Friday, August 3, 2018

The Glycemic Index Diet

The Glycemic Index Diet Review

The glycemic index diet or G.I. diet is gaining a status as a healthy way to lose weight. Even though more of a method of eating rather than a diet, more and more people following the G. I way attain their weight loss achievement. Many health specialists agree that the Glycemic Index diet, if followed properly, can be a great way to weight loss goal, particularly for those who struggle with conventional low calorie diets or dieters who have problem controlling their hunger.

The G.I diet is similar to the low carb diet but it is not as strict and targets the types of carbs rather than the quantity of carbs for each meal. There is also a focus on the correct timing of the two basic types of meals - a carb or protein meal. The science behind the timing and types of meal makes G.I dieting a potent way to help lose fat stores, safely and relatively quickly.

The G.I diet is all about Insulin and controlling blood sugar levels.

Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate our blood sugar; actually it lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating cells to absorb any excess sugar from the blood. The problem with Insulin is it also causes fat cells to take up excess fatty acids from the blood. Often we ingest a meal which includes both sugar and fats so if any meal includes foods which have a high Glycemic Index then the fat from that meal can be easily stored on the hips.

There is an established theory that if one can control insulin levels then one can control how much fat the body will store from each and EVERY meal. Fat can only be stored when Insulin is present, and Insulin is only released when blood sugar levels become elevated.

What raises blood sugar?

Carbohydrate in foods will raise blood sugar if it is absorbed too rapidly. The types of foods which cause rapid absorption of sugar are all those with a high G.I index rating.

The basics of the G.I index

The Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrate foods by assigning them a number ranging from 0 to 100. The number point outs the rate at which the food raises blood glucose levels during its absorption. The higher the value the quicker the sugar is absorbed.

A high Glycemic index food has a value of 70 and above. A G.I value of 56-69 is considered medium and any foods lower than 55 are considered a low Glycemic index food. Foods with a low G.I are best as they digest more naturally and help provide a steady supply of energy over the course of several hours, it also makes us feel fuller for longer.

Is the G.I Diet simple?

The diet sounds simple because foods are generally chosen from the low G.I food list, but it gets complicated when you create a meal made up of many different food items, each with a unique G.I value. The idea is to make sure most items which make up every meal have a low Glycemic index, thus the overall G.I of the meal stays within the low to medium range.

Gaining complete nutrition

There are some foods which have a high G.I rating but are considered a healthy nutritious food. In these cases healthy high G.I foods can be combined with low G.I foods to maintain low-medium G.I value, plus help create a complete nutritional intake. An example is baked potato (high G.I) topped with baked beans (low G.I). There are also low G.I foods which should be limited. Fresh meat and poultry contains no sugar so the G.I. will be very low, however, they do contain lots of fat and protein so the energy content will be high. Remember calories do still count!

One positive point about the G.I meal plan is it's possible for dieters to enjoy the odd "treat" item once or twice each week, maybe an occasional dessert after a light dinner. As long as these "bad" items are NOT eaten alone it should not ruin the diet plan.

Benefits of G.I. way of eating:

1. Enjoy tasty foods but limit storage of fat

2. Enjoy some favorite foods AND still lose fat

3. Increased energy level and wellbeing

4. Control of blood sugar

5. Less hunger feelings

6. Less craving for sugary foods

7. Less bloating feeling after meals

8. Ability to eat more food if desired

9. Less danger from diabetes and other diseases

10. No strict calorie reduction

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Friday, June 29, 2018

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting we bet you didn't know

Secret revealed! - How Greek philosopher Pythagoras benefited from intermittent fasting? 

"Instead of using medicine, rather, fast a day."

                                   - Plutarch (a Greek biographer and essayist) which time period???

Intermittent fasting has its roots in ancient history….

Pythagoras tried to join a Mystery school in Egypt but he was refused entry. He was told that he will have to go on a 40 day fast to get entry into school at Diospolis. After successfully fasting for 40 days he was allowed entry into the school.

“You are not allowing Pythagoras in. Now I am a different man. I am actually reborn,” Pythagoras said while joining the school.

Similarly, Israelis went on a fast whenever they faced a war. Such a fast was taken up at the time of Haman (a high priest) when they were defending themselves against enemies.
Fasting, throughout centuries, has been claimed as a method that brings physical as well as spiritual renewal. Other examples include:

1.    In Judaism, there are many annual fast days such as Yom Kippur, known as Day of Atonement.
2.    In Islam, fasting is undertaken in the holy month of Ramadan.
3.    Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholics go on a 40 day fast during Lent. Lent is a period when Christ fasted for 40 days in the desert

All the above details clearly highlight the fact that intermittent fasting is nothing new. It has been practiced for centuries and we all can also benefit from intermittent fasting.

