Alcohol

Alcohol can be one reason why people fail to achieve their goals so here’s hoping this piece will help you….

Alcohol could be seen to be one of the hardest areas in lifestyle change. but is it?

What does it mean to you? Do you love your drink after work, or when cooking your evening meal? 80% of adults in the UK drink alcohol, so if you do, do you think you should cut it down or out? It is completely up to you and may not be as hard as you think.

I usually tackle all the food issues first and put alcohol safely to one side until it comes up (try to keep to one drink a day, cut it out if your weight loss stalls, look at the lower carbohydrate versions on www.dietdoctor.com)

Recently, a woman told me she was very annoyed she could not stick to 2 drinks a night, despite fully intending to at the beginning of many evenings. I recommended www.soberistas.com which is a super support system for people wanting to give up. It is much more life affirming and less stark than AA, though AA has helped many people and has its’ fans. The trouble with AA is that people perceive it is for alcoholics, whereas this online support group is for people who would like to cut alcohol down or out, and no label is needed for joining or reading.

She came back to me a week later and said she had not only given up, but also felt full of joy at the idea of never drinking again! She had done this following reading Jason Vales book- ‘How to give up drink easily’, as well as talking to people on the Soberistas site.

Have a look and try them both out if you are interested, and let me know your story of success.

Have a great week!

Dr Jo

The Ketogenic Diet: Why Eating Fat Can Make You Thin

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!

Find Your Own Carbohydrate Level

Carbohydrates are in many foods we eat and are classified into sugars and starches. When I started on this low carb way of life I found it a bit confusing. What level of carbohydrate was needed?

There are no essential carbohydrates

so what was to stop me choosing zero? You don’t you need carbs for energy( they are not necessary as your body can make glucose) so why do dietitians advise them? Is the advice itself just a habit?
People eat a lot of carbohydrate containing foods like bread, cakes, cereal, fruit and vegetables, and regard them as healthy in moderation, but as you know they are habit forming.
I was 50 years of age but I still found it hard to believe that staple everyday foods like this could harm me in any way.
It was my sister’s and, separately, a patient’s, marvelous recovery from a rare arthritic disorder that set me thinking. Why would they get so much better just by cutting out the starches from their food? The theory is to do with bacteria in the gut feeding off starches and causing an overgrowth of a bug called klebsiella, which then triggers a reaction whereby the body starts to attack itself. The particular diet they used is called the London AS diet.
Then Dr David Perlmutter’s book Grain Brain set me thinking about whether sugars and starches could lead to diabetes, dementia and other chronic inflammatory conditions. This could happen through the insulin hormone getting too high, too often, causing weight to go up and causing Type 2 diabetes.
Then I had the surprise of seeing the zerocarbers on www.zerocarbzen.com, www.myzerocarblife.com and the Principia Carnivora Facebook group. One of these zerocarbers was a retired doctor who wrote to me from the USA and told me about his zerocarb journey- and very well he did too. Obesity and hypertension resolved and off all his medication. Many of these people had morbid obesity and through a zerocarb lifestyle became a normal weight and were able to stop all their medication.
The Masai and the Inuit people were zero carbers and while many dietitians say that no one can stick to zero carb diets, I am told that 10-20k people in the USA do exactly that today.

How can you decide? It starts with what you want to achieve and what you like to eat.
Would you like to write down your goals?

People say things like…
Running about with the grandchildren
Looking good for a son’s wedding
Weight loss
Resolution of type 2 diabetes
Coming off drugs
I am a keen exerciser and feel I need to eat some carbs. If so what is the minimum you can get away with?

Are you veggie or vegan? That makes it impossible to get down to zero without nutrient deficiencies, so I often suggest cutting out sugars and following recipes on www.authoritynutrition.com or www.dietdoctor.com

Decide how low you want to go and whether you reduce them gradually or all of a sudden. My plan, which came from Dr Perlmutter is flexible, and you could do it with or without any grains, sweet fruit, or starchy vegetables if you wanted quicker results.

If you want to reduce your risk of diabetes and dementia, Dr Perlmutter suggests 30g a day is about right. I got too thin after 4 months on this so decided to raise it a little but I still eat under 50g a day.

Butter Bob Briggs and Jeff Cyr eat the lowest level they need to feel well, keep their weight down,their blood glucose normal and keep them off medication.

Once you achieve your goal you can decide if your want to raise your carb level a little and see if that still works for you.

Fatty Liver

Fatty Liver is very common in the UK, and sadly up to 40% of people have it. It is problem because it can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
How can you reverse it you may be asking?
You might think you should eat less fatty food but you would be wrong!
You need to stop eating sugars and starches and in particular fructose which is found in fruit juice. That is right, fruit juice can give you fatty liver! In the USA people have had liver transplants, even children have had liver transplants because of fatty liver. Have a look at Jeff Cyr on the testimonials page of this site. Jeff was dying of a liver disease and cured it with a ketogenic diet- he just eats meat, and some veggies.