Hello my future FBFs! FBF stands for fat-burning friends. A low-carb lifestyle turns you into a fat-burning machine! Welcome to my series on getting started. I am dedicating the next few months to sharing my best tips and tricks to help you take off!
Now, before I get too far into all this advice – I have an important DISCLAIMER. I want you to know I am not a health care provider. I am just a gal that lived with obesity for three decades and finally discovered the secret to why, no matter what I tried, I could not keep excess weight off my body! I am here to share my journey and how I reached a healthy weight and metabolism I will maintain for life.
I want you to get your doctor involved in your healthy journey. Especially if you are taking medications for anything – you will need to be closely monitored. This is COMMON and STANDARD advice anytime you start a new dietary protocol. I have found three doctors to support and monitor my Keto lifestyle. My functional medicine MD, my cardiologist, and my pulmonary MD (sleep specialist). You may have to search for a doctor to work with you or you may have to ask your doctor to spend some time researching the low-carb, healthy fat lifestyle. But get one on board your Keto or LCHF train! Got it?
Is the Keto or LCHF diet right for you? I can’t answer that for you – but I can suggest you spend a lot of time researching and discuss with your doctor. You can read my September blog series “Keto Heals” to discover all the benefits I have realized. You can read mine and other’s success stories on Diet Doctor. Can you relate? The secret to unlocking your obesity and other metabolic dysfunction could be in the low-carb lifestyle.
Welcome back my FBFs!
Now you’ve done some research on Keto, Low-Carb Healthy Fats, and Intermittent Fasting, let’s arm ourselves with data that will tell YOUR story. I’m talking about some facts in numbers here. Being an accountant in real life, I love numbers. I always say – numbers don’t lie!
I am often told “Keto diet is dangerous” or “you can’t do Keto for a long time” and even “you’re killing your kidneys”. Well, I like to live dangerously – I laugh in the face of danger. Just kidding.
What I really want to say to these people in response:
- Oh, really? How many hours of research have you done? Because I have spent 100s of hours reading the latest from doctors and scientists. From doctors who are changing lives, like mine!
- Where do you get this information? From Big Pharmacy? Big Government? Big Sugar Industry? The main stream media?!? Sounds like fake news to me!
- Alrighty – I’ve healed obesity, fatty liver, obstructive sleep apnea, migraines, headaches, exhaustion, mood swings, constant hunger and cravings, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance – just to name a few. Would it be better for me to return to eating a high carb, standard American diet which will cause my metabolism to freak out again? I think I’ll pass.
I don’t really want to be rude to people, so here’s some of my typical responses:
- Do your own research and decide what’s best for you.
- I appreciate your concern. I’m very thankful I am being closely monitored by three amazing doctors supporting my low-carb lifestyle.
- I have never felt better in my life! You can’t make me eat carbs!
- I would rather live a shorter high energy life than face a future of chronic diseases brought on by Type 2 Diabetes.
- God is truly in control of my lifespan, it’s not something I worry about. My concern now is living the best, most energetic life to get stuff done for Him.
Given these concerns, I wanted to share with you the health markers I monitor based on my doctor’s recommendations and my purely curious nature (because I love numbers and goal setting)!
These are the tests that I have been tracking. I am going to provide a hyperlink for each, so you can read about the test.
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Fasting Blood Glucose
- Fasting INSULIN (ASK – your doctor will not think to order this)
- NMR Lipoprofile (this is a more in-depth cholesterol panel PLUS it measures your Insulin Resistance / Diabetes Markers)
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
- Cortisol level
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
- Complete Blood Count with Differential
- Chemistry Panel
- Vitamin D, 25 Hydroxy
- Vitamin B12 level
- Thyroid Autoantibody Panel
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Free Thyroxine (FT4)
- Free Triiodothyronine (FT3)
- Uric Acid
- Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
Note: you will not need to have each of the above tests done at every visit. Your doctor might be satisfied with the initial result and not need to repeat often. I always ask for the first six listed at every visit. I visit with my functional medicine doctor every 4 – 6 months.
My insurance will pay for NMR panel every four months, so I repeat as often as I can. I finally got my LP-IR score into the normal range on my last visit. LP-IR is the score calculated to determine if you are Insulin Resistant on the NMR panel.
These are some extra testing my functional medicine doctor offered, and I decided to do. Like I said, I love numbers and I am super curious:
- Spectrox and Immunidex– Micronutrient Nutritional Testing by SpectraCell Laboratories (your doctor will have to use a kit from their lab and send off your blood work for results). This is the test my doctor used to specify how I should be supplementing.
- IgG Elisa 184 Food Panel– (I believe there are several labs offering this test). Ask your doctor. This test told me which food I should avoid due to food sensitivities. Imagine my shock when my results showed a sensitivity to potato (not shocked after I see how much I healed when I stopped eating potatoes!).
- GI Effects Stool Profile – by Genova Diagnostics– (I believe there are several other labs offering this test).This test will tell you the story of your gut health – infection, inflammation, insufficiency, and imbalance. It’s kind of a pain in the butt to do (no pun intended!), but I found it fascinating.
The above three tests will probably have some out of pocket costs, but my insurance did pay for the majority of the cost. If your insurance will cover and you can afford it, I recommend them all.
I have one more test I would highly recommend if you are closely monitoring your cholesterol and lipids, and/or are working with a cardiologist. Based on my family history of heart disease, my doctor ordered a CAC scan (Coronary Artery Calcification test), also known as Coronary Calcium Scan. I scored a ZERO – which my doctor said I should definitely be doing the happy dance! If you’d like more information about this test, spend some time reading and watching the work of Ivor Cummins on his website The Fat Emperor. He offers the best explanation, in my opinion!
Those are all the labs and tests I have had and will continue to monitor with my doctors. I hope this gives you some good suggestions on what to ask your doctor. I guarantee you will most likely have to ASK for quite a few of them.
I use a spreadsheet to keep track of important results. I have posted a copy of this in my Subscriber Resources. It’s an Excel spreadsheet that you can grab and use for yourself. You can add and delete labs that you are tracking. If you are not a subscriber to my email updates, you can subscribe below. Go do it!
My last bit of advice – be diligent with your health! YOU are the best advocate for your own health. Don’t be afraid to asks for tests and don’t accept the old standard Cholesterol/Lipid panel and Chemistry panel. Our bodies are fascinating machines and your results will tell the story of your metabolic damage and even better yet, your metabolic healing!
On my Subscriber Resources page, I’ve created a resource titled “Christine’s Top 20 Keto/LCHF Let’s Get Started Tips and Tricks”. I’ve highlighted my favorite tips and will expand on them throughout this month. I’ve also left a blank page in the document to write your own list on what you will do to get started. To access the resources, you have to be an email subscriber. Head on down the page and sign up!
You will see another resource on my Subscriber Resource page. I am a strong advocate for setting goals. In fact, I mention this a lot and I’ve blogged about it here: Goals – Define Yours and Change Your Life with Keto or LCHF. If you want to see results, you have to start with setting goals.
Stick around this month and I’ll do my best to guide you if you decide to jump on board the Keto train (or low-carb, healthy fats)! It’s a journey I’m so blessed to have made!
Other posts in this “Getting Started” series:
Don’t forget to sign up below to gain access to the subscriber resources.