Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt I

As anyone who has done it knows, getting started on a low-carb diet can be a little rough.  Not for everyone, but for some.  All too often these little front-end bumps in the road–coupled with the spirit of the times in which the well-intentioned but ignorant friends and relatives of low-carb dieters tell them their diet is going to croak their kidneys, clog their arteries and weaken their bones–can be enough to make many people abandon the most sincere efforts.  Drawing on my almost 30 years of experience treating patients using the low-carb diet, I can give some tips and tricks for dealing with these difficult early days.

Listen to your body?

The surest road to failure in the first few days of low-carb dieting is to listen to your body.  The whole notion of listening to your body is one of my major pet peeves.  In fact, just hearing those words makes me want to puke.  In my experience, they are usually uttered by females with moist, dreamy looks in their eyes, but not always.  I just read a ton of comments in a recent Paleo blog post in which vastly more males than females actually wrote this drivel. Listening to your body is giving the elephant free rein. If you’re three days into your stop-smoking program, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed.  If you’re in drug rehab, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed.  If you’re trying to give up booze, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed.  And if you’re a week into your low-carb diet, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed.  Actually, it’s okay to listen to it, I suppose, just don’t do what it’s telling you to do because if you do, you’re screwed. Okay, end of rant.  I just had to get it out of my system.  You just can’t imagine how many times people who have tried low-carb diets then abandoned them early on have said those words to me.  Wait.  I’m about to get started again. Stop!

Low-carbohydrate adaptation

Probably the best explanation of low-carb adaptation (also called keto adaptation) was written by a Lt. Frederick Schwatka (pictured above left) over a hundred years ago.

When first thrown wholly upon a diet of reindeer meat, it seems inadequate to properly nourish the system and there is an apparent weakness and inability to perform severe exertive, fatiguing journeys. But this soon passes away in the course of two or three weeks.

Lt. Schwatka was a doctor, a lawyer, and an explorer of the Arctic, the Great Plains and northern Mexico.  The above quote comes from his book on the unfruitful search for the Franklin party in 1878.  (For all his experience and gifts, and understanding of low-carb adaptation, the good doctor listened to his own body a little too much and did himself in with an overdose of morphine at age 42.) You can read more about Lt Schwatka, low-carb adaptation, and his time with the Inuit in a post I wrote a few years ago. The period of low-carb adaptation is that time between starting a low-carb diet and feeling great on a low-carb diet.  It can take anywhere from just a day or so to two or three weeks.  During this adaptation period people tend to fatigue easily, experience a slight lack of mental clarity and be tormented off and on by the unbidden lust for carbs that seems to rise up out of nowhere.  Why does this happen early on with a diet that ultimately works so well to increase exercise capacity, mental clarity, and feelings of satiation? It happens because both your body and brain are going through a profound change in the way they get their energy.  You can’t run your car designed to burn gasoline on biodeisel…unless you install a converter.  Then you can.  We humans have the design for our carb to fat converters coded in our DNA – the low-carb adaptation period is simply the time it takes for the converter to be built and installed. Our bodies are simply giant piles of chemicals heaped together in a human-shaped form.  Most of the chemicals will react with one another, but only extremely slowly.  If we didn’t have something to help these reactions along, life wouldn’t exist.  The helpers are called enzymes.  These enzymes – which are large folded proteins – catalyze all the chemical reactions that allow us to function.  Mix a couple of body chemicals together and you might have to wait twenty years or more for them to interact or combine in some way to form another body chemical product.  Throw the correct enzyme into the mixture, and you get a reaction in a fraction of a second. When you’ve been on the standard American high-carb diet, you’re loaded with enzymes ready to convert those carbs to energy.  You’ve got some enzymes laying in the weeds waiting to deal with the fat, but mainly dealing with it by storing it, not necessarily burning it.  All the pathways to deal with carbs and their resultant blood glucose are well-oiled and operating smoothly.  Then you start a low-carb diet.  Suddenly, you’ve idled most of the enzyme force you have built to process the carbs in your diet while at the same time you don’t have a ready supply of the enzymes in the quantities needed to deal with your new diet.  It would be like a Ford automobile factory changing in one day into a plant that made iPads.  All the autoworkers would show up and be clueless as how to make an iPad.  It would take a while – not to mention a lot of chaos – to get rid of the autoworkers and replace them with iPad workers.  In a way, that’s kind of what’s happening during the low-carb adaptation period. Over the first few days to few weeks of low-carb adaptation, your body is laying off the carbohydrate worker enzymes and building new fat worker enzymes.  Once the workforce in your body is changed out, you start functioning properly on your new low-carb, higher-fat diet.  The carbs you used to burn for energy are now replaced to a great extent by ketones (which is why this time is also called the keto-adaptation period) and fat.  Your brain begins to use ketones to replace the glucose it used to use pretty much exclusively, so your thinking clears up.  And the fatigue you used to feel at the start of the diet goes away as ketones and fat (and the army of enzymes required to use them efficiently) take over as the primary sources of energy.  Suddenly you seem to go from not being able to walk out to get the morning paper without puffing and panting to having an abundance of energy.  Because of this low-carb adaptation period, we never, ever counsel our patients to start an exercise program when they start their low-carb diets because a) we know they’ll be too fatigued to do it, and b) we know that in a short time they will start exercising spontaneously to burn off the excess fat on their bodies once the skids are greased, so to speak. Anyone with good sense contemplating a low-carb diet would ask the question, How can I make this low-carb adaptation period as short as possible?  Good question.  Why would anyone want to prolong the agony? The secret to making it shorter is in the second part of what Lt. Schwatka wrote about low-carb adaptation.  Immediately after the above quoted sentences, he follows with:

At first the white man takes to the new diet in too homeopathic a manner, especially if it be raw. However, seal meat which is far more disagreeable with its fishy odor, and bear meat with its strong flavor, seems to have no such temporary debilitating effect upon the economy.

In other words, the white man, used to flour, sugar, boiled meat and all the other staples of the mid 19th century American diet, balked at the consumption of raw meat, especially raw and malodorous seal and bear meat.  And so took it in tiny portions (in a  “homeopathic manner”) instead of going face down in it.  Compared to reindeer meat, both seal and bear meat are loaded with fat, which is why the consumption of those fattier meats didn’t produce the “temporary debilitating effect.”  In those who did eat the fattier meats, the low-carb adaptation period was very short or even non-existent.

Eat more fat

If you want to reduce the time you spend in low-carb adaptation, crank up the fat.  If you go on a high-protein, moderate-fat diet (Schwatka’s reindeer diet), your body will convert the protein to glucose via gluconeogenesis, so you’ll still have glucose to keep the glucose worker enzymes busy and will prolong the conversion to fat and ketones as your primary energy source. So Rule Number One to reduce the time spent in low-carb adaptation purgatory is: Don’t be a wuss when you start your low-carb way of eating.  Keep the carbs cut to the minimum and load up on the fat. Eat fatty cuts of meat, cooked in butter or lard if you want, and force your body over to using the fats and ketones for energy as nature intended. I mean, don’t try to be noble by eating boneless, skinless chicken breasts – instead insert some pats of butter under the skin of a chicken leg and thigh before cooking, and wolf them with your fingers while the fat drips down your arms.  Do not trim the fat from your steaks – eat them from the fat side in.  If you leave anything on your plate, make sure it’s the meat and not the fat.  If you don’t already, learn to love bacon, and don’t cook it ‘til the fat is all gone: eat it wobbly.  Wallow in Mangalitsa lardo.  And whatever you do, for God’s sake, don’t listen to your body during this adaptation period or you’ll never cross the chasm between fat and miserable on your high-carb diet and slim, happy, energetic and low-carb adapted on the other side. In my next post, I’ll give you the rest of the tips and tricks to get through low-carb adaptation that MD and I have learned in our combined 50 plus years of taking care of patients on low-carb diet. And I’ll include a recipe worthy of killing for that you can prepare to help you get through.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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673 thoughts on “Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt I

  1. “The surest road to failure in the first few days of low-carb dieting is to listen to your body. The whole notion of listening to your body is one of my major pet peeves. In fact, just hearing those words makes me want to puke. In my experience, they are usually uttered by females with moist, dreamy looks in their eyes, but not always. I just read a ton of comments in recent Paleo blog post in which vastly more males than females actually wrote this drivel.”

    Love this! So true.

    One of my pet peeves is the “Everybody’s different” and “Different things work for different people” garbage. Yes, perhaps we are different, but not as much as people like to think.

      • I do the same thing. I fast from when I wake up in the morning, and all through school. When I get home, I stick to high fat food, and I don’t get hungry until dinnertime.

    • “One of my pet peeves is the “Everybody’s different” and “Different things work for different people” garbage. Yes, perhaps we are different, but not as much as people like to think”

      actually, many of us are different. Quite different. this is the kind of unequivocal nonsense i expect more and more these days coming from diet (yes, “diet”) sites.

      lets just forget about falsification and head into dogma…

      …yeah, that’s the ticket.

      low carb doesn’t work for me. did it, tried that, bought the t-shirt. 2 years later, with a pounding heart and an anxiety that almost wrecked me, i decided that this was bullsh*t. i now eat higher carb/lower fat paleoesque with as much protein as i *feel* like eating (which is to say, not much), and am doing fine.

      don’t speak for others; speak for yourself. and Eades, don’t get angry because others don’t or can’t fit into your little box. you sound like a religious grump.

      • What, do you routinly read low carb blogs just so you can reply with your negative “bullsh*t”? Dr Eades is brilliant, and his advice is truly helpful. If you don’t agree, don’t read his blog.

      • Shel,

        Your comment about “a pounding heart and an anxiety” was very interesting to me. I had these same symptoms. I am on thyroid medication for Hashimoto’s and the answer turned out to be that on a low-carb diet, I needed to drop my thyroid medication by a full third. I have no reason to believe you are on thyroid medication, but just in case, I wanted to pass this on, since it made such a huge difference to me.

        • You’re comment about how this has helped you with your hashimotos is very inspiring!! This is my first venture into the paleo lifestyle after being diagnosed in Oct of ’09… I have spent the last two years struggling to get through my days. My profession as a personal trainer has taken a backseat and I am very hopeful this lifestyle will help me. :)

        • Hey, I had this situation too! I am also on thyroid medication for Hashimoto’s and I also needed to drop my thyroid medication by a third! The “pounding heart and anxiety” problem just went away after this change. This can’t be just a coincidence!

        • Magnesium! Crucial for low-carbers, especially those who are ketogenic. It makes all the difference for me and prevents leg cramps and the heart-racing issues. Read Phinney/Volek “Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance.” Since I am an avid cyclist, their magnesium recommendations have proved a saving grace.

          • How much magnesium? I’ve lost 60 pounds in the year since I’ve changed to low carbs. Feel great except plagued with leg cramps

      • I had a wicket pounding heart and anxiety when i started low carb, my husband brought me eggs in bed because i was so shaking in the mornings, i got a blood sugar monitor and i was actually fine but felt i would pass out, i felt so low blood sugar most of the time i “rested” for three weeks, when i did cheat on carbs the heart racing ramped up, but after a month or so i am feeling the best i have ever felt. i was hungry my whole life now i can feel hunger and not panic, now i have energy.

        you gotta walk a mile- not a few feet before your input will b e of any value.

        • “You gotta walk a mile- not a few feet before your input will be of any value” Thanks for saying that to Shel in such a nice way. :) She’s obviously not smart enough to be open minded to this. This is not the easiest of lifestyles at first…but I agree…the energy I feel when cutting back carbs (after a few days of insane anxiet, cravings and hunger that is not real) is amazing and worth the few days of waiting! :)

        • Hey Lisa, it’s great to hear your story I too get terrible anxiety and feel lke I’m gonna pass out when I try low carb. I haven’t been successful yet because of this. I have heard of others having the same issue but no stories of someone getting through this. I was begining to think that I just didn’t do well on this diet, but you have renewed my faith in low carb and I’m gonna give it another try. Thanks for sharing, Colin.

          • Coming to this discussion maybe too late, but I found that upping my magnesium intake helped me to better control the pounding heart/anxiety issue that I believe was at the route of eliminating sugar – more so than lowering my carb intake altogether – although the two go hand in hand for me. I take a magnesium product called Natural Calm that has worked wonders, especially when taken before bedtime. This might help some, maybe not all of you, depending on what’s going on. And just in case anyone wonders, no I don’t have anything to do with the company which sells that product. :)

            One small point about “listening to your body”. I find that it’s important to act quickly if/when you think there’s something wrong or going on that deserves immediate or timely medical attention. Still too many seem to ignore the signs and symptoms that could have saved their lives and given them more precious time. In that respect at least, “listening” is vital.

          • Hi Susan, thanks for the reply and no it’s not too late. I’ve since increased my carb intake not too high but at a level where I feel comfortable. I’ve been working with a practitioner on a nutritional balancing program and I think after another six months to a year I’ll give low carb another try. I’ll look into that magnesium too, that could be my problem as I found myself to be deficient in a few minerals. Thanks again, Colin.

          • I find it realy does help to crank up the fat and nuts -almonds and peanut butter – and DO eat often. I have been low carbing just over a year..fallen off the wagon -this is my second time- and I know I feel “so” much better..restarting again.For some reason I find peanut butter-natural and/or organic- nothing added..really helps with sweet cravings.and the famous ground flax muffin a minute (google it) soothes the “bread/cake” craving.and you can up your carbs a tiny bit..to get through and then decrease..the whole point is to switch over..if it takes a bit longer so it does.

          • When you went off of the high fat diet,,(I recently tried the Ketogenic diet for 9 days and then went back to low fat, continued with very low carbs and just salads and protein) did you put your body into a stall state? I’ve been denying myself sugars, carbs and alcohol and have not lost weight either on ketogenic or low fat.

          • Why would you go back to low-fat? I have been ketogenic for years and would never go back to eating a low-fat diet. Once you are a fat burner, it makes no sense to go back to burning glucose and of course you won’t continue to lose weight.

          • Cherie … going off of fat and onto a high protein diet is no different from returning to a high carb diet since your body turns the protein into glucose (sugar). You need to stay on a high fat diet for your body to learn to burn fat (ketones) instead of glucose. Bouncing back and forth just confuses your body so it thinks it is in famine and needs to store fat.

          • I’m an addiction specialist and want you all to be aware that carbs and sugar are very addictive. Literally like a drug addiction. When you stop taking any drug you go through withdrawals. This is a trick that the addiction brain tricks you into feeling so that you will give up and go back to taking your drug of choice. Talk to any person recovering from drug addiction and ask them about the symptoms they experience. They will describe symptoms almost identical to what you are describing. Don’t give up. Push through. The degree and intensity of your commitment to over come the addiction will greatly effect how severe the withdrawl symptoms are. So dive in! Make the commitment! The harder it get the more you commit to the process. I often tell my clients. Doth though protest to strongly “addiction”. Then do the opposite of what your addiction wants you to do. Good luck all.

      • Those who suffer hypothyroidism can have great difficulty reaching kenosis (using fat rather than carbs). Atkins added this info to his book with the second edition. There are other reasons some don’t burn fat easily.

      • Shel, I had that heart-pounding thing. It scared me. Then I did some reading and discovered that I had a magnesium deficiency. I took magnesium supplements (without calcium) and it cleared right up. No more heart pounding unless I forget my magnesium for a few days. Dr. Eades has a really good post in this blog about excess dairy blocking the absorption of magnesium. Maybe when you ate low carb you ate large amounts of cheese – that would do it.

        • Wow, now I know why I need to take a large amount of magnesium. It’s the dairy. I love the results of low carbing – it’s freed me in a hundred ways – but I didn’t love the constipation and anxiety, so began taking supplemental magnesium. Had to slowly increase my dosage to get desired results, and now I see why. I’m fine with it as long as what goes in keeps going out in a timely, healthy way. :) Thanks for pointing me to the post, Allison.

      • I just have to say to this, being 27 and pre-diabetic since i was 21 and had gestational diabetes with my daughter that lo carb diets are then only thing that work for me. I have done weight watchers and raw foods over and over with no success. My body does not process carbs like yours does obviously, so we are not all the same. Any trainer will tell you there are 4 body types and they each require a certain diet and exercise program for them to be “healthy”. Do the research.

      • Shel,

        We are human. We ARE designed the SAME way. You are probably just grumpy because you snuck one too many potatoe chips in your “low carb diet”. It always works if you do it correctly.

      • Wow.I Guarantee you are living on a “garbage” diet 2 years later, prompting the “anxiety. Dont diss everyone here since youre fat again. Blame yourself for your failures.

      • Shel,

        Your post is very angry and not helpful. I can fathom why you wasted so much time writing this post. Why not spend that energy doing more research or asking a question?

        Just sayin’

      • Shel, your symptoms of pounding heart and anxiety on low carb suggest you developed an electrolyte imbalance. Pounding heart is a serious symptom. Shame on others here for not giving respect to a serious medical issue and trying to pass it off as someone’s attitude problem.

        The sports physiologists who have studied low carb diets have suggested that they require extra sodium, because low carb causes the kidneys to start excreting more sodium. The authors of “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living” suggest that low carb diets require about 5 grams of sodium per day. That’s grams of sodium, not weight of salt. That works out to something like two and one half teaspoons of salt per day, which is a lot.

        I developed low sodium on a low carb diet and I actually thought I was going to die. That’s not an expression of discomfort. I thought I was going to DIE. I developed pounding heart beats, changes in my respiration (which was actually terrifying…it was a delayed breathing pattern and discomfort while breathing), high blood pressure, and high end of prediabetic post pandrial responses and fasting glucose. All of this resolves within about four hours of taking about 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 12 ounces of water about five times a day. All of these symptoms quickly return when I stop the salt. I’m using sea salt to try to balance out some of the other electrolytes.

        No doctor was able to figure this out for four months with my desperately complaining with these symptoms. I only ended up catching it when an emergency room doctor commented that I had low sodium on the blood test and I probably “drank too much water”.

        Sodium imbalance – and other electrolyte imbalances – are damn serious problems. Recognize the symptoms and find someone who can help you correct them quickly.

        • Excellent post. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I am in the middle of reading a book called ‘Keto Clarity’. It talks about the important need to increase salt intake while eating this way. I am prone to vertigo…and think that I have made a connection with it and the salt intake (and not having enough) along with water.

    • Agree, and my pet peeve is “they’re always changing what we should eat.” As if Science doesn’t ever learn new stuff or advance.

    • I loved it too… although it is hard. For me and a lot of women the lack of carbs does not just cause physical effects. It makes me feel sad and hopeless as seratonin levels are depleted with nothing to send that trytophan into the brain to make seratonin and indeed when I have a bit of carb (sweet potato) etc it’s because the alternative is crying and wishing I were dead really although not quite suicidal. It becomes a mental health issue.

      However the occasional carb fest aside, this is how I eat and it does work and it’s very very good and this site is some of th ebest guidance.

      I recommend buying what we call int he UK ” pork belly”, eating bacon and eggs for breakfast and omlets with veg in like green pepper, chicken with chicken skin etc work well.

    • As I began contemplating restarting my diet to lose the 30 pounds I had put back on over 2 years, I was conscious of everything I ate slowly pushing carbs out of diet. when protein and fat curbed appetite, I knew I had reached the point I could cut carbs out for a few weeks. 18 pounds in three weeks now.

  2. So you recommend high protein and moderate fat with low carb? If people eat a bit more fat in the beginning it’s only to counter some of the low carb symptoms at the start and they should settle back into moderate fat?

        • Sounds like your carb addiction won. Why didn’t you take an aspirin or ibuprofen instead? That’s what I have people do who develop headaches at the start of low-carb diets.

          • One thing that seems to happen with some people who start on an LC diet is an increase in circulating growth hormone (GH), especially if they do weight training. The effect is a little bit like the effect of GH replacement therapy. Insulin resistance sets in, probably in body fat and muscle cells, leading to higher than normal blood glucose levels (and A1C’s).

            This situation tends to normalize after a while, but can last months, eventually leading to a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity. Again, similarly to what happens with GH therapy, with the difference that your own body is “treating itself”:

            http://bit.ly/jh9wcm

            This is one example of early sign that can be rather misleading. Often doctors will tell patients to stop what they are doing, because they are “becoming diabetic”, in a way similar to that associated with the metabolic syndrome.

            Never mind that other standard measures tend to improve – e.g., fasting triglycerides go down, and HDL goes up – in a way that is completely incompatible with the metabolic syndrome.

          • Hello Dr. Eades

            I think you should reconsider your whole stance on macronutrients. There are some simple facts that suggest to me that a high fat diet is at best a waste of effort.

            1. Most of the world eats and has eaten a high carb diet without “insidious weight gain”. Obesity is something new to modern western and westernizing peoples. Carbs are older than civilization. High fat is not the norm.

            2. Everyone reading this’ ancestors for many generations have been eating a high carb diet. Epigenetic effects persist over multiple generations. We all grew up adapted to be sugar (glucose) burners. Is it not possible that we really can’t “reprogram” our genes completely after we are fully grown? I don’t think you can prove that we can. There is too much we don’t know. But we do know that it is possible to produce excellent health not eating a high fat diet.

            3. As argued in “10,000 Year Explosion”, a lot of genetic change can happen in a small period. It is plausible that most modern people are descended from those who could tolerate grains/carbs better than those who couldn’t.

            4. I think most of the information we have on what prehistoric people eaten has been lost. I don’t think we know that most HG ate a high fat diet. It may not be physiologically optimal for us even if we weren’t descended from starch eaters. Wild bears (another omnivore) for example get most of their calories from plants.

            5. I think the benefits people experience eating lower carb are short term effects due to re-balancing. The longer term testimonials I hear tend to be negative.

            6. My own personal experience eating low carb was far from entirely positive. I was skinny and I lost weight in a bad way. My experience was consistent with those claiming that low carb/high fat is associated with stress. I believe my body was in a highly catabolic state. My stress related conditions got worse. I’ve had huge improvements and increases in energy by eating more carbs and cutting out other things like fructose and omega-6.

            7. Certainly it is possible that “I wasn’t doing it right” (I admit that i probably wasn’t), but doesn’t that suggest that there are major pitfalls for a modern person trying to emulate lifeways long dead? Doesn’t that suggest an element of impracticality to the whole low carb game?

            8. There is indeed a lifestyle problem of having to prepare all your own foods and eating very different everyone else around. For me it really wasn’t as practical as eating more rice and spaghetti.

            This is merely scratching the surface. I could go on and on. The bottom line is that there are major theoretical and practical holes in the thinking of those advocating a high fat diet. It is dubiously beneficial and way too demanding and restrictive for the average person. And sure self-discipline is needed to overcome cravings and whatnot, but I think in a lot of cases cravings for carbs aren’t exactly cravings but more body based needs from bodies that have eaten carbs for decades. Avoiding carbs will only be a stress to them. Most people would do better taking the advice of those moist and dreamy eyed females than take your advice on diet.

          • I took the time because I strongly suspect you are advocating something that isn’t necessarily the best and too difficult for most people to sustain. So much of eating and food issues are in the mind. The problem with a very restrictive diet (in a culture that is constantly tempting people) is that it can lead to disordered eating. I’ve heard lots of cases of this. Lots of cases of individuals health and eating habits worsening after going low carb. There is a wisdom in the body that will eventually overrule what the mind decides is best and lead to binges. Better to be unconflicted about food. Food is just food after all.

            You can take it or leave it, but the bottom line is after following the paleo community for the past few years along with research and experimenting with diet, for so many reasons I am unconvinced that high fat/low carb is best for me or that vast majority of everyone else.

          • I’ll let the readers of this blog say whether or not it’s easy to sustain. I’ve done it nicely for almost thirty years.

          • i have done low carb and recently participated in a modified paleo diet study. – (lower animal protein + higher fruit, lots of veggies; fiber 35 grams, potassium 5 grams). while on that study my HDL went down, my fructosamine went up and my uric acid went up as well!!. i was on the diet for two months. that should have been long enough to regain my energy. i did not.

            i’ve always felt best when i follow low carb. my eyesight improved (didn’t know it could do that) according to my eye doctor and my dentist said, “whatever you’re doing, keep it up, you’re mouth and gums look great.”

            peoples need are different it seems

          • This plan is very easy to stay on. Easy peasy, compared to everything else I have tried. The only downside is having to deal with the debbiedowners who plead moderation and insist that I’ll end up living in a van down by the river if I continue eating bacon.
            I do not have a lifestyle problem. If people around me want to eat crap, that’s their problem, not mine. Most people around me have switched to lower carb and higher fat, and seem fine with the cooking going on in my kitchen.
            If not, they are free to fire up my my dusty vegetarian-cooking appliances and make themselves a nice crusty loaf of healthywholegrain bread.

          • It continues to boggle me why the liars of low fat continually want to tell us low carb is bad for us and too hard to do, etc., etc. I’ve heard it so much – it makes me raging mad and sick.

            Then I recall – the vast amount of economy tied to keeping us obese, out of shape and even ill, requiring medications which only mask the issue and treat the symptom, milking us for every dollar (even that which we would pass on to our heirs) in the form of healthcare.

            I’m sick of idiots like you trying to push low fat/high carb on us – Dr Eades and others are LIFE SAVERS – eating low carb, high fat & moderate protein is EASY – and amazingly, I am sated and eat LESS than if I follow a low fat plan. Low fat is IMPOSSIBLE to stay on – I’ve tried.

            Wrong headed fools like you are hurting our population and costing our economy. You want to blame a person for being fat because they’re lazy – I built my house, then my shop (both, by myself as contractor, builder, labor, all of it) and started a business along with actively spending 12 – 14 hours at a time walking riverbanks and rowing & fishing with clients – yet if I didn’t follow low carb, I got fatter. In a month on low carb, I’ve lost 5″ at my waist without exercising. Starting Slow Burn now, can’t wait to see the added results.

            Get off these forums and go eat a doughnut. Leave us to getting healthy and fit!

          • I thought my eating issues were in my mind until I started eating low carb. After the first 3 weeks of hell, I stopped craving anything. I felt wonderful and I have no eating/craving/behavior issues. I believe as stated that insulin is the culprit.When I can’t burn my own fat, I crave. When my insulin is low and I am burning my own fat for fuel I don’t even think about food. My BP became normal with in a month. I cut down and then stopped taking it under my doctors orders. All of my allergy meds became unnecessary. I have not used an inhaler since I started this June 1st 2011. The feeling of being relaxed and not constantly thinking about food is WONDERFUL. That makes it easy to stay on this for me. I don’t want to “wake the monster”

          • Dr. Eades,
            I so appreciate your work and your books. I am a student at Integrative Nutrition and know believe too, that everyone is different. Some people do better with particular types of eating plans.

            As much as I’ve been taught that a plant-based diet is great for health and the planet, it simply doesn’t work for me, (and gain weight from eating too many vegetables while reducing protein) as I’m a protein type now (used to be mixed) due to my insulin resistance. I’m not sure that will change.

            What the person above doesn’t understand is that he/she is referring to people who are eating for their culture. Some cultures eat high grains, others high proteins or fats, dependent upon the climate where they live.

            As long as the people follow what is typical for his/her culture, the person will most likely do well. Also part of the argument is how active the people were who ate mostly grains. We are so sedentary in the U.S. nowadays! Thank you for your continued work. Protein Power worked very well for me the last 2.5 years after being diagnosed with numerous health issues, and the hardest to combat is the insulin resistance.

          • My husband grew up ‘with his culture’ on an Indian reservation…they eat tortillas, enchiladas, well…let’s just say LOTS of grains, sugars and such. They all have obesity, PCOS, insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes in common. Let’s just say they are NOT the picture of health. So, just because you grow up within your culture eating a certain way…certainly does not mean you’re fine as your comment suggests ‘as long as they follow what is typical for their culture they’ll be fine..’ :(

          • I have just finished reading “The 10,000 Year Explosion”. I was interested to see whether there was anything in the book that would cast doubt on the basic premise of low carb and paleo dieting (namely, that we have not evolved sufficiently in the last 10,000 years to eat a high carb, grain-based, low-fat diet.) There were a few interesting observations:
            i. Northern European and some Sub-Saharan Africans have developed lactose tolerance; and
            ii. Some of us have developed a genetic resistance to diabetes more than others.

