My name is Amy Berger, and I live in the Durham, NC area, but I work with clients all over the US and even internationally, via phone and Skype. (See here for the services I currently offer.)
I have a master’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport.
I’m also a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS). This designation requires a master’s degree, passing a board exam, and accumulating 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice and other professional nutrition work. In this way, the requirements are similar to those for being a registered dietitian (RD), but the education programs are very different. I happen to also be a U.S. Air Force veteran, but that doesn’t have much bearing on my nutrition career, except that I used my GI Bill to get the master’s degree, so that was pretty nice.
I have been eating a low carbohydrate diet and learning about this way of eating for over 15 years. My specific areas of interest include using low carb and ketogenic diets as nutritional therapies for diabetes (both type 2 and type 1), obesity, PCOS, migraines, acid reflux/GERD, cardiovascular disease, and neurological & neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy).
I’m the author of the book The Alzheimer’s Antidote: Using a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease, Memory Loss, and Cognitive Decline.
In addition to writing the blog here at www.tuitnutrition.com, I write for other websites, blogs, and companies, mostly focused on low carb, ketogenic, and Paleo-style nutrition and health. (Some of my best work is at KetoDiet blog.) I've also presented internationally at low carb and keto conferences and seminars.
Want to know more about me and how I got into low carb/keto? Read on.
My personal story below talks mostly about weight loss, because that’s the battle I fought most of my young adult life, and it’s how I got started with low carb. But over the years, I’ve become fascinated by all the other things this way of eating has been proven beneficial for, like the conditions I mentioned above. So if you’ve come here looking to lose body fat, great. But if you’re interested in low carb for some other reason, equally great!
And now, on with the show…
I know what it’s like.
I know how it feels to spend years doing “all the right things” but not seeing the positive changes you expect in your health and physique. And worse, I know how it feels to blame yourself. I know how it feels to watch your thinner, seemingly healthier friends eat whatever they want, not exercise, and slink into clothing you could only dream of fitting into.
I understand completely.
I know what it’s like to feel like a failure because you are counting calories, and you are eating low-fat, and you do exercise, but the weight isn’t budging, and your energy’s dragging, and your moods are still low. I know how it feels to sweat, count, weigh, measure, discipline, and white-knuckle yourself into confusion, anger, frustration, and self-loathing because despite your best efforts—despite all the lettuce, despite the fat-free dressing, despite the skinny soy lattes, and the hours upon hours at the gym, you look and feel no different than when you started. Maybe you even look and feel worse.
Any of that sound familiar to you?
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then I was downright certifiable. For a smart person, I was pretty silly. See, I spent years doing what I thought were “all the right things” in order to lose weight and optimize my health: I ate low-fat foods, reduced my intake of eggs and red meat, used light margarine instead of butter, avoided eggs, used skim or soy milk instead of whole, and spent lots of time exercising. Specifically, I spent lots of time jogging and racking up miles on a stationary bikes and stairclimbers. After all, losing weight was just a matter of “burning” more calories than I was taking in, right?
It’s not completely wrong, but it’s far from right. There’s a lot more to fat loss and health than “calories in/calories out.” Unfortunately, this myth that the human body—complex, vibrant, and dynamic—works as simply as a dime store calculator, has pervaded the national conversation about health and weight for decades. And where has it gotten us? I’ll tell you where: saddled with levels of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, depression, mood disorders, and other health issues unprecedented in human history.
|Thanks for nothing, |
government nutrition guidelines!
Like millions of people, I trusted the government and other “authorities” to give me good advice about nutrition and health. I ate and exercised the way they recommended, yet I didn’t see any improvements in my health or physique. Call me a glutton for punishment; when following the standard recommendations for low-calorie, low-fat diets and lots of exercise didn’t work, I simply did more of them. Ate even fewer calories. Exercised more. And still no fat loss.
My self-esteem took a serious beating.
Instead of looking outward and questioning the paradigm I was following, I blamed myself. Maybe I wasn’t working out enough, or was still eating too much food. After all, if those weren’t the case, I’d have seen some nice changes, right? So the problem couldn’t have been the advice I was following; the problem must have been me.
I can’t blame myself for coming to that conclusion. When all the messages you hear from the government, from the mass media—and yes, from medical experts—tell you to eat less and move more, and you do, when you don’t see the promised results, the problem can’t be that the messages are wrong, but that you’re not listening to them well enough. It becomes a moral issue instead of a scientific and biochemical one. This happens to overweight people every day. We’ve come to see obesity as a character flaw, as some kind of moral failure. In our politically incorrect society, heavy people are the last acceptable targets. We see them as lazy. Greedy. Gluttonous. Undisciplined. But you know what? I was none of those things. I completed two marathons. I joined the Air Force. I wasn’t afraid of a challenge, and I sure wasn’t afraid of a hard workout. And I don’t think most other people are, either. I have more faith in people than that. I think if it were really as simple as “eat less, move more,” we’d have had this obesity thing licked a long time ago.
What I learned shocked me.
The "experts" were so wrong!
After years of failing to see results from my hard work, I finally questioned the way I was doing things. I found a few books and websites that talked about nutrition, health, and weight loss in ways I’d never heard before. To put it bluntly, I had my mind blown. Repeatedly. I learned that most of what “they” tell us about how to lose weight and stay healthy is dead wrong. (Pun intended.)
Thanks to the messages of low-fat, low-cholesterol foods and “moving more” we’ve been bombarded with for the past few decades, many of us have come to believe that foods that have nourished and sustained healthy, fit people for millennia (like beef, butter, dark meat chicken, and egg yolks) suddenly started to kill us and are now unfit for human consumption.
After , I changed my diet radically and changed my approach to physical movement. I reintroduced many “forbidden foods,” dropped the , spent a lot less time on the cardio equipment, got over my fear of the gym’s scary “guy area”—the weights—and voila! The results finally, finally came.
I was so fascinated by what I’d learned that I’m now dedicating my career to sharing it with people who are still fighting this battle—and who maybe feel like they’re running low on morale and ammunition. I know from that we need battle buddies—people who know what we’re going through. People we trust to have our backs and stand with us when things get tough. I may not have been a Marine, but Marines aren’t the only ones who don’t leave a man behind. I know there are men and women of all ages struggling to reclaim their health, vitality, and zest for life. And they won’t get left behind. Not on my watch.
I can’t get back the years I spent following the road to nowhere, but I can help steer others to a more productive way. I’ve told myself that if I can spare just one person the self-esteem nightmare I put myself through when I was younger, I’ll consider myself a professional success.
lost in all the conflicting messages? |
I don’t blame you.
Let me help you find your way.
If you’ve been doing “all the right things,” yet haven’t seen the improvements you expected, don’t get down on yourself.
If, like me, you’ve spent years banging your head against the wall because you can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong, don’t lose one more day on something that isn’t working. Get on a better path.
If you haven’t been making efforts to improve your health but know you should, don’t get upset with yourself. We all start somewhere. Start here. Start now. Don’t get angry with yourself.
*Tuit Nutrition – a source of sanity in the sea of nutritional madness.*