Keto. A sustainable diet that helps you lose weight while minimizing cravings is everyone’s dream! No one wants to suffer through deprivation for weeks on end. Just to see all the weight lost come right back the second you give in to the cravings that have been haunting you.
It’s a vicious cycle and it gets you nowhere. So, what is the key to finding a more “reality-friendly” way of eating? Something that is actually sustainable over a long period of time? Well, the answer is as simple as ketones.
The Ketogenic diet, or Keto diet, is a low-carb way of eating. It focuses on high fat and protein content to help your body naturally lose weight. Most people don’t exactly think of loading up on fat and meats in order to diet. But, that’s exactly where this diet is different.
Normally, the body’s energy comes from burning sugars (glucose) it gets from carbohydrates. When you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and eat more fats instead, your body goes into a metabolic state called "ketosis". In this state, your liver starts to convert stored fat deposits into ketones. It uses those as an alternative fuel source. Your body starts naturally targeting fat reserves in your body in order to break them down.
The Keto diet has many health benefits. The main point, of course, is that it burns the body’s fat reserves. And it does so more quickly and more efficiently than other diets. This helps you lose weight quickly, but more importantly, sustainably.
Another amazing benefit is that unlike other diets, the keto diet helps you keep your muscle mass. This is possible because while you lose fat-weight, your body still has enough protein to feed your muscles.
Overall, the Keto diet seems to be more effective than other diets for weight loss. Because you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, you also bring down your blood sugar levels. This has many health benefits on its own, including lowering the risk of diabetes.
Beyond these benefits, other studies have shown that Keto can:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
- Improve Acne
- Slow the tumor growth of some cancers
Unlike other diets, Keto is a more sustainable way to eat. The longer you do it, the more your cravings disappear. You are allowed to eat many different satiating comfort foods with high fat content, so you always feel full. You don’t have nasty hunger-cravings following you around all day.
As your body moves into the state of ketosis, your carb cravings lessen and lessen. You are always happily full and craving free. That’s what makes this more sustainable than other diets. You’re not suffering while you’re on Keto. You have simply switched to a different part of your metabolism that targets your body’s fat deposits directly.
So, what does a low-carb, high fat and protein diet look like? Basically, the goal is to keep your carb intake under 20 grams of net carbs per day. This is the ideal environment to help your body switch into ketosis. It will kick-start that fat targeting metabolism.
Here is a very basic outline of the kinds of foods you should and should not be consuming on the keto diet.
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
- A variety of other vegetables that grow above the ground
- Natural fats like olive oil, milk, cream cheese, butter, plain yogurt etc.
- Unsweetened tea or coffee
- Sugary foods like chocolate bars, candy or doughnuts
- Soda and juice
If you’ve decided that Keto is something that you want to try, there are a few things to keep in mind. Bringing your body into a state of ketosis is a major shift. That’s why it’s so effective for weight loss, but the body will also feel some other side effects as this change occurs. Some people choose to start reducing their carbs a little more gradually (say, over the course of a week) in order to make the transition a bit easier.
Side effects will be most noticeable in the first few days as the body is adapting to change. They can include poor mental function, a lack of energy, feeling hungry, and sleep problems. Keep in mind that these symptoms occur because your body has not yet shifted fully into ketosis. They should subside once this has happened.
It’s best to start Keto when you have a few low-demand days in your schedule so that it won’t disrupt anything important. Once the metabolic switch has happened, most people report an increase in energy and decrease in hunger. You really just have a few days to get through in order to start reaping the benefits.
Because of the changes in diet away from carbohydrates in Keto, it helps to supplement some salts and electrolytes. This ensures your system stays healthy and balanced. It will also help minimize the side effects you may initially feel when first starting Keto.
Start by adding sodium and potassium supplements. Because your focus will be on fats and protein, you will be eating less grains and vegetables that contain fiber. This can lead to constipation for some people. Additional magnesium per day, in combination with proper hydration, can help alleviate this.
Although you don’t have to take any supplements while you’re on the keto diet, there are some supplements that can be helpful. Using whey to increase your protein intake can help keep muscles building even while the fat is being reduced. This is especially helpful if you are planning to boost your workout level when you’re on the Keto diet.
