What should I know about Intermittent Fasting?

 

I know you have heard of Intermittent Fasting by now, Dr. Oz has even been talking about it recently. Dr. Oz thinks in 2020 we should just cancel breakfast completely and all take up fasting. But, Intermittent Fasting can be more than just giving up breakfast. There's a few things you should know though before you jump into this new craze!

There has been quite a bit of research regarding intermittent fasting. Multiple questions have risen on if
it is healthy, or if it is just another fad diet. There are several different ways to start the intermittent
fasting diet. If you do decide to do it, then there are several things that you need to know.

First is the fact that most people associate intermittent fasting with eating in an 8-hour window 8:16 and
fasting for 16 hours per day. Fasting can be 12:12, 10:14, 8:16, 6:18, or any amount of time you wish to
go without eating with the remainder of the 24-hour day as the consumption time. This may be
extremely challenging for a lot of people, especially at first. Things that should be considered, are that
your breaking of the fast, starts the timer for your consumption. When you eat your last bit of food for
the day, is when the fasting begins. If you start eating at 7am, and you are on an 8:16 ratio, then the last
time you can eat anything for the day is 3pm.

One of the next most important things to know is the short-term effects of the diet. Some of these
effects are changes in mood, extreme hunger, binge eating behaviors, anger, fatigue, low energy, and
confusion. Many different reasons for this exist; but most of them are psychological. Knowing that you
are restricted on eating, leads to thoughts of food crossing your mind, and affecting your thought
process. Knowing that you cannot eat, or that you are calorie restricted in certain times, leads to
frustration or anger as your body works to process the changes that you are forcing upon it. As your
body works through the initial weeks of the dietary change, the metabolism makes the change very
difficult for some.

As the consumption window opens, it is very easy for those that are not careful, to
overeat in order to make up for the times that they had not been able to do so.
Recommendations for beginning the intermittent fasting diet are to start slow and then work as your
body adjusts to a stricter diet. By starting with a 12-hour fasting period, and introducing your body to it,
then you can find the time that is optimal to start the ending of your fast in the mornings.

After fasting this time period for a month, work to increase the amount of time that you are fasting to figure out
what works best for your schedule and body.
Some of the long-term effects of the diet are reduced appetite, increased insulin response, and overall
weight loss if you can pair the intermittent fasting with a well-rounded diet plan.

Other key questions that are brought up regarding intermittent fasting are:
Can I eat whatever I want?
Can I still workout?
Do I have to do this forever?
Can I fast if I am diabetic?
While you can eat whatever you want, unless restricted for other health reasons, it is best to follow a
well-balanced diet.

While you can still workout, it will be difficult to predict how your body’s energy
levels will react, especially at first. It is recommended that all efforts are made to continue with the
normal habits of your daily life as you begin intermittent fasting. While it may not be feasible to
complete this diet daily; some research shows that if you fast two days a week, it can work to provide
slight health benefits. This diet program is not recommended for diabetics, type 1 or 2. The prolonged
periods of time that your body is needing nutrients can be detrimental, dangerous, and potentially
deadly.

Before starting an intermittent fasting diet, it is important to consult a doctor or registered dietician to
ensure that you can live healthily.

 

Have you ever tried IF or are you planning on adding fasting to your routine? Let me know in the comments!

Is my metabolism slowing down?

You've asked that question to yourself multiple times. Remember never having to worry about your weight when you were younger, but as soon at you hit your 20s it felt like everything was losing day, and not in a good way.

So, maybe your metabolism is slowing down?

Well, first, you never burn the same amount of calories every day, you never only burn 2000 or 1500 calories, our bodies and metabolism as flexible. Our calorie burn changes depending on our hormone levels, our own food intake, activity, if your sick or healing. All of these things play a role in what makes up and what our metabolism is like.

That's why I don't like calorie calculators, but that topic is for another time.

Our metabolism changes. Every day. Every second of our lives, how we run is a little bit different.

And, our metabolism can very easily slow down. It's not like it just slows down once you hit 30 or 40 or 50. Our bodies don't realize what age we are exactly, so it definitely isn't saying "hey, I just turned 30 today, time to become lazy!" Nope, that's not it.

What actually makes our metabolism change the most, besides if we are sick or changes in our hormone levels, is our food intake. We can handle a day or 2 of under-eating without making our metabolism freak out.

