Carb-Loaded: a new movie about the risks of too many carbohydrates!

Have you ever carb-loaded? The answer is likely yes, whether it was planned or not.

Check out this new trailer for Carb-Loaded, a new documentary in the making, about the risks accompanying a diet with too many carbohydrates.

The trailer includes several of my idols, like Gary Taubes and Yoni Freedhoff. In addition I’m in it, which feels a bit odd!

The movie will be finished soon. You can watch more clips from the movie’s interviews on their website and sign up for updates about when you can watch the entire movie:



Top comment

  1. murray
    Yes, "too much" of anything is bad. That is why we say "too much".

    You might as well say a bad amount of anything is bad. Both expressions are vacuous tautologies until you provide an operational account of how much is too much.

    We know there is no metabolic need for processed sugar in the diet and we know that current average consumption levels cause chronic disease. So the case for singling out sugar is that doing so is expected to have the most significant impact for improving population health and reducing the apparently exponentially increasing demands on the healthcare system.

    The issue has progressed (regressed?) from one of individual dietary prudence to social justice and the robustness of the society that gets passed on to the grandchildren of this generation. That's why sugar is getting singled out.

    Reply: #12
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All comments

  1. mezzo
    Yes indeed. I bought into all this wholefoood stuff - they made it sound so convincing. Whole grains and everything made from them. Even soaked and sprouted my own to eat raw. Result: gas, hunger, slow but steady weight gain.
  2. heisenberg
    and what about if i do 1 week 0 carb and 1 day carb refuel until 400~500 glycogen, is it ok?

    becouse it just happened to me today and idk how will it turn. so far i cannot even look into any sugar, makes me sick.

  3. Joey B
    Too much of anything is bad! Why single one thing out!!??
    Reply: #9
  4. Duncan
    I find it still quite hard to eat lchf bt see it as a work in progress. Still feellike I'm missing out which is just denial really. Starchy tubers are my biggest problem.
    Reply: #5
  5. Joey B
    Then don't eat that way!
  6. Sara Thompson
    Well I went in for the lchf diet and ended up putting loads of weight on.but it should have been obvious that going from a lclf low calorie diet with lots of cardio and weight training and jumping straight in to lchf with weihht training and virtually no cardio it was inevitable. But I dont understant why my stomach swelled up ( I look pregnant) when I was only eating 25g carbs a day and the rest was just avacados, fatty meat, eggs bacon butter coconut oil vegetables. Was having heavy cream and cheese which I have now cut out. Im so disappointed a month of my life wasted on this diet. Lchf shouldn't be sold as eat lots more fat its wrong. It should be low carb moderate protein and moderate fat.
    Replies: #7, #10
  7. murray
    I found it useful to distinguish transition to LCHF from HCLF, and losing weight to maintaining weight. Views differ, but my observation is that it works better to slowly transition to low-carb, to allow the gene expression to restore metabolic pathways that may go dormant on high carb. For example, on a higher carb diet pancreas A cells seem to lose capacity to produce glucagon to raise blood sugar, resulting in blood sugar lows a few hours after eating and the need to snack. One will need operational glucagon signalling and pancreas A cells to do well on LCHF. Some people report thyroid issues going LCHF cold turkey, whereas Dr. Cate Shanahan has had no cases of this in her clinical experience but she counsels patients to ease into LCHF.

    In your case, the bloating sounds like a gut flora issue. Avocado, for example, is high in oligofructoids and is a classic FODMAP food to avoid in elimination diets to reboot gut flora and repair gut cells. Digesting meat fibres and casein require a different bacterial profile, so, again, this might be done easier by transition. I had a period, for example, where I could not eat concentrated sources of mono-unsaturated fat and reacted to foods such as olive oil, avocado, hazelnuts or macademia nuts. I cut them out and then gradually reintroduced them and have never had a problem since, having plenty on a regular basis now.

    LCHF is low-carb, modest protein and fat to satiety. With reduced insulin, fat will be released more from adipose tissue and energy levels will less often dip and trigger hunger. Of course in biology, everything is rates. At some point the rate of release from cells is insufficient to meet metabolic consumption. I think this is why some on LCHF plateau--the rate of release from fat cells slows as the fat cells shrink and energy consumption overtakes the rate of supply of energy from fat cells. To get past that one must endure a bit of hunger. I found some hunger was required to get down from 8% body fat to below 6% bodyfat. This was easier while not doing cardio (during a period I had a shoulder injury.)

