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Healthy Man Switched To 80% ULTRA-Processed Food Diet For 30 Days, Here Is What Happened To His Body

Most of the ready-made food we eat today is ultra-processed. As tasty as they may be, they can be even dangerous from a health perspective. There have been concerns that such ultra-processed food makes us crave more and eventually leads to obesity. Dr. Chris Van Tulleken, a television presenter and researcher, wanted to prove these concerns – using his own body as the test subject.

Dr. Chris filled 80% of his daily diet with ultra-processed food for 4 weeks. This means 4/5th of the foods being eaten are packaged and ready-made items like burgers, candy, chocolates, chips, and so on. If it sounds similar to your present diet, then Dr. Chris’ experience may be an eye-opener for you. The whole experience is available to watch as a mini-documentary.

The Effects Of The 80% Ultra-Processed Food Diet

The immediate effects, Dr. Chris reports, were poor sleep, low libido, anxiety, sluggishness, unhappy feelings, and heartburn. He also developed piles due to constipation. He said that he “felt ten years older”.

In that 4 weeks, Dr. Chris’ weight had increased by nearly 7kg and had made him overweight. He estimates that, at that rate, in 6 months he would have gained 38kg. The weight was not the only visibly drastic change. Take a look at the video yourself:

Scans of Chris’ brain activity showed that the areas that control reward had become connected to the areas controlling automatic, repetitive behavior. This meant that his brain told him to eat ultra-processed food even if there was no need for it. The response was similar to when substances such as drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are used addictively. The changes were not permanent, but Dr. Chris sounded an alarming warning: If a 42-year-old’s brain was changed that much in just 4 weeks, imagine how children’s developing brains are affected.

We are yet to figure out the reason behind this effect of ultra-processed foods. Chris conjectures that it is primarily because of their constituting nutrients and the way they are processed.

Once You Start Eating, It Becomes Tough To Stop

In the documentary, Chris speaks with Dr. Kevin Hall, a National Institutes of Health senior investigator. He reveals that a study was made comparing two diets that had the same nutritional quantities but one was made up of about 80% ultra-processed foods.

The study revealed that those who were given the ultra-processed diet ate about 500 calories more every day. In about 2 weeks, they gained about 1kg of weight. Blood tests showed an increase of the hormone that controlled hunger and a decrease of the one controlling how full we feel. The study suggests that this is how these foodstuffs encourage overconsumption.

Chris’ experience was in line with the findings of this study. He talks about finding himself “craving food much more often”. Some studies have shown that foods that have high fat and carbohydrate content can activate the areas in the brain that control motivation, emotion, and reward. A study based on brain imaging suggested that the more reward you experience from eating such foods, the more you will have to eat to maintain that enjoyment.

However, Chris adds that he does not think that food companies intentionally want to make people obese. Unfortunately, the side-effect of extremely delicious ultra-processed food is that they are addictive.

Moreover, it is very difficult for most people to remove ultra-processed foods from one’s diet. Chris says that their convenience, availability, and marketing all add to them being present in some form in our daily diet. The key here is moderation. Rio Huntriss, a dietitian, says that occasionally enjoying such foods is not likely to have such a health impact. Just don’t make it everything you eat every day.

For full references please use the source link below.

Video can be accessed at the source link below.

By Mayukh Saha | Natural Blaze

Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: mayukh.presi@gmail.com

Read More stories by Mayukh Saha




What You Should Know About Calorie Deficit

Calories are units of energy, and we measure our food by how many energy units it provides for us. Our calorie needs depend on so many factors. The most important are: our weight, height, age, and level of activity we practice during the day. You must have heard someone complaining about not losing weight at least once, even if they eat only healthy food. Lots of healthy food is high in calories. That food is good for our health, but it won’t help us lose weight if we eat it too much. If you plan to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit.

What is a calorie deficit?

The simplest explanation is that a calorie deficit is the state you achieve by burning more calories than you consume. If you reach a calorie deficit and put your body in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight, but you will gain weight if you consume more than you burn. You are likely asking yourself how many calories to eat to achieve a calorie deficit? You can google “calorie calculator,” this calculator, with the help of information about you, will estimate your BMI.  Based on your BMI, it will count how many calories you should take daily to maintain a certain weight, how many to lose, and how many to gain weight.

How to achieve a calorie deficit?

There are few things you can try to achieve a calorie deficit:

1. Change your diet

To be in a calorie deficit, you don’t have to starve yourself. It doesn’t even have to mean that you have to eat less.

Here are few diet tips that can help you put your body in calorie deficit:

  • Eat enough protein

Protein can help you feel full, and if you feel full and satisfied, you will more likely stick to a diet plan.

  • Eat low-calorie or almost no-calorie food.

Food like cucumbers, lemon, green salad, broccoli are deficient in calories, but if you eat it with every meal, it will fill up your stomach, and you will be full till your next meal.

  • Don’t drink your calories.

Drinks with a lot of sugar have a lot of calories, but these drinks are not nutritious. Sweetened beverages won’t satisfy your hunger, and they won’t provide necessary nutrients for your body. Sweetened beverages also have a negative impact on your dental health, says Smile Solutions.

  • Make healthy swaps

Try finding a way to make a healthier version of your favorite food. It will be less likely to give up your diet plan by not entirely giving up your favorite food.

  • Don’t keep unhealthy food in your house.

You can’t eat something you don’t have. Also, don’t go shopping hungry, make a list of groceries you need, and don’t look around the supermarket a lot.

2. Work out

Choose your favorite type of physical activity and practice it more. Go to the gym, or walk instead of using public transport or car, you can also ride a bike. Remember, this won’t work if you overeat, so combining exercise and a healthy diet would be best. If you don’t see any workout results, perhaps you can try adding chromium for weight loss to your diet. Chromium can enlarge lean body mass and decrease the percentage of body fat, which leads to weight loss.

3. Count your calories

You can easily find information about calories in food. Research the food you are often eating, find out about how many calories that food contains. Don’t forget to weigh and measure your portion. That way, you can be entirely sure that you are staying in a calorie deficit.

Final thoughts

Contact a weight loss clinic if you have any concerns or questions about weight loss. The team of experienced professionals will inform you about everything you need to know about calorie deficit and weight loss in general. Also, there you will get adequate attention and help to reach your goal weight safely and healthily.




Tips for Making and Keeping Your Weight Loss Goals

Excess weight has been associated with a number of diseases over the years. They include hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, among others. Cutting that excess weight can be a difference-maker health-wise. This can be a struggle as you have to make a number of significant changes. And when you don’t have the right plan for your weight loss goals, it becomes even more challenging. Here are a few tips you should use to not only make but also keep your goals.

Be Prepared

When embarking on this journey, you need to be ready to go the distance. Weight loss won’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process that has to be treated with the sensitivity it requires.

You also need to take a readiness test of your own to ascertain your readiness by answering a few questions like:

  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. Do I have the support I need if I really need it?
  3. Where will the motivation come from?
  4. And am I motivated enough to get started?
  5. Do I have the time to embark on this journey?

If you have these answers, then you can start small.

Start Small

This isn’t a sprint, and you’re likely to wait a while before you get to the weight you desire. Start small and don’t burn up too much energy and drain all motivation in your first few days. When you start at high speed, you’re likely to burn out early with little change. This can make you lose hope in the process. First, get a weight loss DNA test from myDNA, then set out to lose at least 1 kilogram per week. With this, you can put emphasis on burning at least half of the calories you consume.

Keep a Food and Weight Diary

Discipline comes with the territory where you want to shed that extra weight you’re carrying. You need to self-monitor what you eat and also the gains you make on this journey. That’s why you need a diary. The diary can be a physical one, a website or as many would have it today, a mobile app. You’re much more likely to keep up if you record your progress than trying to see weight loss in the mirror.

Find Motivation

Motivation is key if you’re ever going to get to your weight loss goals. And it should be something that comes from deep within you. List down why you’re embarking on this journey somewhere visible to you daily. It may be you want to fit in that swimsuit on your annual vacation. You can also do it for health reasons. Whatever it is, let it come from within as it will keep you in it long-term.

Eat Healthily

Being mindful of what you eat should now come naturally to you. Seek to reduce your calorie intake over time. Eat more foods that are plant-based such as fruits and vegetables. You should also reduce your sugar intake as much as possible. And look to eat more whole grains than refined ones.

Conclusion

Making and keeping your weight loss goals can be a struggle if you don’t know how. With these tips, you know exactly where to start from and how you can keep working towards your goal during your entire journey.




