calorimeterLet me start with a request: I need your help getting our new paper open source fee funded. Here’s how this publishing process works: there are legitimate journals and trash journals.  Some have higher reach than others (impact factor). If someone wants to be “published,” they can find a journal to put their work in print. Ideally, the peer-review process proceeds something like this: one submits to a journal, the editorial staff accepts or rejects the manuscript for the review process. If selected, it moves, blinded, to a panel of reviewers that are experts in the field (meaning they are anonymous to the author). The comments and criticisms are returned or the paper is rejected outright. If the former, after corrections are made, the journal moves forward with publication. The process allows great ideas to be vetted, but there are times when valid papers aren’t moved forward due to politics, even  in respected journals. It happens and some editors can introduce bias, but on a whole I would say that this is the exception, and not the rule. Unfortunately, there are people gaming the system with misleading titles, abstracts, and conclusions and this leads to confusion and obfuscation for those that don’t have their pulse on a particular field.

Once all of those hurdles are cleared, the article publishes, and hopefully it informs and influences other researchers in the field to dig further. New ideas come, spread, and sometimes are replaced when new evidence presents. Journal articles can fall into a number of categories, but loosely speaking, some are reviews of a particular subject, while others present new evidence (data) that lead to reshape how we think about the world. In the latter category, some “new data” are simply reanalyzing old data aggregated from many studies. Sometimes the data are first time observations. Often, people are confused by science “always changing” and in fact, that is what differentiates science from dogma.

One scientist you’ll learn about in depth in Our Broken Plate is Justus von Liebig, arguably the father of organic chemistry and the scientist behind the chemistry laboratory practicum for students of science. He wrote,

A theoretical view in natural science is never absolutely true, it is only true for the period which it prevails; it is the nearest and most exact expression of the knowledge and the observations of that period.

~ Justus von Liebig

Ideally, one of the most important elements of science is repeatability. When new data are presented, other scientists should duplicate. One problem we face today is that “discovery” (first observation) gets more prestige than “confirmation” (repeatability).  This also has a related impact on science education in that it’s impossible to review a field that has been growing. For over a century, the same four years of standard university (or eight, total, adding graduate education) is still the path to degrees and hasn’t significantly expanded in length from how people were educated a century ago, when there was arguably a lot less to know. One potential problem with a time-limited approach is that many things need to be summarized and condensed to fit within the curriculum. There’s simply not time to go back and read hundreds of books. In fact, often a modern day graduate textbook has 2-3 sentences that attempt to cover decades of discovery.

What may unintentionally occur is a massive game of “telephone” (Chinese whispers) during which the message gets distilled and distorted to the point of becoming almost meaningless. Compounding this problem are the various bloggers, media, and other self-anointed experts that have a lot of understanding about some of the latest discoveries and studies, but don’t have the breadth or depth of knowledge to cover the animal models, plausible mechanisms, metabolic ward studies, or older observation studies. Without the context, it’s very easy to create an echo chamber and perpetuate misinformation. My last blog on “starvation mode” is an example. Of course our bodies, replete with adipose, doesn’t source energy from muscle, organs, or brain. It uses our fat storage organ. Why isn’t this as obvious in the light of the many hibernating animals that survive weeks or months with little or no food?

With these massive swings in how we organize and discuss certain subjects, I think we’ve reached a crescendo for protein, carbohydrates, fat, and metabolism. I was confused, frustrated, and confident all at the same time. That’s something many of you can probably relate to as these contradictions are repeated so often. Our Metabolic Winter Hypothesis and the new paper are both review articles.  They were invited reviews (thanks to my esteemed collaborators) and the result of looking back over two centuries to retrace the path of how we arrived at this current “whisper.”

Journals are in a bit of a financial conundrum right now as they built a business model on selling subscriptions with most academic institutions providing access to all their professors, researchers, and students, and the rest of us get a paywall. It can be $20-40 for a single article, which is completely ridiculous. On the other hand, that’s laid the groundwork for open access journals to thrive. The authors essentially fund their own articles and we all get access to them for free; there’s no paywall. In the best of all worlds, this is how ALL journals should operate. If there is anything that internet has solidified, it’s the value of disruptive innovators and that would be enhanced in an open access scientific forum. The obvious problem is that this can be taken to the extreme when articles become “pay to play” and articles aren’t vetted properly. We need watchdogs like Jeffrey Beall, who weed out the predatory hacks from the legitimate journals.

