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10 Steps for Keto Success!

       As you may already know, I recently made a post in one of my keto groups about the success I had so far. I lost 43 pounds in just 9 weeks. This triggered many questions from the group. Some were skeptical, wanted to know what I ate, how long I fasted, and what is the one piece of advice I would give, and this is what I came up with. I have not done everything right according to the keto guidelines. I have made several mistakes, and still had great success. Whether you are considering keto, new to keto, struggling to lose weight, or having a hard time trying to come up with a keto plan, I think I have just the thing for you. Do not stress out with trying to learn all the rules before you even get started. This is a wellness journey it is supposed to make you feel good. Do not worry if you slip up, my plan allows for some errors. This guide is based on my experience and knowledge I have gained so far. This worked for me and I bet it works for you too.

  1. Eliminate – If you have not done so already eliminate all: dairy, gluten, processed carbs, and sugars. Focus on whole foods and try to use one of the nut milks as a dairy substitute for your coffee. You can have dairy products on keto, I am just trying to help reset your gut. Your gut is like another brain, some even say it was our “first brain” and we used it to create the one in our head. You can add dairy back to your diet after your first 3 weeks.
  2. Body – Understand that your body as a whole is one big system, everything in it works together. Your body will also be the best doctor you have ever had. It has amazing powers to heal itself, you just have to give it what it needs.
  3. Mind – Knowing the body is one system, it’s time to get your mind right. Your thoughts can manifest what happens to each cell in your body. How you think will affect how you feel. It is time to let go of all the negativity. It is not your fault if you are not at your ideal weight. None of the processed foods marketing companies spend billions of dollars every year, to make us think we should eat that crap. It is designed to make us overeat. They chemically alter it to taste good, and it does not have what the body needs so you never feel satisfied after eating it. So, back to getting your mind right. Now when you start cooking or are getting ready to sit down to eat, be HAPPY! The food you are about to eat is good for you, going to heal you, and make you feel better! What we put into our bodies directly affects your mind, mood, and body. All those processed food chemicals, starches, and sugars make our brains and body inflamed, which makes us ache, cranky, and irritable.
  4. Simplify – Do not overcomplicate this diet in the beginning. All you really need to do for now is focus on eating whole foods and try to limit your carbs to 20 grams a day. Do not worry about calorie count, tracking macros, or any of that stuff for right now. Do keep protein calories to 50% or less, recent information says over 50% increases risk of cancer.
  5. Water – Drink lots of water! Water helps everything in the body work more efficiently. Drinking just 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal, has shown to increase your weight loss by up to 44%. You know, all that stuff your Grandmother use to tell you. Drink water, eat fruit and veggies, chew your food, it works. Chewing more aids in digestion and gives your body more time to sense the food reducing the amount you want to eat. Drink at least half of your weight in ounces each day. I recommend more, your body will be releasing toxins as you burn those fat cells. The only way to get rid of them is by moving and flushing them out with water. I am at 245 right now and drank 170 ounces of water today. Do not worry about flushing out all your electrolytes, as long as you are adding a pinch of that good pink salt to your water you should be fine. If you have issues, up that potassium (avocado, beef, mushrooms, salmon). I also recommend a reverse osmosis system to limit the amount of chemicals you put in your body. You can use a filter or buy distilled or spring water. I would like to see you drink from a glass. Plastic is a petroleum byproduct and has chemicals too, you know it as BPA. Just trying to limit the number of contaminates in our systems.
  6. No snacking! Look, the first few weeks are going to be rough. Your body was basically addicted to all that bad stuff and will go through sort of a withdrawal. I tried making all the keto dessert stuff at first, none of it got that fix I was wanting. Two weeks in, I broke down and drank 3-4 ounces of a soda pop. Soon, those cravings will disappear. If you are hungry, eat another meal. Do not stress out about calories, you are not counting them right now. I do not care if you put on a few pounds while making the switch. Try not to get on the scale for the first 3 weeks. You are putting good stuff in your body now it will go to work for you soon enough. After a meal, your insulin levels will begin to drop. When they get low enough for long enough, your body will begin to burn its stored energy (your fat) for fuel. This is why it is important not to snack, as soon as you eat it will stop the process.
  7. Keto Flu -Do not buy any of the keto snacks, ketone drinks, or supplements. Get you some foods high in vitamin B (eggs, red meat, chicken, fish), and some unprocessed salt (pink Himalayan is a good one. Eat the food and put a little sprinkle of the salt in your water or lick it right off your hand. This will eliminate most of those keto flu symptoms and cramps.
  8. 2 meals a day – This may be a little tough at first, but will get easier, I promise. 10-20 days after making the switch to your new diet, you probably will start to notice that you really are not that hungry anymore. Your body is now getting what it wants and will feel satisfied for longer periods. When this happens try to eat in an 8-hour window, then work on closing that gap to about 5 hours. This will give you a fasting period of 16 to 19 hours, amazing stuff is going on in your body right now. Cells are getting repaired, HGH and Ketone production is increasing, Brain and Stem cells are being created, you are fighting off disease and reversing the aging process. I told you, AMAZING stuff. The added benefit of the fast is if you did anything to kick you out of ketosis, you will go back into it during the fast.
  9. Education – Start Educating Yourself. I will post links to all the people I learned all these facts from soon, giving you a place to go for free. I listen to this information for like 10 hours every day. I am listening to experts I know the information I pass along is credible. The more I learn about the power of food and fasting, the better I want to do. I have two goals: One is to empower each of you to learn how to live a long and healthy life. And the other is to learn enough to be able to work with some of these experts I am learning from. Some of them are really trying to change things to make things better for all of us and make our whole nation healthier. I want to be able to contribute knowledge and help support their causes, as they are now important to me. These people have changed my life and so have all of you. As you learn more, refine your diet and create one just for you.
  10. Goals – Set incremental goals, achieve one and set another. Do not put a time limit on the first few. Maybe start by setting a goal of losing 10-20 pounds and go from there. Also, set a few marks where you celebrate. I started out with the goal of losing 50 pounds by my birthday, which was about 5 months out. I also decided I would celebrate by having a cheat meal at the 30- and 50-pound marks. Just do a cheat meal rather than a whole day or weekend. I was planning on pizza and beer, but ended up eating an – inch pizza and skipping the beers. I was not planning to eat it all but had 2/3 of it and polished off the rest 2 hours later. See, even I did not follow my rules. Just don’t go crazy, and you will bounce right back.

I can hardly wait to hear about the success you had if you decide to give it a try. Please come back and share or ask questions if you want. Results will vary. Women do not tend to lose as fast as men, and everyone is different. Those who have more to lose probably drop weight faster as well. I started out at 285 pounds and think I should lose 70-90 pounds to land in that healthy BMI category.  Good luck on your journey and have a great day!

I received some feedback on this post saying that going without sweets forever is unrealistic, and there are some good sweet options on Keto. So true. I have learned that I enjoy sugar free pudding and have a recipe for a shake that tastes like a frosty I really like. I will also enjoy a non diet form of traditional desserts on occasion in the future. No real dessert ever! Who would sign up for that? Not me. Anything in moderation will be fine. After all, I have learned with the power of food, I can help my body heal itself from the damage I’ve done to it for the last 40 years. My plan is to do Keto until I’m satisfied with where I am. I may come back to it from time to time to maintain my new body. Learning about the power of food, I believe it is important to eat a diverse diet to get those great nutrients from all types of foods. I also believe keto is a great way to kick off a lifestyle change, as it offers many benefits other diets do not. Hope that helps clear up my view on this diet.

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What is the Keto Diet?

The Keto diet was created in 1924 by Dr. Russel Wilder at the Mayo Clinic. It was initially created to treat people with epilepsy, and it worked very well. Doctors realized that eating a high-fat, low-carb (HFLC) diet produced the same ketones the body produces while fasting. In test groups they found those who ate the HFLC diet were much more successful than the fasting group. From this they created the keto diet, which allows your body to produce ketones and experience the positive effects of fasting, while still feeling full and satisfied.

The body can run on two energy sources: glucose and fat. Normally when you eat carbohydrates, the body converts it into glucose. Glucose is then used as fuel or stored as fat. When you start consuming a keto diet, the body must find a new source of energy. Once the body is depleted of glucose, it will produce ketones and start using fat for energy. This allows the body to become more efficient at burning fat, and you become a fat-burner entering the state known as ketosis.

