Friday, October 30, 2015

Dr. Sarah Hallberg TED Talk Highlights

Why Dr. Sarah Hallberg is My New #LCHF Heroine

She may look like the woman next door, but don't let Sarah Hallberg's Rice Crispy Treats toting soccer mom facade fool you. The petite physician is poised to prove that a ketogenic low-carb high-fat diet is the ticket to health for most Americans -- especially those suffering from obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

I have been hooked by everything Hallberg says and does since viewing her TED Talk a while back, an 18-minute mind blowing lecture called

Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines

Dr. Sarah doesn't play.
Dr. Sarah Hallberg delivering
her TED Talk on
reversing Type 2 Diabetes

In folksy English spiced with clinical data and compelling anecdotes, the self-described obesity doctor challenges conventional medical advice for treating Type 2 Diabetes.

If you don't have 18 minutes right now to watch Dr. Sarah Hallberg's TED Talk on You Tube, I have highlighted they key points below. However, before reading them you must pinky swear to watch the actual video when you have more time.

Obese people are not to blame for their situation; nor do they have weak character.
The culprit is the nutritional advice provided by the medical communit.

Obesity is a hormonal disease caused by insulin resistance.

Insulin resistant people can't drive blood sugar into their cells. This causes a rise in insulin levels.

Almost 50 percent of all American --
about 120 million people -- now have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Insulin makes us hungry and causes us to store fat.

Everything we eat is a carb, protein or fat -- or combination thereof.

When we eat carbs, our insulin and glucose levels spike quickly. When we eat protein, insulin levels spike less than with carbs When we eat fat, insulin levels do not spike at all.

Diabetes is a state of carbohydrate toxicity in which the cells become resistant to insulin. This prevents blood glucose from entering our cells, causing blood sugar levels to rise in the blood and the body to produce even more insulin.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) tells p
eople with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) to eat 40-65 carbs per meal and additional carbs for snacks. That is recommending they eat what caused their problem.

The ADA states there is insufficient evidence to recommend limiting carbohydrates.

ADA guidelines say if you take certain diabetes medications you have to eat carbs or your blood sugar will drop too low. This is a vicious cycle: take diabetes medication so you must eat the same carbs that  caused your problem in the first place.

The ADA does not tell patients there is a method to reverse T2D through diet.

Human bodies do not need carbs. The minimum daily requirement for carbs is zero
. A nutrient is essential if you need it to function AND you can't make it from something else. The body can make its own glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis.

Overconsumption of carbs is making us very sick; yet we continue to recommend that people get about half of their total energy intake every day from carbs.

Patients at Hallberg's obesity clinic dramatically decrease daily carbs, and their blood glucose goes

Dr. Sarah Hallberg:
Medical revolutionary
disguised as soccer mom
down -- decreasing or eliminating their need for insulin.

The single biggest risk factor for cardio vascular disease is insulin resistance -- 42 percent of heart attacks are caused by this.

Low-carb interventions work so quickly Dr. Hallberg has pulled patients off hundreds of units of insulin within days or weeks.
One patient with a 20-year history of out-of-control diabetes was on multiple meds -- including 300 units of insulin being injected by pump continuously. She lost weight via low-carb dietary intervention and now her blood sugar levels are normal all the time -- without taking diabetes medication.

T2D can be controlled, but not cured. If patients start eating excessive carbs, their problem will come back.

Dr. Hallberg's recommended diet is low carb. Not zero carb. Not high protein. Carbs are mainly replaced with fat.

Fat tastes great and is incredibly satisfying. It is the only macronutrient that keeps glucose blood sugar and insulin levels low.

Dr. Hallberg's five simple rules for eating:

  1. If it says light, low-fat or fat-free, it stays in the grocery store
  2. Eat real food
  3. Don't eat anything you don't like
  4. Eat when you're hungry; don't eat when you're not hungry -- no matter what the clock says
  5. Do not eat GPS foods: Grains, Potatoes or Sugar.
People who are not insulin resistant can eat pure whole grains but most so-called whole grain foods have some refined carbs in them. If you are insulin resistant, do not eat any grains. You can still enjoy baking and eating home-baked treats on a low-carb diet using ingredients like coconut and almond flour.

