On the A-List

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Dr. Fred Pescatore's new book, The A-List Diet, is a roadmap to doing low-carb right-and transforming your health

Fred Pescatore was the last doctor in the world you'd expect to be a low-carb guru. "I hated medicine," he says. "I truly hated my residency. I hated the fact that people just went to the hospital to get sick and die. All I was doing was writing prescriptions. I had no time to talk to patients."

That all changed when, fresh out of residency, he took his first job with Dr. Robert Atkins. "I was just waiting for my medical license to come through, so I thought "‘OK, I'll do this for a while until I get my first real job,'" Pescatore recalls. "I didn't even know that much about who he was and what he was about."

Pescatore began to read The New Diet Revolution, the book that introduced the very low-carb Atkins diet to the world. "It all started to make sense," he says. "But what really convinced me was the results-people started to get well. They not only lost weight, but their diabetes went away, their metabolic syndrome went away, their triglyceride levels went down, their HDL went up, and their blood pressure got lower. People just got healthier, and it was strictly a matter of changing how they ate."

Fred Pescatore, MD, changed his entire approach to practicing medicine after working with the late Robert Atkins, MD.

Fred Pescatore, MD, changed his entire approach to practicing medicine after working with the late Robert Atkins, MD.

Pescatore became Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center in New York, and has never looked back. Soon after, he wrote what I think is one of the best books on feeding children-Feed Your Kids Well. Shortly after Atkins died in 2003, Pescatore published the New York Times best-seller, The Hamptons Diet. And he's been preaching the gospel of low-carb ever since.

"You can put two people on a low-carbohydrate diet, and A will do well and B will not. Why? There's got to be a metabolic reason why that happens."

Now he's back with a new book that puts a different twist on low-carb eating-it's called The A-List Diet, and despite a title that seems designed to hit the New York Times best-seller list, the book is filled with innovative tweaks that can make low-carb eating work for anyone, even people for whom it has not worked before. "You can put two people on a low-carbohydrate diet," he explains, "and A will do well and B will not. Why? There's got to be a metabolic reason why that happens, and that's what I was looking for."

Dr. Fred Pescatore’s new book, The A-List Diet, is a roadmap to doing low-carb right—and transforming your health

A central tenant of Pescatore's current work is amino acid supplementation. "Amino acid science was my ‘aha' moment," says Pescatore. "It shows you why men and women lose weight differently on low-carb, and why people at certain times in their lives need different amino acids." Pescatore is particularly fond of supplementing with a group of three amino acids known as the branched-chain aminos. "They really build up your metabolism," he says, explaining that they increase fat-free mass, make you leaner, and help get rid of stubborn belly fat.

Other secrets of Pescatore's book include daily protein boosts that help you get all the right levels of amino acids. The protein boosts also calm inflammation, which Pescatore believes is a cornerstone of every degenerative disease and a major promoter of weight gain. "Inflammation prevents your body from metabolizing food correctly," he says. It also makes it difficult to regulate levels of hormones that themselves have a huge effect on weight and weight loss.

This doctor-turned-bestselling author is also a big fan of alkalizing the body, though he scoffs at the notion that you need expensive water filters and alkaline waters to accomplish that. "There's so many little things you can do that are so much better for you than this crazy stuff," he says. "Having a green drink alkalizes you immediately!"

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