The Straight Facts, Whether You Like It Or Not



My Challenge to Dr. Michael Eades and the rest of the madcap MAD brigade:

Prove Me Wrong and I’ll Hand

Over $20,000!

By Anthony Colpo
6.50pm (Australian EST),
January 30, 2008.

Dr. Michael Eades (left): Big on insults, short on facts.

Anthony Colpo.

I should be jaded by now, but the truth is I never ceased to be stunned by the endless stupidity, dishonesty and downright sleaziness of those who believe in metabolic advantage dogma (MAD). For those of you who are unfamiliar with MAD, it is an unfounded weight loss theory first popularized by the late Dr. Atkins. The late diet 'guru' claimed that low-carb diets caused greater weight loss when consumed at identical caloric intakes to higher carb diets. He even claimed that it was possible to lose weight on a low-carb diet but gain weight on a high-carb diet of identical caloric content. Atkins, along with others, called this the "metabolic advantage".

I call it bullshit.

As I have explained in detail in Chapter 1 of my book The Fat Loss Bible, over seven decades’ worth of tightly controlled clinical trials have shown that MAD is a load of scientifically untenable nonsense. In metabolic ward trials – the ONLY type of trial where identical caloric intakes can be assured – low-carb diets have repeatedly failed to show any fat-derived weight loss advantage over high-carb diets. The underlying requirement for such weight loss is the creation of a calorie deficit. It doesn’t matter how drastically you cut carbohydrates, or fat, or whatever other novel dietary strategy you employ…if you fail to expend more calories in a given time period than what you ingest, then you will not lose body fat-derived weight. Period.

This has not in any way stopped numerous low-carb diet authors from promoting MAD - and becoming wildly rich in the process. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe the claims made for any product or service – especially one that can greatly impact upon millions of people’s health and happiness - should be ethical and factual. Unfortunately, there are others who clearly disagree.

On September 11, 2007, Dr. Michael Eades, author of the best-selling low-carb book Protein Power, posted on his blog one of the most shamelessly biased pieces of dietary commentary I have ever read. In order to support his beloved MAD dogma, Eades compared the results of two hand picked studies, one involving a low-carb diet, the other a high-carb diet. These studies were conducted decades apart on different continents for different lengths of time using totally dissimilar subjects. Eades then claimed the results of these two studies supported MAD. In doing so, he completely ignored decades’ of evidence from tightly controlled clinical trials that directly compared low- and high-carb diets of isocaloric content (i.e. identical caloric content) and repeatedly found no difference in fat loss.

After completing his absurdly one-sided analysis, Eades then boldly pronounced that anyone who thought weight loss was all about calories was “a fool”. And when one of Eades’ readers mentioned my name in the comments section following his atrociously biased blog post, the famous diet doctor told the world that he thought I was “wrong” for stating what is in fact the indisputable truth – that calories are the ultimate determinant of weight loss and that isocaloric low-carb diets do not cause greater fat loss.

Needless to say, I don’t take too kindly to being labelled “a fool” and “wrong” by some bloke who’s made millions from promoting scientifically untenable weight loss theories. That’s just a wee bit rich for my liking.

Those who promote MAD might be laughing all the way to the bank, but they are doing a disservice to those who want to know the real requirements of weight loss. The indisputable fact is that, to lose weight in the form of body fat, one must eat less calories than what they expend. You can follow a low-carb diet, but if you eat too many calories you will NOT lose weight.

This isn’t merely my opinion. Even the folks from Atkins Nutritionals and the office of South Beach Diet author Arthur Agatston have admitted it. In a USA Today article (which you can read here) the low-carb giants acknowledged that many low-carb dieters were not losing weight because they had “gotten tripped up by eating too many low-carb, high-calorie products”.

Even Eades himself inadvertently admitted the counter-productive effects of MAD hyperbole when he wrote in a November 15 blog post:

"Both MD and I have had patients who complained to us that they were following our program to the letter and weren’t losing any weight. When we asked them for their diet diaries we found that they were consuming huge amounts of food but were rigorously keeping their carbs below 30 grams per day. Sometimes we calculated that these patients were eating 4000+ kcal per day, which could have even been higher given that patients tend to under report what they eat instead of over reporting. What was amazing to us was that they weren’t gaining. They were pretty much maintaining their weight on an enormous number of low-carb calories.

