I first discovered ketosis as a means to starve cancer while researching cancer remedies for family members. It involves changing what you eat to be high fat, moderate protein, and little to no carbs, changing your body to use fat for fuel instead of sugar (carbs). Some associate “Atkins” with Keto, and for purposes of this article all references to Keto are “nutritional ketosis” and not just bacon and eggs (although one might start there to enter into ketosis for the first time).
At first I used Keto just to lose weight, only for it to help me change how I think in terms of health. I started out thinking I could lose weight to get healthy only to discover that losing weight was an artifact of living a healthy lifestyle. When my mindset changed, my reward was the fast melting of fat, without hunger, and with few compromises. No food boxes or shake powder to purchase, no points to count, just real food. I have never known of a purchasable weight loss success story that was sustained, let alone healthy.
I am a believer that if you want to get healthy you shouldn’t look to an MD to advise you in anything related to “health and wellness”; they are bias to their training and their pocketbook, neither of which serves us. Present day, MDs generally solve symptoms with pharmaceuticals, leaving us to solve our own health problems. To do that we must undo a lifetime of carnage starting first by unleashing the critical thinker and trust in our ability to recognize that which is self-evident, and finally to submit to our awakening.
No Sugar, Big Weight Changes
My wife first caught my attention when she lost about 35 pounds in about 6 months making 1 simple change in her life — zero processed sugar, in all of its forms with the exception to it’s most natural form (such as fruit). That was it — if a label contained the words sugar, fructose, syrup, maltodextrin, etc., she put it down. This was hard for her because she was addicted to sweets but she did it. My severely overweight 12 year old son, also took notice and gave it a go, and like her dropped about 35 pounds in 6 months. With this one change in their life, they both maintained well for 2 years or so.
Ketosis, Bigger Weight Changes Faster
Now it was my turn, except that I didn’t think I had 6 months to live, I’d be dead or severely impaired by then. My blood pressure was off the charts, and I was told I had to take “medicine” to reduce it or risk stroke or death. I decided against meds because I believed I would never get off them, which would in turn lead to other symptoms. Simply by walking twice a day, and following a healthy(er) ketogenic diet, I was able to lose 50 pounds in 2 months; I shed weight from 235 to 183 pounds. My blood pressure, which was life threatening having risen to critical levels over several years, normalized in a month (no pharmaceuticals). My neurologist, in disbelief, re-weighed me and took my blood pressure herself — she said with a smile “you don’t need me anymore”. Within a month, none of my clothes fit, within 2 months, I bought new clothes a second time. During this time my blood pressure cuff went from the largest cuff to the smallest cuff, I think it was more than 2” in mass just on my arm. After 20 years, my wedding ring fits again. My wife joined me on this journey and also lost another 20 pounds or so.
(Nutritional) Ketosis Just Gets Better
Switching from a sugar burner to a fat burner (ketosis) is a most interesting experience, which isn’t easy to describe. In my family’s case, it took about 4-5 days to enter into ketosis for the first time, and you realize it when the hunger goes away. It’s strange not to feel hunger, but you don’t. The hardest part is listening to your body when it says “don’t feed me, I’m good”. For me, fat burning is more sustaining than sugar burning and it sustains me much longer; I typically eat one meal per day (with a snack later), and content until the next day. It’s worth noting that extreme athletes may take longer to fully keto adapt and might want to hold their carbs until their workout. I observed this with my son (that little fat kid is now a brick house body builder).
My wife and I both experienced the best sleep of our lives on Keto. Our dreams are vivid, we sleep uninterrupted all through the night, and awake refreshed. I stopped snoring, and my sleep apnea went away. My sleep deficit is gone, and I don’t drift off into a coma in the afternoon. General inflammation completely disappeared, such as headaches, swelling in the feet, flush face. I no longer get heartburn or Exorcist style acid reflux. Night sweats were gone, and even my body odor went away; that’s right, I didn’t need or use deodorant. The few times I wear it is out of fear on special occasions.
