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Basal Ganglia Fat DocMuscles #KetonianKing Adam Nally

Habit-Loop Cycle of Weight Gain & Obesity

In my last blog post about willpower, I described habits being neural impulse channels in our brain stimulated by a cue following a path leading to the same outcome each and every time – without exerting much effort. Researchers call the formation of these impulse channels habit-loop cycles.  Much of the original obesity research of the 19th century was conducted by psychiatrists and psychologists recognizing that people had habitual eating patterns.  Because of this, gluttony became the perceived influence of obesity.  This underlying philosophy still permeates the obesity research, treatment and low-carb dietary world today.  Yet, over the last 15 years, I’ve found that the habit-loop cycle is tied to powerful hormone responses. These responses to very subtle and often unknown triggers or cues powerfully drive weight gain, obesity and struggles with willpower.   How does the habit-loop cycle effect you?  Before we can change these habit-loop cycles, we have to understand what they are, and how they were created.

It’s All About That Basal Ganglia

All About That Bass (All About That Basal Ganglia) DocMuscles #KetonianKing

Meghan Trainor tells us that “It’s all about that bass . .  .” However, it’s really all about that basal ganglia. Deep inside our brains, close to the brain stem, at the location where the brain meets the spinal cord, is a little “nub” of neurological tissue called the basal ganglia.  This little nubbin of tissues was identified by the really smart scientists at MIT in the 1990’s as the location where habits are formed and executed.  The brain is – to take a quote from my favorite ogre, Shrek – “like an onion – it has layers!”

The Brain Is Like an Onion

If you picture the outer layers of the brain tissue, those closest to the hair and scalp, you can create a mental image of where our most complex thoughts occur.  When you think up a new invention, create a new way to cook with bacon, laugh at a friend’s joke, or link two complex thoughts about how habits form, you are using these outer layers of the brain.

Brain is like and onion DocMuscles #KetonianKing Habit-Loop Cycle
Like an Onion – It Has Layers! (DreamWork’s Shrek, 2001)

However, our interest today is deeper . . . much, much deeper.  Deep within the center of the brain at the basal ganglia is the location where our automatic behavior originates.  Swallowing, breathing and the startle responses are housed in this little nubbin of brain tissue.  It is this area of the brain that learns to recall and record patterns of neurological thought and stimulating action. This part of the brain has the ability, like the water drops on the mound we discussed last week, to record neural pathways and tracks leading to reduced mental effort and habit.  The basal ganglia even has the ability to store habits while the rest of the brain is asleep.  It is in this location, the basal ganglia, where the habit-loop cycle occurs.

Habits Created by Chunking

The habit-loop cycle is the process where the brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine.  The really smart guys at MIT call this “chunking,” and it is the root of habit formation.  There are hundreds of behavioral chunking activities that you and I rely upon every day.  Some of these are as simple as the process you use to squirt toothpaste on your toothbrush before brushing your teeth.  Others are more complex like getting dressed or making a lunch box for the kids.

The Habit-Loop Cycle in Your Car

A habit-loop cycle is performed by this little nubbin of tissue by millions of people every morning.  Take, for example, backing your car out of the garage.  When you first learned to do this, it required huge amounts of concentration – and for very good reason. You’re steering 3000-5000 lbs of steel between a 16 foot garage-door opening into oncoming traffic.  Basal Ganglia DocMuscles #KetonianKing Habit-Loop Cycle

Safely backing your car requires you to open the garage door, unlock the car, adjust the seat, insert the key into the ignition, turn it clockwise, move the rear-view mirror and the side mirrors to visualize any obstacles, put your foot on the brake, put the car into reverse, gently remove your foot from the brake, mentally estimate the distance between the garage and the street while keeping the wheels straight and looking over your shoulder, applying a slight pressure between the gas pedal and the brake, and in some cases, slapping your teenagers hand while they fiddle with the radio dial.

But think about it . . . did you actually put any thought into these actions this morning?  You and I probably did this once or twice today without any additional thought.  It happened because the basal ganglia took over and created a habit-loop out of it.  This routine, repeated hundreds of times, became a habit, requiring very little mental effort.

