Keto diet: Doctor explains health benefits of the food plan

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There are so many diets out there and it can be difficult finding one that works. The Diet-Whisperer is a radical plan devised by two doctors – Dr Paul Barrington Chell and Dr Monique Hope-Ross. The diet plan involves gently nudging the hormones that govern hunger and fat storage into a super-efficient fat-burning mode which allows you to offset indulgent eating with a short period of fasting. There are three phases to the diet plan and by following it, up to a stone in weight can be lost in just 12 weeks. 

What is diet-whispering and how does it work? 

The experts said: “The 12-week plan is designed to nudge your body towards fat‑burning.

“It’s the springboard for fast weight loss – most people lose at least a stone – and a protocol to fall back on if your weight creeps up again.” 

Before starting any diet plan, it is best to seek the advice of a medical professional. 

Phase 1: Start a ketogenic diet 

A ketogenic diet or keto diet is a diet that is high in fat and very low in carbohydrates. 

It is made up of 65 percent fat, 35 percent protein and just five person carbs. 

Foods like eggs, meat, fish, salad or green vegetables can be eaten in abundance. 

Berries, cream, Greek yoghurt and nuts can be eaten in small quantities. 

Whereas pasta, bread, cereals, diet foods, fruit or fruit juice, pulses, noodles, potatoes, puddings, sugar in any more or sweeteners are banned. 

The Diet-Whisperer plan suggests eating “three low-carb meals a day, with no portion control but no snacks – except a ‘rescue apple’ in a carb-craving emergency”. 

Strictly “no alcohol” and to “stay on this phase for four weeks, until you are comfortable with eating a low-carb diet and no longer bothered by hunger or cravings”. 

If this is achieved, it “indicates you are well on the way to becoming ‘fat-adapted’”. 

There are some side effects to this diet: “In these first few weeks you may notice irritability, mood swings, brain fog and flu-like symptoms but these will settle once you are fully fat-adapted.” 

Phase 2: Increase fasting window

The next phase is to gradually increase the fasting window overnight “to gain the health and fat-burning benefits of fasting”. 

The plan recommends staying on the keto diet for “three meals a day, no snacks”. 

The experts advised: “Gradually shift your breakfast later in the day and then, one day at a time, move towards skipping breakfast completely. 

“This increases the length of your night-time fast.

“If you are distracted by hunger cravings, you are not yet fat-adapted, so go back to phase one for another week before restarting phase two.” 

Phase two lasts for four weeks, “settling ultimately on a pattern of two ketogenic meals a day (lunch and dinner)”. 

Again there is no alcohol. 

Phase 3: Introduce treats and extend fast 

The final element of the diet is phase three and “by now you should have lost a stone and will be sufficiently fat-adapted to introduce ‘treat’ meals and extend your fasts”, the experts said. 

A ketogenic diet is still being followed, with two meals a day – lunch and dinner. 

But for the next phase, two ‘treat meals’ a week will be “gradually introduced”. 

“Eat whatever you like, including alcohol, but avoid super-refined carbs and if possible desserts, fizzy drinks, fruit juice, sweets and cakes. 

“Pizza, burger buns, rice and pasta are allowed.” 

On top of this, anyone following the plan should gradually “extend [their] fast (no food, just water, black coffee or tea)”. 

The experts explained: “Starting with a 24-hour fast from dinner one day to dinner the next.

“Move on to extending one weekly fast – perhaps from after dinner on Saturday night to lunch on Monday.”

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At the end of the 12 weeks, “you should find fasting effortless and can mix and match your meals (some keto, some non-keto) and fasts to suit your life”. 

“Long-term, aim to skip breakfast to ensure a 16-hour night-time fast and eat one or two healthy meals each day in a ratio of 40 percent carbs to 40 percent fat and 20 percent protein,” the creators of the diet said.

“Enjoy three ‘treat meals’ with alcohol (if you like) a week, but avoid sugar and super-refined carbs, no snacking and do a 24‑hour fast (or longer) when you like.” 

The Diet-Whisperer book can be purchased from all good retailers. 

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