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The term diet can mean different things to different people. For most of us, the term diet is most likely associated with weight loss. For many, diets are deemed as a fad or some extreme method to lose weight fast, like the Hollywood diet that claims to it will help you lose up to 10lbs in two days.

Diets like these usually have many more drawbacks than actual successes. Yes, one may lose 10 lbs on a particular diet, but most likely this same person who lost 10 lbs in 2 days will ultimately gain back all ten pounds, plus a few extra in a relatively short period of time. The reason for this is simple; the said diet is simply too restrictive

Living on liquids or extreme calorie restrictive diets are almost impossible to continue for long periods of time. Extreme dieting can be very taxing on the body and mind. The mind and body will eventually break down due to lack of nutrients; extreme hunger pangs or racing thoughts about food will wear on the dieter until he/she eats. And when this happens, so many times it results in binge eating. Once a dieter breaks that extreme diet, it is very hard to find the motivation to continue.

Yet, with all that said, diets do have a place.   If properly maintained and balanced, diets can be sustainable and even play an important role in our health.

When we think of the Atkins or the popular Ketogenic diet, it’s often associated with fat loss. However, both diets were developed for health reasons. The Atkins diet was used to help diabetics control their blood sugar and the Ketogenic diet was created to help epileptic patients with seizure outbreaks. The fat loss obtained was simply a byproduct.

There’s also the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or SCD that restricts an array of complex carbohydrates and simple sugars that helps those suffering from Crohns, IBS, and Autism.

Another is the elimination diet. This diet is helpful for those with a sensitive gut, food intolerance, or allergy.  On this diet, dieters eliminate foods they suspect might be causing their problems over a period of a few weeks, and then slowly reintroduce the eliminated foods individually back slowly.

I share this because what we eat and how much we eat has such a strong influence on our overall health and the body’s ability to heal itself.  This goes double for people suffering and looking to CBD oils to for relief.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we see patients coming to our store daily expecting CBD to fix their problems, while continuing to make the same bad lifestyle choices. Then, when they don’t find the relief they’d hoped for, they blame CBD!

For example, a lot of the pain we feel is caused by inflammation in our body. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation, thus reducing pain. Sugar and processed carbohydrates have been shown to increase inflammation, thus attribute to the pain we feel. So, when someone is consuming a large amount of carbohydrates, which causes inflammation and taking CBD to lower inflammation, the two are actually just battling each other. Instead of the CBD working on the pain area it’s fighting the overall inflammation being caused by the carbs, or any other inflammation causing foods! The CBD never had a chance to actually reduce the areas of inflammation because it was being overpowered by junk food!

CBD is a supplement and should be treated as such. It’s my belief that for and CBD product to work fully it should be in combination with a proper diet and exercise program (unless they are physically not able to exercise or their doctor says no).

In today’s post we’re going to discuss the Ketogenic and Paleolithic diets.  Both work well for fat loss, inflammation and kicking food addictions like sugar. We’re also going to discuss how you can start incorporating them into your daily life without much struggle. Remember, we aren’t just trying to diet for fat loss, we are dieting as a way to prep the body and promote self-healing.

First off, I’m not suggesting that these two diets are the only diets that work. I realize there are many who will swear by a plant based diet and many who will say a balanced diet is the best diet. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide which diet is best for you! Regardless of the diet choice, the one thing you’ll most likely find with any diet is the elimination of processed carbohydrates and sugars. At the very least, by eliminating these two killers, you will experience better health!

So let’s get started!

Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet, or Keto as it’s known is all the rage these days. This diet is very similar to, but not the exact same as the Atkins diet that was popular in the late 90’s early 00’s.

The Keto diet is a low carb diet that consists of eating high fats, medium proteins, and low carbohydrates. The focus of this diet is to force our bodies to burn fat for fuel rather than glucose.

Glucose is the primary source of energy for our body. Glucose is a simple sugar that comes from carbohydrates and is stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen through a process called glycogenesis.

On the Keto diet, carbs are restricted to about 5% of ones total diet. By restricting carbohydrates, our body will turn to the stored glycogen in the muscle and liver until the glycogen is depleted. After this happens, the body will turn to stored fat for energy through a process ketosis.