Help Me Get The Word Out

There are a growing number of the traditional subscription journals that are offering authors the opportunity to pay an open access fee after the review process is complete and the article is accepted. The journal we used for our first paper and this new review article is one of those publishers. I want this paper to be free, like our previous one, and need your help with the $3,200 open access fee.  I funded all the work and did the heavy lifting on the research side and I’d like your help to get the message out. Our last paper broke all download records for the journal and the publisher. This one is MUCH better! It’s twice as long, there are six figures/tables, but only one more reference (104 vs. 103).  It takes the Food Triangle into healthspan and longevity and it turns diet and exercise upside down. It delves into a new way of looking at metabolism that is consistent with all diets – there’s no sugar/oil prejudice. I’m likely going to piss off both sides of the debate.

The press proofs were finalized on Friday, November 11th, and I am excited for this to hit the street, but don’t have a publish date yet.  It’s the culmination of nearly six years of questioning what I knew to be unquestionable. Because one of my collaborators is a program director at NIH, we also circulated the draft to some of the top minds in metabolic research and they, too, thought it was a very disruptive twist that appears to explain many contradictions in diet and exercise. Please take a moment and donate here:

Open Access Donation


Thank you for your continued support and thanks to everyone that’s supported with subscription donations and my kickstarter project. It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to work on this project. Even after Our Broken Plate ships, there is much more to information for us to weed through and we are already working on our next paper that will center on disrupting diabetes. As well, there is a possibility that research funds will become available so that new clinical trials might be put in place to sift, sort, and screen the many contradictions. Perhaps we might establish a new language surrounding metabolism and food that avoids them altogether.



Ray Cronise Self ExperimentsI want to take some time to recount a little about how we got to this point as so many new readers have signed up in the last couple of years and may not have read all of the material. As well, perhaps this will help gain a little input on where we need to go.

First, but it may come as no surprise, I’m not a professional blogger. I’m an amateur. Writing one or two blogs a year for the last couple of  years isn’t going to earn me enough “clicks” to matter. I don’t really sell anything here, so for those new to this site, let me give a quick recount of why it’s here and what it’s all about. In 2008, I had been struggling with my weight for nearly two decades. I didn’t know it then, but type 2 diabetes, and potentially cardiovascular disease, was knocking on life’s door.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I decided to put everything – all my focus – into correcting the situation. It was a full-time commitment, a no work, no play, no distractions lifestyle intervention. Death isn’t a problem easy to recover from and I didn’t want to die. I saw it all around me, eventually even seeing it with close family members. I didn’t know it at that time, but I was literally eating myself to an early death.

As part of my life reboot, a chance October 2008 report on Michael Phelps’ domination at that year’s Olympics completely stopped me in my tracks. How could he possibly eat in day approximately what I was eating in a week and be ripped and fit? It doesn’t matter if the number was 12,000, 8,000, or 6,000 Cal, it was a big number and I was eating well under 2000 Cal/day, working out 6 days a week (Body for Life – upper/HIIT cardio/lower/repeat), and a strict 6-meal a day schedule (one palm-sized serving “protein” and one fist-sized “carb” four times a day, plus two times, add a serving of vegetables). My friend, Joe Polish, had even been the guy behind Bill Phillips before-and-after contest. Bill had interviewed me on stage in 2007 about the partial success I made. Anywhere you read that I was “just taking ice-baths,” stop immediately, and discount that source. I was working hard with diet and exercise to make a difference and my success was always very short lived.

Fast forward to 2009…I had finally reached my goal of ~180 lbs (started at 240 and started documenting at 230 – see 4 Hour Body for details). I ran into Tim Ferriss (he had been at the 2007 event with Joe Polish) at the opening session of Singularity and summer International Space University, both hosted at NASA/Ames in California. He was shocked by my progress and asked me if I’d be willing to be part of his book as he too had done a lot of exploratory work on cold and wanted to tell my story in an upcoming book. I said, “sure,”  at that time I had no intention on being involved in weight loss beyond my own struggles. My business partner in Zero-G Corporation, Peter Diamandis, marched me all over Mountain View, CA and had me repeat my crazy cold stress story. Ultimately, the TEDMED2010 talk happend, 4HB shipped, and the rest is history.

