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Interviewee’s Bio:

Kim Howerton is a Keto Coach and recipe creator who works with people who have spent much of their life struggling with their weight. She feels uniquely qualified to do so, as that is how she spent most of her own life. From her first diet at 8, her life became defined by her weight – and her inability to lose it.

Until she found Keto, and all the excess weight fell off magically and she was transported to a size 6 with a closet filled with designer labels all donated for free in praise of her magical accomplishments. Just Kidding. Like all real life stories, it was a bit more complicated than that.

In truth, Kim finding Keto was indeed an incredible life-changing experience. She’s lost over 80 pounds, and now enjoys the kind of health and life she never dreamed would be possible. But along the way there’s been a lot of tweaking, unlearning, relearning, experimentation and deep work that has allowed her to finally feel in control of her health. She credits the messy middle of Keto – where she felt like she was flailing and failing, with the skills that taught her not just to solve her own struggles, but to empower others to solve theirs.

She now runs programs specifically designed for folks who seem to have lost their “easy” button.

Transcription:

Welcome, welcome everyone to our bonus guest expert interview for this month. My dear friend, keto expert, Kim Howerton, has been doing a really cool self-experiment and the information, I just had to share it with you all. So, I wanted to… I’m so grateful she said yes when I invited her to come on and share what she’s been doing, because she could just keep all these secrets to herself. And so, welcome Kim.

Carole Freeman:

First off, will you just tell a little bit of your back story. I met Kim probably almost six years ago now. Was it at the first low carb conference in San Diego? I don’t remember.

Kim Howerton:

Probably thought maybe five. I don’t know. Yeah. I’ve been keto for about five years so that’s why I think it’s probably more like five.

Carole Freeman:

Okay.

Kim Howerton:

I am a keto coach and I’m somebody who has gone through my own keto journey and found that… I was a life coach, actually, before I found keto and when I went keto, what I found was it was such a pivotal life transforming piece that I really felt like I had to turn my skills and attention to helping people on their keto journeys. And so that’s what I did. But just like a lot of us, right, we’re on our own journey as we’re on a journey with other people and so there have been twists and turns and things I’ve learned along the way that I didn’t know when I first started. And so it’s always evolving.

Carole Freeman:

That’s so great. Would you mind sharing a little bit more of pre-keto, weight journey struggles just so that the ladies who are watching will be like, oh yeah, she gets where we’re at.

Kim Howerton:

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I usually say like when I was designed, they forgot to put in the easy button. Everything was hard for me, especially around my health, my weight. I actually had my first surgery when I was five years old.

Carole Freeman:

Oh my gosh.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah, I’ve had, not weight related, but I’ve had a bunch of, over three surgeries, major surgeries, I’ve had a lot of health issues. I had PCOS, I had hyperthyroidism, chronic depression. I have had a lot of health struggles. And before keto, I had been struggling with my weight since I was in single digit ages. And had very early puberty. I’m tall, so I was tall young, but I was also wide. And so I struggled, my whole life, with feeling both like from an emotional standpoint of just feeling comfortable in my body, but then also just literally feeling uncomfortable in my body, because my body was kind of an uncomfortable place to live.

Kim Howerton:

But then in my late 30s, my weight just sort of accelerated, so I’d always been heavy, chubby, a little big, but like you know… Unfortunately, in today’s society, kind of average, yet overweight. But it felt like a big deal to me, but when I go out in the world, I’m like, oh yes, you are my people. And then I got to my late 30s and suddenly it was like I was on an expressway to bedridden obesity and I was just gaining weight at a more and more rapid clip.

Kim Howerton:

And I was like I got to do something about this. All my life it had been like, I got to do something about this, I want to look better. And then I just hit a point where I was like, oh, I got to do something about this or I’m going to die. Not tomorrow but soonish. Sooner than I want to and probably in a way that is more embarrassing and ego-killing than I also want to.

Kim Howerton:

And so, I just finally got my ish together, as they say, and was like I should do something; I should do something. So, I found a program that was, in fact, it turns out, low carb, but it wasn’t like keto. And it was very restrictive and it was very regimented and I’m a rebellious sort; I’m also a foodie. And so I did lose weight but then I regained almost all of it. But in that time period, I learned more about what I could do to lose weight and I got curious about why that worked for me, a little bit, to be able to lose some weight.

Kim Howerton:

And I found out about keto during that time; it was sort of 2015/16. And I kind of learned about keto. And I was like, oh, maybe, this scientifically makes sense to me; let’s give it a try. And I did and it was great. It was amazing. I had big changes. I lost about 60 pounds in my first year, without… I was trying, but I wasn’t trying. I wasn’t white knuckling it any more. It was working. And so that was amazing. And then around about year two and a half, three, it was slowing down, slowing down, slowing down, stopping. Regaining. I was like, what is going on here? So, I had to do some investigation around how I was approaching my approach and what was and wasn’t working for me any more.

Carole Freeman:

Mm. Yes. Thank you for sharing all that. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people are in the same boat. I’m seeing a lot of influencers coming forward saying, hey, it worked really well and now it’s kind of like, hm, confession time; things are starting to slip and it’s time to look at some other protocols. I don’t think it’s any secret at this point because she’s putting it on her blog, but we talked to Kristie Sullivan this weekend-

Kim Howerton:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Carole Freeman:

And she’s developing some higher protein protocols for Diet Doctor and also future cookbook coming, right. Probably no surprise. Same thing for her. Lost a significant amount and then it stopped working and then the weight gain starts and so she’s the same time… So it’s kind of this mass thing that’s happening right now where people are looking at like, oh, it takes more than just one diet.