We would explain to them about how they needed to create a caloric deficit to lose. Most people will create the caloric deficit when they go on a low-carb diet because the increased fat and protein in the absence of carbs is extremely satiating."

Eades' comment about his 4,000 calorie per day-eating clients was no doubt posted in an attempt to demonstrate a metabolic advantage for low-carb diets. I will reiterate once more: whatever the comparative weight gain effects of ketogenic and non-ketogenic diets, 7 decades' worth of tightly controlled metabolic ward studies show no difference in weight loss between low- and high-carb diets. The fundamental requirement for weight loss is a calorie deficit: when energy needs are not being met by dietary calories, the body is forced to obtain those calories from other sources: namely, it's own tissues. The goal on any intelligently structured weight loss regimen, of course, is to ensure that these required calories are derived as much as possible from adipose tissue rather than lean tissue.

What these comments do demonstrate is just how backwards the Eades have it when it comes to counselling patients about weight loss. It is only after their patients fail to lose weight that the Eades feel compelled to mention the importance of a calorie deficit! Given that no weight loss will occur without a calorie deficit, this is the very first thing any competent fat loss adviser would relay to someone wishing to lose weight. Those seeking weight loss need to know that they can cut carbs/fat/alcohol/sugar/etc as low as they want, but if this fails to result in a calorie deficit, no weight loss will occur.

If the Eades truly understood that a calorie deficit is absolutely imperative for producing weight loss, the first thing they would do is help their patients estimate their ideal targeted daily calorie intake, one designed to create a calorie deficit of sufficient magnitude to induce weight loss. They would then help their patients devise a meal plan designed to achieve this daily targeted intake. There are a number of formulas that can be used to achieve this (Chapter 7 of The Fat Loss Bible contains a number of such fomulas).

But instead of utilizing this sensible precision strategy, the Eades opt instead for a hit-and-miss approach. They tell their weight loss clients to cut carbs to under 30 grams per day, and with a bit of luck, hopefully the diet will prove sufficiently satiating and they will start losing weight. But as Eades' own writings reveal, luck and hope are not very reliable weight loss agents. As a result of the Eades' haphazard advice, the process is unnecessarily delayed in at least some of their patients because the Eades don't feel it necessary to outline the extreme importance of a calorie deficit right from the word go.

And while the Eades' personal patients at least get a belated reminder to cut their calories, what about the poor folks who buy their Protein Power book? No such emphasis is placed on calories in their best-selling tome - instead people are told that obesity is more closely related to carbohydrate and insulin than calories.

The Eades' emphasis on carbs and insulin instead of calories may explain the following less-than-flattering reviews of Protein Power:

The failure of these folks to lose weight on the Protein Power diet is due to one thing - eating too many calories - an unfortunate result of the Eades' claim that carbs and insulin, not calories, are the primary determinants of weight status.

My main point when addressing the MAD hyperbole is – and has always been - that MAD distracts people from the true requirements of weight/fat loss. By doing so, many people will fail to establish a calorie deficit and will not lose weight - a scenario that could be avoided if people were told the plain truth that a calorie deficit is the fundamental requirement for weight loss.

MAD proponents seem to have a real hard time comprehending this concept, so I’ll break this down for them in as simple a manner as possible:

MAD not true.

People who follow MAD without calorie deficit don't lose weight.

Promoting MAD for weight loss when MAD false is wrong.

People shouldn’t do wrong thing!

On September 17 I typed the Protein Power author a scathing open letter. In it, I asked Eades to explain why he had conducted such a blatantly one-sided and misleading comparison. I asked him why he continued to peddle the metabolic advantage myth when decades’ worth of tightly controlled metabolic ward studies had completely disproved it.

Eades has never replied to me personally. Instead he tried to salvage his wounded reputation by posting an attempted rebuttal at his blog on September 27, one comprised of a mix of personal insults and a bizarre rant about “lazy” and "obnoxious” teenagers, Karl Popper, irrelevant rodent studies, and some blatantly misleading claims about metabolic ward studies.

On November 8, 2007 I published a free ebook titled They’re All MAD! In it, I thoroughly destroyed the absurd claims made by Eades, including those made in his September 27 post.

