November 23, 2020

Why is Blood Sugar Sometimes Higher Than Expected on Keto?



We have a numbers problem in the keto community. 

We place too much stock in numbers without a good understanding of what they mean. 

We measure the level of every little molecule without an appreciation for the myriad feedback mechanisms and overlapping biochemical pathways that govern the systemic regulation that determines those levels. We assign way too much meaning to single measurements taken at single points in time rather than looking at longer term trends and patterns. It’s like seeing one frame of a movie—one isolated, frozen frame—and making wild guesses as to what the movie is about. It’s ridiculous. 

Allow me to tell you a story. Sometime in the early 1980s, when I was a little girl, my family took a trip to Disney World in Florida one winter. We lived in New York, so Florida was a way for me and my sister to see Disney World and for us to spend a few days away from the freezing cold and bask in the warmth of the Sunshine State. Well, a freak cold front happened while we were there. Yes, a freak, unexpected cold snap in Florida. Sea World was closed because some of the water was frozen. We had to buy winter coats down there, because who packs winter coats to go on vacation in Florida? 

Imagine if we knew nothing about Florida and based our assessment of Florida’s climate on the short-term weather of those few days. We would have assumed Florida was a bitterly cold place, rather than the hot, steamy swamp it usually is. The lesson here is, don’t mistake an acute occurrence for a general pattern, trend, or tendency. 

What does this have to do with blood glucose? 

(If you’re pressed for time and you want an abbreviated version of my take on this topic, watch this video. If you have a minute or two to read, the first part of this post will give you a brief synopsis of the most salient points. But if you have some extra time to spare and you want the juicy details, cozy up, settle in, and happy reading.) 

September 29, 2020

7 Reasons to Stay Off the Scale

 

My previous post walked you through 14 non-weight-loss ways to gauge how a ketogenic or low-carb diet is working for you. But what if you do want to lose weight? Sure, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, remission of migraines, disappearance of hypoglycemia and brain fog, and total resolution of acid reflux are all pretty great, but what if one of your goals is to see the number on that dastardly scale go down?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change the size and shape of your body. But a scale is a terrible way to assess whether you’re accomplishing that. Here are seven reasons not to depend solely on the scale when you’re using keto to change your physique. (Some of these are excerpts from my book, The Stall Slayer. Lots more info in there about using keto/low-carb for fat loss. I also recommend checking out this video I did on reasons to stay off the scale.)

  

September 8, 2020

14 Ways to Tell if Keto Is Working for You Besides Weight Loss

 



Based on keto transformation pics on social media, it would be easy to think this very low-carb way of eating is used for just one thing: weight loss. And no doubt, the before and after pictures of people who’ve lost substantial amounts of weight are amazing. But low-carb and ketogenic diets are good for so many other things besides changing the size of your body. Some of these—like lower blood sugar, lower triglycerides, and lower blood pressure—can be shared via pictures of glucometers, home blood pressure cuffs, or printouts of your latest bloodwork. But what about the things we can’t see? What about all the great stuff keto does that you can’t capture in a picture? A picture speaks a thousand words, but what about the great things keto does that you can’t take a picture of? 

People use keto for fat loss, but what if you: 

A) Don’t want or need to lose weight, but you’re dealing with a laundry list of troubling health issues? 

B) Do want to lose body fat but you’re stuck in a stall and the scale hasn’t moved in a while? 

Well, if B is your issue, check out this article I wrote on how to stay motivated during a fat loss stall, and then grab a copy of my book, The Stall Slayer, to help break that stall. (I also encourage you to just stay off the scale altogether for a while.) 

 

Either way, here are 14 ways to know that keto’s working for you that have nothing to do with weight.

August 18, 2020

Virtual Keto Conferences Happening SOON -- I'm Speaking! Get Your Tickets NOW!

Hey All!

  

It’s such a bummer that all the conferences we might be meeting at in person have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation. The good news, though, is that many of them are going fully virtual, so you can still watch presentations from some of the world’s leading keto researchers and clinicians, and some of them even include LIVE Q&A sessions where you can interact in real time with the speakers. So with that in mind, I want to tell you about two such events that I’m presenting at, both of which have a live Q&A component.

