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ATLCX (Episode 27): Jenny Ruhl | Overcoming The Problems With A Low-Carb Diet

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In Episode 27 of “Jimmy Moore Presents: Ask The Low-Carb Experts,” we shift gears a bit from our typical topics of discussion on this listener-directed podcast when we welcome a very popular blood sugar control advocate and outspoken health blogger named Jenny Ruhl to take on a topic of interest that she’s studied quite a bit over the past few years. She appeared in Episode 582 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast earlier this year and raised some eyebrows amongst many of my listeners there with her frank messages about certain issues that can happen to people when they go on a carbohydrate-restricted diet as she outlined so beautifully in her latest book Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets.

The response to that podcast interview with Jenny was so overwhelming that I decided to invite her on ATCLX to field questions directly from my listeners about the topic “Overcoming The Problems With A Low-Carb Diet” which was sure to be one of the more controversial and most talked about episodes in the short history of this podcast! Get ready for an in-depth examination into what real-life low-carb living is all about. We had so many great questions shared in this podcast with specific issues of concern people are having following low-carb. We were happy to have Jenny Ruhl joining us on ATLCX to take on your questions about problems while low-carbing in EPISODE 27 on September 20, 2012.

Listen to Jenny Ruhl take on “Overcoming The Problems With A Low-Carb Diet”:

  • She tries to give “realistic expectations” of low-carb
  • Long-term experience on low-carb is quick initial loss
  • Lost steadily but at a “a very modest pace” afterwards
  • When weight loss slows that’s a “normal” experience
  • People get frustrated and go off their low-carb diet
  • The bestselling low-carb diet books aren’t truthful
  • You lose stored glycogen in first weeks of low-carb
  • Losing about 1 pound a month is probably a good gaol
  • Cutting back on calories after 1st month is necessary
  • The response she’s received from Diet 101
  • If your diet is working for you, then keep doing it
  • When you have cravings, it could be low blood sugar
  • Your brain sends “panic signals” to get glucose NOW
  • The foods your brain wants are carbs, carbs, carbs
  • Look at your blood sugar and see what it’s doing
  • If it’s low, then you may need to eat more carbs
  • If you’re low-carb, shouldn’t have roller coaster BS
  • Take a Smartie at the gym if your blood sugar drops
  • Whether it’s possible for body to run well on ketones
  • You can’t run well on a blood sugar lower than 70
  • If you exercise with low blood sugar, it’s “a mess”
  • My n=1 nutritional ketosis experiment
  • There may be an adaptation period for keto-adaptation
  • Taking 2-4g glucose won’t kick you out of ketosis
  • Take “just enough carbs” to keep blood sugar level
  • Middle-aged women tend to be “quiet in online forums”
  • You should “get extremely anal” about tracking intake
  • People tend to be eating “twice as much” low-carb food
  • Even Dr. Bernstein has patients who can’t lose weight
  • It could very well be “other issues” not understood
  • Celebrate and focus on the great health improvements
  • Weight loss isn’t nearly as interesting as health
  • Body mass doesn’t predict diabetes, blood sugar does
  • Keeping blood sugar normal keeps health in line
  • You can be stalled in weight loss, but healthy
  • The middle-aged female body “wants to pack on weight”
  • What she considers a real normal blood sugar is
  • There’s “no magic in cutting the carbs”
  • The only exception is great hunger control
  • Calories and measuring portions are key to success
  • Try Jenny Ruhl’s Low-Carb Nutritional Calculator
  • It will tell you how many calories to be consuming
  • She eats 240 calories/day less than she did in 2002
  • Control hunger with low-carb to “cut back” on intake
  • You could see weight loss of half a pound a week
  • Average your daily, weekly and monthly weight
  • Listen to Dr. Stephen Phinney in Episode 23 of ATLCX
  • In five years, losing a pound of month you’ll hit goal
  • Get yourself a food scale and “you may be shocked”
  • “Calories do count” and you should keep up with them
  • My calories have “naturally reduced” on ketosis
  • If some people ate like me, they’d gain 3 pounds/week
  • 1800 calories/day might not work well for 50s female
  • People overestimate the calories they burn in exercise
  • When you’re “extremely heavy” you can drop weight fast
  • Males tend to do better than females at weight loss
  • The 7 pounds you quickly lose is glycogen, not fat
  • Don’t think about weight loss until glycogen is gone
  • Be careful with intense exercise on a low-carb diet
  • If you can tolerate starch, try it before exercise
  • People with diabetes can’t because blood sugar spikes
  • You should test to see what foods work for you
  • She’s a fan of slow-releasing grain-based breads
  • A sweet potato could raise blood sugar too fast
  • White “safe starch” rice looks to be “full of arsenic”
  • Maybe you have hit goal already and don’t realize it
  • You may make maintaining “much, much tougher”
  • This is a “real issue” in the low-carb community
  • We base our goal weights on some arbitrary ideal
  • The weight we need to be is “heavier than we think”
  • Most weight loss surgery people get 80% towards goal
  • Try to “focus on maintenance” than continued losing
  • Your body will start “fighting for fat” at some point
  • Take the attitude to give up dieting forever
  • How I tried to push myself to get to 199
  • Lowered carbs and calories and could only get to 213
  • I was miserable at that weight and have battled since
  • Research shows the healthiest weight is “overweight”
  • Obesity and underweight both pose health issues
  • Her daughter was a model for years and she “starved”
  • When she left modeling, she “packed on lot of weight”
  • When she hit her goal weight, blood pressure got worse
  • Blood pressure problems can be arterial calcification
  • She had a “blood sugar crisis” eating Bernstein diet
  • Some blood pressure issues are not caused by weight
  • Very low-calorie diets will “take the weight off”
  • But can you keep up with that level of calories?
  • Try “chop a third of the portion off” diet approach
  • Maybe find a doctor to get a BP medication for you
  • Elevated blood sugar numbers in the morning are normal
  • This is hormone secretion called “dawn phenomenon”
  • This is a natural way your body reacts to wake up
  • Joint pain early on a low-carb diet isn’t “common”
  • It’s possible losing glycogen makes you “dehydrated”
  • Less fluid in joints could become more obvious
  • Maybe the introduction of a new food could trigger it
  • Water you lose is from the muscle, not what you drink
  • The three phases that happen while on a low-carb diet
  • Why the study results of low-carb are so pathetic
  • You just need to realize this happens on low-carb
  • Make sure you avoid the inevitable “carb creep”
  • Portions and carb intake gradually gets larger
  • You can easily add 40-50g carbs “without realizing it”
  • Humans “evolved to constantly eat different things”
  • Many people “cannot eat the same foods” over and over
  • Find some good low-carb recipes like at Linda’s site
  • Get 3 weeks worth of foods before you start low-carb
  • The “steak trauma” she experiences now from boredom
  • When she get’s carbs down low, “scary” stuff happens
  • Once blood sugar normalized, I feel fantastic
  • Elevated heartbeat and irregularities hit her on keto
  • It’s possible to eat wide variety of food on low-carb
  • I’m one of those who could eat the same food everyday
  • You have to have a certainly personality to do that
  • We really are all different with what works for us
  • You lose a lot of potassium early on in low-carb
  • Adding potassium with some blood pressure meds is bad
  • Maybe adding in a few more carbs, cutting gradually
  • You will still get the benefits of appetite control
  • Some issues happen switching from glucose to ketones
  • Electrolyte balance can get “disturbed” doing too low
  • Headaches are “a very brief thing that will go away”
  • Not everyone has to eat a ketogenic diet for success
  • It depends on your own ability for blood sugar control
  • Most people don’t need a ketotic state to lose weight
  • Woman on low-carb for sugar control, not weight loss
  • Non-diabetic people could eat less on low-carb diet
  • The real benefit of low-carbing is it cuts junk food
  • Low-carb junk foods made low-carb “ineffectual”
  • People who eat a lot of “junk” pork rinds can stall
  • Sticking to a real, whole foods low-carb diet is key
  • For people who are stalled, ditch the fast food NOW
  • You’re getting chemicals like MSG in meats you eat
  • MSG “makes you gain weight” even with same food
  • What’s in the fast food burger patty is chemicals
  • When you start low-carb, insulin still ramped up
  • When you don’t eat as many carbs, adjustment happens
  • This can make you hungry, shaky and spots in your eyes
  • Within a few days that feeling should stop
  • If you weigh over 400 pounds, lots of issues going on
  • Find other ways to measure your success besides scale
  • If you don’t gain weight, then that’s success too
  • Don’t look at your goal weight as only success marker
  • My brain never caught up to being 230 after 410 pounds
  • The man active on a newsgroup who was still 300 pounds
  • He controlled his diabetes despite not losing weight
  • It will likely take years for your body to recover
  • Fat is an organ and it needs time to heal up well
  • Stick with what you’re doing and “don’t gain weight”
  • If she eats Chinese food, she’ll gain 2-3 pounds
  • That’s not body fat you’re gaining eating that
  • Dairy may not stall you, the added calories may do it
  • You don’t get fat from hunger, but eating food from it
  • Simplistic things help to sell diet books
  • She doesn’t buy into the idea that “wheat is poison”
  • Diet soda, stevia have a small impact on blood sugar
  • Insulin measurement is “so inaccurate” from changes
  • People with infertility find success eating low-carb
  • There are people who eat a lot of fat, BS goes up
  • For people who it does work, low-carb is awesome
  • But it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone
  • My interview on The LLVLC Show with Diane Kress
  • Glucagon is just as important hormone as insulin
  • Gretchen Becker’s “The Glucagon Connection” column
  • It’s a good idea not to eat too often with diabetes
  • Post-prandial blood sugar is what’s important
  • Get Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets
  • Others get “big advances” and on TV for diet books
  • She can “be honest” in her books doing them herself
  • She recently updated her Blood Sugar 101 book
  • Me and my listeners helped inspire her new book

