Who is Toni Sweeney?

I am NOT a perfect person & I’ll never claim to be…

My 20’s. The easy days!

I am NOT a perfect person & I’ll never claim to be…

I’m not going to write this bio in the third person because I’m writing myself, about myself. I’m not going to sing and dance about my life. I am not going to sit and tell you how you should or shouldn’t live your life. I’m not going to tell you that your food choices are wrong because they aren’t “my” food choices. I’m not going to tell you that I live the perfect life with the perfect family, in the perfect home, and make or have made perfect choices always for as long as I can remember. That’s not who I am. 

I am a nurse. I am a mother of one beautiful miracle child, Owen and a dog-mom to two of the most spoiled canines I’ve ever met. I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I am that person who will have the WORST day and still sit and listen with all ears open when someone needs to talk.

I am also stubborn and competitive (Just ask Shane!) and I stop at NOTHING until I get what the end result I’m seeking. Whether that be a struggle or a dinner date at my favorite restaurant. 😉 

How my career all started…

I’ve always been into being active and exercise-oriented. If i felt chubby in some clothes I’d exercise for 2 hours a day until I toned up and I had no problems doing it. Those were the good old days. When I was in my 20’s and could do anything I put my mind to and get results overnight or so it seemed with a beer in my hand at that! 

Fast forward to 2011. The year my beautiful son was born. I was content and happy for once in my life. I didn’t have much time to think about myself as a newlywed, a new nurse just starting my career, and a new mom. It wasn’t until Owen’s baptism at 6 months old that I even noticed how much weight I had gained! (That’s how much I wasn’t thinking about myself but instead taking care of my family). My husband worked on the rigs at the time so it was constant non stop running for 3 weeks on before I had a little bit of a break when he got home for his week off. My friend Katie had posted a picture to facebook a few days after his baptism & that’s when it hit me… like a ton of bricks. 

I sat and cried at this picture. Yes I was happy on the outside but on the inside I was fighting the “weight insecurity”. I didn’t exactly know how much my weight was at that point. I had stopped looking at the scale at 198 pounds a few weeks prior to this picture. All I knew is that I had other priorities to focus on while my husband worked out of town 3 weeks a month and that was my “excuse” for letting myself go.

After this picture, something in me snapped. I had always been the person to take care of myself and here I sat googling “clothes to fit apple shaped bodies” and not being able to walk up a flight of steps without getting winded.

So I started back into my beachbody workouts and eating “healthy” (or so I thought). Killing myself trying to take care of baby, cook meals, working full time on 2nd shift, and getting an hour workout in every day. The scale budged a little. I won’t lie. But for as much work as I put in that month, a 6 pound loss was miserable.

I started researching supplements and a girlfriend of mine from elementary school started talking about this “bee pollen” she used to lose 50 pounds. She looked phenomenal! I started using it, barely sleeping, running around like crazy, working crazy hours, taking care of O, and eating when I was hungry (which was pretty nonexistent at that point) and low and behold I had lost 16 pounds in 2 weeks. Yes. That to me was a miracle. So I bought another bottle, continued on this path for 3 months and guess what? I got to my goal weight of 134 pounds. I had done that in 3 months flat by doing nothing other than taking a miraculous pill.

Others at work started noticing my weight loss so I jumped on board and started a company, Bee-Xtreme, and transitioned from overworked and underpaid nurse to stay at home business mom who was feeling fit and fabulous and doing nothing other than popping a magic pill.

Well fast forward 2 more years- sales were through the roof. I had 17 shops carrying this product, I had a very active facebook page, and website and heck I was even featured on the channel 10 news along with my friend Jenn who was a Zumba instructor at the time and had introduced me to this miracle capsule! I was living it up for a good year before it all came CRASHING….DOWN.

An old ad (2012) when I was naive.

The fall of Bee Pollen…

In November 2012, Jenn called me in a panic. The FDA had issued a recall on that Ultimate Formula Bee Pollen. There was some “illegal” ingredient in there that wasn’t listed on the bottle. I was scared shitless to tell you the truth. Does this sort of thing happen? How could we not know about this? Why was that ingredient in MY BEE POLLEN? While all these answers went unanswered by distributors, we were heartbroken to say the least. But the next month we still continued to see sales of Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen even though these had been recalled with the Ultimate Formula Bee Pollen! How? What the heck is going on?

So I contacted a distributor out of Jersey who told me some shit story of how Zi Xiu Tang Success was making their own Zi Xiu Tang and it was in no way shape or form the same stuff she had. I was gullible. I was looking for that magic pill. I visualized having an answer for all my customers who were upset about the bee pollen being taken away. I had it AGAIN. So, January 2013 I started selling again and I was ecstatic. People were losing weight, but not as fast as they did with Ultimate. Not as consistent as it was with Ultimate. But losing nonetheless.

Fast forward a year and a half later and guess what…. those pills I was selling were recalled AGAIN. AYFKM?! I thought these were “different”. I thought these weren’t the same pills that were recalled two years ago. ? So not only did I let my customers down once, I had done it TWICE in two years. I wanted answers. But my distributor just closed up shop, closed her website down, and vanished and left every single one of us hanging and I was LIVID.

So continue on to stay at home I was selling everything and anything I could to get SOMETHING into my customer’s hands. But I just didn’t feel right about it. I didn’t believe in these products like I once did with Zi Xiu Tang and Ultimate Formula.

