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The Keto-Flu

So, you have the keto-flu.  No, you’re not contagious.  No, you can’t pass it on to someone else, or catch it when your friend who follows a ketogenic lifestyle sneezes.

Actually, congratulations are in order. You’ve just experienced the amazing metabolic shift that jump-starts the healing process in your body.  You’re shifting to a metabolism that optimizes the use of fat in the form of ketones.  During this transition, usually within the first week, people can experience a series of symptoms that have been dubbed the “keto-flu.”

Symptoms

What are the common symptoms of the keto-flu?

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Brain Fog
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Light-Headedness
  • Leg Cramps

These symptoms can last 3-5 days, in some people I’ve seen it last as long as two weeks.   But, if you weren’t expecting it, and you don’t know what it is, it can be kind of discouraging.  Don’t despair, however, if you know what it is, you can usually do a couple simple things to prevent it, or at least cause the symptoms to dramatically improve.

Cause

The keto-flu is usually caused by a shift in your body’s use of water and salt. Insulin causes the kidneys to retain sodium. When you change to a ketogenic lifestyle, your insulin levels fall to baseline and your body is able to use the sodium and potassium to remove the excess water production in each cell from fat burning. (If it didn’t, you’d swell up like beached whale.) This isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you need to add these electrolytes back into your diet in a greater degree.

The average adult human needs 3-4 grams of sodium each day and 3-4 grams of potassium each day to balance out water use and make all the cells happy.  So, what’cha wait’n for? Make your cells happy.

How To Treat It

I find that putting 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I like the Himalayan Pink sea salt because it contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc) in a glass of water cures the symptoms very rapidly, sometimes within minutes. It’s amazing how fast you suddenly feel the brain fog lift and your energy returns.

Another option is using a bouillon or bone broth with your meal. This adds to the overall enjoyment of the meal and replaces these needed electrolytes in a very tasty way.

If the salt replacement doesn’t do the trick, then your keto-flu may be related to the need for more fat. Often, people who start a ketogenic lifestyle cut out the carbs, but don’t put enough fat back into the system.

On the traditional American (or insert your own country of residence here) diet the body uses carbohydrate as its primary fuel and protein for building blocks. When you cut out the carbs, your body will continue to use the protein for building muscle, skin and connective tissue. However, if you don’t give it enough fat to replace the carbohydrate you removed, it’s like running your car on fumes.

You’re body will run for a while, but not very well.  And, in some cases, you’ll feel like you were left on the side of the road with a body that doesn’t want to go anywhere.  You’ll feel like the gas tank is empty.

If you’re not used to a diet higher in fat, your body also has to “fat-adapt,” sometimes called keto-adaptation.  This is the process of your gut and cells up-regulating MCT receptors (fat channels or doorways for fat) to enter more efficiently.  This can take a few weeks, and for some a few months.  Not giving yourself enough fat in a ketogenic lifestyle can slow this adaptation process and also give you keto-flu-like symptoms.

What If It Doesn’t Improve?

If the leg cramps haven’t improved with the replacement of the salts and fat, you might consider yellow mustard.  Mustard contains sinapoline that when metabolized through the acid of the stomach in the body has a byproduct that is similar effect to that of quinine.   Patients, and myself included find that dipping summer sausage or your favorite hard cheese in some yellow mustard before bed does wonders in prevention of muscle cramps or spasm.

If the nausea turns to vomiting, or if the headache or fatigue worsens with added weakness, then it’s time to call your doctor and get checked out.  Vomiting, weakness and worsening fatigue are signs of something more serious.  If this happens, call your doctor.

What About Exogenous Ketones?

Lastly, the addition of exogenous ketones (ketones bonded to a salt) are also very helpful in this transition period.  Drinking exogenous ketones provides added ketones, rapidly absorbed into the blood stream, and second they provide some of the sodium, potassium or magnesium needed as a replacement.  You can check out my Ketogenic Kick-Start packages here.  Or, you can go to Dr. Nally’s favorite ketone store at DocMusclesKetones.com and order them directly.

Either way, I hope you find this helpful as you transition to your Ketogenic Lifestyle.

Fixing Habit-Loop Cycle of Weight Gain #DocMuscles #KetonianKing

Fixing the Habit-Loop of Obesity

(Fixing the habit-loop cycle of obesity is the third article in a series on habits relating to obesity and weight gain: Willpower & Self-Discipline and Habit-Loop Cycle of Obesity)

“I want you to increase your fat to 70-80% of your total food intake . . .” I stated, before I was cut off by a loud gasp, followed by a chortle.  The 300 lbs male sitting on the exam table in front of me looked at me with a very skeptical smirk.

