What I Noticed When I Stopped Taking Ketone Supplements

As I think many of you know, I generally eat very healthy, exercise regularly, and I am not overweight. However, I had heard many positive things about the ketogenic diet and supplements and was curious about what they could do for me. Many celebrities are touting these dieting strategies, including Halle Berry and Jenna Jameson.

For 2 weeks, I followed  a ketogenic diet during the day, and took a ketogenic supplement first thing in the morning. I did not follow a ketogenic or even a paleo diet for dinner. On this pretty easy routine, I lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks. The Jewish holiday of Passover arrived and I stopped all of this. I then resumed the diet for a week and lost another pound. I was down to 139 pounds, which is very low for me. Because I had a four-day conference in New York City, I decided to take a break and not follow any specific diet.

The Result of Taking a Break:
Interestingly enough, I noticed over the 4 days at the conference that I was not waking up as alert. When I was on the above-mentioned ketogenic routine, I woke up very alert and almost immediately. I started to feel aches and pains in the morning, which were almost completely non-existent when I was taking the supplements. I was also naturally eating more. By contrast, the ketogenic supplements suppressed my appetite naturally, so I ate less without consciously trying to do so.

For me, this little experiment confirmed the following benefits of the Pruvit ketogenic supplements:

  1. More energy and waking up very alert, as opposed to the typical tired, groggy feeling for 30 minutes or more.
  2. Much less achiness in the early morning.
  3. Fat loss of 2 pounds/week. My wife even says that I have greater muscle definition.

If you are looking for a way to decrease body fat, I highly recommend trying ketone supplements. They are available for purchase online or stop buy our office to purchase a 10-day supply.

I believe that most people who try it and follow my diet plan will notice a significant difference in just 10 days.

 

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

More on Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic Supplements and the Ketogenic Diet - Berman Cosmetic Surgery - Blog

More on Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic Supplements and the Ketogenic Diet

As most of you know, I have been very enthusiastic these past 4 months about combining 2 concepts into one diet plan. The first concept is intermittent fasting and the second concept is ketogenic diets and supplements. You’ve surely seen quite a bit about these topics on the news and in social media. Many celebrities are touting these dieting strategies, including Halle Berry and Jenna Jameson.

These have both become very hot topics in 2018. I get Google articles on my phone about both of these daily. I just read a blog by a Dr. Pedre who has “created” what I have already been advocating for months – his “Cyclitarian Diet”. This is my intermittent fasting combined with being ketogenic. The only difference is that I did not give my diet a name!

Let’s explore the logic behind my diet. There are a huge number of benefits to intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting basically means no food or calories for between 12 and 18 hours.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

  • Burn fat
  • Live longer
  • Increased brain health
  • Reverse Type 2 diabetes and restore insulin sensitivity.
  • Decreased side effects from chemotherapy

And the benefits of a Ketogenic diet?

The list keeps growing and there is good scientific evidence to support all of these claims. By the way, I recommend the Ketogenic Bible, which you can buy through Amazon, if you want to read a great book on this topic. I read it and I learned a great deal. It is scientific but very easy to read.

  • Increased brain function – increased memory, cognition, clarity, better seizure control, fewer migraines
  • Possibly fights some cancers – brain cancers namely
  • Prevent heart disease – decreased blood pressure, lower TG, better cholesterol profiles (increased HDL
  • Also changes your LDL cholesterol from small (which is the bad form) to large LDL (which is benign). I personally would suggest that it is better to try and get more of your healthy proteins and fats from plant sources and wild caught fish eg salmon, rather than animal sources.
  • Improved acne, arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, IBS, etc
  • Increased energy and sleep
  • Decreased uric acid levels – helps gouts and kidney function
  • Better GI and gallbladder health
  • Helps with a large number of neurologic diseases eg seizures and also metabolic disorders
  • Stabilizes hormones for women and increased fertility.
  • Helps prevent cataracts
  • Increased muscle and better endurance
  • Increased insulin sensitivity, decreased and potentially curing type 2 diabetes, helps with Type 1 diabetes control
  • Increase fat burning especially visceral fat. So weight loss due to fat loss and muscle preservation
  • Decreased appetite

Why the ketogenic supplements?

Simply put, they allow you to enter ketosis immediately, without having to do a ketogenic diet for the 4-5 days normally required to enter ketosis. The ketogenic supplements immediately put ketone bodies into your bloodstream.

