fbpx Skip to main content

How Keto Heals

By August 31, 2013October 29th, 2021Moods and Hormones, Nutrition Education, Weight Loss

How Keto Heals


I use to LOVE Fridays because for me, that meant eating whatever I wanted. I was 80% perfect low-carb, grain-free, but on the weekend, I “cheated.” I wasn’t terrible, but a french-fry here, a glass of wine there … I wasn’t comfortable in my skin. One of the most common complaints I hear from clients is when they slip and consume junk, they feel almost hungover the next day.  I’ve been on a lot of diets in my day and what I find interesting is that feeling doesn’t happen on low fat, “whole grain”-filled diets. Sure, you may feel depressed because they scale goes up after a bender of donuts, but you don’t get the physical illness.

This is why this way of eating is so powerful! If you go all in, amazing results happen. Only once you go all-in you start to realize how low your energy  was and I say all in because just like Dr Davis explains, you can’t cut wheat 80 percent and expect 80 percent results. It doesn’t work that way. It needs to be 100 percent. You can “diet” on the weekdays then “cheat” on the weekends. But I no longer feel the need to cheat with meals like this!

no grains

Cutting the wheat and sugar isn’t a diet for me. It is a lifestyle. I love food and I will always love food, but more so, I love the way I feel eating like this! That is why I spend so much time and money experimenting new recipes for all of you. I want you to be able to do this 100 percent.

And yes, I enjoy a piece of “healthified” dessert everyday!

If you want to get started today and look back at your “Before” photo a year from now, click HERE to get started!

If you decide to also make this your lifestyle way of eating, you’ll notice you no longer want to nap in the afternoon, the belly fat will disappear, skin looks amazing, joint pain is no longer an issue, and no longer hungry all day or thinking about food. Sure, it takes time planning and preparing meals, but we all make priorities with our time… When you feel and look amazing, you will never regret the time you put into it!

no grains

Turtle Cheesecake from The Art of Eating Healthy: Sweets

So, why does this diet make such a difference? And why is it different than a “whole grain”, low-fat diet? Did you know that a 200 calorie bagel with fat-free cream cheese for a total of 250 calories for breakfast can cause weight gain?  I love this fact from the book WHEAT BELLY: “Did you know that eating two slices of WHOLE WHEAT bread can increase blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar can?”

“Workout Warriors” and chronic dieters cut out fat and consume the so-called healthy “whole grains” yet the scale doesn’t budge.  Calories in and calories out is one big fat lie! Yes, that was me! I would run marathons and I kept gaining weight!

Let’s count the ways…

1. INSULIN: High carbohydrate, fat-free foods, such as wheat, rice, brown rice, oatmeal, corn, potatoes, bananas increase blood sugar and therefore insulin. These foods are very high on the glycemic index. When we eat foods high on the glycemic index, this will cause insulin to rise. This abuse of high insulin levels increases our risk of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes fat cells to grow, mainly in the abdomen as well as the snowball effect of health conditions like pre-diabetes. The more visceral fat you accumulate, the worse insulin resistance becomes; thus the vicious cycle ensues.

2. LEPTIN: Did you ever wonder why it is easier to gain weight as compared to keeping it off?  The key to this is in the fat cells where a powerful hormone is produced called leptin. Leptin signals the brain to regulate the metabolism in order to store or to burn fat. Once leptin is secreted by your fat cells, it travels to the hypothalamus; which controls eating behavior. Once it’s there, leptin activates anorectic nerve cells, which decreases your appetite. At the same time, leptin stops cells from stimulating your appetite. To put it simply, when leptin levels drop, you get hungry. When they go up, you feel full. The lectin in wheat has the potential to block the leptin receptor. Leptin resistance is increasingly looking like a fundamental reason why people struggle to lose weight. Leptin-resistance is similar to insulin-resistance in that it occurs after being overexposed to high levels of the hormone. At this point, the body no longer responds to the hormone. Much like high blood sugar levels result in surges in insulin, sugar metabolized in fat cells causes the fat to release surges in leptin. Over time, leptin-resistance may develop.
The best way to reduce your chances of diabetes is to avoid surges in leptin; which is the leading cause of leptin resistance. Eating the typical American diet, full of refined sugars and other processed foods, is a guaranteed way to cause undesired surges. Focusing your diet on simple, unprocessed real foods like vegetables is currently the best way to prevent leptin-resistance.

3. HUNGER: When blood sugar goes up, it also must come down. This is why people who eat a high carb breakfast have a hard time making it to lunch; they become irritable and they have a foggy brain about 2 hours after the bagel with fat-free cream cheese. This undesired feeling is cured with a dose of carbs; creating a vicious cycle. Not only that, it stimulates unruly cravings for sugar.

