keto diet

How Keto Saved My Life

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 When I was in the Army National Guard, and young (see what I did there?), I was athletic, I maxed out my PT tests, I was a sponsored competing adventure race athlete, I worked out at least 2 hours a day and ran and biked at least 100 miles a week. As "healthy" and "athletic" I looked to the outside world, I had a secret. 

My secret was that I was plagued by medical issues, some trivial like chronic adult acne, frequent constipation and acid re-flux.  Some serious, I suffered with crippling frequent migraines, anxiety and depression, daily headaches, low blood sugar episodes so extreme that I would have dangerous passing out episodes. I was young, athletic and of average body weight....but I was sick. It seemed like I was at the doctor’s office once a month, I was on several medications (all of which hardly helped at all) and my quality of life was continuing to decline. On top of all that, I was gaining weight, slowly over the years and I was at my top weight of my adult life.

About 5 years ago, at the age of 35, out of desperation for dealing with my continued low blood sugar episodes and the fact that I was continuing to gain weight despite a high level of physical activity and "eating healthy" I turned to Dr Google. I just Googled "eating plans for hypoglycemics" and stumbled upon this thing called keto. Being extremely skeptical, I picked up a few books on the subject and started listening to keto based podcasts. I was astounded by how ignorant I was about the ways the human body operates and how I had been doing so many things in my life thinking they were "healthy choices", yet it actually was the worst choice for the way my body worked. I devised a plan. I was very afraid of having dangerous low blood sugar, so I created my own eating plan that slowly got me to a ketogenic way of eating over 90 days (these eventually became the Fire Team Whiskey .22, .38 and .50 CAL eating plans). 

What happened next, I still look back and consider a miracle. Within a week my acne started clearing up. Within 2, my sleep and mood began to improve. The constant fatigue I fought was gone in 30 days. All of a sudden, I had endless energy and had no need to overdose on caffeine each day to push through like I used to. The acid reflux and constipation dissipated. My anxiety and depression subsided into almost nothing. My headaches and migraines? GONE! The fat began to melt away. Pretty soon I was having to donate my clothes, buying 2 sizes down...then over time, 4 sizes down! 

At the age of 40, I am now fitter, healthier and have the lowest body fat I have ever had. I am on zero medications. I haven't seen a doctor in 4 years. 

While my health and fitness transformation was taking place, I was working in the military medical field. I sat down with Soldiers everyday suffering from the same stuff I had suffered from and even worse. I felt compelled to create a company to introduce the ketogenic way of life to other military members, veterans and first responders. That is how Fire Team Whiskey was born. 

I truly believe these programs saved my life. I started on the path to lifelong health, fitness and living free from all chronic medical complaints that most people have at the age of 40. It is not just me, but many other Fire Team Whiskey participants who have experienced the weight loss and medical health improvements from using our programs. 

Sure, you can try doing a keto diet on your own. But, with so much misinformation out there about this way of eating, you would be going in blind. Why wouldn't you get a guide that has already been proven and has gotten other people crazy amazing results? I don't know about you, but I am all about using a map when I travel instead of just trying to figure it out as you go along with the "go it alone" approach. 

My goal with Fire Team Whiskey is to save lives. In fact, I am so confident that you will see instant improvement in your health and fitness within 2 weeks of starting one of our programs, that we are willing to give you 2 weeks of our .22 Caliber Health and Fitness program completely free. This is the same program that I used when I first began this journey 5 years ago. 

I want to give you what I spent months reading books, listening to podcasts and experimenting with to put together absolutely free so you don't have to "go it alone" or spend months doing your own research and experimentation to get results. You can START TODAY. 

Remember, this is a long-term commitment. If you are looking for a crash diet to lose a few pounds then put right back on again plus some, then this program is not for you. If you are looking for a magic pill or shot, this program is not for you. If you are looking for a long term solution that is proven to help you lose weight over time, improve all of your medical health markers and have you feeling younger and healthier than you have ever felt in your life, then you have found your fire team! Since this is a journey and not a sprint, our Fire Team Whiskey Membership is for one year. This helps you make a long-term commitment to your health and fitness. 2 weeks for free, then after that, you pay $99 for 365 days of health. That is .28 cents a day. Wow. What a bargain! That is way cheaper than any gym membership you could purchase, and your gym doesn't even bother giving you any nutrition support (actually there are a few chains of gyms that happily feed you bagels and pizza on a weekly basis at the gym location to make sure you will always feel like you need them because you can’t seem to lose any weight...hmmm). 

2 weeks free of what took me months to research, experiment with and formalize. This gets you started on this journey faster. Start Now. 

Keto and Digestive Health

We have some exciting news to share from our friends at BiOptimizers. They are about to launch a new keto product called kApex - a ketogenesis optimizer enzyme.

BiOptimizers creates a breakthrough line of nutritional supplements focused primarily on digestive health. The Company’s mission is to "End physical suffering by optimizing digestion and activating awesome health" and they are doing a great job since joining the market in 2004.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 95 million Americans suffer from an identifiable digestive issue. Even more shocking: 74% of Americans live with daily GI discomfort and 12% of emergency hospital visits are due to digestive issues. It’s a massive market with a strong pain point and BiOptimizers fixes these issues better than anyone else.

However, due to the perceived embarrassment associated with digestive symptoms, there is a lack of understanding of the enormous impact digestive disorders have and a profound unwillingness to shed more light on the subject.
Over the years, BiOptimizers’ founders Wade and Matt have worked with, and the Company has been promoted by some of the most respected names in the online health world including:
- Dave Asprey from Bulletproof
- Ty Bollinger (Truth About Cancer)
- Elliott Hulse (Strength Camp)
- Ben Greenfield Fitness
- Yuri Elkaim Healthpreneur
- Vince Delmonte Fitness
- Ben Pakulski Pro Bodybuilding
- Drew Bledsoe (Barbell Shrugged)
- Pete Evans (Celebrity Chef)
- Kevin Harrington (Original Shark Tank and As Seen on TV Producer) and many more.

