Are some foods better for weight loss than others? You bet!

Image result for weight loss foods

For example, 100 calories from a sugar-laden Coke will be fattening, while 100 calories from raw broccoli or a hard-boiled egg will be relatively slimming.

Your brain won’t register the Coke calories as food, making you eat more (12).

But the calories from the hard-boiled egg or raw broccoli will contribute to fullness, making you eat less.

In this respect, not all “calories” are equal. A calorie is not a calorie.

Even though all calories contain the same amount of energy, they are NOT equal when it comes to effects on your weight.

Different foods have different effects on hunger, metabolism and the hormones that regulate your weight. This is a scientific fact (3).

Therefore, although calories are important for weight loss, the foods these calories are composed of are just as important.

This brings me to the theme of today’s email … basing your diet on weight loss friendly “real” foods!

What are weight loss friendly foods?

Put simply, weight loss friendly foods are foods that are relatively slimming compared to their calorie content.

They are either very filling, so you eat fewer calories — or they boost your metabolism, so you burn more calories.

Additionally, some of these foods can cause weight and belly fat loss just by adding them to your diet.

These foods are almost exclusively “real” foods. As in, whole, single-ingredient, unprocessed foods.

In most cases, they contain either protein or fiber, or both.

If you base most of your diet on weight loss friendly foods, then you will lose weight. It is pretty much guaranteed.

You will also have more stable energy levels throughout the day.

These same foods are also super healthy, so you will improve your health in all sorts of other ways.

For these (and other) reasons, our weekly meal plans are largely based on weight loss friendly foods .

The 10 most weight loss friendly foods on earth

I’m going to tell you about the 10 foods I consider to be the most weight loss friendly foods on the planet.

If you eat one of these at most of your meals then it’s going to have a huge benefit for your weight (and health).

1. Avocados

Avocados have become insanely popular in the past few years, and for good reason — they are both tasty and incredibly healthy.

Whereas most fruit is high in carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats. They are also very high in fiber, which helps you feel full (4).

In addition, avocados are extremely high in vitamins and minerals (4).

2. Whole Eggs

Eggs may be the single best food for weight loss. They are high in protein, healthy fats and pretty much every other nutrient that your body and brain need (5).

Eggs are low in calories, incredibly filling and studies show that people who eat eggs lose more weight (67).

For example, eating eggs for breakfast has been shown to increase weight loss by up to 65% over a period of 8 weeks (7).

3. Oats

Grains have gotten a bad rap over the past few years, but the truth is that not all grains are created equal.

Whole oats are particularly nutritious and weight loss friendly. They are high in soluble fiber and even contain a decent amount of protein, which makes them incredibly filling (8).

The powerful fiber in oats called beta-glucan has been shown to boost a hormone that is linked to reduced calorie intake (910).

4. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is extremely high in protein, but low in calories. In fact, about 80% of the calories in chicken breast come from protein (11).

It is also very high in various nutrients. Depending on how you make it, it can also be incredibly delicious.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are now largely recognized as one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

They are among the most fiber-rich foods on the planet, with about 11 grams of fiber in a single ounce (an ounce is 28 grams) (12).

Chia seeds are also loaded with minerals and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Fatty Fish

Fish is extremely filling. Eating fish once or twice each week can help you lose fat.

It is best to eat fatty fish, like salmon, because it is so incredibly high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids (13).

Some studies show that the protein in fish is even more filling than protein from other foods (14).

7. Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the healthiest dairy foods you can eat. It is high in protein, but also loaded with calcium — which has benefits for both weight loss and bone health (15).

However, it is very important to read the ingredients list on yogurt. Some of them are also loaded with sugar.

So choose plain, full-fat yogurt without added sugar. Best if it says “live or active cultures” on the label, because this means it contains probiotics, which are also good for weight loss.

Studies actually show that full-fat, but not low-fat dairy, is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and diabetes over time (16).

Low-fat yogurt is usually loaded with sugar, so it’s best to avoid that stuff like the plague.

8. Apples

Most fruit is pretty healthy, but some are better for weight loss than others.

Apples are very close to the top here. Due to their structure, they take a while to chew and eat.

They score very high on the satiety index, a scale that measures how filling different foods are (17).

Therefore, if you need a weight loss friendly snack, an apple is one of the best foods you can eat.