4. ADDICTION–The protein found in wheat is an altered amino acid and looks totally different than it’s non-genetically modified ancestor. They basically act as appetite stimulants. This is because gliadins are morphine-like polypeptides that enter the brain called exophins. A VERY interesting fact is that these exorphins can be blocked by opiate-blocking drugs. A drug company has filed an application with the FDA for a weight loss indication for an opiate-based drug because clinical studies found volunteers lost 22 pounds after 6 months. Volunteers taking the opiate blocker reduced calorie intake by 400 calories per day. This is so fascinating because there is only one food that has opiate-like compounds in the body…yep, it is wheat.

5. DEPRESSION: After the digestive tract, the most commonly affected system to be affected by gluten is the nervous system. It is thought that depression can be caused by gluten in one of two ways.  The first area addresses the inflammatory changes gluten can cause. A gluten sensitive individual’s immune system responds to the protein gliadin. Unfortunately, that protein is similar in structure to other proteins present in the body, including those of the brain and nerve cells. A cross reactivity can occur whereby the immune system “confuses” proteins in the body for the protein gliadin. This is called cellular mimicry and the result is the body attacking its own tissues with inflammation resulting. When inflammation happens in the brain and nervous system, a variety of symptoms can occur, including depression. Research shows us that patients with symptoms involving the nervous system suffer from digestive problems only 13% of the time.  This is significant because mainstream medicine equates gluten sensitivity almost exclusively with digestive complaints. Gluten interferes with protein absorption. Specifically, the amino acid tryptophan can be deficient. Tryptophan is a protein in the brain responsible for a feeling of well-being and relaxation. A deficiency causes depression and anxiety. 90% of serotonin production occurs in the digestive tract. So it makes sense that food might have an effect, either positive or negative, on serotonin production.

Here is a little more encouragement:


My best friend and I did a consult with you and started doing the “Maria” way in April.  My husband travels out of the country 50% of the year with his job.  He always had good intentions and would take some diet supplement shake mix (Isagenix or some other high protein drink mix) with him. His shake mixes became world travelers but rarely were they drank.  He loves food:).  When he returned at the end of May, he started eating the “Maria” way with me.  The first thing I noticed was when he slept his snoring was much quieter. He got excited because he could eat good food and he was losing inches.  He left the end of July for a 2-month trip.  I do not usually get to go and visit him but he is in a good location :).  I arrived on Tuesday, he has been gone about a month. OH MY WORD!!!!  (HE LOOKS GREAT–of course, I probably would have thought he looked great, anyway) But he really does look HOT!!! 🙂  He has lost weight and inches and he feels good.  He told me if I can eat this way and be full and lose weight why would I want to eat any other way.   He has an apartment and has been cooking the Maria way. He got a little creative and made unbaked chocolate cookies.  He is in a Spanish speaking country with a lot of good/bad food.  But he is eating good whether he cooks or goes out to eat.  He did want me to bring some Jay Robb and make him some bread/buns.  He even tried making the protein sparing buns and he loved them!”


Protein Buns  in The Art of Healthy Eating: Savory

no grains

My best friend is always getting compliments on how great she looks. I am so proud of her!!!!!!!  I am so
excited she is flying home to spend a week with my parents.  Her grandparents are going to be so surprised on how great she looks.

And…..I love hearing people tell me how great I look. I am just enjoying life…eating good, feeling good…and being in shape/ running 3 times a week. It has been a long time since I have not been on the dieting roller coaster and it is the best I have felt in years.  Thank you Maria :)”


Can you believe that in high school I couldn’t do a real push up!? I’m not 33 and feel the best I ever have!

no grains

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • chrysta says:

    Awesome info! as always…love your posts. Oh I wanted to let ya know that I went out a bought a new hand mixer (I was asking earlier about beating egg whites) and wow that made the difference. I made some protein bread and “pop”corn and it turned out beautifully. So yummy! So the key is having a high powered mixer for sure=) Would you mind if I posted pics on my site? I would link back to your site and give credit to you of course since they are your recipes. Just wanted to ask first though. Have a wonderful New Years!

    • Isn’t that a great little mixer? I love it! 🙂 Please, go ahead and post pics. Just link back to the original recipe. Thanks!

    • chrystad72 says:

      Thanks Maria! I will make sure to post back to your site with the recipe for sure. I just bought another one of your books. Great reads. Im going back to school for Dietetics so I find it fascinating. (Although I want to really focus more on a holistic approach really) But anyways…thanks again. (Mixer does rock!)

  • Saundra says:

    Such great information here as always! Thanks so much god sharing.

  • Great info! I totally agree, wheat-free whole food is the way to go! I’m currently reading Dr. Davis’s book, Wheat Belly & loving it. 🙂

  • Sara Wasabi says:

    I totally agree that carbs are the cause of fat. However, I have low blood sugar and often become dizzy from not getting enough sugar in. Do you think I should continue eating carbs for this purpose? Also, what do you think of grain sources such as quinoa and couscous? Thanks!