Eades, clearly infuriated by the release of this ebook – which you can download for FREE here – proceeded to post a retaliatory piece titled “Learn why Anthony Colpo is MAD and get a free book” on Nov 15, 2007. Again, Eades completely failed to present anything even resembling tightly controlled evidence to support his fallacious MAD beliefs.

Instead, readers were treated to an angry long-winded ad hominem attack on yours truly. Eades whined about everything from my writing style, my shutting down of the old TheOmnivore web site, the “Acknowledgements” page of The Fat Loss Bible, my blasting of a deranged Internet stalker on my web forum, and on and on. None of this of course, had anything to do with the metabolic advantage theory. It was simply a gutter-level attempt by Eades to cast aspersions on my character. Again, for all his insults and character assassination, Eades offered no explanation of why decades of tightly controlled clinical research with real live humans have failed to demonstrate any fat loss advantage for isocaloric low-carb diets.

Eades cited the work of his buddies Richard Feinman and Eugene Fine, insisting that a metabolic advantage must exist because their calculations “predict” it. Eades appears to be oblivious to the fact that predictions are just that: predictions. They cannot be accepted as correct until validated by real world findings. No matter how clever Feinman and Fine’s writings may sound to Eades, their belief in the MAD theory of weight loss has been disproved by metabolic ward studies dating back as far as 1935 (a lengthy destruction of Eades’ Septmber 27 ad hominem attack can be found in the updated version of They’re All MAD! Again, simply click here to read the entire ebook for free).

A problem that often arises when folks like Eades become bitterly angry is that they proceed to make statements, accusations and challenges that they later come to regret. In the heat of the moment, their irrational anger takes over their rational thought processes and causes them to make foolish decisions.

And so it was on September 27. After making a string of libelous and defamatory comments about me, Eades wrote about my book The Fat Loss Bible:

"The first chapter lays out the basis for AC’s belief that there is no metabolic advantage. It is a compendium of misread or misinterpreted studies, the famous “NINETEEN metabolic ward studies” AC mentions in his open letter to me. (There were only SEVENTEEN in the version of the book I read, but who’s counting?)"

(Actually, there are now 26 such studies shown in Table 1, Chapter 1 of The Fat Loss Bible, and I will continue to add relevant metabolic ward studies as they come to hand. My goal is to keep The Fat Loss Bible as thorough and up-to-date as possible).

Eades continued: "Here is what I propose to do. Since this chapter of this book is the foundation for AC’s bedrock belief in the non-existence of a metabolic advantage, I will go through it and in meticulous detail demonstrate just what a shaky foundation that is."

Despite the fact that Eades clearly resented me deeply for publicly attacking his untenable claims, and despite his cocksure claim that he had the evidence to discredit me, he first felt compelled to take a vote from his readers as to whether or not he should post his “meticulous” analysis:

"...I will do it only if you - the readers of this blog - want me to. It will take a little time that could otherwise be spent in posting on the stuff I usually post on. You can vote with your comments. I’m not going to respond to any of these comments, but I will put them up and tally them. If the yeas outnumber the nays, I’ll do the critique."

On December 16, 2007, the title on Eades blog triumphantly proclaimed “The votes are in: Dissect it is!” According to Eades, his readers had voted in favor of his so-called dissection, and Eades assured he would promptly give his readers what they wanted. According to Eades: “It will take me a couple of days because even though I’ve already done the work, I have to write it up. I’ll continue to post on other subjects in the interim, but I should have the exegesis posted this week.”

Well, that was over 6 weeks ago. Not surprisingly, a lot of people are wondering what has happened to Eades’ definitive dissection of Chapter 1 from my book. It’s not like Eades has decided to forget about me and move onto other things, as he still finds the time to routinely issue personal insults about me on his blog. But nowhere is his threatened dissection to be found.

On January 12, one of Eades’ readers asked him how his critique of The Fat Loss Bible was coming along to which Eades replied:

“The critique of The Fat Loss Bible proceeds apace. Problem is that it’s so easy to critique, but it takes a lot of space to do it. There is so much misinformation contained in the FLB it will take a blog post the size of Texas to refute it all. The book is so dreary, pompous and self-serving that any critique that takes it apart limb from limb will be kind of dreary as well. And every time I get ready to start putting all the stuff on paper (so to speak) something pops up that’s more immediate and requiring a shorter blog, so I opt for that and put Anthony off for another day. All my professional friends - who have stayed out of the fray - are encouraging me to forget it because it will look like piling on since at the core Anthony is really only an amateur. Why give some young, clueless prat the attention he craves? they all say. But I’m committed and I will eventually put up the critique.