I was trying anything to get this fat off my body. This was a 10 day fast… I think I made it 24 hours.

I was sent on a mission…..(I promise! Almost over!)

In nursing school I remembered all things herbs and how chemicals reacted in our minds and bodies. I am very science-y and I took a personal interest in it. So I started researching…. a lot. So much I left my business on the backburner and started focusing on herbs and chemicals and what they do to our brain and how they can help someone lose weight and why they worked for weight loss.

About 6 months later I hired a private chemist to help me formulate a rockstar of a capsule, Xtreme Slim Bee Pollen. My baby. My long nights of research and planning had finally come true. I had developed an amazing product that was USA made and I could make sure that all the extra tests were done to ensure purity of ingredients, and third party testing to ensure it was free of dust and mold and all that other crap that filled those China supplements. And that’s when the Xtreme Supplement line was born.

Our supplements are among the best in their class in my opinion. They work well without a lot of effort but “not as good” as those China pills. They still take some work and it was my mission to teach people exactly what to do for PROPER supplement use and teach nutrition and exercise to help them maintain their weight loss. This worked well for a few years and that Slim and Burn are still my top selling supplements to this day for weight loss.

Xtreme Supplements on the left….Xtreme Supplements plus Keto on the right. October 2017… when my life changed.

I wanted more….

As I said before, I’m intrigued by the cells in the body. I took an interest in the keto way of eating back in 2017 and I honestly haven’t looked back since then. I’ve maintained a goal weight of 138-140 pounds for the last 2 years pretty effortlessly with the help of keto and Xtreme Supplements. So it’s now my mission to pass this information onto you!

The body is a beautiful, complex machine, and I’ve set out on a crusade to educate people how best to get it working FOR THEM.

I enrolled in a keto coaching courses right away after I had seen the way Keto was helping my own body and mind and mood. From there I’ve taken a handful of other coaching training, seminars all over the country, and certificates to help build a business nuturing people along the scary path to a massive lifestyle change.

The things I ask you to do are not the same old things you’ve heard before.

Those things were temporary. This is not.

Everything I had learned prior to keto, during my “personal training” days (yes I am also a certified personal trainer but I won’t even talk about that since finding the Primal/Paleo/Keto way of eating!), had been wrong. I was telling people the WRONG way to do things and I know it whole heartedly now! Don’t get me wrong, people still saw great results with what I was teaching but not like this, not like keto and not with aligning the hormones of the body for hemeostasis. Tracking calories isn’t “all it takes” to achieve our body composition goals. I healed myself through keto. My anxiety, my depression, those last stubborn 10 pounds, my muscle tone, my mind, and even those damn pre-cancer cells that were doubling in numbers every 6 months, were gone. EVERYTHING. This is my story and I’m ready to tell it.

A lifestyle change is a very difficult thing for people to wrap their head around. And that’s why you need a trustworthy and knowledgable coach to lead you through it. I do a lot of myth-busting in my day to day interactions with my clients. I’m a bit outspoken and and (I think) my customers appreciate that. LOL!

Outspoken & Confident?

There’s no doubt in my mind that if you give me 8 weeks, I can get down to your metabolic insufficiencies and dramatically dial in your appetite, cravings, mood, waistline, and yes, even that darn scale. I’ve developed products and programs and services that work although they are off the beaten path a little bit. But what do you have to lose? Your health is my #1 priority and it’s get top-priority treatment around these parts.

It’s my mission to enable everyone to achieve an effortless lifestyle transition whether it be keto or not. There are several options. Let’s find one that works for you!

February 2019 “Keto” to April 2019 “Primal Health Coach”

Keto at Starbucks? We got you covered.

1.Starbucks Keto Americano 

Tall Caffe Americano Coffee -Served in Venti Cup with ice

(Add yourself: heavy cream cinnamon, nutmeg, Stevia)

2. Americano with Skinny mocha sauce and heavy cream

3. Pink Drink – Keto

Passion Iced Tea -Sugar free vanilla syrup -heavy whipping cream -ice

4. Grande Expresso Coffee – over ice -Heavy whipping cream -2 pumps sugar free cinnamon dolce syrup

5. Keto Frappuccino 

-Almond Milk -Whipping Cream

-2 pumps SF cin dolce syrup

-Ice

5. Coffee light Frap

-sub half water, half heavy cream instead nonfat milk (SF syrup Opt)

6. Sugar Free Cinnamon Dulce Light Frap

-Sub 1/2 water/heavy cream or nonfat milk

7. Tea (Passion/green/plain)

-1 or 2 pumps Vanilla SF syrup -splash heavy whip cream

8. Cappuccino Expresso and Almond or Soy Milk

SF syrup added **Flat White Sub half&half for whole milk Or Heavy cream and half water

9. Chai tea latte -2 brewed bags chai -Add SF vanilla -Splash heavy whip cream

10. Skinny Mocha -Sub 1/2 water/heavy cream or nonfat milk

11. Coconut Mocha – Coconut (or almond milk) mocha, sub with skinny mocha sauce SF peppermint mocha – with sknny mocha sauce -with 1/2 water/heavy cream

12. Hot Chocolate – brave hot chocolate, sub skinny mocha sauce

Keto Friendly Alcoholic Drinks

 

You started the keto diet and the weekend has come and now you’re searching for keto approved alcoholic drinks. What’s best and what’s the worst thing you can drink while partaking on a lifestyle change.

