Side Effects Of Low-Carb Diets

Side Effects Of Low-Carb Diets

When people opt for low-carb diets, they hope the side effects will be weight loss. In many cases, they’re right. Low-carb diets also have some negative side effects that range from uncomfortable to painful. Low-carb diets are designed to reduce the number of calories from carbs and increase calories from protein and fat. When you limit carbs, you limit sugary and refined products are removed from the diet. That alone can make a difference in overall good health and weight loss, and it’s a positive difference. What are some of the negative side effects people experience?

Sometimes it’s called the keto flu or induction flu.

When you start a low-carb diet, particularly one that’s extremely low in carbs, like a keto diet, you get flu-like symptoms. It starts in the first few days and can last a week or more. It has flu symptoms, like feeling exhausted, experiencing nausea, and sometimes feeling mentally disoriented and confused. A few people have symptoms of hypoglycemia—low blood sugar. It occurs after the body uses all the glucose and glucose stores, but still requires energy. It then breaks down fat to produce ketones for fuel. When there are no carbs in the system, insulin is reduced, which causes a release of water, sodium, and potassium. It can also cause the brain to have less fuel for a while, hence the brain fog.

When you’re on a low-carb diet, you’re cutting out many sources of fiber.

What happens when you don’t have enough fiber in your diet? You get constipated. Not only does a low-carb diet create dietary changes that can usher in difficulties in the bathroom, but it also reduces the fiber in your diet. Low-carb diets reduce the amount of grain and other high-fiber foods, like beans. That lack of fiber causes constipation. When choosing carbs, choose food that provides fiber.

Ketosis causes halitosis.

Bad breath can be a big side effect of a strict low-carb diet, primarily the keto diet. When your body switches from using glucose to using ketones for food, acetone is produced. It is removed through urination or exhalation. It causes the breath to smell like nail polish remover, sickeningly sweet, or worse due to other by-products also exiting the body. No amount of brushing, flossing, or gargling can remove the smell.

  • If you’re on an extremely low-carb diet, you can avoid flu-like symptoms if you drink bouillon or broth. Dehydration, low sodium, magnesium, or potassium can cause the problem. Increasing fluids can also help with constipation.
  • Muscle cramps are side effects of low-carb diets. Drinking more water and sometimes supplementing it with magnesium can help. If you have keto breath or strong-smelling perspiration, drinking more water helps that, too.
  • Heart palpitations or an elevated heart rate can occur when you initially start a low-carb diet. It’s from dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Drinking broth or more water can help.
  • Athletes and people who exercise regularly may notice a reduction in their performance. Drinking a cup of broth or lightly salted water 30-60 minutes before activity helps. It will correct itself in a few weeks.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

The Difference Between Food Allergy And Sensitivity

The Difference Between Food Allergy And Sensitivity

Most people in Lakeland, FL, can identify some food that doesn’t agree with them. A few live in fear because their reaction could be life-threatening. That’s one explanation of the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity, or intolerance. It’s how the body responds to the food and what triggers the reaction. The immune system triggers a food allergy. Food sensitivity, or intolerance, is triggered by the digestive system.

Your body can’t adequately process food with food sensitivity.

People with sensitivities to food don’t face life-threatening consequences. Their belly may bloat with gas, but their face and airways won’t swell. All the action takes place in the digestive tract. If you’re lactose intolerant, you can’t process the sugar, which is lactose in dairy. Your body doesn’t create the enzymes, or creates less than required, to digest the food. The result is that the dairy fails to digest in the small intestines, or only partially digests, and the watery undigested lactose moves to the colon. It ferments there and causes bloating, pain, and gas.

Food allergies start with the immune system and can have severe, life-threatening results.

The immune response to the body’s foreign invaders is beneficial when the invader is a virus, bacteria, or fungus, but can be deadly if the body mistakes a specific food protein for an invader. It can trigger similar reactions, and produce antibodies to attack it, releasing chemicals into the system. In rare, but extreme cases, just touching the food can create a dangerous reaction. Breathing difficulties, digestive issues, and skin conditions like hives or swelling can occur.

Some foods commonly cause both reactions and sensitivities.

