Coach Jack’s List of Approved veggies

Since everyone is always asking “What veggies are OK to eat?” or saying “There aren’t any veggies we ca eat on the WOE!” I have compiled a list of safe and unsafe veggies.

Note: If you are unhappy because your favourite veggie is on the naughty list please don’t ask me why or ask if you can still have it. You are a grown up. Make your choice. I explained why they are where they are in the article. If you don’t agree, eat them to your hearts content. If you don’t understand, google “why are lectins bad”. I do my research before I post anything. There are a few links at the end of the article.

Always keep in mind that 20g total carbs is still the daily limit and I always recommend counting TOTAL not NET!

These are the Safe veggies and are all low in lectins or only have beneficial types of lectins:

Brussels sprouts
Bok choy
Napa cabbage
Chinese cabbage
Swiss chard
Green and red cabbage
Beets (raw)
Daikon radish
Jerusalem artichokes
Hearts of palm
Red and green leaf lettuce
Mesclun (baby greens)
Dandelion greens
Butter lettuce
Mustard greens
Sea vegetables

These are the Unsafe Veggies that should be avoided at all cost. They are inflammatory or high in damaging lectins:

Sugar snap peas
Green beans
Chickpeas (including as hummus)
Soy protein
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
All beans, including sprouts
All lentils
Squashes (any kind)
Bell peppers
Chili peppers

Related articles:

Inflammation Induced by Concanavalin A and Other Lectins

Dietary lectins are metabolic signals for the gut and modulate immune and hormone functions.

Characteristics and consequences of interactions of lectins with the intestinal mucosa.

Evidence of a correlation between mannose binding lectin and celiac disease: a model for other autoimmune diseases

Do dietary lectins cause disease?

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

What does a real weight loss journey look like?

People are always concerned with getting skinny as fast as possible or having their dream body in a year. I am going to document my journey and show you that it won’t take a year and you can’t rush it. In fact the longer it takes and the more mistakes you make, the stronger you become and the more you learn.

My journey has been a lifelong one. I typically only count from my discovery of Atkins and inadvertently ketosis. This was in 2005.

Until I was in the 5th grade I was lean and active. I was severely ADHD and had several allergies including cows milk (I now know it was just the casein that I was allergic to). For this reason I was on a strict diet with no sugar, artificial color or flavor and was only able to drink goats milk (very little casein in goats milk). If I had any of these things I would be absolutely uncontrollable. Well that isn’t the effect the cows milk had on me. We won’t get into that.

When I was in the 5th grade I went to live with my father and diet was out the window. It was restaurant food and junk everywhere and no restriction on when or where to eat. I obviously was in heaven. Within 7-9 months I had gained a massive amount of weight. I had no idea. I moved back with my mother before the end of that school year. Partly I think because my step mother couldn’t handle me anymore, the ADHD was out of control, and I was mad because she was not giving me my way about something. Typical kid.

I moved back with my mother and went back to my old school. The crazy thing was that none of my friends even recognized me at first. Only after I told them who I was did they remember. I had gained that much weight. Things got rough for me from that point on. I had always been a very active and popular kid. Not the case anymore. The teasing and bullying was relentless. The worst part it was from my former best friends. I had to find all new friends and quit playing sports and joined the school band. I at least had some people there that were not teasing me. Too bad I sucked at playing saxophone as well. I ended up changing schools several times over the years in order to try and get away from the torture but eventually gave up and by grade 9 I moved back to my father who lived in a very rural small town. It seemed to be better there. There was still teasing and bullying of course but it seemed to be much better. I stayed there until I graduated and I remained overweight the whole time.

After graduating I moved back to my mother’s home town and being in the adult world now I decided I should try to lose some weight and maybe get a girlfriend. I tried cutting back on sweets and going to the gym and rollerblading everywhere I went but nothing really worked. Still just that chubby guy. I did manage to lose some weight at one point because I got really broke and the only thing I could afford to eat for an entire month was potatoes. I did lose weight but I felt pretty terrible. Needless to say, once I got some money to buy real food the weight came back with a vengeance. I eventually did end up finding a girl, my current lovely wife God bless her, and we got happy and I got fatter. I eventually went to school to be a computer engineer and got fatter still. After school I got a job in an office doing reporting and data analysis and got fatter still.