Kim Howerton:

Right. I think I can totally get how frustrating the world is. For a lot of people, and this was certainly like my experience, when I first found some success on keto, I felt like I’d found the holy grail. I felt like, oh my gosh, I’m so excited, I’m not broken, this actually works, I can actually see progress. I’m not stuck in this body that is in pain and has to take all these medications. And then, though a lot of people, not everybody, but a lot of people kind of hit a wall at some point on their keto journey and I was not exempt from said well. And I had to really delve into what was going on. And so that was about two years ago that I was… Well, the trouble started more than two years ago but about two years ago, I was like, this is ridiculous. I’m not doing this again. The definition of insanity is Kim Howerton. It was just like, they say you keep doing the same thing expecting different results.

Kim Howerton:

So I just sort of embarked on some investigation. I tried this, I tried that, I tried this, I tried that. And what worked, what didn’t? Interestingly, things that I tried years ago that didn’t work eventually started working. So there’s a lot of nuance that I think we aren’t looking at the keto world. But the emotion that I see lot of people struggling with, myself included, the best way I can describe is it you get to a place where you almost feel betrayed. I felt betrayed by my keto. That keto made me a promise that it was going to work and then it stopped working and it’s like, what the heck.

Kim Howerton:

So, yeah, I had to deal with that too. That feeling of feeling completely abandoned by the one thing that I had learned to begin to have fledgling hope in again. And then it dumps me.

Carole Freeman:

Well, yeah. And a lot of my ladies say things too like, well, if this doesn’t work, then what. This is my last hope and if this doesn’t work, does that mean I just have to give up?

Kim Howerton:

Right, right, right. The answer is no.

Carole Freeman:

Yay.

Kim Howerton:

I will too long don’t read no. But it’s not as clear cut as we want it to be.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Right, right. It’s not just as simple as lower your calories some more, which is kind of leading into this next topic right.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah, sure. Lead the way.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Okay. So I remember back, it was probably a couple of years ago, where I know you’ve always been meticulous in your journaling and logging food and tracking and all that kind of stuff. So this wasn’t a matter of Kim just got lazy or anything like that. But I remember-

Kim Howerton:

For the most part.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. There’s times, I call it like you’re taking a white water river rafting trip and there’s times where we just want to enjoy the view. It’s not rocky; we just want to coast along. I don’t think that’s lazy; that’s just enjoying the journey. But I remember you reflecting on the fact that at your, whatever the body weight was, that you burn less calories; you knew you burned less calories than some other people that were your same body weight-

Kim Howerton:

Sure.

Carole Freeman:

And that was frustrating, which I could appreciate it would be.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

So is that kind of where things started where you just were like, why is my body burning less calories than someone else?

Kim Howerton:

You know what, I didn’t actually put it together at that time. But in hindsight, I think the issue was, I think there was a variety of issues that came together at that moment. But I did, I got my resting metabolic rate tested at one point when I’d been stalled for a year at this point when I got this done. And it came back saying my resting metabolic rate was a ridiculously low number, like half of what it should be.

Kim Howerton:

But it was so low that I was like, there’s got to be a mistake; there’s got to be… That can’t be right. One of the things that kept happening… It’s funny; I’ve heard this story a few times from clients now, they kept coming back into the room saying, you’re asleep and I’d be like, I’m not asleep. Like my metabolism was so slow that I was barely registering as having an autonomic service system.

Carole Freeman:

Wow.

Kim Howerton:

It was. And I think quite honestly, I think it was a little bit wrong. But at the same time, it could have been, and it wasn’t, but it could have been a wake up call. But what I eventually learned on my journey is, when I first got into keto, I was told by many people, more keto knowledgeable than me, I’m not pointing a finger at Carole. She was not one of the people that told me this. And I don’t know if you heard this Carole? Maybe you were-

Carole Freeman:

We’re waiting to hear what it is. Hi Rita. Rita’s watching right now. Hi Rita.

Kim Howerton:

So there’s something people call… And I don’t like this term, that starvation mode will only happen on a high carb diet. That you can’t eat too little on a ketogenic or low carb diet because your body fat will fill in the difference in terms of what you’re eating and keep your metabolic rate up. I was told this.

Carole Freeman:

I’d never heard that specifically, but I think I can see… I totally believe you, but also I can see where it’s kind of implied, right.

Kim Howerton:

Right.

Carole Freeman:

Because well, you don’t need to eat a lot of fat because-

Kim Howerton:

It’s coming from your body fat.

Carole Freeman:

Weird body math they would do about how silver beet’s 100% of your caloric needs. It’s like, meh, okay. Okay.

Kim Howerton:

Right. So there’s a [inaudible 00:13:22] chart that kind of says; it doesn’t say what I said in words, but people use that chart to kind of say what I said. And people had actually said this to me. Oh, you can’t go into starvation mode. You can’t eat too little on keto because of this. I was like, okay, great, super.

Carole Freeman:

I’d also heard that, in general, that starvation mode isn’t even a thing, no matter what diet you’re on?

Kim Howerton:

And that’s why I don’t like the term because it’s not a good term. But, there is something that is indeed a better term. It’s sort of like when people talk about adrenal fatigue and really it’s like, well, let’s talk about HPA excess. They’re touching on something but the deeper thing is what you need to know. And so there is something bodies do. Bodies are designed to do it. It’s adapt. We are adaptation machines. We would not still be the dominant species if we weren’t adaptation machines. That’s what we do. We adapt. There’s no meat? Okay, well, we can survive on vegetables. Oh, there’s no food? That’s okay, we can turn our metabolism down so that we don’t die.

