This transcript is brought to you thanks to the hard work of Joell Abbott.
One question, three answers.
Do you think people with weight to lose need to consider calories if they are experiencing a long plateau when eating a ketogenic diet?
First up is my friend Richard Morris.
We’ve actually touched on it in the recording today.
Do you think people with weight to lose need to consider calories if they are experiencing a long plateau when eating a ketogenic diet?
So reducing your calories will guarantee to reduce your what? It doesn’t all come off body fat. If you eating fewer calories than you need to be satiated, then by definition you don’t have enough energy from body fat. And so you need to find energy from other sources. And there are two easy places that your body can get energy from and it gets some approximately linearly, you will be using lean tissue. So you’ll be throwing the furniture on the bonfire to keep yourself warm. So burning lean tissue in your body and you will be also reducing your metabolic rate because you know, the other easy way to find calories is to make them a cost savings. So you furlough a few processes like growing hair, growing fingernails, lots of things that are, you know, these are necessary. But you know, if you didn’t do them for one day, your body could probably justify doing that. And so what happens when you eat fewer calories than you need for satiation is that your metabolic rate slows and it becomes harder to calorie restrict. And that’s why people go off. So yeah, definitely having less calories will definitely reduce your weight. It’s probably not the best way to do it. Yeah.
It is actually, and for women, something that often gets turned off is menstruation.
Of course fertility. Yeah.
I remember somebody talking a while ago, they say your body’s very clever and it doesn’t think this is a healthy environment in which you should get pregnant, so it’s going to turn off menstruation so that you can’t get pregnant.
It turns off fertility in men and women. It’ll turn off your sex drive as well. That’s a big old warning sign. It will lower your testosterone if you’re a man and it’ll turn off your sex drive.
We don’t want you to reproduce. Thanks. You’re not healthy.
Yeah, exactly. There’s definitely lots of cost savings that can be made. I mean people can lose 400 to 800 calories a day in metabolic rate drop just by putting pressure on the caloric intake and it, the body fat, can only release energy at a certain rate. It’s roughly 31 and a half calories per pound of body fat per day. When you have a caloric restriction that is so great that it puts pressure on that, and you can no longer be getting the energy from body fat for one reason or another, then you know you’re going to get it from these other places.
I’ve heard you talking about this before about how the fat person can’t, just literally can’t, access that fat cause you hear people saying, “ No, don’t eat high fat and you should be eating less fat if you’re trying to lose weight or you should be eating the fat on your body instead.” But there’s only a certain point that that’s gonna work too, isn’t it? It’s not just this absolute sliding scale where you can minimize the fat. You eat right down to a really, really low percentage and automatically dial that percentage up to be taking it off your body instead doesn’t work like that.
No, thin people can’t fast. You’ll find that a lot of people who are quote unquote healthy and shirtless on Facebook are not able to fast for more than a day. And the reason why is because once they’ve gone through all of the energy in the lipoprotein, they have no energy coming in because theyhave no ability to supplement their daily energy intakes from body fat. So yeah, that’s the case. But there are other reasons why you won’t be able to use fat. SI have 20 kilos of body fat, so roughly 44 pounds, I can produce about 1,275 calories per day. So that’s not too bad. I mean, 1200 calorie day, that’s not too bad. So I can fast for as long as I want. But somebody who has, let’s say, 10 pounds of body fat on their body, they can only produce 300 or 315 per day. That’s not enough energy to be able to run your day. So that person is now going to be reducing their metabolic rate as much as they can. So they’ll go from a metabolic rate of 3000 down to a metabolic rate of maybe 1200 and then how do they make the extra savings, they start burning lean tissue. So that’s a really bad situation to be in. The other reason that you might not be able to use body fat is if insulin is high. There are people who even though they’ve lost a lot, 80 to 70 pounds of body fat, they still have high levels of fasting insulin. Insulin has two effects when it comes to getting energy from storage into use. The first is that insulin will basically tell your fat cells, we are going to concentrate on glucose now.
So I want you to Hoover up all of the lipids, all of the energy in circulation, or I want you to get all of the, the fats out of circulation and store them. And I want you to pull as much glucose as you can. Alsouot of storage because we’re focusing on glucose. So that’s like the signal that insulin gives the fat cell. So you know if your insulin is high, even when you eat nothing. If your fasting insulin is high, if it’s about 14, your fat cells are just sucking up all of that energy that they can, irrespective of how much energy you have available to you. And this explains the paradox of why the fat man is hungry all the time and has no energy to do anything that’s at the source. And then the other part is at the sink for energy insulin will prevent you from being able to get fatty acids into your mitochondria, which be used for energy.