9. Boiled Potatoes

Potatoes are another food that has gotten a bad rap in recent years, but this is a huge mistake.

In fact, potatoes are highly nutritious and filling.

In a study on the filling effects of foods, boiled potatoes scored a whopping 323% (17).

This was by far the highest score measured, meaning that boiled potatoes may be the single most filling food you can eat.

10. Almonds

Almonds are extremely healthy and nutritious. They are loaded with fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

Interestingly, despite being relatively high in fat, studies show that people who eat almonds lose more weight.

In one study, a low-calorie diet with 3 ounces (84 grams) of almonds increased weight loss by 62% compared to a diet enriched with complex carbohydrates (18).

A study in 100 overweight women found that those eating almonds lost more weight than those in the nut-free group. They also lost belly fat (19).

How to add these foods to your diet

Nutrition science is very interesting.

In fact, it is my single biggest passion in life.

However … just knowing the science behind it is not going to help you lose weight, belly fat or improve your health.

You need to put this information into action if you want to actually benefit from it.

Our weekly weight loss meal plans can teach you how to incorporate all this knowledge into your daily life.

The meal plans are based on super simple recipes . They all contain protein, avoid sugar and refined carbs, and are based on weight loss friendly foods.

Additionally, they teach you how to turn all these weight loss friendly foods into incredibly delicious and satisfying meals.

These foods have to taste good if you are going to manage to incorporate them into your diet and actually stick to it. Our meal plans help with that .

That being said … tomorrow’s email will contain more info on how to put all this information into action.

Without action, none of this knowledge will actually get you anywhere.

http://www.sharrets.com

Heart health (cardiovascular health)

cardiovascular disease

Heart problems can have extremely serious consequences, but in many cases adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle can reduce your risk.

Symptoms

It is not uncommon for the first sign of a heart problem to be a major event, such as a heart attack or stroke. However there are often clues that issues are developing in the cardiovascular system. For example, cholesterol or blood pressure may be elevated.

Consequently, your doctor checks these and other measures of your heart health whenever you have a check-up.

Other indications of heart problems may include:

  • Pain in the chest that feels tight, squeezing or constricting may indicate a heart attack, regardless of whether it comes on suddenly or slowly. The pain may also be experienced in other parts of the body, including the jaw, arms, back and neck, and may be accompanied by nausea, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Call for an ambulance, even if you’re not sure that a heart attack has occurred. Rapid medical intervention is essential.
  • An irregular, rapid or fluttery heartbeat
  • Oedema (fluid retention) of the abdomen and lower limbs
  • Becoming breathless easily, even when you’re not performing strenuous activities. You may also feel wheezy or cough frequently.
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Increased sweating
  • Symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, headache (especially first thing in the morning), nosebleed, nausea or erectile dysfunction may indicate high blood pressure.
  • Over the long term, high cholesterol levels may cause deposits of cholesterol to form in the tendons (xanthoma) or eyelids (xanthelasma), and/or discolouration of the outer edge of the cornea (arcus senilis)

    Causes

    Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease, and is caused by narrowing of the arteries, which increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke occurring.

    High levels of LDL-cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) are a key factor in the development of CAD because they can lead to the accumulation of fatty deposits in artery walls (atherosclerosis), making the arteries narrower and stiffer. Low levels of HDL-cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol) may also be involved. Cholesterol levels in the blood depend on dietary factors (e.g. the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol consumed) and the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the body (which may involve genetic factors).

    Other factors that may contribute to the development of CAD include:

    • High blood pressure  (which may be a consequence of medical problems, but is more often due to lifestyle issues, including being obese, being physically inactive, and eating a high salt diet).
    • High triglyceride levels (high levels of fat in the blood)
    • High levels of a compound called homocysteine
    • Being overweight
    • Smoking
    • Getting older
    • Being diabetic
    • Having a personal or family history of heart problems
    • Leading an inactive lifestyle

    Congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart weakens and becomes unable to effectively perform its functions, is a serious consequence of CAD. As heart function declines, fluid accumulates in the abdomen, legs, and lungs, causing the characteristic symptoms of fatigue, oedema and breathlessness.

