Trying To Lose Weight? Don’t Forget The Protein

I fell into the trap. When I started the Intermittent Fasting Regime – which is really just following what nature provided – I lost weight with very little effort.  No calorie counting as long as I kept my food – and especially my carb consumption – between 9pm and 5pm and ate mainly ‘keto’ for breakfasts and dinner. This, I assume allowed my body to enter ketosis (or fat burning) for a few hours in the morning and the resulting fat loss (as indicated by my BMI scale). But – after about a month – I was feeling tired and drained most of the time and angry.

My sleep patterns were also affected.  I was feeling down and sleeping more than normal – or was waking up more often at night. Then some personal stress happened.  I started to eat carbs outside the 9-5 window and began to feel better. I am a carb-stress eater anyway. The result is that I gained some of the weight back – but I felt better. I can hear some of you saying and pointing a  finger….see….see….carbs are good. Good for the brain, perhaps, but not the waistline. At least for me, more carbs means more insulin.  And more insulin means more visceral fat.  So what to do?

eating protein for weight loss

Looking back, I had fallen into a “mind trap”.  My mind has been programmed to accept the belief that in order to lose weight, I have to severely cut calories.  In other words, in order to lose weight you have to eat less overall – rather than just restricting carbohydrates.  I began to realize that I had not been eating enough food during the 12 hours that I could be i.e., 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To make things worse, I wasn’t eating enough protein either – and this is rather critical.  Protein is broken down into amino acids – the building blocks of life.  The two amino acids that are the most important, in my mind, are tyrosine and tryptophan.  Many of the amino acids, including these two, are converted into neurotransmitters.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acids and is the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin has many functions in the body and brain in particular. This critical neurotransmitter affects mood, desire, sexual function, appetite, sleep, memory, learning, temperature regulation, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system and the muscles.  Symptoms of serotonin deficiency in the brain include:  depression, OCD, anxiety, panic attacks and excessive anger.

It is well-known that carbohydrates – especially sugar and starches – raise the serotonin level. This is why people with low serotonin levels often crave carbohydrate – rich foods and eat them compulsively.  Carbohydrates temporarily raise serotonin levels and make you feel better. I will attest to this. The problem is, that shortly after carbohydrate consumption, serotonin levels drop dramatically creating more drowsiness, hostility, anxiety and depression.  Another way to say this is that increasing carbohydrate intake is not advisable nor the cure. So what is?

eating protein for weight loss

I believe that the answer is protein. Due to the “mind trick” I mentioned before, my protein consumption also was restricted as was my food intake, in general. Restricted protein means less amino acids, including tryptophan. Less tryptophan means less serotonin, and less serotonin affects mood, sleep and energy.

Protein around 25 -30 percent of total daily calories has been shown to boost metabolism by up to 80 – 100 calories per day, compared to low protein diets. A higher metabolism means more fat burning. Protein keeps you feeling full much better than either fat or carbohydrates (one study in obese men showed that protein at 25% of calories increased feelings of fullness, reduced the desire for late-night snacking by half and reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60%)

Another study showed that women who increased their protein intake to 30% of total calories ate 441 fewer calories per day and lost 11 pounds in 12 weeks – simply by adding more protein to their diets.

Older adults, like me, have significantly-increased protein needs – up to 50% higher than the DRI (daily recommended intake) – which is also concerning.

In Summary,

  1. Carbohydrate cravers may be tryptophan/serotonin deficient;
  2. Increasing carbohydrate consumption can temporarily make you feel better but will cause weight gain due to the insulin effect;
  3. Adding more protein to your diet (especially tryptophan-containing foods) will potentially increase your serotonin level and make you feel better without having to indulge in sweet/starch binging. Eating more protein should  keep you feeling full longer and reduce your calorie intake naturally;
  4. Increasing your protein makes it potentially easier to stick to any weight loss diet;
  5. A protein intake of around 30% of total calories may be optimal for weight loss.

Feel free to subscribe to my channel and be notified of future videos.  An apple, and a video-a-day, just may keep the doctor away!

