Friday, December 1, 2017

Power Play Holiday: How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays


Plan to Succeed

There’s a popular saying in the fitness industry: “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Wanting to achieve a goal, even one as simple as making sure you stay at your goal weight during the holidays, requires planning. When you get too confident about achieving your most recent results, believing that nothing can take your success away from you, this is when you’re most likely to slip and fall off the wagon.

Whether you want to maintain your weight, lose more weight, or just avoid over doing it this holiday season, I highly recommend writing down your goals. Physically writing down your goals has been shown in studies to be more effective at producing results so make sure that you arm yourself with a notebook planner that has a weekly calendar and a pen.

Depending on how detailed you want to get, there are three levels of planning: macro, meso, and micro. At the very least, you want to have a micro plan. For the holidays, I’d recommend a meso plan. If you’re a go-getter, creating a macro plan is the way to go.

Micro-Cycle
  • One-week plan
  • Number of workouts per week
  • Weekly dietary goal and caloric intake limits
  • Weekly weight loss / muscle building goals (e.g. – Losing 0.5 pounds per week)

Meso-Cycle
  • One-month plan
  • Contains four micro-cycles
  • Focuses on overall goal (e.g. – Lose 3 pounds by the end of the month)
  • Will change according to progress and desires

Macro-Cycle
  • Yearly fitness plan
  • Contains 12 meso-cycles
  • The big picture goal (e.g. – Lose 15 pounds and look amazing in a bikini)
  • Will change often based on you how you are progressing

Your fitness plan should be one part of your overall schedule. Let’s talk about a few more things that you can place within your schedule in the coming sections.


Get Intense

If you are wondering what type of workout you should be doing to ensure success on your fitness plan, I recommend high intensity interval training.

More commonly called H.I.I.T., these are fast-paced workouts that focus on primarily bodyweight exercises. Not only are H.I.I.T. workouts proven to be more effective than a traditional long duration, low intensity workout but they also save time. H.I.I.T. workouts take no more than 30 minutes and will provide incredible results. (1)

If you think that’ll have trouble performing a H.I.I.T. workout at home then I’d recommend signing up for a High Intensity Interval Training class two to three times per week. You can easily find a class near your home by using Class Pass or Yelp. 

Morning Routine

Mornings are the best time to get things accomplished. You can capitalize on the surge of hormones that are busy waking your body up to engage in activities that set the pace for the rest of the day.

Having a set morning routine is something that is recommended by many self-help gurus such as Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. You don’t need to have a list as lengthy as theirs but I do recommend taking the morning for yourself, even if you can only spare 15 to 30 minutes.

Here are some ideas for things to can do as soon as you get out of bed:


Speaking of your fitness plan, whatever you choose to do for your morning routine is a great thing to incorporate into your macro, meso, and micro cycles. The more you can plan out on paper, the better your chances for consistency and success.

Take Care of Your Body

Your body is like a machine. Once in a while, you’re going to need to take it in for basic maintenance. If you don’t, you put yourself at risk for the body breaking down.

Several times a month during the holidays, you should be showing your body some TLC. I highly recommend getting some type of bodywork performed once or twice a week during the stressful holiday season. Don’t worry, not all bodywork requires you to go out and spend money. Here are some of the most popular examples of bodywork.

At Home:
  • Soak in Epsom salt bath
  • Massage from significant other
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Stretching
For Purchase:
  • Acupuncture
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Cupping 
Again, you can incorporate your bodywork sessions into your overall fitness plan as mentioned above.

Supplement with Vitamin D

While Florida and SoCal may still be enjoying rays of sunshine during the winter months, the rest of the country is blanketed by clouds. Fall and Winter weather can be beautiful but these are also the seasons where seasonal depression spikes. This is because a lack of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that plays an essential role in hundreds of daily processes per day including your mood and how you feel. When vitamin D levels are low, you’re likely to experience mood swings and depression. Where does the body get most of its vitamin D? The sun! (2)

During the spring and summer, you’re running around outside and your body is soaking up sunshine. Yes, too much sunshine may contribute to pre-mature skin aging as well as several types of skin cancer. With that said, sunshine is something of an essential nutrient. You just need to consume it in moderation. 10 minutes per day of sunshine while wearing a light moisturizer with SPF 15 is considered safe and essential for vitamin D production.

When you are stuck in the house due to rain, snow, or the bitter cold, you don’t have that chance to soak up the sunshine. The result may be low vitamin D levels then symptoms such as seasonal depression begin. When you’re stuck inside and not feeling like yourself, your chances of emotional eating skyrocket.