This type of diet is not recommended for: pregnant women, women who are breast feeding, and people taking insulin, Sulphonylureas (glibenclamide, gliclazide, glimepride, glipizide, tolbutamide), Glindes (nateglinide, repaglinide).

The Keto Diet focuses on drastically reducing your intake of carbohydrates and increasing the consumption of fat. The baseline keto macronutrients are 5% Carbs (20 grams to start) , 25% Protein, and 70% Fat. Along with tracking your caloric intake, you need to keep track of your daily macros.

Some supplements you may want to consider when beginning a keto diet are: Magnesium, Potassium, and a multivitamin.

Good luck on your journey and have a great day!

Reference

Most of this information came from the 28-Day Challenge guides.

***I updated this article on4/1/2021, I noticed I had (20 grams to start) in the wrong locatio. When starting out on keto, you should really try to keep your carbs to 20 grams or less***

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What are Net Carbs?

Net carbs refer to the amount of carbs absorbed by the body, they may also be referred to as digestible or impact carbs. When we eat food that contains carbs, most will be broken down into individual sugar units by the enzymes in our small intestine. The body is only able to absorb individual sugar units. Carbs that include fiber and sugar alcohols, can only be partially broken down. Therefore, your body is unable to absorb all of them. Most fiber and sugar alcohols can be subtracted from the total carbs to give you net carbs.

Calculating Net Carbs in Whole Foods

Whole foods contain natural fiber, so you simply subtract fiber from the total carbs.

A medium sized Avocado contains 17.1 grams of carbs and 13.5 grams of fiber.

So, 17.1 minus 13.5, gives us a net carbs of 3.6 grams.

Calculating Net Carbs in Processed Foods

Most fiber can be subtracted from total carbs unless the fiber is Isomaltooligosaccharide (IMO) is in the ingredients list, subtract only half of the fiber carbs.

Calculating Net Carbs from Sugar Alcohols

Most of the time you can subtract half of the carbs from sugar alcohols, from total carbs. If the sugar alcohol is Erythritol you can subtract all its carbs.

*** These calculations are Not 100% accurate, it is not possible to come up with an exact calculation of how everyone’s body processes fiber. ***

The information in this post was researched @ https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/net-carbs#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5

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New Information on Intermittent Fasting

After learning some new information and reviewing my intermittent fasting guide from the 28-Day challenge, I would like to revisit this topic and provide you with some additional information. In the keto groups of which I am a member, I see lots of questions about weight-loss stalling at some point. The advice is always,” trust the process and keep doing what you are doing, it works.” I have passed this same advice onto you, but I have also learned a bit more. I have stalled during weeks 7 and 8 on my journey. New information tells me I should have expected this. After dropping about 35 pounds in my first 6 weeks, my metabolism most likely dropped because of this. I also learned that while the intermittent fasting plan that I have followed, eat for 8 hours and fast for 16, may work fine for people up to 35 years old. Someone like me 40+ years old may benefit more from fasting for 20 hours 2 or 3 times a week. I also learned that people on any form of diet benefit from taking a week off every so often. This does not mean to go crazy on your week off, you still want to watch your carbs and caloric intake. Sometimes you just need to shake things up a little bit.

Now back to intermittent fasting (I.F.). It is proven that I.F. improves health, aids in weight-loss, and can even prolong your life. I.F. basically mimics your body’s response to high-intensity exercise. When in I.F., it triggers your hormones and helps your body burn fat while preserving muscle. I.F. is proven to increase fat oxidation and insulin sensitivity. Studies show, people who live to be over 100 have high insulin sensitivity. During the fast, your body will increase ketone production helping you achieve ketosis quicker.

During the fasting period, you can have water, green tea, and coffee. I see a lot of people asking if adding heavy whipping cream, milk, or half and half, stops the fast. The answer I always see is NO it does not. From what I have read, coffee should be limited due to dehydration and it should be black. Putting anything in your coffee, tea, or water will break your fast.

The most common methods of intermittent fasting are:

16/8 method – Eat for 8 hours, fast for 16.

Alternate day calorie restriction – reduce your caloric intake for one day and resume normal calories the next.

Alternate day fast – Fast for a full day, and then unrestricted eating the next. Still eating low-carb and not overdoing it with the caloric intake. The goal is to reduce your overall calories, do not consume two days of calories in one day. It will cancel out your fasting day.

Meal Skipping – Just skip any meal of the day, doing this a few times a week will reduce your overall caloric intake.

Try whatever method you like, you may want to ease into it. Try eating dinner earlier and eating breakfast later the next to slowly increase the time you fast. You might find it easier to start with caloric restriction or skip a meal. The goal of each of these methods is to reduce your caloric intake, figure out what will work best for you. Do not forget there are the health benefits besides weight-loss, you gain during the fasting period. If you are just reducing your caloric intake, you may miss out on the other benefits.

Fasting Benefits

Skin cells become more resilient.

Increase cognitive function.

Increases fat burning.

Increase insulin sensitivity (stabilizing blood sugar and protects against type 2 diabetes).

Lower bad cholesterol by up to 32%.

Lower Triglycerides by 42%.

Prevents fat from being stored in the liver.

When you fast for 12-14 hours, the body shifts from burning glucose to burning fat for energy. This is why fasting is often paired with the keto diet. It helps kick your body into ketosis.

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The Ketogenic Diet

What is What is Keto?

The Ketogenic or Keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. The idea is that by drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, it will trigger a metabolic state called ketosis. Once the body enters Ketosis, the body will begin to burn fat for energy. It turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. This process is also supposed to lower blood sugar and insulin levels and shift the body’s metabolism away from carbs and toward fat and ketones.

How can I turn my body into a fat burning machine?

To trigger ketosis, it is suggested we limit our carb intake to 20-50 grams per day, and fill up on fats from eggs, fish, meat, nut, and healthy oils.

It’s important we moderate protein consumption, because protein may be converted into glucose when consumed in high amounts. This will slow your transition into ketosis. You may have entered ketosis if you experience: dry mouth, increased thirst, frequent urination, and decreased hunger or appetite. There are also test products you can use to confirm if you are indeed in ketosis.

Does it work?

Based on my research, Keto diets seem to be an effective way to lose weight and improve your health. I found information that points to the keto diet as more effective for long-term weight loss, than a low-fat diet. Keto dieters seem to lose more weight and body fat when compared to a low-fat diet. I personally know people who have had success with keto as well. So that’s a YES!!! from me, I believe the keto diet works.

Possible health benefits of Keto

I found information that points to a ketogenic diet being beneficial for a wide variety of different health conditions. It may have a positive effect with the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease. The keto diet may help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression.
  • Brain injuries. Some research suggests that the diet could improve outcomes of traumatic brain injuries.
  • Cancer. The diet is currently being explored as an additional treatment for cancer because it may help slow tumor growth.
  • Epilepsy. Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause significant reductions in seizures in epileptic children.
  • Heart disease. The ketogenic diet can help improve risk factors like body fat, HDL (good) cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
  • Parkinson’s disease. Although more research is needed, one study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome. The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.

**Keep in mind that research into many of these areas is far from conclusive. A ketogenic diet may provide many health benefits. I’m not an expert or a doctor, I have read data that supports this information and I believe it to be mostly true. I also believe results will vary based on each individual. Just trying to report on information I believe to be true and could provide benefit to others.

Why I’m choosing Keto

I like the idea of how the keto diet is supposed to work. By following a keto diet, I can theoretically turn my body into a fat burning machine. it seems to burn more fat than traditional methods and doesn’t involve a lot of calorie counting. I also know people that have had success with the ketogenic diet, so I know this method can work. I’ve never tried any sort of diet other than reducing calorie intake before. I’ve had some health issues over the past five years and have been consistently putting on weight. I’m dealing with a decreased lung compacity and am kind of limited to walking for exercise at the moment. I have started some treatment that has improved my situation and am excited I may get the life I use to have back. My plan is to start my weight loss with the Keto diet and hope to increase its effects with intermittent fasting (which I will explore in my next post). I will also start walking more once we get a break in the weather. My goal is to lose 50 pounds and improve my overall health. I look forward to trying new things and hope I’m able to find an audience that is interested in my journey as well as willing to share advice and maybe even inspire one another.