MTC (medium chain triglycerides) oil can also help further increase ketone levels. Coconut oil is a natural source of MTCs. Try adding either of these supplements into your morning yogurt or shake.
Research has shown that the Keto diet can be extremely effective and can have many amazing health benefits. As with anything though, there are individuals for whom Keto may not be a good fit. Talk to your doctor before starting the Keto diet. This is especially important if you are taking medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, or if you are breastfeeding.
For most healthy people though, Keto can be a life-changing boost that helps target fat loss in the body. When precautions are taken to support the body during this changed state of metabolism, it can be a really effective and rewarding experience.
Detoxing. News are always going on about it. You’ve probably heard people talking about the latest detox or cleanse that they’re on. Have you ever wondered what it’s all about and if it can help you lose weight? Well, “detox” is a really general term that is used to describe the removal of toxins from the body.
Detoxes have been used for centuries by many different cultures around the world. They cleanse the body in order to purify it. We are all aware that the body eliminates toxins from our blood and our system every day. It does this in a variety of ways:
- Exhaling carbon dioxide through the lungs
- Eliminating digested food and drinks through your digestive system
- Sweating through your skin
- Cleaning blood in the kidneys
So, when you detox, you eat, drink, and sometimes work out in a way that helps these organs take a break. They can then do their jobs more easily and at an optimal level.
Most detoxes focus on doing the following things in your body:
- Let the elimination organs rest a bit to combat their fatigue
- Improve circulation so that healthy blood flow can carry away toxins
- Stimulate the liver so that it starts removing toxins more efficiently
- Encourage the skin and digestive system to flush out existing toxins
- Re-charge the body with lots of beneficial bacteria, minerals, and vitamins
If you’re wondering if you should give a detox a try, think about this. As the amount of pollution, pesticides, and chemicals we’re exposed to every day grows and grows, the elimination systems in our bodies can get pretty overwhelmed and compromised. You can imagine the kind of toxic overload your system has to deal with on a daily basis. Even just in comparison with your grandparent’s generation.
There were way fewer cars on the roads. And also way fewer chemicals in the food and water they consumed. Our exposure to chemicals and toxins is only getting worse and worse each day. You can see how years of exposure at this level can compromise your internal elimination systems.
We have to take some extra measures to protect ourselves from toxic overload. This ensures our systems get back to functioning more efficiently. If we don’t give these organs a “time-out” and some TLC every now and again, we can start to see the effects of an over-worked system.
These symptoms can include:
- Excess weight gain
- Constant fatigue
- Lack of Motivation
- Bad skin or acne
But if you really want to know if you need to start a detox, try this quick quiz.
What happens when your body is overloaded with toxins and your system is struggling to keep eliminating them? You guessed it. Excess weight gain! What is the link from our body’s elimination system and how many pounds do you put on?
Think of it this way. The body has a really efficient system in place to process food and burn off fat that isn’t needed. But when this system gets compromised by too many chemicals or pollutants, it’s like dipping the cogs in a tub filled with mud. Everything gets clogged up and slows down. It’s no longer as efficient as it was designed to be. A detox acts like a clean rinse of water to that muddy system. It helps organs get back to their best performance levels.
This is super important. Certain toxins can mess with your metabolism directly and really start to slow it down. It’s like they hold your metabolism hostage. In turn, you continue to put on more weight, even if you’re eating less. That’s where the detox comes in. A cleansing wash to help you re-set and start melting away fat again. And don’t be fooled. Your body is capable of losing weight.
To understand what kind of detox will be most beneficial to you, consider some different choices. Some of the most popular detoxes are:
- The Red Tea Detox
- The Lemon water Detox
- The Green Tea Detox
- And the Juice Cleanse
…just to name a few.
We’ve all been there. The real low point in our weight struggle. Shame and frustration hit. It will even start to affect our work and personal relationships. Maybe you have put away that bikini and clingy dress you wanted to wear this summer. Maybe you are turning down invitations to the pool or the beach because you don’t want your friends to see you like that.