Kim Howerton:

And so, we’re designed to adapt. And so that’s the truth behind what people talk about as starvation mode, right? And so when you feed a body less and less, your body learns to survive on less and less. And so what had happened to me was I was eating less and less. And I wasn’t losing any weight. And I see this in my clients. I have a client right now who’s oh, mad, 600 calories a day and is not losing any weight.

Carole Freeman:

I have a lady very close to the same. And the first thing is like make sure you’re recording all your food and she says, I absolutely am. And I’m like, okay.

Kim Howerton:

Right. Right. And there’s a point at which a lot of people out there in the world will just call that person a liar. They must be sleep eating. They must be x, y. And I’m look, there’s one deal going on. There’s not that many places to hide food here.

Carole Freeman:

Right, right.

Kim Howerton:

And so, what I ended up doing is talking to Robert Sykes. You know Robert, right?

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kim Howerton:

[crosstalk 00:15:55] savage.

Carole Freeman:

Real quick. Before we go there, can we kind of talk about what are the signs or symptoms that someone has that let’s them know that they’re in metabolic adaptation? That their metabolic rate has slowed down in accordance with their low calorie eating?

Kim Howerton:

What I can tell you is, the good news is we’re all in metabolic adaption. So everyone at all times is experiencing this phenomenon. However, the effects of this phenomenon are different. If you’re somebody that eats a ton all the time, your metabolism has adapted to use more calories. If you are somebody who eats very little, there you go.

Kim Howerton:

It is just something that happens to everybody. Now it intertwines with other factors, how active you are, how much muscle mass you have, how much you fidget, how much you eat, how much… All these things that are going on in your body. But one of the things that influences all of this is in the mix, is under or over eating.

Carole Freeman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. What I would refer more specifically to not just metabolic adaptation in general, but the place you’re at where you just can’t lose any weight and you’re eating very little.

Kim Howerton:

The metabolic brick wall, I call it.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, what I see in people… And let me know if you have more than this, but I just see those are the people that they don’t have that amazing keto energy; they feel cold all the time, their hands and feet are cold; they just don’t have that zip to get up and do any exercise or anything like that. Maybe even starting to the point where they’re starting to have a little bit of mental fogginess and…

Kim Howerton:

Totally, those will happen.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. Anything else that-

Kim Howerton:

They’re also just like, a lot of people are like, I feel like exercising. And these people rarely feel like exercising. Their energy is not there. Some of them, that’s true and some of them, they manage to feel fairly energetic. So there are always exceptions to the rule. But ultimately, I think the thing to really look at is have you felt like, in your weight loss, you’ve been hitting a brick wall for a long time and when you start looking at your caloric intake, it’s very, very low, not very, very high. And you’re being honest with yourself. You’re not estimating, you’re actually accurately measuring and tracking.

Carole Freeman:

And you’ve probably-

Kim Howerton:

Because I-

Carole Freeman:

Oh, go ahead.

Kim Howerton:

I was going to say I do have both. I have clients that come to me that they’re like, I can’t figure out why I can’t lose weight. And then when I started having them tracked, I usually get an email that’s like, I have figured out why I cannot lose weight. It’s like, oh, okay, I get it. But then I have others where they send me their logs and I’m like, wow, yikes. That adds up to a very low amount of calories.

Kim Howerton:

And it’s not, 100% not, all about calories. It’s not. It’s not. It’s just that calories are a unit of measure and in this instance, they’re a very useful unit of measure, because they measure your overall energy intake.

Carole Freeman:

Right. I see this as a problem with most diet interventions out there that focus purely on calorie intake.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

And a lot of the ladies I’m working with, probably the same for you, is that decades of following this diet and that diet that told them how many calories they could eat and they followed that to every single calorie and then their body adapted to whatever that calorie level was and then the next diet, the only way you could lose weight was to eat less than that. Or once you hit a plateau on that diet, the only way to lose more-

Kim Howerton:

Less.

Carole Freeman:

Is to cut back, yeah. So you end up with 800 calories and then you end up with these crazy HCG diets where you only eat 600 calories a day.

Kim Howerton:

Sometimes five.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah, yeah. On a special occasion, you get a green bean. Yeah, it’s nutso. And so, yes, most of the women… Quite honestly, let’s be honest, most women, period, have been dieting their whole lives. But most of the women I talk to have as well. And so, one of the things that I really had to look at, because it was like sort of a bell went off in my head. When I was evaluating the fact that I’d been told this won’t happen on keto, you won’t have this effect of your metabolism slowing.

Kim Howerton:

There are some studies that have shown that keto can have some positive increase in metabolic rate, right.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, yeah.

Kim Howerton:

That may very well be true, but you still can continually eat too little. And then the other part that I thought about which finally was like a big, big light bulb went off. You know when they say, oh, because this much of your body fat is now being used for energy, for fuel, so you’re burning it and that’s why you’re losing weight. That’s true of every type of diet.

Carole Freeman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kim Howerton:

Anyway. It’s true of every diet. If you’ve lost weight, you have… Granted, you can lose muscle mass. But usually when you lose weight, you lose some body fat. And so it’s like, oh, that’s not only keto that there’s body fat. So, it was suddenly, I was putting the pieces together.

Kim Howerton:

But, definitely keto has many benefits in terms of how much body fat versus muscle you lose and metabolic rate. All sorts of things it hands down is still an amazing tool that I utilize in my life and in my clients’ lives, but it’s short sighted to not think you need to know anything beyond eat low carb.

Carole Freeman:

All right. Well, let’s get back to the Robert Sykes.

Kim Howerton:

Sure.

Carole Freeman:

Which, for those of you who don’t know, Robert is a young body builder. I know he used to live in Washington state and where are they now? Arkansas, Tennessee?