Here we are, 2005 and my wife and I decide to get a family picture taken. We get the pictures back and I am absolutely floored when I see myself. What happened? I got a scale and weighed in. I was 298 pounds of unhappiness. I pretty much stopped eating at that point and lost a little weight but not much. I was depressed ad lost and didn’t know what to do. I was pre-diabetic and on my way to being just like my diabetic father and bother. Watching TV one day a documentary on the crazy doctor that was helping people lose weight eating bacon. I was sold. I went and bought his book immediately. I read the whole thing in a couple of days and got on it. I ended up going on leave at work for 3 months and just focusing on the diet. I made every recipe and followed it to a tee. I was eating 3 huge meals a day full of fat and loved it. I was keeping my carbs below 20g as directed in the induction phase of the Atkins book and this was the first time I had heard of ketosis. I recall my wife complaining that my breath could peel paint. This made me happy.

3 months had gone by and I had lost about 90lbs. I had to get back to work. I was still 208 or 210 lbs at that point and still not completely happy but it was time to go back to the real world. I continued on with the diet though. Over the next year I was able to get down to 175lbs. So a total loss of 123lbs. You would think I would be happy. I was wearing the smallest clothes I had ever worn and people were always commenting on how slim I was but underneath, I saw differently. I still had a belly and love handles and my arms were scrawny with no muscle tone. I was skinny fat. I had never really done much for exercise after the age of 12 so I never really developed any muscle. I started going to the gym at that point. We had a gym at my office so I went every day at 6am, showered and headed to the office. Well you would think I would get even leaner or gain some muscle and look better right? Wrong. What happened next is what happens to most who don’t know better and I certainly didn’t know better.

So I was working out hard and pumping iron and expecting to get huge. What happened instead is I got tired and more hungry. Well I was working hard so I deserve to eat more. I did but not necessarily the right things. Well I was working out so I could eat more carbs right? That was good for working out right? Wrong. Before long I was back up to 225lbs. I had gained 50lbs by working out? What? All the fitness magazines were lying to me. So I doubled down. Worked out harder and longer and went back to low carb strictly again but it was different this time. I was working out so I needed more protein. Protein shakes and meat all day every day. My main staple was probably 60% meat and protein and 40% cheese and that is about it. I lost a little bit but never got even close to 200 lbs again. Yes I was gaining some muscle but not very much and I was very unhappy with my weight. I started doing P90x and that worked pretty well. I did notice more muscle but no weight loss. I guess that was good.

I spent a few years playing with diets. I tried Jenny Craig, weight watchers, simply for life and some other pre-packaged food company but always stayed between 200 and 210lbs. Then in 2011 I found Crossfit. I did my first workout and fell in love. I stayed low carb and lost about 10lbs in the first couple months. I was happy to below 200lbs for the first time in a long time. With Crossfit they used to push the Paleo Diet. Our gym was doing a paleo challenge where we logged everything we ate and stuck to a strict paleo diet and got out body composition tested before and after. Well I jumped right in. Paleo was kind of low carb but I could eat like 150g a day as long as they were caveman carbs. I did this for 3 months. I did lose alot of weight. I got back down to 175lbs again. I was so happy I couldn’t speak, for maybe 5 minutes but still. Time came for the body composition test and I was pumped. I was working out hard and eating paleo and I was sure I was going to see some great numbers. Yes I lost about 25 lbs but what really hit me is that 4lbs of that weight was muscle!!! I was so depressed. I was working so hard to put on muscle and was floored that I lost some. I know now why. Lower carb but not low enough to get into ketosis and without ketosis we don’t get the muscle sparing effects of ketones. Lesson learned.

After that disappointment I pretty much said screw it and just ate what I thought would be healthy. Over the next few months I gained back 20lbs and sat at 195lbs for a good long while. I would say about 3 years ago I really got motivated and said I am going to get down to 175 again and stay there. I found this website called Eat to Perform. It was advocating low carb except when training and said eat carbs around training. It was not specific though about how much or what kinds really. I played with that for about 6 months and saw nothing out of it. Lost no weight and saw nothing really in the way of performance gains so I tossed that. I then found the book The Carb Nite Solution by Keifer. That sounded awesome. Eat low carb all week then once a week in the evening you eat carbs till the wheels come off. Donuts, pies or potatoes it doesn’t matter. Go nuts. I did that for a month or two and felt horrible and gained 4lbs. Not a solution. Then I got the idea that I just have to eat less and workout more. Crazy right. I then thought well if eating less and moving more works well, then eating less and doing low carb will work even better right?

