study they put a group of women who claimed to gain
    weight on 1000 calories diet in closed ward and found
    some women were able to maintain weight even at 700 calories.
    These happened mostly to women who had done a lot of dieting.

    RP also believed average people are hypothyroid due to high PUFA
    intake and bad diet. Women have extra burden of estrogen.
    Even if this 6,000 calorie experimentation is true, it is not
    going to be useful for females. I read some of his comments
    and i do not find his story believable. Most self trained health gurus
    have dramatic stories to tell. But, i think it is totally possible for
    someone young eating 6000 calories of food and exercising a lot
    and losing weight.
     
  18. tara

    tara Member

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    http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2011/12 ... rt-vi.html
     
  19. pboy

    pboy Member

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    if you eat balanced food, even over eat, balanced and nutritionally supportive, youll just pee and poop a lot, but probably wouldn't get fat. You would be burdened by volume and trips to the bathroom. Getting fat is always some kind of imbalance or deficiency or toxicity
     
  20. superhuman

    superhuman Member

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    pboy: and what is balanced food? take that to science or anyother place and prove it and maan you will be so rich you could make RP president
     
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