They've also been featured on some of the biggest health conferences in the world including NTA (Nutritional Therapy Association), Upgrade Labs, and they are getting ready to speak at the Canfitro and CHFA stages now.

Want to find more about what they do and how BiOptimizers can help you to fix your digestive issues? Go to:

http://kenergize.com/

bioptimizers.com

P.s. Get 10% off by using the coupon code FIRETEAMWHISKEY10 at checkout!

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Ketosis Symptoms and Signs: What to Look Out For

Originally published on HVMN by Nate Martins

There are two paths to achieve ketosis.

The first is through the ketogenic diet or fasting, which can take weeks or months for the body to produce its own ketones. The second is through exogenous ketones like HVMN Ketone, consuming ketones through an external source. On the map to ketosis, these are different roads–one more winding than the other.

But how do you know you've arrived at ketosis? What positive things are you looking for? What negative symptoms might you encounter? Here, we discuss what signposts to monitor your ketosis.

Recapping Ketosis

Ketosis is a normal metabolic state marked by higher-than-normal levels of ketones (or ketone bodies) in the blood.

Endogenous ketone production denotes ketones produced naturally by the body. It's the body’s natural adjustment to the absence or restriction of carbohydrate in the diet. Without enough glucose from carbs to fuel its cells, the body turns to fat to replace glucose as its primary source of energy. In the liver, fat that is not burned for energy directly is converted to ketones. This means that you are in a ketogenic state. Ketone levels increase in the bloodstream and provide an alternate and efficient fuel source for the body and brain. As a result, muscle protein is spared from being converted to glucose for energy.

Exogenous ketosis comes from an external source. Consuming exogenous ketones, like a ketone drink containing a ketone ester or a ketone salt, raises blood ketone levels. The body isn't producing ketones in this state, but still remains in ketosis from having ketones introduced from an outside source. However, the body isn't ketogenic–that specifically means the body is producing its own ketones.

Two paths, one destination. Here's what to look out for to ensure you're in ketosis.

Measuring Ketosis

A blood ketone level of 0.5 mmol/L is widely acknowledged as the threshold for entering ketosis.1 Using a measuring device is the best way to know you're in ketosis, with different devices measuring the presence of ketones in the breath, blood and urine, to provide an exact biomarker of your level of ketosis.

Measuring ketosis through blood is most accurate. Blood testing is reliable for quantifying both endogenous (created by ketogenic diet, fasting, exercise) ketones and exogenous ketones such as HVMN Ketone. Urine and breath measurements are less reliable but can be useful as quick, noninvasive ways to approximate blood ketone levels.2

Unwanted Symptoms of a Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet remains the most common approach to trigger a state of ketosis. Low in carbs, high in fat and low/moderate in protein, carbohydrates are typically reduced to less than 50 grams per day. It's this depletion of carbs that result in the body becoming ketogenic.

Along with biomarker testing, subjective symptoms can provide an indication of your ketosis. Sometimes, early side effects of the diet result from carbohydrate withdrawal. This can be known as the "keto flu;" symptoms include nausea, fatigue, headache and dry mouth. They're short-term, typically lasting about a week or less. Keep in mind, however, that we are all different. Our bodies react in different ways. Some of us may experience these symptoms later than sooner, to a lesser extent, or not at all.

Let's dive into some of the other potential side-effects of ketosis.

Gut Issues: Frequent Urination, Constipation, Diarrhea

Glycogen is the body's stored form of carbohydrate for energy. It's found primarily in the liver and muscle cells. Each gram of glycogen is bound with 3 to 4 grams of water.3 On a low-carb diet, the body will burn through these glycogen stores, releasing a lot of water and causing frequent urination.

As insulin levels plummet from carb-cutting, more water is flushed out, along with excess sodium (in contrast, excess insulin from carbs causes sodium and water retention).4 In some people, dehydration contributes to constipation, which can also result from avoiding fiber-rich carbohydrate foods. While less common, diarrhea or loose bowels can be triggered by a number of factors including too much or too little fat, dairy intolerance, or changes in gut flora.

Many people on the ketogenic diet never experience gut problems. Those that do can try combating them by drinking plenty of water and mineral-rich broths, and eating more non-starchy veggies along with foods rich in fat and fiber (such as nuts, nut butters, and avocado).

Rapid Weight Loss/Long-term Weight Loss

As glycogen stores become depleted and water attached to glycogen is released, rapid weight loss in the form of “water weight” occurs.

Once glycogen stores run out, however, ketosis kicks in as body fat is burned. Strong evidence supports the use of ketogenic diets for long-term weight loss. The appetite-suppressant impacts of ketosis leading to decreased calorie consumption is considered to be the most plausible mechanism through which the diet works.5

Bad Breath

Surprisingly, low-carb diets may lead to bad breath (also called ketosis breath).

Acetone, the least abundant ketone, is present in the breath and is responsible for the unpleasant odor. Acetone is a solvent in nail polish, if that gives you an idea of what it might smell like. But it's not as bas as it sounds; acetone breath is a sign of ketosis and fat burning. It's the ketone measured in breath tests used for detecting ketosis.6

After several weeks of keto dieting, ketosis breath typically dissipates. To help, drink more water and use breath fresheners. If it's unbearable, consider adding just enough carb back into your diet to avoid bad breath while still staying in the ketosis zone.

Positive Signs You’re in Ketosis

The positives of ketosis greatly outweigh the negatives when reaching a state of ketosis. Lowering carbohydrate intake is responsible for some of the side effects of the diet, but is also responsible for the positive effects (from the presence of ketones).