I started tracking everything and working out 6 days a week instead of 5. No luck. I was eating 2,000 cals and not losing any weight. OK, cut more. 1800 cals and working out 6 days a week. Nothing. 1600 cals a day and working out 7 days a week. Nada. 1501 cals a day was the lowest day I was able to do without being absolutely useless. I sat there for 3 weeks and lost nothing. I started working out more. I was doing crossfit 7 days a week then started running 2 days a week in the evening. I did this for 4 weeks. I gained 6 lbs. WTF!!!!! I quit. NOt point. I stayed low carb but stopped tracking and ate whenever I wanted. I also went back to working out only 4-5 days a week. Guess what. Gained not 1 more pound. Nothing. What was the point of all that bullshit. Eat less move more my ass.

Fastforward. November 2016. I started hearing about this Keto diet. Sounded like what I had been doing for years now. Even Dr. Atkins talked about ketosis. Sounds too good to be true. I started doing it. Tracking carbs and keeping them down to 20g. My breath was all paint peely again according to my wife. I lost some weight. Not a great deal but more than I had lost in years doing all that other crazy crap. I was feeling better as well. I was still eating keto treats and sugar free candies and such though. I was still drinking on occasion as well. January 1st, 2017 I decided I was going to do this hard core for 30 days and see what happens. I cut all sweets and treats. No alcohol. No net carbs. Just real traditional high fat low carb and moderate protein keto. The results were nothing short of miraculous. I could not believe what I was seeing. This was the body I had always wanted and could never get. I still saw too much love handle though of course. I only lost maybe 5 lbs but the mass gain I had and the fat that came off was stunning. I was sold. Ever since that day it has been strict keto for the most part. I’ve still done the occasional experiment and paid the price with the loss of my abs and the yearly trips down south with the same result but I have always been able to get back to it and get back to that shape with some common sense keto. 🙂

33 days of Real Strict Keto

What strict keto did

Well that is my 13 year, life long, journey. All 2150 words of it. You asked for it and you got it. Hope you enjoyed it more than I did. 🙂

The journey

Progress From healthy kid to obese man to skinny guy to fit, healthy and happy

Just some pics from over the years for fun. The article wasn’t long enough and I am feeling nostalgic.

A boy and his best friend

A kid and his Kid

Hands in the cookie jar

Hands in the cookie jar

Is skinny really healthy?

Is skinny really healthy

How did this happen?

How did this happen

Now this is what I’m talkin about! (sorry for the undies) 🙂

Undies shot

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

Peer-Review – The gold standard for scientific proof or gold standard for Bias and conflict of interest?

In the pinned post on the Common Sense Keto group I speak to people who love to throw out the old “Show me one peer-reviewed study” argument trying to prove you wrong. Well today I am going to show why peer-review is not in any way shape or form proof of anything and how it is more biased than most other forms of research.

Lets run quickly though the scientific process.

You run a lab and do some experiments. You write a paper about these experiments and the findings. Now of course you want to get the paper published because in the research world, the more papers you get published the more recognized you become and the more grant money you get to fund more experiments. The cycle of life for a research facility. You go online to the various Journals and submit your paper with the online form. During the online submission you select a group of scientific buddies, termed “experts” or “colleagues” – usually people you have met at conferences and have befriended over the years – and these buddies take on the duty of reviewing your paper. Essentially you tell the journal who you want to review your paper and they actually use these names. Why not. True story.

The reviewers, your peers who you recommend, have 3 options. They can approve the paper, suggest modification or outright reject the paper. Since your future grant money depends on the publishing of this paper who are you going to “recommend” to review your paper? People that share your bias or people who might reject it? Doesn’t sound biased at all now does it? Did I mention that the reviewers are well aware who wrote the paper? This is totally not predisposed to conflict of interest is it? They say that it is necessary to have the writer’s name on the paper and to allow the reviewers to know who it is so that it allows them to recognize the researchers credentials and history. Yeah that is probably why.

Essentially the peer review process is similar to the high school essay writing process. If the teacher has any sort of dislike for you, look forward to a crappy grade but if you are a teacher’s pet, A + all the way. Sounds legit to me.

Not only do you have to be aware of the bias and conflict of interest in the way of the researcher choosing their own reviewers, you have to worry about the journalistic spin and industry influence on research.

