Interview With Dr. Berg On Weight Loss, Keto And Hormones
Weight Loss, Keto And Hormones are 3 of the most asked for topics for women trying to improve their health and well being, get answers to some of your biggest questions here!
Speaking with the very knowledgeable Dr. Berg about the ketogenic diet and it’s uses and modifications to maximize weight loss and health benefits in people with adrenal issues, thyroid disfunction and menopause.
A must watch if you are a woman who can not lose weight due to hormonal issues, or if you do not know what hormonal issues look like.
Lot’s of helpful insights and tips!
Scroll down for interview’s transcript!
- Hormones and body shapes
- Estrogen and Thyroid
- Autoimmune diseases and adrenal connection
- Insulin and adrenal connection
- Ketogenic diet and endocrine support
- Intermittent fasting and adrenal fatigue
- The secret of weight loss!
Dr Berg’s website
Dr Berg’s ice cream
Subscribe to my Youtube channel
Vivica: [00:00:01] Good afternoon everybody does this Vivica from the Nourished caveman and Healing Foods Method and I am super excited today to bring you a very special interview we have Dr. Berg with you. With us here today. And dad I will tell you a funny story later on how I first knew about Dr. Berg but in the time since I have investigated Dr. Berg YouTube channel which is amazing and you guys should totally check it out and there is such a wealth of information. And they realize that Dr. Berg Not only is like an encyclopedia of nutrition which I love, but it has views that are very aligned with my views and you know that I have kind of a very definite angle on how I see Ketogenic diet and nutrition. So whenever I find somebody who is very successful and you know is also I have you know I align views with myself I get excited and then I want to pick their brains and bring him, and you know just share their wealth of knowledge with you.
Vivica: [00:01:16] Welcome Dr. Berg. It’s such a pleasure to have you.
Dr Berg: [00:01:20] Oh thanks for having me on absolutely.
Vivica: [00:01:23] So today I would like to pick your brain about a subject that’s very dear to myself and most of my clients and my patients especially, because a lot of people experience this, most people do! It’s about menopause. And thyroid and Keto diets and maybe with a little spin on weight loss. You have no idea how many people come to me with these issues and questions. And you also share the background of ketogenic diet with me which is awesome. So I would like to just go free and maybe will intervene with some questions. But yeah let’s hear your knowledge and how do you work with such patients that come to you with those problems.
Dr Berg: [00:02:11] Well let’s first talk about the thyroid. I was in practice for 29 years. And since then probably about a year ago I basically kind of focus more on just educating people understand the body so I don’t I don’t have my practice anymore. I did it for 29 years now I spend all my time creating you tube videos educating people about their bodies. That’s just more my interest if I am in my practice all day long I will see like 10 people but I know am able to connect with a lot of people. But let’s start with the thyroid. When I first got into the thyroid and different body types I was probably in 2001 when I was looking around or practicing medicine like why some people have a certain shape versus other people of a different shape. And then other people lost weight really fast. Other people took longer and I just started asking questions and I found a book is the medical book called by Frank Nedder Encyclopedia of Endocrinology. And I open this book and I’m like why is this it have the pictures of these different body shapes, I’m like this is interesting is different than a whole body shapes that everyone else talks about endomorph, ectomorph, this has to do if your glands aren’t working you can store or hold your fat. With the thyroid the person really gains weight all over evenly. The adrenals body type will hold weight in the stomach, sagging belly and then you have the ovary type which is very common in women and it has the hips and the saddlebags and more of the thighs and the hips. You don’t see men that shape. Right. So it’s not like a pearshape that’s an ovary. That’s the ovary pumping out too much estrogen. And then the liver type, you see this man where you see the guy, see a guy with the pot belly with a Speedo, don’t ask me why we’re seeing this pot belly and actually liver that’s fluid leaking to the liver and it’s all fluid and he thinks his sit ups is not working. The thyroid, obviously from working with some people it’s very rare to have a. Primary thyroid. It usually comes from other other sources for example you probably know women who all of the sudden develop a thyroid problem right after they have a baby. For example when you get pregnant. That’s because the high level of estrogen. The estrogen blocks the thyroid. So what they have to do is have to fix the excess estrogen it’s called estrogen dominance. So that will be one cause or maybe the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy or it is exposed to the environmental estrogen and the chemicals and also the soy in the food,that can do it I mean there’s too men patients that I had over the years that were drinking so much soy milk and soy triggers estrogen, that both adults started developing breast tissue with lactation I’m not kidding. Yes. Yes. So that was enough for me to go wait a second. I got to start getting people off this. So I’m just like oh it’s the next best thing, so I am going to drink all the soy milk.
