To be fair, I lost a LOT of weight prior to keto.  However, this way of living FEELS a lot better with me.

The youtube videos I’ve been watching having been shocking the hell out of me with how our traditional way of eating is….not scientific at all.

It all started with Ancel Keys in the mid 1950s.  He did a study on 22 countries and tried to map saturated fat to heart disease.  The only problem is, on his chart, he only included 7 of the 22 countries.  He cherry picked countries to make a pretty line – and that began the ‘low fat’ warnings in this country.

This eventually led to the food pyramid, which has been the biggest scientific blunder in history.  The blunder?  Telling people to eat massive amounts of carbohydrates in your diet whilst telling everyone to stay low on fats.

I was your product.  Yes, I had a lot of bad days in my life, but my hunger was also out of control.  It owned me.  On keto/IF, I do get hungry, but it’s a gentle nudge on an empty stomach.  Prior to 18 months ago, my hunger had specific cravings that would direct my behavior until it was satisfied.  It turned out, the problem my whole life has been – too many carbs.

And guess what?  For 51% of adults in this country who are diabetic or pre-diabetic – this is their problem too.

This is one of the more profound videos I’ve watched.   Here is another.

Some of the pioneers who have been getting the word out – Phinney, Volek, Noakes, Eenfeldt.

The problem

The problem is programming.  All of you (including me) have been programmed to eat a specific way.  If I told you that I have 150 or so grams of fat per day, you’d probably cringe.  Because we have all been told that fat makes us fat.  And fat clogs our arteries.  The problem is – this is not backed by studies or science.  This all came about in the 1960s, through studies that were bought off, and this has been taught to medical professionals ever since.  You will also find that if you start watching the videos and people above that I mentioned, well…their evidence is profound.

The problem is – you’ve been following the FDA pyramid your whole life.  You feel people are fat because they can’t put the donuts down.  There is some truth to that, but what if these people have been addicted to sugar like people are addicted to heroin?  Would putting that donut down still be a matter of willpower?  How easy is it to tell people to quit smoking or just stop heroin?

The root of the problem is people are addicted to carbs and have no idea.  Carbohydrates spike your insulin.   When insulin is spiked, you literally cannot burn fat.  Then, insulin crashes and makes you hungry, even though you aren’t.  Many people tell you to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day.  Who tells you that?  In shape people who don’t need to lose weight.  When you eat all of this stuff, you are constantly making your body produce insulin, which makes fat loss impossible.

Now, let me be clear.  There are a LOT of thin people out there that can eat whatever the hell they want and not gain weight.  These people are the outlier.  What they are finding is that people have different responses to different foods, mostly driven by their gut biome.   So you give a thin person and a fat person a twix, and possibly the thin person has very little insulin response and the fat person has a spike for hours.

This makes the calories in/calories out model relatively obsolete.  Meaning, if two people eat the same number of calories, but one person has a different response to those calories, then it’s not complete.  Under this model, calories go in, and they are either burned or stored.

Under keto, this doesn’t exactly matter.  Why?  Because your body converts fats to ketones – this energy may not be stored or burned, but wasted in pee and breathed out with acetone.  I have seen this first hand, as I wake up every day and my breathalyzer has me sitting at .05.  Freaky.

So the root of the problem here then is people who are sensitive to insulin are told….to eat carbohydrates.  This is what most people tell you to eat when you are dieting…

  1. Whole wheat breads and grains
  2. Honey instead of sugar
  3. Skim milk instead of milk
  4. Low fat foods, lean cuts of meat
  5. Vegetables – any
  6. Lots of fruit
  7. Brown rice instead of white rice

The problem you see above, is all of these items (with the exception of meats/some veggies) cause insulin spikes.  The lean meats actually do cause a decent insulin spike with the proteins.  In some cases, they say, “the glycemic index is lower so it has less effect”.  Right.  But the problem is, you are STILL spiking your insulin.  When insulin happens, you aren’t burning fat.

