Category Archives for Fat Burning

So many men are failing the test!

Low testosterone.

It is becoming rampant and our men's health is paying the price. It has been estimated that men today have one third of the testosterone that our great grandfathers had. Why?

Diet, stress and inactivity.

First, it is important to know that men have a hormonal cycle as much as women, but not the same. A man's testosterone levels cycle every 15-20 minutes.....that's right, 3-4 times an hour. They also fluctuate daily with the highest levels being in the morning around 8 am and the lowest in the afternoon about 3. Men have a monthly testosterone variance that changes from man to man, and we men have a yearly cycle that is highest in October and lowest in April.

So men, if you think you are not hormonal, your just delusional. In fact when given surveys where female identifier questions are removed men report experiencing PMS symptoms as much as women!

DIET: Insulin resistance is connected with low T. As a man becomes more insulin resistant his testosterone drops. Eating. Each time a man eats his testosterone drops sharply. So frequent (5-7) meals a day on a moderate to high carb diet really hits us men where it hurts. Oh, and soy products, alcohol, licorice, and stevia have all shown to lower a mans T levels. FYI

STRESS: Cortisol and testosterone seem to have an inverse relationship, when one is up, the other is down. So the regular stress response, hyper stress reactions, poor emotional management, sugar and caffeinated drinks, excess belly circumference and body fat will all contribute to a drop in T.

INACTIVITY: Human Growth Hormone and testosterone are tightly connected in the man's body. Weight lifting and High Intensity Interval Training have been shown to boost HGH 2,000% and raise T. Walking, or what I call stress release cardio has shown to drop cortisol levels, lower insulin resistance, and raise T.

Here is a bonus: Sleep. Sleep is when our hormones do most of their action, build us up, repair, recovery, and reset. No sleep, no hope at stable hormones or T levels.

Fasting: Fasting has been shown to raise T levels 180% in just a short term (one day) fast and keep them high and even higher after the 3rd day of a fast.

Sharp T fluctuations and overall reduced T levels in men have been connected to irritability, anger issues, moodiness, and even depression. Take this seriously.

So there you go my brethren, you have the info, now take the action!

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Visceral Fat is NOT Dangerous

visceral fat is not dangerous

Yes, you read that right.

And yes, I have repeatedly written to you about how dangerous and disease promoting visceral fat is to our health and quality of life. And now, today, I have to modify that stance.

Let me first start by making an apology. In this learning process, trying to make sense of some very complicated physiology and pathologies that are plaguing the American public, there are new discoveries and perspectives that change along the way. That can be frustrating, I get it. It is frustrating for me too. I do not like having to change my position or edit my protocols and programs due to new information but I feel I must. I want the best for myself and my family. I want the best most accurate and effective understanding of what is really going on in this body of mine so that I can make the best, educated, informed decision on how to best engage in this crazy world of ours so I can live as healthy, happy, and stress resilient a life that I possibly can and pass that knowledge on to my children. Hence, I course correct often, and this is one of those moments, I hope you understand.

Often I have described visceral fat as the fat that accumulates in our gut, in the abdomen, under and behind the fat that lines our waist. In doing so I usually grouped together the fat that accumulates around the organs in our trunk with the fat that accumulates within the organs in the same area. Yes, there is fat in both locations, yes, both are indicators of problems and can raise health risks, but they are distinctly different and so are the health implications.

As it turns out, visceral fat, as in the fat around the organs in our gut is just marginally more dangerous than the fat on the outside of our body that upsets us when we see it in the mirror. Organ fat on the other hand, specifically liver fat or the fat that accumulated inside the liver itself due to diet, is the real threat. There is a real eye opening study that I will write about and include later that shows that in reality when isolated and tested it is not the visceral fat that cause our metabolic dysfunction and raises all of our health risks, it is the liver fat.

I have been working on diagrams and pictographics on how this process exactly works and I should have more info and specifics with a visual very soon…..but this is rather complicated stuff, but I think I can get it to make not only sense but give us some immediate direction to avoid or improve it naturally and through lifestyle. At least that is my intention.

What this new information does is to reinforce the liver-centric and hormonal emphasis of how we have been looking at this whole health equation and basing our lifestyle modifications and nutritional and stress resilience protocols on. The bottom line is we have been on the right track and this new info and distinction only supports what we have been doing in our research, work and programs both in my one on one custom programs and in the larger population based programs we are running through Aduro.

All that said, and not jumping into the specifics too prematurely, I can tell you that the number one CAUSE, not correlation, but CAUSE of liver fat is sugar. There simply is no way around it, no way to sugar-coat it, and definitely no way to deny it. Sugar IS what is driving major metabolic dysfunction that leads to metabolic syndrome which sets the stage for weight gain and obesity, diabetes, heart disease, accelerated aging, premature death, and is implicated in cancer and Alzheimer’s as well.

So, what can I do today?

Step One: No added sugar of any kind. Especially in liquid forms.

Step Two: Live the insulin friendly lifestyle (see my blog)

Step Three: Exercise, it promotes fat clearance from the liver.

