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Ray Peat’s Thoughts on the Appropriate Amount of Fat in a Diet

mamakitty

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When metabolism and one is active more calories is good. When you sedentaery or are wanting to lose weight RP says to stop eating (in this video) otherwise unburned calories gets stored as fat.


View: https://youtu.be/96AFY50-J4A

Yes, I understand sedentary people need fewer calories. But 1600 is quite low for normal functioning. It’s probably supposed to be even lower for women. I just don’t see this as feasible or healthy.
 
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Yes, I understand sedentary people need fewer calories. But 1600 is quite low for normal functioning. It’s probably supposed to be even lower for women. I just don’t see this as feasible or healthy.
I don't see that as being unusually low for a sedentary overweight woman. It more depends on what those calories consist of. If it is high quality protein, fat and sugars then it is perfectly fine. Calories are a measure of energy and if your aren't expending the energy to burn them, from being sedentary or having a slow metabolism, then they just get stored as fat. As your body starts building muscle from the proteins, fat and sugar then your metabolism speeds up and the NEED for more calories comes into play. Without muscle it is difficult to burn fat.
 

mamakitty

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I don't see that as being unusually low for a sedentary overweight woman. It more depends on what those calories consist of. If it is high quality protein, fat and sugars then it is perfectly fine. Calories are a measure of energy and if your aren't expending the energy to burn them, from being sedentary or having a slow metabolism, then they just get stored as fat. As your body starts building muscle from the proteins, fat and sugar then your metabolism speeds up and the NEED for more calories comes into play. Without muscle it is difficult to burn fat.
1600 seems to be applicable to sedentary people, but presumably lower for women, maybe 1300? That may make sense in theory, but in reality when I go down to 1200, 1300 or even 1500, I feel like death. No energy and obviously cortisol kicks in after a while to keep me alive. And this was on a well planned healthy diet following dr Peat’s principles.

I thought the whole deal of energetic metabolism is to keep stress at bay to keep cortisol and other stress mechanisms low. There’s conflicting info within the community. Some have said 1600 calories is what a small child needs, and a grown woman needs around 2400. And to lose weight healthily, one should create small caloric deficits in order to not trigger stress responses. Surely, “small” deficits will not end up as 1300.
Of course, children and toddlers are highly energetic and active, but adult women have needs too. For example, I’m sure just the brain needs a high number of calories to stay alive and for any thinking work, you add more. For a reproductive age woman with underperforming thyroid, ergo issues converting calories into usable energy, that low a calorie intake is not going to produce health in the long run, even if some people have success losing weight. You need more energy to produce high quality eggs, keep your skin and hair glowing, etc.

The long term ill effects of drastic calorie deficits have, in fact, been shown multiple times anecdotally, as well as being documented. That’s why most people gain all the weight back, and then some, because that low a calorie intake is unsustainable. And strong sisters are hardly the models of great health, tbh. They have always been in a calorie deficit while being very active. They look rather boney and the skin and hair are okay. They also had ammenhorrea which is what propelled their evolution towards Peat + Morley. And last I checked, one of them still hasn’t gotten her period back.
 
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1600 seems to be applicable to sedentary people, but presumably lower for women, maybe 1300? That may make sense in theory, but in reality when I go down to 1200, 1300 or even 1500, I feel like death. No energy and obviously cortisol kicks in after a while to keep me alive. And this was on a well planned healthy diet following dr Peat’s principles.

I thought the whole deal of energetic metabolism is to keep stress at bay to keep cortisol and other stress mechanisms low. There’s conflicting info within the community. Some have said 1600 calories is what a small child needs, and a grown woman needs around 2400. And to lose weight healthily, one should create small caloric deficits in order to not trigger stress responses. Surely, “small” deficits will not end up as 1300.
Of course, children and toddlers are highly energetic and active, but adult women have needs too. For example, I’m sure just the brain needs a high number of calories to stay alive and for any thinking work, you add more. For a reproductive age woman with underperforming thyroid, ergo issues converting calories into usable energy, that low a calorie intake is not going to produce health in the long run, even if some people have success losing weight. You need more energy to produce high quality eggs, keep your skin and hair glowing, etc.

