Former boxer: LCHF is for lazy idiots

Paolo Roberto

There may be a massive trend towards higher-fat diets in Sweden now. But it’s still controversial. The Swedish former boxer Paolo Roberto just published a cookbook filled with pasta recipes. When a reporter asked him if you don’t risk getting fat from eating pasta, and what Roberto thinks about LCHF, sparks fly:

 [LCHF] is a method for lazy idiots, you lose weight without exercise…

Obviously exercise is good in many ways. But why does everybody have to eat food that could make them fat without lots of exercise? What’s so stupid about losing weight even without exercise?

Roberto’s arguments seem to be based on old myths and misunderstandings:

Paolo Roberto: ”People ought to be beaten” (translated by Google)

What do you say, do the boxer have a point?

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  1. Julie Williamson
    He seems like an angry dude! Not everyone can dedicate themselves full time to exercising. I've been LCHF for almost a year now and find it's even more effective when I exercise, even if that's just a run or two a week. But when I can't exercise, I find the LCHF helps me to feel great and keep my fitness constant.

    I'm pretty sure my brain isn't falling apart because of LCHF either. I've been able to put in more effective days and get more out of my time (as a post-doc in computing science) since I started LCHF. I used to have trouble staying awake in the afternoon before!

  2. He is a pro athlete who is paid to work out. Most people do not have that kind of time because they have jobs and kids. He is not thinking of the average person. Besides a diet of pasta will give you diabetes over the long term. Also he seems to not be very clued in to how carbohydrates spike blood sugar causing people to overeat.
  3. Rachel
    What these health experts never seem to realize (whether they are athletes or skinny nutritionists/dietitians) is that once you ARE overweight, your body metabolizes sugar and carbs in a completely different way than if you are a normal weight!! Eating carbs when insulin resistant makes you sleepy and feel awful because your body can't get to the calories.

    While he is at is why not call diabetics on low carb diets idiots for not eating sugar. Because it is more lazy to cut out sugar and thus not need insulin than to just be good and take your insulin at scheduled times!

  4. Rach
    I'm not sure I want to take nutritional advice from someone who gets punched in the head professionally.
  5. Don in Arkansas
    He seems to admit that LCHF causes you to 'lose weight without exercise'. What's the down side to that again? Obese people are not obese because they don't exercise -- they don't exercise because they are obese. If you can lose weight on pasta and stay health - I say do it! Just doesn't work for the majority of people.
  6. What are his credentials to be making such a statement? Oh that's right, he has none. He punches people in the face for a living.

    Sadly you will often find this mentality, especially in the raw food and raw vegan community. They cherry pick from their own experience or the experience of a few elite athletes who have success on high carb diets and then determine that it's the ideal diet for everybody.

    It is not.

  7. That's easy. Being thinner does not mean you are healthier. There are many skinny sick people in the world. The need for exercise is hardwired into our genes. You can't be healthy without it.
  8. greg
    As a boxer, former or current, he's probably been hit upside the head a lot and has a few screws loose. Next!
  9. osteoDH
    Yeah ,right and receiving shocks on the skull is excellent for the brainfunction ! ; -D
  10. Karen
    I went to my family doc today. I said I was working on losing a bit of weight on LCHF. She said that "you cannot have a healthy diet without whole grains." And that good fats are fine "in moderation", and as long it's "not saturated animal fat." Alas, I think it will take a long, long time for things to change here in Canada, at least at the level of seeing your family doctor.
  11. moreporkplease
    Was most amused to read the article:

    "Whoever wants to debate me about LCHF has to take of their shirt first"

    Colting's already gone nude, what more does he want? Does the boxer have the cojones to do the same?

  12. BA
    It sounds like he's just reversing cause-and-effect in such a way as to pat himself on the back for naturally having the kind of metabolism that allows him to expend so much energy in sport, and then by attribution error attributing that metabolism to his own self-discipline.
  13. FrankG
    I was going to respond to Dr Mark but then noticed that he is an advertiser ;-)

    Oh what the heck!

    He writes "The need for exercise is hardwired into our genes. You can't be healthy without it."

