I’ve come to you with a tale of a doctor who cried wolf. I’m drowning in comments, and I can no longer keep up with personal responses. I know, I know, I’ve said that before. That’s where the crying wolf part comes in. When I wrote those words before, I tried, but I couldn’t let go. I felt compelled to answer at least 95 percent of the comments.
Right now I’ve got over 100 comments stacked up – the preponderance of which aren’t really comments, but are questions from readers expecting answers. Unlike my good friend Anthony Colpo, I don’t know everything, so I often have to spend effort reading or pulling papers to give an intelligent, accurate answer, all of which takes time. A lot of time. Often it boils down to do I take the time to write a new post or do I take the time to answer the comments (read: questions)? Because I can’t do both. And I can tell you, I would prefer to post.
I get about 60 comments (questions) per day that I have to deal with. And since this blog contains so much content written over the past two plus years, I get a lot of readers through the various search engines. When these readers enter the blog, they often hit on older posts and submit comments (questions) on those older posts. So if you see that a new post has only 20-30 comments, that doesn’t mean that’s all the comments I had to deal with that day.
(I had time set aside today to catch up on all the comments, which was my intention before writing this post, but this morning my wireless internet began acting up, and I had a heck of a time connecting to the net with any regularity. Finally, I couldn’t connect at all. When I called my service provider, I got a message telling me that the service was out in my area and that a repair crew had been dispatched. I had to leave for other obligations before the problem was repaired. So, despite my best intentions, fate, in the guise of Cox Communications, intervened. Fortunately, when I returned tonight all was up and running.)
As near as I can figure from the unique visitor counter I use, I have several thousand readers per day. Out of this several thousand I get about 60 comments, which means that I have several thousand readers minus 60 who don’t comment. So I figure this larger number would prefer more posts and less comment analysis. At least that’s how I read it.
So far I’ve been able to keep up with posting at a fairly regular clip and answering all comments in a kind of timely manner, but now I find that I can’t keep up. As you can see from this link to Publisher’s Weekly, the trade journal for the book biz, MD and I have a contract for a new book to be published in January 2009. (The bit about us is toward the bottom.) But our deadline to get it finished and to the publisher is April 15, which isn’t that far away. Crown is a terrific publisher and we’re tremendously excited to be working with them, but still the onus is on us to get a lot of writing done in pretty short order.
The time demands the writing of this book add to my schedule simply won’t let me spend the couple of hours per day that I normally spend dealing with comments. I’m going to try to catch up on the comments that have stacked up, but I can’t say when I’ll get them all cranked out. New comments coming in after this post will simply be posted as they are written without an answer from me. I’m going to start doing like everyone else who writes a blog does and put up comments of my own if I feel the necessity of replying instead of including my comment within the body of the comment in question.
I hope you all understand my predicament, and I hope this doesn’t run anyone off. It’s the only way I can keep up. After we’ve completed the book manuscript and turned it in, maybe I’ll re-evaluate, but until then I’ve got to do it the new way.
I occasionally read – when I have the time – blogs on improving your blog, and one of the most common comments submitted to these blogs come from new bloggers wondering if it would be considered ethical to post comments to their blogs themselves under pseudonyms so that they would have the appearance of having comments. I’m trying to figure out how I can maybe lease comments to these people. I would have probably been the same way at the start, but I was so new to the whole blogging scene that I didn’t even know you were supposed to get comments. If I had known, I’m certain I would have wanted them. Now I’m like the dog who has caught the car it’s been chasing.
As to the new book, the title pretty much says it all. As people age they tend to gather weight around their midsections. And this weight is tough to get rid of. Even when middle-aged people lose a lot of weight overall, they seem to still have excess girth. It’s smaller, but it’s still there. This is a book presenting all we know about why we tend to retain this fat and how to solve this problem that’s extremely difficult for most middle-aged people to deal with.
Under our contract with our publisher we can’t expound on this book other than the brief synopsis above. As the book nears publication we can lighten up a little on these rules and comment more on the actual content. Until then, however, we’ve got to keep it pretty much under wrap. Thanks in advance for your understanding about all these issues.


  1. DR. E.
    Great news on the book deal! Will preorder a copy as soon as I can. I was always amazed that you answer almost every comment. Most bloggers don’t do that. And anyone who objects to your stopping will, I’m sure, get 100% of their money back. LOL

  2. Hi Mike,
    Don’t respond!
    I totally understand (in fact I’m amazed it has taken you this long to arrive at this point) and whilst I’m sure your small band of posters will miss the feedback, I’m sure we will also be first in the queue for the new book.
    Must be nice, (or perhaps scary ?) to have an auction for publishers bidding for the rights to publish the latest opus …
    Oops. Don’t answer that!!