From the former editor and chief of the New England Journal of Medicine after quitting the journal:

“I witnessed first hand the influence of industry on medical research during my two decades at the journal. The staple of the journal is research about causes and treatments of disease. Increasingly, work is sponsored by drug companies. I saw companies begin to exercise a level of control over the way research is done that was unheard of when I first came to the journal, and the aim was clearly to load the dice to make sure their products looked good.”

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of great research done but keep in mind that everyone has an agenda when writing scientific papers. There is one key concept that should help you determine if a paper is credible.

If a study is favorable and positive regarding something that can be bought or sold, be wary!

Now if you think that this is my opinion, it isn’t. This all comes from Dr. Anthony Jay. He is a PH.D and is also the president of the International Medical Research Collaborative. This comes from his experience in research and publication of numerous studies both privately and publicly funded.

There is a Doctor by the name of Dr. Marion Nestle, no relation to the Nestle food company, who is collecting scientific studies that are industry funded that show conflicts of interest. She is compiling them and writing assessments on each to show where the conflict is. Of the 168 studies she has so far collected only 12 of them are unfavorable towards the company’s product. That doesn’t sound fishy at all.

Here is another example of how studies are massively flawed. The Bayer company did a study where they took a massive amount of studies, so a study of studies, and attempted to reproduce the results of these studies using the exact parameters laid out by the original study team. They found that the science journal’s results did not match up to their in house replications more than 75% of the time!!!

So in essence, before you start trying to use “peer-review” as the gold standard of science and trying to use your journal published study to prove your point, remember to think about agendas. Does the article have something to gain by being less than forth coming? Is there a product that hinges on the preferable outcome of the study? In essence, use Common Sense when looking at these studies. Just because they were reviewed by “peers” does not mean they are any type of validation. It simply means that people with the same bias as the writer read them and agreed. That is not proof. That is conflict of interest.

If they really wanted true proof they would find people in direct disagreement with the hypothesis to review the paper. That would validate it.

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

Fiber – Is it essential? (The effect of glucose regulation vs insulin regulation in fat loss)

First let me give you a definition of essential:

For something to be essential to the diet it must have a clear and measurable disease associated with the absence of it.

There has not been a single study that conclusively shows that a deficiency in fiber exists. There are however, many societies of people who eat little to no fiber and thrive with none of the diseases of the western societies that do eat fiber.

The Inuit of northern Canada, the Inuit of northern Greenland, The native diet of the Scandinavian, the Masai, the San Bushmen of the Kalahari, the Nenets of Siberia and the list goes on. All of these tribes of people live disease free and long lives despite living in some of the world’s harshest climates and in the near complete absence of dietary fiber. Only when high carbohydrate and yes, high fiber foods of the western culture are introduced to these tribes do they develop the diseases of lifestyle. I myself have not had more than a few grams of fiber per day in the last 10-13 years. I am in perfect health and lead a very active lifestyle.

By Definition, Fiber is not essential to the human diet just as carbohydrate is not essential.

I am not saying that fiber causes any of these diseases. I am saying that the absence of fiber does not have any detrimental effects. Fiber can in fact be very useful in some instances. In this article I will lay out the benefits and detriments of fiber and who can benefit from it and who should avoid it.

Fiber is very good at regulating the rise of blood sugar. This is of great benefit to diabetics. Especially with type 1 diabetics whose primary concern is keeping blood sugar low. It is also useful for type 2 diabetics who wish to eat their carbs.

For weight loss it is actually counter productive and I will tell you why.

The way that fiber acts to regulate blood sugar is through its ability to slow gastric emptying (slowed emptying of the stomach). This slows glucose rise because the slower the food is released from the stomach, the less glucose is released into the blood and therefore the slower and more consistent the rise would be. Again, great for people concerned with controlling high blood sugar spikes. Not at all useful for someone trying to lose weight.

For weight loss we want longer periods of lowered insulin. When we eat fiber it prolongs the release of the glucose but it still gets released and it still has to be dealt with. The only thing that can deal with glucose is insulin. Essentially it changes the response from one higher insulin release that deals with the glucose and leaves the system to a long drawn out slow release with a corresponding drawn out insulin flow to regulate. We always have a base of insulin flow. It is not this low baseline that is of concern because at baseline, glucagon will be higher and will act to push fat from cells to be used as energy. If you look at the chart you will see that as soon as glucose rises, no matter how much, insulin is released. The more glucose the more the insulin but regardless, even a small increase in blood glucose results in a rise in serum insulin above baseline and any rise above baseline stops lipolysis (the release of fat). You can see this in both the optimal insulin balance chart and the poor insulin balance chart that the near instant that blood glucose rises that insulin rises in direct response to it.

