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Got the sugar out of the way, feeling pretty good, now the excess water is gone, and your weight loss is moving a little slower than it was previously. Are you doing everything right? Have you forgotten something, or are you just unsure? This article will give you a good idea of what to focus on.
This one is a no brainer. We get busy and forget. I once read that we should drink an oz a day for each pound of your body’s goal weight. Drinking 100 ounces a day is a great start. Don’t force yourself to drink, but stay hydrated. It cuts cravings, keeps you full, and gives your body the lubricant it needs. Water does a body good.
Consume Enough Good Salts:
Feed those electrolytes! Salt is something we hear that should be reduced. NOT on KETO. Sodium and Potassium are important electrolytes and when eating a SAD, Standard American Diet, we are bombarded with these elements in the extreme. But while eating KETO, we must protect our electrolytes. We use Pink Salt, like Himalayan Sea Salt, the trace elements and nutrients from this type of salt puts that white stuff in cardboard to shame. One teaspoon is about 2 grams of sodium. Be generous with your salt. This will also help to eliminate muscle cramping, headaches, and fatigue, which will be your first signs that you are not consuming enough salt.
Practice Intermittent Fasting:
Insulin has taken over our blood streams and therefore we have become insulin resistant. Can’t get full, always craving, we need to cut this insulin production to a minimum. Every time you place a bite of food in your mouth, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood stream. By intermittent fasting, you reduce the amount of time you produce insulin. What is intermittent fasting? It is eating your daily food within a window of time, and NOT eating at all the other portion of the day. Some do 16/8 hour windows of fasting to eating, some do 20/4 hour windows. If you are just starting out, this is something to grow into. No fear. If you are hungry eat. If this is something you want to incorporate, just begin to stretch your time between eating by a half hour or hour at a time. Fatty hot drinks will help with this tremendously.
Improve Your Sleep:
Poor sleep habits will quickly interfer with your weight loss and KETO success. The only time that your body can heal is when you are at rest. Set yourself up for good sleep. Get to bed at a reasonable time. Strive for 7-9 hours each night. Keep your room cool, use ear plugs if necessary, keep your room dark, limit screen time (TV/Phone/Computer) prior to sleep.
Get Regular Exercise.
This does not mean that you need to join a gym or do high intensity exercise to be successful with KETO. A walk, 20-30 minutes a day will improve your circulation and your attitude. Exercise is good for the body and soul. It will get your blood flowing and will active the glucose transport molecule in the liver and muscles. Don’t overdo it. Cortisol levels, (the stress hormone) increases with high intensity exercise. Cortisol will also create an insulin response. Make it pleasant, and be intentional with your schedule.
Improve Your Bowel Motility:
Constipation is one of the biggest challenges people have on a KETO diet. It will drive your stress hormones up along with your blood sugars. It often occurs because of dehydration, Inadequate electrolyte intake, (sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium in particular) and stress. Adding extra fat to your hot liquids will help this out quickly. But don’t add too much too soon. Increase it slowly, or you may end up with the opposite problem.
Don’t Eat Too Much Protein:
Many people consume too much protein on this eating plan. When you consume excessive protein, your body will turn the amino acids into glucose and you will burn sugar for fuel. Too much protein can keep you from achieving ketosis, or kick you out of it. But protein is a critical macro. It is important to calculate the proper amount of protein for your body size using a solid macro calculator. I suggest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzcA4yl5YGI.
Choose Carbs Wisely:
Vegetables are not all alike. Non-starchy greens are healthy and add to a well balanced meal. Small amounts of low glycemic index fruits like berries with fat are also a great way to round out a meal. Avoid root vegetables and winter vegetables. I was shocked to see how many carbs are in a butternut squash, or a carrot. Lemon juice is great as an additive to water, but if you are consuming ½ cup of lemon juice over the course of the day, you may be surprised to see your carbohydrate count. Also check ingredients in your spices. Onions and tomatoes have carbs, but not starch carbs. Use them to season and accent your dishes, but watch your quantities and pair them with your macros for the day.
Use MCT Oil Whenever Possible:
What the heck is a MCT? A high quality Medium Chain Triglyceride oil is an important item to add to your intake to get you into ketosis quickly. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, and is a form of oil found in high concentrations in coconuts. The short chain length of medium-chain fatty acids, another name for MCTs, make them liquid at room temperature and they are therefore more readily digested than the usual long-chain fatty acids found in dairy products and meat.
Keep Stress Down:
In today’s world, stress has become a household word, and a lifestyle that many of us are addicted to. However, chronic stress will shut down your ability to be in and stay in ketosis. Stress raises the cortisol hormone, the stress hormone, along with others in your body which function to elevate blood sugar (the fight or flight hormones). It will drive your blood sugar up and lower your ketones. Some strategies will help you lower your stress load and create more peace in your life include, intentional deep breaths during the day, short walks to interrupt your thought patterns, meditation, naps, finding a hobby that takes you away from noise and people, i.e., bird watching, gardening, walking, music. Take care of yourself. Stress hurts more than your head; it affects all of your health.