Eades evidently believes his readers are a bunch of gullible fools, and judging by the comments they leave on his blog, I totally agree. Nonetheless, I’m starting to get a little tired of his pathetically transparent “the dog ate my homework” routine. Eades has had six weeks to post a dissection that he originally promised within a week, and it’s nowhere to be seen. Yet he and his followers still see fit to issue insults and accuse me of dishonesty and impropriety.

Enough is enough. It’s time to finally show the world what Eades and his fellow MAD believers are really about. They have repeatedly attempted to assassinate my character, but have not even come close to providing anything resembling tightly controlled evidence with real live humans validating the MAD theory of weight loss. All their insults and malicious accusations are just a façade designed to draw attention away from the fact that they have no valid science to back up their claims. Because they cannot fault my scientific arguments, they must instead rely on casting fallacious aspersions on my character in the hope that people won’t take me seriously.

Well, as they say in motocross circles, “When the start gate drops, the bullshit stops”. It’s time for a little challenge to sort out who really is the duplicitous, dishonest, and misleading party in this whole debate.

Unlike Eades and his MAD-believing followers, who cowardly attack me from behind the anonymous safety of their computer screens, I’m prepared to stand up and put my money where my mouth is.

So here’s my challenge: If Eades can meet the following conditions (and if all his cocksure boasting is based on anything other than hot air, he should have no problem doing so) then I will donate $20,000 U.S. dollars to the legitimate, registered and non-profit charity of his choice.

This challenge, by the way, is not exclusively aimed at Eades. Any other MAD proponent/believer who can meet the following requirements is also encouraged to rise to the occasion. The first person to meet the following requirements by midnight of March 1, 2008 (Australian EST) – be it Eades or someone else - will be able to nominate the legitimate, registered and non-profit charity of their choice to receive US $20,000.

If however, neither Eades nor his fellow MAD believers cannot meet this challenge, then they will merely confirm that their beloved MAD theory of weight loss is simply a load of misleading and counterproductive bullshit. It will also confirm that they are a bunch of disgruntled malevolents who vigorously attack me, not because I am wrong, but because I have had the temerity to publicly state that their own cherished beliefs to be wrong.

Here are the requirements they must meet to win the challenge:

1. Show me published peer-reviewed metabolic ward research that compared isocaloric low- and high-carbohydrate diets and found statistically significant greater fat-derived weight losses among subjects following the low-carb diet.

This research must be reported in a full text paper (abstracts will not be accepted) published in a reputable peer-reviewed English-language scientific journal. To prevent the possibility of collusion with unethical researchers, the research must have been published on or before November 19, 2007, the day Eades announced that he would go ahead with his dissection.

For obvious reasons, research conducted or funded (partly or wholly) by those who profit from or otherwise have a vested financial interest in low-carbohydrate nutrition (e.g., from the sale of low-carbohydrate books/supplements/food products/dietary advice/etc) will not be accepted.

The research must involve trials conducted under tightly controlled ward conditions where the researchers controlled food intake and ensured isocaloric intakes among the participants. The trials must have been conducted in:

  1. Randomized fashion involving groups of subjects with similar baseline characteristics, with one group assigned to follow a low-carb diet for a period of no less than 3 weeks, and another group of subjects assigned to follow a high-carb diet of identical caloric content for a similar period, or;

  2. Randomized crossover fashion, where within each trial the same subjects each followed both diets for similar periods of time, with a minimum duration of 3 weeks for each diet.

The low-carb diet/s must involve a carbohydrate intake equal to or less than 100 grams of carbohydrate per day.

The research must show statistically significant greater weight loss (in which the greater weight loss was confirmed as comprised of greater fat loss, not greater water, glycogen, fecal, muscle, bone, organ or other lean tissue losses) on the isocaloric low-carb diet. I have set the minimum duration of 3 weeks as this will automatically exclude many studies in which greater weight loss was due to water losses. This shouldn’t in any way pose a problem, as MAD proponents have never imposed a time limitation for the effect of MAD.

