Category: fat loss

Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet

Where to Begin

The Benefits of a Ketogenic, or Keto Diet are vast to say the least. With that being said let’s take it from the top.

Fat Loss

This is the most popular reasoning that people have attached themselves to the keto diet….Thanks to TV ads and social media. Some of the promises made by slick marketers on how keto will drop bodyfat effortlessly, or selling you some type of keto supplement to help cut weight is almost always snake oil.

But there is truth in the fact that a keto diet will help keep your insulin levels low, which creates a great environment for your body to burn fat. When you are not taking in a lot of carbohydrate, especially 50 grams or less per day, your body will have to pull from other energy sources to fuel itself. The next fuel source from stored glycogen, or carbohydrate would be your bodies stored fat, which is how the magic happens. Once your body begins using stored fat as fuel you will begin to really see some progress in your fat loss goals.

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Greater Hormone Response

Not only does a keto diet aid in fat loss by utilizing stored body fat, it can also aid in increasing key hormones such as growth hormone as well. When the bodies insulin levels are lowered from eating keto, this causes growth hormone to stay more elevated. The benefits of more growth hormone production is tremendous, but here are a few key benefits…

Better Energy Production, Vitality, Joint Support, Fat Loss, Better Looking & Skin, Better Sleep Quality.

So eating keto is not just for weight loss purposes, but really can have anti-aging benefits as well by increasing growth hormone production. Lets move onto the next benefit.

Helps Build Mitochondria

Mitochondria, are the power plants of our cells, turning the nutrients we uptake from foods into ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which is our cells energy source. The more mitochondria we have the more energy we can receive from food we eat. When the body goes into what’s called ketosis, after eating keto for a while, this state puts new demands on our bodies’ mitochondria, which causes the body to adapt by producing more mitochondria. This means more energy, and an increase in physical performance.

Better Cognitive Function & Reduction In Brain Fog

When the body is in Ketosis, it naturally produces more GABA, an amino acid that acts like a neurotransmitter, a calming neurotransmitter to be exact. Depressed GABA levels have been shown to cause brain fog, which now explains why a lot of dieters that go Keto begin to notice a certain clarity after a few weeks, due to the increase in GABA.

Ketogenic diets have also shown to cause a decrease in cognitive decline in patients with certain nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

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So eating a ketogenic diet is not just something that can be beneficial for weight loss purposes, but can be an aid to keep you healthy as you age. But always remember even eating keto you can not ignore food quality, which I can’t stress enough. Until next time.

Is Following a Keto Diet Healthy?

Recently in the media, I have been seeing the keto diet popping up, and not for good reasons. People are making claims that keto diets are causing problems such as heart disease. But is the keto diet as bad as it is being made out to be? Let’s take a look…

Quality vs Quantity

When eating a ketogenic diet it is still very important to pay attention to the quality of the foods you are putting in your body. For example, eating two cheeseburgers without the bun, and a few veggies on it would constitute as being “keto”, but you are also consuming a large amount of trans fats that are known for causing heart disease. So even thou the two cheeseburgers kept your carbohydrates low, it is still a very poor choice in food quality. This concept of quality vs quantity can be applied to any meal of any time of the day. Another great example is breakfast. Instead of eating a few scrambled eggs topped with home made salsa and sliced avocado, you decide to eat one scrambled egg with a pound of bacon and cheese. In this scenario you are again keeping your carb intake low, but the foods you are putting in your system will play a roll in your overall health over time.

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Too Obsessed With The Numbers

Another issue that has been getting noticed is the fact that people can’t figure out why sometimes there ketosis readings are coming back so high, meaning they are barely into ketosis even thou they have been eating a very low carbohydrate diet. No one has discovered why this is yet, but I am sure at some point down the road scientists will in fact figure it out. The important part to remember is that you are in ketosis, and you are getting all those benefits from being in that state, which we will discuss in another post because honestly there is a pretty lengthy list. By people getting obsessed with there keto readings they actually end up cutting out some very healthy and beneficial foods in there diet for more meats because the thought process is, “well I guess I should try to cut my carbs from 40 to 15, and then maybe my ketosis reading will be better”. More isn’t always better, and as long as you are in ketosis in the first place, honestly who cares about the number, just be consistent with your diet so you can stay in that state to reap the benefits. Don’t sacrifice eating good quality foods to attempt to get a better ketosis reading. This mistake can cost you in the long run in terms of your overall health, and we have discovered doing so may not even help your numbers anyway. In our next installment we will touch on the benefits of being in ketosis. Until next time.