Simple Remedies to Optimize Your Energy and Combat Fatigue

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • One of the most effective ways to optimize your energy and combat fatigue is to implement time-restricted eating (TRE), as it improves your mitochondrial health and metabolic flexibility
  • TRE is a form of intermittent fasting in which you restrict all of your food intakes to a certain number of consecutive hours each day. Keeping your eating to a window of six to eight hours a day is an achievable goal for most people
  • Your food intake, which impacts the circadian rhythm of your gut microbiome, and other circadian rhythms are intricately connected, and the more you can realign these circadian rhythms, the better your whole body will function, including your mitochondria
  • You also need to remove dietary and lifestyle factors that cause energy depletion in the first place. Electromagnetic field exposure is one environmental factor. Leaky gut, caused by lectins in your diet, is another factor that needs to be addressed
  • When food particles are able to cross your gut lining, they cause chronic inflammation that requires a lot of energy to combat, thus causing fatigue and general malaise

Dr. Steven Gundry, a cardiologist, heart surgeon, medical researcher, and author, is perhaps best known for his “Plant Paradox” book, which was a massive bestseller. He has now published another book called “The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone.”

As the name implies, this book delves into the origins of fatigue and how to improve your energy at the molecular level. While he had not planned on writing a book about energy optimization, upward of 60% of his patients suffer from fatigue and a feeling of general malaise, so, clearly, this is something that affects an enormous number of people.

Time-Restricted Eating

The good news is there’s a lot you can do to improve your energy levels. One such strategy, which I embraced years ago, is time-restricted eating (TRE), a form of intermittent fasting in which you restrict all of your food intakes to a certain number of consecutive hours each day.

As an added boon, this strategy doesn’t cost you a penny. If anything, it’ll save you money. Gundry was ahead of the curve on this one, having written about TRE in his first book, “Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution,” published in 2006.

“I had an entire chapter in that book devoted to time-restricted eating, and my editor at Random House at the time, Heather Jackson, said, ‘This is so crazy that I’m not going to let you do this.’

She said this. True story. And I said, ‘Look, I’m telling you, I’ve been doing this now for four years and I’ve been using it on my patients and it’s not crazy. Here’s the research.’ And she said, ‘OK. I’m going to give you two pages to make your case. I’m throwing the rest of the chapter away.’

So, I got two pages. I saw her at the mindbodygreen symposium last summer, before the COVID-19 outbreak. She came up to me and said, ‘You were right. I apologize. You weren’t crazy, you weren’t nuts. Everybody now knows.’”

Indeed, in recent years, TRE has gained a lot of recognition as mounting evidence shows the simple act of restricting the number of hours during which you consume food during the day will improve your health in a variety of ways, primarily by improving your mitochondrial health and metabolic flexibility.

As noted by Gundry, keeping your eating to a window of six to eight hours a day is an achievable goal for most people. However, most need to gradually ease into it.

“Metabolic flexibility is probably the underlying problem in the vast majority of diseases that we see and I wrote the book to try and make it easy,” Gundry says. “What I see in my practice is that a lot of people go, ‘OK. I usually eat breakfast at 7 and starting tomorrow I’m going to start eating breakfast — break-fast — at noon.’ And they fall flat on their faces.

They get headaches, they get hungry, they don’t think right. They have no energy and they decide ‘This isn’t for me.’ That’s because they have a high insulin level, they’re insulin resistant and can’t use stored fat as an energy source …

So, in the book, what I do is, over a six-week period, I get them used to eating during a shorter and shorter time window. It’s very much like learning a new exercise program. I couldn’t run a marathon out the bat, but I can train and get there. So that’s what we do.”

Part of the process involves retraining your circadian rhythm. Your food intake, which impacts the circadian rhythm of your gut microbiome, and other circadian rhythms are intricately connected, and the more you can realign these circadian rhythms, the better your whole body will function, including your mitochondria.

Crucial Notes on Meal Timing

At the most extreme end of TRE is the one meal a day (OMAD) routine, which can work well if you’re young and healthy. However, once you get into middle age and older, I believe it can start to backfire. I’m also not convinced that it’s healthy to remain on an OMAD diet in perpetuity, for the simple reason that your body will typically work best when you challenge it now and then.

During winter months, about six months out of the year, Gundry promotes using a two-hour, or even as short as a single-hour eating window during weekdays, and then eating during a much longer window during weekends. He’s been doing this for the past 21 years.

For me, cycling — mixing longer and shorter fasting intervals — has been a key to long-term success, and taking the weekends off from this strict regimen may be part of why this strict regimen has worked so well for so long for Gundry.

“I think you’ve got to break it up. I don’t do it all year round, and I break it up on the weekends, and the reason I do that is so I won’t go mad,” Gundry says. Another important detail with regard to timing is to avoid eating at least three hours before bed. Even if you restrict your eating to six hours or less, if you eat too close to bedtime, you’re canceling out many of the benefits. As explained by Gundry:

“It’s really important to stop eating at least three hours before bedtime for a couple of really important reasons. No. 1, you’ve got to undergo mitochondrial repair during the night.

You have to undergo brain cleaning during the night from the glymphatic circulation. Digestion takes huge amounts of blood flow, and if you’re eating, all that blood flow is heading down to your gut when it should actually be going up to your brain.”

TRE Makes Most Diets Better

Gundry quotes data from Satchin Panda, which shows that rats raised on a standard American diet equivalent that also are put on a TRE regimen fare much better than those who are not on TRE. This despite the fact that they’re eating the same thing. The same has been shown to hold true in humans.

Remarkably, Panda has shown the average American eats for 16 hours a day. Essentially, they’re grazing all day long, stopping only while sleeping. About 90% eat for more than 12 hours.

Simply reducing your eating window to 12 hours would be an improvement. As noted by Gundry, “Big Food, Big Agriculture has convinced us that this is the proper way to eat.” In reality, the only thing these big businesses and their recommendations are good for is a disease.

The Case for EMF Avoidance

Gundry and I are also in agreement about the dangers of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). I’ve previously written about how magnesium can help mitigate some of the damaging effects from EMF, and Gundry has a patient who appears to have had success using this strategy. Melatonin, which is a very potent mitochondrial antioxidant, is another potential mitigator.

“Melatonin is a very interesting way of mitigating against the bad effects of EMF,” Gundry says. “Now, as I talk about in the book, I used to think that people who said that they were sensitive to these invisible rays [EMFs] were out on the lunatic fringe.

But the longer I’ve been doing this, I’ve had some fantastic experiences with very credible people, who when we mitigated EMF got well. One patient was profoundly affected by her husband’s AICD, a defibrillator, which was communicating his EKG with a satellite.

As soon as it went into him, she couldn’t sleep next to him. She had migraine headaches. We finally turned off the transmitter in his AICD, and just like that, all of [her symptoms] went away. So, these people are canaries in a coal mine and we have to believe it.”

Leaky Gut Underlies Most Chronic Disease

While antioxidants like melatonin can certainly help improve mitochondrial function, I think there are better ways than simply piling on antioxidants. You also need to remove dietary and lifestyle factors that cause energy depletion in the first place. EMF exposure is one environmental factor. Leaky gut, caused by lectins in your diet, is another factor that needs to be addressed.

According to Gundry, a leaky gut is an underlying condition of most chronic diseases, so, if you have a chronic ailment, chances are you have a leaky gut. Thanks to Dr. Alessio Fasano, who heads up the Celiac Research Center at Harvard, we now have sophisticated tests that can diagnose this problem.

Fasano discovered the mechanism by which lectins cause leaky gut, and gluten is a lectin. When these and other food particles are able to cross your gut lining, they cause chronic inflammation, which requires a lot of energy to combat. This is one reason for your fatigue and general malaise. Gundry explains:

“If your immune system is distracted down to your leaky gut, first of all, it’s not going to be available when [pathogens] come in through your nose or mouth. And secondly, your immune system is so hyperactivated that when it sees something that might not be all that important, it goes crazy and you get a cytokine storm. That, of course, is one of the major lethal consequences [of] the Western diet.”

Linoleic Acid Can Decimate Mitochondrial Health

Another dietary factor that decimates mitochondrial health, and thus energy production, is omega-6 linoleic acid (LA). “In the book, I talk about the Goldilocks effect,” Gundry says. However, LA is naturally found in virtually all foods, so it’s near-impossible to become deficient. The problem really is an excessive intake, which is near-universal in Western countries due to processed food.

The primary culprit here is industrial vegetable oils, which most people eat far too much of. If you’re eating a whole food diet, you’re more likely to have a healthy ratio of LA, but even then, it may be causing trouble if you’re eating too many LA-rich foods, such as conventional chicken, for example.

