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Karl Popper (1902 - 1994; regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century)


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    Thursday, September 14, 2017


    You Should Eat Some Red Meat

    ​​Over the years I have noticed many fat vegetarian women. Like you, I would have thought vegetarians would be lean. I don’t know why I thought that. Pretty dumb really. The idea was a holdover from the days of thinking that calories matter. Fat has 9 calories/gram, carbs only 3.5. But of course you know now that calories have nothing to with getting fat. Insulin matters more. Read The Obesity Code by Jason Fung if you still don’t know this.

    Vegetarians might be lean if they were really eating mostly vegetables, but they aren’t. They are eating mostly grains. You can live like that, for a while–a billion people do–but you can’t be healthy doing it. Watch author Lierra Keith at You can type all that in, or just google Lierra Keith and click on the video from PaleoHacks. Nothing you will ever read is as good as her book The Vegetarian Myth. Nothing you will ever hear is as well-expressed as her video.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 9:41 am | [0] comments

    Monday, September 11, 2017

    Saying It All In One Sentence

    One of my secretaries asked me to sum up myself in a single word. I won’t tell you what word I chose. It’s a ridiculous exercise. Well, it is and it isn’t. There is a place in the Bible, Matthew 7:12 where Jesus says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” I am not a Christian, just a reader. But it’s a good exercise to try reducing your doctrine to a single sentence.

    So here I reduce everything to this. DO NOT EAT IF YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY. Find something else to do.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 11:08 am | [0] comments

    Monday, August 21, 2017


    The Duty Of Smart People

    ​On NPR I saw that the American Heart Association recommended against drinking coconut milk. I assure you, reader, this was done on the basis of no evidence whatever. The thinking was that coconut milk is high in saturated fat, and saturated fat is used in the synthesis of cholesterol. All true, but (A) reducing saturated fat in the diet has never been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, and (B) reducing blood cholesterol has never been shown to reduce heart attacks or deaths. In my office are posted 23 articles in major journals, JAMA and Lancet, showing that the higher the blood cholesterol the longer people live. And there is nothing on the other side. If you think the august doctors of the American Heart Association would not make such a basic mistake, you are a dreamer. It’s as though when you get your MD degree, you get a license to say anything you want and it will be deemed true.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 5:58 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, August 18, 2017


    ​Reducing Intake Slows Metabolism

    I have been sick. I developed an electrical problem in the heart making the heart go too fast. Not a heart attack, but causing episodes of passing out. To ease the problem, I was put on a medicine called amiodarone. Great for the heart but sometimes toxic to the liver and lungs. And it made me nauseated–I couldn’t eat. Realizing I was going to lose weight, I did an experiment on myself;  I measured my pulse and body temperature daily.

    You see I had been telling people you can’t lose weight long-term just by eating less,  because if you reduce calories, over time the metabolism slows down. Amiodarone gave me a chance to check out my advice.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 10:37 am | [0] comments

    Sunday, May 28, 2017


    ​Compromise and Lowering Stress

    I have read, but seen no scientific proof, that emotional stress itself can make people gain weight. The proposed mechanism is that stress makes the adrenal gland produce more cortisol. Cortisol causes the liver to release more glucose. Elevated glucose triggers insulin. High insulin causes  obesity.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, May 28, 2017 11:36 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, May 09, 2017


    Dave’s Bread

    Late last year I changed order #3, which used to read “Eat less starch and sweets”. I was embarrassed about that order because I knew it can’t be right. In China and India, the two leanest nations, people eat lots of starch in the form of rice and potatoes. They just eat few sweets. So non-sweet carbs by themselves must be okay. 