My diet essentials:

  • A 12-16 hour fast (drink water or herbal tea or coffee, no sugars added)
  • Take a ketone supplement after you wake up and then ideally another ketone supplement 3-5 hours later, if your budget and personal plan allows
  • Eat your first meal and stay ketogenic at least until dinner. At dinner, eat healthy and try and be as close to ketogenic as you can. You don’t have to be perfect every meal. The amount of weight you want to lose will determine how strict you need to be.
  • When you take a leniency from the diet, use common sense. It is one thing to occasionally have some sushi with rice or a whole wheat roll. It is quite another thing to have a high sugar dessert like donuts etc, which you should try hard to avoid, at least most of the time.
  • One final word of caution: all “diet sodas” are terrible for you so avoid them even though they have no carbs or calories!
  • Exercise, specifically high intensity exercise, will increase your state of ketosis and your fat loss.

To find out what ketone supplement I am using for myself click here.

 

Want to discuss the Ketogenic diet in greater detail or other available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me. I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

Recommended Reading: The Obesity Code

I highly recommend The Obesity Code by Jason Fung, MD, a bestseller and in line which what I too am advocating for a anyone wanting to lose weight, particularly fat. Although a 304 page book, it is easy to read and packed with information. I  want to highlight some of the main points that he makes that are relevant to those wanting to lose fat. I feel it is a great support to my suggestion of intermittent fasting and ketone supplements (see my previous blogs on this topic).

Dr. Fung does a great job destroying the constantly cited theory that all you have to do in order to lose weight is decrease your calorie intake. This is ubiquitously advocated by almost all “experts”. They support this falsehood by laws of thermodynamics – if more calories are taken in than out, you will gain weight and if you take in few calories, you will lose weight. He points out a huge number of studies showing how this does not work. It sounds like it should make sense and we are constantly told that – take in less calories and you will lose weight.

Why does the calorie in and calorie out theory not work? It is because what really determines if we store the food as fat or burn/eliminate the food (and drink!!) is our insulin levels. What happens is that we have all sorts of internal hormonally regulated systems in our bodies that adjust our basal metabolic rate (how many calories are used up), how much of what we eat that we actually absorb (the rest will go out in our stools), and how much energy is converted to fat and stored.

What Dr. Fung shows very clearly is that insulin is the key hormone in deterring whether we store or use up fat. The main problem today is that because of both constant eating (this is a relatively new phenomenon that in between meals we constantly snack) and the high intake of sugars and refined foods, we end up with high insulin levels in our blood. This causes the insulin receptors in our cells to be LESS sensitive to the insulin. This causes our bodies to produce even more insulin, which we become less sensitive to over time – and the negative feedback loop continues. High insulin levels tell the body to store fat.

The way to restore our insulin sensitivity is through both intermittent fasting (I think intermittent fasting is easier with the ketone supplements) and decreasing the stimulation to produce insulin which comes from both sugars and refined foods. An intermittent fast is defined as at least 14 hours without anything that will cause insulin to be produced (so unsweetened tea or coffee and water are fine). This has absolutely been proven to work and is a lot of the rationale behind the ketogenic diets.

There are lots of studies proving that refined foods and almost all sugars will raise insulin levels. It is important to note that I am stating “raise insulin levels,” as there are items like fructose and many other sweeteners used by the food and beverage industry that raise insulin levels but not your blood sugar level. This is why using the commonly referenced “Glycemic Index” is not effective.

I know sometimes people get overwhelmed and feel there are conflicting reports and lots of experts weighting in. It is really quite simple. Work up gradually to going 14 hours between dinner and when you eat your next meal (things like water, tea, coffee with unsweetened almond/coconut milk are fine). This is even easier if you can eat a relatively early dinner – if you finish dinner by 7 pm, you just have to delay eating until 9 am. I believe ketone supplements are very helpful when delaying your eating, as they decrease your appetite (especially helpful for people like me who end up eating late, even though I would prefer not to).

To find out what ketone supplement I am using for myself click here. The supplements will also raise your ketone levels which tells your body to breakdown fat for energy. The food you eat should be as unprocessed as possible – think lots of veggies, as organic as is reasonable, as unpoisoned as possible – salmon is great, and grass fed, free range beef etc. Absolutely avoid all sodas and diet drinks (they raise insulin levels and cause weight gain). It is common sense that you want to avoid farm raised fish and mass farming, as they use lots of antibiotics/hormones etc. You don’t have to be perfect at every meal, but you want to make at least some extra effort to select healthier choices. Realize it takes time for you to get used to this new routine, so expect some slip ups – but persevere and you can expect to be much healthier for it.

