My reason for starting down the ketogenic, low carb/high fat diet had less to do with losing weight than wanting to avoid being put on insulin or other medication for what was surely going to be a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. I've written previously about that here. I had been very overweight for about 30 years. I was reconciled to be so forever. After all, we've been advised that 'it's almost impossible to lose weight after about age fifty' and 'diets don't work' and '95% of people who lose weight regain it, plus more', etc., You know what I'm talking about. If you want to know what the drip, drip, drip of daily defeat feels like, live inside the head of fat woman.
So, fat I was destined to be. But I really didn't want to take insulin. Nearly everyone on both sides of my family had some level of diabetes. It was my turn. I was next. In researching if there was a way to handle this distasteful future without insulin I came across this video. After that followed a cascading series of books, videos, lectures and articles that reinforced for me that there was indeed a different way.
My blood sugar had been going steadily higher, as recorded at my annual check ups. A reading indicating prediabetes had been the most recent with a read in the 120s (ideally you want to be below 100). Ugh. But almost immediately upon eliminating carbohydrates things changed. And while the most obvious impact was on my weight, my blood glucose (sugar) readings came down. (Early in the process I invested in a glucometer that also reads ketone levels).
Here's my most recent blood glucose reading from a couple of days ago.
Now, instead of being prediabetic, I'm pre-fabulous. (To be full blown fabulous I have a couple of tweaks to make. More to come on that in future posts)
I want to be clear here. I don't believe my blood sugar normalized because I lost weight but rather both results are due to the same thing: keeping carbohydrates very low, below about 20 grams a day. I have strong feelings about the 'lose weight and your problems are corrected' paradigm. That soapbox post is in the works.
For now, know that if you have issues with blood sugar, eating the ketogenic diet may very well be the solution. No insulin. No pills. No 'move more, eat less' crud. Just food.
BTW, There is a HEAL Clinic in Durham, where you can be treated by Dr. Eric Westman (here's a brief video of Dr. Westman describing the program). More are planned around the country. The treatment at this clinic addresses obesity and diabetes without medication. Please contact me to inquire about how to get an appointment and I can point you in the right direction.
[For transparency, Lovely Mate and I are investors in HEAL Clinics because we feel so strongly about the health benefits of this program. But I'd recommend Dr. Westman's protocol and clinic even if we weren't. Check it out.]
The information I present here is based on my own experiences and personal research. While I’ve been fortunate to have exposure to leading researchers, physicians and journalists regarding the ketogenic specifically and LCHF (low carb/high fat) more generally, we are all responsible for our own choices, including what we put in our mouths. I welcome questions, comments and even civil criticism. I’m still learning. So, if you have something to add, go for it. Thanks! - Casey