Often, we reach the end of the rope after weeks and months of struggling. And at that point we are ready to try literally anything that will help us lose weight. The desperation outweighs our sound judgement. We just want to get our body back! This is when a lot of people make bad decisions about weight loss. Your health will be impacted negatively. And the bad news is that kind of weight loss won’t stick.
The bad news is that failure at the weight loss game can turn you off it entirely. Forever. And you’ll feel depressed and unhappy with your body for the rest of your life. The good news is that even if you’ve tried all the diets and all the detoxes and nothing helped, there is hope.
Meet naturopath Dr. Liz Swann Miller. She found a super-effective way of detoxing the body. And it happens to be delicious, gentle, and safe. She has a recipe for an amazing Red Tea that she learned from the local women while travelling deep in the heart of Africa. And the best thing is, the ingredients are so common that you might even have them at home already. Her Red Tea Detox kick-starts weight loss and helps you get back in control of your own body.
“What I learned was that yes, indeed there is a tea that not only stops hunger cravings but also burns fat and gives you unlimited energy,” Liz said. “This discovery was well worth whatever hardships I endured in my travels.”
Some detoxes aimed to help you lose weight are quite extreme. They require you to drink harsh liquids like a cayenne pepper drink, or pure lemon juice on an empty stomach. They also ask you to suffer through severe hunger and cravings for weeks in order to get your desired results. Many health professionals agree that these severe methods can actually do damage to the stomach and the body in general. They always recommend a more gentle way to help the body detox.
That’s also what seems to work best for long-term weight loss. The Red Tea Detox that seems to work so effectively was actually developed by a naturopathic doctor. It is all-natural and really gentle on the body. The general consensus is that people feel full and satisfied all day. And those stubborn cravings for sweets and junk food are finally gone. There is no suffering or damage like with some of the extreme cleanses or detoxes.
Detoxing can be a really effective way to cleanse your body of toxins. It will free your metabolism to start losing weight naturally again. There are many different ways to detox. But beware. Not all methods are effective, or worth the consequences they may have on your system.
A natural, gentle, and sustainable way seems best for the body. It also appears to achieve the best long-term results. This is simply because crash diets and harsh detoxes can only be done for so long. After a few weeks, you fall right back into your old habits. So, take the time to do your research and decide for yourself what kind of approach you want to take.
Everyone has hormones. But only few people actually know what hormones are and what they do. Women tend to be more aware. This is largely due to dealing with menstrual issues, pregnancies, and later on, menopause. Men might not be any less affected. But they tend to be a little more oblivious to hormone issues.
Simply said, hormones are chemical messengers secreted into the bloodstream. They are involved in our body functions. Hormones are involved in pretty much everything that happens in our body.
You’ll find hormones are part of functions like:
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Sleep cycles
That’s just a few examples.
It’s obvious that our bodies could not function without hormones. As hormones carry messages throughout our body, we breathe, think, digest, and sleep. Our body works like a well-oiled machine. Hormones are critical for our survival and so is the proper function of the glands that produce them.
There are a number of places that hormones get produced in our body. Most of them are glands, but there is also the thyroid, the pancreas, and the testes or ovaries. With so many systems depending on hormones, it is easy to understand why proper function is essential. We need them to live healthy and happy lives.
The problem occurs when glands over or under-function. Whether you have too many or too little of one or several hormones can be very dangerous. For example, if a gland cannot function properly due to injury or illness. Most of these issues can be addressed with medication, which either add hormones, or slow down hormone production. That is, of course, assuming that you know you have a problem in the first place.
And what about pregnancy? The hormone roller-coaster is a normal part of being pregnant. There are no medications you can take to do anything about that. The same happens during menopause, when estrogen and progesterone production changes. The effects on the body can be quite extensive and can last for years. Women complain about hot flashes, loss of libido, sudden weight gain, and many other problems during this time.
While women can often anticipate changes in hormone levels at certain times in their lives, imbalances can happen any time to men and women. You might not even realize that something is going on, which is the worst part. Hormones can literally make you feel like you are losing your mind. One thing to be especially mindful of is the birth control pill.