And there’s a bunch of ways that that happens. But in a type two diabetic, in somebody who’s hyperinsulinemic, they could have a 50 fold inhibition over normal person in terms of getting fat from circulation into their mitochondria to be burned. This is part of the reason why people who are hyperinsulinemic have really high triglycerides because they can’t use fat for energy. It just pulls in their circulation. They can no longer store itin their body fat because their body fat is full to capacity, but they’re not burning it. As soon as you drop insulin enough that they can burn their body fat or burn the energy, the fatty acids that are pulling in their circulation, all of a sudden their triglycerides drop. So if your insulin is high, that may be impacting how fast or the rate that you can burn fatty acids. And so these are all factors that, people think, oh, you know, if I’ve got 10 pounds of body fat on me, that’s roughly, three and a half thousand calories per pound of body fat. So I’ve got 30,000 calories, I need to go do 30,000 calories of exercise and then [I’ll have zero pounds of body fat on me. It doesn’t work that way. It’s a very complicated picture.
So does how insulin sensitive or resistant you are, is that going to impact then how much you can pull from your body fat? So for someone like me who had, so basically I was twice my weight so I had 140 odd pounds of excess body weight. I wasn’t insulin resistant. I’ve always stayed quite insulin sensitive. My blood markers were always quite good. Does that mean that, and maybe that was why something like a very highly restrictive procedure like the gastric sleeve would work well, would I be the kind of person who could pull more from my body fat
So hyperinsulinemia goes hand in hand with insulin resistance? Hyperinsulinemia just means you have high insulin and you have high insulin. There’s an argument over whether high insulin causes insulin resistance or insulin resistance causes high insulin. My attitude is that it doesn’t really matter. They both affect each other and they both contribute to each other and once you get started on this, it’s a sort of a Jacob’s ladder. It just never stops. If you’re not insulin resistant, then you’re able to lower insulin based on the signals of what you eat and so you would be able to, you probably with a caloric restriction, you are probably able to get to a lower body weight than somebody who was insulin resistant went through the same process.
Right. But I would be able to pull more from my body fat. When you talk about the ability of only being able to pull so much, if you’re much more insulin sensitive, you can pull more so you can actually be someone who potentially could benefit when you’re wanting to lose weight from reducing calories a bit.
Yes, definitely. If you, if you’re insulin sensitive, then you have access to more fat, more fat as fuel to turn into energy and if your insulin sensitive and your insulin is low, you’re in a wonderful state. You know? If you’re insulin sensitive and you go on a ketogenic diet, what happens generally is that you lose a lot of weight, then you get down to normal body weight very quickly. If you’re insulin resistant and you have high, high underlying fasted insulin levels, then you will alight at a higher body weight, you will plateau at a higher body weight. And then it’s just a matter of working out what tissue is causing the insulin to be high. Certainly, once you’ve lost 30, 40 pounds of body fat, it’s no longer a physical capacity limit on your body fat that’s caught. It’s not insulin resistance and your body fat that’s causing your insulin to be high.
It’s another issue that’s doing the damage. It could be your hypothalamus, it could be your pancreas, could be your liver, could be muscles, it could be your immune system is also able to modulate insulin secretion. So yeah, all of these things. So as that point, this is why my advice is keep calm and keto on, get to your plateau and then keep calm keto on, and you know, at enough time at that weight you’ll find what issue was doing the damage. And you know, it could be sleep, it could be, there’s a bunch of things that you can do. Yeah. Relaxation. They’re all part of keeping calm and ketoing on. But you know, I suggest not to calorie restrict, but if you’re naturally insulin sensitive, if you’ve done a fasted test and you can get down to four or lower, go for it. Calorie restrict. Yeah, give it a go.
I think there are so many other things to consider before you do that. So yes, if you know in your heart of hearts that you’re eating too much, and I don’t like to really pinpoint it as calories, but you’re just taking in too much energy. If you know you’re have a tendency to over do with certain kinds of foods, you eat too much of them. I know I do. So if you know that you’re taking it, you can calorie restrict in the sense that you can reduce your intake a bit. May be by limiting the things that you know you have a tendency to overeat. But going past that, no, there’s more likely going to be something else that’s going on. Yeah. And like you say, once you start reducing your calories too much, then you’ll start seeing other things that happen. And that’s that certainly something that happened with me and it’s so typical in the weight loss surgery community that they should actually say you are going to suffer significant hair loss between months three to six and then it should start coming back month six to nine. But it’s so typical. But it interesting actually that it seems very typical in the keto community. Now. Do you think that that’s just a byproduct of natural calorie restriction because people often tend to end up eating fewer calories when they’re eating ketogenically because their appetite goes down? Or do you think there’s another mechanism going on there too?