Increased Mental Focus & Decreased Brain Fog

Studies have shown ketones can improve cognitive performance.7 The brain uses ketones as a fuel source when carbohydrate depleted. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), the major ketone body, is more efficient than glucose. It also stimulates production of new mitochondria - the energy factories in our cells.8

Increased mental clarity and focus, and less brain fog, are often reported by healthy people in ketosis. HVMN CEO, Geoffrey Woo said, “after a drink of HVMN Ketone, it’s like I’m more behind my eyeballs.” Exogenous ketones can subjectively improve mental performance and clarity.

When HVMN Ketone was tested in mice, they performed 38% better on a maze solving challenge, so it's possible there may be a cognitive boost for humans also.9 While following a ketogenic diet, you avoid the energy peaks and troughs that come from quick-energy carbs. Producing ketones from stored body fat provides the brain with a steady, sustainable supply of fuel.

Decreased Appetite

One of the first symptoms you might notice when on a ketogenic diet is that it kills your appetite.

People on the diet report being significantly more full and satisfied. Even though you may be ingesting LESS calories on the diet, your hunger doesn't increased. One possible explanation is greater consumption of satiating foods, primarily protein and fat. However, multiple studies indicate that the state of ketosis itself (apart from effects from food) plays a role as well.10

High levels of circulating ketones may have a direct appetite-suppressant effect. In fact, the exogenous ketone ester used in HVMN Ketone rapidly increased blood levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate and lowered appetite as well as levels of ghrelin - the hormone that increases hunger. While this still needs to be explored further, it is possible that exogenous ketones may be useful for appetite control as part of a holistic weight loss strategy.11

Symptoms of Dangerous Diabetic Ketoacidosis

In nondiabetics, ketosis (also called nutritional ketosis) is regulated and controlled in the body so that ketone levels never reach the harmful levels associated with diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is an acute, life-threatening condition that occurs in severely uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type 1) when ketones rise to massive, supranormal levels.

Since the body’s acid-base buffering system cannot neutralize the vast amount of acidic ketones, the blood pH drops significantly. This buildup of acids in the blood poisons the body and can lead to ketoacidosis.12 Breathing becomes deep and rapid as the body attempts to compensate for excessive acids. Other symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  • Extremely high glucose levels

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • High levels of both glucose and ketones in urine

  • Can lead to a coma

Importantly, this dangerous condition is rare in non-diabetics following a ketogenic diet, and in people taking exogenous ketones. Sticking to the recommended dose of max. 3 drinks per day of HVMN Ketone, there is no risk of ketoacidosis.

Being Aware of Your Ketosis

Ketosis is the body’s normal physiological response to a shortage of carbohydrate fuel.

It is characterized by elevated blood levels of ketone bodies, or ketones. Ketosis is a healthy, natural state that shouldn't be confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes.

Elevated blood ketone levels is the sign of ketosis, while certain subjective symptoms can also signal ketosis. Increased mental clarity, less brain fog, and diminished appetite are fairly common among people in ketosis. The ketogenic diet specifically has its own assortment of symptoms. Fortunately, the negative symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and bad breath are often temporary and tend fade as your body becomes better at fat burning and naturally producing ketones. The positive symptoms of ketosis coincide with higher levels of ketones in the blood. This may occur after several weeks of adhering to the ketogenic diet or very shortly after ingesting exogenous ketones.


Keto vs Paleo: Which Diet is Right for You?

Originally published on HVMN by Ryan Rodal

Diet trends are always a topic of debate. With so many diets to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you.

People choose diets for different reasons. Some want to lose weight; others strive for better overall health; many seek improved metabolism.

Two of the most popular diets in America are the ketogenic and paleo diets. Paleo gained prominence several years ago, while keto has been steadily on the rise of late. Some may confuse the two and use them interchangeably, but many are unaware of each diet’s specific intricacies.

Although keto and paleo have some overlapping characteristics, each one is unique in its own way. Let’s take a look at both diets and see which one is right for you.

The Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet has one main goal above all else: make the body produce ketones. To understand the importance of ketones and ketone production, you must first understand the basic physiological nature of energy sources in the human body.

The human body is programmed to run off a mix of glucose and fat. The balance of glucose is obtained mostly through the consumption of carbohydrates (however, through gluconeogenesis, glucose can also be created through non-carbohydrate substances). The process of digestion converts the macronutrient from the diet (carbs) into an energy source for our cells (glucose). Drastically decreasing carbohydrate intake will create a metabolic shift in the body, away from glucose-dependent energy. After eliminating carbs, the body can increasingly tap into stored body fat for energy, of which we have a large amount. By increasing our fat-intake, the body can become metabolically flexible, burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

Let’s take a closer look at getting into ketosis.

How to Get into Ketosis

Getting into ketosis is a variable process from person to person time-wise, but everyone undergoes the same physiological transformation should they choose to achieve ketosis through endogenous means (meaning, enabling the body to produce its own ketones).

Eating carbohydrates causes insulin release, which in turn prevents the production of ketones from fat; this is because insulin stops the release of fat from fat stores and thus shuts off the substrate for ketone production. To prevent insulin release, you must eliminate carbohydrate intake. As carb reduction occurs, the body will become depleted of glucose stores.

After a certain period of time the body will enter a state of ketosis, breaking down more and more fat, leading to ketone production.

Ketones are produced in the liver through a multistep conversion of fats. Evolutionarily, ketone production occurred as a result of starvation, when the body didn’t have any carbohydrates from which to make energy. Ketosis indicates the presence of ketones in the blood above 0.5mM. Triggering a state of ketosis is usually done one of two ways. The first is endogenously, meaning ketones are produced naturally in the body, usually through diet or fasting. The second is exogenously, in which blood ketone levels are increased by consuming a ketone supplement, like HVMN Ketone

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Keto Health Benefits

The benefits of keto go beyond simply slimming your waistline. Studies have shown that a ketogenic diet may help individuals with type 2 diabetes by effectively lowering blood glucose.1 There's also been a noted improvement in glycemic control and weight loss. But it’s not all metabolic benefits.1

The keto diet may improve cardiovascular health markers, including lowering blood pressure readings.2 Keto can also help treat neurological disorders. Since the early 1900s, children who suffered from epilepsy benefited from the diet as a form of alternative therapy.3 Many have also noted subjective feelings of mental clarity while on the keto diet.

