Open Letter To Eric Barker : Stop Making People Fatter, Less Healthy and the Obesity Crisis Worse!

barking up tree

I recently subscribed to “Barking Up The Wrong Tree”.  It’s a blog which focuses on “being awesome at life” published by a guy named Eric Barker.  Eric seems very good at internet marketing as he claims to have 125,000 subscribers and has appeared in major media sites.  That’s great, but what really caught my eye was a comment on the blog that indicate he really loves helping people.  I found the timing perfect as EET had just released The EET Timing Diet Personal Training Guide, and I strongly believe EET can help people, so I wrote Eric on September 30, and asked for help:

Hey Eric

you encourage readers to write you for help — I am a trainer and fitness consultant who has a completely different way of managing weight, fitness and health (partially developed through experiences at UCLA Football practice in 2008 ironically) that I would love your help in sharing.

here was Eric’s reply:

(this space intentionally left blank)

Whatever.  I get it.  Successful bloggers hear from lots of “wannabes” like me, and the guy doesn’t owe me anything.  I left it at that.  Until I got his most recent update that is.  It’s titled:

How To Get In Shape Using Psychology: 6 New Tricks From Research

This post is full “tricks” as Eric calls them.  What they really are is the same horrible advice that has CREATED THE OBESITY AND HEALTH CRISIS — and will do long-term harm to those who think this is the latest scientifically backed research on how to “get in shape” as Eric Barker puts it.  Since I am passionate about people learning the truth about weight loss and fitness, and know I’ll never get a response from Mr. Barker via email, I’ve decided to write him an open letter in EET’s Blog which at least will help those who read it and may someday, somehow reach him and hopefully get him to stop publishing ideas that lead to long term harm just to generate more subscribers.  Here goes:

Dear Eric

I was very disappointed in your most recent blog post about how to get in shape.  Rather than break down all of the flaws in the research presented, let me just focus on two key points from your post that have proven most harmful to those interested in achieving lasting weight loss and fitness:

1)  That the cause of the obesity crisis is “Research shows that, plain and simple, most of us just eat too much

2)  That the best psychology for lasting weight loss and fitness is to focus behavioral efforts on a goal of Eating Less.  

I could write a book on the horrible results over any 5 year period created by believing these two foundational keys you present (and in fact I have).  But, since you seem to have interest in obesity research, I ask you to consider these highly credible clinical studies I’ve written about extensively on my blog which prove my point that your advice is far from helpful, and in fact will do great harm over time to those who try to follow it:


  Here’s the specific study:  High Caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women

These dieters showed research DOESN’T PROVE  they’re  just “eating too much”  They ate the same diet in terms of calories but — they ate at different times — and one group lost dramatically more weight eating THE SAME amount of food.    I realize it’s only one study–so here’s a larger one involving Harvard University to add to the equation.  There are others.

For Lasting Weight Loss Trust The Chocolate Cake Study

  Here’s the specific study:  Meal timing and composition influence ghrelin levels, appetite scores and weight loss maintenance in overweight and obese adults

In this study again, the two groups at the SAME amount of food, with one difference — one group was given a piece of chocolate cake with their breakfast.  The results?

The Chocolate Cake TIMING Diet Study: 32-Week Results

At 16 weeks both groups had lost 33 pounds.  At 32 weeks, the group without dessert had REGAINED an average of 22 pounds.  The group with dessert?  They LOST an average of an ADDITIONAL 15 lbs! 

Nobody was accused of “eating too much” during the second 16 weeks.  Instead the group that was incented to eat BETTER FOOD that they enjoyed was able to maintain their weight loss and actually increase it.    The other group CHOSE to eat too much because they had no foods to look forward to and ultimately abandoned their dieting efforts convinced they were failing because they were “eating too much” so why keep trying.

These studies make it clear that reinforcing the message that dieters need to “stop eating too much” is harmful and ignores some of science’s most significant findings that TIMING and SATISFACTION with your food can have a dramatic impact on “getting in shape”.   Plus it’s possible you won’t have to reduce your caloric intake one bit to see improved results.

Obesity and fitness are not games to be solved by “tricks” that have no evidence of working over years, which is how long people seek to succeed at their efforts.  Instead of the bleak life you suggest for most to spend all their efforts trying to figure out how to stop eating too much, Timing and food satisfaction offer the opportunity to look for times where you can EAT MORE of the foods you enjoy.  Using a psychology that successs = avoiding food has been proven in countless studies to never last and will ultimately result in high levels of guilt, feelings of failure, and ultimately weight gain.  Compare that to the psychology of the Chocolate Cake Study where the psychological focus is instead on finding foods that are truly satisfying, and available routinely and it’s clear to see which plan has a far greater likelihood of adherance and long-term success.

After seven years of research and working with clients of all weight ranges, I can safely assure you that the information you provided in your “get in shape” post would have been more properly classified as “short term tricks for getting in shape that will ultimately have you worse off than when you started.”   There are better answers out there to help people get in shape in ways they actually have a chance of sustaining, and with the large following of readers you have, I sincerely hope you’ll treat the health and well being of your readers more carefully in the future.  



Jon Pearlstone, Founder

EET Fitness


better timing better food = better results

  Learn more about other keys to The EET Timing Diet, for FREE!

  Go to to download our FREE EET Timing Diet Personal Training Guide and learn how to love your diet– no registration, no obligation of any kind, we just want everyone to know how Timing is different!

EET personal training guide cover

EET also strongly recommends you read our previous two blog posts before diving in to The Guide, to get the best possible introduction to The EET Timing Diet:

A Wildly Successful 7 Year Weight Loss and Fitness Plan – Can YOU Do EET Timing?

Proof You’re ONE THOUGHT Away From Reaching Your Weight Loss And Fitness Goals

You can learn EET much more quickly by joining the discussion at  The EET Community today!   We’ve covered many helpful EET topics (go HERE to check out the discussions already in progress!):

Please read the Community Guidelines on the post in the community to help our discussion be really helpful to all!

  Questions?  Contact us at     Click here if you want to sign up for EET.

(Check out several Guidelines along with the list of EET’s Guidelines for FREE in the Look Inside Section of EET’s Book HERE):


disclaimer oct 2012


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