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What Is The Noom Diet? An RD Reviews How The Weight-Loss App Works – Women’s Health

Posted: August 10, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Oh, to be a celebrityfame, fortune, and the ability to have personal trainers and nutritionists on speed dial when you want to lose a few pounds. For mere mortals, however, weight loss isn't quite so easy. (Actually, that's generouslosing weight is hard AF.)

That's where Noom comes into playa fitness and weight-loss program. But, uh, what exactly is it? And what makes Noom any different than any other weight-loss program or app out there? Here's my personal take on Noom, as a registered dietitian. The short version: I see real potential with the Noom weight-loss app, and a few cons for some groups of peopleso read on.

So, Noom claims to be the "last weight-loss program you'll ever need," according to its website. Its like having a trainer, nutritionist, and health coach all in one place (e.g., your phone).

Where Noom differs from other apps, however, is its focus on making behavioral changes surrounding dieting and weight loss.

The app will show you, for example, the best foods to eat (it rates them on a scale from green to yellow to red). While I typically dont like to label certain foods as red or badI do think Noom does a good job of not instilling fear around certain foods, rather taking an educational approach to help its users understand how to make balanced choices and why they recommend certain foods over the others. The app also prompts you to read tidbits on healthy habits and rate your motivationand will quiz you after.

The app may sound kind of tedious (who has time to read and take quizzes throughout the day?), but it could be the key to successful, sustained weight loss. The education elements that the app includes, like how it teaches you about calorie reduction and carbohydrate intake, as well as how to increase physical activity, is really helpful and crucial information if you want to lose weight in a sustainable way.

It also has the ability to provide support and feedback from others doing the programall 45 million of them. And it's not just message boards or automated blurbs: You can actually talk to others in a group chat in real time.

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(It should be noted, too, that Noom provides users with "health and wellness coaches" that are approved by the National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coachesthough that doesn't necessarily mean they are trained professionals like registered dietitians or certified trainers.)

You can also receive rewards when you change your behaviors, plus you have access to social supportand positive reinforcement and accountability coaching have both been show to help with long-term goal success.

When you first download the free app, Noom asks how much weight youd like to lose, how fast youd like to lose it (on a scale from tortoise to hare), plus your age, height, and current weightall pretty standard diet-tracking stuff.

From there, the app asks for permission to access your smartphone's Health app. It automatically logs your exercise, but asks you to log everything you eat during the day (the app has a database of foods to choose from). Noom actually takes those calories and subtracts them from a daily calorie goal (depending on those factors you shared with it earlier) to show you how many calories you have left in the day.

Noom also tracks your actual weight loss. You enter your weight each week, and the app make a graph of your progress.

If you want to shell out, though, Noom also has paid versions (it's about $59 a month, but you can buy multiple months at the same time for less money). In the paid version, you fill out a more detailed questionnaire about your lifestyle and health goals, plus what might be holding you back from achieving your weight-loss goals.

But it's not all questions: Noom's paid app also relies heavily on an education componenthelping you realize, for example, that your salad is less calorie-dense and more nutrient-dense, instead of just telling you salad is a healthy option.

Basically, it's a diet app that wants you to learn why you want to lose weight and how to do it, instead of just helping you blindly drop pounds.

So, Noom doesn't exactly give you a daily menu or have a specific food program that you follow. Instead, it asks you to input everything you eat in daily food logs, and it uses traffic light colors (red, green, yellow) to help you understand how healthy you're eating.

Interested in trying Noom? Click here

Green foods, like fruits and veggies, are the least calorie-dense and contain the highest concentration of healthy nutrients. Yellow foods have more calories but arent necessarily bad for youthink: meat and dairy. Red foods, like processed foods and desserts, are the most calorie-dense, and the least nutrient-dense.

Red foods aren't off-limits; the app just aims to make you aware that they're high in calories and less filling, so you can be aware of what that means for staying within your daily calorie goal.

It's definitely possible, but it really comes down to whether you'll actually use it consistently (more on that in a minute).

FWIW, according to a 2016 study in the journal Scientific Reports, Noom can help with weight loss. Researchers analyzed data from 35,921 Noom app users over the course of about nine months and found that 77.9 percent reported they lost weight. One interesting tidbit: Those who neglected recording their dinner in the app lost less weight than those who recorded their dinner regularly.

