In today’s episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy delve into pioneering research on diabetes reversal using a low-carb approach, spotlighting Dr. David Unwin's remarkable journey. They underline the extensive impact of diabetes, champion sustainable low-carb diets that permit indulgence in favorite foods, and emphasize the value of collaboration with healthcare providers. Achieving long-term success is within reach through reduced carbohydrate intake and potential inclusion of intermittent fasting.
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Fasting For Life Ep. 198 Transcript
Hello. I'm Dr. Scott Watier.
And I'm Tommy Welling.
listening to the Fasting for Life podcast.
This podcast is about using fasting
as a tool to regain
your health, achieve ultimate wellness,
and live the life you truly deserve.
Each episode is a short conversation
on a single topic
with immediate, actionable steps.
We cover everything from fat loss
and health and wellness
to the science of lifestyle design.
We started fasting for life because of how
fasting has transformed our lives
and we hope to share the tools
that we have learned along the way.
welcome to the Fasting Flow podcast.
My name is Dr. Scott Walker
and I'm here as always.
I'm a good friend and colleague,
Good afternoon, sir.
Hey, Scott, How are you doing?
Fantastic, my friend.
Excited for today's conversation.
We are bringing back
one of the most robust, profound
pillars of our fasting research
that we've come across.
And it is an original research paper
that really had some just incredible
action steps and clinical pieces to it
that we need to come back
and talk about it again.
And we're going to take a little bit
different approach today
and when we're going through this.
This is a big lift. It's a heavy article.
It has clinical protocols in it
that reaffirm what it is that we do
and what we see in the change
with our clients inside of our coaching.
But I want to highlight Dr.
David Unwin and his wife, Dr.
Jen, on when
and this is something I saw on Twitter.
He's at low carb GP
and his stories really cool.
Before I get into his story
and the accolades that I saw coming across
my Twitter feed or no, I guess it's
now called X, that's how much.
And so often I use Twitter.
So do you not tweet anymore?
Like what do you do? Do you X like,
I don't understand.
I'm totally I'm archaic here,
so we'll just pretend that didn't happen.
I want to welcome in
all the new listeners to the podcast.
If you are new, head back to episode one.
Hear more about our story and our journey
and why we do this week in and week out
and why we are on the path
to pulling people out of the matrix,
giving you the red pill,
encouraging you that you have an option
when it comes to weight loss and fasting
and health and diabetes reversal,
which we're going to talk about today,
that you have control.
There is another way through the tried
and true art of fasting in making
fasting a lifestyle
through that adaptation process,
you have joined us so grateful
that you're here
and allowing us to be part
of your fasting journey.
A shout out to the OGs,
you weekly listeners, you subscribers, you
We are so happy that you are
on this journey with us as well.
We are grateful for you being part
of our fasting journey too.
So Tommy. Dr.
This was from a post that I saw on X.
We did it the highest ever Altmetric score
for any paper
in the British Medical
Journal of Nutrition.
So here it is. Here we go. Drumroll.
A paper about low carb is the most
popular paper they have ever published.
I'm so happy and proud
thanks to fellow authors
at Jan and one at Dacron
or one and at Chris.
Did the end and Professor Roy Taylor.
So I didn't see that one coming though.
If you would have said like,
Hey, what's going to be the most popular
article ever published?
Yeah, I don't know what I would have said,
but I probably wouldn't have said
low carb, right?
Well, I am happy because this is
one of my favorite articles
that we've ever come across and one of my
the creator of the convert,
I should say, the creator
of the carnivore diet
that's been around forever, the doc, Dr.
Carnivore, MD, who wrote the book.
He likes this account and follows it.
So a couple hundred
thousand likes from a post
that was just about less than a week ago.
When we're recording this episode
and the article is what predicts drug
free type two diabetes remission Insights
from an eight year general practice
service evaluation of a lower
carbohydrate diet with weight loss.
And that is a mouthful.
And we've talked about this.
This article in the past,
right? Diabetes, remission.