[00:05:37] So that was interesting. But the other thing about the thyroid is that in order to form…the thyroid makes this hormone called T4 and T4 is really the inactive version the 4 and the 3 just represent how many iodine molecules are on the thyroid But he’s T4 and T3 it gets converted and activated through the liver and the gallbaldder. So I noticed that women have the gall bladder out starting having thyroid problems. Wow, Why is that?
[00:06:06] Well because now they cant convert T4 to T3 they go to the doctor and the doctor puts them on synthroid. But it’s not converting. It’s not that it has enough hormones that make it available. So that allowed me to do just to dig in to that and say how do we solve that? We have to support the liver to fix the thyroid. We have to squirt the gallbladder to keep the bile salts to support the thyroid. Right. So it gave me a whole different dimension are really what’s behind hypothyroid. Then you have a Hashimotos which is completely different. And you these Hashimotos which is autoimmune, . And these cases nearly always develop tyroid problems after a stress event. Primarily emotional stress which is interesting because that shuts the adrenal down which is the cause of autoimmune.
Vivica: [00:07:09] Can I stop you for a second I am sorry this is just too god to pass up. I would love to hear your take, In the nutrition world there are different views on autoimmune processes. And for me as I studied and as they go to semi nursing speak with my colleagues and you know there is all these different takes and everybody thinks invented or you know discovered the autoimmune process and they’re all kind of little different facets and I feel like on a core. What is your take? How does the autoimmune process start in the body. You know I we talked Hashimotos and there is a number of other autoimmune you know Reumathoid arthritis, MS, lupus, you name it. But why do you think Dr. Berg What’s your take on autoimmune I really like to hear that.
Dr Berg: [00:07:45] Well the problem is an average person has and they type up autoimmune and what causes it on the internet they will never find out, because it’s so filled with random opinions from a to z. So it’s an absolute confusion. What I’m saying is that there are several common things with auroimmune coming in over or over like the same patterns over and over there is a couple of thingsg oing on with autoimmune. Nr 1 the main treatment for autoimmune is steroids or prednizone. So you know what prednizone is what is it made of?
[00:08:23] Cortisol based.
[00:08:25] Yes yes cortisol Yeah. I don’t do much medication but the basics Yeah.
[00:08:31] Yeah. Prednizone is cortisol, that’s an adrenal hormone. Which is interesting, like, wait a second, why do we need an adrenal hormone, what’s the connection there and what are the functions of the adrenals as to control the white blood cells. The immune system. So there is a huge connection between white blood cell function, the immune system and adrenal. And that’s why like when you get sick there is always something that stresses you out or predisposes you to get sick right. You actually have this infection but then right before you are rundown you got sick or you were stressed out. With autoimmune, you have an adrenal component you have out of control immune system that is going whacko that ends up attacking your cells and it could be anything you can have autoimmune to hormones and every tissue of the body. So it’s pretty extensive. So in order to understand that you just have to see the things that show up so I know for a fact there is two things that always show up. Weak adrenals right before you get the autoimmune, and some stress event some something significant that would shock the system. So it’s it’s really an adrenal failure. You have two types of adrenal; adrenal problems that are at really high level of cortisol and other adrenal which are low levels of cortisol. So that’s called Addisons or Cushing’s and kind of similar but with you with the low adrenal which is basically you don’t have enough cortisol so you have Addisons is an auto immune. It causes all sorts of immune problems and viruses that come out remission and you get you get stressed you have shingles pain, you have herpes, you get all these viruses that come out.
Vivica: [00:10:21] Absolutely.
Dr Berg: [00:10:21] So is someone has autoimmune, what they really have to focus on is the adrenal, supporting the adrenal, getting the stress gone getting a lot of relaxation you know you have to get more sleep. Because the vitamin stuff, you can take so many nutrients is not going to do anything, if they are in a divorce like this long term divorce and the kids. Oh my God and they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They’re not going to be really going to help them till they resolve that. So they’re goal is just to resolve the constant stress problem environmentally. It’s really overwhelming adrenal overload. That relates to what happens during menopause for a lot of women too, they don’t realize that the adrenal glands,are the backup organ to the ovaries. So what you’re adrenal glands make the same hormones. And so when you get to be forty five forty eight fifty fifty two when the ovaries are going to retirement. The adrenals are supposed to take over.
Vivica: [00:11:24] I always tell them that the ovaries move to Florida and the adrenals have to take up their job!