Until next time,

Dr. G

Remember  the Body is the Matter of  Mind – So Pay Attention To What Matters To Your Body.

 

Alkalinity and Candida: Considerations When Doing the Ketogenic Diet or the Intermittent Ketosis Diet

One of the main tenets of the Naturopathic approach to healing is making the body more alkaline.  A body that is more alkaline tends to resist viral attack and tends to heal more efficiently.  In order for the Ketogenic Diet (or the Paleo Diet, or the Intermittent Ketosis Diet) to assist the body in healing, it should be “alkaline- reacting”.

Dr. Vincent Pedre, M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, for example, says alkaline eating reduces the risk of cancer.  He states that most tumors that are solid thrive on glucose.  Since an alkaline diet is relatively low in glucose, it deprives solid tumors of their fuel.

Published research in Nutrition & Metabolism suggests that tumors love an acidic environment – and,   findings in Cancer Research, indicate that a low-acid environment in the body potentially halts the spread of cancer cells. A study from Thailand indicates that the body can become acidic in just one week.   If this preliminary research is true, then we should all be eating more alkaline – regardless of what dietary regimen we adhere to.

What about the Ketogenic Diet then?  On the one hand, it severely limits sugar and carbohydrates – which would lower the acidic load and making the body more alkaline.  What I have found, however, is that most individuals, myself included, who are attempting to eat “keto” tend to concentrate on the protein and fat components of the ketogenic regime with less than optimal intake of fruits and vegetables.  Since fruits and vegetables are required to keep the body alkaline, it is estimated that you would have to eat 10 fruits and vegetables per day.  I haven’t read this book yet, but Ross Bridgeford has a new book out called “The Alkaline Reset Cleanse”-which may be a good resource for those of you who are interested.

The other problem that most of us over 40 have is a sluggish digestive system – which tends to be more acidic – from a lifetime of acidic foods.  This leads to a maladapted gut microbiome and an increased growth in organisms that thrive in an acid environment.

Meat is also an acidic-reacting food as are sugar and carbohydrates.

Researchers at Purdue University cut their subject’s total caloric intake by 30% then put them on either a high plant protein or low plant protein/animal-based diet.  Those subjects who ate more plant protein i.e., beans (which were prepared to eliminate the lectins), lentils and peas lost 325% more weight than those eating animal-based protein.  Plant-based protein is high in fiber – which promotes a healthy gut bacteria diversity and number.

Which brings us to our second point.  Candida albicans – a gut fungal commensal parasitic organism – thrives in an acid environment.  It disrupts our normal microbiome.  Even when a woman follows the ketogenic diet, for example, and does “everything right” weight loss can plateau.  This is often due to the Candida organism which may have extended beyond the gut affecting the liver and the thyroid – which stalls metabolism.

Candida organisms produce more than 75 known toxins. To protect the vital organisms, the body produces new fat cells to store the excess toxins. Tumeric and Curcumin are essential, in my mind, for anyone on low carbohydrate diet, including the ketogenic diet because it is possible that the “ketogenic flu” is just a manifestation of Candida die-off and the release of the candida toxins from the fat stores.   250 mcg of molybdenum per day as a supplement can reduce this effect.

Curcumin kills Candida, shuts off its repair cycle and reduces the candida’s ability to adhere to the body cells.  In addition, curcumin can repair candida-damaged liver tissue, and can cause fat cells to self-destruct and halt the development of new fat stores.  All it takes is to add 1 tsp of turmeric to foods per day (or 1,000 mg of Curcumin in supplemental form).  FYI, Curcumin is up to 10 times more effective when taken in tandem with Vitamin C or Vitamin-containing foods.