There’s a new keto approved low carb seltzer popping up every week. Some with higher carb counts and some with lower carb counts.

But how do you stay safe on keto, and in ketosis, when you drink alcohol? Even low-carb or no carbohydrate liquor that seems to be keto-friendly?

The answer is: you can’t stay in ketosis when there is alcohol in the system, but that doesn’t mean you can’t partake in a few drinks.

Let’s break it down.

The effects of alcohol in ketosis

Unlike beer and wine, some hard liquor has no carbs. When people discover this, that’s when they ask me if they can drink it on a keto diet. They think since there are no carbs, it must be okay.

Alcohol in itself comes with a whole list of side effects on the body. It can kill liver cells. Alcohol consumption can lead to fatty liver disease, which is what happens when fat builds up on the liver because it can no longer break down fats for absorption. Having a little fat on the liver is normal – even healthy – but when fat makes up 5 to 10 percent or more of the liver’s total weight, it’s a sign of fatty liver disease.

Your liver is the second largest organ in your body. Its cells can regenerate themselves if they’re damaged. However, if they’re too damaged, your liver won’t be able to maintain its functionality.

Alcohol also inhibits the absorption of vital nutrients such as thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B12, folic acid, and zinc. These nutrients are crucial because vitamin B1 supports the metabolism of proteins and fat, b12 is just essential to overall good health, folic acid helps the body form new cells and the lack of can cause a reduction in the body’s capacity to carry oxygen, and zinc is essential to energy metabolism.

Alcohol is a dehydrator.

Dehydration is a term used to describe imbalance in the body’s fluids. When more fluid is lost than is required for a normal body function, dehydration occurs.And, in some ways worst of all, if you’re on keto for weight loss, it blocks fat burning! For example, let’s say it’s Friday night and you decide to drink with friends. There’s nothing wrong with having fun – just realize you’re not going to burn fat for about the next 48 hours.

Short answer? Can I drink or not drink on keto?

Of course, you can drink alcohol while on keto… As long as you’re willing to risk the effects above, including not burning fat for several days.Parties, family gatherings, sporting events. The best “diet” you can be on is the one that is best sustainable for your lifestyle. Does that mean you have to go without drinking alcohol on a ketogenic diet? No.  You don’t want to be the person self-consciously refusing drinks at the party or backyard barbeque.

So what alcohol can I drink?

There are several lists out there of ketogenic alcoholic beverages. 

My personal favorites?

 

Truly

White Claw

Tito’s with seltzer and lime

Dryfarmwines.com

Michelob Ultra 

 

Check out some other alcohols that may interest you:

 Beers (grams of carbs per 12 oz serving)
 Bud Select 55 (1.9)
 MGD 64 (2.4)
 Rolling Rock Green Light (2.4)
 Michelob Ultra (2.6)
 Bud Select (3.1)
 Beck’s Premier Light (3.2)
 Natural Light (3.2)
 Michelob Ultra Amber (3.7)
 Coors Light (5)
 Amsterdam Light (5)
 Bud Light (6.6) 
 Miller Light (3)
 Truly Spiked Seltzer (2) 
 White Claw (2)

• Vodka: Whipped Vodka & flavored water or pineapple Pinnacle with crystal light are a couple of my favorites! 
• Whiskey shot (0g carbs)
• Brandy shot (0g carbs)
• Dry Martini (0g carbs)
• Tequila shot (0g carbs)
• Champagne (~1g per serving)
• Dry wine (~2g per serving)

 

Hard Liquors: 

  • Vodka
  •  Whiskey
  • Tequila
  • Rum
  • Gin
  • Brandy

Wines

If you haven’t tried Dryfarmswine yet, it’s a must! This was served at the Metabolic Health Summit I attended in January this year and it was out of this world! 

Red wines

  • Pinot Noir – 3.4 g net carbs 
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – 3.8 g net carbs 
  • Merlot – 3.7 g net carbs

White wines 

  • Sauvignon Blanc – 2.7 g net carbs per 5 fl oz serving
  • Chardonnay – 3.1 g net carbs per 5 fl oz serving
  • Champagne – 2.8 g net carbs per 5 fl oz serving
  • Pinot Grigio – 3 g net carbs per 5 fl oz serving

Detoxing from Sugar? How do you get through it?

 

Sugar Addiction is REAL!

That white, powdery substance just makes you feel good. You can’t get it off your mind, and you keep coming back for more. The more you have it, the more you want it! But even when you try to stay away from it, it finds ways to sneak into your life almost daily. What can you do?

We’re not talking about some dangerous or illegal drug here; we’re talking about sugar. Although it’s considered harmless in comparison, sugar, in excess, can cause a host of problems for a lot of us: cravings, binge eating, weight gain and heart disease among them. According to the USDA, the average American consumed 151 pounds of sugar in 1999—an all-time high. Since then, consumption has dropped slightly and in 2010 the average American consumed 132 pounds. (To put that into perspective, consider that the number was just 4 pounds in the year 1700.) At least half of the sugar we consume comes from soft drinks, fruit drinks, and sports drinks. The rest sneaks into our diets in the form of ketchup, teriyaki sauce, chocolate milk and the obvious sweets like cookies, cakes, ice cream and even breakfast cereal. Surprisingly, some “healthy foods” such as yogurt and instant flavored oatmeal can pack in 20 to 30 grams (five to seven teaspoons) of unnecessary added sugar! It seems like we’re drowning in sugar, and nobody is wearing a life vest.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that we limit our daily sugar consumption to 7% or less of our daily calorie intake—that’s about 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and nine teaspoons (150 calories) for men. But that adds up fast. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains eight to 10 teaspoons of sugar and 130 to 150 calories. One glazed donut contains six teaspoons, and a half cup ice cream (the standard serving size, although most portions are much, much larger) contains four grams of added sugar!