3 Simple Methods for Fasting

Now that we have discussed the benefits of fasting in terms of fat loss, today we are going to touch on a few simple ways you can apply this concept to your daily lives.

Method 1: 16 on and 8 off

This Method of Fasting is broken down into windows. You fast for 16 hours and eat your meals for the day in an 8 hour window. To me this method actually seems to be the most practical out of any of the methods I have tried so I figured I would start with this one. I feel the main reason it is realistic is because the time you are sleeping you are on a fast anyway. So if you sleep 6-8 hours, you almost have half of your fast knocked out already. All you need to do now is tighten up the window on your last meal in the evening, and your first meal in the morning. For example, let’s say I ate my last meal at 8pm last night. Then I went to bed around midnight. I wake at around 7am, and already I have 11 hours knocked out on the fast. Instead of having breakfast, I simply wake up and have some coffee, or tea along with water. I will sip on whatever zero calorie beverage I prefer until around 12pm, when my 16 hours is up, and then from 12-8pm I will have my meals for the day. Typically I spread them out to 12pm, 3pm, and 7:30pm.

Method 2: Every Other Day Method

This method is exactly how it sounds and it definitely takes fasting up a notch. You fast for 24 hours, and then eat normally for 24 hours, and alternate. On your fasting days I do know that some people allow for a small calorie intake on your fasting days like 25% of your normal intake, which is equivalent to one small meal, but others go all day without. This one would be tough to try right out of the gates in my opinion. If you haven’t fasted before I still feel the 16/8 method would be best.

Method 3: The Warrior Method

In this method, the idea is to fast all morning and into the afternoon, until the later evening, and then eat one large meal. I mean its like thanksgiving dinner type of meal. You are consuming a high amount of calories at this meal, and then doing the same thing again tomorrow, and the next day. One meal a day, in the evening. If I did this method my meal would be between 2400-2600 calories at one sitting! Probably a 16oz ribeye with a huge salad topped with a large avocado. By the time I add on all the extra foods to my salad the calorie intake would be right where it needs to be.

Again, I would suggest if anyone wants to try fasting in any way to help accelerate fat loss, that they start with method 1, eating in windows. From here it is a much easier transition into something like the warrior method or even the every other day method. If you struggle with cravings in between your windows I would suggest drinking green tea when you are on your fast. The green tea can really help keep the cravings down for you, to make it easier to stay on track.

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How Fasting Accelerates Fat Loss

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting almost always causes a calorie deficit, but it also creates ideal circumstances for fat loss. This is because it increases your insulin sensitivity. When you fast, your insulin levels lower, causing your body to access your stored fat easier. That’s how your body opts to use fat for energy, instead of muscle.

You might be familiar with this idea, because it is the same reason why people adopt low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets to drop body fat. Eating low carb will lower your insulin levels, but the fact is that fasting will drop them even lower. This makes fasting more powerful for fat loss. Another way fasting boosts fat loss is by increasing the amount of growth hormone your body produces. Studies have shown that production of growth hormone can decrease your amount of body fat. Finally, fasting has also been shown to increase production of norepinephrine, the fat burning hormone.

Hopefully some of these reasons give you some insight into why fasting has been all the craze the last few years. There is quite a lot of research now backing it up so if you are wanting to further you fat loss gains, then this may be something you want to try. There are a few different methods you can try to use when fasting to achieve greater fat loss. We will go over these on one of our next posts.

Are All Calories The Same?