Your Basal Ganglia Makes You Fat

The habit-loop cycle occurs hundreds and maybe thousands of times throughout our day. It is the cycle that drives hundreds of our activities.  In fact, it is this same cycle, in combination with 30 different hormones, that drives our weight gain or weight loss.  Yes, I said it, your basal ganglia can make you fat.

Habits Make for a Smaller Brain

Your brain will try to turn any regular routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to slow down and conserve effort, energy and fuel. The efficient brain allows us to stop thinking about basic behaviors like walking, breathing and eating. This effort-saving effect of the brain is a major advantage, otherwise our brains would be huge, requiring heads the size of watermelons, or even the size of a water tower, causing their own weather systems.  Your wife will thank you for an efficient brain that is smaller and requires less room. Can you imaging giving birth to a watermelon or a small Chevy?  (Did you notice the size of Shrek and the Donkey’s head? Just say’n . . . )

Habits Are The Root of Behavior

What all this leads to is this – habits, as much as memory and reason, are the root of our behavior.  We often don’t remember the experiences that create our habits. However, once they are created, they influence our action without our own realization. Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit is a great resource for further information on how habits drive our behavior.

The Habit-Loop of Obesity

So, how does all this affect obesity and weight gain?  Let’s, first, look at the habit-loop cycle.  Researcher, Larry Squire, documented the habit-loop through three decades of research.  He and others published numerous articles showing that habits have a cue or trigger that stimulates a routine.  The routine leads to an outcome or reward.  The reward usually satisfies a craving.  Cue-> Routine -> Reward.  What we learn through our studies in obesity is that the reward often stimulates a hormonal response of 1-30 different hormones in brain and body leading to repeat cues or triggers.  The cravings are hormonally driven.  I call it the Habit-Loop of Obesity.

Habit-Loop of Obesity DocMuscles #KetonianKing Adam Nally

 

The Craving is the Key

Human psychology and emotion is the key behind habit creation.  First, there must be a trigger or cue.  Second, the trigger is attached to  a previously experienced emotion or craving tied to the cue.  The key to habit formation is the craving.  The craving is what stimulates the physical routine to occur.  It is an emotion or craving that drives the brain to create the habit. Third, there must be a clearly defined outcome or reward that satisfy the emotion or the craving. The emotion or craving doesn’t have to be associated with hormones, however, in the relm of obesity, it is usually tied together.

I am all about making things easier.  Your brain does it. We all do it.   And, I’m all about trying to help you lose fat and get healthy more easily. Let food be your medicine, let medicine be your food. That’s my mantra and that is as easy and natural as it gets.  But, in our day and age, we don’t always have access to growing and raising our own food.  That’s why my second mantra is – better living through chemistry.  So, I created the KetoKart.  Over the last 15 years of medical practice, I’ve found products and supplements that aid in letting food be your medicine, changing triggers, modifying hormones, and help to satisfy cravings in a healthy way to make your decisions easier.  Go to the KetoKart, see which package works for you and order it.  You’ll thank me.

How do  we change our obesity habits?  Stay tuned for the third part in this series: Fixing the Habit-Loop of Obesity.

So, I want to know . . . which package did you choose?

 

Quest for Life of Happiness #DocMuscles #KetonianKing #BaconBoy

Keto Happy – Do You Live A Life of Happiness?

Founded by the Secret Society of Happy People in 1999, August 8th was officially named the National Day of Happiness.  It was a day created to recognize and express happiness.  (I personally think it should involve the sharing of bacon, but some may disagree.)  Most people, whether they admit it or not, are searching for happiness.  (Most people are searching for bacon, too, . . . but that is for another article.)  We hope for happiness, we aim for happiness,  and we wish happiness upon our family, friends and neighbors at holidays and birthdays.  It appears to be a desired condition of the soul.

In medical school, we learn that the body is almost 80% water.  One of my professors intelligently quipped, “if you’re unhappy all day, that means you are essentially a cucumber with anxiety.”  For many people, happiness is really hard to find.  Money is hard to find . . . but, that’s because it gets wasted by people trying to find happiness

What exactly is happiness?  It is a transient condition or state of cheerfulness, contentment, satisfaction or pleasure.  Many people mistake meaningfulness as happiness.  Meaningfulness to one’s life is more enduring.  For example, suddenly having a wind-fall of cash may make you happy for the short term.  However, what you actually do with that cash over the next few days, months and years is what brings degrees of meaning to your life.

