I've received a lot of questions over the last few months and also had a lot of questions myself. Here you'll find the most common questions I get asked with my best ability to answer them. As I mentioned before, I am not a doctor, nor an expert, so please seek out additional information beside what you read here.
I have read many books and blog posts about this stuff. Some books are better than others. I tend to lean towards the books that have a lot of science/data behind them rather than opinions and commentary. Here are some that I've found useful:
Jumping from a traditional American diet to any diet overnight can be difficult. If you feel like you need more time to "ease in", here are some ideas that should help:
Understanding substitutes can be really important to start changing your lifestyle. As you are easing in, you can slowly start making the adjustments below which will help you start eating healthier. Please email me with some of your favorites so I can list them here for others.
|margarine||grass-fed butter (I like Kerrygold)|
|cegetable oil / canola oil||coconut oil / avocado oil / olive oil|
|table salt||himalayan salt|
|sugar||stevia or xylitol|
|bananas||apples / berries|
|peanut butter||almond butter|
|flavored yogurt||full-fat greek yogurt (like Fage Total)|
|pancakes / waffles||cream cheese pancakes / almond flour waffles|
|pasta||white rice / rice noodles / zucchini noodles|
|mashed potatoes||mashed cauliflower|
|sandwiches and burgerss||lettuce-wrapped burgers|
|sweets and treats||fat bombs and dark chocolate|
|soda and juice||water / smoothies|
|flour||almond flour / coconut flour|
Typically the carb needs of a female are going to be less than a male. You may need to be more strict during the day to consume little to no carbs at all until the feast. And during the feast try and limit your carbs to 20g or less. Remember, you can cycle between higher-carb dinners and low-carb/high-fat dinners if that helps. You will also benefit from HIT training or weights, since adding muscle will help burn more fat. Don't worry about bulking up. That's not going to happen if you are limiting your carb intake.
In June of this year, the US Government came out with a long-overdue health study. One of the most welcome news was that they lifted their ban on fat. They now agree that eating fat does not make you fat, and eating eggs does not effect the "bad" cholesterol in your body (LDL Cholesterol). Read story here.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health showed that dieters who followed low-carb or low-fat plans for two years along with a lifestyle modification program, low-carbohydrate dieters had significantly increased HDL, or "good," cholesterol levels compared to low-fat dieters.
There are other studies that show cholesterol actually doesn't lead to heart disease, and drug companies simply use it as a tactic to sell more of their drugs. (I don't have a comment on this one). Either way, I think it's important to monitor yourself.
That said, if you are sensitive to cholesterol here are some tips that can help: Don't overdo the coconut oil or butter. Eat more monounsaturated fats like olive oil, avocado oil and nuts. Also, take Omega-3 supplements or make sure to eat fish once or twice a week rather than beef. Also, try eating 1-2 pieces of fruit a day and healthier starches like rice. Read more here.
Everyone is different, and although I believe the principals here will apply to everyone, each individual will need a different intake of calories and macronutrients. That said, there are many who believe a "reset" of your system is required to jumpstart your metabolism and prime you for fat burning. If you haven't seen much results have a month, follow these steps, then try again for another month. If that still doesn't work, please email me. I would love to understand more.
It's simple really. For 10 days don't eat any usable carbs. Zero. This will completely wipe your body out of it's glycogen stores, priming your body for fat burning. I have to say that I have done this, and it was difficult. However, by knowing what to expect and what was going on with my body, that helped. Here is a rundown:
Days 1-4 you will completely wipe you your glycogen stores. With that you will also lose a lot of water weight. Don't get too excited. Much of this water will come back once you introduce carbs again. Drink a lot of water and avoid all usable carbs. Make sure to prep food to make this easier.
Days 3-6. Now that your body doesn't have carbs for energy, it will start producing more ketones. Ketone production should reach it's peak by day 6. During this period, you may feel tired and extremely irritable. Having prepped food is a must as you don't want your frustration to force you into bad habits. Eating carbs will break this whole thing.
Days 7-10. Your brain will adapt to start using the ketones that have been built up for fuel. Most likely your body hasn't done this for years. As this starts happening, you will have more energy and focus.
If going without carbs doesn't sound like fun to you, the alternative is to have 3-4 days of consecutive high-intensity workouts (lifting weights or HIT) along with zero carbs. That will wipe out your reserves completely, and you can have the same resetting result in 5-6 days.
For the first week or so, you are going to feel more hungry than normal. Your body is used to eating carbs and getting quick/crappy energy. After that, your cravings should start calming down. I would also bet you are not eating enough fat. Make sure to spread butter over your vegetables, put MCT oil in a morning herbal tea or protein shake, eat something small every two hours. And last of all, eat more at dinner. As your body adapts, you'll need to take in 75% or so of your calories at dinner time. Make it count. Eat until full while following the order prescribed. Also, drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to food cravings. Make sure you are drinking a lot... most likely more than you ever have.
You should not feel hungry on this diet. Again, this diet is not to feel hungry. Follow the tips above before you give up. But whatever you do, don't submit yourself to carbs because you need a snack. Prep your food ahead of time so you can have high-fat foods as needed (I just ate two pork & cheese meatballs as I wrote this).