If you want to get in your daily dose of vitamin D and protect your weight loss, this is where a vitamin D supplement can help. I recommend taking a 1,000 to 2,500 IU of a high-quality Vitamin D3 every day. Again, write this down on your macro, meso, and micro plans.

Plan Daily Activities

My first tip for you to stay healthy during the holidays was all about planning to succeed. This includes a workout program, meal planner, body work, and morning routines. Do you know what else you need to plan? To have fun!

During the colder months, it can be easy to fall into a monotonous pattern of binge watching Netflix as you wait for the warmer weather to arrive. Spring won’t be arriving any time soon so in order to save your weight loss progress and your mental health, you need to pencil in some fun on your schedule.

I recommend planning something fun to do each day, even if it’s something that is small like watching a YouTube comedian. These little changes in your schedule will help you have a better outlook on things while keeping you moving. Here is a list of some things you can plan to do during the holiday months:
  • Hiking
  • Visit an exhibit at a museum
  • Take an art class
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Explore the center of a nearby town
  • Have a game night with friends
  • Walk through your local park
  • Cooking classes
Remember, write these fun activities down on your weekly and monthly calendars.

Get on a Sleep Schedule

We have just one more thing to write down on your calendar and it comes at the end of each day. Sleep is an essential part of your fitness success regardless of what day of the year it is.

Sleep is the time when our bodies wind down and start to recover after a long day. Toxins are flushed out and you can wake feeling renewed. When you’re skipping on sleep, you’re more likely to gain weight. (3)

I highly recommend getting yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. That means powering down your electronics an hour before bed, drinking some herbal tea such as lavender, and reading a physical book. Reading a physical book, not an e-reader, has been shown to promote sleep much better than reading from your cellphone or tablet. I recommend the following books but there are plenty to choose from:


Just Say “No”

Outside of your macro, meso, and micro plans, here are a few tips and tricks for staying healthy during the holidays.

When the holidays arrive, a few things seem to be universal: people have more time off of work, old friends and family are back in town, and everyone wants to go out more, usually to drink.

Stress is one of the most common reasons that people are likely to slip up during the holidays. Combine this with the availability and convenience of having calorie-loaded junk food and alcoholic beverages nearby and you have a recipe for weight gain.

The best thing you can do for your weight and your mental health is to avoid stressful, unnecessary situations. You don’t need to go to every party and you certainly don’t need to feel obligated to catch up with that family member who makes your teeth clench. Instead, just say that you’re busy. Your blood pressure and waist line will thank you.

Stock the Frig the Right Way

During the holidays, your refrigerator can quickly become loaded with delicious foods that are also an enemy of your fitness goals. Instead of letting your refrigerator become a loading dock for unhealthy foods, get ahead of the curve and stock your refrigerator the right way.

First, make sure that the refrigerator is focused on foods that are high in protein and healthy fats but lower in carbohydrates. Here are some great examples:

  • Turkey
  • Bacon
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt

Second, be sure to remove or give away all foods items that are processed and high in sugar. These are going to be your biggest challenge because they taste great and can quickly escalate a bad diet.

Third, when eating, stick to supplements or power foods in the morning. For example, I start my day by consuming one or more of the following

  • Bone broth
  • Bullet proof coffee
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of baking soda mixed in water

I’d also recommend using B-vitamins and electrolytes when drinking the items mentioned above. Speaking of things you might want to drink in the morning…

Use Caffeine Wisely

As a global population, we are addicted to caffeine. You may think that people from the U.S. drink a crazy amount of coffee. You personally might even drink two cups a day but when compared to the rest of the world, the United States doesn’t even break into the top 20. Still, this doesn’t make over consumption of coffee and subsequently caffeine a good thing.

Caffeine, the chemical in coffee that gives you a brain jolt in the morning, can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, caffeine has been shown to boost cognitive ability and it may even help protect you from cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, drinking too much caffeine can result in anxiety, increased heart rate, and insomnia. (4)

If you’re already dealing with stress during the holidays, caffeine may act like jet fuel being poured on an open fire. Drinking a cup of coffee a day is fine but don’t overdo it, especially if you have prior medical conditions.

If you’re drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee or caffeine-laced products each day, it may be time for a detox. You can over work your adrenal glands resulting in adrenal fatigue. If you need a cup or two of coffee just to wake up in the morning, there’s a really good chance you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue.

By cutting out coffee for a few weeks, you’re letting your body’s natural hormonal systems get back on track. This will benefits your fitness goals, especially your sleep schedule.

