Ray Peat experiences?

by 8883 · April 23, 2014 at 02:50 PM

EDIT : I changed to title to Ray Peat experiences? since there was some confusion about the previous title (Ray Peat failures). So, what are you experiences with Ray Peat? What symptoms improved, what got worse?

Is there anyone who failed on Ray Peat's diet by doing it right?

In this question, Cliff said (in a comment) :

Obviously the low carb didn't work for hanne either or she wouldn't be seeking out alternatives. It seems like to me the majority of people fail on low carb, I've never seen anyone fail on ray peat doing it right.

He definitely has a point that lots of people fail on low carb (though I wouldn't say the majority, since most of us do well on it for a couple of months then fail).

Danny Roddy also seems pretty confident and seems to have a Peat-solution for everything. Still, I wonder if anyone failed? I applied some of Peat's ideas to my regimen (less veggies more fruit), and I gotta say it helped a bit already.

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15 Replies

634 · February 22, 2012 at 06:27 AM

As for the philosophy (it's not a diet) "not working."

I look at Peat's stuff like a toolbox for modulating the hormones he believes are responsible for degeneration (serotonin, estrogen, prolactin, cortisol, aldosterone, PTH, TSH, etc.).

If someone concludes that "they have failed" on the diet because of this or that, the next thing they need to do is produce labs where all of the above are in Peat's favored ranges.

1360 · February 21, 2012 at 04:43 PM

I did the Ray Peat protocol for a little bit. It had it's positive effects and it had its negative effects. I fixed my thyroid and testosterone levels but I gained a little bit of fat that I have to guess is related to the fructose intake.

In a lot of ways, these protocols (Ray Peat, Paleo, etc.) are a bit like a pill. A lot of the time they do fix the things they are aimed to fix but there are always side effects, sometimes negative. Even though I gained weight on Ray Peat's protocol I still think it's very useful.

4067 · February 21, 2012 at 07:14 PM

I am still "trying" Ray Peat's methods, and have been since August 2011. (I consulted with him via email). Everything from the dietary suggestions to the supplement suggestions.

I am trying to get rid of some digestive issues (Gas, burping, bloating), which nothing else has worked on. Ray Peat's theory on low thyroid causing bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine is what made me want to try to it. It gave me a "cause" to my symptoms, so I could treat the cause instead of just the symptoms.

Pro's: Warmer all the time!! My hormones seem to be balancing out nicely. I get up in the morning with ease (for the first time in my entire life!!). Intestinal(?) inflammation I had been experiencing for years is GONE. (learned from peat about pufu in poultry and pork -who knew that soy feed made for a soy filled animal! I am super allergic to soy). 2/27/12 I just got back a CBC blood test (last one was pre-peat but years into paleo): So much improvement!! Paleo didn't improve my OFF results in any way, but eating Peat-style has done something amazing with my blood results. Improvements across the board and I am no longer technically anemic! (Which I have been since a teen!). I am just a few point off normal in only a few portions -versus nearly all of em.

Con's: My digestive issues are the same.

Issue's: The milk component was a problem for me. I am technically "allergic" to casein, and am lactose intolerant. I gradually added milk to my diet, and my GI symptoms got worse, big-time constipation started, and acne from hell. (Normally I have super clear skin). I tried switching brands including trying raw. The only thing I didn't try, at the time, was supplementing Vit A, to help counter it. (Although I am taking a small vit A supplement now). I might experiment some more in the future. I do eat a ton of cheese and heavy cream in my coffee daily without experiencing ANY of the above mentioned effects.

Verdict: Was it a fail? In a way, but I sort of like eating this way anyway (I hate eating a ton of veggie's) so its something different, for now. With no other hopes, currently, on the horizon, for solving my issues, I am sticking to it, and trying to tweak it for improvements.

UPDATE: Per request -here is a typical days food.

Breakfast :Large Americano with gelatin, coconut oil, heavy cream, and honey.

Lunch :a combo of something like two boiled eggs, 12oz pulp free OJ, cheese slices, pemmican, gelatin, and orange.

