Can a low carb ketogenic diet be safe, effective and fast? Yes, say Cynthia Stamper Graff and Dr. Réginald Allouche. Based on research from past versions of the "Lean for Life" diet program, they've created a new weight loss plan and documented it in "The New Lean for Life: Outsmart Your Body to Shrink Fat Cells and Lose Weight for Good" (click for details).
In an exclusive interview, they explained how it works.
The diet "is a combination of smart eating and cognitive behavioral strategies to help readers align their brain, body and gut. Why? Well, when these three “bio-worlds” work together, the result is rapid weight loss. Of course, each one has different needs: the brain is a pleasure-seeker, the body is a nutrient-seeker, and the gut (specifically gut microflora) is a fiber-seeker."
The duo say that their weight loss plan, which is high fat, moderate protein and low carb, provides a weapon overlooked by most diet books: Gut microflora.
"Gut microflora play a key role that is often overlooked by most diet books: when these clever bacteria work for us, they secrete 85% of our body’s serotonin, AKA the happiness hormone. So, when the brain, body and gut are in balance, a person is lean, healthy AND happy—with a metabolism that works to keep them that way," they explain.
One challenge for dieters: "These three bio-worlds want what they want and when they want it. Think about a bowl of ice cream. The brain seeks the pleasure from eating the bowl of ice cream, even though the ice cream itself doesn’t satisfy the body’s need for nutrients and puts a strain on its organs (e.g. insulin production to counter the ice cream’s glucose), not to mention the environment sugar and fat create in your gut (bad bacteria abound!)."
Included in the book are "strategies developed and refined over 40 years of working with patients that align these worlds and help people feel satisfied, lean and happy."
The authors say that they choose a ketogenic diet for their Rapid Weight Loss phase because this type of plan helps people "have more energy, less cravings, and better/faster weight loss results than on a conventional calorie deficit plan. That being said, the ketogenic plan we advocate features low glycemic index carbs without commercial fructose (green leafy vegetables, and portion controlled fruits)."
And does it work?
"Recent clinical data from 47,000 people following the Lean for Life program in THE NEW LEAN FOR LIFE showed the average weight loss over 8 weeks was 11% of starting weight. The rate of weight loss is higher in the initial weeks. Three to five pounds per week is pretty typical."