Episode 50: AMA | Low Glycemic, Ketoacidosis and Belly Fat

Dr. Simonds and Michelle Kennedy, NP-C answered viewers’ questions about weight loss and health. This episode was about weight loss, low glycemic diets, ketoacidosis, belly fat, magnesium, and more.

Q: What’s the difference between keto and a low glycemic diet? Are they both effective for weight loss?

A: When Dr. Simonds first began his journey as a weight loss specialist 18 years ago, the term ketogenic diet wasn’t used very often and was more often referred to as the Atkins diet. While ketogenic diet terminology was sometimes used in the medical community, we weren’t really hearing the term in the general public. After all, the internet and smartphone usage wasn’t anywhere near where it is today. Information just wasn’t as abundant and terms just didn’t spread like wildfire as they do today.

Yes, low glycemic diets are effective for weight loss. The low glycemic movement actually began originally in Australia and New Zealand and is based on a system where you would rank foods based on how quickly they would make your blood sugar rise.  The idea is that after consuming certain foods, a finger-prick blood test is taken every 20 minutes for a few hours to see the rise and fall of someone’s blood sugar. There was a number system, and any number under 55 was considered okay. For example, butter and meats would be 0 on the glycemic index, and foods higher in sugar would be closer to 100, with 100 representing pure glucose. Eating foods with a lower glycemic index means they will cause a slower and lower rise in your blood sugar. It’s important to pay attention to portion sizes when eating a low glycemic diet. The goal is to prevent you from eating foods that will spike blood sugar and insulin levels. Once this is under control, it’s so much easier to lose weight. Therefore, we recommend consuming foods that come from animals and what grows in gardens. These natural and unprocessed foods will keep your blood sugar and insulin from spiking.

Q: What are the best tips for a menopausal belly?

A: The physiology of menopause and perimenopause is one of insulin resistance. Therefore, we recommend restricting refined, processed carbohydrates. Walking is also great for insulin resistance.

Q: I see a lot of advertisements for meal prep companies. Is this a great way to lose weight?

A: Yes, we love meal prep! Sticking to a plan and adding structure to your diet is a great way to lose weight. It also adds accountability and is great to help busy individuals. We have some meal prep resources on our website and also carry Elite Prep Meals in both offices.

Q: Is intermittent fasting safe for diabetics or those with blood sugar issues?

A: Yes, but we also need to look at other factors such as any medications that you are taking. Intermittent fasting is also a therapy that lowers blood sugar, so we have to be careful we’re not lowering blood sugar too much. For this reason, we always go over any medications that patients may be taking to prevent any problems.

Q: What are your thoughts on the new weight loss medication Mounjaro? Do you have any patients that have had success with it?

A: Mounjaro is a diabetes medication that has shown weight loss benefits. We do have plenty of patients taking Mounjaro along with other medications such as Phentermine that are having success.

Q: What’s the best type of Magnesium to take to help prevent muscle cramps?

A: There are many different types of magnesium, so we know it can be confusing. Slow-Mag, magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium malate are all helpful with muscle cramps. They are all designed to move slowly through the body and be absorbed slowly. There are also topical magnesium sprays that are great to target specific areas that may be cramping. Be careful of milk of magnesia and magnesium oxide, which move quickly through the body and are more for constipation relief.

Potassium, sodium, and hydration are also helpful if you’re experiencing muscle cramps, especially if they are due to a low carbohydrate diet.

Q: Will Topiramate work on its own or do you have to combine it with Phentermine?

A: Often we will combine Topiramate with Phentermine, but it depends on the individual patient. We find that combining these two medications mimics an FDA-approved weight loss drug called, Qsymia, which helps with cravings and even sleep.

Q: What is ketoacidosis? Is this something that I need to worry about on a keto diet?

A: Great question! Ketosis and ketoacidosis have similar names but are completely different. When you go into nutritional ketosis from a low-carb diet, the pH in your body does not change. Nutritional ketosis is healthy and good and the ketones fall within a certain range. However, ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes and occurs when the body has a precipitating event that results in the loss of control of blood sugar and the body cannot make any insulin. This results in very high blood sugar, dangerous levels of excessive ketones, and a change in the body’s pH. This is a life-threatening condition that needs medical intervention in which a patient needs fluids, electrolytes, and insulin.

Q: Where do people lose weight first? Are there any tips for losing belly/waist fat first?

A: Everyone loses weight completely differently and is mostly determined by genetics. For belly fat, we recommend a low-carb diet to help control insulin levels and prevent fat storage. Low-intensity exercise that keeps your heart rate at 140 or below in conjunction with a low-carb diet is highly effective for losing belly fat. Body contouring can also help with belly fat. We offer a free consultation for body contouring services. Contact us for more information.