Complete High-Fat Guide
Take charge of your health in a new way by being open to the idea that what you think you know about health and nutrition is upside-down, backwards, and inside out. Nutritional ketosis, in which the body burns fat rather than sugar for fuel, is a powerful approach to radically improving health that’s achieved by eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet. This can seem counterintuitive: Most of us have been taught that what’s best for health is restricting dietary fat and consuming lots of carbohydrates, especially “healthy whole grains.” But the truth, as proved by many cutting-edge medical studies, is that eating more fat and less carbs is beneficial for a wide range of health concerns. It can help you lose weight, improve mental focus, increase energy, stabilize blood sugar, balance hormones, and much more. The book you’re holding in your hands is a comprehensive guide to high-fat living that’s different from the rest. Unlike traditional guides to the ketogenic diet, it doesn’t focus on calories, manipulating macros, or rigidly following certain rules. Instead, it allows you the freedom and flexibility to do what feels right for you, your body, and your health. With the strategies and recipes you’ll find here, you can end food obsession, cravings, and restrictions through sound nutrition practices and delicious whole-food meals so that you can get the weight and health you want without self-loathing or guilt. This is how I finally lost weight and kept it off, healed my hormonal imbalances (which had resulted in eight years without a period!), eliminated symptoms of ADHD, and was able to replace negativity with optimism and joy. My goal with this epic resource is to show you how the same strategies can help you wherever you are right now, whether you’re struggling with weight, hormonal problems, autoimmune conditions, or other chronic health problems, or even if you just don’t feel good—all without guilt or self-loathing. I hope it shows you how changing the way you eat—and think about eating—can help you fully love, appreciate, and honor the beautiful person you are. And it’s all about eating fat! I feel, deep in my bones, that the world is ready to get off of the fat-shaming roller coaster and start seeing fat for what it truly is: a tool that we can use to transform our waistlines, disease rates, taste buds, relationship with food, and more. We were all born with an inherent drive to seek out nutrient-rich high-fat foods. But somewhere along the way, our t’s were dotted, our i’s were crossed, and our bodies got a little lost. The Keto Diet will help you get back into the groove—your body’s natural drive toward consuming ultra-nourishing, delectable fats. Perhaps you’re already on the high-fat train thanks to books like Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore, Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, Eat Fat, Get Thin by Mark Hyman, or Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, but you’re not entirely sure how to go about it. Oh man, do I understand. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as feeling like you know what to do to make things better but not how. In The Keto Diet, you’ll find all of the tools you need to understand how to eat more fat, as easily as breathing. Really. You may feel like eating a bunch of fats and reducing carbs will tear your favorite things from your life, but I’m here to prove that, once you let fat in, you’ll feel the exact opposite. I encourage you to see the everyday cooking and meal prep solutions in this book as insanely powerful tools for improving your health without radically upsetting your schedule, priorities, or love of pies, cakes, chips, and other carby things. (Don’t worry, if you’re really torn up about ditching the pies, cakes, chips, and other carby things, I’ve got you covered—see here.) I hope that The Keto Diet will be the launch pad that gets you feeling on top of your game and at home in your body, confident, loving life, and ready to bust out on the scene with your amazingness.
I know, radical concept. But I have a really, really good feeling about this.
HEY, I’M LEANNE I am a holistic nutritionist, wellness activist, and creator of Healthful Pursuit, where in the last three years I’ve provided guidance and support to more than five million people looking to thrive on a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic eating style. After graduating with honors from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2007, I began a private nutrition consulting practice and started Healthful Pursuit. I now have a top-ranked YouTube channel called Healthful Pursuit and a podcast where I provide ketogenic support (find it at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast). My most recent publication, Fat Fueled, is a thirty-day program that uses dietary fats to heal, nourish, and balance the body (find it at healthfulpursuit.com/fatfueled). But my keto story really began in 2014, when I transitioned to a high-fat, low-carb eating style. It transformed my life. By eating this way instead of trying to control my body with restrictive eating patterns, I • Lost twenty stubborn, hormone-related pounds • Freed myself from fifteen years of ADHD • Got my period back after being diagnosed with early-onset menopause at age twenty-four • Balanced my mood—I’m now living without the mild depression that used to plague me • Got rid of brain fog • Boosted my energy • Improved my skin, hair, and nails • Stopped experiencing food cravings • Released my obsession with food • Experienced a boost in self-confidence Before you decide that my liberating experience is outside of your reach and slam this book back on the shelf, let me give you the full picture by sharing where I’ve been. I’m not going to bore you with stories of where I grew up, what my parents are like, my first steps, or how awesome my little sister is (although she is pretty rad). Let’s get to the meaty bits right away—no foreplay on this one. How Keto Helped Me Shed Pounds and Other Cool Things The story of my relationship with food and fitness began the moment I switched from finding balanced pleasure in food to using food to control my surroundings. I struggled with an eating disorder from ages thirteen to twenty-eight. It started with bulimia, where I would binge on restricted foods and then purge them from my body, then shifted to years of starvation with anorexia and intense drug abuse, then back to bulimia as I continued to severely restrict my diet, and finally to orthorexia (obsession with eating the “right” foods), where I’d experience panic attacks if I wasn’t able to prepare my own meals. The most significant of the physical problems brought on by my relationship to food was the loss of my period (the medical term is amenorrhea). I was on birth control from ages thirteen to twenty-one. When I went off birth control, my period never came back. As in, eight years with no cycle at all. I spent a good portion of my twenties not caring about the fact that my period had gone missing. After all, life was a lot simpler without it. I continued to push my body with marathon running, cycling, swimming, and dieting because I believed there was no other way to achieve the physique I so desperately wanted. But while I did all these things in the name of health, none of my behavior was truly healthy. It was a turbulent time filled with insecurities that I masked with job promotions, backpacking trips, and a facade of happiness. Body love and self-care were foreign to me. I obsessed about working out, following the “rules” of good nutrition—including avoiding dietary fat—and being the best at everything. While the classic eating-disorder tendencies were dissipating, I was no closer to loving or respecting my body. Instead, the energy I had spent on food restriction and bingeing was transferred to exercise abuse and nutrient control. Five years after I went off birth control, in the midst of a never-ending loop of training and training-related injuries, I went on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Eight months later, my hormones hadn’t budged, but the scale had. I’d reached 32 percent body fat and was carrying around an extra twenty pounds that, I swear, was made up entirely of cellulite. I was doing all the “right” things—eating vegan, later going Paleo, working out once or twice a day, not eating after 5 p.m., consuming six small meals a day—but the weight just kept piling on with each passing week. When my hips wouldn’t fit into a pair of shorts I’d purchased the previous summer, I felt that I had to do something. So, like everyone who wants to lose weight, I reduced my calorie intake and increased the intensity of my workouts. And I quickly became starving and moody. Every two to three days I binged and felt like I was back to square negative one. Frustrated, I went to a naturopath, who suggested I go on a low-carb diet. My immediate reaction was a big hell no. I associated low-carb diets with the processed dressings, sweeteners, sodas, treats, and weight-loss supplements I’d seen on infomercials. That, coupled with what my nutrition professors had to say about low-carb diets being unhealthy, unnatural, and absolutely ludicrous, had me convinced to stay away.