In Summary,

When on the Ketogenic Diet:

  1. Alkalize the diet by concentrating on increasing the alkaline-reacting foods –especially the alkaline superstars: kale, cucumber, broccoli, celery, avocado, watercress;
  2. Explore Plant-Based Protein sources and make them a priority i.e., eat more of them in the ketogenic eating plan;
  3. Add turmeric to the diet or take curcumin as a supplement to kill any candida overgrowth and prevent a weight loss plateau – especially if you are female. Remember to take vitamin C or a vitamin-containing food at the same time (bell peppers, broccoli, leafy greens, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts)
  4. Take 250mcg of molybdenum per day to reduce the ketogenic “flu”.

Until next time,

Dr. G

The 12-Hour Intermittent Ketosis Eating Plan

Integrating the Ketogenic Diet with Intermittent Fasting:

I am all for losing weight/fat mass and reducing your percent body fat – especially visceral fat.  The problem is that most people – including myself – have trouble following a rigid diet of any sort.  I, also refuse to count calories – carbohydrate or otherwise – so how can I ask my patients to do it if I won’t.  The diet for life or eating plan for life for me must be effective yet simple.

Previously, we discussed the benefits of intermittent fasting – which I call Intermittent Ketosis.

When fat has already been stored in the body e.g., the belly fat, it is very difficult to shift it – unless the body is in ketosis.  Ketosis occurs when the body has used up its glucose and most of its glycogen.  When this occurs, the body shifts to fat burning for energy and produces ketones (hence the turn ketosis).

Ketones can be used for fuel instead of glucose when the body is burning fat.  This is why the Ketogenic diet can produce impressive fat loss.  The Ketogenic Diet can be great for weight loss, but staying in a chronic ketosis state is NOT optimal or realistic for anybody to follow in the long term.  I would say the same thing about the Paleo Diet and other severe carbohydrate-restrictive diets, by-the-way.

So what is the solution?  I believe that Intermittent Fasting is the way that humans have been physiologically – designed to eat.  I am uncertain whether the 8 – Hour eating window and the 16 hour fast is optimal but it does work in humans as well as animals.  The mechanism is a simple one, I think.  Eating over an 8 hour time period not only restricts the total food intake, it, more importantly, also limits carbohydrate ingestion to 8 hours.  Voluntary Fasting and fasting while we sleep will eventually burn off the glucose and glycogen to the point that the body will automatically shift into fat burning/ketone-producing mode.  If this is the case, we should be able to combine the Ketogenic Diet with Intermittent Fasting relatively easily – since the Ketogenic Diet is already carbohydrate restricted.  It also has a high intake of good fats. For the record, we could also combine it with Paleo or other carbohydrate restriction diet.

What I am proposing is carbohydrate restriction for 16 hours i.e., eating carbs over an 8 hour window and using a Ketogenic eating approach to maintain ketosis for four more hours – for a total of 12 hours.  This also follows the light-dark cycle.

For example, if my carbohydrate eating time was 9 am to 5 p.m., I could eat ketogenically between 7 and 9 a.m. and 5 and 7 p.m.  I could have a ketogenic breakfast after waking up, have my carbs during the day then have a ketogenic dinner to begin the process of entering into ketosis before sleep.  Remember that none of you should be eating anything after 7 p.m.  I think that I will call this the 12-hour Intermittent Keto Diet.

As resources, I am using “The Eight Hour Diet” by David Zinczenko and the “Bulletproof Diet” by Dave Asprey   (The latter book is really close to ideal, since it appears to be a modified ketogenic diet approach that also includes intermittent fasting to a certain extent).  He uses the bulletproof coffee to extend the night fast by about 4 hours in the morning).  Both of these authors are really into research and documentation.

In order to monitor your progress, you should take some initial physical measurements – like chest, waist and hip size, and upper arms.  It is most important to assess your percent body fat and your lean muscle mass. This is most easily accomplished by any BIA or Body Impedance Analysis device.  Many scales have this ability.  Any weight loss must not be from lean muscle.

