HOW to choose supplements! (NO AD!)

No this is not an ad for anything, this is just me telling you what to think about when choosing supplements!!

As soon as I post a picture on instagram where I look resonably fit, the questions keep pouring in: “what supplements do you take?” “what BCAA should I pick?” “what brands do you use?”

Number one: brands doesn’t matter!

No, brands are mainly marketing and doesn’t say much about the product. Some brands have a good reputation, some are very famous, but are they really better? Sometimes famous brands can be awfully bad because they already have their place on the market and can focus on optimizing profit by… yes? Changing the content to something cheaper because they don’t need to earn your trust as smaller brands need to do!

1. How to know which supplements to buy?

Look at the packaging, read the labels, what does it say? If we take BCAA for example, because I get asked a lot about BCAA on the keto diet (yes, you can sip your aminos with confidence on the keto diet!)

So what does the label say? L-leucine, L-lysine and L-valine yes? If there’s more ingredients than that it’s not BCAA! Best ratio is 8-1-1 and ratio is always stated on the packaging. Don’t by 2-1-1.

2. What’s a clean supplement? 

As stated above – it’s when it doesn’t contain anything else. You don’t want 10 extra ingredients that you know nothing about! If you want magnesium DO NOT buy a mixture of 3 different magnesiums, it doesn’t get any better. In fact, the opposite is true! If you want potassium, buy potassium powder. I always pick POWDER over capsules!

3. Sweeteners or not? 

I use sweeteners but I always avoid aspartame and acesulfame-K! There’s plenty of natural sweet tasting substances so you really don’t have to chose the worst ones. Why not pick something with stevia? Or berry extract? Plenty of options. The reason I chose sweetened over non-sweetened is because I use BCAA to increase my liquid intake. My goal is a gallon a day (of water preferably), but I’m at half a gallon now or something.

4. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!

“Is this and that a good supplement?” I can’t answer that because I don’t know YOUR purpose behind you taking it. Don’t take a supplement “just because” you need to have some intention behind it. Read reviews, read forums, what does others say?

Remember – always always always read your labels!

 

Shady products for increased ketones (BULLSHIT)

urinketoner

The picture above shows urine test strips that you can buy at your local drug store. They detect ketones in your urine, and I usually recommend this simple methods for beginners. If you have been following a ketogenic diet for many years, they may not work but this article is for the beginners 😉

The road to ketosis can be long and tedious, and shady alternatives are luring everywhere. I’m taking about products that you can eat (food or supplements) that will either ease your transition into ketosis, or put you in ketosis in the blink of an eye. Raspberry ketones and Keto//OS are some examples, might be more out there that I don’t know of. Ingesting ketones won’t get you into ketosis, it just doesn’t work like that. Ketosis is a metabolic state triggered by excessive breakdown of fatty acids in the liver. The breakdown of fat is key here, not the ketones per se.

I’ve tried a multitude of supplements that promise to increase metabolism and/or suppress appetite (don’t judge! it was many years ago!) and some of them work but most of them do not. The ones that work are the appetite suppressing ones. It’s important to remember that every endocrine process in the body is being controlled by negative feedback, which makes it very, very hard to actually increase the fat metabolism with a supplement (unless you’re using illegal or prescription drugs)

That’s why “fat burning supplements” usually just contain the usual stimulants in high amounts.

Go for the REAL ketones!

  • Want to burn body fat and nothing else?
  • Want to burn fat without hunger and energy loss?

Follow a ketogenic diet, consistently without any re-feeds. Combine the keto diet with physical exercise if you feel like it, but you will see results just by changing your diet.

The keto diet is as effective as it is challenging, and it requires a great deal of effort from you. It requires you to go clean and avoid everything that’s not fish, meat, eggs, poultry, green veggies and fats from avocados, olive oil, butter/ghee, coconut oil and lard. If you dare to try it I assure you amazing results, and when you find your sweet spot losing body fat is as easy as pressing a button.

