10 things I have learned since 2013

1. Sugar, particularly fructose is the problem. Ultra-processed food is the problem

In 2013 I first heard about excess carbs rather than Fat being the problem from Professor Robert Lustig. It was a chance radio interview and his You Tube post told me more.

2.Many people do not want you to change and may undermine you openly or covertly.

There are many reasons for this. They like what they do, and your change of lifestyle and your new shape throws the focus on their eating and drinking. Which they like, and feel a bit guilty about, and do not want to change. Or maybe think they do not need to change. It happens with your family, at work, and between organisations.

3.Carb Creep

You will probably get drawn back to processed carbs in a process called carb creep- be vigilant, and cut it out. That tablespoon of ketchup, or that half a piece of cake may be the slippery slope.

4. Processed Food Addiction

Most people have processed food addiction and this may be the reason for 2. above. It also makes it harder for you to change your lifestyle as you probably have it too, or have had it too. Look at Fork in the Road by Dr Jen Unwin to find your own way forward.

5. Intermittent fasting

Also known as time-restricted eating is very important. I have seen a 21 stone man become a 10 stone man through this with my own eyes, not just on the internet. I think we all benefit from having large gaps where we are not grazing. It reduces our appetites, it reduces our blood glucose and insulin. So if you don’t want to eat OMAD (one meal a day), try not eating between meals, or just have two meals a day and no snacks.

6. Community

There is a great low carb, real food community out here and it is massive. Look at Facebook and Twitter for the biggest groups and follow people like Dr Zoe Harcombe, Dr David Unwin, Dr Tro, Dr Jason Fung and more.

7. All good food movements are infiltrated eventually

Big Food are already here with their processed Keto , low carb and high protein snacks- avoid them as they are not what I am talking about here. They are not real food. Real minimally processed food does exist- think dried meats, tinned fish, packaged minimally processed cheeses, olives. Big food- what we need are real food ready meals, without processed carbs, and where the real carbs are low enough for overweight and diabetic people.

8. Somebody wants a fight between vegans and low carbers, but we can easily be on the same side.

Divide and conquer may be their game, but I say you can be a real food vegan, a real food meat eater, a real food pescatarian and it will give you greater health benefits, than eating ultra processed food. Stick to minimally processed or totally unprocessed real food for best results.

9. The dietary guidelines of the western world are still wrong for those that fatten easily.

We still haven’t managed to change the dietary guidelines, but we will need to do that in order to reverse the obesity crisis.The first step will be to get a truly independent SACN in the UK.

10.Alcohol and soft drinks

Alcohol is not quite the last word, but it is the hardest thing for some people to tackle. If you do not drink alcohol, you may drink fruit squashes, or diet drinks and these can also be an issue. All of these things affect your hormone insulin, and when this goes up, your fat gets stored. They also may give you the “munchies”, or weaken your resolve about your new lifestyle. Soberistas are a great online community that can help.

Weekly zoom meetings – Lowcarb Living

10-11am Saturdays
We have a weekly meeting on ZOOM where we discuss the low carb way of life, and other related areas such as relaxation, sleep, intermittent fasting and fasting. If you are shy, just listen in!
I post a link to our Zoom meeting on our low carb WHATSAPP group each week.
To join our WhatsApp group send your name and phone number to 07947137640.
Have a great weekend.
Dr Jo

Like to learn more about cooking real food, eating low carb, and intermittent fasting?

With thanks to Kath for the ideas below. Can you suggest any others?

Free -ish

Diet Doctor: CME course https://www.dietdoctor.com/free-continuing-medical-education-course-on-low-carb
I too use Diet Doctor resources and recipes a lot and I think they are excellent. There is a lot of free stuff on their website available without a membership. I am an (unpaid) member of their advisory group. I like the fact the website is funded by the subscription members and has no adverts.

Aberdeen University do a free short course https://on.abdn.ac.uk/courses/nutrition-and-wellbeing/

Coursera is a portal for online learning with a number of nutrition/obesity/public health courses. It’s like Futurelearn in the UK. I have found the standard to be really high and it is definitely pitched at post graduate level. Most of the ‘free’ Coursera courses allow you to buy a certificate for a small sum but you still get the full course content whether you pay or not.