In recent history also there are stories of remarkable transformation brought about by fasting like what happened with patient “A.B.”. Let us move back in time to 1971.

In 1971, a 456-pound man went to Department of Medicine, the University of Dundee seeking help.for?? The patient, referred to as A.B., was certainly overweight and had to lose weight.
His physician suggested a drastic step; stop eating.

Patient A.B. responded quite well to brief fasting stint. Excited by results achieved, he decided to continue fasting for more than one year. His fasting became longest recorded fast and entered into Guinness Book of Records, 1971.

The astonishing thing was that the patient suffered very little to no negative effects on his health. When his 382-day fasting ended, he had lost 276 pounds. Moreover, during his abstinence, he ingested only non-caloric fluids, yeast, and vitamin supplements.

More importantly, after 5 years when doctors checked back, they pound that patient A.B. had only gained 15 pounds!

Are you intrigued listening to this story? Would you want to know how you can benefit from intermittent fasting?

Read ahead…

So, in the next few sections let us look at what intermittent fasting is and how it can be helpful for you.

Does intermittent fasting mean starvation?

Not exactly. Fasting is quite different from starvation.

Starvation is where your food intake plummets because of the scarcity of food.

When we look at starvation, it is the involuntary absence of food intake. Additionally, it is not controlled or deliberate. On the other hand, in fasting, we perform voluntary withholding of food consumption.

In intermittent fasting, food is readily available but we decide not to eat the same. Such fasting can be for any period of time, ranging from few hours to days.

Can we term it a “diet’? what is the difference between fasting and dieting?

No, instead of calling it diet, the right term would be eating pattern. Why???

Where is the need to fast? Why should you fast? Or  How can fasting benefit you?

When we fast, it can result in substantial reduction in insulin levels as well as in blood sugar. In addition to it, a drastic improvement in human growth hormone (almost 5-fold) can occur. Human growth hormone is a hormone that enhances growth, cell regeneration, and cell reproduction in humans.

Additionally, studies also reveal that this type of fasting can help us live longer.

Moreover, intermittent fasting can also provide protection against different diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others.

Different types of intermittent fasting

In past few years, different methods of intermittent fasting have become popular. Let us look at some of them here.

1.    16/8 method: Here you will have to fast for 16 hours every day. As for instance, you may well select to eat between noon and 8 pm.

2.    Eat stop eat: In this type of fasting you will have to stop eating anything from dinner to dinner next day. This is to be done once or twice every week and also known as a 24 hour fast.

3.    5:2 diet: On any 2 days in a week make certain that you are not eating more than 500 to 600 calories.

4.    Alternate day fasting: As the name suggests, here you will have to fast every other day.

5.    The warrior diet: Here you will be fasting during the day and then have a big meal at night.

6.    Spontaneous meal skipping: In this option, you can decide to skip a meal when you are not feeling hungry or do not want to cook. As for instance, you can skip breakfast and have a good lunch and dinner. Similarly, if you are traveling somewhere and not getting your type of food then you can skip the meal.

Can it be beneficial for us? “Intermittent Fasting can be a boon for your health”

There are many benefits of intermittent fasting. Let us go through the details here.

Can support changes in hormones, genes, and cells

Intermittent fasting brings about changes in your body such as:

1.    There can be a drop in insulin level, which helps in initiating the process of fat burning.

2.    As mentioned above, there can be a five-fold increase in growth hormones in a person doing intermittent fasting.

3.    Our body may well start cellular repair processes like the removal of waste materials from the cells.

4.    Beneficial changes can take place in molecules and genes related to protection from diseases and in longevity.

    Thinking of weight loss? Why not try intermittent fasting?

If you do not start eating more at other meals after fasting then you will be consuming less number of calories. Additionally, this type of fasting can help in improving hormone functions that facilitate weight loss.

It has also been found that intermittent fasting can improve our metabolic rate by 3.6 to 14%. This, in turn, helps us burn more calories. Metabolic rate refers to the rate of metabolism, the total amount of energy used by us in a specific time period.

Studies show that this type of intermittent fasting can result in weight loss of 3-8% when it is continued for 3-24 weeks. Moreover, it has been found that people lose belly fat by 4 to 7% by continuing intermittent fasting.

Could reduce insulin resistance and lower risk of type 2 diabetes

By reducing insulin resistance, intermittent fasting can assist in lowering blood sugar levels as well as protect you against type 2 diabetes.