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off: Putting it all Together

This blog will make much more sense if you read my previous blogs on the Ketogenic diet. I have borrowed heavily from Dr. Jason Fung. However, many other doctors — including Dr. Will Cole, whose book, Keto-tarian, takes a more vegetarian and fish based approach to the keto diet) — are saying exactly the same thing! The common pathway relates to high insulin levels, which leads to insulin insensitivity – which can create a vicious cycle.

This can arise from the following:

  1. High sugar and/or processed foods (especially high carb food and flours)
  2. Constantly eating
  3. High cortisol levels due to stress or lack of adequate sleep or prednisone

The solution to this is clear if we look at the causes:

1A) Stop taking in external sugars (this includes virtually all exogenous sugars but also less obvious sugars such as fructose (leads to insulin resistance in the liver) , agave nectar, diet sweeteners, etc.

1B) Eliminate refined grains. Many people are better off limiting their gluten intake, even from whole grains. You have to experiment and see how it affects you. Refined grains increase insulin levels.

1C) Increase intake of healthy fats (note: the shortcoming of the original Atkins diet advocated that all fats are fine), vegetables and fiber. It is common sense that olive oil and avocados are going to be better for you than poor quality meats, such as hot dogs. Nearly everyone agrees that wild caught salmon is very good for you and that should limit fish intake that is high in mercury, such as Swordfish. Nearly everyone also agrees that it is better to avoid animals that come from large factories where they are given antibiotics and hormones, and that free range, organic meat is preferred if you are going to eat meat. There is no benefit to ingesting more protein than you need, since it will raise insulin levels and will get converted to fat. The right amount of protein will vary by person. For example, a serious weightlifter who weighs 200 lbs. needs more protein than a 150 lb. person, with a higher percentage of fat who does not lift weights at all.

2) There is more and more evidence that intermittent fasting is good for almost everyone. This means that you stop eating for an extended period of time.  You should be drinking lots of water. Tea and coffee (either black or unsweetened coconut /almond milk or maybe small amount of half and half) are fine as well. You can also add a few slices of fruit or cucumber into your pitcher of water. You want to aim for 14-16 hours without food. You may want to take in some extra salt since you will lose sodium as you clean out your carbs. This is the most common reason for not feeling well during the fast. I believe taking ketone supplements makes this much easier. I take the supplements during my fast, with great results. The ketones cross the blood brain barrier and dramatically decrease my desire for food. I would add further that it can take time to get used to going longer and longer without food. It certainly did for me. The trick is to keep on working at it, even if you don’t reach your goals early. It is much easier to fast when you are busy at work or doing something to distract you. Incidentally, once you get used to these intermittent fasts (and also for longer fasts), you can absolutely exercise while fasting.

There are likely excellent reasons for trying a longer fast, especially if you are not dropping the weight that you want (also for internal self-healing), but I will blog on this at a later date.

3) All types of stress, such as emotional stress, lack of sleep, prednisone, etc. will raise your cortisol levels and this will in turn increase your insulin level. There are a number of good studies showing how important getting adequate sleep is, as well as dealing with your emotional/work/relationship stress. Activities such as exercising, walking in nature, meditation, getting a massage (I am a huge fan of the benefits of massage) are helpful. Generally things like spending time on the internet or parked in front of a TV are not useful for lowering cortisol levels.

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

As always, feel free to email me with your thoughts and questions at info@bermancosmeticsurgery.com.

 

 

Fasting: Intermittent Fasting and Longer Fasts

Fasting has been around for virtually all of man’s time on earth. When we were hunters and gatherers, we had days of plenty and days of nothing. Our bodies are adapted to have periods of time without food. Once again, there are a plethora of articles on fasting, spanning hundreds of years, but Dr. Jason Fung does a nice job of putting it all together.