    As for maintenance, eating fat to satiety is usually fine (barring other issues). Indeed, I and others have experimented and eaten loads of fat for a few weeks without any weight gain. The saturated fat stearic acid, for example (a major component in beef fat and the dominant fat in pure chocolate) largely passes through the bowels if not required for energy. I haven't seen much science on other fats and bowel passage. I hypothesized this after reading some science on how cells low in energy send a signal to the liver to produce bile to ingest fat, which I figured was a lot of metabolic overhead to evolve unless without the signal fat would otherwise pass through the gut. So there seems to be a built-in over-ride with respect to dietary fat that does not have a counterpart with respect to dietary carbs.

  8. murray
    Yes, "too much" of anything is bad. That is why we say "too much".

    You might as well say a bad amount of anything is bad. Both expressions are vacuous tautologies until you provide an operational account of how much is too much.

    We know there is no metabolic need for processed sugar in the diet and we know that current average consumption levels cause chronic disease. So the case for singling out sugar is that doing so is expected to have the most significant impact for improving population health and reducing the apparently exponentially increasing demands on the healthcare system.

    The issue has progressed (regressed?) from one of individual dietary prudence to social justice and the robustness of the society that gets passed on to the grandchildren of this generation. That's why sugar is getting singled out.

    Reply: #12
  9. Lori Miller
    Sara, the cause of bloating is generally some kind of carbohydrate that doesn't agree with you. It could have been something in the 25g you were eating or one or more of the vegetables (which do contain digestible carb--they're not freebies). Sugar alcohols also do it to some people. I agree with Murray: look up FODMAPs and start with only low FODMAPs foods and slowly add others back in. You'll find out what it is that bothers you.

    As to gaining, as you put it, "loads of weight," if you go from a low fat, low-carb, low calorie (i.e., starvation) diet to pretty much anything, you're almost guaranteed to put on weight.

  10. Sara Thompson
    Thanks for all advice I will definitely try it and hope it helps.
  11. Joey B
    supposedly real maple syrup is ok to consume or so I was told?
    Reply: #14
  12. Sara Thompson
    Having read alot of articles of people doing the lchf diet and having alot of success losing weight. it seems I must be the only to have actually gained weight on it!
  13. Lori Miller
    Maple syrup is dandy, and making your own would be an excellent hobby.
    Reply: #22
  14. Eric Anderson
    Sugar is not low carb
    Grain is not low carb

    The rest is debatable

    IMO Doctor Richard Bernsteins books for diabetics is a firm foundation.

    Hehas not eaten fruit for years but if one can maintain desired glucose, insulin A1c etcetera then it does not break my leg or pick my pocket f one has ones own version of low carb.

    Dogma? Not! Fre to chose what you eat
    Do so in an informed manner

  15. NS

    You are not alone in your struggles. I have the same issues. If you read through the different posts here you can find many others who don't lose on LCHF and/or who gain. "Low carb moderate protein and moderate fat" is indeed the better route for people like us, which is of course just another way of indicating the inevitable need for calorie reduction while still keeping carbs in check. Exercise and intermitent fasting are of course extremely beneficial as well.

    And I've found these helpful and to be of genral help:

    1) insolitol powder
    2) oregon grape root (liquid berberine)
    3) metformin 500mg (occasional use)
    4) magnesium powder (calm)

    I hope to also experiment soon with cycylical LC, one day a week going very high carb (whole foods only) but very low fat.

    Reply: #18
  16. NS

    should be: inositol powder

  17. LCHF_Graham
    How did you get metformin for 'occasional use'?
  18. Sophie
    How is maple syrup "dandy"???

    It's pure sugar.

    You can't make your own. You need a maple farm, expensive equipment and sophisticated knowledge (it harvests only when the snow melts and you need the sap from very many trees to create even a small quantity).

    Reply: #24
  19. NS
    My doctor works with, views, me as a partner, a thinking being.
  20. Sara Thompson
    Can you explain how you do your intermittent fasting pls
    Reply: #27
  21. murray
    There are beneficial nutrients in maple syrup, but it is still essentially very rapidly digested acellular sugar that spikes blood sugar and promotes bacterial overgrowth in the upper small intestine.

