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Ketogenic Diet Benefits (& How to Do It Right) | Wellness Mama

Posted: March 6, 2019 at 9:43 pm

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) has become very popular lately because of its potential to help with weight loss, eliminate cravings, and improve mental clarity. Everyone from Mark Sisson to Dr. Mercola to Dave Asprey is singing its praises, and some people claim it can even cure cancer.

It is one of the topics I always get lots of questions about because there are many different ways of doing it. Yes, it is possible to do it healthfully and yes, it is possible to turn it into another fad diet while eating a lot of unhealthy foods. (No, you cannot eat only bacon and be healthy!)

In this post, I will cover the science behind the ketogenic diet and the best way to do it.

Broadly speaking, a ketogenic diet is a diet that is sufficiently a) high in fat and b) low in carbohydrates and proteins to force the body to rely on fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Originally it was used in the 1920s to treat severe cases of epilepsy in children, though now many people use variations of it for other outcomes.

A ketogenic diet puts the body in a state of ketosis, where the primary fuel for the body is a broken down product of fat called ketone bodies. Ketosis can occur through reduction of carbohydrates in the diet or through fasting (or through taking an external ketone-producing product). It is the liver that produces ketone bodies by breaking down fatty acids, either from body fat or the fat that we eat.

This is in contrast to the bodys fuel source when not in ketosis: carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into glucose.

It is important to note that there is a difference between burning dietary fat for fuel and getting the body to utilize stored fat. More on that later.

This is an interesting question and there are hundreds of opinions about the best answer.

A typical low carbohydrate diet may simply focus on limiting carbohydrate with liberal amounts of other foods, without a specific emphasis on fats. It is easy to be eating mostly meats and any other non-carbohydrate foods for a low carbohydrate diet, and not get into ketosis.

So whats different? The ketogenic diet goes a step further and limits protein as well in order to achieve ketosis. According to Dr. Daniel Pompa, a ketogenic diet is comprised of:

In short, it is critical to use liberal amount of fat and limit protein and carbohydrate intake in order to achieve ketosis.

Consider a 135-pound woman who has about 25% body fat and 100 lb of lean mass. If she follows a 2,000 calorie diet, she would be eating between 145 179 grams of fat, 50 grams of protein, and between 50 124 grams of carbohydrates (depending on her activity level). She would need to keep her carbohydrates under 50 grams a day in order to keto-adapt (for her body to adapt to using fat as the primary fuel).

Also note that this model is not a bacon-only type diet and should include copious amounts of non-starchy vegetables for fiber and micronutrients.

Ideally, a keto diet should be assembled with whole and nutritious foods that do not cause inflammation. This means that the 5-10% of the carbohydrates would be from vegetables, nuts, and seeds rather than another source of starch.

On a keto-type diet, the plate should consist of mostly non-starchy vegetables, a reasonable portion of meat (about 3 ounces), and a liberal amount of good fats. The fats can be nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, pastured lard or bacon, grass-fed butter, MCT oil, or a condiment like a healthy mayo made from these.

Once a person is keto-adapted, the appetite is often regulated. Rather than feeling deprived, it is natural to feel less hungry overall and naturally inclined to go without eating for 12 hours overnight. This form of extended fasting may provide some added health benefits as well.

Not only have ketogenic diets been successfully used as a treatment for epilepsy for nearly a century, but it also has many potential health benefits even healthy people can use.

As Mark Sisson puts it, doing aketo reset restores our factory settings, which is our flexibility to alternate between different types of fuels and stored fats for energy, depending on whats available. This flexibility has allowed humans to thrive for millions of years because hunter-gatherers didnt always have access to constant abundance and variety of foods that we have today.

As it turns out, this flexibility is actually important for health. The biochemical pathways that ketogenic diets turn on have anti-aging effects and can even eradicate many modern diseases.

In fact, research showsketogenic diets provide health benefits by:

When done correctly, the ketogenic diet may help:

When we switch from burning glucose to burning ketones for energy, the blood sugar and insulin fluctuate much less than when we rely on carbohydrates for energy. The liver can constantly supply just enough glucose in the blood to keep the brain going.