And what that tells me, Tommy,
that Altmetric score tells me
that there is an absolute
need out there because of the diabetes
epidemic and the pre diabetes epidemic
that we're experiencing with here
in the States, combining diagnosed
diabetes around 30 million and undiagnosed
and diagnosed prediabetes
up to 90 million, we're talking over
And we know that diabetes
then leads to other cardio
metabolic issues and heart disease
and certain types of cancers,
and you've got breathing problems
and COPD and PCOS,
and there's just a laundry list of stuff
that comes along with, you know, that
diagnosis or that pre diagnosis of a blood
sugar related condition.
So this doctor's story, Dr.
Deveau, was really cool.
And it reminds me of Dr.
Fung story, Tommy,
where he's a British doctor, and in 2012
he was really kind of disheartened
where he was like he had a patient come in
and he said
he nearly quit being a GP in 2012
because he felt this sense of failure.
And this is what Dr. Fong
alludes to in one of his books.
I think it was the diabetes code,
the obesity code, Yes.
Where he was looking at his clinic
and he's like, okay, this isn't a problem.
Just looking at dialysis
and yeah, end stage renal disease.
And he's like, okay, the stuff I'm giving
my patients isn't getting them better.
So like, what am I doing wrong? Right?
And he had this realization
that it was the
the recommendations that were wrong
and not the patient.
So he said in 2012,
if I was really being honest with myself,
I felt I haven't made a difference.
I begin to realize that what was wrong
was that nobody looked any better.
The people I was seeing
were sicker and fatter than ever before,
so he started doing a low carb
and kept working as a GP.
And he had a patient
that came in that really kind of pushed
pushed the envelope here.
He wrote to her saying, Hey, I'm concerned
you're not taking your Metformin.
And he was really inviting her
into the clinic to have a
what the heck are you doing
kind of conversation. Right?
But when the patient arrived
for the console and one discovered
she had lost about three stone
or 19 kilograms.
So a tremendous amount of weight
and put her condition into remission.
£40 into remission
and know we use the whatever
this antiquated system here in the States,
the imperial system.
That's what it's called. Yeah. Yeah.
We can we just go to Metric.
It's just easier,
it's just decimals. Okay.
But now over here
we got to do the conversion.
So yeah, 48, around £40.
So she put her diabetes into remission
on a low carb diet.
And the cool thing about this study
is that they saw improvements with
and without weight loss
across a broad spectrum of the time
that you had diabetes as well.
Yeah, that's a cool thing
because it doesn't have to be perfect.
You don't have to fix necessarily
everything all together.
You don't have to reach the finish line
before you can see
That's that's that's something I feel like
whether you've been dealing with
diabetes or pre-diabetes or some something
ticking up in the bloodwork
that you need to start addressing,
or it's just the weight that you can't
seem to manage or get under control,
or it just keeps creeping back.
As soon as you take your eye
off the prize, it's like knowing
that there's a lot of room for improvement
even before the scale
gets to exactly where you want it to be
or before you burn through all of those
long term fat stores that can feel very,
very frustrating over time.
There is definitely a reason to do it
and to start getting some of those things
And I feel like this kind of uncovers
some of those paths for us
that can really start to get blurry.
The more desperate you get in your weight
loss or the longer
you've tried to take the weight off
or the more attempts you've made
or the more money
that you've spent on high level
lab works and nutrition, nutritionists
advice like you had and things like that.
I mean, there's a lot that you can do.
There's a lot of mental energy
that you can put towards
all of these things.
And if you're not seeing results,
that can be very frustrating
and very demotivating, very similarly
to having long term diabetes.
And while watching that progress,
even if it's slowly rather than feeling
like you're able to make progress on that.
And this is something Dr.
Roman said after that interaction or spoke
to after that
interaction that he had with that patient,
he was like, she was hopping mad.
You've given me metformin for ten years
and never once asked me
about the side effects
or gave me an alternative.
Like I've now learned about cutting carbs,
I've lost weight
and now low carb is obviously
a lot more prevalent now and just showed
that her blood test showed
that her agency was normal and, you know,
she was in drug free remission
from type two diabetes.
So he said that she had done something
that he didn't know was possible.
And he started at that point.
And then working with his wife,
who specializes in the food addiction
side of things,
which we're going to speak to here
in just a minute.
But there's this feeling of frustration
that he always saw diabetes
as a chronic deteriorating condition,
And and there was really no curiosity
or insight into what the cause is.
