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A friend of mine recently pointed out that Keto ranked near bottom for expert diet recommendations by US News. I didn’t have time to respond in depth, but it got me thinking.  

Critics of Keto, what’s your alternative to get people out of obesity in the real world? 

I think regardless of the camp, vegan done right, paleo done right, mediterranean done right, you’re going to lose weight and become healthier IF AND ONLY if you follow it.

Keto addresses the hardest part.  You’re never hungry. Never!  And if you do it right, getting rid of “fast carbs” like sugar and even “slow carbs” like sweet potato, you will lose weight and your metabolic health will almost certainly get better in terms of your blood pressure, blood sugar and getting off those medications to treat obesity related conditions.

Critics respond to the long term risks of raising your LDL cholesterol and the long term ability to remove one entire food category carbs.

I don’t have the credentials to respond to the long term risks of Keto.  Do your own research.  Read low carb MD books like any one of these.  Talk to your doctor.  That’s a choice for you.  

But back to my original question.  Do you have another plan that is likely to get people to lose weight and get off their medications?  Of course, you do.  

Your diet recommendations, but let me emphasize the word “likely”, i.e. that your audience is likely to actually implement in the real world?  If so, where are your actual numbers?

My pet peeve is that people criticize Keto while completely discounting how important it was in helping people to address their obesity as well as the health related conditions related to obesity in the real world.  

For me, obesity is like being stuck near a slowly oozing hot lava moving closely towards you.  You can hear it.  You can smell it.  You can see it coming slowly towards you, but you can’t get away from it.  You’re stuck.  All of a sudden someone comes to save you.  They do it by swooping in with an unconventional way like while exposing you to some risk, but they saved you!”  Wouldn’t you have gratitude? 

Of course, your judgment would be somewhat biased about how that person saved you since you were clearly saved.  But imagine when you get home, your spouse was like, “Oh my god, you were saved in that way?  How dumb.  I read somewhere that method was bad!  Wouldn’t you be a little annoyed?

That was me.  I was stuck in obesity for 15 years.  I couldn’t move.  I was stuck.  So I just closed my eyes, and hoped all of those risk factors wouldn’t happen to me, but, of course, they were happening, the Type 2 diabetes, the dad bod, the energy depletion, the blood pressure.  

Intermittent fasting and it’s close cousin Keto saved me, but I’m not the only one.  It has done this for countless other people as well.  

As I indicated above, I am not qualified to talk about the risks of either intermittent fasting or keto, but for critics it most usually centers on cholesterol and totally removing carbs.  Ok, fair enough.

But here’s the key to me.  

When you criticize Keto, which has so effectively gotten people out of obesity while also solving those obesity related risk factors, don’t you absolutely have to take that into account in evaluating any long term risks?  

Of course, their proposed diets may be better in the abstract, but only if that person is actually going to implement that strategy by eating the right foods and addressing their hunger.  Those twin factors drive so much failure on diets: hunger and complexity.  You’re either too hungry or too overwhelmed by complexity.  So you give up and resort to that frozen pizza calling you from the fridge.  

Fat friendly/low carb keto, when coupled with intermittent fasting, addresses those factors completely.  They’re simple and you’re not hungry.  Note you can fast with a carbs diet too.  Dr. Fung is not as anti-carb as keto people are, but they tend to go together because they both agree on the insulin theory of obesity.  

The jury is still out from long term peer reviewed studies of fasting and keto, but out in the field among low carb doctors that have implemented these strategies, both diets are working exceedingly well at getting people off their meds.  

That’s the key for me.  I didn’t have time to wait for the scientific community to reach its verdict.  Each additional year that I was obese resulted in that dangerous diabetes and hypertension lava flow creeping towards me. All I know is that the traditional eat all of the time eating pattern along with lots of carbs was not working for me.  Keto/fasting has worked for me exactly as the experts said it would in terms of blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar.  

And the other thing, when you try either one, it’s not like you’re just wandering off alone to a desert island without any support.  You’re doing it while constantly checking your conditions during checkups with your doctor.  Especially for people with conditions like diabetes, you should probably be scheduling even more frequent visits because blood sugar can be an when you change your eating pattern.  Another reason to change your habit slowly.  

Since it has worked so far, I am not going to try all of the diets.

That said, I’m now even incredibly focused on nutrition since I am not eating all of the time.   People, you just don’t eat potato chips to break a fast.  You just don’t.

I am also going to be experimenting with changing things up to.  I likely will be fasting from fasting and doing three meals a day.  I am also going to try some longer fasts too in the 48 hour range, but not very frequently.  I’ll report on how each one of those go.  I’ll be the guinea pig for you!

Finally, I am going to continue to question both fasting and keto.  I’ll be sharing negative studies or experiences too.     

Note I also have no vested stake in keto.  Not a keto investor.  Not selling keto t-shirts.  Don’t have a keto/fasting t-shirt (though maybe I will if it keeps being so awesome).

I am Keto (“ish”), which means I accept the insulin theory of obesity.  It also means that I agree, based upon what I’ve read along with my own experience, with the Keto experts who state that Keto is one of the best weight loss strategies for obese people.  That said, I think that Keto is too hard on fruits like apples, banana’s, honey, and slow carb foods like sweet potatoes.  

There’s no rule that says you have to be dogmatic about the food choices.  Lot of depends upon how much weight you want to lose.  I think fasting allows less dogma about food choices because you’re addressing insulin excess by not eating rather than what you’re eating.  Allows more slow carbs and fruit flexibility.  

As I fast less, I become more keto.  When I fast more, I become more flexible with good carbs.  This is not religion or politics.  These diet camps are just guides based upon theories developed by science and confirmed by you, n of 1.   You are the only one that matters, what works for you.

So critics.  In practice, based likelihood of actual adherence by real people, identify the best diet to help obese people lose weight?  Send them to rocknecast@gmail.com.  I’ll share your replies.  

Tomorrow, I am going to be covering my review of the Case for Keto by Gary Taubes, the Rocky Balboa for Keto.   For the last 20 years, he has been delivering knock out blow after knockout to conventional dieting wisdom.   

Yo Taubes!  You’re up next!