This is my before and after picture, and I'm still not done.
I have nothing to sell you. I don't take money from companies that sell diet plans, drugs, food, bars, etc. Nothing. I'm just a 49 year-old American guy who had type 2 diabetes, who weighed 366 pounds, did some research, changed his diet, and ended up at 290 pounds with no more type 2 diabetes, no more medications.
Best of all, I ate fat. Lots of it. In fact, I ate more delicious food while losing weight than I ever did before. Everything I did is backed up by science. If you like, you can peruse the links to the numerous studies to back up my actions. But most people just want to be told what to do. They want a plan they can stick to that is guaranteed to work. This blog post is an attempt at that.
It's called the ketogenic diet. You eat more fat, no carbs, and moderate amounts of protein. Think of it like the Atkins diet, except it's been tweaked based on the science of the day. Many real studies have been done with humans since Atkins died in the 90s, and now we know what to expect. We know how to optimize the low-carb high-fat diet.
If you want to learn (in 8 minutes) why we get fat, watch this YouTube video. It's a perfect explanation.
You should know that I'm not a doctor. I can't give you medical advice. I can't tell you to stop taking medication. Don't do that. Talk to your doctor. Ask him/her if it's ok for you to go on a ketogenic diet. I did, and my doctor said yes. I was lucky. Some doctors don't know about low-carb high-fat and fear it. In that case you might want to follow the science, such as this 2014 study that reviewed 76 observational and randomized controlled studies with more than 650,000 participants. It found that those with a high saturated fat intake did not have an increased risk of heart disease. Kinda hard to argue with that one.
The benefits of a ketogenic diet are numerous, starting with prevention and reversal of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, dementia, arthritis, MS, and more. It makes sense. As humans we have spent 99.9% of our existence eating mostly animals and some plants. In the last 100 years we've changed our diet to mostly fake food. Getting rid of it reverses the "diseases of civilization." The problem is, people think they have to suffer to lose weight and get healthy. Not true. I'm living proof.
If you really don't want to expend any effort at all, have the cash to eat out, and just want to see immediate results, here's a no-fail one-week plan for you.
First, buy the following from Amazon.com (I get no commissions or money for this):
- A loaf of Mahler's low-carb bread
- One or two bags of Cello Cheese Whisps (okay, several bags. These are awesome)
- A bottle of no sugar added ketchup (if you like ketchup)
- A bottle of Bragg's apple cider vinegar
- A jar of coconut oil
Put the bread in the freezer and keep the cheese whisps handy for snacking.
Every morning, toast up 2 slices of Mahler's bread. Slather them with butter. Wrap them in a paper towel and go to McDonald's drive thru. Get 2 of any breakfast bagels you like with extra cheese. (bacon, egg and cheese; sausage, egg, and cheese; steak, egg and cheese). Mix it up. Replace the bagel with your toast - put the meat and eggs from both bagels between your toast - and enjoy. If that seems like too much, just get one bagel. Also, you can get yourself a coffee or tea. Heavy cream is okay. No sugar. Sugar substitutes will probably be okay, but your best bet is to stay away from them. Definitely not milk. Half and Half is fine. No potatoes. No pancakes, no other starches or sugars. That's it. You'll be full.
For a drink, make yourself a to-go bottle of water or seltzer with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. It's refreshing, and has been shown to lower insulin levels.
For lunch, you can do the same trick. Toast up some low-carb bread, add mayo and no-sugar-added ketchup if you like. Head to your favorite fast food place and order a burger or two. Extra cheese. Lettuce, mayo, tomato, pickles, mushrooms, bacon, and mustard are all okay. Ask for no ketchup. Also, avoid onions. If you like the flavor of onions, sprinkle a little onion powder on your toast after you add the ketchup and/or mayo. If you're really hungry, stock up on the burgers. More is okay, as long as you can fit it in your mouth. No fries or sugar of any kind, but extra bacon and cheese, please!
For dinner, take yourself out to a restaurant. Try to be done eating by 7PM and eat nothing else for the rest of the night. Every restaurant offers a salad. Just ask for no croutons, and don't get "sweet" dressings like thousand island or French. I like blue cheese, personally. Go ahead and have a glass of wine. For reds, pinot noir is a good choice. For whites, pinot grigio. If you want to have hard alcohol, that's fine. Just have one, and don't mix in anything with sugar: bourbon on the rocks, vodka and lime, or rum and diet coke.
Here are some of your dinner options:
Buffalo Wings. At Chili's you can get "wings over buffalo" or "smoked wings" without sauce.
Steak. Most restaurants have steak on the menu. Get the fattier cuts: prime rib, ribeye, etc. Avoid the lean cuts like filet mignon. Ask for extra butter to melt over it. If you are hungry, get a big one. No potatoes, though. Just get the steak and perhaps a side veggie like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or sauteed spinach.
Salmon. What could be better than a nice salmon filet or steak swimming in olive oil or butter, with a little lemon wedge, maybe a little sauce on the side with sour cream, dill, and garlic. mmmmm...
Shrimp Scampi. Again. shrimp swimming in butter and garlic. Get a double-order! Just pass on the pasta.
Pork Chops, Lamb Shank, Beef Short Ribs... these are all good choices. Just make sure you tell them no bread, no potatoes, no carbs. Most restaurants are accommodating. Remember, more fat! Eat all of the fat off your meat. Don't cut it away.
The Next Morning
The next morning, wake up and make yourself some coffee. Put 2 mugfulls (about 4 cups) in a blender with a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, or any other flavoring you want and whiz it all together. Enjoy. The coconut oil will quell your hunger, whatever is left of it, and you should be able to go a long time without getting hungry.
If you are not hungry at lunch time, skip it. No worries. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. If that means coconut coffee in the morning and a meal at 3PM so be it. Once you break free of carb addiction you will be able to hear the signals that your body gives you about hunger and satiety. Listen to them. You can trust them.
Do this for a week. You will feel great. You will have lost weight. You will have more energy. You will have more mental acuity. You will begin to break your carb addiction. You may have flu-like symptoms for a couple days. You may even have a rash. That is normal. Tough it out. On the other side is bliss like you've never known before.
If you want to learn more about the science behind the ketogenic diet, start with this list of resources. Also, listen to my podcast - 2 Keto Dudes - which chronicles my journey through keto-land as well as that of my co-host Richard Morris, who has also completely reversed type 2 diabetes and fatty liver, and after 2 years on the ketogenic diet has lost 70 pounds and has no sign of heart disease. Oh yeah, I said a dirty word. You'll WANT to exercise after a while. It will just happen. Oh, then after 6 or 8 weeks you actually might start fasting. Yeah - I know! It's crazy to think of, but that's what your body wants to do. But, that's down the road.