Why Should You Care? Is Sugar Actually Bad for You?

Well, aside from the increased bulge around the waistline, diets high in sugar are strongly linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, elevated triglycerides, low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and heart disease. Sugar intake has also been linked to depression, migraines, poor eyesight, autoimmune diseases (such as arthritis, and multiple sclerosis), gout and osteoporosis.

Recent research has shown that a high intake of carbohydrates, including sugar, releases a feel good chemical in the brain called serotonin. Think of how you feel after indulging in a high sugar meal or treat—almost euphoric, right? The high of a sugar rush is temporary though. After a few hours—or even a few minutes—you start to crash and you become tired, fatigued and lethargic.

Although sweet foods are tempting and delicious to most people (blame Mother Nature for that!), the more sugar you eat, the higher your tolerance becomes. So if you have a strong sweet tooth or intense cravings for sugar, chances are not that you were born that way, but that your dietary habits and food choices created the sugar monster you may have become.

Fortunately, we can reverse this tolerance in just a couple of weeks by cutting out sugar. Once you have decreased your threshold, something that tasted perfectly sweet a few weeks ago, will begin to taste too sweet to eat, and that can help you reduce your intake of the sweet stuff.

Withdrawal Symptoms? Seriously?! ( Is sugar like a drug?? YES!)

With an addictiveness similar to cocaine, quitting sugar can come with a host of not-so-fun withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms are not fun at all but WE PROMISE it’s worth it in the end!!

Stage 1: Seems easy enough, right?
At this stage, your body doesn’t recognize that you’re no longer pumping fructose into your system. This is usually one to two days.

Stage 2: Cravings, oh! The Cravings!!
Ohhhh, those cravings. Yep, fructose is one addictive beast and it won’t let go of you without a fight. Plus, the temptation will be everywhere. Some Programmers have actually told us they’d have dreams about giving into their cravings and bingeing on sweet treats. Stay strong. Eat foods higher in good fat to help keep you sane. The best is yet to come.

Stage 3: Headaches. Oh, the headaches.
But not before the headaches. Much like when you give up that other addictive vice, caffeine, headaches are a very commonly reported symptom of sugar withdrawal. Time to invest in some Excedrin Migraine, and make sure to drink plenty of water (especially if soft drinks or juice were your main source of hydration beforehand).

Stage 4. You may feel some aches and pains.
Some people report aches and pains, or even flu-like symptoms, in the throes of withdrawal. One remedy we’d vouch for is a warm bath with Epsom salts, which studies have suggested may help flush out environmental toxins. But if you feel really out of sorts, check yourself out with a doctor.

Stage 5. Mood swings may be… less than pleasant.
At this point, your brain receptors are screaming: SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR. Between that and the headaches and the cravings, you may understandably have some gnarly mood swings. It’s helpful to have a solid support network around you during this stage, to help you remember why you started. Luckily, the great folks in our community are here to help you out

Stage 6: Some people even get “the shakes”

Just like a T. Swift song, your body may need to “shake it off, shake it off”. Mild tremors are linked to stress and blood sugar drops, so try having a snack or herbal tea to see if that helps. And do see a doctor if you are worried.

Stage 7: But suddenly, you’ll come out the other side feeling better than ever.

It could be a few days, but you’ll suddenly “get” what everyone was talking about. You’ll feel brighter, clearer and better than ever, as each day without the white stuff gets easier. No more cravings, no more blood sugar roller coasters, no more sugar-related headaches or 3pm slumps.Remember: The more sugar you’ve consumed on a daily basis, the worse the detox symptoms. Hang in there!

Cutting Out Sugar: A 4-Week Action Plan

While the occasional sweet treat won’t make or break your weight loss or your health, many people have trouble stopping after a sensible portion or saying no to sugar when it’s available. If you feel out of control around sugar, then a sugar “detox” is a great way to reduce your cravings, eat better, and bring sugar back to where it belongs: as an occasional treat that you consciously choose to eat in a mindful manner, not a daily treat occurrence that controls you.

Follow this month-long plan to break your sugar addiction!

Week 1: Identify Sugar and Where It’s Hiding

The first step in conquering your sugar habit is to rid your pantry and refrigerator of added sugar. Some things (think ice cream, cookies and candy) are obvious, but most of us need to look closer at where the sugar in our diets is coming from. This will require a bit of label reading in the beginning, but after a while, it will become easier.

In order to cut back on hidden or added sugar, scan the ingredients list of a food label. If you see any of the following terms listed, then sugar has been added to the product in one form or another and it is best left on the shelf at the store—especially if that sugar shows up within the first five ingredients of any food product.