Food that’s difficult to digest for some people due to enzymes includes dairy, due to too little lactase, the enzyme that breaks it down. It includes the inability to break down histamines in food like pineapples, cheese, bananas, chocolate, and avocados. Gluten is another protein the body may have difficulty digesting, just as food additives or preservatives are. People can be sensitive to naturally occurring chemicals or sugars, caffeine is one chemical example, and an onion is an example of a sugar. Some of the same foods are responsible for allergies. Eight foods are responsible for 90% of food allergies. They include milk, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and soybeans.

  • While most food allergies are related to allergic antibodies, some aren’t. Instead, they activate other parts of the immune system, are delayed, and don’t cause life-threatening issues but primarily vomiting, diarrhea, or bloating.
  • Some conditions create a fertile environment for the development of food sensitivities. These are inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Celiac disease can create conditions for other food sensitivities.
  • While digestive issues may be similar in food sensitivity and food allergies, food sensitivity doesn’t cause skin conditions, swelling, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or death.
  • Skin pinprick tests can’t determine every food allergy. A few allergies require the consumption of the offending food. People often refuse the test and avoid the offending food instead.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Are 1 Lb. Of Fat And 1 Lb. Of Muscle Equal?

Are 1 Lb. Of Fat And 1 Lb. Of Muscle Equal?

Do you want to look your best? People often focus on losing weight, but they also need to focus on the fat to muscle tissue ratio. The two aren’t equal. A biological female weighing 130 pounds but has over 25% body fat will look far heavier than a counterpart weighing the same whose body fat is 14%. Even though the two are the same weight, the one with more muscle will look thinner.

Muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue.

If you created a container to hold precisely one pound of fat tissue and a container to hold exactly one pound of muscle tissue, the one containing fat tissue would have to be bigger than the one containing muscle. A pound of fat tissue isn’t as dense as muscle tissue and requires more space to hold a pound. It weighs less per cubic inch. It’s why working out makes you look thinner even if you don’t lose a single pound. You’ve built a pound of muscle and lost a pound of fat. You’ll look thinner the more muscle you have.

Fat plays a different role in the body than muscle does.

Fat is stored energy that is ready to use for energy if there’s not enough food. Muscle performs a different function. It’s necessary for movement and that movement can keep the body healthier and bones strong. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you’ll burn even when you’re at rest.

Too much fat plays a negative role in health.

If you’re extremely muscular and at the high end of the weight chart, there’s normally no effect on your health. In fact, you’ll probably be healthier than the average person within the normal weight range. You’ll have lower blood glucose levels, less inflammation, and better insulin sensitivity. Excess fat plays a different role in health, particularly if it’s around the waist. A higher percentage of fat can increase the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, metabolic disorders, and diabetes.

  • You’ll look better with a healthier fat to muscle tissue ratio. You’ll have a more defined body mass that doesn’t jiggle when you move. It doesn’t matter what body shape you have lean; toned muscles add to its appearance.
  • Never try to eliminate all fat from the body. Fat plays an important role too. It’s a matter of ensuring you don’t have too much.
  • Diet alone isn’t enough to achieve a good balance of body fat and muscle. Exercise that builds muscle tissue improves body composition. Strength-building workouts and a healthy diet can reduce body fat while providing many health benefits.
  • If you’re doing strength training to build muscles, you’re also increasing your output of calories, which can lead to even more weight loss. While cardio exercises are important, the calories burned come from both muscle and fat.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Signs You Need To Eat More Calories

Signs You Need To Eat More Calories

People who work out at Habitat Health and Fitness know that continuously eating more calories than you require causes weight gain. It’s the first thing most overweight people learn about weight control. What most people don’t search for are signs you actually need to eat more calories. It may sound like a dream come true, but it isn’t. It’s just as hard to gain weight as it is to lose it. Too few calories can interfere with the functions of the body and lead to critical health issues.

If you don’t have enough energy to complete normal daily activities, you may need more calories.

Exhaustion from doing simple tasks can occur for several reasons. Some reasons are serious health conditions that require medical attention. One that can be prevented is the lack of calories. The body uses calories for energy. If there aren’t enough calories, it uses body fat. Once the body fat is depleted, it breaks down the protein in the body for energy. All along, weight loss and exhaustion can become a problem, particularly over longer periods.

