WHY KETO SOLUTION WORKS FOR THOUSANDS.
Young and “hungry”. How Nate flattened his middle section “tire”.
“ Nearly 35 percent of all U.S. adults and 50 percent of those 60 years of age or older were estimated to have the metabolic syndrome in 2011–2012, according to a study. The metabolic syndrome is combination of health conditions (such as obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, poor lipid profile) that contribute to cardiovascular illness and death.”
The deeper I dig into keto practice with my clients, the more I explore my own practice, getting over the keto-hype — the more I understand, why this keto-trend is happening, why it seems to work for so many people today and why you might not need it.
CLASSIC KETO VS HIGH FAT DIET (aka LCHF)
Let’s first make sure we all understand one simple thing. A ketogenic diet is a diet, that keeps you in a state of ketosis. If you are not measuring ketones properly (peeing on a stick is not a very precise method) — you might be eating lots of fats, and not be on a ketogenic diet, not be in ketosis.
Classic keto was designed to treat epilepsy and similar conditions. The percentage of fat calories on the classic keto is 80%+. With 30–20g of carbs total. And very moderate amount of protein.
When most people talk about a ketogenic diet, they talk about a low carb high fat diet (or LCHF), not about the classic ketogenic diet. I’m on this type of “keto”, LCHF, and probably you are too, and that’s a good thing! Classic keto diet is a VERY restrictive diet — fat as a macronutrient is VERY poor in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), especially when that fat comes in a bottle, separated from the whole food it originally came from. (Coconut oil and drinking bulletproof coffees VS eating whole coconuts)
WHO NEEDS KETO?
Most of the people who’s been eating a diet rich in refined carbs and processed foods, developing metabolic disease — poorly managed blood glucose and insulin, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased inflammation, visceral fat, high blood pressure etc.
And THAT is MOST of the people in today’s world, where our food environment and hyper-connected lifestyle set up all the conditions to create a whole generation of metabolically challenged people.
That’s why keto helps a lot of people.
Should everyone go keto for life? Not a chance!
The chances are — your metabolism is f*cked up as you are reading this. It’s the sad truth for the majority of people, young and mature, overly-active-poorly-sleeping-and-eating and sedentary, skinny fat and obese. And that’s when you need to go keto or LCHF to fix your metabolism. And that’s why keto works for so many people. And then it doesn’t anymore. What works to “fix” you, your metabolism — is not an ideal solution for life. Fasting is great but fasting every day of your life will make you dead.
3-STEP INSULIN RESISTANCE AND METABOLIC HEALTH SOLUTION
Nate, 28, New York city.
My client, who I’m helping to get back to his metabolic health, flattening his mid-section “tire”.
Nate doesn’t have many health concerns yet — youth is forgiving. Just the aesthetic problem of a mid-section “tire”. This is the first sign, that your metabolism is going south. Besides that, Nate is always hungry. Refined-carbs hungry.
Nate’s solution. And yours, when you have symptoms of insulin resistance, metabolic breakdown, resistance weight loss.
ONE: DECREASE CARBOHYDRATES
Depending on how long you’ve been screwing up your metabolic health, how poor your blood glucose control is — you might need to go low (below 100 g of carbs total) or very low (below 50 or sometimes below 30).
Carbohydrate restriction (even from whole foods) is needed to deplete your cells’ “fuel tanks” and restore insulin sensitivity, improving glucose metabolism.
*Carbohydrates are not just sugars and grains, pizza and pasta. Vegetables, nuts and seeds have carbohydrates, fiber is a kind of carbohydrate, fruit is a carbohydrate-rich food too. Milk has a lot of carbs.
With Nate, to avoid complexity and counting stuff, we made an agreement — 3 major meals and 1 no-carb snack (like a can of sardines or salmon jerky, or whole eggs).
No refined carbohydrates at any time — no added sugars, no pasta and pizza, no bread, no flour. No grains. No starch — potatoes, sweet potatoes, cooked peas, carrots and beets, squashes. No fruit. But for those 3 meals Nate eats unlimited amount of non-starchy vegetables, olives, avocados, 1–2 handfuls of nuts.
Nate eats his vegetables with 1–2 hand-size portion of protein-and-fat-rich foods: sardines, salmon, herring and other seafood, pastured eggs, organ meats and poultry, fattier cuts of lamb, beef and pork.
*HERE is a full list of guidelines Nate is following doing his best, with his busy job at a tech company as a programmer. Meal prepping once a week works the best for Nate, along with having boiled eggs, sardines and nuts with him for snacks.
TWO: INTERMITTENT FASTING
Since Nate has problems with his blood sugar already (but not diagnosed as diabetic) and he is quite addicted to carbs, we don’t jump right into some crazy 20:4 fasting protocol. Even 12-hour fasting window is a big deal and a huge step forward for Nate, who’s used to snacking from the time he’s up (coffee with syrups and heavy cream is a snack too) till the time he’s sleeping. 12-hour fasting and eating windows for now. 3 meals. 1 non-carb snack.
This will allow to further empty carbohydrate-full cellular “fuel tanks”, helping to restore Nate’s blood glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in all the cells, at the same time improving gut health and increasing cells’ repair mechanisms and rejuvenation.
Start small. Work your way up.
THREE: RESISTANCE TRAINING AND HIIT
Nate is not used to much exercise. He likes slow walking and fast typing.
We started with a 3-day training protocol. Mondays: resistance training, Wednesday: HIIT sprinting, Friday: resistance training. We got a set of adjustable dumbbells on Amazon, and I created a 20-minute whole-body at-home workout with a 10-minute foam rolling routine at the end. On Sundays we added an hour of active leisure: walk in the central park, bowling with friends, frisbee, roller-blading. Every day we also agreed to a 15-minute walk in the morning — on week days it’s a walk to work, and on the weekends it’s grocery shopping or getting a coffee from Starbucks a bit further away.
*HIIT sprints: Nate uses the treadmill in his building’s basement gym. It takes 10 minutes total.
Resistance training and HIIT together are a perfect combo to restore insulin sensitivity and empty cellular “fuel tanks”. This combo is also perfect to boost your mental health and resilience, and increase your brain performance and memory. Not to mention great muscle tone and cardio-vascular fitness, and more years of healthy life.
WILL THIS WORK FOR ME?
I’m yet to see a person with metabolic challenges for whom a personalized version of this approach doesn’t work.
- The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Dr. Jason Fung
- The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended by Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore
- Eat Rich, Live Long: Mastering the Low-Carb & Keto Spectrum for Weight Loss and Longevity by Ivor Cummins and Jeffry Gerber MDs
- Ask questions, when you have them
- Please share to help others learn and feel great!
- Sign-up for my 10-day Email Health Course or Schedule your free express session with me for your own personalized plan of actions!