Insulin Reponse

Wha do you want? One quick release then back to a low base of insulin or a long drawn out response that keeps fat locked up longer? Adding lots of fiber to a meal is essentially like grazing constantly and this is known to be bad for weight loss.

Grazing causes weight regain in bariatric patients

The effects of glucose management with fiber and how it is done through gastric emptying is not new. This is a well known fact and it completely explains why eating fiber is thought to be beneficial to weight loss. The only problem is, we need to stop associating blood glucose control to weight loss. The two are mutually exclusive of one another. You can have completely normal, low and stable blood glucose numbers but if you have chronically elevated insulin you will never lose a pound.

The impact of soluble dietary fibre on gastric emptying, postprandial blood glucose and insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes

Common Fiber misconceptions:

1. You need fiber to have proper bowel movements.

That depends on what you consider proper? Does going 1-2 times a day mean proper? Well I eat zero fiber and I have some days where I go 3-4 times. It all depends on how much food I’ve eaten. If I eat alot of food I go more often. If I eat less food I go less often but in general I go once a day at least. Does proper mean of good consistency? Well again, I eat no fiber and the consistency of my poo is pretty normal. Do I have days where it is less than normal? Of course but that depends on what I have eaten that day. If I eat higher than 90% fat for the day it will be more loose. If I eat closer to 80-85% it is more consistent. There are days when those that eat fiber have less than perfect poo.

What we have to keep in mind is that meat and fat is 90-95% digested and used by the body. Plant matter is only 20-60% digested by the body. Of course if we eat alot of food that does not digest we are going to go more often. Why does going more often mean you are more healthy. Poo is a way of getting rid of garbage. Wouldn’t going less often mean you have less garbage to get rid of? Makes sense to me.

2. Fiber feeds the gut bacteria.

Yes it does. But why is this important? Feeding the gut bacteria causes these gut bugs to produce vitamins. Great but the whole reason we need these vitamins from the bugs is because fiber actually binds to and blocks the absorption of these vitamins from our food thus creating the need for these gut bugs to eat the fiber and produce more of them. Why not just lose the fiber and use the perfectly bio available source of these nutrients from the food we have eaten. Why do we need to feed ourselves plus have to worry about supporting another species in our guts. Again, seems logical to me just to get the nutrients from good food.

Dietary Fibre and absorption of Nutrients

3. Eating lots of fiber and leafy greens can help you feel fuller longer and help you lose weight.

Yes it can but not long term and will actually cause you to stall faster and make weight gain much easier. The reason fiber and plants help you feel full faster and longer is two fold. They take up alot of space with very few calories and the fiber slows the emptying of the stomach so you feel fuller longer. How is this going to make you stall? This is just another method of caloric restriction. A trick to get you to eat less. Sure you feel full but you are getting very little in the way of actual nutrition. You are getting maximum fullness with minimal energy content. The goal of nutrition is not too feel full. It is to get the energy and nutrients you need in order for you body to make all the biochemical reactions necessary to create the enzymes and hormones that create energy for your body and nourish it with vitamins and minerals. If your only goal is to get full, drink 4 gallons of water at every meal. You will be full and get the very least amount of calories possible. You will also die of malnutrition. I’ve heard this before as well by the way.

Increase water intake to reduce caloric intake or The best way to become nutrient deficient

So this is yet another trick to get you to eat less and cut calories when we know all this will do is leave you tired, malnourished and have you stalled in no time. Once you stall are you going to want to keep eating 20lbs of lettuce a day with no weight loss to show for it? Of course not. You will quit, eat a cake and gain the weight back. Nice try CICOpaths but we know better.

I hope this sheds some light onto how fiber affects people differently.

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

Gaining Weight on TDEE? Stay calm. There is a reason and it will stop.

Everyone freaks out if they gain some weight when they start doing TDEE. You need to stop. Keep Calm and Keto ON.