You can learn more about the mechanisms of action behind LA’s damage in “Why Chicken Is Killing You and Saturated Fat Is Your Friend” and “The Type of Fat You Eat Affects Your COVID Risk.” Olive oil is another food that is high in LA, but it also has other components that may modify some of the risks. Still, I choose to limit my olive oil intake. Overall, I try to keep my LA intake below 5 grams a day, regardless of the sources. Gundry has a more favorable view of olive oil, stating:

“If you limit your eating window, you actually stop that process from happening, which is really miraculous, No. 1. And No. 2, shameless plug for myself, with my Gundry MD high-polyphenol olive oil, you only need a tablespoon a day to get the equivalent polyphenols of a liter of olive oil a week.”

Surprising Benefits of Cheese

When it comes to fats, Gundry is a proponent of short and medium-chain fatty acids. “For multiple reasons, I’ve been extolling the virtues of MCT oil since the ‘Plant Paradox,’” he says, adding:

“I think the saturated fats have other benefits. In particular, the saturated fats in cheeses may be one of the unsung heroes in longevity that I think needs more attention … I take care of a huge number of people who carry the APOE4 mutation, which is the Alzheimer’s mutation. I noticed early on that cheese really elevated not only small dense LDLs, but also elevated for most of my patients’ oxidized LDL …

I don’t like the traditional cholesterol theory of heart disease. On the other hand, I think oxidized LDL has an interesting place. What’s interesting is that when I’ve separated my patients into having them eat sheep cheese and goat cheese, I found dramatically different results.

I initially attributed it to the fact that sheep and goat have casein A2 and not casein A1. And I think casein A1 is a pretty bad actor. So, I said, well, I’m going to start letting my APOE4 [patients] have sheep and goat cheese, but in moderation. When I did that, I didn’t see this oxidized LDL.”

One potential mechanism for this might be because casein is a protein that can cause autoimmune reactions and contribute to leaky gut, which in turn contributes to increased LDL oxidation.

While most of Gundry’s autoimmune disease patients respond extremely well to Gundry’s plant paradox program, about 10% still do not farewell. Food sensitivity analysis has revealed a large number of them are sensitive to both casein A1 and casein A2.

Once their leaky gut is repaired, however, which may take up to a year, their immune systems typically become tolerant to these things again. “So, I think you can retrain the immune system once you get a good microbiome and seal the leaky gut.”

What About Meat?

While some autoimmune patients have reversed their conditions using a carnivore diet, popularized by Dr. Paul Saladino, who is a leading authority on the science and application of the carnivore diet, Gundry recommends limiting meat because of its effects on your gut microbiome. Interestingly, Gundry will be interviewing Saladino very shortly and that interview will be on his site. It should be a fascinating discussion.

“I have nothing against the carnivore diet as an elimination diet,” he says. “In fact, when Saladino was first on my podcast, he credited me as being the father of the carnivore diet because all plants are evil. And I went, ‘Please don’t do that to me.’

I think one of the mistakes that people make in, particularly, a keto diet where they’ve eliminated fiber, you actually starve your gut microbiome from making butyrate. The other, I think worrisome, part about a carnivore diet is you tend to make more hydrogen sulfide. I’m a huge fan of hydrogen sulfide, the rotten egg smell … but again, we get the Goldilocks rule …

Some is really good for you, it’s really good for mitochondrial function, but a lot is really toxic. And there’s some evidence with carnivore diets that you produce too much hydrogen sulfide. Now, I also understand the argument that if we eat a lot of gristle and a lot of mucin, basically nose to tail, that you can make butyrate by fermenting protein-based animal ingredients. I think you can.

But if you look at all the super long-lived folks, one of the things they have is really great production of butyrate. Butyrate, that short chain fatty acid, does so much good for mitochondria, I can’t even begin to tell you. Well, I do in the book.”

I agree that a strict no-carb diet is a mistake. Healthy carbs — think plant foods rich in fiber — need to be cycled in, there’s no question. Not every day, but certainly once or twice a week, even when you’re on a ketogenic diet. I recommend restricting carbs to about 50 grams or so for most of the week and then increasing that to 100 or 150 grams once or twice a week once you’re metabolically flexible.

Protein, mTOR Activation, and Exercise

Meat, of course, is also a source of protein, and while too much protein can be harmful by activating mTOR (thereby contributing to cancer and other problems), too little can be an unmitigated disaster, as I found out.

For a time, I aggressively restricted protein in an effort to minimize mTOR and ended up developing sarcopenia (muscle loss). The lesson here is that you need protein, especially if you’re working out, and especially as you get older. With regard to mTOR activation, Gundry notes:

“The only way we can actually measure the effect of mTOR long term is insulin like growth factor IGF-1. I take care of a lot of super old people, 95 and above. I have a lot of 105-year-old patients that I study, and they all have very low insulin-like growth factors.

We’ve tried experiments with patients, really reducing their animal protein and replacing it with plant-based protein. I’m not taking protein away. Their insulin growth factors will drop 50 to 70 points in a matter of months, and I think that’s pretty interesting.

The other thing that’s interesting is that exercise will actually change your gut microbiome to eat branch chain amino acids before they get into you, and branch chain amino acids are one of the biggest stimulators of mTOR.

That’s why, if you’re building muscle and you’re a body builder, you gulp branch chain amino acids all the time. So, I think, probably Saladino — who exercises and also does TRE and has pretty good IGF-1s — can tolerate a very high animal protein diet.

The other thing that I’ve written about in all my books is that beef, lamb and pork have a sugar molecule called Neu5Gc, and fish and chicken have Neu5Ac. Many people make an autoantibody to Neu5Gc, so they attack their own blood vessels if exposed to beef, lamb and pork.”

Lastly, Gundry points out the importance of exercise. When you work your muscles, especially the big muscle groups, myokines are produced, which help grow new brain cells and aid your mitochondria. However, contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to exercise continuously for 30 to 60 minutes each day, Gundry says. It’s OK to break it into smaller segments.

“Even walking up and down stairs for a minute may be as effective as walking 10 minutes on a level surface,” he says. “Doing a plank while you’re watching TV for a minute is a phenomenal exercise. My favorite is when you’re brushing your teeth, do deep knee bends, do squats.”

More Information

This interview coincides with the release of “The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone,” so to learn more, be sure to pick up a copy. You can also learn more about Gundry by perusing his websites, GundryMD.com and DrGundry.com.

He has a weekly podcast that you can tune into as well for a wide range of health information from Gundry and his guests. You can also find him on FacebookYouTube, and Twitter.




Simple Hacks That Make Fasting Easy

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Key dietary principles for losing excess weight and keeping it off include getting at least half or more of your daily calories from healthy fats, eating the right type and amount of protein, avoiding inflammatory foods including inflammatory vegetables, and having periods of time when you fast (abstain from food)
  • A primary benefit of fasting is that it makes your body better at making energy. This in turn has several benefits, one of which is improved blood sugar regulation, which will allow you to stave off insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and all the diseases of aging associated with that
  • Fasting is also antiaging because it improves autophagy in your mitochondria and cells
  • A simple hack that will make fasting easier is to raise your ketone level with black mycotoxin-free coffee, with or without added MCT oil and grass-fed butter
  • Another fasting hack is to make sure you’re getting enough prebiotic fiber. Adding prebiotics to your morning coffee is compatible with fasting and will prevent hunger

Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts

This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.

Over the years, I’ve done several interviews with Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of bulletproof.com, including one in which we discuss how ketones may be useful against COVID-19. Here, we discuss his latest book, “Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be.”

As the name implies, the book is about fasting and all the magnificent health benefits it provides. Is it for everyone? No, and he will be the first to admit that. But it can benefit most of us, certainly, those of us who are either overweight or obese. In his book, Asprey tells his own journey into fasting and what he’s learned along the way.

“The word fasting is associated with pain, and I wanted to teach people some hacks for fasting,” Asprey says. “I also put a whole chapter in for women, because fasting doesn’t work for everyone and there is no one best kind of fasting. The evidence seems pretty clear that fasting the same way every day or every week is probably also not the best strategy.

So, how do you make it so you can fast without pain when you have stuff to do? And how do you make it so you fast with all of the emotions of fasting when you want to really dig deep and do the meditation, personal development side of fasting? Sorting through all that hasn’t been done in a book, so that’s why I wrote it.”

