I love being known as the ‘modern day nutritionist’ but sometimes we need to push our bodies outside our comfort zone. When? When we just know that we need to shift weight and for some reason it is not happening with a modest approach. Here is an article Michele did for Vogue and below is the full Q&A.
Paleo is a primal or ancestral diet and there are many versions of paleo. They mostly consist of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit and exclude dairy grain and sugary processed foods.
Q1. Keto is being called the new paleo – both are high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates… is the main difference that Keto diets have more moderate protein intake than paleo?
A1. Keto is recommending a higher consumption of vegetables and fat sources and a moderate approach to protein. Keto diets have a host of therapeutic benefits especially on weight loss and a kick start to a smart fat loss program. Both use lean proteins and healthy fats to support a healthy weight, bones, immune system and anti ageing.
Q2. Similar to the way that paleo attempts to recreate caveman eating style – does Keto mimic the effects of limited food supply we experienced back in pre-agricultural times?
A2. I don’t like to think of them as ‘limited food supply’, I like to think of it as food that was available at the time from nature. And if we think of food and how we should be nourishing ourselves, the best ‘diets’ or lifestyle including eating real, whole, unprocessed food, is that seasonal most of the time.
Keto doesn’t limit calories, though due to the satiating effects of protein and fat compared to carbs, (ie you feel fuller for longer), most people who ‘go keto’ find they unconsciously reduce portion size over time. People are often surprised on how they no longer feel ravenous in between meals.
Q3. Is weight loss the main benefit of Ketogenic diets?
A3. Ketosis / Ketogenic diets are extensively researched with a host of therapeutic benefits for specific populations, which includes reducing excess body fat, but many people find them difficult to follow on an ongoing basis. Keto has been successfully utilised in multiple studies, including as an adjunct to standard care treatment in cancer, epilepsy particularly in otherwise difficult to treat children, and type 1 and 2 diabetes, to list just a few. This is why thr1ve has come out with easy, accessible meals to fill this gap in the market. There are a host of benefits and it is important to remember before embarking on any new nutritional lifestyle you check in with GP or qualified nutritionist.
Q4. What are the other main benefits ie more energy, longevity and neuroprotective effects?
A4. A Keto diet can provide amazing results but it is not for everyone….but it is for many! Using the Keto diet for fat loss, ie as distinct to weight loss, is very useful in up regulating the long dormant body fat burning mechanisms of the body, and thus transitioning the body from preferentially burning sugars for fuel, to preferentially burning stored and ingested fats for fuel. Once these systems have been up regulated, with a minimum two weeks of Ketogenisis, most people can then transition to a cyclic low carb diet, whereby daily smart / clean carbs are consumed mainly post training. By dipping in and out of ketosis, ie via the initial two weeks and then via cyclic low carb ongoing, you can continue to burn body fat while periodically ‘resetting’ the metabolism to avoid metabolic slow down. The result is an ongoing and sustained reduction in body fat, while preserving and even improving muscle tone and function.
Q5. Why is a high fat diet so good for our brains?
A5. Our brains are made up of 65-75% fat. Some nutritional anthropologist believe we would not have developed higher order thinking without fat in our diet. On top of that, the brain operates very efficiently on ketones, with mental functioning provided a constant and steadily available source of fuel – ie stored body fat not ingested carbs.
We love fats like olive oil, coconut oil, coconut, seeds and nuts.
Q6. When we say high fat – what kind of fats are best… and which should we avoid?
A6. Avoid trans fats or hydrogenated oils. Basically these are processed and chemically changed fats and our body does not like them. Margarine is completely out. Beware of products with hydrogenated oils. They are good for longer shelf life but nothing else!
Q7. Is a Keto diet hard to follow – and what ratio of fats, proteins and carbs should you be aiming for?
A7. Keto can be tricky in social situations, it requires a little pre-planning for eating out and with friends, but is otherwise pretty easy. The meals are naturally very satisfying and nutritionally dense, the reduction in what we consider ‘normal’ ups and downs in appetite and energy associated with a high carb diet is a huge revelation to most people. The idea you have to eat every three hours to ‘maintain your metabolism’ becomes a laughable and distant memory. Many clients are astonished when their next meal comes around and they haven’t felt a twinge of hunger.
Q8. What does this ratio look like in terms of your perfect Keto day on a plate?
A8. The exact proportions of proteins, carbs and fats necessary for Keto vary, but the simplest way to approach it is to think of a plate design as two thirds non starchy veggies, herbs and spices, and one third a high quality protein that is naturally abundant in healthy fats, such as salmon, grass fed beef, lamb or eggs.
Breakfast could be scrambles eggs, smoked salmon, avocado and spinach. A great lunch would be a warm chicken salad with plenty of olive oil, or slow cooked beef cheeks with green vegetables. For dinner choose your favourite protein, and whip up a comforting ratatouille or asparagus cooked in grass fed butter and garlic.
Q9. What is the difference between Keto and Atkins?
A9. The Atkins diet and the Keto diet are similar but Atkins has an introductory phase with 15-30 grams of carbs allowed per day. The Atkins diet actually allows more carbohydrates that a true Keto diet. The true Keto diets that we see work for people is when they Keto and kickstart their metabolism and then cycle back onto smart, low carbs along with protein and lots of vegetables. Atkins was also less focused on real food, and recommends a lot of processed and packaged foods, where as Keto works best with natural whole foods.
Q10. Is Keto something we should all aim to follow long term for longevity and other benefits – or just when we have weightless goals?
A10. Keto is a fantastic long term approach for a range of benefits, but difficult to sustain. We suggest using Keto periodically for a minimum of two weeks straight, and then incorporating short term Ketosis via the cyclic low carb diet which is a lot easier to manage socially. Smart carbs are foods like quinoa, buckwheat, sweet potatoes and brown rice. Our suggested approach, that has worked for literally thousands of our customers, is detailed in the thr1ve protocol available at www.thr1ve.me or ask our team at any of their restaurants.
Q11. Why is it dangerous to increase your fat intake without lowering your glucose/carb intake?
A11. If you are wanting an effective fat loss strategy it will not work if you have an abundance of carbs. It is important to know that the most successful weight loss and sustained weight loss tend is to revert to 2-4 weeks of Ketosis periodically, ie every 2-3 months, while maintaining cyclic low / quality carb as their default nutrition plan.
To read the full Vogue article – click here.