Jul 29, 2012
If starch causes cortisol excess and can lead to belly fat, then how come all of the participants of the Rice diet and followers of Dr. McDougall are all super thin? 90% of their diet is starch. Of course they eat relatively no fat. So, is starch the culprit, or all the fat that's typically added to it?

I'm struggling with belly fat, having gained probably 15 pounds in the past half a year or so. Really looking to get to the heart of the matter. I'm considering trying an all starch/fruit diet with little to no meat or added fats to see if I begin to lose some weight. I'm getting kind of desperate.


Feb 20, 2013
I do not think 90% calories in original "Rice Diet" by Walter Kempner was starch.
I do not remember the exact details, but there was good amount of table sugar,
fruit, fruit juices and dairy. If i choose to follow the rice diet,I would check
the original Rice diet, not the one explained by Dr McDougall.
Carbohydrate increases active thyroid hormone production whether
it is sugar or starch. RP has mentioned that high carbohydrate
intake is the reason average Americans are able to sustain health up to a certain age.

I think low fat,low PUFA, high carb ( starch+sugar), adequate intake of vitamins and minerals
are the reasons for success of Rice Diet. Low intake of some vitamins can impair
glucose metabolism and PUFA does the same. RP has mentioned B1 deficiency
causing diabetes and can be cured by adequate intake. There are studies that
showed even 5% fructose in a diet can improve blood glucose and liver's glycogen
storage. White rice is one of the safest starch around besides nixtamalized corn.
RP recommends replacing fat with increased sugar/carb intake for weight loss.

Calcium plays a big role in weight loss too. There is one KMUD interview on
weight loss with lots of tips. If someone does not have impaired glucose
metabolism then glucose/safe starch is not a big problem,especially with some fructose.
Dr Walter Kempner used to whipped his patients to keep them in Rice Diet.
If you can eat starch without raising blood glucose, which leads to higher insulin
and cortisol rise then starch is fine. Just being thin is not enough, it is important
how they feel on a high starch diet.Glutinous rice is very low in fermentable starch.
I have lost 14% of my body weight in last 1.5 years peating with tons of table sugar,
fruit juices, milk etc.


Thread starter
Jul 29, 2012
Thanks for the response, Mittir.

On the subject of rice: would you happen to have any plausible explanation for white rice consistently producing insomnia for me? I've been eating Wegman's white rice from the prepared food section and 100% of the time I eat it I get absolutely no sleep that night. I haven't been able to find out exactly why such a simple starch would give me such issues. I assume it's causing some sort of endotoxin problem. FWIW, potatoes seem to be no problem for me and digest quite well for the most part.

Do you think a diet based solely on potatoes, fruit, sugar, and skim milk would help me reduce my weight? I'm sure cutting out all fat would make me very insulin sensitive and able to process all the starch, right?


Feb 20, 2013
I only eat a small amount of rice in lunch and i can not have good night sleep
without fruit juice (Apple Juice) and Sugared milk coffee ( 1 cup milk 2 TBS sugar
2 tsp of ground coffee) . Strach/glucose is not efficient at refiling liver glycogen
storage, which we need to keep stress hormones down through out the night.
Light therapy ( 200-500 watts of regular incandescent or chicken brooding lamp)
can keep cortisol down till one goes to bed.

I do not know what kind of rice Wegman's using. If it is high amylose rice
, these are non-sticky, then it can feed bad bacteria more than low amylose
rose (glutinous rice). Rice has to be well cooked to be digested properly.
I think it could be a combination of both endotoxin and
low liver glyocgen is causing sleep problem for you. RP recommends
carrot salad before sunset, so it can keep the intestine clean before you go
to bed. RP has also mentioned eating carrot with food to lose weight.

Potato is almost a super food. I can not tol rate large amount, but if it does
not cause problem it should be a good source of all kind of nutrients.
Milk should be avoided if you can not digest it fully. Home made farmer's
cheese or strained yogurt are easier to digest. You can use some extra
egg shell powder or Osyter shell power to keep a good ratio of
calcium to phosphorus, preferably more calcium than phosphorus.
1:1 or less is a good ratio. I think avoiding meat is a very good idea.
But protein intake should be at least 80 grams, it is needed for liver to
work properly. In weight loss there is extra burden on liver to detoxify.

