I wrote this with the aid of a parent who wanted to improve her daughter’s health..
I wrote this with the aid of a parent who wanted to improve her daughter’s health..
One of my friends used to work for the processed food industry and told me she spent her time devising foods that people could not stop eating. The people who worked there tried to find the bliss point, where people felt they were in some sort of momentary heaven. There used to be an advertising slogan for one of these concoctions- “one nibble and you’re nobbled”
I used to eat like this:
Cereal or toast for breakfast, a wholemeal sandwich for lunch and maybe a chocolate bar as a treat and a home cooked tea/dinner, preceded by 2 pieces of toast while I cooked it, and then my meal itself with pasta, potatoes or rice. Sometimes I would have a few biscuits in the morning, and often some crisps or nuts with drinks if someone came round for dinner (which was not often). My meals were always home cooked, and I would have condiments with them, without thinking about it. I especially loved mint sauce with lamb, and horseradish sauce with beef. I didn’t think of myself as someone who had processed food addiction. I thought I had a healthy diet because I home cooked my main meals, and ate whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat cereal and whole-wheat pasta (if the children didn’t complain too much!). I tried to balance my eating with an active lifestyle. I played golf and often had a cereal bar on the way round, with a can of diet cola. I climbed mountains and took sandwiches and cake for a meal in the middle of the climb.
The truth was that I ate a lot of processed food and that contained a lot of sugar, or starch that changes into sugar. It was no wonder I gained 2 stone in weight. I am going to reprint the above paragraph and highlight all the foods that are processed. Look at this:
I used to eat like this: cereal or toast for breakfast, a wholemeal sandwich for lunch and maybe a chocolate bar as a treat and a home cooked tea/dinner, preceded by 2 pieces of toast while I cooked it, and then my meal itself with pasta, potatoes or rice. Sometimes I would have a few biscuits in the morning, and often some crisps or nuts with drinks if someone came round for dinner. My meals were always home cooked, and I would have condiments with them, without thinking about it. I especially loved mint sauce with lamb, and horseradish sauce with beef. I didn’t think of myself as someone who had processed food addiction. I thought I had a healthy diet because I home cooked my main meals, and ate whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat cereal and whole-wheat pasta (if the children didn’t complain too much!). I tried to balance my eating with an active lifestyle. I played golf and often had a cereal bar on the way round, with a can of diet cola. I climbed mountains and took sandwiches and cake as a meal in the middle of the climb. I didn’t mention alcohol, which is a processed product and should be considered as something that is very ‘more-ish’ and stimulates your appetite to eat more processed food, and drink more of itself! It also reduces your inhibitions in relation to eating more…; you’ve guessed it and I don’t need to say it.
My life was punctuated by processed food, but I never would have thought I had a processed food addiction. I even made my own processed food with white flour and sugar!
I never thought I could have given it up, but I did, as explained on the front page of this website. I enjoy my food a lot now, eat it with relish and it gives me great pleasure, and I no longer feel drawn to the processed stuff. Think about how you are going to do it, and believe me when I say 4 years on, that it is worth it, and the cravings left long ago.
Where does the healthy fat in #LCHF come from?
Is it from your food, or is it from your body?
What sorts of fats are you comfortable with?
Many people are fat phobic, and fear that fat in food becomes fat on their bodies. The problem is that many people eat a high fat, high carb way and this is definitely fattening for many of us, as is low fat processed food which is high in sugar. Initially, it may be helpful to use recipes like those on DietDoctor but use minimal quantities of the high fat foods, like dairy, and oils, in order to feel comfortable with what is a radical change of lifestyle.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, do not overdo the fat in your food, especially if you dislike eating fat, as it may make you feel sick. Eat low carb, and do not ramp up your fat intake. Avoid those bullet proof coffees, and don’t add copious quantities of butter to your food. Be guided by your individual responses in terms of weight loss( a pound a week is fine), and blood glucose( it should be between 4 and 7).