[00:11:31] That’s exactly what happens. So your adrenal glands are weak going in you’re going to have several issues you’re going to have hot flashes you have all the symptoms with loss of collagen and loose skin right here, fatigue, sleeping problems aging issues like oh I had one lady she was a dentist. She was fine until she went to menopause. She developed this Dowagers hump right here.
Vivica: [00:12:00] Ohhhhh.
Dr Berg: [00:12:00] Oh yeah.Yes Hunchback. And her spine like almost collapsed. I was like, what the… Like the bones were falling apart. And the person starts aging. See all these things, so adrenal problems will be sleep issues I can’t get get to sleep, can’t stay asleep can’t wake up feeling fresh. They coffee to wake up. They have a very low tolerance to stress. People get on their nerves like even little things like slow people, slow drivers, incompetent people or they just like uh, rubs them the wrong way so they don’t have a lot of calmness they have a lot of tension around the house. And also, there is also a lot of people around them that are like stressing them out, like certain personalities like people that are just like negative or always happy, and so positive, so they just have no patience. They had no more patience. And I mean that’s one of the big symptoms with menopause, but that is just adrenal issues so the adrenals are really the key to helping so many women and menopause changes. So yes.
Vivica: [00:13:15] How does that relate to the thyroid? Like how does it impact once the adrenals, like take on this double load and they’re working overtime and all the symptoms appear. And how does that cascade effect our thyroid in the end Dr Berg?
Dr Berg: [00:13:30] Well well what happens is like, you have like 12 glands got your ovaries. You have the pituitary, thyroid, pancreas. All these glands are on a chain. It’s called the endocrine system collectively they’re not really separate. They make different hormones but they’re the main communication system. So when one goes down they often don’t work. You cannot have a very unhappy adrenal and have a happy thyroid.
Vivica: [00:14:01] No.
Dr Berg: [00:14:01] What are the question is like what do you do, what’s the primary problem right. There are certain ones that are primary and others are secondary. That’s we should probably talk about that. But the thing is that you always have something that starts a whole chain reaction and all of a sudden you end up with a mixed problem with all the glands are having issues. So it’s not really it. If you have low thyroid You can develop adrenal or you can have a lower adrenal and you have thyroid. There’s not that connection but there’s just that they are both endocrine glands and the whole system starts going down. And you need to really put back in the basics.
Vivica: [00:14:43] And that’s when most doctors… see what I see with a lot of patients that come to me is that you come with such a complex, you know, endocrine picture what all the organ glands that are failing. And Doctor searches in symptoms and even nutrition is a function of medicine doctors make that mistake. Where they will started like: OK I’ll give you something for this, something for this, something for this, something for this, they come with these protocols they’re like two pages long and still you know they’re not feeling better and they’re not having results. And they know that you talk about this in some of your videos to address the foundational issues. You know before you go chasing after symptoms right, Doctor?
Dr Berg: [00:15:22] Right. Yeah I think there are some things that are really really important to focus on and foundational and a lot of secondary areas. But I think the number one thing you don’t agree with this is the high insulin, that’s probably a senior dominating problem with high insulin creating massive issues. So then the second one would be high cortisol, which is all the stress so here we have sugar,and then we have We have stress the two killers and then we have the third one is estrogen because the environment, all the chemicals in the environment mimic estrogen. So here you are a big one now you the glyphosphate and the GMO foods, which is now creating a lot of kidney problems for people, they don’t even realize it, not to mention the thyroid. So those are the three dominating problems that will nullify any chance to lose weight and any chance to have improved growth hormone and anti- aging thyroid hormones. So it’s not a matter of triggering these anti-aging hormones or fat burning hormones it’s about getting rid of the ones suppressing you and nullifying and dominating these other ones.
Vivica: [00:16:37] yes absolutely.You know, when I started nutrition back those days one of the principle they taught me is, it’s like nutrition is based on very simple things. The number one is remove the bad. The second one is put in the good you know, so before anything can heal we need to remove those factors. Exactly like you’re talking about so that is very important. I am very big on detox in my practice like, That’s where we start all of this. It’s like you know based on a lot of cleansing and you know squeezing bad stuff out.
Dr Berg: [00:17:11] Yeah.
Vivica: [00:17:11] So how do we do tie this in with the ketogenic diet? Dr. Berg, how do you support, like how do you see that support of the ketogenic diet playing in to this scenario?
