Lecture by Dr John Briffa, the one and only!

20 May 2012 7:34 pm     No Comments    Posted under: Books, Lectures, My encounter with...

John Briffa and I connected immediately. I got myself a new friend, a really awesome friend! He also reminds me so much of my brother in SA, quite scary resemblance in fact, and at the same time a reassuring feeling.

John Briffa is a practising doctor in London, UK, and author to several books….

This is what you can read about Dr. John Briffa on his website ‘drbriffa‘:

Dr Briffa is a former columnist for the Daily Mail and the Observer, and former contributing editor for Men’s Health magazine. He has contributed to over dozens of newspaper and magazine titles internationally, and is a previous recipient of the Health Journalist of the Year award in the UK. He has been listed by Tatler magazine as one of the UK’s leading doctors, and has twice been on the judging panel of the prestigious Prince of Wales Integrated Health Awards.”

About his lecture….

I loved the way Briffa started his talk.

He started by saying that he is English, not Australian nor South African. He is not married, but is not single – he has a girlfriend since some years back. He is an Aries….

“People often wonder about things like this, and have many questions in their heads so I want to clear all of that up right from the beginning, just in case you are all wondering…”

John Briffa is a medical dr. who got sidetracked into nutrition through personal health issues. He continued to say that he does not know if USA have the same problems as the UK with junk foods like: pizza; beer; KFC; smoking; sodas; etc…

When he changed his own diet he then got interested in nutrition. He did not know that there was a thing called nutrition, he had only spent many years in medical school and there he learnt nothing about the subject.

He was a diet doctor helping people without really knowing how to help them. He made it his mission to understand why people were yoyo dieting and which results they obtained.

People can take control over the weight so much more easily than what they have been taught through the’ traditional’ way of eating, by eliminating carbs and adding fat.

John Briffa does not call the diet by any specific name, why bother to eat low carb/lchf/paleo.

“Something that is low carb does not really mean that it’s ok to eat it. Like perhaps the carpet on the floor. The carpet is low in fat too, AND high in fiber, as is potatoes… And also dog shit, and even more, dog shit is also low in cholesterol AND it’s fresh!” These things are low in carbs, but not edible!

What happens when people go on a low fat diet? Not much! Actually something does happen – they gain weight actually.

There was in fact a study done on this, but the study was withdrawn without being published (?)!

We should forget about calories. Forget them! FORGET!!!

Is a calorie a calorie?

Plenty of studies show that low carb diets don’t have positive affects. But these studies are very short studies. So they have given up before the positive effects have been established…

Imagine that a calorie is a calorie… IF that was true. Then people cannot afford to get hungry. You then exert your will power, and land up feeling more bad about yourself than you did prior.

Instead a high fat diet is like a bear hibernating, you don’t get hungry!

It’s not that diets don’t work, they fundamentally cannot work!!!

John Briffa says he is positive to anything that is better than what the person was eating before, but he does not use branding (naming the diets as lche, paleo, atkins, low carb, etc…)

He also briefly mentions exercise and whether that works, or more, what does work? Resistance exercise helps as it is strengthening and toning, but it’s not necessary for weight loss.

John brings up the American ‘my plate’ which all are recommended to follow in USA!

He showed slides with how the myplate looks today, and how he would like to see it change…

‘Myplate’ does not work for me, it’s not working for anybody actually!

I also must just add, that on the last day of the cruise we had a question panel for all the lecturers… Briffa was asked:

“How do you as a dr. handle collegues that are critical towards you for treating patients with a low carb diet?”

Briffa has a standard answer which is as follows:

“Sir, I am afraid you have mistaken me for someone that gives a shit about what you think!”

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