Ketogenic diet risks

lobster salad

Are those lean, popular Instagrammers seem to be praising their ketogenic diet. While it’s temping to try a diet that has such great results for many people, sometimes the risks are definitely not worth the reward, and the keto diet definitely fits that description. “The diet is high in saturated fat, and research suggests such diets may increase one’s risk for heart disease,” says Keri Gans, a nutritionist and registered dietician.

“Supplementation with vitamins and minerals is an absolute necessity on this type of diet.” “Pure fats like coconut oil, olive oil and butter and many other fats that make up the base of a keto diet aren’t great sources of vitamins…” “You’re also missing out on beneficial antioxidants in fruit and root vegetables, which have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and other conditions.”

This diet is extremely low in carbohydrates, typically under 50 grams per day. Reducing carbs, reduces water, so it’s easy to get dehydrated, and “Without carbs, dieters can easily miss out on fiber and end up with digestive issues,” Since you can’t eat bananas or oats on a keto diet without going over your carb quota; “These foods encourage good growth of bacteria that support our intestinal health, which is tied to our overall health,” says Julie Stefanski, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In addition, “Keto does not show a performance advantage for athletes, especially in sports which rely on the fuel you already have stored in your muscles as glycogen,” Stefanski says.

So, your strength, energy, and overall health may suffer on a ketogenic diet. Remember that there are numerous diets out there; the best ones are those that you like, and improve, not hinder, your health.

If you’re looking for a flexible diet to suit you, that’s not complicated, and easy to follow, check out

Source: Risher, Brittany. “10 Things to Know Before Trying the Ketogenic Diet.” Blog Post Type. My Fitness Pal Blog. Received Aug. 12, 2018. Retrieved from:

Only eat in this time frame for weight loss

banana bread

How does Dr. Oz, who is 58, look so young and lean? He only eats between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, which means he’s fasting for 12 full hours (1). During this fasting period, the body is more likely to burn fat, instead of glucose for fuel (1). Digesting foods causes inflammation, so giving your body a 12-hour food break is a good thing (1).

Hopefully, this information will get you to skip that after-dinner sweet treat or salty snack, and/or that middle-of-the night munchie-fest.

Photo: Banana bread…it’s basically cake!


Source: Scott, Paula Spencer. “It’s About TIME! Why Dr. Oz is fasting and using the clock to lose weight, slow dementia and fight disease.” Parade Magazine. Sept. 9, 2018. Pages 8-9. Print.

No single food promotes fat loss

beet, walnut and feta salad

There is no one food that’s going to be the ticket to your weight loss. While soup, salad, oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, flax seeds, chia seeds, avocados, nuts, coconut oil, coffee, and tea are healthy, consuming them won’t speed up your metabolism, or burn off more fat. Unless you’re swapping out a 500 calorie sandwich for a 300 calorie soup on a consistent basis, you won’t see a drop in weight. Sorry! And if you’re adding the above foods to what you’re already eating, expect weight gain, not weight loss.


Spiced-Iced Dairy-Free Smoothie


This smoothie tastes like a pumpkin pie sorbet that you can drink. It has a wonderful combination of warm spices that come from cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice powder, which goes amazingly well with a creamy frozen banana and a frozen, cooked, sweet yam.


Spiced-Iced Smoothie

  • ½ cup cooked yam, chopped into bite-sized pieces, and frozen overnight
  • ½ large banana, frozen, into 1-inch chunks
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract, alcohol-free
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup collagen protein powder

Place all ingredients in your blender cup until incorporated, stir once with a spoon and enjoy!

Try Whole30 diet, but never do it again


This strict eating plan is both great and terrible. Watch this YouTube video as to why I recommend trying it, but only for 30 days.

Carbs aren’t making you fat

cheat meal

Many people are still under the misconception that carbs are the reason they are overweight; that’s just not true. You can be on a high-carb diet, and still lose weight. I’ve actually reduced my body fat percentage by increasing carbohydrates from adopting a more plant-based diet, and eating more beans and grains, while eating less animal protein. It’s the excess calories that turn into fat, not carbs.

Photo: This meal will cause weight gain in most people, not because of the carbs from the bread, ketchup, French fries, and sugar-laden sauce, but because the portion size is huge, not to mention all the added fat. The buttered bread, deep fried potatoes, and fatty meat adds a wallop of calories too.


How to lose weight without looking like Skeletor

transformation TuesdaySome people are afraid to lose weight because they don’t want to look sickly, boney, or emaciated. Not to worry, here’s what you need to do to lose bodyfat, not lean muscle.

Step 1: Reduce calories by about 250 a day; while it’s a slower weight-loss process, you shouldn’t lose muscle. You should lose about 1/2 lb. a week. When you hit a plateau, reduce your calories by another 100-200 calories a day.