The same rules apply to alcohol. In stressful situations, alcohol is just fuel on the fire. What’s more, alcohol is nothing but empty calories that can ruin your track record of good eating. I’d recommend taking a break from alcohol as well as caffeine. If you drink either, do so responsibly.

Conclusion

Do you follow any of these tips and tricks during the holidays? What have your results been since you started? Have any questions about something I covered? Let me know in the comments below!


References

1. Foster C, Farland CV, Guidotti F, et al. The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training vs Steady State Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 2015;14(4):747-755.

2. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics. 2012;3(2):118-126. doi:10.4103/0976-500X.95506.

3. “Benefits of Sleep.” Benefits of Sleep | Healthy Sleep, healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep.


4. Whiteman, Honor. “Caffeine: How Does It Affect Our Health?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 28 Oct. 2015, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271707.php.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

KetoneAid Review: The Most Powerful Ketone Ester on Earth


Interest in the ketogenic diet has exploded over the last few years thanks to ground breaking research and coverage from popular fitness figures such as Dominic D'Agostino. While studies have consistently confirmed the benefits of achieving ketosis via the ketogenic diet, many followers find it difficult to stay consistent with the diet. If you’re looking to achieve a rapid state of ketosis and reap the benefits without worrying about your meals, the solution may be as simple as taking a sip.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet focuses on replacing carbohydrate consumption with healthy fats. Where a normal diet only has 15% to 25% of daily caloric intake coming from fat, the ketogenic diet has between 60% to 80% from healthy fat sources.

The idea behind the diet is to limit carbohydrate intake so that your body switches over to producing and using ketones. Ketone bodies are produced by the liver from fat sources, both stored or ingested. The body will switch over to using ketones when carbohydrate intake is limited and caloric consumption is low overall. When ketones are used as the primary fuel source in the body, you have achieved a state of ketosis.

Why is the Ketogenic So Popular?
The ketogenic diet has become so immensely popular due to the benefits that have become associated with it. Both athletes and everyday fitness enthusiasts can experience significant benefits from the ketogenic diet.

Increase in Fat Burning
  • Arguably the benefit that pushed the ketogenic diet into the spotlight, studies have shown and users have confirmed that entering a ketogenic state dramatically improves fat burning and insulin sensitivity. What’s more, the ketogenic diet isn’t a fad diet. Studies have demonstrated how the ketogenic diet is ideal for long term weight management.
Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
  • Continuing with the idea above, insulin resistance has become one of the most prevalent and preventable conditions in the United States. This is primarily due to poor dietary choices of excessive carbohydrate intake. Studies show that by following a ketogenic diet, subjects were able to improve their insulin sensitivity. This has dramatic implications as a natural solution for those suffering from diabetes.
Athletes and Weight Cutting
  • For athletes who have to make weight in order to compete, the ketogenic diet may be an effective and safe way to get lean. Most athletes will subject themselves to extreme diets and excessive sauna bathing. Entering ketosis helps shed excess weight while preserving muscle glycogen for performance.
Cognitive Boost
  • Brain hackers everywhere went wild when they found out that the ketogenic diet had the potential to improve overall cognitive functioning. Experts suggest that your brain actually prefers ketones, in particular, beta-Hydroxybutyrate, or BHB, as an energy source. On top of this, entering ketosis has been suggested to halt brain aging.
The Problem with the Ketogenic Diet

There’s no doubt that the ketogenic is amazing but everything has to have a catch, right?

The biggest complaint about the ketogenic diet from followers is the idea that they have to cut down on carbohydrates and increase their healthy fat intake. If they are able to adjust to a ketogenic meal planner, the next hurdle is entering a ketogenic state. If you don’t do your research on the ketogenic diet, you’ll most likely run into what is known as the keto flu

As you cut down on carbohydrates, your body may not be happy with that decision. Without the proper meal planner that emphasizes healthy fats and electrolytes, your body may experience symptoms such as nausea, drowsiness, and mood swings. This is the reaction to the new diet as your body adjusts. Doesn’t sound pleasant, does it?

While the keto flu is completely preventable by slowly eliminating carbohydrates from the diet, focusing on healthy fats, and keeping yourself packed with electrolytes, one question still comes to mind:

“Is there an easier way to achieve ketosis?”

The answer is, “of course!” Introducing KetoneAid.

What is KetoneAid?

KetoneAid is a powerful, American-made exogenous ketones drink that puts you into an instant state ketosis!

Remember the preferred energy source I mentioned above? KetoneAid is a powerful ketone ester made up of D-beta-hydroxybutyrate and R 1,3-butanediol. Each bottle contains 30 grams, or one serving, of the ketone ester.