Dozens of randomized control trials looking at low-carb interventions for diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and inflammation have shown improvement in these conditions.

Dr. Hallberg did a study at her medical clinic in which 50 patients followed a low-carb diet and 50 followed ADA Guidelines. Her low-carb patients had a significant metabolic advantage over the ADA group.

Diabetes is a progressive disease that requires more medicine over time.

It is difficult to change conventional diet guidelines because many hidden agendas are involved. A recent study showed there is no randomized control evidence to remove fat from the diet, which is how carbohydrates became such a large part of the typical American diet. When you reduce fat, you typically add more carbs. The low-fat movement was a huge experiment on millions of people that failed miserably.

There is a lot of money to be made on keeping people sick. Nutritional guidelines panels are typically stacked with people who have a conflict of interest.

Stop using medicine to treat diseases whose root cause is carbohydrate intolerance.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

New Medifast Achieve 4&2&1 Plan Permits Pasta, Baked Potatoes and Fruit!

Adios Ketosis! 

In one of the more cynical marketing ploys in commercial diet program history, Medifast has introduced a new weight loss plan that pretends to be more affordable and permits customers to consume formerly forbidden high-carb foods like fruit, pasta and potatoes.
This graphic for Medifast Achieve
from a recent blog post
is the same big hot mess
as the diet itself.

Ironically, Medifast is calling this program Medifast Achieve™ although the most likely achievement will be a short-term spike in its stock price.

As the company's profits -- and customers' waistlines -- expand, the only thing likely to shrink are customers' wallets.

When I lost 35 pounds on Medifast two years ago, I followed the more nutritionally logical 5&1 Plan which eschews fruit, pasta and potatoes in favor of lower-carb alternatives. I developed a habit of doing without these foods and planning my meals around a protein and vegetables.

Which I still do to this day, with the addition of butter, coconut oil and other healthy fats.

Medifast is using a cheap
point of entry as a hook
to sign up new members.
Happily, the 5&1 Plan is still being promoted by Medifast's Take Shape for Life (TSFL) division, which includes the services of a free health coach who provides guidance and emotional support. However, for those who opt to order their food directly from the Medifast website, that plan is neither mentioned nor offered.

The new Medifast Achieve™ plan is now just another low-fat, low-calorie diet, similar to Weight Watchers -- but without the meetings.

Because the higher carb load will not put dieters in the fat burning state called ketosis in which the body burns ketones instead of glucose, weight loss will be significantly slower. This will dampen motivation and increase the likelihood of failure.

Medifast admits on its own website that carb load makes a difference in losing weight:
"In general, be aware of your total total carbohydrate intake. If you are experiencing slower weight loss or hit a plateau, we recommend staying between 80-85 grams of carbs per day."
And this:
"While on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan for weight loss, we recommend that you avoid fruits, dairy, and starches because of their high carbohydrates contents (eating too many carbohydrates during the weight-loss phase can prevent you from achieving or maintaining the fat-burning state)."
So how does that square with the fact that the newly permitted baked potato snack contains a whopping 37 carb grams and has a glycemic score of 111 (anything over 70 is considered high)?

And though the Medifast Achieve™ website links to multiple studies that "prove" the Medifast diet is effective for weight loss, a footnote at the bottom states, "* All studies based on the heritage Medifast 5 & 1 Plan."

Indeed, I could not find any studies on the Medifast Achieve™ website to prove this new plan works except as a means to separate desperate people from their money.

Since there are only four Medifast replacement meals per day in the new Medifast Achieve™ plan, it will seem cheaper -- and thus more appealing -- to dieters on a tight budget. In reality, they will have to fork out money for an extra lean & green meal and snack each day, resulting in higher overall food costs than the 5&1.

I credit Medifast with being my catalyst to discovering a more ketogenic eating style, but I have since parted ways with the program because I disagree with its focus on low-fat foods. However, I will always feel indebted to the company for helping me achieve my initial quick weight loss -- a success that Medifast newbs may never experience.

Fortunately, they can still lose significant weight on Medifast via the company's Take Shape for Life program, which continues to advocate the "heritage" 5&1 plan with its history of proven success.