‘The key is just to keep carbs below 20 grams per day’
Michael’s excessive weight limited what he could do and often left him uncomfortable and short of breath when moving around. But he didn’t do anything about it until August 2018, when a blood test showed that he had type 2 diabetes.
Instead of getting started on medication to manage his new diagnosis, he wanted to improve with a lifestyle change and asked his doctor to delay treatment. That’s when he discovered Diet Doctor.
What interested him the most about Diet Doctor was the Swedish origin, precisely because his maternal grandparents were born in Sweden. After reading some articles and guides, he became convinced that carb restriction made sense and that the keto diet would fit well into his life.
Remarkable results in less than a year
Michael’s starting date was September 15, 2018, and the results that he got in less than a year are impressive. Given his engineering background, it is not surprising that he likes keeping track of measurements like blood pressure, glucose, and ketones.
He has found that all his blood markers are now within a healthy range and that his gout has largely healed over time. His energy levels have also improved a lot, and as a consequence, he doesn’t require as much sleep.
Some people lose weight rapidly when they start a keto diet, which was the case for Michael. “The weight came off faster than I could imagine, and it has been a consistent downward trajectory,” he explains.
Within five months, he was 100 pounds (45 kilos) lighter. Now he’s intentionally stabilized his weight, down 106 pounds (48 kilos) from where he started, to continue fitting into the suit that he will wear at his daughter’s wedding.
How he did it
Michael didn’t do any exercise when he was losing weight since he was recovering from surgery. His experience has convinced him that exercise plays a small role in fat loss and that it isn’t necessary to reach one’s goals. “Weight loss is 90% about what you eat,” he clarifies, although he admits that there is a place for movement if you want to improve your fitness and mental health. In any case, he’s become more active and energetic as his size no longer hinders him.
Michael’s keto philosophy is simple: “The key is just to keep carbs below 20 grams per day.” He has never counted calories or tried meeting specific fat macros. To make things easier for beginners, he recommends the video where Kristie Sullivan visually demonstrates what a typical keto plate looks like (watch the preview below).
Because Michael cooks for his family, he’s found the Diet Doctor recipes helpful. He specifically mentions that Kristie’s recipes and keto takes on international cuisines interest him. Fat is a great flavor enhancer in his cooking, and he often uses the remaining bacon grease to scramble eggs and adds fat if a meal is too lean.
When Michael just started, he did intermittent fasting and believes that it helped him understand his hunger and satiety signals better. Nowadays, he eats three meals a day within an 8-hour window.
He has also tried avoiding wine and dairy to see if the foods were contributing to his gout. However, he has reintroduced both because he didn’t find that they were affecting him. Instead, he just needed time to let his gout heal. “Many things happened rapidly, but other things improved over time. It’s not always an overnight process.”
Michael’s top three tips for people just starting keto
Based on his own experience, Michael offers three pieces of advice that he wishes he would have known when he started:
- Be prepared to unlearn everything you’ve been taught to be true because keto goes against much of the (misguided) conventional wisdom.
- Knowledge is essential, and you need to be armed with it to combat naysayers.
- Read labels and don’t believe that everything labeled “keto” is actually keto. It is not uncommon for “keto” products to contain ingredients that can hinder your progress.
Medical comment by Dr. Scher
Thank you for sharing your story, Michael! I especially like your comment about needing to educate yourself and suspend judgment based on what you have heard in the past. We are so glad you found us at Diet Doctor, and we are thankful we could provide you with the education to help with your success. Keep up the great work!
Dr. Bret Scher
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