You’ve probably heard that folks are losing a lot of weight on the keto diet. But it’s crazy to start a low- carb plan so close to Christmas, right? Not anymore! There’s a hot new twist on the popular plan— we’re calling it Stop-n- Go Keto— that allows for one or two “carb days” a week. Turns out, periodically enjoying fruit, sweet potatoes and even holiday treats actually triggers biochemical changes that “intensify and speed up weight loss,” promises Stop-n- Go Keto proponent Josh Axe, D.C., CNS, author of the upcoming Keto Diet (out February 19). “It also gives you more energy.” So you lose weight easily and feel fabulous! F or anyone not familiar with a traditional keto diet, the gist is this: You avoid foods that elevate your blood sugar—namely carbs and large quantities of protein— because when your system can’t fuel itself with sugar, it must instead fuel itself with compounds called ketones. “Ketones are made from fat—including stored body fat— so the more ketones you produce, the more body fat you eliminate,” explains board-certified functional medicine practitioner Kim notes Crawford, that ketones M.D., also who suppress appetite, kill cravings and soothe thyroid-slowing inflammation. And those are just the benefits you get from ordinary keto…
The better way to keto!
When ketones are your only fuel, “over time, you don’t feel as good, and you can even begin to gain weight,” says Bulletproof Diet author Dave Asprey, who experienced the problem himself while following a strict keto
plan. He pored over scientific research and learned that “a certain type of brain cells— our glial cells—love carbs.” So to feel sharp, invigorated and cravings-free, you need to feed your glial cells. Good bacteria in our guts— bacteria that, per a Harvard study, play a crucial role in turning on genes that keep us effortlessly lean— also require starch from carbs to thrive. “You need some carbs for an ideal balance of gut bacteria,” Asprey says. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s even evidence that variation in carb intake stokes metabolism. “That’s why if you take the time to go out and come back into ketosis, it works much better.” Indeed, Asprey’s stop-n-go approach to keto—which he calls keto cycling—has helped folks shed up to 11 pounds a week. So many people have had success that they’ve lost, in total, over 1 million pounds!
What you eat
Five or six days a week, “keep carbs low”—50 grams or so daily—“and eat lots of veggies, lots of fat and moderate protein,” says Asprey. Then one or two days a week, add a few servings of carb-rich foods. Experts encourage you to go for healthier carbs, but stop-n-go keto dieters tell us they regularly starchy opt sides for Christmas and festive cookies, cocktails while actually improving their slimdown results. “It seems to trick my body, and I love it,” says North Carolina mom Brooke Sturgill, 30, who used Asprey’s Bulletproof Diet to quickly shrink from a size 16 to an 8. “I usually see a nice loss on the scale after my high-carb days, which shocked me at first,” she shares. “I’m a Southern girl, and from biscuits to pie, this way of eating lets me have everything I want. I used to live in a constant state of ‘ hangry,’ and that’s completely gone. I’m losing weight, I feel more energized and I sleep more soundly. I can honestly say I’ve never felt better!” One final tip from Asprey: To avoid cravings and flu-like symptoms that are common as the body shifts from burning sugar to burning ketones, he suggests you follow Brooke’s lead and start adding MCT oil to meals. The oil contains special fatty acids that stimulate immediate production of ketones. “Right away you have enough ketones in your blood to make the transition feel effortless,” he promises. “When you do this consistently, you end up having a life with no cravings whatsoever. You’ll get and stay lean— and you’re likely to be happier and healthier overall.” Not even Santa himself could deliver a better gift!