Keep in mind that because these events are virtual, registration is practically a STEAL! Much more affordable than when you have to not only register, but also buy a plane ticket, pay for lodging, and pay for meals away from home, Uber or car rental, etc. Ticket prices are WAY lower than normal because the organizers don’t have to recoup many, many thousands of dollars they would normally have had to spend to rent a physical venue/conference space. Do not miss these events at these incredible bargain prices.

And of course, since they’re virtual, you can participate from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas! Why wouldn’t you grab tickets?

  

Low Carb USA Virtual San Diego: Aug 27-30, 2020

We won’t be meeting in person in San Diego this year, but you can still be a part of this annual event from Low Carb USA. I’ll be presenting on ketogenic therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. If you’re familiar with my work on Alzheimer’s disease, this talk will review some of that basic foundation and then explore surprising similarities with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more -- including the rationale for why a ketogenic diet and other ketogenic strategies might be worth looking into for anyone living with these kinds of conditions. There will be a live Q&A right after my talk, so check the schedule to make sure you don't miss it. (Looks like my talk will "air" on Thurs, Sept 27 at 4:25pm (1625 hrs) US Eastern time.)

Click here for details and to register for Low Carb USA Virtual San Diego.

(And if you’re new here and you don’t know about my work regarding Alzheimer’s disease, I wrote a book about it and you can also find some good info in the videos here and here.)

 

Speakers for Low Carb USA Virtual San Diego
(Plus 8 breakout sessions!)


Keto Adapted Virtual Conference: Sept 1 – Nov 30, 2020

Check out this online event organized by Maria and Craig Emmerich. I’ll be giving the same presentation as for Low Carb USA. (The more people I can reach with this potentially life-changing information, the better, right?) The Emmerichs will have a live Q&A with me right after my presentation airs, and there will be an additional live Q&A session where YOU can participate on a separate day. The date and time for that will be announced sometime during the conference, I'm sure. 

Click here for details and registration from the Keto Adapted Virtual Conference.

 

Speakers for the Keto Adapted Virtual Conference
(Plus some incredible success stories!)

 

I am beyond honored and humbled to be presenting for these conferences, which include names I never dreamed I might one day be in close proximity to: Eric Westman, Tim Noakes, Stephen Phinney, Ted Naiman, Gary Taubes, and others. WOW!


I look forward to “seeing you” at these educational events.

  

 

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

July 6, 2020

Big Updates -- TWO NEW BOOKS!


Hey Everyone!

Lots of good news to share these days.

First: Big news – my book, The Stall Slayer, is now available on Amazon!!

YES! If you prefer reading hard copies of books rather than electronic versions, you can now order a paperback copy of The Stall Slayer from Amazon. And not just in the US – it’s available in many other nations. Check your local Amazon site to see if it’s available where you live. I’ve already had some fans buy it in Japan, Brazil, the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands. (If you happen to be reading this in the Netherlands, I think you have to order from the German site…amazon.de.) I’m even working with someone who’s translating the book into Thai – cool!

If you prefer electronic copies, you can buy The Stall Slayer for Kindle from Amazon, or as a pdf. (Click here to buy the pdf.) Unfortunately, we’ve hit a little snag with Kindle: the book doesn’t appear to be available for Kindle Paperwhite devices, but it works fine on older Kindles and on the Kindle app for PC, Mac, phones, and tablets.


Second: I have another book coming out this year!

This one isn’t just me, though. It’s co-written with the one and only Eric Westman, MD. YES! Can you believe it? I kind of have to pinch myself to make sure I’m actually alive and awake and this isn’t a dream. (I’ve been reading Dr. Westmans published research for about 15 years, and now I’m writing a book with him. Whaaaat?! The world is a strange, beautiful place, my friends.)

The book is tentatively titled End Your Carb Confusion, but that is subject to change. We have an estimated release date of early December 2020, which is right around the corner. (Insert head exploding emoji.) We’re in the editing stage right now. Thank goodness, our publisher seems pretty happy with it and their suggestions are mostly related to grammar and structure rather than the content. 