So while the app can definitely help you lose weightyou have to actually use it, as I mentioned. If you really take advantage of the app daily and put in data that's honest and truthful, the Noom program should help you lose weight. In other words, listen to the experts and follow the plan and youll squash some goals.

The ideal user is probably someone with a busy lifestyle (hi, almost everyone on the planet!). And those who enjoy virtual support from like-minded peeps (shout-out to millennials) may also benefit.

Personally, I like that the app is realistic about long-term results and doesnt try to get its users to conform to a restrictive or fad-diet style of eating (e.g. keto, gluten free, raw, etc.).

Noom also helps users bring a sense of awareness to what theyre eating throughout the day. That's usually the first step to sustained weight lossfocusing on what youre eatingwithout judgement or without labeling your eating habits good or bad. Then, once you have a sense of awareness, you can tackle the reason you might be eating when youre not hungry, or why you turn to food out of stress, and then make any adjustments as needed.

If you have an underlying medical condition that prevents you from shedding weight, well, the app wont know thatand that might leave you frustrated.

I would suggest speaking with your doc before you try it (as you should before jumping into any weight-loss program). Then youll know if you have an issue like insulin resistance, thyroid problems, or hormone imbalances, and you can address those first.

Another thing: It's also pretty pricey, at just about $50 per monthwhich makes it a little less than the most expensive Weight Watchers plan, for comparison, but definitely more expensive than just counting calories on your own.

Remember it is what it says it is, a weight-loss app. Therefore if you have struggled with obsessing over your weight in the past or have a history of eating disorders or disordered eating habits, it may be best to stick with one on one coaching with a registered dietitian.

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Alsoobvious alertbut the app isnt going to head to the grocery store and cook for you (or drive you to the gym), so you have to take some initiative to actually follow through with the healthy habits suggested.

Mary Leuthauser, 30, previously told WH that Noom is what finally kickstarted her weight-loss journey, and she lost 40 pounds using the app. "It taught me how to eat again, as silly as that may sound." Leuthauser also explained that the program taught her how to choose foods that "fueled my body instead of just filled me up."

But she really stuck to the app and took advantage of all the educational resources. "Once I finished my course with Noom, all of the habits I learned actually stuck."

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Siani Peterson, a pediatric nurse in San Antonio, Texas, also uses Noom. She shared with WH: "Noom works for me because it holds me accountable. I use the app, which has a calorie tracker and a step tracker. Im able to enter in what I eat, and the food log is honestly 90 percent of why I have lost weight. I also like to see how active I am, and it also has a weight tracker that tells me how much progress Ive made."

Peterson, who lost 50 pounds in seven months with the app, also added that while you have to hold yourself accountable, Noom was a great additional tool. "I used Noom to take all the guesswork out of eating."

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In the App Store, you can find mostly 5-star Noom reviews, of the diet and the app itself, though a few users didn't think the diet was realistic at all, that the program wasn't worth the price, and that the app could be improved. Here are some honest reviews of the Noom program you might want to consider, pulled from the App Store:

"I was skeptical when I first started the trial. Roughly a month into this program, I have lost almost 10 pounds without much inconvenience. The things I mark it down for are a limited data base when you go to scan in a food to add it to your daily intake.

"I'd have to say that these people are on your case 24/7 to help keep you on track. You also have access to multiple other people who are doing this at the same time you are. I think the message board could be organized in a better fashion, to be more user-friendly and allow you to have access to multiple threads at once without being confused.

"All in all, I'm going to stick with this because it fits into my life at this time. It addresses psychological issues as to why people choose to eat what they eat, and why they overeat the wrong things. you are given the tools, should you choose to use them, to deal with these situations that affect those of us who have always had a complicated relationship with food."

"I've had good success with the program. It took twice as long as predicted, but then again I didn't try very hard. In fact, I feel like I did very little and it still worked! The group stuff is great, the goal specialist is ok so long as you keep your expectations in check. The content is excellent. It would be better slowed down and stretched out a bit, so it's easier to retain. The red, yellow, green ratio for foods doesn't quite work for vegetarians."

