Being constantly stressed keeps your sugar-boosting hormone cortisol jacked up, which not only elevates your blood sugar but also short-circuits fat loss. And let's be honest: When you're stressed out, you're more likely to nose-dive into keto-unfriendly foods, like comfort carbs. Find ways to dial down stress levels. I find even five minutes of shutting my eyes and taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths can give me a renewed focus and take stress down a few notches.
But much has changed on Crete – and throughout the Mediterranean – since then. Today, the people of Crete still eat a lot of olive oil, but their intake of whole, natural foods has gone way down, as has their physical activity. The island’s new staples are meat, cheese, TV, and the Internet. Today, more than 60% of Crete’s adult population – and an alarming 50% of its children – are overweight.
Flynn says the key to the success of the olive oil diet is to cook your vegetables in olive oil. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that carotenoids – the powerful antioxidants that give orange, yellow and red veg their colour and are also found in abundance in leafy greens – need fat to be absorbed. She also believes the nutrients in cruciferous veg such as broccoli and cabbage are better absorbed with oil, but that’s still yet to be conclusively proven.
If you stop taking MCT oil for a while and then restart, begin with a small amount again to allow your digestive system to readjust. That said, MCT oil is often more easily digested by those struggling to digest other types of fat, such as those with malabsorption, leaky gut, Crohn's disease or gallbladder impairment (such as an infection or if you had your gallbladder removed).
So don’t reward olive oil with the laurels, agreed Dr. Alice Lichtenstein, one of the nation’s top nutrition scientists, at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tuft University in Boston. In several interviews about this study of Greek adults, she said, “If the main message that Americans get is to just increase their olive or canola oil consumption, that’s unfortunate because they will increase their caloric intake and they are already getting too many calories.
There’s not enough of it to matter in coconut oil, it tastes bad, and it often results in stomach/gastric upset, but it converts quickly to ketones! If your generic MCT oil makes your throat burn or has a weird flavor, one reason may be that the distillation process didn’t remove enough of the C6. There are other reasons this can happen, too. We’ll cover that below.
Refined carbs lack nutrients and can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Whole grains are best; have four small daily portions of whole-wheat bread, or try a pasta made from quinoa. And always eat grains with healthy fats and protein. Incorporate sprouted or fermented grains (hello, sourdough!) for easier digestion and better nutrient absorption. Or look for creative ways to swap out grains, such as using spaghetti squash in place of noodles.
Here's what I learned about the keto diet: You essentially swap a high-carb diet, which most Americans tend to eat, for a diet that's very high in fat (the healthy kinds), moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. The idea is that you change the source from which your body gets its energy (and burns calories) from glucose (from carbohydrates) to ketones (from fat). This shift doesn't happen after one bulletproof coffee, though. It usually takes a few days of eating this way for your body to reach ketosis-where it's looking to fat as its first source of fuel. Once there, though, your body "will be burning fat all the time," says Dr. Axe. "It doesn't matter if you're working out or sleeping, or what you're doing, your body continues to burn fat in ketosis."
"Even though it's called the Mediterranean diet, it's not really a diet," said Atlanta registered dietitian Rahaf Al Bochi, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "It doesn't tell you what to eat and not eat. It's a lifestyle that encourages consuming all food groups but gives more weight to those which have the most health benefits."
Keep in mind, too, that all oils are a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated acids (though they’re usually called by the name of the fatty acid that is most abundant). Olive oil is about 14% saturated fat, so if you’re pouring olive oil into your skillets and food every day, you’re likely consuming significantly more artery-clogging saturated fat than you realized.
We will then act out our ancestral programming by eating the most calorie dense foods (i.e., pizza, french fries, cookies, cakes, etc.) and eating much more of those foods then what our body needs to energize itself until the next meal. This results in a vicious cycle of overeating and weight gain with the subconscious intention to prepare us for famine — famine that never comes.
We now know that ideally MCT oils like coconut oil should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.
The bulk of research suggests that the ketogenic diet is more effective than conventional diets in helping you lose weight and shed body fat. One of the reasons why the ketogenic diet provides such reliable weight loss results is because it consists primarily of highly-satiating whole foods like meat, high-fat dairy, and low-carb vegetables while removing all carb-rich, sugar-laden processed foods from the diet. By eating in this way, you will feel full while eating fewer calories and losing weight.
A weight loss transformation photo can only say so much about a person's past, their struggles, their victories, and the day-to-day steps they took to make a lasting change. Neither of us have had to lose a substantial amount of weight, so we need to learn from real people who have incredible weight loss transformation stories. We can all relate in one way or another.
Fact: The food is a huge part of the diet, yes, but don’t overlook the other ways the Mediterraneans live their lives. When they sit down for a meal, they don’t sit in front of a television or eat in a rush; they sit down for a relaxed, leisurely meal with others, which may be just as important for your health as what’s on your plate. Mediterraneans also enjoy plenty of physical activity.
