Eades Blogs About Calories, Colpo Responds With A Rather Ostentatious Outburst
Dr. Mike Eades and Anthony Colpo still sparring over diet
Have you been paying attention to the very public and sometimes nasty feud that has been going on between Protein Power author and low-carb diet expert Dr. Mike Eades and independent Australian researcher Anthony Colpo over the past year or so? It's gotten pretty ugly at times as Colpo continues to openly castigate the low-carb community for being too partisan and monolithic in their thinking on diet (something I happen to agree with him somewhat about and a thought that was first expressed by Dr. Jonny Bowden in my August 2006 interview with him).
I've been a fan of the work Anthony Colpo has done over the years on behalf of livin' la vida low-carb. He blasted the idiocy of low-fat diets while extolling the virtues of low-carb living in his fabulous 2006 self-published debut book entitled The Great Cholesterol Con. That book showed such great promise for Colpo who had firmly established himself as a leader in the low-carb community with his knack for witty, in-your-face writing combined with nearly irrefutable independent scientific research backing up every word he wrote. That's the Anthony Colpo we knew and loved at the time and you could tell his passion for the low-carb lifestyle was deeply rooted in this blog interview I conducted with him in June 2006.
But shortly after the release of The Great Cholesterol Con, some strange behavior started happening with Anthony where you could already see some deeply harbored resentment towards the low-carb community seeping out into the pages of his writings. Who can forget the day when Colpo removed the content from TheOmnivore.com because of what he described as "freeloaders" who forced him to shut it down for good.
Colpo explained his reasons for that decision this way:
"Judging by the sales figures over at [his print-on-demand publisher] Lulu, only a small fraction of my newsletter subscribers have even bothered to buy the book. Yet I still get people emailing to tell me what a great guy I am, how great the (free) info on my web site is and still wanting (free) answers to their questions."
I suppose Colpo expected every member of the low-carb community to immediately go out and buy his book as soon as it released. It's certainly worth having on your mantle because it is chock full of the best research on cholesterol you will find anywhere. But the sales were going "VERY slowly" according to him and it ticked him off that this was the thanks he received for all of his contributions on behalf of low-carb. He even responded in typical fashion to those people who were upset about having to pay extra for the book to be shipped where they live.
"Here I am, having self-published a book that has literally costs me thousands of dollars out of my own pocket (and caused me more than a few headaches along the way) to bring to market, and in return I get disgruntled wankers writing to complain about how they have to pay an extra ten piddly bucks to have the book delivered to their country."
After this incident, I tried to help Anthony out by blogging about his book and encouraging others who support the low-carb message to buy it to support what he was doing and to show him that we aren't all a bunch of "freeloaders" as he claimed. We got the book to crack the Top 1000 at the time which was a pretty major feat that even my own first book has never seen happen.
By August 2006, Anthony Colpo still hadn't brought back his fabulous web site, but was back in usual form with the high-fat, low-carb message responding to a ridiculous study about how one saturated fat meal will clog up your arteries. He was back to doing what we loved about him in the first place--refuting weak research and bombastic claims with real, hard evidence delivered with a healthy dose of attitude. It was good to have him focusing his attention on the failed low-fat diet message again, but unfortunately it wasn't gonna last very long.
Although he created a low-carb bodybuilders forum, released an e-book with his old posts from TheOmnivore, and I named him to my top 10 low-carb movers & shakers of 2006, Colpo apparently still held a lot of anger and resentment towards the low-carb community in general for not rallying behind his book which he spent years researching and writing. And, in his mind, what did it get him? In a way, you can understand the disappointment he experienced, but the way he responded tended to turn off more people than it turned on. Plus, having a self-published book presents limitations that I suppose Colpo didn't anticipate (anyone who's ever done it can relate).
The first time Dr. Mike Eades from Protein Power enters the picture with Anthony Colpo is in October 2006 when I interviewed him and Dr. Mary Dan at my blog. I asked them if they had read Colpo's book on cholesterol promoting the consumption of saturated fat as part of a healthy low-carb lifestyle to help protect against cardiovascular health and here's what Dr. Mike wrote in response:
"I agree with Colpo (though I haven’t read his book, I have skimmed through it) and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov that saturated fat isn’t an issue. There is no conclusive evidence that saturated fat causes any kind of problems."
At this point, both Colpo and Dr. Eades seem to be on the same page regarding a healthy high-fat, low-carb diet. But what happened next that created such an inexplicable ongoing rift between these two is still a mystery to this day. More about that in a moment.