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. Tim strongly urged me to have something on the web when his book hit the press to “gather the contact info of people interested – just in case – and hence, this blog is here. At the time, I didn’t care that much about (nor did I have any intention to work in) diet, health, or weight loss. How I went from weightless to weight loss still shocks me. I didn’t do this as “that guy” that works day and night just to be internet famous. The early community (both on comments and direct email) was  really a lot of fun. Back then, people said crazy stuff in the media, like cold slows down the metabolism. Dr. Stacey Ingraham is mistaken, but there are many that teach and think like her at that time. I’m sure there are those out there. Again, if you’re new, this isn’t the freeze-your-ass-off diet, the ice diet, or the eat anything and lose weight with “brown fat” diet. That’s all nonsense. There were people that challenged my views of metabolism. Some were absolutely right and I was absolutely wrong. I had much more time to blog and we had some great discussions that are captured here in comments.  If you read from the beginning, you’ll see how my ideas transform.

At some point, there’s it’s senseless to study metabolic output if one doesn’t understand input. So that naturally lead to my exploration to the Calorie and diet. The Calorie is often maligned. misused, and misunderstood, but I can say categorically that the dietary Calorie IS NOT the problem. It’s an accounting issue.  I am just shocked at how pervasive this Chinese whisper is that we don’t know how fat is accumulated on our bodies or what happens to metabolism in “starvation” has become. It’s awful and there are huge gaps in even top academicians. Many have allowed the mechanistic milieu and socially normal eating to cloud judgment. In my review of papers for both the book and this article, I can point to paragraph after paragraph of distilled and distorted information in textbooks, journal articles, and, of course, blogs, magazines, and newspapers that can easily be demonstrated as false.

It’s not Magic or Rocket Science…

Ray Cronise, Penn JilletteIt’s Food. Nobody understands it all. We all have bias and so many of us post and repeat things that we’ve accepted and not verified. Yes, I once said the same thing, and told the same stories about protein, carbohydrates, fat, and metabolism. If one builds a mid-life crisis metabolic lab next to their kitchen, spends nearly 70 days with no food, and reads 50-60 19th century reports, it gets real pretty quick. I’ve had dietitians, physicians, surgeons, researchers, women, men, and celebrities as clients and there haven’t been any exceptions. I didn’t intend on becoming a diet guru, but it did allow me to continue this investigation. Why am I so confident? It’s because their results don’t differ substantially from metabolic experiments in the 1950s, early 20th, late 19th, or even late 18th centuries.

How could the Calorie be so wrong? These historic results match my modern day results and weight loss to me appears to be consistent across the board? It seems that if there were a big error, someone would have caught it by now. How can there be this much confusion over a century later? I believe it’s a result of widespread misinterpreted summary to the point absurdity. My unique vantage point may have been accidentally stumbling into the quagmire from the perspective of mild cold stress combined with dietary (calorie) restriction. The vast majority of research studies on weight loss are focused on the noise –  losing trivial amounts of weight over extended time periods – and they miss the metabolic adaptations that we all carry to use our storage organ, fat, as fuel in times of real scarcity. We cut through that noise with this paper and it should come as no surprise that the contradictions can be explained, but most importantly, that your questions (and challenging my partially correct stories) were all part of solving this puzzle. We need to discuss food in a different context and that’s as true for macronutrients as it is for social and ideological perspectives. There is a huge bias looming over academia, medicine, and the fitness industry concerning when, how, why and what we eat.

Penn’s NYT Bestselling book, Presto, is doing great and, of course, there are the expected many that seem to think he’s done something unhealthy, when clearly his physicians and his results disprove that opinion.  There were an estimated 196,000 bariatric surgeries in the U.S. in 2015 at the cost of ~$5B. The net-net of these procedures is that people rapidly lose weight by having their intestinal tract surgically rearranged to interfere with swallowing. That seems radical and crazy to me, whereas teaching people not to swallow, or at least to swallow something different to achieve the same weight loss rate, seems far more sane. Somehow it’s hard to imagine people dying from too many salads or sweet potatoes. Surgery doesn’t deal with the root cause of obesity: our broken social relationship with food.

Nonetheless, I am proud him and of the many other people that have stepped up to the plate…and actually made a move! These are real lifestyle transformations, not crazy hacks. As of November 12th, 2016, 425 people have lost 20,444 lbs. I have nearly 150 to add to that number, perhaps some of them have reported in as well. If you HAVEN’T reported to Nichelle, please email your information to her so we can include it in next week’s tally. As you might imagine, I have been a bit deluged by requests and so many have reached out for my help. I’d like to gauge interest in how many of you might want help in a serious lifestyle transformation. My policy up to this point is that no one can sign up with me unless they know someone who has succeeded. On a few occasions, I have made exceptions…but I regret it every time. I am considering something different and have assembled an amazing team to potentially offer this to a wider audience. It will still be extremely limited as I’d prefer people to finish and not just start. I’d rather backload success than frontload failure like we’ve come to expect from other weight loss programs.

