Follow This Guide To Get Rid of Hip Fat

GET RID OF HIP FAT

How to get rid of hip fat? Well, women commonly store fat in their thighs and hips. As a result of this, often times women focus solely on trying to lose fat their hip and thigh area and while’s there’s nothing wrong with trying to tone up those body parts, losing weight in only that area is not realistic. Only overall weight loss can reduce the size of any body part. As you lose weight, you’ll lose fat stored around your hips and thighs, and other problem areas. The best way to lost weight is via a combination of cardiovascular activities, strength training, and a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Below are a list of ways to help you get started on your weight loss journey.

MAKE A FOOD JOURNAL

A food journal is exactly what it sounds like: a journal of all the foods you eat. Eat what you would normally in a day, but write everything down in the journal, even the condiments you put on your salads. Studies have shown that those who have food journals see more success with long-term weight loss.

A food journal allows you to see what you’re really eating and where you might be eating more than you think you are. So take careful note of food portions, the liquids you drink, and the amount of calories in the foods you eat throughout the week.

RESTRICT CALORIES

As you begin your weight loss journey, continue writing down what you eat. Once you see what you normally eat over the course of a week, reduce your caloric intake by 500 daily. You can use your food journal to see where you can cut out calories. Maybe you can swap out your favourite soda for water, or use lemon and salt instead of salad dressing. Reducing the amount of calories you eat signals your body to use its stored fat for energy (including the fat stored in your thighs!) You can (and should) safely lose about one to two pounds a week reducing your caloric intake by 500.

EAT REASONABLE PORTIONS

The next step is to eat reasonable portions. To help you do this use measuring cups, or buy a food scale. Measure each meal and snack to help you stay on track. Eyeballing portions often results in underestimating the amount of calories you consume, and overestimating portion sizes.

Below is a rough guide to show you how to measure foods.

    • 3-4 ounces of protein (the size of a deck of playing cards).
    • 1 ounce of grains.
    • ½ cup of vegetables, or 2 cups leafy greens (like kale or spinach).
    • 1/2 cup, or 1 small piece of fruit.

Each meal should include two servings of fruit and vegetables, and one serving of protein. Also try to consume at least two servings of grains throughout the day. Grains, like rice and quinoa, are easy to incorporate in dinners and lunches.

PICK LOW-CALORIE FOODS

If you’re not a fan of eating smaller portions, pick lower calories foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to eat. Go for lean protein foods like eggs, low-fat dairy products, legumes, poultry, tofu, seafood, and pork. These will fill you up.

With grains, go for 100% whole grains without extra sauces or seasonings. Whole grains are extremely nutritious and they have higher amounts of fiber and other nutrients.

Many fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories. Just be wary when purchasing canned or frozen produce to ensure they don’t contain any added sugars or seasonings.

WATCH OUT FOR LIQUIDS

Beware of liquid calories. Sodas, milk, fruit juices, sweet tea, energy drinks, coffee, and alcohol are probably responsible for a lot of excess calories in your diet. Cutting these out will help you lose weight. Also avoid “diet” drinks claiming to have no calories, but contain artificial sweeteners and other additives. Instead, drink water, make your own natural juice at home with a juicer, or drink unsweetened teas and coffees. You should be drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, or 64 ounces.

When you get the munchies, try not to reach for chips or cookies. Your snacks generally shouldn’t exceed more than 150 calories, so go for healthy options such as fruits and vegetables. The amount of snacks you eat is also dependent on your lifestyle; if you’re sedentary you don’t need any more than two snacks a day.

Below are a few low-calorie snacks to incorporate into your diet

  • 1 ounce of mixed nuts
  • 1 individual low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 apple or banana
  • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese
  • 3 ounces of beef jerky

EXERCISE

You should workout 4 to 5 times a week, or around 150 minutes a week. HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is an exercise that combines high intensity and moderate cardio activities. I recommend HIIT workouts to those wanting to lose weight. While it doesn’t target your hips, it will help you lose weight overall.

HIIT workouts are typically no longer than thirty minutes, but involve a lot of high-intensity activities. Doing HIIT five times a week will help you lose weight, as cardio is what really causes you to lose weight. Jogging, running, and cycling are all great forms of cardio that help you lose weight and tone your thighs.

Below are some easy workouts you can do to help you get started on your weight loss journey.

  • Squats are a great exercise that works your butt, thighs, hips, and stomach. Keep your feet hip width apart, place your hands in front of you as if praying and squat as if you’re trying to sit in a chair. Go down as far as you can before coming back up. Repeat this ten to twenty times a day and you’ll have a firm, toned bottom.
  • Lunges are another great exercise. Here, you will step forward and bend you knees. This exercise helps you tone your thigh and hip area. You’ll want to begin by standing with your feet shoulder length apart and by placing your hands on your hips. Step forward with one foot, keeping the toes pointed, and drop your knee while bending your front knee at the same time until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight and switch legs. Repeat this fifteen times, increasing the amount of lunges you do little by little.
  • Plies are another great move to help tone you up. Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and point for toes at a forty-five degree angle, facing away from your body. Place your hands on your hips and lower yourself slowly, keeping you head up and your back straight. As you go down, your knees should bend away from you. Repeat plies as many times as you feel comfortable doing, though about fifteen-to twenty is reasonable.
  • Hip thrusts are another great exercise that targets the hip and thigh muscles as well. Lie on the ground and stack your legs on top of one another. Flex and lift one foot and raise your hips toward the ceiling, and then lower them back down. Switch legs and repeat at least ten times per leg.

Remember, there are no shortcuts to losing weight, and toning up your hip and thigh area. Following these steps will show you how to get rid of hip fat, but it’s important not to stress just about your appearance, and instead focus on eating good foods and exercising regularly for the sake of your health.

Add Flax Seeds To Your Weight Loss Diet

WHAT IS FLAX SEEDS?

Flax seeds are small brownish and sometimes golden seeds that come from flax plants, an old fiber crop believed to have come from Egypt and China. Also known as lin seeds, they are a rich source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and manganese. Flax seeds have one of the highest concentrations of omega 3 in alpha-linolenic acid form. They are also a great source of healthy fats and antioxidants hence are very good at lowering the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Flax seeds can be eaten whole or grounded to be eaten with meals. They are also used to make a vegetable oil known as linseed oil.

FLAX SEEDS BENEFITS

1. LOWERING CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

Flax seeds have high soluble fiber content wich is good for metabolism and prevention of heart diseases and obesity. The America Journal of Clinical Nutrition published that Flax seeds are able to lower cholesterol by a third and promote weight loss. They soluble fiber traps cholesterol in the digestive system making it impossible for the body to absorb it.

2. CONTRIBUTES TO HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR

The essential fats and vitamin B1 found in Flax seeds promote healthy nails, skin and hair. This is because the nutrients reduce dryness that causes hair and nails to flake. Flax seeds also improve the condition of eczema, rosacea and acne. Dry eye syndrome is also one of the conditions improved by flax seeds.

3. DIGESTION

Flax seeds contain ALA which helps to protect the digestive tract lining from injury and inflammation. This protects the person from digestive ailments and reduces the symptoms of Cronhs disease. The high fiber content is good fro digestion and removing toxins from the stomach and small intestines. Apart from preventing against constipation, flax seeds also prevent the body from experiencing hunger all the time.

4.  REDUCING THE RISK OF CANCER

The 3 lignans and antioxidants found in lin seeds balance the hormones in the body and enhance cellular health. Clinical research for cancer shows that a teaspoon of flax seeds everyday will prevent breast and colon cancer. It’s also good for prostate and ovarian cancer because they are hormone related.

5. MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS

Flax seeds are able to reduce the symptoms women going through the menopause experience. The women get less flushing and night sweats. These seeds can also help women have regular periods and control weavy bleeding. They also reduce the extreme PMS Symptoms such as moods swings, anxiety and headaches.

6. CARDIAVASCULAR PROBLEMS

The omega 3 found in plenty in Flax seeds is good for the heart. Though it’s found in ALA, 20% of it can be converted to EPH to ensure the heart is strong and healthy. Flax seeds also lower blood sugar presure, ensuring the heart performs normally without stress.

HOW TO CONSUME FLAX SEEDS

There are many ways to consume flax seeds and incorporate them into out diet;

The first approach is to cook with lin seeds oil and apply to skin and hair together with other essential oils.

Flax seeds powder can be added to the mixture when baking or in ready-made smoothies, soups and juices. Adding a spoonful of the Flax seeds powder to yogurt, porridge and breakfast cereal is also a great approach.

Raw grounded flax seeds can also sprinkled in veggies and fruits to give a crunchy texture. They can also be sprinkled on Frensh toast on top of the eggs before it hits the skillet. Putiing them in meatloaf or meatballs before cooking is also a marvelous idea.

They can also be ground in the blender or coffee grinder and used as egg substitute when baking.

Though they don’t taste very good, Flax seeds can be chewed raw just like peanuts or fruits but it’s not recommended because no nutrients will be absorbed this way. instead of eating chips and other unhealthy snacks when one is hungry, a granola bar made with flax seeds can be a great substitute.

FLAX SEEDS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

There are several ways flax seeds are used for weight loss:

Flax is fiber and it’s full of healthy fats but it’s free of carbohydraes. This means one can eat as much as they want without adding weight caused by starch. The fiber also improves digestion and metabolism which is crucial for losing weight.

The healthy fats found in flax seeds ensure one feels full and satisfied for longer without consuming too much food. This is because they absorb water and swell, making your stomach feel the same for a long time. They also supress hunger and reduce the amount of times one has to eat.

ALA fats reduce inflammation in the stomach lining. This is important to weight loss because an inflamed body will often hold on to weight. A healthy stomach lining makes it possible to lose weight and trap excess cholesterol in the tract instead of the compound being converted to fat. Even tough there is a lot of dat in flax seeds, it is the healthy kind that does not contribute to weight gain.

OTHER USES OF FLAX SEEDS

The fact that flax seeds are gluten and starch free is a big advantage to many people. They act as a great substitute for omega 3 to people who are allergic to seafood and are used by people who are gluten intolerant. Mixing flax seed powder with a little water can also be applied in baking instead of eggs and this is better for weight loss and works mostly because some people are allergic to eggs.

The benefits of flax seeds to the body are simply endless. This is because they provide the much needed fiber and nutrients required to keep the body healthy and get rid of toxins. The best way to reap all the benefits is to buy them whole and refrigerate them. This way one can grind some everyday and incorporate in their meals. Flax seeds are versatile, multipurpose and nutritious grains for everyday health.