Too few calories can cause mood swings.

If your temper is shorter than usual or you’re laughing one minute and crying the next, it could be from too few calories. A calorie deficiency can cause hormone levels to change, which can lead to mood changes, depression, and irritability. Besides low calorie intake, nutritional deficiencies can also occur. Each type of deficiency comes with its own side effects, which also are clues you’re not eating enough.

While losing weight is one sign, gaining weight may be another.

Weight management is tricky. It requires balancing the number of calories consumed with the amount burned. If you consistently consume too few calories, it can slow your metabolism. That can cause weight gain or difficulty managing weight. Some people starve themselves for a while to shed extra pounds and then go back to normal dietary habits and immediately regain the weight and sometimes more. That can occur because of a slower metabolism caused by too few calories for lengthy periods.

  • Ironically, even though exhaustion may be one sign, the inability to sleep is another. This instinct came from early man who remained awake to hunt when there were too few calories in his diet.
  • If you notice your hair is thinning, it might be from too few calories and the nutrients you aren’t receiving from not eating the foods providing calories.
  • Infertility can be a problem if you eat too few calories. It can promote hormonal imbalances causing periods to cease. Low calorie intake or low body fat percentage interferes with hormones and signals the body that pregnancy shouldn’t take place.
  • If you’re always feeling cold, tired, or hungry, make sure your calorie count isn’t too low. It can cause all three things to occur. Too few calories can also cause constipation.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness


The Benefits Of Leafy Greens

The Benefits Of Leafy Greens

While working out is an important part of weight loss and fitness, nutrition also plays an important role. We have local farmers in Lakeland, FL, that grow some of the healthiest options, such as leafy greens. You get many health benefits from adding leafy greens to your diet. They’re high in fiber and water content, so they’re filling, yet have only a few calories, improving weight loss potential. Depending on the green, there are a wide variety of nutrients, too. The potassium in leafy greens like spinach can help reduce bloating, relieving you of excess water weight.

Combine dark leafy greens into a salad or make them into a smoothie.

Dark leafy greens contain folate, which is sometimes called vitamin B9. It’s the natural B9, with the synthetic type that’s harder to digest called folic acid. Many people already know that a healthy folate level is important for anyone that wants to get pregnant or is pregnant, since it reduces the risk of defects of the neural tube of the baby, plus lowers the risk of congenital heart defects and cleft palates. It also increases fertility rates in both men and women. Folate improves cognitive development and functioning and reduces the risk of cognitive decline. It boosts heart, vision, bone, and immune system health. It helps fight cancer and is a natural mood enhancer.

Leafy greens prevent premature aging.

Your DNA has a protective cap called telomeres. They perform the same function as the plastic ends on shoelaces, preventing the DNA from unraveling. The longer they are, the longer the cell lives and replicates. Leafy greens help delay telomere shortening, just as regular exercise does. Dark leafy greens also contain beta-carotene that helps reduce the potential of sun damage to the skin and prevents fine lines, while stimulating cellular turnover for clear skin.

Improve your immune system with leafy greens.

Inflammation is beneficial if it’s acute and lasts a short period. If it’s out of control and chronic it can damage the body. Acute inflammation occurs when you’re injured and helps start the healing process by increasing blood flow to the area and triggering the release of proteins and antibodies. Those fight off microbes that invade the body and cause illness. Chronic inflammation is different. It lingers and leaves your body in a continual state of alertness, negatively impacting all the tissues and organs. The nutrients in leafy greens, such as kale, collards and spinach, help regulate the immune system. Leafy greens contain vitamins A, C, and E, folate, antioxidants, D, polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, and lutein which reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

  • The combination of electrolytes, dietary fiber and glycosylates supports liver health and facilitates the production of enzymes that aid in digestion and reduce constipation.
  • The USDA—United States Department of Agriculture—studied the effects of consuming 2 to 3 servings of leafy greens daily. It found it lowered the risk of stomach, skin and breast cancer.
  • Leafy greens provide anti-inflammatory compounds that maintain blood pressure and nerve functioning. It also contains vitamin K that aids in arterial health and normal blood clotting.
  • One of the biggest benefits of eating more leafy greens is weight loss. Obesity is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Adding extra servings to your daily diet can help shave off extra pounds.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

End Carb Cravings [Part 2]

End Carb Cravings [Part 2]

If you missed our last post 7 tips to End Carb Cravings. 👈click the link and catch up 😃

Today I’d like to expand on that a little. Let’s talk about Fast Acting carbs.

