Atkins-Low Carb-Keto for Your Health

It has dawned on me that more recently, the Low Carb Revolution is becoming a reality. Wherever you look on the web, whether it be websites or social media, you can easily find something on the low carb/ketogenic lifestyle.

As many people are discovering, the low carb diet is nothing new. It’s not a fad, as it’s been around for pretty much the beginning of time.

In fact, I was first exposed to low carb strategies for weight/fat loss in the mid 1990’s. In 1995 I went to my first bodybuilding contest. Not to complete, but as a spectator. It was the Golds Gym Ironman Naturally Bodybuilding competition. I remember it like yesterday, because it was my first bodybuilding contest I attended, and the one that motivated me to compete in my first contest the following year. The trophy for the overall winner of the contest was a beautiful Excalibur style sword, which I really wanted to win. Sure, I could have went out and bought one, but it would be much better earned.

After that contest I decided to come back the following year as a competitor. At that point, at the age of 21, I had already been training off and on for over 10 years, and consistently for about 2 years. It was time to see the results of all the training. I say, “see the results” for a very specific reason, because I donʻt naturally have a super fast metabolism, and am not naturally lean. So though I had been training for quite some time, I donʻt think it would have been super obvious if you were to catch me on the street. So how was I going to get into contest condition? To stand on stage in my underwear, and actually look like a bodybuilder? Luckily, the contest was not for another year, so I had some time.

Over the next 8-9 months I trained hard to put on whatever extra muscle my body would allow. I also started talking to all the bodybuilder’s in the gym. Some were natural, and some were not, but they all had pretty much one thing in common, the contest diet. They all followed a low carb diet. Almost everyone I talked to had the same strategy. Low carbs for 2-4 days, followed by a high carb day, then repeat the cycle over and over, until you are shredded. There were also those who would eat complex carbs earlier during the day, then stop eating then at a certain time. Overall, they all drastically reduced consumption of carbohydrates.

Keep in mind, this was back in the 90’s. You couldn’t just Google, “how to get ripped.” Or look for your favorite YouTube video on the subject. In fact, I had already spent over 10 years reading bodybuilding & fitness books and magazines, and had never come across the secret to getting ripped. At that time it was almost like a secret code, or secret handshake. Either you knew how to do it, or you didn’t.

That is actually the very reason I titled my book, which is now available on Amazon, The Best Kept Secrets to Weight Loss Fitness & Building Muscle, because at that time it was pretty much a secret within the bodybuilding community.

I was fortunate that there were a number of good local bodybuilder’s in the gym I was training at in Hawaii. Both Chris Faildo, who I’d say is one of the best Natural Bodybuilder’s of all time, and Clifton Torres, who was one of Hawaii’s first IFBB Pro’s, were just a couple of the competitors in the gym at that period.

So I took the knowledge I acquired from the competitors I knew and used the same low carb strategies.

In 1996 I went back to the newly named Hawaii Natural Bodybuilding Championship and won my weight class, and was in the best shape of my life. After the contest, I did as many competitors do, I began eating all the carbs again, and started packing on weight. This was largely due to the concept that carbs were needed to build muscle, and that eating low carbs as a lifestyle was not healthy.

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Pre 1996 Hawaii Natural Bodybuilding Championship
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My favorite picture to date, taken backstage after the pre judging at The 1996 Hawaii Natural Bodybuilding Championship

It was not until 2003 that I would set foot on stage again. It was also in 2003, that I came across Dr. Atkins book, New Diet Revolution. I read the entire book from cover to cover, and was convinced that low carbs was the way to go. However, at that time it was still a very controversial diet, and still is a bit today. Although, with many more new studies being done on the Low Carb/Ketogenic lifestyle, it’s acceptance is certainly growing in numbers with the mainstream public.

These days you hear the terms LCHF (Low Carb High Fat), Keto (Ketogenic), & Paleo,  tossed around as if it’s some new-found diet fad. I still just refer to it as a Low Carb diet, because that’s the basis of it.

In the last 5 years more and more research and studies have been done on the low carb diet, and more and more evidence is pointing to the long-term health benefits of it. It’s no longer being viewed as just a quick fix, contest preparation strategy, but a strategy to live a healthier lifestyle.

You can find a detailed outline of exactly what I did, and what I ate to drop over 40 lbs. for my very first bodybuilding contest, using low carb strategies in my book, The Best Kept Secrets to Weight Loss Fitness & Building Muscle, now available on Amazon.

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Reversing Diabetes

So what is the plan? You’ve now been diagnosed with type II diabetes. Your doctor has recommended you go on a 2,000 calorie a day SAD (Standard American Diet), and start testing your glucose level daily.
Your doctor has also put you on Metformin, to help reduce your glucose level, and suggests that if you reduce your weight, your numbers will improve.

If you are a type II diabetic, you’ve probably heard this story before. This is exactly what happen to me at the end of 2016.

So, where do you go from there? Unfortunately, many people will just do, exactly as the doctor recommends.

The general thinking is that the doctor is a trained professional with the expertise to treat the symptoms of type II diabetes. Which is true! The symptoms of type II diabetes is typically hyperglycemia (high blood glucose or blood sugar). So it would make sense that using medication to help reduce glucose/blood sugar levels would help control the symptoms. Wich it will.

However, for me personally, I didn’t, and don’t want to just treat and manage the symptoms. I want to reverse the Diabetes.

Unfortunately, if I went ahead and followed the SAD (Standard American Diet), high carb diet, I don’t believe it would ever reverse the diabetes, but only control the symptoms.