The long term ill effects of drastic calorie deficits have, in fact, been shown multiple times anecdotally, as well as being documented. That’s why most people gain all the weight back, and then some, because that low a calorie intake is unsustainable. And strong sisters are hardly the models of great health, tbh. They have always been in a calorie deficit while being very active. They look rather boney and the skin and hair are okay. They also had ammenhorrea which is what propelled their evolution towards Peat + Morley. And last I checked, one of them still hasn’t gotten her period back.
If you are eating starches, which Ray Peat does not suggest, and you aren't eating enough protein and sugar you are gonna have a lot of lows. I can eat a thousand calories or 2000 calories and I feel good either way. We are not meant to sit around and shovel in food in all day and wait for magic to happen. You eat when you're hungry and stay busy. There is no debate about it as far as Ray Peat is concerned, the forum and their varying opinions makes things confusing. Stick to Ray Peat's articles and audio's if you you don't want the confusion, that is what I do.

"There are different kinds of weight gain. When a person's metabolic rate increases, and stress hormones decrease, for example when adding two quarts of milk to the daily diet, their muscle mass is likely to increase, even while their fat is decreasing. Since muscle burns fat faster than fat does, caloric requirements will gradually increase." -Ray Peat
 

mamakitty

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If you are eating starches, which Ray Peat does not suggest, and you aren't eating enough protein and sugar you are gonna have a lot of lows. I can eat a thousand calories or 2000 calories and I feel good either way. We are not meant to sit around and shovel in food in all day and wait for magic to happen. You eat when you're hungry and stay busy. There is no debate about it as far as Ray Peat is concerned, the forum and their varying opinions makes things confusing. Stick to Ray Peat's articles and audio's if you you don't want the confusion, that is what I do.

"There are different kinds of weight gain. When a person's metabolic rate increases, and stress hormones decrease, for example when adding two quarts of milk to the daily diet, their muscle mass is likely to increase, even while their fat is decreasing. Since muscle burns fat faster than fat does, caloric requirements will gradually increase." -Ray Peat
Well, firstly you have made a massive assumption of what the other person eats and how they do it. Saying I’m shovelling food down my throat all day while waiting for magic to happen is not just inaccurate but ridiculous. I, and many people trying to lose weight are not overeating that much. The argument here is about going in such a huge deficit by eating 1200 calories is for sure going to elicit a stress response.

Secondly, talking about eating when hungry and then being busy, you are now bringing in the frequency of food intake. I’m not taking about frequency but total calories intake. However, Peat has himself mentioned not leaving too large a gap between meals, once again, to avoid the stress response. Having said that, I do NOT eat frequently, I eat three meals with adequate protein most days and I’m very busy with a toddler and do a lot of physical and mental work at home. This is still counted as sedentary when you put the calories burned in Cronometer. No matter how much housework you do, it’s under the sedentary category if you are not “working out”.
Also, you may be fine eating 2,000 calories one day but a thousand the other, as the French do. But living on 1200 day in day out is unsustainable. No question.

Thirdly, it’s great to only read and follow Ray’s articles and books, but what was posted here was literally email exchanges that only apply in the context of whoever it was emailed to. Also, as great as Ray’s work is, it is based quite a lot on theories, so it’s great to have this forum where people apply his principles to real life and then share results with others. Everyone has different results because everyone’s different. The experiences here add to the canvas that others can extrapolate and apply to their own situation and then feed the forum back.

Finally, and related to the above point, the first and foremost principle is to perceive, think, and act. So when Ray gives advice to someone for their specific needs or talks about a specific study within a specific context, it doesn’t automatically become gospel to many with thinking brains. When he talks about starch being less preferable yo fruits, it doesn’t mean all starch cooked in all ways is poison to all people. It also doesn’t mean all tropical fruit will suit all needs. As a matter of fact, in one of the exchanges literally pasted in this thread, he says he eats “some” fruit “occasionally”.

Anyway, the whole point of this debate is not to argue to oblivion. The point is many people like myself need to lose weight but do it healthily to not screw up their bodies in the long run. If just the weightloss was the goal, at the expense of reproductive health, skin health, joints, cognition, and indeed energy, why would anyone seek out this forum as opposed to the mainstream diet advice? One could easily eat like the models or hollywood and live on 1200 calories every day engaging in stress mechanisms, then seek out ivf and botox when their body eventually fails them.
 