And it really woke him up.
He said he was sleepwalking in practice.
Really. It woke him up from that.
So the results are just
absolutely incredible when you're looking
at the percent of achieving remission
and they've done this.
They did this study the paper
that was acclaimed
for the most popular paper
over the course of eight years.
But they also have data going up to 15
plus years right out of 186
patients, 77% achieved remission
if they had been diagnosed with type two,
less than one year, 35%, 1
to 5 years, 31%, 6 to 10 years.
Here's a little little stat thing here.
Excuse me, 20%, an overall average of 51%
Yeah. My dad fell into this category.
He had diabetes for so long.
He he was at the point with his diabetes
that he required insulin,
multiple injections a day up to 120 units.
If you remember back to when he was having
those conversations with his doctor
who was managing his medications, there
probably was 17 of them.
probably wasn't a whole lot of talk
about reversal at that point, was there?
Like not getting off of the medications?
It was all about management.
And he would he would have this struggle
where he'd have his VA doc,
you'd have his enter
allergist, he'd have a celiac doc.
This is how he talks about it.
He has his primary care.
And I mean, when he gave me
his original medication list,
I looked at it and I was like,
Oh my gosh, these doctors talk.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, like that.
Can be a wow. Or the problem.
And he always had severe leg pain.
He's got arthritis.
He started coming off
some of the meds afterwards.
He started losing some of the weight
and all those symptoms
went away to this doctor on Onion's
Hey, I never knew that
there was another option.
So the mindset here,
the results are incredible.
The mindset here Shift taught me
that you were you were alluding to
or I had already mentioned
about that motivation.
Right. Like like just I'm stuck with this.
So I guess it's I'm going
to never be able to eat bread again
or I'm going to have to
I'm never going to be able to enjoy
latte thing from Starbucks or a muffin
because a regular muffin, a blueberry
muffin because of the sugar content.
Yeah, it speaks to that point.
Counting calorie counting, sugar free,
candy that's laden with 26 net carbs,
Go read the reviews
on some of those products.
People are like,
does anyone want to tell me
that this is a laxative effect, right?
Yeah, it does.
It alters your digestion, it alters the
gut biome, it alters all of that stuff.
So rather than like, again,
and coming up with a solution
to fix the problem we're looking for.
And this is why I love that his wife
focuses on the sugar addiction, food
Part of this is that instead of looking
for the Hershey's Kiss or,
you know, gummy bear sugar free gummy
bear, the sweet or the the replacement.
which doesn't change the behavior,
we're actually looking at the cause like,
why are your lifestyle habits this way
and why has your body responded
in a way to then be blood sugar, insulin
resistant blood sugar elevation
leading to prediabetes, diabetes,
and then a whole host of other things
that come along with that?
And maybe could we actually make
some inroads and start breaking
those cycles rather than finding
some of the replacement foods?
Like most of the diabetics that I know,
I have several in my family, close friends
and in my network.
There's a lot of talk and almost obsession
to make things like baked goods
or find the candies and things like that.
That kind of check the right boxes,
the Molotovs, the Yeah,
yeah, the sugar, alcohol, family,
all of like, what ingredient can I swap?
Can I make sure.
Yeah. Pancake bake with this instead.
And then if you've ever used almond flour,
you go, well, that's not a 1 to 1 ratio.
Never mind that almond flour
is still carbohydrate heavy, but oh man.
And some of the sirups like, okay,
so yeah, and then I'm making these,
for pancakes or waffles or whatever.
And then I have like the sugar free sirup,
which tastes like to my brain,
like, the sweetest thing I've ever
I can never even imagine.
But at the same time, it's zero sugars
or it's it's 40 grams of sugar
alcohols or whatever.
It's crazy stuff
that that starts to come in.
Like I would much rather
we see much, much better results
as we start to work
on the actual mindset of, you know,
what a good food looks like,
what does nutritious food look like?
How do we actually control
blood sugar swings
and then allow a little bit of room
as we start to make progress
and we start to get the weight off
and things like that,
make a little bit of room
for some of those things
that we really want
without trying to fit everything in.
So this study, their low carb definition,
was less 130 grams of carbohydrates.