One of the great things about the Keto diet is that it can be adjusted to your lifestyle and dieting goals. Again, when I say dieting goals, this doesn’t have to mean weight loss.  This diet offers an array of health benefits, which I’ll discuss shortly.

Although the diet Keto is hugely popular, it has been getting a bad wrap recently about the effects of depriving the body of carbohydrates over long periods of time.   It is true that healthy, non-processed carbs should be included in a healthy diet, forgoing carbs for a short period of time, while shedding fat or lowering inflammation is absolutely fine.  Moreover, what many conveniently not share is that the keto diet can be practiced in different ways that allow for carbohydrates.

Types of Ketogenic Diets:

  • Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
  • Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
  • High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

Losing Weight on the Ketogenic Diet:

If you follow the basic keto principles outlined above you will lose body fat quickly and pretty easily.

There isn’t a need to calorie count on the keto diet as long as you keep the fat content high, protein medium and very low to no carbs. However, this doesn’t mean you should gorge yourself with food. Slamming back eggs and gobs of peanut butter will not result in fat loss.  After all, losing weight will always come down to calories in versus calories out.

Food Sources

To get the most from a ketogenic diet it’s important to consume high quality, non-processed carbohydrates and sugars.  Carb sources should come from complex carbs like vegetables.  As you progress on the diet and are comfortable getting into ketosis, it’s ok to take in fruits or other natural carbohydrate sources.

Fat should also come from natural sources like animal fats, nuts, and avocados, coconut/MCT oil, olive oil, etc. Stay away from trans-fats.

If cooking is not your thing, or if you don’t want to invest the time to learn how to cook keto-friendly meals, then head over to theketobox.com where you can get keto meals and snacks delivered to your door! A few of our customers order there and swear by them!

Health Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet offers a wide array of health benefits. Below is a list of the primary benefits:

  • Depression and Anxiety Relief– According to Jeff Volek, a professor at the Ohio State University, and expert on the ketogenic diet had this to say “By virtue of cutting back on sugar and processed carbs, a ketogenic diet may improve mood state. The increase in circulating ketones may also directly benefit brain chemistry and function in ways to improve depression.”
  • Reverse Diabetes – Fat loss is linked to type-2 diabetes. By losing fat you will reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Moreover, a ketogenic diet is show to improve insulin sensitivity up to 75%
  • Minimize Risk for Heart Disease – The ketogenic diet can improve risk factors like body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar
  • Treat Cancer – The keto diet is currently being used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth.
  • Reduce Symptoms of Alzheimer’s – This diet may reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s and slow its progression.
  • Epilepsy: Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause massive reductions in seizures in epileptic children.
  • Improve Symptoms of Parkinson’s– One study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Lower Risk for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Help with Brain injuries– One animal study found that the diet can reduce concussions and aid recovery after brain injury.
  • Improve Acne– Lower insulin levels and eating less sugar or processed foods may help improve acne.

Risks

When starting a ketogenic diet there are some risks to be aware of. In my opinion, the risks associated with the keto diet are very minimal and easily managed, especially when compared to the risks to those living an unhealthy lifestyle. However, that’s ultimately your decision. Always consult your doctor before starting any diet.

Muscle Loss: Some studies suggest that people who follow the keto diet lose muscle even if the diet is in combination with resistance training.  It is said that this is due to the fact that protein alone is not as effective as protein and carbohydrates together after exercise.

To limit muscle lost, you can always cycle in healthy, non-processed carbohydrates after resistance training. See the targeted keto diet mentioned above.

Kidney Stress and Possible Kidney Stones:  Taking in lots of meat, especially processed meats can increase your risk for kidney stones. When combined with a high fat animal diet increases these risks. Moreover, a high animal fat diet makes the urine more acidic, which increases the risk for gout.

To limit this, be sure to add Potassium Citrate your diet. Potassium Citrate is used to treat kidney stones. You can also add baking soda to water, which cleanses the kidneys.

People with kidney disease should consult a doctor before starting a keto diet.