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Well, firstly you have made a massive assumption of what the other person eats and how they do it. Saying I’m shovelling food down my throat all day while waiting for magic to happen is not just inaccurate but ridiculous. I, and many people trying to lose weight are not overeating that much. The argument here is about going in such a huge deficit by eating 1200 calories is for sure going to elicit a stress response.

Secondly, talking about eating when hungry and then being busy, you are now bringing in the frequency of food intake. I’m not taking about frequency but total calories intake. However, Peat has himself mentioned not leaving too large a gap between meals, once again, to avoid the stress response. Having said that, I do NOT eat frequently, I eat three meals with adequate protein most days and I’m very busy with a toddler and do a lot of physical and mental work at home. This is still counted as sedentary when you put the calories burned in Cronometer. No matter how much housework you do, it’s under the sedentary category if you are not “working out”.
Also, you may be fine eating 2,000 calories one day but a thousand the other, as the French do. But living on 1200 day in day out is unsustainable. No question.

Thirdly, it’s great to only read and follow Ray’s articles and books, but what was posted here was literally email exchanges that only apply in the context of whoever it was emailed to. Also, as great as Ray’s work is, it is based quite a lot on theories, so it’s great to have this forum where people apply his principles to real life and then share results with others. Everyone has different results because everyone’s different. The experiences here add to the canvas that others can extrapolate and apply to their own situation and then feed the forum back.

Finally, and related to the above point, the first and foremost principle is to perceive, think, and act. So when Ray gives advice to someone for their specific needs or talks about a specific study within a specific context, it doesn’t automatically become gospel to many with thinking brains. When he talks about starch being less preferable yo fruits, it doesn’t mean all starch cooked in all ways is poison to all people. It also doesn’t mean all tropical fruit will suit all needs. As a matter of fact, in one of the exchanges literally pasted in this thread, he says he eats “some” fruit “occasionally”.

Anyway, the whole point of this debate is not to argue to oblivion. The point is many people like myself need to lose weight but do it healthily to not screw up their bodies in the long run. If just the weightloss was the goal, at the expense of reproductive health, skin health, joints, cognition, and indeed energy, why would anyone seek out this forum as opposed to the mainstream diet advice? One could easily eat like the models or hollywood and live on 1200 calories every day engaging in stress mechanisms, then seek out ivf and botox when their body eventually fails them.
Oh please don't think I was insinuating that you are shoveling down food mindlessly. I am being sarcastic because of some of the ideas people have in general that eating more magically makes a person lose weight. A lot of intention gets lost in text. I think it is easy for younger people and people who haven't had children to hand out the eating more to lose weight advice, but as you and I know our bodies changed so that advice does not apply to us. I have found heeding RP's advice and first stop eating and let our bodies regroup and build our way up to more calories to give me my success story. Tght is exactly what i did to lose my extra fat in my More Weight Loss Talk thread. All the forum advice from young women, body builders and people coming from this or that kind of diet, and still holding on to some of their principles, was not cutting it for me. I kept shoveling in all that ice cream, sugar and protein without giving my metabolism a chance to get use to the new plan and it only backfired with my metabolism too slow to keep up. I never promote starving on low calories either, that only promotes "skinny fat" yuk! Do you drink coffee Kitty? After my first son, I worked my "you know what off" trying to get back into my pre baby weight to no avail. It wasn't until having my second son 4+ years later and having my first experience with coffee that I finally got the baby weight off and then some. Take my success story with a grain of salt as there are many ways to rid ourselves of excess fat. I think your a cool Cat so please don't take personal my generalities 😘
 