But what our bodies cannot handle is an extended period of time where we are under feeding ourselves. We may be burning 2000 calories a day, but your taking in 1200 calories. At first, you'll see a weight loss and it will seem like everything else is staying the same. After a while though, at a low calorie intake, our bodies start to know that it will be under-fed and that it needs to start getting creative with how we use our energy and how we function every day.

After a while of under-eating, you may start to have stomach and bowel issues. This can show up as frequent gas, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. We don't have enough energy as we need, so our bodies must cut corners with making hormones and other secretions to help with digestion.

Prolonged under eating will also have the body make changes on a cellular level. Our mitochrondia, the powerhouse of the cells, can make changes in the processing of information and function of the cell itself.

Our bodies stop making certain hormones or won't make enough of them to trigger a certain response. Gherlin is the hormone that helps to signal that our body is hungry, when we are in "starvation mode" our bodies will stop making that gherlin so you don't feel hungry any more. Leptin is what makes us have that full feeling, that also becomes diminished as the restriction continues.

You will stop seeing changes in your weight, and in your muscle mass as you get deeper and deeper into extended restriction.

In essence, our bodies are kind of shutting down a little. Going on strike because it's not getting what it wants.

That's why we CANNOT be a calorie deficit for many months and years at a time. We are not meant to live on 1200 calories a day. I have talked to many of you and many others, most have said that you have been trying to lose weight for years. One person said 20 years...

So next time you consider cutting your calories even lower or continuing/choosing a new diet to be on, why don't you consider a diet break? Add some food back in and give your body a rest. Everything that is suppose to happen will start to come back again and you'll begin to feel good.

Smarter Holiday Choices

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With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, the thoughts of many may quickly turn to the New Years’ resolutions of becoming healthier. There are several ways to approach this goal, without having to change drastically. Hopefully these tips will help to achieve not only short term, but lasting change in dietary habits. Some of the easiest ways include subtle modifications to what you consume around the holidays which will allow for more calories to be consumed in different ways.

One of the ways you can modify your appetizers is by replacing heavy cream cheese dips, or those with large amounts of unhealthy fats with a base of Greek yogurt. By adding certain ingredients to Greek Yogurt, you can change the entire tray of food into a healthy snack. The below recipe is one that is quick and easy to make!

Ingredients (for three servings):
16 oz. Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons of dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon green onion

Steps: In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients until well mixed. Cut desired
vegetables and place in a circle around the bowl for serving.

After your appetizer is all the rave, you can move on to the main course and sides! One
favorite of many families around the holiday seasons is candied yams. By swapping those
with roasted sweet potatoes, you can save almost half of the calories! For easy roasting
of sweet potatoes, the recipe below can be followed.

Ingredients:
2 ½ lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ in pieces
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
freshly group pepper, to taste

Steps: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, arranging sweet potatoes in a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes, tossing to coat. Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir around in the baking dish, continually stirring every 15 minutes until tender and starting to brown (may take up to 50 minutes more.) The amount of calories per serving is 92, with the total fat being 2g, carbohydrates 18g,
sugars 9g, proteins 1.2g.

For a great stuffing, that brings flavor and depth into your holiday meal, a great idea is to incorporate cranberries into it. This can bring in the antioxidant qualities of the berries, as well the whole wheat benefits of the grains and nutrients.

Ingredients:
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
10 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1 cup whole water chestnuts
1 cup chopped apple (with skin on)
The serving size of this stuffing recipe is ½ cup. Although the taste may make it difficult
to eat just that amount! The calories per serving are 149, 2g of total fat, 28g of
carbohydrates, 7g of dietary fiber, 6g of protein, and 7 added sugars.
One of the hardest things for people to compromise on during the holidays season is desserts. Most of the time the amount of desserts at a gathering can be equal to the
amount of actual choices of main course items. For an easy swap on the dessert front, try making a tasty apple pie. One personal favorite is below.

Ingredients
Pie crust
1 cup dry rolled oats
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water

Filling
6 cups sliced and peeled tart apples (about 4 large apples)
1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Steps: To prepare pie crust, mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix oil and water together with whisk. Add oil and water mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until dough holds together. Add a bit more water if needed.

Press dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside until filling is prepared. To prepare filling, combine all
ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes. Stir and then spoon into prepared piecrust. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake 40 minutes, or until apples are tender. Each slice of this pie includes 204 calories, 8g of total fat, 4g of protein, 29g of carbohydrates, 4g of dietary fiber, and 3g of added sugars.

