The partnership between Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman reminds me a little of the relationship between Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley, who was known as “Darwin’s Bulldog.” Darwin provided the science; Huxley defended and popularized it. Jimmy is more like a big, lovable, puppy dog than a bulldog, but his communication skills and status as a social-media celebrity make him the perfect spokesman and n=1 test subject for the low-carb guru who inherited Dr. Atkins’s mantle after his untimely, accidental death.

As the author of a ketogenic book myself, I am very familiar with the concept and the benefits of ketosis, but Dr. Westman’s updated protocol adds a few new twists. In his 2010 book, A New Atkins For a New You co-authored with Dr. Stephan Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek, he endorsed the standard practice of counting “net carbohydrates” (carbs minus indigestible fiber) and recommended eating three regular-sized meals plus two optional snacks per day. He has now swapped, “Thou shalt eat regularly…and drink regularly,” for, “Eat when you are hungry; drink when you are thirsty,” a maxim posted in every room at his Lifestyle Clinic at Duke University. He also eliminated the phases in the original Atkins plan and just has his patients stay at the induction level of 20 grams of total carbs per day until they reach their ideal weight. This makes it a much more restrictive diet, but no doubt also a much more effective one. In an interview in the January 13, 2014 issue of Woman’s World Magazine, he called his version, “The Last Chance Diet.” People who have tried a low-carb diet and thought it didn’t work for them, are sure to find success on a ketogenic diet. It probably just didn’t occur to them or to their doctors that the most severely carb sensitive among us may need to cut out almost all carbs and significantly reduce proteins as well, since some protein is converted into glucose by the liver. Lynn Daniel Ivey’s success story, one of eight in the book, is a good example of how a ketogenic diet can work miracles.

Lynn started dieting at the age of 10 (on Weight Watchers) and spent four decades following a low-fat diet and exercise regimen that left her “hungrier, sicker, and fatter” than ever. After meeting Dr. Westman, she learned that her low-fat diet was actually the CAUSE of her health and weight problems. She went from 344 to 144 pounds in two years on a low-carb/high-fat diet, or as she put it, from “desperation to jubilation!” You can see her before and after pictures here. She is now part of Dr. Westman’s team at his clinic at Duke University.

A ketogenic diet has benefits beyond rapid weight loss for anyone who wants to slow aging; improve athletic performance; reverse type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; prevent heart disease, colon cancer, and stroke; treat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn (GERD), mental illness, depression, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); and much more.

A lot of dietitians will choke on their tofu when they see Jimmy’s sample menus in Keto Clarity. He doesn’t even give lip service to the sacred cow of dietary advice: more fruits and vegetables, more fruits and vegetables, more fruits and vegetables. Some of the meal plans in Keto Clarity have no fruits or vegetables at all (days 19 and 20 for example). The medical establishment backed itself into a corner on that issue. There are only three macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. If you eat less of one, you must eat more of another or lower your calorie intake across the board. They have demonized fat, so they can’t recommend more fat without contradicting themselves; adequate protein is important but it can have negative effects when eaten in excess; and eating fewer calories resets the metabolism to conserve stored body fat, leading to weight gain. What is left? More fruits and vegetables, more fruits and vegetables, more fruits and vegetables. Most of the apparent advantage in eating a lot of fruits and vegetables may be simply the result of what they replace. Trading processed junk, starches, and sweets for fresh produce would no doubt be an improvement over the standard American diet (SAD), but trading those same foods for ones that are even more healthful and satiating, would have a bigger advantage. As to the supposed lack of micronutrients on a ketogenic diet, the authors point out that eliminating foods that deplete vitamins and minerals, like sugar, grains, beans, and starches, while eating plenty of red meat, organ meats, cheese, eggs, fish, and nuts, actually prevents deficiencies.

Americans are eating 30% more calories than we did 30 years ago when our government and health agencies first recommended that we cut down on fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and eat more carbohydrates, especially grains. Our epidemics of obesity and diabetes were the predictable outcome of our increased carb consumption and reduced intake of natural fats. (Carbs stimulate the release of insulin; insulin increases hunger.) “Keto Clarity” outlines menus for a 21 day Kick Start program that resets your metabolism to burn fat for energy instead of burning sugar and storing fat. After the third week of the plan, you should be in a state of ketosis that allows you to be satisfied on one meal a day with no hunger or deprivation. Think of the implications! How much time and energy would be saved if we prepared food once a day rather than three, four, or more times? How much less waste and garbage would we make? How much less fuel would we use for shopping and cooking and how much less would be needed for growing, transporting, processing, and packaging our food? How much less fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, and greenhouse gas would go into the environment? How many fewer rain forests and grasslands would be destroyed to make room for more and more mono-crops to feed our burgeoning population and bloated bodies? If the ketogenic, one-meal-a-day diet catches on, it would have the same effect as cutting the world’s current number of mouths to be fed from 7 billion to 2½ billion. It could save, not just the lives and health of millions of people, but our very planet.

What is next in the series from this dynamic duo and their team of diet crusaders? Will they clarify everything from autism to xenophobia? I certainly hope so. The medical establishment has strayed so far from its scientific base that it needs a good kick in the pants to set it on the right path. This could be it. The revolution has started.

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“Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance” is available in print or as a Kindle with a $2.99 Matchbook offer from Amazon > (Click on the Kindle version to see the Bookmatch offer.)
“Nourished,” is also available in Nook format from Barnes and Noble >

(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker,

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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Judy Barnes Baker
9 years ago

Anonymous: I included the total carbs and fiber as well as the net carbs on the blog and in Carb wars and Nourished. (If I missed any, let me know.) The LCAF books give fiber and net carbs, but all the information you need is still there. Just add the fiber to the net carbs and you have the total carbs.

9 years ago

I am one of the people who do total carbs, and based upon many of the online groups I belong to we are many. As a result, can you please include total carb amounts in all your recipes? They are there sometimes, but most often all we see are the net totals.

Thanks SO MUCH!

Don Ketterhagen
9 years ago

As one pursue this type of BAD ( Better American Diet) one can only hope that we also begin to see a decrease instead of the current increase in neorodegenerative diseases such as AD, MS, and ALS.