So, to lose weight, we recommend to people to cut back on food (let’s make you hungry), let’s spike your blood sugar (to cause hunger), and let’s give you foods with lower satiety to make you hungry.  Then, on top of it, let’s recommend that you exercise a lot, causing more hunger.

Then…eventually, the weight loss stops.  You cheat.  You binge.  You fail.  The weight comes back almost immediately, and you are once again blamed for being fat.

For the 15 months before keto, I can be honest and tell you I wasn’t hungry that often.  Weight loss happened.  However, none of you saw the colossal physical activity I did.  I hit 2200-2400 almost every day.  Weight loss STOPPED for me at 295.   3 months and no movement.  This was after 15 months of weight loss.  What I was eating was about 40% carbs.  When I started, I found that I was normally eating about 60% carbs a day.  So reducing my carbs and caloric intake DID work.  But for 3 months, nothing I did could make the scale move.  In fact – the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year had me gain weight back, and I hit over 301 again.  I could not stop eating carbs.  My 40% carbs were hitting 50% and 60% sometimes.  My cravings were coming back.

I cut the cord on all carbs.

I’m down 20 pounds in 6 weeks.  Feel amazing.

And I’m sooooo armed with information.  20 years or so ago, I did atkins.  There’s a difference with keto and atkins.

  1. Keto keeps you in ketosis, usually having 30 net grams of carbs or less per day.
  2. Keto is high fat, low carb, moderate protein.  Atkins is low carb, and no guide on protein.
  3. Atkins gradually walks you higher and higher on carbs.

With atkins, the beauty is in the ketosis aspect.  Where is fails is taking carbs too high combined with unlimited meats.  What the keto guys got right is protein spikes your insulin as well.  So if you truly want to curb appetite, you need to have a fatty piece of meat that will satiate you all day rather than a big piece of chicken breast which has good satiety, but will have movements on insulin and cause hunger.

But you can’t do this diet.   It’s not easy to follow.  I disagree.

 

Do you know what is hard?  Cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, fatty liver disease, heart disease.

Look what happens on a carb-based diet of low fat versus a low carb high fat diet.

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But it’s not safe!!  You can’t have all of that fat!!

Yeah, that’s part of the junk science we’ve all been fed.  Fat doesn’t make you fat.  Sugar does.  Additionally, why do we have clogged arteries?  Inflammation.  Sugar and omega 6s cause inflammation.  Your body’s response is to send cholesterol out to repair damage.  This causes the tiny tears to be patched up with cholesterol.  Also, dietary cholesterol has no real bearing on your blood cholesterol.  In fact, having cholesterol is important to brain function and repairing/replacing cells in your body.

Let me go back to that omega 6 stuff.  You know what fats you should eat?  Omega 3s.  Olive oil.  Lard, grass fed butter.  Tallow.  Those “transfats” you hear about?  Omega 6’s?  Hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils – so eating those cakes, pastries, French fries from a fast food restaurant?  Killing you.  My grandparents cooked with lard.  They have all been around a very long time.  My parents generation is dying off – I’m 42 and most of my friends no longer have their fathers.  I mean if it was a few, I’d understand.  But it’s now apparent there’s a huge problem.  Our parents are dying in their 50s or 60s rather than their 80s or 90s.  I still have 2 of my grandparents alive, around 90 years old.  My two others passed away around 90.  They had health problems later in their years, but they lived long lives.

It’s hard to be 42 and not connect the dots.  My depression era grandparents had the following lifestyle:

  1. Lots of manual labor.  This burned off a lot of glucose from any carbs immediately.  Effects of sugar may have led to diabetes/cancer/heart disease in their 80s.
  2. Lards, butters, farm food.  Lots of vegetables.  Meats and potatoes with lots of work.

At 42, with living with the food pyramid my whole life, here’s how my life and others I know break down

  1. Office jobs with long commutes.  Sedentary work.   Carbs do not get burned off immediately which leads to storing fats.  People are getting cancer, diabetes, heart disease in their 40’s/50s and dying in their 50s/60s.
  2. Margarine, low fat foods, processed foods, packaged foods.  Lots of carbs with little movement.