  3. I’m looking forward to the new book – and hope that my hormones can wait that long for assistance. I’d love to read your explanations of the hormonal changes that happen as we age, and how they’re affected by diet.

  4. wow, sounds like your book is addressing my last weight loss issue-I’ve gotten down to about 13% bf, my bloodwork is spectacular, I have zero plaque (according to my CT heart scan), but I still have this gut, ugh…. I’ve even thought about liposuction, just to get rid of it, but that seems pretty drastic (and painful!).
    In other words, get busy and write it!
    Regarding comments, I’ll miss your witty retorts, but I’d rather read your book… and your in-depth posts.

  5. My hunch is that no one agonizes over the matter of how you manage your comments as much as you do. And that is a virtue! However, I think you owe it to yourself to relax about it.
    You’ve mentioned that people ask you for specific medical advice that you just can’t give. I think that no matter what you do, this will continue. Given a certain number of readers, a certain percentage of them will expect such answers. Perhaps you could take a blanket approach. Post some text on the page that states your approach to comments and your policy on such questions.
    Something along the lines of, “I appreciate all readers’ comments but I don’t have time to respond to each one individually. Please know that I read and contemplate each one, and that they are an invaluable source for helping me come up with subject matter for new posts.. Due to professional ethics and legal restraints, I cannot give individual medical advice. If you have questions about your specific medical condition, I encourage you to find a doctor in your area who is [like whatever] and explore the wealth of information available in books and on the Internet today. Best wishes.”
    Not to put words into your mouth!
    As far as inserting your response within the comment, I think you should just forget about it if it’s a lot more work. I can’t imagine that any reasonable person would have their feelings hurt by it! Thanks for a wonderful blog. I eagerly await — and savor — each new post. You’ve made a tremendous contribution to this reader’s life.

  6. This is just a FYI, do what you gotta do.
    First, I run a forum and I’m an active participant in several. One of the guidelines I set forth in my forum is something like “If you start a thread, please refrain from replying to everyone who replies to the thread. It clogs up the thread with unnecessary and usually, meaningless content. Realize that it is IMPLIED that you acknowledge each post. Otherwise, you come across as one who loves to read his/her own words.”
    Thus, I submit to you that you ought to remove all sense of obligation to reply to most posts. Of course, you do not fit into the above paragraph much at all. Other than the fact that I am trying to give you a way out.
    Second, I have tipped many a person off to Protein Power. I have often said that it is so cool that you stay on top of the cutting edge of research and post regularly with what you learn. I have often given you kudos for interacting with readers. That is quite unique and I hope you can figure out a way to keep the blog going.
    Now, with that said, you don’t have to reply, haha.

  7. Looking forward to reading your new book.
    I love your comments but, the book has to come first and I am sure your readers understand that.
    As long as you and MD still blog, I hope. Your insights have been so helpful and it is great to see a doctor who actually has a clue.

  8. Dr. Eades, whenever you get a chance to read this: I’ve always thought it was very gracious of you to reply to almost every comment you receive, but most bloggers just post the comments without any remarks of their own. I am sure your readers understand, and would prefer you to spend your time on more of your excellent posts rather than personally replying to each and every comment. You have my permission to post mine if you deem them worthy of adding to the discussion without any reply.

  9. Usually your comments are just kind words of agreement. While that strokes our egos, other blogs generally don’t do it. They just let the commenters discuss issues among themselves as long as things don’t get out of hand. You really don’t have to comment on each comment, but I detect a whiff of OCD. Will you be able to avoid it? 🙂
    As far as questions, you appear to have a very good grasp of the relevant literature. Perhaps you could point the questioner in the correct general direction so that a Google or a Medline search would give them the information they’re looking for. They would be more invested in the answer if they had to go looking for it themselves. Of course, if it’s an especially good question, you could blog about it and give us all the information.
    Pleeeze don’t answer this, lol, just think about it!

  10. Congrats on the new book deal! I am sure you will have many interested readers who stand to benefit from your expertise on this topic. Gazing down at my midsection I must confess I am one such reader…sigh! With regards to your need to respond to every comment on this blog, I can’t imagine you will offend too many people if you only comment generally as you see fit. Of course we all like free expert personal advice, but I for one find a wealth of information (still free) in your blogs without needing a personal response from you. Keep up the great work!