Pulses May Help You Weight Loss

For weight loss, the importance of real food should not be disregarded.

Previous studies suggest that pulses, the seeds of legumes, may help you lose weight. However, the evidence is not entirely conclusive.

Recently, a team of researchers reviewed and analyzed the available data. Here is a detailed summary of their findings.

BACKGROUND

The seeds of legumes are collectively known as pulses. However, not everyone agrees on what pulses are.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the name pulse only refers to legumes that are harvested for their dry seeds. This definition excludes green beans, green peas, soybeans and peanuts.

Several controlled trials suggest that eating pulses may have benefits for those trying to lose weight. However, their findings are not entirely conclusive.

Factors such as the amount eaten, trial duration, number of participants (statistical power) and the type of pulse examined result in inconclusive findings.

For this reason, combining the results of similar studies in a meta-analysis may increase statistical power, providing more accurate estimates of the truth.

Only one previous meta-analysis examined the effect of pulses on body weight. This meta-analysis, which was published in 2002 and included 8 randomized controlled trials, concluded that pulses do not reduce body weight.

However, many new studies have been published since then, justifying an update.

ARTICLE REVIEWED

This was a review and analysis of studies examining how pulses affect body weight.

Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

STUDY DESIGN

This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effect of pulses on body weight, body fat or weight circumference.

In this study, pulses were defined as all leguminous seeds, except for oilseeds — soybeans and peanuts. These included white kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, dry peas and lupin.

The analysis included 21 trials, including a total of 940 participants. All of the trials had the following characteristics:

  • They were randomized controlled trials, comparing a diet rich in pulses with a diet that didn’t contain any pulses.
  • The trials examined the effects of whole pulses on body weight, waist circumference or body fat percentage.
  • The diets contained the same amount of calories.
  • They were three or more weeks in duration.

Bottom Line: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of pulses on body weight.

FINDING 1: PULSES REDUCED BODY WEIGHT

This meta-analysis showed that eating pulses may promote modest weight loss in overweight or obese middle-aged men and women.

On average, eating 132 grams of cooked pulses per day (or one serving) led to 0.75 lbs (0.34 kg) greater weight loss over a period of 6 weeks, compared to a diet that didn’t contain any pulses.

Pulses had weight loss benefits even when the diets were not intentionally calorie restricted. This suggests that eating pulses may be an effective alternative to calorie-reduced diets, which may be difficult to stick to in the long-term.

The findings are not supported by a previous meta-analysis, published in 2002.

However, that analysis only included 8 trials, and may not have had enough statistical power to detect differences as significant.

Bottom Line: The analysis showed that eating pulses may cause modest weight loss, even when diets are not calorie-reduced.

FINDING 2: PULSES DID NOT REDUCE WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE

Six of the included trials, which had a total of 509 participants, examined the effects of eating pulses on waist circumference.

Overall, eating pulses did not significantly reduce waist circumference.

However, when one study was removed from the analysis, waist circumference decreased by a significant 1%.

Body fat tended to decrease, but the difference between groups was on the verge of being statistically significant.

Bottom Line: Eating pulses did not significantly reduce waist circumference or body fat.

WHY DO PULSES HAVE WEIGHT LOSS BENEFITS?

The main reason why pulses promote weight loss is probably their ability to increase fullness and reduce appetite.

They have several nutritional properties that make them especially satiating or filling. These include:

  • Soluble fiber: Pulses are rich in soluble fiber, which may slow stomach emptying, contributing to fullness.
  • Resistant starch: Some of the starch in beans is resistant to digestion. This slightly reduces energy content, benefits gut microbiota and helps with fullness.
  • Protein: Pulses are high in protein, which also promotes fullness.
  • Glycemic index: Pulses are low on the glycemic index, improving blood sugar levels. This may potentially prevent overeating.

Additionally, pulses are affordable and may have a number of other health benefits, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: Pulses may promote weight loss by increasing fullness and calorie intake during a meal.

LIMITATIONS

This meta-analysis had several potential limitations.

First, the findings of one trial may have been largely responsible for the significant effects detected.

Second, many of the included trials were of short duration, or only 4–10 weeks. Further studies need to assess the long-term effects of a diet high in pulses.

Third, only 42% of the included trials were considered to be of high quality, according to the Heyland Methodologic Quality Score.

Finally, this meta-analysis did not distinguish between different types of pulses.

Although all pulses have several beneficial properties in common, it is possible that some of them are more effective than others.

Bottom Line: This meta-analysis had a few limitations. Many of the studies included were of low quality and short duration. Additionally, the analysis did not distinguish between the different types of pulses.

SUMMARY AND REAL-LIFE APPLICATION

This meta-analysis showed that eating pulses may promote a slight weight loss, even on a diet that’s not calorie-reduced.

The ability of pulses to promote fullness and reduce appetite during a meal may be responsible for these effects.

Simply put, if you are trying to lose weight, adding one serving or a cup of cooked beans, lentils, peas or chickpeas do your daily diet could make a difference.

Don’t forget to share this article about Pulses and weight loss with your friends using the social media icons.

Your Gut Might Be Preventing Your Body From Losing Weight


HEAL THE GUT

The digestive system is the gateway to the body. Everything that moves through your intestines is still in some sense outside of the body. It hasn’t gone in yet. So, when you eat a food, what happens to it? How does it get in? What regulates the process of absorption?

One of the first digestive “steps” is interacting with gut bacteria. Trillions of bacteria live in your gut and regulate the breakdown of food into nutrients. These bacteria are, in a sense, like castle guards. As foods march through your digestive track, these guards help keep order and promote healthy digestive processes.

They are your first line of defense, and having them in place keeps whatever is toxic in your gut from abrading your intestinal walls and causing inflammation
at this point of entry.

Your gut can be populated by good or bad bacteria. The more and higher quality of gut bacteria you have, the healthier your body is, the lower your inflammation, and the less at risk you are for autoimmune disease and mental health disorders.

When you have more bad bacteria than good bacteria, your digestive system has less protection and the rest of your body is more vulnerable to inflammation.

The relationship between gut flora and obesity is robust in animal models. Mice without any gut flora are more susceptible to obesity than normal mice. In fact, by transferring gut flora among mice, you can change their fat mass. Adding the gut flora of an obese mouse to a bacteria-free mouse will make the latter mouse obese.

Adding healthy gut flora to this mouse will not make it obese. These exact studies have not been conducted on humans, but it has been demonstrated that good bacteria cultures promote metabolic wellness, and that nurturing a healthy gut environment with pre- and probiotic foods (see below) improves insulin sensitivity, fat burning, and metabolic efficiency in humans.

So gut flora are your first round of defense against the external world. The thing they so crucially defend is the lining of your intestines. If this lining is breached, toxins that would otherwise be excreted as feces leak through the intestinal lining, enter the bloodstream, and cause the immune system to go into panicked hyper-drive.

This condition is called “leaky gut.” Leaky gut is one of (if not the primary) cause of inflammation, as well as hundreds of autoimmune disorders. Having a leaky gut due to a poor intestinal environment is quite possibly the one problem that underlies all the rest in the body.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HEAL YOUR GUT:

First and foremost, shore up the first line of defense: your gut flora. Do this first by eliminating your use of antibiotics and limiting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (acetaminophen is not an NSAID). Both of these things reduce the level of good bacteria in your gut.

Once you stop killing off the good guys, help boost their population. Regularly consuming bacteria is one of the best ways to do this. Fermented foods contain high amounts of beneficial bacteria. Any food that contains a bacterial culture will help.

Our knowledge about supplements is quite limited, and none of them do as well as the natural stuff from the bounty of the earth. Food is a better option than supplementation for healing if at all possible. Why? Fermented foods like sauerkraut provide greater bacterial variety than supplements do.

They also provide the cultures in the context of a natural form of ingestion, which is more familiar and helpful for the body. Nonetheless, probiotic supplements can serve you well in a pinch.

In addition to straight up eating good gut bacteria in the form of fermented foods, you can also feed existing populations and help them grow. Good gut flora love to eat the fiber found in fruits and vegetables. They particularly love a form of fiber called inulin, which is found in Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, and jicama.

It is also found in onions and leeks, to a lesser extent. The studies I mentioned earlier on mice with different kinds of gut flora have also shown that the overweight mice lose weight when inulin is added to their diets. Human studies show that increased inulin sharpens insulin sensitivity and promotes metabolic efficiency.

Inulin and other fibers are called “prebiotics” since they feed and nurture the “probiotics” in your gut. In fact, it is quite important to consume both pre- and probiotics, since probiotics are primarily helpful in the small intestine and prebiotics are helpful further on in the digestive process in the large intestine.

As you are boosting your good gut flora population, stop feeding the bad guys. Bad gut bacteria love processed sugar. Sugar is the easiest form of food for them to eat. Other carbohydrates need to be broken down by processes in your digestive track before they can be consumed. Simple sugars do not.

The bad gut flora eat them up, create uncomfortable gases as a byproduct of their digestion, crowd out the good gut flora, and enable toxic particles to enter your bloodstream. This results in a state of high alert and panicked activity by your immune system.

Counting Macros To Lose Fat? You Might Be Doing It Wrong

You’ve probably heard that counting macros is a good way to help build muscle and lose fat.

In fact once you get your macros right you can actually be more flexible with your eating.

That’s right. As long as you are sticking to the right amounts of macros for your goals you can eat some foods that aren’t necessarily classed as “healthy” and still lose weight and build muscle.

This is known as flexible dieting and has been getting a lot of attention recently.

And for good reason.

Put simply, if you are getting the right amounts of protein, fats and carbs (macronutrients) you will start to improve your body composition.

Once you know how to calculate your macros, keeping track of them on a daily basis is pretty simple.

In this article you will learn how to calculate your macros and then keep track of them moving forward.

How To Count Your Macros

The first thing you need to do to start tracking your macros is to figure out how many macros you actually need to be eating to hit your goals.

Thankfully calculating your macros is pretty simple.

With a little maths you can calculate fairly accurately how many macros you need on a daily basis.

The process to calculate your macros is:

  1. Calculate your calories
  2. Calculate your protein
  3. Calculate your fats
  4. Calculate your carbs
  5. Monitor and adjust based on your results

It’s as simple as that. Follow the steps in this article to calculate how much of each of these you need to be consuming.

 

1. Calculate Your Calories

Calories are the starting point of any diet plan.

Because the amount of calories you consume will have the biggest effect on your weight loss or gain.