There’s a lot of chicken and egg issues here. One of the things that will signify your body to make cost savings and those cost savings will cause your body to stop growing here. Telogen effluvium where all the hair that is probably going to fall out over the next year decides all to do it in one week. Um, you know, all the follicles. So, uh, all of those things happen when you have an energy shock. Now when you first go ketogenic, you are not fat adapted, but you’re not giving you body carbohydrates. So you are actually giving it a shock. You’re actually giving it not enough energy. So it has to adapt.
Oh, right. So it’s not so much about the calories, it’s just the shock to switching that fuel source.
Yeah. It doesn’t happen to everybody. Some people are able to, some people are more adaptable.
It does seem to happen a lot.
Yeah. But if it doesn’t happen to you when you first go here to check then you know, seven, eight, nine months down the road when you hit your plateau and then you decide, well, I’m gonna reduce my food intake because you know, I’ve been increasing my food intake as I got closer to my plateau, which is, this is Steven Finney’s argument. This is his four charts. This is what he’s saying. As you get closer to your ultimate plateau, you start to eat more calories spontaneously and he’s explaining how the homeostasis works to alight you on that plateau. If you then decide, “Oh well, I mean obviously eating too much, I’m going to eat less” and then you eat less and now you have an energy deficit. If you didn’t lose hair in the first days of Keto, that’s when you’re going to lose, a lot of hair and you know, your fingertips will be cold. And you know, I’ve heard of people with toenails and fingernails falling out and all sorts of uh, lack of energy. It’s just, you know, and then fertility cost savings, women stop their menstruation and men lose their sex drive. And you know, there’s all these kinds of things that happen when your body is in an energy deficit in an emergency. essentially it’s a three alarm emergency.
And you talked about eating to satiety and you seem to have that dialed in very well. And it’s something that I struggle with and I know a lot of people do and I think that’s where you potentially have to start looking at restriction, but not really restriction of calories, but restriction of certain food types. Because as soon as I dial in a stricter diet, which is not an, I’ve counted the calories, it is not low on calories at all. But when I stick very much, probably cut out things like dairy, things like nuts, nut flours, treat type things with sweeteners in if I eat very basically, and really nice and high fat, just protein and simple vegetables and lots of fat. I do find my appetite comes down a little bit, but those calories are up there. I doubt I come in at less than 2000 today, but yet my weight will start coming down. So it is sometimes, I think, about being a little bit restrictive but not actually with the calories actually about different foods.
Totally agree. We can be mindlessly eating food that has a little bit of carbohydrates in it and if we eat too much of it, we could be any more carbohydrates than we really know about. And so that’s why if you’re in that state and you want to work out what’s happening, it’s always a good idea to start a food diary so that you’re mindfully eating and that way you keeping track of things. But you know, we tend to sort of fall into this trap as humans of trying to find magical molecules or in terms of pills. He’s a magical molecules or magical foods that you can eat as much of and not gain weight. You know, celery has negative calories, you burn more calories chewing. So people eat. It’s horrible stuff, you know. But we tend to get into this situation where we think, Oh, you know, they must be good foods and bad foods.
They must be magical foods that have a high satiety and must be foods that have a low satiety. One of the things that has the highest satiety is just getting enough fat. Energy. It’s highly satiating. Or ketones exogenous, ketones are extremely satiating. And the reason why is because we have energy at the cellular level, so we’re not energy deprived at the cellular level because ketones, we can get energy from no matter what our insulin status is. Another example is when I wake up and I’ve been fasting three days, I am satiated like nothing else. Waking up, eating nothing, you know? So where does nothing sit on the satiation index of satiating foods? Nothing is the most satiating, one of the most satiety foods that I’ve ever had. But it’s all in context. I mean, satiation is not an emergent property of food. It’s an emergent property of humans in a particular context. And this context is having adequate energy at a cellular level.
And fat just gets picked on because it’s so much more calorie dense. You know, it’s more than twice just a bit more than twice the calories of the equal amount of carbohydrates or protein isn’t it? So it always gets picked on and you will see in certain groups, well, you know, you need to start reducing your fat, you know, don’t eat fat bombs and don’t put fat in your coffee. And things like that. And to a certain extent, I do agree with that, but not for the same reason. I don’t agree with reducing it because of the caloric content. It goes back to the food group things. It goes back to making it a little less palatable when you make it really palatable by adding sweetener to fat and making fat bombs and flavors and things like that. So it basically becomes sweets that are just delicious that you can pop for ages if you just give somebody a lump of butter. And also actually to a certain extent, putting it in a drink, it goes down in a different way.