Step Four: Prioritize Sleep

Step Five: Sit as little as possible….sitting squishes the liver and pisses it off!

More to come my friends.

Here’s to a lovely liver!

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Protein Is Time Released Sugar

protein is time released sugar

The human body has no trouble making all the sugar it needs on a daily basis. Within our liver we have a very efficient mechanism for making sugar, or glucose on demand and in the absolute perfect proportion that the body requires at any given moment in time. The liver can make sugar from lactate, the byproduct of muscle contraction from exercise, it can make it from the glycerol it gets from breaking down triglycerides when we burn fat, it can make it from surplus ketones from fat burning, and it can make it from some of the amino acids found in protein from our diet, from the damaged proteins due to exercising, or from muscle in extreme cases. This process is called gluconeogenesis.

So basically protein from our diet, body, or through recycling is essentially time released sugar. When sugar is made through this process of gluconeogenesis in a healthy person there are never blood sugar issues, not high or low, but just right, all the time, every time. Pretty amazing huh?

What then happens when we eat sugar? Basically we halt this process and start a whole new and potentially dangerous disease producing cascade.

The amount of sugar in our blood is very tightly controlled by the liver. At any given point the average healthy person has about 5 grams of sugar in their blood stream. That is less than a packet of sugar and if that amount raises by just one single gram then that healthy person now has type 2 diabetes. Two grams extra and retinopathy can occur and three grams too much and you can get neuropathy and four extra grams can cause organ damage and if you get up to 20 extra grams then you can produce a coma.

So, with that said, what happens when a kid eats a bowl of cereal, or a glass of juice, or when an adult drinks a soda, or eats an ice cream? Each of these food choices can have over 40 grams of sugar each. That is WAY too much sugar to go right into your blood stream. If all that sugar did go right into your system you would be rendered unconscious each time you had a cafe mocha. So what happens to it all?

Here is how it works: We eat junk food-like product, it gets broken down by the acid in our stomach to very small bits. These bits then go into the small intestine to be absorbed into the hepatic (liver) capillaries and flow right into the liver where the liver has to sort this mess out. The liver first stops producing and releasing glucose into the blood stream from gluconeogenisis. Then as the blood sugar filters through the liver it is appropriately released into the blood to the heart to be pumped throughout the body. As the sugar keeps coming into the liver it fills its storage containers called glycogen within the liver itself and if then still more sugar keeps coming in it then turns that glucose into glycerol and binds three fatty acids to make a triglyceride and stuffs that into deposits within the liver. This is what causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and if sugar keeps coming in then that fat gets stored in and around our internal organs and is called visceral fat. Visceral fat is what brings with it all the health risks for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and more. This is also how body fat is made then sent to our hips, love handles or butt.

Grains turn to sugar within 4 seconds of eating them in your mouth so we call them super sugars. If you eat a diet with the regular consumption of sugars and grains, then over time you will develop some level of fatty liver. If the sugar you consume is mostly fructose, then it will happen sooner and be worse. Eventually this process leads to insulin resistance, weight gain and obesity, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease, accelerated aging, inflammation, Alzheimer's, premature death and much more.

As this process continues the liver gets a beating and in time our blood sugar regulation will falter and we will see increasing high blood sugar spikes and high residual blood sugar levels. Oh, and if you think insulin will save you, think again. I do not believe insulin was ever designed for blood sugar regulation. Insulin does little to nothing for the utilization of sugar in our body, just the storage of it as glycogen and fat. Relying on insulin to regulate your blood sugar will guarantee chronic disease and your body breaking down one way or another in time and in misery.

Since most Americans eat sugar and grains at every meal, what can we do to help ourselves and stop this process?

First, you got to love your liver. She is the soccer mom of our body, always doing things for everyone else, usually at the expense of her own needs. I firmly believe that humans simply were never exposed to high levels of sugars and grains like we are now and we are not equipped to deal with it so when we do eat it as we do today our bodies simply breaks down.

Step One: Stop eating grains......and yes, even whole grains.....yes, even oats......yes, yes, yes.

Step Two: Stop eating processed sugar....yes, even natural sugar, yes, yes, yes.

Step Three: Stop eating........NO, you don't have to eat 5-7 times a day....give your liver a vacation and just eat 2-3 meals a day, you might even look to skip a day here and there entirely......NO, you will not die, starve, pass out, or waste away.

Step Four: Support your liver. Cruciferous veggies, lots of water, apple cider vinegar, sea salts and healthy fats are great for your liver.....just keep the low eating frequency. Yes, there are some great supplements that can help, I take some every day, but there is no one nutrient, hence why we use protocols.

Step five: Build resilience. Sleep. Walk. Exercise. Breath. Laugh. Love. Touch. Talk. Celebrate silence. Practice gratitude. Keep your nervous system tuned up by a chiropractor. Take a standing core class, yoga, or slow martial arts class. Get a massage once and a while. Take a hot bath. Read. Learn. Help others........REPEAT.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is predicted to be the number one disease world-wide in 10 years. This is exactly how it happens and what has been shown to not only reverse the process but how to improve your quality of life and overall health in the process. There are no gimmicks for this or any other chronic health conditions. You have to make it a lifestyle if you want to not suffer or watch your family and kids suffer.