I know Eades and the MAD crowd hate the very idea of metabolic ward studies, because they have the annoying habit of consistently showing MAD to be complete nonsense. Too bad. The fact remains that metabolic ward studies are the only type of trial where isocaloric intakes can be ensured on both the low- and high-carb diets.

So don’t even think about citing free-living studies, where the caloric intake of the subjects cannot be verified. These studies are notoriously prone to misreporting – even Eades himself has acknowledged that, to quote his own words, " patients tend to under report what they eat instead of over reporting".

You must not cite studies showing greater fat loss on low-carb diets in which the protein content was higher than the high-carb diet. The fact that increased protein intake can slightly increase fat losses and simultaneously decrease muscle losses (without affecting the overall rate of weight loss) is not in question – it has been shown numerous times in controlled trials, as I have already explained inThe Fat Loss Bible. This muscle-sparing effect of increased dietary protein is independent of carbohydrate intake, and is seen at both low and high carbohydrate intakes. You are claiming that low-carb intakes per se cause increased fat-derived weight loss, so you prove it.

Don’t insult my intelligence by citing animal studies. The fat loss claims of MAD promoters are directed at human customers, not members of other animal species. So show me metabolic ward studies in which the participants were real live humans. Eades has already tried his hand at citing rodent studies, a dubious tactic that I proceeded to shoot down in flames. Rodents possess markedly different fat and glucose metabolisms, making the extrapolation of rodent data to humans irrelevant.

And don’t be a smart-ass and cite studies showing greater weight loss that is attributable to nausea, diarrhea and/or greater fluid, fecal, glycogen or lean tissue losses. You and I both know damn well that MAD lures people with its tantalizing promise of greater body fat loss. MAD proponents repeatedly claim greater body fat losses for isocaloric low-carb diets, so they shouldn’t have any trouble providing the evidence to show this is true. Unless of course, the evidence does not exist…

Also, don’t attempt to switch contexts by citing studies examining the comparative weight gain effects of hypercaloric low-carb versus high-carb diets, or the weight loss/body composition effects of low-carb versus high-carb diets in patients with rare health disorders such as Type 1 diabetes. MAD proponents have enthusiastically promoted the metabolic advantage theory, without qualification, to the general public for weight loss. So show me the metabolic ward data that justifies the promotion of MAD to the general public for weight loss.

And don’t waste my time by citing the theoretical musings of researchers such as Richard Feinman and Eugene Fine. I’m not interested in pseudo-intellectual self-pleasuring that “predicts” the existence of a metabolic advantage. If the weather bureau predicts a fine sunny day and it proceeds to rain down in buckets, then the bureau clearly got it wrong. Feinman and Fine might be able to impress their fellow MAD believers with their MAD hypothesizing, but tightly controlled clinical trials that have actually put the hypothesis to test in real live human beings have repeatedly shown it to be a fantasy.

Once you have presented the requested metabolic ward research – which for unexplained reasons you have chosen to withhold to date – you can then proceed to meet the next requirement:

2. You must present conclusive proof that the metabolic ward studies I have cited in Table 1, Chapter 1 of The Fat Loss Bible have been misreported, and in fact really show greater fat loss in the low-carbohydrate groups.

In Chapter 1 of The Fat Loss Bible, I report the results of every metabolic ward study I have been able to find comparing the weight loss effects of lower- and higher-carbohydrate diets. None of them have shown statistically significant greater fat losses arising from lower-carb (nor higher-carb) diets. Only 3 of the 26 studies I have cited reported greater weight loss; in one of these, the greater weight loss was comprised of water and a non-statistically significant (ie, likely due to chance) greater fat loss (1 kg). In the other 2 studies, the researchers did not measure the composition of weight loss, but the changes in markers of lean mass status strongly suggest that the extra weight loss was derived from lean tissue, glycogen and/or water losses.

The remainder of the studies show no difference in weight loss among isocaloric low- and high-carb diets. Those that measured the composition of lost weight found no difference in fat loss excepting, in some studies, that attributable to higher protein intake on the low-carb diet.

