Want to know if your metabolism is working properly? There’s an amazingly accurate way to find out that doesn’t involve a single blood test.
- Download any recent Life Insurance Weight Chart. Find your gender and height. There will be a normal range for that height: low, medium and high. Choose the highest weight.
- Weigh yourself. Are you heavier than the number above? If so: Fail. [Regardless of whether or not it’s a goal you believe you’ll ever reach.] If you’re not heavier than the highest level for your height: Pass. Go on to:
- Measure your waist around the belly button (even if your natural waist is somewhere else). If you are a man and that number is more than 40 inches, even if you weigh the appropriate number of pounds: Fail. Less than 40 inches: Pass.
Women: if your waist is larger than 35 inches: Fail. Less than 35 inches: Pass.
- Measure the circumference of your neck. Yes, your neck. It is a more accurate metabolic assessor than even your waistline. And far more accurate than your BMI. See: “Neck Circumference as a Simple Screening Measure for Identifying Overweight and Obese Patients” in OBESITY RESEARCH Vol. 9 No. 8 August 2001. Of course if you do such strenuous weight-lifting that you have bulging neck muscles, and you’ve passed the tests above don’t worry about it, you’re fine.
If you’re a woman and your neck circumference is greater than 13.4 inches: Fail. Equal to or less than 13.4 inches: Pass.
For men, greater than 14.6 inches: Fail. Equal to or less than 14.6 inches: Pass.
- Eat a healthy diet for the next 364 days. Lots of animal fat, modest protein, and between 70 to 100 non-sugar carbs a day. Cheat a few times during the year, with pizza, pasta, cookies and the occasional third helping of something you really like even if you know it’s bad for you. Put away the scale and tape!
- On the 365th day weigh and measure yourself again. If your weight is within a few ounces of what it was the previous year, and if your neck and waist is within a quarter of an inch of what it was the previous year: Pass with flying colors! Your metabolism is in good shape. It knows how to handle occasional excess carbs and calories perfectly, and your body has very tight control over your blood sugar.
Know what that makes you? Normal. Normal as we’ve defined it for generations until very recently. And you’ll stay that way if you keep eating as you’ve been eating, and weigh and measure yourself once a year.
Normal is what the body wants, which translates into “stability” from month to month, year to year. This is how the majority of our population lived until only two generations ago, when obesity and diabetes was rare, before the Age Of Fat Phobia. My father’s weight and waistline didn’t vary by more than a pound or an inch from his twenties to his sixties. We’ve forgotten that it’s how people used to look throughout society, how the body is designed to operate. It only fails when we fail to provide it with the food it was designed to eat: lots of fat, very little sugar, just enough animal protein to function, and just enough vegetable and starch carbohydrates to stay out of deep ketosis. This way our livers don’t have to work overtime providing sufficient glucose for those few cells and organs (like the brain) that need glucose in addition to ketones. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be normal.
And we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be truly healthy, to not need to diet or starve ourselves to weigh the same from year to year. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to just eat good food and not beat our bodies into submission with boneless, skinless
cardboard chicken breasts, and supplements and hormone injections just so our scales will show a particular number, and the clothes in our closets will bear labels with a particular number.
This is madness. And the fact that we do it over and over again: lose the pounds via starvation, thus grinding our metabolisms into the ground, then regain the pounds in something called Phase 3 is worse than madness. It’s insanity. Because the very definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things over again while expecting a different outcome.
The Sugarfree Protocol (yep, it has a name) is designed to break the Crazy Cycles and help turn a broken metabolism into an unbroken one by healing it.
SFP has two components:
Part 1: For one to three weeks, eat reduced calories with sufficient fat and protein to avoid “starvation mode.” The foods eaten, though reduced in quantity, must contain enough fat to let the body know that the reduction is temporary. “Things might be bad out there right now,” you tell your brain, “but we’re not reduced to rummaging in the cabinet for cardboard.” The foods must also be sufficiently low in carbs, particularly sugared carbs, so that insulin levels can drop low enough for lipolysis to take place. When that happens, excess adipose fat cells open, their fat is released, and the body then burns as much energy as if you ate many more calories — and you are therefore not hungry.
This is the process Dr. Simeons correctly described, but incorrectly ascribed to HCG. As the Food Experiment (still-ongoing) has already conclusively proved, HCG has nothing to do with lipolysis, fat burning or weight loss. Only the types of food eaten or not eaten controls that, because those foods either raise or lower insulin, which in turn either prevent or support lipolysis.
Why one to three weeks, and not a set time frame for everyone? Because, as this blog has repeatedly stated, everyone’s metabolism is different. Yours is not the same as mine. Those participants who were the least insulin resistant did best on Part 1 of the SFP: they had the least hunger, and they lost the most weight and inches (fat) most quickly.
Those who were the most insulin resistant had the most hunger (as they did on HCG), and/or lost the least weight and inches (fat), more slowly or not at all. To quote from Part IV of this series:
First Law of Losing: To the extent you are insulin resistant is the extent to which any given diet plan will work or not work for you, regardless of its rules.
