You don’t get used to seeing people suffer. Each person’s experience is unique, as are the outcomes. All anyone can do to help is be an image, a guide and path to positive change and eventually wellness. 

Suffering comes from disease and disease usually occurs when we live an unhealthy lifestyle (aside from genetic conditions). 

Seems simple doesn’t it? Why is disease so common? 

I keep this top of mind.

Low Glycemic Living/Low Carb Living – The Holistic Approach

Knowing many of the risk factors for disease (this is very general I know) are modifiable can be painful. I find relief in sharing my own personal story. Of course, we cannot modify age, upbringing, experience, etc but the future is ours. Our environment is ours. Who we surround ourselves with – that is ours. 

I was an athletic, fit, military officer, basketball player, runner, all the good things. When real life hit and I wasn’t getting paid to go to school I gained weight. This happened almost immediately. Within three years after college I had ballooned from 175lbs to 209lbs.

What was different? 

No, I wasn’t exercising 2 hours per day. Yes, I was eating the same amount. 

Seems simple right? Why did it take me 4-5 years to get back to feeling good again? 

It was recently reported that in the UK obesity outnumbers smokers 2:1. The CDC says that >39% of Americans are obese. This is happening and as we grow up and out disease will increase. We need to get ahead of it.

To answer my questions above lets address a few key weight loss principles:

As a Naturopathic Doctor I am obsessed with the holistic approach to disease management, prevention and optimal health. When I think about weight gain I am organizing the following in my mind: 

  • Glucose/insulin
  • Calories in vs out
  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Inflammation
  • Toxic exposures
  • Genetics
  • Movement

This looks complicated but I can help to make it simpler. For 99% of people the holistic approach to weight loss is focused on how each of these factors influence factor #1 – Glucose/insulin. This is where you can achieve the most relevant change for your efforts.

Here’s how to get started – Losing weight using the holistic approach:

Think about glycemic index daily, every meal, all the time. Am I going to get a glucose and subsequent insulin spike from this meal? 

I know this sounds so 2005. This isn’t keto, common Dr. D! 

For the past two weeks I have been wearing a continuous glucose monitor. I know exactly what my blood sugar has been for every moment of this period of time. I’m here to tell you high stress impacts glucose levels and poor sleep impacts glucose levels.

I will also tell you that carbs are trickier than you might think. 

I’m giving a talk soon to Low Carb Vancouver where I will speak to my experience. Hopefully my stories will be available on Youtube. If they are I will post here as an update. 

Holistic Weight Loss Starter Guide – Here are a few hints:

  • Liquid sugar (even in small amounts) is the worst thing on earth. I didn’t take it seriously enough before. 
  • It takes me 48 hours to get back to normal (blood sugar) after “carbing up”, even with intense exercise. 
  • Late night eating – even if it is just popcorn ruins my 24 hour average blood sugar. 

So, not knowing these three items were as important as they are until just two weeks ago how have I achieved my weight loss success? How have we here at DAMY helped thousands get to where they need to be (a normal BMI)?

Low glycemic diet. 

When you start a diet plan try to eat balanced meals with reduced carbohydrates. Be consistent. Get support. Have a coach hold you accountable. This is what we do on our plan. 

The DAMY Lean is a low carb plan. We restrict carbs at night and have people do 13 hours of fasting at night. 

Some people like to count carbs (maybe less than 135g per day?). This works for me but I enjoy doing math for fun. 

Fasting works – read Dr. Fung if you haven’t already. Fasting is really low glycemic. 

What should I do to jump-start my weight loss?

Here are a few tips to try to get started:

  1. Eat salads for dinner with veggies, nuts or olive oil and a small amount of protein at dinner most nights, forever. 
  2. Count your breakfast carbs. Are you already close to 135g? You are eating too many carbs at this time. Simply reduce.
  3. Never drink carbohydrates (on a weight loss plan). Smoothies are okay if you aren’t trying to lose weight. If you are trying and you really love them no worries, count the carbs. 
  4. Do not eat within three hours of bedtime. Trust me. 

As for my story? I lost all the weight when I started 13 hour nightly fasting. I had been eating too many calories before bed for many years out of habit. Cutting them changed everything. 

For others this isn’t the case. Some need prolonged low calorie (like a fast), others need appetite suppression and many need structured eating rules to follow forever. 

Our metabolic system is complex but knowing that the impact of the complexity is mostly on glucose (sugar) and insulin simplifies things. 

Suffering is scary and taking action on our modifiable risk factors is transformative and preventative. Do not smoke, sleep well, move your body, keep your mind active and engaged, foster healthy relationships and keep a lean body mass. 

If you need to start today, do it. Think about the glycemic impact of your food choices. Reduce that first.

by Dr. David Duizer ND