That's not bad. That's doable.
That's incredibly doable, is sustainable
without being long term demotivating,
which is one of the problems
for most of the diabetics that I know
is you start to get things under control,
but you got all these swaps and fake foods
and things like that.
And it feels like I just don't know
how long I can actually do this for.
I feel like I'm walking a tightrope here,
Yeah. 130 grams, though. Mm.
Like we're not talking very low carb.
Yeah, but one piece of bread has 14
That's ten pieces of bread.
Like we're thinking about this
a little bit wrong.
Yeah. This and again, those results.
Tommy Rue without fasting, without time
without time restricted eating,
allowing insulin to come down.
So if you go Google a diabetes friendly
grocery list, I mean,
we're still talking,
you know, 6 to 8 servings of grains a day.
So that'd be ten.
What I said, ten pieces of bread
now would be 6 to 8 pieces of bread.
So I mean, let's just,
I don't know, reduce that by two.
This big overhaul doesn't necessarily
need to take place.
That feeds into the dieting mindset
and that d motivation of,
I guess I'm just stuck with this forever
or I'm never going to be able
to enjoy that X, Y, or Z thing again.
I mean, that's a great point
because if I plan for like,
Hey, I'd like to eat a sandwich,
you know, every day for lunch,
you know, that's okay.
And it doesn't have to be fake bread.
It doesn't have to be
highly engineered bread either.
At the same time, if I find ways to like,
quote unquote sneak in that bread, like
get the fake bread
and it's less net carbs, you know, it's
not really fake great, but it's just more
engineered, more processed.
And then so I can fit
in a few more of those slices.
But then I also do the same thing with
maybe my maybe a cereal or a cereal bar
or some yogurt that's in the fridge or,
you know, something else where it's like,
I have more and more
and more of these carbohydrates coming in.
But every single one of them is a way
that I can bring in
more than the more natural source of it.
And then now I'm chasing after these A,
blood sugar swings, B, cravings,
and then C, eating opportunities
that remind me and that just drive
those cravings towards these things
more and more times during the day.
I'd be much better off
having a real sandwich
with some real bread that I like
and some real for the day of life. Yes.
And just not thinking
about my next opportunity
to have one of these fake baked goods
because I need the sugar hit,
because I've just been stoking fire
this whole time.
So a couple of really cool things
that this study adds
to the current research that's out there.
We know sugary and starchy foods
worsen blood glucose.
So a low carb diet is a logical first
First advice on ongoing guidance
excuse me, on a low carb diet in primary
care can achieve improved
diabetic control for 97% of those
interested in the approach.
This was sustained for 33 months.
That's the longest sustaining we've seen.
Habits take a while to build.
We're not all motivated,
when it comes to our relationship
So those patients who started younger and
lower agency were far more likely, right?
This is the course
one those in non remission.
The mitigation group received
unexpectedly greater clinically important
improvements in diabetic control.
Wow. Like, okay,
maybe you're the 20 year group,
then you're not going to be able to gain
remission in 33 months.
You're going to have an incredibly better
quality of life and less medications
That's for damn sure. Yeah.
Never mind the start of.
Yeah, of the disease
actually turning into the death sentence.
And then some things that they takeaways
on how they're hoping this will impact
is 77% of those adopting a low carb
approach in the first year of their type
to achieve remission.
So this is this is window of opportunity
conversation that we can have.
And, you know, people that have long term,
will absolutely benefit
by reducing sugar and starchy vegetables.
So we usually recommend about 20%
carbohydrate like a 40, 40, 20 split.
And that's in our our blueprint
to fasting for fat loss as well.
And the idea here is when you reduce
carbohydrate intake, you're
reducing the circulating insulin,
you're reducing the liver fat,
you're reducing the pancreas fat,
you're losing weight,
you reduce your insulin resistance,
you increase your insulin secretion
with less fat in the pancreas,
and then ultimately you reverse your type
So big picture here, Tom, it was this idea
from this, the candy study where,
you know, a a 30% excuse me, a three week
carbohydrate binge or overfeeding
resulted in a ten fold greater
relative change in liver fat
and only a 2% change in body weight. Wow.