Breaking the Starvation Myth

As noted by Asprey, a common concern is that fasting will put your body into starvation mode, thereby actually preventing fat loss. This is a persistent belief, but it’s not true. That said, some strategies will indeed activate the starvation mode, such as when you’re eating a low-calorie diet for months on end. Asprey tells a personal story that encapsulates this dilemma:

“On my journey of losing 100 pounds, I was doing what everyone said would work. I went to the gym an hour and a half a day, six days a week, halfway tough cardio until I could max out all but two machines, and I would do 45 minutes on the treadmill at a 15-degree angle wearing a backpack — really just pushing it.

And, I went on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. At the end of 18 months, I’m sitting at a Carl’s Jr. with friends. I’m eating the chicken salad with no chicken and no dressing and my friends are eating double western bacon cheeseburgers. I looked around and I’m like, ‘I exercise more than all my friends and I eat less than all my friends, even though I’m taller than they are. Maybe I’m just eating too much lettuce.’

To have a 46-inch waist after that much exercise, low-calorie dieting and all the suffering and intense hunger … My god, the sense of personal failure that comes with that, it’s one thing that holds people back and makes us stay heavy.

What’s going on there is there is a hunger set point that is caused by ghrelin, one of the hunger hormones. It’s a precursor to leptin. Research has shown that when you lose weight using a low-calorie diet or excessive exercise — and I was doing both — your hunger set point will remain your fat set point, and it will always do that.

The thing that turns your set point for hunger to your actual weight instead of to your fat weight is ketones. So, if you were to fast for a couple days or use the fasting hacks that I talk about in the book — there are three fasting hacks to turn off hunger, and two of them are going to help get your ketones up — even just one dose will reset your hunger levels.”

As explained by Asprey, yo-yo weight loss and weight gain occur because you’re on the wrong diet. Key dietary principles for losing the excess weight and keeping it off include:

  • Getting at least half or more of your daily calories from healthy fats
  • Eating the right type and amount of protein
  • Avoiding inflammatory foods, including inflammatory vegetables (culprits include lectins and oxalic acid, for example)
  • Having periods of time when you fast (abstain from food)

Key Benefits of Fasting

So, what are the main benefits of fasting? Is it just the ease of weight loss? As explained by Asprey, there are many other health benefits to fasting besides the fact that stubborn weight will fall off. Importantly, the primary benefit of fasting is that it makes your body better at making energy.

This in turn has several benefits, one of which is improved blood sugar regulation, which will allow you to stave off insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction and all the diseases of aging associated with that. As noted by Asprey, if you can avoid cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, you’re probably going to live longer, as these are the primary killers.

Fasting is also antiaging because it improves autophagy in your mitochondria and cells. Autophagy is a natural process that cleanses and detoxifies your mitochondria and cells. By breaking down old, damaged organelles, fresh, new ones can be made to replace them. And, with healthy, new mitochondria, your body can make more energy, more efficiently.

“That’s an unappreciated side of fasting,” Asprey says. “High-intensity interval training will do something similar, but when you combine that with fasting, your body is like, ‘Get rid of that old stuff.’ It’s kind of like a snake shedding its skin. It’s that autophagy process that is a really big deal.”

The Most Important Fat to Avoid

As mentioned, about half or more of your daily calories should come from fats, but it’s crucial to avoid certain types of fats. I’m currently writing a book on what I believe might be the primary disease-maker in the Western diet, namely omega-6 linoleic acid (LA).

LA makes up the bulk — about 90% — of the omega-6 consumed and is the primary contributor to nearly all chronic diseases. While an essential fat, when consumed in excessive amounts, LA acts as a metabolic poison.

The reason for this is because polyunsaturated fats such as LA are highly susceptible to oxidation. As the fat oxidizes, it breaks down into harmful sub-components such as advanced lipid oxidation end products (ALES) and oxidized LA metabolites (OXLAMS). These ALES and OXLAMS are actually what cause the damage.

One type of advanced lipid oxidation end product (ALE) is 4HNE, a mutagen known to cause DNA damage. Studies have shown there’s a definite correlation between elevated levels of 4HNE and heart failure. LA breaks down into 4HNE even faster when the oil is heated, which is why cardiologists recommend avoiding fried foods. LA intake and the subsequent ALES and OXLAMS produced also play a significant role in cancer.

HNE and other ALES are extraordinarily harmful even in exceedingly small quantities. While excess sugar is certainly bad for your health and should typically be limited to 25 grams per day or less, it doesn’t cause a fraction of the oxidative damage that LA does.

Processed vegetable oils are a primary source of LA, but even food sources hailed for their health benefits contain it and can be a problem if consumed in excess. Cases in point: olive oil and conventionally raised chicken, which are fed LA-rich grains. To learn more about this hidden source of LA, see “Why Chicken Is Killing You and Saturated Fat Is Your Friend.”

Many now understand that your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is very important, and should be about 1-to-1 or possibly up to 4-to-1, but simply increasing your omega-3 intake won’t counteract the damage done by excessive LA. You really need to minimize the omega-6 to prevent damage from taking place. For more details about how to track your LA intake and minimize it, please view my recent article on how to do this.

Simple Hacks That Make Fasting Easier

Contrary to popular belief, fasting doesn’t have to be difficult or painful. Asprey details three fasting hacks in “Fast This Way.” The first one is to increase your ketone level. As explained by Asprey, hunger hormones start shifting when your ketone level hits slightly below 0.5, which is not yet the level at which you enter nutritional ketosis. He explains:

“Ghrelin will drop at 0.38, so almost no ketones. The hunger that comes with the ghrelin turns off. But there’s also a satiety hormone, the one that makes you feel full, which is called CCK or cholecystokinin. CCK, when you hit levels of 0.48, CCK makes you feel full. So, if you can get your ketones up to that level in the morning, then you will not pay attention to food.

The first step to get your levels up is mycotoxin-free black coffee — the Bulletproof beans are that. I did the original research about this. Anything that causes inflammation is going to make you hungry because inflammation just means the electrons that should be powering your thoughts are going to create inflammation in the body. They must go somewhere.

These toxins are present in very small amounts. Coffee that has more than five parts per million is illegal to sell in China, Japan and Europe, but it gets sent to the U.S., and we wonder why we get really hungry two hours after we have coffee and why we want sugar in our coffee.

It has to do with toxins, not coffee itself. A study at UC San Diego is really interesting. They found that the amount of caffeine present in two small cups of black coffee will double ketone production.

The second way is to make the coffee ‘bulletproof.’ And what that means is, you take your mycotoxin-free beans and you add some MCT oil. The 8-carbon chain (C8) MCT is the correct one. C8 MCT raises ketones four times more than coconut oil. [Then] you [add] butter and blend it or really shake it.”

Asprey funded research at the University of Washington with Dr. Gerald Pollack, who determined that when water is mixed with grass-fed butter or MCT oil, it creates a very large exclusion zone (EZ) in the water, and this EZ is important during fasting.

When you drink regular water, your body takes the water and puts it near your cell membranes, which are made of tiny droplets of fat. Body heat warms the water, converting it from bulk water into EZ water, which your body requires for ATP production and other biological processes, including autophagy and protein folding.

“When you put that tiny bit of butter and the MCT oil and you blend it in the morning, the MCT is going to raise your ketone levels very meaningfully. I can always get to 0.5 with just a Bulletproof coffee. But you’re also getting this water in the form of the coffee that is already primed for your body to use it to start burning fat, to start making energy,” Asprey explains.

“This is why taking a bite of butter and drinking a cup of coffee isn’t going to do it for you. It’s a different process. And I have noticed profound differences from doing that … I have found that for women, in particular, starting out with this really helps, especially if you’re over 40.”

The Importance of Prebiotic Fiber

A third fasting hack is to make sure you’re getting enough prebiotic fiber. According to Asprey, long term fasting and/or eating a carnivore-like, zero-carb diet for extended periods of time without cycling healthy carbs back in can alter your gut microbiota, which in turn can cause sleep disruptions.

When you feed your gut bacteria with prebiotics, they convert the prebiotics into propionic acid and butyric acid (butyrate), and butyrate is very pro-ketogenic.

“In fact, you can get into a state of ketosis by taking a handful of butyrate capsules,” Asprey says. “You want more butyric acid if you want to live a long time and have a healthy metabolism, and studies show massive hunger suppression when you do this.

So, if you put prebiotic fiber, which has essentially no flavor, in your coffee in the morning … you’ll also find that you care nothing about food. I was able to quadruple the number of species of [beneficial bacteria] in my gut using this. It’s totally compatible with fasting and it turns off hunger like no one’s business.

So now you’re saying, ‘Wait, a minute. I could have the coffee I was going to have anyway. I don’t put the sugar and artificial crap in it. I get the mold-free coffee and then I have a choice of drinking a black, of adding butter and MCT, and/or adding prebiotic fiber.’