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Intermittent Fasting

What is intermittent fasting?

There are many different forms of intermittent fasting, but the most common method involves limiting food intake to around 8 hours per day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. Practicing intermittent fasting could help us enter ketosis faster. Intermittent Fasting helps to boost ketone levels, accelerate weight loss, and improve insulin resistance. Adding exercise will also increase ketones moderately, as well as speed up weight loss and improve type 2 diabetes.

How does intermittent fasting work?

Food we eat is broken down by enzymes and end up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells don’t use it all, it is stored as fat cells. Sugar can only enter our cells when combined with insulin. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and holds it there. Between meals, our insulin levels drop, and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar to be used as energy. The idea of intermittent fasting is to allow insulin levels to go down far enough and long enough that our bodies burn off our fat.

Benefits of intermittent fasting!

My research found information that shows fasting improves metabolism, lowers blood sugar, lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma; and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function.

Is intermittent fasting as good as it sounds? I’m looking for every advantage in my weight loss journey, so I’ll be putting this method to the test. I will follow the eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours method. Follow me on my journey to see how intermittent fasting combined with a ketogenic diet works for me.

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What are Keto foods?

How to plan meals.

Keto meals should be based on foods such as meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, and plenty of low carb veggies.

Foods to eat:

  • meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
  • fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
  • butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
  • cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
  • nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
  • low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

It is best to base your diet mostly on whole, single-ingredient foods.

Foods to avoid, reduce, or eliminate:

  • sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries, bluberries, and blackberries. Fructose has to be broken down by the liver, and will stop ketone production.
  • beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
  • some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
  • unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
  • sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.

Tips

Getting started on the ketogenic diet can be challenging, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to make it easier.

  • Familiarize yourself with food labels and check the grams of fat, carbs, and fiber to determine how your favorite foods can fit into your diet.
  • Planning out your meals in advance can help you save extra time throughout the week.
  • Many websites, food blogs, apps, and cookbooks also offer keto-friendly recipes and meal ideas that you can use to build your own custom menu.
  • Some meal delivery services even offer keto-friendly options for a quick and convenient way to enjoy keto meals at home.
  • Look into healthy frozen keto meals for when you’re short on time.
  • When going to social gatherings or visiting family and friends, you may also want to consider bringing your own food, which can make it much easier to curb cravings and stick to your meal plan.

Reading food labels, planning your meals ahead, and bringing your own foods when visiting family and friends can make it much easier to stick to the ketogenic diet.

How to Keto

I finally went to my first social gathering since the pandemic started. I went to a family cookout with about 25 other family members. Some of those family members have begun their own keto journey or have made some changes to their diets. What I noticed was everyone seemed to have their own idea on how to do the diet and that’s okay, we all need to do what we feel is best for ourselves and there is no single plan we can all follow to get great results. I would like to give some general guidelines on how I think you should begin a keto diet.

First and maybe most important, if you are considering a keto diet you need to commit to at least 8 weeks initially. It takes the average person 6-8 weeks to enter deeper ketosis and make the switch to burning fat for fuel. You have to deplete your body of its stored glycogen (stored sugar and carbs) and give it enough fat, so it feels safe enough to start burning fat for fuel. I think many people get hung up on old information that fat is bad for you, or eggs are too high in cholesterol to eat every day, or whatever. Most all of the information we have been given about nutrition has all been proven wrong, and the way we were taught to eat is exactly why most Americans are obese and have serious health issues. If you have a concern about a particular issue, my suggestion is to google it or look it up on YouTube. You still need to be careful of your sources of information. I would not even take the advice of a doctor as the absolute truth they don’t spend much time studying nutrition in med school. Some doctors yes, but not all of them are up on current information. Some of my trusted YouTube sources are Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Berg, Mark Sisson, Shawn Stevenson, and there are others, but these guys have been at this for decades and respected by many as some of the leaders in health, nutrition, and fasting information. Seek a few different sources on the topic of your concern, and form an opinion based on what you believe and what makes sense to you. If you have reservations about certain aspects of the keto diet, if you can’t commit to at least 8 weeks, and if you think you will be cheating often, I advise you to look for another diet. Hey, everyone will likely stumble and have some moments of weakness. I think expecting anyone to be perfect is an impossible ask. The trouble with cheating (having sugar and excess carbs) on keto is, when you eat a high fat diet combined with carbs and or sugar you can get in trouble real fast. You need to strive to stick to the plan whenever possible if you want the results you are seeking.

Here is my idea of how you should do keto. There are technically many ways you can do keto and still meet your macros and achieve the state of ketosis. The most common macros are 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. I would advise you to do it by trying to include 7 cups of vegetables daily. This gives you the fiber, minerals, and vitamins you need to avoid some of the issues people experience by doing keto without eating a balanced diet. Some of these complications include constipation, cramping, hair loss, the keto flu, and on and on. If you really want to get healthy, you will have to eat healthy and make lifestyle changes. The way you eat, sleep, exercise, and your environment all contribute to your overall health. Don’t stop reading just yet you will not have to spend hours in the gym each day, but you should aim for at least 60 minutes of movement in each day. It does not have to be all at once, spread it out throughout the day. I would not advise you to do strenuous workouts daily either, there is plenty of evidence to support that’s not the best plan either. Just focus on eating healthy, developing good sleep habits, and moderate daily exercise.

Seven cups of veggies a day is not as tough as it sounds. I eat a big salad each day that can meet that requirement by itself. I also add things like kale, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes to my eggs for breakfast. Eating this many vegetables also helps you feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time.

With keto or any diet, I would suggest you eat fewer larger meals over smaller more frequent meals. Eating less often allows your insulin levels to drop and you can begin to tap into those stored reserves or fat for the fuel your body needs. Also, snacking or eating smaller meals makes you want to eat more often. As soon as the body senses food, your insulin levels spike and make you hungry. I would suggest you do not snack at all when possible. If you get hungry between meals, try adding some additional fat or fiber next time to extend the period you feel full and satisfied. If you are eating correctly, you will notice that you do not get hungry as often. This is when you can really boost you results. Avoid eating when you do not feel hungry, you have enough stored calories on your body to last several days with no issues. I am not advising that you go several days without eating, you may start by going 12 hours or longer between meals. Initially, I would not suggest you go more than 36 hours without food, and you should work your way up to that. Only go without food for as long as you feel well and strong, you should feel good if you are fasting in a healthy way. My suggestion would be to get to 2 meals a day and push them as close together as you are comfortable doing. I would shoot for 8 hours initially and work towards a 4-hour eating window if you are comfortable with it. If you are over 40 like me, I would limit this to 4 days a week max. Fasting the same way and too often can cause your metabolism to drop and impact weight loss. This same theory applies to a caloric deficit as well, too deep, or too long of a caloric deficit will cause your metabolism to drop. Your body is just trying to keep you alive and thinks there is never enough food around. So, the body lowers metabolism to conserve energy and reduce the number of daily calories it uses. Losing weight is tough and the body doesn’t like to let go of it. It views stored calories as insurance that keeps you alive when food is not available. The problem is that food is always available, and most people do not go long enough between meals to ever dip into stored energy.

Many people like to short their fat macro and think it’s bad for them to eat a high fat diet. Initially you need to try and hit that goal to make it easier to make the transition to burning fat for its main fuel source. Once you deplete your body of its stored glycogen, it needs to know there is enough fat to become comfortable using it as its main source of energy. Most of the fat you consume will be burned for fuel and will not stay in your system. I also recommend getting most of your fat from healthy sources. Avocados, avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, hemp seed oil, grass fed butter, and nuts are all healthy ways to meet your suggested fat macro. You can play around with how much fat you consume after 8 weeks and see how it affects you. Along those lines, I would encourage you to play with all your macros as you go. The macros are just a suggestion and may not be the best path for everyone to follow. I suggest you keep a food journal and track both your meals and how you feel each day. You may want to eat more foods that help you feel great and have energy and reduce the foods which impact you negatively. Most likely the way you feel is from what you ate the day before or earlier in the day. Try and figure out how different foods impact you and design a diet that helps you feel your best each day.