Kim Howerton:

Arkansas. He’s from Arkansas, so, they moved back to Arkansas. Keto Savage AKA Robert Sykes, that’s his real name, is a good friend. And he is a body builder, an actual body builder. So he goes through these cycles of building more muscle, losing more body fat. So he and I were talking and he told me about something called a reverse diet. And I was like, what is a reverse diet?

Kim Howerton:

And it comes to find out that this is something that all body builders have to do. Because, he explained, you go on what they call a cut, what we often call a diet or a weight loss phase, where they’re preparing maybe for a show and they’re trying to cut as much body fat as possible. So, they’ll be eating less and less and less over this period of time so that they can continue to drop more body fat. But at the end of their cut… There are two ways that body builders do this. They either just go to town and gain like 30 pounds in three days or the intelligent way they end a cut is they will do something called the reverse. And so, at the end of…

Kim Howerton:

So, if you think of a cut as going sort of stair stepped down in how much you’re eating, a reverse is literally the reverse. It’s stair stepping up to eat more and more so that you now have kind of reversed out of that significant deficit. And then they enter a phase which we would all call maintenance, which is they’ve gotten to a point where now they’re eating quite a bit more and they’re at a place where they’re neither gaining nor losing weight and they’re going to continue on that path for a while and then they might go into something called a bulk, when they’re trying to put on a bunch of muscle where they’re actually increasing the amount they’re eating, above maintenance in order to add more body mass. So he explained those phases to me.

Carole Freeman:

Okay.

Kim Howerton:

And he suggested that I try a reverse diet which is like-

Carole Freeman:

And you’re like, I’m not a body builder.

Kim Howerton:

Right. Not in any way, not in any good way anyway.

Carole Freeman:

And I’ll just acknowledge some people listening right now, be like, okay, this isn’t me because I don’t want to lift a bunch of weights, but wait, hold on.

Kim Howerton:

Don’t leave. Because the concept actually applies to everyone, not just a body builder. Now body builders are really good at it because they’re kind of machines and they have to make this work. This is their career. But what he explained was adaptation. And if you’ve adapted to very, very low intake. You know, I explain it this way, right. If you’re already in the basement, our only options at that point to get you down below ground floor is like pull out a jackhammer which is like lopping off some body parts, right. We are now… It is going to be really challenging to get you any lower. Whereas, if we’re on the third or fourth floor, well we can just take the stairs down for a little while again.

Kim Howerton:

And so, you can kind of think again that stair step idea. A reverse diet is acknowledging you might be in the basement. Now, you don’t have to wait until you get to the basement, but most people’s first reverse, they’re in the basement. And then how do I get out of the basement? How do I get enough height here so that I can see progress again?

Kim Howerton:

So, the trick is, in a well controlled reverse, you have to be well controlled. Which means you’re not bingeing. It’s a very well nuanced program where you’re going to be eating a little bit more and then a little bit more and then a little bit more in an effort not to just… Because if you’re eating 900 calories and then tomorrow you start eating 1,800 calories, you’re going to gain weight like there’s no tomorrow.

Carole Freeman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kim Howerton:

But if you… And I know this sounds crazy town people, I get it that this is not your experience, but if you do it properly, you can get from 900, 1,200 calories up to 1,800 calories and not see any significant weight gain if you do it gradually. You will see a little.

Carole Freeman:

Everybody’s in a hurry. We need to do this tomorrow.

Kim Howerton:

Right, right. And if you’ve been dieting most of your life, a good reverse might take six months.

Carole Freeman:

Okay, that’s good for people to hear. Let’s just repeat that.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

It’s going to take time. If you’ve been dieting for 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 years, can you give yourself six months to give yourself some metabolic healing and reverse metabolic adaptation?

Kim Howerton:

The thing I would like to remind you of, if you’re this person, who’s like I cannot do something that’s going to take six months. I’ve got to get this taken care of; we’ve been stalled for two years.

Carole Freeman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kim Howerton:

I would like you to evaluate that thought process because there is what is this terrible… Stephen Covey used to tell this story? Do you know the saw story?

Carole Freeman:

No, I don’t think so, but maybe once you say it.

Kim Howerton:

I’m going to botch it but you’ll get the idea. So this guy’s walking in the forest and he comes across a lumberjack who’s trying to saw down a tree and he looks over and this guy is just like going at it and going at it and going… And there’s no cut is happening in the tree. And the guy was like, dude, you have to sharpen your saw because your saw is not cutting. And the lumberjack says, I’m on a deadline. I cannot stop to take the time to sharpen my saw because I’m on a deadline. And the guy’s like, well, you’re going to miss your deadline because your saw is doing nothing. And he’s like, I cannot stop.

Kim Howerton:

So it’s the same thing. Ladies, gentlemen, what you’re doing, if it’s not working, it’s probably worth the time to fix it, rather than to just keep, I don’t know, beating your head against a wall.

Carole Freeman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). This is so powerful, I know. Because so many people think that they’re broken and they do keto and they’re eating 600 calories a day and they’re like, okay, see, even keto won’t work for me. And it’s not that, we’ve got to heal the body a little bit or at least. It’s not even about healing right. It’s actually the amazing machine the body is, the fact that it can live on that little.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah. And it could be multiple things, right. Because one of the reasons could be your thyroid is whacky. It could be you have zero testosterone, but let me tell you, if you’re eating 600 calories, your thyroid’s going to be whacky and you’re going to have very little testosterone.