Stabilizing blood sugar has many health benefits, including:

If you monitor your fasting blood glucose in the morning when you are in ketosis (more on how and why to do that in a bit), be aware you may experience elevated morning blood sugar due to a surge of cortisol and adrenaline. This is known as the dawn phenomenon and should decline to healthy levels during the day and improve over time.

According to Chris Kresser, post-meal blood sugar is the best time to detect blood sugar problems. In addition, one should never rely on one single test to diagnose a health issue.

Its true ketone bodies can suppress appetite by acting on the hypothalamus in the brain. In addition, the stabilized blood sugar can help reduce hunger and food cravings. Lastly, high-fat meals can stimulate a hormone that increase satiety in the gut.

As a result, many people on ketogenic diets find that they are much less hungry and no longer craving the high-carbohydrate foods they used to love. They can even skip meals or fast for days and wont really be bothered by the hunger. (Imagine!)

In many ways, the ketogenic diet is very good for the brain. Users report that it helps improve cognitive function, slows down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, and may even protect from such diseases.

Here are some of the ways ketosis benefits the brain:

Because the brain is the most energy-demanding organ in the body, it is extremely sensitive to the fluctuation of available fuels. People who regularly go through blood sugar rollercoasters often experience brain-based symptoms of low blood sugar, such as anxiety and fatigue when blood sugar dips low.

Being in ketosis can help prevent this from happening. For many women, stabilizing blood sugar has a mood-stabilizing effect.

According to Psychology Today, several studies suggest that ketogenic diets can help stabilize mental illnesses, sometimes even more powerfully than medications. Ketogenic diets reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression in rats and mice, while many small clinical studies demonstrate that ketogenic diet can help stabilize schizophrenia.

In my own experience, I find that I am highly productive, calm and focused when in a state of ketosis (as measured by blood ketone and breath acetone levels).

Before the discovery of neuroplasticity, scientists believed that a damaged brain cannot regenerate. However, by improving mitochondria health, reducing inflammation, and stimulating cellular cleanup, ketogenic diets can help a damaged brain repair itself. Thus, the ketogenic diet is almost a miracle for many brain diseases that were thought of as incurable.

Studies are emerging that ketogenic diets (in conjunction with other treatments) can either reverse progressive brain disorders or help repair the damage. These include traumatic brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.The Wahls Protocol also utilizes this benefit of the ketogenic diet to help repair neurological damage from multiple sclerosis.

Want to slow down the clock? The keto diet might be the one to try.

Ketosis, similarly to fasting or caloric restriction, turns on a group of genes called Sirtuins. When scientists activate Sirtuins in animals, they found that these animals live longer. In addition, Sirtuins can help keep you lean and energetic during the day and sleeping well at night. More research is needed to know if this effect is the same in humans, but evidence seems strong that spending some time in ketosis is beneficial.

Oxidation is what causes steel to rust and apples to turn brown when they are exposed to air. Inside our bodies, oxidation helps our immune cells kill off germs and makes us tired at the end of the day. However, excess oxidation can cause aging and DNA damage.

By reducing blood sugar, ketosis significantly reduces the oxidative stress in the body. Glucose is an oxidizing sugar because an exposed oxygen of glucose can attack other molecules and damage them. These damaged proteins are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

People with high blood sugar will have a lot of AGEs and therefore age faster.

In addition, studies show ketosis turns on antioxidant genes and increases levels of cellular antioxidants like glutathione.

Ketosis and fasting also activates an anti-aging cellular cleanup process called autophagy (auto = self, phagy = eat). Autophagy is when a cell eats its own defective parts in order to recycle nutrients and keep the different parts functioning like new. In addition, autophagy can protect against neurodegenerative diseases, viral and bacteria infections, and cancers.

Everyone has emerging cancer cells, but the cells can only develop into full-blown cancers if the body fails to kill off them off. DNA damage, inflammation, poor cellular cleanup, high blood sugar, and inability of the immune system to kill emerging cancer cells together lead to cancers. Proponents claim that ketogenic diets may help prevent cancers by addressing all of these aspects.

Ketogenic diets reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, stimulate cellular cleanup, reduce blood sugar, and stimulate the cancer-killing immune responses. In addition, ketogenic diets capitalize on the fact that cancer cells cannot feed on ketones.

Healthy cells have the choice to rely on glucose or other fuels and whether to use the mitochondria. In contrast, according to the 1931 Nobel Laureate Otto Warburg, cancer cells lack the ability to use ketones for energy. They can only generate energy by burning glucose and glutamine for energy.

