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LA Lakers ‘Flip The Pyramid’ and Go Low Carb

Published on June 24, 2013,

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting article about the LA Lakers basketball team and how they have been put onto a low carb, low sugar, high fat diet. Stars like Kobe Bryant are crediting the new diet with improved performance and steadier energy levels…

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers scores 8...

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers scores 81 points against visiting Toronto Raptors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last summer, Gary Vitti put the Los Angeles Lakers on a diet. Not just any diet but one based on the theories of Dr. Cate Shanahan, a Napa-based advocate of low-carb and, more important, low-sugar and high-fat eating (as long as the fats are the right ones). The program is similar to the popular Paleo Diet, preferring meat from pastured rather than grain-fed animals and avoiding carbohydrates and processed foods.

The reaction has generally been good, Vitti says, but it took a little while. “It wasn’t an easy sell,” Vitti says, but he had a powerful advocate. “Kobe [Bryant, the star guard] was really on board right away because, as he’s getting older, he knows he needs an edge and that nutrition can be one of them. Since he’s adopted it, he says he feels remarkably better.”

Bryant has credited the diet of lean meat and vegetables, and avoiding carbohydrates, especially sugar, with his remarkable late-career resurgence last year.

Other players were a little tougher to persuade. When Vitti and his team, including strength and conditioning coach Tim DeFrancesco, who is in charge of implementing the program, analyzed the diet of center Dwight Howard, they were amazed. “He was eating the equivalent of something like 23 Hershey bars a day,” Vitti says. “A lot of that was fruit, which is supposed to be good, but besides the vitamin C he was getting, there was a lot of sugar. He’d have a lot of energy, then get these insulin spikes and crash really quick.”

Since Howard adopted the diet, Vitti says, his energy levels have remained much more stable.

During the season, the Lakers feed the players twice a day, with a chef trained in Shanahan’s theories. The doctor also Skypes with the staff and the players’ wives and personal chefs. Breakfast usually consists of an omelet station and a buffet with things like whole wheat pancakes and oatmeal. Lunch includes a pasta station and a buffet with two kinds of meat and lots of green leafy vegetables.

“We’ve turned the whole [dietary] pyramid upside down, that’s what we’ve done,” says Vitti. “I went 25 years without having whole milk or a stick of butter in my refrigerator. I didn’t eat bacon. No fatty meat. We’ve flipped that upside down. Now 50% to 60% of our calories are coming from fat. It’s the source of the fats that’s important.”

More at:  Gary Vitti’s low-carb diet for the Lakers

See more from Dr Cate Shanahan here

Video: Making Fat or ‘Bulletproof’ Coffee For Breakfast

Published on April 15, 2013,

In a recent post (link below) we covered how the Diet Doctor had incorporated drinking ‘fat coffee’ to help him reach optimal ketosis during a two month experiment in which he lost considerable weight despite already being in good shape from a generally low carb diet. The Diet Doctor explained how, to stay in optimal ketosis, he had to consume much more fat than normal and cut down his protein. The formula was high fat, modest protein, very low carbs. The idea of ‘fat’ or ‘bulletproof’ coffee seems to have been pionered by Dave Asprey (below) but first this is a great video from CavemanKlaus showing how to make it yourself…

The recipe is basically good coffee, good unsalted butter and good coconut oil (or MCT oil)

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Here are some alternatives from Dave Asprey himself…

Part 1…

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Part 2…

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Here’s a link to the recipe on Dave Asprey’s site

Success story: 8 Months Paleo – Robert Lost 70 Pounds At 60 Years Young

Published on December 13, 2012,

Robb Wolf has posted an inspiring new testimonial on his blog from a fan and reader called Robert who, aged 60, has lost 70lbs after eight months on a low carb paleo diet after failing to lose weight previously despite lots of exercise and attempts at dieting. His wife has lost 27lbs too and both have experienced health benefits…

My son is a Cross fit type, and we were traveling across the state to a job one weekend.  I had not really seen him for months (I am 60 and he is 35), and had a great conversation where he told me about the Paleo diet, and played several pod casts from Robb Wolf’s site.  By the time I returned to the house I was sold on trying this plan.  My wife and I were walking from 6 to 9 miles every morning.  We hiked, kayaked, mtn biked, but could not seem to lose any weight.  She had tried Weight Watchers to no avail because her calorie intake was always considerably below what they thought she should have to lose weight.  Eating more just seemed stupid.  And even with all the exercise, I had reached a scary 278 lbs and was having to take blood pressure medication.  She was not truly heavy, but hoped for 10 lbs or so to make her clothes fit more comfortably.

I read all the Robb Wolf stuff I could find, and then listened to Gary Taubes lectures before attacking everything Ernie Garcia had posted on Paleolithicmd.com.  It just made sense that 100 calories of broccoli would not behave the same way in one’s system as 100 calories of Cheetos.  So about May 5th we started the 30 day Paleo challenge.  No cheating at all on either of our parts for 30 days.  My loss was 16 pounds in that time and hers about 8lbs.

We have been Paleo now for about 8 months. If we are at someone’s home, we eat what is served, but otherwise allow ourselves a slice of pizza every two weeks or so.  We figure 95% or so strict paleo, mostly cooking our own meals.  We have continued our exercising, but credit our dietary changes for our astounding physical changes.  The first things we noticed were a lack of pain in her lower back, and no swellings in my hands from arthritis!  First time her back was pain free in over two years.  The weight started to drop off, and even when it would plateau for a couple of weeks we noticed our belt sizes changing.  My wife has lost about 27 pounds.  She sleeps much better, and feels great in her clothes.   She did not start out heavy, but is now wearing hip hugger jeans and a belt left over from college.  Remember we are both 60!  I have lost 70 lbs so far.  My waist has decreased from 50” to 40” and people do not recognize me when they see me.

One of the biggest challenges has been keeping up with business clothing that fits.  My wife will look at a shirt, frown and put it on the give away pile.  I have to keep buying jackets.  I have made do with a skeleton wardrobe till some of this permanently stabilizes.  My cholesterol fell 30 points in 6 months, most of the blood pressure meds have been discontinued by the doctor, and we both have more energy than ever before.

More at:  8 Months Paleo: Robert Lost 70 Pounds At 60 Years Young

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