Kim Howerton:

You might be able to heal some of the hormonal imbalances just by properly nourishing yourself. And then you can also address along the way, maybe there are supplements or some treatments that you need to do to address some specific things that are going on, but if you’re not nourishing your body properly, nothing’s going to work well anyway.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, yeah. So it only goes to reason then, that there’s going to be a lot of long term consequences or even like a bunch of there symptoms that somebody’s going to be having at that stage, like hair loss and skin issues and hormonal issues and all kinds of stuff.

Kim Howerton:

Sarcopenia, things like that.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, yeah. Oh, wow. So can you share a little bit more then about, so as you started to digest Keto Savage’s information-

Kim Howerton:

Advice?

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, how did you start to apply that yourself?

Kim Howerton:

I was actually I’m taking a year off. I’m going to stop trying to lose weight for a year. Now. I think some people six months might be enough, but I was just like, let’s go a year. Let’s do it. So I just took my brain. I was like, we are not trying to lose weight. We’re just not. And I just thought well, what do I need to eat to be properly nourished. Looking at micronutrients, macronutrients. How’s my sleep? How’s my stress? How is everything working in my life. And decided to focus on health instead of just fat loss and over that year, kind of went from probably about 1,100 calories a day. There were exceptions. I will say, I didn’t gain weight on 1,100 calories a day. What would happen is, I would eat that way for weeks at a time and then I’d kind of get a little screw up moment. And I wouldn’t go off keto, but I would eat more for a week or two or three weeks. But I would do that thing where you went from 1,100 to 2,000 and I would gain two pounds there. Then I’d gain another.

Kim Howerton:

So, I had gained some weight that I didn’t want to have. Then I went back to 11 and I wasn’t losing weight. And so I ended up walking my way up to about 1,800/1,900 calories a day on average over that year and then I… What was interesting was about a year ago, we were about to start the shelter in place order. It was a little more than a year ago at this point; a year and a month. And I was like, now seems a good time to implement the cut.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. Yeah.

Kim Howerton:

I’m going to be at home. I’m not going to be eating out. I’m not going to be traveling for a while. And so I started eating less again, but intentionally and consciously while keeping my protein fairly high at that point. And I ended up going, what I would call moderate fat, high protein. Although I would shrug a little when I say high protein; I consider it higher protein than most ketoers were eating at the time; although it has caught on at this point. And so it’s now what someone might call protein based keto or high protein keto or something like that.

Carole Freeman:

Okay.

Kim Howerton:

And so, what I found over the next couple of months as I did that, as I lost without much effort. Now, when I saw without much effort, I missed butter. I still had some but I missed being liberal with butter. We had a much closer relationship at one time. And rib eye was less on the menu and flank steak was more and things like that. And I lost 15 pounds pretty easily though with just those changes. And then I took my own advice and said let’s not keep doing this for a long time shall we? And I did a short reverse. More like three to four months reverse and then a little while at kind of a maintenance level and then went into another cut phase and lost another 15 pounds.

Kim Howerton:

So, over the last year, ended up losing 30 pounds. I’m not in another reverse at this point with the desire to lose another 15 pounds in the next year.

Carole Freeman:

That is an amazing story. I just love how you biohacked your body. So, how does it make you feel at this point? I know a couple of years ago you were just so frustrated with your body and you had pretty good health markers compared to some of us that weighed less.

Kim Howerton:

Yet, my insulin was low. I had ketoed my way out of insulin resistance. I was insulin sensitive and stuck and not losing weight and I was that point, I didn’t really care if I was insulin sensitive because I just wanted to lose weight. But when I came to my senses I was actually glad that I am metabolically healthy and a lot of these things work.

Kim Howerton:

That is to your point that different seasons require different coats. When I was early in my keto years, I tried what some now would know more as the PE approach, more Ted Naiman’s kind of three to one or it’s very high protein comparatively to the fat approach. And I did not see real success there. I saw more success with more… Not completely, traditional keto, but a little higher fat than that. And I really think it’s a question of where you are on that insulin resistance sort of highway. That spectrum. And so I think the right approach is very dependent on where you are on your journey.

Carole Freeman:

Do you think then this PE, protein or the three to one, three grams of protein to one gram of fat… So I know that body builders use that technique, but based on what you said, that’s like the very last maybe week or two that they’re cutting they’re going to do that. They don’t do that their whole cut?

Kim Howerton:

Well, it depends on the body builder. Some body builders are high carb body builders and they’re generally low fat body builders but somebody like Robert is a keto body builder, so he is high fat the whole time. But that’s relatively high fat, but the total amount of fat is dropping, but the total amount of food is also dropping. So, for him, his percentage that’s protein, percentage that’s fat are actually fairly consistent. It’s just the total calories that are dropping.

Carole Freeman:

Okay, yeah [crosstalk 00:37:13].

Kim Howerton:

But other body builders will, in their cut period, you’ll know them by the odor of broccoli and chicken breasts, because that’s all their eating in their cut whereas they might be eating more fat and other carbs in their bulk cycle. Not that I’m an expert on such things.

Carole Freeman:

This is so fascinating too because I know there are people out there that think that Robert is lying about what he does. And it makes so much sense now what you’re talking about, then I know there are people that are like, no, he’s not really eating what he says he is and it’s just funny that everybody’s got their little thing of their little pet beliefs and they look at their corner of the world of dieting, nutrition, health and weight loss and, like you said, you’ve got to start gathering all these other pieces of the puzzle. Because you and I have enough experience for ourselves but also for everybody else we worked with, one thing doesn’t work for ever. And not all the way to goal and all the way through maintenance and it’s a lot of times why people need a coach because they don’t know what to apply or which tool do I use with that lug nut? I’ve never seen that one before.