            But I read nothing that suggests that the general population has developed sufficiently over the last 10,000 years to cope with grain and sugar in the quantity that is generally consumed.

            In any event, metabolic syndrome affects people in middle and old age who have mostly passed the breeding age. I question whether non-breeders would exert any selective pressure on the gene pool. Thus any genetic advantage that young people have in tolerating high carbs would not necessarily accrue to middle and old aged people.

            My conclusion is that The 10,000 year Explosion does nothing to refute the basic premise of low-carb dieting.

          • People tend to interpret things based on their preconceived notions. It is called confirmation bias.

          • I’m not arguing carbs don’t cause problems. I’m arguing that high fat is probably not a good idea and impractical and gets in the way of life for most.

            I think foods tend to have a dual nature. No food in my experience and observation is wholly healthy or unhealthy.

            Not everyone here or interested in health is middle age. But beyond that it is extremely plausible that an advantage in youth would persist beyond reproductive years.

          • I have not read these books as yet, but I find this discussion very interesting.

            I am a type 2 Diabetic and have learned the most important thing to help my Diabetes is what type of food I eat and what type/amount of exercise I get. This is more important than my Medicines.

            It is my understanding that there are only 3 types of foods and only 2 of those are necessary for good health. Of those 3 food types, only one does not raise Blood Glucose and that is fat. I know this, not just from reading, but from testing my BG after eating.

            Protein in excessive amounts raises Blood Glucose and, of course, so do Carbs (even faster) but Fats are totally stable in regard to blood sugars. They don’t raise it at all. They do satisfy the appetite and fuel the body, but will not raise my blood sugar. Fat is a Diabetic’s best friend in my opinion, so I will have to side with the high fat diet opinion.

            I have been on a very low carb diet for almost a year and have had wonderful results from it. It is a high fat, medium protein, very low carb diet and has improved my CHO dramatically. The opposite of what most doctors will tell you. It has raised my HDL to over 70 and lowered my LDL to under 120 and that was from my “high fat” diet. It is carbs that cause the problem with Lipids, not fat.

            1.) Carbs raise BG and cholesterol and there is NO dietary need for carbs so you won’t find any recommended daily amount. Though a person does need fiber and also there are nutrients in vegetables that are important for health, there is no need for starches and no need for fruits. Everything found in a fruit can be obtained in a low carb vegetable.

            2.) Protein in excess can raise BG and cause weight gain, but is a necessary component for good health.

            3.) Fat does not raise BG and is a necessary component for good health.

          • Dr. Eades
            Of course, we are all susceptible to confirmation bias. Like you, I used to be biased towards low carb and I went around trying to tell people as if I had all the answers. Then I saw the low carb thing for what it is, an ideology. Our knowledge is very limited and provisional.

          • @In: Why so quick to judge me and my motivations? I’m not the one posting comment after comment trying to change everyone and tell them their high fat low carb lives might not be good for them. I don’t go to vegetarian and vegan sites criticizing their beliefs and diet choices. You’re the one doing that, only on a low carb forum. Maybe you should spend less time judging what I believe is right for me and focus on living a life with a diet suitable to you and stop making vast generalizations about others based on their diet choices. And, for the record, I’m not some low carb zealot that thinks I have all the answers. I read books and articles and blogs and revise my opinions all the time when I find compelling information.. If I thought there was anything compelling and true about LCHF being unhealthful I’d change my opinion…because my thoughts are open. In fact, we should always be open to findings that might change our opinions–that’s the only way to really figure out what’s true. Sounds like you’re the one here with a closed mind on this matter.

          • I believe Dr. Eades is correct regarding both low-carb and high fat. After reading “Protein Power,” which made sense to me in a way that no other eating plan has ever made sense, I went on the plan — that was two years ago and I am still doing it. I lost more than 50 pounds and I now feel better than I have in my life. My cholesterol and triglyceride levels are back to completely normal (my cholesterol HAD been steadily rising once I passed menopause), and I have the energy I once had 20 years ago. Kicking grains, starches and sugars was the key. Our culture is awash in grains, starches and sugars, and it amazes me whenever officials sit around scratching their heads about whatever could be causing the current obesity epidemic. It’s the starches, grains and sugars, stupid! And the new “MyPlate” government recommendation is not really all that much better than the old “Food Pyramid.” When will they learn??

          • The book for you that explains the science behind the benefits of high-fat lifestyle and why it is not only appropriate, but optimal for people with insulin-resistance (about 75% of the population):
            The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living” by Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek.

            Dr. Eades is absolutely right. The more fat the better. I have been low-carb for 11 years, and have continually “tweaked” my diet to find what is best for me, and the higher the fat, the better.

            My sister seems to be even more insulin-resistant than I am (my whole family has a serious intolerance to carbohydrate, with symptoms ranging from obesity and mood disorders such as depression and ADHD to full-fledged “type ii diabetes;” most of us eat low-carb with very good results). I suspect that she has not been as successful as I in controlling her blood sugar (she is managing OK but still takes meds and has not normalized her weight) is that she does not like or eat enough fat. She is the one eating the skinless chicken breast while I look for the fattiest rib-eye steak I can find.

            I’ll share this blog with her. She plans to try to see Dr. Mary Vernon, who works in a neighboring state, and I’m hoping that Dr. Vernon can help her get off her meds and find the right protein-fat balance to get her blood sugar under control.

            Dr. Eades – do you have any other suggestions for a 60-year-old woman who has been low-carbing for 11 years and still can’t keep her blood sugar normalized? This is a real frustration for us since everything I read, and the success my brother and I have had, implies that she should have reversed her “type ii.”

          • You might want to read the post I just put up (the one right after this one), which will give you a few things to try. You might want to cut back on your protein and replace with more fat to see what happens.

            I’m in Spain right now and have the Phinney/Volek (both are friends of mine) in my suitcase, but haven’t cracked it yet. Knowing them as I do, I’m sure it is very good. I’ve got a long plane trip ahead of me, so I’ll read it then if I haven’t before.

          • How is a high fat, low carb diet supposed to “get in the way of life?” I’ve been eating this way for nearly 16 years. Why is it hard to eat fried eggs or a cheese-and-avocado omelet for breakfast, a ribeye steak or chicken with the skin or whatever, plus a salad with plenty of oil or cooked veggies with plenty of butter for dinner, a handful of nuts instead of a handful of pretzels? I can easily put together a good low carb/high fat meal in less time than it used to take me to cook a pot of brown rice, and I can make an omelet more quickly than I used to cook steel-cut oats. If one shuns concentrated carbs, and makes no effort to avoid fat, one tends to automatically eat a high fat diet, for the simple reason that that is how ratios work — you cut carbs back to 5% or less, and the other macronutrients automatically become a larger percentage of the diet, even if you don’t deliberately add more fat. When I keep track, I generally get in the neighborhood of 70-75% of my calories from fat with little effort, the exception being on days when I have a glass or two of wine, at which point the alcohol calories change the ratios.

            As for “temptations,” I have very few, and it’s not like I avoid going out or socializing. I genuinely do not want carby junk. It’s not that I’m resisting the donuts or coffee cake or macaroni-and-cheese or whatever, it’s that I look at it and think “Oh, dear Lord, people really eat that?” Yet I find few situations in which there’s nothing at all that I’m willing to eat; I can only think of one in the past year. Since I’d had my usually large breakfast of protein and fat, it was no great hardship to simply wait till later to eat, and enjoy the conversation.

            In short, I don’t understand what’s hard about this. What was hard was trying to limit portions on a diet that made me hungrier and hungrier and hungrier. Now *that* was torture.

          • In:

            I think natural foods (meat) with their fat ARE practical. Impractical is eating manufactured crap, AND draining off perfectly good, highly healthy, and delicious fats from what I cook and THROWING THEM AWAY. Especially since eating them helps me be healthier. Burned about 50% of my excess body fat in two years and am working on the rest and enjoying life as I do it.

            Your contentiousness suggests you’re not feeling well or enjoying life. Maybe it’s your “diet”.

          • “In any event, metabolic syndrome affects people in middle and old age who have mostly passed the breeding age.”?

            Really? I was unaware of that. From my understanding of metabolic syndrome, I started exhibiting symptoms at the ripe old age of 17. Maybe I was mistaken.

            Regardless, when I started eating a low carb/paleoesque type diet a couple years ago at 27, my health improved significantly. No more hypoglycemic crashes or feeling weak, a significant drop in the number of headaches (specifially migraines) I was experiencing, and I dropped about 30 lbs in the first 6 months, successfully reversing the horrible trend of gaining weight no matter what I ate.

            I could go on and on, but it would take all afternoon to hash it all out here on the keyboard, and probably no on will read it anyways. The moral of the story is that I will NEVER go back to eating a traditional american diet. I am not willing to give up all of the benefits I have personally experienced from nixing the grains (among other things) from my diet, and focusing on eating REAL food.

          • Rebecca, I read it.
            My problems began when I was about 2; hypothyroidism, and by 9 I was turning carbs into tummy fat.

          • I have to disagree with what you’ve said here.

            1. The parts of the world which eat high amounts of the types of carbohydrates I assume you are referring to (refined carbs such as white four, sugar etc.) are mainly Western societies, particularly the USA and the UK. These countries have high and increasing levels of obesity. The very fact that you have mentioned that it is a new phenomenon should speak for itself. The consumption of refined foods and carbohydrates has exploded since the 1950’s.

            2. How many generations is “many” generations? 100 years ago we ate a fraction of the refined carbs we do today. Vegetables were much more widely consumed as were things like lard and butter before we were told they cause heart disease. Bread was eaten with lard or butter to add flavour instead of margarine and jam for example. The fact that butter and lard featured much more in the diets shows that these diets were much more likely to be high fat.

            3. Perhaps. I have not read “the 10,000 year explosion”. However, my point again is that refined carbs are the main problem here. Soda is a serious example of this as soda consumption before 1900 was tiny but today is extremely commomplace. Sugar is a carb.

            4. Bears are not humans. The evidence shows that such tribes as have been largely undisturbed and Inuits eat a high fat/protein low carb diet. It is likely that we followed this diet also. It’s hard to get a huge amount of carbs from vegetables alone, definately not the 240g a day we are now encouraged to eat.

            5. I cannot comment on other people’s personal experiences, but I follow Atkins which actually encourages the reintroduction of a higher level of carbohydrates as long as they are unprocessed for the most part up to a level that the individual’s body can tolerate.

            6/7. Again I suppose I cannot criticise your own personal experience, but I do wonder, especially when you freely admit that you probably weren’t following the diet properly, how you can then criticise this way of eating? If we are talking impracticality, it is extemely impractical for me to eat anything which has been pre-prepared in a western society when I am allergic to milk. It is impractical to attempt to always eat low calorie when I go to a campus university which sells ONLY fast food (ridiculous imho).

            8. Again, once you reach the more lenient stages (I only speak of Atkins here, not entirely sure about other high fat diets) it is pretty easy to eat out/prepare your own food and share that with others. I assume you are talking about social situations in particular. A steak and salad is available in most restaurants, chicken in a cream sauce with vegetables, there are many options providing you look for them or ask them to tweak food for you. You are talking about practicality also, although actually I think you just mean how “easy” the food is to prepare. In which case it’s much easier to eat take-out every night but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t advocate that.

            Sorry for the rant here, but I do find problems in your arguments, just because something is easy and everyone else is doing it most certainly does not mean that it is the best way to do something.

          • Thanks Katt for the well though out response.

            1. I was referring more to unrefined carbs which are common in other cultures and in some cases refined carbs (white rice and even wheat) but not refined sugar (which wasn’t as common). A good example would be say 100 years ago in the united states. Americans ate more carbs and less fat actually than they do now with much lower rates of obesity and other diseases. Note that I am not arguing that any such culture or carb is best or healthiest.

            2. Well if Europeans have been neolithic for say 3000 years then they have at least been eating starch for at least 30 generations. The point is that each generation pass on epigenetic traits to offspring, i.e. children are adapted to some extent to the conditions in which they were conceived in and grow up in. This is a survival strategy of nature that is different from darwinian selection. What I am arguing is that Dr. Eades and other low-carb/high fat advocates are advising people to do is to force their bodies to adapt to conditions that are radically different from which they developed and their ancestors developed. The pertinent question here is, can an adult human body make such an adaptation such that it is beneficial long term? Is it really wise and healthy to go against the grain of 30 generations and multiple decades of adaptation? Now this presents Dr. Eades with an epistemic issue in his advocacy because obviously the answer is that we don’t know. Of course, low carb could help some people, but it is certainly plausible that it is not good long term for most people.

            3. I am not arguing that refined carbs are healthy as staples.

            4. The evidence I’ve heard is that humans can be healthy on a wide range of macronutrient ratios. Many uncontacted peoples eat lots of carbs. Even so these diets are not the same as ancestral diets, which IMO there is a dearth of information and a lot of conflicting stories on. Much of it speculation. Food is organic matter remember and thus we shouldn’t expect much evidence to survive.

            5. May not be a bad strategy, but really consider how radically different your diet is from ancestral diets. The past does not support a modern conception of a paleo diet any more than it does a whole foods diet. Probably less.

            6/7. If this way of eating actually works for someone and their lifestyle then I have no problem with that. But please don’t tell me that it is best for everyone or that there are no alternatives that are superior in terms of convenience and results. That is what people want and need to stick to a healthier lifestyle, convenience and results. My contention is that high fat/low carb does not deliver for the majority of people.

            8. Yes social situations , being a wierdo and turning down food offered because of dubious diet recommendations. And when you do accept food have it negatively impact you more because you aren’t used to so many carbs. Also I meant prep time. Again, most people have better things to do than prepare food all the time.

            That is because you misunderstood my arguments. I’m not arguing that any one diet or way of doing this is best. I’m arguing that Dr. Eades advocacy of high fat low carb is very unlikely to be best and most likely foolish.

          • How is turning down sugary and breast treats being a ‘weirdo’? Just because many of my friends still eat crap food all the time doesn’t mean eating better makes them judge me. I find that not preaching to them about their crappy diets and just filling my plate with veggies, salad and meat or fish is easy enough–what about that do you see as complicated and hard to do at home or out for meals? Nothing to count (calories)…I just get a salad and sometimes roasted veggies if they’re available, a steak or piece of chicken or a pork chop and I’m good to go. Difficult to maintain? Complicated and unsustainable? Um, maybe it is for you. All the more reason to be grateful that we can eat however we like and don’t HAVE to eat foods of which we disapprove (for you, high fat).

            I don’t see the point of you coming here and arguing your opinion with Dr. Eades. You clearly disagree and it seems that you just want to argue. If you don’t like it you don’t have to be here. I seriously doubt that you’re going to change the minds of most readers here ( like me) who could never improve health or lower body fat on strict low fat diets but have amazing cholesterol markers as well as blood sugar and blood pressure on a low carb high fat diet. Dr. Eades has helped so many people (including me) and I’m grateful he does what he does. He certainly doesn’t need his readers to defend him, but I follow this blog and have read all the replies and find that no matter what is said you seem to disagree. It’s not like Dr. E goes around telling people what to think by going to their blogs and trying to argue point by point with them. Anyone can come or go from this blog if they find it’s not for them. Was your personal low carb experience that bad?

          • Damn you, auto correct! I meant ‘bready’ treats in my comment…obviously most people don’t turn down breast treats:)

          • Anyone who calls me a weirdo for saying a polite “No, thank you” to a food I do not care to eat is no one whose friendship I need, any more than I’d care to be friends with someone who tried to pressure me into consuming anything else I didn’t want, be it alcohol or drugs. Perhaps you need new friends.

          • Paleo may not work for everyone, but according to a recent survey on US News & World Report, it works for 27/28 of the people. Weight Watchers and Atkins work for 2/3; none of the other two dozen diets covered worked for more than 1/3.

            You may be the unfortunate 1 in 28, but for the vast majority of people, paleo works.

          • I know this thread is well over two years old, but I just have to comment on the statement from In here about starches and carbohydrates having been eaten for thousands of years.

            That may be true to some degree, but keep in mind that traditional cultures fermented about 80 percent of their foods (see The Weston A Price Foundation)! In the fermentation process lactic acid bacteria will digest the carbohydrates and convert them into organic acids, among other things. Not so high carb after all 😉

          • gregory barton
            That isn’t surprising as India has been rapidly westernizing. Sometime watch an old 70s or 80s era Hong Kong flick and check out all the obese starch eaters.

            Robinowitz
            (for some reason I don’t have the option to reply to your comments). Please reread my comments and note that you are assuming many things i did not say. Counting calories? Disapproving of high fat foods? Strict low fat diets? I never said those things were healthy or unhealthy. And as I already mentioned if something works for you I don’t have a problem.

            My problem (and point of coming here) is when you assume it is best for everyone else. When you push it as an ideology. I would like to open minds. No one should assume they have the final answer on diet. It is very important to realize that there is much more that we don’t know about health than we do. The world is very complex and human knowledge is provisional. My advice to you or anyone else reading this is to develop a deeper, broader understanding of all this issues. Try to look at it from multiple perspectives. Look at the facts and think critically. Don’t put your mind in a low carb box. Get in touch with what your body really needs. Dr. Eades is only partially correct in criticizing those that say things like that. They are not always interpreted correctly, but those inner signals are there for a reason. Self-awareness in general is a good thing for health.

          • @In,

            Either people are going to be closed-minded, in which case it doesn’t matter what you say, or they will be open-minded, in which case you should bring some actual evidence for discussion. In either case your opinion is superfluous.

          • Katt, the grains and milling of them was different then, too. Nothing “natural” about grains or products made from them now, whether whole or otherwise. Simply bad for us.

          • For the record, I agree with Dr Eades in that I disagree with everything you said. The central issue, which that you conveniently omit to mention, is that, despite a concerted and protracted effort, science has yet to demonstrate the need for carbohydrate in human nutrition. In my opinion carbohydrate is very much a backup fuel option that can get us by when our primary fuel is not readily available.

            Recently a study was published that found that the majority of type II diabetics who went on a low (600) calorie diet, as reported on below, had normal blood sugars after 3 months. And the subjects stayed normal even after they returned to their normal (presumably high carb) diet. But the author of study speculated that it was likely their diabetes would return after the subjects resumed their ‘normal’ diet (you know, the diet that the ADA recommends).

            “The very low-calorie diet, which involves “meal-replacement” milkshakes and portions of non-starchy green vegetables, can remove fat which is clogging up the pancreas, allowing normal insulin secretion to be restored, explains Professor Roy Taylor who led the study published in the journal Diabetologia and funded by Diabetes UK.”

            This diet, by its very nature, had to be a low carbohydrate diet that sounds a lot like Dr. Eades 6 Week Plan.

          • At the end I believe the Doctor has considered the real waste to reply to you.

            Why people believes what they know is “nearly the entire World” while they barely know themselves – and apparently not very well, either.

          • If you go and read the articles on american indians and their eating habits at the Weston Price Foundation, http://www.westonaprice.org. you will learn that the indians preferentially selected animals with large backfat and that they would eat the fat and organs before the muscle meat. They sought out fat, and secondarily protein. If you want to test the mettle of your stomach go and read the things they would eat. Scary. They ate grubs out of rotting meat. The indians who ate this way were taller, healthier and had fewer dental caries than the mainly agrarian ones.

          • I think different thing work for different people. People like the Drs. Eades and the late Dr. Atkins advice is truly helpful to anyone that has any type of insulin resistence. And I am so sad that after so many years people think that people on a low carb diet only eat meat and fat! People that live a low carb lifestyle do eat meat and fat, but they also eat alot of vegetables and some fruits! Along with some beans and nuts from time to time.

            The thing that is taken out is mainly highly “processed” food, which no one can say people have been eating forever. Its since foods have become so processed that obesity have become a major issues in the world. Grains were not all that common until hundreds of years ago, because even in an anitque sense, they needed to be processed and ground, etc to make bread, etc. So, please do your research before throwing out your pseudo facts. There is plenty of real and hard data out there in the scientific journals that have been published for a very long time proving that a lower carb lifestyle is healthier and will help with weight loss. All the evidence pointing to high carb diets has been funded by the food processors out there with no hard and true unbiased data behind it. Humans started as hunter/gatherers. They gathered berries and fruits and vegetables and hunted meat. They didn’t hunt or gather loaves of bread or bags of cheetos or chocolate pudding.

            Open your eyes and realize that we all should be cooking and making our own food. The slow food movement is here…food in its natural state is what our bodies are made to eat. Not ho-ho’s and twinkies or Tai Pei potstickers from the freezer section!

          • This diet is not difficult. Most of us go on a low carb diet because of health reasons. The fat and proteins are not unlimited, so that it should not be damaging to your health. You need to get more scientific information about this. Remember that epileptic children benefit immensely from the ketogenic diet (high fat/protein low carb), so it does benefit a lot of people. It does not mean that it will benefit everybody and it it does not benefit you, I understand why you would not follow it, but you can’t ignore other people’s successes.

          • Lenor, I’m into my 4th year on very low carb, and I do not limited fat or protein at all, ever. My high-fat diet simply controls hunger, so I don’t eat very much anymore.

            I rarely eat more than two very small meals per day, and they are not the meals shown in most conventional nutrition ads but simply a small protein portion (four “wobbly” bacon strips, left-over steak with fat, leftover chicken or turkey with its fat , or full-fat cheese, mid-morning and as dinner, perhaps adding a small portion of steamed greens and butter or olive oil with dinner. I eat to live, not as entertainment or living to eat.

            I eat very simply and buy nothing other than what I actually eat from day to day. Big savings on things that used to clutter my pantry and fridge.

          • Any advice about unrelenting headaches? Almost everytime I re-start after a high-carb binge, including right now as we speak, I have bad headaches that last 2-3 days that advil, tylenol, and aspirin do NOT help with. It’s been like this for the past 10 years since I first started low carbin.

            I loved this post by the way. I always get tempted to try low fat, low carb after reading the books that promise faster weight loss (like in The Rosedale Diet and The Metabolism Miracle among others), so this helps me dispel those feelings. And I struggle with listening to my body too much! – on day 1 or 2 of restarting, feeling like a crack whore but addicted to carbs, saying “oh just one more day, I’ll start tomorrow” (like I had 7 months until a friend’s wedding to lose some regained weight and now I only have 13 weeks). I love how you break it down physiologically, explaining what is going on inside my body. Time to break out the bacon tonight (if my Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby demon doesn’t convince me otherwise), which is something I keep trying to make myself like. Can you really make yourself like bacon, eggs, meat, etc? (all things I don’t like, which is another reason it’s hard to want to sit down and have a piece of meat, I’m not a vegetarian – I just don’t like the stuff, never have, and struggle with making myself eat it.

            ps. My dad’s a full-time alcoholic (on disability due to virtually no short-term memory from his alcoholism). I don’t like/drink alcohol, but I’ve always wondered, are addictive personalities inherited? Because I certainly feel like I need to start treating my life like alcoholics – they can never have just one beer or they start on a binge, and that’s how it is with me. Go out to eat one time for a birthday, then it’s all I think about the following day, and then I’m eating Taco Bell or Chipotle and ice cream every day for months on end.

          • I do gotta say though, through all my high carb binges over the last 10 years, I have still kept off 60 pounds. I just keep fluctuating 25 pounds. Once I get to being up 25 pounds, I make myself get my butt in gear and lose the weight again.

          • During several years of off-and-on LC and trying KetoStix (both namebrand and generic) I never got a response except once or twice the “trace” color if I looked at it really hard :) I had thought either I was just one of those people the urine test didn’t work for or there was something the matter with the strips.

            However, recently I went really LC (just some lettuce) and watched my protein intake. Guess what? The generic “Urine Reagent Strips” showed a definite “moderate” (or higher) response every time. More importantly, I really did not feel hungry which is a very unusual feeling for me. LC had always before reduced cravings but reduced is not the same as gone.

            Bottom line is these strips are very helpful tool for me and I wish I’d taken them more seriously earlier.

          • Make sure you increase your sodium intake at the start of your low-carb diet. And make sure you stay well hydrated. That generally gets rid of most of the headaches.

          • Midgy, you say you get headaches when you eat high-carb foods. Maybe it’s not the carbs. Gluten intolerance causes headaches in many people. Maybe when you are eating carby foods you area eating foods with a lot of gluten.

          • Go out to eat one time for a birthday, then it’s all I think about the following day, and then I’m eating Taco Bell or Chipotle and ice cream every day for months on end.

            You and me both. I had a piece of birthday cake and went on a 6 month bender of McDonalds, icecream, hot cross buns mince pies. I am now trying to really boost my fat intake with coconut oil to ensure I don’t fall off the path- certainly not for 6 or so months.

        • I’ve gone very low carb twice. Presently, I intend to stay low carb for the rest of my now-lengthened life. I’m down 50 lbs in six months. I’ve had the massive headaches both times. Like Dr. Eades, I drink a lot of coffee. Both times, I have solved the headache problem by _significantly_ increasing my water intake. Must be a metabolite adjustment issue. Maybe the auto workers are going out on strike because they are being laid-off while the iPad workers are being brought in (illustration from another post.)

      • What do you think about Ron Krausse and Wm. Davis’s view that there are two dietary pathways to heart disease: overdoing carbs and overdoing animal fat.

        • I overdid the fat for the last 90 days and my triglycerides were cut in half and my LDH went down. Could that still be a pathway to heart disease?

          • Lisa, my experience too. Trigs fell into the basement, cholesterol “normalized” (there have been NO studies that tell us what is normal cholesterol).

  3. “Why would anyone want to prolong the agony?”

    When my wife and I started on low-carb back in 1999, she went “cold turkey” and suffered from the “Atkins flu” for several days. I spent a few days keeping a detailed diet log to establish a baseline, and cut carbs gradually over a period of about two weeks. I never experienced “Atkins flu.” (I covered this is more detail on my blog in my post entitled “A Story about Gluten”)

    I’m guessing from what you are saying, I was just lucky that I did not experience carb withdrawal symptoms.

    • Howard, I didn’t experience “Carb Flu” either. However, I discovered that I’m gluten intolerant upon my switch to a Paleo diet. I think I was so fatigued from eating gluten all the time that I just felt wonderful in comparison when switching to a gluten-free diet.

    • Same here, no “Atkins flu” for me either. Didn’t see much weight loss at first either, in fact, the pounds dropped VERY slowly, for a year or so. Sometimes only 1/2 pound a week, also hit many plateaus, but, I felt so good and, without that nagging hunger that I experienced on all previous diets, I was still happy.

      • I had the carb flu..switching to fat burning made all my muscles hurt. I felt like I was really sick.I had it for at least a month. I stuck with it though. I wish I would have known to up the fat. I have upped my fat over all. I love the feeling of being free from constant hunger.

    • Aside: Why does this commenting system limit who you can respond to?

      @Dave
      I presented evidence in previous comments. Instead of poisoning the well, why don’t you read my arguments and actually address them.

  4. Good little tip that I’ll be sure to spread along, Dr. Mike.

    I’ve been a dedicated reader for the past three years or so and I must say that this is the first post I remember to make me laugh out loud multiple times.

    Good work, and Happy Memorial Day.

    Evan

      • Dr. Eades, YES I laughed out loud several times; I really like your writing style. I’m not overweight but am newly on this diet because my cholesterol numbers are frightening. Hope to learn if this will help. Do you know of anyone in the Portland OR area I could see for guidance?

        I am enjoying your blog. Your line “…You’ve got some enzymes laying in the weeds waiting to deal with the fat…” cracked me up!

        Keep up the great work. There is a whole world out here that needs you, I’m thinking…

        • Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone in the Portland area I could refer you to. But, take a look through some of the other posts in this blog and you may not worry so much about your cholesterol.

          • Reading as much as I can, and just got your book “Protein Power.” Am concerned about high LDL – my doc wants me on statins, etc. Thanks for your answer!
            Joanie

          • Read this post on statins. Then enter ‘statin’ into the search function of this blog and take a look at the rest of the posts on the subject. The sad truth is that there is no evidence that statins – very expensive drugs with numerous unpleasant (and even dangerous) side effects – provide any benefit to women of any age irrespective of their LDL levels. Doctors have been brainwashed by the makers of statins to put everyone with even the most minor elevations of LDL or even total cholesterol (a meaningless value) on statins.