Basics of Happiness

Happiness is based upon your emotional & spiritual vision, and how living your life aligns with the principles you hold most valuable.  You can’t control all of the circumstances of your life. Things both good and challenging will happen to you that you never expected. However, you have control of your own happiness. You and I are the architects of it.

In working with a majority of patients who are over 65 years old, I have found that the older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness. We determine our happiness.

How do we increase our level of happiness?  There are 10 Simple Steps to Happiness:

1. Improving Health

As a doctor, I’m a huge advocate of improving your health which plays a dramatic role in happiness.  Losing as little as 10 lbs has been shown to improve energy, decrease your risk for major disease, improve sleep, improve sex life, and decrease inflammation.  Improvements in any of those areas will reduce stress and anxiety and increase happiness so you can imagine while improvements in ALL of these areas could dramatically change your life.

As an advocate of the ketogenic lifestyle, I’ve found that the majority of my patients are able to lose 5-15 lbs each month for the first three months using this approach.  They average 2-5 lbs pf weight reduction each month there-after while following a ketogenic approach over the long term.  Understanding that this is one of the long term keys to success in happiness I want to make sure you know that I’ve developed some custom strategies to help with this and will share them with you below.  This lifestyle decreases risk for diabetes by 75%, improves mental clarity, and slows the aging process. (Who wouldn’t want those side effects while eating bacon?)

2. Savor Daily Experience

BaconWrappedJalapeno #DocMuscles #KetonianKing
Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

First, savor the daily experiences.  We live our lives at such a high speed, we often neglect to take time to enjoy the experiences around us.  A recent trip in down town Amarillo, Texas, brought me to the front doors of a restaurant that served cream-cheese & sausage stuffed, bacon wrapped, jalapenos (try saying that 5 times fast).  I had a bit of time and decided to try them.  It was the first time in 3-4 days that I actually had the chance to slow down and savor the place around me, the flavors of the food, and the atmosphere of the restaurant.

BaconWrappedJalapeno #DocMuscles #KetonianKing
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno’s & Happiness

Just taking a bit of time to savor these things made this experience a very memorable and happy experience that I probably won’t soon forget.

Take 3-5 minutes today to just think about where you are.  Savor the smell of a rose, the color of the sky, the shape of the clouds or the sight of a bird. These sensory images can, and will, leave indelible memories and release dopamine and serotonin naturally in the brain.  Savoring the daily experiences of life can be part of the process of meditation we will talk about below.

3. Volunteer

Volunteer #DocMuscles #KetonianKing HappinessGet involved and volunteer in meaningful activities around your neighborhood, church & community.  Research shows that voluntarily giving of time increases happiness in the giver.  It also allows one to see, participate with and help those around you who may be less fortunate.  Volunteering your time and energy regularly increases your gratitude we will discuss further below.

4. Express Gratitude

Expressing gratitude daily has been shown to dramatically increase your sense of well-being and happiness.  Expressing gratitude requires awareness.  It requires you to take inventory of everything around you (something you will already be doing if you are savoring your daily experiences).  Gratitude can be expressed in a journal, through prayer & meditation, or directly to those around you.  However, expressing gratitude requires effort.Christ Leper #DocMuscles #KetonianKing

In the Judaeo-Christian view, expressing gratitude is actually a method of expressing faith.  The 17th chapter of Luke holds a biblical example of this concept. When the leper returned to express his thanks to Jesus Christ for being healed, he wasn’t told “Your gratitude made you whole.”  Christ told him, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.”  He implied that the act of expressing gratitude is a demonstration of faith, a necessary and essential process in human development.

5. Recognition of Personal Value

I’m not talking about your bank statement or personal financial statement.  I’m talking about recognizing the value of your soul.  The only successful non-medication based program to help people overcome addiction is the 12-Step Program through Alcoholics Anonymous.  The essential second step of the twelve is recognition that a power greater than ours is involved in our lives.  Whether, you believe in God or a greater universal power, recognition of your value is an essential perspective to gaining happiness.  This has been demonstrated thousands of times through the 12-Step Programs.