    • What goes up must come down. If you have too many carbs the spike will result in a fall that will make your blood sugar go too low. This video has some good information. Thanks!

    • Rachel H says:

      Couscous is nothing more than pasta, broken little tiny.

      Quinoa is not grain, is a pseudo-cereal – kinda highish carb, but . . . ?

      Something is making blood sugars jump up, then fall on face. Classic hypoglycemic “diet” is small, protein or fat meals, frequently.

      Suggest you eat something, veg with protein and/or fat every 2-3 hours, *before* you get shaky.

      This will wean you off the carbs. Then you can do bigger meals, farther apart, when you stop dropping.

  • Anonymous says:

    Someone just got me started on making Kombucha tea. I couldn’t find much on your blog about it, but my question is, is it safe to make konbucha tea with swerve. I couldn’t find anyone who has tried swerve, everyone says to use white sugar for the fermentation . Any suggestions i would greatly appreciate.u
    thank you

    • I don’t think it will ferment the way you expect with Swerve. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

    • Shannon says:

      I would also like to know if fermentation for Kombucha works with Swerve! Following. 🙂

      • cemmerich says:

        Nope, sorry. The yeast needs sugar to feed on. I am almost done trying an extended fermentation (the longer you ferment the less sugar as the yeast continues to feed). I will be posting the results soon. 🙂

        • Dana says:

          However, since it is a fermented drink, most of the sugar’s gone by the time you get around to drinking it. The same way there isn’t any honey left in mead that’s fermented for long enough. It’s become a yeast byproduct instead.

          The best thing to do if people want to try kombucha in the context of low carb is to test their blood sugar an hour after drinking it. One of those ketone blood meters (it’s a glucose meter but takes blood ketone strips) will tell you whether you are staying in nutritional ketosis as well.

          Personally, since I think I have issues with dairy and I don’t want to be fussing with other people’s fermentations that might not be complete, I just take a soil-based probiotic and am done with it. For those who really want fermented food, you can still find sauerkraut made the old-fashioned way as well, and lacto-fermented pickles, if you don’t want to make them yourself.

          • cemmerich says:

            They recommend fermenting Kombucha for 1-2 weeks. I did it for 5 weeks and could still notice a quite a bit of sweetness in it. That is why I don’t recommend it.

  • Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful blog! I’ve been using Elana Amsterdam’s almond flour cookbook for two years and was delighted to discover the Wheat Belly cookbook and your blog. Since going wheat-free (not the gluten-free highly-processed stuff) I’m 100% recovered from asthma, seasonal sinus and laryngitis, so forth.

    Indigenous cultures have a saying that “food is medicine.” I know a lot of colleagues who think indigenous cultures are primitive. I think they’re wise 🙂 What a great way to start the New Year discovering your blog.

  • ashley mae says:

    Hi maria,

    You reccomend a lot of producets from NOW foods, and I was wondering what you thought of their protein powders? I really want to buy theyre toffee caramel fudge protein powder. it’s much cheaper than jay robb.

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous says:


    Your blogs are so helpful and SO APPRECIATED! I turned 40 yrs old a couple of months ago and have come to realize that year after year, I struggle with the same old issues: never happy with my weight, keratosis pilaris on my arms, tired all the time, and the list goes on. I am hopeful that by following a different way of living by removing wheat and sugar from my diet, that I can change these things. It has only been a couple of weeks, but so far your recipes are WONDERFUL. Many thanks to you.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria,

    Love your blog and am glad I found it!
    I have two question for you.
    If you’ve read, “Why Women Need Fat” – what are your thoughts on it? If you haven’t read it – what are your thoughts on the fact that all people are born with a weight set-point and that we can’t do too much in the ways of changing it? Yes, it may fluctuate up and down 10 lbs, but it will never feel at it’s best unless it is at one’s natural weight.
    What am I getting at? Does eating grain-free just get us to our natural weight? Or does it get us to the lowest end of our weight set-point?
    Also, why is it that all my medical doctors are telling me that the reason I have low energy is because I am not taking in enough grains!? It’s driving me crazy, because for one: I don’t trust medical doctors anymore (they’ve done nothing for me in the ways of curing my digestive complaints and other issues); and two: what if they’re right? This is hard, because I don’t like to eat a lot of grains!


  • Julie says:

    What kind of bread is in the Reuben sandwich in the picture? I have your “Savory” cookbook and I don’t see it in there. Thanks!!!!!

  • Cindy says:

    Did you get your body from your diet or working out? You look fab

  • Amy says:

    Hi Maria! Just wondering… is that a planche pushup you’re doing?!? Where can I find an instructional video on how to do the kind of pushups you’re doing in the photo?? Thanks! 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Free Email Updates

Don't miss any of our free content or sales!

We respect your privacy. We never share your information with anyone.