          • My doctor told me that he felt like he was doing malpractice if he did not prescribe statins to my mother. We really got into it. She is off of them thank goodness. She and my father have been on Protein Power for 12 years. She bought us all the book..all 5 of us. I wish I would have read it sooner and really took it seriously., Mom used this diet for her and my father after my father had a major stroke. Now the doctor says that they have the best blood work out of ANY of his elderly patients. They are 75 and 78.

            My doctor,even though he does not prescribe a low carb diet, said to me, “you and your father have similar blood work..you need to go on his diet.” so here I am. three months into it and 22 pounds lighter.I am allergic to wheat , have sleep apnea and need to lose about 20 more pounds..

          • I read the statin posts. I’m reading Protein Power Lifeplan. I read “Wheat Belly.” I’m still reading related stuff. Last 3 lipid panels (over an18 month timespan) were as follows (parameters grouped 1st, 2nd, 3rd test): Total cholesterol= 254, 279, 293. TG=123, 92, 76. HDL=65, 72, 78. Cholest/HDL ratio=3.9, 3.9, 3.8. LDL*=164,189, 200.

            *LDL calculated by Freidewald equation.
            The TG went down and HDL up a little, which is said to be good, but the other values are scaring my doc.

            I went on the LC diet between the 2nd and third tests, and was on it for about 6 months.I’m a 60 y.o. female, normal weight and very active. I lost about 12 lbs and got too thin but felt great. The last lipid panel came back with “diagnosis: hyperlipidemia” printed on it.

            Does anyone have any suggestions? My doc wants me on statins; he said I could “experiment with diet” but if it didn’t work I would need statins. Help…! I’m getting nervous about this & lost my way after the last blood work and have added some carbs back but not much. I went to a highly recommended dietician but she advised low-fat hi-carb, which is what I was on originally. This low-carb world can be a lonely place if one needs a navigator…

          • Ask your physician to provide you with evidence that statins do anything to decrease all-cause mortality in women of any age. He/she can’t because the evidence doesn’t exist. There is no randomized, controlled trial showing the statins confer any benefit to women in terms of helping them live longer irrespective of what their cholesterol levels are. Enter ‘statins’ or ‘statin’ into the search function of this blog, read what you find, and you will see be informed. You always have the option of doing the Nancy Reagan and Just Say No. Whatever the case, you don’t have to let your doctor bully you.

          • I too am doing “intervention” because of cholesterol and triglycerides – not weight. When I dropped to 30g carb per day my triglycerides jumped and cholesterol kept steadily rising. No, I’m not considering statins. I’d rather treat the cause rather than mask the effect.

            It’s been suggested that it might be a thyroid issue – T3 resistance. Others have said that it will take a few months before the numbers settle down by themselves. But I’ve read of many people who have lipid blues when starting out on a low carb diet. Some claim the numbers don’t settle down even after a year.

            Perhaps, Dr Eades, you could address this issue and mention how long one can expect to wait and what the possible complications might be that keep your LDL and Triglycerides higher than desirable. I’d sure feel happier slurping my butter-fried fish fillets if my lipids went down by themselves.

          • What puzzles me about all this is the ongoing obsession so many people have with their lipid values. The whole notion that lipid levels are involved in the development of heart disease (or anything else, for that matter) is called the Lipid Hypothesis for a reason, and that reason is that it has never been established to be causal. The great heart surgeon Michael DeBakey once famously said half of the patients he did coronary bypass surgery on had normal or low cholesterol levels while the other half had elevated cholesterol levels. In other words, the cholesterol levels weren’t predictive of who got the disease and who didn’t. I’ve written about this countless times, Gary Taubes has written about it, Dr. Briffa has written about it, Dr. Rosedale has written about it, Dr. Ravnskov has written entire books about it, and others too numerous to mention (all of whom, unlike the vast majority of those who continue to fan the flames of the lipid hypothesis, have no affiliation with the pharmaceutical industry) have written that there is no real correlation between lipid levels and disease, other than the imaginary disease of high lipid levels. Yet the obsession continues.

            OK, now that the rant is over, let’s look at your problem. Your statement that “cholesterol kept steadily rising” tells me very little. Is it total cholesterol that kept steadily rising? If so, it could well be that the HDL component is going up and therefore driving total cholesterol up. Is it LDL cholesterol that is steadily rising? If so, it could be that the particle size is getting larger, which typically happens on low-carb diets. And what do you mean by ‘jumped’ and ‘steadily rising’? Did you have serial labwork done? Was it done over how long a period of time? How closely did you stick to the diet? All of this is necessary information a physician needs to make an intelligent response. And which is why I don’t practice medicine over the internet. And why I don’t give specific advice.

            I don’t know why your triglycerides would be going up on a 30 gm per day low-carb diet. I’ve taken care of thousands of patients using low-carb diets, and I can’t remember a single one whose triglycerides jumped after going on the diet. They virtually all show a lowering of triglyceride levels when they cut the carbs. Now if you’re talking about a “jump” being defined as going from a triglyceride level of 52 mg/dl to 63 mg/dl, that’s all the range of normal variation. And if you experienced a triglyceride jump after really, truly cutting carbs from what I assume was a large intake down to the 30 gm/day range, I would consider it more likely to be a lab error than an actual jump.

            I’ve gone to these lengths in answering your questions to show how difficult it is for a doctors to make calls like this without the patient in front of him/her. Were you in my exam room, I would have your labwork in front of me, and I could ask you all the above questions, the answers to which would doubtless inspire other questions. It’s impossible to have that kind of back and forth in the comments section of a blog.

            In general, it has been my experience that patients will a transient increase in LDL levels will see those levels fall within a few months if they continue their diet. It has also been my experience that LDL levels actually fall instead of rise once people start on a low-carb diet. A few see an increase, but most experience a decline in LDL by their first lab repeat, which I did in six weeks. Fat cells contain cholesterol as well as fat, and when fat gets dumped from these fat cells, cholesterol can get dumped as well, creating a phenomenon known as transient hyperlipidemia. It is temporary and generally reverts to normal when a large part of the fat is lost. Interestingly, a recent study showed that the lipid improvements obtained on a low-carb diet tend to stick around even if people go back to their old carb-laden ways, which I had discovered in my own practice as well.

            Please don’t think I’m singling you out for all this. I’m trying to write to the larger group because it’s impossible to answer these kinds of questions with the limited information I get. In actual practice all this takes a little fiddling with to figure out what’s going on, and it’s impossible to do that kind of fiddling over the internet.

          • Dr Eades,

            I didn’t expect you to give advice over the internet. Hence I was light on detail. But since I have piqued your interest, allow me to answer your questions.

            i. Is it total cholesterol? Let me assure you that I’m not caught up in the ‘total cholesterol hysteria’ or even the total LDL hysteria. It’s only LDL small particles that I worry about, their claimed connection with triglycerides and the fact that my triglycerides are being obstinate.

            ii. Yes, HDL has gone up from mid thirties to mid 40’s – for the first time in years. I’m very gratified by this fact. It’s one of the major reasons I’m sticking to the diet – and the saturated fat, despite other worries. I want to make this work.

            iii. LDL steadily rising over the course of months: previously in the 120-140 range. Then in February 166, March 176, April 186, May 212. At first I thought of particle size and was not concerned. But the high triglycerides tends to suggest that the particles are the small, insidious type.

            iv. Over what period of time: the 120-140 LDL range over about a year, every few months. More recently, since 30 gram carbing, I’ve been testing weekly.

            v. “How closely did you stick to the diet?” Assiduously. Since starting in late April I’v kept meticulous diary notes on an excel spreadsheet. I research food carb values on nutritiondata.com and fatsecret.com. Of course there is a margin of error involved in calculation. But I use total, rather than net, carbs to counter that error. Weekly averaged total carbs per day: 29, 30, 28. On net carbs the figure would be closer to 20 g per day.

            vi. The triglyceride jumps: There were two: I started 30g on April 23rd. I tested on 25th: 110. I tested weekly thereafter: 148, 146, 181, 170 (cut the glass of wine), 164 last Monday.

            vii. Lab error? I was incredulous at the jump from 110 to 148. I strongly suspected lab error. (I had previously lowered triglycerides from 520 to 92 in a week!) The next day I went to a different lab and retested: 156. Of course, the 110 figure could have been an error. But the 148 was fairly accurate so I assume the 110 was fairly accurate. Also there were jumps while carbs were steady. Confirmation of the carb cutting: Fasting glucose went from 109 to 94 to 83.

            Transient hyperlipidemia: Fat cells are certainly getting dumped. I didn’t diet to lose weight. But I have lost about 10% of my bodyweight since last year – most in the last month. However, I’ve read cases of people whose transient hyperlipidemia goes on for years. One person dramatically reduced both cholesterol and triglycerides after treating herself for thyroid T3 resistance. http://forum.lowcarber.org/archive/index.php/t-404752.html
            That piqued my interest.

            I don’t feel that you are singling me out. On the contrary. I’m delighted that you have considered my question in such detail. I was light on details for the very reason you mention: I didn’t expect you to give specific advice in the comments section of a blog. I was hoping for a general comment which my direct my research.

            I might add, I live in Thailand. I’m facing much resistance in pursuing the low carb diet. I’ve basically burnt my bridges with the local medical community on this issue. My doctor thought insulin resistance as a cause of high lipids was “a load of crap” and told me to “cut the animal fat” and take a statin. I am resisting.

            Of course, I appreciate the comment in your final paragraph: in practice it takes time and fiddling to figure out what’s going on. I thought of getting on a plane and coming to visit you. That might be a bit precipitous. Perhaps there is another way of pursuing the matter.

            gb

          • Interesting history. Were I you, I would get my particle size checked directly instead of using triglycerides as a marker. And I might get at least the first stages of a thyroid workup as well just to rule that out as a complicating factor. I don’t know your age, but I can tell you that based on the real gold-standard research out there, a statin won’t help you live longer (which is the ultimate goal of therapy) unless you are under 65 and have already had a heart attack. Even then, the benefits are mild at best.

            Another thought, I’ve never been to Thailand and don’t know the state of their medical and lab facilities there. A study was done here a decade or so back in which the same blood sample was sent to a number of labs (all clinical labs used by a lot of physicians), and all had widely varying lipid readings on this same sample. The situation is improved here, but, as I say, I don’t know what it is in Thailand.

          • It seems that you don’t quite grasp certain statistical aspects of the evidence you attempt to present. You claim half of the coronary bypass patients had elevated cholesterol levels, and half did not. What is the rate of incidence of elevated cholesterol levels in the general population? Isn’t it less than 50%? If so, that would indicate that a higher proportion of people from the “elevated cholesterol levels” area are undergoing bypass surgery.

            Please check your statements for consistency if not for factual basis.

          • Sorry to inform you, but with the new, lowered ‘normal’ cholesterol levels, there are more people with elevated cholesterol than with low cholesterol. So, if anything, a higher proportion of people from the low-to-normal cholesterol level group are undergoing bypass surgery. Plus, either way, it’s splitting hairs. DeBakey made his statement not on the basis of a rigid evaluation of his entire database of patients, but on his general recollection of patients operated on.

            A little OC are we?

          • Dr. Eades, you said “What puzzles me about all this is the ongoing obsession so many people have with their lipid values…”

            Simple! You’re a doctor, and confident in your science after all the study you’ve done, and after having been on the diet for 30 years!

            We elevated-cholesterol Plebeians out here, who are strongly urged by our docs to get on statins ASAP are also constantly barraged with low-fat diet recommendations from our environment. Our “ignore this” filter is not as sophisticated or knowledgable as yours!

            We are seeking info on this way of eating, sort of like salmon swimming against the current; it’s not easy, and it’s a narrow channel, compared to the wide world around us.

            For me it’s even more difficult…I’m a medical illustrator and I’ve spent thousands of hours observing surgery – much of it cardiac surgery – on atherosclerotic vessels of every possible description. Yuck! I don’t want those…

            My doctor shook his head gravely and said it was probably OK to experiment with the low-carb diet but only for a short time and if it didn’t help he really wanted me on statins. Well, I don’t want statins.

            Can’t speak for others’ obsessions with lipid values but I’m probably not the Lone Ranger here :-)

            Still have lots of reading to do, to get a better understanding. Thanks so much for your efforts on our behalf.

          • When losing weight on a low carb diet (or vlc which 30 gm per day is) one will find the trig goes up… once the weight loss stops, the trig will drop dramatically. This is what Dr. Bernstein has said and I personally found it to be true. Apparently when one is losing “fat” from the body it doesn’t just evaporate… 😉 but it is carried out of the body in the form of trig or something like that… anyway, if you are losing weight, that would explain the high trig.

          • :-(

            Well, I WAS happy because six months after the day I discontinued simvastatin and changed to a low carb diet my lipids all “improved” drastically. But now I guess it’s not such a big deal.

            Oh well.

            My A1c also came down to within the normal range. And my blood pressure improved, so I had to discontinue two of the three meds I was taking for that. And I did lose 35 pounds. And I’m not hungry – eat all I want. And I feel better than I did for 10 years.

            I’m happy.

          • now that this can has been opened… do you know anyone in the Seattle/South Puget Sound area?

        • Joanie, one assumes that you’ve read “Protein Power”? You seem to be aware that the Eades’ book explains how reducing cholesterol is easiest by reducing carb intake, which reduces the body’s insulin production, which reduces the body’s own production of cholesterol. Apparently this is more effective than attempting to reduce cholesterol by cutting back on eating protein, especially because most people replace the protein they are not eating with more carbs!
          At the time I first read “Protein Power”, some years ago, my brother-in-law had a stroke and his doctor wanted him to reduce his cholesterol. As a result, my b-in-law cut nearly all meat and eggs out of his diet, replacing it with mounds of white rice. His doctor thought he was cheating on his diet!

          • Mark, I’m reading 4 different books about low carb but still have a long way to go. My insulin level was not elevated, and I’m not overweight. I’m very active, but my cholesterol was 279. HDL and LDL were both high. Didn’t check LDL particle size but will do complete panel, including that, soon.

            I was probably eating the wrong way – especially snacking during the day because I work fairly hard and get really hungry. And as a celiac, I learned how to buy & how to bake decent GF bread – which I loved! :-(

            Sounds like your poor B-in-law tried to comply with doc’s orders but might have been doing exactly the wrong thing with the white rice.

            I hope your prediction about carbs-insulin-lipids will be true for me (or if lipid levels are genuinely unimportant, I hope I’ll eventually understand that really well.)

            Do you think the mainstream medical establishment, American Heart Assoc, USDA et al will ever recant and buy into Low Carb? If so, how long do you think it will take?

  5. The “Listen to your body?” part made me laugh out loud. So true, yet not addressed enough. This is why we love you, Dr. Eades.

    • The reason why the person talked about listening to your body, is that this is a legitimate, wise thing to do in certain contexts, such as avoiding things to which you may be intolerant or allergic for example. If every time I eat wheat I get hives, I am justified in concluding that maybe my body doesn’t like wheat. I really like you Dr. Eades and found your analogies about withdrawal from drugs, etc. effective and funny, but sometimes you do come off as being a bit arrogant and dismissive. And a little of a drama queen. Do you really feel like puking when someone talks about listening to their body? You came off that way with the person who was asking about concerns regarding lipids. Usually there is an intelligent reason why people are thinking what they are thinking and if you stop to ask why are they thinking this way, you often will see why and that there is an intelliegent thinking process behind it. It IS important to listen to your body. Pain is a signal that something is wrong, often. But in some cases discomfort is not necessarily a reason to stop something. As in the temporary discomfort of switching over from carb to fat metabolism. It would be more effective and you would be more successful in reeducating people if you would see the truth in what they may be saying, or see why it does make sense that they would be obsessed by lipids when they are constantly bombarded by propaganda to make them believe that lipids are critically important and must be controlled, usually by a drug, and then explain to them how , yes, listening to your body is good in some ways, but that in this instance, it will cause you to think you should stop when that isn’t true. You can explain to the person obsessed with lipids that they have been brainwashed and then you can tell them the truth. Come on, you are a doctor. You must know the extent to which people are being brainwashed to fear and obsess about lipids. And you must know that the reason that this is the case is that the medical industry is largely controlled by the pharmaceutical industry and its profits, and that statin drugs are one of their biggest money makers. The lower they say cholesterol levels should be, the more people will be told they need to be on statin drugs. This is exactly what has happened. The levels keep getting lowered.

  6. Thanks! I wish I had seen an article like this when I first tried the Atkins diet years ago. At the time, I was a long-distance runner, and the first two weeks were really tough so I quit. I didn’t realize how close I was to the finish line.

  7. Great post. I am going to spread this around because there is so much wisdom here. Also, I’m sure part of the problem people have with giving up carbs is that they’re addictive and people are just justifying their addictions with bad rationalisations.

    • But keep in mind that addiction is a physical process. Even psychology has physical origins. For some reason, a given substance is making your body and brain think they’re happy, so you keep wanting to use it or ingest it. It’s natural for people to want to justify that, and it can be a struggle to deal with. It’s more helpful to tell someone in this situation:

      “Hey, I see you’re struggling with addiction. You might experience some setbacks, but hang in there! You can do it!”

      than to tell them:

      “Oh, you’re just rationalizing.”

      One approach encourages them to reach for success; the other just slaps them down.

  8. Would love an expansion on this subject. I re started the low carb eating 2 weeks ago. The energy is ok but the weight is not budging. Also, will I get the benefits of low carbing without eating the fat from steak, skin from chicken and wobbly bacon? Can barely tolerate steak but can’t stand the texture of fat. I literally gag!!!! The same thing happens if chicken skin gets in my mouth. I love bacon but only if it is crisp. I do use coconut oil and butter to add fat to my diet. I am 59 so I am thinking the weight is not moving this time because of age, maybe?? I need to re read the 6 week cure. I am active and have normal blood work. I have not had my hormones tested though. I keep reading about the thyroid causing women to hold onto weight. The normal blood test done for thyroid is normal but my temperature in the am before getting out of bed is consistently 93.0 – 94.8. I have heard this is an indication of a thyroid problem. Anyone out there have any ideas or resources?

    • Probably your doc only tested your TSH. If your insurance allows you to request specific labs (mine does, but not all do), ask them to test your T3, T4, and anti-thyroid antibodies. Most docs won’t do that on their own; you have to push them.

      Also look at your iodine and selenium intake. Those are minerals related to thyroid function. You could have a relatively healthy thyroid and still have it failing on you if you’re not giving it what it needs.

      • Thanks Dana, will check with my doc to get the specific labs done. I am also looking into iodine and selenium intake.

    • Edith, I didn’t lose one pound my first month on this diet. Actually I was a bit surprised (at the time) that I didn’t gain any, with all the fatty food I was gobbling down. I received all kinds of health benefits in just a couple weeks. But it took about 4-5 weeks for me to start losing weight. And I have definitely shed lots of weight now. Hang in there, I think your weight will start coming off soon.

      • @ Sally, I haven’t given up. I have done low carb before but went off the wagon…:( It just isn’t as effective this time but will keep at it. I am trying Metabosol this time and am waiting to see if it has an effect.

        • Sally, I had exactly the same thing happen several years ago. I knew I should be losing with my low carb, but it wasn’t working as it used to! Guess what, it turned out I was type 2 diabetic and that was why it wasn’t peeling off like usual with the low carb. If you haven’t been checked, get checked. If your A1C is 5.5 or more you should probably consider yourself diabetic. Doctors often think it is still normal at 5.5, but it really isn’t.

          Good luck

    • @Edith … wow, I could have written your post! Same age, same temps, same everything! I am sure, even without an ‘official diagnosis’ that I have hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. Many choices for adding good fats/oils out there! Butter is yummy. Coconut oil is delightful. Olive oil, nut oils [and nuts!], eggs, cheese, etc. I love CRISPY bacon too and over the years have learned to avoid the chicken skin and beef fat … although I DO enjoy the beef fat very much now that we buy grassfed drug free beef! No toxins in that fat! I’ve heard that food grade iodine or iodoral helps thyroid rev up and I have taken it for years, but cannot really tell the diff yet. I just keep taking it now because I believe it is a healthy thing.

      • @Marci…glad to hear there is someone else out there like me. I was beginning to think I was alone. I have some other questions for you but do not want to take up space on this blog. Please email me at elbice@gmail.com.

    • “Also, will I get the benefits of low carbing without eating the fat from steak, skin from chicken and wobbly bacon? Can barely tolerate steak but can’t stand the texture of fat. I literally gag!!!! The same thing happens if chicken skin gets in my mouth. I love bacon but only if it is crisp. I do use coconut oil and butter to add fat to my diet.”

      Edith, I’m exactly like you, I can’t take the texture of the fat!!! GAG!! So, what I do is to fry(on very low heat for a long time) my bacon til crispy and save all the bacon grease in a heatproof container in my fridge. When I eat chicken or meat or bacon, I’ll melt 2-3 TBSP of my bacon grease and then use it as a meat dip. Delissioso! I also will cook with non-hydrogenated lard (Tenderflake brand) as well as use coconut oil in my coffee and butter in my tuna and chicken salads. I’m contemplating a way to make mayo out of a combo of light olive oil and bacon grease but haven’t attempted that yet. Maybe you can use some of these ideas to get more fat in your diet.

    • Edith, I’ve been Paleo/Primal/Archevore (no sugar, no grain, no legume, no PUFA 6s, fatty meats, fish, butter, cheese, whipping cream, berries/grapefruit some days, occasional 1/2 apple, 1 green veg most days and 1/4 rice or potato once or twice a week for post workout (walking only now).

      I have not lost one pound! I stopped getting on the scale it was so depressing. However, I no longer have chronic fatigue (falling asleep at my desk every day), daily headaches, migraines, dizziness, ataxia, tunnel vision, mental fog, etc., forgetfulness or neuro problems except for residual neuropathy in left foot.

      I did lose 3-4 inches at the waist and some at chest, thigh and calf. I stopped the BCP and starter perimenopause the same month I went Paleo… Jan 2011. So while I have not lost any weight (ave 1700-2200 cal diet: 70% fat, 20% protein and 14% carbs), I have energy and mental clarity and no DAILY headaches after 25 yrs!

      I did window fasting from the beginning (eating only lunch and dinner). Ketostix showed I was never in ketosis in am after sleeping. It would take me 18 hrs to get a mild on a strip. 1.2-3/4 c whole cream in morning coffees satiated me ’til lunch.

      I just started being able to do a 24 hr. fast, so I think my body has just really started adapting to where it doesn’t feel like I’m starving it.

      Did you take tape measurements before and during your journey? If not, try starting now. Tape measuring is what has kept me from thinking Paleo didn’t work.

      • Sandra, Are you getting good sleep? Wondering if OSA could be an issue here? Also it sounds like you are skipping breakfast..maybe not..but a good meaty/fatty breakfast everyday helped me lose 30+ lbs.

        • Initially I was have eggs and bacon/sausage for breakfast, fatty meat lunch and meat/veg dinner. As time progressed I found I had no desire to eat breakfast. So brunch is at 11am and dinner at 6:30pm. I’m thinking it may be too much protein LBM is 103 so I calculated 0.8g/lb for a goal of 82g protein/day. I’m trying to lower it but get hungry if I do. If I increase fat (cream or coconut milk) I get the runs.

          Sleep is good. But I have so much energy now that I’ve been taking 50mg Melatonin at 8pm, along w/magnesium supplement.. So 9-10 hrs good sleep.

      • Sandra, I have not taken measurements but my jeans fit the same so I don’t think I have lost any inches either. It has only been 2 weeks so I will hold off getting panicked until after 30 days. I have been either walking or riding stationary bike and doing some weight training. I am thinking of trying a Zumba class as I have heard it is very effective in working the mid section.

        • Edith, I’d take measurements (chest, waist, bicep, hips, thigh and calf) and make note of them. I wish I had taken pictures! And try using ketostix for a couple of months. After 4 wks and no weight loss, I was so discouraged because everyone says they lose weight. Ketostix 2-4 times a day for 3 mths showed me that 45g carbs or more takes me out of ketosis! So I have to go very low carb. I also used Fitday.com to track my macronutrients. It really helped me learn how many carbs I was eating – going from over 300/day to <45/day. Now I just know what foods yield what results with ketostix and wouldn't have to log if I didn't want to. But until I get to maintenance level, I like to log. I had been on semi-starvation diet and doing chronic cardio (running) had severe muscle wasting. I can see muscle mass now – body is recontouring – with no exercise right now except walks. So I know I've gained 6 lbs or more of muscle just eating protein now.

      • Sandra,

        As a low carber/ancestral eater since 99, who lost 90lbs over 3 years and has kept it off, I’d advise you to cut ALL the fruit and the potatoes and rice until you are at least close to goal, or have lost a substantial amount of the weight you have to lose, and then add them back in very cautiously.

        mem

        • Yes Mem, your advice is the conclusion I’ve come to. If I eat 1/2 potato or 1/4 c rice or homemade gluten-free dessert (w/honey sweetener), it sets me back – I stay out of ketosis for 18 hours or more. The less rice and potato I have, the less I want it. If I stick to just green veggies it’s very hard for me to go over 45g a day. Only dessert I’m making now is vanilla ice-cream with whole cream and a touch of honey for the quart topped with berries.

          A 22-24 hr. fast most days is what is accelerating things for me. 3-5 cups of home-made dedcaf Dunkin Donuts coffee with 1/4 cup whipping cream and stevia powder each throughout the day keeps me totally satiated and hydrated. If I happen to get hungry, I snack on some home-made pork cracklings or ployes with creton or such. So I break fast for 2-4 hours around dinnertime. My total caloric intake isn’t much reduced, protein the same, carbs lower, fat higher.

          However, what I’ve really come to realize is that if I pinch my body enough and look at it from different angles (in a yoga pose; in clothing store dressing rooms) I really DO SEE a change. The subcutaneous fat is like a shape-shifter. Every week the fat mass looks different, so I know that change is happening. I figure it took me years to gain the 15 pounds and if it takes a couple-three-or-four to lose it and then keep it off, I’m ok with that. I just feel sooooo much better. I’m productive again!

          • Sandra – It sure sounds like you’re taking in too many starch-sugar carbs. Honey is sugar, and your rice and potatoes and ployes are probably setting you back (although the creton should be just fine! Are you Acadian, by the way?). I know I can’t take in ANY grain, starch or sugar carbs or my weight loss stops dead in its tracks. Some of us are just really sensitive to them!

          • I don’t have these items on a regular basis and never all on the same day. I try to keep each meal, if not IF, to under 10g carbs, and under 45g for the day.

            But logging in at Fitday.com reveals the truth! I do go up to 60-80g some day but never ever over that. I understand that this is still considered lowish but that it may take a bit longer this way but I only have 15 lbs to lose. I am losing inches steadily though so I’m not worried anymore.

            I guess a large part of still eating ployes and rice and potatoes is so my husband (who still smokes, need I say more) and my adult learning disabled son (high functioning who still lives with us) can learn that there are healthier choices. Initially I shunned all pot, rice, starchy tubers etc to get VLC (very low carb) so I could go cold turkey to see the weight drop. But they thought it stupid and vowed that I couldn’t make them go Paleo. So I figured it would be a learning process for them too; I’d have to model making choices since they are not reading any paleo stuff and don’t want to, ever.

            Because they saw me choosing tubers over potatoes, or tarro fries cooked with lard over potatoes, they are much more open to changing their diet now as they see all is not forbidden. To change a behavior and have it stick you have to replace it with something else (I do dog behavior modification and it’s the same for people!). And for most people you can’t lump, you have to chunk it down to manageable pieces to make them immediately successful.

            The day my son came home (he has dx Chron’s but weaned off med by me w/diet change yrs ago) and told me he’d chosen potatoes over wheat bread for lunch and was obviously proud of the choice, I decided to keep “allowing” those foods. My husband (diverticulitis and colon removed) is a traditional chef by trade (not his day job anymore though) and does all the cooking, so there’s a lot of negotiating going on.

