Hippocrates wrote that the obese should “eat only once a day and…walk naked as long as possible.” Progress in this area will require that we move beyond this 2,000-year-old prescription and instead develop strategies that are based on twenty-first-century science. – J.M. Friedman, Rockefeller University

When did biology—i.e. what causes the body to burn fat—become a matter of opinion? Chemistry is not a matter of opinion. Nobody cares what anybody thinks combining two hydrogen molecules (H2) with an oxygen molecule (O) causes. You and I know we get water (H2O). We know the proven science.

Why is biology any different? Why do we care what anyone thinks causes our bodies to burn fat? Why don’t we rely on proven science?

Because the facts of fat loss are buried in obscure academic studies…until now.

I have spent over ten years reading thousands of fat loss studies. Not gurus’ theories. Not what magazines say. Not what TV tells us. Not what marketers promote. Not what everyone else does. Not even the opinions of doctors whose specialties have nothing to do with fat loss. Only the proven data. Just the facts.

My investigation uncovered:

  • Studies stating how certain foods cripple our ability to burn fat
  • Scientists showing how to burn a bunch of fat while eating more food
  • Researchers revealing how to get all the benefits of traditional exercise in a tenth of the time
  • Physiologists finding out how eating less sets us up to gain fat in the long run
  • Doctors discussing how a few minutes of a new form of exercise immunizes us against fat gain
  • Endocrinologists explaining how we fix the underlying condition causing us to gain fat

Then I found bureaucrats and businesses burying all this biology so they could profit off our fat loss struggles.

Keeping us overweight so the food, fitness, and pharmaceutical industries stay overpaid is shady. We deserve to know the proven fat loss facts. But who has time to read tens of thousands of pages of scientific studies? It took me more than a decade. It should not take you that long to find the facts. That is why I wrote The Smarter Science of Slim.

It summarizes, simplifies, and applies over 10,000 pages of little known academic fat loss research. And no worries if science is not your strong suit. The science is simple. The only potentially challenging part is how different the science is from what we have been told. Then again, that may be easy too since we would expect an effective approach to be different than what we have been trying.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

Enough with marketing and myths forming our fat loss future. We tried it. It failed. It is time to move on to a smarter science of slim.

For example, starting in the 1970’s we were told to eat less and exercise more. Today, nearly half of women and a third of men are dieting, and studies from the University of Southern Denmark show we have significantly increased the amount of exercise we get. In other words, we have taken the “eat less, exercise more” theory to heart. Here is what that has done to our hearts (and waistlines):

Judging by these results, attempting to eat less and exercise more is not effective. The approach is either wrong, impractical, or both. From researcher S.C. Wooley from the University of Cincinnati: “The failure of [heavy] people to achieve a goal they seem to want—and to want almost above all else—must now be admitted for what it is: a failure not of those people but of the methods of treatment that are used.”

Fortunately, hundreds of the most brilliant academic health and fat loss researchers from around the world agree with Dr. Wooley. Take researcher A. Stunkard at the University of Pennsylvania who said: “How may the medical profession regain its proper role in the treatment of obesity? We can begin by looking at the situation as it exists and not as we would like it to be…If we do not feel obliged to excuse our failures, we may be able to investigate them.”

Why should you and I care? With researchers shelving the old “spend time excusing the failures of the traditional fat loss” approach, and moving on to a “forget the theories of the past, let’s find the facts of fat loss” approach, thousands of pages of revolutionary fat loss research have been release over the past few decades. The only catch has been that the research was only accessible to academics. Fortunately, this book puts the last forty years of fat loss facts in the palm of your hand. Even better, the science is simple, slimming, and shocking.

For instance, this whole Calories In – Calories Out theory of weight loss has been proven wrong in study after study, but you and I do not even need to go that far. All we need is a bit of common sense. A pound of body fat contains 3,500 calories. Cutting a measly 100 calories—less than one cup of reduced fat milk—per day cuts 365,000 calories over ten years. If Calories In – Calories Out is correct, if biology works like math instead of working like biology, then a 150 pound woman who drinks one less cup of reduced fat milk per day will lose more than 104 pounds and weigh less than forty-six pounds ten years later (365,000 calories divided by 3,500 calories per pound of fat equals 104 pounds of fat). That is crazy. So is explaining our bodies using math instead of biology. That is why you and I will stick with biology and burn body fat instead of burning money on low-calorie “food.”

Or take the old favorite, A Calorie Is A Calorie. That does not make any sense. Is a Ferrari a Chevy because they are both cars? We know a car is not a car. Is a tiger a chipmunk because they are both animals? We know an animal is not an animal. Then what makes calories different? Nothing. Researchers have discovered that calorie quality varies wildly. High-quality calories from non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, and natural fats trigger hormones which cause our body to burn fat. Low-quality calories from starches and sweets trigger hormones which cause our body to store fat. The clinically proven fact is that a calorie is not a calorie, and that by eating more high-quality calories we burn more body fat.

Then there is all the misinformation along the lines of Calories Are All That Matter. What about the millions of Type 1 Diabetics—people who cannot effectively get energy into their cells because they are missing the hormone insulin? Why are these unfortunate people injecting themselves with the hormone insulin if calories are all that matter? Because calories are not all that matter. Hormones—not how much we eat or exercise—determine if we are burning or storing body fat.