    I accept that there are many health benefits related to physical activity -- although it seems empirically that physical activity has less effect on excess fat mass than we have been led to believe -- but I disagree that we are hardwired for "exercise"... if by "exercise" you mean jogging in expensive footwear, paying for a gym membership, $1,000 treadmill etc... all things that quite often leave people in pain and needing the kind of supplies that (funnily enough) "Dr" Mark is advertising ;-)

    I build physical activity into my daily routine such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the far end of the lot, going bird-watching on my lunch break etc... all activities that don't require extra or expensive equipment of any kind but that keep my body moving naturally. I also find that since eating LCHF, I naturally fidget a great deal more.

    As for the original topic: I find myself agreeing with those various comments relating to the repeated blows to the head suffered professionally by this "expert".

  14. Mke
    "The Swedish former boxer Paolo Roberto just published a cookbook filled with pasta recipes. ..."

    Evidently he has no ambitions to be Paleo Roberto

  15. Nathalie
    it never made sens to me that I had to work out so much to keep my weight stable!!!! Not loosing weight, keeping it where I wanted it!!! You eat little and execices like crazy....and you'ra always hungry. No I'M not going back to this. I'll exercices because I have the energy not the other way around.
  16. Brad
    It is not only the food we choose to eat, it is the quality of food we choose to eat. You can exercise all you want and continue to eat the low quality food, or what is perceived to be good for you through poor science, and still suffer the consequences; heart attacks, stroke, and even cancer. He is a fitness freak obviously and is skinny/fit because of it, he can not see what undesirable changes are taking place inside of him.
  17. "You lose weight without exercise…"??? You mean like obligate carnivores like lions & hyenas that eat fat & protein BUT NO CARBS after a kill, then lay around all day for several days until they get hungry and go make another kill, and are in perfect health despite laying around WITHOUT going to the gym for hours on end?

    Works for me. He says that like it's a BAD thing. This literal knucklehead inadvertently blabs the secret of fat & weight loss without exercise, now EVERYBODY'S gonna quit working like dogs for no good reason. Apparently he's taken too many knuckles to his head to think straight, or his brain chemestry is deranged from too much carb intake, or both.

    "We are told that everyone is becoming unhealthy due to inactivity. WRONG. “…[Y]ou must be truly sedentary – a slug who sits or lies about all day long or barely crawls out of bed – to be at any risk from inactivity.”

    This is why house cats eating a proper carnivore diet maintain perfect weight and perfect health despite little activity and often despite sleeping virtually all day."

  18. its the people not willing to cut out carbs when they know they are bad for you that are lazy!
  19. Margaretrc
    Agree with all the comments that basically say he's a knucklehead, been hit in the head once too many times.
  20. "The Textbook of Medical Physiology makes it quite clear that while a person is on a high carbohydrate diet – like those we have all been told to eat for the past 50 years – it takes 40 days of running an hour a day to lose just one pound of bodyfat. (Most people have been incorrectly led to believe that it takes just six days.) This real science is the reason that exercise has completely failed us as a means for weight loss.

    The high-carbohydrate proponents were forced to make massive amounts of exercise part of the “dietary program” and lie about how effective the diet alone was – and nobody questioned it! They knew carbohydrates made you fat but publicly couldn't admit it – lawsuits would have been immediately forthcoming."

  21. Tia
    Bwahaha! He knocked himself out... :D
    I do not touch his boxing gloves because know nothing about it and he should not touch my way of eating for the same reason.
  22. Marcy
    I am a 61 year old woman who has over exercised herself into a worn out back and worn out knees trying to keep from gaining weight while eating whole grains. The way my worn out joints feel now, I am happy that eating LCHF can keep my weight down without the misery of too much exercise.
  23. Margaret
    Well isn't that special!

    It's not enough that I have to explain the insulin hypothesis to my family doc, reassure my personal trainer that my kidneys will not implode on a LCHF diet, and quote corrective and educative research to all of the "diet experts" in my life ... now I'm going to have to fend off the "you're doing this the easy way" radicals too! I thought the "lazy cheaters" were the bariatric surgery folks! ??!!