I feel it is important to be honest about your sources. Hippocrates (father of medicine – remember doctors all take the Hippocratic oath) believed there were great benefits to fasting. As a religious Jew, we have two 25-hour fasts during the year and several all-day fasts. (Our fasts are tough because we are not even allowed to have any water!) By contrast, the health fasts that I am discussing below definitely encourage plenty of water, tea, coffee, etc. Muslims have the month of Ramadan where they fast all day long for an entire month. Although these fasts are spiritually-based, it would not be surprising if they also had a health benefit. Other than my religious fasts, and my very frequent intermittent fasts of 14-17 hours, I have not yet done any longer fasts, but I am going to definitely try it.

What are the types of fasts?
There are intermittent fasts, which are at least 14 hours (though there is benefit to even 12 hours of fasting) and there are fasts longer than a day, which can even go on for weeks or months!

It goes without saying, do not plan a long fast without proper medical supervision and instruction.

What are the benefits to fasting?
Fasting is a great way to restore your insulin sensitivity, especially if you are not achieving what you want with the shorter intermittent fasts.

Many people will lose a significant amount of weight with fasting. To clarify a common misconception – you will NOT lose muscle mass, unless you stop exercising or your total body fat is very low – about 4%!

It is imperative that you maintain a healthy diet after the fast, if you want to keep the fat off (see my previous blogs on this topic). You will definitely put some weight back on when you return to eating, since some of the initial weight loss is due to water loss and will come back when you return to eating food.

There is a growing body of evidence that your body heals itself (autophagy) during a fast. There is a large increase in stem cells and other markers of anti-aging (increased telomere length etc). I believe over the next few years, we are going to see more and more evidence showing the biochemical benefits of fasting for anti-aging and longevity.

What is allowed during the fast?

You want to avoid all carbs and anything fake or artificial. You can and should have lots of clean, fresh water. You can have sparkling water. Avoid any artificial flavors or sweeteners! You can have coffee (black or with unsweetened almond or coconut milk or half and half), or tea. You can add natural spices to them if you like, such as cinnamon or cardamom. There is evidence that apple cider vinegar diluted in water is also very good for you. Natural bone or vegetable broth is fine, but must be natural. The latter is probably not necessary for a fast less than 24 hours.

I believe ketone supplements make fasting much easier since they cross the blood brain barrier and  (If you want you can click here to find out which ketone supplement I use and to also learn how to buy it for yourself) will decrease your hunger. They also put you in a ketogenic state more quickly.

What happens if I get hungry?
You will get hungry! The more often you fast, the more used to it you will get, and the easier it will become. Fortunately, hunger is not a constant problem, but it will come in waves. Since you know that it will pass, it helps gives you the strength to suck it up. Fasting is much easier if you are very busy. I try and do my fasts on days when I am super busy in the office. It certainly makes my intermittent fasting easier when I am busy at work. It may make it easier to start a fast after lunch.

Is exercising allowed?
Yes! Most people who fast do great with exercising. The key is to drink lots of water and the other items listed above, such as taking in some extra salt. This encourages your liver to break down fat into ketones for energy. Your adrenalin and growth hormone levels increase during fasting and this may promote muscle creation.

How much fatigue should I expect?
There is often a period early on in the fast- often around 18 hours but varies from person to person – where they feel fatigue. However, this will pass and most people report increased, sustained energy during a fast – even for prolonged fasts lasting weeks and months! If your fatigue does not pass, you should stop fasting and get your blood checked.

Should I get dizzy or headaches during fasting?
No! You are probably dehydrated or low in sodium. Drink more fluids and add more salt to your fluids. (If you are on blood pressure meds, you may need to lower the dose). You do not have to rush and stop your fast immediately. Try these remedies and perhaps take a nap.

Muscle Cramps
These are not dangerous and usually will resolve with taking magnesium, which is found as a pill at pharmacies and health food stores etc.

What should I do when I end my fast?
There is a strong tendency to overeat and that will make you feel lousy. Try and force yourself to eat light and slowly. This is psychologically driven and is not due to your body needing anything desperately.

Special considerations: 

  1. Don’t fast if you are pregnant.
  2. Don’t fast if you have very low body fat (under 8%), or at least not without close supervision.
  3. If you have low blood sugar, be supervised by someone knowledgeable during your fast. Of course, check your blood sugars during the fast.
  4. Diabetics – especially those on insulin – need to keep a close eye on their blood sugars during a fast. Of course, have medical supervision.
  5. If you have medical conditions such as cancer, chemotherapy, etc there can be a lot of benefits to fasting, but it should be supervised by someone medical who knows, understands and supports fasting.

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!