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Not Enough Fat

This post will be short and sweet...well, may be just short and fat. I have had several clients lately who are frustrated because weight loss is too slow and then they tell me that a ketogenic diet doesn't work. My first inclination is dig a little deeper and get more information. I ask them to tell me how many calories they are eating per day and what is the distribution of macro nutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, fats and proteins). They don't always have that information readily because they say it just takes too much time. In actuality, it takes about two minutes but for some reason that seems like an eternity. I have my theories as to why tracking calories. I may share them in a future post once I have enough data to support my hypothesis.

The truth is we cannot identify the obstacle without accurate data. So, because they don't have any data to show me, we take two minutes of our consult time to record what they ate the previous day. What I typically find is that their macronutrient profile is off: carbohydrates are too high and their healthy fat consumption is too low. Even though clients are trying to lower carbohydrates, they are still sometimes 35 to 40% of their total daily caloric intake. Protein can typically be around 30% or less so that means that often fat is coming in at 25 to 30%.

From one of my previous posts "How to Flush Your Body of Inflammation, " I discussed the macronutrient profile of a therapeutic ketogenic eating plan. Ideally, to begin to improve our energy production and mitochondrial efficiency (mitochondria are the organelles in our cells that produce energy) around 50% of our calories should be coming from healthy fat, 30% from protein and about 20% from carbohydrates. When you track your macros, be sure to type in brand names when possible to get more accurate calorie distribution. Carbohydrates hide in the most unexpected places, like salad dressing. So there can be wide differences from brand to brand. Another tip: make sure your salad dressing is made with mostly healthy fats. There are many brands out there that use corn starch as thickening agents. You are missing a great opportunity to increase fat if you are not reading nutrition labels. We may think we know what our macro distribution is, but until we actually put in in a program and calculate it, we are just guessing.

If you are eating a therapeutic ketogenic diet (with 25 grams of fiber a day), drinking sufficient water and still not seeing your body composition change after a few weeks, then it is important to do even more investigation. I had another client recently that did track their macros for 6 weeks straight. I was amazed. He likes numbers so it was fun for him. He had no problem investing two minutes a day. He could not get his protein above 25% and his fat above 35%. He was believing that he wasn't disciplined enough. I wasn't so sure. So I asked some more questions and looking at his health history, I began to pick up on some inidications that he may be suffering from low stomach acid and was at times having symptoms of acid reflux.

If you have an impaired digestion system, which often involves low stomach acid production, you will have difficulty breaking down fats and proteins. Those foods may not be appealing to you and it will be a challenge to follow your macro plan or get much benefit from it. This is where a comprehensive stool test along with a review of your healthy history and recurring symptoms can be very helpful. Digestion function may be impaired from an imbalanced gut as well as environmental factors, especially stress. If you feel you may be suffering from impaired digestion, or other symptoms that are decreasing your quality of life, learn more about our unique approach to health and healing at

Yours in Health,


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