    The truth is that as a menopausal woman I must keep my carbs under 40 g daily, exercise five days a week to ensure my body is burning enough fat, and watch my calorie intake to a reasonable degree. My "induction" period was hell, and lasted at least 8 weeks. For my efforts I lose about 1/2 pound a week.

    But... I am off all blood pressure meds, have the blood pressure of a kid, the resting heart rate of an athlete, and am just about finished losing my first 25 pounds.

    There is nothing "easy" about this! But it IS effective.

    This guy's "noise" would be funny if it wasn't so very likely to be picked up by obesity haters as one more way to inflict pain and damage. :(

  24. Will
    i am so sick of this exercise+carb thinking. I knew that LCHF makes sense biochemically but I too was worried about exercising. I can exercise HARDER than I ever could on carbs. I hope someday this myth is busted. The athletes eating loads of carbs may look fit but when they get older the internal damage from carbs will show.
  25. [LCHF] is a method for lazy idiots, you lose weight without exercise…
  26. Daniel FE.
    just finished working out fasting for 24 hours, and i did not pass out even though i did super sets of burpies and pull ups with Dumbbell cleans, not to count the front squats i started with and GHR.

    followed up by eating 20 eggs cooked on 2 tbs of coconut butter with 4 slices of peper jack cheese and 3 slices of thick bacon.

    dessert: 152g of raw coconut meat

    brb being 11% body fat with out trying, guess im an idiot.

  27. Paolo Roberto thinks all fat people are lazy. He did a Morgan Spurlock´s Super Size Me kind of experiment on himself a couple of years ago. He put on lot of weigt eating junk food and then proved how easy it way to lose. Yes, well it is when you still have a lot of muscles under that fat and you still have not wrecked your matabolism. But his conlusions was of cause that fat people are all lazy sloths and gluttons.
  28. mezzo
    Maybe he is into morals. Stuff like: you have to work hard to achieve (fill in the blank). You do not deserve to have it easy. You have to make a sacrifice etc. etc. Maybe it just gets his guts that some people are able to lose weight and be healthy on a diet that is palatable and good.
  29. Laura
    The Italian culture is sooooo steeped into their carbohydrate culture that it is near impossible to convince them despite ample evidence (diabetes and heart disease are RAMPANT in Italy!!) Mark my word Italy will be the last country in the world to accept lcHF an unhealthy island of pasta in an ocean of healthy meat and lard eaters!

    As a woman with my hormones putting a strong curb on muscle development when I was a carb eater no matter how much exercise I did (and I was often feeling very tired nad had to force myself to do it) my body never changed a few weeks of eating lchf my muscle mass has nearly tripled and I have all the stamina I lacked before...I would not change this for anything in the world. lchf eaters in fact become active and really no amount of words can explain how well I feel now in comparison to before. Based on my own experience carbohydrates are bad for us they kills us slowly...

    So thank you my friend you can have all the carb you want let your body work on the wrong fuel under stress at your won peril (don't come crying when your joints hurt from artrhitis and inflammation.......I will be too lazy to care!) ciao!

  30. Linda
    The problem with all of the current dogma about nutrition in my opinion, it the assumption that the diet for humans is a one size fits all answer. As Dr. Lustig states, for every acute hormone action in the body, there is a chronic effect as well. Insulin in the chronic state causes insulin resistance and the subsequent conditions that inevitably follow. This boxer is arrogantly assuming that all humans are insulin sensitive and that you achieve energy balance when you eat and burn the same amount of energy including carbohydrates. I am certain he wouldn't advocate eating high fat/carbohydrate sweets, but doesn't know that for many of us, pasta has the same effect metabolically. It is such a shame that he will receive press with his inflammatory language and his that his book will sell, and persons with insulin resistance will eat the pasta, hit the gym, stay heavy and remain ill metabolically. Hopefully, at some point, these frustrated persons will then run into one of you commenting here, and you will educate them properly, direct them to the correct science and their health will return.
  31. Laura
    Linda well put! (I am not on Facebook so I cannot 'like' your message but I would if I could)

    Living off carbs for a carnivour like us remains an oddity and an insulin based metabolism efficient as his athletic body might be in buring the carbs as he consumes them is still at odds with thousands of years of evolution and significant bottle necks during the ice ages...what ever other people say or recommend that works for them one truth remains...we made it to the Neolithic by being carnivours mostly so our entire gastrointestinal tract and metabolic machinery works best when fed on fat/meat.