    In 19th century Quebec it was made by nailing buckets to trees to tap the sap slowly and was used in many dishes as a flavour enhancer and an Easter treat when breaking Lent, which is about when the sap runs. But as Sophie notes, you need a lot of trees and it was a lot of work walking around collecting small amounts of sap from buckets and buckets in a snowy forest, burning lots of calories. Maple syrup was considered precious because of its limited quantity and availability. Eating small amounts during just one one season after a month-long total avoidance of sugar for Lent is one thing; having it available all year-round as a general sweetener is quite another. Maple syrup is commercially produced now. If you go to a producing maple forest, you walk through a massive acreage of rubbery spider webbing, as the all trees are tapped into vast networks of what looks like surgical hosing that descend to collection huts for processing. Gone is the charm of riding in a horse-drawn sleigh to the maple syrup woodlot to boil down some sap at the Sugar Shack and make maple sugar taffee on the snow.

  22. NS
    Sure Sarah,

    I eat twice a day every other day, so it's a 36 hour fast, approximately, but you can choose any regimen that works for you. If I can't take the hunger, I'll have some vegetables with broth perhaps. Maybe even a piece of fruit. But on good days, nothing but water, coffee, and tea. On your eat days, you'll be happily surprised by how quickly you become full and how satisfied you feel from a small amount of food. It really is like "bariatric surgery without the surgery" since the primary reason surgery works is it results in "forced" fasts and consequently very small meals.

    I would also very highly recommend you watch Dr. Jason Fung's brilliant youtube presentations. They are deeply meaningful yet wholistic and balanced.

  23. Lori Miller
    It was a joke. Joey B needs a hobby besides trolling this blog.

    I'm still giving a dollar to Heifer International (nonprofit that provides needy people with livestock so they can have milk, meat and eggs) for all the troll comments I read.

  24. Kat

    Women have the additional issue of hormones. I can put on several pounds from hormone fluctuations. All temporary. I also have IBS-C, so if I'm not eating perfectly it can act up and takes a while to calm back down. Of course, I increased my endurance training rather than decreased it on LCHF because I felt so much better. I doubt that had much to do with fat loss, though, as exercise never made much of a difference in my body fatness before.

    Also, what I've found is that the measuring tape is better than the scale. I went lchf because I suddenly put on about 25 pounds and couldn't shift it at all unless I took my calories down to 800 per day. It's not uncommon for me to burn 1500-2000 calories per day through training either (I know because I've had my metabolism measured, so I actually have a pretty accurate idea of what I burn). Obviously, something was off and I began to question everything in nutrition research rather than rely on sports nutritionists.

    What I'm finding is that I fit into smaller sizes at a higher weight. LCHF diets are known to preserve muscle and I've had the experience of losing several inches and simultaneously almost nothing on the scale. It makes sense if you consider that a pound of fat takes up a lot more space than a pound of muscle. For me the sweet spot is 70-75% fat, 15-20% protein and the rest carbs. I eat very few carbs and I feel best when I eat the least carbs.

    Anyway, as with any diet, you are an individual and you have to find the carb/fat/protein balance appropriate for you. To do that you need to play around. I realize it's frustrating. Good luck.

  25. Sara Thompson
    Thanks for all comments and advice. This is making me really think now. I cant believe that 5 years ago I was actually doing low carb moderate protein and moderate fat without even realising it. I was probably only taking in about 800 calories and my energy levels were really high. It definitely worked for me and I lost lots of weight. But over the years carbs slowly crept bk in. And also I thought the diet might have been harming me being so low in calories. But its the best iv ever felt and looked in my life and I was 47 yrs old at the time. Im fast approaching my 52nd birthday and I look and feel awful. I think I might go bk to whats always worked for me . Including in days of intermittent fasting and days of higher calories.
  26. Galina L.
    I used that web-site I don't believe everyone could just start eating 2 times a day or even not eating for a day, most people have to precondition themselves.I don't think eating 800 calories a day for prolong periods is the reasonable thing to do - the body will react on it as on a starvation, you will not feel well eventually, and any stray from such diet would cause a weight gain. It is important to find a working regiment which you can adhere to indefinitely, diets work till you follow it. 800 calories doesn't sound as a long-term eating plan.
  27. Sara Thompson
    I have thought long and hard about this and have tried alot of different diets along the way.i think there is alot of negative information out there to mislead us. For instance a calorie is not a calorie as first told it isnt calories in calories out. Because how can a 250 calorie meal of lean chicken spinach and other good stuff work the same way in the body as a 250 calorie chocolate bar it doesnt make sense. And as for 800 calories being too low well we are asked to live as our ancestors lived. Im sure there would have been more than a few times when their calorific content wss really really low as they couldn't always find food. And surely its the quality of the 800 calories ingested. Just as there are the non believers out there of the low carb diet calling it very dangerous there will be people believing 800 is too low.
    Reply: #29
  28. Galina L.
    I wouldn't recommend 800 calories a day to anyone on a consistence basis, our ancestors had lean times and ample times when they ate plenty, but everyone is entitled to own decision.
    Kat is right, hormones are the part of a picture. I noticed a big difference after 45 years old,at 46 I started a LC diet, at 52 I started a hormone replacement therapy, before that I noticed migration of fat from my low-body region into the middle section while my weight was stable.
  29. Lori Miller
    On very low-calorie diets, people have developed psychosis, heart problems (this is how anorexia killed Karen Carpenter--her body cannibalized its heart muscle for protein), nutrient deficiencies, trouble concentrating, hair loss, low energy, and low metabolism.