Since the state of ketosis forces cells to rely on ketones and to use the mitochondria for energy, ketosis feeds healthy cells while starving cancer cells. This especially seems to be true against some of the most deadly and incurable cancers. Researchers like Dr. Dom DAgostino are also researching the role of ketosis and fasting in improving the outcomes and reducing the side effects of existing cancer treatments.

A ketogenic diet has many health benefits. However, it is possible to make mistakes that can hinder them from achieving their goals.

These include:

Its not a good idea to include a lot of dairy in a ketogenic diet because the protein in dairy can deactivate Sirtuin, the anti-aging pathway, and create an insulin spike. While butter and ghee (from quality pastured sources) generally dont cause this effect, high-fat cheeses and heavy creams do. In addition, dairy products can be inflammatory for many people.

If you tolerate dairy then enjoy some in your diet, but dont rely on a liberal amount of cheeses or heavy cream as a source of fat. I personally believe that raw, pastured, and organic dairy is best, but limit it in my diet.

Being in a ketogenic diet is muscle-sparing, so you need much less protein than you would if you rely on carbohydrates or proteins for energy.

Amino acids can be converted into sugar and burned as energy. In addition, high intake of protein can turn off the anti-aging and anti-cancer processes in our cells, so it is best to only eat just enough protein on a ketogenic diet.

Eating very little or no carbohydrates can starve your good gut bacteria. This cant be good for health!

Studies have shown that food composition influences the gut bacteria much more than any probiotic supplements. It is therefore very important to feed your gut bacteria while you are on a ketogenic diet.

Resistant starches can be included as part of a ketogenic diet or as a supplement because it has minimal effects on blood sugar, so it doesnt disrupt the state of ketosis. Resistant starches not only feed good bacteria in the gut but can also get fermented into substances that are beneficial for health. (Read this post to learn more about the health benefits of resistant starches and how to use them.)

Vegetables also contain a lot of fiber that can feed the gut bacteria and provide an important source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. In my opinion, it is absolutely vital to eat a wide variety of non-starchy vegetables on a keto diet to protect gut bacteria!

Many health benefits of the ketogenic diet mentioned above are as a result of activating our survival genes. To reap full health benefits from the ketogenic diet, it is important that you dont tell your body that there is an abundant of foods.

According to Dr. Daniel Pompa, it is also important to be in a caloric deficit if one goes on a ketogenic diet to treat neurological diseases or cancers.

If your goal is weight loss, it is still important to be in a caloric deficit as simply cutting carbohydrates alone wont be enough for fat loss.

As Mark Sisson says, always be asking yourself if you really are hungry for the next bite.

Salt gets a bad rep as unhealthy, but it provides a very important mineral. Being in ketosis causes the body to excrete more salt, so it is important to ensure that to eat extra salt and mineral supplements as necessary.

As mentioned above, not getting enough fiber from vegetables can starve gut bacteria. The keto diet is not a meat, egg, and cheese diet, though many treat it this way. Most of us arent getting enough vegetables anyway and this can be an easy trap to fall into on a keto diet.

Remember, though, that this is not about deprivation. Rather, it is about finding the sweet spot where you feel good and without excessive hunger or craving. Everybody is different, so it will be important to experiment in order to find your sweet spot.

Most people, including Mark Sisson himself, do better when they always include some natural sources of carbohydrates (e.g., lots of vegetables) and occasionally add starchy carbohydrates to their diet.

The good news is, it is not necessary to stay on a ketogenic diet at all times to reap this benefit. Our ancestors went through fast and feast cycles and the body is designed for flexibility. We may be able to reduce cancer risk, prolong life, improve brain function, and benefit from ketosis otherwise by being in ketosis or fasting a few days a week.

In general, men tend to do better on a long term ketogenic diet than women do. From my own research and experimentation, women can follow a keto diet, but with some adaptions. Most women will do well with a cyclical ketogenic diet when they stay on ketogenic diet most of the time and eat starchy carbohydrates occasionally to spike calories and carbs.

Dr. Daniel Pompa recommends at least one feast day a week for women where carbohydrates and calories are both increased, as well as up to seven days once a month with increased carbs (often during the menstrual cycle).