Keto might even help improve health conditions characterized by inflammation through the signaling actions of ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (or BHB), which blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease.4 Animal studies have shown the ketogenic diet may improve longevity, memory, and health span.5

Keto Diet Basics

A balanced caloric intake on keto is essential for meeting dietary and weight loss goals. Every calorie you consume is made up of one of three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, or proteins.

The ketogenic diet consists of a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate macronutrient ratio.

  • High fat: 60% - 80% of total calories from fat

  • Moderate protein: 15% - 35% of total calories from protein

  • Low carbohydrate: 5% or less of total calories from carbohydrates

Your macronutrients can be calculated on your own, but there are macro calculators online to simplify the process. Just set each macronutrient within the suggested ranges for the keto diet.

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at a hypothetical person. A 200 pound male with 17% body fat will have a basal metabolic rate (BMR) of approximately 2,000 calories. Let’s say they want to maintain their current weight. Using a macronutrient ratio of 25% protein, 5% carbohydrates, and 70% fat, this person will consume 179g of fat, 28g of carbs, and 144g of protein. The ratio is not only keto-friendly, but also provides adequate protein for retaining lean body mass (at least 0.8g protein per pound of LBM).

Consuming a low-carb diet will cause a metabolic state of adaptation, allowing for ketone production. If you want to get into ketosis faster, trying an exogenous ketone supplement, like HVMN Ketone.

Keto-Friendly Foods

The keto diet is based around healthy fat sources and low-carb food choices. Some of the best keto friendly foods include:

  • Meats, including fatty fish and beef

  • Non-starchy vegetables

  • Many varieties of cheese

  • Eggs

  • Greek yogurt

  • Avocado

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Berries

A day of eating on the keto diet may look something like this:

  • Breakfast: four whole eggs, two pieces of bacon

  • Snack: one serving of almonds, one serving of blackberries

  • Lunch: 8oz of chicken breast, 100g of asparagus, one serving of Greek yogurt

  • Snack: one serving of cottage cheese, one serving of blackberries

  • Dinner: 6oz of salmon, 100g of Brussels sprouts

Your meal plan should be goal specific, but this is just one way of incorporating the keto meal plan into your everyday life. It’s not as hard and many people think!

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is based around foods early humans ate in the Paleolithic era (up until 10,000 years ago).

The typical Paleo diet includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds—foods sourced by hunter-gatherers during Paleolithic times. The diet does not contain foods emerging through more modern agricultural methods, such as dairy products, legumes, and grains. And of course, nothing processed; it's a focus on whole, healthy foods and food groups.

The Argument for Paleo

The main goal of the Paleo diet: eat like a caveman. Paleo followers believe our bodies do not have the adaptation necessary to process modern foods, leading to increased incidences of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Paleo seeks to eliminate harmful side effects associated with modern agriculture.

Some people question the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and genetic engineering used to mass produce fruits and vegetables. Pesticides used in agriculture are also a cause of concern for some individuals. Although these scientific advances are designed to mass produce quality food, some question their dietary safety.

The Paleo diet has not been scientifically studied in the same detail as keto, but there is some research suggesting potential health benefits. A study performed on the Paleo diet indicated glucose tolerance may improve in people with type 2 diabetes.6 There is also evidence of improved glycemic control and lower blood pressure following the Paleo diet.7,8 Similar to keto, when processed food and refined sugars are removed from a diet, there should be some health benefits.

Paleo-Friendly Foods

The foods found on paleo should have existed thousands of years ago, consumed by our great-great-great-great-great grandfathers and grandmothers. The most common paleo foods include:

  • Grass-fed meats

  • Seafood

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

  • Eggs

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Oils from healthy fat sources (e.g. avocado oil, coconut oil)

As you can see, the food choices on the Paleo diet have some overlap with the keto diet, but there are dietary and philosophical differences as well.

What do Keto and Paleo Have in Common?

The Paleo and keto diets share many characteristics even while being unique in their own ways.

Whole Foods

Paleo and keto diet plans are both based around high-quality whole food sources.

A whole food is one that hasn’t been processed and generally does not have added ingredients. Processed foods are eliminated from both diets and replaced with fresh items such as vegetables, meats, and nuts.

Grains and Legumes

Paleo and keto do not include grains and legumes as part of their diets, but for different reasons. Paleo eliminates grains and legumes because they were unavailable during Paleolithic times and contain anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are found in some plant-based foods and may cause digestive issues when consumed.9 They are considered the antithesis of the paleo diet.

These anti-nutrients are produced by plants as defense mechanisms, but can have a damaging effect on the human gut.

One such anti-nutrient is phytic acid, and it’s one of the main reasons Paleo excludes grains as legumes in the diet. Phytic acid can make proteins, fat, and starches less digestible.10

The keto diet eliminates grains and legumes due to their carbohydrate content. Grains and legumes can take the body out of ketosis preventing the breakdown of fat stores into ketones.

Processed Sugar

Both Paleo and keto discourage the intake of added sugar—but for different reasons.

The keto diet has no sugar due to the insulin-spiking effects and carbohydrate content. The Paleo diet, on the other hand, allows natural sugar sources (such as maple syrup and honey), but completely eliminates processed sugar. Keep an eye out for processed sugar, as it's rampant in American diets.

Healthy Fats

Keto and Paleo diets both promote healthy fats as a key component of their diets.

Foods such as avocado oil, coconut oil, and olive oil are popular healthy fat options for both groups.

The keto diet uses healthy fats as a fuel source, while the Paleo diet encourages healthy fats due to their Paleolithic origin. The common theme of both diets is to not be afraid of consuming a high-fat diet. This can be a valuable fuel source after some adaptation from a body dependent on carbohydrate.