    Diet and lifestyle

    • A healthy diet and lifestyle are essential to a healthy heart. Work with your healthcare professional to develop a plan to achieve and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, body weight, and blood sugar balance, as all of these contribute to your heart health.
    • When assessing your heart health, your healthcare professional will consider your cholesterol level and blood pressure in the context of other risk factors such as your family history, body weight, level of physical activity and whether you are diabetic or smoke cigarettes.
    • Adhere to your doctor’s instructions. Talk to your doctor before taking any natural health supplements or changing your diet or lifestyle; such changes may mean that your medicine or its dosage needs to be monitored.
    • Reduce the quantity of cholesterol and saturated and trans fats in your diet by avoiding animal fats (meat and full-fat dairy products) and sources of hidden fat such as pastries and pies.
    • At the same time, increase the amount of fish  in your diet (but not deep-fried fish) , and eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
    • A diet high in soluble fibre is highly recommended in order to promote the excretion of cholesterol. Good sources include legumes, oats and psyllium.
    • Eating moderate amounts of foods that contain monounsaturated fats may support the management of healthy normal cholesterol levels. Important foods to include in your diet include nuts (especially walnuts), seeds and olive oil.
    • Stick to a diet that’s low in salt  by decreasing your consumption of processed meats (e.g. bacon, ham and salami), packaged foods, and junk foods. Buy low salt alternatives of any tinned foods, sauces or other packaged foods that you use, and don’t add salt to your meals.
    • Including low-fat dairy products in your diet may be beneficial for your blood pressure, perhaps due to the calcium they contain. Aim for three serves per day.
    •  Also include foods in your diet that have antioxidant and heart-protecting properties, such as garlic, green tea and tomatoes (a source of the antioxidant lycopene).
    • Drink alcohol only in moderation, and favour antioxidant-rich red wine.
    • Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking significantly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other health problems, and can exacerbate the negative effects of high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
    • Regular aerobic exercise can help to maintain a healthy heart. As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise (for example, brisk walking) per day may help to improve your cardiovascular health, but seek the advice of your healthcare professional before commencing a new exercise programme.
    • Practice techniques to lower your stress levels and improve your ability to cope under pressure. Yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy, tai chi and qi gong may all be particularly beneficial .
    • Do not consume large quantities of liquorice confectionary or the herb liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), as it may increase blood pressure in some people.

      Important notes

      • Heart problems are serious and require professional treatment and monitoring. Do not make any changes to your medication use, supplements, diet or lifestyle without prior consultation with your healthcare professional.

     

DETOX NATURALLY – Homemade Detox Drinks: 5 Major Health Benefits, Including Weight Loss

Image result for weight lo

So many of us work hard every day and feel like we can barely get through it without needing some sort of energy boost. We tend to turn to sugar for a quick pick-me-up, but that’s really doing more harm than good. Many people don’t realize that the sluggish and even bloated feeling we get during the day can be the result of excess toxins in the body. Detox drinks help to naturally reduce inflammation, boost energy, support digestion, Cleanse the liver and promote healthy skin.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicineassessed the use of clinical detoxification therapies  by licensed naturopathic doctors in the United States. One hundred ninety-six naturopathic doctors completed a survey about the use of clinical detoxification therapies; 92 percent of respondents reported using detox therapies and over 75 percent utilized detoxification to treat patients for environmental exposures, general cleaning and preventive medicine, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases. (1)

But you don’t need a doctor to detoxify your body. Detox drinks are simple to make — there are a number of fruits, vegetables and herbs that stimulate detoxification while providing vitamins and minerals that keep the body functioning properly. Experiment with detox drinks today and notice how light, fresh and clear-headed you feel afterwards.

Why Choose Detox Drinks?

When you hear the word “detox,” do you immediately think that it requires fasting or some special formula? It’s really much simpler than that. Detox drinks can be made with ingredients you already have at home -like lemon, apple cider vinegar , ginger , garlic and Honey . There’s nothing fancy to it.

Every day we are exposed to environmental pollutants, preservatives, heavy metals, pesticides and cancer-causing chemicals. We inhale, ingest or come into contact with these toxins and they get stored in the tissues and cells throughout our bodies. Many of these toxins have demonstrated harmful cancerous, reproductive, metabolic and mental health effects. Detox drinks help us to avoid toxic overload before it becomes a major health problem. (2)

Some signs of a toxic overload include:

  • constipation
  • bloating
  • gas
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • aches and pains
  • nausea
  • belly fat
  • skin problems
  • food cravings
  • low energy
  • bad breath
  • mood swings

5 Major Benefits of Detox Drinks 

1. Removes Toxins from the Body (and Cleanse the Liver)

Environmental pollutants, pesticides, heavy metals and chemicals are stored in our tissues and cells. This affects immune system function, our mood, metabolism and our ability to fight disease; in fact, symptoms of poor health in people free from diagnosed disease may also be related to toxin buildup.