What is End Your Carb Confusion about? It’s a guide to finding your own carb tolerance and building your diet from there. *Gasp!* What?! Not everyone needs extra-strict keto for their entire lifetime? Nope! This book will help people figure out where they fall on the carb tolerance spectrum, and how to move from one level to another -- i.e., how to INCREASE your carb intake safely and logically, if you want to. (Everyone can do keto for life; not everyone needs to. There IS room in life for more fruit, beans, starches, and other higher carb foods if they’re appropriate for you. Our book will teach you how to navigate it all.)

Don’t let all that fool you, though. It’s also a SIMPLE, down-to-earth “get started” guide that’s perfect for the person in your life who’s living with all kinds of health issues that would respond well to keto but who feels totally overwhelmed (or turned off) by the nuttiness and zealotry they see about this way of eating on the interwebs. It’s written in very layperson-friendly plain English -- no intense scientific gobbledygook that you need a PhD to understand -- and I know, because I wrote it!

Does keto work if you eat conventional (non-grass-finished) beef? YES! Does keto work if your food isn’t organic? YES! Are you the worst person in the history of the universe if you drink diet sodas or use artificial sweeteners in coffee or keto baking? NO! Isn’t keto only for people who are trying to lose weight? NO! If your blood sugar is normal, why would you bother trying keto? READ THE BOOK AND FIND OUT!

Stay tuned to the blog and my social media accounts for updates as the book release gets closer. Obviously I’ll have lots more to say about it.


Third: Sign up for my newsletter!

I’ve been threatening promising for a while now to resurrect the blog and start writing more regularly. Considering the two previous posts were from November 2019 and this past April, obviously that has not happened yet. I’ve just made a relatively big change in my professional life, though, and I might have some more time to devote to more frequent blogging. (If this actually comes to pass and I do manage to get myself to follow through with this, the posts will likely be shorter than my past fare, but more frequent. This is probably best for all of us – for me and for you, my readers. More succinct posts, but ones that show up more often.)

In the meantime, you can keep up with current goings-on in my corner of the keto universe by subscribing to my newsletter. The newsletter includes updates about my work, links to featured videos from my YouTube channel, plus book or product reviews & recommendations, supplements I trust, and whatever else I think is worth sharing at any given time. And I promise—no spam! (If you‘ve been around the blog a while, then you’ve come to know that I’m a total dinosaur with regard to technology and I wouldn’t know how to spam you even if I wanted to—which I do not.) The next newsletter will be coming out Monday July 13 – sign up now so you don’t miss it! (And it’s definitely coming, because I’ve already written and saved it, and it’s pre-set to go out that day.)


Fourth: I’m on Patreon!

Do you like my message of Keto Without the Crazy™? Want to support my writing books and blog posts, making videos, and being able to devote time to reading scientific papers and keeping up with the latest research about ketogenic and low-carb diets, plus nutrition, health, and physiology more broadly? Consider joining me on Patreon.

You can subscribe for as little as $2/month, although for $5/month and above you get special patron-only content. For $5/month, you get exclusive videos that are for patrons only and not for my public YouTube channel. (They’re shorter and a bit more ranty and free-form than my public videos. These videos are a place for me to vent about the craziness I see going on the keto world these days, but even more, they’re a place for me to think out loud and share with you various issues I’m tossing around in my head and trying to get a good perspective on.)

For $10/month and up, you get a monthly research review, in which I discuss in detail 2-4 scientific papers I’ve read that month. They’re always health- and nutrition-focused, but not always specifically about ketogenic diets. If you want to get your science on, that level is for you! A bit geekier than my public videos, but I try to keep things layperson-friendly to accommodate all who might be watching.

For a very generous $30/month, you get a weekly group Zoom call with me – ask me anything! (Well not anything. Do try to keep it related to keto/low-carb, health and nutrition, food, physiology, biochemistry, etc.) Keto Q&A, tips for eating this way long-term, and whatever else comes up in the conversation. My audience is very savvy, so you get to benefit from listening to everyone on these calls, not just from me. Ask questions or just listen quietly while the rest of us “think out loud.” Participate as much or as little as you like. At this level of support, you’ll get an hour with me each week – much cheaper than a single one-hour consultation!