Food Label Claims and What They Mean

You’re walking down the aisle at the grocery store and suddenly, a bright red label sticks out among all of the products. You walk closer, and see the words “HEART HEALTHY” and “MAY HELP PREVENT HEART DISEASE”. You’re then drawn in, you pick it up and throw it into your basket and continue on your way. Your mom had heart disease so, of course is there’s a food that may help prevent heart disease and is deemed heart healthy, you MUST have it.

 

There are label claims EVERYWHERE. Pick up any “health” food or supplements and you can read an extensive list of all the claims that it has on helping you and all the diseases that it can prevent, and even that you can restore your brain health to be a teenager again! Labels can be the wild west. There are some label claims that are regulated, meaning they have certain criteria that they have to fit into to be on a label, and then others that seem like they have are just sticking almost any word combo they can on a label.

 

Let’s break down some of the regulated ones.

 

Heart healthy- In order for a product to say “Heart Healthy”, it must be low in cholesterol, low sodium and low saturated fat.

Low fat- Less than 3g of fat per serving

Low sodium- less than 5% of the daily value

Good source of ____- must be at least 20% or more of the daily value

Light- must have 1/3 less fat and half the calories that the original product has

Gluten Free- must have no more than 20 parts per million of gluten in the product

Organic- Must have at least 70% of the ingredients be organically grown to be considered organic

Not regulated claims- these are typically found on products like vitamins, minerals and other supplement products as they are not regulated

For example, a bottle of biotin may say- “Biotin is a B vitamin that helps supports healthy energy metabolism. Biotin and keratin support healthy hair, skin and nails.” But, underneath those claims, there will also be a statement that says “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”. This means that just because your biotin CLAIMS to give you amazing skin, hair and nails, they cannot guarantee that it will happen. When you see something like this, you cannot base your judgement and usage on these claims.

What label claims do you often see? Let me know in the comments below!

When your Lifestyle isn’t a Fad |by Jenny Bishop

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Imagine always feeling like there is a fog over your life, yet never knowing why.  Or having a rash that doesn’t go away. This was my life before I found out that I have Celiac Disease. From a young age, I had always had eczema, and doctors would give creams to help, but nothing really worked.  

In late 2015, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  It was a long road to finally bring relief and closure to a part of my life that I never could figure out.  It took advocating for myself in multiple doctor’s offices, finally finding the doctors that believed what I said; then went to work to put it all together.  I was very fortunate to find the support system that helped to diagnose my health issues, however I know many are not so lucky. The catalyst for my diagnosis was my youngest child being born.  After the birth, I felt like I was living in a haze on a regular basis. My primary tried blaming post-partum; and made me feel like I was crazy. I knew this was different and brought it up to my OB-GYN during one of my follow up visits.  She was very attentive, helping me to find a new primary that was within her group. My OB-GYN went to work right away, attempting to put together my symptoms, and analyzing the test results for the panels of bloodwork she had me perform. She referred me to a Gastrologist who scheduled a colonoscopy for me, which found the inflammation and solidified the diagnosis of Celiac Disease.  

After my diagnosis, I went into our pantry and realized how much gluten containing items I had been eating all my life.  My husband and I discussed the issue and we knew there could be no more cross contamination in the house. This was not difficult to accomplish, we just started buying the gluten free items and doing a lot of research on what it means to live gluten free.  That is when I came across the research showing that if you do not have a gluten allergy, then there are potentially no health benefits for you. The main thing that people should focus on would be portion control and the amount of preservatives that they ingest if they do not have an allergy.  

What it means to be gluten free for medical reasons is being ready to always read labels at the store while grocery shopping.  Companies can change the equipment that the process certain foods on, like dip apples that I used to buy for my children. One day my oldest was the one that caught it, the caramel that went with them was being produced in a facility that also handled wheat.  While they had labeled it, I hadn’t been checking consistently at that point to catch it since when I had started, it was gluten free with no cross contamination. The same goes for all foods that we buy, and any restaurant that we go to as a family. Going out to eat becomes an excursion that must be planned out.  I was recently glutened at one of our kids’ favorite go to restaurants, mainly because we went in the late afternoon instead of opening time like we normally do. Trying new places is hard for me, because I hate the sick feeling that it brings on if I do end up consuming something that was cross contaminated. It means researching online, not just by word of mouth; and comparing reviews, looking at the history of those reviews and even being worried when you walk in.  If I have a funny feeling about a place, I talk to managers about their process, and have left restaurants before because it was not worth the risk to me. It is hard sometimes, especially when you just want to go out for tacos, or make a quick run because you didn’t have time to cook, or are bored of the same of things; but to me I is worth it to not feel sick for days on end as my body works to process out the contamination.  

