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IF and keto has already made a huge difference in our lives and we're just getting started.

Images Story

By: Jerry K.

Dr. Berg - here is my success story... Actually, it's a two-stage, two-person success story. First, a little background. I was born and raised in Montana when all the beef was grass-fed just down the road. I was raised on 'meat and potatoes, plenty of cereal, bread, cake, etc. There was no fast food in my little town; restaurants were good, homestyle cooking. We ate sauerkraut, cooked with animal fat, went hunting, butchered our own kills and made our own sausages. My parents routinely filled the freezer with beef and pork butchered by the local farmers and in the summer we grew our own garden and canned our own veggies for winter. Bacon and eggs came from the local Hutterite colony a lot of the time. That was back when kids played hard outside and I was always fairly active. I would put dozens of miles on my bicycle a day in the summer, hike in the mountains, cross country ski in the winter and all the jobs I had as a kid were labor-intensive. But, I was always the fat kid. I went over 200 pounds in high school and was never below it again until I was 52 years old. I always figured it was genetics. My Dad, Grandpa and all my uncles on my dad's side had big bellies and carried around a lot of extra weight. I resigned myself to it and figured that was my 'body type'. I have been pretty healthy otherwise; my worst ailments throughout my life other than colds and flu were a stomach bug once and an sinus/ear infection. I still even have my tonsils and appendix. I spent 10 years in the Navy where there was plenty of exercise required and BMI standards were a big deal. My health was monitored constantly by the Navy from age 23 - 33. What I remember most about my checkups is that I was always borderline. I was borderline on the BMI limit. I was around 210 - 220 pounds which was considered borderline weight for my height. I was borderline with my blood pressure. I was borderline with my blood sugar. But I just resigned myself to all that. That all continued thru my 30's into my 40's. In my late 30's / early 40's I hit my highest weight of 285. So, I decided to get a mountain bike and start riding to do something about it. A friend and I got fanatical about it and before long we were going 3 - 4 times a week for 2 - 3 hours a ride. Up mountains, through sand, 40 mile epic rides, we were out there all the time. I had a physical and at the time there was a lung capacity machine that the medical facility used. The nurse said she had given thousands of people this test and I blew one of the highest scores she had ever seen. She was 'blown away'... sorry, couldn't pass that pun up... But my blood pressure and sugar was still borderline. My weight was down to 240. My legs were huge with muscle and I was firmed up all over but still carrying a lot of the extra weight around my waist and under my armpits. I was eating a lot of veggies, fruits and staying away from fast food to help my riding. But, having had bread and cereal all my life, having the government and nutrition advice saying base your diet on grain, and having all the mass marketing talking up healthy grains, I ate a lot of bread, cereal, etc. Well, after almost 5 years, my knees started going bad so the mountain biking at that level had to go away. I went from my late 40's into my 50's recovering from a lot of tendonitis and overuse injuries from biking. Once all that exercise went away and my mobility was suffering, it seemed like a lot of problems set in. I have always had lower back issues off and on throughout my life but they were getting really bad. My joints were all very sore, not only my knees from biking, but elbows, shoulders, back, everything hurt. My hands were starting to hurt and feel swollen. At 52, I figured this was what it's like to get old. Well, my hands were getting so swollen and sore, I thought up a great idea. I decided to make my own bread because I figured the kneading process would be therapeutic for my hands. At this point in my life, I was a mess. I could barely make it up the 4 steps from the yard to my deck. I was waking up every night from the pain in my hands. I would have to grab each finger and move them around to give a little relief so I could get back to sleep. It felt like there was grit in my knuckles as I moved them. I reached a point where I could barely hold a pen to write my own name. I was exhausted all the time, life was miserable. I got lightheaded from 'standing up too fast. I also had bad allergy symptoms. I would sneeze every day, sometimes 15 - 20 times in a row. My sinuses were swollen closed to the point I would have to stop chewing to take a breath when I ate. I even lost my sense of smell. Well, I was still making my own bread. When researching bread making, I started to see things about wheat being bad for you, but I rejected it. It's the bread of life, right? Well, the misery kept increasing until one day I ate a piece of my homemade bread and