mamakitty

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Oh please don't think I was insinuating that you are shoveling down food mindlessly. I am being sarcastic because of some of the ideas people have in general that eating more magically makes a person lose weight. A lot of intention gets lost in text. I think it is easy for younger people and people who haven't had children to hand out the eating more to lose weight advice, but as you and I know our bodies changed so that advice does not apply to us. I have found heeding RP's advice and first stop eating and let our bodies regroup and build our way up to more calories to give me my success story. Tght is exactly what i did to lose my extra fat in my More Weight Loss Talk thread. All the forum advice from young women, body builders and people coming from this or that kind of diet, and still holding on to some of their principles, was not cutting it for me. I kept shoveling in all that ice cream, sugar and protein without giving my metabolism a chance to get use to the new plan and it only backfired with my metabolism too slow to keep up. I never promote starving on low calories either, that only promotes "skinny fat" yuk! Do you drink coffee Kitty? After my first son, I worked my "you know what off" trying to get back into my pre baby weight to no avail. It wasn't until having my second son 4+ years later and having my first experience with coffee that I finally got the baby weight off and then some. Take my success story with a grain of salt as there are many ways to rid ourselves of excess fat. I think your a cool Cat so please don't take personal my generalities 😘
Oh yeah, no worries, I’m not offended at all. As you said it’s hard to convey tone via text. I also didn’t mean to argue, but I just speak my mind when I disagree haha. Some say I am a little aggressive by nature (I’m working on it lol - it’s probably high testosterone due to undiagnosed pcos?).
I totally agree with what you said about different people at different stages of life coming here and trying to pass their context as the final say. You will find the same people change their tune in a few years. Age does that lol.
Although, I have to say my issues began (albeit mildly) long before childbirth. I have been near-obese for a few years. In fact, I lost my pregnancy weight within 8 months, and now I’m back to my pre-pregnancy near-obesity lol
One thing that does frustrate me though is the lack of women on every diet amd health discipline. Every diet on the internet us represented by men more, except veganism. I am perhaps selfish and only care about finding solutions that apply to women because we are special and you know it. Literally every diet under the sun can work (at least a while) for most men. But women have specific needs and they will have more detrimental effects from a poorly studied health advice.

Anyway, as you already know I think very highly of your work here and appreciate input. I just share my experiences and opinions, and seek help from others.

Regarding coffee, I was saying this to this other member yesterday I only had a few years agfair with coffee. I was young and would have up to five espresso with little chocolate. I was quite healthy ate whatever but I started gaining weight because I had suddenly become sedentary at that time. I was becoming a fanatic too and experimenting with different coffee preparations. Anyway long story short, I stopped drinking coffee, black or with milk, long time ago. And now to go back to it is a bit daunting. Whenever I drink my husband’s coffee I think it wrecks my sleep. But now that I give it more thought, I think I perceive it falsely to give me bad sleep. I suffer from insomnia and migraine for years and years. Maybe I’ll slowly start coffee again. How do you recommend it? Special fancy prep or will instant coffee do? Should I add collagen or whatever?
 
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Oh yeah, no worries, I’m not offended at all. As you said it’s hard to convey tone via text. I also didn’t mean to argue, but I just speak my mind when I disagree haha. Some say I am a little aggressive by nature (I’m working on it lol - it’s probably high testosterone due to undiagnosed pcos?).
I totally agree with what you said about different people at different stages of life coming here and trying to pass their context as the final say. You will find the same people change their tune in a few years. Age does that lol.
Although, I have to say my issues began (albeit mildly) long before childbirth. I have been near-obese for a few years. In fact, I lost my pregnancy weight within 8 months, and now I’m back to my pre-pregnancy near-obesity lol
One thing that does frustrate me though is the lack of women on every diet amd health discipline. Every diet on the internet us represented by men more, except veganism. I am perhaps selfish and only care about finding solutions that apply to women because we are special and you know it. Literally every diet under the sun can work (at least a while) for most men. But women have specific needs and they will have more detrimental effects from a poorly studied health advice.

Anyway, as you already know I think very highly of your work here and appreciate input. I just share my experiences and opinions, and seek help from others.

Regarding coffee, I was saying this to this other member yesterday I only had a few years agfair with coffee. I was young and would have up to five espresso with little chocolate. I was quite healthy ate whatever but I started gaining weight because I had suddenly become sedentary at that time. I was becoming a fanatic too and experimenting with different coffee preparations. Anyway long story short, I stopped drinking coffee, black or with milk, long time ago. And now to go back to it is a bit daunting. Whenever I drink my husband’s coffee I think it wrecks my sleep. But now that I give it more thought, I think I perceive it falsely to give me bad sleep. I suffer from insomnia and migraine for years and years. Maybe I’ll slowly start coffee again. How do you recommend it? Special fancy prep or will instant coffee do? Should I add collagen or whatever?