"I had really high hopes for this app! You start off with a 2,000 calories budget and then it drops lower and lower. I feel as if Noom wants me to starve myself. I work outside, I am constantly sweating and walking around. I'm going to eat, and I shouldn't have to feel bad about going over 1,300 calories while eating healthy foods.

"Second of all, they list some foods that are high in nutrition like almonds/peanut butter and oatmeal as 'red foods.' This makes me feel like I can't eat anything, I only have so much time to make something quick and healthy that will fill me up until lunchtime. Overall, I'm really not please with this app!"

"What I liked: the motivation to weigh in, the weight chart, most of the content, and the ability to log exercise. What I thought was pretty good: the calorie-logging function. I have nothing to compare it to short of reading labels and writing on paper, so I don't know how it compares in simplicity and accuracy with other apps that might be out there. I thought it was pretty easy.

"What I didn't use [or] find helpful: The weekly check-in from my goal specialist and the group coaching. Once a week I would get asked a generic question by my specialist. They only communicate with you once a week. Also, group coaching on an app is just not for me. I don't want to be looking at my phone all day and reading other people's responses and trying to figure out what to say back. That is way too time-consuming. So after the first introduction I never went back to the group. I didn't have too much weight to lose, I signed up to give me some accountability for what I was eating. It was eye-opening.

"I liked Noom for tracking what I ate and making me think differently. I did it for two months and it helped, I took off the few pounds I wanted to lose and have maintained within a couple pounds. I have to say, when following the program, I was almost always hungry! Losing weight is no joke."

I would really evaluate if youre ready to make that commitment before downloading it so you dont start, find you dont have the time, and feel like you've failed, when in fact, it just may not have been the right plan for you and your lifestyle.

Also, just know that different folks respond to plans differently. Some people like having a clear outline of what to eat and why, some people like working face to face with a coach, and some people like doing it all through the convenience of their phoneit really comes down to the individual.

The bottom line: An app isnt the only way to lose weight or build healthy eating habits, so know yourself and find a plan that works for you.

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What Is The Noom Diet? An RD Reviews How The Weight-Loss App Works - Women's Health

Body Types | The 3 Somatype Body Types, Explained – Runner’s World

Posted: August 10, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Do you feel like youre constantly battling your body rather than working with it to enjoy every run and nail some personal bests? Youre not alone. Like many runners, youre likely fixated on reaching a certain ideal weight that doesnt necessarily matchand may even be at oddswith your physiology.

Too many runners allow themselves to be defined by a number on the scale that is often grounded in nothing more than a notion of what they think they should weigh.

My first bit of advice is to step off the scale for at least a month, says Stacy Sims, Ph.D., author of ROAR, How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life.

I would also encourage you to identify your somatotype, which is your natural shape and size, says Sims (who, though she specializes in womens physiology, makes these recommendations for men as well as women).

Most of us can slot our overall build into one of three general categories (recognizing that there are a wide variety of shapes and sizes even within these three categories, and you can be a combination of two, rather than just a single type):

The concept of somatotypes dates back thousands of years to Ancient Greece and Hippocrates. In the 1940s, William Sheldon, M.D., Ph.D., came up with the three somatotypes that we know today.

At the time, Sheldon, who was a psychologist as well as a physician, assigned specific personality and psychological characteristics to them as well, positing that mesomorphs were assertive; endomorphs were easy-going, and ectomorphs were introverted, for instance.

Those ideas have largely been debunked, but the fundamental physical characteristics have endured with research finding relationships between somatotypes and specific types of sports performance.

On the power and strength end of the spectrum, a 2018 study published in the journal PLoS One found that, among active men, those with mesomorph and ectomorph builds performed better in lower body strength exercises like the back squat and a 30-second max sprint test on a stationary bike. Mesomorphs performed better in upper body strength tests like the bench press.

Overall, the researchers found that about one-third of strength performance could be predicted by the exercisers somatotype.

On the cardio endurance side, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that, among active men, those who had mesomorph and blended mesomorph-ectomorph builds showed the greatest improvements in aerobic capacity (measured by VO2max) after performing 12 weeks of twice-weekly track interval training sessions compared with other somatotypes.