my entire face swelled up. My sinuses were throbbing, I was in a daze of brain fog and my throat felt like it was swelling shut. It was at that point I realized how bad wheat was for me. I guess sometimes it takes something drastic to convince me I'm wrong about things... That sets the stage for success story number 1. In September of 2013, I decided to stop eating wheat to see if that was what was causing my allergy problems. I did a lot of research and found out about GMO, the glycemic index of bread and the lack of nutrition from wheat. By the second day of eliminating wheat, I was pretty sure what was causing my allergies; by the third day, I was convinced. It took about 5 days and my hands were feeling better. So, the choice was obvious- I eliminated all grains completely from my diet. It didn't happen overnight, but the pain in my hands, knees, back and joints eased more and more as time went by. I already had a fairly good diet otherwise but I did make a few adjustments besides avoiding wheat/grains. Well, 50 pounds melted off of me in about 4 months while still eating plenty to satisfy me. I went from being in pain from walking across my backyard to walking 6 miles on a local trail the week after quitting grain. My sinuses cleared up a lot and my wife was really happy about my snoring going away for the most part. My skin cleared up, I had more energy and my hands started working normally again. It was a major turnaround! I went from 240 down to 190 and pretty much stayed there for four years. Every once in a while, I would make a mistake and eat a little bread once and a while. When I did, I would get all the allergy symptoms of sneezing, runny nose as well as a swollen knot in my back, my hands would visibly swell and all my joints hurt for 2 -3 days with some after-effects lasting for 1 - 2 weeks. So those experiences verified that wheat/grains did awful things to me. So about 4 years have gone by, the 50 pounds stayed off easily, my sinuses are better and my joint pain was greatly diminished. Also, my wife joined me in this grain elimination and lost 13 pounds herself. That brings me to success story number 2. That's where you come in. Coincidentally, it was September again, of 2017, when I came across your channel. I had never heard of keto or IF. I started watching so many of your videos, my head was spinning with the knowledge. I can't remember if it was you or Thomas DeLauer that suggested sauteing spinach in coconut oil to shrink it and make it more palatable. So my wife and I tried it. We were amazed at how delicious it is! Especially with mushrooms and garlic. It only took a couple of times to feel the extra energy boost from it. So after watching many of your videos about green leafy veg, we figured you were on to something and we were off and running. This time I was easier to convince than having my 'wheat is bad' revelation, so I went straight to IF and keto following a lot of your advice. Since late September, I have lost 35 more pounds from my 4-year plateau at 190. I haven't weighed 155 since I was probably 15 or 16. I feel so much better! I'd say it was hard to describe, but I know you know by your own experience how much better I feel. My wife joined me on this new diet and she is also down a few pounds, but she didn't have much to lose to begin with at that point. The best thing that has happened for her is her lifelong battle with hypoglycemia is over. Her history is very similar to yours in that she had lots of sugar growing up. Sugar after every meal, cakes, cookies, pies, candy and ice cream were a regular thing. After watching some of your videos, she believes this was the reason she was a regular bed wetter. Her Fat Storing Hormone must have been very high. As she grew up, the sugar intake never stopped and throughout high school and life in general, there were many episodes of dizziness, being lightheaded, and literally fainting. Doctors told her she had vasovagal syncope but never had a solution for it. Her sugar crashes were monumental - it was like she was a different person - but she felt like she was addicted to sugar and couldn't stop. In once instance, we went on a motorcycle ride, each on our own bike, and we had stopped to watch the sunrise by drinking coffee and having huge donuts. About an hour later, I thought she was going to crash because she lost cognizance and I could tell by the way she was wobbling and could not communicate to me, that she was having some difficulty. I made her pull over and get off the bike so we could figure out what to do. She has always had a sweet tooth but was never able to stop. Because of the hypoglycemia, she thought she had to graze all day but that didn't help either. After reading more about IF, she figured she would give it a go, but she had a harder time converting to IF with the fear of a low blood sugar 'event' hanging over her head. But now, she is on a much better footing, blood sugar-wise, sleeps better at night, skin is clearing up (including spider veins on her legs have just about all disappeared), arm flab is slowly going