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This Is Why People Are So Confused About the Keto Diet

July 3, 2019

“Better Health Begins At The Cell.” -Dr. Bill Cole

(If you have or suspect you might have thyroid related problems go to and watch the short video (about 23 minutes) that I made for you. It’s free… You don’t even have to give me your email.)

Hey folks, I wanted to make a post today because I've had some patients recently that have approached me and asked me my opinion of Jillian Michaels, the television star who was part of "The Biggest Loser" television program, coming out really kind of denouncing a ketogenic lifestyle, ketogenic dieting. I wanted to address this because I think she’s off-base, maybe not quite understanding the way a lot of us utilize ketosis in our practices. And then in the process, I think she's scaring people off needlessly.

One of her contentions is that people are going to wind up deficient. They're not going to be getting the nutrients they need, but by following a ketogenic diet. Not really sure why she's suggesting that when on a ketogenic diet you're able to eat fairly large quantities of vegetables. The most nutrient dense, lowest calorie, highest fiber type foods on the planet, vegetables.

And certainly, you're not going to be deficient if you're eating a lot of vegetables in your diet. So, not really sure why she's suggesting that would be the case. But beyond that, this idea that everybody really would just be able to lose weight just by following what she would consider being more of a balanced diet, cutting back on calories. And that's the way they ran their show. But I think interestingly, one of the reasons why we probably do not see a reunion show with those folks is because in the long run, losing fat that way has been proven time after time, calorie deprivation and exercising like you're a hamster on a treadmill is not the effective way to lose weight. Yes, you can lose weight that way. Ultimately, what happens though, about 90% of those people gain their weight back plus additional weight usually.

It's really not about calories in, calories out. That is outdated. It matters more the quality of the calories, not the quantity. Yes, there is such a thing as gluttony. And yes, calories do matter. But what matters way more is hormones. Hormones are how your body even looks at calories. And what we see today, and so many of you listening to me right now could probably testify, there are millions and millions of American women and more and more men that cannot lose weight no matter what they do. No matter how little they eat, no matter how much they exercise, they just simply cannot lose weight. Jillian Michaels recommendation for those people is going to be an act of futility. I've seen it in my practice time after time. It is an underlying hormone issue, but different than what we would think of when we think of hormone issues.

What's really happening is the inability of their fat burning hormones to do their job. They have in essence, lost the ability to burn fat. They have become stuck in what we call sugar burning mode. Maybe part of it is the fact that from the time we are knee-high to a grasshopper, the old food pyramid, when I grew up, was recommending 6-11 servings of grains per day. Your rice and your pasta and your breads and your cereals. Can you imagine that? That was the general recommendation. That's what we were being taught. And then you throw in the 3-5 servings, I think, of fruit a day, and now you're talking about how many servings of these carb-laden foods. Look, There's no problem with healthy carbs in moderation. But having 8, 9, or even up to 16 servings of carbs a day is not what I would call moderation.

And it's why we are where we are today in Western Society for sure. I believe that's a big part. And then you throw in other factors that play into this. Like we teach in my workshops, the fact that the cells of our body become inflamed, they become damaged, they become resistant to these hormones. So, it's not a deficiency of hormones. It's a resistance to these hormones. Like the type 2 diabetic, who's insulin resistant. You can be thyroid resistant. You can be leptin resistant. These fat burning hormones, if they can't get into the cell and do their job, that's going to be at the heart of why people can't lose weight no matter how much they exercise, no matter how much or how little they eat. The hormone problem that I'm talking about, but it comes from cellular damage.

And just consuming a large amount or even a relatively large amount of carbohydrates is going to continue to foster that inflammation. That's just what we've seen in a lot of people, even if it's coming from healthy carbs. Because we have to understand something like grains, when they break down in the body, they're breaking down into sugar. So, if you have sugar is one of the major reasons why we're chronically inflamed for a period of time. There are going to be a lot of people that need to get away from those carbohydrates. And this is where the ketogenic lifestyle can really be advantageous. You have to make another distinction, just saying that you're following this ketogenic lifestyle doesn't it imply that it's healthy, right? There are a lot of low carb foods that we can consume that might help us get into ketosis that overall are not healthy for us.

The Atkins Diet from years past, that was not a healthy existence in a lot of cases for people. They were only consumed about keeping their carbohydrates down to next to nothing to get into ketosis. Well, my son, Dr. Will Cole, has written a book called Ketotarian. And I'm not pushing it here. I'm just telling you that there is a healthy way that you can follow a ketogenic lifestyle to get into ketosis. His book describes this largely plant-based ketogenic lifestyle with the addition of healthy, clean animal proteins. And that distinction, in and of itself is just gigantic to when we're talking about health in general. And that's the ultimate purpose that we endeavor with our practice here is we want to get these people that are stuck. Maybe they are sugar burners, maybe they have lost the ability to tap into their fat stores.

We've got to turn that around from a hormone perspective. And to do that, there's really nothing that I've seen, that is more powerful than getting that person into ketosis. Getting them Keto-adapted. And thus really reteaching their body how to utilize fat for energy. And I would also make a distinction, I want you to understand the way we do things is we don't keep people in ketosis all of the time. We will incorporate what we call diet variation, where you move them in and out of this Keto-adaptation, from Ketosis back to where you would consider to be more of a higher carb, maybe a 100 grams (150 grams maybe for some guys) of carbs per day. And that might be something where they do ketosis three weeks out of the month and in one week they're moving out of that into a higher carb diet than what they would need with ketosis.

Some of our patients will do a 5:2 program, where five days a week they will be in Ketosis or following that low carb existence. And then two days a week, they might boost it up to that more moderate level of 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. So, I just wanted to make this post so that you can understand, that if you're hearing this or you've read anything that she said about that, that I believe strongly that she's off-base. There are some women who just simply cannot lose body fat no matter what they do. They have to become keto-adapted. They've got to get back to this ability to move in and out of utilizing fat as their primary fuel source.

I hope this helps.

Take care, guys. God bless.

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