People with endomorph builds may not outperform their peers with lighter and/or leaner somatotypes in research studies, but that doesnt mean they cant be fast runners, Sims says. Being an endomorph does not automatically mean youre overweight, she says. You can be strong and muscular and fast.

Many things influence your somatotype, including your genes and ethnicity. Research shows that diet and exercise can influence your somatotype, bringing you closer to one build or another, but there may be a limit to how dramatically you can change your build (especially without a lot of focused effort).

Former Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall, now 37, is a prime example. During the heyday of his running career, at 5-feet, 10-inches, he weighed 127 pounds, but maintaining that weight came with a price of chronically low testosterone and extreme fatigue.

After he retired in early 2016, he ran less, lifted more and put on 38 pounds of muscle in a matter of months, which is a strong indication that hes naturally more meso than ectomorph. Today, he can deadlift an impressive 455 pounds and though he only runs a little here and there, he could still bang out three miles at a 5:40 pace weighing nearly 40 pounds above his race weight.

Ultimately, thats the goal. To identify your body type and to work with it rather than against it for the healthiest, happiest, and naturally fittest you. Heres what Sims recommends.

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You tend to be long limbed and not particularly muscular; can be skinny without necessarily having lean body composition.

Ectomorphs are the body type that is the most resistant to weight and muscle gain because of a fast metabolism. People with this body type have little observable body fat, are only lightly muscled, and have a small frame and joints. Long-distance runners often have ectomorph builds because they have less weight to move over the many miles. Your goal is to optimize your body composition by maintaining healthy muscle tissue to protect your joints and produce power.

Eating as an ectomorph: Ectomorphs are sometimes more lax about healthy eating because they dont gain weight easily. But not having visible body fat does not mean youre healthy or well-fueled. Eat high-quality fats and aim to get 25 to 30 grams of muscle-making protein with every meal, along with good-quality, whole-food carbohydrates to fuel your runs.

Training as an ectomorph: Your slighter build can leave you susceptible to injuries. With less muscle, you may also lack power to sprint for the finish. When training, focus on power and resistance training to build strength and protective muscle tissue as well as to build bone.

You find it relatively easy to build muscle mass, are medium boned, and generally proportionally built.

Mesomorphs generally lose and gain weight and are able to build muscle quickly. This body type tends to have a long torso and shorter limbs. Mesomorphs excel in explosive sportsthat is, sports calling for power and speed. The reason for this lies in the type of muscle mesomorphs possess. Mesomorphs have a higher percentage of fast-twitch fibers and will gain muscle mass more quickly than any other body type. Its common to see triathletes with this build. Your goal is to manage your muscle, so you have what you need to produce power without more than you need weighing you down.

Eating as a mesomorph: Mesomorphs generally can maintain a healthy body composition by balancing their macronutrients, taking in fairly even amounts of fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates. You can adjust your intake according to training days, taking in more carbohydrates on long endurance days and fewer on shorter and/or easier days.

Training as a mesomorph: For training, focus on moderate endurance training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and plyometrics. If youre focusing on longer distances like marathons, you can rely on bodyweight training like Pilates to add strength without unwanted muscle.

You tend to have larger bone structure, have a stockier and/or curvier build, and generally store fat relatively easily.

Endomorphs naturally tend to be stockier and/or have curvy, fuller figures. This body type may have a hard time keeping body fat in check and may put on weight easily. This doesnt mean you are destined to be overweight, and plenty of runners fall into this body type category. You may need to pay attention to details like body glide to avoid chafing and finding supportive, but not constricting attire for maximum comfort on your runs.

Eating as an endomorph: Because you can put on weight easily, youll be better able to optimize your body type by eating fewer carbohydrates outside of training to help control insulin and blood sugar, and focusing on good quality fats and protein. Aim to have breakfast within 45 minutes of waking up to bring down cortisol (which can encourage fat storage). Be careful, too, not to under-eat, which some endomorphs do to try to lose weight. That generally backfires. Instead, focus on fueling your runs with carbs as needed and then focusing on high-quality fats and proteins and getting more of your carbohydrates from vegetables outside of exercise.

Training as an endomorph: You may find it easier to change your body compositionincreasing muscle and decreasing fatrather than strictly losing weight. Training-wise, along with your regular running, high-intensity activities such as HIIT and CrossFit style training are great for fat loss and muscle maintenance. Incorporating more general activity and less sitting time into your day can also boost your generally slower metabolism.