  11. Hi Dr Mike –
    Sorry to add to the comment pile but I hoped it would help if you got some feedback re the comments. I think it is exceptional that you did make a point of having an answer to every comment but it really isn’t necessary. Since starting on my low carb journey last fall, I have checked your blog several times a day. In some earlier post, you commented that probably most people do not read the comments anyway but that is certainly not me. I have learned just as much from the comments as from your posts. So my suggestion would be to post the comments once you had a look over them to weed out the spam and then only comment when you felt the urge or had the time to do so. As it is now, since you hold the comments til you have to time to answer them, I’m sure I miss some of them and therefore, miss learning from your other readers.
    I wanted to give you an example of what I am talking about re. learning from the comments. I really like that your blog throws up random older posts. One of them was about a drug that causes fat to pass out of the body – I think it was called Alli. Now the post wasn’t that applicable to me as I have never considering a pharmaceutical answer to my weight problem, though I did learn from how the drug worked. But what was really ground breaking from me, was your answer to someone’s comments that dealt with depression. You said you had paitents who tried the drug but had to stop because it caused or increaed their depression. This was a lightbulb moment from me! See, before I starting eating low carb/high fat (almost no carb actually) I had a 20 year drinking problem. And it has been astounding for me but I have completely lost my desire to drink. EXCEPT for the two times I allowed myself sugary treats and the one time in the past month I had a diet pop. I gave up the diet pop after the first couple of weeks as I had read in various places that some people react to fake sugar just like they do the real thing. For me that certainly is the case!
    So sorry for taking up more of your time but I just wanted to let you know how useful your blog is. My last comment is that the more I learn about the benefits of eating this way, the more angry I get at those who decided low fat was the way to go and that it wouldn’t hurt anyone! In the past 20 years I ate low fat, I developed a drinking problem, gained 50 pounds, lost my gallbladder and developed liver problems. The drinking has now stopped, I have lost just over 10 pounds but unfortunately I can’t get my gallbladder back. I have an appointment with my specialist in a month so I hope to see improvement with the liver (even if just from the lack of drinking). And this way of eating is supposed to be dangerous! ARRGH!!
    Thanks for reading this far if you do,
    A very grateful reader

  12. Yes, I would prefer more blog posts to more answers to comments. Perhaps you could (at least sometimes) if you want, post blog posts as comment answers? If the answers are complex enough to require research, they are likely to at least be potentially interesting to the rest of us thousands. You say you put them in the comment trail, but I seldom read it, cause it often is not as interesting as the original post.
    And no, I don’t expect an answer to this comment. 🙂

  13. Finally, a new book!
    I wrote a comment the other day (which you probably haven’t gotten to yet!)…saying how I wish you and the Mrs. would write another book!
    I can’t wait! I know contractually you can’t talk about it much, but please keep us posted on how it’s coming. I am of “that age” so I’m looking forward to it!!

  14. 1. Please don’t answer this. It’s just suggestions.
    2. Why not close comments to each post after a week.
    3. Why not have an answer “Thanks. This will be explained in a future post” for a lot of the questions.
    4. Thanks for all the work you’ve put into this blog so far.

  15. Dr. Mike,
    Congrats on the book. I recommend what Dr. Davis (http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com) and Dr. DeVany (www.arthurdevany.com) do: they reply as a comment. All comments people post are posted, not all have replies. Others can reply to prior comments.
    You can read them when u have time, and if the answer someone else leaves suffices you leave it as is–if it does not, you can chime in.
    Just a thought that may help.
    Warm Regards,
    Alex (DFW)

  16. Hey, I’m a professor, and it’s taken me YEARS to realize that if I answer every student email in the depth that I would like to, I would never, ever do anything at all else, and that would serve no one very well. But I still feel guilty… most of the time, anyway!
    I’m sure that I speak for everyone when I say that we love your comments but value your time. Quantity and quality are often inversely related anyway, so we’ll wait for the occasional qualitative comment. 🙂
    Now, get writing that book!

  17. Dr. Eades,
    I think I speak for most people when I say that your posts are the most valuable part of this blog. Don’t worry about responding to the comments. Thanks for your time.

  18. Good Golly, I hope this book helps me. I’m losing weight in my face, my upper body and my legs, but not where I need it the most–right out front upon my belly!

  19. Sorry for giving you another comment in which to drown, but may I suggest disabling posts for blog posts older than a month, or older than a year? Many bloggers do this in order to avoid floods of comments from people reading the backlog.

