This diet can’t solve every problem in your life – some damage from the past cannot be undone – but If you have previously had an unhealthy lifestyle, it can certainly help you have a better future.
Look at it this way. Imagine you were born with $100 deposited in a bank account. On average, this should buy you 100 years. If you spend $60 in your first 40 years, you can cut down your expenditure to make your remaining $40 last for 60.
The more general benefits include the following:
This is obviously the prime motivation for most people to take up my diet. Sometimes, when I’m at the gym, I pick up a weight corresponding to the amount of fat I have shed (40kg/88lb) to remind myself what it was like carrying around that extra burden. I can scarcely walk with it.
Weight loss aside, for me the best thing about being on the keto diet is the mental clarity it brings. Mine is a fast-mimicking diet, which means that it gives you the benefits associated with fasting without you actually doing it. When I am in ketosis, I sometimes feel I have access to what I call the fourth dimension, a state in which I have an overview of everything that is going on that is qualitatively different from anything else I have experienced. I don’t particularly advocate trying to achieve high ketone scores – for my diet to work, all that matters is that you go into ketosis – but if you do get into that zone, in my experience it’s like flying on a cloud. Your head is so clear and your body so light that you feel you can travel across time. I have always been struck by how many of the philosophers and great religious thinkers went in for fasting, including Christian Monks, Hindu and Buddhist teachers. When politicians assemble to make major decisions, I think it would be a very good idea for them to be on keto diets! Maybe the hunger that comes first will make some more compassionate and the follow up ketosis more visionary. One thing needs to be born in mind though. To get fat, you need time. To ruin your mental clarity, one ill-advised meal is enough.
Losing weight definitely has a beneficial effect on the mental wellbeing of those who were previously obese. It stands to reason that people are going to feel better about themselves if they make improvements to a condition that is so obviously detrimental to their health. When I was big, I used to worry constantly that I had cancer. If you’re fat, you suffer from all sorts of aches and pains, and these provide food for the worrying machine. And if your head is sick, you tend to eat more. It’s a vicious circle. More research needs to be done, but it seems very likely that keto has a beneficial effect on depression and helps to prevent it occurring. This is certainly my experience. Fasting for extended periods is different. If you don’t think positively while you are doing it, you can get depressed as the experience of not eating can create anxiety, which will feed negative thoughts if you are not careful.
One of the biggest bonuses of the keto diet is its effect on your sexual performance. Let’s face it, nobody minds functioning better in that department. If you fast for a week, you probably will have a problem with your libido but the opposite is true with intermittent fasting. I don’t want to give too much away here, but in my direct experience, it can turn a three-minute man into a twenty minute one.
Everyone feels happy when they know they look good. If you follow my keto diet, this is pretty much guaranteed. People who have known me a long time sometimes beg me to tell them the secret of the transformation of my appearance.
Who Should NOT do a keto diet
The keto diet is wonderful and transformative, but it isn’t for everybody. If you have Type 1 diabetes, for instance, doing it would be very risky indeed. If you are in any doubt about whether my diet is safe for you given your medical profile, please consult your doctor. Actually, do this anyway. Apart from anything else, it is essential that doctors get to see what Keto can do for their clients’ health first hand.
There is a fairly full but not exhaustive list of conditions which are not compatible with doing my diet in Appendix 1 at the end of the book. PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER:
People suffering from any of the following conditions should not go on my diet:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Symptoms of addiction to Alcohol, food and drugs.
- Previously diagnosed cancers, or polyps of the intestines and colon.
- Previous or current pathology of the pancreas.
- Carnitine deficiency (primary)
- Carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) I or II deficiency
- Carnitine translocase deficiency
- Beta-oxidation defects
- Mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutarylCoA synthase (mHMGS) deficiency
- Medium-chain acyl dehydrogenase deficiency (MCAD)
- Long-chain acyl dehydrogenase deficiency (LCAD)
- Short-chain acyl dehydrogenase deficiency (SCAD)
- Long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA deficiency
- Medium-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA deficiency
- Pyruvate carboxylase deficiency
I am sometimes asked whether my diet would pose a risk to people with a history of eating disorders. Leaving aside the fact that a high-fat diet is unlikely to appeal to someone with anorexia, for example, my answer is that eating disorders are primarily psychological (though they obviously have physical effects), whereas my diet is primarily physical (though it has psychological effects). It will not, therefore, address the root cause of eating disorders.