Can Vitamin D Help You Lose Weight?

Many of us know that our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth.  Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children, known as rickets, and fragile bones in adults.  Vitamin D is needed for many important functions in the body other than building strong bones such as strengthening the immune system, protecting us from cold and flu season.  Vitamin D also plays a major role in the life cycle of human cells.  A deficiency of this important vitamin could result in health problems such as depression, weight gain, cancers, and heart disease.  Vitamin D is so important that your body makes it by itself through exposure to the sun however if you don’t expose your skin to the sun, you use a sun block when in the sun, or you have dark skin, you may be at risk of low levels of vitamin D.  You can however get vitamin D from some foods such as fatty fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna), beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and some foods fortified with vitamin D such as some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk and cereals.  You can also take vitamin D in capsule or liquid drops which ensures you are getting enough.

Did you know that getting in an adequate amount of vitamin D can help you lose weight?  Recently, researchers from Canada found that people with higher levels of vitamin D also have lower levels of body fat.  The connection isn’t a coincidence.  Vitamin D helps you feel fuller because it releases more leptin, which I have discussed in my past blogs.  Leptin is a hormone made by the fat cells that is essential to weight loss for a number of reasons.  It controls appetite and food intake so we don’t overeat and plays an important role in controlling body weight.  Vitamin D also helps you store less fat by decreasing parathyroid hormone, which makes you hold onto fat.  Best of all, vitamin D literally burns more fat by reducing the production of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’.  Remember that when our cortisol levels are high, it makes the body think you are in a fight or flight situation and when that happens, the body automatically stores fat because it needs to store energy (fat) as it doesn’t know how long you’re going to fight or run for.  You will need at least 3,000IU to 4,000IU per day if you want to see best results.

Can You ‘Spot Reduce’ When Trying to Lose Weight?

When people ask me what body shape I have, I always say ‘big’ but in all honesty, I have to admit I am apple shaped like the rest of my family.  There are basically four different body shapes (apple, pear, rectangle and inverted triangle) but we are going to focus on apple and pear shapes.  Apple-shaped people carry most of their fat around the abdomen and for some time have been thought to be more at risk for conditions such as heart disease and diabetes than the pear-shaped person because their fat is stored around all of the organs.  Pear-shaped people carry their extra weight in the hips, buttocks, and thighs.  Is your shape hereditary?  The answer is ‘yes’, genetics is the most important determinant for where fat is stored.  Chances are high that your body shape is similar to one of your parents.  Gender and age are also part of the equation where men tend to carry more weight around their midsection and women tend to have more fat around the hips and thighs.  Hereditary factors may play a role in your total body weight not only due to genes but also eating habits.  If your parents are overweight and have an unhealthy diet, chances are you were fed an unhealthy diet growing up which is why you may be overweight as well.  We all know some people who have a tiny upper body, small waist and then bulge at the bottom, or the person who has the ‘pregnant’ belly and skinny little legs and no bum.  I have had people ask me numerous times if they can ‘spot reduce’ meaning can they lose weight JUST in their hips and thighs or wherever…  I’ve heard many women who are pear-shaped and are trying to lose weight in their lower body only to find that their boobs and waist get smaller which is the last place they needed to lose weight.

So, can you ‘spot reduce’?  The theory of spot reduction, or losing weight in a targeted area only, has been promoted in the health and fitness world for some time but there’s really not a lot of evidence to support it.  An example of spot reducing is doing sit-ups in an effort to reduce your belly weight.  To know if spot reducing is possible, one must understand how fat loss works.  The fat in your cells is found in the form of triglycerides which can be broken down later for the body to use for energy.  Before they can be burned for energy, they must be broken down into smaller fats called free fatty acids and glycerol.  Once they are broken down, they enter the bloodstream and then, during exercise, they can be used for fuel.  It is important to note that the ‘fuel’ you are burning come from the whole body, not specifically from the area that is being exercised.  Having said that, if you are doing sit-ups to burn belly fat, you are not just burning fat from the belly however, you are strengthening the muscles of the abdomen but you just can’t see it due to the fat on top of the abdomen.  My husband says he has a washboard stomach but there’s a load of laundry in the washer (ha ha).  So, whether you are apple-shaped or pear-shaped, you cannot lose weight only in a specific desired area of the body.  When you lose weight, chances are you will likely be the same shape, only smaller.

