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You will be surprised! When you give your body what it needs, it will return the favor and give you what you want. Plus, you will have energy and living a fulfilling life. The question is, how do you know what you need?
At the beginning of my weight loss and fitness journey, I was 300 lbs. If you are like me, I would recommend that you only concentrate on relearning how to eat, learning reasonable portions, and getting good organic grass-fed meat in dairy in your house. Those should be your priorities. Yes, supplements are meant to help you, but first, you have to learn about your body, food, training and becoming consistent in the process.
When you have a lot of weight to lose like I did (150 lbs.) being consistent day in and day out is what’s going to get you to your goal. A shake, a pill, or a powder will not. Being successful and consistent in the weight loss process is essential. If you are not losing weight, there is no need for supplements.
Weight loss is incremental steps. Don’t skip steps.
Once you are consistent with your nutrition and training, lose weight and are becoming leaner, it’s time to think about adding supplements.
The way I think of supplements – They are meant to make up for deficiencies in your diet while cutting or bulking. It’s especially true when cutting because you are cutting foods out or limiting a great deal.
This section is for those who are eating very low carb and high fat.
When you eat low carb, your kidney’s expel salt in your urine. Salt is needed in our bodies, and deficiencies will cause increased blood pressure, headache, fatigue and general malaise. In addition to salt, the electrolytes potassium and magnesium are deficient.
So we have to replace these components through supplements.
Salt and potassium
Keto requires the intake of a lot of water. In your first liter of water a day, add 1/2 tsp. of low salt. Low salt contains 50% salt and 50% potassium. With 1/2 teaspoon, you will get 700 mg of potassium.
Then eat some potassium rich foods. Here are some keto-friendly potassium rich foods!
- avocados (~ 1,000 mg per average piece)
- nuts ( ~ 100-300 mg per 30g / 1 oz serving, depending on the type)
- dark leafy greens (~ 160 mg per cup of raw, 840 mg per cooked)
- salmon (~ 800 mg per average filet)
- mushrooms (~ 100-200 mg per cup)
Other ideas are to drink water with bouillon, salt foods liberally (which I often forget since I’m not used to it)
Generally, magnesium is deficient in all diets, not specific to low-carb diets. If you are suffering from magnesium deficiency you may experience muscle cramps, fatigue, and dizziness.
I use 2-tsp of Calm to a few ounces of boiling water. I allow it to fizz and then throw it in my water bottle with cold water.
You can also eat Keto-friendly magnesium rich foods!
- nuts (~ 75 mg per 1 oz of almonds)
- cacao powder and dark chocolate (~ 80 mg per 1 tbsp cacao powder)
- artichokes (~ 75 mg per average piece)
- fish (~ 60 mg per average fillet of salmon)
- spinach, cooked (~ 75 mg per 1 cup)
- blackstrap molasses (~ 50 mg per 1 tbsp)
Or try this Keto friendly electrolyte drink recipe.
Fasting: Protein Powders and BCAA’s
I practice intermittent fasting within my ketogenic lifestyle. I eat once a day. I skip breakfast, lunch and all snacks. I eat all my calories between the hours of 7 PM -9 PM (in an approximate 2-hour window). To prevent muscle catabolism (or the breaking down of muscle during the fasting time), I drink BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) on the days that I train (which is basically 6-days a week).
Studies have shown that muscle catabolism doesn’t take place until approximately 60 hours of fasting. While my longest fasts do not go beyond 45 hours, are immediate amino acids that provide my muscles fuel for protein synthesis.
The BCAA’s that I use are negligible in calories, have less than 1g of carbohydrate per serving, taste great, don’t break a fast (I can drink every 2 hours during my fast), and help satisfy the hunger/thirst signals.
If you are fasting and training, you want to be taking BCAA’s.
Grape is my favorite flavor! It’s fizzy and delicious.
Strawberry-Orange is also delicious! It tastes like a creamsicle.
I use a protein powder to meet my protein goals. Yes, it’s better to get it all from whole foods, but the fasting reduces my appetite, so sometimes it’s difficult for me to get my allotment of protein through whole foods.
Protein powders are typically whey based. Whey provides your muscles immediate BCAA’s. Since I am a fasting fiend, I want some slow releasing BCAA’s – to provide my muscles fuel for longer. This is why I chose this particular powder which has casein protein incorporated.
I drink a shake with almond milk and peanut butter at the end of my eating window (as a dessert). It provides my muscles BCAA’s while I sleep and provides me with a chocolate fix so that I don’t feel deprived.
Syntha-6 Isolates is the protein powder that I use and love!
You need a good multivitamin regardless to prevent micronutrient deficiencies.
I swear by The New Women’s Multivitamin because it has some herbal energy components, is very easy to swallow and works very well with my fasting/keto regimen.
How have supplements helped with your health and fitness?