Ketoacidosis:  The keto diet is actually helpful for people battling hyperglycemia isues, but for some diabetics, ketosis can trigger a condition called ketoacidosis. This happens when the body stores up too many ketones, the acids produced by burning body fat for energy, and the blood becomes too acidic. This can lead to liver, kidney, even brain damage. Left untreated, it can be fatal.

To limit this risk, it’s important to diabetics to check their blood sugar regularly and follow a low carb diet like the keto diet under the supervision of a doctor.

Yoyo dieting: Because the keto diet is so restrictive many people will regain their lost weight once they go back to eating carbohydrates.

To limit this from happening, it’s important to limit your time on the keto diet to 1-3 months followed by a more sustainable diet plan that includes carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables rather than processed carbs.

To learn more, visit Healthline.com.

Next up is the Paleolithic Diet

Paleolithic Diet

In its purest form, the Paleolithic (Paleo) diet allows for only those foods that humans ate when they first roamed the planet millions of years ago, which were whole, unprocessed foods.

The Paleo diet can improve your health by eliminating processed foods that have little nutritional value and too many ‘empty’ calories. Instead it’s recommended that you load up on fruits and vegetables that contain healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which fill you up faster so you eat less, helping curb weight gain while cutting out grains, dairy, and legumes.

Paleo dieters do not need to count calories or food macros (proteins, fats, and carbs). There are some versions of the paleo diet that are stricter than others. In it’s strictest form; there is no dairy or legumes. In the less strict versions, those can be consumed.

Another plus on this diet is the ability to make it ‘keto friendly’. For example, a dieter can still consume a high fat/high protein diet with low to no carbs and can also appease vegans who prefer a more high-carb diet coming from green plants.

Remember; if it is man-made don’t eat it!

Health Benefits of a Paleolithic Diet

As with the Keto diet, the Paleo diet also offers a host of benefits.

  • Increased Energy Levels – Paleo dieters claim to have increased and more stable energy levels
  • Reverse Type-2 Diabetes – A study conducted by European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who followed a Paleo diet for two weeks saw improvements in their blood sugar, lipid profiles and insulin sensitivity
  • Anti-Inflammation – Many people experience a reduction of pain due to inflammation because you will be eating more anti-inflammatory foods on the Paleo diet.
  • Balance Blood Glucose Levels – Because you’re avoiding refined sugar there will not be any sugar crashes.
  • Keeps You Feeling Fuller Longer – On the Paleo diet you’ll be eating a higher amount of healthier fats, which will help you feel fuller longer and avoid cravings.
  • May Prevent Diseases – On the Paleo diet you will be eating more anti-inflammatory foods and eliminating refined carbohydrates and other foods known to cause inflammation. In addition, you are also eating more foods that contain antioxidants and phytonutrients, which are known to ward off cancer and heart disease. Moreover, you will be avoiding foods known to cause disease and illness.

As with the Keto diet, the Paleo diet offers its own set of risks.

Risks

Calcium Deficiency:  By eliminating dairy, you could be left with lower levels of calcium and Vitamin D. In the short term, this may not have much of an effect. However, in the long term it could put you at risk of developing osteoporosis, bone fractures, or rickets.

To limit these risks, you can take calcium supplements and cycle in dairy and legumes.

Cardiovascular disease: Paleo dieters can end up eating too much red or fatty meats like bacon, which can raise cholesterol and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

To limit these risks, make sure you watch the high saturated fats and incorporate lean meats like chicken breasts.

Yoyo dieting: Because the Paleo diet is so restrictive many people will regain their lost weight once they go back to eating carbohydrates.

To limit this from happening, it’s important to limit your time on the Paleo diet to 1-3 months followed by a more sustainable diet plan that includes carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables rather than processed carbs.

To learn more about the Paleo diet visit Everyday Health.

Supplements and CBD for Faster Fat Loss

As with any diet, there comes a time when the fat loss slows, this is called a plateau. When this hits it can be frustrating for the dieter and when many give up. To fight this plateau off as long as possible, we recommend some healthy supplements to give you a boost. From exogenous keytone products to meal replacement shakes, Ketologic is an excellent choice.  Click the link to visit the ketologic.com website where you will find all of their healthy, weight loss support supplements. 

