May 05

Weight Gain Experiment – Progress Update

Before getting started, let me again emphasize that I highly discourage anyone else doing this experiment. As I’ve warned both here on the blog and on YouTube, this experiment has both short and long-term risks. In order to gain weight, I’m inducing a constant state of heightened insulin (duh!) to accumulate fat.

Patrons –> I have an accompanying video to this blog post you can watch here.

The Schedule

As you can see above, I’m now in the purple phase of a Controlled Standard American Diet which consists of two foot long sandwiches and a medium pepperoni pizza (Carbs 381g, Protein 301g, Fat 177g).

On Monday morning (May 7th) I’ll get a DEXA scan and a full spectrum blood test.

Click here to see all tests...
Apolipoprotein A-1, Apolipoprotein B, CBC With Differential/Platelet, Comp. Metabolic Panel (14), Cortisol, C-Reactive Protein- Cardiac, Fatty Acids- Free (Nonester), Ferritin- Serum, GGT, Glucagon, Hemoglobin A1c, Homocyst(e)ine- Plasma, IGF-1, Insulin and C-Peptide- Serum, Interleukin-6- Serum, Lipid Panel, Lp-PLA2 Activity, NMR LipoProfile, Thyroid Panel, Vitamin B12 and Folate

Then I’ll switch a Controlled Keto Diet which consists of 10 eggs, 8 oz of cheddar cheese, 2 pork sausage patties, 60ml heavy whipping cream, 2.5 oz almonds (Carbs 24g, Protein 128g, Fat 205g).

I plan to get a standard blood panel three days later on the 10th which will include a CMP, CBC, Fasting Insulin, hsCRP, NMR and basic lipid panel. Following this will be one more full spectrum test on the 14th and one more standard panel on 17th.

Daily Metrics

In addition to the labs taken and body scans, I’ll be capturing certain markers daily until the 19th:

  • Waking Glucose
  • Waking BHB (Ketones)
  • Waking weight
  • Waking blood pressure
  • Waking %SpO2 & PRbpm
  • Around 10am Glucose
  • Around 10am Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL, TG (CardioChek)
  • Bedtime Glucose

Progress Thus Far

I find it endlessly ironic that so many people figured this would be “fun” since I could just “pig out” on anything I wanted. To be sure, I was actually trying to limit my carbs to grains in particular. So there was very little fructose or table sugar relative to my non-keto diet before. I ate a lot of pizza, buns on burgers, meat pies, bagels, croissants, etc. This was mainly due to (1) my having mild fructose malabsorption, and (2) keeping carb variations down to limit variables.

Sure enough, I got nearly all the symptoms I had listed last year in my Adventures in Carbland Parts I, II, and III. GI Stress, dry scalp, postprandial drowsiness, broken circadian rhythm, and acne. Yay.

But wait, there’s more! I have three new things that have been quite troublesome:

  • Persistent cough / heavy breathing. While I’ve had to deal with this a few times before in the carb swap experiments, it’s much worse this time around. Even walking around the block I find I’ll cough a bit and sometimes have to take deeper breaths or yawn.
  • Lack of productivity. I’m definitely not as much of my workaholic self. For instance, I usually find few TV shows worth stopping and watching. I’m usually doing something else while one is on. Now I feel like I can just veg in front of the TV pretty easily. I also don’t pop out of bed as quickly in the morning. I’m glad I have to take those metrics (from above) right away or I think I’d just lie there another half hour instead.
  • Less joy. Maybe it’s just these other symptoms that are bringing down my mood, but I certainly feel a bit more malaise when on this diet. I can’t wait to flip the switch back to keto soon.
  • Persistent Headaches*. I put a star next to this one as this has been mainly predominant since returning from the hiatus and moving from an uncontrolled carb diet to a controlled one. In the uncontrolled I had a lot of diet soda, whereas I have only water in the controlled — so there’s a decent chance this is a withdrawal from the caffeine. That said, it seems to be getting worse (not better) and it has now been three and a half days since starting the controlled phase.


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Humans were not designed or adapted to eat grains…according to Dr. Stephen Gundry (see The Plant Paradox) simple sugars and plant lectins are the major causes of autoimmunity and our
chronic dieases epidemic

Shameer Mulji
Shameer Mulji

I agree with respect to whole grains but that’s why our ancestors discovered the process of slow fermentation (ie: sourdough). This actually breaks down a lot of the phytic acid / lectins and makes nutrients in the grain much more bioavailable.

Bob Niland

If the goal is to check the effects of excess carbs, or excess carbs from grains, you might stick with quinoa.

Mutant runt goatgrass (sold you you as “wheat” since 1960) introduces far too many variables:

Similar confounding would be expected with the other gluten-bearing grains, grains with gliadin analogs, and cross-contaminated grains. Grain lectins (like WGA in rice) also need a ponder (and rice further presents arsenic risk).

You may not learn enough here to justify the health risks.

Jaydee Murray
Jaydee Murray

I’m so upset. I saw weight gain experiment and thought heck yeah. Something I could do and gain weigh. Ughh. Well this would never work. First off. I could never eat that much in a million years.

John Alvord
John Alvord

I had a persistent cough eventually diagnosed as severe acid reflux. After years had esophageal Barrett’s tissue and needed multiple radiative ablation treatment. All this about ten years befor lchf diet.

Lisa Roberts
Lisa Roberts

Same here with the cough and acid reflux. I have always been lean, a “health nut” and athletic, so I was always dismissed by doctors (it’s all in her head). I thought for years that I just had bad reactions to upper respiratory viruses. Turns out I have GERD. Soooo, I took years of meds, was told to avoid a lot of foods, and yet it got worse. I couldn’t eat fatty foods without a sleepless night. Then, I went keto. Ironically, when in keto, I can eat fat without indigestion. Crazy, right? I will have reflux even now, however, if I eat too close to bed time. following IF protocols has been very effective. I hear that eating a handful of greens occasionally while fasting helps with reflux while maintaining the fasting benefits.


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Dave, You are a hero. I nominate you for a nobel price 🙂

Keep up the good work and hopefully your experiments will help science! And the health of lots of people!


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