Ketogenic diets are not for everyone. There are some people who should be very careful with the ketogenic diet, or at least should not do it without medical supervision. While I understand not many mainstream doctors will be well versed in the ketogenic diet, there are online services that can pair you with a primary care doctor who understands keto in detail.

Type 1 diabetics are dependent on insulin injections to manage their blood sugar and are at risk for ketoacidosis, which as a life-threatening condition where there is dangerously high levels of ketones much higher than a healthy person in ketosis can actually achieve in their blood.

ApoE stands for Apolipoprotein E, which is a protein that transports fats and cholesterol in the body. There are three variants of this gene: E2, E3, and E4. Everyone has two copies, so you can have any combination of these variants.

People with two copies of the E4 variant (ApoE4/E4) often dont respond well to saturated fats. These people will have very high cholesterol and it tends to run in their families. These are a small subset of the population that have to be careful with the ketogenic diet.

If you have these genes (heres one way to test for them), be sure to monitor your blood lipids if you were to go on a ketogenic diet. In addition, focus on monounsaturated fats such as those found in avocados or olives rather than saturated fats or MCT oil.

For anyone else, it is a good idea to monitor your blood tests when you start out with a ketogenic diet.

This is a controversial one as many doctors believe that the baby needs carbohydrates to develop, and many moms need carbohydrates in order to produce milk. However, dietician Lily Nichols believes that a healthy ketogenic diet is safe for pregnant women and that it is easier to get into ketosis during pregnancy.

Perhaps the best approach is to listen to your body, because every pregnancy is different. If you choose to get on a ketogenic diet during pregnancy or breastfeeding, be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner to ensure that you do it safely.

Being in ketosis and fasting can turn on the survival genes in the body and causes the body to attempt to conserve energy. For some women, this can cause irregular cycles and infertility.

A ketogenic diet may help with infertility due to polycystic ovarian syndrome because it is partly caused by insulin resistance. However, the ketogenic diet can make irregular cycles and infertility worse for women who struggle with it from other causes, including stress and over-exercise.

Lifting heavy things and high-intensity exercises utilizes mainly carbohydrates. Many strength trainees and athletes will find that their performance drop significantly when they are on a ketogenic diet.

If you have been keto-adapted for years, your body can eventually adapt to generate the carbohydrates you need to fuel these activities. However, if you are relatively new to ketosis and need to perform athletically, then perhaps going full ketosis may not be such a good idea.

If youve determined the ketogenic diet might be for you, I recommend this podcast with Mark Sisson for a great introduction. His bookThe Keto Reset Diet explains the benefits and cautions in detail, as well as exactly how to get started.

Another easy way to start planning a ketogenic diet is to use Real Plans. Not only can this meal planning app filter recipes to avoid most any food allergy, it also can generate a keto-friendly meal plan and shopping list.

Unless youve already been eating a paleo or primal diet and are somewhat keto-adapted (burning ketones for fuel), it is a good idea reset the body in order to regain the metabolic flexibility to go into ketosis or even stay in ketosis despite eating some carbohydrates.Intermittent fasting is one efficient way to do this. During a water fast, ketosis can occur in days instead of weeks or months and often sustains for a while after the fast.

Being in ketosis has many health benefits but also some potential side effects. In order to maximize the health benefits, you should:

It is entirely possible to follow a low-carbohydrate diet or keto diet and not be in ketosis. When Ive personally experimented with ketosis, I used various methods of testing to make sure my ketone levels and blood glucose levels were within healthy ranges:

I used the Keto Mojo meter(and blood glucose strips) which tests both blood ketone levels and blood glucose levels. More on this soon in an upcoming post about fasting, but I testing fasting morning glucose and post-meal glucose at one hour. I also tested fasted morning ketones and evening ketones.

Another way to test the bodys response to nutritional ketosis is through breath acetone levels. This essentially shows how much of the ketones are being utilized by the body. I used a Levl meter (use the codewellnessmama at this link for $25 off) to test breath acetone levels. This device is more pricey but does not require strips so it can be used more often. I used it to test my response to certain foods or exercises and to see if they pulled me out of ketosis.

The keto diet is not the Atkins diet, or an all-meat diet, or anything close. A healthy version should include an abundance of non-starchy vegetables and healthy fats from various sources.