In December 2006, Colpo released an updated and expanded edition of The Great Cholesterol Con in the hopes that it would provide more incentive for people to purchase the book. As far as I can tell, these changes did not measurably improve the sales so I am sure Colpo's disenchantment with the low-carb world was ever-increasing. Even still, he was gracious enough to respond to an e-mail one of my blog readers had for him about low-carb diets and cholesterol in March 2007 from someone who HAD purchased his book and wanted some additional information. He was still on top of his game about what he was sharing and I sincerely appreciated his assistance with my reader who wanted to learn more about this subject.
Colpo's amazing writings and work on low-carb diets was finally noticed by a health newsletter founded by Dr. Al Sears called Total Health Breakthroughs and he was brought on as a contributing writer as I shared last August. In that same month, I asked Colpo to once again share his feedback with a reader who had a question about muscle fatigue on a low-carb diet. At the time, Colpo was promoting his new e-book called The Fat Loss Bible where I couldn't help but notice he started recommending higher carbohydrate counts than I had ever seen from him advise people to eat before.
Here's what he shared with my reader about what she needed to do post-workout when she leaves her spinning class:
"I would suggest you begin drinking 75-150 grams of carbohydrate in liquid form, along with either 30-40 grams whey protein and/or 6 grams of a powdered amino acid formula that is rich in branched chain amino acids, immediately after your spin classes...Suitable forms of carbohydrate include maltodextrin (a.k.a. glucose polymers) or rice syrup, diluted in around 500 ml water. You can add a little glucose or honey to sweeten the mixture."
Colpo was basically recommending she drink sugar water after her workout which seemed a bit odd to me at the time based on all that I had learned about the negative impact of sugar consumption on blood sugars and insulin levels and their effect on the body. It seemed to go against everything I knew about exercise while livin' la vida low-carb. But I didn't argue that point at the time, although a few of my readers reacted to this seemingly out-of-place recommendation in the comments section of that post.
Then in September 2007, it happened.
Dr. Eades wrote a blog post heard 'round the world called "Is A Calorie Always A Calorie?" that basically detailed how and why low-carb diets create a spontaneous drop in caloric intake compared with those following a low-fat diet. He was defending the "metabolic advantage" that so many of us believe exists as it relates to livin' la vida low-carb.
Less than a week later, Anthony Colpo responded to Dr. Eades' post about calories with his now infamous open letter entitled "The Hopelessly Biased 'Research' of Dr. Michael Eades" where he blasts Dr. Eades for believing in the "metabolic advantage" of low-carb diets. The overall tone of this first open letter from Colpo to Dr. Eades was very snide and snobbish like an arrogant teacher chiding a student for missing such an OBVIOUS question like 2+2=4. Quite frankly, if Dr. Eades had chosen to ignore Colpo's antics at this point, I wouldn't have blamed him. What he was accusing Dr. Eades of wasn't nearly worth all the hostility and contempt that Colpo was pouring on.
There was no immediate response from Dr. Eades to this letter from Colpo, but two months later in November 2007, the time was ripe for a refutation of the charges made against him. Anyone who reads Dr. Mike's blog knows he has a unique way of making his points in written format much in the same way Anthony Colpo does. And so he did when he wrote in the lengthy blog post "Learn why Anthony Colpo is MAD and get a free book" where Dr. Eades goes through the charges made by Colpo point by point citing references and links where appropriate. You'll notice in this mammoth response that Dr. Eades isn't very impressed by who he describes as "a pretty slippery fellow" who is "a legend in his own mind."
The war of words had begun and Colpo and Dr. Eades continued this back-and-forth exchange on their various blogs and forums. In late November 2007, Anthony wrote the following to me regarding this rift between him and the low-carb community:
The animosity between the MAD crowd and myself has become irreparably personal. So be it. Contrary to what the MAD crowd claim, they drew first blood. It was they who took such deep offense to my 2005 fat loss article and began attacking my persona on web forums. I get the feeling that some of those folks felt a sense of betrayal, that they felt angry that I dared turn my spotlight on myths *within* the low-carb camp.
I have no time for such nepotism. And I give as good as I get. If they want to keep this up, I'm more than happy to stay in the ring. So far their animosity has inspired the creation of a popular ebook and a mini-PDF that are receiving enthusiastic praise from those who have not hopelessly succumbed to MAD. So if they want to keep providing me with creative inspiration, good luck to them."
