Episode 18: AMA Live | Keto, Heart Health & Sugar Addiction

Dr. Simonds and Michelle Kennedy, NP-C are happy to be back to answer your weight loss questions live.

Q: I’ve lost weight on keto. What do you say to those who say keto may be too hard on your heart?

A: It’s actually the typical American diet that is hard on your heart. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and 655,381 patients lost their lives last year from heart disease. Keto is not harmful to your health and ketosis is a natural state for the body.

Whether intentional or not, every human being has been in ketosis at some point in their lives and our ancestors are also a true testament to keto. Our ancestors only ate what they could hunt or grow and didn’t have access to the abundance of carbohydrates and processed foods the typical American consumes today. They were in a constant state of ketosis, had lean body types and didn’t suffer from many of the health ailments associated with obesity that we see today.

The ketogenic diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The keto diet is a safe diet and will improve your health.

Q: Do you work with many male patients and can you share a success story?

A: We absolutely have treated many men at the practice. Men suffer from weight issues as well as women and no one should feel any shame when seeking help. We have experience treating male patients and are able to provide specific tailored recommendations to both men and women.

Dr. Simonds treated a male patient in his 50s, with a starting weight of 400lbs and other health issues such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure and he was taking insulin. After a year of treatment with Dr. Simonds, his weight dropped to 250lbs and his lowest weight was 235lbs. This patient was placed on a ketogenic diet by Dr. Simonds, which caused not only a significant drop in weight, but he was also able to come off of insulin and blood pressure medication.

Weight loss for men can also be beneficial for increasing testosterone levels and the side effects that come with low testosterone.

Q: Is the keto info in our guideline book online?

A: Please send us an email or call the office and we will be happy to email you or provide you with a printed copy at your next office visit. We also have a ton of keto information on our website, including recipes and tips.

Q: Can you please explain the difference between the Atkins and keto diets?

A: Atkins is basically a version of a ketogenic diet. Dr. Atkins was at the forefront of a low carbohydrate lifestyle and became widely known.

When you restrict your carbohydrates low enough, the body will begin to produce ketones, which is where the name for the keto diet came from. Keto is a natural state that the body will be in when carbohydrate consumption is low enough. You do not need any special packaged foods such as bars, shakes or pills targeted to keto dieters to correctly follow a keto diet.

Q: What do you do differently for women that are going through menopause and hypothyroidism?

A: We have many women at the practice that are perimenopausal or in the menopause state. Low thyroid function is a common issue that also accompanies this life stage. We would tailor a plan that specifically address your situation. It’s also important to make sure that you are being treated correctly for hypothyroidism as this can make weight loss more difficult. We highly recommend a low carb type diet, especially for women experiencing menopause. Weight loss medications are also very beneficial.

Q: Can you share your thoughts on essential oils for weight loss?

A: We are a fan of essential oils. However, remember that all brands are not created equally and are not thoroughly researched. Michelle uses essential oils such as lavender, but prefers to use them topically versus ingesting them. We have heard that grapefruit may have an effect on appetite. Lavender and cedarwood are great essential oils for relaxation and stress relief. Stress and sleep can certainly have a direct impact on appetite and cravings.

There is great evidence that ingesting CBD has many potential benefits. CBD can also be an effective tool for managing sleep, stress, inflammation and appetite control. We are proud to carry an excellent line of CBD products at the office and will be happy to help guide you on selecting the right product for you.

Q: I’ve been working at home and recently gained around 25 pounds. I seem to lose around 7 lbs. easily but always gain it quickly back. What should I be focusing on?

A: Covid-19 has definitely hit many of us hard. This is a very common issue that we see regularly at the practice. Give us a call and we will be happy to access your history, barriers and strengths and possibly prescribe weight loss medication to help. We’re here to help you reach your goals as easy as possible without any judgement, shame or guilt.

Q: Is sugar addiction real? I can’t seem to go a day without sweets like candy or chocolate. What can help?

A: Yes! Sugar addiction is very real. Sugar acts on the pleasure receptors of the brain just like heroin or other addictive substances do. This is why many food manufacturers add sugars to packaged foods as sugar addiction is very real. This makes us want more of the products and turns into a real addiction and cycle.

The best way to kick any sugar addiction is to completely eliminate it from the diet. Even a very small amount of sugar will have you craving more. Just like a person would completely eliminate drugs or alcohol during a rehab treatment, sugar must be eliminated as well. To help with the withdrawals, we highly recommend medication and a commitment to your health. Behavior modification and stimulant avoidance are highly effective tools. We can show you how to effectively implement these tools for success.