Simply this. We have been “had” by the majority of the “medical community!” The AMA, ADA and other groups have spent years, and food companies have spent millions, promoting low FAT dieting. The problem is, contrary to public opinion, body fat doesn’t get “stuffed” into your body by eating dietary fat! You really aren’t what you eat! Fat that is eaten is processed metabolically and converted to energy for the body, then, anything the body can’t use is further processed and the resulting components MAY then be stored as body fat in the individual. HOWEVER, carbohydrates are also processed by the body BUT, additionally, cause the release of the hormone, “insulin.” Insulin has been called “the fat storing hormone” because insulin is released to process glucose from carbohydrates, and other foods, into glycogens for the body to use.
Insulin, then, takes whatever is left over and converts it directly to body fat. Why is this bad? In essence, it isn’t “bad” in and of itself. It is what the body was designed to do. Your body was designed to store fat from “feast” times, for use during “fast” times. However, the human body is not designed to process the pure and refined sugars and high carbohydrates that most modern Americans eat!
The body was designed to eat meat (proteins and fats) and natural vegetables and nuts…mostly low in carbohydrates and high in proteins. Due to this fact, the body has to be “better” at converting the low amount of carbs in these foods to energy than we now need with today’s high carb levels. The result? More and more stored body fat!
If you are like me…a LOT of stored body fat! I got up to 500 lbs. (I am 6′ 2″ tall.) Was it because I had no “will power,” as I was always told? NO! I ate less food than many of my thin friends! What was the problem? My body was putting out a LOT of insulin to process the high carbs I was eating (it wasn’t unusual for me to have eight “real” Cokes per day, for instance!) The insulin caused my body to store fat. Why do I use the past tense? Because I got a hold of Dr. Robert Atkins’ audio book “Dr. Atkin’s New Diet Revolution.” I found that the information presented in the book not only made sense… it perfectly described me! I went on the Atkins Low Carb diet. The result? In just over six months, I have lost over 127 lbs. You read that right! 127 lbs.! Do I feel better? You bet! Am I STILL loosing weight? You bet! My goal? 255 lbs.
255 lbs. is what a test revealed would be my best body weight… currently I have 222 lbs. of lean body weight according to the test results… that is, if ALL the fat were stripped off my body (if only it were that easy!) the remaining lean body mass would weigh 222 lbs. Therefore, 255 is supposed to be a good weight for me. (How did I find out? I took the BMI test derived from a Navy study.
Now, back to our question, “What is a ketogenic diet?” “Ketogenic” refers to “ketosis,” the state your body enters when your daily carbohydrate intake is below approximately 30 grams. This is the approximate amount required (for an average person) to enter ketosis (usually in about three days.) Ketosis can be “maintained” for most people if the carbohydrate intake remains under 100 grams after entering the useful state of what Dr. Atkins calls “BDK” (Benign Dietary Ketosis.) Why is BDK important? Because when the body enters BDK it begins to burn fat instead of “living off” the glycogens derived from a (moderate to high) carbohydrate based diet.
An effect observed by researchers during this type of diet is the creation of FMS (Fat Mobilizing Substance), this substance is created by the body in response to eating less carbohydrates and eating (brace yourself!) MORE dietary fat! Strange, I know, but many studies have shown that given three diets, one a 1700 calorie diet with “normal” carbohydrate intake, another, a 1700 calorie diet with low carbohydrate intake, and third, a diet very low in carbohydrate intake… low enough to enter BDK (about 30 grams) an interesting phenomenon occurs! All of the aforementioned diets cause weight loss, of course, but the diet that causes the subject to enter BDK results in orders of magnitude MORE weight loss. (Details on these studies are in Dr. Atkins’ book)… it appears that the diet that causes BDK results in the creation of this substance that the researchers termed “FMS.” FMS, in turn, aids in the conversion of fat into energy for the body. The result is MORE weight lost than is possible on a “normal” reduced calorie diet! I am an outstanding example of the action of FMS…
Once, back in the early 1980’s, I went on a “diet” that was really no diet at all! Think about this.. for a person that has been accused by some as having “no will power!” I did not eat at all Monday through Friday… yes, you read that right! I only had WATER Monday through Friday and I ate (normal, small meals) on Saturday and Sunday. Fasting is NO way to gain permanent weight loss… I proved that! Oh, I lost weight… in fact, in eight months I lost 85 lbs… but I immediately gained it all back… and more besides! You can’t live on a regimen of NOTHING to eat… yet, you would think that I would have lost at the maximum possible rate, wouldn’t you? Yet, on the Atkins Diet, eating good, sometimes “heavy” meals with real butter, heavy cream, and other fat containing foods… I have not been hungry, felt great, and lost over 127 lbs. in slightly over six months! HOW? FMS! My body created this substance that has helped me drop the weight at a greater rate than even fasting! And, I feel good, my blood pressure has normalized and my “brain fog” and numerous other symptoms has disappeared! This diet is a miracle! By the way, in both cases, I was walking and exercising… the ONLY difference between both experiences is the manner of eating (or, not eating in the former case!)
Bill Bailey, Ph.D., MH, ND, CNHP
(Dr. Bailey can be reached at Healing Pathways