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.
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.
How are you doing?
We are officially half way through 2018 so I wanted to drop a line for you guys and ask where are you with your fitness goals? Have you met them, did you start and then give up, or did you procrastinate your way into July? The statistics for this sort of thing are never in anyone’s favor. By today, over 95% of new year’s resolutions have been destroyed, leaving most people to say, “well there is always next year”. But this time I urge you to stop and consider the following. There are at least another 170 days roughly until Christmas, I mean we are talking 5 months+ of time to get yourself in a better postition than you are now. Not only that, but at a time of year when most people are falling off there wagons with there weight loss goals, let this be the time to get back on track. You don’t have to make any crazy commitments, like going to the gym 5+ days a week, just get started. Even if it is walking on the treadmill every other day for a half hour. Everyone has to start somewhere initially to get some momentum. During this time you can take that opportunity to put together a solid plan for the next 6 months. Something realistic that makes sense for your lifestyle, not something you read in a magazine or saw online that sounds great, but you know you will never stick to. I want everyone I come in contact with to succeed, but the truth is the goals you have in mind are not going to happen overnight. You must stay patient, and consistent for good sustainable results to follow. If you need help getting started, please feel free to use me as your resource. I am here to help you. I hope everyone had a great fourth of July, and I look forward to working with you guys throughout the rest of this year. Let’s make it a great one.
Why Is It So Important?
I think partially this topic goes without saying that you need to stay properly hydrated, especially in the summer months just for the sake of your health. Lack of proper hydration can really mess with your body over time, leading to issues that may be minor like dry skin or muscle cramps, all the way to cardiovascular problems and bad digestion. So as we go into the fourth of July here, make sure you are keeping your body hydrated, especially since I know most of you are going to be indulging in alcohol. In fact here are a few of the major benefits that proper hydration can have for you.
Weight Loss Aid– Yes, that’s right. Drinking more water, especially before a meal has been shown to aid in faster weight loss than those who did not drink water.
Mood Enhancement– Even a slight case of dehydration can effect your mood due to the low level of energy you feel from not having enough water in your system. So keep the positive energy up by staying hydrated.
Natural Detox– Water of course is a natural detox, aiding in keeping those kidneys flushed out properly. One key link here that most folks do not understand is your kidneys and heart are very closely connected, so when the kidneys are healthy and running properly, the heart is generally in decent shape as well.
Natural Joint Support– Water is also a natural lubricant for our joints. Cartilage, the stuff that surrounds the joints for support is approximately 85% water, so they need plenty of it to keep the joints supple.
How Much To Drink?
So these benefits sounds great and all, but the next big question I always hear is how much should I be drinking a day? That answer lies in a few separate variables mainly being body size and activity level. The more active we are, naturally we are going to need more water to stay hydrated. Body size, mainly pertaining to muscle mass will also determine how much water you really need. Again there is no perfect answer here, but a good general rule of thumb is 80 ounces a day. For more active individuals, I would be doing at least 100 ounces or more, especially if you are drinking coffee, or taking in any stimulants that may be causing you to expel excess water. Personally, I do approximately a gallon a day.
Is there a Difference?
Research has shown that both of these options can be effective for weight loss, and keeping blood sugar and insulin lowered. But is one option better than the other? Or does it even matter which you choose, as long as the carbohydrate levels stay down. Let’s break them down and see what the research says.
In Regards to Weight Loss
Both carb restriction and fasting can help you reduce your total calories, which can lead to weight loss, and both are easy to follow. But, if you have any issues with feeling hungry it may be tough for you to consistently stick to your meal plan if you have issues with fighting hunger. So from the perspective of staying the most consistent, I would have to vote for just following a lower carbohydrate diet consistently vs fasting.
What About For Health Benefits?
As far as the health benefits go surprisingly fasting showed a greater drop in glucose and insulin for a 24 hour period. Additionally for those that were doing an evening fast that lasted throughout the night into the early morning saw an even greater decrease in glucose levels.
This is great news, but you can not just fast all the time! So what can we do to find balance to try to reap the health benefits of fasting, and also continue with our weight loss efforts?
IF or intermittent fasting, also known as temporary fasting is where you fast for a temporary amount of time throughout the day, or during the day into the night. Most people doing temporary fasting will eat the majority of there calories in a window of say 8 hours, and then fast for the next 16 until the next day. For example, say you wake up at 8am, and eat your first meal around 9am. Between the hours of 9-5pm you would eat what you had planned for the day, then from 5pm until 9am the next day do not eat anything. Some will squeeze the window even tighter where they only eat in a 4 hour window and fast for 20 hours. Obviously this will take a lot more discipline, but in time it can be done. This way you can reap both the health benefits of fasting, and get the weight loss benefits as well. Give this a try sometime, and see if you can stick with it. Personally, I think it is worth giving a shot even just for the health benefits alone. What do you think?
For years now there has been a long debate on whether consuming wine has any real health benefits, or was this merely a scheme cooked up by good marketers to make us feel good about consuming booze. After doing some digging I was able to locate some interesting information regarding the benefits of wine. Interestingly enough the benefits that are mentioned are correlated to the amount taken in. Now, do not go running out and start hitting the bottle just yet, the amount tested was between 5-8 ounces. So this would be equivalent to 1-2 glasses. Here are some of the benefits mentioned below….
Diabetes: Drinking between the above mentioned 5-8oz of wine per night has shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular Disease: Wine has shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease and LDL or bad cholesterol.
Stroke: Wine has also shown to reduce the risk of stroke as well.
What is the Connection?
It seems that there is one main ingredient found in wine that is aiding in all of these great benefits, and they are called polyphenols, which are micronutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables. Wine is naturally made of grapes, which contain a good amount of polyphenols in them. And it just so happens that when wine is produced, and ferments, even more polyphenols are developed. For more information on the benefits of polyphenols and there benefits I would recommend checking out this link here.
The bottom line with wine is simply this. Consuming a little wine here and there, 1-2 glasses of wine a night can have benefits to your health. But going over this amount consistently will actually start to have the opposite effect on you, causing negative side effects, which we will talk about more in our next installment on the effects of alcohol in the body.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is actually a root grown in the ground that is orange and yellow in color and is full of health benefits. The key to turmeric is curcumin, which is a compound contained in turmeric root that is a super antioxidant. Here are a list of the benefits…
- Anti-Inflammatory- Curcumin has shown to reduce chronic inflammation and pain in the body. Taken at the right dosage, curcumin has even been used as a natural alternative to pain medication due to it being non addictive.
- Lower blood sugar- Curcumin has great benefits for type two diabetics in that it can help keep blood sugar more stable throughout the day.
- Anti Cancer- Test subjects that supplemented with curcumin have shown a decrease in tumor size and even cell apoptosis.
- Enhances Recovery Post Workout– Since strength training and other strenuous physical activity causes minor tears in muscle fibers and inflammation, curcumin causes quicker recovery from exercise because of its anti inflammatory benefits.
- Brain Health- Curcumin has shown to cause a release in what are known as macrophages, which are cells that can destroy abnormal protein structures that are in part responsible for cognitive decline.
What is the best way to take Turmeric?
Turmeric can be taken in various ways orally, whether that be the dried powder form used in a smoothie or juice, or in a more concentrated capsule form. One of the best ways to supplement with turmeric is with black pepper, or piperine. Black pepper extract, also known as piperine, has shown to increase the absorption rate of turmeric by as much as 300%, so this is definitely important if you want to get the most benefit. I would look for a capsule form of this product to avoid the mess the powder can cause, and make sure that the curcumin has the piperine in their as well for absorption benefit. One last thing to mention here, when buying curcumin pay attention to the actual percentage yield of curcumin in your dose! The percentages can range between 30 and 95 percent, with 95 percent being the best I would go for that so you do not have to use as much. Most people do not pay any attention to this detail when purchasing and end up buying junk.
You will notice that I have been using turmeric and curcumin interchangeably throughout this post. Just remember turmeric is the root itself, while curcumin is the active ingredient contained in the root with the above mentioned benefits. This being the case some folks will buy actual turmeric root at the grocery store and juice it, or grind it up into a powder. I find the best way for myself is to buy the capsules with a better yield of curcumin in them to avoid all the extra leg work, but to each his own here. Whichever way you prefer is all relative really. Just know the rule of thumb is that turmeric root itself contains between 5-15% curcumin per 1000mg or 1 gram. This will play a role as well when it comes to figuring out the dosage you want.
The proper dosing is a wide range when it comes to curcumin. You will hear anywhere between 1000mg all the way up to 5000mg depending on the situation. Personally I take 1000mg daily monday thru friday as a maintenance dose. Keeps my inflammation at bay and aids my immune system this time of year, which by the way is another benefit I forgot to mention…Curcumin is an immune booster too.
Things to Consider
I would recommend doing a little more research if you are taking curcumin for any specific reason such as type 2 diabetes or cancer. Also curcumin can thin the blood and inhibit iron absorption so keep this in mind as well when supplementing. I always use the premise less is more. Mega dosing something deemed beneficial can turn up negative, hence the old too much of a good thing quote. If you have any questions regarding how to supplement with curcumin or just anything health and fitness related please feel free to leave a comment below.