Take a Left at KetoFest
Whew! What a weekend! I went to KetoFest in New London, CT this weekend. I attended the pre-fest lectures from HealCare/HealClinics featuring Nurse Jackie Eberstein (Dr. Atkin’s former head nurse), Dr. Eric Westman (the world’s expert on obesity) and Melanie Miller (rock star motivational speaker and fellow traveler). That alone would have been worth it, but I was able to go down for “Science Sunday” and I parked my butt in a seat for the entire day (8:30-ish until 5 pm). Worth. Every. Penny. Why might you say? Because I’ve made my decision regarding surgery. This conference gave me the passion and confidence to make this decision.
I am not going to have bariatric surgery. It makes no sense now. I know I can do it if I stick to a Keto lifestyle – at least until I get to my goal weight. After that, I can maintain with a low-carb lifestyle. I was going to have to do this any way to maintain weight loss post-surgery. I just need to work a little harder to get to my goal and I know I can.
Highlights of the weekend that I learned or that reinforced what I already knew and are instrumental in my decision:
- I’m losing weight and, more importantly, inches and percentage body fat simply by following a very low-carb lifestyle (my total carbs are under 30g a day now). If I can get to and stay at 20g for a while, I will not only get to my goal but maintain it.
- Without a doubt, too many carbs lead to an over-production of insulin to fight the added sugar in your bloodstream. This causes the worst possible thing for your body – insulin resistance. (Nurse Jackie). I simply have to remove carbs from my diet.
- The pre-diabetic diagnosis is almost too late to repair the damage to your pancreas. Pre-diabetic means you’ve already irreparably killed off healthy basal cells. By turning around my diet now, I can hopefully restore those cells that aren’t quite dead yet. (Nurse Jackie) Carbs kill. (me)
- You can run your body on glucose/sugar or you can run it on fat. If you want to run your body on fat, simply eat fats! And the corollary – don’t eat carbs. (Dr. Westman)
- Bariatric surgery essentially makes you a fat-burner. BUT you don’t stay a fat burner if you go back to eating carbs. Surgery, as I’ve known, is a tool. It gets you there faster. But if I’m going to live a low-carb life post-surgery, I might as well buckle down and do keto to get to my goal versus having life-altering surgery.
- My cholesterol numbers may change as a result of a high-fat diet, BUT that doesn’t mean I’m going to die. I just need to stay on top of my numbers and monitor progress. (Dr. Jeffry Gerber).
- Alcohol burns before ketones. So if you drink low-carb alcohol, it’s not “free.” Your body will stop burning fat until it burns off the ketones from the alcohol. (Nurse Jackie & Dr. Westman)
- If you don’t have insulin resistance, you don’t need to do/be low-carb. Other diets will do. But if you are insulin resistant, you SHOULD do low-carb. (Dr. Westman) See the 10 signs you might be insulin resistant.
- Statistics and authors of peer-reviewed medical articles lie. Learn to read the data before blindly believing how the authors manipulate the data. Any article stating “relative risk” is almost always misleading. Dig deeper. (Dr. Richard Feinman)
- Cholesterol is a weird and fascinating world and I’ve learned a ton from Dave Feldman, a software engineer who understands more about cholesterol than the vast majority of physicians out there. And he does an awesome job teaching it!
So this was KetoFest in a nutshell for me. I hope to explore some of the topics more in depth, but for now, I’m concentrating on getting my carbs below 20g a day (total carbs, not net carbs). Now, more than ever, I know I can do it.