    The thing to really avoid is (1) sugar and (2) sweeteners regardless of calories and (3) white bread, because these things vigorously drive up insulin without satisfying hunger. Fatness is not about calories, friends; it is about insulin. Read The Obesity Code by Jason Fung MD.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, May 09, 2017 2:24 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, May 02, 2017


    ​Yo Yo Dieting

    Last week an article in the New England Journal of Medicine furnished evidence that yo yo dieting increases the chance of a heart attack or stroke. You should not believe this right away because the data were epidemiological, i.e. there was an association between yo yo dieting and heart attack, but association does not prove causation. It might have been for instance that yo yo dieters ate more sugar than no yos or did less exercise. The “dieters” may not have even been dieters at all; the study wasn’t even about yo yo dieting; the data were extracted from a study of Lipitor’s effect on heart disease. The authors merely remarked that people in the study whose weight varied a lot were more prone to heart attack. But weight can vary for many reasons other than dieting.

    Nevertheless, it is beyond doubt that each time you lose weight and regain, it is more difficult to lose weight the next time. Yo yoing leads to insulin resistance. 

    Sometimes patients, returning many times, complain that the phen-pro medicines aren’t working like they used to. Usually the problem is not the medicines; it’s yo yoing.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, May 02, 2017 1:23 pm | [0] comments

    Sunday, April 23, 2017

    ​The Parable of the Two Dogs

    I have two dogs of the same breed, Sam and Lulu. Sam is 8 years old, Lulu 3. Sam weighs 88 lb. He is overweight by the charts. I can’t feel his ribs, a standard way to tell if a dog is overweight. Lulu weighs 50 lb, normal by the charts; I can feel her ribs. Sam gets more exercise than Lulu. I feed Sam 50-70% of the amount I feed Lulu at each meal, using the same food. They have no other source of food. Their relative weights are not changing. Neither dog is sick, and their blood tests are normal.

    What can you learn from this true story? The answer is not a trick, and you ought to understand it after reading the two previous MOWs.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Apr 23, 2017 12:56 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, April 13, 2017


    ​Judge Not

    The books I’ve recently read have made me aware, again, how complex obesity is. My god, there are viruses that may make you fat, genes, bacteria, ethnicity, age, gender. Most of my patients lose some weight and keep it off, but there is variation. Some lose a lot, some lose a little, a few lose none. Some keep it off, some regain. Some are not following my Ten Orders, others are. Some ‘fess up, others lie. Some think they are not following the orders even when they really are. They assume that if they are not losing weight, THEY must be at fault. 

    They might be. They may not be. It may even be MY fault. It’s just all so darn complicated.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 12:12 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017


    ​New Thinking

    When people walk into my office wanting to lose weight, almost everything they know about fat is wrong. Their first article of faith is that fat is bad for you, either as a food or on your body. WRONG. The second article is that to lose weight you must either eat less or exercise more. WRONG. If you gained weight back, it was because you ate more or stopped exercising. OFTEN WRONG. The whole matter is so much more complex. Read The Secret Life of Fat by Sylvia Tara or The Obesity Code by Jason Fung. Read something. Your doctor hasn’t read anything, because they are not paid to study, don’t expect to, and don’t know how to. The drug companies rule.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 1:13 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017



    ​While on phentermine, patients should not drink regular coffee. Phentermine is a stimulant and caffeine is a stimulant. Taken together, they increase the chance for nervousness, palpitations and poor sleep. Besides that, people tend to put a lot of sugar or sweetener in coffee, and we were trying to cut down on sugar. That’s was the main point these days.

    I don’t care about the caffeine in tea or chocolate. There is so much less caffeine in brewed tea. Interestingly there is just as much caffeine in an ounce of tea leaves as in an ounce of ground coffee beans; but you use so much less tea leaves to make a cup of tea than beans to make coffee.

    You may drink decaff coffee. Here are some things I have heard patients say.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 11:59 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017


    Fast Food

    ​When asked to give examples of fattening food, most patients list “fast food” first, meaning things such as KFC and McDonalds. I bet most of my patients have a fast food meal once or several times a week. When I pass such places on the road, there are always long lines of cars in the take-out lane. I assume most of these meals are eaten in the car.

