Eric, you’ve built your entire career on helping folks fight chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic conditions using nutrition as therapy. The success rate in reversing these conditions is so profound that you have often mentioned to me that it’s more powerful than a drug…
Absolutely. In fact, I can take people off multiple drugs if they’re already on them but we can prevent the use of the typical drugs that doctors use just by changing the food. It really is pretty amazing.
Over the years, you’ve refined your method to a point where you have a near 100% success rate for folks that follow the program, so it was only a natural progression for you to have come up with an online course that now helps folks implement your program without them having to actually physically come and see you.
I have to give credit to lots of people who taught me the program and how to do it simply and in a broad way so that it’s effective for just about everyone. Some principles that you have to learn from the get-go are that if you’re going to do it, you have to be all in. You have to do it 100% and then it works 100% – like a prescription drug.
One of the hallmarks of your teachings is that your method is easy to follow, it’s easy to sustain; you’re actually able to take someone from where they are now to where they want to be in four easy steps.
Right. Through the years I’ve learned that there are some critical things that are important to know. I don’t want to give you fluff and the things you don’t need to understand. The main things you need to know are what nutrition is all about. It’s not all that complicated. What do keto and low-carb mean? And then some important things to know are how to get started simply, and also how to change your mindset. You have to learn a new way of thinking about food. In fact, many people tell me it goes against everything they’ve been taught! For me, that was 20 years ago and now it’s what I teach. It’s not wrong, it’s just different.
Why is it so important that someone needs to get the foundation correct right from the beginning?
There are so many things today that really need to be ignored or avoided, like “Buy my product!”, “Buy my this!”, “You have to have apple cider vinegar”, and all these weird things that taste terrible. To start it right means to start it simply with the fundamental understanding of what’s important.
There has been a lot of interest in keto over the last three to four years. Along with this interest has come a lot of confusion. This is another reason why you’ve decided to do this course, to cut out some of the confusion that currently exists.
Yes. There’s confusion among the medical and health people. They’ll think that they’re talking about keto for epilepsy, or the keto that might land you in the hospital, so it’s important to get the information correct from a health expert as well. You want to learn from somebody who’s treated lots of people with disease and without disease so that I can explain the safe use of this. You need to see a doctor or health practitioner who’s an expert in this to help you do it safely. There’s actually a lot that’s learned in doing it – what is most important, what are the simple fundamentals, where do you need assistance. Those are the kinds of things that I really want people to know.
Let’s talk about two different aspects of what you typically see in your clinic every day. You treat a lot of people with type 2 diabetes. Can you give us a snapshot of the sort of progress you see within a six week period of implementing your program?
There’s a variation or range in what can happen. In terms of weight loss, whether you have diabetes or not, the hunger goes away after a day or two without pills or products. Then you can expect 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week – that’s 4 to 8 per month, 50 to 100 per year. No pills, no products, just changing the food.
With diabetes, the blood sugars can come down very rapidly. They typically come down 50 to 100 points (mg/dl) on the first day you change the diet. So, if someone’s taking medication, I need to talk to them and understand the medicine and help them understand how to reduce it immediately when they change the food that they eat. When you think about it another way, most people with diabetes have been taught to increase the medication based on the number of carbohydrate servings. What we’re doing is we’re reducing the carbohydrate servings, so it’s natural and logical to reduce the medications, because they were being adjusted to the carbohydrate servings. I explain that and make sure people understand that. Then, monitoring is really important for the blood glucose, because it can come down really fast.
If you don’t have diabetes and high blood pressure or any medical problem, it works so well. Many of my patients who are really strict will lose 10 to 15 pounds per month for a year, which is almost like surgical or medication weight loss. We’re not introducing pills and products and surgery. It’s just changing the food.
A lot of people are planning on doing gastric bypass surgery. Have you found that if they’ve implemented this program that they haven’t had the need to have the surgery after that?
A telltale sign is that most weight loss surgeons use this approach to help people lose weight before the surgery… It shows that someone who is committed can make the change. It actually shrinks the liver so that they have an easier operation to do. It’s all done through these holes and tubes now, the laparoscopic surgeries. The interesting thing is that if someone understands keto and they lose weight before, they will often figure out that they don’t need the surgery anymore. I let people decide on their own. Everyone’s journey is different, but even those who’ve had weight loss surgery, even the Roux-en-y gastric bypass, most of them will regain weight over time. It really just stalls and maybe gives you a year or two before you have to really address the lifestyle. But then, the lifestyle comes back; it rears its head and says, “Address me!”
It’s basically the sugar and the starches that need to be taken out. Even if someone had weight loss surgery, they can end up in my office and do well. Sometimes we get people even to avoid the surgery.
What is unique about this course is that it’s not available all year round. This course is only available for a few days every few months. It’s a three-week course within a private group, including the video lessons, where you go live and you offer a Q & A. I know that for you it’s very important that you offer value to your students.
Right. That might not make sense to many people, but when someone comes to me in the office, I make the commitment that I’m going to help them get started and then continue over time. I know there’s a lot of fear and worry to get started, and so we want to lower that fear and reluctance to get started, even with this virtual class. That’s why I’m pretending you’re one of my students and I will teach you how to get started and get you through the first few weeks. For a lot of people it’s needless fear, but that’s okay; I know that’s real. We’ll help people the way we’ve been helping people for 20 years now, which is the simple way to start. Keep it simple and we’ll help you if you have any side effects initially – most people don’t – but that will make some people reluctant to get started. I think it’s one of the few courses that sells or provides the information and the support for a period of time, all included, and I think that’s really important.