Often, the feeling we have of our personal worth is based on the love and interest we receive from those around us. Yet, this love is sometimes lacking. The love of men is often imperfect, incomplete, or selfish. What if you looked at yourself with the same benevolence, love, and confidence that God does? Imagine the impact it would have on your life to understand your eternal potential as God understands it. If you could view yourself through His eyes, what influence would that have on your life?  Recognition of this principle is essential to making any lasting change.

6. Become Who You Are

The celebrated Greek poet, Pindar, said, “Become who you are.”  Isn’t this a paradox?  How does one become who they already are?

Many of my and the younger generations grew up to the sounds and images of The Lion King. You probably remember the scene where Simba receives a visit from his father, Mufasa, the deceased king. After his father died, Simba fled from the kingdom because the guilt he felt about his father’s death. He wanted to escape his responsibility as heir to the throne.

Lion King #DocMuscles #KetonianKingHis father appears to him and warns him: “You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life.” Then this invitation is repeated several times: “Remember who you are. … Remember who you are.

Simba, completely shaken by this experience, decides to accept his destiny. He confides in his friend, the shaman monkey, that it “looks like the winds are changing.”

The monkey replies, “Change is good.”

And Simba says: “But it’s not easy. I know what I have to do. But going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.”

“Where are you going?” the monkey asks him.

“I’m going back!” cries Simba.

(This is also a great movie because of the “bacon references:”)

Admit it. You smiled didn’t you!

7. Meditation

Meditation Grand Canyon #DocMuscles #KetonianKingMeditation and prayer have been shown to actually change areas of the brain that relate to stress management and mood regulation.  People who meditate regularly over long periods of time have better ability to find and maintain positive states like joy and compassion. Richard Davidson and his colleagues found that meditation increases brain activity in areas related to happiness as well.

8. Relationships

Happiness has been linked to quality relationships as well.  Robert Wallinger, psychiatrist at Harvard University, conducted a 75 year multi-generational study on happiness.  He found that the quality of the relationships was powerfully connected to happiness. Lonely people were less happy and had poorer health.  People with higher-quality relationship or social ties were the happiest.

However, it wasn’t just having a relationship, but having one with a stable and consistently caring person that made the difference. Having lots of acquaintances or being in a relationship with an unreliable or abusive partner did not make people happier.  Amazingly, listening (savoring shared experiences) and complimenting (expressing gratitude) improve the quality of relationships.  (Sharing your bacon improves relationships as well.)

9. Food

A number of studies have demonstrated that a ketogenic diet increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a key neuro-hormone signaling satiety and pleasure, in the brain.  GABA increases sensations of happiness and euphoria.  (Yes, this is why eating bacon makes you and I happier.  It’s probably why the thought of bacon in the video above made you smile.)  Shifting into a ketogenic state at least periodically has the effect of increasing your sense of happiness throughout the day.   It is actually the ketone that does this.  Whether you get into ketosis through diet alone, or through the use of exogenous ketones, both methods are effective in aiding you in your quest for happiness.

10. Allow Others to Help

I know you are probably familiar with the term it is better to give than receive but did you know there is evidence to support the reverse is true too?  That happiness also comes from allowing others to help? Think about it. When you are helping others, especially when they appreciate it, you feel happiness or joy. Others experience those same feelings when they are able to help you. Think of a child that wants to make you a meal. No matter what it looks like when it gets to you, you smile and feel happy at the effort, the child smiles back proud at their success. There is happiness in giving and receiving. 

 

So today’s your chance to receive.  As a doctor, I find myself shying away from sharing this information with you directly because I never want anyone to feel like my efforts are about me. I’ve spent years learning and understanding the benefits of a Ketogenic lifestyle and spent additional years researching products that work and my local patients are experiencing tremendous results! A friend told me that not sharing this information with people directly was actually being selfish. (Ouch!) “When you know someone has a problem that you can solve, shouldn’t you share it and let them make their own decisions?”

Although that was painful to hear, it helped me commit to being more direct about how I can help all of you to feel better. If you are ready to change the way you feel and want to live a happier, healthier life, the time is NOW.  Put these 10 steps in action and enjoy the benefits of a KetoLifestyle. If you want to know more about what I do, keep reading my blog, join my weekly newsletter and watch me Live Stream every week on Facebook Live & Periscope giving you free tips and tricks to stay healthier. If you know you are ready for a change, and you want to see how I can help, check out the variety of Ketogenic programs I offer to help you find the Happiness inside You! Because we all love gifts and they make us Happy, in honor of #NationalHappinessDay, you should see a pop up here for something special!  ] Be sure to click here to go to the Keto Kart and cash in on better health!