Cannabidiol (CBD)

In a previous article ‘Intermittent Fasting Combined with CBD is the Ultimate Way to Lose Fat we outlined how CBD products can be maximized through intermittent fasting, but did you know that CBD products also support weight loss? It’s true!

In a newly published study in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Korean researchers studies the effects of CBD administered on immature fat cells to explore the potential benefits on the treatment and prevention of obesity.  They found CBD was shown to do the following:

  • Stimulate genes and proteins that enhance the breakdown and oxidation of fat
  • Increase the number and activity of mitochondria (which increases the body’s ability to burn calories)
  • Decrease the expression of proteins involved in lipogenesis (fat cell generation)
  • Collectively, these results stem from the ability of CBD to induce “fat browning” – that is, converting what is normally white-colored fat tissue (WAT-white adipose tissue) that stores energy to beige-colored fat tissue (BAT-brown and beige adipose tissue) that burns it. Previous studies have shown that boosting beige-colored fat in animals improves their glucose tolerance, making them more resistant to diabetes and various blood lipid abnormalities.

Now remember, if you following a low carb diet of any kind, stay away from CBD products that contain sugar because that is a carb and could raise insulin levels. Instead opt for a true full spectrum oil that contains no sugar or fillers. A good choice for many is our Gel Capsules. These are 25mg of full spectrum oil per capsules for only $79.99!

In conclusion

I hope this shed some light on these two very popular diets. And while there are certain risks with each diet, it’s important to ask yourself if the very manageable risks of these diets outweigh your current eating habits. It’s also important to remember that all of these dieting risks can be limited by cycling food groups, the diets themselves and by focusing on lean proteins.

Moreover, it may be difficult to stay on either of these diets long term, and that’s ok.  There’s nothing wrong with using them as a catalyst to jump-start your weight loss and healthy lifestyle. In addition, remember that intermittent fasting will help jump start fat loss even faster. For more information on fasting, check out the article we wrote Intermittent Fasting Combined with CBD is the ultimate way to lose fat, lower inflammation and get healthy.

For the last couple of years we at 13 Pastures have had the opportunity to work with many patients suffering from a variety of ailments.  We have been fortunate enough to work with autistic kids, veterans suffering from PTSD, seniors suffering from chronic pain and arthritis, and the list goes on.

But by far, the patients we saw, and continue to see the most are those with mild to moderate pain, possible early stages of arthritis and those with mild to moderate anxiety. Some, but not all are on prescribed meds to manage their ailments and looking to CBD to take over and get them off their prescribed medications once and for all.

On the surface these cases might seem easier to treat than say someone with autistic tendencies or endometriosis, but for us it’s the opposite.  The mild to moderate pain and anxiety patients are the most difficult to find consistent and significant relief from CBD.

Why CBD isn’t working

It’s not that CBD doesn’t provide relief in these types of cases, it does. But finding the correct dosage and product type can be challenging. You see there’s more to taking CBD than simply taking the suggested daily dose on the package. For some, to get the most out of CBD requires some patience, experimentation, trial and error, and in some cases, even lifestyle changes.

For example, if a patient is in pain due to inflammation and eating foods that cause more inflammation, than there’s only so much that CBD is going to be able to do.

About a month ago a lady came to see us. She was a bit overweight and walked on a cane due to pains from a motorcycle accident years before. She was a borderline diabetic who also had extreme anxiety from all medical issues she was dealing with. In addition, she took seven different medications to manage the conditions.  And while I empathized with her situation, I quickly learned that she wasn’t doing anything to help herself.  Her diet was garbage, she ignored her doctors recommendation to start exercising and said she usually sat around her home sad and depressed and was looking to CBD to fix everything!

Even though CBD is working miracles in many peoples lives, it is not a miracle drug. CBD is, and should be taken, as a supplement to healthy lifestyle choices.