As always, I suggest buying clean, grass fed, pasture raised, wild caught, and organic proteins whenever possible. What your food eats does matter. Just like we are made from everything we eat, so is our food. If I had my way it would also support regenerative responsible farming, as it helps to protect our planet and environment. Meats from industrial farming contain additional hormones and chemicals not listed on the label, they also have maybe the largest negative impact on the environment.

It would be my advice to avoid many of the popular keto products that are available. Like exogenous ketones, keto chow, and others you will be spammed with when joining a keto group. Most people that sell these have never tried keto, know little to nothing about it, and their only interest is in trying to make money off of people who are desperate to lose weight. My view on taking exogenous ketones is that it would likely prohibit you from producing your own ketones. If your body has fuel on hand to use, it will use that before it makes any of its own. They are fairly expensive, and I think some use them as a cheat or crutch to try and achieve ketosis without following a diet to put them in ketosis. I think the best way to guarantee results and to be able to keep the weight off once you reach your goal, is to learn how and what to eat to provide your body with what it needs to be healthy. It will be possible to have a more relaxed diet once you reach your goal, but you may have to be strict to reach it. If you get too relaxed and put on a few pounds, you will have already learned what to do to lose it. Many say keto is a good way to lose weight, but most gain it after going off the plan. If you do return to your old habits, you will likely return to your old body. If you develop new healthier habits and keep them, you will be much more likely to keep it off.

There are also forms of keto like lazy keto and dirty keto you may want to explore and learn about. Lazy keto is 10% of your calories from carbs and not tracking anything else. This could lead to possibly not achieving ketosis but may still benefit from reduced carbs and sugar. It does allow you to expand your diet to include more fruits, veggies, and starchy veggies like potatoes. It may also be worth trying before trying for a few weeks to ease into regular keto. Dirty keto includes more fast food, diet sodas, and usually more carbs. This diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies and more cravings for unhealthy foods. People still manage to have success on many kinds of diets, it is up to you to decide which path you want to follow. I only suggest you do your research and learn what you need to pay attention to avoid complications, nutrient deficiencies, and get the most out of whatever journey you choose.

That is my idea of how to start a ketogenic lifestyle, but you should feel encouraged to modify it over time, so it works best for you. Ideally you fill your diet with foods you enjoy eating and make you feel great. Ultimately only you can figure out exactly how you want to keto.

Good luck on your journey and have a great day.

Advice for beginning a weight loss journey.

I have been racking my brain trying to come up with the best advice for anyone beginning a new journey, and the truth is there is no single piece of advice that will work for everyone. Everyone is a unique individual, there are no two people exactly the same. A group of 100 people could do everything the same for 100 days, and everyone’s results will vary. You have to figure out what will work for you and your lifestyle. I think you have the greatest chance for success if you pick a journey, you will enjoy and be able to stick to. This is your own journey to wellness, and it should be an awesome experience.

I will begin with what I think is great general advice. Include foods rich in nutrients to provide the body with what it needs and perform at its best. You may also want to consider taking supplements or vitamins for vitamins and minerals you are missing from your meals. You may also consider including nutrients to support a healthy metabolism and a healthy gut, this will help your body get ready to let go of the weight. Eat enough fiber to help clean up your system and improve gut health, you should consume 25-30 grams a day. Not enough fiber can halt weight loss and cause constipation, too much fiber can cause issues too. Many highly processed foods are high in salt for preservation and extending shelf life, and they add sugar to cover up the salt and improve the taste of it. Start eliminating sugar from your diet, it is one of the top addictive substances out there. This is why they put it in everything, the more you eat the more you will want. The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year, and most people are likely unaware of how much sugar they consume as it is hidden in the nutrition labels. Increasing nutrient rich foods and decreasing items not so good for you, is a step in the right direction everyone can benefit from. How far and fast you want to take it is up to you. I don’t recommend going from zero to one hundred right out of the gate, it can be hard to maintain and will be a shock to your system. In fact, I do not recommend trying to achieve 100 at all. By 100, I mean trying to eat perfectly all the time. Trying to do everything perfectly is just a recipe for failure in my opinion. Do the best you can, and it is what it is. If you do not like the way it went do not beat yourself up over it, just try to do better moving forward. We all stumble from time to time. Try and work toward eating how you plan 80% of the time and allow room for error or life to happen. You may walk out the door and forget to grab that prepared meal you made, do not let it ruin your day just make the best choice for an available substitute and move on.

Your body is amazing and will adjust to everything you do to it. If you do a caloric deficit for a length of time, it will lower its metabolism to burn fewer calories. If you do intense workouts, the body slows metabolism while it rests to conserve energy. Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular, which is going for periods of time without food. The idea is, going without food for periods of time forces your body to use some of its stored energy for fuel. The body will also adjust to intermittent fasting if you do it the same way all the time. If the body thinks food is scarce, it will lower metabolism to conserve fuel. Mix it up and keep your body on its toes. Along the lines of intermittent fasting, I recommend reducing the number of times you eat each day. When I say eat, I mean anytime you put food in your mouth. Eating causes insulin levels to spike, which makes you want to eat more. I recommend eating enough at one meal, you comfortably make it to the next meal without snacking. Try to work your way to eating your last meal of the day as far from your first meal as you are comfortable with. This allows you to tap into some of those stored calories between meals and include sleeping during the fasting period to make it easier to fast for a longer period of time. Many people do OMAD (one meal a day) or two meals a day, to try and maximize that time. You need to mix this up too, the body will adjust and lower metabolism if it thinks food is scarce. Every once in a while, you need to remind your body there is an abundance of food around. I generally eat two meals a day, and about every 4-6 weeks my weight loss will stall. So, every few days I drink a vitamin, mineral, and protein shake as a 3rd meal and on occasion have a snack or treat. I still have to be conscious of the snaking, as just eating a snack makes me want to have another. I find it pretty easy to eat just twice a day once you develop the routine, it can be a bit difficult until you make the adjustment.

Learn about different diets and see what gets you excited, experiment with meals and find what you enjoy eating. Find what works best for you and fits in your lifestyle. I think your diet should consist of foods you get to eat, not what you have to eat. If you enjoy what you are doing, you are more likely to keep doing it. Like I said before, it is a wellness journey, and it should be an awesome experience. Find items that are quick and easy to prepare, and you may consider some frozen or meal delivery options for when you want to eat but don’t feel like making anything.

Sleep is as important as diet and exercise combined. All of the healing that takes place in the body, happens while we sleep. One third of weight loss happens then too. Not getting enough sleep throw all the systems in your body off, nothing will operate at optimal levels and mood can be affected too. You can have a huge health benefits just by developing better sleep habits.

I would also encourage you to get some movement and or physical activity as often as you can. It does not have to be a strenuous activity, just move. I started out with walking a mile or so a day and increased at a pace I was comfortable with. I also started tracking my steps, I feel this helped encourage me to try and do just a little more each day or week. Most seem to agree that your 80% of how you look comes from your diet, and that you can not out exercise a bad diet. Getting some physical activity can help reduce insulin sensitivity, reduce stress, and just help you feel better. I really enjoy my walks they are therapeutic allow me to unplug a bit from everything else I have going on and just have some time to myself. Find activities you enjoy this part of your journey should feel awesome too.

Some people may need to prepare mentally for weight loss, due to past failed attempts or struggles they may not believe they can lose weight. Weight loss journeys are not easy, and information on what to do and how to do it can be confusing. Low fat products are misleading and often contain added sugar. 100% fruit drinks are often labeled “No added sugar”, but the sugar from fructose found in fruit juices is about the same as soda. You would be better off eating an apple than drinking apple juice. It is easy to drink the juice of 5 apples but doubt you would eat 5 apples in one sitting. When you eat the fruit, you take in the fiber from the fruit, which helps fill you up and reduce the insulin spike from the fructose. Many highly processed foods contain large amount of hidden salt and sugar, they scientifically engineer those foods to be tasty and trick your body into thinking they are nutritionally rich. This is why you can consume large amounts and never feel full, your body doesn’t receive the nutrients it expects to trigger that full feeling. Try to focus on whole foods or food that has ingredients you can pronounce, the fewer the ingredients the better it will be for you. To help prepare yourself mentally you may need to visualize what your future self will look like, let yourself know you are worthy of weight loss and that you deserve it, or even develop an alter ego that takes on the weight loss journey for you. Athletes and many others often use techniques like this to help them achieve their goals. I read an article where they had a group of kids try and complete an impossible task. The kids they told to imagine they were their favorite superhero did not give up as fast as the other kids. Athletes visualize game moments all the time to be better at what they do. Beyonce used an alter ego to go from singing in her church choir to performing on stage. Do whatever you need to help accomplish what you want.