    I agree that his advice will lead many people astray and for those for whom it jsut does not work it will leave them feeling hungry, tired and overweight and perpetuate their serious nutritional and metabolic problems....So maybe Doc you should reply to the guy...but don't tell him where you live ;-) !

  32. Galina L.
    I love exercising because it is great for almost everything, except a weight loss and an injury prevention. It makes me happy and toned, I want to be able to do yoga, rollerblading, hiking , dancing, walking till I am alive, but joints health is a precious resource. Go to the office of any orthopedic specialist and you will meet there a lot of gym worriers besides very old people. The advice to rely on carbo-loading while exercising is a recipe to be unable to do exercises after a middle-age. Some people think they would be young champions forever and an for old age will happen to other people. LCarbing gives us more energy for exercises and lets us not to waste our cartilage on misguided attempts to keep a growing weight down.
  33. Posted this over at Mark's Daily Apple yesterday in reply to Zack's question "How do I know when I am truly glycogen depleted?" after which Tom B-D wrote "When you walk for an hour."

    My reply: "Oh it would take a lot more than an hour of walking. I know you’re being facetious there but let’s break that down a bit so nobody gets confused or fools themselves into thinking it only takes is an hour of walking to use up your glycogen stores.

    Assuming 500 grams of stored glycogen capacity, multiplied by 4 cals per gram for both glycogen and the glucose it's converted into equals 2000 calories.

    From the article Calories Burned Per Hour By Activities:

    “According to the American Heart Association, a 100-pound individual who runs at 5.5 miles per hour, the equivalent of roughly an 11 minute per mile pace, will burn 440 calories in an hour, a 150-pound individual will burn 660 calories at that pace, and a 200-pound individual will burn 962 calories.

    The same individuals WALKING at 3 miles per hour, the equivalent of a 20 minute per mile pace, will burn 210, 320 and 416 calories per hour, respectively.”

    So without analyzing & factoring in metabolic rates & all kinds of other stuff, to burn that 2000 calories of glucose would take 9.5!!! hours of walking for the 100 pound person, 6.25 hours for the 150 pound person, and 2 hours for the 200 pound person.

    Several things become readily apparent:
    1. This is why exercise for weight loss ends up being an exercise in futility and a general FAIL, on a high carb diet it’s possible to consume WAY more calories in just 1 super sized meal than you can burn off by exercising the rest of the entire day,

    2. This is why obese people initially have such huge & dramatic fat and weight losses, the heavier you are the more work your body is doing, the lighter you are the LESS work your body has to do to get & keep your total mass moving.

    3. This is why it’s harder for small and fit women and men to lose that last 5 or 10 pounds by exercise than it is for an obese person to lose the first 100 pounds.

    To answer to Zack’s question: It takes around 2 hours of pretty hard exercise at heart rates above 80% of maximum for a fit and trained person to deplete their glycogen stores, for an untrained and unfit person it would take longer. See the Wikipedia articles ‘Hitting The Wall’, ‘Glycogen’ subheading Glycogen Depletion and Endurance Exercise, or just google ‘Glycogen depletion’.

    Read more:

  34. mc
    "The Swedish former boxer Paolo Roberto just published a cookbook filled with pasta recipes. ..."

    well that's why he bashes lchf.

  35. Funderaren
    I dont think he made a 100% recovery of the beating Niederman did to him.
  36. Lawrence Louis
    Paolo Roberto's ignorant comments remind me a lot of a vegan who has gained a lot of notoriety lately for criticizing low carb and Paleo diets. His name is Harley Johnstone, but he goes by the YouTube alias Durianrider. Johnstone also claims the same thing about the low carb diet, stating that it is a diet for lazy people. Interestingly, Mr. Johnstone, like Mr. Roberto, makes a career out of being an athlete. In Mr. Johnstone's case, he is cyclist and marathon runner. Hence, his FULL TIME job is to train for competitive endurance events. So both men are able to endure a high carbohydrate intake precisely because they exercise for such a lengthy period of time, and at a high degree of intensity, so as to mitigate many of the negative ramifications that such a diet would induce on most regular people. This is hardly realistic for people who have professions that don't involve being a full time athlete.

