The diet is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is basically the root of all disease.
You’ll most likely feel fuller since it’s a relatively high protein diet.
Limiting food choices makes meal planning somewhat simpler.
Cons of the Paleo Diet
Eliminating whole grains and legumes means you might be missing out some good sources of fibre and nutrients.
It can be very challenging for vegetarians to follow this type of diet.
This is a very restrictive diet and most people aren’t able to stay on something so restrictive for the long term.
It can be time consuming and expensive.
Try It Out If You’re Curious
Once again, I can’t stress enough that every body is different and will react differently to different diets. If the Paleo diet sounds like something you’d like to try go for it. Just remember a healthy eating plan is one that you can stick to for the long term so make sure you understand the diet before you fully commit to it.
You’ve probably heard about ketosis and chances are you might be a bit confused. The ketogenic diet is nothing new but in the past, it was said to be really unhealthy. Unfortunately, the people saying it was unhealthy were comparing it to ketoacidosis which is something very unhealthy and can even lead to death. Ketoacidosis is something that can happen to individuals with diabetes. For someone who is putting themselves into nutritional ketosis there is no risk of getting to the point of ketoacidosis.
What Is Ketosis?
There’s a lot more to it but I’m going to keep this super simple and to the point so you actually keep reading this. If you want the scientific explanation you can find some great info here.
Basically, ketosis is a state where your body is using ketone bodies for energy rather than glycogen. Glycogen is the preferred source of energy for your body but your body can use ketone bodies when glycogen is depleted, like when you’re following a low/no carb diet.
What The Hell Are Ketone Bodies??
When you run out of stored glycogen, fat goes through a process which results in the production of fatty acids. Some of these fatty acids get turned into ketone bodies. If you’re glycogen depleted, your body can use these ketone bodies (fatty acids) for energy.
How Do You Get Into Ketosis?
There are two ways to get into ketosis. One is my manipulating your nutrition by eating very low or no carbs at all. If you’re going to do this through diet you need to consume 30g or less of carbs per day which is VERY little and VERY hard for a lot of people to sustain. The rest of your diet will be a mix of healthy proteins and healthy fats.
When you don’t provide your body with enough carbs to convert into glycogen for energy your body will convert your fat stores into energy using a process called neoglucogenisis. The more energy you need, the more fat you’ll burn so this is not a ‘sit on your butt and eat protein and fat to lose weight’ kind of thing. Ketosis is a tool to help you burn fat but is not a quick fix by any means.
The other way to get into ketosis is by using exogenous ketones, which is what I do. I won’t go into what brand I use because this article is meant to inform, not try to sell a product. If you want more info contact me at email@example.com
Pros of Ketosis
Improved fat loss.
This is the one that will get most people’s attention. Your body will be using fat as energy and if you’re working out consistently you’ll burn even more fat as your body’s energy needs increase.
Eliminating the risk of bonking.
This is big for endurance athletes and is why a lot of them follow a ketogenic type diet. Your body can only store so much glycogen. If you’re participating in an endurance event and you’re not bang on with your nutrition you run the risk of running out of glycogen and bonking. Bonking is NOT fun. Your body can store WAY more fat, than glycogen. Even lean people can store enough fat to ensure never running out of fuel.
Ketosis is not just a way to burn excess fat, it’s also very beneficial for some medical conditions. Doctors have found that ketosis helps control seizures. No one is sure exactly how or why but you can read more about it here.
Alternative cancer treatment.
Cancer cells require glucose to thrive. They actually live off of sugar. Cancer cells are not as flexible as our regular cells so they can’t switch from living off sugar to living off of ketone bodies. They essentially starve to death in a person who has become ‘fat adapted’. You can read more about it here.
Cons of Ketosis
The diet is super restrictive.
It can be very challenging for someone to stick to a ketogenic diet long term. It’s very challenging to find ketogenic friendly foods when at social gatherings or at restaurants. This is why I use exogenous ketones.
Being in ketosis long term may damage your metabolism.
Personally I don’t think it’s natural for a typically healthy person to be in ketosis long term. If you look back at our ancestors they would be in ketosis seasonally when carbs were hard to come by. Once carbs were available again they’d start consuming them and come out of ketosis. Also, some people will go a bit too extreme and cut out too much meaning that they won’t be getting all the nutrients they need. When this happens, the body will slow down it’s metabolism to conserve energy because it senses that it’s being starved.
Will You Try Ketosis?
So, there you have it. Ketosis can be a great tool to help you lose fat as long as you’re also active and healthy, and it helps with certain medical conditions. As with anything you need to try it for yourself to see how it works. And always remember that just because something works does NOT mean it will work better if you take it to the extreme. Talk to someone who can help you do it safely and use your common sense.
There are SO many different methods of manipulating your diet to get the results you want from your program but which is right for you? The answer? It depends. It depends on a lot of different factors and what works for your best friend or favourite trainer may not work for you. Let’s talk about carb cycling!
What Is Carb Cycling?
Basically, carb cycling is just varying your carb intake based on your workouts. This method is quite popular in the bodybuilding community.
Here’s a basic explanation on how to do it. On heavy training days consume 2-2.5g or carbs/pound of body weight. On moderate training days consume 0.5-1g and on rest days consume 0-0.5g of carbs/pound of body weight. Your other macronutrients (fat and protein) stay the same.