I also recommend starting a food journal and track what you eat and how you feel daily. How you feel may be related to what you ate the day before or earlier in the day. I try to eat more of the meals that make me feel great and eliminate items which don’t make me feel so good. I just repeat an item at a time to figure out what was messing me up. You may also use an app like carb manager or another meal tracking tool. I do not use carb manager daily I enter my information and my goals to get the recommended macros every few weeks or so and plan meals accordingly. I do not like to track everything I eat every day, just do what works best for you. Some may actually enjoy doing it and may have better results by doing so, its just not for me.

There are many different ways to achieve what you want in life it is up to you to figure out your own path and how you want to go about it. Do not try to be just like someone else or compare yourself to them, your journey will be yours and only yours. You can try things others have had success with or take advice from them but may not end up with the same results. Only you can figure out what works best for you and your body. I suggest starting small and aim for a series of small goals that are achievable and allow you to start stacking up victories. You may start by trying to drink more water, reduce sugar, sleep better, or whatever you think your first step should be. Take one step at a time and keep taking more and more until you reach that goal. Do not get discouraged if something you try does not work out, just keep trying until you find what works. We do not fail when something does not work, we only fail when we stop trying.

When I learn how to improve my health, I don’t focus on nutrition or keto alone. I learn about things like how to improve behavior, eating for mental health, exercise, sleep, and whatever information I come across I find interesting. To truly become healthy requires improving your environment and all phases of your life. I work hard at all of them and think that is why I have been able to lose 60 pounds in less than 4 months. It almost seems to fall off as I am trying to improve everything and not focus on one thing. I hope I was able to touch on a subject that inspired you or think will work for you. If not please keep looking, there has to be some information out there that will spark your new journey.

I know many may have been looking for advice on how to begin a keto journey here. While I think it is a great way to lose weight, it may not be for everyone. I have begun to write that article as well and will link it below once it is published. I am also trying to link related articles to all new articles I publish in an attempt to make information easier to find.

Have a great day and good luck on your journey!

My New Favorite Coffee!!!

Some of you may be familiar with this already, it seems to be pretty popular. I have been learning some about the power of mushrooms lately. These aren’t the kind of mushrooms you typically find in the grocery store, this coffee has Lion’s Mane and Chaga Mushroom Powder. This coffee is quite smooth and does not taste like mushrooms. The dark roast seemed strong to me at first as I was not a dark roast drinker typically, I find I really enjoy it now. Lion’s Mane mushroom is a natural nootropic shown to support memory, focus & concentration; Recognized for its support of cognitive function, Lion’s Mane extract kickstarts your morning. Chaga mushroom, has antioxidant properties to support immune function & well-being; Plus organic rhodiola root, to help fight stress. This coffee seems to give me some increased focus and mental clarity. I’ve been drinking it for about 6 weeks, and just realized it only has half the caffeine when I read the product information again. I never noticed an energy dropoff, but it doesn’t mess with my sleep either. You can find it on Amazon, and I find it cheaper to buy it in the bag form and put it in an unbleached disposable k-cup. They do sell it in k-cups as well.

After 90 Days on Keto

I began my journey on January 25, 2021 at 285 pounds. The above pictures from left to right were taken just 60 days apart, at about 30, 60, and 90 days into my journey. From January 25 to April 27th, I lost 55 pounds in about 90 days. If it didn’t happen to me, I would not believe it possible. The keto diet may not work for everyone, but it has been almost magical for me. The beginning was a bit rough having to give up my pop and sugar habit, but after just a few weeks I never craved those sweets anymore. The power of food is real and amazing. I always feel full and satisfied, and think my new healthy meals are delicious. The way I feel on my new diet is incredible, no way am I going back to how I did eat and feel. I had an initial goal of losing 50 pounds by my birthday, I have over a month to go and am currently close to 60 pounds of loss. I never dreamed it would happen so fast and I am not sure what my next goal is exactly. I will just keep going to where my healthy eating and body take me. I just want to be healthy, eat healthy, and feel great. I imagine I will end up somewhere around 200, I will be working out now so I will hopefully be adding some muscle as I lose more fat. At 19, I was probably in the best shape of my life and around 200 pounds. It is hard to believe I may end up where I was close to 30 years ago, but know it is possible now. I am currently under 230 pounds and probably haven’t been at that weight in 20 years, I’m sure my joints and body are thanking me.

Many have suggested that losing weight at this rate will make it impossible to keep off. This is probably true if I return to my old eating habits. That is not what I will be doing. Thanks to educating myself about the power of nutrition and fasting, my life has changed. I will continue to eat as healthy as I have been eating for the last 45 days or so and treating myself occasionally. I will consider eating at a restaurant or a social occasion as my treat most of the time. Things will come up and I don’t expect everyone else to prepare a special meal for me. I do not expect to eat healthy 100% of the time, but my new life will look much different than my old one. I did not start out this way, I just began by making some keto recipes I found online. I have since began to try and eat for as many vitamins and minerals as I could fit into my diet. I am striving to eat 7 cups of vegetables per day along with my fats and proteins. Most of my daily meals look something like this: Breakfast – I begin with a cup of kale and a tbsp of EVO in a skillet, cook it down a bit and add 3 to 4 eggs, and sometimes I add some protein like grass-fed beef, bison, elk, or a few strips of bacon, I also usually eat an avocado. Pre-lunch – is 8-10 almonds and half a cup of whole milk yogurt.  Lunch – is usually 3 cups of organic spring mix, 2 tbsp of Kimchi, 2 tbsp of sauerkraut, with a tbsp of EVO, 1 tbsp hemp seed oil, 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, handful of sliced mushrooms, and 4-6 cherry tomatoes. I generally add some protein to my lunch as well. I may add some chicken or tuna to my salad, or maybe cook some wild caught fish or grass-fed beef. I usually finish with about 10 pistachios and one-sixth of a Lilly’s 70% cocoa bar. Three days a week, I have a shake with ¼ cup of wild blueberries, collagen, super greens mix, spirulina, turmeric, and cinnamon. I was using my matcha collagen keto latte mix for my collagen and it tasted rather good. I need to work on improving the flavor a bit after swapping out the mix for just collagen peptides, it is a cheaper way to go. I usually eat at noon and 4pm, but I do occasionally eat outside the 4-hour window. Most of the time I do not since I’ve been used to the schedule for some time now. In the beginning everything was tougher, but since developing good habits and a routine things have become much easier.

There are many ways to do keto, but I really noticed an improvement to how I felt once I started eating healthier. I am trying to eat a mix of seven cups of vegetables per day, and clean proteins and healthy fats. What I mean by clean protein is wild caught, grass-fed meat and fish, and pasture raised and organic eggs. I am pretty much dairy free except for the yogurt and cream for my coffee. I also do not eat any types of processed meat you don’t really know what all they add to it.

If you really want to increase your results intermittent fasting is the way to go. I think it is really the best way to get past any plateau you may encounter. If you plateau while intermittent fasting, I suggest you change it up a bit. The body is very efficient and will adjust to any habits you develop and looks a weight loss as becoming closer to dying. The only reason your body tries to store excess calories the way it does is to keep you alive. It does not care how you look or feel, it just wants to keep you alive. Stored calories or fat is just insurance for when food is not available, but we don’t experience that like our ancestors did. Today, food is available just about everywhere if you consider all that processed junk and fast food to be food.

I know I began by not tracking any information on what I was eating, now I try to plan a days’ worth of meals that fit my suggested macros. I do not log them daily I have enough things I want to include daily my only real option is what types of proteins I want to add daily, and maybe change out a few ingredients to keep things interesting. I generally rotate in different meats, chicken, turkey, and seafood. I have been ordering my proteins through thrive market and I love it. They generally have individually wrapped servings which makes it easy to thaw out what I want to eat as I go. It is also wild caught, grass-fed, and organic, and I believe I get it at a better price than I would pay at the local grocery store.

