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Transform Your Body and Health with Author, Speaker and Coach Jason Atkinson!


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Quick Start Keto Guide

Here’s a new episode I recorded for beginners or for those who need a refresher course on the basics. Please share this link with your friends and family members who are new to this lifestyle. There is so much bad advice out there!

I have a degree in health science education and put this program together for free to help people understand how to do this in a safe and sustainable way.

If you want to schedule a free 30 minute coaching session to customize the plan to your individual needs visit the Coaching tab in the main menu.

Click here to download the FREE BONUS PDF with show notes from today’s episode.

Never miss an episode! Subscribe by email or directly on Soundcloud  Tunein Podomatic or Castbox 

 

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The Holistic Approach with Dr. Colter

This week Dr. Colter returns to the show to share his insight on what it takes to achieve true health and wellness. I also announced the winners of the RSP Nutrition contest. Here’s an article from Dr. Colter’s blog that explains why a total lifestyle approach is essential to success.

Who doesn’t believe the ANSWER to weight loss , is PRIMARILY found in FOOD. Although this seems to make common sense, in reality, it is a MAJOR MISTAKE! Let me prove this with a simple analogy. If a person wanted to get an “A” in HISTORY or MATH (as a FINAL AVERAGE GRADE,) would: abstaining from […]

via UNDERSTANDING WHY FOCUSING ON “FOOD” ALONE WILL NEVER ACHIEVE LONG TERM WEIGHT LOSS — All About Healthy Choices


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Melissa McCourey RSP Nutrition Interview

Today’s guest, Melissa McCoury is a NASM certified trainer, figure and bikini competitor and all-around expert on anything pertaining to performance nutrition. She answers some questions about intermittent fasting and how to use a cyclical ketogenic approach to accelerate your results. Follow @fitfirstlady_rsp on Instagram now for a daily dose of inspiration!

We’re partnering with RSP Nutrition to give away 2 bottles of Quadralean and 2 bottles of RSP L-Carnitine to 4 lucky winners. Winner will be announced next Friday 8/4 on the podcast and on my Instagram account. Melissa and I will judge the best answer to the question “What else could RSP stand for?” Be creative, be funny but keep it clean. (😊 Remember the game you used to play with letters on license plates while traveling on the highway?) Most creative answers win!


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Fat Burning Comes Full Circle

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From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes no sense whatsoever to think that the human body would immediately begin to break down hard-earned muscle after going only a few hours without “refueling”.

If this were the case, our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have become weak and unable to hunt or otherwise procure food in the face of a relatively short term famine. So instead we developed the ability to store excess calories from food in our adipose tissue as fat along with the ability to access that fat for energy when needed due to a temporary shortage of food.

The truth is the idea that we need to be eating almost constantly is more a creation of the food manufacturing and marketing industry than actual human physiology.

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Most experts now agree that the window between “eating opportunities” has decreased from 4 1/2 hours down to about 3 hours over the past few decades.

The way this plays out in everyday life is millions of people hitting the fast-food window or vending machine for “something, anything” to suppress the sensations of hunger lurking around every corner. Millions of kids come home from school and eat Poptarts, cereal, granola bars, or whatever to “keep their energy up” or “help with concentration”.

On the more health-conscious side of things, I was one of those who honestly believed that eating a combination of protein and carbohydrates every three hours would speed up the metabolism and keep you in an anabolic (muscle building) state. I used this approach to lose over 50 lbs and even taught it in my lectures and used it to guide the progress of my clients.

But there is a better way.

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The fact is, once your metabolism has become adapted to burning fat for energy (even dietary fat) through nutrition and training it allows you to go longer periods of time between meals without sacrificing performance or energy and allows you to easily burn stored body fat for fuel.

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The “hammer and chisel” I’m talking about is a whole-food, nutrient dense diet that is higher in fat / moderate in protein and / lower carbohydrate,  combined with combined with a regular exercise program.

There is so much information overwhelm going on right now in the health, nutrition and wellness space surrounding these very concepts. This is what prompted me to begin writing on the subject. I have no agenda in mind other than helping people to get healthy and stay healthy.

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My experience is that the best ideas travel from one person to another just like they did thousands of years ago. If you’ve had a good experience with these concepts like I have and you want to help get the message out about making positive health changes, share something to help others!

 


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Fat, The Alternative Fuel!

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Most cars and trucks can only run on one type of fuel and when the tank runs out that’s it! As a species, we humans have the amazing ability to derive energy from one of two major dietary sources, carbohydrates and fat. (think of us as hybrid vehicles).

On a cellular level, energy production specifically happens in the mitochondria of our cells. Over time, the mitochondria become conditioned to preferentially burning glucose as a source of energy (thanks to an overabundance of processed foods containing sugar and flour). Over a lifetime, we have increased the enzymes in the mitochondria that burn glucose and simultaneously down-regulated the pathways for burning fat due to lack of use.

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Here’s what happens to the average person who doesn’t eat for a few hours. Because they are highly adapted to using carbohydrates as a source of energy, when glucose from the last meal runs out, instead of shifting to the fasted state and mobilizing and burning stored body fat, they become hungry for more glucose, from (you guessed it) more carbohydrates! They spend most of the day trapped in an endless cycle of eating every few hours, spiking insulin levels, and then becoming hungry when blood sugar drops. Since they’ve become so dependent on sugar they can’t readily access their fat stores for energy. Left unchecked this can lead to insulin resistance and even type 2 or “adult onset” diabetes.

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Your body’s ability to utilize fat as fuel is similar to a tanker truck on the highway filled with oil. If the tanker truck runs out of gas it stops moving, despite the fact that it has thousands of gallons of potential fuel on board. This is because it must run on refined gas and is incapable of burning oil for fuel.