Finally, we are given the government’s Dietary Guidelines and pyramid and plate graphics. From the Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health: “…the USDA Pyramid is wrong…at best, the USDA Pyramid offers wishy-washy, scientifically unfounded advice…it ignores the evidence that has been carefully assembled over the past forty years.” And from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: “The low-fat-high-carbohydrate diet, promulgated [encouraged] vigorously by the…food pyramid, may well have played an unintended role in the current epidemics of obesity…diabetes, and metabolic syndromes.” With our primary source of nutrition information hurting rather than helping us, is it any wonder we are struggling with our health and weight?

On the bright side, researchers at top universities around the world have discovered a dramatically different set of dietary guidelines which make us thin and fit instead of heavy and sick. These glorious guidelines have dramatically improved my life and they will dramatically improve your life too. All you need is access to the information.

And while you and I are summarizing, simplifying, and applying thousands of pages of fat loss and health research previously only available to academics, we will also discover what the food, fitness, and pharmaceutical industries have known for decades: There is a lot more money to be made off sick, stocky, and sad people than there is to be made off of healthy, hot, and happy people. We will uncover the unfortunate fact that the bigger we are, the bigger the profits of the $3.1 trillion food, $150 billion fitness, and $500 billion pharmaceutical industries. And how this makes big food, fitness, and pharma want us to stay slim like big tobacco wants us to stop smoking. And just like big tobacco tried to keep the science of smoking from surfacing, big food, fitness, and pharma are trying to keep the science of slim from surfacing.


By 1964, there was sufficient scientific evidence…[but] many years passed and many millions died before decisive action was taken to [turn the tide against smoking]…Repeating this history with food and obesity would be tragic.   – researcher K. Brownell, Yale University

But no worries. You and I will bring the science to the surface and benefit dramatically and permanently because of it. And once we have freed ourselves from profitable fat loss fiction and empowered ourselves with proven fat loss facts, we will be able to heal our hormones, improve our basic biology, and enable our bodies to burn fat for us automatically.

Sound too good to be true? Have you ever met anyone who eats as much as they want, does not exercise, and still stays skinny? Put differently, have you ever met anyone who’s body burns fat for them automatically? We all have. So the question is not: “Is automatic lifelong fat loss is possible?” Millions of naturally thin people have already demonstrated that. The question is: “How can you and I burn fat automatically like naturally thin people?”

Researchers have revealed a simple and surprising answer: Eat more. Exercising less. Smarter.

Smarter is the key. By eating more—but higher-quality food—and exercising less—but with higher-quality—we provide our body a unique combination of nutrition and hormones which reprograms it to behave more like the body of a naturally thin person. Our body starts burning—instead of storing—fat. It is not magic. It is:


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A sampling of sources

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  2. Ravnskov, Uffe, and Joel M. Kauffman. Fat and Cholesterol Are Good for You. [S.l.]: GP, 2009. Print.
  3. “To avoid overweight, consume only as much energy as is expended; if overweight, decrease energy intake and increase energy expenditure.” Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs (US). Dietary goals for the United States. 2nd ed. Washington: Government Printing Office; 1977.
  4. http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/
  5. Wooley SC, Garner DM. Dietary treatments for obesity are ineffective. BMJ. 1994 Sep 10;309(6955):655-6. PubMed PMID: 8086992; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2541482.
  6. “HHS Tackles Obesity.” FDLP Electronic Collection Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/lps1609/www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/304_fat.html>.
  7. http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.727/news_detail.asp
  8. http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/. Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reveal that nearly half of women and a third of men are dieting and about 50 million Americans pay for gym memberships.
  9. Petersen CB, Thygesen LC, Helge JW, Grønbaek M, Tolstrup JS. Time trends in physical activity in leisure time in the Danish population from 1987 to 2005. Scand J Public Health. 2010 Mar;38(2):121-8. Epub 2010 Jan 11. PubMed PMID: 20064919.
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  11. http://apps.who.int/bmi/index.jsp
  12. Oliver, J. Eric. Fat Politics: The Real Story behind America’s Obesity Epidemic. New Ed ed. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2006. Print.
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  14. Roberts, Seth. The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan. Chicago: Perigee Trade, 2007. Print.
  15. P.J. Skerrett, and Walter Willett. Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating. Free Press Trade Pbk. New York City: Free Press, 2005.
  16. Weinberg SL. The diet-heart hypothesis: a critique. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Mar 3;43(5):731-3. Review. PubMed PMID: 14998608.
  17. Roberts, Paul. The End of Food. New York: Mariner Books, 2009. Print.
  18. In 1990 the following report estimated that United States consumers spend more than $33 billion yearly on weight loss products and services.The U.S. Congress H. Deception and Fraud in the Diet Industry, Part 1. 101st Congress, 2nd Session. 1990. Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Regulation, Business Opportunities, and Energy. Nearly twenty years later this number is estimated to have grown to $50 billion. See: Freedhoff Y, Sharma AM. “Lose 40 pounds in 4 weeks”: regulating commercial weight-loss programs. CMAJ. 2009 Feb 17;180(4):367-8. English, French. PubMed PMID: 19221340; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2638047.  The European diet market is estimated at 100B Euros. See: Cannon, Geoffrey. Dieting Makes You Fat: The Scientifically Proven Way to be Slim without Lowering Your Food Intake. Revised edition ed. None: Virgin Books, 2008. Print.
  19. Cassels, Alan, and Ray Moynihan. Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients. 1 ed. New York City, New York: Nation Books, 2006. Print
  20. “Economics of the Food and Fiber System.” USDA Economic Research Service – Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2010. <http://www.ers.usda.gov/amberwaves/February04/DataFeature/>.
  21. http://www.kraftfoodscompany.com/assets/pdf/kraft_foods_fact_sheet.pdf
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  24. The Principles and Practice of Medicine, William Osler, M.D. Fourth Edition
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