            But yes, Mary, you are correct – it seems for me, even lowish carb makes the scale too difficult to move. If I were single, there would be no rice, tubers, potatoes etc in the house. But wait! Ployes would have to stay now that I’ve discovered Dr. Kresser’s sourdough buckwheat pancakes! Yes, I’m acadian and Maliseet indian. Grow up on ployes at every meal (replaces bread for the most part), potatoes and deer meat (used to hunt with my father at age 8).

            But I went down 3 pants sizes so I know even 45-70g a day produces results.

    • Try making Bearnaise or Hollandaise sauces to go with meats. The tang of the lemon really helps increase the palatability also you get the added bonus of the wonderful egg yolk.
      Sauce Foyot with steak and asparagus mmmm, well I know what I am having for dinner now.

      • For anyone in the Orlando area looking for an endocrinologist who will prescribe T3, Dr. Andrew Martin at Florida Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine clinic will prescribe Cytomel and Armour thyroid.

  9. I like the auto factory being converted to an iPad factory analogy. Chaos indeed!

    However, it took me a while to be able to digest the greatly increased amount of fat. I would become slightly nauseated, and have to slow down on fat, during the first couple weeks. Now, however, I have no difficulty eating any amount. I have learned to like the fat around my pork chops, and I’m starting to like limp bacon as well. Butter & cream are fabulous. It takes a while to change long term habits and perceptions, but stay the course! It is definitely worth it!

    People talk about how difficult this diet is at first, but I actually found it was easier than being on a low fat diet. A low-fat, calorie-restricted diet takes such an incredible feat of willpower. I can’t imagine staying on that kind of diet for more than 6 months. This diet just keeps getting easier for me as time passes.

    About listening to your body, I definitely wouldn’t do so, for several months. Now, however, since I’ve been on it for 7 months, I do listen to my body, and go with what sounds good to eat (within reason), when to eat, and when to stop eating. Sometimes I take a fork full of food, and then suddenly realize that I don’t actually want it. I’ve learned to obey the impulse to put it down, because overeating on this diet isn’t rewarding like overeating carbs can be.

  10. Last year, I tried going from low-ish carb paleo (fruits, veggies, meat, no starches) to low carb, and the effect on me was blindingly painful headaches that would go away by simply eating a carrot. So, I listened to my body and ended up just sticking to low-ish carb intake with the addition of calorie counting on fitday.com. At 6’1″, I dropped from 183 to 170 in 10 weeks by keeping calories at 2000 per day, averaged out over a week (more on gym days, less on days off.) I was eating around 80-100 grams of carbs per day, hardly low carb. But it was low enough in carbs that I never experienced anything more than the gentlest of hunger impulses, even during one weekend when I consumed only 1500 calories per day for two days in a row. So, from my perspective, low-ish carbs plus caloric deficit is sufficient for easy weight loss, with no ketosis, splitting headaches, or ignoring the body required.

    • Alex, I’ve had pretty much the same experience you had except at the end of SIX WEEKS of hardcore low carb (long after I shouldn’t have had any negative effects) I was a severe insomniac with ZERO energy and if I could have found the strength to pick up a gun I’d have put a bullet in my brain. I went Paleo in September of last year and since then have dropped 75lbs being high fat, moderate carb (from 50-100g of carbs daily). It’s been super easy and no “Atkins flu”. I don’t know if this is due to the addition of Intermittent Fasting (as this seems to help tremendously with curbing any cravings) or the fact that I’m also low-cal (1500/day). Either way, I DO still listen to my body because I monitor my ketosis levels and if my body is craving something and I’ve been in a steady state of ketosis, I’d say my body probably needs something.

  11. “Listen to your body!” This phrase bugs me so much I can’t put it into words, and I am so glad that someone else feels the same way. Of course, you are able to put it into words – “In fact, just hearing those words makes me want to puke.”

    Thank you so much! My sentiments exactly! It was “listening to my body” that got me in this trouble in the first place. I’ll do research, learn and listen to my intellect before I listen to my body ever again.

    My body wants to be fat and will tell me anything to get what it wants.

  12. Great post, I’m thrilled to be able to add to my low carb knowledge from the experts. Also if it’s okay with you, I’d like to use your “Ford auto plant to Ipad plant” analogy on my ketogenic diet resource site and link to this post. Excellent way to explain that concept.. by way of thanks, I’ve got some recipes on that site if you’re looking to add to your collection. Thanks, Dr. Mike!

  13. The other thing I meant to share is that I recently experimented with changing out some of my high fat diet with whey protein shakes made with almond milk and cream. Just wanted to see what changing this part of my diet would do. Did stevia sweetened protein shakes at breakfast and lunch for a month, a normal meat and veggie dinner, and kept carbs to less than 30 per day.

    I didn’t lose any weight, AND, my blood work at the end of the month was a shock.. triglycerides went from 80 to 152, my HDL dropped, LDL and total cholesterol dropped, creatinine went up, and my FBG went from 96 to 105. I know from experience now that excess protein has the same effect as excess sugar on my blood lipids and kidney function. It’s back to a high saturated fat, moderate protein, low carb diet for me.

    • Yup–if you eat more protein than your body needs to maintain lean mass, it’ll just turn the extra into glucose.

  14. They one that drives me crazy is “everything in moderation”. Total BS. Bad is bad….a little bad is still bad. I like the idea of going whole hog. Total commitment to a good diet, not half hearted baby steps.

    • Yes, that’s another pet peeve. One that I’ve endured countless times. Overweight people telling me that they’ve always believed, Everything in moderation. I always want to say, Worked real well for you, hasn’t it? But I don’t.

      • That’s a friend of mine. She’s not as big as I am but she’s definitely got metabolic stuff going on. Does Jillian Michaels exericse videos, tries to keep her portions reasonable, and still can’t get the weight off. “Everything in moderation” isn’t working so hot. (Not that Jillian Michaels is exactly moderate.)

      • Logically, “moderation in all things” includes moderation in… moderation. That’s what gets us into trouble. :-)

        I love your blog and read it regularly. I am looking forward to part II.

  15. I genuinely LOL’d with the beginning of this post! So true, so true! Your metabosol give-away (for which I was unsuccessful) was inspiration to hop back on the wagon again, which leads me to a tip I have for (re-) starting low carb:

    Don’t listen to your carb-addicted friends, family and co-workers! Get a support system outside of them (like this blog and the forum and on Blogger and elsewhere there are a bunch more low-carbers) Just like a recovering meth addict amongst tweakers or a newly recovering alcoholic amongst alcoholics, carb-addicts are the *last* people in the world to want to see you breaking free from the sweet serotonergic siren’s song of carbs.

  16. What a gift that you’re posting again, and thanks for the pointer to the elephant post. I had read it before (and bought the terrific Glasser book on your recommendation) but had simply forgotten both of them.

    Well, I am (a bit guiltily) awaiting the arrival of my Metabosol, as I was one of the lucky ones to get in under the wire. After realizing I had gotten one, I did check to see what you typically sell them for, and I am a bit embarrassed by the magnitude of my score.

    But I am a legitimate customer in that I have bought both Protein Power and the 6 Week Cure, so my commitment to you and MDE is that I will do the Cure faithfully (combined with the Metabosol) and report my results (which I do not doubt will be impressive.)

    Thanks again to both you and Dr. MDE. I screwed up and missed the chance to attend the Ancestral Health event at UCLA this Summer. It would have been a privilege to hear you both.

    But thanks again for returning to posting. I profit from your expertise and delight in your wit and broad knowledge of history, medical and otherwise.

    • Thanks for the kind words. I’ll try to keep a more rigorous schedule of posting. Too bad you’ll miss the UCLA event. I think it’s going to be a great one.

  17. Great post, Dr. Eades. This is something that even people who have gone on/off ketogenic diets over time need to keep in mind to make that next attempt stick. I would also mention that I had a very similar issue with introducing intermittent fasting into my dietary pattern. The first week or so is always difficult because of the body saying “Hey! You’re supposed to be feeding me right now!” too frequently. However, this time I found a subsequent adjustment period of three to four weeks, where my activity level dropped. It’s only recovered now that I am eating more on a per-meal basis to compensate for the IF, which makes sense. I imagine that if I had done this earlier, it would have shortened these particular doldrums.

    On the bacon front, I recommend getting thickly sliced bacon (the type that is sold stacked up in the package rather than spread out — I think Wellshire’s black label is the one that I had most recently and it was great!), since it tends to cook to done without, er, carbonizing. That is to say, I like crispy bacon, but meaty thick bacon is far more satisfying.

  18. A couple of days ago, I listened to my body a little too much and drank a can of coke and ate a piece of chocolate. Together those were about 60 grams of sugar, which with the rest of my food that day added up to 70-80 or so grams of carbs in total.

    I’ve been testing my urine with ketostix a couple of times a day since going from paleo-ish to intentionally low carb, and as far as I could tell the sugar spike didn’t change much. I continued to test positive for ketones that day and the following day.

    I have a three theories on this:

    1) The ketostix aren’t accurate for some reason.

    2) The preceding year of mostly excluding staple carbs had already caused most of the physiological adaptions for a low carb diet.

    3) There just wasn’t enough carbs to have an effect.

    Anyway, my question is whether I can rely on positive tests from ketostix as a guide for how large carb spikes I can handle, and not stress too much about the occasional sin, or whether I should be more dogmatic.

    • If you have ketones in urine you are in ketosis, as the normal level is zero. If you don’t have ketones detected you may still be in ketosis as the amount spilling into urine depends on a number of factors.

      Your bloodstream only contains about 5g of glucose so 60g of sugar is a massive hit.

    • 70-80 gm per day is still a fairly low-carb diet. Not really low, but fairly low. Probably 200-250 gm lower than the average diet. If you’re really cranking out the ketones, I doubt that one little 60 gm hit will shut it off completely, especially if the ketone production factory is working like a well-oiled machine. Still, that’s no excuse to sin. It’s not the shutting down of the factory that is the problem – it is the direct effect that the sugar has on the rest of the systems.

  19. Hi doc,
    what happens if someone sticks to pretty pure low carb all week but then on weekends has repetitive high carb incidents?
    Do the workers work in shifts and all the jobs are saved or there is some ‘jack in all trades, master in none’ situation going on?

    • It’s better to stick to low carb all week then blow it on the weekends than to never stick to low carb at all, but, at least during the early stages, it’s better to hang in there until the adaptation takes place. Having said that, however, I can say that some people don’t seem to go through much of an adaptation period. If you’re one of those, you may be okay with the low carb all week, higher carb on the weekend regimen, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.

      • Dr. Mike:

        I hope you post your 2nd post ASAP. I started a low-carb program today and need to read everything you have to say like NOW!

        Awhile back I did the 6 week cure…I don’t know what I did wrong, I think it was eating out too much and getting fooled by the chefs…but for the first time on a low-carb diet…my cholesterol went from 132 to 200! I have never had high cholesterol like that. but my triglycerides, and LDL were great! So I need to do something NOW! I told the doctor I would have my cholesterol levels back down by the time my next 6 month blood work is due.

        T!

        • Cholesterol often goes up at the start of a low-carb diet. The body is shedding fat and dumping cholesterol that the liver ultimately gets rid of. I wouldn’t worry about it, especially if the TGL and LDL are fine.

          • Dr. Mike:

            I am a little anxious about the “dumping chosterol”….is this fat “dumped” into the gall bladder to metabolize? The reason I ask is that in 2 years I have had 2 friends and a mother-in-law on low-carb diets that had gall bladder attacks and had to have surgery. When I researched what would cause this health issue I was shocked to read that one casue was a large amount of weight loss, Is this correct? One friend lost 105 pounds.

            T!

          • Interestingly, the cause of these acute gall bladder attacks is usually rooted in a low-fat diet followed by a high-fat binge. Here’s what happens. People who go on very-low-calorie-diets (VLCD) – the MediFast/Optifast kinds of diets – don’t consume much fat. The gall bladder exists to hold bile, a substance released into the upper small intestine to break down fat that is just starting its trek through the digestive system. When fat enters the digestive tract, a signal is sent to the gall bladder, which then squirts out the bile to start the fat-breakdown process. When there isn’t much – if any – fat coming down the path, as there isn’t in these VLCDs, then the gall bladder doesn’t get rid of its contents. When the bile sits around in the gall bladder, it tends to concentrate. If it sits long enough, it will concentrate enough to start forming small stones. Once this happens – and there is no way to know that it has happened – trouble ensues. When the person whose gall bladder contains these stones then eats a fatty meal, the gall bladder does its job and tries to squirt out the bile to breakdown the fat. Problem is, however, that the stones get squirted out, too. And they lodge in the duct leading from the gall bladder to the intestine, which is what causes the agonizing pain associated with a gall bladder attack. It can all be avoided by including fat in the diet. As long as fat goes through, the gall bladder squirts the bile. The bile never sits around and concentrates and so doesn’t form stones. No stones, no problem.

            In the ten thousand or so patients MD and I have taken care of – many of them overweight middle-aged females, the prime group prone to gall bladder disease – we’ve never had a single one develop gall bladder disease. Why? Simply because we treated them with high-fat diets that kept their gall bladders clean.

            The dumping of cholesterol that I mentioned has nothing to do with the above process. It happens when fat cells breakdown during the weight loss process and dump their cholesterol into the blood. The liver deals with it.

          • So what if I don’t have my gall bladder anymore? Does this affect my low carb diet/results?

          • It shouldn’t if you don’t have problems with fatty foods. Usually after a gall bladder has been removed the remnant parts of the duct sort of reform to make a rudimentary gall bladder that works okay. If you have diarrhea after consuming a lot of fat, you might want to back off a bit until your remnant gall bladder adapts.

          • This is exactly what happened to me, but I didn’t understand why until now. I did the phen/fen craze and a VLC diet, went off of it, and lost my gall bladder. (And, of course, gained back a lot more weight than I had lost on it.)

          • What if the triglycerides jump?

            You mentioned in Protein Power (p59) that “trying to correct [cholesterol] in the face of low thyroid function is quite difficult”.

            Many of us have thyroid issues that we are unaware of.

            How, if at all, should we test to determine whether thyroid is the cause of leaping lipids?

          • Back when MD and I wrote Protein Power (over 15 years ago), we were in the thrall of the lipid hypothesis ourselves, and so were concerned about ‘correcting’ lipid issues. We’re not so concerned about it now.

            As I wrote in my last response to you, I think the probability is much higher of a triglyceride jump being due to a lab error than to a thyroid malfunction. I would repeat the triglyceride lab before I would launch into a thyroid workup.

            If you are concerned about your thyroid, the best place to start is with the normal battery of thyroid tests that any physician can order for you.

      • Hi Dr Eades,

        Thanks for an excellent article! I’m a dancer, training 1-3hours a day 5-6 days/week. I need get 18lbs leaner from my current 5’5, 135lbs for mainly aesthetic reasons (most of us go on 800cal grapefruit diets to prep for performance). I’m reading Gary Taubes’ Good Cal Bad Cals, your book Protein Power & Lyle McDonald’s books concurrently. I realize that for someone with my goals the “eat whatever you want, until you’re full as calories don’t matter as long as you keep carbs low (<20-30g/day) as once you body's insulin/hormones normalize your body will 'naturally' find its own fat% equilibrium and then spontaneously start moving more" … Is probably (?) not going to be sufficient to get me to goal (as it might do for someone 180-200lbs).

        So – I've just started the CKD (one day/week 'free day'/higher carbs – purpose is to 'reset' psychologically & physiologically cortisol/HGH/hormones/leptin/etc.)… I would love your thoughts – would this mean that my enzymes will never get the opportunity to adapt to keto & potential long-term havoc … ?

        Thanks, Eve L

        • There will probably be some adaptation, but I doubt it will be as complete (and it certainly won’t be as fast) as it would be with a constant low-carb diet. I’m not particularly a big fan of CKDs, but they do seem to work for some people. Good luck.

          • thank you – any specific reason/s? read your posts on inflammation… exercise doesn’t make me ‘work up an appetite’ – it make me feel happier & actually catalyses higher dietary adherence for me. given that my training schedule is non-negotiable, i’m just concerned about burning out/lowering metabolism/causing inflammation or something … that you/taubes/etc warn off about too much exercise…? would it be better to just do straight keto?

          • Not necessarily. I don’t recommend exercise to my patients at the start of their diet because during the period of adaptation it can be fatiguing. Once low-carb adapted, people seem to have excess energy to burn, so they start exercising on their own to burn it off. If exercise isn’t a problem for you, go for it. Exercise provides a multitude of health benefits, and I think everyone should exercise. It has just never been shown to be effective for weight loss. But for overall health, it is wonderful.

          • “people seem to have excess energy to burn, so they start exercising on their own to burn it off”
            and
            “It has just never been shown to be effective for weight loss”.

            This to me seems to be one of those contradictions. If you are burning off your excess energy, surely you are also burning off some fat.

            Gary Taubes (whom I also admire greatly) also comes out with this slightly contradictory stance.

            I can see that exercise may be useless for weight loss on a high-carb diet (for insulin resistant people anyway) but for people on a low-carb diet who are well keto-adapted, surely it logically SHOULD help them burn off more fat than they otherwise would, and without necessarily making them more hungry (eating more than they otherwise would).

            Their newer, lower, insulin levels should surely now allow them to tap into their hitherto unused reserve of adipose fat, no?

          • I think if you add exercise to your routine without changing what you eat, you will lose fat faster. But it’s tough not to compensate for the exercise by eating more.

  20. Thanks for a great post. I’m sick to death of the “listen to your body” thing when it comes to people starting out on low-carb. Even the most well-meaning people on the LC forums I frequent might go and advise a newbie to “just eat a few more carbs if you’re feeling nauseous” whereas I just want to start tearing out my hair when I read that rubbish. And of course, then you end up with the sort of people who go “oh, ketosis wasn’t for me because I got so ill” and others make it worse by chiming in that “yes, ketosis isn’t for everybody”… sigh. Sure, there might be a handful of folks with certain medical conditions who can’t deal with heavy ketosis, but it’s not nearly as common as people think. Even when you’re past the initial misery, it might still take months and months for your body to fully adapt. I know people often say the fatigue goes away after a few days or weeks, but it can certainly last for months for some people, especially if they have a history of metabolical problems. Even seasoned low-carbers who eat decent amounts of meat and fat often forget this and start worrying if they (or the newbies) still get tired after a few weeks. But it does take time. I say you should only start “listening to your body” once it’s healed enough from the years of metabolical damage you’ve inflicted upon it–if it’s wrecked, those signals are bound to be distorted.

  21. When people blather on to me about listening to their bodies, I always ask listening to what? The bacteria that inhabit our gut will “talk” to use and create cravings. Everyone has different bacteria, which may explain why some people get different results from different diets.
    When the “body” is asking for sugar, it is probably the gut bacteria that are getting starved out. In my experience, those bacteria go to sleep after awhile of not eating concentrated sugar and the cravings go away.
    There is a parasite that mice get that makes them attracted to cats. The parasite can only reproduce in the gut of cats. The mice “instincts” are telling them to be attracted to cats. The mice that listen to their bodies become a meal for the cats.

    • “There is a parasite that mice get that makes them attracted to cats. The parasite can only reproduce in the gut of cats. The mice “instincts” are telling them to be attracted to cats. The mice that listen to their bodies become a meal for the cats.”

      Touche. Absolutely on target. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to “listen to” our bodies… I know I can’t: I’m addicted to sugar, and don’t dare take heed of what my inner sweets junkie demands.

  22. There is a parasite that mice get that makes them attracted to cats. The parasite can only reproduce in the gut of cats. The mice “instincts” are telling them to be attracted to cats. The mice that listen to their bodies become a meal for the cats.

    It’s called Toxoplasma gondii and it infects humans, too. It makes us have traffic accidents. (Maybe it makes us scarf Chips Ahoys, too, but they didn’t study that.)

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/9/72

  23. Hi doc- great article,

    I’m on a ketogenic diet for weight loss and have been trying to find information on alcohol consumption while on it.

    In particular, I now understand that the liver will preferentially process alcohol, which (temporarily) will stop the gluconeogenesis/ketone production. I read of one case where an alcoholic woman suffered severe brain damage when she went on a binge during the initial phase of atkins.

    While I drink only in moderation, and have lately cut out most of my alcohol anyway (probably don’t need the calories if I’m trying to lose weight :), I’ve been trying to find quantifiable information on this issue.

    It seems to me that it boils down to the total amount of ketone bodies in the blood stream, and the rate at which the body (and brain in particular) consumes these at the point the liver starts processing the alcohol. Knowing these you would know the ‘margin of safety’ as it were, that your liver has to finish processing alcohol and get back to producing ketones/glucose. I’ve seen you quote these figures for glucose (ie total amount in blood + rate for brain use outside ketosis), but not for ketones.

    Can you shed any insight on this, or tell me if I’m completely off base in my thinking?

    Thanks for the great site & books!

    (PS- the study I mentioned- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12444383 )

    • Alcholol stimulates ketogenesis. Go out drinking some night and eat a bunch of carbs and you’ll probably be positive for ketones in the morning. Ketones shut down the production of ketones, however, so the amount driven by the alcohol typically shut down the production of those driven by the low-carb diet. Unless something is seriously wrong somewhere, you won’t have a problem with too many ketones if you both drink a bit and follow a low-carb diet. The woman in the study you linked to appears to have a major problem with alcohol abuse, and I didn’t see anywhere in the abstract that she was on the induction phase of the Atkins Diet. She had been drinking for two days and was malnourished – a setup for multiple problems.

  24. Hi Doc

    what a post! Please, I BEG you to answer a few questions, because it is these few issues that affect me with lo carb.
    First, all day i am great with lo carb or, even fasting, but at night late i becone hungry, and that hungeris only satisfied by carbs. it is as if iget nervy and anxious and cant sleep. sometimes i take some carbs to be able to sleep. What is happening?

    Second i am 5 ft 4in male, about 230lbs (best in past few yrs 200lbs) with high blood pressure. Recently it has dawned on me that if insulin resistance is the cause of both problems, but the obesity and hypertension are the symptoms, then maybe i should forget about the symptoms and deal with the cause. In other words, just get the insulin down. Does this make sense?

    If so, then how much protein do i need? i would need enough to offset muscle loss and to provide the needed glucose. But then protein also raises insulin. In fact, isuspect that what is happening to me at night is that the protein raises insulin, which prevents fat burning, but there nay be no glucose, so i experience low blood glucose.

    I also suggest that fat in the meal would keep insulin low to allow the fat to be used by the cells. Does this make sense?

    Thanks for your posts and your tweets, extremely helpful. I would truely appreciate your answers. Thanks

    Martin

    • If you stick to fatty cuts of meat, you’ll get plenty of protein. If you’re eating real food, you don’t have to worry about getting protein in quantities large enough to cause a problematic increase in insulin. When you consume protein, insulin goes up, but so does its counter-regulatory hormone glucagon, which blunts the effects of the insulin. You can read all about it in Protein Power.

  25. Funny timing on this one… Day number one of getting back on the horn of my cut (after a few failed attempts to restart the dieting clock). I’m a bulker/cutter so I’ve done this many times over but this year I’m having a harder time resisting the cravings in this transition period. No solid end goal laid out, so I think that has accounted for a big part of it as well!

    Solid article Michael!

  26. Maybe it is okay to listen to your body. You just need to understand what it is telling you: “you’re addicted to carbs!” :)

  27. Dr. Eades, can you mitigate your rant a bit, or at least qualify it a bit better? Listening to your body IS important. Especially, in terms of physical activity. No pain, no gain is a terrible philosophy, and as physician who deals with musculoskeletal problems, that is a something I have to counsel patients on all the time. As you are aware, our taste is a very important and we should trust it ultimately, but we are frequently tricked by refined sugars and carbohydrates. So we have to listen carefully to what our body is saying and maybe the point is not to just hear, but really do what listening implies–use our reason.

    • I suppose I should’ve applied my dictum about not listening to your body to those starting low-carb diets. Of course you should ‘listen’ to your body if it’s telling you you’re in pain or in real distress.

    • I would keep it to a bare minimum during the first few days. Fruit is simply sugar coupled with a few vitamins and minerals packaged in an attractive container. And with a health halo around it placed there by those trying to sell fruit and those who are invested in low-fat dieting.

  28. Great post. Great advice. Listening to my cravings and urges is exactly my problem. Hopefully, this will give me the extra confidence to tell the cravings to go away! Today is my first day of back-on-the-low-carb-bandwagon, so it speaks to me especially.

    • I have been back on low carb for 4 days Jeannie and I know how you feel. I felt the carb crash yesterday after a short nap in the arvo from feeling a bit fatigued. But this morning I woke up with energy I haven’t had since my last low carb success. It’s getting better each day :) Good luck

  29. So here I am, starting to low-carb for the first time, at age 70. That’s “late middle-age”, right? It took Gary Taubes to finally make me see the light – and I suspect there are others like me who for years rejected the LC idea as faddish and dangerous. Now I get it. I am a lucky recipient of the free Metabusol which I would compare to bad lemonade; it helps to dilute it a bit more than recommended and to add an ice cube. Maybe a lemon slice would help too. I’m also lucky, I think, in that I’ve never been a user of processed foods of any kind. I love to cook and have always cooked (and baked, alas) from scratch, but in recent years, to my detriment, I’ve jumped onto the whole grains and legumes bandwagon, priding myself on my “healthy” near-vegan regimen of brown rice, whole grain pasta, granola, oatmeal, etc …. what was I thinking??? Somehow I now need to lose about 40 pounds. I suspect it will be slow-going but am in it for the long haul. (I also plant six inch tree seedlings, always hoping for the best.) I’ve noticed that any number of my friends who never in the past had any weight problems are starting to look a little pudgy. I only mention all this because I think there might be a whole new market out there – call it Fat Old People Who Have Always Tried to Do the Right Thing but Have Been Sadly Misled ….. I will be paying close attention to any words of encouragement you might have for this group.

    • Insulin resistance rears its ugly head late in life for many people. Some seem to escape its effects for many years while bragging that they can eat anything. Then it gets them. Sounds like that’s what’s happened to a lot of your friends. Good luck with your low-carb regimen.

    • Insulin resistance rears its ugly head late in life for many people. Some seem to escape its effects for many years while bragging that they can eat anything. Then it ultimately gets them. Sounds like that’s what’s happened to a lot of your friends. Good luck with your low-carb regimen. Keep me posted.

  30. funny story, My friends wife is a fitness instructor in our community . For the last few years she would attend week long vegan conferences. To her husbans dismay, she would come home from the conferences and would force her family into eating things like brocolli muffins etc. He told me that this year , as a joke, he put in a 3 foot long salami and a Primal eating book in her suitcase without her knowing it. Apparently it didn’t go over to well at the conference, but he said,” she read the book”. Now she has turned a 180 and is promoting it everywhere.
    I have given my Drs.Eades books to people and their eyes are opening. Results are nothing short of miraculous, and the great thing about all of this…..it makes total sense.

  31. “Listening to your body” can be double-edged sword, much like listening to your friends and neighbors, doctors, the media, etc. as they give you advice about nutrition. In both cases, being an informed listener is going to be considerably more beneficial. Much like the advice eagerly foisted on you by the nutrition dogmatists, the feedback from your body has to be understood in the context which generated it. The dogmatists tend to be shallow thinkers, in particular ignoring large long-term negative effects in favor of small but immediate benefits (think USDA: increasing sales of US-grown wheat, corn, and soy is beneficial to everybody, right? These must be healthy foods, at least for my career…)

    I believe food feedback works in the same way. This is a survival mechanism, because Mother Nature doesn’t give you a lot of second chances. So when tasty sweet fruit is around, it’s a good idea to stuff your face with as much as you can. That works in a wild setting, because evolution has “worked out” the appropriate balance between risk and reward in the short and long term (the stress response is a fantastic example of this: short-term physiological damage is traded for not being short-term dead). But once you’re removed from the evolutionary context, the balance has shifted, but your body’s responses remain the same. Your body will happily tell you to repeatedly behave in ways that provide short-term rewards but with negative long-term consequences. Think drug abuse.

    We humans have the advantage of big brains with long memories, and the ability to “connect the dots” over larger time periods. If you’re like me and watch far too much Discovery/NatGeo, you probably have seen a variety of tribal rituals. One fairly common ritual is to eat or drink something that makes you immediately and violently ill. Why would anybody subject themselves to this? One theory is that the poison helps to purge parasites. The indigenous peoples may or may not understand it in such terms, but over time they have likely established that the long-term benefit of the ritual outweighs the short-term discomfort.

