Is Your Diet Making you Fat?

Is Your Diet Making you FAT?

In my career, spanning over 20 years in the health and fitness industry, there is one thing I know for sure, dieting never works, at least long term.  In fact, long term, people who diet usually end up slowing their metabolism down and end up gaining weight and getting fat FATTER !   YIKES!

First, what do I mean by dieting?

When I reference “dieting”, I am referring to any food plan that is restrictive in one or all of the following area:

1. Calories.  The energy we get from food.

2. Micro-nutrients.  This could be vitamins, minerals or combination of both

3. Macro-nutrients.  This includes fat, protein, and/or carbs.

These diets include, but are not limited to low calorie diets, low carb diets, low fat diets, low protein diets, low salt diets, liquid diets, cleanses, fasts, juice diets, vegan diets, and low REAL food diets.

Can you lose weight on any of the above diets?  Yes, of course you will…short term.

Will you also feel hungry and deprived?  YES! Will also you become cranky and crave sweet or salty foods?  YES!  Will you be able to maintain this diet for a lifetime?  Most likely, NO!   You might be able to last for awhile or a restrictive diet, but eventually you will crack and eat the foods you are craving.

In fact, you have about  a 1-2% chance or maintaing a restrictive diet for over 2 years.  The only people I know that can maintain a calorie restrictive, nutrient deficient diet for any extended period of time are those that usually develop an eating disorder…and well, we all know how Unhealthy that is for you.

Will your metabolism slow down, allowing you to conserve ever bit of  energy on a calorie, nutrient restrictive diet?  For sure!

Will a slower metabolism HELP you live life filled with vitality, energy and health.  No WaY!

Basically, when you eat  a low calorie, nutrient deficient diet you are telling your metabolism to SLLLLLOOWWW down.  You put your body in a state of starvation and deprivation and it wants to conserve every bit of energy you give it.  Your body is smart, when you starve it, it begins to stop or slow down certain systems of your body to conserve energy.  These systems include your immune system, hormonal system, detox system, digestive system, nervous system, and your muscular and skeletal systems.  All the systems in your body are effected when you deprive them of energy and nutrients.

Once your body learns to use less energy and decreases the amount of energy it gives your body’s systems you get sick easier and more often, your libido decrease, you have trouble procreating, your digestion slows down and you become constipated, your reflexes are slower, you lose muscle and bone development and your body has a hard time removing toxins.  In addition a damaged metabolism leads to a lower body temperature (your body temperature should be around 98.6* degrees), decreased energy, poor sleep, weight gain, hormone imbalances, dry skin, forgetfulness, and a slew of other symptoms.

Yes, you may lose some weight (a combination of fat, muscle, tissue, bone and water) along the way, but at what cost…your health?

Metabolic slowing happens with constant dieting.   Ever time you “diet” and deprive yourself of energy and nutrients, your metabolism gets damaged.  Yes, every time!

The biggest problem with repeat dieting is people never take the time to repair their damaged metabolism before trying to lose weight and diet again.   It’s like trying to build a house on a cracked foundation.  You have to fix the foundation (your metabolism) before building the house (losing weight).

The best thing to do before trying go lose weight,  is repair the foundation (your metabolism) FIRST and then build the house (lose weight).  As Diane Schwarzbein says in her book  “The Schwarzbein Principle”, “you have got to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy”.

But Kate, don’t you have to eat less than you are burning, to lose FAT?   Yes, of course.  However, wouldn’t it be smarter to HEAL your metabolism FIRST so that you can burn more.  Once your body learns to consume more energy again, all while supplying energy and nutrients to all it’s systems, you will not have to work nearly as hard to lose fat.  Doesn’t that sound better…EAT MORE, WORKOUT LESS all so you can lose fat safer and more healthfully.

So what is the solution?!

I am so glad you asked.  You have to eat to lose weight!  The key is eating the right foods, in the right portions, combining the right amount of macro nutrients,  at the right times with the right exercises and of course the right amount of sleep…for you.  We are all different and are at different stages of health, so note there is no “one size fits all solution”, there is just you solution.

Yet, here are some general guidelines to live by:

1. Macronutrient ratios. All meals should contain a fat, a protein, and a carbohydrate.  Of course, the percentage of each is dependent on your metabolic type, your energy needs, your lifestyle, and the current state of your metabolism.

2. Eat the RIGHT FATS.  Organic coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, organic butter, RAW and/or organic dairy, cacao, grass fed meats and free range eggs.

3. Eat the RIGHT PROTEINS.  Organic grass fed meats, raw and/or organic dairy, eggs, white fish, shell fish, bone broth and gelatin

4. Eat the RIGHT CARBS.  Organic fresh-cooked veggies, tropical fruits, cooked fruits, fruit-vegetables (squashes), root vegetables, raw carrots, honey, and even sugar.