    Before he started his diet-heart shenanigans, Ancel Keys did a year-long starvation experiment with a group of consciencious objectors, which has been written about in a book called The Great Starvation Experiment. Two of the pacifists got into a fistfight over a piece of macaroni, one chopped off a couple of his fingers (it may or may not have been an accident), the men lost interest in anything but food, and most grew too weak to continue their classes at the university. When the experiment was over, they gorged themselves, and not briefly.

    This post by Jenny Ruhl has some more interesting info on starvation diets:

  30. eddy
    They have recently declared obesity a disease much like alcoholism but what does the disease concept imply

    This is a talk given to Doctors in Victoria Canada that challenges the disease theory of addiction the key points start at about the 12:00 on tape.

    Here is another take on obesity through the lens of Bowen family systems therapy.
    the key points are half way in the interview.

    Food for thought.

  31. NS
    People who fail on LCHF may not realize or may not want to believe the simple fact that calories from ALL SOURCES are insulogenic and thus conducive to weight gain.

    If someone has more than a little to lose, fasting on a reasonable, balanced, intelligent regimen is nothing to fear. It has all of the benefits of bypass surgery with none of the risks. It is also extremely health promoting in its own right, (HDL, triglycerides, testosterone, CRP, HOMA-IR, etc..) the way exercise is, separate from the issue of weight loss.

    Here is a wonderful case of someone who did what he had to to succeed. Most impressive is that after 382 days without food, he was still maintaining his weight even after five years according to the available sources:

    It is possible it seems to change one's hormones.

  32. Ro Solar
    Sara, Murray and Lori are right.

    No joke, I had this ridiculous bloating on and off for a year. Finally traced it down to vegetables. And I guess technically fruits: avocados.

    I eat pretty much animals only now. So that means bivalves mollusks like clams and oysters and mussels and fish: herring salmon that sort of thing. And land animals like lamb and beef.

    I figure with the bivalves, wild canned fish, and land animals, I'm ok. I feel incredible. Look pretty damn good too.

    Massive improvement.

    I had to cut out eggs, screws up my gut.

    In a couple of months I will add in some hard cheese because I like it, but I have no interest in experimenting these days as I am busy at work and my digestion is perfect and energy level is high and I have zero bloating distension in my gut.

    My guess is the bacteria is out of wack in my gut and only can really deal with animals at this time. I'm ok with that for the near-long-term future. Whatever. I'm satisfied with the food.

    I start my day with strong coffee with heavy cream (only dairy I use at this time), smoke a small cigar or my pipe.

    Around 11am or noon I have a small lunch of maybe a can of wild fish (herring or salmon depends how hungry I am) or maybe a couple pieces of bacon or dried sausage.

    After 4pm or 5pm or later I start to really eat animals... I don't like to eat too much before, it slows my brain down.

    I do spontaneous exercise 3x a day for maybe 20-30 mins each time. I never push myself I just do it when I need to because my body wants to jump. If I'm tired I just lie down, screw it.

    I would say most important is diet, next is adequate rest.

    Definitely try going dairy egg and plant food free for at least a couple weeks and if you see it's working then slowly add in non-animal things.