    When I ask patients why fast food is fattening, their first answer is because it contains so much fat. Even people coming for a fourth visit, people who have been told many times that it is sugar, sweeteners and refined (white) flour that cause obesity, they still make the mistake of blaming fat. Old (mental) habits die hard–if ever at all. All of you should be reading The Obesity Code by Jason Fung MD.

    I don’t know of any prospective studies testing whether fast food is fattening, but assuming it is, I lay the fault to the following...

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 7:24 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, January 16, 2017

    Beverages Are Food Too

    Many people who have trouble losing weight don’t think to count beverages when they total up the amount they consume each day. Losing weight is all about keeping the insulin level low between meals. Anything sweet, solid or liquid, drives insulin level up and prevents weight loss.

    You have to be aware of how many sweet drinks you take in.

    And how big. All our sodas and coffees are obscenely huge.

    Between meals you must find something to do to entertain your hands and your mouth, other than smoking, eating or drinking. Try reading a book or talking to a friend or playing a game.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 8:32 am | [0] comments

    Monday, November 28, 2016


    Phen-Pro No Longer Means Phentermine-Prozac

    A weight-loss doctor in Texas has acquired the trademark to the word "phen-pro" so I will no longer use that word. His product contains neither phentermine nor Prozac. I have no direct knowledge whether his "phen-pro" named product works. 

    For many years I had the use patent for the phentermine-Prozac combination, but I never acquired the trademark because I was not producing phentermine-Prozac pills. There is published evidence from me and other doctors that Prozac enhances the weight-loss action of phentermine, but the most important thing is not the pills--it's the Ten Orders.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Nov 28, 2016 6:22 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, November 03, 2016


    Eating And Exercise Are Strongly Linked

    Last week I read Gary Taubes’ wonderful book How We Get Fat and What To Do About It (2010). The book taught me nothing new, but I admired the clear way Gary expressed things. In particular he reminded me that it is impossible to lose weight by eating less or exercising more. Because of insulin, if you exercise more, you WILL eat more. If you eat less, you WILL move less. You cannot overcome it with willpower.

    Pause for a moment to consider how much of what most people and doctors “know” is bullcorn.  I continue to be amazed by it. Science and math, reading, are the only things on which you can rely. What people only tell you is worthless.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Nov 03, 2016 9:32 am | [0] comments

    Monday, September 12, 2016


    ​Colas and Kidney Stones

    For years I have been telling dieters to avoid “diet” sodas because the artificial sweetener in them is too sweet. Sweet flavor itself raises insulin, blocking weight loss. Dieters would be better off with the high fructose corn syrup in regular Coke than with the aspartame in Diet Coke, or so I thought.

    Now I must modify that advice. Overconsumption of cola-type drinks increases the occurrence of kidney stones, and that fact is especially true of the type sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. The intake of fructose increases the urinary excretion of calcium and oxalate. Ninety per cent of kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate. Moreover cola-type sodas, diet or non, contain phosphoric acid. Phosphate contributes to starting stones. Fresca and Sprite don’t have phosphate, but they are still fraught with the fructose issue. 

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 11:39 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016


    ​French Fries Aren’t French

    Americans combine french fries with many things. For a dollar extra Dunkin Donuts will give you an order of fries with your donut! As far as losing weight, I don’t care if you eat fries as part of a meal, as long as you don’t eat a lot of them and you don’t eat fries as a snack. They strongly raise insulin; we are trying to keep insulin low between meals. 

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 3:14 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, July 06, 2016

    Meaningless Words

    Patients use a lot of meaningless words, as though mere talking is enough. For example they are eager to tell me they eat “healthy”. I have no idea what they mean. The word “healthy”, an adjective, means ‘not sick’. So are they saying they eat not-sick? What does that mean?

    When pressed on the “healthy” issue, they used to tell me they ate low-fat foods and avoided red meat. Now they have absorbed enough news media to know that red meat is okay (TIME magazine June 23, 2014 and November 9, 2016); carbs are the real problem. But recently they have started telling me they avoid “processed” food. Other than a few fruits, aren’t all foods processed before being eaten? I’m confused.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Jul 06, 2016 11:54 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016


    ​Lowering Standards

    In the office I often say, “Late last year I took an important step that tremendously improved my rate of success. I lowered my standards. I decided I am not trying to make women skinny anymore. There is no reason to do it. Men don’t want women to be skinny. GI Joe doesn’t want Barbie to look like this.”