Weight Loss

One of the main drivers for any diet is weight loss. Although there is limited research available for the long-term success of these diets, studies have shown weight loss benefits in the short term.

Low-carb, high-fat diets, such as the ketogenic diet, have been successful for weight loss.

One study on obese women showed 9% weight loss after six months on the diet and 10.6% weight loss after a year.11

On the other hand, the Paleo diet has a limited number of scientific studies with which it’s associated.12 Some studies have suggested the diet may help with weight loss and the correction of metabolic dysfunction, but further research may be needed to test these findings.12

How are Keto and Paleo Different?

As you can see, many of the food choices and goals overlap with both diets; but there are key differences unique to each one.

Different Belief Systems

Although many of the food choices in both keto and Paleo overlap, the philosophies behind each is different.

The keto diet creates metabolic adaptations with a science-based approach. It’s all about consuming a lot of fat in comparison to very few carbohydrates. Paleo employs a holistic ideology and lifestyle. Keto and Paleo have similar dietary requirements, but for different reasons.

Carbohydrate Composition

The keto diet involves an extremely low carb intake. The Paleo diet allows certain carbohydrates as long as they’re from whole foods. Since processed carbs are eliminated, you often end up with a low carb diet no matter which plan you choose to follow.

Some wholesome carbs include sweet potatoes, taro root, carrots, and winter squash. As we mentioned, Paleo also allows natural sugar sources such as maple syrup and honey—but these wouldn’t be allowed on keto based on their high carb content.

A true keto diet eliminates almost all carb sources, even certain vegetables (such as potatoes). Any amount of carbs can raise blood sugar, trigger insulin release, stop ketogenesis and take the body out of ketosis.

Dairy

A strict Paleo diet discourages dairy, as it wasn’t consumed in the Paleolithic Era. The keto diet allows for certain types of dairy to be consumed; in fact, they’re even encouraged.

The most popular keto dairy options include grass fed butter, heavy whipping cream, Greek yogurt, and many cheese varieties (Swiss, provolone, mozzarella, brie, and Jack are all considered keto-friendly). Since these dairy options are low in carbohydrate content and high in fat, they fit within the keto framework.

Which Diet Should You Choose?

A diet plan is like building a house. For keto and Paleo, the floors, walls, and roof beams may be similar. But their foundations are completely different. To recap, the keto diet is based on creating metabolic adaptations using a science-based approach. The Paleo uses a holistic ideology based on food choice rather than a macronutrient focus.

Different groups can benefit from both diets, but you should focus on the one suited to your individual goals.

If you're a diabetic, keto may be beneficial to you, due to carb-restriction and reduced insulin sensitivity. Endurance athletes benefit from the fat-adaptation that is characteristic of keto, as prolonged endurance exercise requires less energy from glucose stores, enabling the body can tap into the unlimited fat stores for energy over the course of a long race.

Resistance training athletes such as bodybuilders and CrossFit-ers may prefer Paleo, as the carbs may be better utilized during high-intensity training sessions.

In the world of Paleo vs keto, there is no clear cut winner. The best diet is the one you can stick to—so base your dietary choices around your specific needs. The results should be sustainable over a lifetime instead of being short sighted.



The Keto Secret: How to lose weight without starvation, calorie counting or exercise

Fire Team Whiskey Founder, former Army Captain Stephanie Lincoln was fed up. She was frustrated because she was doing “all the right things” yet her weight continued to climb. She was eating “whole grains”, low fat, counting and controlling every calorie, exercising for 1-2 hours a day and yet, continued to gain weight. She threw in the towel and decided to embark on a search for the answer to her weight gain and long list of medical complaints. She then discovered this way of eating called Keto. Learn more about why keto resolved every single issue, cut her body fat in half, and the 3 “hacks” that made transitioning to keto easy and sustainable. Watch this webinar and learn about how you can use keto and these 3 “keto hacks” to lose weight without calorie counting, starvation or exercise.

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey LLC 2019 All rights reserved.

I ate over half a gallon of coconut oil in 60 days and here is what happened....

With the recent attacks on coconut oil by the American Heart Association and the long running medical view that coconut oil (which is high in saturated fat) is a “poisonous” food for humans to consume, I decided to do my own N=1 experiment.

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I bought a big jug of coconut oil (over half a gallon) and consumed, cooked with, drank or used on my skin the entire jug in 60 days. Here is what this looked like for me:

Every morning I had two cups of coffee with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 10 tablespoons of heavy cream. For lunch, I had a coconut MCT oil shake in the form of a Fire Team Whiskey SpecOps Shake. And when I made dinner, any vegetable or meat I cooked on a skillet was cooked in coconut oil. And sometimes I use it on my skin if my skin is especially dry.

According to the American Heart Association, because I am eating so much saturated fat, my "bad cholesterol" should be through the roof, I should be getting fat, and that I should be about ready to have a stroke or a heart attack any moment. I have been eating well over their recommended daily limit of 13 grams of saturated fat a day for 2 years now. I average about 100 grams of saturated fat per day! My blood work is exceptional in every single area. My body fat is at 16.5 percent. I have never been fitter. I have never felt healthier. According to the American Heart Association, I should be terribly sick or a heart attack waiting to happen...yet I can hike up a mountain for days with a 50-pound pack on my back and leave everyone in my dust. My ticker seems to have no trouble ticking.

So what is the conclusion of my little experiment of consuming over half a gallon of the "deadly" saturated fat filled coconut oil in 60 days and 2 years now of eating about 100 grams of saturated fats a day? The American Heart Association guidelines are not based on sound science. They provide dietary guidelines based on very old, faulty science, and refuse to consider any information that conflicts with their own. (Want to learn more about this saturated fat/cholesterol myth? Read the book Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore, it will blow your mind!

Want to learn more about the health benefits of coconut oil and it’s derivative, MCT Oil? Check out this video below and go to this page with a summary of over 20 scientific articles about the health benefits of MCTs.

