Welcome to the new year, 2018! It is going to be a great year. With the start of any new year, everyone is ready to eat better and lose weight. Since when did my ‘fat jeans’ become my regular jeans lol! With the holiday festivities behind us, it is time to get back on track with our eating and get back into our skinny jeans!
Over the years there have been numerous ‘diet’ programs for weight loss. As many of us know, diets are not sustainable, which is why we might lose 15 lbs but gain it back and more. Or we lose a little weight only to plateau and feel like our efforts are fruitless.
One approach that seems to have spanned the ages is, ‘eat less, exercise more.’ We all have tried it once or many times, even though it always backfires on us. People still keep trying to rein in their calories and exercise like crazy after the new year.
Reducing calories is not a good strategy for weight loss. One of two things will happen when you cut calories:
- You will lose weight initially, and then you will gain it back plus more. Either by binging, because your body cannot take the ‘starvation mode.’ Or you eventually begin to eat like a normal human. The intake of ‘normal eating’ is too much for your already starved body that the weight come back. The rebound weight gain is inevitable.
- You initially lose 8-15 lbs, making you super encouraged. However, after that initial weight loss, it stops. You frustratingly stop losing weight no matter how little you eat or how much more you exercise.
A few things that reducing calories can do to you:
- Caloric restriction will lower your thyroid function. If your body thinks it is starving, your thyroid function will drop, which will reduce your ‘metabolism.’ Lower thyroid function can also cause hair loss, dry skin, and fatigue. Cutting calories can also force your body to break down muscle tissue, further lowering your metabolism.
- Caloric restriction will also Increase cravings for carbs and sugar. There are many hormonal and neurotransmitter changes that occur when you drop your calories. Specifically, a neurotransmitter called Neuropeptide-Y will increase, which makes you want to eat sugar and processed refined carbohydrates.
- Caloric restriction stresses the adrenal glands. Reducing calories will cause cortisol to rise. Elevated cortisol will also break down muscle tissue. Breaking down muscle tissue will raise your blood sugar, which in turn causes your insulin to increase. Insulin will take the blood sugar from the breakdown of muscle and cause you to store fat around your midsection. Essentially, you are trading muscle for fat.
The Ketogenic Diet has been around for decades but is currently trendy for weight loss and overall health. There are many opinions regarding its viability as a dietary strategy. It is a low carbohydrate diet, but there are many more aspects to it. A Ketogenic Diet is much better than just reducing your calories for weight loss.
What is Ketosis?
When we eat carbohydrates, our bodies run by a process called, Glycolysis. This is the process of burning glucose/sugar is our primary fuel source for energy. When we drop our daily carbohydrates intake below 30 grams, our bodies can no longer run in glycolysis.
Instead, your body will switch to ketosis, which is the process of utilizing fat stores to produce ketone bodies as an alternative fuel source. When you are in ketosis, you are burning fat. We have stored glucose in our muscles and liver called glycogen. It takes about 72 hours to deplete the glycogen stores and switch into ketosis.
Your body loves burning fat (ketone bodies) as a fuel source. Ketosis is a great way to encourage your body to burn your fat stores and lose weight. Ketosis is especially good for helping you lose belly fat. Also, ketosis will help to slow the break down your muscle tissue. Many people doing a ketogenic diet will have more energy, clearer thinking and no cravings for sugar and carbs.
As I mentioned, a Ketogenic Diet is a great way to lose weight and that stubborn belly fat. A Ketogenic Diet helps your body stop breaking down your muscle tissue and helps to reduce intense cravings. However, long-term ketosis has some dropbacks.
Long-term ketosis reduces our appetite. Often when you are in chronic ketosis, our calories drop because we are just not hungry. When your calories drop all the above symptoms can occur. Also, the brain fog and lack of energy kicks in. Then your weight loss progress eventually stops.
Long-term ketosis can also reduce thyroid function due to the unintentional drop in caloric intake. Staying in ketosis for longer than a month can start to lower thyroid function and cause some other undesirable hormonal changes. These changes can cause your weight loss to plateau and cravings to increase, leading to the inevitable rebound weight gain.
What Ketosis is not:
A Ketogenic Diet is not a low-calorie diet or a high protein diet. High levels of dietary protein can cause your insulin levels to elevate, which causes your blood sugar to bounce around. You can become fatigued, constipated, and your cravings increase. Insulin is the only fat storing hormone in the body. If insulin rises from high intake of protein, you may stop losing weight and might actually gain weight.
A balanced Ketogenic Diet is meant to have moderate amounts of protein, lower carbohydrates, and a higher intake of good fats. The increase in good fats is the counterbalance to lowering daily carbohydrate intake. Without intentionally increasing fat intake, results in a lower caloric intake over time. A point to remember: a low carb diet is good, but a low carb and low-calorie diet is not
Below is an approximate breakdown of daily macronutrients.
- Protein: 20 to 30%
- Fat: 50 to 70%
- Carbohydrates: 10-20%
If calorie restriction doesn’t work and chronic ketosis is not ideal. What is the answer?
We have found that by alternating between a Ketogenic Diet with carbohydrate cycling, eliminates the negative impact of long-term ketosis. By adding in a carb-cycling period to the Ketogenic Diet can increase metabolism, reduce breakdown of muscle and increase energy.
We have also found that by adding intermittent fasting with ketosis and carb-cycling really accelerates fat loss and improves energy. This easily becomes a lifestyle that is healthy and sustainable. You can do this for the rest of your life to lose weight and maintain it.
How do I incorporate a keto-diet with carb-cycling and intermittent fasting?
Here is the best part. We have created a program that combines the three that is simple to follow and all written out for you. The Keto-Carb-Cycling Program (KCCP) is our protocol that combines Intermittent fasting, keto-diet, and carb-cycling. The best part is that it is free! We want to share this with you so everyone can enjoy a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight loss.
Go to our website, progressyourhealth.com
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