I wrote a book about all this and it’s available HERE!

Ketosis and alcohol – can you combine it?

11235997_970707842969858_1792942855_nSo can you enjoy a glass of wine or a drink on your keto diet?

The almighty keto gurus out there will tell you that; NO! It can’t be done! No alcohol, no caffeine – just quit everything you enjoy in life!

But I will tell you otherwise, I definitely think alcohol is ok as long as you consider these 2 things!

1. When in ketosis, your body is already breaking down a type of alcohol which means that you will be very drunk on a tiny amount of alcohol. If you’re new to ketosis, be careful with this! ONE glass of wine might be enough.

2. Distilled alcohol doesn’t contain any carbs, which means that you can drink vodka, rom, tequila, whiskey etc. Anything that’s 40% or above, put please consider point number 1!

Want to drink beer or cider? Forget it, unless you can find carb-free alternatives (we do have a couple of those in Sweden, have you seen it?)

Want to drink wine? Go for DRY wines and stick to 1-2 glasses. Check the labels!

Don’t be surprised if your ketones are gone the day after!

Shit happens, especially if you’re enjoying a cheese platter with red wine. It looks pretty keto, but it will probably affect your metabolism and ketones a bit. Don’t buy drinks in a bar, they will most definitely contain sugar, and stay away from the beer. Then you’ll be just fine!

Do you drink alcohol on the keto diet? How much? 

Personally, I stick to 1-2 glasses of red wine/month. I think I can get away with that 😉

No it’s not the lactose!

Lactose

I don’t know if this is a local or global trend but I have noticed a lot of health bloggers and youtubers choosing lactose free products. My first reaction to this is… why? It seems like a lot of people believe that dairies are sooo healthy once the evil lactose is removed! No, it’s still a dairy and the most evil part of the dairy is NOT removed. The biggest problem with dairies is the dairy proteins (whey and casein) because these proteins are very dense and hard to digest for our gut. It means that a lot of these dense proteins find a way out to our blood stream via the intestinal walls. If this is the case, the problems will be much more subtle (and severe) than just lactose intolerance. It will give raise to (or worsen) anxiety, worry, depression, autoimmune disorders, aches and pains.

Reoccurring stomach issues are often due to gluten, fibres and fructose rather than lactose. I do understand dairy loving (lactose intolerant) people that buy lactose free products, it makes sense… but for the rest of us? I think it’s a weird health trend!

Is this only in Scandinavia? 

Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets – who’s an expert!?

I had tea with a friend yesterday and we talked about all kinds of things (as usual) but one thing that got stuck in my mind was the documentary “Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets”. It’s 40 minutes long, so if you don’t want to see it, let me just summarize it here:

Brittish Youtube-star Gracie

tries clean eating on for size. She wants to know if this is the lifestyle change we all need, or if it’s just another fad diet in disguise – a fad diet with potentially dangerous consequences.

“Clean eating” equals vegan or raw food in this documentary, we have a slightly different definition in Sweden but that doesn’t matter. The thing is that
never before have we been so concerned with the purity of our food. Lighting the way are a team of ‘glowing’ wellness bloggers. Gracie dives into the world of clean eating. She vlogs her attempts to change her diet and meets with dieticians, youtubers and those whose desire for health has become an unhealthy obsession. She investigates the claims many gurus swear by and questions whether we should be listening to them at all.

CONNECTION TO LOW CARB AND KETO GURUS!

If you read this blog (or my Swedish blog), it’s a pretty big chance that you follow a low carb/keto diet and read this blog and others to learn more about it. I do that too, I follow bloggers and Youtubers to educate myself on a lot of stuff, and that’s how we use the internet. We teach and inspire each other, but who’s an expert, really? Who qualifies to give professional advice, especially in the “fluffy” area of food, health and fitness?