FTW Founder Stephanie Lincoln discusses what happened when she ate over half a gallon of coconut oil in 60 days and the 12 benefits of coconut oil.

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey, LLC 2019 All rights reserved.

What is the keto flu and how do you cure it?

The Fire Team Whiskey eating plans and supplements transition our participants to a ketogenic lifestyle. We designed our nutritional programs to slowly walk a person to a keto lifestyle over the course of 90 days. Taking a slower approach can help you avoid the dreaded “keto flu” and this is why we designed our nutritional plans in this manner. It is important to be vigilant and to make these adjustments in your lifestyle by adding supplements and paying attention to potential signs of the keto flu. If you would like to take a slower approach to starting a keto lifestyle and try the Fire Team Whiskey Keto nutritional Programs, chech out your options by clicking on the button below.

This article was republished on the FTW Blog site with the permission of HVM

Authored by Dr. Brianna StubbsAarushi Bajaj and Nate Martins • December 14, 2018

You've decided to try the keto diet. The low-carb, high-fat diet can be great for performance and decreasing body weight, but the body needs a little bit of time to adapt to fat as an energy source. Often, there are some symptoms involved during this period of adaptation.

It's called the "keto flu," a commonly-experienced set of side-effects associated with carbohydrate withdrawal. This may sound like withdrawal from substance abuse; interestingly, recent studies have compared the effect of carbohydrates (particularly sugar) on the brain to that of addictive drugs like cocaine.1 Reported symptoms include: mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and dizziness. It can last anywhere from a day to a couple weeks.

Shortsighted dieters may allow keto flu knock them off the diet altogether–but after a period of metabolic adaptation, the body adjusts to the change and will reach a state where it's burning fat as a fuel source, a largely-stored, but for many, a largely untapped bodily energy source. There are several ways to reduce, prevent or manage symptoms of the keto flu. We'll discuss some of the most common symptoms, the science behind them, and offer some solutions to nascent keto dieters.

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Science Behind Keto Flu

Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source. When those are restricted, the body responds through a series of changes to transition from using glucose (stored carbs) for energy to using fat. This gear-switching is a good thing; but it's also the reason for keto flu. First, blood sugar drops and causes hypoglycemia,, which is low blood sugar < 55 mg/dL.2 In response, the body changes both the fuel it uses for energy and how neurons in the brain function. Second, changes occur in other bodily systems that alter electrolyte, water and hormone levels–this can lead to dehydration from following the ketogenic diet.


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Falling Blood Glucose

The physical consequences of sudden carb removal, we must first understand that our body generates energy using two main mechanisms: glycolysis (converting glucose to energy) and beta-oxidation (converting fat to energy).

Complying with a low-carb ketogenic diet means forcing the body to switch from using carbs as energy (via glycolysis) to using fats as energy (via beta-oxidation). After a period of adaptation, the body usually begins to generate energy from the breakdown of ketones (via a process call ketolysis) instead of glucose. This switch occurs because the body breaks down fatty acids into ketones so the brain can use them for fuel.3 

What happens when the body hasn't yet learned to burn fat and produce ketones? That's where hypoglycemia comes it. The result is a temporary energy deficit and low blood sugar. Remember: this is a transient period of adaptation. Switching to using fats and ketones as energy varies by person, depending on a mix of genetics and habitual diet; some individuals demonstrate a greater metabolic flexibility than others. These lucky individuals may show far fewer symptoms or experience the flu for a shorter duration.

Research has found the same pathways of the reward system in the brain are activated in both high-carb foods and cocaine or heroin. Both cause the release of dopamine (a "feel good" hormone). Regular carb consumption modifies gene expression and dopamine receptor availability in that reward system over time. This translates to a need for even more carbohydrates to have the same effect on those brain receptors. So the sudden removal of carbohydrates can lead to withdrawn symptoms, both physical and psychological.

Electrolyte Imbalance and Dehydration

Electrolytes are the minerals in the body that are derived from salts, e.g. calcium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and sodium. Electrolyte levels, controlled by the kidneys, are crucial for maintaining bodily functions such as heartbeat regulation and muscle contraction.4 

Why does the ketogenic diet cause these imbalances? Carbohydrate restriction, and thus insulin release. With a lower carb intake, insulin levels drop.

Insulin signals cells in the body to absorb glucose in the bloodstream, and signals the kidneys to store more water.5 Lower insulin levels (as a result of decreased carb intake) means the kidneys now store less water. This results in dehydration and the flushing out of electrolytes in the process.6 Stored carbohydrates (glycogen) trap three grams of water per gram of glycogen–so this also causes a depletion while on keto, further contributing to the reduced amount of water and electrolytes in the body.

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Hormonal Stress Response 

A poorly-formulated ketogenic diet (one too low in calories or deficient in micronutrients) can trigger a starvation response in the body, thus raising levels of cortisol (stress hormone). 7Cortisol release is the body's attempt to product the brain by raising blood sugar, trying to compensate for the now low blood sugar caused by carb reduction. If excess cortisol is released, stress response and blood sugar stability can become deregulated.

Thyroid hormones are also something to consider. They have several function, including the maintenance and regulation of carbohydrate/energy metabolism. The T3 (or euthyroid) is the most biologically active form of the hormone, and is linked to dietary carb consumption. T3 levels have shown to decrease in response to carb restriction below a certain threshold (which varies from person to person).8 The result may be fatigue or difficulty focusing through the adaptation period. Conversely, lowered T3 is also hypothesized to bring several benefits if thyroid function is normal. This includes improving longevity and preserving muscle mass.

While discomfort may result during the transition, you can rest assured that lowered T3 does not appear to be indicative of hypothyroidism.9  

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Solutions to Common Symptoms

Symptoms of the keto flu vary from person to person. But there are easy solutions one can leverage to help combat these symptoms.

If you're looking for a supplement to help with keto flu, try HVMN Ketone, our flagship product. HVMN Ketone can give you an energy boost without the need for carbs, while keeping your blood ketone levels elevated. Try it here.