Often, it is prescribed to young girls to combat period pains and acne. Although the cramps usually get better and your skin clears up, there can be dire side-effects. Hormones can affect your mood and in extreme cases, these hormone imbalances from the pill can lead to severe depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Many young girls and women are not aware of this and it is only listed as a rare, possible side effect on the box. So, it can last for years, as hormones might not even come to mind as a possible cause. This is not to say that you have to stop taking it. Just be mindful that this can happen and try a different combination of hormones that might work better for your body.
Even without the pill, a hormone imbalance can make your life hell. There might be a myriad of symptoms, none of which are obvious enough to scream hormones. You could be constantly exhausted, for example. Most people would write this off as a stressful job, not enough time off, or simply being a parent. Few people stop to think that they might have a hormone imbalance and get themselves checked.
Excessive weight gain is another one of those symptoms. Again, this could be chalked up to a sedentary lifestyle, or just getting older. But, if you have a hormone imbalance, you can put on the pounds quickly. In that case it’s also very difficult to lose the weight. You might eat less food and exercise without ever seeing any difference in weight.
Since hormones affect your brain and mood, you could end up depressed. You might feel like crying suddenly during the day, or even experience panic attacks and anxiety. The brain fog can interfere with you life and the things you enjoy doing. On top of that your joints and muscles ache constantly. All of a sudden you go from seemingly healthy, to not knowing what hit you.
There are a variety of other symptoms that might seem very random. A hormone imbalance can cause hair loss. It can also make it very difficult to sleep. Some people experience low mood and depression. Your sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures might change. You could experience skin problems, like rashes. Your heart rate and blood pressure could be affected. And also your fertility.
It’s not always obvious that hormones are behind these changes. It is safe to say though that these symptoms can completely change someone’s personality over time and make it difficult to function normally. If you become severely depressed, you might not be able to work or take care of your family. If you suddenly gain a lot of weight, you might withdraw from your family and friends and avoid having to socialize.
A hormone imbalance can affect every area of your life. Some people have mild symptoms that barely cause a hick-up in their lives. Other people are affected to a degree where they don’t even recognize themselves anymore. It’s a scary place to be and you are often left without answers and without any real solutions.
Gathering facts is an important step toward understanding what is going on. Learning about hormones and how they affect you, will give you insight into what symptoms you might have. But the most important step is to balance your hormones, so you don’t have to suffer any longer. Many people go see their doctor at this point, just to be told they are fine.
What do you do then? Keep suffering?
It’s time to take your hormone health into your own hands. Start by taking this short quiz. It will go through your symptoms and give you a report at the end. Stop guessing and start understanding what is happening in your body. You have the power to change it. Feeling low, exhausted, and not like yourself is not normal. And now is the time to get you back to feeling fabulous!
You may or may not have heard of an alkaline diet before. But, chances are that sadly you may personally know someone affected by cancer. It is too hard to put into words what it is like to lose a loved one that way. It is devastating and unexpected. And it can bring months or years of suffering.
It is impossible to point the finger at a specific cause. We could debate whether loved ones would still be alive, if they had lived healthier, exercised more frequently, eaten better, or slept more. The fact is that something went wrong and our loved ones paid the price.
The Canadian Cancer Society predicts an increase of about 40% of new cancer cases by 2030 as the population ages and grows. Doctors will diagnose about 89% of all new cases among Canadians over the age of 50. This is the stage of life the baby boomer generation is entering now.
These statistics are quite scary. For decades, scientists have been trying to understand if there is a connection between the acidic environment cancer cells produce and the survival of these cells in general.
Although you may think cancer is an affliction of the modern age, it has actually been around for thousands of years. Egyptian and Greek physicians have recorded cases that fit cancer to perfection. In addition, archaeologists discovered human and even dinosaur skeletons with evidence of cancer present.
It seems that the biggest risk factor in cancer cases is actually age. Nowadays, people are living longer lives thanks to advances in modern medicine. This also exposes them to the natural build-up of DNA and cell degradation that occurs with age. Over time, this can lead to the development of cancer.
Certainly, the cumulative effects of lifestyle, diet, air pollution, and chemical exposure impact an individual’s risk of cancer; however, there are also plenty of natural cancer causes. These include viruses and bacteria, which are responsible for one in six worldwide cancers cases.