    Also huge benefit of eating only animals: zero emissions. No gas. Digestion is perfect. No fermentation of plant matter in my gut. Very very convenient, never have to hold in any farts. Love this. LOL

    Good luck

    Reply: #35
  33. Sara Thompson
    Hi ro. Its sounds like you dont eat any carbs at all is that right. I do eat alot off eggs I will definitely cut them out and see wat happens. Can you give me an example of one days menu just to see im on the right track.
  34. erdoke
    Try to buy soil based probiotics to inoculate yourself with bacteria that can ferment plant fibers. Short chain fatty acids protect you from colon cancer!
  35. perle0
    Sara, I am also 52 and have tried many kinds of diets of over time. I find that I have to keep the carbs really low to lose weight at all--10-15 g. net carbs daily. I will go up to 20 daily if I'm just trying to maintain. (And I do take the occasional "break" a few times a year because I am just not strong-willed enough to keep it up year after year without breaks.)

    Make sure that you count ALL the net carbs--even the ones in vegetables, some processed meats, and condiments. Heavy cream still has carbs; so does mayonnaise.

    And remember that each person is different. One person can eat 50 g. a day and lose, while another needs to keep it much lower. Fasting works really well for some, and not so well for others. Once you figure out what works for you, you'll feel amazing.

  36. Sara Thompson
    Thankyou. And you're right I wasn't aware of the hidden carbs. I thought I was taking in around 25g but with the hidden I must have been closer to 50g.
  37. Ben M
    Everybody has different experiences with low carb high fat diet. i went on lchf in January it worked well & i lost about 15 pounds ( 7 kgs) before i plateaued big time & started adding weight!

    Its when i threw in Intermittent fasting & low carb when i broke the plateau! i had continued weight loss until i plateaued again! I had to hit the gym add in lc & intermittent fasting to breakthrough the new plateau. so far am down almost 44 pounds ( 20 kgs).

    My experience is lchf is will not make you loose significant amounts of weight without exercise! i highly doubt that the success stories featured here if the people behind them did not do significant amounts of exercises to get their level of success in regards to weight loss.

    Carbs are not evil. Excess carbs are, infact there are times when high glacemic carbs are beneficial like post work out after you are done in the GYM!

    i was a low carb Taliban once! not anymore i do enjoy my doughnuts, cakes, pizzas, desserts, pilau ( spicy Indian rice) once in a while. Its more long term this way than depriving your self of all the good stuff that's made of carbs & they are plenty.

    Reply: #39
  38. erdoke
    I am one example for significant amount of weight lost without exercising. Before I started on an Atkins then LCHF in January I had followed a rather sedentary life for more than 6 months, that obviously played a role in gaining weight. After reading about low carb diets for more than a month, in mid-January I decided against changing both diet and level of physical activity at the same time. After all I was trained to be a scientist some 30 years ago, wasn't I?
    The result was around 25 kg (55 pounds) shed in less than 5 months. No intermittent fasting, although lately I have been mostly eating twice per day.
    It was just two weeks ago when a pair of dumbbells was purchased and the frequency of the occasional walks was increased and short sprints were added. Also, a regular glass of red wine for the evenings was introduced around the same time. Now there is only 4 kg left I would like to get rid of, although it might be that this extra will be kept as muscle mass in the end. Overall I'm not worried about the actual wight measured, more interested in the picture seen in the mirror...
    Reply: #40
  39. Ben M

    Good for you! and congratulations on your success! have you been overweight / obese all your life? or you were just shedding of recent excess pounds? i guess at the end of the day its down to genetics, metabolism etc.

    But truth be told the best way to loose weight is through exercise, for men atleast. PERIOD. yeah diets can help the initial take off for most people. once you see success with change of diet move it to the Gym & take the success further.

    Exercise offers far much greater benefits than lchf, from my experience, exercise will help you tone up, get stronger physically, mentally, improve your physique, boost testosterone levels & much more...

    I still follow the paleo / primal life style. low carb moderate protein & healthy fats. it all depends on ones life style & goals. Full time lchf dosent just do it for me any more!

    Recovering lchf taliban!

    Reply: #41
  40. erdoke
    I have never been obese, but had been overweight for a few years until this past spring. Only the level varied between 15-30 % extra. Apparently this 30 % felt so bad that I started digging into the science to find a solution with which I could avoid the famous yo-yo effect.
    I understand that we are different and that there are at least groups into which humans can be categorized. Genetics, age, nutrition background, etc.
    My plan is to follow/develop a gut friendly low carb diet and increase physical activity to a level where I feel perfect.
  41. Steven
    This looks interesting, but I have to mention one thing: Gary Taubes does NOT have a PhD, he has a masters degree in journalism. If I'm finding fact-checking issues in the trailer, that isn't a great sign.

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