If It’s Too Good To Be True…

You know how people say, “if it’s too good to be true it probably is”? Well in this case regarding calories in and calories out that statement holds true. If everything we put in our bodies had the same measurable effect on our metabolism, then losing weight would be much easier that’s for sure. All you would need to do is eat in a deficit of calories everyday, and as long as the calories you were taking in were under your required intake for weight loss, you would drop body fat. Simple as that right? Wrong! Here’s why….

The Stalling Effect

Changing your eating habits to lose body fat is generally the best thing you can do to begin to see results. You begin to lose inches around your waist, your clothes get a little baggier, and you start feeling better from the more nutrient rich foods you are taking in. But, after a while, even if you are consistent with your diet, you will notice that progress can slow down, and even come to a screeching halt. This happens because the body is always defending itself. The human species has done this for thousands of years, adapt or die. The body has adapted to your new style of eating and regulated the metabolism to burn just enough calories to get through the food you are currently consuming in a day. So now what do you do? Here is what I suggest…

Increase your activity level first, don’t cut more calories!

Increasing your activity level can be as simple as adding a little more cardio into each session you do daily. So for example, if you are not doing any cardio on your weight training days, try adding a simple walk on the treadmill at the end of your lifting session for 20-30 minutes. Then on your regular cardio days add on an extra 15 minutes to your time. This extra time could be spent doing a number of different activities. One of the best cardio workouts in terms of bang for your buck would be either a rowing machine or jumping rope, but you can just as easily walk on an incline on the treadmill and still see results. Over the course of the week, by adding in this simple approach you can be doing an extra 2 hours of activity per week, which really adds up in terms of calories burned, and will help reignite the fat loss you have been missing.

Take Home Point

If you remember anything from this post please remember this part. When dieting, if you hit a sticking point in your fat loss progress, always try other avenues before cutting more calories out of your diet. Always remember, the body adapts over time to these changes, and eventually again yes, it will adapt to the new deficit you put it in, making it again even more difficult to see any progress. So always try other means first before cutting your diet.

Never Settle! Why Settling On Your Goals Is A Loser’s Mentality

Always Keep Pushing Forward!

Today’s topic is one that is extremely important to me and I wanted to share with you. When someone is setting out to achieve a specific goal, whether that be to lose weight, build muscle, or get better at a specific sport or activity you generally have some sort of idea as to what you would like the end result to be. And as you start to get into your training, results aren’t coming as fast as they used to and you begin to lose motivation. The fire you had in the beginning when everything was going perfect starts to fade. This is when one of the worst things you can ever do starts to happen. You accept that this is the best you can do, and you decide to settle on the results you have achieved. Well, I am here to tell you that is bull shit. When you make the conscious decision to stop pushing forward, and basically put yourself in cruise control, you are setting yourself up for failure. This is a loser mentality because you are basically throwing in the towel and saying, well that’s good enough I guess. Never, never, never set limitations on what you can do. When you begin to place limits on your results, whether you realize it or not you begin to fall into more of a complacent state of mind. Once you let the complacency kick in, it almost always begins the downward spiral to where even making it to the gym becomes a chore. Don’t let this happen to you. Always have goals, and set goals that are bigger than average. Always keep yourself pushing forward toward the next milestone. I promise you in the end you will be happy you did.

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The One Thing Holding You Back From Achieving Your Fitness Goals

YOU!

The number one thing holding most people back from reaching their goals….Fear of Failure.
For some reason many of us seem to get caught up in the fact that if we attempt something and fail, then we will be judged by everyone else as a failure or a loser, Well I am here to say fuck that. The only way you will be able to truly succeed is by overcoming failure and continuing to move forward. Failure is the greatest teacher when it comes to achieving success. The best example of this that I can recall is Michael Jordan. The guy has missed over 9000 shots, 26 game winners too, but as his career continued, and he worked his ass off, he was able to finally succeed and take his team to 6 Titles. Without that fire and work ethic, and his ability to drown out the nay sayers, Michael Jordan could have very well became irrelevant. He still would have been a good athlete no doubt, but he would not be remembered as the greatest of all time aka GOAT if he did not have the mental toughness to push through each of his struggles and failures. We could all learn something from his mindset to not stop when things get tough, or to understand that a set back is only minor, and the bigger picture is still ahead, you just have to keep going. This is why we see so many get into fitness and exercising and they stop and start every year, over and over like a broken record. They don’t see results in the first 20 days so they say screw it and give up for the next 6 months, or just accept the body they have without even considering that they may need to make some changes to there routine before they just throw in the towel. Listen I could go on and on with this subject because it is one I deal with in clients everyday, but simply put, fuck failure, and keep pushing forward. Even when you fuck up and eat bad, or miss a workout, do not throw the rest of the week out the window. Get back on the fucking horse and get to work because no one else is going to do it for you. It’s you vs you.