If you’ve followed our participants through all the experiment’s stages you’ve seen that in Stage Four — with added fat, more calories and no HCG at all — most lost as many pounds and inches, and as rapidly, as those on HCG and Simeons protocol. Without hunger. And most importantly, they did so while becoming healthier, as evidenced by their lowered and more stable blood glucose numbers. Most of the participants came from HCG with horrendous fasting insulin levels, caused, I believe, by a combination of HCG and the Simeons protocol itself. Some came with close-to-diabetic levels of blood sugars, and some with thyroid hormone resistance, likely caused by eating severely depressed calorie levels for an extended time. Regardless of those numbers, all improved once they stopped taking HCG and began to eat fat and more calories again as per the SF Protocol.
During the Experiment one participant dropped out, and one, the most severely insulin resistant, will likely need medication to help overcome that resistance as her metabolism is too broken for food alone to heal it.
Each participant’s caloric intake and nutrient break-down was determined for them individually, based on their demonstrated insulin resistance (via blood tests, meter readings, or performance in the other stages of the experiment — or all three) as well as on their nutrient needs according to their mass and the SFP formula. Had everyone simply been provided with ‘numbers’ like 50 grams of fat, 50 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbs, some participants would not have done as well as they did. Some would have done worse.
Everyone, including the ‘Control’ participant (who never took HCG and who entered at Stage Four), has now moved on to Maintenance, and a new participant with diabetes (Sandi) has started Stage Four and has had excellent results in only four days.
Part 2: For every week they were on Part 1 of the SFP, each participant will now spend two weeks on Maintenance, the goal of which is to allow the body to stabilize at their lower weight and to accept that weight as its new ‘set-point’. This is the most difficult phase of any diet plan because as everyone whose ever dieted knows, losing the fat is nowhere near as hard as not putting it back again. When your brain is used to ‘seeing’ you in one way (fat), making it see you as slim as you now are — so it will send ‘burn’ and not ‘store’ signals is always a struggle. The brain hates change even more than husbands.
One way to circumvent this is to let the body know that the Mastodon are plentiful again, and the good times are back. This means eating at least 1000 more calories a day than participants ate in Part 1, most of which must be in the form of animal fat. Why fat? Because animal fat is what we evolved to eat — and when we eat a lot of it, we tell our brain that all is well. Food is plentiful today, and it will be plentiful tomorrow. Which means our body is willing to burn, instead of store, any excess calories we might eat that day. After all, more will arrive tomorrow.
Second Law of Losing: The extent to which you are still insulin resistant is the extent to which you will have difficulty consuming all the calories you need to eat on Maintenance. As your cells become more insulin sensitive, and your metabolism revs up and returns to normal from a dormant state, consuming, digesting and burning large numbers of calories will become easier.
But participants also eat lots of animal fat because, in the absence of excess protein or carbohydrate, fat does not raise insulin. And without raised insulin, fat storage cannot take place. Just as fat liberation cannot take place without lipolysis, fat storage is impossible without excess insulin. Without it steering excess glucose to the liver for conversion into triglycerides, fat cells cannot acquire more fat. That’s basic Biology 101, undisputed by medical science for centuries.
Each participants’ insulin improvement (via meter readings) in Stage Four was analyzed, as was the number of pounds and inches they lost and how quickly. This information, combined with each participants’ mass, helped to create a new calorie count for each participant in the Maintenance stage. The SFP formula then provided the correct count of fat, protein and carbohydrate grams for each participant, and even a new list of foods that could be eaten.
Participants were warned that, given the very high fat content of the Maintenance plan, exceeding by even 1 gram their allotted amount of protein or carbs would be problematic, and that in order to accomplish the goal — going through an entire round of Maintenance without gaining pounds or inches — sticking to their numbers would be crucial. This won’t be forever. As their metabolisms heal, and their cells become more insulin sensitive again, participants will no longer have to weigh or measure their food because their bodies will once again know how to treat any excess calories (not required by that day’s energy output) properly: they will burn, not store them. When participants — or you — reach that stage, they will be able to get on a scale once a year, and weigh exactly what they weighed the year before. They will be normal. They will be healthy.
Participants in this stage will report once a week, which will be on Monday evenings. Two participants began last week and one this week. All participant reports will provide:
- 7, 14, and 30 day average meter readings
- Their comments about how the week went and how maintenance is working (or not) for them.
In addition, participants will be conducting experiments to discover how different foods affect their insulin resistance. For example, beginning in M, Week 2, a small amount of fruit (berries only) may be added. However, participants must eat their berries with a measured amount of fat (heavy cream) but no other food, then take meter readings at one and two-hour intervals afterward. If the readings spike, they must skip a day, and eat the same berries again. But this time they must either double the fat, or halve the amount of the berries. Then they will take one and two-hour meter readings. If those readings remain normal, the participants will know how much fat they must always eat with a certain amount of fruit, and as long as blood sugars remain stable it can become a permanent part of maintenance.
This knowledge (which will apply to other foods) will allow participants to take control of their future food consumption in ways that work for and not against them. And they will learn how to test any new food they’d like to add, in a way that ensures weight and fat stability. Forever.
This is a bold hypothesis. Is it correct? Will it work? Let’s find out.