However, Eades has claimed that Chapter 1 of my book “is a compendium of misread or misinterpreted studies”. Interestingly Eades is the only person who has read my book to make such an accusation – which I’m sure has nothing to do with his fury and embarrassment resulting from my public highlighting of his untenable claims, no sirree.

And after 6 weeks, Eades has still completely failed to verify his allegation that I “misread” and “misinterpreted” the metabolic ward studies cited in Chapter1 of The Fat Loss Bible. So I think it’s time to give Eades a little prodding.

I vehemently deny any allegation that I have “misread” and “misinterpreted” the metabolic ward studies cited in Chapter 1. I have simply reported the findings of the researchers in a factual, objective manner as any impartial person who has read the chapter and then checked the studies would know. If Eades or his followers believe otherwise, then here’s their chance to prove it.

After citing the metabolic ward research requested in requirement 1, they must then invalidate each and every one of the metabolic ward studies I have cited in Chapter 1 in which the lower-carb group ate less than 100 grams of carbohydrate per day. They must provide conclusive evidence that these studies did in fact find statistically significant greater fat losses on the lower carb diets, but that the researchers – by accident or design – misreported this data and instead claimed no difference in weight/fat losses.

If anyone can invalidate all the relevant metabolic ward studies in Table 1, Chapter 1 in the manner requested and present the previously requested metabolic ward research that does demonstrate a fat loss metabolic advantage for low-carb diets, then clearly the weight of current evidence will be in favor of MAD. Under that scenario, I will gladly hand over $20,000. But as it stands, seventy years’ worth of tightly controlled metabolic ward studies completely fail to prove the MAD paradigm.

Even half of the free-living studies conducted so far fail to support MAD. This is despite the fact that the tendency for greater satiety on low-carb diets and greater underreporting among subjects following low-fat diets favors the low-carb groups in allegedly ‘isocaloric’ free-living studies.

In other words, even when allowing the inclusion of free-living studies, the overwhelming majority of clinical trials have still completely failed to show any weight/fat loss advantage for low-carb diets. I have repeatedly requested that MAD promoters explain why they ignore the non-supportive studies and focus only on the minority of supportive fee-living studies.

I’m still waiting for a response…

3. The evidence requested above must be presented on an internet web site readily viewable by the general public by Midnight, March 1, 2008, Australian EST.
I am imposing this deadline because Eades has already had 6 weeks to post his dissection, but keeps using pathetic “the dog ate my homework”-style excuses to avoid having to deliver the goods.

As for the rest of the MAD crowd, their repeated and highly virulent criticism of me would indicate complete confidence in the scientific backing of their position, so they should have no problem promptly compiling this evidence.

When I was recently the subject of false and malicious allegations by the disgruntled promoter of a “Super Slow” weight training system (who just happens to be a co-author of Eades), I posted my rebuttal within hours of being notified of his diatribe:

So if an “amateur” like me can knock up an effective rebuttal in a matter of hours, I’m sure the intellectual giants that characterize the MAD movement can write something up in 4 weeks!

So there it is: Eades and fellow MAD believers have until March 1, 2008 to prove me wrong and relieve me of 20,000 greenbacks. It’s time to cease and desist with their pissy little insults and cowardly accusations and show that they have something to bring to his debate other than vitriolic bullshit.

I eagerly await their response.

‘Pre-emptive’ FAQ

To pre-empt the usual idiotic and boringly predictable criticisms that will no doubt be made by the MAD crowd (I say predictable as most of these ‘criticisms’ have already been made on numerous occasions by said crowd):

“This is just a publicity stunt by Colpo to promote his book The Fat Loss Bible.”

Yeah right. If I wanted to draw further attention to my book, I’d do something truly attention-grabbing… like scaling a tall building naked, with nothing but a picture of The The Fat Loss Bible covering my family jewels.

I could care less for such exhibitionism. My goal is to demonstrate to all those with a functioning brain just how dubious and intellectually bankrupt the MAD crowd truly are.

 “Dr. Michael Eades is my hero - how dare you challenge him or his dietary theories!”

I suggest you find a new hero. Unless of course, you think it’s perfectly OK to idolize someone who unashamedly promotes scientifically untenable dietary theories and personally attacks those with the temerity to state the plain truth.