That problem with social security running out of money?  What happens if all of the baby boomers die off early?  Could this have been a strategy by the US government in the 1960s to limit lifespans?  Doubtful.  But let the tin foil hat brigade start to connect the dots.

How to live on this?

The truth is, my 15 months of dieting and limiting my carbs and exercising more might have been the only way I could have done this successfully.  I had many months of strict regiments of meal prep, restricting breads, carbs, and lots of exercise.  I believe keto is absolutely easy – but might not be easy for those actively on a 2 donut per day allowance.

For me, it’s easy.  For others, it might be a struggle.  For those who it might be a struggle, I would contend you are addicted to your foods just as a drug addict is addicted to heroin.  Until you understand your sugar addiction, you may never lose that weight.  I am proof you cannot exercise yourself thin.  Have you ever seen a 350 pound man run 3 miles 3 times a week while also biking 15-18 miles a few times a week?  That was THIS GUY.  Weight comes off – but it’s usually short term.  The carbs prevent long term weight loss, and when you stop punishing yourself 1-2 hours a day with exercise, it comes back on.

How to do this?

  1. 30g of carbs or less of net carbs per day.  I don’t do the “sugar alcohol” thing much.  My net carbs is all carbs minus fiber.  If I use sugar alcohols, I try and keep TOTAL carbs 50 or under for the day.   Objective – stay in ketosis and become “fat adapted”.  If you drop out of ketosis, it will be short and you will go right back in.
  2. Eat lots of green veggies.  Do not be afraid of salt and butter.
  3. Focus on getting your electrolytes – sodium, potassium, magnesium.
  4. Look up recipes.  There are an amazing amount of delicious foods to eat.  Trust me, you add cream, butter, and oils to things, and holy shit it’s amazing.
  5. Understand the research in the videos above.  This isn’t just about hitting the 30g number, it’s about understanding how you got like that and how to lose it and prevent it from ever happening again.
  6. Eat fatty meats.  Pot roast is a good time.
  7. Do not have diet drinks.  Drink water.  Drink coffee/tea.  Stay away from diet sodas.  Turns out, even with no sugar, they spike your insulin just like you had sugar.  This is why I never lost a pound drinking 4-5 diet sodas a day while eating 1600 calories (pastas/breads) and running 2 miles.

Let me explain the benefits of keto…if you’re not already onboard:

  1. Prevents/reverses type 2 diabetes.  Do not be fooled by the “low glycemic index”.  You are actively adding a glycemic load to your bloodstream and spiking insulin.  If you have ZERO pre-diabetes or diabetes, having an apple with fiber in it is good for you.  One serving of fruits per day.  Not 3 or 4.  Why?  Because fructose is stored in your liver, and your liver can only hold about 1 serving of fruits in your liver per day.  So the second and third helping of fruits goes right to your belly.  Yup.  You have an apple for breakfast, an orange and banana for lunch, and grapes with dinner.  You are being healthy!  Well, apparently the orange, banana, and grapes go right to fat storage.  Yup.
  2. Prevents/reverses cancer.  They are finding that cancers live on glucose.  Well…when you are in ketosis, your body is fueled on ketones.  This starves off cancers, especially brain cancers.  Look up Dom D’agostino.  They are looking at cancer as a metabolic disease.  The sugars in our bodies fuel cancer cells and suppresses genes.  Our ancestors had very little problems with this compared to us.  Consider in 1910, 1 in 30 people got cancer.  Today, it’s 1 in 3.  Food pyramid anyone?
  3. Weight loss.  Think about it folks.  In the history of humans, where did people get carbs when it was cold out and snowing?  What do you feed your farm animals to fatten them up?  Grains.  If you want them healthy with omega 3s, you let them graze on the farm and eat their natural foods.  When we feed them grains, they get fat and produce meats with omega 6s.  So, in summer times, humans ate berries, fruits, vegetables they could find, etc. They would find nuts and store them.  They ate the fats and all parts of bison when it got cold out.  Fat was the body’s natural storage for when winter came – and lack of carbs would then lean them out.  It was natural.  They weren’t eating 3 meals a day folks.  I eat once a day now.  I’m not that hungry.  I have tons of energy.  The concept of eating once a day on a carb heavy diet is….fucking hilarious to even consider.  I remember 2 months ago during my research I was hearing about intermittent fasting.  The concept of missing meals when addicted to sugars is SCARY.  When in ketosis, I miss meals and don’t even know when I ate last.
  4. Prevents/reverses heart disease.  When you stop having sugars, you are no longer causing inflammation in your body.  All of those years of plaque build up in your arteries.  How does that go away?  Funny you should ask.  All of those leafy greans you are eating now?  The vitamin C actually repairs this.  The vitamin C cannot do this when you have sugar because the receptors the vitamin C attach to are….blocked because glucose hits the same receptors and prefers glucose.