Expanding on my earlier comments, there have been multiple studies that have shown that if you do not have celiac disease, a gluten free diet does not benefit you at all.  I ask all to be weary if you are going to follow one, because the last thing you want to do is to starve your body of vital nutrients that it may need; which if you are not supplementing properly while on a gluten free diet, can be harmful to you.  For those people that do have questions, or are curious about your health, I recommend speaking with your doctor to find out for sure if you do have Celiac Disease. It changed my life, and I feel healthier than ever now that I know what had been wrong for the first large portion of my years.  If you do suspect that you have an autoimmune disease, do not quit trying to find out the answers. In my pursuit of answers, I found out that I also have two other disorders that affect my health, but with the right staff and doctors to help manage them, I live a perfectly happy and healthy life!  It is all about not being content or satisfied if you think something is wrong with your body.  

 

What does “Organic” even mean?

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I get asked this question a lot, "Emily, what does it mean if something is organic?"

Surely, you've seen the marketing that claims that organics are better for you, they will help you lose weight and that they can prevent you from being exposed to pesticides which are harmful to our bodies.

It is true that there can be negative side effects with over use over ingestion of pesticides at high does over an extended period of time, but it's not any thing you should be overly concerned.

So what does "Organic" mean?
If it's organic, that means that it was grown without the use of artificial hormones, chemicals or antibiotics. For it to be labeled "Organic", it has to comply with certain guidelines. Organic foods typically use more manure to fertilize the food, which can help with the nutrient profile of the produce. However, just because they use natural fertilizers, doesn't mean that they are safe for us to have in high quantity either.

Some studies have shown that some produce is higher in vitamins and minerals, however, there are equal amounts of studies that show that there is no difference in nutrient profile either.

Organic food typically costs more to grow as it uses more water during the growing process, as well as is more labor intensive for the farmer. If you simply wash your conventionally grown produce with water, you reduce the pesticide residue on the produce and reduce any risk.

Just because it's organic doesn't mean it doesn't use some sort of pesticides though. Often times, the pesticides are derived from heavy metals which can also cause problems. 

We have to remember that with any study that says some one the usual pesticides cause cancer, that it is typically in very high doses of it. The same is true with artificial sweeteners. However, with the end product we get, they are typically low in pesticides, therefore not enough in one sitting to cause issues.

We have to remember that organic, not as healthy food, is still not as healthy even though it is organic.

Some of the products are still highly processed, have added sugar, fat and sodium, just like the non-organic version. Often times, labels will say something is made with organic, natural ingredients, but we have to remember that in the end, it's still sugar, no matter what form it is in.

In the end, organics may have slightly more nutrients than conventionally farmed produce, but they are more expensive and can soil faster than non-organic foods. There are no clear cut answers on whether we should be eating organics or not, but in my opinion, if my grandparents were just fine on conventionally farmed produce, then I am okay.

If you're someone who would rather have organics, then that's your preference!

How long have you been trying to lose weight?

How long have you been trying to lose weight but not succeeding?

Has it only been a recent endeavor for you? Maybe within the past 6-12 months or so?

Or has it been years? Maybe 5 years or 10 years?

Or as long as you can remember?

I had a new client this week tell me that she has perpetually been trying to lose weight for the last 10 years. The last 10 years of her life has been dedicated to eating less to hopefully weight less.

I've had clients say that they have been trying to lose weight since they were a child. They were put on weight loss drugs before they turned 10. Their families put them on diets to get them to lose weight. They were told they needed to lose weight, even before they could fully mature into their bodies.

How sad, really, to be told by your family that you need to lose weight at such a young age and to be put on medications while you're still growing.

The biggest mistake I see people making, as well as diet culture in general making, is spreading the belief following it that you need to eat only 1200 calories to lose weight.

For reference, that's how many calories a 12 year old should be eating, not a full grown man or woman.

So, when we spend YEARS at 1200 calories or less trying to lose weight, our bodies have to make some changes. We are designed to live off a lot more than 1200 calories a day. so when we under feed it to a max of 1200 calories a day, we need to make some changes.

What are those changes? Our bodies become REALLY good, I mean crazy good, at sparing as much energy it can, cycling back our calorie burn and storing as much fat as possible. That's why you're not seeing any weight loss at 1200 calories a day and also why you're seeing a weight gain.

Our metabolisms literally think you're starving. And when we go into starvation mode, we start storing as much energy as we can.