Headaches

In ketosis, headaches can occur due to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. With low insulin levels, the kidneys go into a diuretic state, so potassium, water, and sodium are excreted. A silver lining here is the loss of excess water weight (and thus weight loss) with the decrease in stored water. Conversely, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are the reasons for many keto flu symptoms. Monitor salt and water intake while on keto, and consider supplementing with electrolytes.

The necessity of electrolyte management is underestimated on low-carb diets. Even if macronutrient intake is monitored correctly, maintaining the correct balance of electrolytes often goes overlooked. The cause of electrolyte imbalance? Usually, it's eating too few mineral-rich fruits and vegetables when transitioning to the keto diet. Removing salt-laden, processed foods means the body is now cut off from the sodium or electrolyte sources it once had. While many keto dieters are weary of increasing sodium intake and raising blood pressure, removing processed foods from the diet and reducing carb intake already has a significant blood pressure-lowering effect.10

Supplementing other minerals is also vital. Magnesium is important for the body, contributing to muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and protein synthesis.11 Potassium is also helps proper functioning of the heart, digestion and muscle function.12 Foods rich in potassium and magnesium include tomatoes, avocados, salmon, nuts, leafy greens, and animal protein. Bouillon cubes, homemade stocks (like beef broth or chicken broth), and sea salt are all rich in sodium and minerals. One should consume these to minimize the risk of headaches. 

Cramps

Cramping is the most common sign that electrolytes are out of balance.

The common mistake is not drinking enough water to compensate for water during the keto transition phase, which may result in low blood pressure and constipation, other than just cramps.6 Causes for cramps can also be caused by low potassium or low magnesium. Animal protein is an excellent potassium source, and the juices from cooking meats should be retained for this purpose. For magnesium, seek out leafy greens; the darker the better!

Constipation 

This may be a result of the digestive system transitioning on keto. Any dramatic lifestyle changes impact gut microbiome, inevitably altering bowel movements. Dehydration can worsen constipation (because of the increase excretion of fluids by the kidneys). Eliminating high-carb fruits and vegetables can also reduce dietary fiber and contribute to constipation.

Eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, exercise and drink plenty of water every day. But be warned–eating excessive fiber can also lead to constipation, so finding a balance is necessary. That balance is something that can only be determined from personal experience.13 MCT or medium-chain triglyceride oils are a solution. This may help to relieve constipation, as fat can help push bowel movements through. Finally, care should be taken to ensure your calorie intake is adequate, as not eating enough calories can also contribute to constipation.

Bad Breath

Some keto dieters experience bad breath, discerningly fruity or similar to nail polish remover. Besides the oder, this might be positive–it's an indicator of a body in ketosis. However, it's usually reported to go away within a week or two, once the body adapts to the new metabolic state it is in. Maintaining good oral hygiene, increasing water intake, and using gum or breath freshener can help mask or reduce the smell in the interim while the body is still adapting. 

Fatigue, Low Mood, and Cravings 

As the body adapts to ketosis, decrease in energy levels and weakness are often reported, which can impair physical performance. Fatigue can last anywhere from three days to weeks as the body prepares new enzymes for the diet.

The tiredness may be caused by thyroid hormone and cortisol changes; the body is trying to compensate for the lowered carbohydrate intake by releasing more cortisol, which raises blood sugar. The possible result? Irritable mood and reduced sleep quality. Since cortisol levels are likely to reduce again when the body becomes keto-adapted, these symptoms should be temporary. To lessen fatigue, water and mineral intake should be carefully monitored (and likely increased). B vitamins, particularly B5, are vital for helping with fatigue and lethargy. It's crucial to eat enough calories from fat for sustenance, as being under-fueled can also cause fatigue.

Removing glucose from the diet can affect mood and cause cravings. Replacing foods you crave with low-carb alternative or removing food "triggers" can help reduce the psychological (and thus physiological) symptoms of carb withdrawal. While there are low-carb recipes for some of your favorite treats, many people who have successfully transitioned to the ketogenic diet say that just going “cold turkey” on sweet-tasting things and refined sugars helps to get rid of those nasty cravings sooner.

You may be doing keto wrong.

The ketogenic diet is difficult to maintain–there’s a ton of misinformation and pseudoscience out there about the best ways to burn fat. Subscribe to receive the latest facts and techniques (backed by science) for executing keto properly.

Summary

Keto flu systems are often transient, disappearing completely after keto-adaptation.

Lifestyle determines length and severity of the keto flu for the individual, with symptoms likely greater for individuals who ate a high-carb diet previously. Even during transition, the symptoms can be alleviated if treated smartly. A well-formulated low-carb diet can progress without significant symptoms if the common mistakes of poor mineral intake, lack of fiber, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration are addressed.

Avoid falling into the common trap of assuming your body is not suited to the low-carb diet after just a few days, and instead, consider careful monitoring of water and mineral intake particularly for the days/weeks it takes your body to adapt. Have a look online for some keto support groups if you have questions, and perhaps think about trying exogenous ketones, like HVMN Ketone. Exogenous ketones can give you an energy boost as beta-hydroxybutyrate without the need to take in carbs.