5. Drink water.  Drink water to thirst.  Drink more when its hot and you are working hard.  Consume minerals and sugar with water to replace needed nutrients.

6. Food Frequency. Find the number of meals that works for you to control your blood sugar and keep your body temperature high.  Some people may work well on 3 meals, while others need 8-9 meals.

7. Sleep. Try to sleep between the hours of 10pm and 6am, or around those times.  Deep sleep is better than longer sleep.

8. Decrease Stress. Nothing suppresses thyroid function (the controller of your metabolism) more than stress.  Rest more, work less, smile more laugh more, love more.

9. Weight train. Weight training can increase muscle mass and allow your body to utilize more energy, thus help with fat burning.

10. Be patient.  Losing weight properly takes time.  Weight loss should be no more than 1 pound a week. If your metabolism is severely damaged, the concentration should be on healing and warming the body and not weight loss.  Once the body is in a healthier state, the focus can be placed back on weight loss.

Trying to lose fat does not have to be a constant state of deprivation.  YOU can eat.  YOU need to eat!  YOU can enjoy the foods you love.   To lose FAT, you MUST obtain an understanding as to what is going to fuel your metabolism so that your body can continue to work optimally, all the while you are losing fat.

Remember you have to build a strong foundation to build a strong body.  If your foundation is cracked (slow metabolism) then you have to fix it FIRST, before trying to build the house (lose the weight)!   You need to be healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy!


Your Optimal Health Coach,



“Disclaimer: I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

A Raw Carrot a Day Keeps the Toxins Away

A Raw Carrot a Day Keeps the Toxins Away…

We have all heard the saying,  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”…right?  Well, today I want you to create a new mantra, a new saying that you will include in your daily eating plan.  Are you ready? “A raw CARROT a day will keep the toxins away.”  Yes…a raw carrot, one medium-size-full-length carrot (not those weird, baby carrots) a day can help decrease endotoxins*, serotonin and estrogen levels, and increase gut health.  I bet you never knew eating this amazing root vegetable could help you in so many ways.

Why is the raw carrot so special?

A lot of people ask, “What qualities does the carrot have that other fruits and vegetables do not?” I always answer with, “The carrot has super powers…” Funny, huh?  Okay, the truth is that the carrot, a below ground and root vegetable, contains many powerful fungicides and bacteriostats.  For the carrot to protect itself from bacteria in the soil it produces its own fungicides and bacteriostats.  These fungicides and bacteriostats act as a natural antiseptic and antibiotic in the bowel.  The long carrot fibers attach themselves to *endotoxins, bacteria and estrogens (that have been detoxed by the liver) and remove them through the colon in your stool.

According to Dr. Ray Peat:

Endotoxin formed in the bowel can block respiration and cause hormone imbalances contributing to instability of the nerves, so it is helpful to optimize bowel flora, for example with a carrot salad; a dressing of vinegar, coconut oil and olive oil, carried into the intestine by the carrot fiber, suppresses bacterial growth while stimulating healing of the wall of the intestine. The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol, and so is as appropriate for epilepsy as for premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, or arthritis.

In addition, harmful estrogens, even after the liver has detoxed them, can be re-absorbed through the intestinal walls and cause more hormonal havoc to the body if they are not properly excreted.  The raw carrot is a key player in lowering estrogen levels and bringing back proper hormonal balance.

* Endotoxins are defined as a toxin kept “within” the bacterial cell and to be released only after destruction of the bacterial cell wall.

Does the carrot need to be raw? 

Yes, for the carrot to work as an antibacterial food it needs to be raw.  Cooking the carrot will break down the fibers and increase the levels of beta-carotene your body will absorb.

What about juicing?

Juicing is not an acceptable way to consume the raw carrot, as this will remove all the protective fibers.  Juicing will also cause an increase in beta-carotene absorption.

Isn’t beta-carotene good for me?

If your body is healthy and has optimal thyroid function you should have no issues converting beta-carotene to Vitamin A.  In a hypo-metabolic state, too much beta-carotene absorption can be toxic to the thyroid and can interfere with progesterone synthesis.  When your body is not converting beta-carotene it will store it in its tissue, leading to carotenemia (orange skin).  This stored beta-carotene can actually interfere with Vitamin A conversion.  Decreased levels of Vitamin A can lead to increased cholesterol, decreased bone formation, decreased immunity, and vision and skin issues.

How should I eat my carrot?

Many say, including Dr. Ray Peat, that the raw carrot is best-graded length wise and eaten with vinegar, salt and coconut or olive oil to increase its antiseptic qualities.   Others, like me who are on a time schedule, say, “just eat the freaking carrot!”