Here is an excerpt of something very interesting that speaks to the alkalinity of your body in relation to cancer cells.
“Otto Heinrich Warburg, with a doctorate of chemistry, and a second doctorate in medicine, was a physiologist and noted biochemist born in 1883 in Freiburg, Baden, Germany. Dr. Warburg won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1931, and died in Berlin in 1970.
Dr. Warburg was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery that weakened cell respiration due to lack of oxygen at the cellular level causes cancer, and proving that cancer thrives in anaerobic (without oxygen), or acidic, conditions.
In other words, the main cause for cancer is acidity of the human body. In his Nobel Prize winning study, Dr. Warburg illustrated the environment of the cancer cell. According to Warburg, damaged cell respiration causes fermentation, resulting in low pH (acidity) at the cellular level.
Since fermentation was a major metabolic pathway of cancer cells, Warburg reported that cancer cells maintain a lower pH, as low as 6.0, due to lactic acid production and elevated CO2. He proved cancer cannot grow nor develop in body alkalinity of 7.36.“
>> Read more about Dr. Otto Warburg
Unfortunately, the human body is much more complicated than that and so are cancer cells. The body will self-regulate its pH level. As long as everything is working right, it will do so every day. If you eat more acidic foods, it will try to balance its pH upward and if you eat more basic foods, it will adjust downward.
There are certain illnesses that will prevent your body from self-adjusting and those are life-threatening conditions. These illnesses aside, your body will self-regulate its blood pH level to about 7.365.
It has been suggested that by alkalizing your body, you can create an environment that is not ideal for cancer cells. The idea is that you can, therefore, prevent cancer from occurring. Many people report feeling much better on an alkaline diet, having more energy, sleeping better, and feeling all around more healthy. The issue is that no organic cells can thrive in a highly alkaline environment and that includes all of your body’s cells. Not just the cancer cells.
The other issue is that it has not been proven yet that you are actually able to manipulate your body’s overall alkalinity level through diet. This means that when you consume an alkaline diet, your body will still self-regulate to 7.365. Even if you would like it to be more alkaline.
Aside from Dr. Warburg’s research, an extensive range of further scientific research has been conducted to examine cancer cells. What has been found is that the immediate environment surrounding cancer cells is more acidic than the body’s ideal pH of 7.365. That is due to how cancer cells create energy and use oxygen, in comparison with healthy body cells.
Scientists are extremely interested in finding out how to manipulate this environment to make it impossible for cancer cells to keep replicating. They have proven so far that just eating an alkaline diet does not affect the cancer cell’s overall acidic environment.
Research has shown that age-old diet advice is still holding true, whether cancer affects you or not. Fresh fruits, vegetables, fiber, some white meat and fish are generally considered beneficial. Too much fat, salt, sugar, red or processed meat and alcohol are less so. It all comes down to a balanced approach that provides your body with access to nutritious, clean food.
Following an alkaline diet hits on most of these advice points. It reduces your intake of fat, sugar, and salt. And it increases your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fiber. It is plain common sense to follow a more alkaline diet, in order to stay healthy and active. You simply reduce the amount of effort your body has to expand on balancing itself.
For example, if you live mostly in an acidic state, your body will draw nutrients from your bones to return to its balance at 7.365. This is very hard on your long-term health and can cause cellular damage and disease all on its own.
Considering all the other factors that contribute to cancer, it seems highly logical to at least do everything you can to give your body the best fighting chance it can have.
Environmental and chemical toxins bombard you every day and your body has to work hard to eliminate them. Many people add additional risk factors, such as smoking, drinking heavily, and consuming controlled substances or pharmaceutical medications.
So, even if an alkaline diet cannot cure cancer, there is conclusive evidence available that supports a healthy, active lifestyle and a clean, balanced diet to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
An alkaline diet gives your body an extra health boost every day and reduces your risk of disease, chronic illness, and weight gain. You may even look and feel younger, as your body balances more quickly and functions at a more optimal level. Not only that, but an alkaline diet can give you more energy, help you sleep better, slow down aging, protect against cancer, and help keep your mind sharp as you age.
Those are all fantastic reasons to ditch the processed food and start alkalizing your body!