Studies show that blood sugar can go down by 3 to 6% and insulin may well reduce by 20 to 31% when on intermittent fasting.

All these details mean that intermittent fasting protects those who have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Oxidative stress is basically an imbalance between the production of harmful free radicals (toxic byproducts) in body and body's ability to fight them. Oxidative stress results in several chronic diseases and causes aging. It has been found that intermittent fasting can improve the resistance of your body to such oxidative stress.

Moreover, it has been noticed that it can be helpful in fighting inflammation. Inflammation is often the root cause of different common diseases.

Could be beneficial for heart health

According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases are one of the top causes of deaths worldwide.

It might sound disturbing but it is true that heart diseases are presently the leading cause of deaths in the U.S. Heart diseases result in about 633,842 deaths while cancer is at the second position and results in 595,930 deaths.

You need to be aware of the fact that various risk factors are associated with increased risk of heart diseases. Intermittent fasting can have a positive effect on these risk factors. The common risk factors that intermittent fasting helps to decrease include:

1.    Blood triglycerides (these are a form of fat present in blood and they can increase the risk of heart diseases).

2.    Inflammatory biomarkers (are the biological measures of any biological state that indicate inflammation).

3.    Blood sugar levels

4.    Blood pressure

5.    LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)

Can initiate cell repair process

During intermittent fasting, body cells start a cellular waste removal procedure that is known as autophagy.

Autophagy is a process where cells break down and metabolize dysfunctional proteins that build up over time within cells. A higher level of autophagy can provide protection from several diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

May well help in the prevention of cancer

In different animal studies, it has been found that this type of fasting can be helpful in preventing cancer. But, it is worth mentioning here that human studies to prove this fact are still needed.

However, there is evidence that in cancer patients, intermittent fasting helps to reduce different side effects associated with chemotherapy.

Can be good for the brain

Studies conducted on rats show that this type of fasting can cause new nerve cell growth, which can be beneficial for brain functions.

Additionally, intermittent fasting increases Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a brain hormone. If BDNF is deficient then it can result in depression as well as other brain problems.

Animal studies have also confirmed that this kind of fasting provides protection against brain damage because of strokes.

May prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Intermittent fasting can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, as per the study conducted on rats. In addition to it, it can also lower its severity.

Additionally, it was noticed that intermittent fasting helped in improving symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in nine out of ten patients.

Moreover, animal studies confirm that intermittent fasting can protect from other diseases like Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Can extend your lifespan

Studies conducted on rats show that this type of fasting can extend lifespan. In certain studies, the effect was very dramatic.

In one study it was noticed that rats fasting on alternate days lived 83% longer than other rats who were not fasting.

Are there any side effects to know about before starting intermittent fasting?


For reproductive health, it is important to take a diet which has required nutrients and calories.

Additionally, problems like amenorrhea (where loss of menstrual cycle occurs) can occur when someone under eats and has low body weight.

Moreover, animal studies show that intermittent fasting interferes with fertility in rats.

May impair the performance of athletes

May hamper physical endurance

Athletes need to properly time their calorie intake to achieve better performance results. If calorie intake is restricted for a longer duration then the athlete may feel weak and sluggish you may well feel sluggish. Additionally, if the workout is not synchronized with the eating schedule, it may also hamper muscle growth / weaken muscles timed correctly in the same time phase when you are taking food, it can hamper muscle growth.

Thus, your muscles may actually start breaking down instead of building up.

Affect Sleep

During intermittent fasting, you may start drinking more coffee than you usually do. Such higher intake of caffeine can affect your sleep, promote depression, and anxiety.

In conclusion

To summarize we can say that intermittent fasting can certainly be helpful and play a major role in improving our health.

This quotation is irrelevant to the topic since we are not asking people to start an intermittent fasting routine

“Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals if he is able to think if he is able to wait if he is able to fast.”

- Hermann Karl Hesse (Nobel prize winner in literature)

Reference Articles:


Monday, June 18, 2018

How to overcome weight loss plateau by adopting the keto diet?

Why do these celebrities swear by the keto diet?

“For years, I am following keto diet,” says Halle Berry, the Oscar-winning actress. Hale Halle thinks it is more than a diet to her; it is a “lifestyle change”.

Vanessa Hudgens had to put on 20 pounds for her role in Gimme Shelter. Afterward, to lose the weight she decided to follow the keto diet. “I think there is a misconception that fat is bad, but in reality, fat actually will make you feel fuller for longer,” she says.

