Dr. Terry Dubrow knows that two of the most popular diets — keto and intermittent fasting — are effective. But he has serious doubts about whether they’re healthy or sustainable.
The Botched surgeon, along with his wife, Heather Dubrow, came up with their own version of intermittent fasting last year, which they featured in their bestselling book The Dubrow Diet. But they also wanted to make a new plan for followers of the keto diet, which Terry calls “kind of a dumb diet,” that would be easier to maintain.
“The problem with both of those diets — intermittent fasting and the keto diet, with the super low carbs — is that while both are very effective, they have challenges,” he tells PEOPLE. “I, as a physician, I was researching a more sustainable lifestyle than keto, because who can not eat fruits or vegetables for the rest of their life?”
Keto, in particular, bothered Terry because he believes dieters lose out on essential nutrients.
“I’ve always said, from a medical standpoint, that the keto diet was dumb,” he says. “Yes, you can eat super high-fat foods and protein and essentially no carbs, and use ketones as your fuel, but you can’t do it for the rest of your life. It’s obviously not the way humans are supposed to eat. You must have fruits and vegetables and fructose and carbs. You’re never going to convince any kind of doctor that you’re not supposed to have fruits and vegetables, with their cancer-preventing nutrients and antioxidants.”
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But Terry was a fan of how the keto diet puts people into a state of ketosis, in which the body burns fat instead of carbs, resulting in weight loss. So he hit the medical books and researched how to move in and out of ketosis on a daily basis — meaning dieters could get weight loss benefits while eating more carbs than the keto diet typically allows — and the couple came up with the new book, The Dubrow Keto Fusion Diet.
“It’s a hybrid of interval fasting and the keto diet, which allows you the benefits of both without any of the challenges of either,” Terry says.
The plan follows a 12-8-4 format — dieters fast for 12 hours, which includes the time they’re sleeping, then they follow a keto diet for eight hours, followed by four hours of nutritional eating, with all the fruits, vegetables and carbs they’re missing out on during the keto hours.
“You’re going in and out of ketosis,” he says. “This diet, a fusion diet, is the best of both and very sustainable, with none of the challenges. You’re never starving — you’re always munching and enjoying yourself but in a very precise and physiological way that allows you to go in and out of ketosis and replenish your carbs and your fruits and vegetables.”
Terry says that this is now how he eats.
“I no longer have to starve myself all day long and I can socially hang out with people,” he says.
“I don’t have to bite my left arm off because I’m starving all day from intermittent fasting. And I don’t have to eat ridiculous foods that I know is not the way were supposed to eat to live a long, happy life. It’s incredibly easy, and it’s real.”
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