So there are other benefits here
if that scale is not moving,
which all the groups
except the non achieved group
had some form of weight loss,
some more than others.
it's interesting that you bring that up
because we hear it all the time.
It's still kind of a a relic saying
sometimes but I still hear it
which is that you eat, makes you fat
and you know,
like fat is calorically dense.
So, you know, it can be like oils
can sneak into our foods and, you know,
higher caloric density,
especially when our carbohydrates are
higher, we get into the more processed
or fast foods those can be.
This can be really tough
as far as as far as fat sources go,
when we're looking at liver health
and the fatty ness of our liver, it's
actually certain types of sugar
that actually drives that fat penis,
which is really important to understand
because like you said, even if you're not
seeing the scale moving, you can be
decreasing or unfortunately increasing
the actual overall sadness of your liver
based on your carbohydrate intake.
And so then it makes perfect sense to me
why this husband and wife team,
she's on the food addiction side.
One one line that stuck out to me
in the study was we noticed a few years
in a possible behavioral factor
causing our patients to regain weight.
It was food addiction.
So in response, we supported people
to identify and completely
avoid their trigger foods,
which I think is really interesting
and is the exact opposite of what I see
in a lot of the diabetic books
and diabetic cookbooks and materials
and things like that,
which are finding ways to have
those trigger foods more of the time
because they're like meeting
the macronutrient check box,
they're checking the box,
they fit the point system.
Yes, the points are the net carbs
or whatever it might be.
But in fact, I'm
basically triggering that same behavior,
that same dopamine hit, that same craving,
and I'm able to do it more.
That's that's not helping me with that
relationship with that particular food.
It's actually probably worsening it
or deepening that dysfunction.
And that was something
they noticed throughout the study,
too, is because they had all these nurse
practitioners and providers
in the clinics.
Adding support is when they notice
that the numbers are go up.
They found this card creep, right?
Yes, it was. This carb creep
snuck back in. Right.
And all it
typically took was a phone call.
So I love the system
that's baked in here with Dr.
Jen in her in her research
is, you know, agreed upon goals.
So we talk about having a doctor
that's in your corner,
having a support system
that's in your corner.
And then what are your resources
and what's your mindset?
Where are you at?
Are you ready to go gung ho?
Do you need to ease into it?
But setting some relevant goals
and then putting the steps in place
and then agreeing on those next small
and then reflecting on what's working
and then notice those changes.
Because if you don't notice the changes,
then you're less likely to feel motivated
to continue. Right?
So we talk about taking an action,
getting a result and getting motivated,
not getting motivated, getting a result,
and then continuing to take action.
So the empowering thing here that I
that I want everybody, as we wrap up to
have as a takeaway is everybody's
journey is a little bit different.
But those core pieces,
you know, you're trying to lose weight.
You want to see the needle move,
you want your cravings to get better,
you want to feel motivated,
then a low carb approach, or in our case,
I mean, they used 130 grams,
but in our case, a 20% means
you can still have the foods you like.
We're not talking about the trigger foods.
We're talking about foods that you enjoy.
So for me, it would be a piece of my
wife's homemade sour dough.
It would be a half a cup of jasmine rice
when we have our chicken stir fry, right.
Those types of things where you don't feel
like you're just on this long
term demotivating kind of heavy.
Oh, I don't think
I'm ever going to get there type approach.
We need to shift our mindset that this is
absolutely one preventable to reversible.
it's not going to take this massive amount
of activation energy to get there.
Man, I love that.
You know, for me it was always like,
I can't imagine this hamburger and fries
while cheeseburger and fries
like being buttonless and no fries,
But at the same time,
when you have something
that's more sustainable,
what that can look like
is taking away the bun,
which doesn't really add to my experience
It just makes me feel like trash
But leaving some of the fries, me,
you know, having a few less.
But I can still enjoy those fries,
which was much more enjoyable
for me than the bun.
But when I used to think about it
as was more of an on off switch,
I didn't really see that
as like a potential solution
in that, you know, in that situation
because it's a meal that I enjoy
and I wouldn't want to just,
you know, like not ever have that.
And so if you see yourself,
if you think in the long term diet
mentality or the longer term diabetes
mentality, where you go, okay, well, but
what about that group that you mentioned
that was like 20% or 21%?
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