How Has Canada Food Guide Changed and Has it Helped Us?

Did you know that Canada’s Food Guide no longer includes how many servings of different foods to include daily, but urges people to eat more of some things and less of others?  They say to eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat.  The iconic rainbow of the Canada’s Food Guide recommended eating 4-10 servings of vegetables (1/2 cup serving size) has now changed to a ‘plate’, half of which is now fruits and vegetables.  One quarter of the ‘plate’ should include whole grains like pasta and rice and the other quarter should be filled with protein, preferably plant-based like nuts, tofu, lentils or beans.  They recommend plant-based proteins in order to increase fiber intake and lower intake of processed meats and saturated fats (to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and colon cancer).  Missing on this new ‘plate’ are the ‘milk and alternatives’ food group which may reduce key sources of many nutrients that many of us fall short of.  Although dairy products are not shown on the ‘plate’ they do say that you can include low-fat dairy products like milk and cheese as a protein source.  Where do fats fit in all of this?

There are no fats showing on the new ‘plate’ however they say that choosing foods that contain mostly healthy fats are the way to get your fats into your diet and are recommended such as nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty fish, vegetable oils and soft margarine.  Soft margarine????  Really?  So, I supposed they are not opposed to partially hydrogenated fats which are essentially trans-fats and are used in most soft margarine.  They do not recommend saturated fats such as fatty meats, high fat dairy products and oils such as coconut oil (old school thinking).  When preparing foods, they recommend using healthy oils such as olive, flax seed, safflower, sunflower, soybean, peanut, sesame, canola and corn oil.  OK, so we know that saturated fats have been given a bad wrap in recent history as being bad for our health, particularly heart health.  Most of this advice is backed by flawed, incomplete scientific studies that ignore the principles of the ketogenic diet which we now have numerous scientific data to back this diet up, and more keep coming.  Also, a lot of the old research that condemns saturated fats failed to consider or take into account the high consumption of carbohydrates alongside the fat intake of the research subjects.  Of course, when you mix high fat with high amounts of carbohydrates, you are just asking for trouble.

I know it’s hard to change your thoughts on what we have been ‘trained’ to believe over the past number of years but if what they say is true in terms of better health, why is obesity a major epidemic right now, especially among children?  We have a lot of scientific data that shows that people who are obese have a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer ad premature mortality than a normal weight person.  This alone has been estimated to cost our Canadian economy by approximately $4.6 BILLION, which is an increase of about 19% from 2000.  So where is the disconnect?  At the same time, we are now gathering so much evidence that the low-carb and keto diet are much healthier for you mainly because you are drastically reducing your sugar intake.  Remember EVERYTHING with the exception of meat and fat is sugar.  ALL carbohydrates (simple and complex) and ALL other foods break down into glucose.  I believe, as many health professionals believe, that sugar is the culprit to ill health.

Ok, so we know that sugary foods such as sugary drinks, donuts, cakes and candy are bad for you but keep in mind, as much as these are very high-sugar foods, they are still bad because it’s sugar.  How does sugar affect our health?  Did you know that an abundance of sugar may cause your liver to become resistant to insulin, which helps turn sugar in your bloodstream into energy?  This means your body isn’t able to control your blood sugar levels as well which can cause type 2 diabetes.  When you eat excess sugar, the extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries causing the walls to grow faster than normal and get tense which adds stress to your heart and over time, damage to the heart which can lead to heart disease.  Sugar creates a surge of dopamine in your brain (the feel-good hormone) and your brain starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure creating more and more sugar cravings that are hard to ignore, causing you to eat more.  Eating something high in sugar can give you a quick burst of energy aka ‘sugar high’ by raising your blood sugar levels fast.  However, when your levels drop as your cells absorb the sugar, you may get the ‘sugar crash’ which makes you feel jittery and anxious.  Studies show that a high sugar intake is linked to a greater risk of depression.  Sugar also causes inflammation in the body which is NOT a good thing!  I could go on…