Why I started this blog

For this reason, I decided to start a blog focused on diet, exercise and how CBD and other cannabinoids play a role in both.  My goal is to educate, inspire and hopefully make it an easier for those who had enough of living unhealthily transition to a healthier lifestyle. Extreme fitness and dieting have been a huge part of my life for over 25 years and feel I have a lot to share. I’m will be discussing dieting tips (some pretty extreme ones) and recipes with CBD, intermittent and prolonged fasting benefits, exercise and a slew of other related topics, including CBD.

So if you’re ready, let’s get started…

Lifestyle Choices

The lifestyle choices we make are critical to our body’s health and ability to maximize absorption of nutrients, including CBD, as well as, the ability to heal itself. Health.gov put out a strong article on the link between Nutrition and Health and how chronic level diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and even bone health have risen because of poor eating habits and lack of exercise!

Whether it’s pain, a chemical imbalance, tumors, or whatever, the body has the ability to fix what’s wrong, but it’s up to use to give it the tools to allow it to do its job. That means hitting the problem from 3 angles: a daily cannabinoid regimen, a proper diet, and exercise program. With this golden trifecta in place, I am certain that you will find significant improvement in all areas of your life!

The perfect addition to a healthier lifestyle is CBD!

It’s important to remember that CBD does not treat symptoms; it seeks to create homeostasis within our cells. CBD and the other cannabinoids work with our body’s CB receptors to fix the problem causing the pain, not the pain itself, and this can take time. How much time? It’s impossible to say.

Even studies cannot accurately predict this because other factors come into play, like how serious is the problem, the patients diet, exercise habits, do they drink or smoke? Are they overweight? All of these have a direct impact on our daily pain and anxiety levels.

Because unhealthy habits will always be fighting against CBD’s healing properties, users should go into their CBD treatment with the expectation of daily CBD dosing for 3-6 months in combination with a healthy diet, exercise.

As you begin making healthier choices, you might find that CBD is helping more than you know.

Adopting change in any capacity can sometimes be met with challenges and resistance, especially positive lifestyle changes. There will always be times of struggle, frustration, and stress in our lives and instead of turning to the comforts of food, turn to CBD. With its anti-anxiety and healing properties, CBD is the perfect choice to help you along and no guilt from binge eating!

CBD and Weight loss

Moreover, CBD isn’t normally associated with weight loss, but it absolutely has an impact on both metabolism and fat loss. CBD works with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help regulate the metabolism and works to effect ‘fat browning.’ In an upcoming article I will give more details on the effects CBD has on the metabolism and three ways it helps to effect fat browning.

When buying CBD products, I recommend staying away from edibles that contain sugar. Remember, sugar spikes insulin, which is never what you want. The goal should always be to keep insulin levels low. So instead, stick with full spectrum CBD oil made using MCT, Coconut, or Grape seed oil or a CBD isolate.

Be careful not to take to much CBD. While users will not get high from taking CBD, it is biphasic more is not better. According to ProjectCBD.org, “CBD and THC have biphasic properties, meaning that low and high doses can produce opposite effects.  An excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. So start with a low dose and slowly increase the dosage over time.

If you’re new to CBD and want more information on dosing, I highly recommend visiting ProjectCBD.org. The link will be direct you to their CBD educational page that has great information on getting started with CBD. There you will learn far more than I can explain in this post.

It’s the Inflammation!

Many, if not all of the ailments we experience are a direct result of inflammation. Web MD defines inflammation as “a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.”  On the surface this sounds like a good thing, and it is, for the short term. Inflammation is how the body heals itself, but too much inflammation can lead to all sorts of problems.

Inflammation is linked to arthritis pain, (link to arthritis.org) anxiety and depression, and a host of other ailments, including insulin resistance. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, and even cancer!

In an article on Everydayhealth.com, they state” underlying inflammation may be a common denominator with other medical problems that often accompanies RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). In the article they link to a study published in the January 2016 issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, that states 41% of the patients studied developed at least one co-existing medical condition, most commonly hypertension, cancer, stroke, heart attack or osteoporosis within 5 years after being diagnosed with RA.

Our diet has a huge impact on our inflammation levels. According to healthline.com, the top 6 inflammation causing foods are:

  • Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Artificial Trans Fats
  • Vegetable and Seed Oils
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • Processed Meat

Compare this to chart 2-1on Health.gov that breaks down the good and bad food intake in relation to the recommended allowance.