I find most people are comfortable eating the fats that are in oily fish, olives, avocados and nuts, but are less comfortable with animal fats in butter, lard, beef, pork, lamb and chicken. All are healthy. The fats to avoid are trans-fats found in cakes, biscuits, donuts, and deep fried foods like chips, and also seed oils themselves, which become trans-fats at high temperatures.
For more detail click here.
This is a guest post by Louise Hendon, co-host of The Keto Summit and author of The Essential Keto Cookbook
It probably seems very counterintuitive that eating more fat can actually help you lose weight.
Traditional advice has always been to eat low fat and exercise more.
But as we’ve realized over the years, traditional advice is simply not working. According to a recent finding, from 1993 to 2013 in England, “the proportions that were overweight including obese increased from 57.6 per cent to 67.1 per cent in men and from 48.6 per cent to 57.2 per cent in women.”
As many people have discovered, the culprit may well be the traditional advice we’ve been given. What we are often told is “healthy” are often foods that are causing us to stay fat and suffer chronic health problems.
That’s why websites like Fat is My Friend are so amazing. They offer a better way of enjoying food without compromising your health.
Luckily, if you’ve been following Dr. Jo’s recommendations for a while, then you might already be eating a ketogenic diet without realizing it.
But in this post, I’ll explain more about what a ketogenic diet is, what you eat, what you don’t eat, how it’s potentially different from LCHF or Aktins, and explain why fat isn’t something you should be afraid of.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The traditional ketogenic diet originated around 100 years ago as an effective method of treating kids with epilepsy. They found that the diet increased levels of ketone bodies in the children and that this increase corresponded to decreased epileptic seizures.
Back then the diet wasn’t all that appetizing. You often fasted and drank high fat foods like cream. But over the years, the diet has been dramatically modified so that you can still gain the benefits of keto while eating delicious foods.
As you probably have guessed, a ketogenic diet is considered a high fat diet. But you don’t just eat fat.
You also eat a fair amount of protein (especially if you’re trying to lose weight) and a small amount of carbohydrates (preferably in the form of whole foods like green leafy vegetables).
That means you avoid foods high in carbohydrates like chips, pasta, bread, and cakes.
What exactly do you eat on a ketogenic diet?
Here are some general food groups to eat on a ketogenic diet:
1. Fish and seafood – these are generally high in nutrients, high in good fats, and have pretty much no carbohydrates. Oysters are especially good if you can get them. But in the UK, smoked salmon and canned sardines are excellent options that you can get in most stores.
2. Meats – get high quality meats if you can and go for fattier cuts. Dr. Jo has a great roast lamb recipe here you should try.
3. Eggs – these are also high in good fats and very nutritious. They’re perfect for fast and easy breakfasts.
4. Leafy green vegetables – while many starchy vegetables are off limits on a ketogenic diet because they contain too many carbohydrates, leafy green vegetables are encouraged. They’re a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and can help make your meals more interesting.
5. Organ meats like liver – beef liver is highly nutrient dense. That means you’ll get more vitamins and minerals per calorie you take in than most foods. If you dislike the taste of liver, then try hiding some in burger meat or stews.
6. Berries – don’t go overboard with fruits as they are pretty high in sugars. But adding a handful of berries each day to your diet can add a ton of flavor to various dishes.
7. Healthy fats – coconut oil, ghee, tallow, lard, olive oil, avocado oil are all excellent options.
For more keto food ideas, check out our free 7-day keto meal plan here.
How is this different to Atkins or LCHF?
The main difference is simply one of focus. In practice, there’s often very little difference.
While Atkins focuses on eating lower carbs and LCHF focuses on eating more fat and less carbs, the idea behind Keto is to eat a diet that increases your blood ketone levels.
A diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs (as Dr. Jo suggests) is perfect for increasing your blood ketone levels.
Many people on Atkins or LCHF are probably experiencing blood ketone levels that put them into “nutritional ketosis” already.