As a natural bodybuilder with years of experience with low carb dieting for contest preparation and overall weight loss, I told my doctor that, “I’ve used the low carb method in the past, and always had good results.” His initial response was like many people, stating that it was not healthy in the long-run, would cause  high cholesterol, and also commented that Dr. Robert Atkins death was due to heart disease. He still provided me with a Standard American Diet brohure, and also recommended the MyFitnessPal app to help track my calories.

However, he was not opposed to me using the low carb method initially to get the blood sugar under control. So I took that as a go! I still went ahead and bought the MyFitnessPal app for $40, contemplated using it, then said to myself,  “I’m sticking to my previous fat loss strategies of low carbs and non caloric tracking.”

Since I have accumulated a number of journals, which I kept evwrytime I prepared for a bodybuilding competition, I figured I had a bit of an edge. In fact I’ve recently published my very first competition journal from 1996 on Amazon.

That very day, after leaving the doctor’s office I began implementing the low carb lifestyle. I essentially eliminated all starchy (bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.) & sugary carbs (pretty much all sweets) from my diet, while continuing to eat various protein sources (beef, chicken, fish, eggs, sausage, bacon, etc.).

In the last 3 months I’ve lost about 20 lbs. More importantly is that I’ve managed to keep my blood sugar in the normal range.

I’ve also reduce the Metformin to a minimal dose of 500 mg per day. I actually did layoff the Metformin for about a month, while still managing to keep the blood sugar in the normal range. However, within the last few weeks I’ve added the 500 mg a day dose back, just to see how much it actually improves the blood sugar.

One thing I can say with absolute confidence is that, “the low carb lifestyle works, not only for weight loss, but also for managing diabetes.”

Have I cured my diabetes? That I cannot necessarily say yet. Have I reversed the symptoms of diabetes? Absolutely! Will I continue on my journey of reversing diabetes, through a low carb lifestyle? You better believe it!

As a Financial Advisor by trade, one thing I do know is that numbers don’t lie. For a diabetic, the most commonly monitors number is your A1C number. Which is basically your average blood sugar levels over the last 3 months. Since I’ve now been following the low carb lifestyle for the past 3 months (as of yesterday), since bring diagnosed I am due for an updated lab report.

Once that has been done, I will provide an update on the actual lab results of 3 months following a low carb lifestyle. Until then!

Photo taken in 2003, after e 2003 Aloha Natural Muscle Classic.

 

My New Book on Amazon: The Best Kept Secrets to Weight Loss Fitness & Building Muscle: Naturol 1996 Hawaii Natural Bodybuilding Championship Journal

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The book is comprised of my notes, and summaries with explanation from my very first Natural Bodybuilding contest, done in 1996. Where I lost over 40 lbs. of almost pure body fat in just 12 weeks. Originally written in 1998, and distributed primarily through email to select friends and family, it is now being made available to the public.

Get your copy today!

Got Diabetes?

I come from a family with a history of diabetes. My mother died at the age of 50 due to complications from diabetes. My father, though he did not have diabetes when he was young, he did develop it as he got older. Two of my three sisters also have diabetes, both of which were diagnosed at fairly young ages. I have also recently learned that my grandmother on my fathers side, also had diabetes.

Based on my family history, and seeing first hand what diabetes did to my mother, I have always been aware of the possibility that i could one day develop diabetes as well. For that reason i have always tried to stick to a consistent workout schedule, even if only 1 day a week. However, my eating habits have not always been as proactive as my workout regimen.

In 2013 I went to the doctor for a checkup, after postponing it for years. I’ve never been a big fan of going to the doctor, as I see them as more or less legalized drug dealers, but a physical was way overdue. It had probably been 10 years, since my last check up, so i thought I should just do it, given my family history.

When the lab results came in, it was then that I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, along with elevated cholesterol, primarily due to diabetes.

My doctor then put me on oral medications to help control both the blood sugar, and cholesterol. However, he was more concerned about my weight, which was elevated. He said, “if you reduce your weight, your blood sugars will get better, which will also help to get the cholesterol under control.”

As a natural bodybuilder I was determined to drop body fat and get my health back in order. So I told him, “give me 3 months, and I’ll drop weight, and get my glucose and cholesterol numbers back into the normal range.” He was very supportive of my determination, and of my low carb strategy, to get it done.

The doctor was also a Christian, and knew that I was as well. One of the strategies that he also recommend for dropping weight, and improving health was fasting.

I cut the carbs, and started fasting once a week. After about 3 months I had dropped about 25 lbs. and had gotten my glucose and cholesterol back in to the normal range. In addition, I had also stopped taking the medications.

As a bodybuilder, one of the worst habits I had gotten myself into over the years, was the yo-yo dieting. I would spend 3-4 months on very strict low carb diets to get into contest shape, then eat whatever I wanted once the contest was over. As a result, after each contest my weight would slowly climb back to where it was prior to the contest preparation, in addition to an extra 5-10 lbs.

Though I was pretty successful at reducing my body-fat, and getting my glucose & cholesterol levels under control in 2013, I later went back to eating whatever I wanted, primarily adding back excessive carbs. As a result, the weight slowly climbed up again.

On December 15, 2016 I was finally diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, after having a fasting glucose level of 300. As much as I was devastated I was not quite shocked, given my family history and eating habits.

Since that day I have found new motivation, and a renewed commitment to the low carb diet. However, the renewed commitment to low carbs, is to now make it a lifestyle.

This page is dedicated to that lifestyle, and the ongoing research on the low carb lifestyle, and not just it’s fat burning benefits, but it’s health and wellness benefits, and ability to control and reverse diabetes.

Much Aloha!

 

Natural Bodybuilding, Health & Fitness