Tag: Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide for a Gluten Free Diet

The Ultimate Guide for a Gluten Free Diet

Starting a gluten free diet can be a bit awe-inspiring. All around the world, whole grain food is most preferred. However, some people have digestive issues like celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. So they have to avoid diets that contain gluten in rich quantities. And some people find it makes for a great weight loss diet!

But no matter your reason for starting a gluten free diet, with only a little effort and dedication, you can be well on your way to better digestive health and weight loss. All you need is a simple diet plan, like this one, to follow regularly. After which you may find a gluten-free diet is more enjoyable to you.

And in this ultimate guide for a gluten free diet, we have some great tips to help make gluten free eating easier for you!


What is Gluten?

Most people don’t really know what “gluten” is. So, first of all, let’s talk about it!

Gluten is a specific type of protein found abundantly in foods like barley, rye, oats, wheat, and spelt (remembered easily as B.R.O.W.S.).

Examples:

  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Oats
  • Beer

How to know if you are Gluten Intolerant or not?

Gluten intolerance has many symptoms. But diagnosing it on your own can be quite challenging. The reason being there is a broad range of inflammatory response that is caused by gluten intolerance. And most of them are internal or very subtle. So this systematic inflammatory response can never truly be diagnosed without medical testing.

However, the first step in diagnosing gluten intolerance, or some issue related to your villi, is determining if you have any symptoms of gluten-intolerance. Then, to officially diagnose gluten intolerance, you will need to take 2 more steps:

  1. Clinical testing
  2. Eliminating gluten from the diet for some time and reevaluate your symptoms

The same goes for diagnosing Celiac Disease.


What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an extreme form of Gluten Intolerance. And it is a condition that is triggered only by ingesting gluten.

When a person with Celiac Disease consumes gluten their intestines have an extreme inflammatory response, similar to other allergic reactions, and tries to fight off the unwanted proteins.

This mere consumption of gluten then causes damage to small intestines. And over time leads to loss of organ tissue and even organ failure. This internal damage also leads to the inability to absorb nutrients properly, eventually causing weakness.

Additionally, the long-standing utilization of a gluten-containing diet by people having celiac disease is susceptible to having everlasting health tribulations, such as:

  • Malnourishment
  • Malignancy
  • Other autoimmune circumstances
  • Reduced bone compactness

Generally, one out of a hundred people are susceptible to having a celiac disorder.

How long do you need to be on a gluten free diet to see noticeable results?

If you notice some of the symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you should go gluten-free for a minimum of two weeks.

However, for the complete elimination of the disorder, it is recommended to be on at it for almost three months. That is the correct time in which your villi come back to the normal state, and the small intestine restores usual health standards.


What you can’t eat on a Gluten-Free Diet

If you want to be on a gluten-free diet, then you need to know what is in everything you consume. To be gluten free, you cannot eat anything that contains barley, rye, oats, wheat, or spelt.

That means no:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Beer
  • Fried Chicken
  • Baked Goods
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereal

*Unless they are Certified Gluten Free.

Though it may seem like there is a lot you can’t eat on a gluten free diet, there is far more you can eat. You just have to change your habits and find new things you like. That may be a gluten free version of your favorite baked good, pasta, or bread. Or it could be something new entirely!


Gluten-Free Foods

Here are all the healthy and enjoyable things you can eat on a gluten free diet!

  • Meat & Fish
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Dairy Products
  • Most Herbs & Spices
  • Beans & Legumes
  • Tofu

So, really, all you are doing on a gluten free diet is eliminating one unnecessary food group! Which then leaves more room for all the rest!

What is Tofu? And why you need a Super Tofu Press?

Tofu is a gluten free high protein and low-fat product that is created using soy milk. It is packed in the water, much like a sponge. And to get the original flavor of tofu, you need a super tofu press to drain out the extra water.

Tofu is highly recommended for people with gluten-intolerance due to its low fat and high protein content.


Fitness Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet

A gluten free diet can be very beneficial to anyone. Especially for those suffering from a celiac disorder.

Benefits of a Gluten Free Diet include:

  • Relieve digestive issues and even improve nutrient absorption
  • Cure constipation and diarrhea
  • Decrease gas and stomach bloating

The Final Word on Gluten Free Dieting

Today 1% of the general public has stomach issues, primarily associated with small intestine villi. And gluten intolerance is the main cause.