Kim Howerton:

I don’t know how to fix that. Yeah. And I know a lot of people would say that Robert is… But it’s hilarious because there is actually, I have never met a more earnest and honest person than Robert and I’ve stayed in houses with him at various times. I will tell you the last time I stayed with him, right before the pandemic started. We were staying in an Airbnb. He traveled from Arkansas with a cooler of pre-packed food for the whole week because he is such a stickler about sticking to his macros during cuts and he was in a cut, that he literally brought a checked cooler of bison, so that he could have these very dialed in meals, measured in. When you learn more about the cycles of how we approaches it, he eats more protein than a lot of people in some seasons of his time, but then in his cuts, he’ll eat less.

Kim Howerton:

So, it’s not like he’s not… People will look at a snapshot of time and think, oh, they do that all the time. That’s not what’s happening. Not just be for Robert.

Carole Freeman:

As you’re talking, I’m coming up with more questions; I’m trying to jot them all down so I make sure-

Kim Howerton:

Okay, no problem.

Carole Freeman:

Get to. So the other question that came to my mind then is that so, a lot of people I’ve talked to that have been on the keto journey and then have modified things, maybe got a little higher protein later on. They’re still consensus that early on is special for very insulin resistant people that high fat keto is very effective. Do you think that the three to one approach; do you have a sense of… Because I know-

Kim Howerton:

Like which way.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, because I know for me, I’m somebody who struggles with really high insulin that, despite doing all the right things, obviously there’s more healing I need to do, but I could do a three to one and it was always very effective for me. I would rapidly lose weight.

Kim Howerton:

And that’s what kind of tweaks the brain a little bit.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah.

Kim Howerton:

It worked for you but I have clients and in myself, it didn’t really work well. And so I attribute that to the level of insulin resistance they have but maybe there are some other factors going on. The good news is we have access to ourselves and we have access to food and so we’re all our own n of one and there’s very little harm in trying a dietary approach for 30 days and seeing what the effect is, so that you can decide where to go from there.

Carole Freeman:

So, just with all the information we’re discussing here and our own journeys, I almost, I’m starting to lean towards the fact that just metabolic rate itself indicates how easy it is for somebody to lose weight or not, independent of insulin. Now, insulin being high for somebody can make it so they’ve shut off their fat burning; their body is like not allowing fat to come out of the cells.

Kim Howerton:

Right.

Carole Freeman:

All those enzymes and cellular membrane and all that kind of stuff that needs to be made in order to burn fat for fuel has been shut off in a lot of people. Ketosis is a way of insulin comes down a bit and then fat can come out and start to be burned and make ketones and things like that. And for me, that was like a dramatic energy coming online and all kinds of stuff, right. But my insulin has never been like even low normal, as far as the keto world.

Kim Howerton:

That’s interesting.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, but I’ve always had a fairly high metabolic rate so I’ve never really cut down. Even in my first major keto weight loss journey which was the first six months of keto for me, I was probably around 1,500 calories a day, which isn’t really low, it’s probably half of what I was eating before, maybe, but I don’t know. And so I never went down to only 1,100 or 1,000 or something like that. And then I kind of just ate whatever I wanted. So, I didn’t have that metabolic adaptation to a lower level. So I wonder if that’s more… It’s just kind of blowing my mind too because always thinking insulin was the key, got to get insulin low and metabolic rate is also got to come into play here, so…

Kim Howerton:

I think it’s a combination of factors. So, fat cell, how you lose body fat, right. You’re probably used to this discussion but you can kind of think that a fat cell has the… There are two in doors and one out door, right. You get new fat and recycled fat in the fat cell and then you’ve got lipolysis, that fat being used for energy.

Carole Freeman:

Did you listen to Peter Attia’s recent podcast about fat flux?

Kim Howerton:

I did, I did. And I have the chart. He talked about a chart where it showed where your insulin is versus how much lipolysis you could have and I’ve had that chart for a while actually. Ted Naiman actually put that chart up at some point about four years ago and so I’ve had that chart in my notes. And it does look like… And in my talk with Ben Bickman on my podcast the other day, he even said, if you’re fasting insulin or your insulin at any point is really above 10, while it’s over that level, that lipolysis is pretty slowed down or mostly stopped. So it makes you a head scratcher a bit, right.

Kim Howerton:

And so, whether eating a lot or a little, that door is supposedly not so open if you’re insulin resistant, if you’re fasting insulin is regularly over that. If you’re not giving your body time below that threshold. And so, there’s that factor. And then the second factor, which they’re all mixed up together, but you have to think that if you’re used to eating a lot and you went through a period of time where those fat cells were getting more and more and more stuffed and you simply stop stuffing them as full, that will have an effect in and of itself. At least you’re not going to be gaining more weight. So, that’s one part of the factor.

Kim Howerton:

But I think it’s far more complicated than anyone really understands. You have the people saying it’s all about insulin. You’ve got the people saying it’s all about calories. And I’m like, well, you’re both right and you’re both wrong. In my opinion, we all have our own, is that there’s something in the middle, where we need to live.

Carole Freeman:

That’s one of the things I really appreciated about Peter Attia’s, that podcast, was like oh, finally somebody’s look at there’s a lot of pieces. And he was the one; I was looking through my notes, trying to find, because when you mentioned stress and sleep and I think there were a couple of other ones that he mentioned as well that play into that whole picture of what’s going to affect your metabolic rate and your net fat flux.

Kim Howerton:

Right, and even if you listen to people like Tommy Wood, he’ll talk about that even things like gut dysbiosis can affect insulin levels, if I’m remembering correctly.