Yeah. Liquid calories have a different mechanism for satiation.
Yeah,exactly. But eating fat when it’s attached to a pork chop or you know, eating lumps of butter, you literally can’t do, it’s not that palatable is it? I mean it’s delicious, but it’s not palatable in the same way as when you’ve turned it into a sweet.
You’d be surprised there’s, there’s a lot of people on the internet who think that there’s a whole bunch of people out there drinking pure butter.
Yeah. It’s actually, we’re literally putting these sticks of butter in the coffee. I love that meme that has a stick of butter, literally sticking out of a cup of coffee. And the first thing that I think when I look at that, well that’s not a hot cup of coffee.
Yeah, exactly. I like adding butter to vegetables. I follow Sara Halberg’s principle of never eating vegetables without some fat.
It’s making them palatable.
Yeah. But you know, I don’t need a lot of butter. Although I did have Hollandaise today. I made myself some protein, bread company pancakes and I made little pikelets. So pikelets are about sort of like English muffin size.
Yeah, they’re like squished crumpets, aren’t they pikelets?
Exactly. And I had two of them for dinner. One had ham, a poached egg and Hollandaise. That was an eggs Benny and the other one had spinach and salmon, poached salmon and a poached egg and Hollandaise as well. So that was an eggs Florentine
Nice. What’s it called when there’s salmon’s on it, it’s not a royale or something?
Eggs Florentine. Oh, might be Royale. Yeah. Cause it’s spinach…
When the salmon’s on there. Florentine is the spinach but I’m not sure what it is. When it’s the salmon. I do eat a lot of butter, I have to say. I do eat a lot of butter. I love it. In my scrambled eggs, I slather it on vegetables. But um, yes, it’s all about the context for me. It’s what you’re mixing it with. Absolutely. Obviously intrigued. Actually I will let you go in a minute. That lupin flour and I’ve been reading about this and trying to find out what the carb content of things is quite big in Australia, isn’t it? Yes. It’s one of these new emergent low carb flours.
Lupin is a legume like peanuts. It’s closely right here to peanuts. And so people who have peanut allergies can often have allergies to Lupin. But Lupin is aflower that’s used in the protein bread pancakes I was talking about. And there are three varieties is a European variety that’s been the French variety that’s been eaten for thousands of years. And there’s a South American variety as well. And then there’s Australian variety of sweet Lupin doesn’t actually have sugar in it. It’s just called sweet because of the flowers. The Australian variety is slightly less allergenic. Australia has really high peanut allergies. We have more peanut allergies amongst kids than almost anyone anywhere in the world yet. You know, we have very high rates of asthma and a lot of these, autoimmune diseases, but Lupin is a less allergenic than South American and European versions. But, somebody I just posted on Facebook a nice breakfast, so I had, and I got called to task about promoting lupuin. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to be a Keto dude anymore because I was just having breakfast. You know, I wasn’t promoting Lupin and I don’t have a problem myself with allergies. And so, you know, anyway, it was a delicious breakfast.
It’s reminded me, actually, I do have a jar. It cropped up in Lidl, it was Spanish week, so presumably they’re Spanish lupins, but not the flour but the actual lupins in a jar. I used to love tuna and butter bean salad. And so I’m envisaging making a similar thing with these lupin beans because they do seem to be very low in carbs. And I don’t know what they taste like. They might taste disgusting, but I must crack open the jar and see what they’re like.
So I uh, I’m in the process of making some ham stock from the ham we had over from Christmas and I’m going to use French blue lentils with that to make a ham and split pea soup using French lentils.
French blue lentils. What so not green lentils then what are blue lentils?
I don’t know. They’re just the lowest calorie legume that I can find.
They’re not quite low in uh, actually not low in calories, but low in carbohydrates.
Oh, I’d be interested to know. I’ve never heard of them considering I’m in France. Ah, probably lentils are the things that normally crop up, but uh, blue lentils. Right. I should be straight on Google now cause I do like to have those things occasionally. They’re the kind of things, before I started keto, when I was more moderate carb, I would have a few things like quinoa and lentils and things like that. I do potentially like to have them occasionally.[I have just asked Google and there appears to be no such thing as French blue lentils. French lentils are what I think of as Puy lentils. They are indeed relatively low in carbs and stay nice and firm when cooked. They are very popular in France and you can usually buy Pet lentil salads in the supermarket which is basically lentils cooked with some onion and maybe garlic, bacon, stock, etc.]
Right. Well, thank you very much. Fabulous having, this extra bit.
You’re welcome. Daisy. It’s a pleasure, as always.