  20. Don’t Answer.
    I have felt compelled, at times, to make a comment, but I know how busy you get.
    Looking forward to the book, and will pre-order, if possible.
    Thanks for everything. Great Blog!

  21. It’s been suggested at least twice by readers, but I dislike the idea of disabling comments after a certain point in time. Other people who have posted, and have subscribed to the entry, may be able to answer the question when they get an update in their mailbox (Subject:”New Comment on: New Book in the Works”).
    Ideally people who are commenting have an interesting question or comment about the topic of the posting.
    It’s happened to me, where comments have been made by other posters in regards to a condition or concern (e.g. “This comment is for Alex in the post above regarding his thyroid condition. I had a similar situation when my thyroid was etc etc”).
    Blocking comments would cut that tree branch off entirely.
    Thanks for considering this viewpoint.

  22. Good news on the new book Mike! Very much needed! I second the previous opinions on how kind you’ve been to dedicate time to reply every single post. Thanks again!
    For the readers of this blog, particularly those with a scientific background, there is also the possibility that you could share your 0.02 with the rest of us. Mike does an amazing job dissecting the subjects, which gives a good head start for discussions when they’re granted. (That is unless ‘bulk’ is a problem with the server)

  23. I don’t generally read the comments so I don’t see your responses. That’s not something I lose much sleep over.
    To me the content of value is within your posts, not the comments. I look forward to your posts, and I am certainly looking forward to the new book! Keep up the great work, and don’t bother responding to comments.

  24. Dr. Mike,
    You’ve done an admirable job keeping up with comments. It’s unusual to be able to communicate with an author of your renown in a such a direct manner and receive timely (or any) responses. Your blogging and sharing of knowledge is an act of generosity in itself, considering the compensation you could receive doing speeches or seminars. I’ve resisted making any comments on your blog until now in order to not burden you further but this seems that it may be my last opportunity to say thank you, both for the blog and the free copy of Protein Power Lifeplan I received through the holiday give-away. I’m looking forward to new “meaty” posts and the new book.

  25. Dr. Eades,
    I love your informative posts! Thank you. The comments that follow each post are NOT typically important or interesting to me except when they are written by other medical professionals, and expand upon the subject you just wrote about. I hope you don’t let every nut on the internet AUTOMATICALLY post below your pages or you will likely get statinators, drug reps, and sadistic low-fat kooks trashing your stuff just for fun. I would suggest that positive or neutral feedback that adds something to your topic be allowed to appear without a comment from you whenever you are busy, but negative feedback should not post until/unless you have time to rebut. After all, its YOUR website and your dime. Let any kooks get their own cyberspace.
    I would rather NOT see the general public arguing with each other below your posts. Other sites that are specifically forums allow that, and it looks trashy.
    THANKS again, and I look forward to your new book.

    What do you know about nutrition anyways ?
    Everybody knows Senor Colpo is the Guvnor !
    Good luck and may scollops rock yr tadger (old Monty P quip) yrs and le Mrs.

  27. I also would not disable comments for older posts. This is not a Britney blog. Your posts are timeless and will continue to attract attention every time new science on a given subject comes up (invariably proving you right.) Don’t bother commenting back but keep the posts open, keep moderating them, and keep allowing the intelligent comments and the links that add value.
    FANTASTIC blog — thank you!

  28. Dr. Mike, just wanted to say that I agree with all of the positive comments above from your other readers. We have benefited greatly from your blog and the genuine public service that it represents. Your blog, and your writing, are the truly important things, and as much as we enjoy the personalized responses, we can live without them. Your blog and your books are important and have helped (and continue to help) a lot of people improve their health and well-being by simply….educating us. In my view, what you are doing is far better and more effective than either medical “treatment” or “preventive” care (i.e., often useless tests and medications, the way it seems to be defined under the current system) can offer. Rather, you are helping many of us avoid having to undergo those kinds of things in the first instance; a sort of “avoidance therapy.”
    Congratulations to you and MD on the new book deal. I look forward to buying several copies after publication.
    Warm regards,

  29. Spend your time writing books and posts! This is a by far a better use of your time than answering comments. Talk about an incredible timesink.
    Why not have your blogmaster modify the appropriate WordPress template so that brief guidelines appear right below “Write a comment”. Use it to state the acceptable scope of comments and explain how you handle them: no medical questions, please; comments are moderated; comments are read but not routinely answered; etc.
    Now, stop reading our piffle and go write that book!! I need a low-carb book with a nice, friendly, non-threatening title to recommend to friends and family who have been frightened into extreme dietary lipophobia.