Highlights of KetoneAid
  • KetoneAid is made in the United States – It is safe and free from cross contaminants (unlike other ketone supplements made in China)
  • Allows you to achieve very high ketone levels without the excessive salt load (up to 6.0mMol)
  • Mimics a 5-day fast in 15 Minutes!
  • No need to be currently following the ketogenic diet
  • Affordable: Price dropped from $1,000 per gram to under $1 per gram
What sets KetoneAid apart from other ketone body supplements is results, taste, and salt. 

No Salt Load with KetoneAid

There are ketone supplements out there that contain high levels of sodium and this may cause unwanted bloating. If you have prior medical issues with hypertension or water retention, you can see how this would be a problem. KetoneAid allows you to enter a ketogenic state without the worry of too much salt.

Taste of KetoneAid

Let’s talk taste. Some of the original ketone body esters have been compared to rocket fuel. A funny conversation between Peter Attia and Tim Ferriss captures Peter’s first experience with one of the original ketone ester drinks that almost made him vomit!

What happened when Chili Beast tried KetoneAid? He pleasantly drank the bottle and gave the taste the thumbs up.

KetoneAid is the first palatable exogenous ketones drink out there, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of ketosis without choking down something that tastes like gasoline.

Benefits of KetoneAid


Benefits of KetoneAid

When it comes to the results of KetoneAid, let’s break it down into two categories: scientific evidence of the benefits of exogenous ketones and unpaid, unbiased user reviews. First, what does science say about ketone esters?

Cognitive Benefits

The science behind ketone esters is positive overall and the results of these studies continue to gain support for future research. When it comes to the brain, ketone esters have been shown to promote cognitive function, specifically working memory enhancement. One study published in Neurobiology of Aging showed that adults who had been diagnosed with cognitive impairment showed significant improvement after supplementing with coconut oil to boost their ketone levels.

What’s more, studies also suggest that ketone esters may be an effective way to alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease while promoting the health of the brain.

Performance and Endurance

For decades, athletes relied on carbohydrates as their primary fuel source. That may all be changing soon enough as studies are revealing that ketone esters can act as a more effective fuel source for both muscle and brain tissue. In particular, endurance-focused subjects demonstrated improved performance times. It goes without saying then that the implications for marathon runners, boxers, or any endurance-based athlete are huge.

Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Health

The prevalence of ketone esters in the body has been shown to promote fat burning and subsequently weight loss. This is important for cardiovascular health as overweight and obese individuals are more likely to develop cardiovascular issues and disease.

Ketone Esters as Antioxidants

One interesting discovery about ketone esters, specifically D-beta-hydroxybutyrate, is their ability to destroy free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for promoting many age and stress-related complications including certain cancers. Ketone esters have been shown to eliminate free radicals, making it an important asset for protecting cardiovascular and cognitive health.

What are Users Saying About KetoneAid?


Now that we know what the science has been saying about ketone esters, the very thing inside of KetoneAid, what about those people who have tried it?

From marathon runners to racecar drivers to self-proclaimed brain hackers, professionals from all walks of life have tried and loved KetoneAid. There are dozens of video reviews on KetoneAid all reporting similar benefits.

Want to get an idea of the results of KetoneAid from the biggest names in the industry? Here are my favorite KetoneAid reviews from names you’ll be familiar with:
If you’re looking for the quick notes version, here’s a list of the most common user-reported benefits that you’ll find across each video and blog out there:

Cognitive
  • Mental clarity
  • Focus
  • Creativity
Weight Loss
  • Appetite suppression
  • Anti-inflammatory response
Exercise & Sports Performance
  • Calm energy 
  • Recovery between reps when weightlifting 
  • Less soreness
  • Improved exercise recovery time
  • Helps achieve new personal bests
Who Should Use KetoneAid?
In short, everyone should be using KetoneAid!

Whether you’re an active professional athlete, an average fitness enthusiast, or someone who is just looking to jump into a healthier lifestyle, KetoneAid can be a powerful tool to use to achieve those goals.

My Experience with KetoneAid
Let’s jump into what happened when I took KetoneAid. I’m going to describe my exact methods and how I felt during and after drinking KetoneAid.

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and began my day with my usual four-hour fast. At 9:55 a.m., I measured my ketone body levels, which were 0.3 milligrams of ketones per millimoler of blood (mml). 