A 2000 study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine investigated whether a seven-day program of detoxication, such as a heavy metal detox , can improve well-being and enhance the activity of live detoxification pathways. As a result of the detox, there was a 23 percent increase in liver detoxification capacity and an increase in the urinary sulfate-to-cretinine ratio after treatment, indicating a trend toward improved liver function. (3)

2. Reduces Inflammation

When you cleanse the liver and give your digestion system a chance to rest by having detox drinks and smoothies instead of heavy meals, you are reducing disease causing inflammation and swelling within the body. Some detox drink ingredients, like watermelon, cucumber, strawberries and ginger help to reduce inflammation while easing your digestive system. (4)

3. Aids Weight Loss

Detox drinks can boost your metabolism and energy levels, leaving you feeling fresh and light throughout the day. Some fruits, like benefit-rich grapefruit, even contain special enzymes that help the body to utilize sugar, thereby boosting the metabolism and aiding weight loss.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine evaluated the effects of a 21-day detox program. Seven participants stuck to a diet that involved unlimited fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and at least 64 ounces of water a day. They were also allowed to consume complex carbs and protein shakes throughout the program.

As a result of the detox, the seven participants demonstrated short-term weight loss (an average of 11.7 pounds) and improvements in their lipid profiles. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased. (5)

4. Promotes Skin Health

By eliminating toxins from the body and reducing inflammation, detox drinks boost skin health and minimize the signs of aging. When the skin becomes clogged with pollutants and chemicals, it leads to wrinkles, dryness and other signs of aging.

Strengthening the skin’s metabolic mechanisms with fruits and vegetables enhances the luster of the skin. Many detox drink ingredients are often vitamin c foods , which can also help to naturally slow aging and heal wounds by forming new scar tissue. (6)

5. Boosts Energy & Mental Alertness

The ingredients of any detox drink will work together to reduce inflammation, cleanse the liver and boost energy levels naturally. Without the toxin overload weighting you down, you will feel lighter and refreshed as opposed to living with fatigue, mood swings and brain fog .

Ingredients like lemon, rosemary and mint will rejuvenate the body and can even improve mental alertness. These powerful foods also help you to restore hydration, especially after exercise or a busy day. (7)

The Best Ingredients for Detox Drinks

There are a number of fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be added to water to support detoxification. Each one has specific components that aid detoxification while helping to boost the immune system and prevent chronic disease. To make your own detox drink, you can read through the benefits and combine the ingredients that are tailored for your needs specifically.

Watermelon — watermelon is low in calories and helps hydrate the body. It fights inflammation and free radical damage while providing vitamin A and vitamin B, both known for having anti-aging properties.

Watermelon contains a high amount of lycopene, a certain type of carotenoid that is responsible for giving watermelon its deep red or pink color and serves as a powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that lycopene plays a role in the prevention of chronic diseases and may prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Watermelon also provides potassium and magnesium, which are important for detoxification and managing blood flow and hydration levels in the body. (8)

Cucumber —cucumber nutrition includes some impressive benefits when it comes to fighting free radical damage and inflammation. They also contain some powerful polyphenol compounds that can help to naturally slow aging that is caused by oxidative stress. Cucumbers are diuretics, so they stimulate urination which helps to cleanse the liver, flush out bodily toxins and avoid water retention. (9)

Lemon — Lemon contains ascorbic acid, which helps to detoxify the body; it also aids digestion, keeps your skin glowing and provides vitamin C, which stimulates white blood cell production and boost immune system function.

The benefits of lemon water include its ability to rejuvenate the skin, heal the body and boost energy. A lemon water detox may also help you to lose weight because lemon contains pectin , a type of fiber that helps you to feel full longer. (10)

Lime — Adding lime juice to detox drinks provides vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is known to improve physical performance, boost the immune system and fight free radical damage. Limes aid detoxification by promoting the activity of an enzyme in the liver called glutathione-S-transferase (GST). They also contain flavonoids that stimulate the digestive system and increase the secretion of bile and acids. (11)

Grapefruit — Did you know that just smelling the aroma of grapefruit affects the autonomic nerves, fat metabolism and appetite? Research conducted at Karolinska Institute in Sweden has shown that grapefruit benefits weight loss .