I have been skimming my raw whole milk and using that light cream (like half & half) in my coffee brewed with instant I like to put about 1/3 cup of milk in my milk frother for that. I usually use sugar in both or whipped honey. I haven't determined which sweetener serves me better yet. We have an espresso machine, but I haven't used it this past couple of months. They are too addicting and i suck 'em down too quick .😋
 
B

Braveheart

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In this video he talks about the average amound of calories he recommends is under 2000 calories. The quote I remember him saying was that his he has "always been pretty sedentary" so he eats around 1600 or 1700 calories a day". I have seen quotes where he use to eat over 3000 calories.


View: https://youtu.be/-mbxGz0i3YE

I'm just behind him in age...sedentary...between 1600 and 2000 calories now. I have found that with increasing age the appetite is just not there anymore...man, I could eat and drink when younger! Still, I do a full body workout 30 mins, 3 times a week...eat a little more protein those days. Centenarians eat around 1200/1500 calories, I think. My fat intake this last week 39%
 
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PxD

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Holy Crap thats a lot of fat! on a 3000 cal diet he'd be eating ~1000cals of fat aka 111g oof fat. That's nuts to me.
That’s interesting to me because this is roughly my macro breakdown and is the breakdown that I feel best on. I’ve tried going down to 25% fat and up to 55% carbs before and it always ends with me feeling really uncomfortable and having bad digestion after 3-4 days. It’s a little surprising because until I read this I thought Peat recommended lower fat diets, like max 25%.
 
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That’s interesting to me because this is roughly my macro breakdown and is the breakdown that I feel best on. I’ve tried going down to 25% fat and up to 55% carbs before and it always ends with me feeling really uncomfortable and having bad digestion after 3-4 days. It’s a little surprising because until I read this I thought Peat recommended lower fat diets, like max 25%.

Besides recommending a lower fat diet for those who want to lose weight, in many of Ray Peat's articles on cancer, he says cancer feeds on fat, as well as sugar. He says a zero fat diet could kill cancer in a matter of weeks. I find fats to be important for digestion and good skin, and I love fats, but there is a downside to them too, that are not PUFA related.
 

Birdie

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Oh yeah, no worries, I’m not offended at all. As you said it’s hard to convey tone via text. I also didn’t mean to argue, but I just speak my mind when I disagree haha. Some say I am a little aggressive by nature (I’m working on it lol - it’s probably high testosterone due to undiagnosed pcos?).
I totally agree with what you said about different people at different stages of life coming here and trying to pass their context as the final say. You will find the same people change their tune in a few years. Age does that lol.
Although, I have to say my issues began (albeit mildly) long before childbirth. I have been near-obese for a few years. In fact, I lost my pregnancy weight within 8 months, and now I’m back to my pre-pregnancy near-obesity lol
One thing that does frustrate me though is the lack of women on every diet amd health discipline. Every diet on the internet us represented by men more, except veganism. I am perhaps selfish and only care about finding solutions that apply to women because we are special and you know it. Literally every diet under the sun can work (at least a while) for most men. But women have specific needs and they will have more detrimental effects from a poorly studied health advice.

Anyway, as you already know I think very highly of your work here and appreciate input. I just share my experiences and opinions, and seek help from others.

Regarding coffee, I was saying this to this other member yesterday I only had a few years agfair with coffee. I was young and would have up to five espresso with little chocolate. I was quite healthy ate whatever but I started gaining weight because I had suddenly become sedentary at that time. I was becoming a fanatic too and experimenting with different coffee preparations. Anyway long story short, I stopped drinking coffee, black or with milk, long time ago. And now to go back to it is a bit daunting. Whenever I drink my husband’s coffee I think it wrecks my sleep. But now that I give it more thought, I think I perceive it falsely to give me bad sleep. I suffer from insomnia and migraine for years and years. Maybe I’ll slowly start coffee again. How do you recommend it? Special fancy prep or will instant coffee do? Should I add collagen or whatever?
Ray drinks milky coffee. I think it's always with sugar. He uses instant coffee. I think it's Nescafe. I use Mount Hagens and Medaglia D'Oro when I use instant. It isn't bad and easy to fix. When I first started reading Peat, I was used to lattes without sugar. It was hard to add sugar. I started with 1/4 tsp for a big mug.