Step 2: Make sure to eat nutrient-dense foods, which maintains & builds lean muscle mass. A diet that’s lacking in nutrients, results in a less-than-desirable appearance, such as skinny legs and a belly that sticks out.

Step 3: Do 30 minutes of cardio every day. Excessive cardio will strip off muscle, which will result in loose skin, and a skinny-fat appearance.

Step 4: Weight-train 2-4 days a week. Adding weights will boost your metabolism, and increase dense muscle mass. Lifting weights will give you curves, like shapely legs, toned arms, and a lifted butt. Make sure to strengthen each and every body part to prevent imbalances, and create beautiful symmetry.

Don’t worry about the scale. Check your progress by taking photos, seeing how your clothes feel, by taking measurements, and/or keeping a food log. Your goal is NOT to lose pounds, it’s to reduce bodyfat, which the steps above are designed to do.

Photo: That’s me! I have a customizable diet program with healthy recipes in my book, which you can check out at (and it’s available on Amazon).

Burn 1000 calories an hour? Doubt it!

curls at World GymCan you really burn off 1000 calories in an intense workout? It’s unlikely. The people that burn 1000 calories in a one-hour exercise session, are typically very overweight, don’t exercise on a regular basis, are extremely tall, or very muscular, and are working very hard, possibly at maximum capacity for the full 60 minutes.

The bigger you are, and how inactive you are,  the more calories you burn. So, if you’re really fit and active, and/or are tiny like me, your body is very efficient, and doesn’t permit you to expend a lot of calories as a safety measure. To get a good idea of how many calories you’re burning, buy a heart rate monitor. With my Polar watch I learned that a 20 minute Classical Stretch Pilates-ballet video only burns between 50-80 calories. I started checking my other workouts and this is what I found: 30 minutes on incline treadmill at 3.3 mph = 105 calories. 35 minute hard hike = 162 calories. 60 minute kickboxing class = 354 calories.

If you’re serious about losing bodyfat, you have to reduce calories in addition to consistent exercise.

Sugar-Free & Dairy-Free Spiced Pudding

spiced pudding recipeI wanted to create a healthy, sugar-free, vegetable-based pudding, and came up with this creamy, filling dessert made with yams. I know that sounds gross, but it tastes like sweet potato pie, but with a lot less calories, very little fat, no sugar, no butter and not one drop of oil. The sweetness comes from the yams, cinnamon, and a little bit of monk fruit from the coconut milk. Make sure to use the brand of coconut milk I suggested below, because it won’t come out quite right with another brand (I tried a few). If you can’t find that brand, use a plain coconut milk and add a little bit of your favorite sweetener. Even though the directions make it appear a lengthy process, it’s actually really easy and I just used one bowl to stir and cook all the ingredients.

Spiced Yam Pudding

  • 31 ounces of yams, peeled and cubed (about 2 yams)
  • 2 cups water, filtered
  • 2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups toasted coconut almond milk blend by Califia Farms

Place the yams in a large microwavable glass bowl and add the 2 cups of water. Place bowl in microwave and cover with a paper towel. Cook yams in microwave for 15 minutes. Place a hot pad on the counter. After the yams are cooked, use two hot pads to remove bowl from microwave (because the bowl will be extremely hot) and place on counter to cool. After 5 minutes, remove paper towel from bowl, throw paper towel away, and allow the yams to cool down.

After 20 minutes, the yams and the bowl should be cool enough to handle, if not, let it sit longer. Pour yams carefully into a colander to remove as much water as possible. Wipe out any water and moisture from the glass bowl. Let the yams sit in the colander 5-10 minutes to drain completely. Put the yams back in the glass bowl, and add the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Mash with a potato masher. To make sure there aren’t any vegetable chunks, with a mixer, blend yams on low speed while adding the coconut milk slowly. While it may appear a bit watery, it will thicken up. Place bowl in the refrigerator overnight, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, making sure the wrap/foil doesn’t touch the pudding. You want the pudding to cool completely to thicken up.

 When the pudding is cool after being in the refrigerator at least 12 hours, use a spoon and mix gently. Pour into 4-6 small bowls, top with dairy-free whipped cream (optional, but much better with it), chopped pecans, and toasted coconut chips.

If you make this dessert, send your photos to me @fitgirlusa to repost.


Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Asian Vinaigrette


Since oils aren’t good for us and neither is excess calories, I created this Asian dressing, with just a touch of sesame oil, for salads. It’s light, flavorful and has a touch of sweetness.

 Fit Girl’s Asian Vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Few shakes of salt
  • Few twists of ground black pepper


Mix all in a small food processor. Great on salads, rice, and/or over your favorite protein.


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