So, what should we do? I know this will be a controversial answer, but start eating more. Focus still on eating nutrient dense foods, but start eating more. Add in about 200 calories every 2-3 weeks until you get to a maintenance, level, typically 1800-2600 depending on who you are.

That could be adding in a snack sometime or increasing to size of one of you meals. Really, that is where you should start.

Once you get to a maintenance level, you really should stay there for 3-4-5-6 months to help your body heal and recognize that you're not trying to starve yourself. Need help with that? Send me a email!

But really, those are the first steps.
That's it!

How long have you been dieting? Are you stuck in a rut and only eating 1200 calories? Let's change that.  Let me know in the comments your thoughts!

What should I eat before a workout?

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Are you someone that works out a lot but are never sure what you should be doing as far as your nutrition with exercise?

Trust me, I get it and you are not alone! I get asked A LOT by my clients as well as my Facebook community members (click here to join!) and on Instagram how to fuel up for activity!

This was something that always confused me, too before I finished school and my Master's degree. But, don't worry! My Master's degree in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science serves me well and it's about to serve you, too!

I would first not eat anything, thinking that if my goal was weight loss, then I probably wouldn't want to add calories in. Then, I would fuel up for everything, like pilates  and yoga too, and that was unnecessary!

So, for what, when,  and why should we fuel up for exercise? Let's get started!

It's true that your body has energy stores in it's muscles that make you prepared to move and exercise whenever you choose, but, sometimes you need that little extra umph to get you going!

Why kind of activity warrants a pre-exercise meal/snack?
Think longer activity, typically lasting at least 60-90 minutes that is at a high intensity. Exercise that really gets your heart pumping and you're recruiting more muscle groups! Running is a great example, HIIT training, moderate to high intensity strength training, biking and such. These activities are PERFECT to fuel up for!.
What shouldn't you need to fuel up for?
Think shorter activity, one that you're only doing for 20 minutes or so, that you're not breaking a sweat in. Kind of like Pilates and Yoga. You wouldn't need to fuel up before going on a short walk (30 minutes or so) either. Our bodies store up enough energy that will last us about 2 hours of low to moderate intensity activity!

Why should we fuel up for these harder and longer exercises?
In our muscles, we store carbohydrates, also known as glycogen for activity and to keep up running! When we are working out for an extended period of time, we are engaging in aerobic activity, which means we are relying on our stores as well as oxygen to keep up moving and functioning. When we fuel up, we are adding more available energy for our bodies to utilize during activity to keep up at the top of our game.

So, what should we be having?
About 30 minutes to an hour before strenuous activity, you'll want to dig into a simple carbohydrate rich snack. Simple carbohydrates can get broken down very easily and fast to be able to utilize them for energy. Simple carbohydrate snacks include: Pretzels, dried fruit, whole fruit, fruit juice, toast, oatmeal, simple yogurt, or simple granola bar.   All of these snacks are higher in simple carbs and low in protein and fat to prevent upset stomach! Having a snack high in fat and protein will take the body LONGER to digest and utilize their energy, plus they also can cause upset stomach and nausea as they sit in the stomach for longer!

BONUS TIP!
I hate to say it, but you really don't need to be drinking gatorade as you're on the elliptical for 30 minutes. Sports beverages are really only warranted when you're exercising for at least 60-90 minutes at moderate to extreme intensity, PLUS, if you're a heavy sweater. And, gatorade and powerade aren't the best things you could be having, as they are lower in sodium than they should be and lower in sugar than they should be to be a refuel beverage. Your best bet is to just stick to water!

What's your usual fueling routine for exercise? Can you eat before exercise?

What produce is in season right now?

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The fall is the PERFECT time to start incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet!

Actually, fresh vegetables, when they are grown and picked in season, have the best nutrient quality than any other time throughout the year. When the produce is homegrown (typically within 50 miles of selling) there is less of a loss of nutrients due to transportation and the produce sitting for a while.

Although the Driscoll berries typically look pick and bright red, they usually don't have the best taste, nor are they the sweetest. That's because they are grown out of season, and if you live on the east coast, they are transported across the country to your grocery store.

So, the produce that is in season now and homegrown is going to have THE BEST nutrient quality and amount. These in season produce options will have greater amounts of micronutrients, which means, more nutrient dense!!

Woohoo!!!

So, what is in season right now??

Mushrooms
Peppers
Tomatoes
Cherries
Apples
Asparagus
Greens (swiss chard, romaine, spinach)
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Brussel Sprouts
Celery
Garlic
Peas
Squash
Onions

And this is just a short list!