The more I learn, the more I am convinced that variation is one of the biggest factors in health. The ketogenic diet can be a useful tool, but in my opinion it should be cycled and should include occasional days with extra carbohydrates from good sources.

I most often experiment with keto in the winter when food would have traditionally been more scarce and carbohydrates harder to find. During these times, the majority of my plate is still mostly green vegetables and I make a very conscious effort to consume a wide variety of vegetables.

From testing, I personally enter ketosis much more efficiently when fasting and will be sharing my experiences on this soon.

Have you tried a ketogenic diet? Whats your experience? Please share in the comments below.

Sources

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Ketogenic Diet Benefits (& How to Do It Right) | Wellness Mama

Buy HCG Injections 4 Months Kit With Supplies – HCG24.com

Posted: March 6, 2019 at 9:43 pm

How does HCG diet injections work?

HCG diet injection does not actually make you lose weight but it changes how you lose weight. The hormone resets the hypothalamus that causes your body to use the abnormal fats and converts it into energy. At the same time, the hormone reduces your feeling of being hungry while on a very low-calorie diet.

Without the hormone in your body, you will actually be burning your lean muscles which in turn will negatively affect your metabolism. HCG diet injection will keep you from losing your muscle mass while on the diet. The hormone also elevates other hormones in your body that creates a muscle building effects.

HCG diet injection is prescribed during the HCG diet that is generally divided into three phases:

Those who wanted to lose about 15 pounds or less, you can do the of 26 days protocol. But for those who wanted to lose so much weight, they can do the 46 days protocol in multiple cycles.

One of the most challenging aspects of the HCG diet is having the right dose. Most of the time, a dose of 125 IU to 150 UI is perfect. However, everyone is different. Youll know that your dose is just right for you if your hunger level is normal. When your dose is correct, you wont feel too hungry at all. But when your hunger level isnt normal anymore, you might want to adjust your dosage. Its either your dose can be too high or too low that you might want to adjust it. You can lower your dose by 50 IU if you are taking 200 IU or add another 25 IU if you are having only 125 UI.

Excerpt from:
Buy HCG Injections 4 Months Kit With Supplies - HCG24.com

3 Essential Oils for Weight Loss – Dr. Axe

Posted: March 6, 2019 at 9:41 pm

This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information.

With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies.

Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS

June 21, 2017

[Below is my transcript of my video about using essential oils for weight loss, along with supplemental information on the topic.]

So many people today want to learn how to burn fat and lose weight fast but also safely and effectively. For that reason, essential oils for weight loss are one of your best choices.

I want to be up front with you and let you know youre not going to start using essential oils and lose 20, 30or 50pounds. But it could help your body in shedding a few pounds, plus support your body in important, healthyways for weight loss.

There are really three main essential oils that I really believe can help your body withweight loss.

Grapefruit essential oil actually works with your body in activating enzymes that help your body break down brown body fat. We know thatgrapefruit can benefit weight lossand that the essential oil of grapefruit actually comes from the grapefruit peel, which is very highin certain compounds like D-limonene and helps support the metabolism as well asthe cleansing and drainage of your lymphatic glands.

When applied topically to the skin in small amounts, grapefruit essential oil is an excellent diuretic and lymphatic stimulant. This is one reason why its included in manycellulite creams and blends that are used for dry brushing. For that reason, grapefruit essential oil is the number one oil that can help your body in burning fat and losing weight because of how it activates enzymes in your saliva, which helps break down body fat in your body.

When mixed with patchouli oil, grapefruit oil is known to lower cravings and hunger, which makes it a great tool to lose weight fast in a healthy way. Add several drops to your water, diffuse it in your office or home, or massage some onto your chest and wrists when a craving strikes.

The second best essential oil to support weight loss is cinnamon oil. Cinnamon oil has been shown time and time again to help regulate blood glucose levels and something in your body called GTF, glucose tolerance factor. For that reason, cinnamon oil is also fantastic for anybody with diabetes.

It helps balance blood sugar, which long-term will help with weight loss and help reduce those cravings for sugar.Unstable blood sugar can lead to overeating, low energy and weight gain, but adding cinnamon oil to fruit, tea, oats, baked goods or smoothies helps slow the rate at which glucose is released into the blood.