At 10:00 a.m., I drank the one serving size (30 grams) of KetoneAid. Here are my ketone body readouts:
  • At 10:20 a.m., I measured my levels again and discovered they spiked to 4.8 mml.
  • At 10:40 a.m., my ketone body levels were 3.8 mml.
  • At 11:00 a.m., my ketone body levels were 3.3 mml.

  • At 11:30 a.m., my ketone body levels were 2.2 mml.

How Did I Feel After Drinking KetoneAid?

In short, I felt like a Zen monk on it. I couldn’t believe how spatially aware and conscious of my environment I was. Within the hour that I drank KetoneAid, I felt a calm energy. I was ready to jump into my workout but not in the same way that a caffeine-loaded pre-workout makes you feel. I could conquer the workout without the grunting, aggressiveness, and intensity that you get from other supplements.

My movements were more agile. A little bit of effort resulted in a lot of output. In other words, I didn’t have to do much to move further than expected.

As a professional personal trainer who is always in the gym, one of the best things I noticed about KetoneAid was how loose and limber I felt. There was a clear difference between how inflamed my joints and connective tissue usually feel compared to how they felt after drinking KetoneAid. In short, they felt much better.

I’ve been on the ketogenic diet before and being familiar with those benefits, I can safely say that KetoneAid is able to mimic a peaked state of ketosis in minutes, not days.

Would I Recommend KetoneAid?

Absolutely. I believe that KetoneAid can be an excellent support for both long term ketogenic diet followers and those who want the benefits of the keto diet without having to go through the adjustment stage.

As I mentioned above, KetoneAid can be a great tool for a variety of populations from professional athletes to those who are concerned about overall wellness and not personal bests in the gym.

More Information on KetoneAid

Want more information on KetoneAid? Head over to the KetoneAid main website then visit the KetoneAid Crowd Funding page that CEO, Frank Llosa, started to gain support for the product. 

Have questions about KetoneAid? Want to know more about my personal experience? Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer.

Conclusion
Have you tried KetoneAid? What were the benefits that you noticed? Have you tried other ketone body supplements? Do you think they compare to KetoneAid? Tell me about it in the comments below!

References

1. Hussein M Dashti, MD PhD FICS FACS, Thazhumpal C Mathew, MSc PhD FRCPath, Talib Hussein, MB ChB, Sami K Asfar, MB ChB MD FRCSEd FACS, Abdulla Behbahani, MB ChB FRCS FACSI PhD FICS FACS, Mousa A Khoursheed, MB ChB FRCS FICS, Hilal M Al-Sayer, MD PhD FICS FACS, Yousef Y Bo-Abbas, MD FRCPC, and Naji S Al-Zaid, BSc PhD. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004 Fall; 9(3): 200–205. PMCID: PMC2716748.

2. Adams, J. H., Koeslag, J. H., (1989), Glycogen Metabolism And Post-Exercise Ketosis In Carbohydrate-Restricted Trained And Untrained Rats. Experimental Physiology, 74 doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.1989.sp003236.

3. Antonio Paoli. Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Feb; 11(2): 2092–2107. PMCID: PMC3945587

4. Noh HS, Lee HP, Kim DW, Kang SS, Cho GJ, Rho JM, Choi WS. A cDNA microarray analysis of gene expression profiles in rat hippocampus following a ketogenic diet. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2004 Oct 22;129(1-2):80-7.

5. Lee J, Bruce-Keller AJ, Kruman Y, Chan SL, Mattson MP. 2-Deoxy-D-glucose protects hippocampal neurons against excitotoxic and oxidative injury: evidence for the involvement of stress proteins. J Neurosci Res. 1999 Jul 1;57(1):48-61.

6. Reger MA, Henderson ST, Hale C, Cholerton B, Baker LD, Watson GS, Hyde K, Chapman D, Craft S. Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4.

7. Newport MT, VanItallie TB, Kashiwaya Y, King MT, Veech RL. A new way to produce hyperketonemia: use of ketone ester in a case of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 2015;11(1):99-103. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.01.006.

8. Cox PJ, Kirk T, Ashmore T, Willerton K, Evans R, Smith A, Murray AJ, Stubbs B, West J, McLure SW, King MT, Dodd MS, Holloway C, Neubauer S, Drawer S, Veech RL, Griffin JL, Clarke K. Nutritional Ketosis Alters Fuel Preference and Thereby Endurance Performance in Athletes. Cell Metab. 2016 Aug 9;24(2):256-68. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.07.010. Epub 2016 Jul 27.


9. Murray AJ, Knight NS, Cole MA, et al. Novel ketone diet enhances physical and cognitive performance. The FASEB Journal. 2016;30(12):4021-4032. doi:10.1096/fj.201600773R.