However you decide to approach your day today, choose to be happy.  It really is up to you.

Cheesecake #DocMuscles #KetonianKing

Happy National Cheesecake Day!

Happy National Cheesecake Day!

Yes, you heard me correctly.  It is National Cheesecake Day today.  Today you must eat cheesecake – or you could be considered un-American.

“I can’t eat cheese cake, I’m doing a ketogenic diet!” you exclaim.

“Yes.  So am I.”

Eating cheesecake is actually good for you, (low-carb cheesecake that is) and it’s also good for your family. This is the perfect day for ketogenic cheesecake . . . like my wife Tiffini’s Low-Carb Key Lime & Blueberry Cheesecake and as my gift to you for #NationalCheesecakeDay, you can get the recipe by filling in that pop up box!

And, “NO – I know what you’re thinking,” you can never have too much heavy whipped cream.

So, why am I so excited about National Cheesecake Day?  I love low-carb cheesecake for a number of reasons.

Testosterone & Cheesecake

National Cheesecake Day makes me think of testosterone.

I know. Leave it to a man to start with testosterone, but in the big picture, a man really isn’t a man without testosterone, right?  I mean, it was during the 5th week of embryonic development that my Y chromosome began signaling the differentiation of male fetal growth in-utero.  And like every male, that same hormone, testosterone, continues to differentiate me from the human female counterpart throughout life.  (And, boy am I grateful for that.)

The reason testosterone comes to mind is that I see a large number of men with low testosterone.  Low testosterone has become a significant issue.  20-30% of the men in my practice suffer from some degree of suppression in testosterone when they first present in my office.   In fact, you can’t watch late night TV without being asked if your testosterone is too low (“Do you have Low ‘T’?”).

We know that the primary nutrient shown to affect testosterone to the greatest extent is fat. Studies reveal that diets low in fat and high in carbohydrates are associated with lower testosterone compared to diets high in fat (1, 2).  That begs the question, has 50 years of our low-fat high-carb diets made us less manly?  I am convinced, but I’ll let you be the judge when you look at the pictures below . . .

Manhood #DocMuscles #KetonianKing Cheesecake

When did this become acceptable?

MenThenMenNow #DocMuscles #KetonianKing Lack of Cheesecake

Testosterone is essential in providing energy, muscle mass & growth and actually keeping the waistline down.  Adequate testosterone is one of the key components allowing the man to fill the fatherhood rolls of protector and provider.

Female Brain Has A Testosterone Meter

Interestingly, the female brain is actually subconsciously wired to see the male physique and identify pheromones indicating your testosterone is higher or lower.  Most women won’t admit it, because they probably don’t even recognize it, but studies show that men who lack muscle, have lower testosterone and have a beer belly are actually less attractive to the female sex. Men who produce more testosterone produce androstadienone in their sweat at a greater concentration which can be detected by the female improving her mood, focus and sexual response (9).  If your diet isn’t helping you stimulate testosterone production, you’re less inclined to perform well in areas requiring its presence and you may be seen as less attractive by the women in the room.

That means that, bacon and eggs you craved this morning improve your manliness and actually give you more sex appeal. And, I’m sorry to say, the bagel and orange juice you had this morning are feminizing, they’re turning you into a woman, especially if you are like 85% of other men who over produce insulin because of insulin resistance.

When insulin is high and being over produced, it suppresses Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), lowering testosterone production.  The high insulin and high fructose of the bagel and orange juice stimulate increased uptake of fat into the fat cells and decreases adiponectin production.  This causes increase in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) which further decreases available testosterone.  High insulin and low adiponectin puts your “man card” through the wash.

Cheesecake and Men’s Muscles

Men need muscles for all sorts of important things.  It’s often Dad who carries the child on his shoulders, or lifts you above his head.  It takes muscles for that.

