We have all seen people who can eat anything and everything and never gain an ounce. Then there are those who try countless methods of losing weight, including workouts and every diet known to man but can’t lose the excess pounds. What keeps one person thin and fit in an almost effortless way while others simply cannot lose weight – permanently? What influences losing and gaining weight?
It is thought that obesity is caused from too many calories and not enough exercise. While both do count, they aren’t the cause of obesity. There have been studies done to disprove how ‘eat less, move more’ isn’t the answer. If a person has some sort of hormonal imbalance he or she will struggle regardless of calorie restriction and workout routine.
When speaking of “hormone imbalance” in relation to weight gain, I am talking about insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store in the form of fat for future use. How well insulin is controlled translates into how well you control weight.
I’ve noticed how many people, both men and women are carrying fat around their middle. The most dangerous type of fat is visceral fat, the type of fat that’s around the belly. This fat is also stored around important organs like the liver, intestines, pancreas. The storage of visceral fat is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes.
My personal story is just like so many others. I have always struggled with weight gain and weight loss. I’ve done all the fad and mainstream programs, including Weight Watchers, DietCenter, Nutrisystems, Jenny Craig etc. I’ve gained and lost hundreds of pounds in my life.
In 2012, I started researching and I followed a Paleo diet. While I felt better as I gave up sugar, wheat, and dairy, I still carried an extra 10-15 pounds and had some belly fat. I now regularly see a naturopathic doctor and have blood tests every 3 months. As I look back at my tests my fasting insulin levels weren’t crazy high, but still in the 8-10 range. In 2016, I gained 30 pounds. As I look back, the culprit(s) were too many nuts and indulging in too many sugary holiday treats (thank you Costco). The constant grazing and snacking didn’t help.
As a result of poor food choices in my diet I felt unwell. I was feeling achiness in my joints, I wasn’t sleeping well, I had zero energy and my mood was up and down. In December 2016, I started to read again about the Ketogenic diet, which my naturopath had once suggested but I rejected because I didn’t think I could I ever restrict carbs to 20 grams per day. I had read KetoClarity by Jimmy Moore and Eric Westman, M.D. years ago, and I read it again to become more familiar with the meaning and purpose of a ketogenic diet/lifestyle. In addition, I read and researched everything I could about low carb, high fat ketogenic diets.
On January 1, 2017 I jumped into a ketogenic diet 100% and have not looked back. I started intermittent fasting which accelerated my weight loss and my well-being. I had blood work done in February and my fasting insulin was at 7 and A1c at 5.1. The is the best measurement of our blood glucose control that we have now is A1c. It tells us how much of our hemoglobin – the protein in our red blood cells that carry oxygen – has glucose adhering to it. The less glucose that stays in our bloodstream the better we feel now and the better our health.
I recently embarked on an extended fast of 6 days with great success and while weight loss was not the primary objective, it had a great side effect. The euphoria kicked in at day 3 and lasted until I ended the fast. I felt fantastic! As of this writing, I have lost 40 pounds and have a BMI or body mass index of 19. Your BMI is based on your height and weight. It’s one way to see if you’re at a healthy weight. Here is a guide to help understand the significance of BMI:
Underweight: Your BMI is less than 18.5
Healthy weight: Your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: Your BMI is 25 to 29.9
Obese: Your BMI is 30 or higher
I still practice intermittent fasting. I’m thrilled to share my blood work from a few weeks ago showed my fasting insulin at 3 and A1c was 4.6.
In the Ketogenic world my mentors are Jimmy Moore, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Adam Nally, and Dr. Eric Westman. I would highly recommend reading KetoClarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman as well as The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Dr. Jason Fung and Timothy Noakes . Also, The Complete Guide to Fasting – Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate Day, and Extended Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore.
The ketogenic diet/lifestyle is starting to grow in popularity as more people are learning the amazing health benefits from eating a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet. The two things that will halt the movement will be the drug and food companies who have big money to spend on promoting edibles that result in excess weight and craving more sugar and “carbage”. The SAD (Standard American diet) was set by government decree in 1977 by the United States Select Committee on Nutritional and Human Needs. The country was following nutritional advice from politicians (that’s a whole other article) . In summary, here are the health benefits I’ve discovered by living a ketogenic diet and lifestyle:
- Balance of hormones, specifically insulin
- Fat loss
- Mental clarity
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
- Autophagy from fasting
- Reversal of type 2 diabetes
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Reduced appetite
- Eating bacon!!
About Pat Garner
Pat Garner holds certifications in Professional, Addiction & Recovery Coaching, is a Sedona Method Facilitator and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. Most recently, a number of her articles on addiction and wellness have been featured by the World Coaching Institute. She has earned the reputation as a dedicated leader and advocate of change.
During her own journey from addiction fifteen years ago, Pat discovered the world of holistic health and wellness that led to her adopt and promote a ketogenic lifestyle. It has become an integral part of her mission to awaken people to their infinite potential so they can achieve lasting personal success in all areas of life. If this article was helpful or you’d like more information contact Pat at GoKetogenic2@gmail.com She invites reader comments and questions.