Melkor Picks up the Baton

I loved this short, and to the point post from Melkor on facebook today:

“If you’re inactive, you probably don’t need much in the way of carbs. But humans aren’t metabolically normal unless they’re active on a regular basis. So the healthy solution isn’t to go low-carb, it’s to increase activity level to the point where you need the carbs”


The relationship between metabolic health and exercise is one primary focus of my blog here, so when someone else says so succinctly what I believe is an important and far too often completely and willfully ignored truth, I think its’ worth highlighting.

Low-carb is a band-aid solution to the metabolic dysfunction caused by inactivity. The human body requires regular physical activity to remain metabolically healthy. When the body is metabolically healthy, it can metabolize carbs (and fat and protein) just fine.

Metabolically healthy people do not need to be on macronutrient restrictive diets. Metabolically dysfunctional people may need to follow restrictive diets, but their long-term goal should be to return the body to healthy metabolic function, and the primary way to do that is regular physical activity.

18 thoughts on “Melkor Picks up the Baton

    • Yes, actually, 170 minutes a week seems to be the clinically supported threshold for improving metabolic function. And that 170 minutes doesn’t need to be all-out high intensity stuff, simply walking briskly enough to elevate the heart rate is enough!

      • this is sthg like 30 minutes a day every day is it not? sounds doable & impossible at the same time '? as in, it can be hard to invent a habit for sthg like that when none exists previously

        • You don’t have to start out at 30 minutes a day. You can totally start at 5 minutes, 3 times a week and work up over time. '? That’s what I did!

  1. Agreed! So what ranges of macros do u recommend for those whom are metabolically damaged and for those whom are healthy?

    My metabolism is damaged by following the 80-10-10 diet. I’ve gained a lot of fat weight (skinnny fat) l and have a ravenous appetite, in addition to horrible adrenal fatigue and other issues. Any thoughts?

    • I’ve worked with a couple 80-10-10 survivors, in general amping up protein to 20-25% of calories, and fat to 25-35%, as well as ensuring adequate calorie intake, gets things headed in the right direction.

  2. what if you are a type 1 diabetic? i find that taking starchy things out of the equation is so helpful to staying healthy blood sugar-wise but allow myself measured amounts of berries, bananas, and higher-carb green vegetables. but i also do not feel very energetic. but i eat carbs and my blood sugar swings up high and low no matter how i ‘time’ things.

    • Ah, now you see, Type 1 diabetes is a whole nuther ballgame, and you should be working with your doctor and possibly a registered dietician on optimizing your diet and treatment protocol. I am not qualified to offer dietary counseling for medical conditions. '?

  3. Good stuff.

    ImI trying to tell my 16 year old she has to move her body…..
    She has no desire to.

    There are many people like that. Exercise is not something they can get excited about. Imperative to find an activity you like that has a physical component. It could be taking pictures …..while walking.


    • TOTALLY. I hated exercise my whole life. I even hated it for a while when I started doing it at 35. I stuck with it because I knew I would die if I didn’t, and after a while, as I got better at it and my fitness level improved, I started to enjoy it more. Also trying different activities until I found the ones I liked was important.

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  5. I try and work out between 3-4 days a week either on the elliptical machine or the stationary bike, and I also have a job where I am standing between 3-5 hours 5 days a week. Does this make it easier for my body to metabolize the 350-450 grams of carbs consume? '?

    I have a history of restriction through exercise, but I would think my metabolism is working well now as I eat so many carbs and calories (2800-3000) a day?

    WHat do you think?

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  9. Brilliant! Love it! Honestly, I’ve eaten near perfectly my whole life. As a child, sugar and overeating were not allowed, so it didn’t happen. Yet, PCOS was still creeping up in my life. Our home life was not very activity-oriented. My family is not overweight at all, but they weren’t active or played sports, but focused more on music, reading books, intellectual accomplishments. Up until now I thought my near perfect diet proved that my PCOS was pretty much out of control. But it’s not the food… it’s the MOVE. Awesome awesome stuff! I’ve already been more active than ever than finding your blog a few days ago '?

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