    So when you “listen to your body”, you need to do it with the long view in mind. Listening only to short-term reward responses makes you behave like a two-year-old in a room full of lollipops. But if you can connect behavior with long-term outcomes, you can maximize the long term benefits, and select those behaviors with short-term rewards which do not have an eventual downside (e.g. eating bacon instead of bread).

    Personal example: I never had a big sweet tooth, but I loved beer. In fact I’m pretty sure that beer was primarily responsible for making me fat. It also made me very happy, at least in the short term (I would suffer massive hangovers and digestive problems after beer drinking, far worse than most of my drinking buddies). I also had a life-long history of dermatitis herpetiformis. When I went low-carb, obviously beer was out, along with other gluten-containing foods. Lost the short term beer high, but also lost both the fat and the skin problems. A couple of weekends ago, I was at a barbecue, had some bread and couple of beers (and noticed that the beer tasted like a milkshake to my sugar-deprived taste buds). Short-term high? Absolutely. Long-term: hello dermatitis herpetiformis, now going on ten days of itchy little blisters all over my body. Next time somebody offers me a beer, I’ll be tempted, but will also remember the week+ worth of itchies.

  32. I agree that a huge diet change is the wrong time to listen to the body. I think that depends on how tuned in you are and how you interpret what the body says. I have gotten a lot of help from NLP, which identifies how the mind thinks – in images, sounds and words. Another source that was helpful to me was a book called The Diet Cure. One of the amino acid supplements I used between meals is L-Glutamine. Whenever I noticed my mind start to think about snacks and carbs between meals, I recognized the need to take L-Glutamine. It got me to the next meal and I was able to stay on plan. I used this strategy for a year or two. I have increased my dietary fat and my meals keep me satisfied so much longer that I don’t have cravings much any more.

    In this example, I am listening to my body but not doing what it is telling me to do. So I guess I had a plan for Step 4 on the list above. As an overeater, I do need to listen to my body when it is time to put the fork down.

    When I first did low-carb it was on the South Beach Diet.(2004) It was through a website which gave me a weekly meal plan and shopping list. All I remember from the first few weeks was being hungry and exhausted from all the shopping and chopping. The recipes were wonderful but a lot of work to cook. I was SO surprised after a few weeks with how little I desired sweets.

  33. I’ve tried moving to low-carb via the hard-core, suffer through it, white-knuckle approach and I didn’t stick with it because it was too much of a transition all at once. Two years ago, I adopted a more gradual approach where I slowly replaced carbs with more protein and fat, and then eating less protein and more fat. The second approach took me 5 months to go from 300 g carbs a day to under 70 g per day. In addition, I also measured everything I ate and calculated my nutrient intake using the USDA Standard Food Database (I needed a hobby). It was an easier transition to low carb than the Atkins approach.

    Using the Atkins approach, it felt like a diet, something short-term. The second method was more like a long-term lifestyle change, one that was very easy to follow. The final nail in the coffin for carbohydrates was the elimination of artificial sweeteners. The sensitivity of my taste buds to sweets sky-rocketed and foods I formerly enjoyed now tasted awful. Lastly, the biggest barrier to moving to a low-carb eating plan was psychological, not physiological. It was also much easier for my wife’s peace of mind.

    Without all the support from blogs like yours, I couldn’t have made the changes by myself. The low-carb community is a great support network.

  34. Just started receiving your blog posts. Wonderful! What a great help this post, and the linked elephant post, are to me even just today. Thank you! With LC, I’m down 104 but a long way to go yet. I even made a little reminder sign (just for me to see) “I have 100% control of what goes in my mouth.”

  35. Great posting, Mike. The thing I always heard following the “everything in moderation” line was: “Including moderation.” Now that makes sense. (Would make more, perhaps, if it were “especially moderation,” no?)

    Thanks for the blog – happy to see you posting more. For some reason the idyllic summer days that are now upon us help increase the temptation to go off the reservation (the low-carb one, anyway). I for one need all the intellectual ammo I can get!

  36. If “listen to your body” makes you want to puke, how about “listen to your brain”? But then again our brain has a mind of its own. As intelligent as we are, we are dumb enough to fall for instant gratification more often than not. And each time we repeat a behavior, its control in the brain strengthens. “Cells that fire together, wire together.” (Freud?) And throw into the mix that evolution is always trying to move us toward pleasure… or is it always trying to move us away from pain? A quote I love but don’t remember whose: “evolution doesn’t discriminate against mediocre solutions.” Just because we have a physiologic reason to respond a certain way doesn’t mean its a good one. We can have power over our brain so show that baby who’s boss — it comes with our careful response.

  37. why is it we always think we’re the only one who struggles? and it’s just a lack of willpower? thanks for the words of wisdom and encouragement, I know it will only get better!!

  38. I like the analogy of the fuel converter. Respectfully, though, I think it’s good to listen to your body because it may be telling you something is wrong. For instance, if someone becomes vegan and starts to notice they feel lousy, isn’t it good for them to pay attention to that?

    A person just needs to bear in mind that certain dietary changes can take time to work, they may be uncomfortable for awhile, and even a good plan may need some fine tuning.

  39. Question: when you wrote – “Because of this low-carb adaptation period, we never, ever counsel our patients to start an exercise program when they start their low-carb diets because a) we know they’ll be too fatigued to do it, and b) we know that in a short time they will start exercising spontaneously to burn off the excess fat on their bodies once the skids are greased, so to speak.”

    for b), did you mean that when they fall off the wagon, they’ll be prompted to exercise because they gain the weight back fast, or did you mean that in low carb diets you eventually even out, stop losing weight, and all the high-fat food you’ve been eating catches up with you? is that something that happens?

    • What I meant was that once a person becomes low-carb adapted and starts easily burning body fat, that person typically wants to start exercising without being encouraged to do so. It’s the body’s way of burning off the excess energy.

      • How do you know when the body has become adapted? At that point, can you raise the amount of carbs? I am helping my obese brother lose weight and the diet is working beautifully, but I am wondering how long we should stay at the 30 carb level. He started 3 months ago weighing 451 and is now 403. Has lost steadily all that time, and I think we should continue with what we are doing because he has so far to go yet, but is it safe to stay at that low of a level for the year we think it will take? This is the second time I’ve done this diet and since I proved it works for me twice, I am adopting it as my new lifestyle, not a diet. Thanks for any advice you can provide.

      • That’s exactly what I noticed. I started low-carb 50lbs overweight and I had no intention of exercising unless I wanted to. I felt the change of diet was enough for me to handle at first. It got to the point that one day, I got home from work and started to put on my PJs, but instead, I put on my shorts and went for a nice long walk. That’s how I exercise now. Last Saturday I took 2 walks totaling 8.25 miles. Just because I felt like it. It was a beautiful day.

        2 years into this WOE and I’ve lost 50 lbs, I maintain my weight between 121-129. I’m 5′ 7″ , 42 years old and feel like I’m 28 years old.

        You and many others have saved me from constant dieting hell. Thank you!

  40. Your best blog entry to date, Dr. E!!!

    I’m the resident “zero carber” here, for the last 3.5 years….and as a 43 y.o. male, I can tell you that my energy has been through the roof during these past years!

    You and your dear wife turned my life around a decade ago with your introduction into my life of lower carb eating via Protein Power.

    And through self experimentation, I just kept lowering the carbs (and eating more fat), and at EVERY step felt better and better…..
    Now, my HDL has gone from an abysmal 32 to (at physical in April) up to 65!

    Listen to the Doc on this one folks…learn patience or eat as much animal fat as possible!! :)

  41. One thing that helped me drop my fat was everyday reading and study on the subject of nutrition and fitness on sites such as this Primal Blueprint, Weston A Price, HeartScan, FatHead (Naughton) and others. The more I understood the science and facts about real food and our bodies, the more I developed a “warrior attitude” against frankenfood and conventional wisdom. I went through a very distinct withdrawal phase but was very successful. When I eat crap now (occasional stupidity)- I always feel like crap afterwards (negative feedback works well). I am going on 43 and my life is very different now (+!!) thanks to this change. God Bless the Eades!

  42. Brilliant description of enzyme changeover, which is a factor in any kind of adaptation.
    Here’s a few extra ideas about speedng up ketogenesis;
    some nutrients form ketones more readily than others.
    Specifically, short- and medium-chain triglycerides (butter, cream, coconut oil), and branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine, isoleucine) are considered ketogenic. BCAA are found in whey protein (the best source) and muscle meats, and can be supplemented.
    Further, that switching of enzymes requires additions and subtractions from DNA, mainly methyl groups (CH3).
    These are added by AdoMet (AKA SAMe), which derives them from B12 and folate, with betaine TMG and choline as alternative donors. Methylcobalamin in lozenge form is probably the best single supplement to free up methylation.
    The methyl groups that are being removed also need help to clear the system; niacin or niacinamide (B3) is the main carrier (methyl acceptor).
    Now I don’t actually know whether supplementing these nutrients speeds up adaptation to ketogenesis, but I do think it likely that inhibited methylation, which is a common side effect of inflammatory disease and oxidative stress, would delay adaptation to anything.
    Also consider that there are adaptogenic herbs, such as ginseng, rhodiola, astragalus, and some others, which tend to speed up adaptation to (and alleviate the discomfort of) all sorts of stresses, and which either work by assisting in the DNA switchover process, or by helping the immune response adapt more quickly to the new internal environment. Astragalus in my experience is ideally suited to low-carb induction symptoms; in the Chinese system it is considered a herb suitable for any age and fitness, and is though a very popular (and effective) herb has reputedly never been associated with side effects or adverse events.

  43. My suspicion is that the so called keto-adaption period is controlled ( and therefore also prolonged by ) by the availability of oxaloacetate. As oxaloacetate is depleted the enzymes for ketone production shoot up.

    It does make sense to also limit your protein intake for faster keto-adaption as this should also greatly speed up oxaloacetate depletion.

    I have to admit I did feel best on a Kwasniewski style diet where I severely limited both protein and carbs, however it was difficult to sustain as cream started to become a large % of my caloric intake.

  44. great article and very timely as i’m gearing up to start again with this. i’m like so many other women who have posted here in that i have thyroid and adrenal issues which along with being post-menopausal, make it hard for the weight to come off.
    right now i’d settle for sleeping better, having more energy, and reducing inflammation. hopefully those will all happen even if i don’t lose any weight! oh and reduced fasting glucose also.

  45. Just stumbled onto your blog, excellent!
    Dr., question for you: I’ve always had digestive problems(gas, bloatimg)
    but now I am pregnant and things are much worse. After reading you blog I am really motivated to try a low carb high fat diet but wondering if it’s bad timing because of the pregnancy????
    Thanks!

    • Have you ever been checked for gluten intolerance? If not, have you ever tried a gluten-free diet, as a self-test? It is worth looking at, to reduce those symptoms.

      Those were my primary symptoms and they totally disappeared when I went off gluten. They were signaling that I was celiac (totally intolerant of gluten).

      It’s an easy self-test! You just have to be positive that you aren’t getting any gluten (it’s hidden in everything, so you have to read labels and eat simple foods). You will know very soon (probably within a week) but give it 2 weeks minimum. Good luck!

    • Sandra: I’ve been eating high fat low carb for 2 1/2 years and have a 6 month old son. I ate this way while trying to conceive, after I got pregnant and in the months after my son was born. During the first 3 months I had difficulty eating (Couldn’t stand chicken, pork, eggs) so I ate more carbs then (and gained about 15 lbs during the first trimester). As soon as the queasies from first trimester passed I was able to eat more meat and veggies and less bread and sugar, so my weight gain slowed to a more normal pace. I told my doc I was eating limited sugars and starches but I rarely say it’s low carb high fat, because most doctors have a knee-jerk reaction to that still. After eating this way while breastfeeding for 6 months I have tons of milk, lots of energy, and have lost post-pregnancy weight and then some (about 11 lbs away from ideal weight). I feel this is the best thing for me and my baby (he’s crawling, pulling up…about the strongest and brightest baby I’ve ever met). Plus, he and I haven’t been sick even once during a winter when everyone around us did!

      Just wanted to give you a personal pregnancy experience…so you know youre not alone. Good luck with your pregnancy!

      • Hi Robinwitz
        Now that you have a little one, will you go lo carb hi fat for him/her? What will you feed your little one for the first 8 months of his life. Most docs say to start solids with rice cereal or oatmeal, what to feed? Just wondering as I am TTC and often wonder about when i have a baby what I will do

        • Eks: My baby is nearly 7 months old and is still primarily on breast milk. We started him with some solids about a month ago: soft and hard cooked egg yolk, acorn squash, avocado, ground chicken and turkey w some water (roasted, not lunchmeat), sweet potato. So far he loves it all! I’ve never intended to feed him nutrient-poor grains and cereals when he can eat real foods instead. He’ll grtvthe highest quality dairy products I can afford, though I’m not in a hurry to give him cow’s milk dairy just yet. He’s had butter in his veggies and Celtic sea salt on them, too. And he loves taking water from a straw at meal times and when it’s hot outside!

          There’s not much out there (that I could find, at least) about eating LCHF while pregnant and breastfeeding, but I ate higher carb for a few months after he was born I can say I know how much better I feel eating this way. The carb cravings are stronger now than pre-pregnancy, so on days I work out I tend to eat a bit more carbs in the form of squash. I guess my workouts deplete my glycogen stores mote now that my body is also making milk. I just go day by day. If I listened to my body on what to eat during those carb craving times I’d be eTing pizza w crust and a cinnepie from papa john’s at least twice a week. It is harder now to keep myself on track, but I do my best! Keeping my blood sugar steady is a main goal, as almost all low-fat eating women in my fam over 40 have developed type 2 diabetes abc I’m not gonna be one of them! My mom’s the only one out of 3 sisters not to have it–she’s eaten this way for years.

          I know the people recommending grains and low fat to kids are overwhelming, but they’re wrong. The developing brain needs ample fat and doesnt need grains. My boy will get his carbs from veggies and some fruit. I’m sure he’ll have grains and sugar occasionally ( hard to prevent) but I’m glad I have control over what he eats when he’s with me.

          • I wish there was a way to proof-read my whole post before posting, but I can’t scroll back to proof before posting, for some reason. I always find some weird auto-correct things in my blog (‘and’ changed to ‘abc’? Really??) and it’s annoying. I tend to be a bit OCD about spelling and grammar, so it’s irritating finding errors in my comments. Just a silly example of my neuroses:)

          • Can you type your message in Word or another program, proof and edit to your heart’s content, and then copy and paste into the reply box here?

          • That’s what I’d normally do, but I’m on my phone w a sleeping or nursing baby in my lap most of the day lately …so I usually just hope I can catch all errors before posting. Thanks for the suggestion, though:)

    • Sandra, other Sandra here :-)

      Have you checked out Dr. Chris Kresser’s site at The Healthy Skeptic (http://thehealthyskeptic.org/). He’s low carb/Paleo/Primal etc. and he and his wife are due to have a baby in 2-3 mths. His podcast with Robb Wolf just came out today – discussing the importance of nutrition for fertility, pregnancy and lifelong health of your baby, found here http://robbwolf.com/2011/06/07/the-paleo-solution-episode-83/. Enjoy! I haven’t listen to it yet… He also came out with a baby program in case you’re interested.

      I hate to point readers to other people’s websites, but since I haven’t seen anything from Dr. Eades on babies, I’m hoping he’ll give this post his blessing. You all are doing tremendous things for us Dr. Eades and, like you say, most of you are all delivering the same message and that’s so refreshing.

    • I liked Dr. Eades response about what pregnant women ate in the past. The link given to Chris Kresser’s information also says the same thing – if paleolithic mothers couldn’t nourish the next generation on a low carb diet – we wouldn’t be here today.

      I’m at 34 weeks (and counting – yay!) For an n=1 experiment – I recommend low carb all the way. I didn’t know better for baby number 1 and did the “what to eat when . . . .” oops. I’m not doing that again to my child or to myself. At least this time I have some real information on what to eat, the source of which I also highly recommend: Dr. Robert K. Su’s series on gestational nutrition on his carbohydratescankill site – AMAZING information is available there.

      Thank you Dr. Eades for the wonderful service you provide with your books and your blog. I’m still reading and learning – and I’m so thankful to the pioneers, such as yourself, who have already paved a true road making my journey to health so much smoother.

  46. Pingback: Atkins Flu
  47. Does your body’s need for glucose determine how much gluconeogenesis occurs and then the process shuts down or does an excess amount of protein in your diet keep the process going beyond what your brain, nervous systems and red blood cells need?

    • This isn’t an easy question to answer because there are numerous forces at work. The liver is a giant sugar-producing machine. If control of it is lost, as it is in type I diabetes, it will convert dietary protein, muscle protein and protein it gets from pretty much anywhere into sugar. If the liver is under hormonal control – exerted by a delicate balance of insulin and glucagon – then it acts responsibly and makes sugar just when needed. If the insulin and glucagon are a little out of balance – as in insulin resistance – the liver can overproduce or underproduce sugar. So there isn’t an easy or pat answer to your question. It depends on a lot of other factors.

  48. I love your blog for the facts but I wish you could tone down the ranting. There is nothing set in stone when it comes to nutrition and people have to find their way by listening to well researched facts and then adapting them to suit their own needs (biochemical, lifestyle, likes-dislikes etc.)

    From a female a with, I’m sure, a far too dreamy look in her eyes!

    • You and I part ways with your statement that “There is nothing set in stone when it comes to nutrition…” I think there are many things set in stone, i.e., if you eat carbs, your insulin goes up. And that ain’t all. There are many, many nutritional concepts that can be said as being set in stone and when I hear people refer to these concepts as being a personal whim, then I go ballistic. Or want to puke.

        • No Dr. Eades please don’t tone down the facts. The purpose of a blog is to be free to write your thoughts & opinions. The whole world out there is (horribly, IMO) obsessed with political correctness.

          This blog’s open & direct communication style is refreshing in comparison to the scientific mumbo-jumbo.

          If people can’t tolerate a nutrition M.D.’s honest thoughts they can always go look up the AHA recommendations.

          Just my 2¢

      • Three cheers, Mike. Keep up the good work including the ranting and ALL of the facts. We need to hear them. Jim

      • One gray, rainy day, about a year and a half ago I was rumaging around in my garage and found my old human physiology textbook from college. I spent about three hours, there in the garage, reading the chapter on organic metabolism, which also included sections on the effects of insulin and glucagon, complete with diagrams, charts and illustrations. It piqued my interest because it contradicted all the common wisdom and expert advice about healthy diets and losing weight; and it seemed to explain why, after years of semi-starvation and misery, I couldn’t lose any weight.

        Later that same night I read a blog post by Amy Alkon about low carb diets (a coincidence?) in which she recommended “Protein Power” and “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. So I read them. They seemed to be completely consistent with what I’d read in the physiology textbook.

        So I cut out the carbs and lost 35 pounds. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I also quit taking simvastatin and two of three blood pressure meds I was on – don’t need them. And my A1c went from high to normal.

        I got an A in that Human Physiology class. And now, after years of trying to starve myself to better health, I feel like kicking my own butt for not learning it when it was right in front of me. If it’s been in the textbooks for at least the past 20 years, why isn’t this common knowledge?

  49. I cant thank you enough for this information. My ONLY success with weightloss has been with Protein Power. Sadly, after losing weight, I went back to eating carbs and gained+. Today is my first day back on track and I will follow your advice above. Cant wait to learn more.

  50. This post was very timely. I am on day 5 of the 6 Week Cure, still feeling low energy much of the time. No ketones detected yet using ketostix. Now I understand why.

    I think most of my fat is SAT, not VAT. In front it sags from below the waist, and in back it sags from the buttocks. Is the 6 Week Cure appropriate for me? I don’t have much fat to lose and am generally considered slim (5’4″, 116 lbs, very small boned). My primary goals are to lose the sagging fat and gain muscle (I work out 3 times a week).

  51. “when I hear people refer to these concepts as being a personal whim, then I go ballistic. Or want to puke.”

    I withstood your witty and edifying article and numerous great responses, but this last one put me over the edge. I literally almost fell out of my chair laughing — it must have been a threshold response to cumulative wit. Thank you for your work — the books, the blogs, the appliance. The world is a better place because your mind is at work in it.

    • “I withstood your witty and edifying article and numerous great responses, but this last one put me over the edge. I literally almost fell out of my chair laughing — it must have been a threshold response to cumulative wit. Thank you for your work — the books, the blogs, the appliance. The world is a better place because your mind is at work in it.”

      Ditto for me!!!! Still laughing!

  52. I’ve done so great on low-carb that my husband decided to give it a try. It’s day 4 for him and he’s still miserable. I feel so bad for him. The headaches aren’t as strong as day 2, but he has terrible, terrible diarrhea (worse than his usual GI upsets). He tends to eat once, maybe twice a day. He takes a number of medications (but no statins or diabetes medicines). I can’t talk to his VA doctor for guidance, because they all adhere to the conventional wisdom. Dr. Eades, I know you can’t give specific medical advice, but can you offer some general guidance? Is intense and constant diarrhea “normal” during keto-adaptation?

    • Usually the problem starting a lowcarb diet is just the opposite of diarrhea. Has your husband had his gall bladder checked? Often when people who have gall bladder problems (and consequently aren’t secreting the bile necessary to initiate the fat breakdown process in the small intestine) can have diarrhea. Maybe try backing off on the fat a little to see if the symptoms improve.

  53. Would you recommend an obese person be on a program such as Medifast? I assume not given the example you used earlier about medifast being very low fat regimen which in turn may cause gallbladder in a long run. My coworker recently lost a whooping 120 pounds on Medifast and he swore it was the easiest diet program to follow except first few days.

    Given that Medifast is low carb ( 50 grams net carbs plus 25 grams fiber) and low fat program would you still recommend it for an obese person with an addition of more coconut oil?

    • Years ago I used Medifast in my practice. But I modified the program so that patients following it ate one fatty meal per day so they would keep their gall bladders cleaned out. I never had a problem using the program with this modification. Using it without the added fat can cause the gall bladder to concentrate bile and ultimately develop stones. Then a fatty meal can cause an acute attack. Adding coconut oil at the start of the regimen should be fine. But if one has been on Medifast religiously for some time, I would be careful in adding a lot of fat at any one time. I would add it gradually to see what happens.

  54. I love your rants, Dr. Eades! One of the best things about your blog is your willingness to show your regular ol’ self.

  55. Wanted to follow up on the question related to pregnancy…

    First off, for the record, Dr. Eades, love ya’ and all you’ve done for me! I am a Type II Diabetic and low carb has helped me immensely.

    But NO OBSTETRICIAN would ever recommend low carb during pregnancy. If there are any, they are hard to find.

    I am currently contemplating another pregnancy myself, and my endo has warned that I’ll need to raise my carb consumption to 150 grams a day. I can’t quite understand how it’s healthy for a Type II pregnant woman to be consuming 150 g of carbs a day. But that’s what my doctor is advising.

    I’ve scoured the web for more info on low carbing during pregnancy and there’s very little out there from credible sources such as you. I really, really wish someone would address the issue b/c I do think it’s an important one.

    • It is an important issue. I know women do fine low-carbing during pregnancy but I have no experience in taking care of them so I can’t make a recommendation based on my own experience. I’m sure Paleo mothers produced nice healthy babies eating low-carb since that’s all many of them had, especially during the winter months.

      I do know based on the fetal programming literature that pregnant mothers should avoid a lot of refined carbs during the first trimester when the fetal pancreas is being formed and really need to load up on protein during the last trimester to provide the building blocks for the growing baby.

    • I’ve never understood this concern over whether LC is “safe” during pregnancy. Of course it would be, in my opinion. As Dr. Mike said, Paleo mothers ate LC, and if it were a problem, we wouldn’t be around today.

      Why would it be considered “safer” to eat 150 grams of sugar and starches?

      • Kathy-I think it’s because our brains need a certain amount of glucose to function properly, and somewhere along the line it was decided this glucose had to come from food instead of having our bodies make it (Dr. Eades has written a blog or two containing this info). There have always been cultures where very little of the diet is carbohydrate…often very cold climates…lots of fatty meat for everyone. And they could get pregnant, or they wouldn’t have existed. I think these days many people are just too afraid to go against the more mainstream opinion about how many carbohydrates-if any-the body needs to function and thrive. Alot of people trust what their doctor says…no matter what. I used to be one of those people before I started taking my health into my own hands and not trusting any one person or ideology blindly.

        • I forgot to mention the ability of our brain to run effectively on ketones. I’ve read it’s the preferred fuel of the brain, but I’ve also read that glucose is preferred, so I guess it all comes down to which source you believe.

  56. My question is this. I am one of those fortunate people that “a bite is enough” I can be satisfied with 2-3 potato chips. I like 1/4 cup of a fruit sorbet for dessert. I am satisfied with one small cookie. I keep my carbs low and my insulin doses as low as possible (type 1 pumper!) So….am I doing something wrong because I have small amounts of carby things?
    Weight loss is hard for me but given that I am on insulin, post menopausal and that the moon went round the earth last night it is not surprising.
    I”m working on lowering the total carbs and insulin doses, which for me includes dosing for the protein carbs now that my pancreas has truly given up any hope of a chance of putting out any bit of leftover insulin it is storing in some hidden chamber. Eventually everything I eat shows up in the blood stream as sugar. Even fat but at a far far smaller effect.
    Ever heard of the TAG system (Total Available Glucose) of dosing for insulin Doc? Works great! As much as I love a good steak…it also shows up about 4-5 hours later in the form of sugar. I promise I did not coat it in honey either!

    • Yep, I’ve heard of the TAG system. It is essential in type I diabetes to treat for the protein conversion to glucose that takes place in that disease. People without the disorder don’t have to worry about it because they can make enough of their own insulin to shut down the liver’s production of sugar from protein, but those with type I can’t. They have to take insulin via injection (or pump) to do the job the normal pancreas does.

  57. For everyone out there who has to deal with the “moderation” crowd, here’s a good enough reason to cut grains (an “essential” carbohydrate, some would argue) out of our daily food intake:

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/6/1/10

    The title is:

    Schizophrenia, gluten, and low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets: a case report and review of the literature

    Fascinating!

  58. Hi Dr. Eades,

    I am 2 months new to low carb and have been keeping my carbs to under 50 a day. I am 5’5″ and 115 pounds and have been on a calorie restricted (though not low carb) for a year now. I have lost 12 pounds doing this (1000-1200 calories a day). I recently changed my diet because of IBS .. and cut out all grains as well as processed foods and dairy. I am not a big eater and find that I am now getting more protein and more fat, with only 15 percent from carbs, which come from veggies and small amounts of fruit. So my macros are 55/30/15 (fats/prot/carb).

    My question.. I am not hungry very often and have to push myself to eat. I am trying to lose that last bit of fat on the thighs, tummy, and underarms.

    I am going on 50 years old, have had 5 children, and don’t sleep well due to a bladder condition. I am also hypothyroid and have taken synthetic hormones for this for 6 years now). I just am so frustrated with being unable to lose any more. I stalled in February and then started the low carb diet in mid-April. My IBS healed completely (which is a blessing) but I am determined to get some results to get leaner.

    I walk 3-5 times a week (moderate pace for 5-6 miles)
    Weight train 2 x a week
    Do bike sprints or running sprints once/week

    Could I be taking in too LITTLE calories? I have never been a big eater and can’t imagine a time in my life when I ate more than 1800-2000 calories on any given day.

    I really don’t know what else to do to get a jump start. I went from overtraining a few months ago to a lighter workout schedule. Nothing seems to be working.

    I do not eat processed foods, sugar, legumes or cheese
    Just tiny amts of cream in coffee and a few almonds/walnuts now and then

    Thank you kindly for your time! I appreciate you and your wife very much!

  59. So, have you heard the news? The food pyramid is going to be replaced with a food plate. Last night on the news, there was this skinny, hyper, hand waving woman telling us how wonderful this new tool will be to combat obesity. It’s going to tell us how much meat we should have (spoken in dull tones) and how many “fruits and vegetables” (spoken in bright, enthusiastic tones). Our tax dollars at work again, I see.

