Dr. Eric Westman answers your questions.
1. How many grams of carbs should I be eating daily?
My program allows for 20 grams of TOTAL carbs per day.
2. What is the difference between total carbs and net carbs?
Net carbs do not include fiber; total carbs include carbs from fiber. An example would be 150 grams of cauliflower equates to, total carbohydrates 7 grams, and dietary fiber 3 grams, therefore net carbs would be 4 grams but we would count the full 7 grams.
3. Are sugar and starches all the same?
Yes, ultimately all of these break down into simple sugars in the blood, thereby raising insulin levels.
4. How do I give up my carbohydrates and sugar?
All at once is best. After just a few days, most people report being over their carbohydrate cravings. Taste buds also change and within a short period of time, foods become sweeter.
5. What should my nutrient ratio be?
A good ratio would be 75 – 80% fat, 15-20% protein and 5% carbohydrate.
6. Won’t I gain weight from all this fat?
No, if you stick to under 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, your body will become fat adapted and use fat for fuel for energy as opposed to glucose (sugar and starch).
7. Is this supposed to be a high protein diet?
No, in the absence of carbohydrates, your body converts excess protein into glucose.
8. Will I lose muscle if I reduce my protein intake?
No, because your body uses fat for fuel, it is never forced into breaking down muscle for energy. This is a muscle sparing diet.
9. Do I need to count calories?
No, eating fat and protein satiates therefore naturally creating a reduction in hunger, thereby reducing your calorie intake.
10. How much water should I be drinking?
Your body does not retain water when you cut out the carbohydrates from your diet, therefore you should aim for about 2 liters per day.
11. How many eggs can I eat per day, will this cause my cholesterol levels to increase?
You can eat as many eggs as you like, new research suggests that this will not negatively affect your cholesterol.
12. Can I drink coffee?
Coffee has no carbohydrates. Use limited cream and non-sugar sweetener if necessary. Milk contains sugar (lactose), so it is to be avoided.
13. Can I drink alcohol?
Alcohol gets burned before fat, therefore should be avoided.
14. Can I have a cheat day?
No! After a cheat meal or day it will take your body a few days (2-3) to start burning fat again (thereby stopping the weight loss). So essentially you would be stopping the fat burning process for a few days in order to eat a cheat meal, so it is not worth it.
15. Can I eat low carbohydrate and low fat?
Your body can use carbohydrates or fat for fuel, when your body is a fat burning machine, it doesn’t make sense to avoid the fat because it will use it for fuel.
14. Are there any side effects?
Most people do not have side effects. Some people may have short-lived, mild side effects during the first few weeks, which include sugar cravings, flu like symptoms, headache, and dizziness. Over the long-term, constipation and muscle cramps are the most common side effects. The program includes ways to minimize the chances of having these side effects.
15. What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a state whereby your body is burning fat for fuel, not to be confused with “ketoacidosis” – a serious condition that can occur in individuals with diabetes.