Starting a gluten free diet can help fix this issue for most people. And by doing so, you will be able to get a completely healthy intestine and stomach.

Just follow this ultimate guide for gluten free diet, and you are well on your way to a healthy body!

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7 Unexpected Health Benefits of the Keto Diet >>

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The Ketogenic Diet for Athletes: Main Pros & Cons

The Ketogenic Diet for Athletes: Main Pros & Cons

Many people are sure that active sports and a keto diet are not compatible. They believe sports records can be set only by absorbing a lot of protein and carbohydrates. So, let’s see how a keto diet training differs from the usual training methods of others.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

Technically, all types of regular physical activity can be attributed to two types:

  • Aerobic Exercise: Low-intensity and high-duration exercises, such as long-distance running, low-intensity aerobics, walking, and cycling.
  • Anaerobic Exercise: High-intensity and short-duration exercises, such as strength training, Crossfit, and short-distance races.

In a state of ketosis, our body is predisposed to an aerobic type of physical activity. Glycogen, which is stored in the muscles, can be spent in one marathon. But there are great fat reserves in the body of even a very slender person. So there will be enough ketones for a very long period of physical activity.

Team Athletes

Keto Diet and Strength Training

First of all, let’s determine for what purpose you are using a combination of a keto diet plan for athletes and strength training.

Option A: You are already on a ketogenic diet and would like to increase muscle mass and strength. In this case, it is worth keeping a positive balance of daily calorie intake; taking into account regular training, and maintaining the perfect keto ratio of 20/75/5. Sometimes, a slight shift towards protein is precisely recommended in cases where the goal is to increase muscle mass. Read some reviews on the best keto protein powder to learn more. Also, your proportions may change slightly to 25% of calories from protein, 70% of calories from fat, and 5% of calories from carbohydrates.

Option B: While in ketosis, you are trying to reduce body weight, in particular, get rid of excess body fat. Here, of course, the calorie balance should be negative while maintaining the same classic keto ratio of 20/75/5.

How to Build Mass >>

How to get Lean >>

Keto Training Details

However, no matter which option you choose, the pros and cons of the keto diet during strength training remain the same and comply with the following parameters:

  • Training frequency: No more than 2-3 times per week. After several weeks from the beginning of strength training, it is advisable to break the trainable muscle groups by days – training each muscle group once a week.
  • Selection of Exercises: Without a doubt, preference should be given to compound exercises. Ideally, these should be free-weight exercises. But if you replace them with exercise machines due to poor technique or old injuries, this would be a worthy alternative.
  • Repetition Mode: It is optimal to adhere to a range of 5-8 repetitions in working sets. You should select your working weight within two sets into the exercise.
  • Training Duration: Workouts should not exceed one hour, provided that you exercise at a calm pace. Thus, you will get 5-6 exercises for 3-4 sets.

Compliance with the above principles is due to the essence of the impact of strength training on a keto diet for athletes.

Understand that the main task of this type of load on the musculoskeletal system is to stimulate the production of hormones – testosterone and growth hormone. This production begins after the training is complete, and the rest and recovery phase begins. That is why strength training should not be frequent.

Intermittent fasting, with the right approach, in combination with a keto diet, will help in the production of growth hormone.

Get a Workout Plan >>

Conclusion

Our advice is to treat regular strength training as a daily routine. This is precisely the place it should occupy in your life. And most importantly, remember: the main influence on metabolic processes is not in what to eat before your workout on a keto diet, but after – in the recovery period. And special attention must be given to the quality of recovery. First of all, use stress-reduction techniques and take care of healthy sleep.

Do you practice keto diet and strength training? Do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section!

About the Author: My name is Adam Reeve and I have been a professional personal trainer and fitness instructor for over 10 years. Also, I’m a life coach, wellness writer, and low carb diets, enthusiast.

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Keto Diet – 7 Unexpected Health Benefits

7 Unexpected Health Benefits of the Keto Diet

People have been flocking to the Keto Diet in recent years because of its reputation for enhanced weight loss. And a survey of dieticians in the United States in 2020 showed that the Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet will continue to be the most popular fat loss diet this year. But there are tons of other health benefits of Keto apart from total weight loss.

You might already know that ketogenic diets were actually developed to reduce symptoms in epilepsy patients. Or that Keto can help to boost your immune system function. However, there are lots of other unexpected health benefits that are contributing to the Keto diet reigning supreme.