  30. Lowcarb convert
    You don’t need to check a blog multiple times, use a blog reader like bloglines.com. It will flag any blog you subscribe to that has new entries.
    Also, I think sugar may stimulate the same area of the brain as alcohol or other drugs. Ever notice how much sugar many recovering alcoholics put in their coffee?

  31. I agree with the horde above, I’d rather see your posts (and books! Can’t wait for the new one), than the response to comments, although the responses are greatly appreciated.

  32. I would rather see more posts than have comments answered. Usually my questions are answered that way, eventally.
    And I sent you a question about why I might not be losing weight, (emotional eating?) and I was helped by someone on the discussion board who sent me to Fitday.com It turned out that I was wildly underestimating my carb intake. Problem solved and you don’t need to respond, although some day I hope to read about the nervous’s sysems influence on weight.

  33. Dear Dr E
    Your new book couldn’t be more appropriate. Here I am, at 57, with a great body — except for you-know-where. I’m sure your new book will mean that physical perfection will at last be mine! Your new masterpiece will be my salvation. You Beaut’!
    Michael Richards

  34. I’d rather read your posts than the comments, but you often add important info in response to some, so I feel like I should read them too. So….this is good, now I can just enjoy the posts and maybe look for your comments in the comments!
    Fantastic that you’re coming out with a new book!

  35. Dr. Mike,
    Congrats on your book deal! I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for having taken the time to answer my questions. It truly is rare, and is/was a major differentiator for your blog. It separated you from the rest. I appreciate your time, but hope that when you complete your book, you will find a way to personally interact with your readers again.

  36. Congratulations on your book! This middle-ager is looking forward to it.
    It’s a testament to your writing ability that you have the time to craft your posts, not to mention all the research behind it and responding to comments. Hell, just reading the 60 comments every day must be a good chunk of an hour.
    My guess is that your new focus on the book and posts is ultimately to the good, much as I have enjoyed the comments, with many more thousands helped than otherwise . And perhaps it will hasten the arrival of the tipping point for the larger movement, as well.

  37. Don’t worry about the comments.
    I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’m nearing 50 and have always been thin but I still have acquired a bit of a middle over the last 2-3 years.

  38. As one who can easily take 45-90 minutes to write an email or journal post despite typing 150wpm, I can sympathize. I would just like to reiterate with greater emphasis what other commenters have said: it is EXTREMELY rare for bloggers with large readerships to reply to comments on an individual basis. We’ll be happy enough if you respond on occasion with a post that talks about things you find interesting that multiple readers bring up.
    Congratulations on the book deal!

  39. Congrats on the new book. Once you’ve recovered, I’d love for you and Mary Dan to address how people with obesity and morbid obesity in their family can “save” their children from their bad genes. I’m sure it involves lower carbs and exercise… but I wonder what levels are healthy for kids of various ages. I guess what I’m saying is instead of a “Protein Power Lifeplan” how about a “Protein Power Family Plan”?

  40. HI Dr. Eades;
    I have a suggestion for you; I believe that you already have a tool in place that could help you deal with a lot of the questions that are asked here daily. The Protein Power Forums. I love the Protein Power Forum on your web site, nearly every post on every subject at least gets a discussion going. Redirecting people to the forum that have questions, especially more technical questions or questions that are unrelated to your blog entry, would surely save much of your valuable time. The forum would still keep people engaged and active in Protein Power discussions.
    My recommendation would be that you write a short article reminding people about the Protein Power forum and how to access it. Them have your web master add some verbiage near the comments section of your web site to the effect:
    “Please feel free to discuss this blog post below. All comments will be posted. Dr. Eades may reply to some comments that are relevant to the blog entry as his schedule permits. If you have questions; It is strongly recommended that you joint the Protein Power Forum where fellow Protein Power readers will help answer your questions. Please click here to visit the Protein Power Forum Now.”
    Best of Luck with your new book!
    Jamie Dolan
    Hey Jamie–
    Thanks for the suggestion. Another reader emailed me with the same suggestion. All I have to do is implement it, which, since I’m a real Luddite when it comes to doing things like that, I’ll get around to when I have time.

  41. Dear Doctors,
    Hot off the presses, McDonald, Lyle, “Stubborn Fat Solution”. Chapter 7 is to be read at bodyrecopositon.com. Did He beat you to it?
    Did he beat me to what?

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