Keto and Exercise – A Symbiotic Relationship
Written By: Miriam Colomby - Women's Only Health & Fitness, North Bay ON
You may be thinking ‘if the keto lifestyle is so effective for weight loss why should I exercise?’
As both a certified Fitness professional and follower of the keto lifestyle, I have come to realize that there is an important symbiotic relationship between the two. Once you are a keto adapted fat-burner you will have a more stable energy supply and experience superior endurance.
It is important to know that any weight loss without the addition of exercise – strength training in particular – can result in fat and muscle loss.
This is where fitness comes in:
1) Strength training maintains your muscle mass, supporting healthy bones, strength and posture.
2) Cardio (and exercise in general) increases your metabolism so you are burning more calories both during activity and at rest.
3) Stretching and other movement-based practises reduce stress thus lowering cortisol levels that would otherwise hinder weight loss.
4) Exercise enhances your mood enabling you to make better lifestyle and food choices.
If you are sedentary or new to fitness a good start is to begin daily walking. Start with small achievable goals. Park further from your destination, take the stairs, or walk around the block. You’ll find that your increased activity will help improve the way you think, feel, and move.
When you are ready to add strength training you can start with some simple body weight exercises at home with little or no equipment. Choose multi-joint movements such as squats or exercises that mimic ‘real life’ movements (sitting/standing, bending down to pick up a laundry basket or a child, etc.) If you are unsure how to begin you may want to attend some fitness classes or hire a Personal Trainer for a few sessions to get you started.
Adding low impact workouts such as Pilates or Yoga is a great way to maintain flexibility and help your body adapt gracefully to the changes of this new lifestyle. As your body adapts and becomes stronger you will have to ramp up your workouts to keep your body challenged so you don’t plateau.
Remember, health is a journey, not a destination. Take your time, be kind to yourself and enjoy the process!
Owner Women’s Only Health & Fitness
North Bay, ON
160 Main West
For more information on how you can incorporate fitness into your lifestyle in a healthy, empowering and positive environment , visit Women's Only Health & Fitness website today, call 7058459288, or email Miriam at email@example.com
So, you’ve heard about Keto by now, maybe one too many times even, and “how great it is.” You've maybe even seen some of the success stories and felt inspired by them. Or, you've been nudged way too many annoying times, to “just give it a try, and you’ll see,” by well-meaning friends or family, who you don’t even want to hear them say the word one more time. It seems that every week a new person in your circle, family or a co-worker has jumped onto the Keto train, and now your interest is at least peeked.
Perhaps, like so many, you have tried out 'diets' in the past, and you don’t mind the thought of being a few pounds lesser, maybe in preparation for summer or some special event. Even still perhaps, maybe you're one of the many people who deal with low energy or chronic illness: Hypothyroidism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Arthritis, PCOS, Fibromyalgia; or one of the dozens of other ailments holding us back, that have claimed to be relieved through a Ketogenic lifestyle. As always, I am not here to diagnose anyone, or validate any diet or lifestyle change for anyone, but merely to provide some information and insight. The fact is, only you will know if it’s for you, and you will start in your own time, if and when you are ready. [Always check in with your own health care and wellness teams on any uncertainties, and to determine if a lifestyle change would benefit you in any way]
If you are though, for whatever reason, at the point where you are ready, or strongly considering jumping into Keto yourself, but feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a lifestyle change; I am here to offer a few tips. Before we go further though, one of the biggest things to always remember and keep in mind throughout your own personal journey, is that we are all at varying places in each of our lives. We have different backgrounds, experiences, support system, finances and different health conditions and goals. The person choosing Keto for rapid weight loss is not the same as the person considering Keto for addressing a health concern. I don’t like to refer to Keto as “a diet,” in fact I try to steer clear of that terminology [diet] altogether for its often grave and unrealistic long-term expectations. Keto is more of a lifestyle change, that although starting off a bit tough, does allow for some growth, or modifications after a certain point, depending on a few conditions; but we will cover that towards the end.
So, how do you begin? Because the daunting truth is that when you think of such a drastic lifestyle change, flashes of your current busy schedule comes to mind, and you become overwhelmed with no idea where to start. If you like to be a planner, those thoughts aren’t necessarily going to help kick start your new journey. Or, you might be of the demographic of people who feel as though they have hit their proverbial ‘wall’ whether through a plethora of attempts at weight loss, or the longstanding desire to lose weight. Or, even still, you are the person who through their chronic illness or health ailment is finally fed-up with feeling the detrimental effects of chronic illness; to the point that they wake up one day and decide to jump full force, two feet in, never looking back. Whatever the category, these tips may help to ease some of the burden or stress, free up some time, or just give you a much needed positive perspective on the great journey your about to embark on.
