Category: Weight Loss

Keto Pills: Why I’m Highly Skeptical

There are a dizzying number of keto pills on the market now. They promise easy weight loss, increased energy, and the benefits of ketosis without the pesky following-a-strict-diet part.

As savvy MDA readers, you know that optimal health never comes in a bottle. You also know that I’m a proponent of wise supplementation to support a Primal diet and lifestyle when appropriate. I’ve said before that I think exogenous ketones can be useful in specific circumstances, though they’re never necessary for success.

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14 Scenarios When Fasting Might Be Your Best Approach

There’s a ton of talk about intermittent fasting in the ancestral heath sphere for general health and wellness as well as weight loss, but little indication of specific applications for the practice. Anytime you attempt a “radical” health practice like not eating, it helps to have a good reason to do it. That will not only give you something to aim for, but it will ensure you actually have a physiological justification for your experiment. Never go in blind.

What are some of the specific scenarios and conditions where fasting makes the most sense?

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What We Get Wrong About Childhood Obesity

Weight Watchers (recently rebranded to WW) put out an app for kids and teens who want to lose weight a few months ago. It’s called Kurbo, and it assigns “traffic light” color codes to different foods. Green foods like fruits and vegetables can be eaten freely, yellow foods like low-fat dairy, lean meat, and bread can be eaten in moderation, and red foods like full-fat dairy and sweets should be eaten sparingly or “planned for.” Kids under 13 need to sign up with a parent, while older kids can sign up on their own. Online coaching is available for an extra fee. Users are urged to track their food intake and body weight, even if they choose a goal like “Have more energy.”

Critics hit back. The Atlantic claimed that using apps like Kurbo won’t make a difference for the kids who need it most—those living in “food deserts,” those exposed to junk food marketing, those whose parents can’t afford healthy food and haven’t the time to fix healthy meals. Outside Online warned against the potential for Kurbo to create unhealthy fixations on food and “clean eating” in kids, setting the stage for eating disorders that can increase the risk of mortality, depression, and anxiety later in life. They called for an overhaul of “food policy” instead.

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The Definitive Guide to Inflammation

Inflammation gets a bad rap in the alternative health world: “Inflammation causes heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disease! It’s at the root of depression.” These are all true—to some extent.

Name a disease, and inflammation is involved.

Crohn’s disease is inflammatory.

Major depression is inflammatory.

Heart disease is inflammatory.

Autoimmune diseases, which involve an inflammatory response directed at your own tissues, are inflammatory.

Arthritis is inflammatory.

Even obesity is inflammatory, with fat cells literally secreting inflammatory cytokines.

Yes, but the story is more complicated than that. Inflammation, after all, is a natural process developed through millions of years of evolution. It can’t be wholly negative. Just like our bodies didn’t evolve to manufacture cholesterol to give us heart disease, inflammation isn’t there to give us degenerative diseases.

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Tracking Your Food: When, Why and How

There was a time when food tracking was treated like a given, a necessary tool for anyone wanting to lose weight or better their health. Thankfully, there’s more nuance to that conversation now. The fact is, tracking your food can be a useful exercise for gaining more insight into what you’re putting in your body. It can also be a tedious endeavor that sucks all the joy out of eating.

If you’re going to invest the time—and it can be quite time-consuming if you include any variety in your diet—let’s make sure it’s not a waste. 

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Dear Mark: Collagen or Glycine, Keto and Gallstones, Raw Liver, Stevia Itching, and Gaining Muscle, Losing Fat

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions taken from this Twitter thread. First, does collagen offer anything special above and beyond glycine? Second, what’s the relationship between keto and gallstones? Third, do I recommend eating raw liver, and why or why not? Fourth, why does one reader’s scalp itch when eating stevia? And finally, what’s the best way to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time?

Let’s go:

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