Father and Child #DocMuscles #KetonianKing Cheesecake makes better fathers

We talked about the importance of testosterone in muscle development.  That that’s not all.  Many men can provide for their families specifically because of their ability to use that muscle.  I’m not saying women can’t use muscle, too.  In fact, muscle is essential for the female body to be healthy. What I’m saying that there are a number of jobs that make our country function that require men who are fit. Jobs like policemen, firefighters, special-ops military teams, construction workers, life-guards & delivery drivers require the strength and power men bring to these fields.  These jobs require muscle, and specifically “manly” muscle from healthy testosterone.

In addition, we know that ketones, the primary fuel in a ketogenic diet, inhibit muscle breakdown by decreasing leucine oxidation and preserving muscle mass (3). Being in ketosis increases testosterone and increases the presence of leucine preserving and allowing for bigger stronger muscles. So, yes, visiting the donut shop actually does make you less manly by allowing the more rapid degradation of your muscles.

“Wasn’t it my muscles that first got your attention when we met and got this whole father thing started in the first place, honey?” I asked my wife in the kitchen.

“What?! No . . .” she responded.

“Oh, . . . never mind.”

Energy & Cheesecake

Whether you have great muscles or not, you need energy for the muscles you have to fill your role as a man.  Work requires energy.  As fat is increasingly used as your primary fuel, instead of sugar, the liver converts it into ketone bodies, or ketones.  The liver itself, doesn’t use the ketones, so they are taken up by the muscles and brain for fuel.  Increased energy, mental clarity and suppression of inflammation are the key findings that are noticed while using fat as your primary fuel.  What man couldn’t us a little more of that?

Health of Family Influenced By Father’s Health

In fact, several studies report that the man in the home has the biggest impact on the overall fitness and on the overall weight of his children. It was found that the father’s, not the mother’s, total and percentage body fat was the best predictor of whether or not the couple’s daughters gained weight as they got older (4).  All the more reason to keep your waistline under control, Dad. And, all the more reason to have low-carb cheesecake today.

Another fascinating study showed fathers’ (again, not the mothers’) body mass index is directly related to a child’s activity level (5).

Cheesecake Helps Rough-Housing

Energy and muscle is essential for “rough-housing” and there is science to prove that “rough-housing” makes your kids awesome!  Psychologist Anthony Pellegrini found that the amount of rough-housing children engage in predicts their achievement in first grade better than their kindergarten test scores do (10). What is it about rough and tumble play that makes kids smarter? Well, a couple things.

OldFasionedRoughHousing #DocMuscles #KetonianKing cheesecake

Rough-housing makes your kids more resilient.  Strengthening resilience is a key in developing children’s intelligence. Resilient kids tend to see failure more as a challenge to overcome rather than an event that defines them.  Intellectual resilience that comes from energetic fathers helps ensure your children bounce back from bad grades and gives them the grit to keep trying until they’ve mastered a topic.

Intelligence From Cheesecake?

Neuroscientists studying animal and human brains have found that bouts of rough-and-tumble play increase the brain’s level of a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF helps increase neuron growth in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, logic, social intelligence and higher learning–skills necessary for academic success.  We, also, now know that the brain that uses fat, or ketones, as its primary fuel recovers from injury and makes BDNF more effectively (6,7).

So, remember, that rib-eye with steak butter your kids gave you for dinner and the low-carb cheesecake you had for dinner is actually making you and them smarter and more resilient. You could even say that a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate gives your family more grit.

Overall Happiness from Cheesecake?

The Harvard Grant Study completed in 1934, the longest longitudinal study ever done on the lives of men, found that a man’s father influenced his life in multiple ways exclusive to his relationship with his mother. Loving fathers imparted to their sons:

  • Enhanced capacity to play
  • Greater enjoyment of vacations
  • Increased likelihood of being able to use humor as a healthy coping mechanism
  • Better adjustment to, and contentment with, life after retirement
  • Less anxiety and fewer physical and mental symptoms under stress in young adulthood

It should be noted that “it was not the men with poor mothering but the ones with poor fathering who were significantly more likely to have poor marriages over their lifetimes.” Men who lacked a positive relationship with their fathers were also “much more likely to call themselves pessimists and to report having trouble letting others get close” (8).

You, as a testosterone producing man and father, matter.  And, being in ketosis makes you an even better father! Seriously.