“You are not helping the low-carb cause by attacking the metabolic advantage theory”

If you are truly concerned about advancing the “low-carb cause”, I suggest you petition those who promote MAD to cease and desist with their unscientific behavior. MAD is a scientifically untenable theory that prevents many serious researchers from treating low-carbohydrate diets with the respect and attention they deserve. No reputable scientist wants anything to do with charlatanism.

Furthermore, many people have followed the instructions of MAD-promoting authors, and have failed to lose weight due to the lack of a calorie deficit. Not realizing that calories are the key to weight loss, many of these folks have decided that low-carb diets are a waste of time and have gone looking for the next diet fad. This is a pity, because if they were told the truth about weight loss, they would realize that intelligently structured low-carbohydrate diets can be an excellent weight loss aid.

Low-carbohydrate diet authors and followers have the same obligation to act ethically and truthfully as everyone else. If they instead choose to behave like a bunch of hucksters then that’s their fault, not mine.

"Your insistence on metabolic ward studies is unreasonable. Real people don’t live in metabolic wards."

You’re joking, right? The participants of metabolic ward studies are indeed real live human beings, not aliens from another planet. They have lungs that inhale oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, they have hearts that pump blood around their bodies, they eat and digest food and excrete waste, and they put their pants on one leg at a time – just like you and I. They are recruited from the greater community and required to live in a confined area under the watch of researchers for the duration of the study. Their physiology does not suddenly undergo some unusual and atypical transformation when the study commences. Their bodies continue to function in the same manner they always have. The only difference is that whilst confined to the research facilities, they are fed controlled amounts of food to ensure isocaloric intakes on the low- and high-carbohydrate diets. This is the only way one can honestly test the hypothesis that isocaloric diets of varying macronutrient composition have differing weight loss effects.

"Even if Eades can’t meet your challenge it won’t prove anything to me. I believe a metabolic advantage exists, it’s just that science is yet to prove it."

If science is yet to prove a metabolic advantage, then what on Earth are the MAD crowd doing promoting it as if it were established fact?!?

As for what you wish to “believe”, it’s no big secret that people believe all sorts of bizarre nonsense. I only care about what has been demonstrated as tenable in carefully controlled clinical studies. The reality-evading wishful thinking of MAD believers such as yourself does not in any way constitute reliable evidence.

Your mentality is so typical of MAD believers. You simply refuse to accept that your dietary theory has been repeatedly disproved in tightly controlled clinical trials. Clearly, your priority is unwavering devotion to dogma, not discovering the scientific facts. You completely and wilfully abandon the scientific method in favor of cultism.

I really don’t know what to say to people like you, except to stick your head back up your butt and continue on your merry way, fumbling through life in a perpetual state of wilful ignorance.

“I don’t understand why Colpo is attacking the low-carb community, the same community that has given him so much support.”

Get a grip. I’m not attacking the low-carb “community” – I follow a low-carbohydrate diet myself and have always been a staunch defender of low-carb diets that are structured in an intelligent manner (which automatically excludes most of the well-known low-carb plans). I am attacking the scientifically untenable MAD theory of weight loss, and I am challenging the acid-tongued promoters of this theory to once and for all step up and provide the scientific evidence that justifies their continuous and unbridled vitriol.

I am extremely grateful to all those in the low-carb “community”, along with those in the academic, medical, athletic and even low-fat and vegetarian “communities”, who over the years have expressed positive sentiment about me and my writings and supported me financially by purchasing my books. But it’s only fair to mention that my most venomous and underhanded critics have also emanated from the low-carb “community”.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t care less what “community” one comes from. I write for those whose greatest concern is uncovering the true facts, not those whose prime concern is unthinking and unwavering devotion to closely held dogma.

"Who made you a self-appointed expert/guardian of the diet industry?"

The same environment that has made so many MAD believers such hopelessly gullible victims of the diet industry. The main difference is that I choose to think for myself and actually check what, if any, scientific validation exists for diet and health claims. Blindly supporting some hyperbolic diet guru simply because he’s telling me what I want to hear is hardly what I consider to be critical and independent thinking.

As for the “self-appointed expert/guardian” tag, that’s your label, not mine. I am simply exercising my inalienable right to free speech. I have attracted praise and favorable commentary from a readership base that extends all around the globe, so clearly there are a lot of people who are glad that I have exercised this right.