I have great success using Apple juice to improve sugar metabolism.
Apple juice can have 60-70 percent fructose and fructose does not
need insulin to be metabolised. Fructose even increases glucose metabolism.
You can avoid fat by adding fructose to control insulin rise.
Also eat most of your protein during day time and some protein
in milk before bed is fine.


Thread starter
Jul 29, 2012
Thanks, Mittir! Two questions:

• In your opinion, what is the best way to reduce body fat: eliminating starch or eliminating fat from the diet?

• Let's say one were to adopt a modified Rice Diet, with potatoes being the main starch/source of calories but adding in skim or 1% milk. Would the additional protein from the dairy somehow prevent one from becoming completely insulin sensitive? Did the Rice Diet work because of the low protein? Or was it only the low fat aspect?


Feb 20, 2013

First point: I think eliminating fat is more helpful in weight loss than eliminating starch
provided you are able to metabolize starch without making lot of lactic acid.
Fat gets in the way of glucose metabolism. Just eliminating fat, which is also lowering
PUFA intake should improve glucose metabolism. Coconut oil is kind of an exception.
RP has mentioned that it is metabolised as quick as sugar. But, RP also think
for weight loss one should be eating 1tsp of coconut oil with each meal.
I eat about 4-5 tbs of coconut oil daily. It also depends on how much PUFA
you have in storage. If there is a lot of PUFA then adding some oil with each
meal is helpful. Coconut oil blocks the PUFA entrance into cell. PUFA is the main
inhibitor of glucose metabolism.

Second Point: The main benefit from low protein diet comes from lower ingestion
of tryptophan and other thyroid inhibiting amino acids like cysteine and methionine.
If you can replace a large part of your protein intake with gelatine or bone broth
you will get the similar benefit of following low protein diet. Casein in cheese have
a good ratio of amino acids that prevent sharp rise in serotonin. Tryptophan conversion
to serotonin is the major problem. Calcium in milk helps the excess tryptophan in
milk to divert in niacin path than in serotonin path. You can make gummy candy
with gelatine and fruit juice. If you can not tolerate regular gelatine you can try
Great Lake's hydrolyzed gelatine, this is easier to digest. Gelatin can feed bad
bacteria if it is not digested fully. It is all about ratio of amino acids in protein.
I vaguely remember reading a study that showed gelatin increasing weight loss.
You can search with key word " Gelatine + Weight loss" or " Glycine+ Weight loss".

I believe the success of rice diet is due to low fat intake and balanced nutrients.
You can also try bag breathing 1-2 minutes few times a day to increase over all health
and metabolism. I think low protein can be better than eating wrong protein.
Muscle meat of all kind ( beef, chicken, fish etc) is a good example of wrong protein.
I think they probably had more protein than people think. 250 grams of rice has about
20 grams of protein. There is dairy and some animal products. Those should add at least
another 15 grams. When you drink skim milk make sure the additive in vitamins does not
cause any gut irritation.Gut irritation is one of the main cause of lowered metabolism.
Gut irritation increases serotonin just like wrong protein does . Low protein diet can be beneficial in short term, but in long term it causes more problem by weakening liver.

You can use to calculate all the nutrients you can get from new diet and
post it here. Are you taking any supplements or planning on taking any?


Jan 14, 2020
Thanks, Mittir! Two questions:

• In your opinion, what is the best way to reduce body fat: eliminating starch or eliminating fat from the diet?

• Let's say one were to adopt a modified Rice Diet, with potatoes being the main starch/source of calories but adding in skim or 1% milk. Would the additional protein from the dairy somehow prevent one from becoming completely insulin sensitive? Did the Rice Diet work because of the low protein? Or was it only the low fat aspect?
Hi mmartian, I know it's a long post, but I wondered if you were successful with weightloss after trying the approach you mentioned?
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