On a bit of a personal note, I was of the category of 'chronic sufferer' through Hypothyroidism, for which the onset was due to the removal of my thyroid, 8 years ago; and in much of the case has been an uphill battle, in the dark, for years. For anyone with Hypothyroidism, you know all too well the toll it can take on your life and the energy that is robbed from you due to chronic fatigue, and a slow metabolism; that’s only two of the symptoms. I’ve battled brain fog for so long I almost just gave in to it as a new reality, but I am here to tell you that there is a hope to leave that all behind and return to your vibrant self. “We are not designed to feel that way. Period.” From starting strict Keto, through to a now modified Ketogenic/paleo lifestyle; along with intermittent fasting, I have been able to regain my life, energy and focus, while boosting my metabolism and losing excess weight, caused by low energy. [I will be sharing a more in depth perspective of my own experience, in the coming days]
Before starting, make a note to be gentle and kind to yourself; you’re human after all, and you’re not going to be perfect. Just don't give up on yourself though, even if you have to navigate through a few things to find what works best, and is right for you. Trust in your own instincts and intuition. One of the worst things we can do is put too much stock into what a single ‘expert’ has to tell us. Often times people are treated as a category and not an individual. Always be cautious of anyone’s advice who also has something to sell you; they may not be giving you the best advice for YOU, as they are for their own pocket book. Always do your own research and collect a variety of information from various resources to use as your personal reference. The more you know, through your own research, the better facilitated your journey into progress and wellness will be.
Now, here we go…
One last thing I want to mention, is that a strict Keto eating regimen does not necessarily have to go on forever; to the point that you feel like you have to be careful how you eat for the rest of your life, and start to lose enjoyment around your experience with food. It typically takes 3-5 days for your body to use up glucose before it goes into ketosis (fat burning mode). If you maintain ketosis for 5-6 weeks you should become fat burning adapted, and find that you can start to add in a larger variety of veggies, some occasional fruits, and even some very occasional starchy veggies and pasta (in moderation) without throwing yourself out of ketosis and back into glucose burning mode. This is a conscious decision you, as an individual, will have to explore at that time, especially as it may slow down rapid weight loss; if weight loss is your goal. Or, you may find that reintroducing some foods will trigger negative responses from ailments you may have. For additional reading on Keto and its complimentary connection to intermittent fasting, click on the following link... [All things Keto].
Thank you for taking the time to read these tips, and if you are considering starting Keto, I wish you all the best in happiness and health!
[For anyone who would like to connect regarding Hypothyroidism specifically, please don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you!]
#ketotips #weightloss #keto #lowcarb #tips #eating #health #wellness #lifestyle #nutrition
Apple cider vinegar: Its potent health benefits and aid in weight loss.
Part of any healthy diet, lifestyle or well-stocked kitchen, should be apple cider vinegar. Besides its great taste and use for many recipes and dishes, apple cider vinegar is one of the most potent, natural health staples to have on hand at all times.
Here is a list of just some of the benefits that ACV possesses...
Fasting is a voluntary withholding of food for periods of time. These periods can be for several hours or several days. In extreme fasting cases this can last weeks at a time. Fasting is not starvation, but merely the controlled absence of eating [a practice not recommended for those who are underweight]. Starvation is the process that occurs when food is withheld for prolonged periods of time outside of the control of the individual; starvation is neither deliberate nor controlled.
The practice of fasting has been on record since the beginning of human history, but has been almost all but forgotten in our modern day way of living; outside the practices of fasting that are currently a part of several religions. Fasting is also practiced for other spiritual reasons, for health and healing. As the length of a fast can vary, shorter terms of fasting can be referred to as intermittent fasting; a pattern of eating that cycles between fasting and eating, typically during each 24 hour day. Some of us may not realize that we are already practicing intermittent fasting in our daily lives. For example, if you refrain from eating between the hours of 6pm through 10am the following morning, you are engaging in an intermittent fasting period. It is during this time that your body is in ‘repair’ mode; going hand in hand with the necessity and benefits of sleep. A common type of fast is the 16/8 split, where the individual consumes food during an 8 hour period only and refrains from eating during the remaining 16 hours of the day. The term ‘breakfast’ actually refers to breaking of the ‘fast’ that occurs, for many people, through the night. It could be argued that, by our very design, intermittent fasting is more natural than eating several meals each day, throughout a 12 (or more) hour period. Humans are able to function without food for extended periods of time. Have you ever asked yourself why you're eating 3 meals every single day? In our busy lives today, just the thought of having to plan and prepare a minimum of 3 meals for ourselves, and families, can cause overwhelming stress and a negative perspective towards eating.