I am now going to start a food journal to keep track of what I eat daily. I will also keep track of how I feel each day. I want to be able to look at what I eat on the days I feel great and maybe days when I feel off a bit, so I can continue to customize my diet so I can feel my best most often. This is what I do, and it really seems to work well for well for me and my body. Doing exactly as I do may not work as well for you, but I hope it gives you some ideas on some things you may want to include in your routine. Please feel free to drop a comment or ask any questions you may have. I do not have any magic potions to offer you, but have learned much and may have some tips I could offer you.

Have a great day and good luck on your journey!

What is your definition of a healhty lifestyle or diet success?

I have been talking to many others on the journey to a healthier life lately, and I am learning so much from so many. We all have different goals and expectations and are starting from different places. No two people are exactly the same. Some people want to lose a bunch of weight quickly, and others prefer a slow and steady approach. I have talked to people who have been living keto for 4 years, have lost between 50 and 100 pounds and are thrilled with their results. I think they deserve to be proud of themselves, they have accomplished something fantastic. Others lose 20 pounds in their first month or two and get upset when the results diminish or plateau. They wonder what they are doing wrong, or why their diet stopped working. I also see many ads that claim to have lost 100 pounds in three months. Usually followed by, I followed this plan and bought these products. I do think it might be possible for some people to lose 100 pounds in just three months, but doubt most ads are real stories from actual people.

Whatever path you think you follow for your own personal journey to become healthier is a step in the right direction if you ask me. I used to not think very highly of a group that was all about consumption of a product called keto chow. I am not a fan of buying some product and thinking it will do all the work for you. I am not aware of the ingredients of these products, or even the cost. People seem to enjoy swapping out one, two, or all of their meals daily for those shakes. They say they taste delicious, and they have lost weight and made improvements to their health. I would call that success. I am afraid that if I ate that, it would not have cured my addiction to sweets and sugar. I can’t really give you any statistics on the group, but their results seem like many other groups. Some lose fairly quickly, some slow and steady, and others seem to go on and off the diet. I do see that many have issues figuring which ingredients to mix with the product, but two main ones I see are milk and butter. Many people seem to have issues with dairy products, so you may want to do a bit of research if you think this could be your path. Just find a group online and ask some questions, this way you can learn from people actually using the product you are interested in. This goes for any type of product you may want to switch out for a meal. Seek information from those who use the product and maybe consult a professional about the product you are considering.

The goal is to become healthier, and any time you consume less calories than you spend it will equal weight loss when done over time. How fast or slow you want to do it is up to you and your body. A reduction in 500 – 1000 calories a day equals a pound of weight loss per week. You do, however, need to limit your carbs, grains, and sugars if you really want to improve your health. I can lose weight eating only ice cream as long as I have a daily caloric deficit, but my vitals aren’t going to be good. I also believe the source of your calories matter. If you really want to improve your health, the items you eat should provide your body with its nutritional needs. We are made from everything we consume throughout our lives and every bite will become cells in our body. What do you want to be made of?

If you genuinely want to thrive you need to focus on giving the body what it needs to function at optimum levels. To keep it simple, all the experts talk about eating the nutritional rainbow. Eat as many colors of those healthy foods as you can, each color represents different kinds of nutrients. You do not have to eat every color daily but try to get all of them incorporated in your diet. Different types of diets have their challenges, but to thrive in any of them you have to get all necessary nutrients to fuel your body. You may also want to consider adding a daily multivitamin and supplements to fill any nutrition gaps you may have.

Dr. Mark Hyman was talking about the challenges of being vegan, as he lived that lifestyle for more than 10 years. He said initially people typically thrive on the vegan diet but tend to become nutrient deficient over time. His advice was to focus on whole foods and non-starchy vegetables, stick to whole kernel grains, include healthy fats (avocados, EVO, nuts, and seeds), eat protein rich foods, add a pea, pumpkin, or hemp seed-based protein shake, add a branch chain amino acid supplement to build muscle, and add vitamin and mineral supplements (a multi-vitamin, vitamins B-12, D, omega 3, iodine, iron, and zinc) to help maintain optimal nutrient levels. He also stressed to avoid the “FrankenFoods”, like the impossible burger and things like it. No matter which path you choose, they all have their challenges. My advice to you is to educate yourself on the path you want to follow, and prepare yourself to thrive on whatever diet you choose.

You could eat only bacon and possibly be considered keto, but you probably won’t have much success or thrive with that approach.Since I have started my journey, I have learned much. I kind of eased into it just making better choices and eliminating sugar and most carbs. All good steps, but as I started to really git into the power of nutrition, I knew I had to do better. There are all these different foods, and each provide something for different for the many functions in our bodies. Once I started to incorporate more vitamins and minerals in my diet, I really began to feel great. I am in a better mood, have more energy, and feel younger. I think I feel a good 10 years younger than I am. The other benefit of education is I no longer have to worry about returning to my old habits. Why would I want to change my diet when I feel so fantastic now, and still enjoy everything I eat?

Sleep is SO IMPORTANT to our overall health. If we do not get the proper amount of sleep, it throws off all of the systems in our bodies and nothing functions at optimal levels. In a test case they deprived one group of individuals of their sleep, and let the others get their full 8 hours. The sleep deprived group took 14% longer to complete their tasks and made 20% more errors. Our sleep has as much to do with our overall health as our diet and exercise combined. I am still working to improve my sleep habits and sleeping area.  I am avoiding screen and TV time before bed, wear blue light blocking glasses while on the computer, I have blacked out my room, and added ambient noise by way of a $20 box fan. I have been getting about two more hours of sleep each night lately. Still room for improvement but I’m working on it. I need to approach my sleep habits, just like I approached my dietary changes. It will take time but is equally important as the other changes I have made. If I truly want to thrive, I need to work on all areas of my life as they all contribute to my overall health.

Good luck on your journey and have a great day!

How I lost 55 pounds in 90 days

Initially I think I did well because my drive to lose weight was so high and was motivated to lose weight. I got on the scales one day and weighed 285 pounds, I had seemingly put on the last 20 pounds in a matter of days. I had noticed my gut getting bigger, and was starting to become concerned about where I was headed. I knew I had to act immediately. I quit pop and junk right away and began researching keto meals. I had a friend who had some success on the keto diet, and it is popular these days. Initially I just started eating a fairly strict keto diet, limiting my carbs to 20 grams or so a day. I did not initially track my macros like calories, fats, proteins, or fiber, I just ate keto. This worked amazingly for my first seven weeks, I averaged around five pounds of loss a week. I was also walking for exercise, I started out slow a mile or two a day and increased over time. I want to say I was aiming for 30 miles a week by weeks 7-10. Around week 10 I had to back off due to time limitations. I started to do micro workouts during my workday. I would exercise for about five minutes for every 90 minutes I worked. I would do things like air squats, pushups, situps, and curls, lat raises, and triceps push downs with exercise bands. Once I learned about and began to practice intermittent fasting, I would exercise in a fasting state. This allowed me to take full advantage of the state I was in. This would make my body burn more of its own stored energy or fat for the energy it required. I just wanted to maximize the benefits I was getting from the work I was doing. I was not working out hard or requiring more than my body could handle. On the weekends, I might try to get in 5-7 miles in a fasted state and really burn some fat and boost my results.

Around week seven, my results had started to diminish a bit. As I began to research what can cause a diet to stall, I found there were a multitude of reasons why weight loss can stall. I found that all types of nutrient deficiencies will halt weight loss. Anything from not enough fiber, water, or lack of key vitamins and minerals can impact results. So, I began to educate myself on the power of nutrition. As I learned more about nutrition, I knew I could increase my metabolism and fat burning through eating. In order for all the systems in the body to perform at their best, they require certain nutrients. I began a mission to start incorporating as many of these foods in my daily diet as I could. I squeezed as many of the tips to boost fat and weight loss and other diet related tips as I could into my daily routine. In fact, I have added so many things daily that I really only have two choices to make each day. Which protein I add to my eggs for my first meal, and which protein to add to my second meal. My suggested daily macros are 2678 calories, 27g carbs, 170g fat, 136g protein, and 25-30g of fiber. Where I am currently at daily is around 2200 calories, 35g carbs, 153g fat, 120g protein, and 27g fiber. Does not meet strict keto requirements does it, according to the keto gods we should limit our carbs to 20g or so. Actually, 35g is my net carbs and total carbs are 61.6g. I lost 15 pounds at these numbers in a 10 day period, sounds like it is working for me. All my nutrients and macros are being filled with healthy whole foods and healthy fats, and that’s why I think its working so well. I am getting these results during weeks 12 and 13 of my journey after losing 40 pounds already. I am not certain, but I believe my ideal weight is somewhere between 200-185. I am currently at 230 pounds, just 90 days ago I weighed 285 pounds. I took advantage of everything I have learned and shared with all of you so far.