This article has been adapted from ROAR, How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life.

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Body Types | The 3 Somatype Body Types, Explained - Runner's World

What Is The Keto Diet? A Beginner’s Guide To Keto Foods, Side Effects – Women’s Health

Posted: August 10, 2020 at 7:45 pm

This article was reviewed by Jes Harvey, RD. Harvey is a registered dietitian specializing in the ketogenic diet for children and adults. She is a certified specialist in pediatric nutrition and educates children with epilepsy on the ketogenic diet as an anti-seizure medication. Harvey also manages a private nutrition practice consulting adults on the ketogenic way of eating.

There's no denying that the keto diet still reigns as one of the most popularand highly researcheddiets out there right now. In fact, keto was one of the top 10 diets listed as part of Googles 2019 Year in Search report. And per Reddit's 2019 Year in Review, keto was the most-discussed diet trend of last year, plus the r/keto sub-Reddit was the number-two overall fitness/wellness community in 2019 and saw a 65 percent increase in subscribers from last year. Wowza.

But there are two clear sides to the keto debate: There are folks who are alllll for the high-fat lifestyle and those who, well, absolutely aren't.

Jenna Jameson, for example, is clearly a proponentas is Mama June, Halle Berry, and Savannah Guthrie. Jenna, for example, credits the keto diet with her more than 80-pound postpartum weight loss, while Halle swears that it helps her maintain her health (she has type 2 diabetes).

Then there are the people who don't love the diet: Tamra Judge, who was on the keto diet for about a month, decided to quit, saying it "doesn't do anything" and noting that it made her feel sick (#ketofluproblems). And Jillian Michaels told WH last year that people should "avoid the keto dietcommon sense. A balanced diet is key."

Amidst all the positive and negative reviews, though, you may still be a little hazy on the details of the keto dietlike what it is, how it works, and exactly how much butter and cheese you get to eat. Don't worry, I got you.

Short for ketogenic diet, this eating plan is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats to get your body to use fat as a form of energy, says Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy.

While everyone's body and needs are slightly different, that typically translates to:

That usually means eating no more than 50 grams of carbs a day (some strict keto dieters even opt for just 20 grams a day).

After about two to seven days of following the keto diet, you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn't have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. That's when you start making ketones, or organic compounds that your bod then uses in place of those missing carbs. At this point, your body also starts burning fat for more energy, says Beth Warren, RD, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living A Real Life With Real Food.

Believe it or not, the keto diet was originally designed to help people who suffer from seizure disordersnot to help people lose weight, says New York-based RD Jessica Cording. That's because both ketones and another chemical produced by the diet, called beta hydroxybutyrate, may help minimize seizures.

Women's Health Keto Made Simple

But people who started following the keto diet noticed weight loss for a few reasons: When you eat carbs, your body retains fluid in order to store carbs for energy (you know, in case it needs it). But when youre not having much in the carb department, you lose this water weight, says Warren. Also, it's easy to go overboard on carbohydratesbut if you're loading up on fat, it may help curb cravings since it keeps you satisfied.

That, plus the fact that ketosis encourages your body to burn fat, means you can end up with pretty dramatic weight loss.

While its easy to think that the keto diet is one-size fits all, there are actually several different types of keto diets, and they all have different benefits, depending on what your nutritional goals are.

They all have the same gistsuper low-carb, high-fatbut they each have their own set of unique guidelines, says Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN. Below are the four most common variations of the keto diet.

The cyclic keto diet is similar to standard keto, with the exception of one to two days per week, explains Rissetto. Five to six days per week, a cyclic keto dieter will eat according to standard keto guidelines. Then, for one or two days, they will have a carb cyclealso commonly known as a carb refeed day. On this day, they will eat about 140 to 160 grams of carbohydrates.

This type of keto diet is often followed by athletes, since they require a carb refeed day to replenish glycogen stores in their muscles. High levels of athletic training drains nearly all glycogen from their muscle stores, so its necessary to replenish them, says Rissetto.

Its important to note, though, even if you choose to do this diet, that doesnt mean your days off should involve tons of processed foods and desserts. Instead, look to whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fruits for your carb intake.