There are a few reasons this happens. I talked about it in depth here: Why you might gain on TDEE

Rule number one of TDEE:

Make sure you are doing it right. You have to calculate your TDEE right. Using your actual weight and not your goal weight. Make sure carbs are below 20g and your protein is low enough. Between 0.45g per KG of ideal weight to 0.8g per KG of idea weight should do it. I recommend 1.0g per KG as this is more than enough to meet and exceed your amino acid requirements. The rest needs to be fat. There are some caveats here. The biggest one is if you have more than 100 lbs to lose you may need to find a midpoint between TDEE at 3 days a week exercise and your Base Metabolic rate.

How to get your TDEE

Now if you have the right number but are gaining, CALM DOWN. It won’t be forever. Here are the hows and whys of what is happening:

1. If you have yo yo’d or have restricted calories for a long time, your metabolism is completely in the crapper. This is what TDEE is meant to fix. You will be using far less energy than someone who eats appropriately. This means that if you eat more than what you ate when you restricted the chances of you gaining weight are higher. Much Higher.

2. If you don’t have much weight to lose and you have restricted for a long time you will be at even more of a disadvantage because everyone knows that when you are near goal weight, even the tiniest fluctuations in diet can cause big swings and with chronic restriction, again, you have put your metabolism in the crapper. Again, this can be fixed with TDEE.

The average person that has not yo yo’d forever or has not chronically starved themselves will likely start losing right away. You are not likely that person. I would assume you meet one or both of the conditions above.

This is what will happen to you. It is like the exact reverse of caloric restriction:

1. You will initially gain weight (you lose weight quickly with restriction)
the weight gain slows as metabolism starts to rise (the weight loss slows with restriction as the metabolism lowers)
2. The weight gain stops as metabolism matches with caloric intake (weight loss stops with restriction for the same reason)
3. The weight should start to come off (weight starts to come back on with restriction)

This is the process it takes to reverse the years of damage that most people have done to their metabolism by restricting calories. It is the reality of it.

I know you have done this for X number of days and think that it is the end of the world that you have gained X number of pounds. In reality, you didn’t get to the state you are in in 30 days. It took you years to become over weight and to tank your metabolism. It will not take you 30 days to get out of it. It took me 13 years and I am still learning and evolving. 30 days is a blink of an eye.

Everyone needs to keep calm and realize that the “I want it now” mentality is what got you where you were and it will keep you from getting where you want to be. Slow down and heal yourself for a better tomorrow. The skinny jeans will still be there in a year from now.

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

Ketosis (what it really is)

Many people are getting into keto. Many more people claim to be experts on the subject. The more I read other peoples work and listen to people talk on various podcasts, the more I realize that people don’t actually understand what ketosis is. Today I am going to go down the rabbit hole of what is actually happening to the body when in ketosis.

In the very simplest of terms, ketosis is the body’s way of preserving your brain and organs from starvation. Primarily the brain.

The body’s number one goal is keeping the brain alive. The brain is hungry. It is the most metabolically active organ in the body and uses about 20% calories or about 500 cals a day. The brain can only run on two things. Glucose and ketones. No matter what it still needs some glucose. It can’t run solely on Ketones. The amount it needs reduces dramatically when in ketosis but it still needs some. The need when not in ketosis is 130g per day roughly. When well keto adapted it goes down to about 40g and the rest can be provided by ketones. So why ketones and why ketosis?

When a person is starving, eating less than the body needs to keep up basic metabolic activity, the first priority is always fuel the brain. So what if you are eating a 500 calorie diet? I will say that this happens. Doctors actually put people on this diet along with HCG (a hormone released during early pregnancy that is said to reduce hunger and increase progesterone and estrogen levels). It is dangerous and immoral even according to the FDA who in and of themselves are not great in the morals department. I digress. A person that is on a 500 calorie a day diet has no way of getting enough glucose to feed the brain. Realistically even a person eating 1,000 cals a day is not getting enough glucose to feed the brain considering the standard diet is about 45% carbs. That is only 450 cals of the required 500 cals and not all of those carbs are going to be glucose. So what happens when we can’t feed the brain enough glucose?

When the brain isn’t getting enough glucose we are going to get an emergency call. The responder to this call is cortisol. Cortisol puts out a signal to his buddy glucagon. Glucagon’s job is to get glucose and get it fast. First it reaches out to the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. It pulls that out and into the blood stream and to the brain it goes. All good for now. Needs are met. That is only going to last maybe 12 hours. Day 2 comes and the brain needs its food. Same process. Not enough glucose to feed the hungry brain so the call goes out. Cortisol spikes, glucagon goes on the hunt for glucose. This time the liver is dry and so are the muscles. What now? Well the brain is hungry and it needs that glucose so the next stop is protein and fats. The body will make about 20% of the required glucose from fatty acids and the rest has to come from protein. So that means if you have only had say 30g of the 130g required for the brain you will need about 100g to be made from fatty acids and protein. So 20% or 20g will come from fatty acids and 80g will have to come from protein. So that is 500 cals worth of protein and fatty acids and that is just to feed the brain. If you are on a 500 calorie diet, or starving, there is no way you will have this amount of either one. OMG! What now.