  • About three-fourths of the population has an eating pattern that is low in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and oils.
  • More than half of the population is meeting or exceeding total grain and total protein foods recommendations,
  • Most Americans exceed the recommendations for added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.

It clearly shows the majority of American’s diet revolves around high inflammation foods!

It’s important to note, I am not suggesting that the government daily diet should be followed to the letter. In fact, I absolutely believe some of their recommendations should be updated. For example, more and more studies are now showing that higher fat based diets with limited to no grains or sugar is best. However, their point about what and how much we consume is reliable.

Obesity and Inflammation

Obesity is a problem and has a huge effect on inflammation and pain levels. Just search obesity and inflammation in Google and almost 7 million results will come up. On the first page alone, there are four studies from the National Library of Medicine, as well as Harvard and other reputable sources that all detail the link between obesity and inflammation.

A new, recent discovery suggests that overeating increases our immune response causing the body to generate excessive inflammation. Inflammation induces insulin resistance. When cells become resistant to insulin they force the pancreas to work harder to produce more insulin, thus eventually wearing out the pancreas and type-2 diabetes sets in.  See the diagram from Sciencedirect.com

Moreover, fat puts excess weight on joints, bones, and organs creating even more pain and discomfort.

In conclusion

With all this inflammation, a sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits how can anyone expect CBD, or anything else for that matter, to treat what’s wrong? For all you know CBD is working, but the excess sugar and unhealthy fats are working that much harder?

The fact of the matter is this; if you are suffering from pain, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, croons, cancer and pretty much everything else out there, the first step needs to be a diet and lifestyle change coupled with a low dose CBD regimen.. I’m 100% confident that if you adopt these changes you will feel better!

In the next article we will be discussing intermittent fasting and the role CBD plays.

I said it before, but the fact is we eat too much and we eat too much of the wrong things! And it’s a problem not only in America, but globally.

Just take a look at the alarming statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as shown on Wikipedia:

  • As of 2015-2016 39.6% of US adults age 20 and older were obese and 17% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years were obese
  • An obese person in America incurs an average of $1,429 more in medical expenses
  • Obesity increases the risk of cancer, coronary artery disease, type-2 diabetes, and stroke.
  • Obesity has been cited as a contributing factor to approximately 100,000-400,000 deaths in the Unites States annually.

The sad part about these statistics is that obesity is easily preventable and reversible. It really only takes some discipline and a little effort.  In this article I am going to demonstrate how just by cutting back the amount of food you eat can help you lose weight and lower inflammation.  Remember, it’s the inflammation that is responsible for so many of our problems. And, by pushing your first meal out a few hours will rapidly intensify weight loss further lowering inflammation!

I’m pretty sure that most of you reading this know what causes and/or contributes to obesity: poor diet, overeating, lack of exercise, and medical conditions.

Poor Diet

In the last post I shared a chart that broke down the good and bad foods we eat, and it was pretty disturbing.

The majority of Americans eat a lot of sugar and fats and very little vegetables, fish and lean meats. A diet that is rich in sugar and unhealthy fats is setting you up for a whole host of very serious health conditions over time.

In my next post I will focus on dieting for fat loss and overall health and will link back to this post when it’s complete.

Lack of Exercise

Most of us believe that lack of exercise is a contributing factor behind a poor diet as the leading causes of obesity. However, one study at Stanford showed that lack of exercise, not diet, was linked to obesity.

The fact is exercise is one of the best ways to keep fat off!  And it doesn’t take much.   A quality exercise program that combines weight training and cardiovascular training will build muscle, which in turns burns more calories and cardiovascular exercise to burn fat.

In the coming posts, I will outline some exercise routines that anyone can start doing immediately, and will link back to this post.

Medical Condition

Some medical conditions and medications can cause weight gain. Since I am not a doctor, and not knowledgeable on this subject, I am not comfortable writing on it, but I will share four conditions that may have a direct impact on weight gain: hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary and Cushing’s syndrome.

If you have or suspect you have any of these, or if you follow a clean diet and healthy exercise program and not losing weight, consult your doctor.

