Sam Feltham’s experiment

(versión en español: pinchar aquí)

Our current weight management advice is to eat less and exercise more, which in my opinion is negligent, moronic and utterly useless advice. Sam Feltham

Sam Feltham is a british young man who tested three different diets, for 21 days each time. In all three diets Calories/day were 5800. No, it is not a typo: 5800 Calories per day. One diet was low in carbs and high in fat (LCHF), another one was high in carbs and low in fat (CARB), and the last one was also high in carbs, but vegan (VEGAN). After following the LCHF diet this young man gained a little weight, but it was probably all muscle because his waist decreased. The low-fat diets made him gain much more weight and his belly fat increased:

Diet Cals/day Weight change (Kg) Waist change (cm)
LCHF 5794  +1.3 -3
CARB 5793  +7.1 +9
VEGAN 5794  +4.7 +8

The same calories in the three diets. Completely different results.

In the graph below we can see how his waist perimeter decreased with the LCHF diet (light green curve), but it increased with the CARB and VEGAN diets (orange and dark red curves).

Day21Results

The vegan diet made the TG/HDL ratio increase in +3.5 units, essentially the same effect produced by the CARB diet (+3.6). Both diets increased the cardiovascular risk.

Tom Naughton says that according to low-carb experts, it is a common experience that hypercaloric diets don’t make you gain weight, if the diet is low-carb (see).

A few imperfections of the experiment:

  • Data could be false (but it also can be false in scientific experiments pubished in a journal. Being a scientific doesn’t mean you are honest)
  • It is an experiment, but it is not a “scientific” experiment.
  • It is the result from just one person (who is young and has good health)

Strong points:

  • It is a proof that counting calories is moronic. And one experiment on one person is enough to demonstrate that.
  • Ii is easy to reproduce. If someone thinks Sam Feltham is lying, he/she can easily replicate the experiment. I have no reasons to doubt about this experiment.

Following the links below you can watch pictures of Sam Feltham at the start, middle and end points of each of the diets. Looking at the double chin is enough to understand what each diet is making to his body.

Reading further:

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