But I think it's important to understand that for a biochemist, saying sugar can easily mean fruit. It doesn't have to refer to white sugar. Not that he means to add fruit to coffee, but you know what I mean. When Ray speaks of sugar in the diet, I think he usually means fruit. White sugar for emergencies. Fruit's not always available.

As far as losing weight, you are right to be careful. I think it's better to concentrate on eating healthy and expect to lose weight very gradually. It was 10 years ago, so maybe I remember wrong, but I think I expected to lose 20 pounds in a year. I think low expectations help cuz otherwise, in my experience I set myself up for failure.
 

mamakitty

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I have been skimming my raw whole milk and using that light cream (like half & half) in my coffee brewed with instant I like to put about 1/3 cup of milk in my milk frother for that. I usually use sugar in both or whipped honey. I haven't determined which sweetener serves me better yet. We have an espresso machine, but I haven't used it this past couple of months. They are too addicting and i suck 'em down too quick .😋
Cool, thanks!
 

mamakitty

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Ray drinks milky coffee. I think it's always with sugar. He uses instant coffee. I think it's Nescafe. I use Mount Hagens and Medaglia D'Oro when I use instant. It isn't bad and easy to fix. When I first started reading Peat, I was used to lattes without sugar. It was hard to add sugar. I started with 1/4 tsp for a big mug.

But I think it's important to understand that for a biochemist, saying sugar can easily mean fruit. It doesn't have to refer to white sugar. Not that he means to add fruit to coffee, but you know what I mean. When Ray speaks of sugar in the diet, I think he usually means fruit. White sugar for emergencies. Fruit's not always available.

As far as losing weight, you are right to be careful. I think it's better to concentrate on eating healthy and expect to lose weight very gradually. It was 10 years ago, so maybe I remember wrong, but I think I expected to lose 20 pounds in a year. I think low expectations help cuz otherwise, in my experience I set myself up for failure.
Thanks so much! Great point about managing expectations for weight loss. It’s so demotivating to not reach goals. I also think extreme deficits just bring short term or long term health issues.

About sugar, I do struggle with adding it to tea or coffee. When I was on my coffee craze phase years ago, I would have it black or espresso after espresso without sugar. Although I had small amounts of chocolate with it. I would always have so much energy after that, like a toddler. I used to think it was the sugar high which is super bad for me. Anyway, I have been adding sugar to my tea but I don’t like it. Maybe over time I’ll get used to it, especially in coffee.
 
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Thanks so much! Great point about managing expectations for weight loss. It’s so demotivating to not reach goals. I also think extreme deficits just bring short term or long term health issues.

About sugar, I do struggle with adding it to tea or coffee. When I was on my coffee craze phase years ago, I would have it black or espresso after espresso without sugar. Although I had small amounts of chocolate with it. I would always have so much energy after that, like a toddler. I used to think it was the sugar high which is super bad for me. Anyway, I have been adding sugar to my tea but I don’t like it. Maybe over time I’ll get used to it, especially in coffee.

Funny you should say that, because 8 too never like sugar in my tes or coffee. I never liked candy, desserts, ice cream, soda or even fruit. I had to get use to sweet things over this past 5 years, but feel better for it now.
 

GreekDemiGod

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But I think it's important to understand that for a biochemist, saying sugar can easily mean fruit. It doesn't have to refer to white sugar. Not that he means to add fruit to coffee, but you know what I mean. When Ray speaks of sugar in the diet, I think he usually means fruit. White sugar for emergencies. Fruit's not always available.
💯
 

mamakitty

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Funny you should say that, because 8 too never like sugar in my tes or coffee. I never liked candy, desserts, ice cream, soda or even fruit. I had to get use to sweet things over this past 5 years, but feel better for it now.
I like desserts as long as they aren’t too sweet. Actually I have always added salt to sweet things to lessen the sweetness. But I just don’t like sweet coffee ... yet lol, I think I will get used to it eventually.
 
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I like desserts as long as they aren’t too sweet. Actually I have always added salt to sweet things to lessen the sweetness. But I just don’t like sweet coffee ... yet lol, I think I will get used to it eventually.

Me too! I have been adding flaked salt to my whipped honey and making everybody try it. It tastes like salt water toffee. Sweet and salty together is amazing! I put salt and honey in my orange juice too!
 

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