Overeating

Managing how much we eat will be the focus of this post because in my opinion it’s the easiest to tackle.  The portion size of our food has gotten out of control. Have you ever really sat back and looked at the size of a 32oz soda cup from Mc Donald’s? Those things are huge!  265 calories and 73 grams of sugar! 3 times the recommended amount of no more than 25 grams in an entire day! That’s unacceptable and totally unnecessary!

This is a triple whammy to your immune system and gut!

1st, the calories are making the body expend energy to metabolize the cola without having any nutrients to draw from the soda,

2nd, the sugar causes a spike in insulin levels and stores excess as fat,

3rd the sugars eat away at the good bacteria in our gut.

And we do this over and over again day in and day out.

Sciencedaily.com says overeating increases the immune response system causing it to generate excessive inflammation, which may lead to a number of chronic diseases.

Inflammation! This is the culprit. This is the root of the problem for so many adverse health conditions and chronic diseases.

The reason I wanted to focus on overeating is that’ it’s an easy fix that can be implemented immediately.

Portion Control

Regardless of the diet, it always comes down to calories. Eat too many calories and you will gain weight, too little and you lose weight. It really is pretty simple but not always easy to follow, especially for those who eat out a lot and cannot control how much of what goes into the food preparation.

So just by eating smaller portions of food you will take in fewer calories and fewer calories equals less weight.

Let’s start with calories

According to the Mayo Clinic, 3,500 calories equals 1 pound.

  • You need to burn around 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound.
  • Cut out 500-1000 calories per day, you’d lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Here are some examples to give you a base line of what 500-1000 calories looks like:

Flavored Latte (16 oz.) 250 calories

Chocolate ice cream (1 cup) 285 calories

Lemon-Lime soda (16 oz.) 201 calories

Strawberries (1 ½ cups whole) 69 calories

Now that you have an idea about calories and the calories of some common foods you should be able to see that just by having one cup of chocolate ice-cream instead of two you will save 285 calories. While that may not result in substantial weight loss, it is a start.

There are a number of ‘tricks’ and tips you can start implementing right not to eat less:

  • Measure out your food, especially oils, butters, sugars, etc.
    • By measuring the ingredients, you can control exactly how much of each ingredient goes into the dishes.
    • The more experienced you get at this the easier and faster it becomes.
  • Use small plates and bowls.
    • Small bowl and plates makes are meals appear bigger and fuller than they are.
    • Don’t go back for seconds.
  • Make single serving packs of food ahead of time.
    • Label them for convenience and make them easily to grab on the go.

You will get out of portion control what you put into it. If you make the conscious effort to really eat less, you will see results.  The kind of results you will see will depend on how must dedication and for how long you continue controlling the portions you eat.

However, if you feel like you want more, if you want to really take portion control to the next level, intermittent fasting is the next logical and healthy option.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a lifestyle choice whereby you eat your total daily caloric intake within a daily window of time and fast for the remainder.  What you eat and how much you eat is not what’s important here, it’s when you eat that’s important.  The hope would be by eating in a tighter window one would consume less total calories and will lose weight. However, IF isn’t just for those looking to lose weight. Everyone can benefit from intermittent fasting, even a body builder! Bodybuilders need to adjust their portion sizes during their eating window to make up for any calories missed during the shortened eating window.

According to a recent study in 2014, IF was found to reduce bodyweight by 3-8% over a period of 3-24 weeks. People lost about .55lbs (.25kg) per week with IF, and 1.65lbs (.75kg) per week with alternate-day fasting.  Alternate-day fasting consists of 24 hours with no food, then a ‘feed’ day of 24 hours and repeat.  These results are in addition to a 4-7% reduction in their waste, suggesting they lost belly fat. This may be due to ketosis, a process when the body feeds off its own fat for energy after utilizing its stored glycogen reserves. Ketosis is the desired results keto dieters hope to achieve.

Let’s take a look at four examples of common intermittent fasting protocols.