    • Yep, I’ve heard. Just tweeted on it. One piece of idiocy being replaced by another at the cost of God only knows how many dollars or your money and mine.

      • Hey-we can all buy a plate, cant’t we?.!, ha ha

        Thank you for all the blog replies. Make it good reading.

  60. Dr Eades: Could you elaborate on what is an acceptable LDL range if your diet is low carb. In an earlier response to a question about LDL you said not to worry about it if it is ok, or words to that effect.
    Also, many doctors want patients on statins where there is a family history of heart attack(particularly males) and high NMR LDL particle counts even if mostly large particles irrespective of diet the patient may follow. What is your view?
    And by the way when i hear people talk about moderation and their negative thoughts about low carb diets i can think about only one thing: in my mind moderation if truly followed would be a low carb diet!
    Thanks

    • I’m not particularly concerned with LDL levels as long as the LDL is primarily the large, fluffy variety. If your triglycerides are low, odds are that your LDL is the large, fluffy variety. If you want to know for sure, you can have it tested directly.

      There is no evidence that statins confer and benefit for all-cause mortality (the only thing that really matters) in men over 65 and in women of all ages. There is some evidence that statins do provide some minimal benefit for men under 65 who have actually been diagnosed with heart disease. This means diagnosed with heart disease; it doesn’t mean having elevated cholesterol, a strong family history, or other risk factors. It means that if you are a male and have been diagnosed with heart disease, you may get some slight benefit from statins. Here is a post that you might find interesting.

      • I liked reading “If your triglycerides are low, odds are that your LDL is the large, fluffy variety” because my dad’s LDL is high. Regarding that statement, along with what I gather from Gary Taubes and you – that cholesterol values are not necessarily indicative of heart disease, what would be indicative? Are there any specific tests (that aren’t too spendy) I can request that would indicate if a person likely has lots of plaque and is at risk? I worry about my dad since he is 59 and about 10 years ago his brother literally dropped over dead from a heart attack around the age of 50, and his dad had bypass surgery almost 20 years ago. My dad’s a full-time alcoholic. Other than the carbs from beer, he doesn’t eat many carbs, he doesn’t eat much at all in fact, usually less than 500 calories a day. He will only eat once a day and that meal consists of: 3 or 4 pieces of bacon, occasionally with 1 egg; or a thick hot dog on one piece of bread; or cotto salami on bread. And a slice of raw onion and glass of whole milk everyday with an occasional Clementine or some nuts. That’s it, day in and day out.

        His lab values are: total cholesterol 262, HDL 97, LDL 155, Trig 50. Glucose 82, Hgb A1C 5.1. Untreated, his blood pressure is usually in the range of 160/90.

        His doctor wanted to put him on statins and quit the bacon eating, obviously, which I said no to. Despite his low-ish carb diet, he has high blood pressure and is on meds for that. I’m assuming the high blood pressure is from the carbs in the beer? If so, I feel like I’m the cause of it, because his drink of choice is vodka or whiskey mixed with water (a 16 oz glass would be ¾ full with vodka, ¼ full with water), which is low carb I believe. But he gets nasty awful on that – stumbling in the streets, belligerent, and gets into trouble with the law, so when I forced him to move out of my house a year ago after a 2 year stay, I practically begged him to switch to beer for the lower alcohol content and he’s much better to handle now and isn‘t stumbling around or getting into trouble. His “allowance”, due to limited funds, is 2 cases Budweiser every monday, which is usually all drank in a few days. part of me wonders it if it is my request of him drinking beer instead of vodka that is keeping his insulin up and is causing the high blood pressure and possible heart disease? Just wondering if, in your opinion regarding his blood pressure and heart, would it make a difference having him drink vodka or whiskey instead or beer for the lower carbs? Or even light beer (Bud Light was only 4 carbs less at 6.6 g carbs vs. 10.6, so I wasn‘t sure if it was worth persuading him to drink the light beer because he doesn‘t want to). I worry every day about him having a heart attack or stroke and finding him too late. Just trying to keep him alive as long as I can. Thanks.

        • The best diagnostic test your dad can get is a coronary calcium scan. Find a center with an EBT machine – I don’t like CT scanners for diagnostic scans because they expose patients to an enormous dose of radiation. EBT (electron beam tomography) machines, on the other hand, expose patients to slightly more than a chest X-ray. A calcium scan will show plaque directly, so it is a direct test. A calcium scan on an EBT machine should cost from $200-$300 and is money well spent if you really want to know the plaque status.

  61. I’m amused by those who object to your “rants.” I consider them well-crafted attempts to avoid sounding pedantic when the subject is so scientifically complex and so vital to the well-being of all humans.

    Exaggerating to make one’s point is a commonplace tactic in many classrooms, and this is nothing if not a classroom.
    This blog has positively affected countless lives, and why anyone would criticize your style escapes me.

    • I long ago learned via my voluminous writing on this blog that even the most innocuous statements I might make will manage to annoy someone (or several someones) who will let me know about it.

      Right now, for instance, I’m getting savaged on twitter by a bunch of nimrods over the following tweet I put up this morning:

      The Obama administration wants to ditch the Food Pyramid (good) & replace it wth something equally as idiotic (bad)

      I then linked to a Wall Street Journal piece about the changeover.

      And I get back all these responses asking me what my problem is. My problem is that the dietary recommendations are wrong – changing the way they’re presented doesn’t help. Is it better to make something wrong easier to understand?

      My favorite was from this @ericjwalden jerk:

      @DrEades Why is something that is easier to understand bad? Because long term it will lower health care revenues for you?

      Yeah, right, Eric J. No, I want people to better understand the wrong way to eat so that more will become obese and flock to my office or buy my books for treatment.

      What a pinhead.

  62. For all those wondering how to eat while pregnant, I recommend Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck. I’ve read it several times and still re-read sections as they pertain to my current baby-feeding situation. She references lots of older books about how to eat while pregnant and after and also about first foods. Big believer in high fat for kids…and everyone else!

    There is a shocking lack of info On the Internet about eating no grains and lower carb while pregnant. I really searched and pretty much had to just do what I did before but with more dairy and fruit while pregnant. Not many doctors want to recommend anything not mainstream to a woman with a developing fetus–liability issues, I suppose. But Nina Planck’s book is really helpful and quite on the lower carb side (carbs from veggies and fruit, mostly). Real foods, a la Weston Price.

  63. I have been low-carb for two years and have gained 25 pounds. Part of it is the fact that I have been taking Armour thyroid instead of the synthetic, which coincided with the weight gain (and will be rectified soon). But I suspect that my age–47–might have something to do with it as well.

    Are there any long-term studies on the effects of bioidentical hormones? I don’t want to get cancer in the service of vanity. I understand MD takes them.

    • No long term studies that I know of on bio-identical hormones. They can’t be patented, so no one can really make any money on them, and, therefore, won’t pay to fund a study. MD does take them.

    • Joann,

      My suggestion is that you junk the low-carb nonsense and start to count calories. Because despite what Dr. Eade$ says, that is what works.

      Eades is a fraud. Look at millions of Chinese and Japanese people – they eat carbs, their obesity rates are low.

      I dare you to post this comment, Eade$.

        • Diana, if you don’t agree with this “low-carb nonsense,” why are you wasting your time reading a low-carb blog? Do you seriously think you’re going to change anyone’s mind here?

          I eat primarily protein and fat, with very few carbs. Do I waste my time reading vegan blogs and trying to convince them that they’re wrong? No.

          (Not that I’m implying you’re vegan.)

          I do wish that those commenters who disagree with the very premise of the low-carb lifestyle would simply go find a blog they agree with and leave us in peace. I get so tired of having to wade through all their tirades.

          And there’s MY rant for the day.

      • @Diana

        Eade$ ??? Seriously? C’mon, the entire site is packed full of information and completely free. Should his books and Sous Vide Supremes be given away for free as well? (hmmmmm… that’s actually not a bad idea…)

        As for calorie counting, on that I can agree, because regardless of macronutrient ratio, a caloric deficit is still required for weight loss to occur, and counting calories is the best way to know how many calories are being consumed. However, the existence of millions of skinny, starch-eating Asians does not change the reality that some of us do really poorly on starchy diets. BTW, Dr. Eades has posted about rising rates of obesity in China, and it is increased carbohydrate consumption that is driving it:

        http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/obesity/another-china-study/

        As an experiment, I recently added back into my diet a small sweetpotato, three days a week, to better fuel my workouts, and what it did was kick up my appetite, and I very quickly packed on five unwanted pounds. I suppose if I had unbelievable discipline and will power, I could eat a high carb diet while counting calories and still lose or maintain weight, but it would be a living hell of constant gnawing hunger. On the other hand, keeping carbs restricted to around 80-100 grams per day results in easy, effortless weight loss or maintenance, with only the gentlest of hunger impulses.

        You can impotently lash out at Dr. Eades and low-carb all you want, but it will not change the fact that, for many people, various degrees of carb restriction are highly effective for weight loss.

      • The reason I like this site, and the reason that you can’t convince me that it’s nonsense, is that a little over a year ago, after years of counting calories and trying unsuccessfully to starve myself to better health, I finally cut out the carbs, started eating all I want, and very easily lost 35 pounds. My lipids, A1c and blood pressure all improved drastically, I quit taking simvastatin and two of the three blood pressure meds I was on, and I feel good for a change.

  64. Is bacon okay then? I ask because Whole9 posted the other day that the fixation with it amongst low carbers is not helpful. They say that overall it’s a dubious choice. Here is the link:

    http://whole9life.com/2011/05/the-bacon-bummer/

    I get my bacon from a farm shop. I assume it’s grain-fed but it seems infinitely better than supermarket stuff. Even if it is suboptimal, I’ll probably keep eating it.

      • Have I told you today that I love you? Almost as much as I love bacon? LOL – we get a ‘shoulder cut’ bacon at local meat deli. It’s not as fat as supermarket stuff, more like the bacon served at English B&B’s, almost a small ham steak but ribboned with fat…YUM!

  65. I was always slim growing up. But the 2 preecampsic pregnancies I seem to gain more and more weight. I exercisesd. I ate good carbs. I was still fat.

    Now on a low carb diet the weight has fallen off and I am still in the gym every day. I look great!

    Thank you eades and taubes. You have changed my life!

  66. Hi Dr.
    Love the blog, lots of great info. I’ve been reading how the companies that manufacture statins are now claiming that statins not only lower cholesterol levels, but they’re claiming that statins help reduce inflamation of the coronary arteries by controling the C-reactive protein. How does the LC diet figure in all of this, if at all?

    • It’s interesting how the statin manufacturers are changing their tune since it’s been shown that the reduction in cholesterol is not particularly associated with the change rate of the development of heart disease. Now they’re saying that statins work, not necessarily by lowering cholesterol levels, but by reducing inflammation. A low-carb diet all by itself reduces inflammation. Here’s a post I wrote a couple of years ago on inflammation.

  67. Yay! I was hoping you’d have a good rant about the “Happy Plate”!

    The NPR article I read quoted John Stanton who heads the food *marketing* department at St. John’s University: “Can you think of a busy mother trying to put delicious, nutritious food on the table, looking at a pyramid?”

    Yeah, that’s it. Malign the “little woman” who can’t possibly understand a pyramid representation! oooh, too hard! Just wait…then they’ll blame mothers for the obesity problem and government waste.

  68. I wanted you to know that I bought ‘Middle-aged Middle”. I’m in Canada though so I wasn’t able to take advantage of your portal to Amazon.com.
    I’m modifying it (of course, right? lol) to 3 shakes per day and 2 meals. I work in a factory and find I need the extra meal. It’s definitely working so far … 3 pounds in 4 days and this is after I’ve been eating low carb for a couple of months now.
    I like the fact that I don’t have to think too much about it. It’s very simple to follow and satisfying.

    As always, I enjoyed reading your post.

  69. I’ve done the low carbs diet and went down to my perfect weight, within a matter of 3 months or less. At 5’7, medium body built was at 150 lbs. I haven’t quite watched my diet for the past 2 years and have gained 25 lbs back. So I’ve restarted and restarted the LC diet about 5 times in a period of 10 months or so. I can’t seem to stay on it for more then 2 weeks- the main reason, I think, it’s because I don’t see the quick weight loss as I did the first time I got on the diet. I loose no more then 5 lbs in those 2 weeks. I think I’ve gotten my body stuck, and I don’t know how to get out!! I think I will try to eat more fat, like suggested here, but I don’t know if that will actually help me…
    Right now, I’m going on my 2nd week (for the 6th time) – please help me!!

  70. This is a great post, thanks. Would you also recommend a LCHF diet with someone with coronary artery disease? Also, you mention the small benefit of statins for secondary prevention, but whaqt about the statin trials since 2005, which show no benefit for anyone? Do you think that maybe the data for the pre-2005 trials should be re-evaluated?

    • I have always recommended low-carb to my patients with heart disease.

      As to the statin question, there is a law of scientific research (named after someone whose name I can’t recall right now) that says, If you continue to throw huge amounts of money into the research of a specific question (i.e., do statins work?), and the results you get are less and less certain, then the answer to your question is probably ‘no.’ Literally hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into statin research, and the results are equivocal, which would indicate – to me, at least – that there probably isn’t really an effect there. Same for the lipid hypothesis of heart disease – hundreds of million dollars invested, and it’s still an hypothesis.

  71. Off topic but I am pretty sure you won’t mind. Noticed that the SousVide is being offered by Bed Bath & Beyond. There is no explanation as to the difference between the regular and demi models. The demi appears to have less cubic capacity but overall sizes are similar. Demi also has a different finish. Can you elaborate on differences between the two? Do you not sell it on your site – could not find it anywhere. I assume BB&B allows their 20% coupon towards purchase of the SousVide?

    • Here is the SousVide Supreme/Demi comparison page from the website. I just noticed in reading it through that there is another difference not mentioned. The Demi has a different and little less robust heating element, so it takes it a little longer to come to temperature. Once there, there is no difference. Both units maintain the temp the same. There is another choice soon to be available. We just got commercial UL approval on our new Chef model, which, as far as I know, is the only commercial sous vide unit with commercial UL approval. We’re manufacturing those right now and will ship in late summer/early fall.

      Don’t know about the BB&B coupon deal. Thankfully, I’m not involved in the retail end of things.

      • With your SousVide – does it allow cooking 2 pieces of meat – each to a different doneness? Or how long would it take my steak (well done) to finish after pulling my hubby’s out at medium to medium rare? If it’s not a huge time difference, I can’t wait to buy one!!

        • It’s not a matter of how much time a food spends in the sous vide unit – it’s more a function of the temperature. You would cook both the steaks at the same time and at the same temp (about 134F for medium rare) then take them out and sear yours a little longer than your husbands.

          • This is what we do because he likes his closer to mooing…

            Does anyone have a pref for seared in butter in a frying pan vs. scorched (with a bit of butter) using a torch? We’re trying to develop a fav but, other than no real clean-up needed using the torch (which is certainly MY fav!), we can’t seem to decide which is better…

            How about using ghee vs. butter? I’ve made my first batch of ghee (from my Kerry Gold “pastured butter”; dja notice that always sounds like the BUTTER is out in the pasture, not the cows?) — turns out it’s VERY easy to do.

  72. Hi Dr. Eades,
    My husband has heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. He takes medication for all of these. I can pretty well keep him away from high-sugar foods and soda, but don’t know how to safely steer him to fewer carbs. I use Dreamfields pasta, which is supposed to be lower in digestible carbs, and stay away from potatoes and such, but he loves rice and beans, being half Puerto Rican, and it’s a struggle to limit these. Also, I’m hypoglycemic (have been probably forever). I know I’m addicted to bread, and crave it when my blood sugar is dropping. I can give it up for a while, but my husband insists on having it, so when it’s in the house, I end up eating it. I can stay very low carb most of the day, and then usually have strong cravings for bread. Any advice?

    Thanks.

  73. Nicely done, Dr. Mike, very engaging and helpful. Personally, I don’t honestly remember any kind of fatigue or lack of mental clarity when I first went into low carb. But I lost weight very fast. However, unfortunately, I deviated pretty badly from low carb around the time my mom passed away. I guess I did alot of rationalizing then…. Well, I’m back into it, but don’t seem to be losing weight. My labs are great though! I guess that’s half the battle. I’ve been getting back almost to what Dr. Atkins called induction.Lots of protein but lots of fat too. Very low carb. One question: have you heard anything about the idea that even tasting something sweet can stimulate insulin release? Even Splenda, Xylitol, etc. I’ve heard that more than once, and wonder if it’s affecting me. One more question: do you know any physicians in Northern NJ who practice low-carb? Last question: is yogurt a friend or foe to low carbers? Thanks again for this posting, I’m looking forward to the follow-up.
    Jim

  74. Thank you so much for all that you put into this blog! I have purchased many of your books and am anxiously awaiting Metabosol. I also try to remember to click through the Amazon link here to purchase anything from Amazon so you’ll get credit.

    A suggestion: Your blogs are so insightful and worthy of re-reading, but I can’t figure out a way to find back blogs without either doing a word search or just clicking through posts. Can you list archived posts somehow? Perhaps each year to have its own link, and one could just click on the year and view topics.

    Thanks again Dr. Eades for being outspoken and adamant while explaining complex scientific functions; after years of eating the “right” way, I am truly now an LC convert!

    • I’m contemplating yet another change in blog and website layout. Should I muster the energy to do so, I’ll try to find a way to make the old posts more easily available.

      • If you do so, could you make comments searchable? You put some great information in your replies, which if they were posts would be searchable.

        • Google does index the comments, so if you do a site search, it will include any info contained in the comments. And by site search, I mean going to Google, and typing in your search string followed by site:www.proteinpower.com

          You can also limit your search to specific areas of the site, like:

          site:www.proteinpower.com/drmike/

          site:www.proteinpower.com/forum/

          site:www.proteinpower.com/drmd_blog/

          • Thanks for providing this info. I know there is a way without using Google to search the comments on this blog because I can do it via the admin panel. Any WordPress experts out there who can tell me how to make this function accessible to readers?

      • Just my 2 cents… I don’t know if you would want to do so, but I’d suggest making the comments appear in date order. I realize it’s harder to follow a thread that way, but I find when I come back every few days, I have to search through all the old comments for the ones I haven’t read yet. It would be so much easier to just scroll down to the last one I read and go on from there.

        • I had it the way you like it for a long time. Then changed over to the way it is now because it’s easier to follow a thread. But I do know what you mean about having to search through the whole pile of comments. I’ll see if there is any kind of plugin that let’s you have it both ways.

  75. Pingback: Having Trouble...
  76. Attention-getting prose certainly has its uses: particularly when health depends upon it. I am a firm believer in low-carb eating and agree with your ideas. I also believe that there is an addiction process and one has to be “tough” to get through it.

    BUT…..

    I am a bit offended by the characterization of moist eyed women talking drivel about being in touch with their bodies. Ahem, for centuries, women were denied knowledge of their bodies. They were taught to repress important physical cues (pass them off as hysteria, etc.) much to the detriment of their health and well-being — and for ages. So, for women, getting to know one’s body indeed is a very empowering thing. (I’ll spare ya’ll the history lecture). So, again, while I agree with your tough love take on things, please try to understand where these moist eyed ladies are coming from!

    • Yeah, but don’t you think the pendulum has swung too far the other way???

      How about a return to sanity and logic? Embrace your feminine side. But use your reason as well.

      And quit looking for reasons to be offended. There is real stuff out there in the non internets world that you should be concerned with…

  77. Listen to your body – but only afterwards. If you listen to your body first, you’ll sit on the sofa eating rubbish. So, a cold shower is not attractive beforehand, but makes you feel great afterwards. Similarly, exercise or the change to a lower carbohydrate diet.

  78. Dr Eades,

    Thanks for your comments above. I’d love to take a VAP or NMR. Unfortunately neither is available in Thailand. I’ve done preliminary thyroid tests (TSH Free T3 and T4). But RT3 testing is not available here either. Nor is T3 replacement (cytomel) available. Nor can we do a 24 hour saliva collection test for adrenal function.

    I’m not considering statins or any other treatment that masks an effect rather treating the cause. I’m hopeful that I’ll eventually work it out without sacrificing my low carb – high saturated fat diet. As I mentioned in my first post, I want to make this diet work. There are so many benefits.

    • Gregory, please go read up on the website Stop the Thyroid Madness — there may be sources you are unaware of — I actually ordered some T3 *from* Thailand, because it can sometimes be doggoned hard to get here (in the U.S.). (Now I buy it from Mexico, made by a German firm, an “cynomel” — there are several versions of T3 only, and also of dessicated T3/T4). Others buy it from Canada (T3/T4 there is “Erfa Thyroid”), made by a Belgian firm. Stop the Thyroid Madness is an amazing resource!

      • Thank you. I’ve perused that website. Another good website is that operated by the T3 Yahoo Groups. http://thyroid-rt3.com/

        A bit of research suggests that some of the T3 from Thailand is fake. Which brand did you use? Did it work for you?

  79. Very informative post Dr. Eades. Thank you.

    After successully losing weight on a low-carb diet I’ve convinced other members of my family to go on it as well, specifically my parents.

    My mother has T2 diabetes and high cholesterol and takes metormin and statins (Zucor for years at 10mg/day) for these conditions. She’s always complained of muscle pain and pins and needles in her fingers but what has been alarming was incidences of short term memory loss in the past couple of months. She’s been eating a low-carb diet for a month and a half (with some falling of the wagon) and has started going on walks three times a week. Based on your articles, and other sources, I’m looking into getting her cod liver oil as a supplement and possibly CoQ10 (they’re eating a lot of meat so not sure if they need to take that supplement?).

    She’s stopped taking the statins three days ago but I am wondering if the memory loss effects can be reversed and if so, how long does it take? I’ve spent hours researching this question including at spacedoc.com and am not getting conclusive answers.

    My mother fears Alzheimer’s more than anything (she works with a lot of old people) and I need to lower her stress levels cause it’s not going to help her condition.

    I read Gary Taubes “Good Calories Bad Calories” and my family tree, with members all over the world, could be a perfect case study for the effects of the Western diet.

    We are first generation immigrants from East Africa with family living in Canada, UK and the States. Lots of relatives still living back in the old country. Several relatives from the generation older than my parents, who still live back in the old country, have reached the 100 year old mark with their mental and physical faculties still intact. Hell, with their teeth still intact! One grand uncle just recently died at above 110 years of age. He was known for chugging butter every morning.

    My parents’ generation, at least the ones who live in the West, are physical wrecks, with all sorts of diseases, dialysis machines, etc. The contrast in health is shocking.

    In any case, I’m hoping with this change in diet my parents can live like my grand-uncles, to a very long age. I can still see my parents hesitating over the use off fat in their food but they’re gradually increasing it.

    I hope the low-carb diet, plus the supplements and getting off statins, will help reverse my mother’s memory loss.

    Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

      • Thank you Dr Eades!!

        I read your links re Emily Deans’ posts on Alzheimer’s and insulin resistance and saw a link to a pilot study that demonstrated how a ketogenic diet has been found to be therapuetic for Alzheimers. The diet was essentially a low carb one and was effective in improving memory on the low carb test subjects versus the test subjects on standard diet. Diabetic subjects, like my mother, were excluded from the pilot test but I’ll take any proof I can get. I took heart that memory improved on this diet in only 6 weeks.

        My mom is off statins and will be taking CoQ10, cod liver oil and cinnamon (for her diabetes) in addition to being on a low carb diet and exercising three times a week. Her doctor is statin-happy and disperses it like freakin’ candy so I’ll be armed to the teeth (with studies) when I inform him of the decision to get her off statins. He has been ignoring her complaints of muscle pain for a long time and I’m sure he’ll attribute her memory loss to a “senior moment” which isn’t true cause my mother is only in her mid-50s.

        Will keep u posted and thanks again!

          • Yes, I read and saved the Alzheimer’s paper. Fascinating work they’re doing. The ketogenic diet seems to work for kids with seizures and now people in early stages of Alzheimer’s. Coconut oil as part of the ketogenic diet seems to have played a major role in restoring memory (although not exective function) for the patients on the diet.

            Thankfully, on my advice, my mother has recently has included coconut oil in her cooking.

            As of now, she has stopped taking her 10mg.day of statins (and her daily aspirin), is low carbing it at under 50 grams of carbs a day and is taking 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day.

            She’ll be getting the CoQ10 and high vitamin cod liver oil tomorrow but I was wondering what dosage would be effective for stopping/reversing the side effects of statins (muscle pain and recent memory loss) for a mid-50s womam with T2 diabetes weighing 170 pounds who’s been taking statins for 7 years?.

            I checked several sources including Weston Price Foundation, UC Berkely Wellness and others and answers range from 5 ml – 30 ml for cod liver oil and anywhere from 100-150 mg of CoQ10.

            However these seem to be maintenance doses for healthy people. That isn’t the case for my mother. I read that there are risks with taking high dosages of cod liver oil specifically…

          • I’ve come to prefer krill oil to cod liver oil, and I gave my own patients about 300 mg CoQ10 per day after going off statins.

          • Thank you Dr Eades, I was at a loss as to the dosage required for someone coming off statins. Your feedback is so helpful.

            What dosage of krill oil do you recommend for people like my mom and how long did you get your patients to take CoQ10? I assume until at least the muscle pain subsided?

            Thanks again!

          • I usually recommend a couple of krill oil softgels per day for a couple of weeks then back off to one per day. I maintain the CoQ10 until the symptoms go away then reduce to 100 mg per day. It doesn’t hurt to take more – it’s just expensive.

          • You’re a treasure!!

            Thanks for the recommendations. I talked to my mother’s doctor, informing him of our decision to stop the statins and concentrate on a low carb diet, aided with supplements, and he was surprisingly agreeable. We agreed to re-test her in 7 weeks.

            Should you ever find yourself in Ottawa or Toronto, please don’t hesitate to let me know. We’d love to take you and Dr Eades out for dinner!

          • Thanks for the offer of the hospitality. Don’t have any plans to be in your neck of the woods anytime soon, but I’ll let you know when I do.

  80. Comments are searchable, at least in Internet Explorer: type control f, which opens a “Find” box in the toolbar. Type in the word (for instance a date that’s the next one you want to see) and it’ll take you to each instance of that date anywhere in the blog. Handy. If you get the comments sent to your inbox whenever they appear, you can just type in the name of the author. Hope this works for everyone.

    • Edith, Safari is a Mac browser. If your Mac is at all recent, it probably came with Safari installed. Anyway, “Find” is a function that’s been on Macs for a long time, so whatever browser you have, just go ahead and try holding down the Command key while pressing the “F” key. A little search box should appear somewhere — usually in the upper right hand corner. Release both keys. Type in the word or phrase you’d like to find. What you type will appear in the little search box. Hit the return button and see what happens. If I’ve over-explained, ignore me. If you still need help, holler. :-)

      • Marilyn, thanks, I knew Safari was my browser. I have never used the command F function. I have had my Mac about a year and I love it but I haven’t really completely familiarized myself with everything about it. I tend to jump in and learn by trial and error then go back and look at tutorials…LOL! Thanks again!

        • You’re welcome, Edith! I’m on my 6th or 7th Mac at this point — have had them for years — and still learning. Unless one gets hopelessly stuck, trial and error is good. :-) Good luck with your new computer and with low carb.

  81. Jim Valance asked: “. . .have you heard anything about the idea that even tasting something sweet can stimulate insulin release? Even Splenda, Xylitol, etc. I’ve heard that more than once, and wonder if it’s affecting me. ”

    I’d be curious to know your take on this, too. I know some of the sweeteners claim that they do not cause insulin release.

    Thanks!

    • Yes, I meant to answer Jim on that and somehow just approved the comment without doing so.

      There is indeed evidence, and good evidence, at that, showing an insulin release with not only a taste of something sweet, but even the smell of foods known to be high carb, i.e., the aroma from a bakery. This first little preparatory squirt of insulin is called the First Phase Insulin Response, and is mentioned in most physiology textbooks. It is thought to be a response that prepares the body for the coming carbs so that there will be a little more insulin on board to deal with them right at the start before waiting for the blood sugar to go up and sending a different signal to the pancreas for more insulin. It tells me the forces of natural selection really have designed us to keep blood sugar in check if they’ve gone to the effort to mold us so that even a hint of might-be-eaten carb can start getting the insulin mobilized to sock it away.