High carb days should be spaced so that you have 3 or 4 days of low carb intake in between. The reason for this is so that you’ll consume your highest amount of carbs when your body is completely depleted of glycogen stores. This will help ensure that the extra carbs get used up as energy rather than being stored as fat.
Some Pros of Carb Cycling
A great way to improve body composition because you’ll only be taking in carbs when you need them most. You need carbs for energy so consuming them on days when you’ll be working harder means they’ll be available for that energy demand. On days when you don’t need that quick energy your body will be able to fuel itself with stored fat. This means that you should be able to lose fat and at the same time maintain strength.
For most people carb cycling is a great way to get you out of a fat loss plateau.
Psychologically this way of ‘dieting’ can be easier to follow. Trying to eat low carb all the time can leave you feeling grumpy and dealing with strong cravings. But if you know you have a high carb day coming up you’ll be better able to deal with the discomfort of being carb depleted. It also helps motivate you to train hard so you can ‘earn’ your carbs.
Some Cons of Carb Cycling
It’s a bit time consuming because you HAVE to track your macros. You’ll need a good app such as My Fitness Pal to keep track of your macros and make sure you’re sticking to them. If you just wing it you’re going to get it wrong and your high carb days could end up just being a binge day.
You can develop an unhealthy relationship with food. On the low carb days you might find yourself dreaming about high carb day and then when your high carb day comes around there’s a risk that you may binge on carbs. This type of ‘dieting’ can become a bit obsessive so if you’re prone to eating disorders this is probably not a great choice.
It doesn’t take individual appetites into consideration. Some people find that on heavy training days they don’t have as much as an appetite on rest days. Trying to go super low carb on a day when you have a larger appetite is torture and usually doesn’t last long. Trying to make yourself eat more carbs on days when you don’t feel that hungry can also be unpleasant.
It can be hard on your digestive system. Varying your diet is good but, for some people, when you vary it too much it can cause gastrointestinal distress. You may find that you feel super bloated on high carb days which can make this method quite unappealing.
Your Body Your Choice
Every body is different. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another person. Personally it took a lot of time and experimentation for me to find something that works well for me and it probably will for you too. If you’re curious about carb cycling definitely try it. Keep track of your results, especially your energy and mood and see if it’s right for you. Just remember, your ‘diet’ needs to be something you can do long term so if you’re not happy with it figure out how to make it something you can live with.
You may have heard of using contrast showers to help with muscle recovery after a hard workout. Basically, you’re just alternating between warm and cold water. The warm water opens blood vessels which flushes the body with blood. The cold water drives the blood inward to warm and protect the organs from the cold.
The way this helps with muscle recovery is it reduces the amount of inflammation and lactate in the blood. The contraction and dilation caused by contrast showers also seems to help the body flush out toxins.
Benefits of Cold Showers
It is not easy to take a cold shower! See if some of the benefits listed below will convince you to try.
Great for your skin and hair.
Increases energy. If you’ve ever tried it you can’t deny that a cold shower really wakes you up!
They build character. It takes a lot of strength to be able to tolerate the discomfort of a cold shower.
Helps burn fat.
Helps Burn Fat???
Yup! Cold showers help burn fat!! Your body has two types of fat, white fat and brown fat. White fat is the fat you accumulate when you take in more calories than you burn. Brown fat on the other hand is the fat that helps keep you warm. Brown fat will actually use white fat to generate heat in your body! So by taking a cold shower you are actually making your brown fat burn white fat in an attempt to protect you from the cold. SO interesting!!!!!
How To Do A Proper Contrast Shower
It’s recommended that you do 3:1 warm-to-cold. You could start with 90 seconds of heat followed by 30 seconds of cold and repeat 3-5 times. As you start to get used to the cold you can start to increase maybe even working your way up to 3 minutes of heat followed by 1 minute of cold. It might feel like the longest minute of your life, but really all it is is a bit of discomfort which will eventually end. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable if you want to be more than just average 😉
Kombucha is packed with probiotics. Probiotics help to balance the good bacteria in your gut. When good bacteria are in check you’re able to absorb and digest nutrients better.
A great source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are a by-product of cellular metabolism that actually damage your cells. Kombucha, especially when made from green tea, seems to have powerful antioxidant effects on the liver. Unfortunately there are no human studies done on this but rat studies show promising results.
Boosts your immune system.
Kombucha is a natural antibiotic due to the fermentation process. One of the by-products of the fermentation process is acetic acid. Acetic acid creates a kind of sterile environment which inhibits the growth of unhealthy bacteria. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, Kombucha also contains probiotics. This means it kills the bad bacteria while building up the good bacteria in your gut!
Kombucha is loaded with C and B vitamins.
Vitamin C helps increase the strength of your immune system, reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease and plays an important part in eye health. Vitamin B helps curb sugar cravings, eases stress levels and helps with memory.
Helps protect your joints.
Kombucha contains natural occurring glucosamine! Glucosamine is involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage and synovial fluid which is the fluid that surrounds the joint.
So there you have it! If you haven’t tried Kombucha I highly recommend that you do!