In history, some very influential individuals agreed, practiced, and taught that fasting was the most powerful natural healing solution. All cultures of the world have practiced fasting in one form or another. In fact, the body’s natural response to illness is to refrain from food; and the reason we don’t feel like eating when we are sick.
Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine stated, “…to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.” Benjamin Franklin, an intellect and proponent to fasting, said “…the best of all medicine is resting and fasting, better than all other forms of ‘medicine.’” Fasting has a purification effect in the body, through a process referred to as ‘autophagy.’ Our bodies are designed for a ‘store and release’ process. Mahatma Gandhi, another advocate to fasting, said ‘…that a genuine fast cleanses the body mind and soul.” Jesus, who also fasted himself, said “this kind can come out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” – Mark 9:29; referring to satan and his plagues’ stronghold on an individual. The bible itself has dozens of references prescribing fasting of varying intent, specification and length. Groups of Buddhist monks engage in regular intermittent fasting by abstaining from food each day from noon, through until sunrise the following day. Muslims, of Islamic faith, practice intermittent fasting during their holy month of Ramadan, and is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. The fasting of Ramadan lasts each day from dawn until sunset, for 30 days.
What happens to your body when fasting?
On a cellular and molecular level, fasting increases the opportunity for your body to adjust hormone levels, to make stored fat more accessible. During periods of fasting your cells initiate important repair processes and change expression of genes. Some effects that occur in your body during periods of fasting include:
Insulin is the key hormone involved in storage of food energy. Eating increases insulin, which is then stored in two separate ways. First, carbohydrates are broken down into individual glucose (sugar) units, which can be linked into long chains to form glycogen; stored in liver or muscles. There is limited storage space for carbs, so once that limit is reached the liver starts to turn excess glucose into fat by the process called 'de-novo lipogenesis.' Some of this new fat is stored in the liver, but much is transported to create deposits of fat in other parts of the body; with almost no limit to how much fat can be created.
When we fast, the process is reversed; insulin levels drop, which signal the body to start burning stored energy. When blood glucose falls (is used up), the body takes glucose out of stores to burn for energy - glycogen, being easier to access is broken down first into glucose molecules providing energy for the body’s other cells. If glucose levels, through carbohydrate consumption, are not replaced, the body’s glucose stores are used up, providing energy for up to 24-36 hours. Once used up, the body diverts to breaking down stored fats for energy. This is where ketosis comes in. This is the process of burning stored fat for energy, and part of the equation to the effectiveness of rapid weight loss, as experienced by so many people who practice a ketogenic lifestyle, for its benefits in weight loss and overall health improvement. Simplistically, the living body only exists in two states, the fed state (high insulin) and the fasted state (low insulin). We are either storing energy or burning energy. A balance in this process should cause very minimal, to no, weight fluctuations.
In addition to weight loss and insulin sensitivity there are other noted health benefits, such as the reduction of inflammation; a key factor in many chronic diseases. Fasting promotes heart health in that it may reduce bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance; all precursors to heart disease. Studies also show that fasting may help prevent cancer, in addition to some cases, where it may help reverse some cancer growths. Fasting also has benefits to brain health. In addition to clearing ‘brain fog’ and increasing ability to focus, fasting may increase the brain hormone BDNF, and may aid in the growth of new nerve cells. There are numerous studies indicating that regular and periodic fasting have age defying effects that promote anti-aging. Fasting, and in particular, daily intermittent fasting, has the ability to simplify one's lifestyle. Focusing on 1-2 quality meals per day, as opposed to several, saves time, increases body repair time, saves money, reduces stress and aids in overall wellbeing.
Fasting gets a bad reputation in today’s society, as a partially forgotten practice. Even more cunningly though, in a commercial society that is obsessed with spending, consumption and over indulgence, we are quite literally programmed to be always thinking about food; in a way that has become so unhealthy and unnatural to our design. Eating should be a pleasure, not a burden or a chore, and certainly not an influence on unhealthy habits and poor ideals of ourselves. When we dare mention fasting nowadays, we generally get eye rolls or concerned looks. The truth is, that of the 1000’s of cultures that have practiced fasting, along with the 100’s of millions who continue to practice for religion and other spiritual based faith, over the course of time, fasting in some form or other, has been practiced by billions.
Intermittent fasting, at its core, allows the body to use its stored energy (fat) in a physical way, and rid the excess body fat we carry. In a spiritual way [for those that follow], the bad energies and oppressions we carry can also be purged away. Life is about balance, and the practice of fasting allows that balance to take hold, in our physical (and mental) real estate. Fasting is the balance to food consumption.
