5 Secrets of successful keto adaptation

What have I learned in 3 years?

Three years ago I began coaching clients in how to adapt to a keto | Banting | low-carbohydrate, healthy-fat lifestyle. This after I changed my own life in 2012 , losing weight and centimeters and getting off anti-depressant medication.

Some people have achieved positive life enhancing results during their 90 day course with myself and the Real Meal Revolution online platform. Others have not, and sadly have taken steps back to their former habits and self-defeating lifestyle rituals.

What are some of the foundational elements that successful people have embraced?

5 Success tips from the real achievers

They know what they are consuming

Top achievers are diligent with tracking everything that they eat and drink on the Real Meal Revolution meal tracker. This is about taking back the power. It’s about being painfully honest about your relationship with food. We know that living an awesome life is about addressing the social, movement, sleep , relaxation and enjoyment factors of life and that diet is not everything. But it is the backbone to awesome health I believe.

They weigh and measure themselves regularly

Having a weekly hop onto the scale first thing in the morning after sitting on the toilet, and measuring the abdomen across the belly button, lets us know how your body is responding to being deprived of the glucose energy that comes from consuming carbohydrates and sugar. A wise habit is to measure other parts of the body as well, such as the wrist, upper arm, bust, hips and upper thighs. Sometimes the scale will not show a change but a drop in centimeters around the abdomen or elsewhere on the body tells us that changes are happening. This is very motivating.

Using the scale and the tape measure gives important information about the effects that your food choices are having on your body. If weight loss stalls after a weekend, it could be due to that extra meal you had. Or did you have more protein than usual at that barbecue? If weight loss speeds up is it because you are skipping meals sometimes because of not being hungry? (Tip: This could be a good time to introduce intermittent fasting as a weight loss hack.)

They get stuck into keto theory

Successful keto adaptors embrace the learning side by listening to podcasts, watching YouTube teachings and reading books and articles by the thought leaders in this food revolution. They own their knowledge so that if they are challenged by someone who declares that “all that fat is going to give you high cholesterol and you will have a heart attack”, they will already understand how Professor Tim Noakes puts this into perspective in his powerful talk, The Dietary Lies around Heart Disease, and are able to sensibly defend their choices.

They do the difficult bits

No one is pretending that this process is easy and without challenges. Far from it. The successful people bravely face up to what they need to do in order to rescue their health and have a better life going forwards. Things like going without alcohol for a period, in somes cases forever. Or abandoning snacking habits. They have an unshakeable belief that the pain will be worth it.

They learn how handle social settings

Social pressure in my opinion, is the biggest hurdle to overcome when changing from eating processed, high carbohydrate-based foods that are ubiquitous in Western culture. Without limiting social events that are essential to our well-being as humans, successful people develop strategies to use when they are going to be eating and drinking away from home. They plan ahead knowing the difference and drawbacks between a floating canape reception, a bring-and-share get together with friends, a formal sit down event or a family meal where desert is the norm. They always know what they are in for and are prepared and know that they will excuse themselves from some of what is offered, by using kind words.

Clinical proof that the keto diet is protecting me against inflammation

Ketogenic weight loss

I discovered low carbohydrate, healthy fat ketogenic weight loss in 2012 when at the age of 58 my waist line started to get fatter and I inexplicably picked up weight, even though I believed that I was making good food choices. At the time I was exercising regularly.

After about 15 weeks I had shed 8 kilograms, slimmed down by 22 centimeters overall, and my body fat had decreased by 10 % according to a skin fold test conducted by my biokineticist. As I learned more about carbohydrate restriction and also began to practice intemittent fasting, I lost a further 2 kilograms and centimeters.

Ketogenic weight loss is sustainable

That was 7 years ago and my weight and waist measurement are constant. My mood is upbeat and stable, I have heaps of energy, sleep well, and no longer need to use anti-depressants nor anti-anxiety medication.

Healthy blood readings and protection from inflammatory diseases

As clinical proof that the low carbohydrate, healthy fat keto lifestyle is healthy, I have my results from fasting blood tests on 7 November 2019

My result is 4.2 mmol/l
Normal result should be between 3.5 – 5.5 mmol/L
CRP ULTRASESITIVE screening for risk factors for cardiovascular disease
My result is 0.26
The low risk range is < 1mg/L
P-HOMOCYSTEINE screening for risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots
My result is 13.8
Normal range is between 5.0 – 20.0 umol/L
My result is 3.2
Normal result should be between 2.1 – 10.4 mIU/L

FREE 30 minute weight loss coaching session

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Alcohol: How much is too much?