 

So what does keto look like for me?  Feasts of awesome foods 🙂

Five of my favorite meals now of all time…

  1. Zoodles and sauce/meat balls.  I get 2-3 zucchinis, Rao’s pasta sauce (low carbs and AMAZING), grass fed 85% meat balls (perhaps made with 1/2 ground pork, 1/2 ground beef), and a really good pecorino cheese.  This meal is really awesome and 100% is a perfect substitute for my spaghetti needs.  No drop off.  Full fat and flavor.  When making zoodles, make them up in olive oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.  High in potassium, sodium.  Good protein in the meatballs.

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2. Bacon cheeseburger salad.  This is quickly becoming one of my go-to meals.  I get a bag of 3 romaine lettuce stalks, and chop up 1.5 of them for a giant salad.  That turns out to be 7 cups of romaine, according to the package.  The cheeseburger is made by…frying 4 pieces of bacon.  Then, fry up half an onion in the bacon grease.  Take out the onion.  Make 1 pound of 85% ground beef and drain.  Add back bacon, onions, and top with 4 pieces of white American cheese.  Serve over romaine.  Add 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, 2 TBSP of pecorino romano, and 2-4 TBPS of ranch made with olive oil (2-4g of net carbs).  Add red pepper flakes and pink Himalayan salt.

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3. Anything with cabbage.  I avoided cabbage for 42 years of my life.  Now, I cannot get enough of it.  Especially with chicken thighs, chicken breast, and pot roast.  I use my instant pot for this, and use 2 cups of chicken broth and celery for flavor.  You can eat the shit out of this.  Also pictured was broccoli with cheddar cheese melted over it.

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4) Steak and cauliflower.  Again, 42 years of my life with no cauliflower.  It stunk.  No way.  Well…I tried it.  I tried it like mashed potatoes.  And…I can’t tell the difference.  Here’s a bonus.  When you make up the cauliflower, squeeze out the water with a cheesecloth.  Add cauliflower to a food processor.  Add grass fed butter, olive oil, pink salt, garlic powder, and heavy whipping cream.  Beat the shit out of it with your food processor.  Top with olive oil.  Holy amazeballs.  Pictured below is a LOT of cauliflower mash.  I strictly follow the carb information for this, and this dinner may have 10-14 net carbs at most.

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5. Hot wings/drumsticks.  Once every 2-3 weeks, I make up a giant batch of chicken hot wings.  I make these baked on a sheet that drains the fat off.  30 minutes at 375, flip and do 20 minutes at 425.  Then, flip again and broil for 4-5 minutes for a nice crispy outside.  I combine this in a big bowl with my sauce.  I’ll get 3/4 cup the frank’s red hot wing sauce with zero carbs.  I combine that with 2-3 TBSP of Kerry gold butter and 1 tsp of cayenne.  Mix in the bowl.  Feast.  Note, I usually only eat one meal a day anymore, so you can feast on a lot of these without much regret.  I make up my chicken drumsticks the exact same way.  No picture for these, the last time I made these were for the super bowl when my beloved Eagles won!