In summary, then,

  1. For an eating plan to work, it has to be simple, effective and non-depriving. Since we all have to eat, when we eat and what we eat is of paramount primary importance.  We can augment the plan with exercise, mindfulness and stress reduction and so on.
  1. Ketosis is necessary for losing stored fat weight. Remember that weight does not reflect body composition.  You can gain overall weight and lose fat (think bodybuilder) – so don’t obsess over the scale.  Make sure that your lean muscle mass is stable or increasing as your percent body fat and fat mass goes down.
  1. With the 12-Hour Intermittent Ketosis Eating Plan, carbohydrate intake is restricted to an eight hour period. Personally, I have chosen 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as my 8 hour peiod.  Between  7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. I will eat ketogenically – if I eat anything at all.
  1. Do not eat anything after 7 p.m.

Until next time,

Dr. G

Intermittent Fasting: WHEN we eat is as important as WHAT we eat

Weight Loss is a funny thing.  Science tells us that you must either:  restrict calories to less than your basal metabolism, or expend energy over-and-above your basal metabolism to lose weight.  Caloric restriction has also been linked to a longer life.  The problem is…caloric restriction doesn`t work in the real world for an extended period of time.  Humans are humans and deprivation of calories is simply unsustainable.  First of all, you have to be aware of how many calories you take in i.e., you have to count your calories and you have to have the knowledge of how many calories you burn during daily activities.  I don`t know about you, but this sounds like a lot of work.

Studies have shown that the more rigid your diet plan is, the higher your BMI tends to be – not to mention how depressed you were likely to feel.

We all know that fat – especially visceral fat around our midsections – has the potential to create health problems.  There must be a way to lose that weight in an easier way.

In one of the previous blogs, I mentioned that our bodies have internal Biological Clocks which are involved in hormonal regulation, detoxification AND fat burning.   These Biological Clocks are synchronized to the Light-Dark cycle.  Another way to state this is that the Light-Dark cycle influences the Biological Clocks or circadian rhythms  which in turn regulate hormones, detoxification and fat burning.  It would make sense, then, to pay attention to how our bodies are synchronized to light.

During daylight hours the light enters the eyes and influences energy production  for thinking, movement and so on.  At night it goes into detoxification mode.  In a simple sense, we really shouldn`t be eating after the sun goes down.  After 8 p.m., the body wants to eliminate toxins rather than process more food.  Is it possible that our obesity epidemic is, in part, related to the fact that we have artificial light and tend to eat for too long i.e., beyond sundown?  Yes, it is.

Dr. S. Panda, PhD, from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, says that “where there are more lights there is more diabetes”.  His hypothesis is that it is the extension of the day using artificial light over the last 50 years has lead to an artificial extension of our feeding times – contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

intermittent fasting

Dr. Panda divided mice into two groups:  the first group could eat anything they wanted at any time during 24 hours;  the second group could eat as much as they wanted, but only within an 8-hour time frame.  The study length was 100 days.  The first group gained weight.  The mice who were allowed to eat whatever they wanted, but only during the set period of time (eight hours) lost weight.

When the scientists working on  this project saw the results they were keen to try it out themselves – and the results were the same.  Restricting eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 produces the same results i.e., intermittent fasting facilitates weight loss.  The reverse is apparently true…the longer we stretch out our eating cycle, the fatter we get.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 compared two subject groups:

  • The first ate all their calories in three meals spread out over the day;
  • The second practiced intermittent fasting, eating the exact same number of calories but in a restricted 8 – hour time frame.

The second group (IF) had a significant modification of body composition including reductions in fat mass.  Apparently, restricting the time-period during which you eat revs up your metabolism and causes your body to burn more calories throughout the day.

The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center found that eating the same number of calories, just in a limited period of time, resulted in a significant modification of body composition, including reductions of fat mass”.

In addition, Scientists at the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah compared blood samples of men after 24 hours of fasting versus men after a day of normal eating.  The level of HBH (Human Growth Hormone) were 20 times higher in the fasted subjects.  This is important because HGH protects lean muscle mass and regulates metabolism.

In the journal Obesity Reviews in 2011, intermittent fasting had the same effect on weight loss and fat loss as cutting calories but was more effective in maintaining muscle mass.