What you do then is you drink this and you just stop caring about food, you go into the zone and you have the best morning you’ve ever had. Then the next morning, maybe you only have black coffee or maybe you have tea or maybe you have nothing at all, but it’s OK and it’s even preferable to mix up your length and style of fasting.”

Cyclical Keto and Fasting Are the Safest Approaches

In the interview, Asprey discusses several of the diet traps that people get themselves into. As general guidance, Asprey and I both agree that the best strategy to stay out of trouble is to cycle in and out of whatever routine you’re doing, be it low-carb keto or fasting.

While you may need to be very strict in the beginning, once you’re metabolically flexible, mix things up once or twice a week. Eat three meals instead of one and/or spread them out. Add in more carbs.

“The idea is to be flexible about your fasting regimen,” Asprey says. “I don’t even like the word regimen. It’s just a practice that we do and it’s a practice that makes us feel good, it makes us perform better. And it makes us age less, but doing it too much is a real danger.

If you’re going to do something like a four-day fast, after about 48 hours, there’s all sorts of additional forms of autophagy that turn on. Once every three or six months, doing a 48-hour fast is really well-advised. But man, as a weekly practice, that’ll mess you up …

Women will hit the wall before men do. I think there are evolutionary reasons for this. But it’s a big problem and I oftentimes see thyroid problems manifest and autoimmunity. There are good studies that show chronic stressors trigger autoimmunity, and over-fasting is a chronic stressor almost by definition.”

How Activated Charcoal Can Help

One reason why fasting is a stressor is that it releases toxins from your fat cells. A simple intervention to address this is the use of activated charcoal when you’re fasting. This is particularly beneficial if you’re also doing saunas.

“The universal thing that will happen is you will experience massive brain fog. You’ll feel like a zombie. This was a big thing for me because I had toxic mold exposure [and] I had heavy metals. You have these very interesting things in your gut, these gut bacteria that make lipopolysaccharides (LPS).

LPS’s can cross the gut barrier and then they cause inflammation in the body and trigger cravings in the brain. So, when the bad bacteria in your gut are going, ‘I didn’t get my sugar. I didn’t get any food. Oh, my god, it’s a mortal threat. If there’s a threat, I should release toxins.’

So, they ramp up their LPS production and then you’ll feel like garbage. Then you have to use even more willpower to get through your fast — or you could take activated charcoal that binds directly to LPS. Then you don’t feel the hunger and you don’t have to take the biological hit of all the toxins you’re releasing from your fat, and that really makes a big difference.”

Tripling Down on mTOR

In his book, Asprey also discusses how to integrate exercise into your fasting regimen. The best time to exercise is at the end of your fast. He explains:

“There’s something in the body called mTOR, which drives growth. mTOR will drive muscle [growth]. So, if you want to get a bicep, then you need some mTOR. But if your mTOR is chronically elevated, your risk of cancer and the diseases of aging go up. If you eat too much protein, especially certain amino acids, your [mTOR] level goes up and stays up, and that’s not good for you.

It’s not enough to trigger muscle growth, but it’s just enough to trigger inflammation. The way mTOR works is you suppress mTOR and then when you stop suppressing it, it surges forth and you get a big spike, which is what causes the benefits.

There’s three things that suppress mTOR and I call the strategy ‘tripling down on mTOR.’ The first thing that is shown to increase mTOR is fasting. The longer you fast, the lower your mTOR goes, which is good for triggering autophagy and things like that.

Other things that lowers mTOR are coffee and exercise. So, by having coffee during the fast, you keep cranking down on it, and then you exercise and it’s really low.

Then when you eat, which releases mTOR, and you have adequate protein in that meal, the body is like, ‘Woo-hoo, I’ve got a huge surge of mTOR and I’ve got protein present. Now, I’m going to go to work and I’m going to fix everything. I’m going to replace all the cells I got rid of during autophagy. I’m going to grow the new mitochondria.'”

This is why you get more out of exercise when you do it at the end of a fast. I’m convinced this strategy has helped me radically build my muscles and improve my strength. One small tweak that may be helpful if you’re doing very heavy exercise is to eat a small amount of food about 30 to 60 minutes before you start, essentially breaking your fast right before your exercise.

“There’s great logic in that advice,” Asprey says. “You fasted and then you broke the fast right before the exercise, because by the time those calories are digested and hit the blood sugar, you will be done with your workout. It’s going to be a good half hour before that stuff really hits the bloodstream.

So, I would totally support that unless you’re doing the kind of high-intensity workouts that I’m a fan of, the ones where if I tried to do it with a full stomach, I think I might throw up. They’re very short but they’re very intense.”

More Information

Asprey discusses a number of other antiaging strategies in this interview as well — things like hormone regulation and the use of testosterone, and how fasting affects these levels — so for those details, be sure to listen to the whole interview.

He also goes into some of the problems that can occur when you’re on a plant-based diet, and/or if your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is off-kilter, as well as how your diet and exposure to sunlight influence your circadian rhythm, and which supplements are helpful when fasting and which should be avoided.

Naturally, you’ll also want to pick up a copy of his book, “Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be,” where he covers everything in greater depth. In addition to everything already mentioned, his book also includes information about intermittent hypoxic training and breathing exercises.

“What we know now, and what is in ‘Fast This Way,’ is that when you show your body that it will be required to regularly go without something it thinks it needs, you walk away from that as a stronger person.

Your willpower is stronger, but more importantly, your cells are stronger, and then they will give you more energy all the time. And, going from a 300-pound tired, fat, uncomfortable guy to where I am now, even though I’m 48, if I could do it, I think anyone could do it,” Asprey says.

Sign Up for a Guided Fast

To help you on your way, Asprey also provides a two-week program where he guides you through a 24- or 48-hour fast and answers questions on a daily basis. All you need to do is preorder “Fast This Way,” and then send a copy of your receipt to FastThisWay.com and sign up for the program. There’s an upload form on the website.

“I’ll teach you the fasting hacks. We’ll do some intermittent fasting together in a community, and then towards the end of this, we will actually do a 24-hour or 48-hour fast. I’m going to lead you through it,” he says.

“We also [cover] mediation and the gratitude side of this. I just want to teach you this book because I spent thousands of hours writing it and I want you to get it.

You can send your receipt in any time. The training starts right after the book comes out. The book hits shelves January 19, and January 21 I’m going to start the fast. So, if you want to ask me questions, I’m going to be there for you.”

Dr. Joseph Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), he treated thousands of patients for over 20 years.

Dr. Mercola finished his family practice residency in 1985. Because he was trained under the conventional medical model, he treated patients using prescription drugs during his first years of private practice and was actually a paid speaker for drug companies.

But as he began to experience the failures of the conventional model in his practice, he embraced natural medicine and found great success with time-tested holistic approaches. He founded The Natural Health Center (formerly The Optimal Wellness Center), which became well-known for its whole-body approach to medicine.

In 1997, Dr. Mercola integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the Internet. He founded the website Mercola.com to share his own health experiences and spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health. Mercola.com is now the world’s most visited natural health website, averaging 14 million visitors monthly and with over one million subscribers.

Dr. Mercola aims to ignite a transformation of the fatally flawed health care system in the United States and to inspire people to take control of their health. He has made significant milestones in his mission to bring safe and practical solutions to people’s health problems.

Dr. Mercola authored two New York Times Bestsellers, The Great Bird Flu Hoax, and The No-Grain Diet. He was also voted the 2009 Ultimate Wellness Game Changer by the Huffington Post, and has been featured in TIME magazine, LA Times, CNN, Fox News, ABC News with Peter Jennings, Today Show, CBS’s Washington Unplugged with Sharyl Attkisson, and other major media resources.

Stay connected with Dr. Mercola by following him on Twitter. You can also check out his Facebook page for more timely natural health updates.




7 Best Diet Tips To Improve Health And Lose Weight

 

Navigating eating for weight loss can be tricky – contradictory advice abounds, even among nutritional experts. However, often when you focus on eating healthfully, the weight eventually takes care of itself. Below are some food tips that will help you clean up your diet and make more healthful choices, which will help you lose weight as a result.

Emphasize Proteins

The most crucial nutrient for weight loss is protein. A high-protein diet has been shown to boost your metabolism naturally, and being a slow-burning energy source, it also keeps you satiated and reduces calorie consumption throughout the day. So, you just naturally burn more and eat less. A breakfast of proteins has been shown to lead to fewer calories consumed for the rest of the day. Switching out cereal or toast for eggs or cottage cheese is simple. Dairy products and eggs are good protein sources for vegetarians, while beans and chickpeas can pick up the slack for vegans. Shakes made from whey protein powder make a great on-the-go meal option.