So, here are seven other unexpected health benefits of the Keto diet…


1 – Lowered Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

On a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are cut to just 5% of your daily food intake. High-fat and low-carb intake is part of the keto basics. Your body usually breaks down carbs to produce glycogen which fuels your body. On Keto, the high fat intake and reduced carb intake trains your body to start burning fat into chemical compounds called ketones for energy instead.

Type 2 diabetes usually develops as a response to overconsuming sugary and starchy foods. Eating too much of these foods causes your pancreas to make high levels of insulin in an attempt to regulate blood sugar levels. When your insulin levels are consistent that high, your body becomes resistant to insulin which is a key marker of Type 2 diabetes.

But on the Keto diet, your body is not relying on carbs and sugar for energy. The drop glucose helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and therefore lower insulin levels. Doctors often recommend lower carbohydrate intake for patients with Type 2 diabetes, and studies have shown that the Keto diet helps to improve weight loss and reduce insulin levels.


2 – Alleviation of Depression & Anxiety Symptoms

Depression and anxiety are closely linked to the brain. And early research has begun to establish a link between ketogenic diets and the alleviation of typical symptoms of these common conditions.

A study conducted on rats showed promising results. Low physical activity is a common symptom of depression in people. In this study, one group of rats were put on a ketogenic diet. Those rats showed similar results to other groups of rats that had been treated with antidepressants. The scientists concluded that the Keto group were less likely to show “behavioral despair.”

In another study, one group of pregnant mice were fed ketogenic diets while another group was fed a standard diet. The mice born to the Keto group were more active physically than their standard diet counterparts.

The exact link between Keto and depression and anxiety has not been established. But anecdotal feedback among people who suffer from depression and anxiety has been very positive so far.


Improved Sleep Quality

3 – Improved Sleep Quality

In the short term, Keto can actually have a negative impact on your sleep. This is most likely due to lower levels of serotonin and melanin. But these symptoms are short-lived. And research suggests that in the long term Keto can lead to better quality, deeper sleep.

Once you transition into ketosis (when your body is primarily burning fat into ketones for energy), your body settles down into better sleep patterns. Not only does Keto result in a deeper sleep and increased time in the all-important REM cycle, but a study by the International League Against Epilepsy found that people on Keto diets also needed less sleep time.

Learn more about proper sleep >>


4 – Healthier Liver Function

Fatty liver is a chronic condition that can lead to very serious health implications including cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It’s also a condition that affects around 25% of adults in the Western world.

Two significant research studies have shown that low-carb diets, such as the Keto Diet, can quickly and dramatically reduce liver fat and the risk of these conditions. The first was a small study but produced highly compelling results. Participants experienced a massive loss of liver fat when following a low carbohydrate diet.

In another study, patients following a ketogenic diet showed significant improvement in the risk for non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD), liver scarring, and a 60% reduction in liver fat.


5 – Increased Brain Function

In the early twentieth century, ketogenic diets were developed to help relieve symptoms in epilepsy patients with groundbreaking results. More recently, studies suggest a link between the Keto diet and reduced risk for other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease amongst others.

Some followers of Keto experience alleviation of chronic ailments like headaches and sleep disorders. It also has the potential to decrease the risk of certain brain cancers.

The science behind Keto and improved brain function is complex and not conclusively established. But scientist’s early research suggests the production of certain chemicals and ketones interact differently with the brain as a more efficient energy source.


Cardiovascular Health

6 – Healthier Cardiovascular System

Following the Keto diet has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health and may help prevent heart disease. However, this health benefit is closely linked to the nutrition sources used by Keto diet followers. It’s vital that your high fat intake is achieved from healthy sources and the “right” type of fat.

For example, a study in 2010 found that, between two low-carb diet groups, those that sourced their fats from vegetables and rich Omega-3 fatty acid foods decreased the risk of heart disease by 23% more than those who sourced fats mostly from meats.

To derive cardiovascular health benefits from Keto, it’s essential to source fats from unprocessed options like avocado, salmon, and nuts.

Learn more about proper Diet >>


7 – Improves Acne

Much of the evidence that says ketogenic diets improve acne is largely anecdotal. However, when you examine what we know about how acne flare-ups are triggered, combined with conclusive biological changes due to ketogenic diets, the effect of Keto on acne makes sense.