Bonus – chicken parm and green beans

Want full fat mozzarella all over baked chicken breasts? Add Rao’s sauce.  Feast.  I also make up my green beans in the microwave bags for the lowest time…then fry it over butter and add a lot of pink salt.

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Treat….

I was not much of the cakes/pies.  I did have a weakness for chocolate and peanut butter.  Eating half a box of chocolate peanut butter pretzels on Christmas night was what got me to go to keto the next day.  I found a 100% substitution for me.  I don’t have to “cheat” because I have something 100% keto friendly that is ridiculously good.

I make up keto chocolate, add almonds.  Then, I take 2 TBSP of unsalted creamy almond butter, then crackle the pink salt on it – and then dip the chocolate in it.  Not low calories, but when you eat one meal a day, you find yourself way under and can indulge in this from time to time.  Look up ketoconnect chocolate on youtube for recipe.  I add more of the cocoa butter to keep it from melting so quickly.

 

I initially started this as a 3 month challenge, and I’m halfway through and down 20 pounds.  Hoping the last 6 weeks gets me another 10.

Long term, once I reach my goal, I can see myself doing keto for 6 months of the year and a modified atkins for the other 6 months with some “cheat” days where I do have some pizza or corn on the cob over summer – when I’m very active and can burn off the carbs relatively quickly.  I feel for someone like myself, you cannot have a 60-70% carb macro diet and not gain weight, no matter what your calorie intake is.

A big lesson here going from 372 to 282 in 16 months – carbs greatly influence:

  1. energy.  spiking insulin leads you to feeling tired.  No one wants to run/exercise after a big bowl of pasta
  2. mood.  You crave certain things and reach for it often, without realizing how its affecting your mood
  3. weight gain/loss
  4. heart disease
  5. cancer
  6. diabetes.  I went from “pre-diabetic” to normal glucose of 92 prior to keto.
  7. quality of life.   I have always been an athlete.   But having extra weight has been such a burden to all aspects of my life.  It’s interesting when you learn how to “unlock your fat” doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself, run 5 miles a day, and eat 800 calories.
  8. Wallet.  I used to think to “eat healthy” was too expensive.  I’m eating one meal a day now and I think my food bills are half what they used to be.  The fatty cuts of meat, wings, chicken drumsticks/thighs are pretty cheap.  One head of cabbage, a package of chicken thighs, and chicken broth is enough for 4 of my 7 meals for the week.  That’s like $15 for over 50% of my eating.  With carbs, I needed to eat 3 times a day, have snacks, and buy expensive clothing from the big and tall store because it’s the only place to get clothing when you are fat.  I’m now in a size where I can shop “normal retail” for the first time since college.  Think about that.
  9. Overall health – now that I know what I know, all I can see is people around me poisoning themselves.  I want them all to live forever.  I want them to read this and do the research themselves.
  10. National security – think about the cost of medical costs in this country.  How no one can afford insurance.  1 in 3 are getting cancer and those expensive treatments.  Half are diabetic or pre-diabetic and think about those expensive surgeries, insulin, and dialysis.  Heart disease and the bypass surgeries, statins, and blood pressure medications.  Yet we still rely on the same food model that got everyone sick to begin with.  Rather than switching to keto to lose weight and heal people, they recommend expensive drugs and surgeries – bariatric surgery as well.  Do you know how many people have been friendly to me suggesting I get my stomach stapled?  It’s fucking humiliating.  Think about national health implications to continuing of increased healthcare costs that endlessly spiral out of control.  Everyone wants free healthcare and lower premiums…but everyone is looking down the barrel of cancer, heart disease, or diabetes and there’s a massive expenditure with each of them.  Rates are going up because people continue to get unhealthier, year by year.

Watch the videos…get engaged.  Take ownership of what goes on your plate. Remember, there’s no such thing as “daily recommended allowance for carbs” as there is no such thing as an essential carb.  Want to heal yourself?  Eat fat.

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