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Aarn Farmer

10/11 Weightloss Wednesday: Any Recommendations on a Tracking App?

It’s time for Weightloss Wednesday!  I am at 207.4 lbs which means my weight has crept up a tad.

I’m not too worried about it because as my exercise program has gotten harder.  The big thing I’ve noticed is my appetite tracks pretty closely with the amount of exercise I do.  On my exercise days, doing intermittent fasting overnight at work is pretty much impossible.  I have to get some sardines or lunch meat or I end up obsessing about food all night.

In fact, my exercise routines are only going to get harder moving forward so I’m leaning toward doing something I have resisted doing for years, tracking my food.  I never saw much use in it but I think there would be some value in seeing what my appetite does as compared to my exercise routines.  I also want to see if there are any ways I can “hack” my calorie intake to make sure that I am losing belly fat while putting on muscle.  I know that it is hard to do both at the same time but I think I want to give it a shot.  Any recommendations for a free app that makes tracking food easy?  I’d like one that I can upload pics of what I’m eating as well.

So what’s up with you?  Let me know in the comments!

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Does a Ketogenic Diet Cause Hair Loss or Thinning Hair?

Short Answer: Maybe but it is very rare and usually reverses in a month or 2

I first became aware that hair loss was possible for some people on Keto when one of the women in our 28 Day Challenge room complained of it a few months ago.  I thought it was an odd symptom but significant enough to begin to do a little research on how common it is or at least if other people complained of it and what I found was interesting enough to merit a blog post so let’s take a look.

What is the Science?

The first thing I did was to go looking for a few scientific papers on the phenomenon and they are very tough to find.  The only one I can see where hair loss is suggested as a side-effect of Keto was The Ketogenic Diet: Adolescents Can Do It, Tooan incredibly interesting paper where teenaged epileptics were put on a Ketogenic diet to see what would happen to the frequency of their seizures.  While it appears that the results were overwhelmingly positive, in the side effects section, we get this paragraph:

Two individuals reported an increase in seizure activity; two, thinning hair and/or hair loss, both of which were corrected with vitamin supplementation; two, increased bruising or bleeding; and two, subjective reports of stunted growth. (This was out of 45 participants)

Why did this happen?  Here’s what we know.

Any Dietary Change can Result in Hair Loss

Sometimes, our bodies aren’t thrilled with changes to our diet no matter how healthy the new way of eating is.  It’s not unheard of to see a little hair loss in the first month or 2 or any new diet.  It’s almost never anything to be afraid of as the issue usually reverses itself fairly quickly once your body adapts to its new reality.

Low Calories can cause Hair Loss

When this study turned to reporting the weight loss of its participants, it had this to say.

To mimic a starvation state effectively, each patient must be as near to his or her ideal body weight as possible; therefore, we frequently plan for weight loss in our patients. Twenty-seven (60%) of the adolescents reported a reduction in their weight during the time on the ketogenic diet; seven specifically exhibited an unintended weight loss of ≥25% of their initial body weight.

That’s a lot of weight loss for people who are already at or near their ideal body weight and was probably caused by a reduction in calories.  When you cut calories, the body reduces the number of calories used in non-vital systems such as reproduction and hair growth.  So if you are starving yourself on keto expecting to lose weight, stop it.  Eat something and see if that helps.

Low Fat and Low Protein can Both Influence Hair Loss

Sometimes when a newbie starts Keto, they really focus on the low carb part of the diet but don’t really understand the High Fat and Moderate Protein parts of the equation.  Sometimes they are “fat-phobic” and don’t eat enough fat to keep their calories up and sometimes they don’t eat enough protein which is also very important in hair growth.  A well-formulated ketogenic diet will correct both of these issues.

Vitamin and Mineral Imbalances can cause Hair Loss

Another common misstep that new keto-ers make is to not get enough salt.  I’m not talking about that terrible over-processed Morton’s salt but something like Redmond’s Real Salt which has the electrolytes we need and our bodies expect from salt like Zinc, Magnesium and Iodine.  Every one of these minerals are important for hair growth.  Another common vitamin deficiency is Vitamin D.. Every one should be getting at least 15 minutes of sun every day and that should get you the Vitamin D you need.  It should be noted that in the scientific paper cited above, both instances of hair loss were stopped with vitamin supplementation so perhaps take a multi-vitamin

The important thing to remember here is that if you are experiencing hair loss on a ketogenic diet, it should stop fairly quickly.  Keep an eye on your total calorie intake as well as your macros and salt levels and you should be fine.  Of course, if problems persist, see your doctor and nothing on this blog should be taken as medical advice.  That’s code for don’t sue me if your hair falls out.