    I show off a Barbie doll.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 9:16 am | [0] comments

    Saturday, April 16, 2016

    What Dogs Have Taught Me

    My sister is my main helper, taking the initial history on new patients, and she is a dog lover. When I get the chart, it always has information on the patient’s pets. I didn’t ask for this, but it has had a useful result–I have noticed that all the dogs and most of the cats of obese patients are themselves obese. This confirms that animals presented with an excess of food will overeat. I suppose we should not have expected the majority of people to be any different. 

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Apr 16, 2016 10:30 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, April 07, 2016


    ​BMI Should Not Be Used For Individuals

    Body mass index or BMI is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in centimeters. To calculate BMI using pounds and inches, multiply the product by 703. The BMI was invented by Belgian statistician Adolphe Quatelet in the 19th century for use in population studies. He never intended it to be used for individual people, because it says nothing about body shape or composition.

    ​Before 1990 doctors and insurance companies used tables of weight versus height, one for men and another for women, based on simple actuarial statistics, to determine who was at risk. In 1998 the NIH went over to BMI in order to present info on both sexes in the same brightly colored diagrams. You saw then, too, the beautiful food pyramids that were also BS supreme. 

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Apr 07, 2016 10:06 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, March 24, 2016


    ​The Most Common Cause Of Stress

    Hard to explain why stress is such a cause of obesity–when I am stressed, I lose my appetite–but among the people who fight obesity, stress is a major cause of snacking and overeating. So it is worthwhile to look at the causes of stress. Cognitive neuroscientists do.

    The major source of stress in most people is: being given responsibility without sufficient power.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 4:32 pm | [0] comments

    Saturday, March 05, 2016

    Methuselah ate what he found on his plate

    Methuselah ate what he found on his plate,

    And never, as people do now,

    Did he note the amount of the calorie count;

    He ate it because it was chow.

    He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat,

    Devouring a roast or a pie,

    To think it was lacking in granular fat

    Or a couple of vitamins shy.

    He cheerfully chewed each species of food,

    Unmindful of troubles or fears

    Lest his health might be hurt

    By some fancy dessert;

    And he lived over nine hundred years.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Mar 05, 2016 10:32 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, February 25, 2016


    ​Reflections on the cover of Sports Illustrated

    The cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this year features plus-size model Ashley Graham on all fours in the surf. I’m not sure which sport this photo is intended to illustrate, but my first guess is . . . swimming :)

    I had to get that joke out of the way. In fact I use the magazine the following way. Next to the Sports Illustrated, there are copies of Self magazine and a Barbie doll. I tell female patients there is no reason they have to look like Barbie. None of the models in Self magazine has visible breasts or buttocks. I point out that the women in men’s magazines have those features. Witness buxom Ashley. Women don’t have to be skinny to be attractive.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 4:42 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, February 15, 2016


    ​To Lose Weight Clean The Kitchen

    Years ago a population study showed that obese people have more cluttered homes. You can imagine many reasons for that. You might think it’s a character or personality thing. You might think, spending more time eating, the overweight people have less time to clean. It could be a genetic thing–who knows? But here is a controlled study on the matter.

    In the study a hundred randomly chosen subjects were invited into a clean kitchen or a cluttered kitchen to write a report. In both kitchens there was an equal amount of snack food they were invited to eat. In the cluttered kitchen the study subjects, fat or lean, ate twice as much snack food as in the clean kitchen.

    The report written by the subjects had nothing to do with the study; it was just an excuse to get them into the kitchen. The subjects were not even told the true purpose of the study. They had no idea it was about food or clutter, or that there were two kitchens.

    I conclude that if you are trying to lose weight, it is a good idea to keep the kitchen neat.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 10:49 am | [0] comments
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