The enzyme found in grapefruit called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) helps your body utilize sugar, which boosts your metabolism and aids weight loss. AMPK is generally activated during exercise to help muscles use stored sugar and fat for energy. Grapefruit also boosts the immune system because it is rich in vitamin C, hydrates the body and even promotes skin and brain health. (12)

Raspberries — Raspberries contain ketones, natural chemicals that are thought to help you lose weight fast. Animal studies have shown thatraspberry ketones help to prevent the high-fat-diet–induced elevations in body weight as well as the weight of the liver and visceral adipose tissues. Whether or not ketones aid human weight loss is still up for debate, but raspberries are also high in vitamin C and B vitamins. They promote skin healthy and naturally slow aging. (13)

Strawberries — Most of the health benefits associated with strawberry nutrition are due to the presence of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Strawberries contain anti-aging flavonoids that may lower the risk for chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Adding strawberries to detox drinks will also slow down the aging process, protect the skin, provide vitamins A and C, and aid detoxification. A and C vitamins are especially needed during the body’s detox process in order to neutralize and eliminate toxins — leading to reduced inflammation, a regular digestive system and pH balance. (14)

Mint — Did you know that mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food? It’s the perfect ingredient for detox drinks because it invigorates the senses while soothing an upset stomach or indigestion. Mint improves the flow of bile through the stomach and speeds up the digestion process, helping to detoxify the body. It also has antimicrobial properties and can be used to support oral health. (15)

Ginger — The medicinal benefits of ginger comes from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger serves as an effective digestive aid and natural remedy for nausea. It can be added to any detox drink to help relieve bloating, constipation and gastrointestinal issues . Ginger is also known to warm the body the break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs. (16)

Rosemary — Rosemary is part of the mint family and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a fantastic detoxifier; it works by enhancing the body’s bile flow, which is essential for fat metabolism and detoxification. By helping to enhance the performance of the bile-producing gallbladder and balance out the microflora in the gut, rosemary boosts nutrient absorption and helps to reverse or prevent toxic overload. (17)

Dandelion — Dandelion greens increase urine production and serve as a natural laxative. Dandelions aid digestion by maintaining the proper flow of bile and cleansing the liver. They are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps with mineral absorption and reduces inflammation. Dandelions can also be used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas and gallstones. (18)

Apple Cider Vinegar — Drinking apple cider vinegar increases metabolism and speeds up weight loss. It contains an organic acid called acetic acid, which has shown to improve your metabolism. It also supports digestive function with its enzymes and probiotics and fights acid reflux  naturally. Add apple cider vinegar to detox drinks in order to cleanse your live and lymphatic system. It helps balance your body’s pH and promotes cardiovascular stimulation. (19)Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Honey

Aloe Vera Gel — Aloe vera gel has laxative and anti-inflammatory properties that help digestion, normalize pH balance, lessen yeast formation and encourage digestive bacteria. The enzymes present in aloe vera help to break down the proteins that we eat into amino acids and turn the enzymes into fuel for every cell in the body. This allows the cells to function properly, and it boosts the immune system. Add aloe vera to detox drinks to reduce inflammation, aid digestion and promote skin health. (20)

Natural Detox Recipes

Detox Water Recipes: 

After adding the ingredients to a glass jar or pitcher, let it sit for 3–5 hours or overnight. Add ice to your detox drink before enjoying. All of these detox recipe ideas call for 12 ounces of water, but you can always play with these portions and tweak the combinations. Any combination of these awesome detox drink ingredients will help to remove toxins from the body, boost energy, reduce inflammation and promote weight loss.

  • A handful of mint leaves, 2 cups of cubed watermelon and wedges from 1 lime
  • Wedges from 1 lemon and 1 cucumber sliced
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries, 2 cups of cubed watermelon and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon, a teaspoon of cinnamon and slices from 1/2 an apple
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon and 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger root, grated

You can also try Sharrets secret detox drink recipe, which also features apple cider vinegar, lemon juice , ginger , garlic & honey .

Detox Tea Recipes: 

Dandelion Tea — Steep dandelion roots or flowers in boiling water for 30 minutes. You can strain the roots and flowers or drink them with your tea. It helps to cleanse the liver; it serves as a diuretic and a good source of vitamin A.