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Three Major Rules Of Metabolism

Feeling Stuck?

When it comes to weight loss your bodies’ metabolism plays a huge role in how successful you will be. To be blunt, it can make or break you in your weight loss goals. So here I wanted to leave you with three rules to remember about your metabolism that may help you if you feel like you may be stalling out on your results.

Rule 1: Metabolism is Unique to each Individual

This rule should really kind of be common sense, but it needs to be said and viewed as the most important. Every person is unique in how their body metabolizes what they take in. So even if you think you are following the perfect meal plan, but are still not seeing progress, then something needs to be adjusted.

Rule 2: A Less Efficient Metabolism is Actually Optimal

One big misconception is that when we eat low carb our bodies’ thyroid production slows down naturally, and this can stall weight loss. But, the truth is that we want our body to have a less efficient metabolism. Also, on this subject, this is where not all calories are created equal. Ensuring that we are taking in quality calories, and not just “fitting” food into our daily macros can be key to get that last little bit of stubborn fat off your trouble areas.

Rule 3: The Body is Always Either Anabolic or Catabolic

Always remember the body is either going to be attempting to store fat and muscle, or losing fat and muscle. Muscle loss can be collateral damage in the process of burning fat. The only time you will notice the phenomenon of being able to lose body fat, while simultaneously keeping that lean muscle is when you add anabolic steroids to the mix.

 

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One Issue That Can Bring Weight Loss To A Halt

How is Your Digestion?

This is something that is actually simple but gets over looked a lot when it comes to weight loss and your health in general. One major issue that can lead to you stopping progress in your weight loss goals is bad digestion. Not being able to absorb nutrients properly due to bad digestion would be comparable to us driving a car without ever changing the oil. Over time you will be running on fumes! The body needs to be able to absorb certain key nutrients that will help us not only stay regular, but also aid in keeping a healthy metabolism, which is where the weight loss issue comes into play. A few of the key indicators that you may be having issues with your digestion are itchy skin, hives, bloating, and feeling excessively full after a meal.

 

 

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What is Your Excuse?

What is your excuse?
My Last 30 Hours…
I wake up at 4am yesterday to get ready for work. Leave by 5am, get there by 5:45am to start my shift. Work from 6am-10pm, pulled a double which is all too common in my line of work. From here I go home, shower, catch up on orders from the website, answer as many questions as I can, get a bite to eat, and pass out around midnight. Wake up bright and early the next day, get my workout in by 9:30am, which was leg day, you know, the day most people skip. From here I develop content for the website for the next week, send out emails, process orders, follow-up with clients and friends on any help they may need, get orders for the week taken care of through my vendors, and then I cap off the evening with any pick up orders that may be arriving. This mind you doesn’t include any of the home life activities we all have on our plates such as yard work, home improvements, children etc. The point is even with being as busy as I am I still make it a priority to get my workouts in. These are the times when the successful get separated from the average or below average. When you start thinking of reasons why not to do something, or any type of excuse you are toast! Forget it, it’s over. In your mind you have already screwed yourself. Listen guys if you want to change your body, you must make it a priority to get your butt to the gym, and do some work while you are there. Work hard! I promise you if you start to put more emphasis and discipline into getting to the gym, and making it a bigger priority change will happen! You just have to make those initial steps first. I hope this helps give some of you perspective. Please share this rant with someone who you think needs to hear it….Or someone who is always skipping leg day. Either Way! Rant over.