BE YOUR OWN GURU

My opinion is and will always be that NO internet guru – regardless if it’s keto, paleo, vegan or rawfood will know more about YOU and YOUR body than you do. I try to push this on my blog and in my books, especially when I get questions like:

“I do X, but you tell me to do Y – am I doing it wrong?”

No you’re not. I never ever tell anyone that they NEED to do a certain thing, and I don’t like it when the Swedish magazines call me an expert in this and that. Why would I be the expert?

TO THINK AND ANALYZE IS NOT THE SAME THING AS BEING RIGHT! 

My strong suit and best quality is my ability to analyze things. I can break down any problem and solve it. 

I have never studied anything that has to do with food or health, I have never studied anything that has to do with fitness or training. I am not a dietitian, personal trainer, physiotherapist or nutritional adviser. I have a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering (and one in Biochemistry) and all my insights about food and health, stems from my own experiments and my knowledge of physics, biology and chemistry. I create my own hypotheses from known biochemical processes, and draw conclusions on how things (should) work. Then I try it out for myself.

It doesn’t mean that it’s the best way, and it doesn’t mean that it works for everyone.

BE INSPIRED – BUT THINK FOR YOURSELF!

Some Bloggers and Youtubers can be quite offensive and aggressive about their own stuff, and it’s easy to fall prey for it. I do that myself from time to time, I feel remorse about having a cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate and think “Oh shit… I had coffee… I’m not keto enough!”… such bullshit, isn’t it? If this happens to you, just take a few deep breaths. Relax and step back. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does this seem sound?
  2. Do I truly believe this is the thing for me?
  3. Am I ready to whatever it takes?
  4. What’s my goal here?
  5. Does this fit with my idea of reality?

If it’s a YES to all these 5 points, then go for it! I believe that the most important thing is to believe in the stuff we do, to truly resonate with it.

What’s your view on all this? Are you also affected by all the internet gurus out there? 

New collab with Athletic Greens!

This post is a collaboration with Athletic Greens!
WH3
WH11I got super excited when Athletic Greens wanted to collaborate with me and let me test and review their superfood cocktail! I love green drinks and drink it every morning instead of coffee. Since (my guru) Tim Ferriss is an affiliate to Athletic Greens, I thought it must be pretty good! Usually I make my own smoothies from avocado, spinach, spirulina, chlorella and tumeric but I use ready mixtures from time to time as well. I do it because it tastes better, and to save time. My blender is also extremely noisy so I hate to wake people up at 5 am just to make a smoothie!

So I have tried a couple of green drinks and mixtures from other online stores, and unfortunately they are not very tasty. They generally taste and smell like grass, and I am aware that it’s really hard to make them taste good. Spirulina is pretty awful to say the least!However, Athletic Greens are actually pretty good. Not like a chocolate milkshake haha, but like… a pretty palatable green drink. It has a little bite to it, and it’s not disgusting. Pretty good grade huh!? Taste wise I will give it 3 out of 5 stars, but ingredients wise I will give it 5 out of 5 and that’s their strength!

The ingredients

ingredientsNo synthetic chemical, colors or flavors, no preservatives, sweeteners, GMO’s, herbicides, pesticides, wheat, dairy, gluten, corn, lactose, sucrose, dextrose, no eggs, yeast, peanuts and no animal products!

If you want to read more about it – CLICK HERE!

All product ads and collaborations with companies will be marked like this. Yellow blog posts are ads, and white blog posts are just my personal thoughts and opinions. I don’t have much collaborations right now, but when I do they will look like this!

The China Study – Should we all be vegetarians?

aww-shit-i-ate-me-desk-againI was asked to comment on the Vegan Bible (The China Study) and I would love to do that! Have you heard about it? It’s one of the most popular books about health and nutrition ever written, and it’s been sold in over 1 million copies!