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    There are five ways you can listen to Episode 27:

    1. LISTEN LIVE ON THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 7PM ET by calling (712) 432-0900 or on Skype at “freeconferencing.7124320900″–whether you call or Skype, be sure to use the access code “848908.” You can listen and even participate on the topic discussion by asking your questions directly to the featured expert.

    2. Listen at the iTunes page for the podcast:

    3. Listen and comment about the show at the official web site for the podcast:

    4. Download the MP3 file of Episode 27 [104:39m]:

    5. Listen on the Stitcher app–NO DOWNLOADING!

    If you cannot join us LIVE on the podcast on Thursday nights at 7PM ET, then you can still ask your questions of the expert guests in two ways. First, you can visit AskTheLowCarbExperts.com and fill out the form along the right-hand side of the page under “Submit Your Question” to input your name, e-mail address, the name of the expert you want to ask, and your question for them. These questions will be asked LIVE on the show airing on Thursdays. Or, for your convenience we have set up a way for you to e-mail us your questions directly to AskTheLowCarbExperts@gmail.com. Be sure to include your name, the name of the expert you want to ask your question to in the subject line, and your question on the specific topic of discussion. This is a golden opportunity for you to tap directly into the wealth of knowledge and experience on all things related to healthy low-carb living featuring the best and brightest experts in the realm of health!

    How did you like what you heard from Jenny Ruhl about “Overcoming The Problems With A Low-Carb Diet?” Give us your thoughts about it in the show notes section of Episode 27. Coming up next week LIVE in EPISODE 28 on September 27, 2012 at 7PM ET we delve deeply into the science supporting carbohydrate-restricted diets as we welcome health and fitness researcher Jonathan Bailor, author of The Smarter Science Of Slim: What the Actual Experts Have Proven About Weight Loss, Dieting, & Exercise, Plus, The Harvard Medical School Endorsed Program To Burn Fat Permanently (listen to my podcast interview with Jonathan in Episode 570 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show”). He spent over a decade examining literally thousands of pages of research data to learn so much about the facts regarding low-carb diets and has become well-versed at the overwhelming evidence supporting this healthy way of eating. Start getting me your questions about anything regarding low-carb diet research for me to ask Jonathan about about by e-mailing them to AskTheLowCarbExperts@gmail.com no later than 3PM ET on the date the podcast airs.

    Here are the upcoming experts and topics we’ll be covering on #ATLCX:

    EPISODE 29: October 4, 2012 | Dr. Thomas Dayspring |“Cholesterol Testing: What Matters Most?”
    EPISODE 30: October 11, 2012 | Dr. Richard Feinman |“Getting Low-Carb To Join The Scientific Mainstream”
    EPISODE 31: October 18, 2012 | Dr. Colin Champ |“Ketogenic Diets & Cancer”
    EPISODE 32: October 25, 2012 | Dr. Steven Gundry |“TBA”
    EPISODE 33: November 1, 2012 | Dr. Peter Attia |“Finding The Diet That’s Right For You”

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    • hitssquad

      At about the 12:20-12:40 mark in this podcast, Jenny Ruhl claims: “You never get to where you can function happily on a blood sugar below 70 milligrams per deciliter. You can’t.”

      This factoid from Chapter 4 of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance seems to contradict that claim:

      “Factoid: Many decades ago in a provocative experiment to demonstrate the human brain’s ability to function well on ketones, some scientists in Boston keto-adapted 3 obese humans with a month of total starvation. With their BOHB levels around 5 millimolar, they slowly infused insulin into their blood stream over hours until the subjects’ blood glucose levels dropped to the point that they should have lapsed into a coma (1.5 millimolar, or less than 30 mg/dl). At that point, their BOHB levels were slightly reduced to 4 millimolar, and not only did they stay awake, these subjects had none of the typical symptoms of hypoglycemia[20].”

    • Nina

      Jenny rules! I’ve just caught up with her LLVLC interview and this one. Such good sense. Many thanks Jimmy.

    • Nina

      This still reminds me of Dr Gundry’s work, reducing protein and calories by upping the amount of veg