Have you experienced keto flu symptoms while transitioning onto the keto diet? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Scientific Citations

1.Ahmed SH, Guillem K, Vandaele Y. Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care. 2013; 16(4):434-9.2.Desimone ME, Weinstock RS. Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia. [Updated 2017 Sep 23]. In: De Groot LJ, Chrousos G, Dungan K, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK355894/3.Manninen AH. Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” of Human Metabolism. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2004;1(2):7-11. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-1-2-7.4.Balcı AK, Koksal O, Kose A, et al. General characteristics of patients with electrolyte imbalance admitted to emergency department. World Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2013;4(2):113-116. doi:10.5847/wjem.j.issn.1920-8642.2013.02.005.5.Rubenstein AH, Mako ME, Horwitz DL. Insulin and the kidney. Nephron. 1975; 15(3-5):306-26.6.Artunc F, Schleicher E, Weigert C, Fritsche A, Stefan N, Häring HU. The impact of insulin resistance on the kidney and vasculature. Nature reviews. Nephrology. 2016; 12(12):721-737.7.Waldman HS, Krings B, Basham SA, Smith JW, Fountain BJ, McAllister MJ. Effects of a 15-Day Low Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diet in Resistance-Trained Men. (1533-4287 (Electronic)).8.Pasquali R, Parenti M, Mattioli L. Effect of dietary carbohydrates during hypocaloric treatment of obesity on peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism. Journal of endocrinological investigation. ; 5(1):47-52. [pubmed]9.Fontana L, Klein S, Holloszy JO, Premachandra BN. Effect of long-term calorie restriction with adequate protein and micronutrients on thyroid hormones. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 2006; 91(8):3232-5.10.Chen L, Caballero B, Mitchell DC, et al. Reducing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Is Associated with Reduced Blood Pressure: A Prospective Study among U.S. Adults. Circulation. 2010;121(22):2398-2406. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.911164.11.Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, NIH12.He FJ, MacGregor GA. Beneficial effects of potassium on human health. Physiologia plantarum. 2008; 133(4):725-35.13.Ho K-S, Tan CYM, Mohd Daud MA, Seow-Choen F. Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2012;18(33):4593-4596. doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i33.4593.

My Journey

My name is Stephanie Lincoln and I am the founder of Fire Team Whiskey. I am going to share my weight loss story with you.  I had amazing success with something called the Keto Diet.  My success actually inspired me to start my own Ketogenic based Health and Fitness company (Fire Team Whiskey). I wanted to share my knowledge about this way of eating with my Brothers and Sisters in arms/harms way. Here is my story. 

 

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THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 2015. This is the picture that started it all.  When I saw this picture it was like someone slapped me in the face. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I was doing all the "right" things I thought. I ran 2-3 miles 3 days a week. I did power yoga another 2 days a week. I always got my "steps". My daily food consisted of veggies, hummus, salads, oatmeal, whole wheat toast, brown rice, lean meats, and fruit. Apparently, I was doing something wrong.  On top of all that, I was hypoglycemic, so I had to eat constantly (about every 2 hours) to keep my blood sugar from crashing. I had some nasty fainting spells and I was terrified to leave the house without food in tow. I because known as the "lunchbox lady" because I carried a lunchbox with me everywhere I went. After the slap in the face Thanksgiving picture, I was desperate to find a solution. I had yo-yo dieted like everyone else. Restricted calories. Starved myself. Slim Fast. Diet pills. You name it, I probably tried it at some point and time. And like everyone else, I would lose a little weight, then gain it all back plus a couple pounds. I didn't want to do that again. I was at my highest weight, I was not going to start yet another diet and get even heavier from my efforts.

Like a good nerd, I decided to do extensive research. Instead of going at it in the weight loss way, I wanted to see if I could target my hypoglycemia and then hopefully have the added bonus of weight loss.  I started Googling diets that were good for hypoglycemia and I came across this thing called Keto. Being the nerd that I am, I promptly ordered 3 books on the subject. My mind was blown! It made total sense. This was science. With a diet consisting of about 50% carbs (even "healthy carbs"), I was eating to make my condition worse not better! I didn't jump right into Keto mind you. I was very skeptical, so I decided to ease into it. First I started portion controlling my carbs. I started with cutting down to just two 1/4 cup servings of anything "carby" a day. I did that for a few months and really started to see a difference in my body fat. I was still having the blood sugar struggles though. I cut sugar from my diet. Then I cut grains. Then I cut fruit. I went full Keto in April of 2017 and I have been ever since. On occasion, I shift back to a few weeks of a Paleo diet. I also added intermittent fasting to my routine.

How has life changed? I don't count calories. I am not constantly hungry and struggling to keep my blood sugar up. I rarely have a sugar low (and when I do it is because I had more carbs than normal that day).  I went from 140 pounds and very tight size 8 to around 120 pounds and wearing a size 2. My skin cleared up, it looks glowing and healthy (I struggled with acne basically since my teens). I never have afternoon sleepiness, in fact, I have so much energy I have a hard time going to bed. I actually gained a reputation amongst my friends and co-workers as having no ability to hit a brick wall with my energy. Best of all, I don't miss sugar or carbs! I have found healthy ways to get my "sweet fix" or bread whenever I want it. Just Google the word "keto" before any carby food you miss and you will find tons of recipes to make it grain and sugar-free. 

I will never go back to that so-called "healthy" way of eating again. The traditional "healthy" way of eating made me sick and slowly gain weight. When people ask me how I stay so slim they assume I just don't eat or that I live off of mustard and celery. I love to tell people that my diet consists of about 80% fat and that I drink heavy cream lattes, and eat steak, guacamole, eggs, bacon, butter, and sour cream. I love to see their eyes pop out of their heads! Keto is a great way to eat because I am never hungry! On some days, almost the whole day flies by and I have no notice that I haven't eaten anything yet that day. Before, with my old way of eating, I would have fainted from low blood sugar about 4 hours into forgetting to eat. The Keto Diet not only helped me lose 20 pounds, but I have never felt or looked healthier.

P.s My blood work is absolutely perfect! Keto is a safe eating plan for almost everyone and I believe it has saved my life. I feel so passionately about the negative effects of grains and sugar that I started my own Keto and Paleo based Health and Fitness company. The Fire Team Whiskey Eating Plans take a person gradually to a Ketogenic lifestyle, basically the way I did it. I believe that if something is going to work for most, then you have to provide a gradual path for someone to get there. If you are ready to try this transition for yourself, enlist in Fire Team Whiskey today and start your journey! I hope we will one day will be featuring your before and after transformation photos on the Fire Team Whiskey website!

 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved

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