Green Tea — Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, and it can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, minimize signs of aging and improve memory. You can find green tea at most grocery stores or buy green tea leaves and steep them in boiling water for 3–5 minutes, then drain.

Ginger Tea — Ginger tea soothes digestion, reduces inflammation and relieves nausea or upset stomach. You can find ginger tea at most grocery stores or make it yourself by steeping fresh ginger root in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add raw honey or lemon for flavor and extra detoxifying benefits.

Takeaways

  • Detox drinks are great for cleansing the body of toxins that have you experiencing digestive issues, weakness, bloating, nausea, mood swings and skin issues.
  • Detox drinks help to boost energy, cleanse the liver, aid weight loss, reduce inflammation and promote skin health.
  • There are so many powerful ingredients that can added to your detox drinks. Read the benefits and decide what combination works for you.
  • Detox teas can also be beneficial; use ginger, lemon, mint or dandelion teas to make your own detox tea.
  • If you are looking to lose weight, detox drinks will help you to boost your metabolism and reduce inflammation that may have you feeling swollen and bloated. But detox drinks aren’t the only answer for weight loss; to get long-lasting results, pair these beneficial drinks with healthy meals and exercise.

If you want to buy ready made detox drink , visit sharrets.com

Image result for apple cider vinegar lemon juice honey cleansing drink

Ketosis is an extremely powerful tool which is used by many who seek to lose weight. It can be a little tough to adapt to at first, but once you do, you will see results in no time. Ensure that if you are eating moderately high levels of fat, stick to healthy fats from natural sources such as nuts, seeds and fruit such as avocados. Stay away from processed garbage and trans fats!

The Ketosis Diet | What Are Ketones And How Do They Promote Fat Loss?

The Ketosis Diet | What Are Ketones And How Do They Promote Fat Loss?

Ketosis is a metabolic state which occurs when ketone bodies (KB) in the blood surpass the usual levels. The body enters a Ketogenic state, where it is essentially burning fat for fuel. But what really is ketosis? How does it occur, and how does it aid fat loss?


What are ketones? 
Ketones, or a ketone body (KB), are formed when fats and fatty acids are utilised as a fuel source. The body will usually obtain the energy it requires from carbohydrates in our diets. When we do not get enough carbohydrates, stored fat is broken down.

Ketone bodies can accumulate in the body. High levels of ketones are toxic and can lead to a condition known as ketoacidosis. The condition is be common among type 1 diabetics and in some cases can be fatal.

Those who do not suffer from diabetes do not have anything to worry about though, since the production of ketone bodies is regulated, allowing the blood to return to its normal pH level.

There are tests for ketones that can be carried out. One is to use a blood glucose meter, which is able to test for ketones as well as glucose levels. You can also use urine tests.

How does ketosis work?
On a normal, high carbohydrate diet, several things happen. This first is a rise in blood glucose levels.This is because the diet is high in glucose, meaning that naturally the concentration of glucose in the blood will rise.

As a result, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin, to counteract the increased levels of glucose.

The insulin shuttles the glucose into the body’s cells, storing it in the form of glycogen. This is insoluble so can be stored without being broken down or metabolised. Some of the glucose is utilised as energy, for our bodies to carry out their natural processes.

Additionally, if the levels of blood glucose fall, the pancreas will secrete a hormone known as glucagon. This hormone breaks down the stored glycogen into glucose, where it can be metabolised by the body to release energy.

On a Ketogenic diet, the process is different. The body’s glycogen stores will begin to deplete as glucose is required for energy. When this isn’t replenished, we have to turn to fatty acids for energy.

Fatty acids from the fat tissues in our bodies are mobilised during beta-oxidation. During this process, ketone bodies are released from the liver. This is because the liver is unable to utilise them, so they are sent to the brain where they are used as fuel.

The fatty acids which have been freed can also be used as fuel, which is essentially when the fat is ‘burned’.

What are the benefits of being in ketosis?
There are many benefits which you can achieve through being in ketosis.

 Fat burning

The main benefit of being ketosis is the ability for your body to use fat as a fuel source. This is much harder to do on a diet which is high in carbohydrates. During ketosis, the body may have the ability to become an efficient fat burning machine!