Dr Berg: [00:17:25] Yeah that’s a good question!. Every day I have people email me, and try to call me, whatever and first of all did you get the basics? . Are you applying the basics? And I like a ketogenic diet that is slightly tweaked, in other words I am really big into making sure you get all the nutrients. So. the biggest nutrient that people are missing because the RDA is like 4500mg is potassium. Fort seven hundred! So how are you going to get that. We have to get it form vegetables. I mean 7 to 10 cups, you are not going to get it from bananas. So 7 to 10 cups of vegetables will give you what you need. But who does that? So I don’t even like to even count the vegetables as far as your net carb, like just consume your 7 to 10, don’t worry about that. Keep the sugars out, to keep it simple. But that’s my tweak with keto, like do keto with a lot of vegetables and you can keep you out of trouble because you are going to burn fat and you’re going to also you’re going to avoid a fatty liver. So that’s one tweak, and then the other one. I always recommend and I think you recommend it too is the intermittent fasting.
Vivica: [00:18:47] I do. But I have actually this is another great question for you I’m so excited about this because this has been something that I keep encountering in my practice in clinical practice. Very different than what a lot of people talk about but yes intermittent fasting. So what I found in my practice that it works really well for some people and really bad for other people and what I found is that people with adrenal fatigue, which is most of my patients unfortunately, will have a harder time and sometimes intermittent fasting actually exacerbates adrenal fatigue and exacerbates, it makes their sugar go up because their cortisol will go up.
Vivica: [00:19:30] So I started experimenting with longer fasts about you know minimum 24 hours up to 36 hours and ideally three days. So less you know often and you know longer, and those people that do bad with the shorter fast they usually do good with the longer ones. So what is your take on that? How do you see a correlation between the adrenals and the short like 16/18 hour windows intermittent fasting.
Dr Berg: [00:19:59] Yeah if you look at the adrenals, what’s happening is in a catabolic state. What does that mean? It means breaking down muscle tissue faster than it’s building it back up. And that muscle tissue is being converted into sugar and it’s creating high blood sugars like insulin. So we have cortisol adrenals. Which is turning into a diabetic and insulin resistance, so that’s why there have been troubles because they have a very severe insulin resistance without really knowing it and it’s probably not showing up back. I just I just saw this right here I want to start probably more. It’s a glucose spot test, basically you can do the home test measure and insulin levels.
Vivica: [00:20:39] So nice I need to get one of those. That’s priceless.
[00:20:44] Yes it’s not a blood sugar test. It’s an insulin test you can see… yeah I will do a video on it.
Vivica: [00:20:51] I’ll share your video for sure. That’s great.
Dr Berg: [00:20:57] Yes. So you have all you have these adrenal cases, if they don’t eat, they like, their blood sugars drop and they get really stressed. Right. So there’s a couple things that you have to do, in the long run.the intermittent fasting is going to save them, but you have to do it so gradually. So I started with three meals. No snacks.
Vivica: [00:21:21] Right.
Dr Berg: [00:21:21] I mean they have more fat with the meals so they can go on from one to the next. Do until they’re comfortable and then they start to take that breakfast and go slowly. An hour later later later, gradually it could take two months before they can knock out the breakfast now they are at lunch and dinner. Well now they’re actually switching to fat burning, which is a lot less stressful on the adrenals, than sugar burning, now they start to actually improve the adrenals because the ketogenic is really like a natural thing to do, it’s the healthiest.It’s what our bodies were meant to run on something or what really stresses us out is the sugar, you know but I think with the adrenals you have to go more gradual. You have to go slower. Get them used to it. But I’m telling you, in the end. Oh my gosh. Their mood, their cognition, their energy, all get better. And so as far as breaking down more muscle protein protein that’s not going to happen, because as soon as they stop eating so frequently, their bodies start preserving muscle. And you start getting regeneration, brain cells. I mean it’s just… So that’s another tweak that I always recommend intermittent fasting. But if they can’t do it then I know they had a severe blood sugar problem and we have to fix that. And we have to do it gradually…
[00:22:45] Yes. That’s brilliant! Thank you so much. A lot of that taken. I’m definitely going to start putting some patients on a it. You know I do transition them from snacks to absolutely no snacks nothing between meals. And I try to gradually, you know, as they get ketoadapted, to do that transition. But really I like the idea of gradual you know stretching and compressing, like stretching the fasting and compressing the meals. So that’s really awesome. Thank you Dr. Berg. This is beautiful. This is great information you’re a wealth of knowledge. Yes. I just love your ideas. And so before we wrap this up any last kind of little tips on weight loss and then I want to tell the funny story on how we first got acquainted with you.