On this diet, you follow all the guidelines of the standard keto diet, with one exceptionbefore intense workouts, you eat carbohydrates, explains Rissetto. Typically, targeted keto dieters will consume anywhere from 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrates about 30 minutes to an hour prior to working out. Dieters often find that this helps them feel stronger and more capable during workouts.

While this does take the body out of ketosis temporarily, it will resume within a few hours, depending on how many carbs you consumed. Essentially, the theory behind this diet is that since the additional carbs are immediately burned off, they wont get stored as body fat.

The vegan keto diet is for individuals who want to follow a high-fat, low-carb diet, but do not consume animal products, says Rissetto. This can be difficult to achieve, as many keto dieters rely on animal products for a large portion of their diet.

Common protein sources for vegan keto dieters include tofu, tempeh, nuts and nut butters, and beans and legumes in moderate amounts.

Though challenging, a vegan keto diet isnt impossibleit just takes a lot of advance planning.

When something is popular, its pretty much a guarantee that people are going to come up with new or easier ways of doing it. Enter the lazy keto and dirty keto diets. With lazy keto, people try to limit their carb intake to 20 to 50 grams a day but dont really track it; with dirty keto, people generally follow the same macronutrient breakdown as "regular" keto, but it doesn't matter where those macronutrients come from.

Keatley has somethoughts about those. Dirty keto is a waste of your time since good habits have not been developed and it is simply too easy to fall back into a high-calorie diet, he says. If youre trying to do a lazy keto diet, he recommends following the USDAs MyPlate instead and monitoring your meals based on proportions vs. macros. Its easier, more flexible, and has shown, when combined with moderate exercise, to be effective over the long term, he says.

Youve probably noticed that plenty of people rave about combining keto with fasting diets. Just in case youre not familiar with intermittent fasting, heres a quick primer: Intermittent fasting centers around a pattern of eating and fasting periods, i.e., times when you dont eat.

This can look different for everybody, but some popular forms of this are the 16:8 diet, where you fast for 16 hours (usually from dinnertime until a late breakfast) and eat all your food within an eight-hour span. Another is the 5:2 diet, where you eat less than 500 calories for two non-consecutive days a week and then eat normally for the rest of the week.

Plenty of people claim that doing keto along with intermittent fasting is awesome for weight loss, but its likely any results youd see with this would be short-lived. Meaning, when you start eating regularly again, youll probably gain the weight back.

Combining a super restrictive diet with long periods of non-eating is not good, says Keatley. The body will cannibalize its own muscle for energy if intake from food is too low but the body does not differentiate between something like a calf muscle or a heart muscle. Keep in mind all your important organs are made of smooth muscle and going on a diet like this may harm something like your bladder or lungs just as much as provide fat loss.

The science thus far on IF has been pretty clear that weight loss from intermittent fasting is due to calorie restriction, Keatley points out. And, research has shown, just eating less, or healthier in general, usually does the same thing.

You are literally starving on an intermittent fasting diet, Keatley says. Methods such as this are attractive as weight loss can go from one pound a week to four pounds, but this is mostly lean muscle which is essential to healthy functioning as you age and is very hard to get back once it is gone, he adds. Soits not really recommended that you try this unless you hash it out with your doctor or nutritionist to make sure it's a fit for you and your lifestyle.

Okay, so while there are different versions of keto, let's say you're thinking of following the standard keto diet, for the sake of convenience. Just because you're not eating all your fave carb-y foods, that doesn't mean you're going to go hungry. You'll be loading up on healthy fats (like olive oil and avocado), along with plenty of lean protein like grass-fed beef and chicken, and leafy greens or other non-starchy veggies. (Check out this printable keto diet grocery list, plus this additional comprehensive list of keto foods recommended by nutritionists, to get started.)

More good news: Snacks are totally allowed (and I'm not just talking about carrot sticks). There are plenty of packaged options out there designed for keto fans. FATBAR is one of them. These snack bars have 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, and four grams of net carbs. They're also plant-based and are made with almond or cashew butter, cocoa butter, coconut, pea protein, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.

For coffee drinkers mourning the loss of their vanilla lattes, Bulletproof coffee's an option. This is your standard coffee but with grass-fed butter and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil added to help give you a boost of healthy fats in the A.M.

