Keto To The Rescue – Bariatric Edition

It’s one of my favorite topics.  You already know that I am a “low carb” nutritionist and that I believe in the “low carb, ketogenic lifestyle”.

  • How many of you have tried the ketogenic diet?  
  • How many of you lost weight on the ketogenic diet?   
  • How many of you had a hard time staying on this diet?

Hopefully, after reading my article, those of you who fell off will once again gather the strength to give it another try.

I want to renew your keto-committment today. 

And there are numerous reasons why I want to light a fire inside of you and get you thinking about eating in a ketogenic fashion.

Nobody comes to me asking about keto because they want to lower inflammation in their body or prevent age-related diseases.  

They come to me to ask about keto because they have stopped losing weight or they have had a regain or because they just never met their weight loss goals.

And that’s just fine with me … as long as they want to know more about this way of eating, I am happy, because I know that the “other side effects” – not just weight loss – will change their way of thinking.

Keto may be a “fad” word right now but it is also a real way to eat, REAL FOOD where people experience fantastic results.  

What happens over time is that we stop thinking about “keto” and we start thinking “low processed carbs”.

 The more we can get this “food-like CARBAGE”  out of our diet, the better our health will be.  

When people feel better, they start to understand the amount of inflammation was in their body when eating the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Who wants to go back to feeling bloated and depressed and heavy and tired?  when they can feel happier with a flatter tummy and better energy levels….

So have I caught your attention?

Who wants to go back to being chained to the refrigerator all day long because of the inability to stabilize blood sugar levels and feeling hungry constantly?

I want to arm you with information so you remember why you wanted to start keto in the first place.

Keeping it simple is the key to success.

The ketogenic diet is not a miracle.  It is just good science.  It is the science of using food as medicine.  And this is possible when people switch from the ultra-processed industrial diet that is making them sick, to a diet of real, whole foods.

So being a Bariatric Nutritionist –

I work together with clients before and after surgery and I can tell you, these people have gone through a lot by the time they see me.  They have followed crazy diets, extreme exercise, taking weight loss pills, and beating themselves up over and over again.  Rinse and Repeat

My clients have tried everything … they are professionals at losing and gaining weight.

Who is to blame for these losses and gains?  Is it their fault? Did they do something wrong? 

If we want to put the blame somewhere, then I think that that blame belongs to a lot of BAD ADVICE that we have been given from a lot of people and it is time that we change that.

Now there is Keto-Sense and Nonsense … 

If you could read some of the emails that I receive from clients and prospective clients, the anxiety is palpable.  I can feel it radiating out of their emails. 

 And part of that comes from the fact that we have made low carb and ketogenic diets, sound so much more complicated and so much more complex, and difficult than they really are.

This way of eating – is supposed to make your life better, not worse right? 

This way of eating is supposed to make your life easier, not more difficult right?

And when we allow ourselves and others to be convinced that this way of eating is so complicated, and so difficult and has so many layers to it, then we do the opposite.  

And I really truly cannot tell you how many people I have heard from that are just paralyzed with anxiety and confusion.  I am sure you know the term “paralysis by analysis”? 

Some of the people are turning this keto way of life into something it does not need to be.

I love having a chance to set the record straight for you.

I want to put any of your fears, at rest and to put your mind at ease and help you and your friends see how easy this can be when you just “let it be”.  

How uncomplicated this can be when you allow it to be…

I want to bash a few Keto-myths. I want to bash backward and wrong information about keto.  

It is this mis-information that is preventing people from taking advantage of the beautiful, powerful benefits of this way of eating. 

What I am writing about is mostly general keto information, speaking at a high level, for most bariatric people.

You as an individual may be dealing with a unique medical situation or a unique genetic problem or some type of life circumstance by which some of what I say may not apply to you.

Please understand that I am speaking generally in the bariatric community, based on the clients that I have worked with for more than a decade, and based on my observations and understanding of the nutritional research.  I am not trying to pretend like I have all the answers. 

I don’t. 

I just want to clear up some of the facts that I do feel extremely confident about that I think are being misinterpreted in the keto world.

So where are we going to start?  With a story … 

 I wrote a blog post not long ago that was intended to remind people how easy and uncomplicated low carb really is.

I specifically used the phrase “low carb”, because I think that somewhere along the way “low carb” became a dirty phrase.  It became “passe” it was old news, old fashioned.  Everybody wants to be keto today.  All you hear is keto keto keto.

And that is great. Clearly, there is a place for a strictly ketogenic diet.  But when we tend to emphasize keto or ketogenic, rather than low carb, I really think that this is driving a lot of the confusion, fear and the anxiety about this way of eating. 

Because when you say ketogenic, that’s what makes people think that they need to measure their keytones, they need to load everything up with fat, and they need to make a deliberate effort to remain in a state of ketosis all the time, rather than just following a low carb diet.

I feel like some of the low carb and keto professionals have done this to ourselves by using that word ketogenic just a little too much and not giving enough air-time to the phrase low carb.

That blog post that I wrote, was a celebration of the Adkins Diet.  Dr. Adkins wrote his first diet book in 1972, over 40 years ago!  I said in that blog post “ I dare say, nobody has done much to improve upon it since then”.  

It is not that Dr. Adkins was right about everything, or that he covered every little nuance.  But it was perfect in terms of getting people to just get started with this way of eating. 

The Adkins diet had no limit on protein.  He celebrated people being allowed to enjoy heavy cream, butter, and fatty meat.  There was no fear of fat, but there was also no emphasis on adding gobs and gobs of extra fat to your food in order to reach some sort of high keytone level. 

The big thing with the Adkins diet was to keep carbs low – there was very little to no emphasis on loading things up with fat or deliberately restricting protein intake.

I wrote that blog because people today are so confused and so overwhelmed with conflicting information about this diet that they miss the forest through the trees. 

They are so worried about the details and the minutia, that they don’t even take the first step, which is getting the sugar and starch out of their diet.

When Adkins wrote his books, there were no at-home keytone tests, MCT oil was not commercially available. There were no fat bomb recipes available and people did great right? Just by reading one book? All that mattered, was keeping carbs low.  

I am not saying that there isn’t a place for measuring keytones or having a fat bomb.  That’s appropriate in some situations.  But nobody needs, any of that to get started or to stay on a low carb or ketogenic diet.

If you want to spend your money on that and if it makes your life more convenient, do it.  But that is not what makes this diet effective.  What makes this diet effective is low carbohydrate intake.

When we say ketogenic and people think they have to chase high keytones,  they will fast or they will eat extra fat or do “who knows what”.

For most people dealing with a metabolic issue – particularly one stemming from high insulin, whether that’s going to be obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, PCOS, gout, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, – the reason those things improve from a low carb diet is because of lower insulin and lower blood glucose.  Not because of the high keytones.

If you take away anything from this article, take away that.  The reason this diet is effective for most of those metabolic issues is that it corrects the chronic hyperglycemia and insulinemia.

Let’s work hard to learn about low carb eating and the ketogenic lifestyle.  Let’s learn to read labels and let’s really dig into carbohydrate counting.  That little mandarin has 12 grams of carbs – that is the equivalent to 3 teaspoons of sugar.  This is just a tiny example of how much there is to learn.

Take charge.  Take control.  Take back what belongs to you, excellent mental and physical health.

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About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

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