We’ve all been told that we need to eat healthy in order to lose weight. While there are lots of benefits to eating a clean healthy diet, it isn’t going to necessarily make you lose weight

When it comes to weight loss the types of foods you eat don’t matter as much as the amount of calories you consume.

The only way to lose weight is to put yourself in a calorie deficit.

That means that you eat less calories than your body requires to perform your day to day tasks.

When your body doesn’t have any more food to get energy from, it has to convert your fat stores into energy.

So from that standpoint 100 calories of chocolate is the same as 100 calories of broccoli.

To highlight this point Professor Mark Harb ate a diet that consisted of Twinkies, Dorritos and Oreos and lost up to 27 pounds.

Now, I’m not recommending that you follow a diet based on junk food but that story does highlight an important point.

If you consistently consume less calories that you burn you will lose weight. Regardless of where those calories come from.

The same is true on the other hand. If you are looking to put on weight you will need to consume more calories than you burn to put yourself in a surplus.

So now that we have gone over the importance of calories. Let’s talk about how to calculate the amount you need.

Calorie Needs

Everybody’s caloric needs are different as there are a lot of factors that contribute to the amount of calories you burn in a day.

So keep this in mind. No one equation is going to be 100% accurate for your needs, you might need to tweak it slightly depending on your results.

To calculate your calories you first need to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Your BMR is the the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to maintain vital functions such as breathing and keeping warm.

Put simply this is the base amount of calories that your body requires to produce energy needed to keep your body functioning.

To find your BMR use the following equations ( I have included the equations for kg and lbs):

Males

BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years).

BMR = 66 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in yrs)

Females

BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years).

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in Yrs)

Once you have this figure you know the amount of calories that you require just to survive.

But this doesn’t take into account the energy that you burn throughout the day from working out and even smaller things like if you’re on your feet all day at work or if you have to walk to the bus stop, etc.

All of these factors combined with your basal metabolic rate make up your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

You can figure out your TDEE by multiplying your BMR by your level of activity:

  • If you rarely exercise, multiply your BMR by 1.2
  • If you exercise on 1 to 3 days per week, multiply your BMR by 1.375
  • If you exercise on 3 to 5 days per week, multiply your BMR by 1.55
  • If you exercise 6 to 7 days per week, multiply your BMR by 1.725
  • If you exercise every day and have a physical job or if you often exercise twice a day, multiply your BMR by 1.9

The number that you get by multiplying your BMR by your level of activity is the amount of calories you need on a daily basis to maintain weight.

 

How To Calculate Calories For Weight Loss?

 

If you are looking to lose some fat you simply need to eat less than your TDEE.

To lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit. This means that your body is using more energy than you are giving it through food.

Your body then looks for other places to get energy, which is your fat stores.

Lets say that your TDEE was at 2800, so you are burning 2800 calories of energy from your daily activities. If you eat a diet that consists of 2300 calories you are in a 500 calorie deficit.

To lose one pound of body fat per week you need to put yourself in a 500 calorie deficit every day.

If you are looking to lose weight, subtract 500 calories off of your TDEE before calculating you major macronutrients.

Being in a 500 calorie a day deficit will result in around 1 pound of weight loss per week.

Being in a caloric deficit will make you lose weight. However if you are looking to improve your body composition and build some muscle you will need to make sure you are getting enough of each macronutrient as well as your caloric intake.

2. Calculate Your Protein

Protein is the most important of the three macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fat) and that is why we calculate it first.

Protein helps you to:

Put simply high protein diets are much more beneficial than low protein diets, especially if you are working out and training regularly.

So how much protein do you actually need to eat?

Research has shown that between 0.8 and 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day is a good amount.

If you are more overweight eg. 25% body fat and higher for men and 30% and higher for women, you need to go calculate your protein needs from your lean body mass. Your lean body mass is the amount of weight you carry on your body that isn’t fat.

To do this you will need to have a rough idea of your body fat percentage. If you don’t fall into this category you can skip to the next section.

You can use the tools here to calculate your body fat percentage or you can estimate yours visually.

Compare yourself to the charts below.

 

To calculate your lean body mass you take your weight eg. 230 pounds and multiply that by your body fat percentage. eg 30%

230 x 30% = 69

That gives you the amount of your weight that is fat.

You then need to subtract that amount from your total weight to get your lean body mass.

230 – 69 = 161 pounds of lean body mass.

So you would aim for about 161 grams of protein per day.

If you think that number seems like a lot you might want to try increasing your protein intake with protein powder. Check out this article by Health Trends of the best protein powder.

Now that you have calculated your protein you need to move onto the next macro.

3. Calculate Your Fat

It was only a short time ago that magazines and health gurus were pushing out content that said eating fat made you get fat.

Low fat diets were everywhere.

Yes, lowering your fat intake can help you lose weight, as it drastically reduces your caloric intake.

The reason behind that is there are more calories in 1 gram of fat than there are in 1 gram of protein or carbs.

Here’s how they weight up:

Protein = 4 calories/gram

Fat = 9 calories/gram

Carbs = 4 calories/gram

You can see how cutting fats out of your diet could help you lose weight as you are removing more calories than you would be if you cut out protein or carbohydrates.

However removing all fats is not necessarily the most healthy or beneficial way to go about things.

With that said overeating fat isn’t a good idea especially when it comes to saturated fats.

Basically fat is an essential part of your diet but you don’t want to go overboard with it. You want to eat a moderate amount that allows you to maximise your health and still stay on top of your calories.

Around 0.3 grams of fat per pound of body weight is a suitable amount for most people.

Fat is essential to your diet. With that said after you hit your fat requirements, extra fat is not going to benefit your performance in the gym.

Carbs on the other hand are a direct source of energy and can correlate to better athletic performances.

This is dependant on you. If you like eating nuts and peanut butters and higher fat foods, you can go a little higher on fats but you will be lowering the amount of carbs that you can eat to fit into your calories as a result.

 

4. Calculate Your Carbs

These days there has been a lot of hype around low carb diets.

You might have heard that the best way to lose fat is to cut out all of the carbs from your diet.

While it can work, it’s not always the most pleasant way to go about things. There are ways to get lean and still consume carbs.

As long as you stick to your calories you can eat as many carbs as you like and not put on fat.

If you exercise regularly, lift weights, are fairly healthy and are in a normal body fat range you will benefit from having more carbs than less.

Carbs are your major source of fuel and if you are looking to gain strength and muscle or perform better athletically, they are extremely beneficial. They aren’t going to hinder your fat loss unless you are eating an excess amount of them and exceeding your daily caloric needs.

Calculating your carbs is simple, you just need to assign your remaining calories to them.

Here’s how you do it.

So we have already calculated our calories, protein and fat intake.

And we know that 1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories and 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories.

  1. Multiply your protein intake by 4
  2. Multiply your fat intake by 9
  3. Add these two numbers together and then subtract that number from your goal calories. This will give you the calories you have remaining for carbs
  4. Divide the remaining number by 4 to get the total in grams of carbs that you should eat every day.

Let’s break that down with an example.

Bob weighs 180 pounds and his TDEE is around 2600 calories to maintain his body weight.

As a result of that Bob needs to eat 180 grams of protein and 54 grams of fat per day.

1. Multiply protein by 4

180 x 4 = 720

2. Multiply fat by 9

54 x 9 = 486

3. Add two numbers together then subtract from your total calories

720 + 486 = 1206, then 2600 – 1206 =  1394 calories remaining for carbs

4. Divide the remaining number by 4

1394 / 4 = 349 grams of carbs per day.

So Bob’s macros would be:

  • 180 grams protein
  • 54 grams of fat
  • 349 grams of carbs

Per day*

Now, it’s your turn. Plug your numbers into the equation to find your macros.

5. Monitor Your Bodies Response and Adjust

You’ve just learned how to accurately count your macros. Understanding macros gives you control over whether you lose or gain weight.

That said the formula’s above may not work perfectly for you right out of the box. There’s just to many factors that come into play. For example your metabolism may be faster or slower than the formulas assume, or you may have under or overestimated the amount of energy you burn in your day to day actions.

So you will need to monitor your results and tweak your macros accordingly.

When you’re starting out you should weigh yourself first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Monitor this weight over the first week to two weeks and evaluate.

Generally this is the case:

If you’re trying to lose weight but aren’t you either need to eat less or move more.

If your weight isn’t dropping you are probably eating more calories than you are burning. If you are already doing a couple of sessions of cardio a week the first place you should look is your carbs. Try dropping your carbs slightly and monitor the results. Start nice and slow and drop increments of around 10 – 15 grams per day.

If you are trying to gain weight but aren’t you probably just need to eat more.

If you are putting in good hard sessions in the gym but your weight won’t go up try increasing your daily caloric intake by 5%. After a couple of weeks monitor your results and adjust again if necessary.

Most “hardgainers” just don’t eat enough on a daily basis. It’s that simple.

The most important part of counting macros is tracking your results and making slight adjustments moving forward.

 

Conclusion

Counting your macros is the best way to accurately control your body composition.

It might seem like a lot of fuss to go through, but if you’re looking to get the most out of your workouts and diet, counting macros is worth the effort.

Follow the steps laid out in this article to get started on your macro counting journey.

Counting Calories? You Might Be Doing It Wrong

WHAT IS A CALORIE?

A calorie is a unit of energy. The body requires calories to carry out its day-to-day functions smoothly which include the functions of the complex systems right up to simple tasks like buttoning your shirt every morning.

Food groups such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber contain calories in varying amounts. Taking into account every calorie you eat and burn is essential if you want to optimize your weight loss results. A gram of protein or Carbohydrate has 4 calories, while a gram of fat has 8 calories.

MEASURING PORTION SIZES AND FOOD SERVINGS

You might nod your head in agreement to our suggestion of counting calories, but no sooner than you’ve started counting calories than you will realize that playing with numbers is no cakewalk. It is easy to forget those 4-digit numbers. Measuring the food you eat is a good way to count calories successfully.

  • You can use a measuring cup to measure grains, cereals as well as fluids.
  •  Butter, syrups and jams are better measured with a measuring spoon.
  • You can also invest in a kitchen scale to make measuring meal portions and servings feasible.

Foods are not only made up of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They also include other micronutrients. Nutrient label readings can help in cases where calorie counting is not as simplified. The nutrient label is printed on the food package. You should consider details such as individual serving size and the number of servings contained in a particular package.

WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU ARE EATING OUT?

First things first, if your aim is to lose weight, you have no option but to cut down the number of times you dine out. And when you do, you should take the trouble to enquire about the nutritional content of each meal and serving. Restaurant meals are usually larger than regular portions and servings and are loaded with fat-derived calories.