The title of the book is the title of the largest nutrition study ever made, performed by professor Colin Campbell at Cornell University. The study compares different diets and their correlation to diseases on the Chinese countryside. In the beginning, Cornell was a convinced carnivore, but as the study progressed he started to question the health effects of eating meat. The book includes the results from Campbells own 50 year long science career, showing the detrimental effects of the standard western diet with a lot of meat and processed foods. The claim of the book is that this diet is the main cause of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other chronic illnesses. The book therefor suggests a vegan or vegetarian diet.

My comments

I agree that processed and unnatural foods are unhealthy, and that a lot of people eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) would be far well off if they switched their SAD to a sustained vegetarian diet. A lot of veggies and few or no processed items are a good idea, but… Buuuuuut the thing is that Colin Campbell is not quite honest in his book! He made the same trick Ancel Keys did in his “Seven Country Study”. Cherry picking results that fit a certain hypothesis, instead of looking at all the results with an open mind.

The book is not based on causation, but on selective observational data!

For example; the book claims that the correlation between coronary heart disease and meat protein is +1, and for fish protein it’s -11. But he doesn’t mention the correlation between heart disease and wheat that is +67!the-china-study

Wheat is also correlating to cervix cancer with +54, hypertension with +47, stroke with +41 etc. This is not mentioned in the book, at all. 

If you think about it… the human body consists of animal protein, animal saturated fats (60%) and monounsaturated fats (40%) so it would make sense to eat stuff similar to this. What we put in our mouth is converted into building blocks in the body. We don’t have any trans fats in the body naturally, and we don’t have grains and cereals, and not much sugar. We have about 500g sugar (1.1lbs)

I don’t think there’s any problem at all eating meat, fish, eggs and poultry, but why overdo it? You don’t have to binge salami, cheese, bacon and processed ham! A lot of veggies and green stuff can easily be included in a keto diet, and I do prefer fish and seafood over meat (not that it matters)

We have different metabolism and different preferences for food, so I do believe some people truly benefit from a vegetarian diet if it’s well thought out. Natural foods are the best despite any specific diet 🙂

Have you read The China Study? 

Read more… 

Carbnites, re-feeds & going in and out of ketosis

carbnitesTime to discuss re-feeds, carbnites and going in and out of ketosis!

First I just want to say that when I started eating keto almost 7 years ago, no one was talking about re-feeds. No one knew what it was, but it doesn’t mean we never ate carbs. Of course we did (and do!)

It’s not every week or even every month, but when I feel like it. I had cake at my birthday party in December (regular one, not sugar free) and I had a Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory when i visited US last September. No big deal. No re-feed.

Between these two events I haven’t had any carbs, and between now and December (6+ month) I’ve had a couple of kidney beans and a sugarfree (LCHF) cake.

 

Re-feeds/carbnites is not a trend. It’s several decades old and it’s called cyclic ketogenic diet (CKD for short). It was very popular among bodybuilders during the 60’s and 70’s, and I talk a lot about it in my latest book (sorry it’s in Swedish, English version isn’t available until next year!) Bodybuilders used CKD because it enabled them to lose fat during the weekdays and gain mass during the weekends. Even to this day a lot of big guys (Mr Olympia big) are still doing versions of the keto diet from time to time, because it’s so effective!

I’ve tried “carbnites”

I  experimented with carbnites or carb backloading or whatever you want to call it. I was keto during the week and carbed up every Saturday. It didn’t work that well for me, but it is better than TKD in my opinion. TKD = targeted ketogenic diet, and means that you are keto (or fasting) during the day and have strategic carbs around your training session. The reason for me not liking “carbnites” is that I don’t like going in and out of ketosis like that. My body likes being ketogenic, and if I break my ketosis with a lot of carbs I get heart palpitations, start sweating like crazy and go completely loco! It’s not comfortable and I don’t gain anything from it either.

But how does it work – can we just go in and out of ketosis when we feel like it? 