How much alcohol is too much for low carb, healthy fat, keto lifestyle?

“With Christmas soon upon us and the swing of festive parties and celebrations underway, champagne corks will be a-popping and cocktail shakers to the ready. I, like many, really do love a glass or two, especially at times of celebration, but I’m so often asked for guidance about how much is too much?”

Amelia Freer,Registered Nutritional Therapist FdSc, Dip ION

Amelia further goes on to say that there has been a long-held belief amongst the medical community that a little bit of alcohol does us good. this comes from studies that seem to show that all causes of death (but particularly heart disease) are higher in people who completely abstained from alcohol, than was in people that drank moderately (a couple or so units a day). (Corraeo et al., 2004)

She does however, point out that alcohol consumption has been linked to a huge number of problems. It is after all, a psycho-active substance that can sadly lead to significant problems with addiction and dependency. It has also been linked to over 200 disease and injury conditions.

Continue reading “Alcohol: How much is too much?”

Is low-carb an expensive and elitist lifestyle?

Gold bar on a plate with knife and fork

One of the greatest beliefs around is that “Low-Carb is Expensive”

– Jonno Proudfoot

There is a common misconception that academics and scientists are the only people whose opinions count in a any argument. When I dipped my toe into the academic community I was appalled by how much arguing happens over scientific papers instead of looking at what is right in front of them. There are many debates about nutrition that can be won on pure personal experience, and often, as little as plain old common sense.

One of the greatest beliefs around low-carb is that ‘Low-Carb is EXPENSIVE’

Suzanne Garrett, one of our own Facebook followers, testified to this by her own admission when she commented on our post with the following:

‘Agree with these comments, heard them all. But it is expensive to buy pastured/wild caught/organic/minimally processed. No getting around that fact – it’s a matter of degrees of expensive and how to economize by buying seasonally and in bulk. Still very expensive’

I have to agree with Suzanne. Pasture-reared, wild-caught and minimally processed food is generally more expensive.

Low-carb, by definition says nothing about pasture-reared or wild-caught. Sure, all nutrition experts (hopefully even those who are not pro-low-carb), would advocate pasture reared meat and organic produce for optimal health. But in the history of Real Meal Revolution there has only ever been one mention of the quality of ingredients and that was in the first book The Real Meal Revolution. It said something along the lines of “you should aim to eat pasture reared and organic as much as possible.”

We still believe that that is where you should aim. But it is totally unsustainable for almost everyone on earth. Posh meat is expensive. Organic veggies are expensive. Most of these foods are also very hard to get hold of.

Low-Carb doesn’t mean low-carb, super elite, organic, grass-fed or that the ingredients need to have been flown in on the wings of a condor. Quality aside, there are also some tag-along health hacks that have been added to the low-carb ‘must-haves’ that don’t quite line up. Himalayan crystal salt as opposed to normal salt is one that kills me. If we’re trying to save the environment by shortening the distance from pasture-to-plate, using Himalayan crystal salt is like asking Mother Earth to smoke a Texan Plain every time you salt your avocado.

Low-carb also doesn’t mean eating only Real Meal Revolution recipes either. That would be delicious, but that too is unsustainable for every meal of the day, every day of the week. Unless, you’ve got a private chef, in which case I recommend giving it a try.

While the recipes in Real Meal Revolution’s cook books show case a few high-end dinner options, they should not be mistaken for prescriptive dietary advice. The recipes were developed to illustrate how deliciously one could eat on a low-carb diet. If you skip the duck with berry coulis and coconut pancakes it will not negatively effect your journey to awesome weight.

Low-carb means low-carb and nothing else. That means eating very few carbs. End of story. And you can do that without any recipes, without any expensive ingredients and without lots of money.

What is nowhere near as expensive as a private chef or elite produce is simply lowering carbs and sticking to the green list. And that is what low-carb is about. If you can just eat of the green list, you are doing low-carb (hint – low-carb also doesn’t mean ‘high-fat’ but we will save that one for later)

So, Suzanne, we understand and share your concerns in a big way. But you don’t need all that fancy stuff to lower your carbs.

Low-carb is expensive = Myth

Reference: Jonno Proudfoot, app.realmealrevolution.com

Short on sleep with Arianna Huffington

Anyone who regularly sleeps less than six hours has a higher risk of depression, psychosis, stroke and obesity. Sleeplessness undermines your whole body.

In an interview with Susan Goldberg, of the National Geographic Magazine, Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time, has this to say:

You’re known as hard charging. Did you have a moment when you said, I’ve got to change what I’m doing?