The third essential oil that supports the body in weight loss is ginger essential oil. Ginger works because it also reduces sugar cravings and helps reduce inflammation in the body. Its so important that if youre going to lose weight, that youre also reducing inflammation, andsupporting digestion and absorption of nutrients.

The compounds in ginger are called gingerols. Gingerols have been scientifically proven to reduce disease-causing inflammation in your intestines and overall improve absorption of the vitamins and minerals youre consuming. If youre absorbing more vitamins and minerals, then youre helping tosupport your bodys cellular energy and createweight loss.

A 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacologyconcluded that ginger essential oilpossesses antioxidant activity as well as significant anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties. After being treated with ginger essential oil for one month, enzyme levels increased in the blood of mice. The dose also scavenged free radicals andproduced significant reduction in acute inflammation.

So if you are looking to essential oils for weight loss, I recommend grapefruit oil, cinnamon oil and ginger oil. Sometimes you can get thesein compounds, or you can use these three individually.

You can put one single drop of each in water and drink it that way, or you can actually put it on topically or diffuse it. When youre putting it on topically, I recommend using a carrier oil like coconut oil, especially when youre using the cinnamon oil. Or one of my favorite ways is just diffuse it, such ason your desk at the officeoraround your home. It has a great scent. It will activate parts ofyour body that will actually support weight loss.

Essential oils have been used for over five thousand years. Theyre one of the most powerful forms of medicine in the world, but grapefruit, cinnamon and ginger are probably the most effective essential oils for weight loss.

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3 Essential Oils for Weight Loss - Dr. Axe

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Best Diet Plan for Obesity

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5 Ways Saxenda Helps with Weight Loss & How to use it Safely

Posted: March 3, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Saxenda might be one of the best weight loss medications that exist on the market right now.

But just because it might work doesn't mean it's necessarily right for your body.

Saxenda works because it alters many hormone systems in your body that tend to interfere with your appetite, metabolism and even other hormones.

In this post, I will walk you through how Saxenda helps with weight loss and who should consider using this new medication.

Let's jump in:

More...

First, let's start off by establishing that Saxenda does indeed work for weight loss.

The studies are clear on this matter (1):

Many studies have shown that patients using Saxenda lose significant amounts of weight over several weeks (usually around 10% body fat).

That means that using this medication might help you lose up to 20 pounds if you weighed 200 pounds.

At first, that doesn't sound very good, but it's actually quite impressive if you consider that this weight loss is achieved generally without any other therapies added.

And that's where things get interesting.

If you have an understanding of weight loss and how hormones influence your weight, you can benefit even more from using this medication.

Why?

Because it can safely be combined with other therapies that ALSO increase your weight loss efforts and together this can result in dramatic weight loss.

We will talk about those therapies in just a minute but for now, let's discuss why Saxenda actually works...

Saxenda is a medication that falls into the GLP-1 agonist class of drugs.

GLP-1 stands for Glucagon-like peptide 1 and that's where Saxenda has its primary action.

Saxenda (or Liraglutide which is another name for this medication) sits on this receptor and causes changes to very important hormones involved in regulating body weight: insulin, leptin, and glucagon.

Liraglutide was originally developed to treat type II diabetes because it can help reduce insulin resistance but was soon found to have a dramatic effect on weight.

Because of this, the makers of Liraglutide (or Victoza as it is called if used to treat type II diabetes) came out with a new name (saxenda) which is now FDA approved for weight loss.

If you've been following my blog you know that I am a big fan of GLP-1 agonists and that I use them effectively for weight loss (to help patients lose 50+ pounds).

You can read about the case studies here and here - which include before and after pictures.

So, naturally, I am a big fan of the GLP-1 agonists, but in order to get the kind of results you see in those case studies, it has to be used CORRECTLY and combined with other therapies.

Simply taking Saxenda will help you lose some weight by itself, but it won't get you back to your ideal or normal weight by itself (you will have to add other therapies to get there).

I will talk about the downside of using Saxenda below, but for now, let's talk about HOW it works.

First, and probably most important, is that GLP-1 agonists help lower leptin resistance.

You may not even realize it, but when it comes to weight loss leptin is probably the single most important hormone for determining if you will lose weight and how much weight you will lose.

Leptin is also responsible (at least in part) for the weight gain after rapid weight loss.