“You want me to eat fat to lose weight?!” he said after catching his breath.  “You’re the first doctor who’s openly blown smoke up my a** . . . ,” chided the rotund 42 year old male shaking his index finger at me as we discussed weight loss treatments.

“Although that was standard medical treatment of the Royal Humane Society for drowning victims in 1774, . . . .” I responded.  “No. I’m actually trying to help you lose weight by shifting the hormone signal in your body with food.” I replied as I recalled that the medical thought of the time was that a tobacco enema dried out the insides , warmed the body and increased the heart rate of the drowning patient.  I informed my patient that the use of tobacco smoke enemas fell out of favor around  1811 when its use for drowning, typhoid, headache and stomach cramping was found to actually be cardio-toxic and ineffective.

Tobacco Smoke Enema DocMuscles #KetonianKing

“So, . . . blowing smoke into your rectum won’t help you lose weight, nor will it help you maintain ketosis.  In fact, it might actually kill you.”  I added with a smile.

Eating fat is, however, one of the keys to hormone manipulation used to fix the Habit-Loop Cycle of Obesity.  So, how do we fix or alter the habit-loop of obesity discussed in the last two blog posts?

Four Part Habit-Loop of Obesity

The habit-cycle cycle of obesity consists of four parts:

Habit-Loop of Obesity DocMuscles #KetonianKing Adam Nally @DocMuscles
Habit-loops can be identified by a routine that satisfies a craving
  1. Trigger
  2. Response
  3. Reward
  4. Hormone Response

In my last blog post, we discussed how the trigger and the response are driven by or focused on a craving that may or may not be consciously perceived.  We also learned that breaking this habit-loop cycle takes willpower we talked about in my first article, and willpower can fatigue.  It has a daily shelf-life.

Fixing habits and creating new powerful habits requires identifying the components of your individual habits.  That means, first, identify the routine that occurs in a habit you want to change.  We want to identify a habit that drives you to eat carbohydrates when you really rather wouldn’t.  You’ve tried to stop, but you struggle and when fatigued, ignore your previous thoughts and imbibe on cookies.

Identify the Routine

Weight gain, fat entering and staying in the fat cells, is stimulated by the production of insulin.  Many of us who are insulin resistant, produce 2-15 times the normal amount of insulin when we indulge in carbohydrates.  That’s the master hormone part of weight gain. There are 29 other hormones that play a role in weight gain, however, turning them all on or off is driven by the routine you follow in your daily habits.

In my journey to understand my weight challenges, I found a pattern that was causing my middle to grow.  After a long day at work and returning home to have dinner with the family, I would often sit down to work on my charts, billing codes, labs and dictation from that day.  (Thanks to the wonders of the Affordable Care Act, this immense amount of work added 3-5 hours of “home work” to my already 10 hour day at the office, only to be completed late in the evenings.)

Even though I enjoyed a late low-carb dinner with my family when I got home, I’d find myself getting hungry 2-3 hours later.  While working on charts and trying to “push through” the pile of work in front of me, I’d start getting “hungry” around 10 pm.  I would find myself rummaging through the fridge and freezer looking for something to eat.  The problem was that I would find myself eating things that I normally wouldn’t, and I’d even find myself finishing off the quart of ice-cream in the back of the freezer left over from a birthday.  No matter how much I tried to avoid this behavior, I would frequently cave to cravings between 10 pm and 1 am.  (Yes, I heard the gasps from the ketogenic blogosphere, but I’m human, too.)  I knew that if I, an obesity specialist, was having these challenges, you probably are, too.

So, how does one change this kind of behavior?  The solution is found in the habit-loop cycle.

I started drawing out the loop.  Trigger –> Go to kitchen fridge/freezer —> Reward.

What is the Trigger?

I had to ask myself some questions.  What is the Trigger or Cue?

Was it actually hunger? Boredom? Stress? Fatigue?

What is the Reward?

What was the reward? Was it actually food? Change of scenery?  A temporary distraction? Energy from the food?

So, I had to experiment with my reward to find out.  Rewards are powerful because they satisfy cravings.  However, you and I are often not aware or conscious of the craving that actually drives our behavior or routine.  As Charles Duhigg states, “Most cravings are hiding in plain site. . . They are obvious in retrospect, but incredibly hard to see when we are under their sway” (1).

To figure out which craving drives which reward, I had to run a few experiments on rewards.  I asked my wife to make extra fat bombs and some of her low-carb cheese cake to have in the fridge.