Kim Howerton:

But, anyway, all these different factors can come into play in terms of what your insulin might be doing. Because some people will be like, I eat zero carbs; what is going on with the fact that I can’t lose weight and my insulin’s still high. Sometimes it’s about other things than what you put in your mouth.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, whoa. Just when we thought… It’s like they say in any niche of knowledge; the more you know, the more questions you have; the more you feel like you don’t know [crosstalk 00:46:45]. It’s a fun place to be, I think actually. Because I’ve got to admit there was a place I was just like all right, I know it all, this is boring. Not that I got bored of helping people but it was just kind of like… So, I’m looking forward to maybe next yeah, when things open up and we can have conferences again, maybe we can actually have new topics to discuss and new controversial things about the higher protein keto and…

Kim Howerton:

Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

Ooh, do you remember back five years ago when there was the OKL, the OK living-

Kim Howerton:

Yes.

Carole Freeman:

And how controversial they were.

Kim Howerton:

I am going to tell you that I was like, those people are bad. They tell you to eat all this protein and that’s so… I’m going to say, thank God somebody put out there that quote that if you’re a smart person, you can admit you’re wrong, because I’ve had to admit that I was wrong. When I first started keto, and then I regurgitated a lot of information that I heard about keto, I no longer think that those things are actually true. Some of them. Some of them.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, no, I think I was right there with you. Oh, no. I’d calculated my macros, OKL and no, that’s garbage; that’s way too high protein. That’s not keto. There was the protein bros and, I don’t know, something else rhymes with that that’s not very nice to say about that.

Kim Howerton:

I don’t know. But I will say that just because somebody finds value in eating in a different way than you do, does not give you the right to be a dick. And so that goes on in this world. There’s this statement out there that if you have high body fat, you only need the LC, you don’t need the HF.

Carole Freeman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kim Howerton:

Right. And I would just like to say if you are working in the weight loss space, you have to be aware that you’re talking to a population that has been bullied, demeaned, treated really horribly maybe their whole life, for their weight. And you have to think that their ears are sensitized to hear things in a much more aggressive tone than maybe you ever intended. And just you have to speak, knowing that your audience needs to hear you. It’s not about creating the most brilliant sound byte, where you sound so funny and oh yeah. It’s such a zinger. It’s like, no, do you want to help people or do you not want to help people. Say it in a way that acknowledges that people have scars here. And I’m not talking about treating people like snowflakes; I’m talking about being like a decent human being. I’m just going to say it.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Amen.

Kim Howerton:

Thank you. There’s a little soapbox for you.

Carole Freeman:

Amen sister. Oh my gosh, okay. So many more questions. I think that kind of-

Kim Howerton:

Rapid fire.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. So, now that you’ve kind of experimented on yourself with this, are you starting to do some of this work with your clients and what are you seeing that way?

Kim Howerton:

I run a group called keto unstuck, with the idea that essentially it’s like if your easy button is broken, then you might need this. And it specifically delves into some of these topics that I talked about today. And it works with people sort of like on an individualized kind of… Some people are this; some people are that. It doesn’t assume that I know what you need without some feedback from you. And as I work with people through that program, I have seen, in the last round, I would say of the close to 100 people in it, I believe we had four people that didn’t see some fat loss. And those are people that off at the beginning of the program, I said, I think you need longer than this program to reverse. And not everyone in the program reversed. Not everyone needed that, but I did say to some people, this is going to be a longer process for you and are you in or out, because you have to buy in. If you don’t buy in, I’m not going to force anybody.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Yeah. Have to keep telling that Stephen Covey story of the-

Kim Howerton:

The saw.

Carole Freeman:

You have to stop and sharp… I can’t even say that. Stop and sharpen the saw occasionally if you want to actually go faster. Last night on a coaching call, one of my clients said this phrase that I’d never heard before and I’m just in love with it, is, the long way is the shortest way. So meaning if you’re always trying to find shortcuts, it’s going to take you longer than if you just go down the proven path. So this is true, right, of what you’re just talking about. Stop trying to take shortcuts; if you can’t lose weight on 600 calories a day, you’ve got to stop and sharpen your saw.

Kim Howerton:

Right.

Carole Freeman:

So that you can meet your future deadlines because it’s actually going to be faster than continuing to eat only 600 calories a day and not lose anything.

Kim Howerton:

Right. If you had told me, in the midst of my lowest point of my stall, hey, a year from now, you’re going to lose 30 pounds in one year. I would be like you’re kidding, that’s no.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, you’re like I’m not going to eat 300 calories a day.

Kim Howerton:

And I know for some of you, you’d be like 30 pounds is not a lot, Kim. But when you have not lost any weight really in years. It’s a lot.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, I know it is, yeah.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah, yeah.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. I know it’s a lot.

Kim Howerton:

I’m down now a total from the start of keto of around 85 pounds at this point, so that’s exciting.

Carole Freeman:

And you lost of lot but you’ve gained more in knowledge, so-

Kim Howerton:

Absolutely.

Carole Freeman:

That’s [crosstalk 00:53:07] part.

Kim Howerton:

If it was easy, I would be boring.

Carole Freeman:

Born again? Oh that’s different.

Kim Howerton:

No, that’s different. I’d be like a lawyer, what would I have to do. If everything wasn’t hard for me, I’d have nothing to teach.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, yeah. Oh, I love it.

Kim Howerton:

My dad would like that if I was a lawyer, but you know.

Carole Freeman:

I got so engrossed in what we were talking about, I forgot to look and see if there’s questions coming in.

Kim Howerton:

Oh, were there questions?