What happens is something like this:

You go on a calorie restricted diet which helps you lose 20 pounds or so within a matter of 30-60 days.

Your body senses this rapid weight loss and makes changes to your hormones to INCREASE your appetite and LOWER your metabolism to compensate.

The hormone responsible for this is Leptin.

Leptin levels then spike which causes your body to regain that weight that you previously lost (2), but in the process, you have damaged your metabolism slightly (not good).

Repeating this process over and over causes worsening leptin resistance and make it so that you are unable to lose weight even if you try excessive dieting or calorie restriction.

Leptin is probably one of the more important hormones involved in weight management and it's also probably the most neglected.

Until recently we didn't really have a way to treat leptin resistance even though most Doctors recognized that it was involved in many cases of obesity in the US.

So where does Saxenda fit in?

Studies have shown that Liraglutide (Saxenda or Victoza) does two important things related to Leptin and leptin resistance (3):

These effects seem to be mediated through receptor changes by the GLP-1 agonist and on the leptin receptor.

Either way, the result is the same:

This medication helps reduce leptin resistance and can help lower leptin levels.

This changes the biochemistry in your body and helps to naturally reduce your appetite, increase your metabolism and increase fat burning capacity.

This change alone is probably why GLP-1 agonists are so effective for weight loss, but they have more benefits beyond their effects on leptin.

You can find more information in my hormone and weight loss guide to find exactly how I use GLP-1 agonists, how to manage your diet to control leptin levels and much more here:

Saxenda also helps reduce insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is the root cause of type II diabetes mellitus and insulin is responsible for the majority of the negative consequences associated with that disease.

What you may not realize is that insulin resistance is incredibly common in the US.

It's estimated that up to 50% of the population has some degree of insulin resistance and, by lab testing, show signs of diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Insulin is also a very important hormone involved in the weight loss equation.

When insulin levels are high it's almost impossible for your body to burn fat (4).

Why?

Because insulin blocks the action of an enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase.

This hormone is responsible for turning on "fat burning mode" and in the presence of high insulin, this enzyme is always on the "off" setting.

This is obviously a big problem if you are trying to lose weight.

In addition to preventing your body from burning fat as an energy source insulin also has the added problem of promoting fat storage.

This means that if you consume calories (from any source) these calories will be stored as fat in the presence of high levels of circulating insulin.

This is true even if you are consuming a low-calorie diet.

Insulin doesn't care how many calories you are consuming, it cares about storing whatever you eat as fat.

So how does Saxenda work?

Saxenda helps sensitize the body to insulin levels and helps to lower blood glucose levels in the process.

Using Victoza (especially when combined with the right diet, exercise, and supplements) can dramatically reduce fasting insulin levels and also fasting blood glucose levels.

The positive effects of reducing insulin also significantly help to improve other hormones in the body.

For instance:

Insulin resistance can cause low testosterone (in men) and high testosterone (in women).

When you treat insulin levels these hormone imbalances tend to improve which will naturally result in weight loss and a reduction in symptoms associated with THOSE imbalances.

Glucagon is another hormone which is important for weight loss, but one that is less understood than insulin or leptin.

Over the next 5-10 years we will see a lot more research done on this hormone and how it relates to weight loss, but for now, we can talk about what we already know.

Glucagon is basically the exact opposite of insulin - in terms of how it alters blood glucose levels.

Insulin lowers blood sugar levels while glucagon helps increase blood sugar levels.

How does this relate to weight loss?

It turns out that in order to help burn fat in the body, your body must naturally deplete liver glycogen stores and have low enough insulin levels to promote hormone-sensitive lipase to activate.

In states that cause insulin resistance, there is also some degree of hyperglucagonemia - and this states promotes consistently high levels of glucose.

High glucagon also seems to interfere with normal glucose control which alters how your body burns energy.

Saxenda and other GLP-1 agonists help reduce glucagon levels(5) while simultaneously reducing insulin resistance.

Both of these changes promote more normal blood glucose levels and help promote proper liver metabolism of glucose and help adipose tissue burn fat.

This is also why GLP-1 agonists are so helpful for patients with type II diabetes.

Glucagon is just as important (if not more important) in the regulation of glucose levels in the body.

Our current focus is on insulin and how it manages glucose levels and we generally completely ignore glucagon and its effects.