Instead, our program is centered on transforming how you think, talk, and socially react to food. Here’s your best chance to let me know and to potentially slide around my knowing someone barrier. Once we get this launched, future clients will all come from existing successful ones, but I created this mailing list form with basic information needed to gauge interest. Please be sure to confirm your subscription via the email sent to you.

I’m not going to share this list, nor will I be using it outside of this one request. I don’t know how long this list will stay open or even if we’ll will move forward with the project, but at least it will give everyone an opportunity to toss your name in the hat. If we launch this, we’ll be creating a fun, inspiring community centered on a new paradigm of food and social eating.

Our Broken Plate

Our Broken Plate, Ray CroniseI’m behind, but the road ahead is a clear path. It’s a HUGE hurdle behind me to have this paper published. I have two more chapters to write in the book, but there is no doubt this was a much larger task than I had anticipated, especially alone.

FundAnything seems to have bit the dust. If you backed that platform, I have the email address used there and will find a way to contact everyone when the book is ready to ship. Don’t panic. I apologize for underestimating just how much time this would take, but progress is good and it WILL be finished. I will be updating kickstarter backers as well. As soon as I get the main writing behind me and the cleanup begins, I may launch a dedicated blog for Our Broken Plate and move this discussion over there.

Thank you again for your support, encouragement, ideas, and patience!  It’s been a long journey, but I’m not too far away from the finish line. If you want to subscribe and donate monthly and pass on one starbucks every 30 days, then consider this my tip jar and it will be put to good academic use for books, lab supplies, and research.

Hypothermics Donation

As always, I am grateful to all of the regular donors, emails, FaceBook Friends, and  commenters for allowing me to pursue this passionately for the last six years. It has been such an unexpected adventure and there’s much more work to finish.



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35 Responses to New Paper Submitted, Accepted, and Corrected!

  1. wayne fearn says:

    Will do what I can and thank you for the update Ray.

  2. guerin Green says:

    Since Ray neglected to mention his excellent podcast with Rhonda Patrick… here’s the link:

  3. Virginia Crawford says:

    So excited to hear the update! Thank you for thoroughly explaining the process of this extremely important work. There are so many people needlessly suffering – physically, psychologically, socially. Our Broken Plate is the beginning of the end of that suffering. When you’re ready – let’s get some ideation going on fun ways to promote the book! Until then: just. keep. writing. -vc

  4. Craig Kielinski says:

    We all agree that most diet advice is bad- you summed that up- everyone agrees- no need for a blog to remind us that and name-drop famous people and ask for money. This site is word vomit and I’m pissed at Richard Hatch for tweeting a link to it. And I have more comments, but go to my site and donate money and a few years down the line I’ll let you know what I REALLY think! I “promise”.

    • Craig, he’s raising funds to open source a peer reviewed paper with two well respected scientists, one a department head at Harvard and the other a program director at NIH (google their names).

      Ray never spams, shares his science freely both on this blog and through peer reviewed journals, and befriends “celebrities,” because of his whit and helpful critical approach to a problem millions face.

      The “word vomit” you speak of here includes scientific analysis and experimental evidence that shatters many deeply held myths that contribute to the struggle and misery millions face with our national epidemic of obesity and horribly misleading weight loss media hype.

      Penn and Ray have been friends for decades, and the evidence of Ray’s findings in Penn’s 100+ pound transformation isn’t celebrity name dropping. It’s a well known success story and a good reason to open source the science.

      Intelligent friends of Ray want to see this material available for anyone. You could benefit from poking around, perhaps reading Metabolic Winter Hypothesis which is already open sourced, or go crawl back into your angry ignorant hole. Enlightenment is worth the effort however. I endorse the former.

      • wayne fearn says:

        Jason I have sat on my hand since the post from Craig.

        Thank you and I agree 100%.

      • Virginia Crawford says:

        I totally applaud this response except for the last 3 lines. Enlightenment isn’t just embracing the truth but also respecting all those who search for it – at whatever level they’re at. Noone deserves to be called “ignorant”. Maybe he had a bad day & went through signing-up etc. in order to view the site – & by the time he hit the lengthy content – he was already beyond irritated. I’ve had frustrations like that.
        Anyway, as we work on fixing our broken plates, maybe we could work on other broken stuff – like how we treat each other. Which is – let’s admit it – why so many turn to overeating in the first place.
        “Broken bottles, broken plates
        Broken switches, broken gates
        Broken dishes, broken parts
        Streets are filled with broken hearts
        Broken words never meant to be spoken
        Everything is broken!” – Bob Dylan, Everything is Broken

      • admin says:


        I understand the spirit of your comment. I too wish people would speak with respect. I’m perfectly okay with what Jason said in this case. Unfortunately too many people have eviscerated the English language by conflating words. In this case, ignorant and incompetent are often read as synonymous with “stupid.”