Now olive oil known to be a healthy fat is also one of the reasons many people falsely believe the Mediterranean diet cannot help you lose weight. However, if followed correctly a Mediterranean diet not only can provide several health benefits but it can help you lose weight. Several studies have associated the Mediterranean diet with lower body fat and normal weight in children and adults.
The results in body fat percentage lost was even more striking. The average body mass percentage decreased by 2.9% in the Atkins diet group. In contrast, it decreased by 1.5% in the Ornish diet group, by 1.3% in the Zone diet group, and 1.0% in the LEARN diet group.  This means that subjects in the Atkins diets decreased their average body fat percentage at least twice of any other group- including those eating the low-fat, high carbohydrate Ornish diet.
Consume more beef and high-fat dairy. These keto foods contain high amounts of a fatty acid called Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA has been found to improve fat loss by a variety of different mechanisms. To get as much CLA as possible, source your dairy and beef from 100% grass-fed cows. CLA content is 300-500% higher in beef and dairy from grass-fed cows, compared to grain-fed cows.
Now that Flynn’s diet has demonstrated acceptance and encouraging results among several different populations, she feels that its potential is even greater than she had first fathomed. The financial accessibility of a plant-based olive oil diet is one of its most significant features, since it is often assumed that such an eating pattern will inherently be pricier than a more traditional standard American diet. Flynn remarks, “When someone says that olive oil is expensive, I point out that they are comparing olive oil pricing to vegetable oil, which I do not think is a fair comparison.” She goes on to note that since animal products often comprise the lion’s share of one’s food budget, purchasing less meat while adding more olive oil typically results in a decrease in overall food costs. This point is especially important for Flynn’s current work with food pantry clients and her future plans to bring the diet to low-income populations to improve their risk factors for chronic diseases.
Now, if you had looked only at the blood lipids of the monkeys eating the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet in this study, you’d have thought they would have ended up with cleaner arteries than those that ate more saturated fat. Compared to monkeys fed the diet high in saturated fat, the monkeys fed the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet had lower LDL bad cholesterol levels and higher HDL good cholesterol levels (similar to what happens in studies with humans). And compared to monkeys fed a diet high in polyunsaturated fats, the monkeys fed the high-mono diet had HDLs that were nearly twice as high (again, just like humans).
In 2010, researchers published findings showing MCTs help lower your risk of developing metabolic syndrome,18 which includes a cluster of symptoms such as abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Unlike carbohydrates, ketones don't stimulate a surge in insulin. Another benefit is that they don't need insulin to help them cross cell membranes, including neuronal membranes. Instead, they use protein transporters, which allow them to enter cells that have become insulin resistant.
Day 2: There's a bagel shop less than a block from my office. I pass it every single day and never really think anything of it. Well, not today! The smell of the freshly baked everything bagels-and was that veggie cream cheese I smelled?-was wafting out the door as I walked by extra quickly. (Though I found out later that there is a way to have bread and still stay in ketosis.)
A ketogenic diet helps control blood sugar levels. It is excellent for managing type 2 diabetes, sometimes even leading to complete reversal of the disease. This has been proven in studies. It makes perfect sense since keto lowers blood-sugar levels, reduces the need of medications and reduces the potentially negative impact of high insulin levels.
The traditional diets of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea differ slightly so there are different versions of the Mediterranean diet. However, in 1993 the Harvard School of Public Health, Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, and the European Office of the World Health Organization introduced the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid as a guide to help familiarize people with the most common foods of the region. More of an eating pattern than a strictly regimented diet plan, the pyramid emphasized certain foods based on the dietary traditions of Crete, Greece, and southern Italy during the mid-20th century. [1,2] At that time, these countries displayed low rates of chronic disease and higher than average adult life expectancy despite having limited access to healthcare. It was believed that the diet—mainly fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, ﬁsh, olive oil, small amounts of dairy, and red wine—contributed to their health benefits. The pyramid also highlighted daily exercise and the beneficial social aspects of eating meals together.
Technically, you can eat any food and lose weight. The key to weight loss is not eating “fat burning foods,” the key to weight loss is a sustained calorie deficit. When you are in a calorie deficit (i.e., eating fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight), your body will be forced to use its energy stores, which includes glycogen (stored sugar) and body fat (stored triglycerides).
So is the Mediterranean diet still healthy? Absolutely. While this one study may have been flawed, it doesn’t change the fact that fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, fish and healthy fats like olive oil (along with the occasional glass of wine!) are all foods that are proven to be good for you on their own. Together, they comprise a diet that can be terrific for your health — study or no study.
Of course, the most famous use for MCT oil is Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof® Coffee recipe. This fat-packed coffee uses a mixture of grass-fed butter and MCT oil for a brain and energy boost. I accomplish similar results by adding coconut oil to my healthy coffee recipe, but have tried the MCT version and can vouch for its energy-boosting and brain-focus inducing properties. (Note: There are two Bulletproof® brand MCT oils: XCT Oil (C8+C10)and Brain Octane oil (Pure C8), which do contain palm but are sustainably sourced and use a super-clean steam distillation process of extraction).