I encourage all of you to see if you are giving your body all it needs, play around with your macros and nutrients, and find out what works best for you and your body. I am thankful my body has responded to its new diet the way it has, and it shows me just how far off the mark I was before beginning this journey. Most days I eat all of my meals within a 4–6-hour window, and I try to get in one 24-hour fast each week. I am not always successful I eat outside my window 2 or 3 days a week and do not always get in the 24-hour fast. I do what my body lets me if I get hungry, I eat. I begin each day with 32 ounces of water and at least a one mile walk with my dog Zoey. The body really needs water first thing after all the healing that took place overnight. The body need the water to function optimally, and the combination of water and exercise helps pump out all the toxins.

I would also like to add it is not necessarily important to lose weight quickly, weather you reach your goal in 6 months or 6 years does not matter as long as you get there. If you want to see results quickly, learn to maximize and leverage your opportunities, and make the most out of every situation. I still have so much to learn, and I am certain I will keep incorporating new improvements to my diet. My 90-day transformation has been incredible, powerful, and mind blowing, I would most likely doubt it was possible if it did not happen to me. I am so proud of how far I have come already, thankful for the new friends I have made along my journey, and can’t wait to see what’s next. My journey has become contagious to some of my friends and family. By publicly sharing my journey, I think they may have initially read it to simply support me and see what I was up to. Now some are starting to make some changes in their own lives, continued or started a new journey of their own. I have been fortunate to have had a small impact on the lives of a few and hope to keep doing it. This has been such a rewarding and powerful journey, I hope it never ends. Thank you all for being a part of it.

Good luck on your journey and have a great day.

More Tips for Starting a Healthy Lifestyle

For all of those considering beginning a journey to a healthier lifestyle, I would like to share some advice on how I think you should approach your this. This advice is based on what I see others struggling with the most. Do not strive to become the perfect version of your future-self overnight, just focus on taking incremental steps toward your goal. Just start by making some better choices and making small changes. I am on a journey of my own, I have been living the keto diet for 12 weeks and have lost 52 pounds so far. While I think keto is an excellent way to quickly drop pounds, get off sugar, reduce carbs, and eat healthier foods, it may not be the ideal plan for everyone. Decide what you think is the best fit for your lifestyle, and include foods you will enjoy eating.  When I picture myself in the future, I see a healthy individual who enjoys life. I can go out and socialize and eat and drink whatever I want, but most of the time I will eat healthy whole foods. I did not become overweight because I made the occasional bad choice, or only indulged once in a while. I made 20 years’ worth of unhealthy choices which led me here. I probably had take-out food 10 or more times a week, drank pop on a regular basis, and ate all kinds of sweets. What I’m trying to get at is, if I can turn my life around you can too. Please do not plan to follow some strict diet and never deviate from it. That is just a recipe for failure, in my humble opinion. Trying to make any sort of change in your lifestyle is generally difficult at first, but the more you turn it into a habit the easier it becomes. Do not expect changing your eating habits to be any different, actually it will be harder.

When the body receives food that tastes good, it expects that food to be nutritionally dense. That is how nature and the food it produces communicates with us. The food created by big industry (fast food, snacks, highly processed foods, soda pop, etc.), takes advantage of this. They design the food to taste good, so we will want to eat it and they can sell it. Since our body is expecting it to be nutritionally rich, we often overeat because our bodies are still waiting on those nutrients. It never gets them, so we are constantly hungry and want to eat more and more. The big food and drink producers even spend millions of dollars testing which chemicals light up the most areas of our brains, so they can put it in their products. This causes us to become addicted to food that has little to no nutritional value for us. That is why we are usually tired and do not feel like our best selves, we aren’t getting those nutrients we need to thrive. I know I would often grab a Mt. Dew or two at work because I needed a boost to get through the day. Did it ever work? I doubt it maybe for a few minutes, but it never felt as good as I feel now. We have to break the addiction before we can start to heal, and it’s going to be tough.

Do everything that you can to set yourself up for success. Plan ahead, figure out what changes you want to make first. I recommend starting slow but go ahead and make the first step and act now. On your next trip to the store, in-person or online, get several whole food products you enjoy. If you don’t cook or are often busy find a healthy meal delivery option that works for you. Maybe you cook some meals and have some delivered, whatever fits your lifestyle. You may also want to order groceries online to eliminate some temptation at the store. Next start swapping out some of your current meals for the healthier options, maybe one or two meals every day. Do this until you are eating healthy most of the time. Please do not plan to eat healthy or to stick to your plan 100% of the time, do it as often as you can. Life will happen, you will have things come up, times you’re running late, situations where you have to eat off of your plan, or just moments when you cheat. It is going to be okay nobody is always perfect, and do not expect yourself to be either. Just do the best you can, and the results will still add up, just keep stacking the odds in your favor. Much like the way we gain weight, I think losing weight is accumulative as well. Keep doing good things, and you will start to see the results you want. Just keep choosing the healthier options, and you will start feeling better, happier, healthier, and even lighter. We only fail when we quit, not when we go off our plan. You are on your own path, do not compare your journey to anyone else’s. We all have to travel our own path, there is no single plan that works for everyone. After you are far enough along in your journey, your body will start talking to you. Now that you are choosing the healthier option and forming new habits, you will start feeling great both mentally and physically. Listening to your body will keep you from going back to your old ways. How long will this take? A few weeks, months, a year, what if I told you, it would take five years. Would you still take the trip? Wouldn’t it be worth it? It takes as long as it takes. Now that I have educated myself on the power of food, this is a life-long journey for me. I will continue to eat healthy forever. This does not mean I can’t enjoy a night out at a restaurant, order a pizza, or go out for ice cream once in a while. I will just focus on eating delicious whole foods 90% of the time, and enjoy Grandma’s strawberry pie whenever she makes it, or just about anything my Mom makes. You have to leave room for things like that, and even plan for things like that. To be honest, I do not even have to try anymore. I enjoy everything I eat. I have been off sugar and processed food long enough I no longer crave it. I just eat what’s in the fridge and the weight keeps falling off me. It has been 10 days since my week 11 weigh in, and I am down 15 pounds. I don’t even know how that is possible, its like magic. Most days I eat twice a day, once at 12:00pm and again at 4:00pm. If I get hungry after that I will eat. I may ignore it for a bit, but if it does not go away, I eat. The goal is not to see how much you can starve yourself, it is to become happy and healthy. I am eating just over 2,000 calories a day, and I am a 6’-1” male, mid 40’s, and currently weigh 230 pounds. I am either close to or over my suggested fat macro and my net carbs are close to 30 grams a day. I am pretty dialed in at this point. I have what I call my super shake everyday it is a mix of my collagen keto latte, spirulina, turmeric, green superfood powder, cocoa creamer, and MCT oil. I also have a mix of nuts each day, an ounce of almonds, .5 oz of pistachios, .5 oz walnuts, 3 tbsp of pumpkin seeds, and 2 tbsp of flax seeds. I usually eat the almonds with a half cup of yogurt before my second meal. The rest I usually throw in my salad with 1tbsp of hemp seed oil and EVO, I also add 2tbsp of kimchi and sauerkraut. All these items were in my tips to boost fat loss article, there were some others, but I can only fit so much into my diet. The only decision I have to make daily is what source of low carb proteins I want to eat. I go low to no carb for breakfast, follow with one cup of coffee, and 2 cups of green tea. I drink lots and lots of water with a pinch of pink salt and take a multi-vitamin daily. That has been my diet for the last 2 weeks, and it seems to suit me perfectly.