    Putting aside the unrealistic assumption of the regular population following their example, clearly both Roberto and Johnstone are misinformed about the dietary science, because not only is a high carbohydrate diet deleterious to long term health, especially for those who are insulin resistant (i.e. most overweight people), but it turns out that high carbohydrates are not even necessary for sustaining activities that require prolonged stamina. This has been proven by Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek. As long as one has stayed on a low carbohydrate diet long enough to be ketoadapted - meaning that the body is now relying on the breakdown of fat, as opposed to glycogen, to fuel the body - one doesn't need to have a diet rich in carbohydrates for endurance activities. Their work is also being replicated by Dr. Timothy Noakes, a professor of exercise and sports science, and an accomplished marathon runner, and publisher of one the most popular running books, “The Lore of Running”. In that book, which he wrote several years ago, he originally recommended a high carbohydrate diet for endurance athletes, and since encountering the work of Phinney and Volek, and doing is own personal experimentation, he has reversed his opinion on low carb diets, and said they are effective for endurance training and are better than high carb diets for sustaining a person’s health. You can listen to an interview where he discusses all of this with Jimmy Moore:

    Finally, not only are Paleo Roberto and Harley Johnstone not up to date on the science of carbohydrates when it comes to diet, but they are also completely wrong when it comes to the efficacy of exercise in inducing weight loss. As the following Time Magazine article, entitled "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin", demonstrates, exercise has very little effect on inducing significant weight loss:,9171,1914974,00.html

    In the final analysis, the ideas espoused by Roberto and Johnstone will soon be considered antiquated. While it may work for them now, because of their highly active lifestyles, or fortunate metabolism, that doesn’t mean it work for everyone, nor does it mean that a it is the best diet for long term health.

  37. Vinny
    What a smug bastard. You think you're cool because you can do one handed push ups? Big deal, i can do that too, and i eat better then you.
  38. Bill42
    This reminds me of a professional runner I knew that used to eat a box of Cadbury's Creme Eggs a day (these are hollow milk chocolate eggs filled with a sugar fondant creme), and was as thin as a rake.

    He used to say "once the fire is lit, you can burn anything on it".

    Interestingly, when I met him six weeks after his knee operation, he'd piled on the pounds.

    Let's leave the high carb diets to the smug athletes; they deserve them.....

  39. David
    What an ignorant!

    I almost can't wait to see what happens to him when gets older and his body starts to slow down. Not because I want to see him in pain, but it'd be nice to have him eating his own words.

    Not all, but most people reduce their physical activity drastically once they're past their prime (usually in their mid-30's).

    For Mr. Roberto, that means that once he stops being a cardio carb burning machine, he is going to blow up, because we can already hear with the attitude he's got, that he's not ever going to listen to facts, hence he's going to continue eating empty carbs until he gets a heart attack.

    Most people are not as ignorant as him I suppose, but it's a shame that right now there might be some kids who idolize him (sure hope not) who might listen to his ridiculous unscientific advise.

    "hey kids, I'm a former pro boxer and I eat all the carbs I want, don't listen to those LCHF fanatics" :/