Fast acting carbs are usually highly processed foods that quickly impact your blood sugar levels. Typically, the less processed the food the higher the fiber content.

Not all calories are equal.

In a recent study participants were given one of two milkshakes. Both shakes were identical in total calories and distribution in fats, proteins, and carbs.

The difference? One shake was fast acting carbs the other shake slow acting carbs.

What did they find?

Fast acting carbs not only disrupted insulin (our fat storing hormone) but they also activated craving centers in the brain.

This explains what is happening when we “fall off the wagon.”

Fast acting carbs will affect the same areas of the brain of individuals who are suffering from addiction to alcohol and cocaine.

Break the Craving ➤ Reward Cycle

The fastest way to eliminate cravings and stabilize your metabolism is to reduce fast acting carbs and increase healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

Fast Acting carbs are linked to memory loss, brain fog, and ADD symptoms.

If you are interested in this topic, check out a book written by David Ludwig called Always Hungry.

Conclusion: Fast acting carbs are highly processed and disrupt blood sugar, insulin, and metabolism. Reducing fast acting carbs is the fastest way to eliminate cravings.

Action Step: Add in healthy fats, protein, and fiber to help stabilize blood sugar.

7 Tips to End Carb Cravings

7 Tips to End Carb Cravings

Imagine. You’re eating healthy. You’re feeling good.


3 pm hits. You want something sweet!

Just then…you pass by the donut table in the office. You’ve avoided it all day.

But suddenly…

You crack! Oops…oh no!

Here are 7 tips to gain control over your carb cravings.

Get 7 hours of Sleep: 🛌Lack of sleep causes a hormonal shift in the body which leads to an increase in hunger, cravings,  and poorer choices.

Improving insulin sensitivity is very important when it comes to carb cravings. Magnesium is the nutrient to help with this. Sports Scientists recommend a minimum of 500 mg of magnesium daily.

The best forms of magnesium are glycinate or citrate. Taking it before bed will help you sleep. Using a magnesium oil will help with leg cramps and muscle soreness.

Fix your gut: Everyone has GOOD and BAD gut bacteria. The BAD bacteria feed on sugar. An overgrowth of bad bacteria will skyrocket your carb cravings. Take a good quality probiotic to help increase the GOOD bacteria.

Deal with stress: Cortisol is a stress hormone. The fastest way for your body to deal with excess cortisol is an insulin dump. What causes an insulin dump? Excess sugar! Avoid this cycle reduce stress using a method below.

Stress reducing activities: Prayer, meditation, yoga, leisure walking, and Epsom salt baths.

Try L-Glutamine & 5-HTP These two supplements have been shown to reduce carb/sugar cravings immediately.

5-HTP is a popular supplement to help with depression and anxiety.

L-Glutamine is an amino acid and provides the brain with an alternative source of energy. It also helps with alcohol cravings.

If you are on medications consult with your Dr before adding them in. 5-HTP shouldn’t be mixed with certain meds.

🚫Avoid artificial sweeteners studies show when we consume artificial sweeteners it excites the brain. It thinks sugar is coming. When real sugar doesn’t come in you will begin to crave sugar. You can’t fool your body.

Studies show people who use artificial sweeteners will consume an extra 300 calories daily.

Lean🥩 and Green 🥦stabilizing blood sugar is your best defense against carb cravings. 4-5 meals a day of protein and fiber will help stabilize blood sugar.

Bonus: Out of sight out of mind. If the sweet stuff isn’t around, most of the time you’ll just resist the craving and move on. The momentary weakness will usually pass within 15 minutes.

In summary, if you find yourself struggling with carb cravings check your sleep. You’ll notice cravings are worse when you are running ragged. Other than that add in a few supplements like probiotics, magnesium, L-glutamine, and 5-HTP (check with your Dr of course.) If you find yourself stressed out go for a leisure walk, pray or take an Epsom salt bath.

Read End Carb Cravings Part 2 for more on this topic.