For the salad enthusiast, here is my raw carrot salad recipe:

1 Medium, organic, graded, raw carrot

1 tsp. of melted coconut oil and/or 1 tsp. of olive oil

1 tsp. of white vinegar

¼ tsp. of salt

When should I eat the raw carrot salad?

This is, once again, dependent on the person.  For optimal mineral absorbency of your meals, you should eat the raw carrot by itself, 30 or 60 minutes prior to your mid-day meal.  There is some evidence showing that the raw carrot can inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption of other foods. However, for those looking to lose weight. I suggest eating the raw carrot with your mid-day meal.  According to a 1979 Study in the ASCN, fibers of a raw carrot can bind themselves to fat and help carry the fat out of the body without being absorbed.  The raw carrot works best when eaten before mid-day to encourage proper bowel function.

What if I don’t like carrots?

Then you are doomed! Hah! Bamboo shoots, canned or fresh, will work just as well as the raw carrot to improve bowel health.  Bamboo shoots can be lightly cooked or steamed and eaten along with other foods.

The raw carrot or the raw carrot salad is an easy, yet effective way to help heal your gut and help with hormonal balance.  The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal fibers help detox the colon and rid your body of harmful endotoxins and estrogens.   Given the anti-biotic effects of the raw carrot, unlike other anti-biotic drugs, the carrot can be consumed daily for years without any harmful effects.   Eating the raw carrot is not the end all to healing your gut, but it is a good start.  Along with a diet of easy to digest proteins, carbs and fats and a lifestyle that encourages low stress, moderate exercise, deep sleep and being happy you are well on your way to increasing your metabolism, decreasing your toxic load and living a long healthy life!

I guess Bugs Bunny had it right all along…

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate Deering


“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”


1. J Robertson, W G Brydon, K Tadesse, P Wenham, A Walls, and M A Eastwood “The effect of raw carrot on serum lipids and colon function.” 1979 by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc.

2. Aktuna D, Buchinger W, Langsteger W, Meister E, Sternad H, Lorenz O, Eber O. Internen Abteilung, Krankenhauses der Barmherzigen Brüder Graz-Eggenberg. “Beta-carotene, vitamin A and carrier proteins in thyroid diseases.”Acta Med Austriaca. 1993;20(1-2):17-20.

3. Dr. Ray Peat, Natural Estrogen

4. Dr. Ray Peat, Epilepsy and Progesterone

5. Birt DF, Markin RS, Blackwood D, Harvell DM, Shull JD, Pennington, “Dietary lignin, and insoluble fiber, enhance uterine cancer but did not influence mammary cancer induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea in rats.” Nutr Cancer 1998;31(1):24-30 KL

6. McPherson-Kay R, “Fiber, stool bulk, and bile acid output: implications for colon cancer risk.” Prev Med 1987 Jul;16(4):540-544.

7. The Truth about RawCarrots

8. Beta-Carotene

9. Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND, “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox,” 2012, Wiley and Sons.

10.  M.D. Hugh W. Josephs,  “The carotenemia of hypothyroidism” The Journal of Pediatrics Volume 41, Issue 6 , Pages 784-791, December 1952.

11.  Park EJ, Jhon DY.  “Effects of bamboo shoot consumption on lipid profiles and bowel function in healthy young women.”  Nutrition. 2009 Jul-Aug;25(7-8):723-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.01.007. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

12.  Nirmala Chongtham, Madho Singh Bisht, Sheena Haorongbam.  “Nutritional Properties of Bamboo Shoots: Potential and Prospects for Utilization as a Health Food  Article first published online: 6 APR 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-4337.2011.00147.x



Is the Health and Fitness Industry moving in the right direction?

Is the Health and Fitness Industry moving in the right direction?

As usual I have found myself questioning the direction of the health and fitness industry and the messages they are dishing out. First it was the TV show the Biggest Loser ticking me off, and now it’s almost every health and fitness magazine on the market.

Seriously, what the hell are they doing?! Sorry, but I really cannot stand how some things in the health and fitness industry are being taken over by the advertising market and big business. On many levels, I feel like the health and fitness industry has become no better than the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, I have decided they now have some love affair with each other — or at least in cahoots. You see, at the end of the day, everything comes down to money — everything! Health and fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry — an industry that has no signs of slowing down. An industry, like many in America, is developing some very bad habits.

Let me explain:

The other day, I was cruising through the drug store. No, I was not buying drugs. I was purchasing my normal goods — toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc. — when I came across the store’s magazine rack. Now, I am not a big magazine reader, but I sometimes like to check out what some of the national health and fitness magazines are saying about what is healthy and how to stay fit. Honestly, I see very little value in any of these magazines. However, I like to know what the average Joe or Jane is reading so I know what I will be up against when trying to really educate them.