For this reason, the Ketogenic diet is extremely popular for people who are looking to lose weight, whether it be to get into shape or if they are preparing for a competition or photo-shoot.

 Lower insulin levels

Another benefit of being in ketosis is that your body will secrete less insulin. This is beneficial because insulin can inhibit the use of fatty acids for energy, whilst also promoting fat storage due to the fact that it ‘shuttles’ glucose into the cells, as we have already learned.

What’s more, low levels of insulin promote beneficial hormones to be released into the body, such as growth hormones, and others which can help with building muscle.

✓ Appetite is supressed

Whilst following a Ketogenic diet, it has been shown that you can experience a supressed appetite, compared to a diet rich in carbohydrates, which can increase your hunger levels. This is because gram for gram, fat contains more calories than carbs do (9 per gram vs 4 per gram). Furthermore, ketones impact cholecystokinin (CKK), a hormone which makes you feel fuller.

It also has an impact on ghrelin, the hunger hormone. It’s fairly obvious that with a smaller appetite, you will eat less and consequently lose more weight.

 Saves protein

This one may sound a little odd. Occasionally, protein can be oxidised to generate glucose when there are not enough carbohydrates for energy.

When following a Ketogenic diet, due to the abundance of fatty acids, protein does not need to be converted for energy and therefore more is available for our muscles. This means that you will be able to build more muscle, whilst also preventing the breakdown of muscle if you are on a heavily catabolic Ketogenic diet.


How do enter ketosis?
Now that you have heard all of the wonderful things which ketosis can do for you, I am sure you are wondering just one thing: how can you enter ketosis?

The Ketosis Diet | What Are Ketones

The truth is, the answer varies depending on the individual. Many people just think that cutting carbs will allow them to enter a Ketogenic state. This is incorrect.

Whilst yes, you do need to cut your carbs, many underestimate by how much you have to do so in order to see results. It is generally accepted that if you want to enter ketosis, your carbohydrate intake should not exceed 50 grams per day.

As for protein and fat, it is more up to you. Many people find that keeping their fat intake higher is more beneficial. As a rule of thumb, I would begin by setting your fat intake as the majority of your calories; around 60 to 70%. This means that your protein intake should make up around 20 to 30% of your daily calorie intake.

If you need to calculate how many calories you should be eating per day, you can do so here. Remember, if you aren’t seeing results; be sure to tweak your macros.

Curtsy : Sharrets Nutritions

The Ketogenic Diet | 5 Keto-Friendly Supplements

The Ketogenic diet is a very powerful diet which can be utilised in order to promote rapid fat loss. It is most popular among those who have larger amounts of weight to lose.

The key principal behind it is to eat minimal amounts of carbohydrates, whilst maximising intake of fat, in order to put your body into a state known as ketosis, where it uses stored energy in order to function.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Ketogenic diets are fairly simple in principle. Usually, when you are following one, you will aim to eat around 60-70% of your daily calories from fat, focusing on eating healthy fats and not unhealthy, processed, trans fats . Furthermore, 20-30% of your calories should come from protein, whilst no more than 50g of carbs should be consumed per day.

Eating this way will place your body into a state known as ketosis. During this metabolic state, there are higher levels of ketones in your blood stream. When this is the case, lipid energy metabolism is intact, meaning that your body will begin to break down stored fat in order to fuel your every day activities, rather than using carbohydrates from your diet.

Why Supplement?
On any diet, supplementation is not a necessity, but beneficial. The same can be said for a ketogenic diet.

The reason for supplementing is often in order to maximise your intake of a certain macro/micronutrient if the diet requires you to eat a large quantity of it, or if it restricts certain foods, like carbohydrates, meaning you miss out on some key nutrients.

5 Keto-Friendly Supplements

1.Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid which is found from dietary sources of oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines. It cannot be synthesised in the body; therefore, it must be taken in through our diets.

For many people, it is not possible to eat fish in such high quantities in order to receive the optimal levels of omega 3, as well as omega 6 and 9. Therefore, supplementing with omega 3 supplements such as fish oil is a great way to boost your intake.

There has also been research to suggest that fish oil supplements can lower levels of blood triglycerides. This is especially beneficial whilst on a ketogenic diet, since one of the risks when following it is that your levels of blood triglycerides may become too high.

By supplementing with omega 3 and fish oil supplements, you can help combat this and enjoy the benefits of the ketogenic diet, without worrying about any side effects.