In March 2008, I contacted Anthony Colpo about coming on my podcast show to discuss this at the time six-month dispute with Dr. Eades and those in the low-carb community he disagreed with. I was offering an olive branch out to him as a means of giving him a voice to talk about what had him so upset. But he refused stating that the "MAD (metabolic advantage dogma) crowd" as he calls those of us in the low-carb community has become too partisan about their beliefs. Okay, but here I am giving you a chance to share your side of the story, so why wouldn't you take it?
Here is Colpo's decline of my invitation for an interview:
Thanks for the kind offer to appear on your low-carb show, but I really don't want to be identified with a particular dietary paradigm anymore. It's been my experience that followers of particular dietary paradigms tend to be very myopic and dogmatic, and I have to honestly say that low-carbers are among the worst - if not *the* worst - offenders. As a result, I will be changing the direction of my web presence in due course, in order to shake off the annoying "low-carb" and "Paleo" labels I've been tagged with (partly my own fault). I'm just not interested in catering to the kind of one-eyed crowd that these labels tend to attract.
All the best,
As if it wasn't abundantly clear before, it was at this point that I realized the great defender of low-carb we once knew as a brilliant orator of this way of eating was now gone for good. Anthony Colpo had now taken on a martyr mentality and he would do anything and everything to prove he's right no matter what.
At the April 2008 ASBP/Nutrition & Metabolism conference in Phoenix, AZ, I was able to sit down with Drs. Mike and Mary Dan Eades for an interview with them. One of the questions I had for Dr. Mike was about none other than Anthony Colpo himself. Here's what I asked Dr. Mike Eades about Anthony Colpo in that podcast interview which ran in May 2008:
"I wanted to ask one more question about another gentleman who you have had a very open spout with. Of course, we're talking about Anthony Colpo. What has happened to him? I mean he used to be a champion, I guess, of the low-carb diet and something changed him. I don't even know how to ask the question, I mean, what's going on with him based on your analysis in the midst of this squabble with him. What's happening, is he seeing scientific data that's there that we don't? I don't get where he's coming from."
Dr. Eades very carefully started to answer this question to give his honest opinion about the Colpo situation as he saw it from his perspective. Here's what he said:
"Well, it's a hard question to answer because I'm not inside Anthony Colpo's head, so I don't know how he thinks. So all my analyses are just sorta pop psychology analyses. I mean, when this whole thing blew up because I'd never even heard of him until he wrote something in on my blog and I started checking him out. I read some of the stuff about him.
I got the same impression that he used to be a real proponent of the low-carb diet and actually I have read his old TheOmnivore and I'd read it a while before and I didn't put Anthony Colpo and TheOmnivore together. It was only after this whole thing happened that I thought, 'Oh, that's TheOmnivore guy.' And I actually liked his web site.
So I couldn't figure out what set him off on this thing. And apparently he's just somebody that doesn't deal with people disagreeing with him very well which I saw on his web site, too. I tracked it back and he used to be on these various low-carb bulletin boards and I found a sort of back and forth that I think pushed him over the edge. The sad part of it is I think he was right and the other people were wrong.
He was trying to make the point in this piece that he wrote that low-carb diets and people that followed low-carb diets will spontaneously reduce their intake which is true. The literature is full of studies showing they spontaneously reduce their caloric intake. And when they spontaneously reduce their caloric intake, it creates a deficit and it's that deficit that causes them to lose weight. I think that's absolutely true, I think he was absolutely right about that.
And I think that some people on this web site thought that somehow he was attacking Robert Atkins about that or that their impression of Robert Atkins is that he says you can eat as much low-carb food as you want and you lose weight. And so they got on to Anthony about that saying 'That's not true, how can you disagree with the great Dr. Atkins?' and Anthony was saying, 'Because I'm right. You have to have a caloric deficit.' And you really do!
I think he and I really believe the same thing about that. There's this whole issue of the metabolic advantage which is neither here nor there. But you actually do have to have a caloric deficit, get it spontaneously on a low-carb diet in most cases. But some people don't. Some people can eat enough on a low-carb diet that they don't get the deficit and they don't lose weight. So you've got to have this deficit and I think that just kinda put him over the edge. Because I tracked back and looked at that and I saw him getting more and more and more and more hostile toward low-carbers and then he was just off and running from there.