But I was desperate, so eventually I decided that if I could do low-carb in a way that felt good to me, I was in. That very same day, a friend mentioned keto on one of her Instagram posts. The word intrigued me, so I looked it up, and bam, there was my solution, sitting right there on the screen. Although I was initially overwhelmed to see how many ketogenic resources used dairy as a primary fat source and relied heavily on processed foods to reduce carb intake, I was interested enough—and desperate enough—to give keto a try. But I was determined to do it my way: grain-free, dairy-free, and whole food–based. I spent weeks researching ketogenic eating and delving deep into the diet. For the first time in my life, I gave myself permission to be okay with eating fat, and it was liberating! I slathered coconut oil on flax muffins, cooked vegetables with scoops of local beef fat, and ate my fair share of bacon, even the extra-fatty marbled stuff I’d always avoided. It was a summer of firsts—first rack of ribs, first spoonful of nut butter. I let my fat flag fly, and it felt good. The more fat I ate, the more balanced my emotions were, the steadier my mood and more confident my decisions became, and the more sure of myself I was. Plus, I wasn’t endlessly hungry anymore. I ate until I was satisfied—and I started to lose weight. I was eating 200 grams of fat per day, and in just two months I lost twenty pounds and reduced my body fat from 32 percent to 20 percent. But here’s where the happy story takes a turn for the worse. I’m prone to restriction. When I find something new that sparks weight loss and makes me feel like I’m on my way to becoming my “better self,” I take it to the extreme. What’s a ten-pound weight loss if I can lose twenty? What’s twenty pounds if thirty is on the table? I was off to the races, counting each pound lost as a step toward a happier, healthier me. The obsessive high-fat, low-carb, low-calorie suffering ran its course for six months, to the point that I wasn’t sleeping, my hair was falling out, and I was secretly bingeing on carbs. The stricter I became with my eating, the more I binged. I looked fantastic and enjoyed how clear and focused my thinking was, but deep down I knew I was losing myself with each passing day. The fact that I had the emotional balance needed to recognize that there was a problem and to begin making changes was due to my consumption of dietary fat. You see, when you start eating enough fat after a period (in my case, a decade plus) of eating next to no fat, something pretty spectacular happens: your brain comes back online, your emotions settle down, and you become able to make thoughtful decisions in a snap. I knew there was power behind eating the keto way, but I needed to change my version of it. So, while remaining dedicated to using fats to nourish and heal, I developed the Fat Fueled program, which is what The Keto Diet is based on. The program became my, and so many others’, saving grace by promoting healing, weight stabilization, and happiness within a ketogenic diet. On top of eating all the fats, I gave myself full permission to listen to my body, do what felt right, and heal myself from the inside out. It started with ditching the standard ketogenic approach of massive restriction, shame, and guilt that I had come to practice so, so well. Instead of believing that it was me against my body, I attempted to feel gratitude toward the wondrous things my body did for me on a daily basis, from the basics, like breathing, to the more complex, like feeling emotion in response to a situation. I also got rid of my ketone and glucose blood monitors, took steps to end calorie counting and macro manipulation, and unfollowed low-carb gurus who told me that if I ate more than 20 grams of carbs in a day, I wasn’t “legit keto.” My hair stopped falling out and my sleep improved, yet I maintained my favorite benefits of eating high-fat and low-carb: steady emotions, balanced blood sugar, a clear mind, and newfound weight loss. After nine months of following the Fat Fueled approach, I got my period back, binged on self-care, and became addicted to loving myself. Now, three years into this lifestyle, I’m the Leanne I always knew I was but couldn’t quite get to. Some say self-actualization starts when we invite love in, but for me, it was all about fat. I took an exceedingly roundabout way of getting to good health. The great thing is that you don’t have to! By applying everything I’ve learned about this style of eating through trial and error, you can begin to feel better tomorrow. And it all starts with redefining the word diet.
Full book available on Amazon Kindle, or Amazon.ca.
Complete Guide to High-Fat Diet
The Keto Diet
Healthy person means Healthy Business.