In Britain and the US, people consume on average around 1 litre of olive oil per person per year, but isn’t much compared to the Greeks, Italians and Spanish who all consume more 13 litres per person. Olive oil, with its high calories and mixed saturated and unsaturated fats, was once assumed by many doctors to be dreadfully unhealthy. But health surveys of European populations kept finding that southern Europeans lived longer and had less heart disease despite higher fat intakes. It turns out olive oil was the likely reason.
Here’s encouragement…it’s not all about weight in the beginning. As you ween off of sugar (which is really poison to your body), your body has to start getting rebooted. I had a solid week or more of serious detox. I knew that getting the poison out of my body was going to be significant, and it was. Don’t be discouraged. It’s well worth it to truly rid your gut and body of cancer-causing poison, not to mention your ability to fight disease. The acid level will change. Your arthritis (joints) will improve. Stick with it and don’t give up. Your family is worth it!
Your body composition. Do you have a lot of fat to lose? How much muscle do you have? The people who have the most to lose will tend to shred the fat at a much faster rate than those who have a few extra pounds to burn off. This phenomenon is mostly explained by the fact that obese individuals can easily maintain a much larger calorie deficit, which will result in faster weight loss. Muscle mass also plays a vital role in weight loss because it helps keep your metabolic rate from dropping significantly as you lose weight. This can help stabilize your weight loss rate and may even prevent a dreaded weight loss plateau.
Get a good night sleep: During menopause, many women find their quality of sleep sharply deteriorates, often because of hot flashes and night sweats. Drs. Fung and Hallberg really recommend that women in weight loss plateaus aim to improve their sleep. A good night sleep reduces stress and cortisol, the stress hormone that when raised hangs onto abdominal fat.
One thing you’ll find people love about the Mediterranean diet is the allowance of moderate amounts of red wine. “Moderate” means 5 ounces (oz) or less each day for women (one glass) and no more than 10 oz daily for men (two glasses). (1) Above all else, these meals are eaten in the company of friends and family; strong social ties are a cornerstone of healthful lives — and a healthful diet. Here, food is celebrated.
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin. Insulin resistance is when the body is no longer able to secrete insulin naturally in response to blood sugar increases, and hence blood sugar remains high. This is typically a dysfunction with the insulin receptors, and with changes in diet, including lower levels of sugar and carbohydrates, it can be controlled or reversed.
The people who live along the Mediterranean—the Spanish, Italian, French, Greek, and others—are not known to shy away from wine, but that doesn't mean you should pour it at your leisure. Dietitians and experts who developed the Mediterranean diet for the New England Journal of Medicine study advised women to stick to a three-ounce serving and men, a five-ounce serving, per day. When you do sip, try to do so with a meal—even better if that meal is shared with loved ones. If you're a teetotaler, you shouldn't start to drink just for this diet.
Armed with the 411 on how the keto diet works, I felt encouraged and relieved. The concept is rooted in nutrition- and weight-loss science. And from my initial conversations with Dr. Axe, I liked knowing that ketogenic diet results are always meant to be time-bound-eating this way is not a lifestyle and that makes sense. You may have heard that the keto diet was ranked last in the U.S. News & World Report's 2018 list of the best and the worst diets. While I embarked on this journey before that news came out, I would have given the keto diet a try regardless. Part of the criteria for that ranked list was whether a diet was sustainable and easy to follow-the keto diet is neither, but it's not designed to be. "I don't recommend people follow strict ketogenic diets for their life," says Dr. Axe. "I recommend 30- to 90-day periods, and after that moving into more of a 'cycling' phase, where you can cycle in and out of keto." Dr. Axe admits that following a keto diet will be difficult for most people, since many Americans have diets high in sugar, salt, and carbs. But he says that the potential benefits-boosting brain health, supporting muscles and overall improved performance at the gym, at the office, and in life-are worth putting in the hard work. (Just Look at the Keto Diet Results Jen Widerstrom Saw After 17 Days.)
You also need to consume coconut and other healthy fats in order absorb fat-soluble nutrients found in various foods. These include nutrients like beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A found in plants like berries, squash and leafy greens), vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and lutein. When you consume a healthy diet filled with lots of different whole, plant foods but don’t get enough healthy fat sources at the same time, your body is basically not capable of utilizing these nutrients as well.
Welcome to the 21st century, where the low-fat diet is slowly but definitely on its way out to make room for a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet. For decades we have been following the faulty advice to reduce our fat intake to a bare minimum while increasing the amount of sugar in everything. Even a well-known brand of packaged macaroni and cheese contains added sugar, leaving us wondering why noodles and cheese might possibly need to be sweetened.
Olive oil does not burn fat. It has no chemical properties that will magically dissolve the calories in that tiramisu you had for dessert. Taking a spoonful of olive oil before a meal, as some fad diets suggest, simply acts as a laxative, which plays to the mistaken belief that the faster food moves through you, the fewer calories your body will absorb. It simply doesn’t work that way. Losing weight means taking in fewer calories than you burn, no matter how many of them come from olive oil.