The next few evenings I recorded what happened.  When I felt the urge to get up and go eat, I ate a few fat bombs.  But that didn’t take away the craving.  I tried going out and walking around the back patio and petting the dogs for a bit.  I tried drinking something different instead of my routine water, Diet Dr. Pepper or exogenous ketones.  No matter what I did, some of the evenings I still found myself rummaging the back of the freezer for something sugary.

What Action Eliminated the Craving?

My point here was to see which of these activities took away the cravings.  I wrote down how I felt after each activity, as well as what happened after I’d cheat late at night with ice cream or chocolate.  Just the action of journaling how I felt, my thoughts, emotions or words that came to mind was the key.  After waiting for 15 minutes, I wrote down three words or phrases that came to mind.

I found myself journaling: “Sleepy,” “Anxious,” “Tired,” “Still Hungry”

I found that eating something I should be avoiding, like ice cream, chocolate, or sweets (Even in a low-carb home you can still find some of these things), caused me to feel short term euphoria, more relaxed and suddenly more tired.

The brain will record the scribbled words as recollections attached to emotions.  It is easier to see patterns if you will actually write it down with pen and paper.  The goal is to isolate what you are actually craving.  The words and emotions attached to those words will give you an idea about your cravings and the cue driving it.

Five Categories of Habitual Triggers

Scientists have shown that almost all habitual triggers fit into one of five categories:

  • Location
  • Time
  • Emotional State
  • Other People
  • Immediately Preceding Action

So, in trying to identify the cue driving me to the back of the freezer, I write down five things that happen the moment the urge hits (I’ve included some of my actual notes in bold from my experiment):

  • Where am I? – Sitting in front of my computer at my desk in my home office.
  • What time is it? – 11:32 pm
  • What is my emotional state? – Tired, anxious, and overwhelmed by the volume of work
  • Who else is around? – No, one.  Everyone else is in bed
  • What action preceded the urge? – I looked at the clock while finishing a patient’s chart

I repeated these notes and the repetitive pattern I identified was that it was late (between 10 pm – 1am) and I felt very tired and anxious.

Look at the Pattern

I realized that I wasn’t actually hungry.  I was exhausted, anxious & tired.  My willpower was gone for the day.  Eating the sugary food has always caused me to have a huge insulin surge and when that happened, I always got more sleepy.  When I ate the sugary food, I got more tired – tired enough that I would start falling asleep at my desk and end up going to bed.

I found that the craving was not for sugar at all, but for sleep.  The cue was not hunger or boredom, but for time of day coupled with the emotions of fatigue and stress.  The combination of time of day with these emotions were the trigger that would kick in a routine of rummaging through the pantry or freezer for something sweet, leading to an insulin response (hormone) driving me to bed.  This routine had has a negative aspect, it kicked me out of ketosis causing weight gain and further cravings for the next 72 hours.

Make a Plan

So, I wrote out my plan:  Go to bed at 10 pm.

I actually found that I could get up earlier, exercise and my ability to focus in the morning was much more crisp, alert and I was more effective at getting my charting and labs done in the morning and throughout the day.  I haven’t rummaged the pantry for the last month and I dropped the inch off my waist that had crept back over the last year.

Now, I realize that some habits are much more difficult to break.  I expect that, but hopefully this will be a starting point for you and I to begin looking at some of the hundreds of habit-loops that affect us for good or bad throughout the day.

Sometime New Habits are Required Before Bad Ones Can Be Broken

Your ability to break some of the stronger habits occurs when you set other good habits (2, 3). Habits like regular daily exercise increase the likely-hood of changing or breaking other bad habits.  People get better at regulating impulses and avoiding temptations when they strengthen willpower with habits like exercise. Research shows that simply establishing a habit of exercise actually increased peoples ability to drink less, smoke less, eat better, and learn more effectively (3).

The key to change is repetition of an activity, thought statement associated with physical or emotional feeling.  The repetitive action of exercise 3-6 times per week when willpower is strong increases the emotion of excitement, joy and happiness.  The combination of the repetitive action physically with the emotions experienced by the accomplishment actually strengthens willpower and allows for naturally identifying and changing the triggers and cravings of other habits (3, 4).  It takes at least 3-4 weeks for people to experience the effects of forming a new habit, so be patient with yourself.

Using Hormones and Your Journal to Bridge the Habit-Loop Cycle Faster

This is where journaling and fat come into the equation.  The ingestion of an increased amount of fat in the diet stimulates three hormones: GLP-1, Protein YY, and Oxyntomodulin.  These three hormones suppress hunger cravings by turning down the effects of hunger hormones in the hypothalamus.  When we use fat as a fuel and as a reward, we can change the cravings and the weight at the same time.

