All Posts by Dr. Don Clum

What is the number one predictor of a successful weight loss program or effort?

If hunger nags on any particular program, then the likelihood of success drops dramatically. When intense hunger hits we have seen people drop an entire program within days, or even on the first day.

The truth is, what people feel and think is hunger driving their eating really isn't.

Hunger is a hormonal response, not a caloric response, that is triggered via a group of specific metabolic pathways that respond to eating fat and protein and is highly connect to the thirst response.

There is no such thing as acute hunger. True hunger takes time to come on and when it does it does so gradually and does not make us feel sluggish, get stomach pains, make us light headed, shaky, give us a headache, or make us anxious.

If you feel any or all of those things when you skip a meal or snack, it is important to know that it is not true hunger. What you are feeling is what we call, "a need to eat," or a false hunger.

It is this uncomfortable, distracting sensation that is mostly responsible for forcing people to break their new eating programs, diets, or weight loss attempt.

The Need to Eat pathway is controlled by a completely different mechanism pathway, and not the hunger/thirst pathway, called the endorphin pathway. This pathway is stimulated by eating sugar/grains. This pathway lives in your brain and is mediated by dopamine, not your stomach or intestines like hunger.

This dopamine pathway is the same one triggered in addiction to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gambling and so on. When this pathway is on full swing from your diet it is very hard to make any changes and get free.....for some near impossible and is always activated in obesity. One can not gain the fat seen in obesity by only stimulating the hunger pathway, you need sugar/grains and this endorphin pathway to be activated to reach obesity.

AND, obese or not, if you want to lose weight, you HAVE to down-regulate this endorphin pathway and get the sugar addiction cycle under control or you will feel "hungry" and ruin your chances of success.

Here are 3 steps to do this in phases:
1. Add healthy fat to each meal for a while
2. Shift to eating only 3 meals and cut snacking if you do it
3. Cut grains then sugar

Supportive tips:
1. Short intense exercise 30 minutes before a meal (like 6 minutes)
2. Drink lots of water and use whole sea salt liberally
3. Focus on the means over the end and set lofty goals

Follow the phases and you will have the least impact on false hunger and as that endorphin cycle loosens it's grip on you and hunger stops driving your actions and is almost gone, then you can dive into some advanced concepts of rotational eating, modified fasting, and advanced eating combinations and push further.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Controversial…..Warning….This is an Opinion Piece!

I do not believe insulin is designed to regulate blood sugar.

I believe insulin has evolved to regulate fat storage and in the process can effect blood sugar.

Insulin as a blood sugar regulator is a modern utility, completely post genetically. A reaction that we have used as a crutch and are simply burning out.

Never in our existence (besides modern times and ancient Egypt...still modern times comparatively) have we ever had to hormonally lower blood sugar. Diffusion, as in a concentration gradient balance inside and outside the cell is what governs 80% of our body's cells uptake of glucose.

Only fat and muscle cells use insulin to get glucose.....end even those cells have other transport systems for glucose.

Every cell, except red blood cells, can use ketones (a product of fat burning) for energy production with 50 times less the oxidative stress.

Like lactate dehydrogenase, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol (alcohol is new in our evolution), insulin is was not created for glucose, but as a secondary effect helps it.

Our body makes glucose as we need it and insulin is there to shuttle any extra into fat....and consequently block fat burning as it does.

We have never needed to deal with excess blood sugar. We have many ways to raise blood sugar naturally, but only one way to lower it when too high (insulin). We have limited sugar metabolism pathways and when in play they shut down longevity and disease defending genes. Our stomach has high acidity, our intestines low fermentation capacity, we store fat easily and have small sugar stores, and our brain chooses fat over sugar when challenged.

Sugar and refined carbs (grains) do not work in our hunger/thirst metabolic pathways, only protein and fat do. Sugar and grains drive our "need to eat sensation," or in other words our carb addiction cycle and work through our endorphin pathway.....which leads to addiction.

This is why sugar and grains are more addictive physiologically and sociologically that crack, heroine, or alcohol.