[00:23:34] Just real quick thing. I don’t know I got in this in the first place. Yeah. This is like way back. I had this person come in and yeah. One of those days I don’t even know what I was doing,actually starting out because they don’t really teach in school lessons. I put her on what I thought was good in the first month, guess how much weight she lost?
Vivica: [00:23:55] five pounds?
Dr Berg: [00:23:58] Zero!. Oh my God. That was a failure but she wasn’t unhappy. She was like Oh this is great cos’ I feel so much better. So the second month she lost 21 pounds, so I am like, what? Third month, she was at 63 pounds lost.
Vivica: [00:24:16] In a month?
Dr Berg: [00:24:16] In the whole three months.
Vivica: [00:24:17] Oh, in the whole two months I was like Wow.
[00:24:20] So I had this this this whole light bulb and I go oh my gosh you know what you need to get healthy first then you lose weight. And I’m like ah ha a different concept. So that was when I shifted all my programs. Forget the weight loss that’s not even an issue. It’s not getting healthy, and then now that can be a whole different area of research so you know keto, intermittent fasting, body types put together a book. And so that little principle is so so powerful because if you don’t understand that what happen is you go for the weight loss not see the change in the first week and give up, you might be feeling better and you’re getting healthy. So I want to bring that up because a lot of people are if they just that staple principle to work off of, it would make sense, everything makes sense.
Vivica: [00:25:13] Thank you so much for that Dr. Berg because sometimes I feel like I tell this to my patients so much until my tongue falls off. But I also feel that because they’re my patients and you know they kind of think I don’t know that I have certain interest in working with them for whatever reason I tell them, like listen my goal for you is to get you healthy not to squeeze the weight out of you like in the brutal, you know unhealthy way, it’s not going to happen and once you get healthy the weight will drop off. So I am just so happy to hear it from you. And like, I think that that is the absolute truth. And you’re you know you’re doing amazing work. It is really awesome. So I think it’s time for our little story.
Vivica: [00:26:01] I had never heard of Dr. Berg before unfortunately. Because you know it’s a big world and there is a lot of people and you know although I do research on many colleagues but there is so many amazing people out there it’s hard to know them all. And one day. One of my patients that was just finishing my program she sent me an email with a link and she just asked: can I eat this. So I went to this link and it was this ice cream that looked really yummy. And so you know I’m really strict with my patients when they’re on the detox and you know when they’re on the program. So I went to the link and I’m like let me read the ingredients. And so I went and clicked on it and pulled up this good looking ice cream and then I have read the ingredients. And I read the nutritional values, and I am like, This looks pretty good. Like yeah. I guess so. You know you’re used to seeing all this, sorry of my word, crap in foods especially even Keto foods and you know with a lot of artificial ingredients in artificial flavors and you know Splenda, you name it. My patients sometimes show me just like awful stuff. And so I was like wow you actually found something that’s pretty decent so I was like OK, green light, you could have some of that. And that’s how I found out Dr Berg’s ice cream. And then I started you know to look at who makes this, And you know I went and found this website. And then we connected and it was just like I have to interview this guy. He is amazing!Seo tell me about this ice cream. I know there is a lot of keto viewers out there. They’re like what, ooh keto ice cream tellme about it!
Dr Berg: [00:27:46] I wanted to have the lowest sugars of any ice creams out there. It’s like one or two maybe three grams of sugar per certain size on the chocolate two grams on the vanilla so it’s really low. Even you’ve got dressing with olive oil and vinagrette it’s 2 grams of sugar, so it’s the lowest sugar. The problem with having this ice cream is that if you’re going to take out the sugar it’s going to taste terrible the texture is going to be terrible and I won’t mention any other Ice-Cream name out there but you probably know what I’m talking about the texture is terrible so it takes the pleasure out. So I honestly was looking for and ice cream that, cos I like ice cream, for an ice cream I can eat that is low sugar, You can’t find it. So I really wish that there was something out there that I didn’t have to go through to figure this out, because it took us over a year and a half to develop this and going back and forth. Now I know why there is not a lot of icecrem out there without sugar because it’s so hard to develop the texture. So anyway I did it and we have a very creamy ice cream, and very low sugars and I’m testing it now. Patients with diabetes, not even normal people is not raising the blood sugars that much so it’s something that I recommend not the whole pint just to have a cup as a dessert. With the intermittent fasting, I mean honestly that’s what I use as my fat, a lot of time, I don’t do that every day but I will do it few times a week.. . And you talk about getting pleasure, you don;t have to feel deprived. You can have that pecans in there or peanut butter. This is really good. My wife just made some keto you know pecan pie. OK. So we have that with the ice cream, I am