Any other questions?  Let me know in the comments below!

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The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast: Episode 57: Scott Mulvaney of LIVETHEFUEL

The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast: Episode 57: Scott Mulvaney of LIVETHEFUEL

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, I talk to Scott Mulvaney of the LIVETHEFUEL Podcast!

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can find more from Scott on his website LIVETHEFUEL which includes links to his fantastic podcast as well as some great resources that will help you fuel your life.  You can find him on Twitter here, and Facebook here.

You can listen to his interview with me on his podcast here.

Here are the articles mentioned in the podcast.

Book Review: Back Mechanic by Stuart McGill

Does a Ketogenic Diet Cause Inflammation?

10/4 Weightloss Wednesday: A Little Muscle!

How Can I Tell If I Am in Ketosis?

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How Can I Tell If I Am in Ketosis?

How Can I Tell If I Am in Ketosis?

There are a few different ways to tell if you are in ketosis.  The easiest is just to test for the presence of ketones in the blood, urine or breath.

You can use the Ketonix brand tester to check for the presence of Acetoacetate in the breath.  The nice thing about a breath ketone tester is there is a one time cost and that’s it.  There is no need for the ongoing expense of test strips.

Alternatively, you can test for the presence of ketones in the blood or urine with different machines that use test strips.  The drawback to urine testing is ketones in the urine tend to fall off as your body begins to use ketones more efficiently so after a few months of ketosis, you may stop testing positive for ketones with urine strips but still be in ketosis.  Blood testing is the most accurate but requires you to pierce your skin every time you test which can be painful.

Common Signs That You Are in Ketosis

There are less exact methods you can use to see if you are in ketosis.

You will typically have a “fruity” taste in your mouth and your breath will take on the acetone smell of the acetoacetate ketones.

Your urine will take on a stronger smell as more ketones are in the urine.  Usually it will smell a little like meat.

Your appetite will begin to be suppressed as the body starts breaking down fat for fuel and your blood sugar levels stabilize.

You will have increased thirst to replace water stored in muscles

You will have increased urination as the body uses glycogen stored in water in the muscles

As blood sugar levels stabilize, you should have less sugar cravings

As blood sugar levels stabilize, you will have more stable moods

You may experience increased energy

You may experience increased mental clarity

As you continue on in ketosis, many of these signs will dissipate.  Your breath will return to normal, your water stores will regulate so there will be less urination, and your urine will smell normal.  Most of the other signs like supressed appetite, less mood swings, increased mental clarity and less sugar cravings will stay with you throughout the time you spend on the diet.

Have any questions?  Ask them in the comments below!

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How Can I Tell If I Am in Ketosis?

10/4 Weightloss Wednesday: A Little Muscle!

It’s time for Weightloss Wednesday!  I’m sitting at about 206 today which is a bit up from last week.  Hopefully that means I am putting on muscle because of the increased exercise I’ve been doing but I’m not sure.  The one thing I am sure of is that it is about time to buy another belt! I’ve hit the last notch and it’s getting a little loose.  That’s pretty exciting.

I am on week 10 of my kettle bell exercises and it is getting TOUGH!  I thought the last one was going to break me because it was a full minute of swings before a rest and it was crazy tough.  Just trying to catch my breath before the next rep was challenging.  I’ll be doing it again later today so I wonder if it will be easier the second time around.

You may have noticed that I have totally NOT been taking pictures of my food on IG like I said I was going to.  I kept forgetting and it made for a really boring IG feed.  I eat the same thing every day!  It was like “here’s my steak and veggies, now here’s my hamburger and veggies, now here’s my chicken and veggies, oh and here’s some sardines.”  Bleh.  So I stopped doing that.  Looking over other IG feeds it looks like what I really need to be doing is taking pictures of my butt but I’m probably not going to do that either.

That’s it for me this week, what’s going on with you?  Let me know in the comments!

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