We now know that the use of hormone stimulus, emotion and repetition of an action allow for parallel learning about and expecting the reward in the basal ganglia.  The basal ganglia is the region of the brain that streamlines complex learning. It is the part of the brain that allows you back up a car, or riding a bike without deeply thinking about steering, pedaling and balancing.  Shifting the food type to predominantly fat and lowering the carbohydrates changes the hormones in the brain.  When we add journaling, by physically writing and recording our emotions, the basal ganglia learns about this reward system faster (5).

If you are ready to change your life, feel more energy, have improved concentration, better sleep and lose weight, I want to help.  I’ve created a 30 Day Keto Kickstart Challenge Program starting October 1st.   Click on Kickstart Challenge to join this exclusive group of Ketonians as we use the principles in these articles to successfully improve health, lose weight and feel more energy.

And, to answer your burning question, “No! Adding tobacco smoke rectally . . . doesn’t help the habit-loop cycle.”

References:

  1. Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit. Random House, New York. 2014. p. 290.
  2. Oaten M, Cheng K. Longitudinal Gains in Self-Regulation from Regular Physical Exercise. Journal of Health Psychology. 2006.; 11: p 717-733.
  3. Baumeister RP, Gailliot M, DeWall CN, Oaten M. Self-regulation and personality: How interventions increase regulatory success, and how depletion moderates the effects of traits on behavior. Journal of Personality2006; 74: p 1773–1801.
  4. Oaten M, Cheng K. “Improvements in Self-Control from Financial Monitoring,” Journal of Economic Psychology. 28 (2007): p 487-501.
  5. Brown J, et al., How the Basal Ganglia Use Parallel Excitatory and Inhibitory Learning Pathways to Selectively Respond to Unexpected Rewarding Cues. Journal of Neuroscience. 1999. Online OpenBU edition: https://open.bu.edu/bitstream/handle/2144/2228/99.011.pdf?sequence=1
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.

Life-Balance Myth #DocMuscles #KetonianKing

Don’t Cry When It’s Over, Smile Because It Happened

Sometimes We Have To Let Things Go

Sometimes we have to let things go.  Not because we want to, but because life changes and some responsibilities become too heavy to carry. Sometimes we have the strength to carry the weight. But, the work of carrying offsets our balance. Balancing objects can occur when the foundation is stable and boundaries are secure.  Balance is the act of putting an object in a steady state of motion so that it does not fall or shift out of balance. Instability is the opposite of balance. Frequent attention must be given to the motion of the object to maintain stability.  This applies to objects, responsibilities, actions and even health.  But, balance in life is a myth.

Think about the Chinese acrobat. She balances on one arm, . . . then slowly adds a plate that is spinning on a stick. Then another stick, and another plate . . . However, the plates don’t keep spinning on their own.  Even though the plates appear perfectly balanced, she must periodically spin them to maintain balance.

There comes a point where more than three or four plates is too much to manage. Many of us live our lives afraid to add a plate, and on the flip side, many of us try to spin too many plates. The stress of too little or too much interferes with relationships, sleep, health and sense of well-being.

Chinese Acrobat #DocMuscles

Life-Balance Is A Myth

Our lives consist of attempting to balance multiple “plates” in the form of responsibilities or activities around us.  Attention is taken from one activity and focused on another until that responsibility or activity is back in balance.  This is why balance in life is a myth.  We move from object to object, responsibility to responsibility.  None of those objects ever remains completely balanced at the same time.  As we focus on re-balancing one task, the others slow and begin to fall out of balance.  As a husband, father, physician, speaker, entrepreneur and son of God, I wear many hats. I’ve frequently felt like a lone fireman, running from fire to fire with a garden hose, attempting to reset the balance in my responsibilities and put out fires.  I know you do too. We’ve had these conversations in my office.

Life-balance is a myth I bought into. It was placed on sale by life’s “well meaning middle-managers” in school and business. I kept thinking that at some point I could attain a perfect balance in all of my care-giving, parenting and relationship activities. Recognizing this myth has helped me make some very important decisions.

Learn To Say “NO”

I am a recovering “nice guy” and part of the “nice guy syndrome” involves understanding the myth of life-balance. Learning to say “no” is not easy.  I am learning to set boundaries. I am learning to stabilize foundations.  As a healer, I have an innate desire to help everyone, literally everyone.  This desire to help frequently comes at the detriment of family and those close to me.  The work of healing is seen as a “noble calling” in our society.  Because of this, I justified the need to help everyone with large amounts of time at my own expense.  I’ve spend hundreds of hours answering questions about health and weight at the expense and burden of myself and my family.  Saying “No,” even when an activity offsets needed balance is not easy for some of us.