This is also why the entire body breaks down when there is high insulin and glucose levels over time. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer are all effects of sugar and insulin. Of course environmental toxins, stress, and genetic susceptibility play a role, but they are a far second.

Our poor little pancreas simply burns out from the constant demand of insulin, and our body gets fed up with continual nagging of insulin trying to do a job that it was never supposed to do.

In this case, it is moderation that is killing us. Thinking that a little here and there, some sugar treats and a bread exception once and a while won't make a big difference is rotting our bodies fro the inside out with each and every bite.

You want a reason for our degenerative health issues and obesity.....sorry folks, its sugar and things that turn right to sugar...i.e. grains and processed carbs, proteins, and chemical toxins. YES, it really might just be that simple.

You want an action step, eliminate sugar, grains and processed carbs.....and your life will change for the better, I guarantee it!

Back to your normal thinking, thanks for the indulgence if you have read this far.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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1 Gram of Sugar is All It Takes to Make You Diabetic

That's it, 1 gram.

At any given moment in a healthy person's blood stream there are 5 to 7 grams of sugar....not much. By adding one gram to that amount your blood sugar reading takes you from normal to diabetic.

The guidelines for the healthy management for type 2 diabetes allows for 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal. This is why they see diabetes as a progressive degenerative disease, because they make it so. You can not reverse or manage this issue like that this way, impossible.

This is for adults folks....how many kids ate 40 grams of sugar (nearly 6 times the max amount of sugar in a healthy adults blood) at each meal or snack these last two weeks?

40 grams of sugar:
1 soda
2 pancakes and 2 tbsp of syrup
2.5 small cookies
3 candy canes
1 cup of spaghetti
12 oz of juice

Remember, kids appear metabolically more resilient because they are growing, but the impact of food hits them 3-5 times harder because of it.....even if you do not see it. AND they are molding their immune, hormone, digestive, body composition and nerve systems epi-genetically as they do so that can set their adult health stage permanently.

New Year's resolutions need to include your kids. That means you NEED to LEARN this stuff and how to do it right mom and dad. Not just do something, some fad, or experiment, but invest time, money and effort to learn WHY this is a critical time for you and especially your kids, and HOW to make this a lifestyle. Do this and the WHAT to do will be much easier.

Let us know how we can help.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Most people do not know how bad they are actually sleeping until they start sleeping better.

sleep and insulin resistance

You can not be healthy without good sleep.

50-70 Million American adults report sleep issues. 10% report insomnia. 70% of high school teens do not get adequate sleep.

Just ONE night of disturbed sleep can increase insulin resistance, raise cortisol, and lower feel good brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.

Sleep is always priority ONE in any of our health programs, simply a must.

If you don't sleep well you won't heal well.

The majority of fat burning and muscle building happens in the deepest levels of sleep.

OH, and sleep deprivation is defined as getting 4.5 hours of sleep per night or less. FYI.....that should change a lot of people's perspective on this.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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The last 10-20 lbs and going where you have never gone before.

Seems if there are no other hormone issues that need to be addressed first losing the big number weight loss is very attainable......but that last 10-20 lbs....that is a different story.

Let me first be very clear, health comes first. It is possible to be overweight and healthy, just as one can be normal weight and sick. You have to get your hormonal profile into a healthy range.....chasing weight while ignoring health is foolish and will backfire every time.

Now, that said, once healthy, how do we get that last 20 lbs off?

Well, that depends. I have found it is easier to get there (not necessarily easy, but easier) if you have been there before. For example, I am 6'4" and weigh 215. I graduated high school at 245, not very youthfully thin. I have gotten down to 205 before, with work, but never lived as an adult under 200 lbs. So, for me to get there I have to go somewhere metabolically that I have never been before. That is harder....whereas staying at 215, not so challenging.

That is one of the big secrets in the exercise make over programs....they take someone who was athletic and fit say in college and now 10-15 years later got fat and they bring them back to fit.....somewhere they have been before. Now take an overweight person who has never been fit and have them lose weight and tone up to the same level.....that is much harder. Can this be done? Sure, but it is a different ball game, that's all.