Check out all the details and the different support levels here: Tuit Nutrition on Patreon


Thanks for sticking with me, everyone. I know that my actions don’t reflect what I’ve been saying for a while: that writing is my first love and always will be. (Then again, I did just finish writing two books…) Anyway, it was never my intent to abandon the blog. I guess I just started to get a little intimidated by my own blog style – sharing every detail about a topic and exploring every possible nuance to the point that blog posts could take several days to write (in addition to the time spent researching). I’ll have to go a little easier if I’m going to write more often. Making videos is so much quicker – I can get information out a lot faster when I talk than when I type. (It also seems that many more people prefer to watch videos these days rather than reading blog posts, so I can reach a larger audience with videos.) When it’s been a while since there’s been a new blog post, I welcome you to check out my videos, but I also vow to not let it be quite so long between blog posts going forward. Yes, I realize I have made this commitment several times in the past and not followed through. Thank goodness for second … and third … and fourth chances, eh?

See you again soon.


P.S. Do you live near the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina? Greensboro or Burlington? Guess what? I work at a farm in Efland! If you’re near the Triangle area of NC, check us out: Fickle Creek Farm. We do beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs, and produce. We’re normally at several area farmers’ markets, but with the virus situation right now, you can pre-order for on-farm pickup, and there are some drop-off/delivery points, too. You might get a dozen eggs that I gathered or washed, or some lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, peppers, or squash that I planted, weeded, tended, and harvested! The work is absolutely backbreaking and exhausting (especially in the heat of a southern summer), but it’s also satisfying and fulfilling in a way that sedentary work in front of a computer isn’t. (They both have their place in my life, though.) Here’s a video I did a while back talking about working on the farm: Dispatch from the Farm. (That was way back from last October. I had only been working there for a few weeks at that time. I’ve learned so much more since then…and lost a couple thousand buckets’ worth of sweat, if you must know. Also: a few educational and painful encounters with fire ants! Fun, fun, fun.) If you’re in the area, definitely check out our animal and plant foods, all raised and grown with love, care, and integrity. 





Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

April 21, 2020

New e-Book: The Stall Slayer -- IT'S HERE!!



Hey all!


Not long ago, I told you about my e-book, The Stall Slayer. Well, I’m pleased to announce IT’S HERE!! It’s done, ready to go, and AVAILABLE FOR SALE NOW!!

Click here to see a short video I did introducing you to the book and what it’s all about. But the best place to go for all things Stall Slayer is: stallslayer.com.

Stalled fat loss is the #1 reason people contact me for help. Think you’re doing “all the right things” to lose fat on keto and it’s not working? You're not alone! I understand your frustration and disappointment. I wrote this book for YOU. The good news is, it’s easy to get the scale moving again with just a few simple tips.

Chapter highlights:

Too many carbs?
Stubborn fat not budging even though you’re eating low carb or keto? Maybe your carbs aren’t quite as low as they need to be for your fat loss to get into high gear. Learn how to troubleshoot “carb creep” in Chapter 4.

Too much fat?
Did you know it’s possible to eat too much fat on keto if your goal is to lose body fat? Yes! Chapter 5 will explain why even though this is a high fat diet, pouring unlimited butter and oil on your food isn’t a winning strategy if you’re already having a hard time tapping into stored body fat.

What about thyroid?
I’ve lost count of how many clients I’ve worked with whose fat loss was roadblocked by undiagnosed or improperly treated hypothyroidism. Don’t let a hormone imbalance stand in the way of you getting the physique you want. Learn the ins & outs of proper thyroid testing & treatment in Chapter 6.

Plus...
  • Do you have to worry about macros?  
  • Can you drink alcohol and still lose weight?
  • Do you need to measure ketones?
  • Is intermittent fasting required?
  • What if you're taking medications that make you gain weight?

                                                              …all those questions answered and more!

In The Stall Slayer, I explain the science in plain English, bust myths with humor and wit (and maybe a touch of my trademark sarcasm), and arm you with the tools you need to break your fat loss stall. 

If you are struggling to drop unwanted pounds despite being keto-faithful, this is the book you need!





P.S. For now, The Stall Slayer is available only as an e-book in pdf format. Two different versions are available: one better suited for reading electronically, and one better suited for printing at home if you prefer to read a hard copy. (Details at stallslayer.com.) A Kindle version and a print-on-demand paperback version will be available on Amazon soon…can’t guarantee when, but stay tuned here to the blog, or follow me on Twitter or YouTube, and you’ll be sure to be among the first to hear when those are up and running.






Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.