Conclusion?  Canada’s Food Guide is predominantly sugar in one form or another.  Think about it…half of your ‘plate is fruits and vegetables (sugar), one quarter of the ‘plate’ is grains (sugar) and the other quarter of the ‘plate’ is protein which they recommend plant-based proteins (sugar again).  I would like to know what they based their changes on for the new ‘plate’ over their ‘rainbow’ guide (which wasn’t any better).  According to The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine “Canada’s Food Guide needs a facelift.  The blueprint that informs our relationship with food fails to help people make the heathiest choices.  In the midst of an obesity crisis that threatens our health and our health care system, this document is obesogenic.  We need to do better.”  I agree.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…

Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind When Grocery Shopping on a Keto and Low Carb Diet

Buying “Fake” food is a big no-no when grocery shopping.  I’m sure you’ve heard that you should stick to the parameter of the store.  It is in the center shelves that carry the pre-packaged foods.  Real food has only one ingredient.  Examples are eggs, fruits, vegetables, meat, butter, cheese and oils.  Heavily processed foods are fake foods, heavily processed.  These are the foods that are typically full of sugar, starch and bad fats and should be avoided at all costs.  To avoid these fake foods, know some of the rules:

  1. Don’t buy foods that say anything like cereal, cake, cookie, bread, cracker or chips, even if it touts they are low carb as they are often full of fake ingredients like starch, artificial sweeteners and unknown additives.
  2. Not all packaged foods are fake but how do you know? Look for products with the fewest ingredients such as coleslaw, eggs, cheese, nut butters etc.  Even though they are packaged, they are healthy and safe.
  3. Be sure to check the NET carb amounts. Remember:  Take total carbs and subtract the fiber (and sugar alcohols if there is any).  If total carbs is 10, and fiber is 7 then the NET carb count is 3.  This is the amount of carbs that have a glycemic response.  Fiber has no glycemic response so you subtract it.  Be careful with the serving size when reading labels.  If you are calculating the NET carbs on a prepackaged item, look for the serving size.  One item which looks like it is one serving can actually be for 2-4 servings so you need to calculate NET carbs PER SERVING.
  4. Buy low carb vegetables, not the starchy ones. The rule of thumb is to stick to vegetables that grow above ground and avoid ones that grow below ground.  Stick to green leafy vegetables, asparagus, avocado and zucchini.  Other good choices are broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and brussels sprouts but these vegetables when eaten in excess can take you out of ketosis so be careful.  Avoid vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions and beet root.
  5. Buy less fruit, if any. Fruit is very high in carbs and will take you out of ketosis very quickly so there are really no fruits good for a keto diet.  If you MUST eat fruit stick to raspberries and blackberries.  Lemons and limes in small amounts in your water are fine too.
  6. Buy fewer nuts. Nuts are keto friendly in small amounts but the problem is that it is too easy to overeat them which can take you out of ketosis.
  7. Be careful with yogurt. Most yogurts, even Greek yogurt are high in carbs and will take you out of ketosis.
  8. Avoid anything that contains fructose, corn syrup and sugar…any kind of sugar. Anything that ends with “ose” is sugar such as fructose, glucose, lactose etc.  Avoid sugars such as syrup, malt or cane sugar, honey, dried fruit and fruit juice concentrates.
  9. Avoid grains. Most of the starch in our diets come from grains.  Wheat and corn are the main ones, but any kind of grain (and flours) add loads of carbs in our diet.  Avoid rice and all bread products.
  10. Eat good fats abundantly but avoid bad fats at all costs.  These would include hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats), margarine, shortening and processed vegetable oils such as corn, canola, cottonseed, safflower and soybean oils.