What I feel has to happen is that you have to shift metabolically to a new pattern or pathway and hold it there long enough to build up the metabolic "fitness" to stay there or come in and out of it easily. Mainly going from being a sugar burner to a fat burner and becoming fat adaptive. When people lose weight and they don't change their metabolic profile, that is when we see rebound weight gain as they go right back to where they were before and say diet and exercise doesn't work.

So, how do you go there metabolically? That can be different for everyone. Healing up older issues in the gut, hormones, liver, brain, and so forth is crucial. This is where advanced programs and options like rotational fasting and structured eating and diets come in. As do advanced supplement protocols.

So, step one, get healthy. Step two get ready for a long term plan if you want to redefine yourself metabolically....and follow it! But if you lose weight and do not improve your metabolic fitness and change that profile....the chances of gaining the weight and ill health issues agin is high and so is your risk of major chronic diseases. You can do it!

Here's to going where we have never been before!

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Still eating multiple meals and snacks every day?

Why? It really could be causing hormonal harm and weight gain as it shortens your life span.

I can find NO BENEFIT from this new age 5-7 eating time concept at all, but a lot of potential detriment.

Snacking was invented by the snack food companies just like the phrase, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," was made by the cereal people.

By snacking you are raising your blood glucose and insulin levels in between meals. Since blood glucose lowers after eating faster than insulin, by the time your next meal or snack comes around it has not come back to baseline and gets bumped up again with the next feeding only to end the day way higher than baseline and will slowly START to truly come down as you sleep....not good.

Our insulin response is stronger at night naturally, at least post sunset, and stacking this beachball at a concert effect of bouncing insulin up continuously during the day with multiple eating times then you get a double whammy in the early to late evening keeping insulin abnormally high as you go to bed.

Insulin is the entry level, gateway hormonal disrupter and will push back normal hormonal cascades to later in the evening as it lowers. This can magnify the 2-4 am wake up with wide eyes effect, and the drag out of bed in the morning syndrome....or just keep one tossing and turning and get simple a bad nights sleep. Since healing, repair, detox, and hormonal reset happens while we get quality sleep.....this is not good.

And insulin at the end of the day is the signaler for fat gain and keeping fat form coming off.....you want that guy lingering at your hormonal party?

So what can I do Doc?

Minimal change:
- Switch to 3 meals a day

Intermediate change:
- Skip breakfast every other day

Advanced option:
- Eat only breakfast and a late lunch 3 days a week

Go getter next steps:

- alternate day fasting
- extended day fasting
- going high fat low to no carb in cycles

Once hormones and insulin/weight are at a better place, go back to the first 3 progression options.

Let me know how it goes!

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Insulin friendly diet and lifestyle….what does that mean?

We have been so locked in to the glucose driven model of diabetes and cardio-metabolic issues that it can be hard to think any other way. Glucose is toxic, that is why the body will stop in its tracks and burn it off when ever possible, to get it our of our system. Blood glucose levels are specifically relevant to our health depending on the metabolic state we are in. When we are a chronic sugar burner then the normal levels are 70-99 (but health deteriorates above 83). When we are fat adaptive and burning fat efficiently then that number can drop into the 50's making anything over 80 a problem.

The true danger in high blood sugar is the correlative rise in insulin levels. The body can handle high blood glucose levels from time to time when there are times of very low levels, but chronically high exposure to glucose and its toxic effects eats away at the body from the inside out. The risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and heart disease come from the chronic exposure to high insulin levels long before the high blood sugar levels can do their damage.

It is the chronic over exposure to insulin that literally frys our system and health. The answer, low insulin levels. How do we get these low insulin levels? A low insulin diet and lifestyle.....and here it is:

Low carb. Low over all carb diets beat low glycemic index diets when by a long shot. It is not about the glucose levels but the corresponding insulin levels and low carb overall keeps insulin low. Carbs trigger 23% of our insulin response. Protein is responsible for 10%. Fat has no effect. The rest of the 67% is from the incretin effect (think stomach hormones) and other cross hormonal reactions (think thyroid, cortisol, and brain chemistry).