      • Thanks! So maybe the folks who say “All I have to do is look at food and I gain weight” might be righter than they realize — if they’re looking at carbs. :-) This is good information to have. I appreciate your answer to Jim’s question.

      • I was diagnosed type2 about a year ago. I’m controlling it w/o meds. My doctor put me on a similar lc diet. My fasting sugar ranges between 125-135 most of the time. Sometimes it goes down to around 103 and rarely up to around 145. He also told me not to eat any fruit or sweeteners of any type. In relation to the sweeteners, he mentioned the “tasting something sweet” thing, but I think he said it raises blood sugar. I’ve tried to look for info about it, but this is the first place I’ve seen it mentioned. My weakness was bread and potatoes. I have found lc subs for bread and pancakes. I was never was addicted to sweets, but I did enjoy them sometimes and occasionally I do miss having something sweet.
        You said that sweet taste does raise the insulin, however you didn’t say how it would be affect blood sugar. If I were to occasionally use a natural sweetener, like Stevia or something with a low glycemic load, how would the sugar react?. Would it be a bad thing for me?
        Oh, I also walk about 45 minutes most days.

  82. Hi!

    I am a true believer (in a non-misty-eyed-dogmatic way) in low carb, but I’d like to see a doctor that can help by supporting the diet and taking all the requisite tests, etc. Dr. Eades, do you know of a physician in Boston that you’d recommend?

      • There are 3 low carb docs practicing in Boston listed on Jimmy Moore’s site. Just go to livinlavidalowcarb.com and scroll to the link for low carb docs.

          • …caveat…research the doc before setting up an appt from the list to make sure they’re low carb believers, are reading the literature and really endorse it or are they maybe just marketing that they are…I wouldn’t visit this doc based on his article I found on a a Google search http://news.healingwell.com/index.php?p=news1&id=523227. He obviously had one patient that was helped by him to land him on Jimmy Moore’s blogspot, but the article puts me on the fence so I wouldn’t recommend him to my sister – we’re outside Boston. Patients need someone who can steer them not confuse them.

          • Precisely the reason I don’t recommend physicians unless I know them well. I’ve steered people the wrong way a couple of times by sending them to docs I had heard practiced low-carb. So I don’t recommend now unless I know.

  83. I just completed week four of a low-carb diet. (I’m at least 70 lbs overweight). I lost 3 lbs each of the first two weeks, .5 lbs the next week (that’s ONE HALF POUND) and 1.5 this past week. I’m feeling really frustrated. I’m a sugar junkie and haven’t touched the stuff for four weeks now. I’m sure I’m taking in less than 20 carbs a day. What gives?

    • Couldn’t possibly say with such limited information. You could be gaining muscle while losing fat, for example. I haven’t a clue what you’re eating. You might want to read this post for more information.

      • Thanks. I am reading all the comments as well. Think I’ll try cutting back on cheese and maybe intermittent fasting.

    • Have you taken your body measurements? That’s a lot more telling than the scale. I’ve been low carb (30-70/day) since 1/1/11. The scale has not gone down but I’ve lost 4 inches at the waist and inches off everywhere else. I have, according to Dr. Eades’ oler blog articles, 15.5 lbs to lose to be at 20% body fat weight. Ditch the scale and get the tape measure out. Intermittent fasting (22 hrs) while high on fat (:-)) gives me the best results. Oh, and I know I’ve gained a lot of muscle because I can see and feel the definition now and I’m now only hiking 1-2 hrs slowly every day instead of the chronic cardio (jogging 6 miles every day) that I did for too many years which had me wasting muscle on the then SAD (Standard American Diet) that kept me semi-starved and a neurological mess on a high carb low fat diet.

      • I just took my measurements yesterday, hoping I’ll see some results there. My clothes still fit the same, so I really don’t think I’ve gained muscle and lost fat. I also don’t get much exercise so I guess it’s time to start making that change. Thanks for the response.

  84. I started LC a few months ago and didn’t lose much weight, and gave up. This post was great and I can’t wait for part 2. One question for you … I believe that it was Gary Taubes (but I could be wrong) who stated that whey protein is insulinogenic and this go around I have stopped using protein shakes, even though they are the most palatable/convenient for me. Do you know where I can find more info confirming/refuting this?

    • Pretty much all protein is insulinogenic but it doesn’t matter that much because protein is glucagon-ogenic as well. In other words, dietary protein drives both insulin and glucagon (insulin’s counter-regulatory hormone) up. It’s not so much the insulin by itself that matters – it is the insulin to glucagon ratio. As long as this ratio remains about the same, you’ll be okay. Carbs drive insulin up and glucagon down, so the ratio increases, which is bad. Protein keeps it about the same because protein drives both hormones up. Fat doesn’t have much of an effect on either, so it keeps the ratio the same.

  85. Heya Dr. Eades, reading through the comments here, I saw the mention of gallbladder disease and that you hadn’t ever had a patient on a low-carb diet develop gallbladder disease. What about those of us who already have it?
    I’m 31 and have been having attacks for 4 years but had no idea what they were until I had the mother of all attacks last October. An ultrasound showed gall stones and I was, of course, told to avoid high-fat foods – by the nurse. Gotta love ER docs.
    After reading about the gall bladder’s function I was pretty confused about how low-fat could possibly be the solution; luckily I searched the blogs here and confirmed that that advice was bogus. (I think?)
    But, I live in fear of attacks eating high-fat precisely because of what logically seems to me a greater chance of stones getting lodged in the duct with the constant exercise of the gallbladder.
    Any thoughts? By the way, I’m finally beating the carb addiction, 2 weeks and 7 pounds down. Now just hoping the damn gall bladder disease will leave along with the chub.

    • It’s pretty tough, short of surgery, to get rid of the stones once they’re there. I would recommend another ultrasound to see if the stones are still present. If so, there are medications you can take to dissolve them. Even though these meds work well, most docs don’t prescribe them because they figure the stones will just reform, so why bother. Why not just remove them and the gall bladder surgically and be done with it. If you are making a major and permanent change to your diet, however, it might be worth giving the meds a try. The meds need to be taken for a long time, however, and are associated with some side effects in some people. If your ultrasound or other diagnostic exam reveals gallstones, you might want to discuss the option with your doctor.

      • Thanks a lot for the reply (I’m sort of a groupie). So far no more attacks at all since Oct – but if I have another one, I’ll probably just go for the surgery option. That makes a lot of sense.

      • I can personally vouch that gallstone flush procedures can work. They do, however, require careful preparation and a free weekend, and are also quite painful.

  86. Very good post, Dr Eades, I look forward to part 2 and the recipe!

    Anyone have a lead on a low-carb friendly doctor in St. Louis? The one listed in Jimmy’s site (Dr. Tipu Sultan) is very good, I saw him for about 6 months a few years back, and it wonderful to have care I believed in, but about the only thing covered by insurance was some of the lab work, and I quickly ran out of money.

    I need one that accepts most major insurances.
    Thanks!

  87. My wife is around 5’7-5’8, 180, overweight and had seen a chinese medicine/Qi specialist/therapist who had “felt” that she has 2 weak kidneys and pancreas. It could explain her lack of energy and uncontrollable cravings and lack of self-control. She has not been disciplined with the low carb program but will give it another try. Are there any risks for her kidney and pancreas, assuming there is a problem there, when one is on the low carb plan? Should protein just be an adequate amount? What about fat?

    For me this low carb experiment is working really well but I was healthy to begin with. But I feel that the craving is much easier to control and I highly recommend it to anyone.

  88. Hi Dr. Eades. I am late coming to the party but I wanted to thank you for this post. I have been off and on low carb diest for years. I always get to the point after a few days on the diet, of feeling a deep feeling in the pit of my stomach like somethings missing(carbs?). It is not hunger but longing. Cant seem to get past it. I always feel better the first few days and I notice that my handwriting improves (strange huh). Then I usually cave in. I have been following a Vegan diet the last few weeks (read it was the cure for everything). While following it I couldnt concentrate and was dreaming of protein. I abandoned it today. What do you suggest to get past this “somethings missing feeling” ? Add more fat? Thanks so much!

    • You might want to try drinking some hot bouillon when these feelings strike to see how that works for you. I’ll have a recipe up on the next post, but any good bouillon or broth should help.

    • Kay, weird; I had that strange feeling too! Felt like a baseball against my backbone…from the inside! Had to stay away from the kitchen or get into trouble. :-\

  89. Dr, Eades. I have read the 6 week cure, Gary Taubes books and now I am reading Dr. Eric Westmans New Atkins. Is there any distinct differences between your approach and Dr, Westmans? I am wondering if Atkins is too kind to carbs. I really MUST lose these 75-100 lbs!
    This post has motivated me to understand better the initial trials to be expected in the beginning and I want to thank you in advance!

    Sincerely, Mark

  90. I’m on medication that I need to take 3 times a day where I’m not supposed to take vitamin or mineral supplements for 2 hours either side of taking the meds. Metabosol says to not eat for a half hour after using it which makes the number of calculations I have to do about scheduling food, med, and supplements kinda tough. What are the negative effects of eating before using Metabosol or eating immediately after?

    • Eating food, especially protein, right before or immediately after taking Metabosol will reduce the absorption of some of the ingredients, and you won’t get the full effect.

  91. Dr. Eades, Is there any distinct differences between your approach and Dr, Westmans? (New Atkins) I am wondering if Atkins is too kind to carbs? I have close to 100 lbs top lose.

    Mark

    • Most doctors recommending low-carb diets recommend more or less the same thing. I’m not sure any of us are all that far apart in our approach.

  92. Dr Eades, we both share a love of coffee and fat. However, since upping my coffee intake and along with it, heavy cream, i have noticed that i sometimes get watery poo. I can eat a lot of fat from meat and eggs in a single sitting without this happening, but if, for instance, i drink coffee with plenty of cream (e.g. 300ml of cream spread over 4-5 cups) in lieu of food throughout the morning, i often find myself having to run to the bathroom to relieve myself; it’s not painful one iota, but no one likes turning on the waterworks. What do you think is causing this? I was thinking that maybe I am consuming too much lactose, or maybe the cream contains too much fat, but then again, as mentioned, I can scarf down plenty of meat and egg fat without any problems.

    • I suppose it could be the lactose in the cream but I doubt it if you were able to tolerate the cream before. The caffeine in the coffee a bowel stimulant (probably via cyclic AMP if I remember my biochemistry) and will increase bowel contractions (called peristalsis). Fat in the bowel will do the same thing, which is why people with gall bladder disease who can’t squirt bile into their intestine to break down fat often have diarrhea. Since they can’t break down the fat to digest it, it makes its way to the colon, where it is hustled along and out. Pretty much everyone gets a little fat into the colon, but the more one eats, the more slips through. So, if you are consuming a diet heavy in fat and have upped your coffee intake, you might have exceeded a threshold.

      We’re I you, I would switch the coffee for Cafe Americano since Americanos are made with espresso, which has half the caffeine of coffee and about three times the taste. It’s what I drink all the time so I can feed my coffee habit without cranking my caffeine to the roof. If you don’t know how to make an Americano, here is a video to teach you starring yours truly.

      • Dr. Mike; thanks for this post re: Cafe Americano. I read an older post somewhere on your blog(?)quite a while ago and decided to give it a try in order to reduce my caffeine intake. I never came back to thank you for introducing me to what I consider quite an indulgent treat. Cafe Americano is my beverage of choice now, and my favourite summer method is to prepare it double strength, refrigerate until chilled and then drink it iced. I love it with a drop of liquid sucralose and lots of HWC. It’s wonderful to savour on a humid sticky day or any day. So thanks for introducing me to this wonderful drink.

        • I’m glad to learn I’ve made another convert. My latest indulgence is a Nespresso machine, which we won at a lottery. It makes preparing an Americano absolutely brainless. And the quality is superb.

          • I have a Nespresso. To make the Americano, do you just take the shot and pour into a cup of hot water? What’s your favorite capsule color?

          • My favorite capsule is Ristretto (black capsule). I fill a cup half full of boiling water, put it under the spout and let the Ristretto coffee drip into it.

          • Of course Nespresso is great, but if you have a chance try Segafredo: it is even better.

  93. I started doing LC and almost instantly felt better! Within two days I had way more energy than I ever had and even felt compelled to go exercise. I grew up on a modern diet (lots of processed food and sugar) and have always been moderately overweight, but when I started eating LC and cut out all refined grains and sugar, the weight just started dropping off. Not only did I start losing weight but I felt healthy and my wife comments on how healthy I look. It does work, most people just can’t give up the sugar, bread and potatoes. Moving to a LC diet is like getting off drugs, most people I have seen have withdrawals and go right back to the BIG GULP. My blood lipids and cholesterol ratio have improved as well….

  94. Dr. Eades, I was born with out a gall bladder, how will that affect me if I start eating more fat in my diet? Isn’t that what helps with fat digestion?

    • Shouldn’t really have much effect, if any. I’m sure you’ve adapted and have formed some kind of rudimentary gall bladder that does just fine. The bile is made in the liver and transported to the gall bladder for storage. Even if you don’t have a gall bladder, you still make bile.

  95. Loved the article, and also happily awaiting part 2. I gave up grains and (most) sugar May 19th, and feel great. Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in Feb. 2008, I had already lowered my carbs (100-125), but decided to go the next step and stop all grains to see how that made me feel.

    In 6 years of trying to lose my ‘baby fat,’ I’ve lost about 40 pounds. Only 10 of those were low-carbing. However, I’m not giving up. I am much healthier now than before, even with at least 50-60 pounds extra weight.

    What I have noticed in the past 3 weeks is that my bloated stomach is gone and I no longer look pregnant (I’m 55). The fat’s still on the belly, but my pants are looser. My dry skin is almost non-existent now, and I don’t crave the junkfood. I’m volunteering in Ireland at a b&b/hostel and my coworker eats nothing BUT carbs, but I’m not even tempted.

    I eat butter, coconut oil, a little natural peanut butter, fatty meats (pork, hamburger patties, chicken), render my own lard and chicken fat to cook things in. The bacon here is back bacon, like a yummy ham with a bit of fat, and I eat that with plenty of local chicken or duck eggs. My indulgence is dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa).

    I did drink a Guinness last night. Tasted good while it lasted, but I was up twice last night to the bathroom, and felt dizzy. Guess that’s the grains. The hard cider I’ve had in the past week didn’t cause that. Oh, and being dizzy isn’t a good thing: my bed here is up a ladder in a loft!

    Oh, and this time my “Atkins flu” only lasted a couple of days, in which I just ate more coconut oil and butter to combat it.

    Keep up the great work, doc!

  96. I read in Gary Taube’s books something about a low carb diet being good for arthritis.Or maybe it was just something about carbohydrates causing inflammation, so if you eat less carbs, your arthritis decreases.

    Have you found in your practice that it is true? I have just started the low carb diet recommended in Protein power, two weeks ago. I didn’t have any problem tolerating the diet but my osteoarthritis is killing me. I can barely use my hands, and I can’t play the piano like I used to. I am only 50.

    So if it is true that a low carb diet will help somehow, that would be great news.

    • I’m not clear from your comment as to what is really happening. Was the osteoarthritis in your hands bothering you before you started the low-carb diet or has it worsened since starting?

      Typically arthritic pains lesson fairly quickly with a low-carb diet. You might want to add some krill oil and curcumin to your regimen. I found that helps quite a bit.

      • Thanks for the quick response. No the arthritis is not getting worse, it was just as bad before I started low carb. I look forward to some improvment then.

        I will try adding krill oil (funny, my last name means ”fish”) and curcumin too and see how that goes.

        • Chantal – being that you are 50, you probably have declining estrogen levels. Some health professionals think this can be linked to osteoarthritis somehow. My doc once considered that I had fibromyalgia due to my incredible aches and pains. I do have some minor arthritis also. I happen to be perimenopausal at the time. Shortly thereafter, I started taking bioidentical estrogen/progesterone and started low-carbing. It was miraculous how quickly the pains disappeared.

          I always attributed my results to the lc diet, but I have ditched low-carbing from time-to-time and the pain never returned; I now attribute my results more to the hormones, even tho I know the lc diet does wonders for ridding the body of inflammation and have experienced this firsthand.

          I also take a high quality liquid fish oil and krill oil caplets, whichever I have on hand.

          Just thought this might give you another option to look into. Hope you find some relief.

    • Chantal, it wasn’t so much when I started low-carb as when I gave up bread (and all gluten products, pretty much) that I discovered my aching joints had disappeared. You might try skipping the wheat/barley/rye stuff for a while if you’re still eating any of it. Might help. Can’t hurt. And check on things – it’s found in places where you least expect it. Frozen turkey was my favorite, surprise-find. Apparently many companies use a wheat bath to help preserve the birds. Go figure.

    • I found that giving up nightshades – tomatoes, peppers, potatoes – eased my osteoarthritis. I suspect giving up the potatoes is what causes low carb to help. Google “arthritis nightshades research institute” for more info; the guy sounds kind of fringe, but his advice worked for me.

  97. Thanks Dr. Eades, I will keep you posted. I figured out the differences and yours is the approach I will pursue, since I do not (to the best of my knowledge) have any allergies or health issues, at least not yet, but I must succeed this time!

    Sincerely, Mark

  98. Thanks doctor. Americano is my coffee of choice when out and about. I agree about its taste, and should start to make my own at home, ala your video. Cheers!

  99. Hi Doc,

    Great post as usual. I always learn something new from you. Thanks.
    After a person has been on LC for a time and their insulin etc. have been stabilized and they add a bit of carbs back in, do we assume then both types of fuel would then be used fairly easily? Kinda like an engine that can run on both fuels equally well.

    Also, I know you like Thorne products and curcumin. I really like their Meriva SR. Abit more pills the LEF brand but after being on for a month or so most can cut the dosage in half.

    • The carbs won’t be used as easily as before the LC diet adaptation, which is why people on LC diets tend to have elevated glucose levels on glucose tolerance tests. And why they are encouraged to eat carbs for a few days before such a test so they can readapt to carbs as fuel.

      This phenomenon is one of the few disadvantages I can find with low-carb diets. Glucose is toxic – we have to have a certain amount of it, but it causes problems when elevated. If you follow a low-carb diet and become adapted, then a sugar binge elevates glucose more and it stays around longer than if you weren’t low-carb adapted.

      • Could this do permanent damage? I’ve noticed that after years of low-carbing, deviations and even normal portions of low carb berries really shoot my blood glucose up. I also seem to have become increasingly intolerant to even low carb fruits and must maintain very tiny portions of these. I’m late 40s, slender — 5’2.5″, 107 pounds. Example: Half a cup of blackberries as dessert after a very low carb meal will greatly elevate my blood sugar to a peak of 138 and it will take hours to come down. Yet I can eat 8oz of hazelnuts or macadamias as a snack (I know, way too big a snack!) after dinner and my sugar will peak at under 120 and be normal mid 80s by morning. My carb intolerance seems to have worsened as I get older (likely less muscle mass from less regular exercise). Gradually upping carbs for several days does not alleviate the issue plus I start feeling bloated, gaining and craving — I don’t crave or miss starches or breads – my giant weakness is nuts. Some critics of low carb diets claim that low carb diets actually increase insulin resistance over time. Does the increased carb sensitivity following prolonged low-carbing necessarily mean it causes insulin resistance and/or permanent damage?

  100. Did you guys see the latest “analysis” of the most successful diets? Basically, the continuation of the low-fat mantra….(no I do not endorse low-fat dieting)

  101. My experience with low carb is that my LDL exploded to 188 from 70 and my NMR particle count came in at LDL 2098, but only 200 small. HDL was 69, trgs of 66, total cholesterol of 245. Since i am the only male member in my family tree not to have a heart attack, the doc wants me to take a statin. Has no issue with the diet, but feels in light of family hisotry that the numbers need to come down particularly with my having a plaque burden via calcium score and IMT scan. CRP is only .5 and normal weight to thin for height. Maybe i am a prime candidate for a statin?

    • This lack of critical thinking on your doctor’s part is the kind of thing that drives me wild. According to your comment, your LDL was 70 mg/dl before starting low-carb. An LDL of 70 is very low by anyone’s estimation. And despite a very low LDL of 70, you developed plaque as identified by calcium score and IMT scan. Correct? So what does your doc want to do? He/she wants to get those numbers back down to the level they were when you developed the plaque. Very strange thinking, if you ask me.

      You should take a look at Dr. Davis’s site. He is a cardiologist who has built his career treating people with plaque as identified by calcium scoring. One of the treatments he’s found to be most successful is high dose vitamin D.

      Since more and more evidence is accumulating that statins don’t really work by lowering LDL (although they do do that), there must be some other mechanism instead. Many people think they work as anti-inflammatory agents. But with your low CRP, it doesn’t appear that you have a lot of inflammation going on.

      As I’ve written often, there is no question that statins bring about a reduction in what all the papers call cardiovascular events. But that reduction comes at a price, that price being an increased incidence of other problems. The statistic that really counts is what happens to all-cause mortality. If you simply replace one form of early death with another, you haven’t done yourself a lot of good. All the gold standard, randomized control trials – done at a cost of literally hundreds of millions of dollars – show that statins don’t bring about any reduction in all-cause mortality in women of any age or heart disease status. And they don’t bring about a reduction in men over the age of 65 irrespective of heart disease status. They do bring about a minimal decrease in all-cause mortality in men under 65 who have been diagnosed with heart disease, i.e., have had an event. If you fall into that category, then you may achieve some minimal benefit from statin therapy. You should now at least be able to discuss the statin issue a little more thoroughly with your doctor. You can enter ‘statin’ or ‘statins’ in the search function of this blog to get a lot of info. Here is one post you may find interesting.

  102. I need to clear up my post. when the 70LDL was measured i was on the good old SAD high carb whole grain diet. My NMR was 1795 all small. Following a low carb diet i converted them to almost all large as stated in my post of 2098, but only 200 small which shows the benefit of a low carb diet. However, the LDL rose to 188 which combined with the coronary plaque score 220( am age 60) and family history has the Doc thinking i should be on a statin.
    Again sorry for the oversight. Thank you for your input.

    • Somehow I must have been brain dead when I read your comment because I completely missed the part about the LDL particle size. It was totally staring me in the fact, but I just got annoyed about the docs rush to statin judgement based on the rise in LDL level and overlooked it. Thanks for the clarification. An LDL level of 188 composed of essentially all large particles wouldn’t worry me at all, especially in concert with an HDL of 69 and very low triglycerides. Many people think large fluffy LDL particles are actually protective, so the more the merrier. I would bet that a repeat calcium scan in a few months would show a reduction in plaque.

      This is an issue you need to discuss and work through with your doctor, who obviously knows you vastly better than I do.

  103. No worries. I will remind you thankfully that via your suggestions i have been able to change the profile from small to large particles. At issue is the magnitude of the particles at 2098. It is interesting to me that by body pumps out so many particles whether the diet was hi or low carb; i have no idea why nor have i read anything about this. Maybe i hyper absorb fat or synthesize to much. If my family history was not so bad- grandfather, father (smokers but normal weight) and brother( at age 53, a non smoker with zero weight problems and athletic) all had heart attacks -i would have zero concerns.

    I did a one year trial of crestor 20 and zetia 10but developed leg pains and got off it. Following your dietary suggestions my NMR particle count during that time period was 640, and < 90 were small. So, if anyone out there( i am not a doc) does go the statin route at least in my case low carb is the diet to follow. Only carbs i eat others than veggies is a sweet potato or baked potato, or a serving of rice. I am lean with a BMI of 23.
    Thanks for the input ; it has been very helpful!

    • Good luck with it all. If you enter ‘statin’ and ‘statins’ in the search function of this blog, you’ll find plenty of information (my opinions and the opinions of others I wrote about) to cogitate on. You will then have what you need to engage your doctor in knowledgeable conversation about the pros and cons of your taking a statin.

      Most doctors try to do what is, in their opinion, best for their patients. But you’ve got to remember that doctors aren’t really scientists – they are doctors, and there is a difference. They are not skilled at reading and interpreting the medical literature. This sounds like an urban legend, but it’s true – most doctors get their information from drug reps. Docs, for the most part, don’t know the difference between observational studies and randomized control trials. Actually, the do know the difference, but most assume the data from observational studies is valid, which it isn’t. Drug reps show all these beautiful diagrams derived from observational studies demonstrating the effectiveness of various drugs, and the docs believe. The pharmaceutical industry has done such a bang up job of persuading doctors that statins are indispensable in the treatment of even minute elevations of cholesterol that doctors feel they are committing malpractice if they don’t give them. I’m sure your doctor figures, Here is a middle-aged guy with a strong family history of heart disease with a positive calcium scan and now a markedly elevated LDL. If I don’t treat him with a statin, and he has a problem, I’ll get sued. And, if he/she is like most docs, he/she isn’t really as worried about getting sued as much as he/she is about practicing good medicine. Most physicians are convinced that statins are a panacea and that to not at least offer them is malpractice.

      The data doesn’t support that position.

  104. I think you hit the ball out of the park with that response! My doc actually said that if i had no plaques and family history, he would not recommend a statin. You are absolutely right that the concern is that if something happened, not so much the litigation issue, but since docs want to do the best(at least most) for their patients, it is more the feeling at having failed to serve the patient the established protocol, even if it is being questioned.

    I am actually going to have an IMT and PLA2 test done. Be an interesting discussion if the IMT looks same or better than one taken 3 years ago, and if PLA2 score is low which means the plaque is very stable. Thanks again!

  105. DR. Eades: we are waiting for second part on this. It is very interesting the discussion tha this post has generated but we really need part “. Thanks, Rafael

  106. A lot of people use “low carb” as an excuse to eat all the meat and cheese they want then wonder why they don’t lose weight. It’s important to keep fresh vegetables as a large part of one’s diet no matter what.

    • I eat fresh vegetables because I like them, and I figure that they will probably provide some phytonutrients I can use. But where is the evidence for your categorical statement that ‘it’s important to keep fresh vegetables as a large part of one’s diet no matter what’? Have you got a study proving that? I doubt it because such a study doesn’t exist. Many people just suppose it’s important because they’ve heard it so said so many times much in the same way people fear saturated fat simply because they’ve heard and read so often that it’s bad when there really isn’t any evidence that it is.

      • Dr. Mike, don’t get bothered by spammers who are just using your blog to insert a backlink into your site.

        They don’t necessarily even believe what they wrote. They just want to get a link from a major blog.

        (And when you reply, you make their link more valuable, because Google thinks you wouldn’t reply to spam.)

        • Thanks for the heads up. But which are the scammers and which are the legit commenters? I get a ton of spam captured in my spam filter (which I loathe going through but do every so often because legit comments get caught in there), but how do I tell if a comment that makes it through the filter is spam, other than the obvious, i.e., it’s porn or some other obvious scam.

    • Actually, I have to admit I use do low carb as an excuse to eat all the meat and cheese that I want. The only thing I wonder about is why more people-especially those amongst my family and friends who mocked and questioned my diet-don’t catch on and do the same thing.

    • For the last three years I’ve gone from low carb to basically a “zero carb” WOE….ie all meat (many, many varieties).

      I eat “all I want” because eating meat is self satisfying. (IE…When you are full, you are done!)

      Not only have I kept weight off, but all standards of health measurement are ideal, and I’ve certainly gained more muscle, with little weight training.

      As a 43 y.o. male, 100 pounds lower than my high weight of 280, I can assure you that not only is very low carb or no carb safe, but your ideas that one can overdo meat (when restricting carbs sufficiently enough) don’t seem overly concerning in my experience. For me, the more meat, the more energy I have (both metabolic and physical movement).
      Good health to you!

  107. I am one of the healthiest 50 year olds I know.. I am over 100 pounds lighter thanks to low carb and have stayed this way for many years.
    When I eat, I eat until I am no longer hungry… 4-8 hours later, depending on how active I am, I will get a growly tummy and then I will eat again. No shakiness, no urgency, no gotta eat something NOW food emergencies.
    Before low carb, I was always hungry and would quickly become shaky no matter how much low fat “healthy” food I ate…my appetite was something I was supposed to fight, ignore, suppress and use willpower over not the gentle signal that it’s time for a meal that it is meant to be.
    I no longer think about food all the time… and snacks… you won’t need them when you eat enough meat and fat to be satisfied.
    It all feels completely normal and natural…because it is.