Thankfully, we have the ability to influence the expression of our genes, thus becoming “fat adapted” and improving our ability to fuel ourselves with stored body fat instead of glucose.

This is kind of like getting a “conversion kit” for the tanker truck engine that allows it to use all the oil stored in the tank as fuel instead of having to rely solely on the gas in the fuel tank!

However, this takes time and practice, and your body has to do a number of things to slowly up-regulate (or increase) your fat-burning pathways.

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This includes improving insulin sensitivity to lower insulin and promote fat mobilization. There are several ways to improve “fat adaptation” or the ability to successfully burn stored body fat for energy, and these include the following:

  • Low carbohydrate / high fat diets. Eating a Low Carb High Fat diet conditions the body to utilize fat rather than glucose for energy. The key is not “topping off the tank” with carbs and sugar every time the “low fuel light” comes on. Consuming more dietary fat sort of helps “prime the pump” and helps the body recognize fat (including body fat) as a fuel source.
  • Exercise. High-intensity exercise depletes glucose and glycogen rapidly, forcing the body to switch over and utilize more fat for fuel. Exercise also improves insulin sensitivity.
  • Supplementing with Omega 3 EFA’s from fish oil to improve the permeability of the cells and L-Carnitine to facilitate the transfer of fatty acids into energy
  • Calorie restriction. Eating less often also equals less glucose being available for fuel so the body relies on stored body fat for fuel. Cleaning up your diet will help too, since you will eat less calories when you stick to whole, natural, unprocessed, real foods found in nature and avoid processed foods as much as possible.
  • Intermittent fasting, and spending more time in the fasted state, which gives the body more ‘practice’ at burning fat.

I’ve only recently begun incorporating intermittent fasting into my routine but so far it’s working well. (It sounds hardcore but basically, it just amounts to skipping lunch and snacks a few times a week.) I’ve also done liquid and fat only “modified fasts” with black coffee and MCT oil with butter for breakfast and chicken broth for lunch.

If skipping meals entirely doesn’t sound that appealing, try just eliminating excess carbohydrates (especially any flour or sugar-based ones beginning in the morning).

Put these tips into practice and you’ll be trucking right along and burning fat before you know it!

 


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Training for Maximum Fat Burning

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When people ask “What’s the best type of exercise to burn fat, weight training or cardio?” my standard response is “Both!” You see, different types of activity rely on different energy “pathways” and so they affect our metabolism differently.

Moderate-intensity activity such as walking, hiking, cycling, etc utilizes a mix of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) and fat to fuel performance. If you are following a lower-carbohydrate eating plan the muscles will burn fat more readily once the glycogen stores have been depleted. (This is why I recommend doing weight training first before a cardio session.)

Higher-intensity activity like running or higher-repetition weight training uses more glycogen (carbohydrate) for fuel but it also pushes the body to make more adaptations resulting in a higher level of fitness along with  increased cardiovascular capacity, improved ability to utilize oxygen, improved blood pressure, reduced insulin levels, and more.

The best mix I’ve discovered when it comes to cardiovascular exercise is something called H.I.I.T or High-Intensity-Interval-Training.

It sounds complicated but it’s really not! It simply involves alternating bursts of higher effort with lower-intensity or recovery periods.

My standard pattern is 5 rounds of 5 minute cycles going from lower to higher intensity effort on an elliptical machine. I increase the resistance level each minute. On every 5th minute I try to push my heart rate to about 75%-80% of my max.

Another secret to maximizing fat burning during exercise is to keep the intensity to a level that allows you to breathe through your nose. Once you reach a level that requires you to breathe through your mouth you have crossed from aerobic (with oxygen) to anaerobic (without oxygen) and are more likely to require glucose from stored carbohydrates or worse, force your body to break down your hard earned muscle tissue and turn it into glucose!

The majority of effort needed to transform your physique  and improve your health can come from dietary changes and a few key supplements. It’s not necessary to go so hard in the gym that you don’t enjoy your workouts. Put these tips into practice and take your workout to a whole new level!


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Supplement Science: MCT Oil

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After years of following the pattern of eating every three hours and combining protein and carbs at every meal I’ve finally jumped on the “Eat Fat Burn Fat” bandwagon and I’ve got to say I’m impressed with the results. It’s only been a few weeks and I’ve already burned through 10 lbs of body fat!

One tactic I’ve used to increase my intake of healthy fats while lowering my sugar consumption is ditching the honey and creamer in my morning coffee in favor of MCT oil.

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I quit putting regular table sugar in a few years ago, switching to honey since it’s a natural product and I feel it’s a healthier alternative. The fact remains however, it’s still a source of sugar and I know that taking it in first thing in the morning can’t be doing good things for my insulin levels.

I have to admit it was a bit of an adjustment going from my usual blast of morning sweetness to a slightly bitter drink. (A little almond milk blended in does help take the edge off). Here’s what I’ve noticed in the past few weeks after making the shift.

  • I’ve had more energy during my early morning workouts and feel like I’m using more body fat to fuel my performance.
  • I’m not as hungry during the day which signals to me that I’ve reduced the levels of insulin and glucose circulating in my bloodstream.
  • I’m dropping 2-3 lbs a week without increasing exercise intensity above my baseline of 45 minutes 5 times a week.

MCT oil is just a concentrated and convenient source of healthy fats I’ve added to my diet along with more egg yolks, olives and olive oil, almonds and other tree nuts, plus avacados.

MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) are fats that are naturally found in coconuts. They are more easily assimilated and rapidly digested than other types of fats since they require lower amounts of enzymes and bile acids for intestinal absorption. MCT’s are metabolized rapidly in the liver and encourage energy expenditure rather than promoting fat storage. Studies suggest MCT’s may help support a healthy weight and body composition.