away, seems much more stable emotionally and trips to the bathroom are easier. She also has more energy, wakes up refreshed and hasn't had the nighttime urination like she used to. Another major plus is that her heart hasn't had the pounding or heart murmur or arrhythmia issues. She doesn't have any of the lightheadedness or feeling like getting some food intake is an emergency anymore. She was taking a lot of supplements and if she went off of them, it was really bad. She would feel so tired that she could barely stand up. She would get depressed and irritable without the supplements too. Just a week ago, she told me she hadn't been taking them for a couple months because she had no need for them on this diet. She says her clothes are fitting better and she doesn't have to 'suck it in' to get her pants buttoned any more. Clothes that didn't fit anymore are now a couple inches loose on her. We are hitting the green leafy veg pretty hard, going all grass-fed butter and meats, very little sugar if at all, good grass-fed cheese, raw nuts roasted in coconut oil and watching your videos everyday. We both have more energy, are in better moods and have various minor things improving. I was noticing my skin getting weaker last year so that I was getting cuts and scrapes that bled from minor things. My skin is now healthier and stands up to minor scrapes without bleeding now. We are both walking more, stretching more and doing more light calisthenics pretty much each night. After just 3 months, some of which was the adaptation phase of course, we were both feeling better and enjoying life more. Now after 7 months plus it is amazing! I just had a physical and my fasting blood sugar was 80 instead of over 110 like it was most my life. My A1C decreased from slightly over the normal range down solidly in the normal range. My blood pressure was great. The doctor asked what meds I was on and I said 'none'. She said 'come on, no really, you're 56, what meds do you take?' I explained about the new diet and the only thing she could think of saying is 'keep doing what you are doing'. Thing is, she was unfamiliar with keto and IF and likened it to the Mediterranean diet. It's amazing that doctors aren't trained in nutrition. I had a dental infection and last year my gums weren't in great shape. I can feel that they are getting healthier and stronger with the nutrition we get now. I have to go to dental appointments every three months for cleaning and treatment. The previous appointment was just after I started keto. I had another about 3 1/2 more months after adapting to keto. Both the doctor and hygienist commented on the vast improvement of my gums since the last treatment. The doc looked in my mouth and then stepped back, gave me a curious look and asked 'your gums are looking great- what are you doing?' I explained it quickly, but of course I can't explain this diet in a few seconds. So, finally, he said 'just keep doing what you are doing. So there's the two doctors in my life telling me to keep doing what I'm doing. I think I will. Skipping breakfast was hard for the first 2 weeks, but I don't even think about it now. Our eating window is 11am or 12pm to 5pm or 6pm depending on the day's schedule. We usually feel a lot of energy in the morning until hitting a low point mid-morning. So we have lemon-lime water with some sea salt around 9 or 10am as a pick me up. Hunger isn't much of an issue, but when that window opens we are darn good and ready to eat! Food tastes so much better now it's amazing. I don't know if it's from wanting to break the fast or since we don't overload our taste buds anymore with sugars, MSG and the like. We haven't been out to eat since starting this to avoid the unknown in restaurant food. Our meals have so much variety now and we are both loving it. Prior to eating this way, our diet was getting pretty boring. But now we have a few nuts here, a little cheese there, always a variety of veggies, vary our proteins, a few dates for the sweet tooth sometimes, a bite of this and a bite of that. Much more exciting than the same old main course, side of whatever meals we were used to. We eat until we're full of every meal, even feeling stuff sometimes. But it takes less now that our stomachs have shrunk. If there is anything to complain about it's that we spend a lot more time in the kitchen chopping veggies, prepping our food, and washing dishes. Every time one of us complains out loud about it, we both quickly agree it's well worth it! It's all thanks to you Dr Berg! I send you a million thanks and my wife sends a million more! IF and keto has already made a huge difference in our lives and we're just getting started. We love your videos, your passion for helping others and sense of humor. Your life story is inspiring and I'm so glad I ran across your channel. Just like our change of life 4 years ago eliminating wheat/grains is permanent, our life changes to IF and keto is now permanent. Our esteem and high regard for you and your teaching is permanent as well.

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