    • I especially love this line, which is absolute hogwash:

      Only statins, a type of prescription drug, have been shown consistently to be effective.

      They have been shown effective only in observational studies, which doubtless represent the Adherer Effect.

    • It varies on an individual basis. If you’re having trouble getting into ketosis, just reduce your protein a little and increase your fat. If you’re not having trouble, don’t worry about it.

  108. Hi, Dr. Eades.

    I’m with you on the low carb philosophy. Every time I experiment, eating significant pasta, rice, potatoes etc., it never turns out well. I get the same result each and every time. ( Also try eating major carbs with prednisone for asthma, and see how fast you gain) 😉

    When my meals become carb dominated I feel suggish, tend to gain oblique area body fat, and feel water retained. I can’t understand why these Internet sites rail on low carb so much? You have no idea how hungry I can be if all I had for breakfast was oatmeal and skim milk – like in the 1988. LOL ! I distinctly remember as a kid then how I was hungry 30 minutes later.

    I would not want to live my life eating very high carb and low fat. That is a disaster.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best Wishes,
    Raz

  109. I started my VLC 5 days ago and friday I snapped. Ate a sub sandwich, then some baked spaghetti, and then some banana pudding. The cravings for Carbs was overwhelming. I felt like Dom Deluise in ‘Fatso”.
    OK I know this exposes me to being called stupid and so on. But my question is how can I minimize the cravings, so I can make it to the other side, re-adaptation. I got to get there.

    Mark

  110. Dr Eades,

    Thanks so much for publishing this blog! I’m a 32 yr old male who has been struggling with problems like fatigue, brain fog, bloating, sleep maintenance insomnia and generally feeling crappy. Doctors I have seen over the last couple of years have been generally confused as my thyroid and comprehensive metabolic panel (except glucose at 100) were all in range. Other than glucose, the numbers which I was hoping to improve were my LDL (161), HDL (50), 4.7 ratio of total to hdl, Triglyc (121) and WBC count was a bit lower at 3.9. I have tried various ‘healthy’ diets with no improvement in my energy levels and brain fog.

    I thought I’d give the PPLP plan of a min of 34 g of protein per meal (6ft1, 158lb) a try and I was completely amazed that my stomach did not bloat after eating “evil” foods like bacon or lamb and I was not in my usual comatose state like I would be if I ate oats. In just the last two days I have felt much better in terms of mental clarity and energy (except for the insomnia). Unlike a lot of people on low carb, my motivation is of course not too lose weight but gain weight (ideally muscle) and improve my energy levels. I was hoping you could answer a few questions:

    1.) I know you came down hard on fruit juice on your post with the Ozymandias poem :-) But, what is your opinion on vegetable juicing?

    2.) What are your thoughts on fermented brown rice protein ? Even a low heat treated quality whey tends to bloat my stomach.

    3.) What is your opinion on l-tryptophan for staying asleep.

    Thanks and looking forward to part 2 and more !
    Ed

  111. say what you will but losing the carbs especially the starchy ones is the only time I’ve lost weight
    It works and a lower weight is much healthier than being overweight or obsese
    ketosis isn’t bad as long you don’t get ketoacidsis which I’m not sure how to prevent that
    any tips dr. eades
    I really appreciate that you take the time to comment back

  112. I am getting ready to start your program..I am curious in week 1-2 I plan to have my food meal at dinner time..what I would like to know is if I can eat a breakfast meal or lunch meal from your menu at my dinner meal or do I need to stick with the dinner meals always

  113. Great post, thanks. I am wondering how you feel about Dr. Ravnskov’s hypothesis on CAD. My husband has CAD. After his stent placement, we started low carb. He has lost 25-30 lbs, GERD is gone, BP has dropped, generally feeling great. However, four months after procedure he was sick with shingles for a few weeks, had some chest pain after that, but then felt well.(no chest pain). Six months later, he required two more stents. This was a great surprise, as he had no symptoms, BP was low, and he felt great. Also, before his first procedure, when he was suffering chest pain, he was also sick. I am wondering if there is a connection. Also, his LDL went from 103 to 92 (no statins). Of course, doctor blames statin deficiency.

  114. i think your brilliant eades. if this people want to stick to conventional wisdom because they could stick out the rough patches then….well……theres no room here for the week. i enjoy every bit of what you preach.

  115. I had a question about very low-carbohydrate diets and male sexual health. I am having a very difficult time finding any information whatsoever relating to this question.

    According to some texts that I’ve perused, one of the major constituents of sperm of fructose, which is supposedly a significant source of energy for sperm.

    Does eating a diet with close to zero fructose cause problems with semen composition? Is the body able to produce fructose for this purpose endogenously? Or is it possible that the amount involved is trivial, such that say just one blueberry gives you enough fructose for significant amounts of semen production?

  116. Dr. Eades,

    What is your take on the Protein Sparing Modified Fast, and it’s low calorie targets, based on emitting most fat from it? It appears to be an effective tool in the weight loss arsenal, but are their downsides to it?

  117. Dr. Eades,

    Just got my results back:
    CHOLESTEROL 243
    TRIGLYCERIDES 355
    HDL CHOLESTEROL 49
    LDL CHOLESTEROL/CALC 123
    CHOL/HDL RATIO 5.0

    1/14/11
    CHOLESTEROL 223
    TRIGLYCERIDES 130
    HDL CHOLESTEROL 51
    LDL CHOLESTEROL/CALC 146
    CHOL/HDL RATIO 4.4

    LDL went down. Triglycerides shot up. Are these really bad? Am I doing something wrong?

  118. Also, meant to add that I’ve been trying low carb since the last week of April. I have binge days on weekends. Increased fat and protein and have maintained a regular resistance training. Feel great. Ran 3.5 mil challenge last week and didn’t have any problems. Last couple weeks I started eating some sweet fruit…maybe a bit too much everyday. But I’ve mostly cut out carbs, sugar…

  119. also, another possibility is red wine consumption was a lot in the past month. maybe that screwed up the diet… a lot is maybe 2-4 glasses or more…i know it’s not recommended. I had a lot of wine tasting events during that time.

  120. the more i think about it, it must be my overtasting of wine….i did have a lot to taste daily.

    This is what I got from WebMD:
    Alcohol consumption has strong effects on triglyceride levels. Drinking more than one drink a day for women or two for men can raise triglyceride levels considerably. Some people with high triglycerides may need to cut out alcohol entirely.

    Could this explain why my Triglycerides more than doubled? Also, I had couple glasses of wine the night before the test. Shouldn’t have.

    For my next test in 3 months, I will cut out wine and alcohol.

    My LDL went down 16%…HDL stayed about the same. Can someone please enlighten me. My doc thinks I should cut out saturated fat. How does that explain LDL dropping?

  121. I read through Dr. Eades piece at the beginning on the advice of another. It describes my situation well. I have been 100% paleo for one month, with 50-100 gms of carbs per day, not LC for sure. However, these last few days I have felt rotten and have for the 1st time craved carbs, albeit briefly. I added a bit more fat to my food yesterday and woke up today feeling better.

  122. Dr. Eades, I just wanted to say thanks. It’s been a year now since I started your diet and the results are remarkable. I went from 260 to 175 in the first 8 months and I’m now holding steady. Never felt better or been happier.
    Larry

    • Larry, that’s very encouraging! I too am 260 and NEED to get to 175. Any tips! or can you be any more specific about following Dr.Eades diet?

  123. Dr. Eades,

    There is evidence that saturated fatty acids activate toll like receptors and cause inflammation. I can cite some references, but I’m anticipating that you’re already aware of this.

    How concerned should low-carb dieters be over this (since low carb = high fat and lots of it can be SFA) particularly if they are battling some auto-immune health issues and are looking to the diet to reduce inflammation rather than increase it?

  124. I have Protein Power, but this article is making me think maybe I’m undershooting fat? How much fat is the “right amount” for keto-adaptation, and is it a different amount than what you would take in once you are keto-adapted? Thank you!

  125. Hi Dr Eades, I am in week 4 of the Cure, losing weight and generally feeling great. I have a question though. Since starting my meat weeks, I have been feeling bloated and have not been ‘evacuating’ as often as normal (not sure of the correct blog term:) It’s not that I’m constipated per se, I’m just no longer regular. Would love some advice. Thank you!

  126. I ready Protein Power when it first came out and applied it to my life since. I measure every result regularly and have seen remarkable numbers in HDL/LDL/Triglicerides.

    However, I am stuck and perhaps have plateau’d with no success in breaking through. I am holding at 26% body fat (caliper) and know most of it lives in my stomach area. No matter what I do with exercises nothing changes. By now, I must have rock solid core muscles!

    I have tried pushing my food intake once or even twice a week to kick my metabolism. Of course, I exercise 3-4 times a week with cardio/aerobic efforts. Still, all that I do makes no difference.

    I’m at a loss.

  127. Not only does low-carbing sound like sheer hell, but it sounds like pig-out time at the trough. Which I guess is the big advantage of this diet, right?

    • Kate –

      I think you’re missing the point. It is *anything but* sheer hell; the first week or so of adaptation is a bit challenging, but after that it is (almost) effortless – I don’t want or need crappy carby stuff. My skin clears up. My joints stop aching. I lose the swelling/edema that I tend to get when I exercise or when I eat too many carbs. I’m much more clear-headed than I ever would be on carbs. And not to mention (if I say so misself) my lipid profile is fabulous

      It is a high carb/fat-restricted diet that is sheer hell – constantly hungry, crabby, feeling crappy. And my health goes to hell.

      And as far as the feed trough goes – that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to take a gander what my interpretation of a low carb diet is, I write down everything I eat over the course of the day in an online format as a means of documentation for my doc and for ‘public accountability': http://sevenfoodlog.blogspot.com/

      I have a caloric intake of 1200-1300 calories on good days to 2000 calories on higher intake days. That is very very far from a feed trough.

    • The low-carb diet is – in my opinion – the optimal diet for most everyone, including those with a Whipple. The carbs in a standard diet will overstress the pancreas, which you don’t want to have happen if you’ve had a Whipple. But, as always, you should check with your own doctor to make sure it’s okay for you.

      • Jeez! This whole discussion sounds like Republicans vs. Democrats! Eerie. Personally, and with no preconceived notion that I would change anyone’s mind, I thrive on the high-fat lifestyle. I’ve been on it for a couple of years (after reading Ray Audette’s “Neanderthin”) and at 56 have never felt or looked better. I appreciate ALL the views presented here. Thanks for a stimulating forum.

  128. “During this adaptation period people tend to fatigue easily, experience a slight lack of mental clarity and be tormented off and on by the unbidden lust for carbs that seems to rise up out of nowhere. ”

    I have noticed this [two to four weeks period] is the time many researchers and dietitians like to use when comparing low and high-carb diet’s in a group of subjects. That way they get to their preconceived “I told you so” results straight away!

  129. Dr. Eades,

    I have been low carb since 1996. Since that time I have had really severe, mostly nite time, leg cramps and more so on the days that I work out. I used to take two citracal twice daily to prevent the cramping, and that worked like a charm. I exerimented with lower doses over time, but I found out that I needed four caplets each day to avoid the cramps. At some point year and years into the low carb diet i became concerned about taking that much calcium, since it was 250% of the RDA and switched to a daily multi-vitamin. Things are nearly as good cramp wise with the multi-vitamin, but I can’t miss taking one, and I have had more cramps during the day now. If i get hit with one now, I drink a 1/2 cup of pickle juice and that works fast, actually faster than it can be digested.

    Was I taking too much calcium? Am I safe taking that much for an extended amount of time? I am currently 55 years old.

    Ted

    • Read Steve Phinney’s new book – he explains why this happens and suggests taking a 60 tablet bottle of Slo-Mag magnesium over 20 days (3/day). It has really worked for me.

  130. While I can agree that your body will do it’s best to trick you when first going back onto LC, I very much disagree with the statement that we should not listen to our body.

    My body, after the 2-3 days it takes me to get back into LC, tells me when I’ve overcarbed at a Reward Meal (I follow and believe in the Heller’s CALP woe)…it is a reliable “feedback” system that I can count on. Eat too many carbs and my pulse speeds up, my head gets a foggy feeling at the back of my head, I may get sleepy.
    Often it’s a slight oops on my part, I just get the increased pulse – which also happens if I eat too much.
    I just think it’s a mistake to make such a blanket statement as if it applies always.

  131. Dr Eades,

    I was interested in your comments and video about making caffé americano.

    About 25 years ago, and Italian friend gave us an Italian espresso jug, which they called a caffettiera (cafetera in Spanish, apparently, cafetière in French). It’s very simple: water in the bottom, coffee in the middle, put it on the smallest burner of a gas hob, and in a few minutes, espresso appears in the top compartment:

    http://www.espressoplanet.com/images/P/bialettialumlg-03.gif

    I decided after using it quite a few times that I didn’t really like pure espresso like the Italians drink it, and it fell into disuse. I’d never thought of using it to make an “Americano”. Your video inspired me to try, and the result is quite acceptable, although my gadget doesn’t seem to produce the “crema”.

    Still it’s good to know that I can have most of the taste with less of the caffeine.

    Regards,
    Mike

    p.s. I noticed gadgets like this were on sale quite cheaply in Spain as well, last time I was there.

    • Mike,
      to produce “crema” you need to have a coffee mix that has at least 20% robusta. If you use 100% arabica it is difficult to have that foam.

      Ciao,
      Marco (Italian :-))

  132. God bless you Dr. Eades.

    FINALLY I understand why I can’t last on a paleo diet for more than 4 days, I feel so awful.

    What a great service you have done by posting these tips. I will definitely up my fats on my next foray into Paleo.

    Why doesn’t anyone talk about this, instead of hearing about how terrific we’ll feel, blah, blah, blah…yeah, in three weeks!

    Bless you.

  133. I bought this book 5 years ago and never really gave it a full try because I listened to my body. I have been listening to my body ever since and it tells me to not workout because it’s tired and that it wants more sugar! I really needed to hear this part of your entry more than anything! I have been training my body for a very long time to crave what is bad for it. I have to regain my authority. Thank you so very much. I started on Monday. I have lost 3lbs already! I have been a little irritable from cutting out sugar but that’s really it so far. I definitely feel satisfied and any cravings I have are not from hunger but from habit. Thank you so much! That was a big moment when I read that.

  134. Every time I try to do a low carb diet, I start feeling extremely hot and out of breath all the time. I also don’t seem to tolerate dairy products very well.
    I always become exasperated and quit after a few days to a week. Why am I having these problems?

  135. “extremely hot and out of breath” sounds totally thyroid! (We call it “air hunger”: It’s very annoying!) Please read up on the Stop the Thyroid Madness site. You will probably find yourself described there!

  136. For the last 10 years I’ve jogged 5.9 miles 3 times a week and weight train on the other days, twice a week. Sometimes when I’m tired just 2 & 2 (4 days a week). But still pretty active. I’m 49 years old and 5’3 and definately not a skinny minny as I would like to be…I was 155lbs ’till a couple of months ago and fitted comfortably in a size 8 jean and more or less ok with that. But I’m, as my doctor informed me, in the middle of full blown menopause and went up to 163!! So, 5 weeks ago I started a low carb diet (20-25g of carbs daily). I know my carbs pretty well because I grew up with a mom who is an Atkins follower. The thing is, I weigh myself once a week and the weight loss (and gain) has been like this: 163-158-162-158-156-158. Why is it taking so long and why the gaining when there has been no cheating!?? Do you think it might have something to do with needing to consume more fat? I’m not on any type of medication and very healthy. Since I’ve started this diet anyway, I’ve committed to going down to 135lbs. what gives? I’m DESPERATE!!

    • There’s a lot of short term variation in weight and most home scales also have some variation in readings. It would be better to look at the longer term trend. To me it looks like you’ve lost about 5 pounds in a month, which is not at all bad.

      Keep a 4 week moving average or a logarithmic average. Or, forget the scale and just keep track of what sizes you fit into.

    • Lidia, I was doing 6 miles 5xwk and 12 miles 1xwk. Running cannabolized my muscle mass along with the Standard American Diet – low fat, low protein, high carb. I was chronically fatigued and had thigh pain so bad I had to quit running and then quit hiking until I could only do 15 minute walks with the dog. Doctor referred me to Psych as they couldn’t find anything wrong with me! That’s when I found Paleo. I’m 5/4″ and haven’t fit in size 8 for years! Two yrs ago I was in size 10 and then got laid off and started wearing elastic waist everything and got bigger – scale didn’t move but by my estimates I was a size 14. I had refused to buy anything bigger than sizez 10! Just keep at it. Keep your carbs low – below 45/day and my fat intake averages 60-80% (150g fat) on ~1800 calorie diet. I don’t limit calories, just carbs.

    • @Lidia

      don’t be discouraged! I know it sucks when you can’t seem to have a consistent weight loss – that’s been happening with me too. I’ve managed to lose a little less than 8 pounds in 42 days and I see the pounds fluctuate up and down as if my body wasn’t even paying attention to diet and exercise. But stick with it and it will come off. :-)
      A few things that might help — first, are you counting calories? If possible, I’d track calories and see if reducing calories + low carb will help. When I was doing traditional Atkins many moons ago I thought that merely carb restriction would do the trick for me – and it did – until I reached a certain weight where I just *stopped* losing and I got really frustrated and gave up – I might be totally wrong with this but I think what LC does is allows you to reduce calories and not have your body self-adjust to the lower calorie intake — also with the added benefit of not being super starving all the time.
      second, are you using artificial sweeteners, esp. Splenda? For me, diet sodas and anything with Splenda will stall weight loss like there’s no tomorrow. I still find myself gravitating to the stuff but it is a zero carb saboteur for me. Along those lines, sugar alcohols, esp. sorbitol does the same thing for me – I can even gain weight if I have a lot of stuff that has sorbitol in it.
      Lastly, do you eat any pre-shredded cheese? I’m sensitive to the fungicide in it and that I have found interferes with my weight loss.
      Best of luck and I hope these help :-)

    • I’ve gained 3 lbs but lost 3 pants sizes! You need to measure body parts. I’m 46, peri and healthy. May have had some adrenal fatigue going on, just guessing. At 139, I need to be at ~123, give or take. I’ve been Primal/Archevore since 1/1/11. I’ve regained so much muscle mass with the protein increase. It’s bizarre where and how I’m losing the fat. And the cellulite looks different week to week. I wish I had time-lapse footage, ’cause I see the changes but the scale ain’t budging! How much muscle can one put on without doing resistance training. Is my fat loss and weight gain all muscle? It feels like it. My husband, however, doesn’t see much change. I suspect it was the same way when I was putting on the weight – so slow it crept up on me – 20lbs over 25 yrs. I’m waiting it out ’cause I feel so much better and the tape measure keeps telling me 1/4inches are coming off!

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  138. I see several caveats regarding fat and meat, etc., make it grass fed sources and then those who are overweight because of their jobs, for instance, we don’t have filing cabinets where women, usually, were going to the filing cabinets, more or less all day. Much has changed, we live in a world where we have to protect ourselves from the sociopaths whose mantra corporations and government have come to see as the capitalistic grail. In a year health would improve worldwide, medicine would gain respect to some degree but the idea of signing a no responsibility statement does seem a bit odd. My son is a doctor, soon to finish his second specialty, cardio/thoracic surgery, so I have thought a lot about the no blame clause patients have to sign or not receive treatment. Insofar as fat is where it’s at mentality, yes, providing it’s butter, preferably raw, coconut oil that is cold pressed and raw and not deodorized, etc, tallow and lard, love the lard, which is actually more non-sat than sat, but only barely. We’re clamoring to the extent all we think about is what we look like, how we feel and how long we’ll last, wild to feel good while we allow, yes, allow, criminal mentalities to poison us. I see that as strange, why would we allow any business to peddle stuff that makes us sick? Such ironic acquiescing does hint at stupidity, fear, apathy, or maybe, can it be, a “I’m invincible complex!?” We’re not, we’re rather delicate and fragile in many ways, for instance, a small insect that burrowed into the ear of a healthy young girl made her deathly ill and had the doctor not found the little varmint, the girl surely would have died. We cannot meet the demand that is emerging and if everyone went no carb, there wouldn’t be enough healthy protein and fat to meet the demand, but of course the odd folks who go vegan or vegetarian outnumber us savages so the good stuff won’t increase in price as would happen if the demand was greater. The folks who write books on the glories of high animal protein and fat should be quiet more than selling the idea to the masses, there just isn’t enough to go around and it’s already set in stone, children born today won’t live as long as their parents, it could be referred to as Doomsday necessity since we’ve gone ‘natural resource’ deficit over 25 years ago and the idea that humans can figure everything out is a fallacy, it they could they wouldn’t have allowed what has happened to happen. How am I doing? Will this comment be allowed? Maybe, but haven’t I been caustic toward those deserving everyman’s wrath? Such opinions, though, are seldom taken seriously, though they are depressingly true.

  139. Since the transition is partly enzyme related, are there any enzymes a person can take to help get through the induction period? I can deal with feeling ill, but it also kicked off tremendous migraines for me (even with salty broth). The migraines are a significant challenge (it includes visual disturbance, aura, etc. with the pain). I have some medications that I can take, but if taken too frequently they cause migraine rebound, which is pretty horrendous. If there were enzymes I could take that would help mediate this, maybe I could sidestep the migraines that have thwarted me during the transition.

  140. Down 48 lbs, taking half the diabetes meds that I was taking just 4 months ago and doing great on low carb. Maybe all diet approaches don’t work for all people…nothing is for everyone. All I can say is, THIS IS FOR ME!! Thanks Dr. Eades’.

  141. Dr Eades, please excuse me for probably posting in the wrong place, but I need you and the readers to hear my story. Two and one half years ago I became very interested in what to do about my blood sugar that had just started to creep up. Having a medical background was helpful as I devoured PPLP and I promptly got myself on a low carb way of eating and have never felt better. I am a ferocious reader and was intrigued by every scrap of information about the metabolic syndrome. Hence, I have spent almost all my spare time soaking up your information,as well as those you recommend, on diabetes, hypertension, CVD and more. I have really enjoyed learning about and experiencing the joys and energy healthy low carb eating can bring in my retirement years!

    Because I have this passion to learn more and more I have research articles and papers by the dozens saved on my computer for reference. THEN…….2 weeks ago, my husband, who is not a low carber and has very little interest in nutrition was examined, had ultrasound and an abnormal stress test. The next day he had two stents placed in coronary arteries. Immediately he was place on blood thinners, 2 BP meds and to my horror a statin drug.
    Today we went for a follow-up appt. and when I made the slightest suggestion that I didn’t think statin drugs were a good idea, the dr. looked at me as if I had just landed from outer space. When he recovered and was able to speak, he looked at my husband and said, “Well, you sir, will have a heart attack if you don’t take them!” Just hearing the word “statins” raises red flags and I am so angry. No matter what I “say or know”, my husband will always remember those words from the dr.(cardiologist at that), I am so perplexed……do you have any thoughts on this or encouragement….maybe a dr. in VA that you could recommend?

    I realize that it may take you a bit to recover from that “people trap” at Disney….but what a great Dad and Granddad you were to smile and traipse along with the family….you were smiling weren’t you? I would very much appreciate a response when you can. Thank you for all you do for so many people.

  142. 4 weeks in and still..NO ENERGY!!??

    So i am not giving up, but I am starting to get a bit impatient. So far have been doing the paleo stint for 4 weeks. The first week was amazing! The best I have probably felt in my life. Weeks 2 and 3 were tough and week 4 is not much improvement. I had seriously hypoglycemic attacks for carbs and sugar, and those have taken a back seat. But I suffer greatly from low energy to utter exhaustion, head fog (daily), and sometime 48hr headaches. I have a feeling my ancestors were lions since all I wanna do is laze around all day!

    Do metabolic impaired folks (have PCOS and IR) have a harder time with this transition period. Any supplements out there to help?

    Thanks!

  143. I love that advice. Reading it made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of my 95 year old grandfather used to steal the left over fat off of my plate. He was thin as a rail. I can’t get over the improvements in my health since I have been on a low carb diet. My heartburn is gone. My blood sugar is normal. My other blood work is now perfect. My blood pressure is lower. I sleep better at night. My skin on my feet is perfect, when it had been cracked and rough. My teeth are cleaner. My back pain is gone. I’ve lost 65 pounds! How is that for listening to my body? I didn’t know how sick I was, until I wasn’t sick. Also, I now know that if I ate a pancake, I would feel like total crap. Thank you for all you do!

  144. Thank you ever so much for the timely twitter post of August 10 titled “What statins really do and why they don’t work.” and also the link to the author’s homepage. It answered all of my questions surrounding this toxic medication and I now feel confident to approach this subject with the cardiologist who has prescribed statins for my husband….not that I expect to change his mind! I could never thank you enough for your efforts in getting the truth out to all of us who care immensely about our health and that of our families.

  145. I have been on “the almost no carb diet” since April and I am beginning to reap the benefits.I’ve dropped circa 60 pounds and melted 10 inches off my waist. My cholesterol,and blood pressure have normalized. I don’t crave carbs and I feel sated most of the time.
    After reading Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories, Bad Calories, I speculate that It will not be long before the tide will turn, pointing us toward an emphsis on the 211 years of solid science research and evidence, most of which supports the lipid hypothesis.Ask an Inuit and ask you grandmother…they both know that carbs will kill you in so many ways.Thank you Dr Eades….and my hat is off to Gary Taubes, for bringing the facts into the light.Carbs are poison….give them up…..set yourself free.

  146. Thank you so much for this post! 4 days ago I made a commitment to go low carb/ get into ketosis to heal my body of insulin issues (not diabetes, yet), very hard to lose weight (80 lbs), constant fatigue, swollen ankles, addiction to carbs (even “healthy” ones), horrible brain fog, and did I say fatigue?! I transitioned by eating about 40 carbs a day the first two days, and all went fairly smooth, then on the third day I brought it down to 20 and things started happening. Today (4th day, 2nd day on 20 gms/day), again, the extreme fatigue, brain fog, headache, lightheadedness. Last night I felt so much better after eating an 8oz ribeye from a steak restaurant, a small ceasar salad (no croutons) and a few pieces of broccolli with cheese sauce. I ordered the ribeye because it was a “fatty” cut of meat. I thought it was the protein in the meat that picked me up, but maybe it was the fat in the meat and in the ceasar dressing. I guess I need to step up the fat intake, big time. It certainly is counter-intuitive, but I do want to minimize this keto-adaptive pergutory time as much as possible. I actually cried with thankfulness when I read this post! I really needed to hear this. I need to go shopping for more akins-induction-friendly groceries, but I hardly have the energy to get off the couch today. So your post brought me hope that even if I am one of the ones that is so metabolically messed up that I might go through this for a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days, at least I know what’s going on, know it will end (there is light at the end of the tunnel), and you’ve given me some helpful tips on how to possibly minimize this and get me into the land of boundless, stable energy, mental clarity, and fat loss! (I have no idea what this feels like, but I’m very willing to find out!) THANKS AGAIN

  147. thanks this is some great info! Although I cant bring myself to eat the fat on meat lol it just sickens me to think of that in my mouth. I love low carb eating! Atkins is the only thing that works for me, I have problems with my stomach and when Im on atkins it doesn’t bother me half as bad as when I eat “healthy” low fat foods. If they are so good for me why do they upset my stomach so badly? Anyway I could rant for hours lol but thanks for this info!

  148. Really good article. When I don’t listen to my cravings and stick to a healthy low carb diet, I notice a big difference in weight reduction and also an increase in energy levels.

  149. Is there any published literature that maintaining a low carb, high fat diet, actually has an effect on arterial plaque production, or reduction, putting our cholesterol numbers aside? I saw a documentary where they were aspousing a vegetarian only diet as the way to remove plaque from arteries. I too, only do well on a low carb diet and have lost 50 pounds many times, and unfortunately have gained it back on carbs. But I really wonder what is going on in the inside of our arterties on this diet. Thank you