  • 16/8. This is when a person fasts for 16 hours, then eats within an 8 hour window
    • Last meal ended at 7pm. Next morning wake at 7am, and do not consume calories until 11am, then eat fit your 3 meals in from 11am until 7pm, then repeat
  • 20/4 Exact same as above, but this first meal is eaten at 3pm and fits all meals in from 3-7pm
  • 5:2 Consume 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days.
    • So maybe Monday you eat as normal, Tuesday you eat 500-600 calories, Wednesday back to normal, Thursday 500-600
  • One meal a day (OMAD)
    • You simply eat what you can in a 1-hour eating window.

I started intermittent fasting in early 2017 and it’s truly how I prefer to eat. I started skipping breakfasts and simply had my first meal around 12:00pm (16/8) and gradually progressed to eating once a day.

The OMAD protocol is how I eat most days and prefer this way of eating. Overall I feel lighter, much less bloat, more energetic, the list goes on. IF has truly been life changing!

IF is not just about eating less for weight reasons, there are some amazing health, cellular, and hormonal  benefits as well.

  • Weight loss: As mentioned above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat, without having to consciously restrict calories.
  • Insulin resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, which should protect against type-2 diabetes.
  • Inflammation: Some studies show reductions in C-reactive proteins, a key indicator of inflammation.
  • Heart health: Intermittent fasting may reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance — all risk factors for heart disease.
  • Cancer: Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may shrink tumors, as well as prevent cancer.
  • Brain health: Intermittent fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting can extend lifespan in rats. Studies showed that fasted rats lived 36–83% longer.

In addition, fasting has a positive effect on your cells and hormones.

  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): HGH is a naturally produced hormone that aids in muscle building and fat loss. This natural occurring hormone decreases with age, but in a fasted state, levels of growth hormone skyrocketed 1,000% for women and up to 3000% in men.
  • Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically because sugar isn’t present. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.
  • Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where old cells are digested and replaced with new regenerated cells.
  • Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease.

CBD’s Role While Intermittent Fasting

CBD users will be glad to know that supplementing CBD while intermittent fasting helps maximize CBD’s effects and improve the benefits of fasting.  CBD has a positive effect on our metabolism and endocannabinoid system, which helps to balance our immune system, cardiovascular health, digestion, mental health, memory, and appetite.  Moreover, as your body’s inflammation levels decrease from fasting, your pains, anxieties, arthritic condition, and whatever other inflammation related ailments and diseases you have will improve!

   When taking CBD, it’s important to remember that some CBD products are made using sugar, like our CBD gummies, and should not be taken during while fasting. Opt instead for a CBD isolate, or our full spectrum green oil with THC or our gold oil that contains a full plant profile minus the THC and original plant materials.

Of the two, I prefer our green oil when dosing on a fast, because it contains all the valuable plant materials like chlorophyll, lipids, and waxes.  In addition, all of the cannabis plants cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, are also present allowing for the ‘entourage effect’ that only a true full spectrum CBD oil can offer.

In a very few cases, CBD oil based products can mildly upset the stomach when taken on an empty stomach. While this is extremely rare, it is something to note and proceed accordingly. If you’re one of the rare few, simply take your CBD with food at mealtimes.

In Conclusion

Hopefully this gives you a good base for understanding intermittent fasting, and how with just a little discipline you can start making some serious healthy changes. To learn more about IF and to review published studies demonstrating the various benefits of IF, click here to read Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginners Guide on Healthline.com.

To get started with IF, I suggest starting slowly and work your way up to an 8-hour feeding window. Once there you can decide whether or not it makes sense for you to progress to a 4-hour window.

As I mentioned, I started by skipping eating in the morning and went right in to a 6-hour (12pm-6pm) feeding window with no problems. However, I have seen others who tried skipping their first meal and it didn’t fare as well.  If that’s you, simply push the first meal of your day out 2 or 3 hours for a week, then another 1-2 hours the following week and so on. Work your way to the desired goal. The more you practice IF the easier it will be. Especially after you start feeling and seeing the results, you won’t want to go back to eating 3 or more daily meals.

In the next post we’re going to discuss prolonged fasting, which is when no food and sometimes no water is practiced for periods of 24 hours or longer. These types of fasting protocols are becoming more and more popular and I’m going to sure some amazing health benefits resulting from these practices.