In the Group Coaching meeting held on January 12 our featured guest was Franziska Spitzler. Franziska is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who takes a low-carb approach to optimal health and graceful aging. She previously worked as a clinical dietitian in the VA Healthcare System in Long Beach, California, before going into private practice in 2014. She now resides in South Florida, where she writes and reviews evidence-based guides for DietDoctor.com. Her work has also been published in diabetes journals and magazines. In 2015, she authored her first book, The Low Carb Dietitian’s Guide to Health and Beauty.
- Franziska was a traditional dietitian, but when she discovered she had reactive hypoglycemia in 2011, she began eating a low carb diet. After having so much personal success with the approach, she began using it with her clients for weight management, diabetes and overall health.
- Franziska demonstrated the amazing new meal plan feature on DietDoctor.com which can be used to create your own personalized meal plan by personalizing your gender, age, height, weight loss goals, activity level, medical conditions, budget, foods preferences, cooking time, etc.
- Q&A with Franziska, Dr. Tro and health coaches Amy and Brian:
- What common challenges do you see when doing keto long term? It’s easy to get a little comfortable after a while and carb-creep or fat-creep can happen: it’s common for our brains to look for rewards in the higher fat items (like nuts, cheese, etc.) once the carbs are limited. Franziska recommends a reset back to basics to get things refocused.
- Why do you think there is so much apprehension about intermitted fasting in the RD world? Dietitians are taught in school that you need to eat every few hours. “I don’t think many dietitians understand that when you’re not eating many carbs then you do eat more fat and protein which allows you to go longer between meals and use your body fat as fuel,” Franziska stated.
- Do you see any hope that the medical community can get the keto message out? “I do, I see SMHP Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners starting up, and its baby steps but the ADA has said that evidence supports the use of low carb in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This has made health professionals less fearful of recommending low carb diets.”
- What are your top tips for when beginning low carb? Know which foods you like and satisfy you and make sure you have them around. Make sure you eat them until full, listen to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. Also, it’s important to have a support system and plans for when you know you will be eating outside the home. Try to limit the low-carb sweets but have them around in case of an emergency. Experiment and figure out how to make this a long-term success because this is not a short-term approach it’s a lifestyle.
- What is your opinion on calories? We don’t personally count calories even though they do factor in. What is so infrequently talked about is that the type of foods you eat can either trigger your satiety hormones or hunger hormones, so 500 calories of junk foods that will leave you hungry does not equal 500 calories of steak that will keep you full for a long time.
- How do you manage stress without turning to food? Work to find the root cause when it’s happening and deal with it instead of using food as the answer. Prioritize ways to find some time for yourself daily and do something you like to relax. It often doesn’t have to be complicated…even a 5-minute walk, listening to music or some quick exercises like yoga or meditation can help while you figure out what the problem causing the stress is.
- Advice if I fell off track and want to get back on ASAP? I recommend getting back to basics. Keep your food simple for a few days, get to under 20-30 grams of carbs a day like an Atkins induction, which should put you back into ketosis pretty quickly. Eat lots of satiating foods until you’re in ketosis and your appetite is suppressed.