        Craig’s post was extremely ignorant as he completely mischaracterized my blog, reacted with no reflection on the volume of work presented, and even, ignorantly, commented on my intentions (“name dropping”) about mentioning a book that is largely about a journey Penn and I made together (in fairness to Craig, he probably hasn’t read that either, but that’s only a guess – I admit I don’t know why he would say this). Penn does “name drop” me a LOT in his book. I’m the first person he acknowledges and the last. I think he mentions me well over 250 times. See how silly that sounds? Completely irrelavent to the post.

        So If one uses ignorant (or incompetent) synonymously with stupid, then I understand your concern and I bet Jason would agree. I suggest that what Jason was trying to do (my guess of course) was to use the more accurate or informal definition:

        lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.
        they were ignorant of astronomy
        synonyms: without knowledge of, unaware of, unconscious of, oblivious to, incognizant of, unfamiliar with, unacquainted with, uninformed about, ill-informed about, unenlightened about, unconversant with, inexperienced in/with, naive about, green about;

        discourteous or rude.

        Many of these synonyms properly characterize his comment. Clearly Jason wanted to reflect back a little of the frustration, or dare I say, “word vomit,” that a commenter, ill-informed about this blog, would show on first visit. Showing up at a stranger’s house and puking in the living room isn’t the best start to a new relationship.

        I didn’t even need to publish craig’s post, but I did, because I don’t really mind these sort of trolling attacks. They used to bother me, but now comments like that are simply evidence of a person that has little to say. I suspect that there are way more people that would disagree with him. For the record (it’s also explained elsewhere), I’ve traditionally made people sign on to avoid drive by trolls, but in the last few years I’ve posted so infrequently that I just let these last few posts stay open. My goal wasn’t to build a list; it was to permanently change 10,000 lives.

        Let’s all drop this, ignore Craig’s original comment as some emotional bad day and if he would ever like to ask questions or learn from me, I welcome him here. If he continues to exhibit rude and discourteous communication, I will just delete and we can all move on…

        Thanks. I do understand the spirit of your comment, but I don’t think we should reflect someone elses bad behaviour onto someone I know and that has been following this blog since it first published.


    • Adam Kirschbaum says:

      Clearly spoken as someone who hasn’t read and digested the entirety of the blogs available here. As an individual who read every post from the beginning and walked away completely enlightened by the research into both diet and cold-stress I highly recommend you start from Ray’s first post and then re-read this one.

      I started a plant-based diet in August of 2013 at 290 lbs. Today I am 150 lbs. and have maintained that weight for 2 years. It took me only 12 months to lose the weight. Once you understand that losing fat is primarily a function of what and how much food you eat and forget about all the distractions of metabolism, exercise, etc. things get easier.

      The posts available here (for free) show resting metabolic rates, respiratory quotients, everything you need to understand the science behind weight loss. The practical application is simple, eat nutrient dense, calorically poor food in the smallest window possible daily when you have significant amounts of fat to lose! That’s it! It works and is repeatable!

    • frank mancuso says:

      It’s much better to follow bro-science? Ray is the first one(to my knowledge) that is unbiased and science based. Finally!

  5. Tripp Sterling says:

    Thanks Ray. I am indebted to you, Penn, Joel and the rest for how I feel today, which is great. Looking forward to the book.

  6. Glenn Hutchinson says:

    Hi Ray,

    Glad to see things are still going and I cannot wait to read the book. I assume its not going to be out by Christmas?

    I employed most of your protocol last winter and dropped 50lbs over 12 weeks. I brought my BMI down to 26 or so. I initially put on about 10 lbs but have maintained this weight for 7 months. I eat a Fuhrman/McDougal style diet.

    Since last winter I have read Penn’s book and re-read a bunch of your blog and plan to incorporate contrast showers. How important is it to get two a day?

    I recently found a commercial place that does DEXA scans and I am 200 lbs with 50lbs of body fat. My goal is to loose 25 pounds of fat this winter.

    Any tips for this last 25 lbs? I plan to try to loose 40 lbs on the scale and hope I get 25 lbs of fat. I will be doing more DEXA scans as I go.

