Kevin Gendreau, MD, discusses his book, and his plans to attend upcoming Symposium for Metabolic Health in Boca
Dr. Kevin R. Gendreau is a Board Certified Obesity Medicine physician who used therapeutic carbohydrate restriction and intermittent fasting to reverse his type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, hypertension, and fatty liver disease. In just 18 months, he also lost 125 pounds, and he did it without surgery or medications.
Kevin will be attending the upcoming Symposium for Metabolic Health to be held in Boca, January 12-15, 2023, and he shared his thoughts on the value of attending in-person conferences such as this, as well as his insights on a wide range of topics related to metabolic health, low-carb/ketogenic diets, weight loss and more.
Kevin is the author of the book, Fasting While Furious: How I Turned Anger and Sadness into Motivation for Weight Loss, and in 2018 his inspiring journey was featured on the Today Show in an interview with host Megyn Kelly.
Kevin explained how the stress of preparing for medical school and the deteriorating health of his father, who died from cancer in 2007, led him to emotional eating and significant weight gain. By the time he was 29, Kevin weighed 306 pounds.
The death of Kevin’s father was followed by another tragedy. His older sister Rachel was diagnosed with a rare genetic form of ovarian cancer in 2016, and underwent chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, radiation, and multiple surgeries before succumbing to the cancer in June of 2017.
“When she was going through all of those treatments, I was starting to look at my own health and my own weight, with all of these comorbidities, as a choice,” said Kevin.
“I started to see that although my sister had absolutely no choice but to go through all these treatments, she was fighting to survive to be there for her two children. And I’m sitting here choosing to eat cookies and bread and pasta and chips and crackers. I was choosing to basically be unhealthy.”
On August 1, 2016, Kevin decided to clean up his diet and eat only whole foods.
“I really just had meat, eggs, nuts, seafood, and fruits and vegetables. Most days I was eating around 60 grams of carbs,and I soon realized how amazing therapeutic carbohydrate restriction was. I was dropping weight like crazy—10 to 15 pounds a month over the first couple months.”
Kevin added 16:8 time restricted eating to his plan when his weight loss plateaued, and his progress resumed.
His book, Fasting While Furious, is Kevin’s autobiographical account of the experience, along with a sample meal plan and other advice.
“The book explains how I turned anger and sadness into motivation for weight loss,” said Kevin. “It details how I gained the weight over a number of years, and then how I was inspired to lose the weight over an 18-month period.”
Kevin believes that most patients can experience sustained improvements in their metabolic health and weight through lifestyle changes. “I don’t think surgery or medications for weight loss are necessarily required for sustained improvements,” he said.
“I’ve had so many success stories in my clinic, people losing 50, 75, or 100-plus pounds, with just lifestyle changes, and that is almost always a therapeutic carb restricted approach, sometimes accompanied by time restricted eating.”
Kevin believes patient results can be improved with better education and support.
“I think the reason we have these crazy statistics that show most patients who lose 10% of their body weight gain it all back in one year, is because those people were on the wrong approach or had an incorrect understanding of their body type. They were on some form of calorie restriction that we know is ineffective.”
“Knowledge is Power”
As part of his own professional development, Kevin appreciates the value of attending metabolic health events such as the upcoming Symposium for Metabolic Health to be held January 13-15, 2023 in Boca.
“I think this is such an important opportunity to bring people together and try to gain an understanding of what the underlying commonalities are between different diets that are effective for different people.”
The commonality seems to be decreasing or eliminating processed carbohydrates, and minimizing refined sugars. There are different carb cut offs, but at the end of the day, if the standard American diet is 300 or more grams of carbs, as long as we’re reducing that substantially, I think there’s just so much metabolic health benefit to that.”
Kevin attended the Symposium for Metabolic Health in San Diego in 2021, and has attended Symposiums via livestream.
“I think most of the practitioners, scientists, surgeons, and physicians in this community are so approachable and kind and welcoming,” said Kevin. “There were people there who I view as almost like celebrities, but all of these individuals are just so kind and so approachable, and open to questions.”
Kevin said one of the unexpected highlights of the conference was the question and answer sessions that follow each of the expert presentations. “My favorite part was listening to patient questions,” he said. “I found it so interesting that lay people were interested enough to want to come to a conference like this. I always say that knowledge is power. This is a way to empower yourself to take control of your own health.”
Symposium for Metabolic Health – Boca 2023
To be held January 13-15, 2023 will have optional CME available. and will cover a wide array of topics covering metabolic health, including diabetes, obesity, mental health, neurological health, cardiovascular health, women’s and men’s health, exercise for metabolic health, and so much more Learn more and register here.
This year’s conference will also include a Bonus Clinical Workshop on carbohydrate addiction for practitioners who are able to arrive early – to be held on the afternoon of Thursday, January 12, in addition to the entire day that will be dedicated to the topic of carb addiction during the main presentations. Click here to learn more about the Clinical Workshop and the carbohydrate addiction aspects of the conference.