Is this diet safe?
First, if you're thinking of this as a "diet" and planning to do it and then stop, this probably is not the program for you. This is about lifestyle change. My goal is for you to feel so good, and be so healthy, that you will not WANT to return to your old ways of eating! Now, as far as safety, yes a ketogenic (fat burning) diet is safe. It's been around for over a century and has been used throughout that time to treat epilepsy and diabetes. A well formulated low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet has been proven time and again to be effective in weight loss, with very few potential adverse effects. The trick is to do it right. Eat real, clean, whole foods. Eat healthy, natural fats. Eat organic vegetables and grass-fed or free range animal products as much as possible. Most adverse effects are related to "kept flu" which occurs as your body is learning to burn fat for fuel. But those symptoms can be minimized or even eliminated with a little help from your coach.
Do I have to give up carbs?
No! We will work together to figure out your own personal carbohydrate tolerance. Lots of people can get into and maintain ketosis with as much as 75-100 grams of carbs per day! Others have to keep it under 50, or even as low as 20. We won't know till we try. The healthiest carbs are always available to you though - green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and some berries. I'll teach you how to make them taste amazing! And, I promise if you stick it out, you'll stop craving the breads and other carb-age you're used to eating. You won't even miss it! Plus you'll get to try new low carb sweets and snacks that'll have you forgetting all about the old junk. Even better, over time you'll be able to tolerate more, so an occasional piece of cake is not out of the question!
Can I have my wine?
Well, not at first. That's tough for some people to accept. But in the early phases of switching to a fat burning metabolism, you'll want to avoid alcohol entirely. After a couple weeks, I'll teach you the best choices for a little indulgence and how to tell if it's throwing you off and stalling your success. Some people can tolerate red wine, others can't. Beer is pretty much off the table... think about it... it's made from grains! It's pretty much liquid bread! Most liquors however are going to be OK! So, don't give up, just be patient!
I love cheese! Is dairy OK on this diet?
Another "that depends" answer. And, another caution that this is NOT a "diet" you're going on for a short time. There's a lot of variability with dairy. Milk is a no-no. It causes so much trouble, maybe I'll blog about it at some point. Many people do just fine with cheeses and creams though. For some however, it's a trigger food that they tend to overeat. If that's the case, it may have to be sidelined for a little while. Generally, you'll want to eat no more than 4 ounces of cheese per day. In addition, sometimes when someone isn't getting results, I'll recommend a trial off dairy to see if it's the culprit. Often it is! Many people have dairy intolerance and don't even know it until they come off it. So... let's work the program and see what your body likes and dislikes, instead of worrying about every little food.
Won't eating fat raise my cholesterol?
The short answer is no, not at all. We'll get into this in your FaBu-liscious education. For now, just know that dietary cholesterol the fat you eat) does not effect your blood cholesterol. High cholesterol, more specifically high triglycerides, comes from the liver creating cholesterol to try to combat the effects of a diet high in carbs and processed foods.
Is this like Adkins? And what about ketoacidosis?
The Adkins diet was super popular in the early and mid 1990s. It was based on a ketogenic diet, and many people had success. However, it was flawed in that (1) there was no way to ensure ketosis so people didn't feel very good on it, (2) it allowed for entirely too much protein which led to some side effects, and (3) the later phases suggested a return to previous eating patterns so people gained their weight back. We know now how to properly formulate diet and exercise to get it right! As far as ketoacidosis, that is a common misunderstanding. Only type 1 diabetics are physiologically capable of getting into trouble with ketones. The rest of us produce insulin, which keeps the process in check. Nutritional ketosis, a state of burning fat for fuel, is totally safe and very effective. It involves a much lower level of blood ketones, not even close to the levels seen in ketoacidosis. Those with type 2 diabetes need to be careful with a ketogenic diet, but it's because it works so well that they need to closely monitor blood sugars and be very careful with dosing insulin. Ketoacidosis is simply not a concern with this lifestyle.