Monthly Archives: July 2021

The Fast-5 Diet by Bert W. Herring, MD #fasting

Among the many volumes in my low-carb and health library is ont called ‘The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle,’ by Bert W. Herring, MD.


I first heard of Dr. Herring when I read ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’ by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Jason Fung.


Dr. Herring’s approach is to have people slowly adjust their eating window— the time of day when they allow themselves to eat. Some people only don’t allow themselves to eat when they are sound asleep!


You figure out in which hours your eating window is currently open, and when it is closed. And then you start adjusting. If you snack constantly in the evening til 11 pm, you start ending the snacking at 10, then at 9.


Dr. Herring’s goal is to narrow your eating window to the hours of 5pm to 10pm. But he also says you will be eating one meal a day. Does it really take from 5 to 10 to eat your supper? 


Dr. Herring also does not say one word about doing low-carb in your eating hours, and he seems big on cutting ‘calories.’ If you know about Kekwick and Pawan’s 1957 study, you know the ‘calorie is a calorie is a calorie’ slogan has been disproved some time ago.


If you want to add intermittent fasting to your life and have the choice between this book and Moore and Fung’s ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting,’ go with Moore & Fung. Much more informative book.


But if you or someone you know is just not at the point of doing low-carb but needs to get more control over weight or health issues such as blood sugar, the ‘Fast-5 Diet’ might be the right approach.


Personal note: I’ve been doing intermittent fasting every since the Moore/Fung book came out. Usually I do morning fasting. Sometimes I have allowed myself a bulletproof coffee, or lightly-bulletproof coffee in the morning.


After my health issues a few years ago, I did less fasting— I had to fast part of the time in the hospital, the rehab center, and ‘elsewhere’ to avoid meals that were mostly carbs.


But I’ve recovered now, and decided to get back on track with fasting. After a failed attempt with Dr. Jason Fung’s 30-hour fasting protocol, I went back to the no-breakfast plan. I usually close my eating window at 5 to 5:30 pm, since eating late raises my blood sugar the next morning. 


And I realized— if I eat my lunch at 12 noon and my supper just before 5, I have the same eating window Dr. Herring recommends. I just have two meals within it. Since they are low-carb meals, I think I can expect as good a result as the Fast-5 dieters.


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Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet vs Atkins Induction #keto #lowcarb

How does the Ketogenic Mediterranean ‘Diet’ by Steve Parker MD compare with Atkins Induction?
Atkins Induction allows 20 grams of net carbs per day. (Net carbs = total carbs – fiber.) The KMD allows 20-40 grams of carbs per day. If you do closer to th 40 than the 20, you may have problems getting into ketosis (check your Ketonix, test strips or blood ketone meter.)


KMD allows 14 oz. of vegetables a day (400 g.) Atkins Induction allows 2 cups of salad and 3/4 cup of cooked low-carb vegetables (probably 1 cup fresh.) I think this comes pretty much to the same amount. Two cups of salad is 4 net carbs if it’s lettuce, about 1 net carb if it’s alfalfa sprouts. 1 cup of green beans is about 5 net carbs. So, let’s say on both plans we may get around 9 net carbs from our veggies.


KMD allows 3 oz. of cheese, Original Atkins allowed 4 oz. and New Atkins made cheese a ‘free food.’ 1 oz, which is one slice of cheese, is a ‘trace’ of carbs for most cheeses and 2 g of Swiss cheese. So let’s say 3 net carbs for KMD and 4 or more for Atkins Induction.


KMD allows 1 oz of nuts-and-seeds daily. Atkins doesn’t allow nuts on Induction. 1 oz of pecans is 1 net carb, walnuts or macadamias are 2 net carbs, and peanuts are 3 net carbs. 


KMD allows 6-12 oz. of table wines, red or white, such as Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio. These are all 1 gram of carb per oz, so this is an addition of 6-12 grams of carbs. (I only drink 2 oz to a glass and have the wine at my two meals.)


So— following the KMD may add as much as 15 grams of carbs from items not allowed in Atkins Induction. Now, among the carb-containing foods allowed on both, you may not be getting 20 full grams of carbs from just those items. I would advise keeping a food diary and checking up at least on the carb-containing foods you eat. If you are close to 20 grams even with the addition of a little nuts-and-seeds and a little wine, that is great.


If your net carb grams are creeping along toward the 40, check to see what you are doing too much of. I would cut back on the wine amount if you are doing the full 12 oz, rather than, say, cutting out one of the daily salads. 


I like the KMD as it is a nice change from doing Atkins at Induction or near-induction levels for years. I find I like having a bit of wine with my meals— when I finish my wine, I feel more like I’ve had a real meal and am finished. 


The KMD also insists that you have a daily serving of fish. Mine is mostly canned tuna, which I have for lunch prepared into one of two different recipes, one a low-carb ‘tuna casserole’ and the other a ‘tuna loaf.’ (I add my nut ration, in pecan or walnut pieces, into the tuna recipe.)


Sources: 

Parker, Steve, MD – Conquer Diabetes & Prediabetes: The Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, 2011.Atkins, Robert C., MD — Dr Atkins Diet Revolution, 1972.Atkins, Robert C., MD and Gare, Fran – Dr Atkins New Diet Cookbook, 1994.
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My Grocery Shopping Carb Binges #keto #lowcarb

I have a bad habit lately. Whenever I go to get groceries, I come home with a few high-carb items I really shouldn’t eat— chips, a big candy bar, or cookies. And every carb binge I have awakens more carb cravings, so I just want to do it again.


And the amount escalated over time. From being OK with a small bag of chips, I get a large one— or two. And the worst thing is, when I am done with my deadly carb foods, I’m still not happy or satisfied.


Doing this more and more lately, I’ve felt awful, had higher blood sugars, and my weight is up. 


I’ve decided this must stop. Yesterday when I went to the stores, I made a point of getting some low-carb food I liked— they had little ‘flatiron’ steaks, and I got two. I normally can’t afford beefsteak. I also bought some Merlot wine, which I am allowed on the Ketogenic Mediterranean ‘Diet’ I’m doing now.


I also decided if I didn’t buy any carb foods, I could get myself a tiny bag of nuts and a small bag of sugar-free, stevia sweetened mint chocolates. 
So, yesterday’s shopping trip went well. I got what I needed— though I had to go to two stores to get it all. It’s tough doing low-carb shopping out in a rural area. The grocery store has only started to carry a very few loaves of low-carb bread (1 net carb per slice.) I know the bread truck arrives on Wednesday, so I go to the store on Thursday. Usually there are three loaves, 5 Seed bread, Wheat and White. This week there was only the White left. I bought it anyway. I keep extra loaves in the freezer until I need them. 


Low-carb bread like other ‘carby’ things isn’t the greatest food— not like tuna or salmon or bacon and eggs— but I use it as a substitute for worse carb foods. It makes me feel a bit more normal. I ration it— no more than 2 slices a day, not every day, and with a meal, usually topped with cheese or sardines.


What about you? Are grocery shopping trips a source of temptation? Do you have any strategies for dealing with that temptation? Share your story!

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