Given people’s increasing awareness of the food they eat, restaurants have started making available nutrient information for all their dishes. This information can be accessed at the restaurant. It is also posted on the restaurant website for public viewing.

Now you might be asking yourself. “Why do I need to count my calories if I already started re-wiring my brain?” It is simple…. I want you to lose weight… And not only that, but I want you to lose as much weight as you possibly can in a healthy way, so that you can get the most out of your life….

THE DOS AND DON’TS OF COUNTING CALORIES

There are a few dos and don’ts that will help you stay accurate and at the same time make calorie counting a less tedious job.

I started off with calorie counting, just to brush up your basics. Besides, understanding the importance of calorie counting and knowing how to do it, will enable you make healthier food choices and keep the weight off for good.

The truth is that even now I use a calorie calculator. It is really important to do it too. In the future, Wake Up Thinner will have a smart phone app included, and it will help you keep track. Since you already bought the program, you will get it for free.

Till then, use the calculator on this website: www.calorieking.com Use it to quickly find out how many calories are in all the foods you want to eat!

CALORIE DEFICIT

It is easy to maintain healthy weight if you know the equation that drives it. If you want to lose weight, you should either:

  • Eat less calories than you burn or;
  • Burn more calories than you eat

This deficit is known as Calorie Deficit and is an effective way to lose weight. Thus, if you want to lose 1 pound of fat in a week, you should have a calorie deficit of 3500 calories in that week, which means 500 calories per day.

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN METABOLISM

If you’ve noticed, men tend to eat more than their counterparts and yet do not put on weight easily. To add, they can lose weight faster. It is a matter of gender difference. Men and women show marked biological differences. However, there also exist differences in their size and body composition.

The resting metabolic rate in women – the total energy expenditure in activities such as breathing, digestion and blood circulation, is 5% – 10% lower that men’s. As a result, our female bodies tends to store more fat.

HEALTH EATING – THE WAY TO A SLIMMER FIGURE

We often find ourselves in a real dilemma when it comes to food for weight loss. Health and fitness experts cancel out starvation and crash diets as healthy steps to trim an expanding waistline. As a matter of fact, they recommend eating a little of everything.

You already learned how to eat in my other ebook, however I will teach you how to eat to accelerate your weight loss.

PROTEIN: NUTRIENT PROFILE – 4 CALORIES PER 1 GRAM

Protein is the most essential food group when on a weight loss diet. You should double up your intake of protein to lose weight because it supports fat burning through muscle building and also staves off hunger.

  • Proteins are made of amino acids which are used to repair and maintain the cellular structure.
  • This food nutrient plays a major role in muscle growth and sustenance.
  • It keeps energy levels from dropping and can prevent exhaustion in dieters on a low-calorie diet.

There are plant and animal sources of good protein. You can choose lean beef, white meat for chicken and poultry, fish and pork as they contain a good amount of protein and a healthy amount of fat. You can eat an egg for breakfast too.

I would recommend eating only the white as the yolk is high in cholesterol. Vegetarians can choose to get their protein from fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals, beans, legumes grains and low-fat dairy products. The Diet Plan book has the exact meal plans you should follow, so don’t worry about what foods to eat.

CARBOHYDRATES: NUTRIENT PROFILE – 4 CALORIES PER 1 GRAM

Whoever told you to cut out carbohydrates from your diet to lose weight is highly mistaken. Carbohydrates – complex carbohydrates – are known for their thermic effect and thereby act as metabolism boosters in the body.

One might ask why only complex carbohydrates? Carbohydrates supply the body with nutrition in the form of sugar. The sugars present in complex carbohydrates take a longer time to be broken down as against the simple ones and hence are beneficial to the body.

Fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are rich in complex carbs.

FATS: NUTRIENT PROFILE – 9 CALORIES PER 1 GRAM

While you may have expected to see carbohydrates and proteins on this list, I am sure not many of you expected to see fats. Fats have been blamed more than they deserve to for the entire weight gain issue.
For those unaware, there are two main types of fat – saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats contained in meat, cheese, butter are the unhealthy variety.

Unsaturated fats on the other hand, are the healthy variety as they supply Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids. Unsaturated fat is contained in nuts, flaxseed, avocados, soybean oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, coconut oil and canola oil and fish varieties such as salmon, trout and herring.

When you eat fats, you should eat them in controlled quantities. Also avoid junk, packaged and fast food as they contain artificial trans-fat. Artificial trans-fat is the harbinger of weight issues and heart problems.

WATER: NUTRIENT PROFILE – ZERO CALORIES

When considering diet options, we concentrate only on food groups ignoring the weight loss potential of water. Water should be had in plenty when trying to lose weight. Why?

  • First, it keeps you hydrated.
  • Second, it flushes out toxins.
  • Third, it boosts metabolism and helps burn calories.
  • Fourth, it has no calories.
  • It also ensures smooth functioning of the body systems.

Water is a good alternative to sugary drinks and artificially prepared fruit juices. You should drink minimum 8-10 glasses of water each day. You can drink it plain or meet the body’s requirement for water by eating water-rich fruits and vegetables. Drink a glass of water before every meal.

It will curb hunger and prevent overeating at a meal. Ice-cold water is another good option. The body will first bring it to normal temperature before digesting it which means burning more calories. If you detest the bland taste of water, you can add fresh lemon juice. Have this mixture

Psyllium Husk Helps In Weight Loss

WHAT IS PSYLLIUM HUSKS?

Also referred to as isabggol or ispaghula, the Psyllium seed Husks are a part of the plant Plantago ovate which is a native of Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Psyllium seed Husks are mostly used to assist in the loss of excessive weight and to relieve digestion issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and diarrhoea. The Psyllium Husk has a wide array of health benefits that have made it a popular product for the health conscious demographic. Here is a brief but detailed rundown of some of the benefits that Psyllium has on the body.

PSYLLIUM HUSK BENEFITS

PSYLLIUM HUSK IS RICH IN BOTH SOLUBLE AND INSOLUBLE FIBER.

Some of the benefits of natural fiber contained in Psyllium is that it can provide the fiber you need without requiring you to alter your normal diet. The soluble fiber is Psyllium significantly slows down digestion and controls the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream preventing sugar levels from spiking up consequently preventing fat accumulation.

Additionally, the soluble fats also lower cholesterol levels and this reduces susceptibility to cardiac related aliments. The insoluble fiber which is also prevent in Psyllium helps promote regular bowel movement.

PSYLLIUM HUSK IS EFFECTIVE IN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCING BOWEL PROBLEMS.

Psyllium is also a bulk-forming laxative. This essentially means that it Psyllium Husks soak up water in the gut making bowel movements easier. It soaks up water by swelling when it comes in contact with water and reliable studies shown that it can absorb water that is 8 to 16 times it weight.

Psyllium Husk form a gelatin like mass in the colon which softens the stool incredibly hence reducing vulnerability to constipation related complications such as anal fissures and haemorrhoids. This will ensure that bowel movements are regular and there in no flatulence or bloating. Apart from softening the stool, this gluten like mass also absorbs toxins, bacteria and germs that are located along the digestive tract. Additionally, the gluten like mass also absorbs excess bile which contains accumulated cholesterol.

In case a person is suffering from inflammation along the digestive tract, Psyllium will act as an inflammatory agent that soothes the walls of the digestive system. It acheives this because it contains muscilage which is not only cooling but also slippery.

Common bowel-related issues such as hermorrhoids can be resolved using Psyllium Husks. Since hemorrhoids from when a person consistently strains when eliminating hard stool, consuming Psyllium together with large quantities of water will ensure stools are soft and easy to eliminate.

Psyllium Husks stimule peristalsis (muscle like contractions which enable the easy movement of food along the digestive tract). Consequently this reduces constipation. Indians have been using Psyllium Husks to reduce constipation for many years while Europeans have been using it to ensure healthy bowel movements. However, Psyllium Husks are a relatively new concept in the west that is rising in popularity.

PSYLLIUM HUSK FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Since the Psyllium Husks swells up to ten to twenty times its original size when in contact with water, it creates the illusion of full stomach hence reducing the amount of food a person consumes considerably. The illusion of a full stomach reduces hunger and prevents binge eating hence aiding in loss of weight. Experts have established that Psyllium Husks work well if taken at least twenty minutes before a meal because they cause fullness that results in eating less. When on a diet or trying to control portions, Psyllium will come in handy as the feeling of fullness will make adhering to a diet much easier.

Psyllium Husk is arguably the best supplement as it has extremely low calories approximately 32 calories per two tablespoons. This mean a person can comfortably consume Psyllium Husks without running the risk of adding excess calories.

Additionally, Psyllium Husk removes waste accumulated in the colon making a person feel lighter.

GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW WHEN CONSUMING PSYLLIUM HUSK

1. Ensure that Psyllium Husk is taken together with a liquid preferably water. Desist from eating Psyllium Husk on its own as this can cause digestion issues. Apart from water, you can mix this effective dietary supplement with a variety of healthy liquids such as vegetable smoothies, fruit juices, stew, soups, ice cream, yofurt and even milk.

2. Consume a lot of liquids before and after consuming the Psyllium Husk. This is because since the Psyllium Husk absorbs a lot of water and moisture it can easily make a person dehydrated. If you are taking Psyllium ensure you drink at least eight glasses of water to avoid getting dehydrated. Essentially, it is not easy to swallow Psyllium Husk without water therefore for convenience take it with water.

3. Pregnant should avoid consuming Psyllium Husk because pregnant women need to stay dehydrated consistently and constantly. Additionally they are also bloated all the time and need to eat nutritious food; this is impossible the Psyllium Husk fill the stomach.

4. Desist from consuming Psyllium Husk immediately after and before a meal. Either take it some minutes before and after a meal or consume it in-between meal to avoid tampering with digestion.

5. Psyllium Husk has no nutritional benefit therefore it should not be a substitue for a balance diet. It is a strictly a supplement and not a nutritional food that adds value to your diet.

PSYLLIUM HUSKS SIDE EFFECTS

Since Psyllium Husk are completely natural they cannot harm the body in any way. Unlike some natural laxatives that are addictive, Psyllium Husks can be regularly consumed without the chance of becoming addictive. The user has full control of when to take this supplement and how to take it.