Of course, I have also attracted my fair share of nutters who resent me for saying things they don’t want to hear, no matter how scientifically valid. If you are annoyed that you cannot disprove my contentions, and must instead resort to impotent jabs about “self-appointed” expert status…well, that’s a rather sad reflection on you, not me.

"If we MAD believers can come up with even a single supportive metabolic ward trial meeting your requirements then that should be good enough to win the challenge. We should not be required to disprove the studies in Chapter 1. After all, it only takes one contradictory study to invalidate a hypothesis."

Ah, the old “it only takes one contradictory study to invalidate a hypothesis” cliché, a favorite of none other than Eades himself. Small-minded folks just love clichés and other simplistic overgeneralizations that reduce the volume of information they must critically assess on individual merit.

The problem with the claim that “it only takes one contradictory study to invalidate a hypothesis” is that it is self-contradictory. If MAD believers find a study that contradicts my anti-MAD contentions then they maintain that would prove my contentions wrong. But the opposite must logically be true – if I find a single study contradicting their pro-MAD contentions (let’s forget for a moment that I actually already have over 2 dozen such studies and they have none…) then that would automatically mean their contentions are wrong. But what if we both have research data that contradicts the other side’s contentions? Do you see where this is going? We can’t both be right – either there is a weight loss metabolic advantage, or there isn’t.

At the end of the day, one must consider the totality of the evidence. If one research group attains a certain finding, but over 20 other research groups fail to confirm this finding, we must ask why.

One of the key requirements of clinical research is that, for the findings to be accepted as valid, they must be able to be replicated by other researchers.

Let’s say you are a researcher who has just conducted a clinical trial and uncovered certain findings. If other trials conducted with similar subjects and under similar conditions by different researchers repeatedly fail to confirm these findings then they cannot be considered valid. The lack of corroboration raises the possibility that your findings were simply a fluke occurrence, that you falsified the findings, that your subjects did not comply with the study protocol, or one of endless other possible confounders.

An example of this phenomenon is research conducted several years back that allegedly showed greater weight loss among subjects eating a high-calcium diet. Based on the results of this research by a single group of researchers, diet and health writers around the world began enthusiastically singing the praises of high-calcium dairy products for weight loss. As you can imagine, the dairy industry was especially pleased and began running ad campaigns titled "Milk your diet. Lose weight!" and "3-a-day. Burn more fat, lose weight."

However, when numerous other groups of researchers tried to replicate these results, they repeatedly drew a blank. Even a subsequent trial by the original researchers who started all the commotion failed to replicate their own earlier results. It appears that the results in their earliest trial were simply an artifact of lower caloric consumption in the high-calcium group (an occurrence that would have been alleviated had the trial been conducted under ward conditions). In 2007, the Federal Trade Commission ordered the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the nation's dairy industry to desist from relating dairy products to weight management and loss.

I will reiterate: the MAD crowd must show me legitimate metabolic ward research showing statistically significant greater fat losses on an isocaloric low-carb diet. They must then invalidate the far greater number of non-supportive metabolic ward studies as stated in requirement 2. If they cannot do this, then they should cease and desist with their baseless pro-MAD propaganda.

To read Michael Eades' email reply, dated February 1, to Anthony Colpo about this challenge, click here.


March 16, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen,

the March 1 deadline has passed and neither Eades nor anyone else even attempted to meet the $20,000 challenge.

For all their hyperbole and for all their rabid vitriol against anyone who dares challenge the MAD theory of weight loss, the MAD movement appear to be a little shy when it comes to fronting up with the actual human evidence to support their theory.

Either that, or they don't have any such evidence.

For those who still believe in MAD - despite the overwhelming lack of evidence and the abundance of contradictory clinical data - here's my advice:

Please keep believing in MAD. Please do not listen to anyone who tells you that MAD is scientifically untenable, no matter how much evidence they present to support their case. Please ignore reality and keep engaging in the mental masturbation necessary to sustain your MAD fantasy. That way, you'll end up with the sad, flabby, uninspiring body you deserve.


Anthony Colpo.

Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher, physical conditioning specialist, and author of the groundbreaking books The Fat Loss Bible and The Great Cholesterol Con. For more information, visit or

Copyright © Anthony Colpo.

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