Ketogenic programs like HEALcare are very successful in weight loss and management of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and other conditions. Patients with diabetes can safely eliminate injected insulin typically within one to seven weeks with a success rate of up to 98%, and medication to control blood glucose.
But success requires a good understanding of what to do. Considering the enormous amount of misinformation both online and offline, this blog post outlines the basics of the HEALcare program. It is based on the research and clinical experience gathered by its creators Dr. Eric Westman and Nurse Jacqueline Eberstein during their combined 43 years of treating over 64,000 patients and publishing 45 research papers – and verified by a growing body of third-party research and medical practice.
Diets at or below 50 grams of daily total carbohydrate intake are called ‘ketogenic’ because the body converts both dietary and body fat into ketones that serve as the body’s fuel instead of using blood glucose. Ketogenic diets provide loss of weight and inches by causing the use of stored body fat for fuel and preventing the creation of new body fat.
Key highlights of the HEALcare program are:
- The best starting point – especially for individuals with type 2 diabetes, obesity or carbohydrate addiction – is 20 grams of daily total carbs. Almost everyone in the HEALcare program begins at this level.
- Both the quality and quantity of carbs matter to meet the daily limit of 50 total carbs as explained in the HEALcare suggested food list. A free summary is available to download here.
- Have both fat and protein at every feeding. Eat the amount of each that is satisfying. Do not follow a low-fat diet, nor is it appropriate to gorge on huge amounts of fat.
- Hunger and cravings will subside by the end of the first week.
- Eat when hungry, drink when thirsty. Eat to satisfaction, not until you are stuffed.
- Read food labels and pay attention to total carbs, not net carbs.
- Avoid all foods with added sugars.
- Except for metformin, medications for diabetes must be adjusted when beginning a ketogenic diet to avoid potentially dangerous overdosing.
The HEALcare program is designed to be straightforward to understand and follow. It does not use gimmicks, food diaries, special products or devices, packaged foods, smartphone apps or other complicated methods. As Dr. Westman likes to say, it is uncomplicated keto.
But uncomplicated does not mean simplistic. HEALcare‘s fundamental components are sophisticated, evidence-based one-on-one personalized guidance and support, and peer-group behavioral coaching. Research shows that these are essential for the sustained lifestyle changes necessary to keep obesity and diabetes in remission because medical treatment is not enough for long-term success. HEALcare‘s behavioral coaches continuously assess progress, customize each individual’s diet, prevent adverse effects, develop realistic expectations, promote accountability, and help overcome roadblocks like stress, food addiction, old habits, bad advice, and pressure from friends and relatives.