Our taste buds have changed dramatically too, things that weren’t so sweet now are noticeably sweet, and things that were noticeably sweet are now too sweet. This helped us to see just how much of a grip refined sugar has on us. It’s almost like God gave me a new tongue to taste all these wonderful things He blessed us with. For instance, I used to hate grapefruit, now I love it; same thing with raspberries.
After being healed by food, we left keto and eventually relapsed. By this time my family was changed such that we didn’t really eat things like candy, we ate more green stuff, and generally speaking ate real food and avoided packaged food as much as possible. When shopping, we avoided the inner isles. My wife coined it the “The J.E.R.F. Diet” (just eat real food). While we maintained better health, we did put back some of the weight over the course of 2 years and attributed that gain to 2 things:
- Grains: bread, oatmeal, corn flakes, chips, etc.
- High Fat + Carbs.
Coming from a Keto lifestyle, which is high fat, you can’t switch from being a fat burner (Keto) back to a sugar burner (grains and sugars) and continue with the high fat. You have to pick one lifestyle or the other. Having lived both lifestyles and something in between, the wife and I switched back to keto and decided that we just feel so much better being a fat burner. We avoid grains and sugars, and keep the fruits low but enjoy our berries. When maintaining a healthy weight, I might get kicked out of ketosis for giving in to a monster craving of oatmeal loaded with honey and raisins drowned in freshly made cashew milk, followed by a few IPA’s later in the day. When this happens, getting back into the keto club only took a day (maybe 2), and none of the peculiar isms of the first time entering ketosis (I assume because my body has already made the transformation and can go back and forth).
Tales from the Historical Record
I recently went beyond 40+ years to observe pictures and video reals for as far back as the camera could see in time. I studied everything I could find from youtube, google images, family photos and yearbooks. Essentially, for 100+ years between the 1800’s to the 1900’s there was one thing that is crystal clear; obesity was rare. Even as a young boy back in the 1970’s I can recall there not being so many heavyset people, but roll forward to present day and we find that obesity in the US is typical. Even those of us not obese are generally overweight compared to the historical record. When I was young, we didn’t have carts to wheel folks around in the store; there wasn’t a need for it.
Ever wonder why “type 2 diabetes” is the new diabetes, and the old diabetes is now “type 1 diabetes”? Before changing the US diet there was only 1 “type” of diabetes, and it was uncommon. What’s changed? Our diet! Wether we were lied to about health or our medical “experts” just got it wrong is irrelevant; it’s doesn’t take a genius to see that the proposed food pyramids (or the new MyPlate) has been completely wrong these past 40+ years, with sugars and grains plummeting our health (again, among other things).
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
If you are the subject of ill health or severely overweight, I believe that the right food is probably a great place to start, and for most would likely end there. Allopathic medicine and MD’s aren’t the Holy Grail they have been built up to be. My family went back and forth between keto and a non-keto J.E.R.F. diet. My family is split between the two, but one thing that is consistent among us, we avoid processed sugars and grains, mainly because we cannot trust ourselves to moderate it. We are finding there are wonderful and healthier alternatives available anyhow (except for beer and wine=). If we must have a “sugar” then we use palm and date surgar.
To get started or to explore this subject, the following sources help my family daily to heal thyself. Some educate about keto, some about low carb, but I trust them more than I trust my MD when it comes to health:
- Dr. Robert Lustig
- Dr. Eric Berg
- Dr. Becky Gillaspy & 2 Fit Docs
- Dr. David Jockers
- Thomas DeLauer
- Dr. Joseph Mercola
Olly olly oxen free
We all need help at some point. Feel free to message or call me if that is you, especially if you are considering surgery for weight loss. There is nothing like having a 50 pound weight cut loose from your ankle and I would love to help others do the same. Besides the weight, numerous other “things” just sort of self-corrected; it’s almost like God made this perfect machine that is capable of fixing itself when given what it needs; nah, that’s just crazy.