2. Coconut Oil Or MCT Oil

Believe it or not, these aren’t the same thing—not exactly, anyway.

Nuts and seeds are high-fat staples of ketogenic dieting, but given how much protein and carbs many of them contain, they can’t be the only place you get calories. For instance, 1 ounce of almonds has 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrates. Sometimes, a pure fat source, such as MCT Oil, is a superior way to get calories, either as a straight supplement or mixed into a shake or your coffee.

MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) provide 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. Unlike long-chain triglycerides—the type of fat most prevalent in foods—MCTs are a unique source of fat because they enter the blood stream quickly, which allows them to serve as a rapidly available fuel source for both the brain and muscles. Adding pure MCTs throughout your day can help you make the transition smoothly, while also providing steady energy.

Coconut oil, you’ve probably heard, is a great source of MCTs, as they make up about 60 percent of its fat content. It’s also great to cook with, since it has a high flash point and a mild flavor.

Try adding MCT oil / Coconut oil to a smoothie, pre-workout shake, or drizzling atop veggies, fish, chicken, or beef to hit that high fat intake. Coconut oil is also unique in that it readily switches between a solid and liquid state when it’s stored at or below 76 degrees. For a creamy pudding, take liquid coconut oil, a splash of water, and mix with your favorite Whey protein !

Whey protein

Possibly the most widely known and popular supplement out there. Whey Protein  is the most bio-available protein, and is quickly digested.

The reason you would take a whey protein supplement would be if you cannot get enough protein into your diet due to either cost, or because you need to minimise intake of other macronutrients.

Whilst on the ketogenic diet, since you are restricting where you get your calories from, it is a good idea to take protein supplements to ensure that you do not have to worry about consuming any carbs, or even fat from protein sources, meaning you have more room to play with elsewhere.

4 Spirulina

Supplementing with greens such as spirulina  is an excellent way of boosting the amount of vitamins and minerals you intake when following a ketogenic diet.spirulina-powder

What’s more, spirulina is what is known as a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the amino acids which your body needs in order to function properly.

Furthermore, spirulina contains moderate amounts of fibre. This makes it brilliant when following a ketogenic diet, since fibre helps to bind with carbohydrates and prevent them from being stored as fat.

5. Greens Supplements

You don’t eat enough vegetables. It’s that simple. I mean, let’s face it, nobody eats enough vegetables, but the lack can be especially glaring when you open the fatty floodgates and embrace keto living. Take an honest look at your dinner plate and tell me I’m not right!

Step one to rectifying this, of course, is to look for ways to get greens in. Toss a handful of spinach into your eggs. Have a low-carb veggie juice with your cheese snack. Eat a salad every day with dinner. And then, consider adding a green supplement as well. No, this isn’t a replacement for a well balanced diet , but plenty of hard-training athletes swear by them for a reason. A scoop in your protein shake makes perfect sense. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the color.

The ketogenic diet is an excellent diet for those who are looking to loose weight , especially those with a considerable amount to lose.These supplements will not only help you achieve your weight loss goals whilst following the ketogenic diet, but will improve your overall health and wellbeing.

References : [1] Using supplements to maximize your Ketogenic diet (2015) Available at: http://www.ruled.me/using-supplements-to-maximize-your-ketogenic-diet/ (Accessed: 4 April 2016).[2] Howatson, G., Hoad, M., Goodall, S., Tallent, J., Bell, P. and French, D. (2012) ‘Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study’, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition., 9.[3] Karkos, P.D., Leong, S.C., Sivaji, N., Assimakopoulos, D.A. and Corporation, H.P. (2010) Spirulina in clinical practice: Evidence-based human applications. Available at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/531053/ (Accessed: 4 April 2016).[4] Deng, R. and Chow, T. (2010) ‘Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina’, Cardiovascular therapeutics., 28(4).[5] Dashti, H.M., Mathew, T.C., Hussein, T., Asfar, S.K., Behbahani, A., Khoursheed, M.A., Sayer, H.M. Al-, Bo-Abbas, Y.Y. and Zaid, N.S. Al- (2004) ‘Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients’, 9(3).[6] Low Carb diet supplements (2012) Available at: http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/08/low-carb-diet-supplements/ (Accessed: 4 April 2016).[7] Natural supplements (no date) Available at: http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/natural-supplements.html (Accessed: 4 April 2016).