A user has to keep in mind that since Psyllium Husk is natural bulking gent, it needs to be taken together with a lot of water. For precautionary purposes it is advisable that one tablespoon should be accompanied by two glasses of water. Since Psyllium absorbs a huge amount of water, it wil be ineffective if taken without water as it will cause constipation. If you have either diabetes or diverticulitis, you should seek a doctor’s advice and guidance to ensure you consume Psyllium in a healthy way that will not harm your overall healthy or worsen your symptoms.

Serious allergic reactions to Psyllium are extremely rare but user should avoid over consumption and take it with a liquid to avoid choking.

A common side effect of taking Psyllium Husk is mild stomach cramping especially for a new user, Since this is a common symptopm that is mostly caused by insufficient consumption of water, you should sek medicial advice and guidance. The doctor will ascertain whether it is safe to continue consuming Psyllium Husks or not.

If you have a medical history of appendicitis or stomach blockage then you need to consult a doctor before taking Psyllium Husks.

If you are taking any other medication then you should seek medical advice before taking Psyllium Husks to ensure the medication foes not interfere with the medication you are taking.

People with a history of kidney disease must seek the medical advice before consuming Psyllium Husk.

ROUND UP OF 7 AMAZING WAYS PSYLLIUM HUSK HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT

If you are a health conscious person then there is not doubt that you are always on the lookout for a natural way of maintaining a normal body weight. Psyllium Husks completely lives to the hype and will help you lose weight. If you are wondering why Psyllium Husks have become  the biggest craze in the weight loss science, there are 7 amazing weight loss benefits that will absolutely make you want to try out Psyllium Husks.

1. An exhaustive and thorough study by University of Maryland ascertained that Psyllium Husks suppress appetite. Since Psyllium will swell once in the stomach it will make a person feel full and make them lose their appetite.

2. Psyllium is rich in dietary fiber which improves digestion and nutrient absorption ensuring that all food you consume is optimally utilised.

3. Psyllium Husks come in handy in the treatment of digestive disorders that can hinder healthy dieting. Since Psyllium makes digestion and elimination easier and stress free, it will make dieting an easier experience.

4. Psyllium Husks ensure that harmful toxins consumed together with food are removed before absorption. If these harmful toxins are absorbed to the body, they can cause harm and lead to excessive weight gain which is undesirable.

5. Research has unequivocally established that Psyllium Husk absorbs excess cholesterol. Studies done by reliable sources have ascertained that consistent consumption of Psyllium Husks considerably decreases the levels of cholesterol in a person’s body. Reduced levels of cholesterol not only control weight gain but also decrease vulnerability to cardiac aliments.

6. Psyllium Husks literally clean and empty your insides. It is very uncomfortable walking around with accumulated fecal matter. This amazing dietary supplement will effectively clean out your bowels.

7. Psyllium Husks can seamlessly fit into any diet you are trying out. since all healthy diets prominently feature water and other healthy liquids such as fruit juice, you can add this supplement to your diet no matter how strict the diet in question is.

PSYLLIUM HUSK AND DIABETES

Diabetics are required to not only maintain a healthy balance between insulin and blood glucose but also need to watch their weight and ensure they don’t gain too much too fast. Reliable research indicates that Psyllium helps maintain a healthy glycemic balance hence helping to maintain a healthy blood glucose level.

However Psyllium treatments for a diabetic should be specifically tailored to cater for the particular needs of each diabetic patient. With the guidance of a doctor, a diabetic patient will be able to come up with Psyllium regimen that works for them.

Psyllium Husk is a natural gluten free fiber that can be used to bake healthy desserts.

Although traditionally consumed simply as a supplement, this fiber rich supplement can also be used to bake healthy gluten-free desserts. If you are a sweet tooth then you know that most gluten free desserts are dry and crumbly. Psyllium Husks will resolve this problem because it will act as a moisturising gel when combined with water. If you are on gluten free diet and want a delicious dessert then make Psyllium Husk a compulsory ingredient. This way you are able to lose weight and still indulge in your favourite dessert.

Psyllium Husk is definitely a dietary supplement that is worth trying out!

Dieting and Gut Microbiota in Intestinal Inflammation and Other Diseases

Emerging evidence links chronic intestinal inflammation with obesity and metabolic disorders like insulin resistance.

What’s more, this association seems to be affected by changes in the gut microbiotacaused by diet.

Recently, a group of researchers summarized the available evidence in a review published in Cell Metabolism. Below is an overview of the review’s main points.

ARTICLE REVIEWED

This article discusses the association of intestinal inflammation, obesity, metabolic syndrome, the gut microbiota and dietary factors.

The Intestinal Immune System in Obesity and Insulin Resistance.

WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?

Inflammation is the immune system’s response to infection, injury or toxins. There are two types of inflammation: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.

ACUTE INFLAMMATION

Acute inflammation starts immediately after an injury or infection.

Its purpose is to eliminate foreign substances or invaders, such as bacteria or viruses, as well as to remove dead or injured cells that are no longer functional.

Although it causes the swelling and redness associated with wounds and infections, it is an essential process that helps the body heal and protects it against further harm.

CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

Chronic inflammation lasts longer than acute inflammation. For this reason, it damages living tissue. This increases the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Many conditions may lead to chronic inflammation, including infection, toxin exposure, autoimmune diseases, age, high blood sugar levels or an unhealthy diet.

Low-grade, chronic inflammation is an underlying condition in obesity, insulin resistance and many other conditions.

Bottom Line: There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is a beneficial process, while chronic inflammation is associated with obesity and metabolic diseases.

OBESITY IS ASSOCIATED WITH DYSBIOSIS

Obesity and metabolic syndrome are associated with dysbiosis, a term that refers to an imbalance in the gut microbiota.

Some scientists even believe that dysbiosis plays a key role in the development of obesity.

This idea is supported by animal studies, showing that mice without any bacteria in their intestines had lower amounts of body fat, and did not become obese or insulin resistant when put on a high-fat diet.

However, when the intestines of these same mice were colonized by gut bacteria from normal mice, they started to gain fat and develop insulin resistance.

What’s more, intestinal bacteria from obese mice increased fat gain more than bacteria from lean mice.

Consistently, killing the intestinal bacteria of obese mice with an antibiotic treatment reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity.

However, obese people should not resort to taking antibiotics, as there are other, healthier approaches. Human studies have shown that weight loss may restore gut microbiota balance and improve metabolic health.

Bottom Line: Different types of bacteria are predominant in obese people’s guts. These bacteria make it easier for them to absorb calories and gain fat.

DYSBIOSIS MAY CAUSE INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION

Studies indicate that obesity-associated dysbiosis may promote weight gain. This is because obese people may have greater numbers of bacteria that improve calorie absorption.

Dysbiosis also seems to be characterized by low numbers of beneficial, anti-inflammatory bacteria.

These bacteria feed on fiber, especially prebiotic fiber, and produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate. Butyrate improves colon health and reduces inflammation.

For this reason, a lack of butyrate-producing bacteria may promote intestinal inflammation.

Transferring gut bacteria from lean, healthy donors to those with metabolic syndrome increased the butyrate-producing bacteria, which improved insulin sensitivity.

This also seems to be related to diet, in that obese people tend to have lower bacterial diversity and richness in their guts. However, one study showed that bacterial diversity can be restored by eating less.

Bottom Line: An imbalance in the microbiota of obese individuals leads to intestinal inflammation. This imbalance is characterized by low numbers of beneficial, anti-inflammatory bacteria.

DYSBIOSIS WEAKENS THE GUT WALL

Intestinal permeability is an essential function of the gut wall. It allows nutrients to pass across the gut barrier into the blood circulation.

But the gut barrier should not be too permeable, since it needs to prevent potentially harmful substances from entering the body.

However, excessive intestinal permeability is an unfortunate consequence of dysbiosis and intestinal inflammation.

This leads to the leakage of bacteria or bacterial toxins across the gut barrier, worsening systemic inflammation and metabolic disease. This condition is called metabolic endotoxemia.

Endotoxemia is associated with high calorie intake, high intake of saturated fat, abdominal obesity and an increased risk of diabetes.

Conversely, getting enough fiber might help prevent endotoxemia by increasing the numbers of beneficial bacteria and strengthening the gut barrier.

Nevertheless, further studies are needed before any solid conclusions can be reached.

Bottom Line: Dysbiosis and intestinal inflammation may also increase intestinal permeability, allowing harmful substances to “leak” across the gut barrier. This may worsen inflammation and metabolic disorders.

DIETARY FACTORS AFFECT INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION

Intestinal inflammation is not only associated with dysbiosis and a “leaky gut.” All of this also appears to be linked to dietary habits.

Dietary factors that may worsen intestinal inflammation include:

  • A diet high in saturated fat: A diet high in saturated fat has been associated with intestinal inflammation in mice. This effect appears to be mediated by the gut microbiota, since bacteria-free mice showed no effects.
  • Food emulsifiers: Another mouse study suggests that two commonly-used food emulsifiers may change the gut microbiota and worsen inflammation.

Other dietary factors may protect against inflammation:

  • Losing weight: One human study showed that losing weight reduced intestinal inflammation, while also improving blood sugar levels and blood lipids.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: A study in mice found that saturated fats from lard increased inflammation, whereas polyunsaturated fats from fish oil protected against inflammation.
  • Probiotics: Several types of probiotic bacteria may reduce intestinal inflammation and strengthen the gut barrier.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidant polyphenols from fruits and vegetables may also reduce inflammation.
  • Prebiotic fiber: Eating plenty of prebiotic fiber encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria that produce anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate.

Several studies have also examined the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs on intestinal inflammation and metabolic conditions.

Apart from reducing inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs may improve insulin sensitivity, decrease fasting blood sugar, reduce endotoxemia and increase gut bacterial diversity, without any effects on body weight.

Taken together, these findings support the idea that diet-induced inflammation plays a key role in the development of chronic diseases in obesity.

Bottom Line: Dietary factors may either worsen or improve intestinal inflammation. Many of these effects seem to be mediated by the gut microbiota.

SUMMARY AND REAL-LIFE APPLICATION

Obesity and many metabolic disorders are associated with chronic intestinal inflammation. Dietary factors and the gut microbiota also play a key role.

Fortunately, dietary strategies may be able to prevent or reduce these problems. These strategies may also improve many obesity-related metabolic conditions, such as insulin resistance.

Effective strategies include losing weight, eating less saturated fat or more omega-3s, and taking prebiotic fiber and probiotics.

Glucose Ketone Index (GKI) – What Ratio Do I need for Nutritional Ketosis Benefits?

Generally these blog posts are a result of scratching my own itch (answering my own question), and this post is no different.