Dinner :(I am rarely hungry for dinner)...more oj, shrimp & spag squash, or buttered potatoes, or more eggs, sometimes steak (with gelatin), cheese usually melted over some component.

I am going to be adding oysters as of this weekend -I am trying to eat more shellfish. I would say Peat would want more of a real breakfast, like the eggs and OJ or something..and coffee drunk along with it. Coffee with meals really. Also more liquid milk obviously. He likes liver once a week -that is so not happening. If I eat muscle meat at all then I eat gelatin with it. I sometimes snack on 'enjoy life brand' chocolate chips. Sometimes I eat olives or ketchup. But for the most part I just eat what's listed. I am trying to eat more protein, but my complete lack of appetite makes that difficult.

274 · February 21, 2012 at 04:18 PM

I think part of the problem is how to define "failing" on a Ray Peat diet. Most people would consider gaining weight to be failure but this is far too simplistic. The goal of Peat's dietary recommendations isn't to lose or gain weight. It is to restore a youthful metabolism and optimize thyroid function. Changes in weight through gain/loss in muscle and fat come about as a result of that.

For some, like Cliff, it results in an underweight person putting on additional muscle mass. Others will lose body fat over time. But it's hardly a quick fix diet. It can takes months or even years in long-term hypothyroid cases to restore proper function as the various hormonal shifts occur and PUFA is released. There are some things that can be used to improve the transition time such as thyroid, niacinimade and aspirin, but they are usually not required.

I actually read through the entire Low-Carb Forum thread on Peat. There are definitely people there who "failed" in some way, whether it was gaining fat or poor blood sugar control. But in all those cases there was good reason for it. Some people took ice cream being allowed to mean you could eat it all the time. It's a thyroid supporting food but still very calorie dense and not meant to be eaten outside of certain situations (like before bed) unless metabolism is high. Pretty much every person who complained of blood sugar issues refused to drink orange juice saying they simply hated fruit. The potassium in orange juice is a key part of Peat's protocol for blood sugar control (Cathy documents this in the thread with her own tests). So Cliff has a point. In almost all the cases where people struggled, it was because they were cherry-picking the bits they liked from Peat's plan and discarding the rest. Quite simply it doesn't work that way. It requires a proper balance of sugar, protein and fat for your goals and also proper micro-nutrient supply.

Unfortunately finding that balance takes work because there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each situation is different and you will see throughout that thread the slightly different recommendations Peat makes based on each person's situation. But if you take the time to read his work and learn how to build a proper plan for your goals then from I've seen (and experienced) you will greatly improve your metabolic function.


8883 · September 07, 2012 at 09:52 PM

I'm answering my own post with my own experiences. Using thyroid, progesterone, pregnenolone and applying most of Peats ideas took care of my most serious problems, and clearly increased my testosterone (not confirmed yet).

While my thyroid tests returned pretty normal I benefit tremendously from cytomel.

I rarely think about sinus issues anymore, which is big because I've had them for 2 years. My hair is going upwards again.

I'll update when my puffy face is normal again.

I have quite some acne now but I cut tons of pills out of my diet, including selenium bcomplex aspirin calcium and fatsolubles. With lots of retinol and aspirin I got less acne (only 1 real zit and some inflammation) but was often tired so I'm experimenting to see what doses I need.

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39204 · February 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM

Cliff or someone else needs to help us out here a bit and post what a proper Peat-approved diet would actually look like in practice. I suspect that 10 people reading his articles would come up with 10 different diets.

He seems to contend not only that humans don't require PUFAs in any amount, but that we don't even have cell membranes. What the hell? Anyway, setting that aside, I'd like to see a day's worth of meals that is consistent with this diet.

4540 · February 21, 2012 at 08:21 PM

I suppose you can say I failed, on one aspect at least. Big bad dairy. I've been somewhat lactose intolerant all my life, and drinking milk gives me the runs no matter what I do. Plus I find milk gross. So my calcium:phosphorous ratio might make Peat sad. That being said, once I increased my fruit intake and lowered my PUFA intake to ~5g/day, my premature hair loss stopped and I have a very consistent positive mood and high energy.