According to Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney, “‘light nutritional ketosis’ is between 0.5mmol/L and 1.0mmol/L and ‘optimal ketosis’ is between 1.0mmol/L and 3.0mmol/L.”
Many Keto proponents, like myself, also heavily emphasize eating real foods and focusing on eating nutrient-dense foods (like leafy green vegetables, seafood, and organ meats).
Why Does Eating Keto Help You Lose Weight?
The exact mechanism for why a ketogenic diet works is still very much debated.
Is it just the high ketone levels, the high fat diet, the low carb aspect, hunger suppression, a combination of these, or some other mechanism we’re not aware of yet?
Whatever the exact reason, it seems that Keto diets work well for weight loss.
One 24-week study found that a ketogenic diet “significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients.”
And people like Jimmy Moore have found significant weight loss with the diet.
What About Cholesterol?
The traditional view, which many people still believe, is that if you eat foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats (like eating eggs and bacon) will cause you to have higher cholesterol and thereby cause heart disease.
However, recent studies are slowly debunking this traditional view.
A 2009 review concluded that, “It is reasonable to conclude that there is little evidence supporting a major association between dietary cholesterol and CHD [coronary heart disease] risk in the general population.” Hyperresponders and type 2 diabetics may react differently.
A 2010 study concluded that, “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] or CVD[cardiovascular disease].”
Another study found that the ketogenic diet was beneficial even in the long-term for overweight people with high cholesterol. That study was conducted for 56 weeks.
Start Eating More Healthy Fats
While you definitely don’t need to go overboard and stuff your food with fats unnecessarily, you also don’t need to fear fats.
Choose fattier cuts of meat, cook your vegetables in delicious fats like lard, and add higher quality extra virgin olive oil to your salads. Look into the ketogenic diet if you’re interested in learning more. And listen to Dr. Jo!
You have seen your doctor and had all the tests.
They are all normal
There is no reason for carrying all that weight around your middle.
You know you eat healthily. You even exercise and that makes no difference. You feel your doctor does not believe you.
You know he or she is wrong. What is going on?
You have probably got something called insulin resistance.
It stops you using your food for energy in the normal way and converts the sugars in the food you eat to fat on your body.
It also stops you losing weight.
What can you do?
Eat food that does not cause your insulin to go up as much.
What food is that?
Meat, fish, chicken , eggs, high fat dairy, and vegetables
See www.fatismyfriend.co.uk or www.dietdoctor.com for recipes.
I recommend gradually cutting down your carb intake to about 30g a day until you are better, and increasing it slowly again if you get too thin. It can take you a few months but once you understand you can keep going for ever. Look how this man did it.
How do you work out your carbs?
You can buy a carb counting book or an app for your smartphone to work out the carbs.You could also do a programme like Grain Brain by Dr David Perlmutter where he teaches you a very low carb way of eating.
Broadly which foods do I need to avoid?
Cakes, biscuits, sweets, sugar, bread, cereals, pizza, pies, even fruit.
What if that does not work?
Try intermittent fasting. In its simplest form it means having only one or two meals a day.
I’m a conventional GP and I’ve been practising for 29 years. I would never want you to think I was anti establishment. I worked in a five partner practice for 23 years, have been the chair of the Professional Executive Committee of the Primary Care Trust and I was a GP trainer. I’m married and am mother to three grown up children. I’m also the named GP for Safeguarding children for an area of 300,000 people and 42 practices. So what makes me so sceptical about the current dietary advice, that I am now a founder member a charity the Public Health Collaboration that campaigns against it? The simple reason is that I see it does not work for the people who need it to work. It’s fine if you are healthy and slim and on no medication, but once you are overweight, the advice to base your meals on starchy carbohohydrates will tend to make you get fatter and fatter. Then you may eventually need drugs for diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, reflux and perhaps even gout. Your body is not able to use up that carbohydrate for energy, and cleverly changes it to fat to minimise the harm the resultant sugars could do to your body. In addition, your cells become less and less sensitive to insulin as time goes on and this causes you to gain more weight. By accident I discovered that if an overweight person cuts out processed starches and sugars and sticks to real food with a low natural sugar level, they get thinner, and may even become the lightest weight they have ever been as an adult. Try it and see. Look at the food list on my site.