  40. Laura
    Brain damage perhaps...or wheat induced dementia...?
    hmmmm Poor Paolo ;-)
    Plus unwittingly he may have helped advertise the LCHF way...I wanted a diet that would make me fit without having to be a competitive I exercise when I am tired to be lazy which happens quite often these days..... :-) !
  41. Marcy
    Bill42, you picked my thoughts exactly. I was just thinking what these kind of people that over exercise to burn carbs would do if they were injured or had to lay of exercise to recover from surgery. To me, carbs, including the saintly whole grains, are just cheap filler.
  42. Galina L.
    After an almost 2 years long brake (due to plantar fachilates first than twisted ankle) from my Zumba class, I came back and received comments from people who remembered me that I looked much thinner. Unfortunately, I couldn't return the compliment, everyone I remembered looked heavier. On the question "Where have you been?" I answered that I couldn't do demanding things due to injuries. "Then how did you lost all that weight?" was the next question. Most of them are middle-age women desperately truing to fight the middle-section spread. I don't make my diet a secret, but absolute majority of people think it is too extreme.
    My husband is a naturally thin person who is very involved into exercise (long-distance bicycling), he looks like somebody made him out of wires, but after 50 yo he started to develop love-handles and his stomach look less and less flat, but still he is in a perfect weight.
  43. Luis
    Well, I don't think I'm buying his book. He got...muscles for brain!!!
  44. Nick
    Duh. I got fat by being lazy. Would I not get thin by being lazy if I can? I've lost 50 pounds and have not been in a gym once. He can keep his dumbbells.
  45. Wade Henderson
    cancerclasses, do you own a calculator?

    You wrote ""The Textbook of Medical Physiology makes it quite clear that while a person is on a high carbohydrate diet – like those we have all been told to eat for the past 50 years – it takes 40 days of running an hour a day to lose just one pound of bodyfat."

    OK, some basic math. 40 x 1 hour @ a mile every 10 minutes = 240 miles.

    3,500 calories ÷ 240 = 14.58 calories per mile.

    Now, take a 170 pound person. Ask yourself, does burning 14 calories per mile sound reasonable to you?

    Or do you think something closer to 85 to 100 calories per mile may be better.
    Always keep a calculator handy when reading.

  46. Brad
    Wade Henderson, Cancerclasses took his statement from an article that quoted it from the Textbook of Medical Physilogy...

    If you are looking for a fight then this is the wrong place for it. I am pleased to see that you know how to use a calculator and your willingness to point this out to all of us, but please don't take this off topic... He merely made his point based on the topic of this Forum which is, if you forgot: "Former Boxer: LCHF is for Lazy Idiots"


  47. gallier2
    14 kcal / mile seems low but it wouldn't surprize me to be in the right ballpark.

    What you forgot in your calculation is to subtract the basal metabolic rate. If you don't run the daily hour, you will still consume some energy. Let's assume the daily caloric need for a normal weight man is around 2400 kcal/day, we have therefore a use of around 100 kcal/h (this is the mean value, as it's obvious that it's more on waking hours and less while sleeping).

    We have to calculate the difference between doing nothing and exercicing. This is the most common fallacy on all the calorie counters on exercice machines.

    The other point is that a not trained person will consume more calories at the beginning, but the better he gets in his sports the more efficient he gets. A marathonian can do the marathon exactly because he uses less energy to do the same work than me (who wouldn't even be able to run 5km, but I can play moderately fast squash for more than an hour without much problem).

  48. Anthony
    HA this guys funny! Ive been on a LCHF diet for over 26 weeks and do 30 minutes of Intense exercise a day. I'm follow the Hollywood Physique Program which also uses a LCHF diet. I'm currently eating 12 eggs a day. Some of the strongest bodybuilders in the world used this diet to maintain mass and become super lean at the same time, Vince Gironda, Larry Scott, Arnold etc. Heres a pic of the author who put the program together tell me he isnt in shape??

  49. Wade Henderson
    gallier2, I'm afraid that your assumptions that 14 kcal / mile would not be anywhere inside the ballpark.

    I know it fits in with the theme of some posts, but it is far off the fact.

    Here is a site with a gross and net calculator which takes into account the basal metabolic rate.

    Example. One hour walk, at 3.5 mph, male, age 45, 170 pounds, 5 ft 9 in,

    Gross calories burned, 367. Net calories burned 289. Approx basal rate 78 cal.

    Thus, in this case, the net calories burned was about 82.5 per mile.
    In my post I put in a guess of about 85 to 100.

    That is why I posted that the 14 calories per hour was something that one would not accept if they were questioning what they read.

  50. murray
    Many of us have more important and engaging things to do than exercise, especially exercise that involves pummeling other people and get pummeled. That much exercise is a lot of life overhead just be able to eat more starch and sugar. I prefer to aim for the minimum exercise for great health doing things that I otherwise enjoy, such as kayaking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, etc.
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