Melatonin, the sleep chemical is also involved somehow. When we use artificial light sources, including our cell phones and laptops at night, there is a hormonal backlash.  Melatonin is suppressed.  When melatonin is suppressed your appetite is stimulated as more ghrelin is made and leptin output is lowered so you don`t feel full.  No melatonin means more munchies.

A 2007 Canadian study found that people who slept only 5 or 6 hours per night increase their likelihood of being overweight by 69% as compared to the 7-8 hours per night sleepers.

Intermittent fasting gives the body a break from using glucose as the major substrate for fuel in the glycolysis cycle.   Restriction of carbohydrates allows the body to switch to fat burning rather than glucose burning.  It is my impression that Intermittent fasting is really Intermittent Ketosis.  Those of us who are carrying more weight around our middle than optimal need to enter this state in order to shift stored fat – especially visceral fat.  It makes sense to me that combining the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting makes the most sense.

In summary, then….

  • Practice Intermittent Fasting by limiting your food intake to eight hours;
  • Do not eat past 7 p.m. at night and especially no carbohydrates;
  • Do not use your laptop or phone after sundown and especially not before bed;

Perhaps take melatonin as a supplement – if tolerated and under the direction of a health professional.

Dr. G Signature

Cures For The Three Types of Snoring

Men snore and women snore (contrary to what they might say, as 64% of women by the age of 50 do).  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine claims that snoring reduces daytime productivity by 34%.  Snoring deprives the brain of oxygen leading to an increased risk of headaches, weight gain, HBP and injuries – in addition to daytime fatigue and brain fog.

You may have to ask your partner which of the three types of snoring you create – or identify your particular snoring type with an app like “SnorLab” on Google Play.

Here are the three types of snoring:

Snore softly & consistently

This type usually occurs when the breathing passages have been narrowed due to

what type of snoring do you do?

What type of snoring do you do?

inflammation, cold or allergies.  Breathing can vibrate the tissues in the sinus cavities and produce a “rumbling snore”.

Solution: Using a Neti Pot to wash out the sinuses, perhaps use a few drops of Golden Seal/Hydrastis tincture in the water.  You can also use a nasal dilator to increase the diameter of the nostrils or nasal strips.

Snore Loudly and in Spurts

This type is due to the relaxation of the mouth and jaw muscles allowing the jaw to shift slightly backwards.  This type of snoring may be aggravated lying on your back.

Solution: Use a mouth guard or other device to move your chin forward and stabilize the tongue.  Try sleeping on your side rather than on your back.

Snoring Loudly , Pausing and Gasping

This type is typical of individuals with sleep apnea – where breathing stops for 10 to 20 seconds and then you may gasp for a breath.  Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension and stroke.

Solution: Be assessed for sleep apnea at a specialty clinic and the possible need for a CPAP machine.  There are tongue exercises to train the tongue to keep the airways open at night Stevin Lin, DDS says that research indicates oral tongue exercises reduces severe apnea by 50%.

I have long thought that snoring as we get older may have something to do with thyroid function – which would explain the increase in snoring as women get older.

Another possibility is a drop in melatonin.   Apparently looking at your phone, ipad or laptop before bed reduces your melatonin by 30%.  It’s time to go back to reading before sleep.  According to the University of Sussex in the U.K., reading reduces the stress levels and cortisol by 68%. – which could benefit the thyroid in a good way.  The thyroid requires just the right amount of cortisol to function.  It is like the three bears not too hot, not too cold but just right.

Summary:

  1. Determine your snoring type and try out some of the cures;
  2. Be medically assessed, if necessary – especially for sleep apnea;

If the snoring continues:

  1. Have your thyroid checked;
  2. Have your blood sugar checked;
  3. Have a four point cortisol check (saliva or urine).

WATCH DR. G’S MEDICAL MUSING The Three Types of Snoring and Their Possible Cures’

We are trying to capture these FB lives and either put them on the website (drgatis.com) or have them imbedded in an email so interested people can receive them on a Saturday morning.

Until next time….