At cost

American Nutrition Association: Ketogenic Nutrition Training Program https://theana.org/trainings

The Noakes Association: Online training courses https://nutrition-network.org/about-our-various-online-trainings/

https://nutrition-network.org/ was mentioned in our Whatsapp doctor network as being a worthwhile source of courses.

There are also several through the New Zealand LowCarb network linked to low carb dietitian Caryn Zinn and Prof Grant Schofield, see link below:


The Harcombe Diet. This website was devised by Zoe Harcombe, a PHD nutritionist and statistician so it is truly evidence based.

Low carb in lock down

low carb ideas in lockdown

Before covid I used to run several low carb groups each month, and now we have switched them to Zoom. It has its advantages- no driving, no parking, no fuel used, and no catching covid.

Join us 8-9pm on a Tuesday and other times as advertised on our WhatsApp group or Keep Fat Club Facebook group.

Stay safe.

Dr Jo

Do you need to lose a lot of weight?

People like Treflyn Jones are the reason I do what I do.

Obesity is so difficult to live with: to carry round all that excess weight and its consequences like arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease, and cancer. All that pain, all that limitation, and the background fear wears people down.

There are many people in the media who give you snippets of hope for the future but this video will give you the tools to make a difference. Note how he does not do it perfectly every day. Note the tools he uses and the further resources on offer. Treflyn explains in only 20 minutes how he lost all his excess weight and got his life back. He has lost 9 stones in weight and feels 30-40 years younger.

You too can do this
while eating well and supporting others so that your friends and family can lose weight too- when they are ready to do so.

If he can do it, so can you. Click here to learn how to get your life back.

Coronavirus update

All our lowcarb group support sessions have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

I am supporting our patients who wish to follow the low carb lifestyle via a Whatsapp group and email. Email me joannemccormack@nhs.net with any questions, or if you wish to join the Warrington based Whatsapp group, send me your phone number to join.

Otherwise low carb support is available via www.dietdoctor.com and www.ditchthecarbs.com

Stay safe, follow the government guidance on NHS choices.

You can do it too!

Last week I had an email from Diane who used to be diabetic and is now in remission. She will have to maintain this way of life, and it sounds like she loves it.

How lovely is that… and she is the one who did all the work and I just had to sit back and wait!

I hear about these people every week now, and until 2014 I had not heard of any of them. It is in learning about the “low carb/healthy fat way of life”, along with methods of behavioural change that Diane and people like her learn how to turn their lives around.

These are her words:

Just wanted to send you this note of gratitude. I have just had my blood results and my HBA1c is 36 !!!
When I first came to your group in February it was 88 . I felt so ill mentally and physically, had no energy. Now I feel so much better in every way and enjoy each day. You have literally given me my life back and I am eternally grateful.

Going forward I would like to help in anyway I can , to help others feel to feel well .

The attached picture shows me at size 24 and me in my new size 16 dress .

Kindest regards

To reverse your diabetes like Diane did, you can also join one of our low carb groups– there are 18 a month in Warrington- or follow the 8 week course on this website.

Intermittent Fasting

When you adopt this way of life, one of the best things you can do is listen to your body.

Be mindful and ask yourself- am I hungry or not? Can I wait a little while or even a few hours before I eat or drink?

If you do this, you will reduce the hormone insulin and this has very healthful effects.It allows you to use up your fat stores. It makes you more mentally alert. You will also have more energy.

One of the simplest ways to fast is to ask yourself if there is a meal you currently eat that you do not want.

For instance, do you eat breakfast because you have heard it is the most important meal of the day( a phrase invented by a cereal company) or because you are actually hungry? If you are never hungry at breakfast time, give it a skip and do not eat until your mid day meal. If you are not hungry mid day, have nothing between breakfast and your evening meal. Drink only water( or herbal tea, decaff coffee) as that helps too.

One of our group members has been doing one meal a day – known as OMAD- for a few months and has lost 7 stone.

To find out more, look at the website of Dr Jason Fung who is one of the world’s experts on fasting. Take a look at this https://idmprogram.com/fasting-a-history-part-i/


Your sleep is not only very important when you are following this programme but also for your health in the years to come, so here are some ideas to help you https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips
If you don’t sleep well, your diabetes will be harder to control, you blood glucose may be higher, and with highs, come lows.
So to start with, can you try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day? Also keep your bedroom dark and just for sleeping.