I was in a little bit of hurry so without even looking at one page, I purchased two health-related magazines — Health magazine and Fitness magazine. I figured, how bad can they be? Well, I think you will be amazed with what I found:

Fitness Magazine     

7 advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs. Really?

14 advertisements for processed foods, including low fat ice cream bars, microwave popcorn, Slim Fast shakes, and goldfish crackers.

4 ads for weight loss supplements (all are major stimulants).

4 ads for over-the-counter drugs.

So, if that wasn’t bad enough, check out Health magazine.

Health Magazine      

12 advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs (yes 12).

15 advertisements for processed foods — anything from cereals to soups to Jiffy peanut butter.

2 quick weight loss diet plans.

AND an article on the benefits of vodka — apparently you can drink it AND use it as facial astringent. Who knew? Now you can be a clean-faced drunk.

Now, I am not against anyone advertising their products, but don’t you think it is a little misleading and unethical to have all these unhealthy items advertised in magazines called Health and Fitness? I certainly do.

As a fitness and health educator, I find it completely frustrating to read magazines like this because I know this is what the general population is reading and this is what the general population is following and doing. Once these people get to me, I have to first try to unwind all the misinformation they have received just to get them back to square one.

Quite frankly I cannot blame people for being confused. Every day we are all bombarded with information about what is supposedly healthy for us. It’s coming from everywhere — magazines, internet, TV, radio, smart phones, etc. No wonder everyone is so confused. We are entrusting our health in this billion-dollar industry — an industry that on so many levels is failing us, while making BIG dollars doing it.

Health and fitness didn’t become a billion dollar industry by making us all fit, healthy, and happy. If everything they were telling us was true, most people would be fit, healthy, and happy. And we are not. The problem is we are only getting fatter, sicker, and unhappier. The problem is we keep buying the dream, and the dream is not existent… at least how they are advertising it to us.

Let me give you a few examples:

NO! Those fit healthy men or women did not get fit by using the ab roller, the shake weight, the bow flex, thigh master, or whatever fitness product they are advertising. They were already healthy and fit before they ever touched the damn things.

NO! That person did not get super thin and fit by taking that weight loss pill and doing nothing else. They were already fit and thin — they are called “fitness models”. That’s their career to look like that.

NO! That person is not that happy after consuming that antidepressant drug. They are acting!

NO! That processed low fat ice cream sandwich did not help that women get a 22-inch waist!

NO! Slim Fast shakes or any weight loss shakes for that matter are NOT good for you. They are all processed crap. A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and sensible dinner is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. What a great way to lose weight so you can gain it all back in 6 months… PLUS an added 10 pounds.


NO! You cannot lose 10 to 20 pounds of weight in one week and have it be healthy. I don’t care how you do it!

I could go on for days and days about all the false misleading advertisements out there in the health and fitness industry. But I think you get my point.

Oh geez — I feel like I may be pissing some people off right now.

Look, I certainly do not dislike the health and fitness industry. In fact, I love it. I have been in this industry for almost 20 years and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’m just a little disturbed at how much misinformation is out there and how many of my clients and friends are getting more and more confused. It makes no sense to me that 12 drug ads should be in a “health” magazine. There is absolutely nothing healthy about any drug — it may make you feel better for a while, but it is NOT healthy. I hope you know there is a difference.

We must all remember in today’s world that everyone wants to sell you something — something that makes you thinner, fitter, prettier, ageless, and smarter. We want to believe them because, of course, we want all those things. The truth is, there are no easy shortcuts to getting healthy and fit. There is no special piece of equipment that will make your abs flat, thighs thin, and butt rounder than just plain old body weight exercise and a good eating plan could do. There is no special pill that will make you look like a model. Real health and fitness take work to achieve and can be accomplished without special gadgets, pills, and calorie-restrictive diets and foods.

To achieve real health and fitness you just need these 10 things:

Life commitment


A plan

A desire to get better

A diet that fits your individual needs

An exercise plan that challenges you


Less stress



Note the lack of low fat ice cream sandwiches, sugar free cookies, antidepressants, or the ab roller on this list. As simple as this list is, I know it is a challenge for most of us to completely follow it. Why is that? Is it because we have all been lead to believe there are easier routes and shortcuts we can follow? Well, as you can see, the proof is in the pudding — we are spending billions on all these nonsense items and all we are doing is getting fatter and unhealthier. Stop reading that article on 10 ways to make your butt smaller. What you need to do is just get off your butt and start moving. Stop thinking that a Slim Fast shake is your answer to a thinner waist — metabolic stimulating food is what is going to work long term. And finally, stop believing you can achieve REAL health and fitness in 21, 30, or 90 days. Real health and fitness is a life long journey — the end is when you end. End of story.


Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate Deering