This email speaks for itself!
Good morning, Dr McCormack
I had an appointment with Dr Reynolds at Padgate this morning and he gave me your website address and suggested I drop you a line regarding my and my wife’s success with LCHF.
I saw you around January 2015 as I had a severe post-op infection after total knee replacement. You advised me of the potential benefits of LCHF in resisting infection and directed me to the dietdoctor.com website.
I studied this and other links for some time and as both my wife and I have for ages wanted to lose weight (and tried several methods with no success!) we agreed that we had nothing to lose; as we were going 5* all-inclusive to Mexico in Spring we decided the diet would start in May on our return. I used the time studying blogs, websites and bought several recipe books to plan our MO.
My wife, it is fair to say, was extremely cynical about losing weight by eating butter, cream, fats etc., but agreed to give it a go given the mass of evidence that it worked and the positive effects on health. We were also starting to see the myths regarding government nutritional advice which has led to the world obesity problem. Things started to make sense.
We commenced the diet end-May 2015 – I was 14st 4lbs, Chris was 12st 8lbs. We were very strict and limited carb intake to around or under 20gms per day. I continued to use Canderel and due to food availability sometimes at work I did have the occasional bread sandwich (our site chef did tire of making me omelettes!). We shunned wine totally, (red was my tipple, Chris was white) but did allow ourselves the odd Gin & Slim Line.
By autumn I had lost 3st and was down to 11st 5lbs, Chris had lost 2st. From a 38″ tight waist I now struggle to keep up 34″ and am probably nearer a 32″; Chris has gone from size 18 to 14.
I now fluctuate by a couple of pounds as I do allow myself a little bread, but Chris is more rigid.
I have worked at my current site for 13 years and people couldn’t believe how well I looked.
Strangely, when I extolled the virtues of LCHF nobody had heard of it (although they had heard of Atkins). I haven’t tried to explain the technicalities of LCHF to anybody – I have just let them witness the results and directed them to Diet Doctor.
There is a down side – all the new summer clothes I had for Mexico had to be charity-bagged together with winter coats etc. etc.and the same for Chris’s clothes -cost us a fortune but at least charity was a winner!!
Apart from weight loss we feel so much better and healthier.
We lost our old dog in Feb 2015 and
got a new pup in June – we can now walk miles with her.
I hope you find our experience interesting and we would be more than happy to share this in helping you promote what we find to be the best lifestyle change we have ever made. I would also like to thank you for helping us to discover LCHF.
Please contact us if you require any more specific info.
Paul & Chris
Monday scrambled egg with butter and spinach
Tuesday poached eggs and tomatoes
Wednesday bacon and tomatoes
Thursday bacon and egg
Friday omelette with cheese
Saturday smoked salmon with scrambled eggs
Sunday bacon, egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, turkey sausage
Egg mayo salad
Vegetable soup with cheese
Avocado salad with tomato, lime and coriander
Roast chicken salad
Ham and eggs
Full fat yoghurt, berries and almonds
Cauli Shepherds pie with courgettes and carrots
Gammon, and cauliflower cheese (sauce made with cheese, butter and crème fraiche)
Slow cooked pork with red cabbage and mixed green veg
Salmon in crème fraiche and dill sauce with tomato salad, and avocado salad
Courgetti Bolognese and
Roast chicken dinner with broccoli, cabbage, roast carrots and parsnips
Thai green vegetable curry and brown rice.
Snacks: olives, cheese, ham, hard boiled eggs, veggie sticks and humous