Acne is caused by a build-up of excess oil on the skin through sebaceous glands. This causes blockages in the pores which result in acne breakouts.

In one small study, it was found that diets low on the glycemic index reduced insulin levels and androgens (male hormones) which contributed to a reduction in acne. Keto is also proven to reduce inflammation in the body. And since inflammation can drive acne flare-ups, it’s logical that this may be a contributing factor in how ketogenic diets alleviate acne symptoms.

It’s pretty clear that the benefits of ketogenic diets go far beyond weight loss. So, if you’ve been thinking of trying Keto to eat clean and improve your general health and wellness, give it a try!


Keto Diet Starter Guide

Get started on your Ketogenic Journey today with this awesome infographic from TotalShape.com.

The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Starter Guide - Infographic

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Hydration for Athletes and Lifters

Hydration for Athletes and Lifters

What is Hydration?

First, hydration is a balance of fluids in the body or having adequate fluids within the body tissues. There are many factors which affect the balance of fluids within the body as our systems are constantly functioning and changing. Your fluid balance will change depending upon activity, temperature, electrolyte balance, fluids consumed and many other factors. So make sure to follow good hydration practices for optimal performance and health.

Good Hydration Practices:

  • Always carry fluids with you.
  • Consume water regularly throughout the day.
  • Drink 1 Liter of water within one hour of first waking up.
  • Drink at least 0.7oz X Bodyweight of water during active days.
  • Consume 1/2 Liter of a 6% saturated (60g per 1 Liter) solution of carbohydrates in sodium water (400-500mg per Liter) for each hour of your training.
  • Consume an extra 1 Liter of water, or more, when exposed to hot conditions.

Effects of Dehydration

Hydration is important because even a slightly dehydrated fluid balance can have negative effects on your body’s systems, health, and overall performance.

The effects of dehydration affect all tissues within the body. The blood is the smallest fluid compartment in the body and regulates the fluid within the surrounding cells. So fluid loss affects the cardiac system the most. This is due to a decrease in blood plasma volume, which holds a large amount of oxygen and allows for normal cardiac output.

This loss also decreases the blood flow to the skin. This mechanism is used to cool the blood and decreases sweat rate, therefore, decreasing core temperature. An increase in core temperature increases the likelihood of heat exhaustion and other dangerous heat-related illness.

Effects on Performance

The effects of dehydration can also have a great effect on athletic performance.

1A fluid loss of even 2-3% (% of body weight) can decrease your VO2 Max (aerobic performance/ the amount of oxygen the body can use) by 5% and fluid loss of 5% can decrease work capacity by 30% (fluid loss % based upon body weight). Those are major effects occurring after only slight dehydration.

The effects of dehydration are a major concern for endurance athletes that compete continuously for over 1 hour, but there is also a concern for athletes performing high-intensity exercise. 1It has been found that a fluid loss of only 2.5%, prior to exercise, can decrease the capacity for high-intensity exercises, such as sprinting or powerlifting, by 45%. That is nearly half of the athlete’s work capacity decreased just by not staying hydrated before performing.

Even for non-active individuals, hydration is important for proper body function. A constant state of dehydration leads to:

  • frequent headaches or migraines
  • rough skin
  • decreased muscular function
  • decreased joint function
  • joint pain
  • decreased kidney function
  • and multiple health problems

Many health and performance concerns can be alleviated by simply staying hydrated daily.


How to Stay Hydrated

Luckily, our bodies are smart and they do not give up fluid easily. So normal hydration is not difficult to maintain.

The kidneys filter your blood, removing waste, and maintain proper fluid balance within the body. There is a constant battle between the pull of fluids inside the body versus the pull of fluids out of the body. The side which has the most pull will take most of the fluids. If the pull is too great in one direction or the other, there is an imbalance that will have negative effects.

To be in fluid balance, the pull of fluids out of the body should be equal, or slightly greater, than the pull of fluids inside the body. If the pull of fluids is shifted towards a pull inside the body, then you are in a state of dehydration. This pull allows the body to maintain a constant blood plasma volume. Which then brings fluids to all other cells within the body.

The pull of fluids out of the body is based on the number of waste products that need to be removed through the urine. If there is a greater pull of fluids out of the body through urine then you are either hydrated or there is a major amount of waste product that needs to be removed. This waste can be excess sodium, or other electrolytes, proteins and nitrogen from broken down cells, or toxins within the body. 

