Category: health

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.

keto diet for beginners

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.

green tea fasting

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.

My Current Supplement Routine

“Hey man, what do you take”?

I always get asked at least once a week about what my supplement routine is. So I thought I would share my current regimen with you guys to maybe provide some guidance. My typical morning starts off with either an egg based breakfast, such as scrambled eggs, or I will use the Pro-3 Protein powder and make a smoothie. Since the first meal of my day is also my pre-workout meal I typically throw some carbs into this meal to help fuel my upcoming workout. If I do the egg meal for breakfast, then I end up eating those with oatmeal. But, if I go with the smoothie instead, I will end up adding a banana to the smoothie for the carbohydrates. With my breakfast meal is when I also take my first dose of sarms. Right now I am using S4 and GWXT pre-workout. I take 2 capsules of each with breakfast.

Now It’s Time to Get Motivated

About fourty five minutes to an hour after breakfast I will mix up a scoop of Limitless Pre-workout in about 16 ounces of water and start sipping on it approximately 30 minutes before I go to the gym. I will consume about half to two thirds of the Limitless before I get to the gym, and finish it during the first 20 minutes of my workout. Throughout the rest of the workout I just sip on water until I am done training. After my workout I don’t rush to take in a meal or protein shake. I typically get home from the gym, and within approximately 60-90 minutes of finishing my lift I usually make a smoothie. Anywhere around 40-50 grams of protein total, so approximately 2 scoops of Pro-3 Chocolate, a banana, and 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter. I add this to 6 ounces of water with 6-8 ice cubes. Blend and done. After this, I am really not taking in any other supplements until bed time, which is about 10 hours from the time I have my post workout shake. The only thing I use in between that time and bed time are the Vital Greens Super Food Blend. I add 2 scoops into 20 ounces of water and sip on it throughout the evening. I do this to try to make sure I am getting in enough nutrition and anti-oxidants to support my recovery, but also Vital Greens tastes really good for a “greens” formula, and breaks up the monotony of just drinking water all day.

Nightly Night

The last supplement I use about 30 minutes before bed is Ibutamoren. I take three capsules every night before bed. It seems to help with sleep, and I recover much faster on it. And that’s it, a handful of key items is all I use on a daily basis. What are your favorite supplements?

 

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One Major Reason Why Anyone Could Benefit From Creatine

In the Beginning

Since the early 1990’s when Bill Phillips introduced the first mass produced creatine powder, this supplement has been under the spotlight. At times, for its benefits to strength and performance in the gym, and at others receiving negative attention, and being called a “steroid” by very uneducated individuals who really have no clue what creatine even is. Creatine is a molecule that the body can naturally produce. It’s made primarily in the kidneys and completed in the liver, by three amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine. Typically, from a nutritional standpoint creatine is found in higher concentrations in red meats. So for those of you that are walking around considering creatine something that is unnatural or a steroid, you need to do a little research first.

How Can It Benefit Me?

Besides creatines’ known benefits of strength and performance it also plays another role in cell health. Creatine helps the mitochondria in our bodies’ produce more ATP, which is energy for our cells. The healthier the cells in the body are the longer they can potentially live, and the better off that organ that the particular cell lives in will be. So indirectly, creatine has cell protective properties! This is why many researchers consider creatine a superfood.

Who Can Safely Take It?

After knowing these benefits, really any adult can use creatine safely. The recommended dosage per day is 5 grams, or approximately 1 teaspoon. You do not need to do any type of loading phase, or anything like that which you may have heard of unless you are using creatine for more than the health benefits. If you are using creatine for the performance benefits I would suggest using it pre and post workout on workout days, 5 grams pre, and 5 grams post in a protein shake or BCAA drink. On non workout days use 5 grams in the morning with breakfast or a protein shake.

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Steak and Shirataki Stir Fry

New low carb recipe for you guys to check out. Hope you like it!

Steak and Shirataki Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 2 packages or approximately 14 ounces shirataki noodles
  • 1 pound top sirloin or skirt steak cut into ¼ inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2-inches ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Avocado oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, thinly sliced

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Open the packages of shirataki noodles and drain the noodles in a colander. Rinse well under cold water.

Add the noodles to the boiling water. Boil 2 minutes. Drain.

Heat a large skillet or a wok over medium-low heat. Do not add any oil. Add the shirataki noodles to the dry skillet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, using tongs to frequently turn and move the noodles as they cook. This process dries out the noodles. You’ll know they are dry when they suddenly start to squeak as they are moved around the skillet. Remove the noodles from the skillet and set aside.

Whisk together tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger and garlic.

Pour half of the mixture over the beef. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Wait several minutes for the pan to get really hot, then add the beef. Cook, stirring just a few times, until meat is cooked, 3 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Let the pan heat up again and add Avocado Oil. Add the shredded carrots and bell pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bok choy. Cook until just tender, 2 minutes.

Add the noodles and the reserved marinade. Toss the noodles well to coat. Add the beef to the pan and cook just until heated. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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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Putting on Quality Mass Simplified

x-2/y+4?

This post is more of a tip of the day. Nothing too drawn out or fancy here, just proving a point as to how simple we can keep things and still get good results. So often I get guys and girls whom I consult that want to add on muscle, which is great. But when it comes down to putting together a meal plan they glaze over as if we are discussing advanced calculus. Listen, it does not need to be so complicated. Here is a simple way to nail down your macros as a base to start.

Where to Start

Here is a simple place to begin. Start with the number 10, and add 1 for every hour of training you do per week. so for example if you train 5 hours a week, or 5 days a week at one hour, then add 5 to the number 10. That puts you at 15. Then take the number 15 and multiply it times your current body weight. Here let’s say for example you weigh 200 pounds. 200 times 15 is 3,000, which is approximately what you can eat per day to maintain your current body mass. So, if your goal is to gain mass, then add 250-500 calories to this number, to put you in a surplus. Track your body weight from start to finish, and every two weeks I would weigh myself and see where I am at. If you have gained 1-2 pounds, then progress is being made. If you are still the same weight, then I would increase the total calories by 250 each weigh in until progress is made. Trust me, you will eventually find the sweet spot, unless you have tape worm, then you’re fucked.

What do I actually eat?

Now for the details. Again we are trying to keep things simple here so this is where I tell people the easier the better. For protein intake go with around 1 gram per pound. For carbohydrates these need to stay relatively high for a mass gain phase, I would suggest that about 35%-40% of your calories are from carbohydrates. This puts you at about 25%-30% of calories coming from protein, and another 30% roughly coming from fat. Going back to our 200lb individual example from earlier, here is a sample breakdown.

Calories per day 3000

Protein 200g/day

Carbohydrates 300g/day

Fat 110g/day

You can break this down into 4-6 meals spread throughout the day, so at 6 meals you are looking at 500 calorie meals throughtout. Pretty reasonable. Try using this formula out if you are trying to put on mass, and if you need any assistance getting it set up please feel free to reach out and I will help you out.

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