The Magic Pill – Movie

I remember when the Atkins Diet gained popularity there were many health professionals that tried to debunk the diet saying it was unhealthy and you were going to get heart disease.  Many years later you will still not find any hard evidence that the diet is unhealthy and in fact, many health professionals were completely surprised that the diet had the opposite effect.  People were getting healthier, losing weight, lowering cholesterol and eradicating diabetes.  Recently I have been doing a lot of research on some long term studies of the ketogenic diet and published one the other day.  Today I found a movie on how the keto diet can literally save thousands of lives and that we all should be eating this way.  Basically meats, vegetables and good fats.  Remove sugar completely and watch serious diseases disappear.  I suggest that you just watch this 2:25 minute trailer on the movie called The Magic Pill:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61GitUC_678    Copy and paste this link into your browser.

Just 2 minutes of your time will hopefully prod you to watch the movie.  I would love to hear what you think of the movie if you watch it, especially if you have any health issues or your family has health issues.

And by the way, the Ketoba product is now in stock and I started to take it today.  I will keep you all posted on my weight loss results.  I have a good 30 pounds to lose and if this does it, I am going to buy shares in the company lol.  Will keep you posted!

KETOBA- The brand new breakthrough supplement that automatically puts your body into ketosis!

KETOBA- A breakthrough supplement to put the body automatically into ketosis for rapid weight loss!  Is it true???

Every year billions of dollars are spent on weight loss supplements…billions!  People who want to lose weight will try just about anything and are willing and able to spend a lot of money to achieve this.  With the gradual resurgence of low-carb diets in recent years, the word “ketones” is thrown around a lot. But many people aren’t really aware of the details. What are ketones, really? And what do they do in the body?

Ketones, also known as “ketone bodies,” are by-products of the body breaking down fat for energy that occurs when carbohydrate intake is low.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS!

When there isn’t a sufficient level of available glucose — which is what the body uses for its main source of fuel — and glycogen levels are depleted, blood sugar and insulin are lowered and the body looks for an alternative source of fuel: in this case, fat.  This process can happen when a person is fasting, after prolonged exercise, during starvation, or when eating a low-carb, ketogenic diet.  And when the body begins breaking down fats for energy like this, ketones are formed for use as fuel for the body and brain. This is known as ketosis. People following a ketogenic diet specifically reduce their carbohydrate intake for this reason: to create ketones for energy.  Many people use the benefits of ketosis — less reliance on carbs and more burning of fat — to possibly help lower blood pressure, reduce cravings, improve cholesterol, increase weight loss, improve energy, and more.

What if you can take a supplement without having to follow a ketogenic diet so closely?  Would you take it?  

KETOBA is a brand new breakthrough product that puts the body into ketosis.  So what is KETOBA and how does it work?

KETOBA is a specific ketone body called BHB (B-hydroxybutyrate) as well as BA (Butyrate or Butyric Acid).  Research shows that this ketone can generate as much as 38% more energy than ATP.  (ATP is a chemical compound that is synthesised by all cells and is used as a means of storing and transferring energy within cells…sort of like the energy spark plug of each cell).  BA is a short chain fatty acid (not medium chain) which is found naturally in dairy fat.  (Butter is one of the richest sources.)  Butyric acid turns the typical ketone body (BHB) into an effective weight loss strategy.

Adding BA with a ketone body like BHB creates an activated ketone.  This is KETOBA.  KETOBA keeps blood BHB levels stay consistently high and blood glucose levels down.  Elevated levels of BHB push the body to use its own fat stores for fuel.  KETOBA has also shown to curb appetite!