Yes , in 2007 when I collapsed from sleep deprivation, exhaustion and burnout. Being a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, I had bought into the delusion that this was the price of success and of managing all aspects of my life.

It was after I collapsed that I started studying this epidemic of burnout. There had been a lot written about the importance of nutrition and exercise, but sleep was still underrated and dismissed. And so I wrote the book.

Will getting enough sleep ever be prioritized in our culture?

It’s importance is becoming more recognized. Of course there are holdouts, people who still brag about how little sleep they get, but they’re increasingly like dinosaurs.

One of the metaphors I like to use is that sleep is like the laundry. You’re not going to take the laundry out 10 minutes early to save time. You have to complete all the cycles in the washing machine. Our sleep cycles have to be completed too: otherwise we wake up and we feel like wet and dirty laundry.


National Geographic magazine, August 2018


Still think it’s okay to not prioritize your sleep?

Arianna Huffington, sleep advocate

“When I get eight hours, I know the difference. I know I’m more effective: I’m a better version of myself.”

– Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, CEO of Thrive Global, and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time

Formally sleep-deprived, Arianna Huffington, was interviewed by the National Geographic magazine in the following Q & A article with Susan Goldberg.

Thanks for sharing your expertise on sleep, the topic of our cover story. Thomas Edison called sleep “an absurdity” and “a bad habit”. Is that idea ingrained in our culture?

I think it is deeply ingrained, but we’re at a moment of transformation. What stops people from prioritizing sleep is the fear that somehow they’re going to miss out. We have so many phrases that confirm that – “You snooze, you lose,” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But now there are role models, people who prioritize sleep and are super effective.

Cook something – Greek Pork Chops

Quantities given are for 2 servings


  • 2 x 250g pork loin chops (skin on)
  • ¹⁄₂ handful fresh oregano (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ handful fresh mint (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ sprig fresh rosemary (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ clove garlic
  • ¹⁄₄ cup olive oil
  • 20 ml lemon juice (zest and juice of 1 lemon)
  • ¹⁄₄ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  1. Turn your oven to the highest temperature, and put it on the grill setting.
  2. Lie the chops down on a cutting board and use your knife (and your body weight) to cut through the fat and rind at 2cm intervals.
  3. Blitz everything else in a small jug with a stick blender and pour over the chops in a small dish, then leave them to marinate for an hour or so.
  4. Get a large ovenproof frying pan up to a medium high heat.
  5. Scrape the chops of any marinade and stack them together to make a reconstructed loin.
  6. Now, hold the ‘loin’ together with your tongs and place it fat side down in the pan to crisp the fat up. This should take about 5 minutes.
  7. Then, spread out the chops and fry them on each side for 4 minutes, turning them only once.
  8. To finish them off, pour the leftover marinade over them and pop them under the grill for another 3 or 4 minutes.



Cook something – Brandy and Peppercorn Sauce

Cook’s comments:

This recipe is best when it’s made in the same pan you grilled a steak in. The brandy picks up all the burnt bits of meat and seasoning, which adds awesome depth. If you back yourself to do it, use the same pan while your meat rests.

Quantities given are for 250 ml sauce.


  • 4 tbsp madagascan green peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¹⁄₂ medium red onion (super-finely chopped)
  • 1¹⁄₂ tsp dijon mustard
  • 80 ml brandy
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 handful fresh chives (finely chopped, optional)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper


  1. First, crush half the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, or chop them finely with a knife.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat and add the peppercorns (whole and chopped) and the red onion, and sauté them gently until the onions begin to caramelise.
  3. Add the mustard and stir it around until it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Now throw in the brandy and light it with a lighter to burn off the alcohol. If that scares you, just boil it until it has reduced by two-thirds. It’ll give you the same end result – but, of course, flambéing looks cooler.
  5. Add the cream, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  6. As your last move before serving, season it with salt and pepper and stir through the fresh chives.



Cook something – Classic Slaw

These quantities are for four servings.


  • ¹⁄₄ head white cabbage (shredded)
  • ¹⁄₄ medium head red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 medium carrot (peeled and grated)
  • ¹⁄₄ medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • ¹⁄₂ cup sour cream
  • 250 ml Banting mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper


  1. Make the dressing first by whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl
  2. In another bowl mix the cabbages, carrot and red onion.
  3. Pour the dressing and a liberally seasoning of salt and pepper over the veg and get your hands in there to give it a proper mix.
  4. Leave it in the fridge for about an hour to infuse before serving.