Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Public Apology to Anthony Colpo


I was surprised and kind of flattered in a weird way (you are the author of the ground breaking book “The Great Cholesterol Con” after all, which I now must read) that you wrote a long post in response to my comments to Castle Grok:

Reader Mail: Jimmy Moore, Michael Eades, Angry Dick, and Other Assorted Fat Loss Failures

I think I was among the “Other Assorted Fat Loss Failures”. I’m also flattered to be thrown in the same ring as Jimmy Moore, Dr. Eades and Richard Nikoley, but let’s overlook that for now.

My internet writing style has been described by others as polemic. I tried to objectively respond to Castle Grok, but perhaps it was polemic given your response to it. As you pointed out I didn’t fully read both parts of your post on low carb athletes. I lost interest after I didn’t agree with your account of how Phinney performed his first study.

However, now I’ve gone back and fully read both parts, and I think we can agree more than we disagree. I am sorry for characterizing your post as misrepresenting based on one oversight. Let’s be clear on the points where I think we agree, especially regarding my post that you referenced:

About Phinney’s first study, I said:
“It would seem that keto-adaption greatly improved endurance, but the results were confounded by the fact that the average test subject lost about 10 Kg of body weight. Despite wearing loaded backpacks to equal their weight loss, the subjects had greatly improved exercise efficiency as measured by oxygen consumption decrease.”

About the cyclist’s study, I said:
“Despite the apparent success of Dr. Phinney's studies, I am still nagged by the effect of exercise intensity on the bodies’ ability to burn fuel from fat. In the middle of the 2004 paper he states:

"...high carbohydrate diets might be more effective in short-term tests of high-intensity exercise..."

And Dr. Phinney's concluding statement includes a caveat:

"...anaerobic (ie, weight lifting or sprint) performance is limited by the low muscle glycogen levels induced by a ketogenic diet, and this would strongly discourage its use under most conditions of competitive athletics."”

About Jonas Colting, I said:
“ Jonas Colting is an example of a very competitive, professional triathlete who embraces low-carb-high-fat nutrition. He has been interviewed by Jimmy Moore and posted on Mark Sisson's site. It's clear though that he doesn't strictly follow low-carb-high-fat nutrition. As he said, all rules are thrown out on race day. He calls it "train low, race high", in reference I think to muscle glycogen. He even is sponsored by the sugary drink manufacturer "Red Bull". However, he does say that his carbohydrate consumption is "a far cry" from the typical amount recommended by Swedish nutritionists for athletes, about 10 grams per Kg of bodyweight, or about 800 grams per day.”

Finally, I think we have common ground in my conclusion. I said:
“So it seems that some low carb runners like Kent, Cynthia and David correlate well with Dr. Phinney's research, as long as intensity levels are low to moderate. And Dr. Phinney isn't the only researcher to clinically show fat-adaptation doesn't impair endurance. Scientists at the University of Cape Town have published similar results. But it also seems unavoidable that competitive endurance relies at least partially on carbohydrates as per Jonas and Mark. I expect there will be more to say as I do personal experimentation. Til then.”

Let me repeat my final conclusion: "...seems unavoidable that competitive endurance relies at least partially on carbohydrates...". Can we agree on that middle ground?

Best Regards,


  1. Woo Hoo what a man!


  2. Takes a man to sack up Kelly. Kudos. You might change "partially" to "mostly" ;)

    Unless you plan on stepping into the ring as a pro with Jonas, you'll save yourself a lot of agony just eating the carbs.

    As far as burning fat, I've burned 175,000 calories of bodyfat in the last 5 months on top of consuming FAR above my body's carbo requirements for daily function AND exercise. Seems like my body is adapted to burning fat just fine.

  3. Hi Grok, Thanks for stopping by. Regarding changing things, if you go back to my first post in June called "Picking a Name", you'll see that the reason I chose a corny blog name like "kellysayswhat" is because I wasn't sure enough about picking a monoker like "lowcarbkelly" or "barefootkelly". I've read somewhere that you wanted to change your moniker, but really, Grok still fits you if you look at it from a non-Sisson perspective.

    I'm currently reading through Colpo's "Fat Loss Bible". Really good stuff. It's Paleo without being fanatical. Colpo says it like it is.

  4. Yeah, I know it kind of makes sense. I still live a pretty simple life and eat largely paleo, but it's just too corny for me.

    Lots of people be hatin' on Colpo (he brings it on sometimes LOL), but he does say it like it is.

    The more carbs you eat, the more you'll find you enjoy your workouts. They'll be more like "outs" :) Every time I don't try and skimp to "train low" and just eat the damn carbs like crazy, I find myself smiling, going fast, and enjoying the tranquility of being outside moving my body. I train low sometimes (all last week), but if I did it all the time I'd burn out.

    Low carb is for people with brain cancer and epilepsy. If you love athletics, forgetaboutit :)

  5. Hi Kelly,

    So sorry to hear about your run-in with the massive ego. We made the mistake of disagreeing with a know-it-all once and he tried to publicly flog us too. I just stay away from those ego maniacs. Do what you want, eat what you want, test and come to your own conclusions, please.

    I had a great time at Headlands 50K last weekend despite my low carb lifestyle. I felt great and never got all that tired. I did have cramping problems after about mile twenty (after climbing ~6500 feet). The famous Dipsea stairs were a real hard test. So would having full glycogen stores have helped prevent that problem? I doubt it, because with more glycogen stores, the faster you go through them.

    Besides athletics, I still believe low carb is the way to go for health, at least for some people. We need more research to see if the glucose tolerant will really be more healthy eating their carbs over the long run, or whether they develop health problems eventually. Plenty of high carbers develop diabetes and cancer despite being thin and athletic. We'll figure it out eventually. In the meantime, I try to keep an open mind and see what works for me.


  6. Correction, there were a lot of stairs on the Coastal, Matt Davis and Dipsea trails that we used on this course, but they are not THE Dipsea Stairs. Guess I'll have to try the actual Dipsea race to test those.


  7. Hi Cynthia, thanks for stopping by. Speaking of conclusions, I'm posting soon on a review of my nutrition this year. Regarding Anthony, I poked a stick in the hornets nest when I criticized his writings without fully reviewing what he said. Honestly, I should have been more careful.

  8. Up yours, asshole. Who in their right mind would apologize to an Internet FRAUD?

    The workd of Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, Dr. Douglas Coleman and Dr. Liebel COMPLETELY DISCREDITS Colpo's laughable obesity information.

    Neither you, nor Colpo, have ANY clue about the essence of science and how it works.