When the incoming energy does not meet the minimum requirements to feed the body, let alone the brain, the body will do a couple of things.

1. It will start pulling fat from fat stores, this is great cause you will get skinny right?
2. It will start breaking down body protein to use for gluconeogenesis (the creation of new glucose). This is not great. This means lean mass loss.

This is what happens when the above two things start occurring. This is where ketosis comes in. I promise. 🙂

When the body starts using fat for fuel it assumes starvation (or just a state of inadequate fuel). This is the only time in the bodies “mind” that fat would be used. In times of inadequate food to fuel it. This Breakdown of fats for fuel must mean that there is inadequate glucose to meet the needs of the brain. A few other things point to this lack of brain fuel as well such as low insulin and low blood glucose levels. Both of which would be occurring in the current situation. In this perfect storm the body starts making ketones to ensure that the brain gets enough fuel. This is great because now the need for glucose will decrease since about 70% of the brains need for energy can be met by ketones. Number one priority is keeping the brain alive. Second priority is to save organs and lean mass from being eaten to provide fuel for the brain.

Now the protein breakdown part. What if you didn’t create ketones? There are some people that actually don’t. They have a genetic mutation that keeps them from creating adequate ketones. These people are very rare but they would feel absolutely terrible on a ketogenic diet. I can’t seem to find the specific gene mutation but I heard about it on a podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick. I digress again. If you couldn’t create ketones to fill some of the need for glucose then the body would have no choice but to breakdown lean tissue (muscle) to make it. Yes you would be losing lots of fat but you would also be breaking down body protein at a fairly high rate. About 80g a day. Before long you would have very little muscle tissue left. At this point the body starts taking organ tissue. This leads to organ failure which is how people die from starvation. Keep in mind, this would happen to everyone eating less than 1,000 cals a day but would take varying amount of time depending on how much bodyfat you have. Once you get below 4% bodyfat the body protein loss amplifies.

Now since we do make ketones, the rate at which this happens greatly reduces. Since the brain’s need for glucose drops to about 40g when in ketosis that means that the amount of protein broken down to provide glucose is greatly diminished and this is how the body protects itself from eating all of it’s lean tissue. In this starvation state, you go from running on primarily carbs to running on primarily fat. Body fat to be precise.

I know I said I was getting to the point. I am, it is just a long point. I’m getting there.

To summarize what I’ve said so far, when inadequate glucose is present to fuel the brain the body will breakdown fat for fuel which will contribute some glycerol to making glucose as well as creating ketones to fuel the brain and take the slack off of protein consumption to create glucose. Essentially the fat being used for fuel signals ketosis.

Now lets look at the ketogenic diet and see how this relates. This will be shorter. I promise.

– When you eat a ketogenic diet you are not eating enough glucose to fuel the brain. This means glucose has to be made from fatty acids and protein since the first priority is keeping the brain alive.
– This would be fine but the body’s second priority is sparing lean mass and organs.
– To keep the lean mass from being catabolized to much the body will start burning fat and making ketones so the need for gluconeogenesis is reduced and we don’t use as much lean mass.
– The other thing that happens is you eat very high fat and your body starts running on primarily fat rather than primarily carbs. Body fat and fat on your plate.

What does all of this have to do with anything? Here it is. The body cannot differentiate between running on primarily fat from inadequate calories to running on fat due to eating primarily fat. Same deal to the body.

The ketogenic diet looks the same to the body as starvation. It meets all the same criteria.

1. Not enough glucose to fuel the brain
2. Low blood sugar
3. Low insulin
4. Gluconeogenesis
5. Transition from carb fuelled metabolism to a fat fuelled metabolism.
6. Ketogenesis

So all the ketogenic diet does is trick the body into thinking it is in starvation to create an environment of fat burning rather than carb burning to spare the body from being catabolized. The big difference is, if you do it right and don’t actually starve yourself, you don’t tank your metabolism and you don’t have to starve.

