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Ketogenic Rule #7: Abs are Made in the Kitchen – Not the Gym

Abs female Abs made in kitchen

“Doc, how do I get six-pack abs?”

I get this question almost daily. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is NO exercise program that will give you “six-pack” abs.

Really.  You can do sit-ups, leg lifts and crunches ’till the cows come home and it will do nothing other than give you abdominal cramps.  It will also make you hungry.  I don’t care what Men’s Fitness, Bodybuilding.com, Muscle Magazine, Shape or even Doctor Oz said. There are no “6 Best Exercises for Ripped Abs.”  There is only one exercise . . . throwing the carbs in the trash (or giving them to the neighbor you don’t like.)

The “12 Step Ab Program” really only has ONE STEP . . . cut the carbs.  Let me repeat that.  There is only ONE STEP to “six-pack abs,” . . . cut the carbs.  Cardiovascular exercise does nothing for amazingly toned abdominal muscles, other than make you hungry.   Resistance exercise improves insulin resistance, but doesn’t build the abs.  Avoiding the milk, rice, wheat, oatmeal and fruit allows the abs to appear.  Yes, I’m serious.  What do bears eat? Berries.

When did you last see the a bear with “six-pack abs?”

The only way to see your “six-pack” is to remove the fat covering your “six-pack.”  The only way to get rid of fat covering your “six-pack” is to stop drinking it and lower the carbohydrate content to less than 20 grams per day.  Seriously . . .

So you’ve done 100 crunches a day for six months?  Do you see your “six-pack” now?  Exactly.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Follow the principles outlined in my past articles like The Principle Based Ketogenic Lifestyle . . . Part I & Ketogenic Principles . . . Part II and make sure you are avoiding Common Ketosis Killers.

KetoOS – Drinkable Exogenous Ketones

Staying in ketosis and adding 2-3 days of resistance training will melt 2-5 lbs of abdominal fat away each month.   Yes, I know it is slow . . . but that is weight (fat) that will stay off.  Use whole foods high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrate.  Use supplements like Keto//OS & Adapt bars to help when you don’t have access to a good meal or as a snack when you are hungry.  Look at the list of Low Carb Links above to get great ideas for meal preparation and sweeteners that you can use.


Adapt Your Life



Paradoxical Effect of Fire & Fat (Ketogenic Rule #4): Why it only takes one match to start a forest fire, but the whole box to start a campfire


Start a fire with one match is like Ketosis

It’s been cold this winter and as I was lighting a fire in the fireplace, a thought crossed my mind.

Why is it that only one match seems to start a forest fire, but it takes the whole box to start a campfire? 

So, thinking back to my Boy Scout days, I began walking through the process of what it takes to get a good warm fire going.  As a Boy Scout while camping in the snow, we used to have contests to see who could, using a single match, start the fastest camp fire.  (We would use our most “MacGyver-like” skills). It occurred to me that the same timeless principles that allow one to ignite a fire with a single match are the same principles necessary for “fat burning.”

Maintaining ketosis is much like starting a campfire.  There are some basic principles you need to understand.  First, too much fuel keeps the fire from starting and too much carbohydrate or too much protein keeps the body from shifting into ketosis.  Starting a campfire with a single match requires very fine thin strands of tinder to get started.  If the peices are too big, the fire is smothered and cannot get started. It is the same with ketosis.  Too much carbohydrate or protein smothers ketosis.  You can get a copy of my ketogenic diet through registration on my membership site, by seeing me a patient face to face in the office or through a Tele-Medicine visit.

Tinder wood fire

Second, oxygen is essential.  For a fire to start, the flame needs a very small piece of fuel (wood or dryer lint) and large amounts of oxygen to burn. In ketosis, you have to provide the fat.  If you’ve removed the carbohydrates and moderated the protein, but not provided enough fat to ignite the ketones, the body thinks it is starving, produces stress and shifts into making it’s own form of glucose for fuel through the process of glyconeogenesis (see my articles on why chicken salad makes you fat, and why your oatmeal is killing your libido).

blow on the tinder

Third, campfires often don’t have enough heat to get started. You have to get the temperature up before the wood can catch fire. This can be done in the camp fire by making a “cabin” the tinder can sit on and then building the “cabin” around the tinder as the fire builds and the heat increases. The increased heat and oxygen from under the tinder allows the larger pieces of wood to ignite and stay lit.  In a ketogenic diet, the use of real food is similar to the cabin.  Providing real food sources, instead of processed shakes and bars, allows for all the natural vitamins and minerals to let the ketosis start and ramp the metabolism up.  Providing the correct vitamins also allows for the metabolism to have the ability to ramp up ketosis.  I designed the KetoEnhance Vitamin specifically for this reason.

log cabin firestart

So, there you have it, the Paradoxical Effect of Fire and of Fat.

  1. Don’t use too much fuel: Start with tinder for the fire – Limit the carbohydrates and moderate your protein (see how to balance protein here) to get into ketosis
  2. Provide for increased oxygen for a fire – Provide adequate fat for ketosis
  3. Provide a setting where the heat can build for a fire – Provide real food and appropriate vitamin sources for optimized metabolism in a ketogenic lifestyle.
KetoOS – Drinkable Exogenous Ketones

You can see today’s Periscope discussion on this topic below:

What Are Your Biggest Weight Loss Struggles?

Join Dr. Nally on this evening’s Periscope as we talk about your biggest weight loss struggles in rapid fire style.  We cover topics this evening from the effects of cheating on a ketogenic diet to how to overcome a weight loss stall . . . join us to hear the whole conversation.