Set goals and milestones along your journey. When you hit your first goal, plan to enjoy some sort of reward. Maybe set a goal to lose 10 pounds and reward yourself with your favorite meal from before. Write it down as well, I think I recall hearing you are 33% more likely to achieve a goal just by writing it down. Also write down a few steps on how you will be achieving this goal. Maybe preplan the reward or celebration for achieving the goal. It does not have to always be food related, just whatever will motivate you. It is important to believe you can achieve this goal, as our thoughts will become reality. Also visualize yourself achieving the goal and enjoying the reward. if you can see it, you can be it. Now act on it! Thought without action will vanish and become nothing. Your healthy life is ready and waiting for you, all you have to do is go get it.

If you are new to this blog, I would suggest you visit my article on 5 Commandments to a Healthier You, and my tips for weight loss articles. I may be living a keto lifestyle, but I think there is good information in my blog that can be applied to any diet.

Good luck on your journey and have a great day!

Week 12 Results

Ohhh Yeaahhh!!! Been waiting on this one. Hit the scales first thing this Monday morning. Guess who finally hit their initial goal of 50 pounds of loss. When I originally set this goal, I gave myself 5 months to do it. I knew it would be tough but felt like 10 pounds of loss a month was achievable. I weighed in this morning at 233 pounds, down 7 pounds from last Monday. In just 12 weeks I have lost 52 pounds, if I did not do it myself, I probably wouldn’t believe it was possible. I am thrilled beyond belief, I can not put into words how great I feel. Some sort of celebration will be happening for sure. It may be pizza again, but with 2 beers this time. I have more work to do, just going to go until I feel I have reached a healthy weight. Thinking my next goal is around 215 or so and will not put a time limit on it. I think results will be harder to come by as I have less to lose, and as I often say, “This is a journey not a race”. Happy, happy, happy, its going to be a great day.

Starting weight 285 pounds.

Current weight 233 pound.

Total loss of 52 pounds!!!

Good luck on your journey and have a great day!

Week 11 Results…in a lil late

I was holding off on these results, as it seems I have been 2 pounds away from my original 50-pound goal for 3 weeks. It has been frustrating to say the least. The struggle is real, but most of it appears to be in my head. I was going back through my weekly updates to verify what the results were from previous weeks. In my head I lost 35 pounds in 6 weeks, and barely lost anything since then. In reality, down 35 pounds in 6 weeks, no loss week 7, 3 pounds week 8, 4 pounds week 9, and week 10 I don’t think I actually reported but was down to 238 giving me 5 pounds of loss. Week 11, I ate pretty heavy. As you may recall, I wasn’t sleeping well and tried to 36-hour fasts with only 2 days of eating in between. I had one 24-hour period of fast during week 11, but my focus was on refueling the tank as I had depleted it. On Monday I hit the scales and was at 240 pounds, a gain of 2 pounds. I am not disappointed the scales do not know or tell the whole story. I have been feeling fantastic this week. I feel stronger, powerful, and even younger. I have noticed my regular walk pace has increased and feel lighter on my feet. I even notice that I am more patient and don’t get irritated as easily as I did before keto. Not only am I feeling better physically but mentally as well. I did recently add MCT oil, and Collagen Peptides to my daily routine, but have also lost almost 50 pounds and have been eating good stuff. I do think I notice a benefit from the new additions to my diet but did not feel like they could take all the credit. In case you missed the article I purchased my products from Thrive Market, they have an abundance of healthy options for all types of diets, grass-fed and wild-caught proteins, and quality supplements. I have a referral code that will get you 25% off your first purchase, and in turn they give me a $25 credit. I do not know if they have a limit on how many credits I can receive, but if this starts to amount to anything I will start giving some products away.

When I was thinking of what I was going to write about this week, I was going to say once I hit my 50-pound mark I would put the scales away and only do 30-day updates from now on. Now that I am aware my mind is playing tricks on me, I may stick with a once-a-week weigh in. I have been getting on the scales daily lately as I wake up daily thinking today is the day the scales say 235 or less. They seem to be stuck at 237, but we’ll see what they say on Monday. I am taking away the scales power, or at least limiting it to one day a week. I will continue on as I have more work to do. I will not be setting anymore end goals. I will just keep going until I like where I am at and feel I have reached a healthy weight. I do not care if it takes me another year to lose an additional 20-40 pounds, I really don’t know what my healthy weight will be. I know the current BMI has me at moderately obese, and at 215 it still has me as overweight. I am not concerned with what the BMI app says, just about how I feel.  As I get closer to the end, I will most likely be including some fruits and veggies on the keto naughty list. I want to consume all the healthy foods, as they all have different benefits. I think keto is more of a tool to teach your body how to use its stored energy, and to lose weight quickly. I will not return to a carb and sugar-based diet, as I now know just how bad for me that is. I will continue to limit my carbs, but not to 20-30 grams every day.

Try not to pay so much attention to those scales or that voice in your head. The scales have no brain, and the voice in your head will always be your worst critic. That’s why one of the five commandments was to treat yourself like your best friend. We would never talk to our best friend like we do ourselves.

Have a great day and good luck on your journey!

Help Me, Help You and Me

Help me, help you and me.

So far, I have been on a journey for myself, I had to start taking better care of myself. I turned to keto as a first step. Keto led me to Shawn Stevenson, who taught me that I could possibly heal everything that is wrong with me by changing my diet. This led to me trying to offer some advice in my Facebook groups and my blog. This changed me in such powerful ways. Those who told me I had inspired them or helped them get over a hump they were having trouble with, was more fulfilling than anything I had ever experienced. I am just a real guy on a journey to becoming the best version of myself I can. I am not perfect, and I do not know everything. I freely share the advice I learn from my “experts”. Those experts are more than I can name, but for starters Shawn Stevenson, Mark Sisson, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Berg, and many more. There are three podcasts I regularly watch Lewis Howes – the School of Greatness, Tom Bilyeu – Impact Theory, and Rich Roll’s podcast. Each of these podcasts have interviewed all of those “experts” and many others. This is where my information comes from, and why I feel comfortable sharing it with others. The 5 commandments I came up with were from what I learned from mental health doctors, and behaviorists on how to create good habits. There was not a list I found somewhere, I take notes while listening to these podcasts and compile the information I think is powerful and share it with you. Hope that didn’t just cost me all my followers since you no longer need me. Followers are not what’s important, the information is the only thing that matters. I do not care where you get it. I just want you to get good information.

I was recently accused of doing what I do to try to find a wife or generate work. I am single and basically broke, but I am just trying to focus on being a better me and maybe help a few others too. This is far more important than trying to make a buck or find a date, although many of those experts talk about the importance of healthy relationships. One thing at a time, it is a journey not a race. I do not blame anyone for thinking this, but hope you know it is not true. I do think it is important to question the source of your information, especially when they try to sell you a product. Look, whenever I go try to find a new recipe, I get bombarded with advertisements just trying to get to the ingredients and instructions.The only thing I do that makes money is allow WordPress to advertise on my WordPress site. The 87 ads they showed in February earned me $.02 cents. This education I am getting on nutrition and how the body can use it, has changed my life forever and I just want to share it with anyone who wants listen, sorry I do not have a magic pill or meal plan to sell you. Know that the information I share is meant to be helpful, but I would also suggest you might do a little research once in a while to confirm if what I am passing along is true. I have been reluctant to say if you do all these things, you will hit all of your goals in no time and all your prayers have been answered. It does not work like that this is a journey, it will take time. I have only been at it for 11 weeks and started my nutritional education 5 weeks ago. I had great results my first 6 or 7 weeks and have been struggling a bit ever since. I have stayed Keto, and just stopped fasting for a week as I completed 2 36-hour fasts with only 2 days of regular eating in between. I was not ready for that and did them too close together, I make mistakes and have struggles too. I reset, I ate pretty heavy all week though still keto, and I gained 2 pounds for the week. I have already proven I can lose the weight, going up a few pounds does not bother me. Now I have new techniques I will be implementing and trying out. I also encourage each of you to experiment with your macros and new foods, to figure out what works best for your body. I want to help all of you, but we are all different and different things work for different people. If there is something specific you have a question on, or something you would like to learn more about, drop a comment and I will do my best to provide you with solid information. I wish I could focus all my time and energy into doing the blog and my keto group. Right now, my blog has just over 150 followers, and my keto group might have a dozen people in it.

Thanks to all of you, I am getting so much more than I am putting into this. So, I guess you guys have made me rich. I want to do all I can for you, just tell me how I can help.

Have a great day, and good luck on your journey.