So what do you do if it's not season? I urge you to buy it canned or frozen

Why? Because the canned and frozen versions are also picked at the peak of freshness and flash canned or frozen! They will also have a great nutrient profile and even be better than if you bough the "fresh version" that was shipped in across the country.
Rinse the canned vegetables to reduce up to 40% of the sodium content too! Both are great options!

So, I want to know...

What's your favorite in season vegetable? Let me know in the comments!

Is Keto the best way to lose weight?

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I'm sure that question has crossed your mind a few times

Especially if you've been trying to lose weight for a while and have about had it with dieting it self.

Trust me, I get it!

Keto seems to be an easy way to shed pounds FAST and get you looking like a god or goddess in no time. Or so it seems.

But, the keto diet that you're seeing on Instagram, facebook, Pinterest and in the media is not what the ketogenic diet is.

It really isn't as easy as cutting out all your favorite carb foods like apples (some keto-ers consider apples evil because of the carbs), bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and every other carb-y goodness food you could ever want.

Sure it sounds easy to say okay to ditching all those great foods, but it's not as easy as you think.

First, let's talk about what a ketogenic diet is, who it is supposed to by and it's uses.

The Ketogenic diet was originally made for children who have epilepsy issues who's symptoms and disease have not been able to be managed with medications. It is sometimes seen as the last ditch effort to help suppress the seizures as it helps to alter the genes involved in energy metabolism which then helps to stabilize the neurons in the brain to stop the seizures.

The ketogenic diet that is prescribed to children is very strict and the children must be admitted to the hospital to be closely monitored as they transition into ketosis (the process of making ketone bodies and using them for energy within the body). Their labs need to be perfect and the diet is completely controlled.

The diet prescribed to the children is a 4:1:1 ratio of Fat to protein and carbohydrates. Like 100g of fat, 25g protein and 25g carbohydrates a day. Protein must be limited as protein can very easily be turned into glucose within the body through gluconeogenesis and prevent ketosis from occurring. Think like drinking heavy cream instead of milk, adding butter to EVERYTHING, and trying to eat avocados all the time.

These children continue to be CLOSELY monitored by their doctors and dietitians throughout the entire process and don't stay on the diet forever.

Yep, you read that right.

The child really only stays on the ketogenic diet for 2 years max. If it doesn't help them by then, then they are transitioned off. If the diet does help them, they are still transitioned off around 2 years later and continue on with normal life!

So, then what is the issue with the "keto" diets people are using for weight loss?

First, we still don't know the long term effects of being on a very high fat diet. We are starting to see more and more people end up in the hospital with heart issues and elevated blood fat panels after following a keto diet.

Second, the keto diet people on  right now is not a true ketogenic diet. These modified keto diets are too high in protein to allow the body to go into ketosis. Their diets are primarily fatty meats, chicken and fish, 2 of the 3 are lean proteins.

Those lean proteins have more protein than fat in them, which is then broken down and turned into glucose, preventing ketosis.

So, why are people seeing such a drastic weight loss?

When you cut major sources of carbohydrates out of your diet, your body is forced to use the carbohydrate stores that are in your muscles. When you use those stores, your body also releases the water that is stored with the carbohydrates in your muscle, thus resulting in a fast "weight loss" within a few days that is really only water weight lost.

Essentially, over time you're starving your body and making it use the protein stores as well as the fat stores in your body to keep its energy going. Which can also result in weight loss, however, if you're wanting to preserve your muscle mass, then you really shouldn't be dabbling in this.

More times than not, after a few weeks or months, the person will find themselves in a situation where there's carbs that they have been restricting for a while, everywhere, and they can't do anything other than eat them all.

The cycle of restriction gets broke with a binge on foods you've told yourself are bad and that you cannot have.

Then you're feeling bad about yourself and what you've done and see the weight come right back on.

You'll often see that once someone decides that they are done losing weight on keto and transitions off, they first don't know how to start eating again. And then, find that they've added more weight back on.

That's the problem with diets, once you're done losing, what are you supposed to do the keep the weight off? They surely don't tell you that!

If you haven't learned yet, I am not a fan of restriction. Therefore, any diet that tells you you cannot have something is not my first go to.

But, I want to know your opinions? Have you tried keto? Was it successful for you? Are you still doing it?

Let me know in the comments!

Also, if you want to read more on the flaws of the keto diet that celebrities are pushing? Click here and check out this article I've been featured in!