At the time of writing this, I’m doing a 5-day fast, and wanted to understand the readings I’m getting for my blood glucose and blood ketone levels.

Initially I thought that blood ketones were all that mattered, and certainly a lot of people only talk about that reading. But looking at Dr Thomas Seyfried’s paper on treating brain cancer (glioblastomas).  It suggests that its important to take into account blood glucose also. In their study, they acheieved optimal results when their patients maintained what they called ‘nutritional ketosis’. And as part of the paper, they included a formula for what this means.

The chart below describes visually what they mean by nutritional ketosis, and how it affected the tumour growth. The red is an increase in ketones as a fictional patient goes deeper into ketosis. The black line represents blood glucose, that decreases to a plateau, as carbohydrate sources are removed from the diet, and glycogen stores decrease.

So that sweet spot they reach at the end is an optimum level of nutritional ketosis. Now… obviously in our case we are (hopefully) not trying to slow the growth of a glioblastoma. But by getting into ketosis we’re hoping to achieve a number of benefits including:

  • Reduced IGF-1
  • Immune system rejuvenation (perhaps mainly lymphocytes)
  • Increased cellular autophagy
  • Reduced inflammation (often measured by improved C-reactive protein levels)

The extent of these benefits will depend if you’re eating a keto diet, or doing a water fast/fast mimicking diet. But all 3 should improve the biomarkers such that you have a reduced risk of major diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

And studies like this one indicate that the optimal benefits from ketosis lie in maintaining  a 1:1 or lower ratio of glucose to ketones.

So on to the crux of this post, how to calculate GKI. What you’re trying to do is compare apples with apples, you really really want both readings in mmol/L. In my case, having a meter sourced from the UK, that’s how they came, so I simply do:

Glucose Reading (mmol/L) ÷ Ketone Reading (mmol/L)

However, if you’re in the USA, your blood glucose reading will be in mg/dL. You’ll know, because the meter should say mg/dL. But to be sure, if you blood glucose is in the 100s as a score, rather than single digits, that’s likely mg/dL.

So you’ll want to convert that glucose reading into mmol/L by doing:

Your Glucose Reading (mg/dL) ÷ 18.02

This converts your reading from mg/dL into mmol/L, and then you can do the above calculation (glucose reading divided by ketone reading) to get your glucose ketone index score.

So that’s it really, pretty simple.

Links that may be of use:

1 – Thomas Seyfried et al’s paper on using the glucose ketone index to treat brain cancer:
The glucose ketone index calculator: a simple tool to monitor therapeutic efficacy for metabolic management of brain cancer

2 – An excel calculator for the GKI, developed by Dr Seyfried’s colleague Joshua Meidenbauer:
Glucose Ketone Index Calculator

What sticks out for me with all this stuff, is how amazingly valuable it can be in our treatment (and prevention of cancer), and yet in 2017 an incredibly small number of people (& physicians!) know and understand this work. For those with cancer, if its combined with other treatments, its even better. Its 5 years since Thomas Seyfried published his book ‘Cancer as a Metabolic Disease’. Time will tell how fast we are able to communicate this “meme” to a wider audience.

What is The Ketogenic Diet?

Your diet is perhaps the most important factor controlling your health and well-being. Sure, other factors do play a role, but diet is the linchpin of the incredibly complex human biology. So, if you are trying to get rid of those love handles or get back in shape, a good diet can take your efforts to the next level.

But the question is:

What is the best diet for weight loss?

Well, as it turns out, a ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is one of the most effective nutritional strategies to lose weight and improve overall health. Multiple scientific studies have backed up this notion time and again. Consequently, it is rapidly taking over the health and fitness world and millions of people swear by it.

If you are new to the whole ‘keto’ thing, you may have millions of questions swirling in your head. But finding definitive, unbiased and easy to understand answers to them can be difficult.

Well, that’s where we come in. In this article, we are going to answer all the questions you may have about keto diet and then some. And while we are at it, we are also going to learn some cool and exciting facts about your body as well. So, let’s get going!

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

It is an obvious question that needs to be answered before anything else. In a nutshell, a ketogenic diet is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates.

You see, any food you eat contains three major nutrients that provide you the bulk of the energy (or calories) that you need. These three major nutrients (also called macronutrients) are:

  • Carbohydrates

  • Proteins, and

  • Fats

Anything that you eat will contain all of these three macronutrients in varying proportions. A typical diet usually contains a higher proportion of carbohydrates and lower proportions of proteins or fats. A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, limits the number of carbohydrates to a minimum.

Traditionally, a keto diet allows you to eat 20-30 grams of carbs each day. The exact proportion of carbs, fats, and proteins will vary depending on your current health status and what you want to achieve.

That said, a standard keto diet has 70-80% of the daily calories supplied by fats, 15-20% provided by proteins and the rest by carbs; which is around 5%.

Compared to other ‘low-carb’ diets, a keto diet does not overload your body with proteins, and there is a good reason for that. When you limit the intake of carbs in your diet, proteins can be converted to glucose in your body via the process known as gluconeogenesis. If this happens in considerable amounts, the whole point of a low-carb diet is moot! Hence, a keto diet relies on fats to give you most of the energy you need.

A brief history of ketogenic diet

The basis of beneficial effects of cutting down carbohydrates in the diet originated in a study conducted by researchers at the John Hopkins University in the 1920s. When researchers at the prestigious University were studying the effect of fasting on patients who had epilepsy, they found that it had a positive effect on their body fat as well.

However, fasting for extended periods of time is not feasible. Therefore, scientists developed the next best thing: a diet that mimics the effects of fasting. They found that when you cut down carbs in the diet, the body can be ‘tricked’ into believing that you are fasting and the keto diet was born! We will return to the topic of how exactly a ketogenic diet works in the following sections.

What are The Benefits of a Keto Diet?

The obvious advantage of a keto diet is that your body starts burning the stored fat and you can lose weight quickly. However, a keto diet has many other long-term benefits as well. Many studies conducted with low carbohydrate diets have indicated plenty of health benefits that go beyond just weight loss.

Here are some of the most significant health benefits of a keto diet.

1. Greater and more importantly, faster weight loss

One of the most noticeable benefits of a keto diet is faster weight loss, especially during the first few weeks of the diet.

Many studies have shown that people who limit the intake of carbs in their diets tend to lose more weightfaster compared to individuals who reduce fat intake.

The rapid weight loss on a keto diet can be understood if you take a look at what happens to your body on a keto diet. When you restrict the intake of carbs, your body gets rid of a lot of unwanted water. As the insulin levels drop following a keto diet, your kidney gets rid of more sodium and with it a lot of unnecessary water.

The combined effect is that you feel less bloated and lose weight rapidly for the first few weeks.

The best part of a keto diet is that you lose a ton of more weight, often 2-3 times more compared to a low-fat diet, without having to starve yourself. A great benefit of ketosis!

In my books, that’s a win-win move right there!

2. You get rid of the fat from the ‘worst’ parts

Here is a question for you:

If you can choose, from where on your body, do you want the fat to disappear?

I bet most of you said the abdomen, hips or the belly, right?

Well, as it turns out, a ketogenic diet gets rid of the fat from the abdomen and belly area much more efficiently than any other non-surgical procedure.

Apart from the aesthetics, the abdominal fat is also very harmful to your health. You see, when the fat accumulates in the abdomen, it increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks,strokes and diabetes.

If you follow a ketogenic diet for a longer period, you will see a decline in the abdominal fat and the various health risks associated with it.

3. Improvement in your lipid profile

Fat is essential for the proper functioning of your body. It is an essential nutrient that is indispensable for various body process. However, fat is not a just one substance; it is a category of molecules.

Several molecules make up the ‘fat’ of your body. The proportion of these molecules is as important as the amounts.

For instance, cholesterol is a fat molecule that is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and healthy skin. However, it comes in several ‘types, ‘ and not all of them are good. Actually, the proportion of the ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) vs. the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) is much more important than the total cholesterol you have.

A keto diet not only gets rid of the excess fat but also restores the healthy balance between various types of fats in the body.

For instance, a low-carb keto diet has been shown to increase the proportion of healthy HDL cholesterol and decrease the unhealthy LDL cholesterol in your body.

There have also been studies showing that a keto diet can lower the proportion of other fat molecules called triglycerides that are bad for you.

4. Reduction in blood glucose level

The carbs that we eat are eventually converted into glucose by the body. If your diet contains a lot of carbs, you tend to generate a lot of glucose in your blood, which is not a good thing.

The elevated levels of glucose in the blood are harmful, and the body releases a hormone called insulin to mitigate this situation. Under the influence of insulin, the cells of the body absorb this glucose from the blood.

The insulin system works for most people, but for people with diabetes, it fails miserably. People with diabetes produce fewer quantities of insulin, and any ‘spike’ in blood glucose levels can have a toxic effect on their bodies.

A keto diet attacks this problem at its roots. By consuming fewer carbs, the risk of generating that dreadful glucose spike in diabetic patients can be completely avoided.

Some studies have shown the positive effect of a keto diet on lowering blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.

5. Can help you reduce blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the biggest health risks around the world. As a matter of fact, one in every three people in the United States has high blood pressure. It is estimated that almost 1000 people die due to hypertension related issues every single day.

A ketogenic diet can be very effective in controlling hypertension according to multiple studies. Consuming fewer carbs in the diet decreases the blood pressure in hypertensive and pre-hypertensive individuals resulting in a reduction in risks of diseases such as stroke, kidney failure, and cardiac arrest.

6. Can suppress appetite

One of the biggest hurdles in staying on a diet has to be the hunger. I mean if you have tried to go on any diet program, you know what I am talking about. You are hungry all the time!

The great thing about a ketogenic diet is that it can gradually decrease your appetite over time. Multiple studies have shown that a diet that is high in fats and proteins compared to carbs can reduce your appetite. You won’t feel the craving for junk food on a ketogenic diet.

The bottom line is:

A ketogenic diet can healthily reduce your appetite, and you can stick to the diet for a longer time. You won’t feel bouts of hunger that you might feel with almost any other diet.

7. Good for certain neurological issues

A ketogenic diet can be quite an effective strategy to manage certain neurological issues including epilepsy. As a matter of fact, the roots of a ketogenic diet can be traced back to the epilepsy study that we discussed earlier.

There has been extensive work on the effects of a ketogenic diet on children with epilepsy, and most studies have found a positive correlation. Many children who are not responsive to drugs often show marked improvements with a ketogenic diet.