If you're looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, keto fat bombs have a solid following. As the name implies, these are little snacks that are high in fat and low in carbs, so you can be on-point with your diet, even when you indulge.

And if you can't survive without your pasta, there are plenty of products out there like Explore Cuisine's organic black bean spaghetti that give you the pasta experience without the carbs. There are also tons of keto-friendly restaurantslike Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Texas Roadhousethat can allow you to treat yourself to a night out without coming out of ketosis.

Because you'll be focusing on fat and proteinand going easy on the carbsbig bowls of pasta (or any grain, really) definitely won't be on your menu. It also means that starchy vegetables like potatoes and carrots, as well as legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and black beans are off-limits, too.

Another thing you can't have: sweetsartificial or natural. Candy, cakes, and doughnuts are a no; and even many fruits aren't allowed (apples, bananas, pearsthey all have tons of sugar, which is definitely a carb).

Alcohol's another grey area on the keto dietmany beers and sugary cocktails are banned on the keto diet, as well as some sweeter wines.

Note: Because you'll be excluding some major food groups on the keto diet (grains, many fruits) you should definitely think about taking a multivitaminespecially one that contains folic acid, which helps your body make new cells and is often found in enriched breads, cereals, and other grain products, says Julie Upton, RD, cofounder of nutrition website Appetite for Health.

Tbh, a lot of keto meals sound pretty decadent and delicious, and it's easy to see how they could be super filling. Below, check out a weeks worth of meal options that all adhere to the standard keto diet guidelines, going low on the carbs, and heavy on fat and protein.

Green omeletteKeto biscuits with gravyKeto banana muffinsGo green smoothieHam and cheese breakfast boatsBaked egg avocado boatsKeto quiche

Avocado chicken saladEasy broccoli cheddar soupMason jar Greek salad with chickenShrimp salsa verde salad boatsChicken pesto tomato bitesGarlic herb grilled chicken breastEgg roll in a bowl

Keto cauliflower rice with chickenTuscan butter shrimpGarlic rosemary pork chopsTaco stuffed peppersKeto spinach artichoke chicken casseroleBroiled salmonPhilly cheesesteak stuffed portobello mushrooms

It usually takes three to four days for your body to go into ketosis because you have to use up your body's stores of glucose, i.e., sugar first, Keatley says. Any major diet change can give you some, uh, issues, and Keatley says he often sees patients who complain of IBS-like symptoms and feeling wiped out at the beginning of the diet. (The tiredness happens because you have less access to carbs, which give you quick energy, he explains.)

Those issues can be part of what's known as the keto flu, Warren says. Other side effects of the keto diet, all of which are tied to carb withdrawal, can include lightheadedness, nausea, mental fog, cramps, and headaches, in addition to tiredness. Luckily, the keto flu doesn't usually last more than a weekwhich is coincidentally about when people start to see the number on the scale go down, says Warren.

Aside from the typical keto flu complaints, diarrhea and "keto breath" are also common keto diet side effects.

While, yes, diarrhea can be another symptom of the keto flu, it may also be linked to how your body processes fat, specifically (and, as you know, the keto diet is full of fat). The reason: Some people simply don't digest fat as well as they should, Barbie Boules, RDN, previously told WH.

Keto breath, on the other hand, is less of a side-effect and more of a harmless inconvenience (your breath literally smells like nail polish remover). Basically, when your body breaks down all that extra fat on the keto diet, it produces ketonesone of which is the chemical acetone, Keatley previously told WH. (Yes, the same stuff that's in nail polish remover.)

Your body then gets rid of those chemicals through urination, defecation, and, yes, breathing. Keto breath should go away once your body acclimates to the dietin the meantime, pay special attention to your oral hygiene, said Keatley.

As mentioned, there are a few reasons why the keto diet usually equals weight-loss gold, says Keatley. For starters, people usually reduce their daily caloric intake to about 1,500 calories a day because healthy fats and lean proteins make you feel fuller soonerand for a longer period of time. And then theres the fact that it takes more energy to process and burn fat and protein than carbs, so you're burning slightly more calories than you did before. Over time, this can lead to weight loss.