When looking at the keto process, in relation to its effects in weight loss, we see how it’s possible to achieve this ‘fat store’ burning process through extreme reductions in our carbohydrate intake. This should ideally be a temporary process that allows our body to become fat adapted; meaning fat burning adapted. This typically occurs by the 5 – 6 week mark, once being in ketosis. It would be somewhere at this point that we could make the decision to continue with rapid weight loss through severe reductions in carbohydrate consumption, or for the ‘good news,' folks - we can slowly start to incorporate more carbohydrate foods back into our diet. This would however, depend on the individual and their personal goals. Some, who are on keto, are trying to lose larger amounts of weight than others. Intermittent fasting can be a complementary practice to eating keto. If you typically eat every 2 - 3 hours, your body will be in a constant state of using incoming food as energy first and may not reach the point of using up stores of fat; the reason why dieting can often times be a huge challenge. With the higher fat consumption of a keto diet, you tend to experience little, to no, dire cravings; another advantage of a keto diet. All in all, it's up to the individual to decide what their goals are and to design a plan that works best for them. It’s ok to try something and realize it doesn’t work for you, then try a different approach; don’t be discouraged with your process or progress. And as always, do your own research as well. Nothing is more valuable to your progress than knowledge.
Disclaimer: Please remember that every ‘body’ is different and will have different experiences and different outcomes. Always research for yourself the risk and benefit to any major lifestyle change, including fasting. The intention of this article is not to diagnose, validate for, or advise any individual. It is strictly for information purposes and to provide awareness. Fasting can be a danger to some people, for certain medical reasons. Always speak to your own health care team before venturing into something you are unsure of.
#fasting #intermittentfasting #keto #ketogenic #lowcarb #insulin #weightloss #healthy #lifestyle #wellness #diet
Thank you for reading!
Hey everyone! ... it’s been a hot minute here, but I am glad to be back creating at the Artisan Food Co. desk, or in my case, the cutting block. After having taken some much needed time to focus on my twins, I am resurfacing into the world of food, once again. This time, it will be to showcase what I have continued learning on my journey with food; including healthy (mindset) living, while providing insight into, and sharing in some of my experiences. I will continue to let you in on, and keep you up to date on my latest projects as they develop. I have been working hard to bring a variety of research and information, in regards to our connections with food, and convey the passion and drive behind it. Although I will not be doing catering or have a storefront for the time being, I will be working on and developing my brand online, through the digital media community, which I hope will bring you deeper into the world of food and lifestyle with me. My work online, on a more rounded platform, will include: food and health related blogs, recipes, idea sharing and chats [more info here... About], plus a few extra things up my sleeve I’ll keep for later. My revamped website is now a hub for ‘healthy eating and lifestyle!’
Starting in April, I will be launching ‘all things Keto' month [click here...All things Keto] in an effort to highlight some information pertaining to that lifestyle. Most people have heard about ‘Keto’ but not everyone understands what it is. My intent is not to convince anyone of anything but rather to share info and experience regarding various aspects of food and lifestyle. As some of you may know, I love to explore all that the world of food and healthy living has to offer. With my culinary training, and background in studying holistic nutrition, I enjoy immersing myself into the many different eating and lifestyle regimes, for better understanding and insight. As I have mentioned, I will be blogging my healthy eating and lifestyle journey in an effort to share my experiences, engage in healthy dialogue and answer your burning questions. Each month I will focus on a different concept, while continuing to offer additional resources and insights along the way.
[The month of May will be 'Comfort Kitchen;' honouring Mom's and their comfort cooking, while celebrating Mother's day all month long]
I want to give a warm thank you to all those who continued to follow me and check in on me in me during my temporary hiatus. I would love to share a bit of that aspect of my life as well, for those who would like to continue reading about it [click here...Blog].
In closing, I do hope you will join me on this platform, to discover, discuss and share our human experiences together, around food - the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope that I can inspire you to not only love and appreciate food for its life sustaining properties but for the beauty it brings to the world and warmth to our hearts. If you are someone who struggles with food in any way, be it through unhealthy habits or a lack of desire to be creative with your meals then I think this just might be the place for you! It's time we build and repair our relationship with food again, or in some cases for the first time, so we can begin to live the healthy lifestyles we so deserve.
In the meantime, please click on the links at the bottom of the page to follow me, for regular updates, on both facebook and instagram. Thank you!
With love and appreciation, Tanya
Tanya is a classically trained, Red Seal Chef, and former restauranteur and caterer, with additional studies in Holistic Nutrition and business. Having food as her foundation she continues to build on her interests and knowledge base in the study of the body, mind and brain connection. She now spends her time as a Mom of twins, researcher and writer, while continuing to participate digitally in the culinary world with her company, Artisan Food Co.