Big headlines: “You can’t outrun a bad diet”

Overweight woman jogging in a park / forrest

You can’t outrun a bad diet. The obsession with counting calories and exercise is mainly a way for the junk food industry to move the spotlight from their problematic role in the obesity epidemic.

This is the message in lots of media today, after a great editorial from Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Professor Tim Noakes and Professor Steven Phinney:

BBC: Exercise ‘not key to obesity fight’

Skynews: Experts say you can’t outrun a bad diet

BJoSM Editorial: It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet



Of course this mirrors the message in the video interview I did recently with Dr. Malhotra, the first author:

Let’s Stop Lying About Physical Activity and Obesity


  1. Vicente
    Dr Malhotra said: "An obese person does not need to do one iota of exercise to lose weight, they just need to eat less.

    "Eat less?". I can't agree with that. "An obese person does not need to do one iota of exercise to lose weight, they just need to eat better". May be even the same amount, if carbs are restricted.

    But may be Dr. Malhotra can show me the scientific evidence proving that "eating less" leads to a significative long-term weight loss.

    Replies: #2, #14
  2. erdoke
    I guess he meant that better eating inadvertently results in eating less (calories). RCTs employing ad libitum LC eating usually show this effect, so the science is there.
    Reply: #3
  3. Vicente
    Hi erdoke,
    I agree: LC diet usually makes hunger disappear and the caloric count of the diet goes down. But still, Malhotra's idea is false. LC diet's don't work just because of satiety control, because to my knowledge high-carb hypocaloric diets don't work for weight loss. Eating less, satiety control, is just not enough to achieve long-term weight loss. I haven't seen a single scientific trial where "eat less" allows people to lose weight in the long term (3-4 Kg after 4 years of dieting is a joke)

    I know he is Dr. Malhotra, but he is wrong.

    Reply: #5
  4. Zepp
    I can tell that people on RCTs often eats less on any diet approche!

    Think about it, those scientists provide real food.. the control group eat there normal diet.. I.E. they eat junkfood!

    Thats what one see on moste RCTs.. and thats the right conclusion to draw.

    Hovever.. LCHF diets seems to come out best in moste studies.

    I think it is that LCHF reduce hyperinsulinemia problems for a lot of persons.. and on top of that one get real food for free and eats ad libitum.

    One other thing one can notice is that people that comes frome a SAD diet and starts eating LCHF ad libitum tends to eat fewer calories.. whitout knowing it by them self.

  5. erdoke
    I am sure that the calorie debate was intentionally left out of the article. You are right that calories out also matters and LCHF efficiently increases REE when overfeeding. Slightly increased heart rate and body temperature can do magic with burning off excess calories.
    Where they might indeed be wrong is that the editorial wanted to suit both the "LCHF truth" and the majority of the medical establishment. It is still not possible. Just read all the responses directly to the journal (through expert opinion) or all over the net. Nobody is fully happy with it and that's certainly not a desirable outcome.
    I believe that the journal editor also had a word or two in how provocative the authors could be and normally they have to conform to some journalistic standards as well.
    At least everybody is talking about it and the expert commentaries to the article are more supportive than negative, only complaining about some details.
    Reply: #7
  6. IrinaA
    'Eating less' by Dr. Malhotra could be extended by meaning eating less carbs and sugars. Satiety apart, the reason behind LCHF eating plan phenomenal success for the obese, diabetic and hypertensive people is reversing these insulin related deadly conditions. We must get it straight: insulin is a FAT STORAGE hormone and the best way to control weight it is by adjusting intake of foods that convert into sugars and spike insulin production leading to excess fat accumulation in our bodies.
    Replies: #8, #9
  7. Vicente
    May be you are right, erdoke, but I don't like misinformation.
    Reply: #13
  8. Vicente
    Hi IrinaA,
    I wish he said that: "An obese person does not need to do one iota of exercise to lose weight, they just need to eat less sugar and grains." (grains are the main source for escessive carbs)

    May be the "insulin-sugar" hypothesis is not the main reason why LCHF works. My mind is open for other possibilities.

    But I have never seen a result like this for weight loss just eating less. The mean weight loss in the trial was 26 Kg after one year of dieting. And there was no sign of a rebound effect. "Eating less" has NEVER given a result close to that.

    Reply: #10
  9. Nate
    Yes, I like the term 'fat storage hormone'. I also like the catchy phrase, you can't out run a bad diet. How about combining the two, thusly:

    The Laws of Obesity
    1. You cannot out run a bad diet.
    2. Carbohydrates drive up your fat storage hormone.

  10. Zepp
    Ofcourse there are more to it.. but the insulin hypotes is one of the major ones.. for many.

    There are other majors.. living a modern western life and eating industrial food.

    For instance, Chinese rise in diabetes, they just started living modern lifes and eating industrial food.. now a day they are very sensitive for rice.. figur that out!

    "Higher consumption of white rice is associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations"

    Reply: #11
  11. Vicente
    Hi Zepp,
    that's what I meant.
    For example, may be processed foods (sugar, seed oils, trans fats, grains and chemicals) have an effect on our liver that is at the core of the problem. I just don't know enough to say what is the real reason why LCHF is healthy and works for weight loss.
    Reply: #12
  12. Zepp
    You got it right.. and there are probably more to it then what you and I writen so far?

    Dont stop whit what the liver supose to do.. include altso pancreas, guts, kidney, other organs.. and how everything should affect your mind!

    And I often says that we trick pepople whit this LCHF approche to eat more real food.. more food with nutrients.

    Heres a guy that put it in a matter that everybody can relate to!

    And you know.. hyperinsulinemia is the right thing to do on a wrong diet/lifestyle.. it coop whit those.. but its not a sustaineble lifestyle/metabolic state.

    "In this conceptual model, insulin resistance is caused
    by hyperinsulinemia and is an appropriate adaptation to the increased need to store fat in adipose tissue without causing hypoglycemia. Thus, insulin resistance is an adaptive response that successfully maintains normal circulating levels of fat and glucose as long as the b-cell is able to maintain sufficiently elevated insulin levels (57). Perhaps the time has come to expand our research focus to carefully investigate the environmental changes that have accompanied the epidemic of obesity and diabetes"


  13. William
    I agree with you Vicente.
  14. tony
    In a way Dr. Mothra is right. Look at all the victims in Nazi concentration camps. They all got skinnier eating less. Of course many died and the survivors were not healthy. But they all lost weight.
  15. Vicente
    The original article has been censored. They are "concerned" people could read they have been lying to us all these years.
  16. Tracy
    He obviously meant eat less carbs, if you know of asheem malhotra then you will know of his mission in the UK to educate people into eating less refined carbohydrates and higher healthier fats and of his work with the likes of professor Tim noakes, Dr Gary fetke and Dr Eric westmann

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