SO, what does that mean? It means that there are foods and behaviors that are blood glucose friendly but terrorize insulin. For example:

1. Milk and yogurt...both are glucose mellow but insulin insulting
2. Red meat and white fish......again, no blood sugar rise but a very steep increase in insulin
3. Protein powders, grain products (bread), and processed foods....may not have a big glucose rush (initially) but will crank insulin

That said, sugars, grains and starches are the biggest offenders.....they should be avoided FIRST.

Meal timing and having gaps in between eating is the only thing that will allow insulin levels to come down....so as important as what you it is when you eat....or don't.

Behavior:
A. Hyper stress response (cortisol) will throttle insulin
B. Poor sleep...one night of poor sleep will increase insulin resistance
C. Anxiety...will immediately raise insulin levels
D. Slow and low cardio will promote sugar burning and free radical production....insulin and cortisol

Others:
- Medications...statins, anti-biotics, and thyroid meds all promote major insulin resistance
- Artificial sweeteners....mess up gut bacteria and cause metabolic issues
- Alcohol....sorry people....it stresses our insulin/glucagon balance and decreases glutathione (a major anti-oxidant) and stops fat burning in its tracks

Ok, you still with me? Take the concepts above and put them into action as you can in your life and add these 3 modalities to help balance your neurological tone (the driving factor for this whole process):

1. Meditate
2. Paced breathing
3. Body work....specifically chiropractic upper cervical adjustments

Now, mix this with the other concepts I post here and keep at it. Yes, there is a lot to learn, we are on this road together, let me know your insights and if mine are helping you.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Insulin Makes You Fat

Insulin and extra sugar. Period. NOT calories.

If you need proof, just search the web for pictures of untreated type one diabetics. They are dangerously thin, with no fat, and even lose their essential fat stores as they waste away.

Why? Because type one diabetics do not make, or make very little, insulin. They can eat, eat as much as they want, what they want, and they will not gain weight and still lose fat.

On the other hand, I can make anyone get fat, and fast. All you have to do is give them......yup, insulin. Type one diabetics and type 2's that end up on insulin know that if they get that dosage wrong....bam! They get fat, and fast.....independent of what they eat.

Now for the rest of us.

If you eat a very low insulin producing diet, you can not gain fat, even if you over eat, a lot. In this case, calories do not matter. You can eat 1,000 extra calories per day. 3,500 calories is the amount supposedly in one lb of fat, and at the end of the week eating this excess food in this way you will not have gained 2 lbs, you might even lose weight if you had excess body fat to burn, if you keep it insulin friendly.

They have researched and tested the calories in vs. calories out for decades, hundreds if not thousands of times and it has NEVER, not once, produced the predictable, repeatable fat gain....or loss when on a diet, that the calorie theory says will happen.

It doesn't work that way, pure and simple.

Now, anyone who has gone on a traditional low calorie diet knows that you can lose some weight......at first, and then at some point, even though you are eating less calories than you "need" you stop losing weight. In time, even as you restrict eating further, you still do not lose weight and you might even start to gain some.

SOUND FAMILIAR?

I know it does. I have been there. I have worked with many patients through that miserable process and I have read the thousands of pages of research using this model that shows the same process. And I have learned why this is a flawed model and found a better one.

In time people gain the weight back, and many gain back more.

I call this process the diet of "Reduction vs. Elimination." This is the well documented path of the Energy Balance Theory of weight loss and obesity.
AND it is flawed if not completely wrong.

AND it is the single most used and recommended weight reduction process in the world. It is what your government suggests, your weight loss groups, and your doctor tells you.

As people use this model our populations are getting fatter and sicker.....it DOES NOT WORK!

There is a better way. It is called the Hormonal Theory of Weight Loss and Obesity.

Insulin is a hormone. It is the key hormone in weight issues, and as it turns out, it is key in chronic health issues as well. It also is the gateway hormonal problem that messes with all our other hormones.