YES OF COURSE! THAT’S WHAT WE’RE MADE FOR! Our bodies are designed to be mostly in ketosis, and to be able to handle long periods without food. If we eat carbs, the body is equipped with both insulin and glycogen storage. Tada! We can switch between these two systems, and it’s not a problem.

What do you prefer? 

CKD and TKD doesn’t work for me but I have friends that love it and gain great results from it. I do think it’s inappropriate to do carbnites or re-feeds if you are having an eating disorder (love binging), if you are a sugar- or food addict or if you are severely overweight. Then the biochemical benefits of a re-feed won’t work. If you’re curious about re-feeds and want to give it a try, I would recommend (good) carbs like white rice, sweet potatos, pumpkin, nutbutter (cashew, almond) etc instead of McD, Dunkin Donuts and Ben & Jerry’s 😉

This is my opinions about re-feeds, but what do you think!?

Artificial sweeteners and its effect on weight loss

Aspartame, Sucralose and Acelulfame K are the most popular artificial sweeteners. They are calorie free and “diabetes safe”, as they leave the blood sugar unaffected. These sweeteners are included in many “sugar free” products including diet/health bars,”sugar free” chocolate, diet soda and so forth. They are often used together with sugar alcohols. A sugar alcohol contains both calories and carbohydrates. Examples of these are Sorbitol and Xylitol. They end with -ol. They lower the pH in your mouth and is therefor considered to be “good” for your teeth. That’s why you find them in sugar free chewing gums. Ethandiol and Erythritol are other examples used in pastries, such as sugar free cheesecake for example.

All products containing artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols are labeled “Sugar Free”!

Sugar alcohols have a very volatile nature, which is why they don’t stay in the blood stream for very long. This is why they don’t affect the blood sugar as much as other sugars. If you’re counting carbs, cut the sugar alcohols by half. It means that 10g sugar alcohols equals 5g carbohydrates, approximately. Be careful if the number of carbohydrates are suspiciously low on the label. Look for other names such as “dietary fiber”. If you want to be ketogenic, count everything!

Insulin hormone

But how about Aspartame, Sucralose and Acesulfame K, aren’t they un-digestible?

Well… let me do some reversed engineering!

What’s in sweetened light products? The sweeteners, a bunch of chemicals and a couple of acids. Mostly phosphoric acid. The sweet taste is affecting the brain directly when the sweet taste receptors on the tongue are activated. Sweet taste is sweet even if it’s artificially produced. When the tongue detects the sweet taste, it signals to the body that more sweet stuff are on its way. Small amounts of insulin are then being released, even before the food reaches the stomach. If there’s no actual carbs, just a bunch of chemicals, we will experience a drop in blood sugar. It will eventually make us hungry or give us cravings for more sweet tasting things.

Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame affects the serotonin levels in the brain, influencing our mood and behavior. It inhibits our sense of fullness, thus making us eat more than we need or want. This is especially true if we drink diet soda to a meal, compared to a glass of water.

The acids

Acids like phosphoric acid and citric acid are tampering with our metabolism via the citric acid cycle. Artificially produced citric acid doesn’t come from a citrus fruit, but grown from mold. Many people with allergies are experiencing a worsening of their allergy symptoms, when consuming products with artificial citric acid.

Conclusion 

How are you reacting to “sugar free” products with artificial sweeteners? Do you get cravings or does it trigger you to over-eat? If you experience increased hunger or cravings, it means that your body and brain reacts to the sweet taste. Personally I seem to tolerate diet coke pretty well, as I experience the taste as bitter rather than sweet. But I don’t drink it for the same reason I don’t drink random chemicals. Best thing is to avoid anything unnatural, especially unnaturally sweet, as it won’t promote a healthy behavior. As soon as I eat “sugar free” bars, low carb candy and stuff like that I turn into a monster craving more and more! One thing I CAN’T stand is Atkins and Questbars! They are forever banned in my home 🙂

Resources

Hard science 

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