    After rereading some of your old blogs I am kind of interested in kicking off the diet with all potatoes. Is there any advantage to that compared to lots of greens and veggies and small amounts of starch?

    Thanks for all of you work!

    PS I am one of the folks who donated via FundAnything. Did they go bankrupt?

    • Glenn Hutchinson says:

      I am 9 weeks into my second year of winter weight loss. I am getting DXA scans ever 3 weeks. I have lost ~28 lbs of fat. I initially lost 10 lbs of lean mass, but lean mass has been unchanged for the last 6 weeks. I am 6’1” and down to 24lbs of total fat mass and 144lbs of lean and bones mass. How low is too low? I was planning on doing this for 13 weeks but I am thinking I not going any more than 3 more weeks.

      I eat a fixed diet of greens, onions, mushrooms, peppers and 300 grams of starch. I love it and eat my food in a 4 – 5 hour window every evening. I have low energy but feel like I could eat this way for ever (although I am looking forward to adding more whole food to my diet)

      I also do contrast showers once per day. I live in Southern California and my cold tolerance has really decreased over the last 6 weeks.

      Any thoughts Ray on a safe low number for total body fat?

  7. Howard Gutowitz says:


    I’ve spent many hours reading your blog, listening to you on pennsundayschool and elsewhere, read Penn’s book, etc. But I’m still not clear on your view of the benefit or detriment of going on a long leisurely walk, or more generally trying to get to 10k (or 20k) steps per day. The best I’ve seen is that you feel that it won’t necessarily harm fat burning (unlike what I would call hard-core exercise, but which you generally just call “exercise” and which, I get it, is bad). But isn’t it actually good from a weight-loss POV to take a nice long walk, at least well outside of the fed window? I mean, trying to put together various remarks you’ve made: it seems like it may be useless to go for a walk while in the fed window, or up to 6 hours afterwards, but wouldn’t it help burn fat say in the 4 hours before the fed window? (I’m assuming 5 hour fed window, so these mentioned periods do not overlap).

    In short, it would help me, at least, to comment directly on the low-intensity steps per day issue. Is it another myth in your view? Or correct when modified in some way? Is the modification different in the weight-loss vs. weight-maintenance phase when doing the strict cray-ray approach? I bet a lot of fitbit-wearing people have roughly the same questions, but I’ve read maybe a thousand comments on your site and haven’t seen it yet.


  8. Howard Gutowitz says:

    Since I submitted the above comment, I found another way to ask the question, based on a comment where you almost get to it. You said “The fat burning zone means this: you’re burning more fat than than you would have been if you were burning 100% CHO. There is a sweet spot where the calories X percent FAT, delivers a slight increase/per hour IF you maintain it.” So my question is, where is that sweet spot, and what RQ do you expect at this point? In your paper you contrast sitting and running, but the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle, right? You then go on to say (wildly paraphrasing now) that the point is that you could do cold stress for more hours/day than you could stay at the sweet spot, where ever it is, with overall greater effect, so why bother?
    Personally, I’d rather take a 3-hour stroll (say on flat ground so no stress) than sit in 60-degree air for 20 hours, but that’s me. But either way, it’s a legitimate scientific question and I wonder if you’ve looked at it, at least anecdotally?

    Note, as before, I’m assuming doing the stroll _in addition to_ 5-hour fed window, eating basically Furman in the fed window.

  9. Howard Gutowitz says:


    Feel free to delete this and my above comments if you do ever see them. I think I’ve found a satisfactory answer for at least part of it. This figure in a Nature paper:
    indicates that RQ varies rather little over sitting, standing, and walking 4.5 km/hr. This suggests that to stroll is indeed better than to sit as far as fat burning. I’m still curious whether you would get better effect from doing this at or near the end of the daily fast period rather than during the fed window or the few hours after. Of course you can’t out walk your mouth, but, if you’re already keeping intake limited by means of a short fed window, maybe there is an available advantage. I guess time to try an N of 1 experiment.

    BTW, I do understand why you want to say “forget exercise!” You’re trying to disrupt a ton of misguided thinking out there. And maybe talking about the issue I’m raising would dull that impact. But for those who have accepted the message and are ready to go further, finding the sweet spot could be of value. Ideally, after you’ve fixed the length of the fed window, and the diet in the fed window, there is some chart parametric in activity level, cold level, time as independent variables, with daily fat burn as dependent variable.

    • admin says:

      Thank you!

      Not “forget” but delay. This is critical in stopping the upward spiral of move to expend calories (mostly wrong reserves) followed by eat more to support recovery. Likewise the time in the postprandial state shifts metabolic priority onto dealing with disposal of that which can’t be readily stored.