Stay Away From Added Sugar

Sugar is added to an alarming number of foods in the modern diet. It is concerning and bewildering. Most people actually have a sugar addiction, whether they realize it or not, and the dopamine hits from sugar rival the similar effects of hard drugs. If you change one thing in an effort to eat more healthfully, it is this – cut out added sugars. Learn to read labels carefully, and keep in mind the various names sugar can hide under, like fructose and dextrose. Even “health foods” can be heavy with sugar. Items touted as “sugar-free” often replace cane sugar and corn syrups with sugar alcohols, which many people’s digestive systems do not handle well.

Go Brown

There is a substantial and well-evidenced link between refined carbohydrates and obesity. Refined carbohydrates spike blood sugar, resulted in a crash hours later that is accompanied with hunger, cravings, and increased calorie consumption. Ideally, all carbohydrates should be soaked or fermented prior to eating, in order to neutralize their phytic acid. An easier change, however, is simply to choose the brown carbohydrate over the white counterpart. Brown rice instead of white rice, wheat or whole-grain bread instead of white bread, and wheat pasta instead of white pasta. And always pair your quick-burning carbohydrate with a slow-burning fat or protein.

Watch Your Oils

Fats have often been demonized in health conversations, but the truth of the matter is that we need fats – but not all fats are created equal. High quality fats consumed less often will increase your health, and help you feel satiated so that you consume less calories during the day. Cut out all trans fats, and look to saturated and monounsaturated fats, which our bodies can process easily and put to use immediately. But even the best fats and oils will rack up the calories if used too liberally. Bake or roast your meats rather than fry them, and consider purchasing an air fryer to get a similar fried taste without the additional calories from oil.

Eat More Vegetables And Fruits

Health is more than calories and weight – it is also minerals and vitamins. This is where vegetables and fruits come in. Produce is low in calories, but high in fiber, increasing satiety. They also have a high-water content, again aiding in feeling satiated, as well as keeping you hydrated. But most importantly, they are laden with a variety of vitamins and minerals. While multivitamins and supplements are a great tool, our bodies were meant to run on food-derived vitamins and minerals – so put a wide variety on your plate! The world of vegetables and fruits is endless!

Pair Your Fuel Sources

Our bodies have three sources they can turn to for energy – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Each has their role to play. Carbohydrates are what your body naturally turns to first, and it burns through them quickly. Fats and proteins burn more slowly, keeping you from “sugar crashes”, helping you feel full longer, and leading to a decrease in calorie consumption. Never eat a carbohydrate alone! You’ll be needing more energy within an hour. Pair your apples with cheese, your berries with yogurt, your toast with a good tablespoon of real butter.

Eat Real Food

One of the anchors of healthy eating, regardless of whether your weight loss method is veggie-heavy or nearly carnivorous, is to eat whole, real, single-ingredient foods. For some, this may mean learning how to cook for the first time, but you owe that to yourself. Shop the perimeter of the grocery stores, eschewing prepackaged or convenience foods. Yes, even if they’re toted as a “health food”. Whole foods are naturally filling, deeply nutritious, and even more cost-effective.




Masterclass For Losing Weight – SOMA Breath

Video Source: SOMA Breath 

In this video, Niraj Naik teaches you how to lose weight using just the power of your breath. How is it possible? We all know about the diet and exercise routines that help to lose weight. All fitness experts usually ignore the power of breath and breathing techniques. Learn what are good breathing habits and how to use breath to boost your metabolism and burn more calories. You will discover the best pranayama techniques to lose weight and how to practice Kapalbhati.




Avoid These Intermittent Fasting Mistakes if You’re Over Age 40

Video Source: Thomas DeLauer

Thomas DeLauer in this video will cover the biggest mistakes that people over the age of 40 make when it comes to intermittent fasting.




How Setting Goals Helps Us Lose Weight More Successfully

At this point, there are likely very few people living in the United States that don’t know that being overweight is a problem in this country. Despite this common knowledge, most of us still have some weight we could lose.

Why is this? Most likely, this constant struggle with weight in America is caused by a lot of issues. However, in most cases, the problem seems to be in setting unrealistic, unattainable, and non-specific goals.

For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, not all weight loss goals are created equal (some can actually do the opposite and be discouraging and cause us to gain weight in the long-run). They explain how “unrealistic and overly aggressive weight-loss goals can undermine your efforts.”

What does the Mayo Clinic suggest?

The Mayo Clinic says that focusing on “process goals” (goals that involve the steps necessary to achieving your overall goal) and SMART goals (see above) is more efficient than setting large and often unattainable goals. For example, make a goal to decrease the amount of sugar and fat you consume. Or another functional improvement such as adding a specific amount of fruits and vegetables to your diet and/or drinking a specific amount of water every day.

Even academic journals support the fact that setting goals help those trying to lose weight, however, these goals need to be something you can do. Keep reading for smaller examples that you can do to help you lose weight.

Focus on improving what you consume.

When trying to lose weight, we often get caught up in the latest fad diet — that inevitably fails. The reality is that in most instances the only thing that helps you lose weight is healthy lifestyle changes. Therefore, make healthy changes to your diet that you can stick to and consider taking a supplement aimed at helping you healthily control your metabolism and your glucose uptake.

By taking an R-ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) supplement, you can receive assistance in weight loss while simultaneously receiving the health benefits associated with this important antioxidant. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that has been shown to support vitamin E and vitamin C levels in the body. This can help people struggling with weight loss and glucose uptake that assists with issues related to diabetic neuropathy. R-ALA may also enhance insulin action in the body, functional improvements in your cardiovascular health, encourage circulation, and prevent cellular damage.

Always be sure to consult your doctor before starting an ALA, R-ALA, or S-ALA supplement (especially if you have insulin sensitivity and/or diabetes) as an ALA supplement can lower glucose levels in the body. Be sure to monitor your glucose levels while taking this supplement regardless of a diabetes diagnosis.

Make a goal to exercise.

What better way to get more exercise than by taking a class at Paddle Boarding Palm Beach? Plus, let’s be honest — if you live in Palm Beach, Florida, there’s no better way to get a workout than to spend time in the water. Not only does Paddle Boarding Palm Beach offer rentals and all of the gear you’ll need for snorkeling and kayaking but they also offer fitness classes including paddle fit, SUP yoga, and SUP fitness.

Why do great workouts like surfing and paddleboarding have to be something we only do on vacation? When surfing into shore on a paddleboard is so much fun – why not do it several times a week for a fantastic full-body workout? Check out Paddle Boarding Palm Beach in West Palm Beach to get a fantastic, fun, and relaxing workout!

Above all — be realistic!

According to WebMD, the majority of overweight people trying to lose weight set the goal of losing 32 percent of their body mass despite the fact that it’s “unlikely” that most dieters will ever be able to lose a whole 1/3 of their entire body weight. Be realistic about how much weight you can lose and then make mini-goals that are health-based to get there.

Instead of focusing on just losing weight, focus on actively feeling better than you normally do. Make it about getting healthier, not just about getting thinner.




10 Reasons Why You’re Always Hungry

Video Source: WP Easy Content

Feeling hungry all the time makes it difficult to concentrate on more important things, like paying attention to meetings, finishing projects, or studying for a test. If you’re feeling excessively hungry all the time, it might be due to reasons other than not eating enough. Let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons why you’re inexplicably hungry all the time.




Eating Less Has Positive Effects on Your Metabolism

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Calorie restriction and temperature were integral to improving healthspan and the length of life without disease in an animal study
  • The focus of the research was to find a pharmaceutical solution, which would likely have side effects, for a strategy easily carried out at home
  • Health benefits to intermittent fasting and calorie restriction have been demonstrated in animal studies and human trials
  • Calorie restriction triggers hormesis, during which the body strengthens as it adapts to stress. Other strategies are intermittent fasting, exercise, and exposure to heat and cold

The number of people who struggle to attain and maintain a healthy weight continues to grow each year. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017-2018 showed that 42.4% of adults in the U.S. were obese.1 The prevalence of severe obesity was 9.2%, and it was higher in women than in men.

The weight loss market also continues to grow, as it expanded by 4.1% in 2018 and is expected to grow 2.6% each year through 2023.2 Yet, the growth in the market is not in prescription drugs, diet soda or weight loss franchises. Instead, meal replacement shakes and bars as well as weight loss surgeries appear to be holding steady and growing.