There you have it. Ketosis is a hack we do to the body to trick it into thinking it is starving. I hope that makes sense. If you have questions feel free to post them to the comments. I know it got a bit long and complicated. Below are some links to further illustrate my point.

Stages of Starvation

Ketogenic Diet mimics starvation/anxiolytic state associated with Anorexia Nervosa

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

Cholesterol and Statins – Lies and misconceptions

Coach Jack talks about Statins/Cholesterol

So I have a friend that has a disorder called Familial Hypercholesterlemia or FH for short. It is a disorder where the person has genetically high LDL. Standard protocol for these people is statin. Done and done. My friend has been on them for 20 years. many of his family members have the same disorder. Many of them have had heart attacks as well. Regardless of being on statins, they still had heart attacks. Some of them have not had any health issues. My friend and his sister have not. The difference? My friend and his sister are active and eat a healthy diet low in sugar. The rest of his family is overweight, inactive and eat a terrible diet. They mostly all have type 2 diabetes as well where my friend and his sister do not.

What I want to talk about is the idea that just because they have high LDL that means they need a drug to lower it or they will have a heart attack. Like statins even show this in anyone. Lets talk about risk reduction. The famous statin ads show a 36%* reduced risk of heart attack. Notice the asterix? That means a lie has been told. This number is what is referred to as relative risk not actual risk. Here is how they got this number.
In the largest study ever done on statins this was the result.

They took a very large group of people with the highest total cholesterol and divided them into two groups. One group got statins and the other group got placebo. Now at the end of this study, they stopped at about 2 years in cause god forbid they went longer and people started knocking off from heart attacks even though they were on statins, they looked at the amount of people that didn’t die of a heart attack. Thats right. The people that didn’t die. Here it is.

Statin Group = 98.1% of people didn’t die. (still alive)

Placebo Group = 97% of people didn’t die. (yes still alive)

So the actual difference of people that died was:

No statin = 3 people in 100 died without statins

Statins = 1.9 people in 100 died when taken statins

A whopping 1 less person died because of a statin. That is not 36%. That is 1.1% so how did they get 36%?
Well they arbitrarily decided lets take the 3% that died without statins and divide by the 1.1% difference and call that the reduction in risk.

1%/3%=36%!!! Amazing!!!

What they don’t tell you is the all cause mortality rate in statin users is much higher than non statin users. So great, in the short term you save 1.1% of people from a heart attack but they die sooner from something else. One study showed that statin users had twice the incidences of breast cancer after 10 years of use.
Sure if we kill you from something else sooner you won’t die from a heart attack. I can also reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack if I send you skydiving without a parachute. 100% reduced risk of heart attack. I should patent that.

Back to FH (familial hypercholesterolaemia) and why they don’t need statins and why cholesterol is not an issue. I’ve found two different studies that showed that the lifespan was no different in people with FH than it was in people with normal cholesterol. Here is a quote from one of these articles.

“Our studies provide no evidence that familial hypercholesterolemia appreciably shortens the life of affected individuals, either male or female. On the contrary, they show that high levels of serum cholesterol are clearly compatible with survival into the seventh and eighth decades.”

One of these studies show that there was a large increase in coronary deaths starting in the mid 1930s which continued to increase into the 1980s when the study was concluded. Clearly if statins were causing these people to live longer the numbers would have been huge before the advent of statins and would have decreased drastically since the release of statins in 1987. Unfortunately that is not the case. According to the rate of heart attacks in men with FH is 85%. That is not great considering that from 1830 until 1989 only 25% of people with FH died period. Not even of heart attacks. Just all cause mortality. So if statins are so great why the huge difference and why the explosion in mortality around the 1930s?

This might paint a picture:

Average sugar consumption per century:
1800s = 22.4g per day
1900s = 112g per day
2000s = 227g per day

Is it surprising that the increased incidence of heart attacks went from nearly non existent in the 1800s to what it is today? Is this a coincidence? Even in this highly susceptible subset of people the mortality rate went from near nothing to catastrophic directly in correlation with the increase in sugar consumption.

So why was very high cholesterol not a factor up until 1930 but then all of a sudden these people need to be on statins? Is cholesterol the issue or is a diet high in carbohydrates and specifically sugar the issue? You decide. I think it is pretty clear.

Mortality over two centuries in a large pedigree with Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: A genetic and Metabolic Study


Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack