The Surprising Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

 

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Want to get leaner and fitter? Have a hard time losing stubborn fat? If so, try the ketogenic diet! This low-carb, high-fat eating plan promotes weight loss and boosts exercise performance. It’s one of the best ways to build a strong, lean body and improve your health.

Let’s see how the ketogenic diet works and why it’s so good for health!

 

How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work?

Studies confirm the benefits of low-carb, high-fat diets, such as the ketogenic diet plan. From reduced insulin sensitivity to fat loss and enhanced brain function, your health will improve on every level. This eating pattern goes against everything you’ve been told about dieting, but it works.

The ketogenic diet was initially intended for patients with epilepsy. Today, it’s widely used by elite athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, and dieters. This eating plan is low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein.

Once you cut back on carbs, your body enters ketosis. Since it can no longer use sugars for fuel, it burns fat to get the energy needed for its daily functions. This leads to weight loss, improved insulin resistance, mental clarity, and reduced heart disease risk. It’s not uncommon to lose 10 pounds or more during the first week on the ketogenic diet.

Studies have also linked ketosis to enhanced memory, increased cognition, and improved mental focus. Some researchers suggest that ketogenic diets may lower the risk of cancer by starving malignant cells.

 

What Foods Are Allowed on the Ketogenic Diet?

This dietary plan promotes the consumption of animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, and butter, and certain types of cheese. Coconut oil, olive oil, and flax oil make it easier to increase your fat intake. Nuts and seeds are high in fat too, so you can add them to your meals.

When eating eggs, don’t ditch the yolks! Contrary to popular belief, dietary cholesterol has a minimal impact on blood cholesterol levels. The ketogenic diet helps bad lower cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to improved cardiovascular health.

Seek low-carb, high-fat substitutes to flour, bread, grains, and sugary treats. For instance, you can use coconut flour, konjac flour, or flax meal instead of grain flour. Stevia can replace sugar in most recipes. Surprisingly, you can get leaner and healthier while still enjoying delicious foods like bacon, mayo, and butter. On top of that, you don’t have to count calories or macros.

Gaining weight with a diet to deal with Gastritis?

I am a 19 year old male, who has recently been diagnosed with Gastritis. The past two months, I have lost about 15 pounds due to flare-ups that have kept me picking foods from the bland diet. This diagnoses helps me finally know foods to eat and which to avoid. When I’m healthy enough to get back to working out like I used to, I’d like to see what exactly I can supplement this diet-for-gastritis to help me gain that weight I lost. What do you recommend?

Answer:

I think the key to you regaining your lost weight is firstly to address your gastritis. Once you have helped restore your digestive system back to its normal state, you should be able to allow yourself to have a slightly more flexible diet, whilst avoiding your trigger foods. Firstly I would suggest trying to introduce some foods that are beneficial to your digestive system, specifically foods that will help reduce that inflammation that is associated with Gastritis. Start consuming live yoghurt that contains friendly bacteria which help normalise the balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive system. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and has a long history of being useful for treating digestive ailments. Fresh ginger can be added as a seasoning to your food or added to hot water to make a tea. make sure to use the fresh ginger as when processed it can lose a lot of the active ingredients. Try drinking camomile tea which also has anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to help reduce irritation and inflammation. Peppermint tea also has benefits in settling upset stomachs. Its also suggested that Gastritis can lead to B12 deficiency so include foods high in B vitamins and calcium, such as almonds, beans and dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Consume oily fish such as salmon or sardines which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Fish is also a rich source of protein which will help you regain your lost bodyweight. Try to avoid cooking with processed or artificial fats and use Olive oil which is well tolerated and has numerous health benefits, again it can help reduce inflammation. Once you have made these changes you should find the symptoms of your gastritis much reduced. To restore your lost weight you will need to increase the amount of calories your consume, focusing on protein from lean easy to digest meats such as chicken, turkey and fish. Fruit is an easy to consume source of calories, bananas have a soothing effect on the stomach and provide a good source of calories. Finally you may want to consider taking a multivitamin to help restore any nutritional deficiencies you may have developed during the past few months. With time you should find that bodyweight is restored, as your digestive system is recovers.

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Juicing

I watched the documentaries “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and “Hungry for Change”, and they made a distinct impression on me. I would like to try the juicing fast, but there is so much conflicting information on the web about it, how’s a girl to know what true and what’s just opinion? Will it do damage or help me rewire my brain to break the carb/sugar dependencies.

Answer:

I don’t think the juicing diet is going to rewire your brain as such, but it may be a useful tool for weight loss. There have been quite a few anecdotal cases where people have successfully lost weight on the juicing diet. Compared to some of the other diets such as slim fast and other programs using processed food products or meal replacements, I would say I prefer the juice fast diet. Juicing is a great way to get to some valuable nutrients into people whose diet is deficient. It can also work quite well for those who are significantly overweight and need to make drastic weight loss. What I would say is that juicing does remove most of the fiber from the fruit and vegetables that you use, so it is important to get the right balance of fruit and veg in your juice drink. Fruit and some vegetables can contain a lot of sugar. I have come across many cases where people are following a juice diet and using a huge amount of fruit and wondering they are not losing any weight. The simple reason is they are still consuming a lot of calories and those calories are from sugar. Consuming fiber helps slow down the rate of absorption, and keeps insulin levels low so fat storage is not promoted. If you want to follow the juice diet, I would suggest that you make your juice with a ratio of 2-3 servings of vegetables to 1 serving of fruit. Look for low calorie fruits such as peaches, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Vegetables tend to have less calories so think of the fruit as the sweetener to make the vegetable juice more palatable, rather than being the main ingredient. I don’t know what plan you are following, but for example of you are juicing for two meals and eating one solid food meal a day, make sure that meal has a good source of fiber in it. Whether its your breakfast, lunch or dinner, try to eat either sugar free whole grain cereals, oatmeal, whole bran or brown rice, whole grain bread or pasta along with some fiber rich vegetables.

Healthy Smoothie Ingredients?

Hello! I make a lot of green smoothies for the nutrients and cleanse they provide. However, I’m wondering if the ingredients I use are a healthy balance. Specifically, I normally put in 2 or 3 pieces of fruit, along with spinach, celery, ginger, flaxseed, and non-fat yogurt. My question is: I know fruit contains a lot of natural sugars, how much is too much fruit? Thanks so much!

Answer:

I would always try to juice or make a smoothie using a ration of 2/3 to 1 pieces of vegetables to fruit. Additionally some fruits are lower in sugars than others, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, blackberries are watermelon are all low sugar fruits. Using these in your smoothies can help reduce the sugar consumed.

Too many diets

I’m getting married this Summer (sate August) and am ramping up exercise & diet to get ready. I’m generally pretty fit (crossfit 6x a week plus intervals) and eat cleanly, but I’m getting very conflicting advice on an ideal diet. I want to lose about 15-20 lbs before the wedding, but I’ve been told to eat considerably more than I’m accustomed to on a paleo/primal diet. I like the paleo/primal diet in general, but I’m concerned that I won’t lose (or even may gain) weight as I’m consuming a lot more calories. I think this may be a good long-term plan, but my wedding is in three months–is this the plan to prepare for this time frame? Really thanks :)

Answer:

Unfortunately you didn’t complete your profile so I couldn’t calculate anything based on your stats and activity. However I would say that if you are trying to lose weight in time for your wedding, the paleo/primal diet is not a bad choice. If you are following it closely you should be removing refined carbs and processed foods from your diet. Cutting back on simple carbs is definitely going to help your weight loss, and combined with your current exercise routine should provide some good results. I don’t know what reasoning behind the comments that you should eat considerably more than your accustomed to, my only thoughts are that because you may be eating less carbohydrates than normal, so you may feel lethargic. I would not suggest automatically eating “considerably more” but play it by ear, observe how your body responds and adjust accordingly if you feel lethargic. I’m not a believer in following strict diets day in day out, there is no reason why you cant take a break every week and eat how you would normally and then return to your diet for the remaining six days.

Omega-3 Fish Oil 1000mg. 3x a day

Can a type 1 diabetic take these pills without affecting her blood sugar readings?

Answer:

Omega 3 Fish oil can alter blood sugar levels, so it is possible that your readings could be affected. There have been studies showing the benefit of taking Omega 3 fish oil in people with Type 1 diabetes but at the moment the evidence is not conclusive. If you don’t do it already, I think it may be worthwhile to include in your diet a source of Omega 3 fish oils from sources such as salmon, or other oily fish, a few times a week. However if you wish to take the supplement form, I would check with your doctor first. Be aware that fish oil can interact with blood thinning medication such as warfarin and aspirin.

Cheating on diet

Hi, I am currently on a cutting diet to lower by body fat percentage, but I have having trouble sticking to my diet, I often find myself cheating and then feel horrible afterwards. Could you help provide some sort of strategy or motivation to stop cheating, and when I do cheat how should I handle it? detox, extra cardio? Please help, Thank You.

Answer:

Hello and thanks for your question. It is never easy trying to make big changes to your diet and avoid the craving for the foods you used to eat. I believe it is important to still have the odd treat as part of an overall diet program, however it is important to make sure you control the consumption of those treats. I recommend that you actually introduce a cheat day into your diet. So rather than cheating at random, you allocate a single day, perhaps Saturday or Sunday as your cheat day and you allow your self to eat whatever you want on that day. You might be asking how is having a cheat day going to help with your diet? Well firstly having a day where you allow yourself your favourite foods, can help motivate you to stick to your diet plan during the week. Secondly a cheat day if planned well can actually help your lose weight. For example often when people start on diet, they try to reduce calories/fat/carbs significantly, this can cause a drop in your metabolism which reduces the rate at which you burn calories. This in turn can hinder your fat loss. By having a cheat day where you not only eat your favourite foods, but also consume more calories overall than on your diet days, you help keep your metabolism elevated and prevent stagnating in your diet. So to summarise keep your diet under control for 6 days of the week and then treat yourself on your cheat day. By doing this you will also help remove the horrible feeling that you have when you have cheated previously, as you know that you are helping your diet. One other thing I would suggest having read your profile, is that you consider reducing/avoiding your consumption of artificial sweeteners. Recent studies have shown that the brain can react to artificial sweeteners in just the same way as sugar, making the body release insulin. Not only that there is some suggestion that they may also increase your cravings for sweet foods. If you really cant avoid the use of sweeteners, then I would recommend you look at using natural low calories sweeteners like xylitol or stevia. Good luck.

Pre-game Nutrition for High School Football Player

My son is 16 almost 17 and plays high school football. On the day he has a football game he will not eat prior to the game. He has always been this way. I need advice on what he can do to fuel his body prior to game time.

Answer:

Thanks for your question. In terms of pre game nutrition the three most important factors are ensuring he consumes adequate carbohydrates, liquids and electrolytes so he can perform to his best during the game. It is not necessarily required that he eats that much prior to the game. I would recommend eating a meal with both simple and complex carbohydrates for breakfast, oatmeal with raisins is a good example. Complex carbohydrates are a provide a slow release of energy whilst simple carbohydrates give instant energy. Pasta, bread, rice, fruit are all good sources of carbs, generally brown pasta, rice, bread still contain fiber which means they provide a slow release of energy, white rice, bread and pasta does not contain any fiber which means they are broken down much quicker and therefore release energy more rapidly. It is also important to avoid consuming any fat in a pre match meal, as fat can slow the digestion rate down, and you want to make sure the body is not buddy trying to break down a meal whilst in the middle of a football game. A meal with such as skinless chicken breast with a couple of cups of rice and some vegetables would be a healthy and relatively easy on the stomach meal. In terms of liquids aim to consume 1 to 1.5 litres of water throughout the morning before the game. This should be spread over the proceeding hours not in one go, and ideally most if it before the final two hours before the game. He can just sip a little water when he feels like it in the last two hours. Bananas are a good source of carbohydrates and also electrolytes, and are easy to digest. Ideally you would eat the breakfast upon wakening, the next meal 4 hours before the game, and then a small snack such as a banana, some rice cakes or some bread and honey about 2 hours before the game. Continue to sip water up until the start of the game. There are also a variety of sports drinks, I am not a fan of some of them due to the large amounts of additives and chemicals in them. Whilst they make help in sport, they are not great from a health perspective and really don’t offer anything that cant be achieved with real food. If your son is really averse to eating anything at all, then you might want to consider trying to make a smoothie, for example rice milk blended with banana and honey is a great way to get a mix of carbohydrates, liquids and electrolytes in one go. This can be consumed 2-3 hours before the game, just make sure than water is consumed to maintain hydration.

How to lose weight?

Hi. I’m a 24 year old female. 5’7″ and I weight 195 currently. What is the appropriate amount of calories and exercise that I need per day to lose weight? I’m trying to get to at least 170.

Answer:

Based on your stats you want to be aiming for between 1500-1700 calories per day for weight loss. If you are looking for faster weight loss I would aiming for 1500 calories per day, and have one cheat meal per week where you are allowed to eat whatever you want. By having a cheat meal this can help break up the monotony of your diet but also prevent your body going into starvation mode also. People often go on a restricted diet and then find they cannot lose weight. This is usually due to the body thinking food is in short supply and therefore it needs to hold onto whatever calories it gets. By having a cheat meal, you reset your body each week into thinking food is readily available so your metabolism will maintained. Regarding exercise, I can see you are exercising daily, I would recommend having 1-2 days off per week to give your body a break and a chance to recover. Combining both weight training and cardio is the optimum way to lose fat. Weight training is very important to help keep your metabolism elevated throughout the day. When you do resistance and weights, your muscles need additional calories for the 48 hours after your have exercised to recover and this keeps your body using the calories you eat throughout the day. Cardio is faster at using calories when you doing it, but once you stop then it does not have as much effect as weight training for keeping your metabolism elevated afterwards. Therefore combining the two gives you the best of both worlds. Aim to do 30 mins of cardio each session at 60% of your max heart rate, there is no need to go flat out, as this puts your body into a catabolic state where you can end up burning muscle tissue. 60% is the optimum rate for fat loss. Try to plan your workouts so you have a meal following your workout, so if you go to the gym in the evening, eat high protein, low fat, moderate to low carb workout following your gym session. The protein will help your muscles recover but don’t eat too much carbs or fat.

Garcinia Cambogia

Is it safe to take garcinia cambogia?

Answer:

Hi, there is some conflicting studies regarding the safety of Garcinia Cambogia. Some studies done in animals have found toxic side effects, whilst some have claimed it is perfectly safe. I cant give you a definitive answer on whether it is safe or not. What I can say is that you should take caution with any fat loss supplements that you may wish to take. Always buy from a large reputable brand, as there have been cases of contamination or adulteration in some fat loss products. Garcinia Cambogia, does not have a significant amount of scientific research to support its effectiveness for weight loss. On that basis alone, I would not suggest using it.