But if you treat both insulin AND glucagon levels, you can get a much more normal glucose level and finally promote weight loss and fat burn.

Another benefit of using Saxenda is how it alters your appetite.

You've been conditioned to believe that your weight is the product of how many calories you burn minus the number of calories you consume.

Conventional wisdom would have you believe that reducing your total calories will always result in weight loss, provided you burn more calories than you consume.

Weight loss, in general, happens to be much more complex than this seriously oversimplified and inaccurate equation, but, nonetheless, here we are.

So here's the deal with appetite and Saxenda...

One of the side effects of Saxenda is slight nausea, and this is felt to occur due to how GLP-1 agonists alter gastric motility (6).

These medications slow down the gastrointestinal motility which means that your gastric contents empty more slowly.

This can result in symptoms such as reflux, and distention of the stomach which manifests as nausea.

Pretty much anything that tells your body that your stomach is full will also promote a reduction in appetite - this is natural and normal.

But, how does appetite impact weight loss?

Well, you do need SOME degree of calorie restriction to result in weight loss (but this should NOT be constant calorie restriction) and this calorie restriction from the loss in appetite is actually welcomed in this case.

The reason this appetite suppression is GOOD, is because it's also accompanied by the attenuation of leptin levels.

What this means is that you can lose the weight by reducing your appetite, and instead of your body responding with increased leptin levels, the saxenda actually blocks that rise.

So you get the benefit of both worlds:

Appetite suppression that does NOT result in your weight being regained AND suppression of leptin levels at the same time.

THIS is why appetite suppression is good in this case.

Saxenda also seems to have an effect on increasing your basal metabolic rate.

Your metabolism is probably one of the most important aspects involved in weight loss.

Why?

Because your basal metabolic rate, or resting energy expenditure, is responsible for the MAJORITY of calories that you burn.

Read the rest here:
5 Ways Saxenda Helps with Weight Loss & How to use it Safely

12 Weight Loss Tips, Diet Plans & Weight Management Programs

Posted: March 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

Introduction to weight loss

Whether your weight-loss goals involve trying to lose 5 pounds or more than 50, the same principles determine how much weight you lose and how fast your weight loss will occur. Remembering the following simple healthy eating diet tips and putting them into practice can lead to weight reduction without the aid of any special diet plans, weight loss programs, fitness books, or medications.

Our body weight is determined by the amount of energy that we take in as food and the amount of energy we expend in the activities of our day. Energy is measured in calories. Metabolism is the sum of all chemical processes within the body that sustain life. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories (amount of energy) you need for your body to carry out necessary functions. If your weight remains constant, this is likely a sign that you are taking in the same amount of calories that you burn daily. If you're slowly gaining weight over time, it is likely that your caloric intake is greater than the number of calories you burn through your daily activities.

Every adult is in control of the amount of food he or she consumes each day, so our intake of calories is something we can control. To a major degree, we can also control our output of energy, or the number of calories we burn each day. The number of calories we burn each day is dependent upon the following:

For some people, due to genetic (inherited) factors or other health conditions, the resting metabolic rate (RMR) can be slightly higher or lower than average. Our weight also plays a role in determining how many calories we burn at rest -- the more calories are required to maintain your body in its present state, the greater your body weight. A 100-pound person requires less energy (food) to maintain body weight than a person who weighs 200 pounds.

Lifestyle and work habits partially determine how many calories we need to eat each day. Someone whose job involves heavy physical labor will naturally burn more calories in a day than someone who sits at a desk most of the day (a sedentary job). For people who do not have jobs that require intense physical activity, exercise or increased physical activity can increase the number of calories burned.

As a rough estimate, an average woman 31-50 years of age who leads a sedentary lifestyle needs about 1,800 calories per day to maintain a normal weight. A man of the same age requires about 2,200 calories. Participating in a moderate level of physical activity (exercising three to five days per week) requires about 200 additional calories per day. More strenuous exercise programs, such as those with cardio focus, can burn even more.

Read more:
12 Weight Loss Tips, Diet Plans & Weight Management Programs

Formation walking

Posted: March 1, 2019 at 7:41 am

London Dada posted a photo:

Formation walking

Far too much tragedy in the world for my liking

Link:
Formation walking


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