Even after 3 kids, Megan Fox has been able to stay svelte by following a strict low-carb diet. “I cut out all types of pieces of bread and other foods that have carbohydrates,” says Megan.

Celebrities and common people alike are showing greater interest towards keto diet. How is it better than the normal staple diet we take?

Lose weight and maintain your weight loss over a long term by following a keto diet

A keto diet is a type of diet which is low on carbohydrates and high on fats. It is also known as ketogenic diet or a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet.

When you start taking a keto diet, the carb intake drops and our body gets into a body state that is called ketosis.

Ketosis is one type of natural state process that is initiated by the body where so that we are can able to in situations survive where food is scarce when food intake goes low. In this state, the liver produces ketones (what are ketones ?)by breaking down fats and the body starts using ketones as its main energy source.

The aim of a keto diet is to burn to use more fat instead of carbs to generate the energy required by our body. 

How to know if you have actually entered a state of ketosis?

This can be checked by measuring breath or blood samples and by testing urine.

There are other common symptoms that will help you recognize if you are into ketosis.

  • Dryness in mouth and increase in thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Keto breathes which smells like nail polish remover or fruity. You may well get the same smell from your sweat while working out.
  • Reduced hunger.
  • Improved energy levels in a few days after starting a keto diet.

What are the things which should be present in your daily menu when on a keto diet?

Eat your heart out (literally)

When selecting any food item to ensure that it has less than 5% carbs. Additionally, you should not take a high protein diet (that contains between 15 to 25% protein). Excess protein gets converted into glucose and makes it harder for you to transition into ketosis.

    Let us look at food items and their carbohydrate content:

  • Vegetables that grow above ground such as cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, and avocado.
  • Unprocessed meats (give examples of unprocessed meat)
  • Seafood and fish
  • Eggs
  • High-fat sauces such as like Bearnaise sauce
  • High-fat dairy products such as like butter, cheese, and yogurts. But, avoid milk since 1 glass of milk contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates
  • Nuts can be taken in moderation on moderation. However, you should avoid cashews since they are high on carbs instead try pecan nuts or macadamia
  • Water,  whether it is sparkling or flavored, should become your preferred drink.
  • When taking coffee do not put sugar, you can add cream or milk but only a small amount and small amount of cream or milk will be fine
  • Tea (you have mentioned specific things for coffee but not tea, also which types of teas are good for keto??)

High-carb foods – The big no-nos

  • Food items containing sugar such as soft drinks, juice, candy, pastries, sports drinks, cakes, ice cream, chocolate, and buns. You should also avoid artificial sweeteners
  • Foods that those are high in on starch. This list includes rice, bread, potatoes, pasta, porridge, French fries, muesli, etc.
  • Avoid legumes which are high on carbs such as lentils (the difference between lentils and legumes is?)and beans.
  • Fruits contain plenty of sugar so eat them occasionally, like a natural candy.

Things to be wary of while selecting low-carb foods.

Many companies will try to trick you into purchasing low-carb food that is actually high on carbs. (Actually, the fact is that low-carb items are added with extra sugar to make them as tasty as high carb foods) Few of the things you can do to avoid such junk would include:

  • Avoid low-carb alternatives to high-carb food items like ice-cream, chocolate, and cookies. 
  • Do not purchase food items that show the net carbs value. That is actually a way of tricking you into buying their high carb product. 
  • How many carbs can one eat when on a keto diet? How much fat can be consumed safely?to eat? You should ideally keep daily carb intake below 20 grams. Regarding fat, you should eat the amount that will make you feel satisfied. Simply, eat when you feel hungry and stop when you start feeling satisfied.

Benefits of keto diet

Weight loss

To start with, insulin (a type of hormone) allows the body to use glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates to meet body’s energy needs.

When on a low-carb diet, insulin level drops and body starts burning fat at a higher rate to meet its energy needs. The higher rate of fat burning results in greater weight loss.

Appetite control

On a keto diet, the body burns fat to produce ketones and use them as its energy source. 
As ketone levels increase they bring down ghrelin levels and increase cholecystokinin levels. 
Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for increasing appetite and when its level goes down, your desire to eat will likely go down as well.

On the other hand, cholecystokinin( same as leptin ) is a hormone which reduces appetite( indicates satiety). When its level increases, your appetite reduces and feeling of hunger goes down significantly.

When you feel less hungry, it is likely that you will be eating less, which in turn will help in reducing your weight.

Are there any side-effects of a pure keto diet?