FatherSon #DocMuscles #KetonianKing cheesecake

When all is said and done, a man’s relationship with his father very significantly predicted his overall life satisfaction at age 75 — “a variable not even suggestively associated with the maternal relationship” (8).

So, to circle back, the low-carb key-lime cheese cake just made me more manly. Thanks, Honey!  Happy National Cheesecake Day!

Tiffini’s Low-Carb Cheesecake Recipe:

Crust:

2 1/2 cups macadamia nut flour (salted tastes better)

1/4 cup sweetener (Swerve)

1/2 cup butter melted

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and sweetener.  Stir in butter until well combined.  Press firmly into bottom and up the sides of a pie pan or spring-form pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes (watch closely so that the crust does not over-brown) 

Filling:

16 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp sour cream

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice with pulp

1 tsp lime zest

3/4 cup sweetener (Swerve or erythritol)

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, divided

1 tbsp gelatin or 1 envelope Knox gelatin

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, lime juice with pulp and zest together until smooth.  Beat in the sweetener until well combined.   In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of heavy cream and the gelatin.  Stir into the cream cheese until well combined.  

In another bowl, beat whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks.  Gently fold  whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Spread the filling over the cooled prepared crust.  

Refrigerate for a few hours until set and ready to serve with blueberries sprinkled on top.

References:

  1. Hamalainen, E., H. Aldercreutz, P. Puska, and P. Pietinen. Diet and serum sex hormones in healthy men. J. Steroid Biochem. 20:459-464, 1984.
  2. Reed, M.J., R.W. Cheng, M. Simmonds, W. Richmond, and V.H.T. James. Dietary Lipids: an additional regulator of plasma levels of sex hormone binding globulin. J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab. 64:1083-1085, 1987.
  3. Nair KS, Welle SL, Halliday D, Cambell RG. Effect ofβ-hydroxybutyrate on whole-body leucine kinetics and fractional mixed skeletal muscle protein synthesis in humans. J Clin Invest. 1988;82:198–
  4. Figueroa-Colon R, Arani RB, Goran MI, Weinsier RL. Paternal body fat is a longitudinal predictor of changes in body fat in premenarcheal girls. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Mar;71(3):829-34.
  5. Finn, Kevin et al. Factors associated with physical activity in preschool children.J of Ped., Vol 140, Issue 1, 81-85
  6. Vizuete AF1, de Souza DF, Guerra MC, Batassini C, Dutra MF, Bernardi C, Costa AP, Gonçalves CA. Brain changes in BDNF and S100B induced by ketogenic diets in Wistar rats. Life Sci. 2013 May 20;92(17-19):923-8.
  7. Masino SA, Rho JM. Mechanisms of Ketogenic Diet Action.  Jasper’s Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies [Internet]. 4th edition. Bethesda (MD): National Center for Biotechnology Information (US); 2012.
  8. Valliant GE. Triumphs of Excellence: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study. 1934
  9. Verhaeghe J, Gheysen R, Enzlin P. Pheromones and their effect on women’s mood and sexuality. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2013; 5(3): 189-195.
  10. DeBenedet A, Cohen LJ. The Art of Roughhousing. 2010. Quirk Books.
Bacon Grease DocMuscles #KetonianKing

Bacon Grease – The Healthy Essential Oil

Bacon Grease Is the Healthy Oil

Is bacon grease really healthy? People in my office stress out about getting all the healthy fats and the right amino acids.  I am asked all the time, which protein powder they should be taking?  Do I prefer fish oil or krill oil?  My answer to this is simple.

“Bacon grease.”

Disbelief Bacon DocMuscles

I know, I can see it on your face now. . . the blank stare of disbelief.

Yes, I said “bacon grease.”

If you are following a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, bacon grease is your essential oil. Let me explain why:

Bacon Contains All The Essential Amino Acids

Bacon, and the grease it creates, contains all the essential amino acids.  Yes, even the coveted branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).  Go ahead, have 3-5 slices for breakfast, but keep the grease and re-use it to cook with.  Because your saving yourself from having to buy expensive protein powders and less tasty versions of these essential muscle building blocks.

Bacon Is A Great Source of Choline

Bacon grease is a great source of choline, an essential nutrient for stabilizing cell membranes and making the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is one of the neurotransmitters absent in memory disorders and muscle disease.  Fascinatingly, choline helps in the prevention of fatty liver disease, a disease caused by the standard American diet that often progresses to non-alcoholic liver disease.