Your body wants to get rid of these particles but needs water as a transport. So the more you workout and break down tissue, the more fluid you need to get rid of the waste.

Salt, Water, and Sugar

In the kidneys, Sodium, Water and Glucose are filtered together and move together. One of the major functions of sodium, an electrolyte [Na+], is to help maintain fluid balance within the body’s cells.

In the body, water follows sodium in order to maintain a constant concentration gradient (or fluid balance). This is from comparing particles in and out of the cells.

Also, for every gram of carbohydrates in the body, in the form of glycogen, there are 2.7g of water attached to it. This gives sugary sports drinks an advantage for hydration. If there are sodium and carbohydrates within a water-based drink, such as sports drinks, then there is a large pull towards fluids inside the body during absorption and filtration. This is why it is important to utilize appropriately concentrated sports drinks during long-duration exercise to stay hydrated.

However, that does not mean you always need a sports drink to stay hydrated. You have to earn it! If you are not doing intense exercise for at least one hour, then all you need is water for hydration. Only excessive and exhausting exercise requires more.

The most optimal concentration of carbohydrates in water for hydration is 6% concentration. That is 6g per 100mL or 60g of carbohydrates per Liter of water. The amount of sodium needed within the solution varies depending upon the individual, but it is also an important part of replenishment. The standard sodium content should be enough to taste like Ocean water or about 400-500mg per Liter of water.

It was also found that cold fluids moved through the stomach faster allowing for faster absorption in the intestines. So keep fluids cool during exercise, when possible.

The Perfect Hydrating Drink

To stay hydrated during exercise sessions exceeding one hour, continuous or not, drink ½ Liter of cool water with about 30g of fast digesting carbohydrates, in the form of sugar, for every hour of activity.

Throughout the day manage fluid intake by consuming water. You should consume the same amount of water that you lose throughout the day so that fluid in equal fluids out. This will help to maintain a state of hydration while allowing for urine production to remove waste products.

For individuals with a high activity level, drink a minimum of 0.7oz per pound of bodyweight to stay hydrated while removing the waste product from excessive muscle contractions.

During hot days, consume at least one extra Liter of water to account for the excess fluid loss from skin dissipation or sweat.


Final Thoughts

Overall, staying hydrated is not difficult but if neglected it can have major negative effects on your body’s ability to perform and function properly.

The first step to hydration is being prepared. If you are going to be away from a water source for a long period then carry enough fluids with you. Think ahead and know what you need to consume for the activity you are doing.

Also, learn to enjoy water. You should not constantly be craving water, as that is a sign of dehydration. However, you should not dread every drink you take. Water should make up a majority of the fluid you drink so have no complaints about the taste.

It takes some dedication to consume a large amount of fluid daily for active individuals. However, it takes the same dedication to be fit and healthy. By neglecting to stay hydrated you are neglecting to maintain a healthy functioning body. Just be consistent and you will find it is not as hard as you may think.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and stay hydrated.


Credits:

1 = Gleeson, M. Ph.D., Jeukendrup, A. Ph.D. (2010) Sports Nutrition, Second Edition. Excerpt.

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/dehydration-and-its-effects-on-performance

For more on hydration, watch this video!

Death of the Diet

Death of the Diet

Diets are dying. Not because they do not work. In fact, many of them work very well.

The problem has always been what comes after the diet ends.

Just by stating that you are “on a diet” implies that there will be some end to your current eating habits.

This does not mean that you will break the guidelines of your diet for a short period of time but rather that at some point you will either adopt a new set of dietary guidelines or have none at all.

This confuses your body as it has to get used to a whole new set of parameters everytime you change your diet, or you will just lose all your progress by having no guidelines at all.

Not only that, but many diets can be dangerous and even harmful. Though they may have great short-term results, they can ruin your long-term health.

Diets are only temporary and dieting needs to end!

A better, more long-lasting way of staying healthy through dietary means is to stick to a set of principles that become a way of life.

These principles need to look out for your body’s long-term health while improving performance. For that reason, we created our own set of Principles with your health in mind.

Learn more about our Diet and Nutrition Principles Here!

Our Diet and Nutrition Principles will look out for your body’s health no matter what diet plan you follow!

Use them to improve your physical performance while maintaining a healthy body for years to come!

Also, check out some of our Nutrition Articles:


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