Devil’s Advocate

So, there is a ton of evidence about the benefits of the ketogenic diet, but it has its fair share of controversies as well. Many people believe that the risks associated with a strict ketogenic diet should not be overlooked for the sake of dropping a few extra pounds.

Some of the most common criticisms regarding the ketogenic diet include the following.

Ketosis in a long term may cause muscle loss

While most experts agree that a ketogenic diet that forces the body to undergo ketosis is effective initially, some of them are skeptical regarding the long-term benefits.

Some dieticians believe that entering a prolonged ketosis can do more harm than good to your body. They think that a prolonged state of ketosis can cause muscle degeneration. The keto-skeptics have argued that this diet is not ideal for people who want to reduce fat but gain muscle.

However, many scientific studies have debunked this as a myth. According to some papers, a keto diet can actually preserve muscle loss rather than accelerate it.

It is not possible to carry on the good initial results

When your body enters ketosis, you see a rapid weight loss in the first few weeks. It is due to the metabolic shift that is happening in your body and mainly through the loss of a lot of unwanted water. However, as you progress in the diet, it can get harder to replicate the initial success.

Many people wrongly think that they will continue the same rate of weight loss as they observed during the initial phase of ketosis. The fact of the matter is the initial weight loss can be rapid, but it will taper off eventually. After losing a considerable amount of weight, you will experience a drop in the rate of weight loss, but if you carry on, you will see your weight dropping steadily.

Ketosis is a short-term solution

Many skeptics of the ketogenic approach believe that when you are on a ketogenic diet, you are essentially starving yourself. As a result, they believe that weight loss is natural. But as soon as you stop the diet, which according to them is inevitable, you will gain the weight right back.

Now, there might be some truth to this argument. As a ketogenic diet is stringent, there may be a problem for some people to stick with it for a longer term. However, a ketogenic diet is not a fad or a temporary thing that you try. It is a lifestyle choice that you make to get healthy. It can help you shed that extra weight and motivate you to carry on.

The truth is:

Despite numerous scientific studies, the ketogenic diet has repeatedly been found to be efficient and safe.

That said, if you become obsessed with your weight, it is never a good thing. The problem is not the diet per-se, but the misguided approach that some people take with the ketogenic diet.

What are Carbohydrates and Their Role in The Body?

As we saw earlier, a ketogenic diet limits the amount of carbohydrates that you can consume. But, what are these carbohydrates and what do they do in your body?

Chemically speaking, all carbohydrates are molecules that contain three elements- carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

These are often called energy molecules as the body can generate energy by metabolizing them in the cells.

Carbohydrates can range from simple carbohydrates such as glucose or fructose to highly complex carbohydrates such as starch and glycogen. Carbohydrates are sometimes also referred to as ‘saccharides’ as most of them have a varying intensity of sweet taste. Depending on their chemical structure, carbohydrates are classified into the following categories.

Monosaccharides

These are the simplest forms of carbs and contain a single molecule in their structure. Some of the most common examples include glucose, galactose, and fructose. Of all the monosaccharides, your body can use only glucose as a fuel.

So, when we are talking about blood sugar, we speak of glucose, which is a monosaccharide.

Disaccharides

As you can probably guess from the name, Disaccharides contain two monosaccharide molecules linked together by a chemical bond. Examples of disaccharides include sucrose or table sugar that contains one glucose and one fructose molecule. Lactose is another disaccharide that contains one glucose and one galactose molecule.

Polysaccharides

If you join multiple monosaccharide molecules together in chains, you end up with a large molecule called a polysaccharide. Sometimes, these chains are unbranched and linear such as in starch, or sometimes they are branched as in glycogen.

As you can imagine, almost everything that you eat contains carbohydrates. Anything that contains starch or sugar contains carbohydrates.

However, to be used by the body, a carbohydrate needs to be converted into glucose within the body. That said, some carbs are easily converted into glucose while others are not. For instance, table sugar, or sucrose, is easily and efficiently converted into glucose. As a matter of fact, the process is so fast that as soon as you eat a sugary dessert, your blood glucose level shoots up!

Starches are also easy to break down to glucose and result in high concentration of glucose in the blood after ingestion.

The capacity of a food item to cause an increase in the concentration of glucose in the blood is called the Glycemic Index (GI). The higher the GI of a food item, the bigger spike in glucose level it causes after you eat it.

Fruits, potatoes, milk products, all have a high GI. Hence, these foods can significantly increase your blood glucose levels.

But, from what we have seen about carbs till now, they seem to be quite good for you, right? So, why shun them?

Are carbs bad?

Well, carbs are not bad at all. In fact, they are the fuel that drives your body. However, if you overeat the wrong carbs, and you always do, you can trigger a rather unpleasant chain of events.

Let me explain:

You see, it all boils down to the insulin-glucagon hormonal system. When you are fasting, and your body needs glucose, the alpha cells of your pancreas secrete a hormone called Glucagon. It stimulates the liver to release some stored glycogen that in turn is converted into glucose and your blood glucose level rises.

In response to this elevated blood glucose level, the beta cells of the pancreas release a hormone called Insulin. It, in turn, stimulates the cells of your body to take up glucose and use it to generate energy.

Now, imagine if you are eating a lot of high GI carbs, day in and day out. Your blood glucose levels are always high. There is no need for the generation of glucagon from the alpha cells, and glycogen never gets used up.

There is a stress on the beta cells of the pancreas to clear up the excess glucose from your blood. So, they secrete more insulin. Now, over time, the higher levels of insulin in the blood cause the cells of your body to acquire a form of resistance to insulin, and they need more insulin to get stimulated to clear up the elevated glucose from the blood. Soon, there comes a time when even a high concentration of insulin is not enough to cause the cells of your body to take up glucose from the blood.

The overall result is that your blood glucose levels shoot up and right there lies the root of all health problems.

The elevated glucose levels can cause hypertension, obesity and a host of other health concerns. Not to mention, when under constant stress, your pancreas gives up, and the problem is amplified.

So, what is the solution?

Well, the solution is to limit your intake of high GI carbs in the first place. The ketogenic diet is based on this very principle. By restricting the amount of high GI carbs to a minimum, you can avoid the glucose spike in your blood and the whole cascade of events.

If you have a lot of fat stored in your body, the body will soon start using this fat to generate energy, and you will start losing weight.

Ketogenic Food List

So, you need to limit the intake of carbs in your diet. But as you just saw, almost anything and everything has carbs in it, right? Well, not really.

As it turns out, there are many healthy alternatives to carbs that will provide you with all the energy you need without spiking your insulin and blood glucose levels.

Remember, a ketogenic diet requires you to replace the calories coming from carbs with the calories coming from proteins and healthy fats. So, there are a ton of options for you, don’t worry!

Here is a ketogenic food list that you can include in your keto diet. You can eat the following high fat, low carb foods freely

Protein

You can consume good quality meats and other plant-based proteins to cover for carbs. Some of the best options include:

  • Grass-fed meats such as beef, lamb, goat or even venison

  • Poultry such as chicken, turkey, duck, and goose

  • Cage-free eggs

  • Fishes such as tuna, bass, sardines, salmon and mackerel

As a word of caution, try to include lean meats in your diet as much as possible. Red meats such as beef and pork are also high in cholesterol. Make sure you change up your proteins with lean chicken breast or fish occasionally.

Healthy fats

Contrary to popular belief, fats are not bad for you at all. As a matter of fact, fats are essential for the proper functioning of your nervous system. However, avoid saturated fat as much as possible. Go for polyunsaturated fats, and you should be okay. Here are some of the fats that you can eat on a keto diet:

  • Avocado oil

  • Cold pressed coconut oil

  • Polyunsaturated fats

  • Olive oil

  • Linseed (flax) oil

  • Lard

  • Butter

  • Ghee

Ketogenic Vegetables

Veggies are rich in many micronutrients such vitamins and minerals. You can eat as many veggies you like on a keto diet. The only catch is that they should not be starchy. So, a potato is a strict no, but spinach is a yes!

Here are some ketogenic vegetables that you can eat on a keto diet:

  • Any leafy greens. These include spinach, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, lettuce.

  • Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower

  • Fresh herbs such as cilantro, rosemary, thyme, mint and a lot more

  • Zucchini, leek, celery, chives, and cucumbers

  • Some slightly high carbs containing veggies such as asparagus, mushrooms, bean sprouts, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, wax beans, and tomatoes

You also have a good selection when it comes to snacks as well. Some of the foods that you can eat as snacks while on a keto diet include the following:

  • Beef or turkey jerky

  • Veggies with homemade dressing

  • Boiled eggs

  • Minced meat

Evan some condiments are also permissible on a keto diet. The list includes:

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Herbs and spices

  • Unsweetened mustards and unsweetened hot sauce

If you are a fan of hot beverages, you can add tea, and coffee without milk or sugar (in moderation) or bone broth.

You can also eat the following moderately high carbs containing foods occasionally, but limit the intake

  • Dairy products (full fat)

Limit intake of dairy products as they contain sugars and carbs. But if you want to indulge occasionally, make sure you are consuming high fat-containing dairy products. Such items include:

  • Full-fat cow’s milk
  • Hard cheeses
  • Medium starchy veggies

  • Parsnips
  • Sweet pea
  • Okra
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Legumes

  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Hummus
  • Nuts and seeds

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Chia and flax seeds

Foods to completely avoid

If you are on a keto diet, certain foods are completely off limits. Some of the prominent ones include sugars, syrups, and bread. Here are some foods you can think of as a “anti-ketogenic food list”:

  • All grains

All grains contain a ton of starch, and hence they are completely off limits on a keto diet. Grains include the supposedly healthy grains as well including the following:

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Wheat and any form of bread
  • Corn and corn products
  • All processed foods

Processed food contains a ton of sugar, and hence they are not allowed on a keto diet. Some of the processed foods that are entirely banished include:

  • Chips
  • Sweets
  • Cakes
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Chocolates
  • Canned foods including soups
  • Foods with artificial sweeteners
Fatty foods

Alcohol on a Ketogenic Diet

alcohol in diet

One of the more common questions about a keto diet is whether alcohol and ketosis mix.

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you may think. Your body can use alcohol as a fuel to generate energy; just like it uses glucose.

Hence, when you consume alcohol during a ketogenic diet, assuming you picked a low carb beverage, your body burns off the alcohol instead of the fat.

Now, the impact of this phenomenon on your weight loss can vary depending on the individual.

I know some people who have little effect of consuming small amounts of alcohol occasionally on their weight loss. However, I also know a few individuals who experience a complete halt in their weight loss as soon as they consume alcohol.

So, there is not a simple answer to the question.