Choline has also been shown in a number of studies to help ward off Alzheimer’s Disease.

Bacon Grease Contains All The B-Vitamins

Bacon fat is a superb source of all of the necessary B vitamins.  It is also a superb source of Vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.  In fact all of the fat soluble vitamins – any vitamin that sounds like a letter of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, etc.- are found in animal fat.

Veggies Bacon Superpower DocMuscles

Bacon Grease Suppresses Appetite

Long-Chain fatty acids are satiating.  Bacon grease is a great source of the longer chain fatty acids and has a wonderful effect on suppressing your appetite.  That’s why Dr. Nally talks about it so often.  Bacon is the duct tape of the culinary world, and acts to suppress the cravings for the pie that might arise 30-60 minutes later.

Bacon Brings Happiness

When have you ever felt a frown after eating bacon?  That’s my point . . . you just smiled when that thought crossed your mind.  Seriously, don’t deny it . . .

Put a piece of bacon in your mouth, and it doesn’t really matter who the president is, what Kim Kardashian recently posted, or that you’re late for work . . . seriously.  Bacon in your mouth reminds you how good life really is.  If I die while eating a plate of bacon, my life will be complete.

My wife fries eggs in bacon grease for breakfast when she cooks.  I tell you . . . it’s edible love.

Bacon Stimulates the Heart

Bacon grease also contains a significant amount of medium chain triglycerides (caproic, caprylic, capric, and lauric acids).  These medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are all the rage in helping to maintain a ketogenic diet.  MCTs convert rapidly into ketones after absorption into the liver from the gut.  Rapid conversion of fat into ketones stimulate more effective contraction of the heart.  When the heart contracts more effectively, it releases atrial-naturitic peptide (ANP), that opens the “back door” in the fat cell allowing for more efficient fat burning and maintenance of ketosis.

Bacon Smells So Good

Many people us essential oils for the aromatic effect they produce on mood and anxiety.  Next time you cook bacon, check your mood.  Never has there been an aroma that is so inviting and calming.  Very few other aromas actually bring people to a dinner table.  And for you men out there, bacon grease improves your manhood.  Increased presence of ketones, and the appetite suppressing effect of bacon grease helps to stabilize testosterone and leucine.  This improves muscle development, enhances libedo, and prevents the progressive decline in testosterone leading to the “girly-man” status that occurs with so many men eating the standard American diet.

Let me leave you with one last question.  When is the last time you saw left-over bacon?

Exactly – the same time you saw leprechauns riding unicorns down your street after a rain storm.

So, cook that bacon . . . and save the grease.  Use it to cook your eggs or bake with it.  You’ll thank me later.

The KetoCure: Now Available for Pre-Order

KetoCure Cover

Pre-order your copy of my new book that will be available on September 26, 2017.  

The ketogenic diet isn’t just a great tool for helping people lose weight and feel their best; it’s also an extremely effective method for treating the common “diseases of civilization.”  The Keto Cure will give readers the prescription they need to heal their bodies by eating plenty of fat and moderating protein and carbs.

I’ve been advocating a low-carb, high-fat diet in my clinical practice for over fifteen years, helping people address their health problems by making better food choices. I teamed up with bestselling low-carb author and podcaster Jimmy Moore  to create a top-50 health podcast espousing the benefits of eating keto.  Now, for the first time, I’ve taken my years of clinical experience, put everything down on paper, and create a how-to guide that details all the ways in which the ketogenic diet can help remedy common ailments.

The Keto Cure details the science behind the keto diet’s effectiveness at treating a wide range of diseases, including:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Epilepsy
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hypertension
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Thyroiditis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • and many more

The Keto Cure also outlines practical tips gleaned from Dr. Nally’s fifteen-plus years in medical practice, as well as Moore’s ten-plus years as a health and wellness podcaster, on overcoming the common pitfalls that people experience when adapting to a high-fat way of eating, including fatigue and keto flu. This helpful information, combined with a wide variety of delicious keto recipes from international bestselling cookbook author Maria Emmerich, makes The Keto Cure a complete resource for healing oneself with the ketogenic diet.

Order your copy today!