Thinking Outside of the Box

Nine dots

The image above has nine dots within a square.  Your task, using only four lines is to connect ALL nine dots WITHOUT ever raising your pen, pencil or finger (Please don’t use a sharpie on your computer screen . . . it doesn’t come off).

You may have seen this puzzle previously . . . it’s made its rounds in corporate training circles. But the underlying principle remains true.  The solution requires you to expand your thinking or to “think outside the box.”out-of-the-box

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. (Mark Twain)

Why should we limit ourselves to thinking outside the box.  Can’t we just get rid of the box?

True discovery consists in seeing what everyone has seen . . . then, thinking what no one has thought.

The answer can be found when those four lines are used beyond the box our mind creates:

Nine dots solution

What good has the box done us?  People were burned at the stake because they refused to believe the Earth was not the center of the universe. People were beheaded because they had a sneaking suspicion that the world was not flat.

Why is it so very hard to accept that our weight gain and diabetes are driven by a hormonal signal, and not by gluttony or caloric intake of fat?  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repetitively and expecting a different outcome.  How long have you been restricting calories and fat with only minimal or no improvement in your weight, blood sugar, cholesterol or general feeling of health?diabetes global warming

The main problem with the current thought model, or dogma, on the obesity’s cause is that it does not account for metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance.  It is an over production of insulin in the presence of ANY form of carbohydrate (sugar or starch).

In the practice of medicine over the last 15 years, I noticed that a very interesting pattern emerged.  There was always a spike in fasting and postprandial insulin levels 5-10 years prior to the first abnormal fasting and postprandial blood sugars.  These patients were exercising regularly and eating a diet low in fat.  But they saw continued weight gain and progressed down the path of metabolic syndrome.  10-15 years later, they fall into the classification of type II diabetes.  What I now lovingly refer to as stage IV insulin resistance.

The only thing that seems to halt this progressive process with any degree of success is carbohydrate restriction.  Fasting insulin levels return to normal, weight falls off, and the diseases of civilizations seem to disappear as insidiously as they arose.

So you tell me, is the world flat?  Is the Earth the center of the universe?

Low-carb is bad

What is a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet?  15 years of practical in the trenches experience have helped me develop a very simple program to help you lose and maintain your weight.  Access to this program, video help and access to blog articles at your fingertips are offered through my online membership site.

You can also hear me each week a I discuss low carbohydrate, paleolithic and ketogenic diets with the Legendary Jimmy Moore on KetoTalk.com

Does Jung & Myers-Briggs Typology Effect Obesity?

Sitting around the dinner table this evening we began discussing personality types.  As a fun exercise, we each took the Jung Typology Test based on Jung and Myers-Briggs findings about personality.   If you haven’t taken this personality test, you might find it quite interesting and the topic of hours of conversation around the dinner table  . . . as we did this evening. The test is free on-line and takes about 10 minutes.

Carl Gustav Jung – Swiss Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist

The actual Myers-Briggs Type Indicator costs about $50.00 and includes an interpretation by someone trained in giving the test. It differs slightly in its questions and the way the testing is interpreted.

Both tests provide an interesting insight into your individual psychological preferences regarding four categories.  According to Carl G. Jung’s theory of psychological types published in 1971, people can be characterized, first, by their preference or general attitude about the source of and how they express their energy:

  • Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I)

The second preference is one of the two functions of perception, or related to how they perceive information coming from either the external or internal world:

  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)

and the third preference relates to how one processes the information that they have received, acting as one of the two functions of thought or judgement:

  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

Isabel Briggs Myers, a researcher and practitioner of Jung’s theory, proposed that the fourth preference related to how one applies or implements the information that he or she processed above.  She proposed a judging-perceiving relationship as the fourth dichotomy influencing personality type in 1980:

  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)

Each of these dichotomies represents an opposite pole of preference and each of us have a dominant pole toward which we gravitate.

Based upon your dominant traits, a personality type index is assigned.


Kim and Lee studied these personality preferences and how they relate to diet, health and propensity toward obesity.  Their findings were interesting in that expression, perception and judgement did not seem to have any bearing on  health or obesity. However, the application of judgement vs perception did play a role in health. Judging (J) means that a person organizes all of his or her life events and, as a rule, sticks to those plans. Perceiving (P) means that he or she is inclined to improvise and explore alternative options.

Significantly better dietary and health behaviors were identified in those preferring Judging (J) versus those preferring Perceiving (P) traits.  Those preferring the Judging (J) behaviors included eating breakfast, regularly eating three meals a day, smoking less, exercising more and having a lower tendency to nocturnal eating.

The findings show that the use of  Jung Type or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator may be helpful in identifying and index those with a Perceiving (P) trait that would benefit from dietary and exercise education, nutritional counseling and/or behavior modification programs.

It has been my experience that those with a “P” type dichotomy preference would benefit greatly from daily food planning and journaling.

So, what is your Jung/Myers-Briggs type?

Just for fun, and because my kids were very curious about what each personality type would appear as in character, I’ve included the Jung/Myers-Briggs Disney typing.

I’m an ENFJ, just in case you’re curious.

Disney Character Personality Types


  1. Jung, C. G. (1971). Psychological types (Collected works of C. G. Jung, volume 6, Chapter X)
  2. Briggs Myers, I. (1980, 1995) Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
  3. Kim BS, Lee YE. College Students’ Dietary and Health Behaviors related to Their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Personality Preferences. Korean J Community Nutr. 2002 Feb;7(1):32-44. Korean.