What can I do?
1. Stop looking at weight as a calorie issue.
2. Eat a low insulin producing diet
3. Get metabolically flexible (glycogen) that means exercise
4. Manage your stress and build resiliency to it.
5. Mind your neurological tone (very important)

This is a life changer my friends. Keep an eye out, more to come.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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The second half of the insulin equation.

Exercising sucks

Only 50% of your insulin exposure is due directly to what you eat, carbs or protein.

The other 50% is your baseline fasting insulin number. This insulin level accumulates throughout the day from the 2 different phases mentioned yesterday in the insulin response and then depending on one's level of insulin resistance, hangs out over night when it should go down.

This is why that fasting insulin number is important:

When you eat, your insulin goes up from the food 6-7 times....that it 6-7x, or 600-700%.

So, if your fasting blood glucose number is 15, which medically speaking is in the "normal range", which is 25 or under......but when you eat that number can shoot up to 105.... each time you eat.

If your fasting insulin level is 2, then it can go up to a whopping 14. Which is still much lower that the high end of the "medical normal."

This fasting insulin part of the equation is what will drive the resistance to insulin and steadily build that fasting number as you eat high insulin producing foods, eat more frequently, and do not exercise regularly. AND as it does that fasting level will gradually go up and up and therefor snowball that fasting insulin level higher and then.......repeat.

So, in this model your peak meal insulin spike is determined by WHAT you eat. Carbs promote the phase 2 and a higher insulin exposure and protein promote phase one which goes higher faster but comes down to normal limiting overall insulin exposure. Processed foods, carbs or protein, both seem to stimulate phase 2 insulin release and do so more than natural foods.

The other 50% is magnified by what you eat, but is compounded by WHEN you eat. Eating multiple meals and snacks a day really crank this whole development of insulin resistance process up into high gear.

The third element, the one I have not gone into yet, is the effect that exercise can have on your hormones, ability to make energy, and metabolic flexibility in this process. That is for another post, but know that we NEED to exercise, both cardio style and intensity (weights).

Remember my friends, just getting your blood sugar into a normal range will not reverse your diabetes or prevent it. This whole mechanism needs to be improved, rebuilt so to speak, and it can be, but it takes more effort, time and a plan. BUT it must be done to escape this problem of insulin resistance and all that follows.....diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, Alzheimer's, etc.

You can do this, and understanding this better is the first step. The second step is to buy a glucometer at your local pharmacy and TEST YOUR MORNING FASTING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS!

We can do better my friends!

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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The Brain Prefers Glucose as Fuel?

I am not so sure about that.

I actually think that is an assumption.

When the brain gets injured it ups its ketone utility dramatically, regardless of your diet or the presence of glucose.

So, when challenged, when energy efficiency is most crucial and function most delicate the brain turns to ketones for fuel, not glucose.

Some people go so far as to say that nutritional ketosis is dangerous, specifically for the brain. Why then would the brain selectively use ketones when energy and metabolism are the most critical? It is not that the brain can not use glucose, it essentially chooses not to.

We know both high levels of glucose and the metabolism of glucose can be toxic. During glucose metabolism 50 times the amount of free radicals are produced compared to fat, and that might be key. It would make sense that when the brain is injured it switches to fat (ketone) metabolism to protect itself from the oxidative stress of those free radicals at its most vulnerable moment.

Sugar burning and high sugar levels also reduces our cognitive (mental) functioning. High levels of blood sugar and insulin both promote increased muscle loss after exercise while ketones have been shown to preserve it and high levels of oxidative stress has been shown to promote muscle wasting during exercise, inactivity, and in dystrophy.

If that is true, then I would want to do what I can to make ketones as available as possible in my system for the brain to use in normal function as well as repair. By doing so I would also want to lower my oxidative stress significantly in my whole body and start to detox, repair, burn fat, and balance hormones in the process, naturally.

That all being said I would conclude that fat burning (ketone production) is not only NOT dangerous to our body or brain but the preferred fuel for it to function, for us to think, be strong and move well, and the most health promoting option.

What do you think? Am I off track?

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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