Constipation | Leg Cramps | Heart Palpitation | Reduced Physical Performance | Hair Loss | Keto Flu


As you suddenly increase your fat and protein intake while cutting down on carb intake, it can negatively affect your digestive system. This usually happens when you try to fulfill your fat and protein requirement by eating more meat, eggs, and fish.

Another reason could be dehydration. When you are on a keto diet, the body rapidly loses water weight. This happens as glycogen (a type of molecule responsible for retention of water) stored within muscles goes down when you cut back on carbohydrate intake( simply this and explain in easier terms).

This, in turn, results in dehydration and the consequent problem of constipation.

How to stop constipation? 

Drinking more water is one of the simple solutions to get rid of the problem and normally taking about a gallon every day will help to fix the issue. 

In addition to it, you may well include some non-starchy vegetables (like amaranth, asparagus, baby corn, artichoke, etc.) in your diet to make things better. 

Leg cramps

Leg cramps are an issue when someone is starting up on a keto diet. Leg cramps are a common issue faced by people who have recently changed to keto diet or recently adopted a keto diet.

As mentioned before, our body tends to lose water at a faster rate in the state of ketosis.

As we noticed earlier (while looking at reasons behind constipation), our body rapidly loses water weight while on a keto diet. This fluid also carries different electrolytes (like magnesium, potassium, chloride, and sodium) with it. 

Since magnesium plays an important role in muscle contractions, lack of magnesium in the body results in cramps.

How to stop leg cramps?

Start drinking a lot of fluids and add salt to your diet. This way you will be able to stop loss of magnesium from your body and solve the problem of cramps.

Heart palpitations

Elevated heart rate is common in initial stages when you have just started on a keto diet. A common reason for this the same is sodium deficiency lack of salt and dehydration. 

Salt contains sodium m (the electrolyte we mentioned while discussing leg cramps) and lack of sodium in turn results in heart palpitations.

Why does a keto diet lead to sodium deficiency?

When you are eating low carb diet, it brings down your insulin (it is a hormone that stores fat) levels. 
In addition to maintaining glucose levels, apart from storing fat, insulin also tells kidneys to hold onto sodium. 

On a keto diet, as insulin levels go down, the body also starts shedding excess sodium. The result? , lower sodium level in our body.

How to stop heart palpitations?

The best thing to do in this situation is to get enough salt and also drink plenty of fluids.

Reduction in physical performance.

In the initial stages, your physical performance can go down. This happens due to two reasons.

  • Lack of salts and fluids
  • Adaptation to burning fats 

How to improve physical performance?

  • Before you start exercising, just take a glass of water with 0.5 teaspoons of salt in it an hour before you start.
  • It will take more time for your body to adapt to this change and start burning fat for energy instead of sugar. The adaptation will occur at a faster rate when you start exercising more while taking a low carbohydrate diet.

Hair loss

Hair loss is seen in first three to six months after you start a keto diet. This occurs when you make a dietary change. Any sort of dietary change can initially cause hair loss. However, this is a temporary phenomenon and within a few months, you will notice that new hair growth has started. More importantly, the thinning of hair will hardly be noticeable.

How to stop hair loss?

Make sure you are not limiting calorie intake way too much.
In addition to it, also ensure that you are getting enough sleep, l which is like at least eight hours of sleep every night.

Induction flu or keto flu

Right after starting a keto diet you will feel quite bad for the first 2-3 days. Few of the problems you will face could include; fatigue, headache, light nausea, and dizziness.

This happens as your body losses excess salt and water from kidneys when on keto diet also, the changes in the levels of insulin could also cause similar weakness and discomfort. Mainly due to lack of insulin as mentioned above while we discussed heart palpitation. 

How to prevent keto flu?

You just have to increase salt intake and drink more fluids. Another thing you can do is drink a cup of broth/bouillon couple of times in a day. Don’t keep conclusion as any of the headings. It is not a formal essay. It's a health article. 

In Conclusion:

In a nutshell…
Keto diet is a fun way to lose weight because unlike other diets it is not too restrictive in nature. You are free to consume fats ( under safe limitations, obviously), which almost never happens in any diet plan. This diet is easy to include in your daily routine and it keeps you satiated while helping you drop those extra pounds. 

But remember, it needs to be supplement with a suitable exercise routine to help you reach your weight loss goals. One of the biggest advantages of this ketogenic diet is that it completely removes sugar from your diet. 

All you need to do is keep your water and sodium levels high and you are good to go!
Keto diet can certainly help you lose weight and also control your appetite. By following a strict low-carb diet it is likely that you will be able to achieve your weight loss goals.

Reference Articles:

1.    http://www.diagnosisdiet.
2. is-fat-key-weight.html