      What you see in above is that in the rested state one can see drops in RQ and a rise with activity. The m rested state is essentially a “basal” number (upon waking, dark room, fasted/no activity ~12 hours prior). Sitting, standing and walking follow. Now here’s where it gets complicated. Let’s say one walks 2 miles and manages to keep their RQ down in the .80-.85 range (IOW, not explosive enough to send it to 1.0). If we use the 100 kcal/mile rule of thumb and burn 200 kcal, only 133 kcal (66.6% ~ .80) is fat over that 2 miles (4.5 km/h ~2.8 mph). Now if you go back to the example in muscling your metabolism – some of that energy would have been utilized anyway, but let’s take credit for all of it.

      It amounts to a little more than a tablespoon of “healthy fat” in a salad dressing. And since this activity is over 24 hours, that 133 kcal spread over 24 hours could be overcome by as little as 6kcal/hour extra input. This is rounding error in meals. That’s the insidious point. Dietary accumulations mount so quickly.

      I’m not saying don’t go for walks, but rather trying to point out against great opinion and opposition that “wiggling” doesn’t have nearly the impact of “not swallowing” and clearly no one can not swallow any less than I did with a 24 day fast.

      Easy to accumulate. Much more difficult to take off. Wiggling isn’t as effective as controlling swallowing and yet it feels like we’ve accomplished so much after a session of cardio at the gym. I say delay that for 90 days and go on a naturally high fat diet of thighs, ass, belly, and chins. You don’t need to eat the energy storage organ of another animal or plant to use your own. We just need to consider the option of a break from excessive wiggling-induced swallowing.

      Thank you!


      • Howard Gutowitz says:

        Yes, total sense. Delay exercise for the same reason as two weeks of potatoes: to take the red pill. I’m about two months into it and it’s certainly working for me. Still discovering new sensations, like opening the fridge today and powerfully and simultaneously sensing the individual characteristics of each of the cut up vegetables in their clear plastic containers waiting patiently for 4pm.

      • admin says:

        Great! Sorry for the delay responding. Somehow I missed these, but saw them with the other comment today!

        Keep us posted!


  10. Michael Swenson says:

    Any way to back Our Broken Plate this late in the game? I read Penn’s book a few months back and have been trying to find ways to support the project since then.

  11. Igor Bukanov says:

    Hi Ray,

    Your posts often mentioned that safe/optimal temperature for cold exposure is 0/15C. But I could not find any mentioning of air humidity. Should those numbers be raisen for climates when humidity is high like along the coasts in Northern Europe?

    • admin says:

      Yes. That’s a lower level too, so I wouldn’t say “safe.” Hypothermia is possible at temperatures far above that and walking hypothermia is a real concern. 40°F (~5°C) is enough and even at 60°F air if one is wet, can be a challenge.

      While you’re not suggesting it here, generally people get confused in the difference between letting their core cool down (think internal heat generation can’t keep up) and being in a cool (not cold) environment such that the body needs to work harder to stay at optimal core temperature. The explosion of extreme cold experience over the last few years (i.e. What can the body take) isn’t what I’ve advocated over the last 6 years – how do we experience a little more “metabolic winter.”

      So the final advice is err on the high side. I live at 55-65°F (13-18°C) during the winter months and do the exercise equivalent of “taking the stairs” by carrying my coat during short exposures to/from car, out to the mailbox, or step outside on a call for a few minutes.

      Small changes that adapt one to a 5-10F drop in what “feels comfortable” most of the day is likely more effective (and safer) than being able to wear the badge of cold tolerance. The same is true for eating. Yes, I’ll write in my book about 24 days of no food (wish I had the schedule so I could have gone 30), but anyone can do it if they need too. The real question I was attempting to unlock was does the body suffer in ways that the wide media/blogs suggest? Certainly experiencing that makes the idea of being without food for 2-3 days and “emergency,” laughable for me.

      Likewise, the idea that someone is miserable at 65°F is something that they can change over time.

      Hope this makes sense!

      Thank you!


      • Igor Bukanov says:

        Regarding your fast. Did you observe lower overall energy use by the body during it?

        Around 1980 in Soviet Russia there were few medical experiments about survival without food. In Siberian forest people were able to walk like 250 miles within 15 days drinking only water that they could find without any bad short- or long-term effects.

        What they also observed was that it was essential not to eat anything at all, like no beries or mushrooms. Eating those made people miserable and very weak and required to stop their participation. A proposed hypothesis was that eating anything required the body to start digestive processes. Presumably those are energy expensive causing to spend more energy that the body was getting. But that was not based on any measurements.