Agave nectar
Agave syrup
Barley malt
Beet sugar
Brown rice syrup
Brown sugar
Buttered syrup
Cane sugar
Cane juice
Cane juice crystals
Carob syrup
Confectioner’s sugar
Corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup
Corn sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup solids
Crystalized fructose
Date sugar
Dextran
Dextrose
Diatase
Diastatic malt
Evaporated cane juice
Fructose
Fruit juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose
Glucose solids
Golden sugar
Golden syrup
Grape sugar
Grape juice concentrate
Honey
Invert sugar
Lactose
Malt
Maltodextrain
Maltose
Maple syrup
Molasses
Raw sugar
Refiner’s syrup
Sorghum syrup
Sucanat
Sucrose
Sugar
Turbinado sugar
Yellow sugar

This first week is about awareness. Reading labels before you buy—or bite. How many of your favorite foods contain hidden sugars in the top of their ingredients lists?

Clean out that kitchen!

Once you have identified the sources of sugar in your diet, clean out your kitchen. Throw out or donate all of the products that contain hidden or added sugars, including any juice, soda, candy, sweets and seemingly healthy snacks like granola bars, fruit and grain bars, instant flavored oatmeal and sports drinks. This may sound drastic, but stay with me!

Remember, you don’t have to throw away everything that is sweet! Natural sugar, like the kind you find in whole fruit, contains vitamins, minerals and fiber, which are lost in the processing of juice. Milk contains naturally occurring sugars, but also provides calcium, vitamin D and protein. So unlike soda, fruit juices and other processed foods, whole fruit and dairy products provide us with essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Be wary of certain fruit- or milk-based products that contain added sugars though: flavored milk, many yogurts, fruits canned or jellied in added sugar or syrups, and the like. Opt for unflavored skim or 1% milk, plain yogurt or Greek yogurt, and whole pieces of fruit. Remember, we are trying to cut out the 151 pounds a year of added sugar, not the naturally occurring sugar found in whole foods.

Week 2: Stock Your Sugar-Free Kitchen

In one week, you’ve probably found lots of sugar in your diet. Some of it may have been obvious, like those frozen waffles or lattes from the local coffee joint. But others might not have been so clear, as sugar tends to lurk in many “diet” foods and lower-fat foods, added by manufacturers to make their low-cal offerings taste better.

Replace Sugar In Your Cupboards

Now that you know what to look for (and avoid), it’s time to replace the products you tossed with sugar-free counterparts. For example, replace high-sugar cereals with a whole grain cereal that contains little to no added sugars. Sweeten it naturally with fresh berries or half of a diced banana. Instead of snacking on candy or cookies, reach for a handful of nuts or some raw veggies and hummus. Replace sweetened yogurt with Greek yogurt or plain yogurt. Look back at week one and the foods you used to eat that contained sugar. Can you find no-sugar oatmeal? A healthier snack than a sugar-sweetened smoothie (how about a whole piece of fruit)? A more filling afternoon treat than that sugary “protein bar” (such as peanut butter on whole-grain crackers)?

When choosing a refreshing beverage to quench your thirst, keep in mind that you want to eat your calories, not drink them. Choose ice cold water flavored with a squeeze of fresh lemon or an orange slice. Or flavor unsweetened iced tea with fresh mint, crushed raspberries, or a squeeze of citrus.

One tip to help you avoid added sugar at the supermarket is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store as much as possible. Think about the general layout of a grocery store: The outside is home to fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, dairy products, and whole grain breads and the inside aisles are stocked with cookies, chips, soda, fruit juice, cake mixes, and other processed foods. Spend most of your time on the outside and only go down the inner aisles for specific products, like whole-grain pasta.

Never shop on an empty stomach and always shop with a list. Shopping while hungry can lead you to adding all kinds of snacks and impulse buys to your cart. Meal planning can be a tricky task at first, but following a meal plan is an important part of breaking the sugar addiction. It will help to keep you on track and help prevent stopping for fast food when you don’t have a game plan for dinner. Spend a little time on Sunday afternoons jotting down some meal ideas for throughout the week. Make a list of the food items you will need to make the meals you wrote down and stick to it!

What about Sugar Substitutes?

Sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols have their place and they may be beneficial in helping you to break the sugar addiction or they may not. You will have to experiment and see how they affect you and your cravings. Even though they may not add additional calories to your diet, sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols might not help you to BREAK the sugar addiction since they are adding the sweet flavor to your diet. In some people, they may even increase your sweet tooth.

Week 3: Stop the Sugar Cravings

Now you really start to put your plan into action. You’ve identified the sources of added sugar in your diet and replaced those foods with healthier and more wholesome alternatives. Your kitchen is now set up for success!

This week’s focus should be on making a conscious effort to avoid sugary foods. When a craving strikes, try going for a walk or simply drinking a glass of water. Take a hot bath or get lost in a good book. Typically any craving will pass if you wait it out long enough. But it’s important to begin understanding the difference between true hunger and food cravings. If you are truly hungry, a handful of nuts or some raw veggies dipped in hummus will sound appetizing, so go ahead and eat one of your healthy snacks. But if you’re craving something sweet or a specific sugary food, use a distraction technique.

The first week of saying no to sugar will be the hardest, but the more diligently you stick to your plan, the better you’ll fare in the end. Even a tiny taste of sugar during this time period can lead to setbacks.

After a couple sugar-free weeks, your sugar threshold will start to decrease and you will find that you no longer crave sugar or sweets as you once did. As with any lifestyle change, the first couple of weeks are the hardest. Eventually, it will become habit to reach for a mint tea or piece of fruit instead of juice and candy.

Week 4: Game Plan for Life

Now that you have yanked that sweet tooth, it’s time to devise a plan to prevent a sugar addiction relapse. Although sugar isn’t necessary for health and it’s perfectly fine if you want to continue avoiding it, it probably isn’t realistic for most people to avoid all forms of sugar forever.

