Dr. Stephen D. Phinney on Making a Low-Carb Diet Sustainable Long-Term

This is a great interview with Dr. Stephen D. Phinney – one of the authors of The Art And Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living.

He’s had 25 years of clinical experience prescribing a low-carb, ketogenic diet for patients and has been in constant ketosis for 6 years himself.

It’s a great interview, he gives a lot of actionable tips on how to make a low-carb diet both sustainable and enjoyable in the long term.

A few interesting points from the video:

  • It can take up to 4-6 weeks to fully adapt to a ketogenic diet and taking “a break” from the diet to eat some carbohydrate can interrupt this process.
  • The Inuit who lived in Arctic regions sustained themselves on a near zero carb diet in exceptional health.
  • They preferred to eat meat with a lot of saturated and monounsaturated fats. If given the choice, they would rather use the polyunsaturates from seals to fuel their lamps.
  • After a hunt, they would cherish and eat the fatty parts of the meat and feed the lean parts to the dogs. Yes, to them “lean meat” was dog food.


  1. Hi,
    when it comes to losing fat, it’s all about Calories. When you cut out carbs of course you can get lose fat and get leaner but it’s because the calories not because of the carbs. Carbs don’t make you fat, excessive calories do, and having a HIGH blood sugar all the time from eating simple sugars doesn’t help you a lot with getting leaner either. I can’t believe that this guy has been on a ketogenic diet for 6 years, why would somebody to that to himself? If he feels good.. ok.. but it’s not necessary for getting in good shape or healthier…

    And what about exercise? I didn’t hear a word about exercise in this video and staying fit and moving is one of the most important things if you want to be healthy.

    I’ve done a low carb diet for several weeks some time ago and it did help with losing some fat but the effect on sports/fitness/strength training performance isn’t worth it and when I went back to eating normal meaning abut 25% calories from protein, about 50% from carbs and 25% from fats I felt much better and if you keep your TOTAL calories lower than your maintenance you still lose fat.

    I am 1,86 m and I was at a 171 pounds and 7-8 % body fat on a low carb diet. Now I’m at 167 pounds at 5% body fat and eating carbs!! A lot of them!!! I’m leaner, feel much better, have more energy.

    Everybody should do whatever he feels like doing but this sort of diet and dieting in general is nonsense and for this long even more.
    If you’re on a diet you’re going to be off a diet at some time. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and general nutrition + EXERCISE is key.

    • Congratulations on finding something that works for you. The fact that you had a poor experience with a low-carb diet doesn’t mean that others can’t benefit from it. Different strokes for different folks.

      I agree with you about the exercise btw, although it has absolutely nothing to do with the video.

    • I disagree 100 % with you Sam and agree 100 % with Dr. Stephen D. Phinney. So if you call what he says nonsense, I would have to cal your comment nonsense. Isn’t it better to say doesn’t work for me but fine if it works for others?

      • He’s probably an animal-rights activist who’s convinced that people are all actually better off not eating meat at all. He probably did try a no carb diet before, but probably didn’t eat a whole lot of meat due to personal issues, and because of it ate way more carbs than he thought he was eating.

        So, convinced that he ate low carbs when he actually didn’t, he’s not convinced that low-carb people are just idiots who are brainwashed and brainwashing themselves into believing it’s because they’re eating less carbs when in reality it’s just because they’re eating lower calories, which isn’t really true because honestly, fat carries more calories per gram than does carbs, but unlike carbs, fat is not broken down and turned into energy as efficiently as carbs are, which means that it takes much more energy for your body to actually process animal fats than it does to process carbs, which is why forcing your body to either consume fat or protein for energy generally tends to cost more of deficit in calories than does carbs.

  2. I don’t agree that eating this way is nonsense. If I eat 50% carbs I would go on a high sugar binge that could last weeks. It’s great that you’ve found what works for you, but it wouldn’t work for me; I’ve tried it, just as you have tried the low carb, it’s the same thing.

    One thing that constant dieting has taught me; we are all different and hurrah to that.


  3. Michelle I agree, I’ve been following a long-term low-carb lifestyle for about 3 weeks now. I’ve found if I even have 1 “cheat” day a week where I eat a high carb meal. I want to binge like nothing else, especially on sugar. And its soo hard to get back on track. So, for me, low-carb 24/7 is the way to go. And I feel great, more energy. I’m not the type of person that loses weight all at once (it’s always gradual) but I am noticing less visceral (abdominal) fat around my midsection.

    Kris, love your site and articles. Keep it up:)

  4. These are two very good links that I hope you’ll like:



  5. The thing about exercise is one doesn’t necessarily need to exercise in order to lose weight on a no-carb diet. Exercise is good for you, but you can lose weight even when sedentary on a no-carb diet. At least, so far, that’s how it’s been working for me.

  6. Well hello. Just found this site so my reply is late but I for one am a type 1 diabetic and all I can say is this low carb diet is keeping my sugars near perfect. I’ve never felt better.

    And yes, I believe in the calories in, calories out method also. Just gotta work it all together. Anyway, cya.

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