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Sharon Osbourne prefers ketogenic diet to weight loss surgery: Lost 30 pounds

Sharon Osbourne regrets weight loss surgery, details 30-lb weight loss: Her low-carb Atkins diet menu plan
Sharon Osbourne regrets weight loss surgery, details 30-lb weight loss: Her low-carb Atkins diet menu planPhoto by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Sharon Osbourne feels great after losing 30 pounds on a low-carb, ketogenic-style Atkins diet, but regrets having gotten bariatric lap-band surgery years ago because it made her feel like a "cheat."

"I felt like such a cheat when I had that band on my stomach, and people are saying, 'You look wonderful!'" Osbourne told Entertainment Tonight. "And I'd go, 'Thank you, I just have to leave and vomit.' "

The 5-foot-2 Sharon, who once weighed 230 pounds, lost more than 100 pounds after undergoing lap-band surgery in 1999. She then regained 45 pounds after getting the band removed in 2006 after the procedure left her weak and sick.

Lost 100 Pounds After Lap-Band, Admits Food Addiction

Osbourne confessed she still has a food addiction, and had to find a way to maintain her weight loss without resorting to surgery or drugs. "We all have our own little addiction, and mine is food," she explained. "I am a food addict."

Sharon, an Atkins rep, recently lost 30 pounds in six weeks by following a ketogenic-inspired Atkins diet that limited to daily carb intake to about 25 grams, Linda O'Byrne, chief nutritionist for Atkins Nutritionals, told me.

Sharon said her weight had fluctuated for years until she adopted Atkins, a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF), moderate-protein eating plan. Osbourne said the best part of her LCHF diet is being able to stay slim without extreme calorie restriction. "It has been life-changing," she said. "It's not a diet. It's a lifestyle change."

Meanwhile, Sharon's son, Jack Osbourne, credited a low-carb Paleo diet for his stunning 70-pound weight loss. Jack said the Paleo diet also helps him manage his multiple sclerosis.

Atkins and Ketogenic Diets May Aid Depression and Bipolar Disorder

New research also indicates the LCHF Atkins and ketogenic diets may alleviate depression and bipolar disorder, the Washington Post reported. "Low-carb diets keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent food cravings, which helps with mental clarity and boosts mood," said O'Byrne.

The research supporting the mental-health benefits of the Atkins and ketogenic diets is a no-brainer to Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Volek told me a LCHF diet has several health benefits aside from rapid weight loss, including reversing diabetes and heart disease, and enhancing mood.

This is because drastically reducing carbs prevents the blood-sugar spikes that fuel mood swings, inflammation, and weight gain, he said. "For about 98% of human history, we've been eating low-carb," said Dr. Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. "We evolved in a state of nutritional ketosis."

Dr. Volek discovered the transformative effects of the ketogenic diet after switching to the LCHF eating plan 20 years ago. "It was nothing short of an epiphany when I changed to a ketogenic diet," said Volek, who also wrote New Atkins for a New You. "I felt better, more satiated, and had more consistent energy."

LCHF Ketogenic Diet Starves Cancer

The health benefits of LCHF diets extend beyond weight loss. Renowned cancer scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried recently told me the ketogenic diet beats chemotherapy for almost all cancers. This is because cancer is a metabolic disease, and cancer cells thrive on sugar, he said.

When we restrict carbs in our diet, we can prevent pro-inflammatory spikes in blood glucose and blood insulin, explained Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease.

Dr. Seyfried joins a growing number of cancer researchers who say the ketogenic diet is an effective cancer fighter. This is because nearly all the healthy cells in our body have the metabolic flexibility to use fat, glucose and ketones to survive, but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility and require large amounts of glucose and cannot survive on ketones. So by limiting carbohydrates we can reduce glucose (and insulin) and thus restrict the primary fuel for cancer cell growth.

Dr. Seyfried says the time has come for the medical community to publicly acknowledge the viability of the ketogenic diet as an inexpensive, non-toxic way to treat cancer.

"The standard of care has been an abysmal failure for cancer," said Seyfried, a professor at Boston College. "The ketogenic diet may one day replace the standard of care for most cancers. To those who doubt me, I say: 'Prove me wrong.'"