So if you want to allow a little sweetness back into your life, that’s OK. Moderation is key. Don’t let sugar and sweets become a daily habit. Instead, consider them to be special occasion treats only. With your lowered threshold for sweetness, that shouldn’t be too hard. But if you begin to indulge too often or overindulge over a short period of time (such as a weeklong vacation), you could find yourself back in trouble with sugar all over again.

If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up over it. Accept your action and decide to make a better decision next time and move on. Continue to experiment with your new, healthy foods and recipes. You’d be surprised at how many ways you can make treats healthier and use far less sugar than a recipe suggests.

And remember: It generally takes about 3-4 weeks for a new behavior to become habit, the most important thing is to stick with it.

sources: iquitsugar.com, shapemagazine.com, droz.com

 

How to Get Into Ketosis Quickly After A Cheat

How to get back into ketosis quickly

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that provides several health benefits.

During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy.

Studies have found that diets that promote ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, due in part to their appetite-suppressing effects.

Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions.

That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It’s not just as simple as cutting carbs.

Here are 7 effective tips to get into ketosis.

1. Minimize Your Carb Consumption
Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis.

Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies.

Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen.

When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body.

Your liver converts some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketones can be used as fuel by portions of the brain (5, 6).

The level of carb restriction needed to induce ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some people need to limit net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams per day, while others can achieve ketosis while eating twice this amount or more.

For this reason, the Atkins diet specifies that carbs be restricted to 20 or fewer grams per day for two weeks to guarantee that ketosis is achieved.

After this point, small amounts of carbs can be added back to your diet very gradually, as long as ketosis is maintained.

In a one-week study, overweight people with type 2 diabetes who limited carb intake to 21 or fewer grams per day experienced daily urinary ketone excretion levels that were 27 times higher than their baseline levels (7).

In another study, adults with type 2 diabetes were allowed 20–50 grams of digestible carbs per day, depending on the number of grams that allowed them to maintain blood ketone levels within a target range of 0.5–3.0 mmol/L (8).

These carb and ketone ranges are advised for people who want to get into ketosis to promote weight loss, control blood sugar levels or reduce heart disease risk factors.

In contrast, therapeutic ketogenic diets used for epilepsy or as experimental cancer therapy often restrict carbs to fewer than 5% of calories or fewer than 15 grams per day to further drive up ketone levels (9, 10).

However, anyone using the diet for therapeutic purposes should only do so under the supervision of a medical professional.

BOTTOM LINE:
Limiting your carb intake to 20–50 net grams per day lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to the release of stored fatty acids that your liver converts into ketones.

2. Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet

Eating coconut oil can help you get into ketosis.

It contains fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Unlike most fats, MCTs are rapidly absorbed and taken directly to the liver, where they can be used immediately for energy or converted into ketones.

In fact, it’s been suggested that consuming coconut oil may be one of the best ways to increase ketone levels in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other nervous system disorders (11).

Although coconut oil contains four types of MCTs, 50% of its fat comes from the kind known as lauric acid.

Some research suggests that fat sources with a higher percentage of lauric acid may produce a more sustained level of ketosis. This is because it’s metabolized more gradually than other MCTs (12, 13).

MCTs have been used to induce ketosis in epileptic children without restricting carbs as drastically as the classic ketogenic diet.

In fact, several studies have found that a high-MCT diet containing 20% of calories from carbs produces effects similar to the classic ketogenic diet, which provides fewer than 5% of calories from carbs (14, 15, 16).

When adding coconut oil to your diet, it’s a good idea to do so slowly to minimize digestive side effects like stomach cramping or diarrhea.

Start with one teaspoon per day and work up to two to three tablespoons daily over the course of a week.

BOTTOM LINE:
Consuming coconut oil provides your body with MCTs, which are quickly absorbed and converted into ketone bodies by your liver.

3. Ramp up Your Physical Activity

A growing number of studies have found that being in ketosis may be beneficial for some types of athletic performance, including endurance exercise (17, 18, 19, 20).

In addition, being more active can help you get into ketosis.

When you exercise, you deplete your body of its glycogen stores. Normally, these are replenished when you eat carbs, which are broken down into glucose and then converted to glycogen.

However, if carb intake is minimized, glycogen stores remain low. In response, your liver increases its production of ketones, which can be used as an alternate fuel source for your muscles.

One study found that at low blood ketone concentrations, exercise increases the rate at which ketones are produced. However, when blood ketones are already elevated, they do not rise with exercise and may actually decrease for a short period.

In addition, working out in a fasted state has been shown to drive up ketone levels.

In a small study, nine older women exercised either before or after a meal. Their blood ketone levels were 137–314% higher when they exercised before a meal than when they exercised after a meal (23).

Keep in mind that although exercise increases ketone production, it may take one to four weeks for your body to adapt to using ketones and fatty acids as primary fuels. During this time, physical performance may be reduced temporarily (20).

BOTTOM LINE
Engaging in physical activity can increase ketone levels during carb restriction. This effect may be enhanced by working out in a fasted state.

4. Increase Your Healthy Fat Intake

Consuming plenty of healthy fat can boost your ketone levels and help you reach ketosis.

Indeed, a very low-carb ketogenic diet not only minimizes carbs, but is also high in fat.