That's my analysis of the situation which could be totally wrong because as I say I'm not inside his head. Going back trying to reconstruct this whole thing because I couldn't figure out why he was coming on so strong about this. It just seemed so bizarre to me, especially over the metabolic advantage because we're only talking a couple hundred calories. It nothing like saying this is the be-all, end-all and whole huge deal. My God, he's written whole books about me because I believe in the metabolic advantage--it's crazy. And now I think he's just kinda gone the other way and he thinks people that believe in low-carb diets are idiots, that they're non-scientific."
As you can see from the parts of the transcript that I have highlighted in boldface, Dr. Eades says he agrees with Anthony Colpo regarding calories and their impact on weight. If you put aside the differences about the "metabolic advantage" which Dr. Eades says only amounts to "a couple hundred calories" difference, there are really no substantial differences of opinion between these two men. That's right, they actually AGREE! You wouldn't know it with all the hyperbolic language that has been flying around for the past year!
When I told him what Anthony said about low-carbers being too partisan towards our way of eating, Dr. Eades responded this way:
"He's right, you can lose weight on a low-fat diet. I mean people have done it, zillions of people have done it. I don't think it's the best way and I don't think it's the easiest way to do it. If you create the caloric deficit, you're gonna lose the weight. But the problem is this calories-in, calories-out thing. Those are not independent variables.
You can't just reduce calories-in and calories-out stays the same. Pretty soon it goes down, too. And if you go out and exercise more it makes you hungrier, you tend to eat more. People don't realize how little, how few calories that exercise burns up and how little you have to increase your diet to make up for that.
I just think [Colpo] is sorta rigidly locked into this your energy expenditure is whatever it is by the equations and that stays the same no matter what. If you eat less, then you're gonna create this deficit. I think he thinks those are independent variables and not dependent variables and there's a big difference."
Colpo must have missed my interview with Dr. Mike because I never heard a peep out of him regarding what was said during the podcast. But when Dr. Eades emerged from finishing the manuscript to his upcoming book, he decided to pen "Low-carb and calories" that continues the concepts he talked about beginning in that post last September. This controversial post dared to question that calories count on low-carb, although that is something he readily stated as fact during my podcast interview with him. Nevertheless, Anthony Colpo interpreted this post as Dr. Eades providing a mea culpa about calories.
Here's what Colpo sent out to his mailing list on Saturday:
In September of last year, I publicly exposed what I considered to be an extremely misleading blog post by Dr. Michael Eades, author of the best selling book Protein Power.
In retaliation, Eades has gone to great lengths in an attempt to portray me as a "clueless young prat" who has it all wrong when it comes to weight loss.
However, Eades has recently done an about-face. In a recent blog post, he acknowledges that I was right all along!
To get the full story on Eades' bizarre behavior, simply click this link.
Yours in health,
I'm not gonna bother rehashing this latest "book" Anthony Colpo has written about Dr. Mike Eades, but it's just more of the same personal attacks we have seen over this past year. Come on already! It's one thing to have a personal difference of opinion and expressing that opinion with what you believe and why you believe it. But it's yet another to degrade and embarrass yourself with childish name calling and frivolous accusations.
These rather ostentatious outbursts from Colpo are unbecoming of someone attempting to communicate useful information about diet and health to people who are disinterested in all this drama. It's obvious to everyone by now, Anthony, that you are the one who is MAD because the low-carb community didn't all run out in great numbers to buy The Great Cholesterol Con two years ago. I still happen to think it's a fabulous book that everyone should own a copy of, but your crybaby antics we have witnessed ever since have done you no good whatsoever.
My advice to you is to call for a public truce with Dr. Eades. He's right, you're right, we're all right. Calories count, although the jury is still out on whether you actually need to count them while livin' la vida low-carb. But this is a subject you two AGREE with each other on, so enough is enough already!
While you continue on with your verbosity (which I assume my blog post today will warrant yet another book-long response--this time about Jimmy Moore!), the lives of real people seeking to lose weight and improve their health continue. And THEY are the reason why people like you, me and Dr. Eades should be doing what we're doing. Set aside your personal differences with those who you think are out to get you and get back to doing the kind of work that endeared you to so many of us just two years ago. You have a lot to offer with your knowledge, experience, and writing talents. Whether you choose to use these tools wisely for good or whimsically for folly is entirely up to you.
There. After months of sitting on this, I've finally said my peace. Comments anyone?