Good, Better & Best

Part of that boundary setting is looking at those things that are “good, better and best.”  It requires looking at the objects, responsibilities and warming fires around us and deciding which ones are good, which ones are better and which ones are best. Balancing some objects and responsibilities are good, but may actually be taking time away from some of the better or best things we could be doing.  As we consider various choices in our lives, we need to remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice may be more costly, the much greater value may make it the best choice of all.  I’ve had to sit down with myself and my family, and make some challenging decisions.

I am learning to set boundaries.  Looking at what is most important in my life at this time isn’t easy.  However, it’s been made loud and clear to me that we must be able to forgo “good things” to do those things that are better or best.  In medical speak, continually fixing and fine tuning the thyroid hormones doesn’t help when leptin is out of balance.

How Many Psychological Carbs Are In Your Life?

Many of us must realize that many of the good things are “psychological carbohydrates.”  The carbs smell good . . . And they taste great.  But, forgoing the carbs brings the greatest return in areas of our lives that are most important. Those things that are better or best are more effective at strengthening our lives and those of our families.

Pick The Best Things In Your Life To Balance

One of those decisions is to leave KetoTalk.com.  The choice to leave relates specifically to selecting the best things that allow me to focus my time, energy and skills on being a good husband, father, physician and entrepreneur.  I’m sure the rumors will surge, and cyberspace will fill with speculation.  The truth is that I still have a wonderful relationship with Jimmy Moore, that has not changed.  He and I are still great friends.  Leaving KetoTalk was a very difficult decision.  I will continue working with him on my upcoming book The KetoCure, and we will still be working together on the KetoLiving.com line of supplements.  Non-of that will change.  What will change is my focus on activities that bring the best value to my patients and my practice while at the same time bringing the greatest value to me and my family.

I love people. I love to help people. Working with thousands of amazing souls in this ketogenic journey, is an immense blessing.  Unless I am assasinated by a rogue high-velocity vegan cucumber, I’m not going anywhere. You can find me and work with me here at DocMuscles.com.

How many plates are you spinning?  Do you need to let something go?  Is the good in your life keeping you from the better or the best?

So, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened and we became great friends.

 

 

KetoDynamic Successes . . .

Adam Tiffini 

As I reviewed my website recently, I realized that I have posted lots of science but I’ve never posted any success stories.  So, as patient’s are comfortable & willing to share, I will begin posting these experiences here on the blogosphere for the world to witness their successes and the power of the KetoDynamic Antidote.  

The first success story is my own.  This picture of me and my wife, were taken after I had been following a ketogenic lifestyle for about 4 years.  I dropped 60 lbs, normalized my cholesterol and blood sugar also normalized.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t recommend these lifestyle changes unless I was willing to follow them for the long haul myself. I call people following a ketogenic lifestyle for longer than a year “Ketonians.”

Not only mine, but hundreds of patient’s having similar successes have become the greatest reward to my career as a physician over the last 15 years.  They are truly the “KetoDynamic Moments” that etch themselves into my memory and have made me such an advocate of a ketogenic lifestyle.  Therefore, it is with great honor and excitement that I have been allowed to share Michelle’s story below. 

  
Michelle started seeing me in October 2015. She has struggled with weight all her life and, now in her late 40’s, weighed 201 lbs with a waist circumference of almost 36 inches and a body mass index of 32.  Her “before” picture was taken just before a Halloween activity in 2015.  Her “after” picture was taken in late March 2016.  

A simple ketogenic lifestyle change ( <20g of carbohydrates, moderate protein for her ideal body weight & increasing fat to > 60% of total calories) has produced almost 50 lbs of weight loss and 6 inches off her waist in just 5 months.  This was with dietary change only (Michelle doesn’t exercise) and she’s still losing weight.  What is dramatic, and I see it every day, is that Michelle looks younger by at least 10 years (she actually added 20 years to her life span with this weight loss already).  She feels fantastic.  Blood sugar and cholesterol are now under control and she has tremendous amounts of energy.  Her picture in March is at a body mass index of 29.
Michelle doesn’t calorie restrict. She just eats until she is full.  Congratulations, Michelle!!! And, keep up the great work.

If you’d like to share your KetoDynamic successes with me and my audience, please let me know.