Ketogenic diets for weight loss, metabolic health and exercise performance usually provide between 60–80% of calories from fat.

The classic ketogenic diet used for epilepsy is even higher in fat, with typically 85–90% of calories from fat (24).

However, extremely high fat intake doesn’t necessarily translate into higher ketone levels.

A three-week study of 11 healthy people compared the effects of fasting with different amounts of fat intake on breath ketone levels.

Overall, ketone levels were found to be similar in people consuming 79% or 90% of calories from fat (25).

Furthermore, because fat makes up such a large percentage of a ketogenic diet, it’s important to choose high-quality sources.

Good fats include olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, lard and tallow. In addition, there are many healthy, high-fat foods that are also very low in carbs.

However, if your goal is weight loss, it’s important to make sure you’re not consuming too many calories in total, as this can cause your weight loss to stall.

BOTTOM LINE:
Consuming at least 60% of calories from fat will help boost your ketone levels. Choose a variety of healthy fats from both plant and animal sources.

5. Try a Short Fast or a Fat Fast
Another way to get into ketosis is to go without eating for several hours.

In fact, many people go into mild ketosis between dinner and breakfast.

Children with epilepsy are sometimes fasted for 24–48 hours before they start a ketogenic diet. This is done to get into ketosis quickly so that seizures can be reduced sooner .

Intermittent fasting, a dietary approach that involves regular short-term fasts, may also induce ketosis (28, 29).

Moreover, “fat fasting” is another ketone-boosting approach that mimics the effects of fasting.

It involves consuming about 1,000 calories per day, 85–90% of which come from fat. This combination of low calorie and very high fat intake may help you achieve ketosis quickly.

A 1965 study reported significant fat loss in overweight patients who followed a fat fast. However, other researchers have pointed out that these results appear to have been highly exaggerated (30).

Because a fat fast is so low in protein and calories, it should be followed for a maximum of three to five days to prevent an excessive loss of muscle mass. It may also be difficult to adhere to for more than a couple of days.

Here are some tips and ideas for doing a fat fast to get into ketosis.

BOTTOM LINE:
Fasting, intermittent fasting and a “fat fast” can all help you get into ketosis relatively quickly.

6. Maintain Adequate Protein Intake
Achieving ketosis requires a protein intake that is adequate but not excessive.

The classic ketogenic diet used in epilepsy patients is restricted in both carbs and protein to maximize ketone levels.

The same diet may also be beneficial for cancer patients, as it may limit tumor growth.

However, for most people, cutting back on protein to increase ketone production isn’t a healthy practice.

First, it’s important to consume enough protein to supply the liver with amino acids that can be used for gluconeogenesis, which translates to “making new glucose.”

In this process, your liver provides glucose for the few cells and organs in your body that can’t use ketones as fuel, such as your red blood cells and portions of the kidneys and brain.

Second, protein intake should be high enough to maintain muscle mass when carb intake is low, especially during weight loss.

Although losing weight typically results in the loss of both muscle and fat, consuming sufficient amounts of protein on a very low-carb ketogenic diet can help preserve muscle mass (5, 30).

Several studies have shown that the preservation of muscle mass and physical performance is maximized when protein intake is in the range of 0.55–0.77 grams per pound (1.2–1.7 grams per kilogram) of lean mass .

In weight loss studies, very low-carb diets with protein intake within this range have been found to induce and maintain ketosis (7, 8, 33, 34).

In one study of 17 obese men, following a ketogenic diet providing 30% of calories from protein for four weeks led to blood ketone levels of 1.52 mmol/L, on average. This is well within the 0.5–3.0 mmol/L range of nutritional ketosis (34).

To calculate your protein needs on a ketogenic diet, multiply your ideal body weight in pounds by 0.55 to 0.77 (1.2 to 1.7 in kilograms). For example, if your ideal body weight is 130 pounds (59 kg), your protein intake should be 71–100 grams.

BOTTOM LINE
Consuming too little protein can lead to muscle mass loss, whereas excessive protein intake may suppress ketone production.


7. Test Ketone Levels and Adjust Your Diet as Needed

Like many things in nutrition, achieving and maintaining a state of ketosis is highly individualized.

Therefore, it can be helpful to test your ketone levels to ensure you’re achieving your goals.

The three types of ketones — acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate — can be measured in your breath, blood or urine.

Acetone is found in your breath, and studies have confirmed testing acetone breath levels is a reliable way to monitor ketosis in people following ketogenic diets (35, 36).

The Ketonix meter measures acetone in breath. After breathing into the meter, a color flashes to indicate whether you are in ketosis and how high your levels are.

Ketones can also be measured with a blood ketone meter. Similar to the way a glucose meter works, a small drop of blood is placed on a strip that’s inserted into the meter.

It measures the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate in your blood, and it has also been found to be a valid indicator of ketosis levels (37).

The disadvantage of measuring blood ketones is that the strips are very expensive.

Lastly, the ketone measured in urine is acetoacetate. Ketone urine strips are dipped into urine and turn various shades of pink or purple depending on the level of ketones present. A darker color reflects higher ketone levels.

Ketone urine strips are easy to use and fairly inexpensive. Although their accuracy in long-term use has been questioned, they should initially provide confirmation that you are in ketosis.

A recent study found that urinary ketones tend to be highest in the early morning and after dinner on a ketogenic diet (38).

Using one or more of these methods to test ketones can help you determine whether you need to make any adjustments to get into ketosis.