Carole Freeman:

Well, because we’re broadcasting into our members’ site. Those questions just come in by email and I haven’t seen any other ones come in for that. I’m getting a warning that it’s not broadcasting into the Facebook group but when I looked at the Facebook group, I can see us in there. So, I don’t know. There was another link-

Kim Howerton:

I hear Facebook’s having weirdnesses today.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. I see us in there and one lady I know was going to be watching one of those places and she’s not the one. It wasn’t Rita. So hopefully she can watch the replay of this too, but we’ll be putting this out. You may be watching us on YouTube at some point too. So give us a comment. Tell us your keto journey and where’s your brick wall that you hit and how far in and do you wish you had an easy button, not just to go to staples. Get a freshen up book.

Kim Howerton:

I press that easy button, staples, and they give me printer paper. I’m like, this isn’t really what I wanted.

Carole Freeman:

Oh dear, we’re out of pens, not printer paper.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah, yeah.

Carole Freeman:

This is so great. I learned a ton and I just love this so much. I’m trying to think of how to recap. Basically, we talked about all this stuff, your journey and how you hit a brick wall of seeing no weight loss for around four years maybe and just the pieces of putting the puzzle together of figuring it out for you. And that involved getting some metabolic adaptation in the reverse way, reversing the metabolic adaptation that you had that caused your metabolism to slow down so much.

Carole Freeman:

Learning from a body builder, not necessarily that you have to do any weight lifting but you can use the same techniques of-

Kim Howerton:

The weight lifting is great for all of us, so everyone should lift something heavy.

Carole Freeman:

Does this mean that’s the next journey of Kim? Are you going to go in for the-

Kim Howerton:

No, I’ve been doing a little bit. A little bit of resistance training. But yes, in fact, my next… I’ve been saying it and hopefully I won’t be a liar, I am actually currently thinking as the world is opening back up, that I’ll actually use the gym membership I paid too much money for. Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, wow, that’d be great, yeah. Well, that fits with one of the symptoms being… Because I know before you were just not a fan of exercise. It was just like-

Kim Howerton:

I just hate it. I just don’t like it.

Carole Freeman:

The theory of well, if your metabolic rate’s high enough, you can’t fight it. You just want to go do something, so we’ll see if Kim enters the Keto Savage weight lifting team here soon or something.

Kim Howerton:

I think bikini competitions are probably not on the agenda. But it would be nice to be able to keep up at least with my athletic boyfriend on the weekend.

Carole Freeman:

There you go. Nice. Well, and just for fun or just more information, so 30 pounds in the last year. Have you noticed anything else? Anything else changed for you? Health wise or related to-

Kim Howerton:

It’s been such a weird year, girl. It’s been a really weird year. I sort of stayed home a lot. It’s interesting that I’m a big foodie. I love food and I got a little weirded out. I still loved food, but part of what I do is I create recipes. And when I was in the more intense cut periods, I wasn’t that into recipes. And then I put some cottage cheese in a bowl. And I was sort of almost like, oh, maybe I’m getting less foodie. And then but in my recent reverse, now that I’m in now, I’m like, and then I’ll cook this and then I’ll cook… Oh, it’s rhubarb season. So that sort of interest in food is back so it’s kind of fun to kind of have seasonality to that. Be like I’m in an eating season and then I’m in a cutting season.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, it probably gives people a lot of hope too to know that, oh no, you don’t have to diet for ever. That you can have these periods of enjoying some recipes and being creative in the kitchen, because I know a lot of my ladies are lik-

Kim Howerton:

Diet fatigue is real.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, yeah.

Kim Howerton:

Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

Well, anything else that you want to share? Any other tips or insights you bring?

Kim Howerton:

I would say there are a lot of people… One of the keys to my success has really been getting really consistent with tracking. Because it’s really hard to adjust something if you don’t have good data to base your decisions on. And that tweaks a lot of people out. They don’t like the idea of tracking. They like to fly by the seat of their pants. And I would just like to say that period of tracking; you don’t have to think about it being for life. But a period of tracking, a spot check if you will, can be very helpful behavior to give you the kind of feedback you might need to check.

Kim Howerton:

I have people that come to me that say, I don’t think I’m eating enough and they’re eating plenty. And then I have other people that say I’m eating so much, I can’t eat any more. And they’re not eating nearly enough. And so, if you’re just going based on how you feel and not based on any measurements that you can base in reality. Not that your feelings aren’t real, but you need data. And so I would say, even if you hate tracking, try and find a place in yourself where at least for a temporary period of time, you can do it because you can’t fix what you don’t understand.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, that’s so key. You’re right. The whole foundation of all of this is you’ve got to know where you’re starting and to do these stair steps, you have to track. You can’t guess the stair stuff, up or down. That’s good. That’s great. Very important.

Kim Howerton:

Okay.

Carole Freeman:

All right. Well, what’s the best way people can find you?

Kim Howerton:

You can find me at kimhowerton.com. No crazy surprise spellings in that. And you can also find me on social media @theketonist, which is crazy spelling, but it’s the keto nist, all one word, the ketonist. It’s a combination of keto and hedonist, if anybody cared. And then if you are interested in my program for people that are metabolically confused, you can sign up for the waiting list at KU, the letter K, the letter U dot kimhowerton.com.

Carole Freeman:

All right. Well, we’ll put those links in the show notes here.

Kim Howerton:

Sounds good.

Carole Freeman:

Big round of applause for our guest. Thank you so much. And thanks for teaching us all some valuable things and sharing your journey, so that all the rest of us can continue to heal too on our journeys.

Kim Howerton:

Sounds good.

Carole Freeman:

Thanks for being here.

Kim Howerton:

Thanks for having me, Carole. All right, bye guys. Have a good day.

Carole Freeman:

Bye everyone. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you soon. Bye.

Kim Howerton:

Bye.

 

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