Should I completely avoid alcohol?

Well, as I pointed out, the impact of alcohol on weight loss varies from one individual to the other. So, it is not possible to say unequivocally that you should ban alcohol from your diet.

The best foot forward will be to try a moderate amount of alcohol and see how it affects your body. That way, you can make an educated guess regarding the inclusion or exclusion.

How will my ketogenic diet impact my buzz?

I thought you would never ask! Just kidding!

The thing is, your alcohol tolerance goes down on a keto diet. So, you will get drunk fast! There are a couple of reasons for this. First, your body will be metabolizing alcohol almost immediately. What this will do, is get you drunk quickly. Secondly, you will not be eating a ton of carbs that can help you to soak up the alcohol and slow down the process of intoxication. As a result, all the alcohol you drink is readily available for absorption, and you get tipsy quicker. Alcohol and ketosis can be a dangerous mix if you aren’t careful.

Whether you decide to indulge in an occasional alcoholic drink, make sure that you are sticking to the low carb variety. Some of the beverages that you can try includethe following:

  • Hard liquors such as whiskey, brandy, tequila, vodka, rum, gin, and scotch

  • Low carb beers

  • Low carb wines such as Merlot (3.2g of carbs), Pino Noir (3.4g of carbs), Champagne/Sparkling Wine (1.5g of carbs)

What is Ketosis?

The ketogenic diet is an excellent way to get your weight down and get back in shape. Over the years, this approach has been refined, validated and used by millions to get rid of their body fat safely and efficiently.

But what does a keto diet do to your body?

Well, to answer these questions, we will have to dig just a little deeper into the physiology of the human body. Don’t worry; I am going to keep it as easy to understand as I can!

So, to figure out what is the effect of the keto diet on your body, let’s see what the term ‘keto’ means. It is a short form of the word ‘ketosis.’ It is a healthy state of your body when most of the energy is not coming through burning glucose, but through burning what are called ‘ketone bodies.’

What are Ketones?

Ketones or Ketone bodies are fuel molecules just like glucose that the cells of your body can use to generate energy. But the most interesting thing about them is that they are produced by burning the stored fat in your body.

You see, when you are fasting, there is no supply of glucose from the diet to use. But your body, especially your brain, needs a lot of energy to function. So, there is a mechanism in place to convert the stored fat in the body to ketone bodies that can be used to generate energy. It is the reason why your body stores fat in the first place!

When you consume a diet that is very low in carbohydrates and moderate in proteins a.k.a a ketogenic diet, the body assumes that you are fasting and initiates the ketosis process. It is called metabolic ketosis as your body is burning off fat due to the lack of glucose in your blood.

However, metabolic ketosis should not be confused with diabetic ketosis. In the case of a diabetic ketosis, there is a lot of glucose in the blood, but due to insulin resistance, the body can’t use the glucose and relies on burning ketone bodies instead. This type of ketosis is horrible for your body. It can create a ton of problems and is one of the worst nightmares in managing diabetes.

How do You Enter The State of Ketosis?

Ketogenic Diet Tips

Your body enters a state of ketosis if you fast for about 3-4 days. It forces the body to rely on ketone bodies for energy, and it makes them by burning the stored fat.

Many so-called tips and tricks promise a faster way to enter the state of ketosis. However, the best way to achieve ketosis is through proper diet. There is no short cut or a gimmick that can take you there.

You can enter ketosis if you follow the following guidelines:

  • Restrict the intake of carbs to less than 20g a day.

  • Limit your protein intake as well. As we discussed earlier, proteins can be converted into glucose when you restrict carbs in your diet. If you don’t limit the amount of proteins in your diet, it will be challenging to enter into a ketosis phase.

  • Forget about counting your fat intake. You are not going to lose weight on a keto diet if you are starving yourself. A bulk of the calories in a keto diet need to come from fat. So, stop worrying about eating fats.

  • Drink plenty of water. Make sure that you are drinking at least one gallon of water a day on a keto diet. It will help you to stay hydrated as well as curb hunger.

  • Start working out. Exercise is a great way to boost your metabolism and a good way to enter ketosis.

How do You Know If You are in Ketosis?

So, you are doing everything right. You have limited your carb intake as well. But how do you tell whether you have entered the coveted ketosis phase?

Well, it is not that difficult to tell if you are in ketosis. The best and most definitive way to answering this question is using blood or a urine test strip. You can use these strips at home, and they can tell you whether you have entered ketosis or not.

While the urine strips are less accurate compared to the blood strips, they are less costly as well.

If you are not interested in testing your urine or blood, there is an alternative way as well. Many signs can indicate that your body is in a state of ketosis. These signs will tell you whether you are on the right track or not.

ketone body testing kit

Container with urine and test-strips for the analysis. These can be used to test for a state of ketosis

If you need to go to the bathroom more often

If you have just started a keto diet; increased urination frequency is a good indicator. Ketosis causes diuresis or increased urination. So, if your bathroom visits have markedly increased, pat yourself on the back, you are heading in the right direction.

If your mouth is dry

A dry mouth is yet another hallmark of ketosis. If your body enters ketosis, you urinate frequently and lose water. As a result, your mouth feels dry. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water during a keto diet to stay hydrated.

If your breath is bad

One of the main ketone bodies that your body is generating when it is in ketosis is Acetone. It is a volatile liquid that can be exhaled by lungs. There is only one drawback of this. Acetone has a bad smell to it. It smells like over ripe fruit or a nail polish remover. If you experience a bad breath during a keto diet, it is probably due to the acetone. Don’t worry, though; it will go away in the long term.

If you don’t feel hungry but yet quite energetic

Another hallmark of reaching a keto state is reduced hunger and a clear mind. You will start to feel more energetic and lose all the cravings for those mid-day or late-night snacks.

What to Expect on a Keto Diet?

A ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to lose weight, but it can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. However, if you know what to expect when you are on a ketogenic diet, managing the temporary side effects can be easier.

When your body enters ketosis, it is undergoing a significant change in the most fundamental way possible. It is only natural for the body to reach to this change that you are imposing on it before it gets used to it.

There are certain ways in which your body is going to respond to your ketogenic diet. Some of these ways can have quite an unpleasant effect as well.

However, there is good news:

These effects are only transitional. Once your body adapts the “keto way” you will see these effects fade away and you will have more energy than ever before.

In the meanwhile, you can see some so-called side effects of a ketogenic diet. Let’s see what they are.

1. The keto flu

One of the most prominent reactions to a keto diet is the keto flu. But what is the keto flu? The symptoms of keto flu are just like the regular flu. You will experience tiredness, dizziness and overall lack of energy. Most people experience extreme fatigue during this phase of the ketosis.

You may even feel some lack of mental focus as well during this phase of ketosis.

Although you will want it to end, it is going to take its time to get over. In the meantime, you must stay determined and keep going strong.

Most people experience the worst symptoms in the first week of ditching the carbs. However, in some people, the symptoms can last for up to 5 weeks as well.

How to manage keto flu symptoms?

If you are experiencing the symptoms of keto flu, you can take steps to make it more bearable. Here are some tips that will help you get through this tough phase.

  • Eat more fats: Starving yourself is the worst thing you can do on a keto diet. If you suddenly stop eating carbs, your body will feel the pinch in the worst possible way. It still needs the energy to function, and you must provide it; in the form of fats. So, eat plenty of fats such as butter, ghee, and lard. As soon as you put more fat calories in your body, you will start feeling better.

  • Drink plenty of water: When your body enters ketosis, you lose a lot of water. If you don’t replenish the lost water, you can leave your body dehydrated, and it can worsen the symptoms of keto flu. Make sure you are drinking at least a gallon of water when you start a keto diet.

  • Add more salt to your diet: Your body loses a lot of sodium when it enters ketosis. Replacing the lost sodium is essential for the proper functioning of the body. So, you should add more salt to your diet to replenish the lost sodium.

  • Eat a few moderate carbs if you must: Going on a strict keto diet can send your body into a state of shock. If you crave for carbs, adding a few foods that have moderate amounts of carbs is not such a bad idea. Just make sure that you are not overdoing it. Remember, if you feel crappy, you are not likely to comply with the diet anyway. So, it is better to bea bit moderate in the beginning if it means a better long-term compliance.

2. Loss of physical strength

During the initial phases of the keto diet, it is quite common to experience a lack of physical strength. If you lift weights, you will feel that suddenly, your strength is not there. It is quite a natural reaction of your body to a keto diet.

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, replenishing your electrolytes and most importantly, not starving yourself. Soon, you should feel good again, and as soon as this initial phase blows over, you well get back the energy you once had and then some! So, stick it out my friend, for there is something great to come!

The bottom line is:

During the initial phase of ketosis, you are going to feel, well, crappy! That’s the truth. But always remember that all these effects are transient, and they will go away. Soon, you will see your fat melting away and your energy levels better than ever.

So, stick it out and make sure you are following the tips mentioned above to make this initial phase as bearable as you can.

Famous People Who Like Keto

The effectiveness of a keto diet has turned many famous people into die hard keto fans. From movie stars to professional athletes, everyone seems to sing high praise of this amazing diet.

Some of the most beautiful women in the entertainment industry swear by the keto diet. Megan Fox, Adriana Lima, and even Kim Kardashian follow a ketogenic diet to stay in shape and keep up the energy for their busy schedule.

Some of the most successful professional athletes also follow a keto diet. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are among the many pro basketball players who found that low-carb, high-fat diet helped them add that extra oomph to their game.

The point of mentioning all these celebrities is this:

The keto diet works! Just imagine, all these famous people have all the resources at their disposal. They have the best experts advising them. If they think that something works, theremust be some truth to it, wouldn’t you think?

Again, I am not saying that you should start a keto diet just because LeBron James is on it or Megan Fox is on it, but the fact that they are is kind of a big deal! Don’t you agree?

Besides, there is a ton of scientific evidence that supports the keto diet. So, it does not need any celebrity endorsements in the first place!

Something to Take Home

People who are trying to lose weight and get back in shape often don’t realize the impact a good diet has on their efforts. While they are ready to immerse themselves into all kinds of exercise routines, they pay little attention to their diet. As several research papers have pointed out, exercise or health supplements alone just don’t work if they are not complemented with a good diet. And a keto diet has the potential to transform your body like never before.

So, there you have it, this is everything, well almost everything, that you need to know about the ketogenic diet! It is quite a smart strategy if you think about it, isn’t it? Once your body transforms from a ‘fat-conserving mode’ to a ‘fat burning mode,’ dropping those pounds is not that difficult!