 

What is the keto diet?

 

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a high fat low carb diet with some proteins.The general rule of thumb for a keto diet is a maximum of 50 carbs daily or about 10% of total calories. Protein goals are generally around 0.8 g of protein per pound. 


The science behind that keto diet.

Carbohydrates are usually our body’s main source of energy but because the keto diet is so low in carbs fats become the primary fuel for the body. When we burn fat for energy we produce compounds called Ketone bodies which is why it is called the ketogenic diet.

Ketones can be detected in the urine, blood, and breath so people following a keto diet will often use test strips to check the urine for ketones to confirm that they are in ketosis. When ketones are present in the urine that is a result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel.

For people with diabetes however ketones can build up and lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious medical condition. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, fruity scented breath, confusion, and consistently high blood sugar. Diabetics should not go on this diet without consulting physician. If they suspect diabetic ketoacidosis they should seek medical treatment immediately.

 What you can eat on the keto diet? 

  • Very limited carbs:  50 g of carbs per day or less though most advocates recommend 20g. This includes carbs from lower carb foods like vegetables, avocados, nuts, and plain Greek yogurt.
  • Somewhat limited protein the keto diet is not a high protein low carb diet. the protein recommendation is generally 0.8 g of protein per pound of bodyweight. You’ll need to know your percent of body fat for this or you can use your lowest helpful weight. If a very lean wait for you is 150 pounds for example, then use 150 x 0.8 for a total of approximately 120 g of protein daily.
  • Fat make up the rest. The keto diet is mostly fat, with that being the wildcard varies by amount depending on calorie needs as well as appetite. This can include animal fats like butter, heavy cream, mayonnaise, and bacon as well as plant-based saturated fats like coconut oil, olive oil, and vegan mayo.

Keto calculators are available online to help you figure out your macro nutrient goals (carbs, protein, fat).  Find your keto calculator here

 What Types of Food Do You Eat?

What’s out
Starchy and refined carbs are off limits including bread, rice, pasta, cereal, potatoes, beans.
Sugar of any type is also out including table sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, and agave.

​Fruits

Only a small amount of fruit is allowed mostly berries because of their low carb content.

 What’s in:

 Fats of all types
 Meat, Fish, poultry, and eggs are allowed
 Non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens fresh or frozen. carbs from his vegetables need factored into daily carb allotment.
No calorie plant-based sweeteners like Stevia or Trulia
Beverages with zero sugar or artificial sweeteners including water tea and coffee

 A typical day on the Keto diet

Coffee with coconut oil butter or MCT oil
Breakfast is some combo of fat plus protein eggs cheese bacon sausage butter

Lunch burgers with cheese no bun salad with protein avocado and oil and vinegar

Dinner fish, chicken, beef, or pork with vegetables cooked with olive oil served with avocado guacamole or mayo based sauce

Snacks are hard-boiled eggs, cheese, avocado,  nut butter, berries, and do-it-yourself fat bombs

What the heck is a fat bomb?

Fat bombs or any type of little snack bites centered on high-fat ingredients like butter, bacon, and coconut oil

The reality is that we don’t need to be in a perpetual state of ketosis to drop extra body fat countless people have lost significant amount of body fat by cutting calories with a low-fat carb rich diet.

I’m an advocate of lower carb high protein diets even if we exercise on a regular basis.

Not everybody especially those of us with sedentary jobs or hobbies still spend a large portion of our time sitting at a desk in our car or on her sofa the lack of activity means we burn fewer calories.

I have seen many clients and friends experience positive results with the keto diet. The main advantages of following a keto diet is appetite control as we feel less hungry on the low-carb keto plan which generally results in a natural reduction in our calorie intake.

Some of the research shows that people eat 300 fewer calories per day or more without even trying. As a result following a keto diet can help to reduce cravings as well as drop body fat.

Other Benefits of the Keto Diet

Other benefits of the keto diet include improving blood sugar control, cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation, all of which are likely due to the extra weight loss as well as feel following the low carb diet.

A few things I don’t love about the keto diet

 It can make eating feel more like science then pleasure at first. Counting our macros for carbs, protein, and fat for each meal and snack can feel burdensome. Many people simply get into a routine and are eating the same combinations of food for most meals and snacks.

It limits our vegetable intake. I’ve had countless keto followers tell me they’re avoiding vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, egg plant, spinach, and kale because they’re too high in carbs. Let’s be honest who among us can blame our extra pounds on too much asparagus? I however make the adjustments elsewhere when i want to include these vegetables in my daily routine. 

it’s easy to go overboard with high fat process meats. We know the processed meats like sausage and bacon aren’t exactly super foods. So while they’re okay in small amounts, I recommend keeping these as extras to accompany a less processed keto diet not the focal point.

Bottom line. As with any diet if it centered on foods that we enjoy and it fits within our lifestyle habits and we are more likely to stick with it and see positive results, go for it!

Experimenting with the keto diet can serve as a valuable education tool as well helping us to recognize just how much carb or fat or protein or calories we’ve actually been consuming in our everyday diet. If you decide to try keto diet, track your food intake in an online or a food log like my fitness pal. It will tally up all those numbers for you.

Consider adding a multivitamin and calcium supplement because you may not get the full spectrum of micronutrients from the food choices on the keto diet. As always check with your physician before beginning any new program and consider consulting with a registered dietitian to help you design a diet that fits within your lifestyle and your body needs.