      • admin says:

        Yes. There is a lot of work on this going back nearly a century. Daily calorimetry demonstrated that my metabolism didn’t deviate from the Harris-Benedict predictions and in fact simply scaled with mass.

        I felt fine the entire time. The interview I did for Rhonda Patrick was on day 23 – I will say that there was a little slowing in thought, although not enough to matter that much.

        I’ll get into much more on this in Our Broken Plate and blog more on it in the future.



  12. TeraTW says:

    I’ve been following your work for years but have not been able to manage to make lasting change on my own, and I KNOW that it is the social hurdle that is keeping me from following through for longer than a couple weeks or a month at a time. Having 2 young kids complicates it even more. I signed up for the mailing list but I am so eager to join your program. Please consider it! I’m so on board but I need the protocol laid out, need the coaching aspect. Thanks for your consideration.

  13. steve says:

    Hi Ray,
    I appreciate the work you are doing. You replied to a post i made last year.
    i’m 36 now at 250lbs with pre-hypertension. my doctor has recommended blood pressure medication but i want to give it one last try to take off this 50lb weight vest ive been carrying around before i go on meds. My beautiful wife just gave birth to our first son and i’d like to be around to spend quality time with them. Is it possible to be a part of trials you are doing locally here in the bay area?
    the person i know who has succeeded through your program is Penn! I was turned on to you after reading his book.
    thanks again,

  14. Thomas Brett says:

    Any update whatsoever on the article or your book?

  15. Isabelle Levenbach says:

    I m really new here and appreciate all this amazing nformation. Thk u Ray. Is the book ready. Can u ship to Israel? Bless u

  16. Igor Bukanov says:

    Hello, Ray!

    There is a recent study that may explain why to reduce weight one needs to avoid salt,

    It seems that to combat excessive salt intake body needs to spend energy that makes person hungry and eat more than necessary just to simply offset the extra energy needs.

  17. Mark Jensen says:

    Ray, I am a newcomer to this, though I recommended it to my 27 year old in March. He has gone on to lose 50 pounds thus far. My wife and I have done the first week, and I have lost 15 pounds, my wife Kathleen has lost ten. I have been acquainted with Mr. Gillette as we’ve spoken at various magic conventions in Las Vegas. I am a disabled veteran, and have been unable to be very active due to spinal issues. I have received a spinal cord stimulator, and my continued weight loss can only help me to lessen my pain and get off of blood pressure medication. I am so thankful to Penn Gillette for having brought this to my attention. I’m not sure I would have found out about you without his book. Thank you sir, for bringing me hope when I’d given up on hope. I am sixty years old now, and began my surgeries and downward health course when I was in my early 40’s. I am hopeful and I’ll keep you informed of my progress. My doctor told me that she thought that a weight of 230 would be low enough to get off the B.P. medication, but my own goal is much lower than that.

    Mark Jensen
    USCG retired

  18. Ion Freeman says:

    Did you collect the $3200? Did you publish the paper? I see you’ve updated your Kickstarter backers twice since this post at but I wasn’t a backer. Is there anything for the mere blog followers?

  19. Lee Damsky says:

    Hi Ray,
    I was fascinated to discover your approach listening to your interviews with Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Rich Roll. I am glad to support you. I have already shifted my body composition and blood markers with a whole food plant based nutritarian diet.
    My concern about trying cold stress is based on the genetic data I recently obtained with Rhonda Patrick’s comprehensive genetic report (using my 23&Me data). It showed I have a SNP in the FTO gene, specifically rs1421085(C;C). According to Dr. Patrick’s report: “This genotype is associated with a 1.7-fold increased obesity risk due to a shift from energy- burning adipocytes (brown adipose tissue) to energy-storing adipocytes (white adipose tissue). This results in adipocytes storing more lipids and more body-weight gain. In addition, this genotype reduces thermogenesis (the burning of fat to produce heat) in response to cold exposure and this genotype and may result in less fat burning in adipose tissue during cold exposure.”
    Do you know anything about how your techniques affect people with this genotype? My experience of winter has been that I seem to suffer more than others in the cold and don’t cold adapt as easily. Basically I am always cold and can’t warm up. I could tolerate some of that in the name of greater fat burning but it seems like I may also get less benefit.
    I would be grateful for any insight you have into this genetic variation which apparently affects 20% of Europeans. Are we better off putting our effort and energy into other practices with higher payoff?
    Thanks and best wishes,

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