Everyone is different, and how much you weigh when you start the diet matters, but you could safely lose around one to two pounds a week on keto, Keatley says. "It's sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the individual's caloric needs," he adds.

Worth noting: The keto diet isnt a miracle fat burner, says Keatley. The calories in fat are still calories, so working out and keeping total intake at a reasonable level is the only way it works, he says. Being on a keto diet but eating more calories than you need will still add fat to your frame.

Some keto devotees swear the keto diet offers multiple health benefitsfrom curing acne to improving the risk factors of heart diseasebut a lot of these claims are unproven, have weak science behind them, or are purely anecdotal, says Sonya Angelone, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Heres what we do know: The keto diet may be useful in treating symptoms of epilepsy, a seizure disorder. The use of keto in treating epilepsy has the most evidence, Angelone says. One study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine, for example, followed epileptic patients on the keto diet and found that 36 percent of them had a 50 percent reduction in seizures after three months on the diet, and 16 percent were seizure-free. However, experts aren't entirely sure why the keto diet has this affect, she adds.

Theres also some evidence that it might help with type 2 diabetes. An emerging body of research is finding that a keto plan may have some real benefits thanks to its ability to improve the bodys ability to use insulin and also help control appetite, which can result in easier weight loss, says Karen Ansel, RDN, co-author of Healthy in a Hurry. If you have diabetes, you'll want to check with your doc before starting a new diet, though.

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Beyond that, experts aren't convinced that the keto diet has any other scientifically proven health benefits. In fact, it may have some distinct downsides. If you follow the keto diet incorrectly, for example (like by eating lots of saturated fats, versus healthy unsaturated fats), you're at risk of raising your cholesterol levels.

The best strategy to keep your heart healthy is to get as much fat as possible from unsaturated sources such as olive, avocado and canola oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives," says Ansel. For some people, it's possible to actually improve cholesterol if the fats in their diet are from varied and healthy sources, says Harvey.

Also, keep this in mind: This diet is not going to support good bones, a healthy brain, heart, colon, or gut microbiome," says Angelone, and it could lead to plaque in the arteries (which could cause a heart attack or stroke) later on.

The keto diet is not easyor necessarily healthyto follow over a long period of time (certain types of carbs are good for you!), say both Keatley and Warren.

Rissetto also cautions that several populations may not be suitable for the keto diet. The ketogenic diet is not appropriate for people with any stage of pre-existing kidney or liver disease, she stresses. The higher protein intake that is typical of the ketogenic diet can put a great deal of added stress on the kidneys. The emphasis on high-fat foods can potentially lead to, or exacerbate, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

You also shouldnt be on the diet if youre pregnant: Fetal growth depends heavily on glucose from carbohydrates, says Rissetto. So, a diet low in carbs will impact the growth of the baby.

It's also not advised that people with digestive disorders follow a ketogenic diet, says Rissetto. Fiber is an extremely important nutrient for digestive health, and it is common for keto dieters to under-consume this nutrient. Since whole grains and fibrous carb sources are omitted, its difficult to get the daily recommended amount25 to 35 gramsof fiber from non-starchy vegetables alone, as you'd have to consume a very large amount of them.

If you don't fall into any of those groups and youre interested in following keto for a short period of time, Cording says its important to set yourself up for success by making sure you have the right ingredients and tools to make it happen.

Good news for keto beginners: Because it's popular AF right now, there are tons of ways to get started.

21-Day Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Challenge

Lots of apps and websites offer keto diet challengesbasically, a blueprint for the keto diet with a fixed starting and ending point (they typically last for a week to a month, though some may be longer). Speaking of apps, plenty of keto-centric ones are right at your fingertips (a.k.a., your smartphone), like the KetoDiet app, which can help you calculate your macros and track your keto diet effectively.

If you're looking for more of a DIY keto approach, there are recipes and cookbooks galore on the keto dietwhether you want to make keto recipes in your Instant Pot, or you're looking for more general recipes, snack options, or keto breakfasts that make waking up easier.

If you're interested in following the keto diet for medical reasons, Harvey recommends talking with a dietician about the best way to get started, and to continue being monitored by a professional.

The bottom line: Overall, if you want to go ahead and try the keto diet on for sizejust remember that it's not necessarily a diet you can or should stay on forever.

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