Dieters are also searching for more “clean” options, free of GMOs and artificial additives. This has forced companies supplying diet dinners and other premade foods to reformulate their offerings. While the focus on weight loss is often on how to look better or meet a certain standard, weight management should be about how to live free of disease.

Carrying excess weight is linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.3 In addition to these long-term health concerns, it is also associated with an increased risk of certain infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

Can You Eat Less and Live Longer?

People have been searching for the “fountain of youth” for centuries. Yet, the goal isn’t just to live longer but to live longer while free of disease and illness. Scientists call this your health span — the number of years you live without disease. Researchers have been studying two ways to achieve eating less.

The first is called calorie restriction, in which the number of calories is limited each day without malnourishing or depriving your body of essential nutrients.4 In the second method, fasting, a person eliminates or severely restricts calories during the day, week, or month.

Based on the results from a study involving animals, one of the ways calorie restriction has promoted a longer healthspan is by decreasing the core body temperature.5 Researchers sought to evaluate the effect that a drop in core body temperature has on the ability of calorie restriction to improve one’s healthspan.

They compared the responses of mice on a calorie-restricted diet that were housed in a temperature-controlled room. In this study, the focus was on temperature as a driving factor. One group of mice was kept in a room with a temperature of 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and the other group at 86 degrees F.

The warmer room offered what scientists call thermoneutrality. This is a balance between the temperature of the organism and the environment so that the regulation of internal temperature remains inactive. In each room, half the mice were given as much food as they wanted, and the other half had their diet restricted by half.

Throughout the course of the study, the metabolic activity in the hypothalamus and blood plasma were measured. The data revealed that the mice in the cooler room had greater changes in life-extending factors. There were fewer changes in the group of mice living in a warmer room.

Science Is Seeking a Pharmaceutical ‘Easy Button’

Further examination of the results showed that the metabolic effects were linked to nitric oxide and leucine enkephalin. These were produced in higher amounts in the animals in the cooler room. Leucine enkephalin is an endogenous opioid neurotransmitter6 that scientists believe directly controls core body temperature.7

Bruno Conti, from the department of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, was one scientist from the study. He spoke with a reporter from Inverse about the results and the phenomenon of dropping core temperatures that have been seen in calorie restriction in other animal studies, saying:8

“This is an adaptive mechanism that the organisms evolved to save energy when food is scarce. By validating the pathways identified, we hope that we will pave the road for the development of calorie restriction mimetics that promote health and longevity.

Regardless of the definition, the ultimate goal is to provide the beneficial effects of calorie restriction without having to undergo either reduction of calorie intake or core body temperature.”

As the reporter from Inverse writes, “Years down the line, researchers predict people may be able to derive some of calorie restriction’s positive benefits — without actually reducing what they eat.”9 Yet, as with all pharmaceutical interventions, there will likely be side effects and adverse events that a person will not experience with intermittent fasting.

Evidence Shows Health Benefits in Humans and Animals

For a further look into how calorie restriction affects human health, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and Duke University School of Medicine undertook a clinical trial called Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE).10

The study engaged 218 individuals who were of normal weight or who were moderately overweight. Each person was randomly assigned to one of two groups.11 Participants in the experimental group were asked to eat a calorie-restricted diet for two years consisting of 25% fewer calories than they normally ate before the study. The control group ate their regular diet.

At the end of two years, they found that members of the experimental group were able to reduce their calories by 12%. They lost 10% of their body weight and sustained much of that loss. The intervention group also lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol measurements, both of which are risk factors “for age-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.”12

Additionally, those eating a calorie-restricted diet showed no adverse effects in their sleep patterns, sexual function, quality of life, or mood. While the data showed some slight decline in bone density, lean body mass, and aerobic capacity, they were not more than would generally be expected based on the weight loss the individuals experienced.

In 2012, the National Institute on Aging (NIA)13 published the results of a study whose premise was similar to that of a 2009 study conducted by leaders at the University of Wisconsin.14 Each set of scientists set out to explore the idea that a calorie-restricted diet in rhesus monkeys could affect life span and healthspan. The results from the two studies were different, so in 2017 the researchers teamed up to resolve the discrepancies by comparing data.15

The group from the University of Wisconsin fed monkeys a calorie-restricted diet with 30% fewer calories than the control group. The monkeys survived an above-average number of years as compared to other rhesus monkeys in captivity.

Although the NIA study did not find a significant effect on aging, both groups found fewer age-related health conditions as compared to the control groups.16 When the data were compared, researchers found significant differences in the types of diet, the timing of feedings, and the initial age and genetics of the groups.

Scientific American reports that the researchers described one monkey that was started on the restricted diet at the late middle age of 16 years.17 At the end of the study he was 43 years, which is a record for this species and equal to a person living 130 years.

Calorie Restriction Sets Off Hormesis

The term hormesis refers to a dose-response relationship between a stimulus and a biological effect. There are significant health benefits from hormesis. Siim Land is a socio-cultural anthropologist, entrepreneur, and high-performance coach who wrote “Metabolic Autophagy: Practice Intermittent Fasting and Resistance Training to Build Muscle and Promote Longevity (Metabolic Autophagy Diet Book 1).”18

In his book Land defines hormesis, which can be summarized as, “what doesn’t kill you is going to make you stronger.” In some cases, public health officials have used this notion to justify the release of low-level toxic exposure claiming it would ultimately be beneficial.19

The concept describes the fundamental need to adapt to various types of stimuli to enhance survival. It also produces effects that are similar to autophagy since it is stimulated by like pathways.

For instance, intermittent fasting or calorie restriction is a stressor that activates hormesis. As Land describes in my interview with him, others are high-intensity exercise and exposure to cold or heat.20

“Those hormetic stressors, they kind of carry over to different areas of stress exposure. Like if I’m able to fast, then I at least notice that I’m also able to endure more cold and endure more heat, or … simply have more endurance … Other ways of activating hormesis is doing saunas and combining that with cold [exposure] like an ice bath or ice plunge …”

Cell biologist Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., has described how the adaptation to stress also effectively boosts mitochondrial biogenesis. These short bouts of stress activate response pathways that are encoded in your genes.21 As I have discussed in the past, optimizing mitochondrial function is at the heart of optimal health and extremely important in disease prevention.

Your mitochondria are the energy storehouses in most cells. They perform interconnected functions that contribute to stress responses, such as autophagy and apoptosis.22 They form an interconnected network throughout the body that influence physiology and affect communication between the tissues and the cells.

They have emerged as crucial in the development of diseases, including metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This means you can activate hormesis and mitochondrial biogenesis using intermittent fasting to achieve your goal, essentially helping to lengthen healthspan.

Another type of environmental stress that activates these pathways is exposure to heat and cold. In a past article, “The Surprising Health Benefits of Extreme Hot and Cold Temperatures,” I discuss these concepts with Patrick and their relationship to heart and brain health as well as athletic performance.

Make Intermittent Fasting and Cyclical Ketosis Work for You

Intermittent fasting contributes to the realization of several health benefits, including longevity and healthspan. This is an eating pattern that seeks to mimic some of the habits of our ancestors, who had to survive when food was not available around the clock. Intermittent fasting restores your body to a more natural state. It’s become clear that a continuous supply of calories does not provide your body with the optimal environment for maintaining health.

Also important to life span and health span is making the shift from carbohydrate burning to fat burning by combining intermittent fasting with a cyclical ketogenic diet. I discuss many of the strategies for doing so in, “Why Intermittent Fasting Is More Effective Combined With Ketogenic Diet.”

There are many benefits to intermittent fasting, including a newly discovered function of raising the production of antioxidants and age-related metabolites.23 These metabolites have an antiaging effect on the body and they stimulate metabolism.

There are some points to consider as you change your eating habits, however. For instance, intermittent fasting does not have to be a form of calorie restriction. Instead, you restrict the number of hours you’re eating during the day. It’s also important to remember that any sugar cravings will be temporary and they’ll slowly go away as your body begins to burn fat as its primary fuel.

However, as healthy as intermittent fasting is, you shouldn’t use it if your diet is filled with processed foods. Intermittent fasting is not a panacea against ill health and excess weight, and as with all healthy choices, must be made with consideration for your total approach to vitality and well-being.




Best Fasting Length for Fat Loss vs Other Benefits (16 hours vs 24 hours +)

Video Source: Thomas DeLauer

In this video, Thomas DeLauer explains the best fasting period for weight loss versus other benefits. Questions that will be answered within this video:

– What is the ideal length of fasting for fat loss?

– Can a certain length of fasting become detrimental in regards to other factors (i.e. muscle loss, etc.)?




