The last time I was on the Dr. Oz Show, you met Kendy who was thinking about going on the Ketogenic diet. Like many of you out there, she wanted to lose 30 pounds and her approach to diet and exercise wasn’t working.
Dr. Oz introduced us and together we began a walk through a day of Keto meals. High fat, moderate protein, low carbs, – all designed to taste great and make one feel satiated as part of getting the body into ketosis.
What initially attracted her to Keto?
Who doesn’t love bacon? Do not be ashamed to admit if that’s your reason for embracing the Keto lifestyle!
Then, as he normally does, Dr. Oz weighed in with his view as a guide to Kendy. He started with a theme of “go for it” but expressed some overall concerns. First, he explained, “I’m fascinated by the science,” and continued with, “We don’t know enough about its effect on diseases.” Then, he added that it would be too easy for her to drop out of ketosis if she “cheated” by adding a bun to the burger.
Dr. Oz says No
So, overall, Dr. Oz seemed intrigued by Keto, but his uncertainty led him to be less enthusiastic about recommending it as a sustainable approach to a healthy lifestyle.
His skepticism is understandable and I welcome it. But, here is what I would say in response if he and I were to have another conversation about Keto.
1 – Changing one’s commitment to health and fitness requires discipline.
The temptation for a “cheat meal” is strong for those seeking to alter their physiology and psychology with changes to their diet. However, strictness to following a plan and being disciplined in one’s approach is the tough part to making any lasting change and hard-wiring new habits. For example, the Whole30 program asks for commitment to a ‘yes’ list and a ‘no’ list of things to eat over fixed period of time (30 days). To truly become fat adapted within the Keto program, it is important to stay strictly Keto for at least 60 days. This fat adaptation phase is EXTREMELY important as it takes your body a while to become efficient at using ketones as a fuel source. The longer you’re in ketosis, the more time your body has to adapt and use them efficiently. If you only stick with it for a few days and then have that sugary snack you crave, you’ll have to start over again. But if you’ve been Keto strict for 60+ days, and then have a high carb meal, your body’s ability to get back into ketosis will be so much more efficient and you’ll be able to jump back in much quicker. Remember, be patient with yourself as your body adapts and really listen to your body. There’s a lot of flexibility AFTER the initial Keto adaptation phase depending on your goals and lifestyle.
2 – Read and understand the research.
Early in my journey to understand the science behind , I reviewed publications and talked with the experts. I wanted to get a sense of what and who was credible as resources to be trusted. Dr. Oz wanted to know more about the science and Keto’s effect on disease. The published resources I found span almost 20 years and feature researchers reporting on improvements to not only individuals’ cognitive function and mental clarity, but also on how the Ketogenic approach minimizes complications resulting from high cholesterol, diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. So, yes, they are up for debate but ongoing research shows a definite impact. Also, I continuously have conversations with those who actively research the Ketogenic approach to population health.
3 – Keeping Perspective
Last month’s podcast (Episode 132) with Jade Nelson is a great example of the impact of the Keto approach to wellness. When eating a cupcake can lead to a seizure, one takes great care in considering what they put into their body. What I learned from Jade in our talk was that dietary discipline for some can be a life or death decision. Fortunately, not all of us have to worry about epilepsy being triggered by what we eat, but seeing Jade’s commitment to maintaining her wellness was inspiring. If she can maintain the strictness, why can’t we do the same for the 60 days required to get into Keto. It’s worth it!
4 – Speak with your doctor
As we interact with hundreds of new members who sign up each week for the Keto Jumpstart Program, many of them want to be educated as they discuss Keto with their doctors. They ask:
- “What kind of information can I share with my doctor to inform them about what I’m doing?”
- “My doctor has concerns about fat raising cholesterol levels and clogging arteries. What do I tell her?”
These are great questions and it’s important to have these conversations with your doctor. Additionally, we claim that this program is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice. It is recommended to always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider, before taking any dietary supplements or starting a new health and fitness program. Your doctor can help you figure out if this is right for you or if it will interact with any medical conditions you may have or medications you are on.
5 – Take Action
Below are some links to print and share with your doctor in your next visit.
Be educated. Do your research. Ask questions. It’s your health and when you take initiative to partner with your doctor, you’ll avoid the negative effects of being passive with your new fitness-oriented lifestyle.
Remember, being skeptical about Keto is OK whether that’s you or your doctor. Having discipline is required and it shows that you are embracing a new you with integrity and the power to achieve great things in your life.
- Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients
- Ketogenic Diet vs. Plate Method Diet in helping combat diabetes in obese patients
- Ketogenic diet in adolescents and adults with epilepsy
- Effects of Keto diet on tumors of childhood cancer patients
- Nebeling LC, Miraldi F, Shurin SB, Lerner E. Effects of a ketogenic diet on tumor metabolism and nutritional status in pediatric oncology patients: two case reports. J Am Coll Nutr. 1995;14:202–208
- Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet
- The Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Exercise Metabolism and Physical Performance in Off-Road Cyclists
- The effects of the ketogenic diet on behavior and cognition
- The neuroprotective properties of calorie restriction, the ketogenic diet, and ketone bodies
- Maintaining weight loss through process of ketosis