11251 · February 21, 2012 at 08:05 PM

The first time I read Peat's stuff, I tried drinking orange juice and bone broth together. Two sixteen ounce mixes of the stuff a day. It tastes pretty good. Anyway, after some period of time, I started feeling bad. If I consistently eat carbs above some as yet undetermined level, I end up feeling like crap. This particular experiment was not as bad as the what happened with tuber derived starches, but it was still uncomfortable. I suppose this could go under the heading of 'not doing it right'. The raw carrot recommendation seems to be the most interesting and, possibly, beneficial one. Probably at least as powerful as some drugs on the market- I don't eat very much of it.

I don't have the sort of objective other people trying Peat's stuff have, so I don't know whether or not this is helpful to others. I am in unexplained nerve pain (probably from dentistry) and am willing to try and chase down stuff that may help. Unfortunately, Peat's idea that we need to supplement with calcium, and the more ubiquitous advice that we supplement with iodine makes this worse immediately.

I do, however, think I have learned something valuable from Peat. Weight-loss isn't paleo. Oh, paleo helps you lose weight, but the process of losing weight, the hormone profile it encourages- staying in that mode for years is probably not a good idea. Now Peat's diet will keep you in one biochemical stage as well, but I am still inclined to believe that variation is the key for appropriate health. We can't really be sure exactly what our ancestors ate, but surely the seasonality of food isn't a neolithic invention.

1602 · February 21, 2012 at 03:25 PM

Peatartarianism (if that's the name) isn't a weightloss diet. It's much more than that.

I've gone from maintenance at 2.2kcal on average to 3.5kcal...

77340 · September 21, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Did it for 30 days. Cut my meat by 2/3, switched it almost all from beef with just a little fish to mostly fish and seafood. Replaced all my varied fats with coconut. Started drinking OJ throughout the day and indulged in ice cream from time to time. Included lots of gelatin etc... Drank 30oz of whole milk per day.

Dropped all supplements but Vitamin E and asprin.

Had heart palpatations, blood sugar swings, gained 6lbs instead of my average of losing 3-4 per month, headaches, morning nausea etc...

I don't have thyroid issues so Ray Peats nonsense is completely irrelevant to me and is the opposite of healthy.

1612 · September 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Ray Peat has helped me feel more relaxed and sleep better.. Ever since the addition of more fruit and raw milk I already feel better. I went further and removed almost all PUFA's meaning I'm not eating much chicken or even fish. I'm eating OJ, milk, lots of fruit and fatty meats. I just sleep better. I remember zero-carb I could not sleep.

2176 · March 03, 2012 at 12:20 AM

I propose that one should do Ray Peat protocol once a week, and Primal/Paleo the other 6 days. A Hybrid/compromise that may help the body balance, as nature is usually balanced. Since some parts of our biology require spikes to improve function, other areas require less frequency of variation. Appears to work for some, but may not work for others.

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115 · April 23, 2014 at 02:50 PM

I just recently started looking in to the Ray Peat experience. And it doesn't seem better than many other solutions. Some failure, some successes.

Here's a site one person dedicated trying out the diet:


0 · October 03, 2012 at 12:36 PM

New to paleohacks but I'm taking it that there is no way to message people individually?

Dylan - if you're reading this I'd be interested to know how long it took for you to resolve your low testosterone and fix your thyroid using the Peat method as I'm in a similar boat, feeling sh*t and your story gave me some inspiration.

I also have messed myself up into a hypometabolic state with overtraining, IF and the party lifestyle (stimulants and booze)

Be good to hear back from you.


5115 · February 21, 2012 at 07:56 PM

Do people fail to stick to Ray Peat's guidelines despite their best intentions? Yes.
Do people fail to fix certain problems despite sticking to Peat's best advice? Yes. Could the same be said about any dietary approach? Yes.

In discussing and comparing different approaches to diet I feel we ought to be more responsible than the majority. We can all list the many many flaws in the arguments made for conventional wisdom. Many people have lost weight eating mainly whole grains. Self-reporting on adherence and success to a diet which is essentially self-defined rather than specified by the researcher is useless at best and dangerously misleading at worst.

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