4 Ways To Make The Weight Loss Experience A Lot Smoother

Image source: Unsplash.com

Losing weight is something that the majority of us look to do at one time or another. Those who are struggling with their weight will obviously look into this idea a lot more than those with an average frame, but we all have our prerogatives in life. It doesn’t matter what our situation might be, if we feel as though we need to make a change to the way we look or make a change to our fitness levels, then that thought is completely valid.

There are lots of different methods and techniques when it comes to losing weight, and if you’re making progress, then your technique will be no better or no worse than the next person’s. Intermittent fasting, the ketogenic diet, and many other methods are used by people all over the planet – once you find the best thing for your body and mind, you’re good to go.

It’s not just about the method, though, is it? It’s about our drive and the way we approach everything. When we change our lifestyle, things can be a little difficult on the mind. That’s why we need to make the process as smooth as we can – here are a few additional ways to do it: 

Learn How To Cook Amazing Meals

When most people look to lose weight, they often think about having the blandest meals in order to shed the pounds. While this would work as you’d be lowering your calorie intake, it’s nowhere near as fun as it should be. You really don’t have to make the whole process into something of a punishment, you know? Look online at some recipes for healthy, delicious, filling meals that are low in calories. It’s not difficult to do once you get the hang of things!

Enjoy Your Exercises

It’s easy to say and difficult to do if you’re not experienced in physical activity right now, but once you get going, it should be a cakewalk. The actual exercising part should be the fun part as the meals can get a little tedious (as we’ve previously mentioned). If you enjoy exercising, then you’ll look forward to the next workout, and everything will be easy in that regard. Even if you’re at home doing a bodyweight shoulder workout, you should look to make it as fun as possible. If it’s seen as too much effort, then the overall goal is going to feel like even more of a marathon.

Don’t See It As A Grueling Diet

If you want to lose weight and become a leaner, fitter you, then you’re going to have to realize that it’s not a three-month diet. You don’t just lose it all and then go back to how things were before. If you go back to how things were before, then you’re going to end up looking how you looked before! This is a lifestyle change – once you commit to this way of living, it should be for the rest of your life. Once you realize this, it makes the whole deal so much smoother as you’ll have that clarity in front of you. Seeing the bigger picture is important here as this kind of lifestyle will be in your mind for good.




Health Benefits of Doing Intermittent Fasting

If you want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, lately, you may have heard about intermittent fasting. This refers to the 6:18 timeframe in every 24 hours. This means that within a 6-hour timeframe, you’ll be able to eat. But during the remaining hours, you fast. To make it more manageable to their dietary needs and even their lifestyle, some also do the 8:16 timeframe.

Since it’s now quite popular, there are many health benefits that many people discover with this diet method. For one, the body experiences a metabolic switch–from glucose-based to ketone-based energy. This occurs during the fasting period whereby your body is consuming more stored energy since you aren’t taking meals.

Apart from losing weight, some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  1. Reduces Inflammation Levels

Those who observe the Ramadan fasting show positive results of lowering inflammation during this period. This was evident in their body weight, body fat, and inflammatory markers.

During the Ramadan, participants fast from sunrise and sunset and eat only overnight. This timeframe is similar to what you can do with intermittent fasting. Hence, it’s expected that you can enjoy the same effects, especially in regard to the reduction of the body’s inflammation levels.

When the body’s inflammation levels are lowered, it can also help lower cholesterol levels. Especially when combined with consistent exercise, fasting can reduce the triglycerides level of the body or the fats in the blood.

  1. Protects The Organs From Diseases

Protecting your organs is the key to living a longer life. Once your organs no longer function as well as they used to, this can often mean the onset of many diseases that can be fatal.

Intermittent fasting can protect the organs from many diseases, including:

  • Type 2 Diabetes: This refers to the type of diabetes where the body isn’t able to produce enough insulin or the body can’t efficiently react to insulin. This means glucose stays in your blood, rather than being used for energy.
  • Heart Disease: This broad term encompasses all forms of heart disease that can be life-threatening if left alone to progress.
  • Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases: This is a general term that’s used to refer to all of the diseases that affect the neurons of the brain. These can often lead to the death of certain nerve cells that affects both movement and mental functioning.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: These are diseases that are characterized by chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. When inflammation is prolonged, damage in this area can occur.
  1. Can Slow Down Aging

The aging process is sped up when the body has high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. Fortunately, intermittent fasting can combat these two problems, henceforth slowing down aging as a direct effect.

Not only does this include physical aging, but also age-related diseases like cancer. These effects happen because of fasting’s ability to supercharge the body’s metabolism. This means your overall health improves as you age, allowing the body to efficiently break down nutrients and burn the necessary calories.

Along with those, here are other means why intermittent fasting can slow down aging:

  • Lowers the degeneration of the body’s DNA and accelerates its repair. Therefore, the aging process also slows down.
  • Increases the body’s antioxidants to prevent the body’s cells from being broken down by free radicals
  • Reduces chronic inflammation, which is common as people age

  1. Reduces Weight

Weight reduction is more than just a physical thing. It’s also one of the best ways to improve the body’s health. Losing weight also means losing all of the unnecessary fat, thereby keeping the body healthier.

Losing weight is made possible with intermittent fasting because the body uses up its fat as the source of energy when the body isn’t taking in any food. It’s because of this function that fasting protocols are usually at a minimum of 16 hours to give time for the body to transition to fat burning.

The average weight loss expected from individuals that practice intermittent fasting is at around one to two pounds a week. Couple this up with exercise, it can increase to around three to four pounds.

  1. Improves Mental Health

When you’re still adjusting to the changes your body goes through when you start intermittent fasting, you may notice that your mood will change quite a bit. This is because your body and mind may still not be used to have fewer food intake.

As you get used to it, however, your overall mood and mental health improve. When you look good, you also tend to feel better about yourself. Plus, you no longer have to live with the anxiety of constantly worrying about your future because of poor health.

Takeaway

Intermittent fasting is a diet plan that enables you to switch between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. For the benefits above, and many more others, this is one diet regime that’s worth trying. You don’t just lose weight, but your overall physical and mental health improves, too.

However, like any other aspect that affects your body, whenever you’re unsure, do seek the advice of a medical professional. That way, you’ll know that what you’re doing is the right way for your body.




Snacking Isn’t So Bad: How to Develop Healthy Snacking Habits

Let’s get one thing straight. Snacking doesn’t have to be bad for you. The problem is snacks have become synonymous with unhealthy foods like donuts. But in truth, snacks can be healthy. Furthermore, nutritious snacks can be delicious!

Swap to Healthy Snacks at the Workplace

Most working people experience a slump at some time in the day where they need a boost of energy. Indeed, because snacks help you restore energy levels, they enable you to be much more focused and productive in the workplace. Healthy snacks can also improve brain alertness and problem-solving abilities. The trouble is, too many workplaces have vending machines stocked full of unhealthy snacks. So, it can be challenging to swap to healthy snacking habits.

According to Snacks With Bite, when offices promote healthy eating, employees are happier and more focused, and companies benefit from higher productivity. These snacks can still be delicious; for example, such companies offer health conscious treats such as chocolate and coconut sweet-balls, lime and cracked pepper Faba beans, and apple tarts.

Some Fats Are Good for You

It’s just as important to swap to healthy snacks outside of the office environment. But too many people misunderstand which snacks are actually healthy. For instance, when people see the word “fat” in a list of ingredients, they can run a mile. However, there are fats that are bad for you and fats that are good for you, and everybody needs to have some fats to maintain good health. Natural, good-for-you fats can be found in foods like nuts, fish, and olive oil. Such natural fats are also great flavor carriers, so when paired with other foods, they can make your snacks taste delicious.

Eat Real Foods

A good rule of thumb for healthy snacking is to avoid any artificial foods. Anything with high levels of sugar and a bucketful of chemicals won’t be good for you. So, stick to real foods like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain pasta, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Real foods are often fantastic antioxidants and filled with fiber. Try snacks like nuts and dried fruit, bell peppers and guacamole, or popcorn. The latter contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help protect against chronic conditions like heart disease.

Intake the Right Amount of Calories

As we have seen, healthy snacking habits isn’t about cutting snacks out of your life altogether. However, eating too much can be detrimental. It is recommended that men intake between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day, and women consume between 1,200 and 1,500 per day, depending on your size. However, there’s nothing wrong with eating a little more if you are super-tired. But always stop eating when you are comfortably full because overeating can lead to lethargy and even health problems like obesity. The important thing is you take note of how many calories you are consuming to ensure you get your healthy snack eating balance right.