Additionally, KETOBA increases energy and stamina, mental clarity and is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant!  Because KETOBA is a short chain fatty acid (SCFA) it will not cause gastrointestinal issues like medium chain fatty acids such as MCT oil.  In fact, KETOBA improves electrolyte and water reabsorption and helps to balance probiotic culture in the colon.  KETOBA supports insulin efficiency and blood sugar management allowing BHB to be utilized as the primary energy source.  To get more information for this product, you can check out their site: http://www.rhemamade.com/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=67612

I have sourced out this amazing one of a kind fat burning product and am going to try it myself along with my colleague.  I will keep you posted on how it works.  If you are interested in trying this yourself, let me know and I will help you out!  Let’s turn on our fat burning machines!

 

 

Cellulite And How To Get Rid Of It

Cellulite, How Do I Get Rid Of It??

Did you know that 80% – 90% of women have some cellulite?  Isn’t that a crazy number?  Men are fortunate as only 10% of them are affected by cellulite.  So what’s the deal on this?  It’s more common in women because women are more likely to have the particular types of fat and connective tissue that cellulite is associated with.

What is that ugly cottage cheese-like stuff on your butt and thighs? The answer is simple: it’s just normal fat beneath the skin. It appears to be bumpy because it pushes against connective tissue, causing the skin above it to pucker. It isn’t harmful to your health, but many people try to get rid of it because it’s so ugly.

Cellulite doesn’t only affect women who are overweight; thin people get cellulite too. However, the more weight you lose, the more reduced your cellulite will appear. It can also be more visible if you eat a poor diet, follow fad diets, have a slow metabolism, don’t exercise enough, or don’t drink enough water.  It could even have to do with the color of your skin! Cellulite is less noticeable in darker skin tones.  There is no exact cause of cellulite, but popular theories include that it could have something to do with hormonal factors, genetics, your diet, your lifestyle factors and even clothing that limits your blood flow.  Hormonal changes, specifically a decline in estrogen levels, may contribute to changes in circulation and a reduction in the production of collagen.  A combination of fat cells becoming larger or increasing in number, a thinner collagen layer and change in blood supply may lead to cellulite.

So what can you do?  Unfortunately, at this time, researchers and doctors have not identified a cure for cellulite, or a treatment that may permanently reverse the effects.  However, there are strategies you may use to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite or which may halt the progression of the process.

Dry Skin Brushing:   Your skin is the largest organ in your body.  Although there are benefits to using dry skin brushing for aesthetic reasons, the technique also offers whole body benefits.   Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.  It also stimulates the lymphatic system, exfoliates the skin and increases circulation.  Use coconut oil as a moisturizer once you are done dry brushing.

Drink plenty of water: One of the jobs of your fat cells is to hold and sequester toxins that the liver and kidney can’t keep up with.   Without enough water, your body won’t be able to flush out toxins (which flush out the fat with it) and it won’t be able to effectively break down cellulite.

Coffee Rub:  Many women have reported success with a simple mix of coffee grounds and warm water.  Use this scrub for ten minutes twice per week on areas where cellulite reduction is desired.  You should start to see some great results after four weeks of regular treatment.

Essential Oils:  Juniper, Rose Hip, Birch and Rosemary oil help in various ways including increasing circulation and promoting detoxification of the cells.  Mix any or all of these oils on the areas that you want to reduce cellulite.

Proper circulation helps to prevent and eliminate cellulite.  Avoid wearing clothes with tight elastic bands that may restrict blood flow to hips, thighs, and other areas prone to cellulite.  Also, if you experience a lot of soreness during physical activities, tight muscles may also be restricting blood flow.  Perform stretching exercises such as yoga or Tai Chi to loosen up cramped tissues and improve your circulation.  You can take supplements such as Gingko Biloba or you can purchase any products that are designed for varicose veins as all of them are designed to promote circulation, as well as strengthen veins.