We are here to help. We can do better. There are great options out there, but no one can do it for you, but if you decide this is what you want, then there is way more out there for you than most people think. Go for it!

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Insulin Friendly Diet

insulin friendly diet

What we promote is not exactly low carb or high fat, it is not paleo specifically or Atkins or even Nutritional Ketosis. What we promote is an insulin friendly eating style and lifestyle. If you are like most people you are asking yourself, “what the heck does that mean?”

I often write and post about what can seem to be very different concepts in natural living, health and healing, weight loss and medicine. As different as the topics may seem, the theme and thread of commonality that I consistently use is building a lifestyle and protocols that are metabolically and hormonally healthy. If you have been following my posts over the last two years then you realize how complicated this whole concept truly is.

What I focus on and try to do is make these concepts as simple as possible, for myself and my own health endeavors and for those reading. In making things simple I inevitably run the risk of missing important points and over simplifying to the point of being, well, in a word, wrong. That being said, I am going to do my best here, and want you to know that no one post is the end all, be all, of the story. Nor is it all inclusive, nor am I ever trying to be vague. It is just the nature of the effort to keep things simple. I hope you understand.

We as a culture and in medicine have been locked in the glucose driven model of insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes and cardiometabolic issues and it can be hard to think any other way. The fact is that glucose is toxic and the body will stop in its tracks and burn it whenever possible to get it out of our system. This immediate action the body takes on glucose and that urgency often gets interpreted as the body having a preference for glucose over other fuels.

Blood glucose levels are specifically relevant to our health depending on the metabolic state we are in. When we are a chronic sugar burner, taking in a lot of carbohydrates and predominately burning glucose for fuel, then the normal glucose blood levels are 70-99. When we are fat adaptive and burning fat efficiently then that number can drop into the 50's and has been reported in experienced fat burning athletes to drop into the 40’s with no abnormal change in physical or mental function. This new set standard in a fat burning person can make any blood sugar level over 80 a problem.

The true danger in high blood sugar is the toxicity level it produces and the correlative insulin levels. The body can handle high blood glucose levels from time to time, but a chronically high glucose level and its toxic effects can eat away at the body from the inside out. The risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and heart disease come from the chronic exposure to high insulin levels long before the high blood sugar levels alone can do their damage.

It is this chronic over exposure to insulin that literally burns-out our system and health. So what can we do? How do we avoid or fix this? The simple answer is low insulin levels. How do we get these low insulin levels? A low insulin diet and lifestyle.....and here it is:

Low insulin stimulating foods. The strongest stimulators of insulin are carbs. Low carb diets beat low glycemic index diets out of the water regarding weight loss, metabolic function, hormonal improvement, satisfaction, and sustainability. It is not about the glucose levels alone but the corresponding insulin levels and a low carb diet overall keeps insulin pretty low. Carbs trigger 23% of our insulin response. Protein is responsible for 10%. Fat has no effect. That leaves 67% in this insulin equation that is not stimulated by food and the rest of the 67% is from the incretin effect (think stomach hormones) and cross hormonal reactions (think thyroid (toxins), cortisol (stress), and brain chemistry (think addiction and emotions in life).

So, what does that all mean? Basically it means that there are foods and behaviors that are blood glucose friendly but terrorize insulin. You can be blood glucose healthy and still drive all the health issues that are correlated to high blood sugar due to how it raises and keeps insulin levels up. For example:

1. Dairy. As in milk and yogurt...both are glucose mellow but insulin insulting.

2. Animal protein. Red meat and white fish......again, no blood sugar rise but a very steep increase in insulin

3. Workout shakes, whole grains and convenient foods. Protein powders, grain products, and processed foods....may not have a big glucose rush (initially) but will crank insulin.

That said, sugars, grains and starches are the biggest offenders.....they should be avoided FIRST.

Behavior Considerations:

A. Hyper stress response (cortisol) will throttle insulin.

B. Poor sleep...one night of poor sleep will increase insulin resistance.

C. Anxiety...will immediately raise insulin levels.

D. Slow and low cardio over time will promote sugar burning and free radical production as well as raise insulin and cortisol.

Others issues to consider:

- Medications...statins, anti-biotics, and thyroid meds all promote insulin resistance.

- Artificial sweeteners can mess up gut bacteria and promote metabolic issues.

- Alcohol....sorry people....it stresses our insulin/glucagon balance and decreases glutathione (a major anti-oxidant) and stops fat burning in its tracks as well as plays havoc on our nutrient economy and feeds the addiction cycle.

Ok, you still with me? Take the concepts above and put them into action as you can in your life and add these 3 modalities to help balance your neurological tone (the driving factor for this whole process):

1. Meditate

2. Paced breathing

3. Body work... specifically chiropractic upper cervical adjustments.

Now, mix this into the other concepts we go over here and keep at it. Yes, there is a lot to learn, don’t stress, we are on this road together, let me know your insights and if mine are helping you.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Coconut Oil Chocolate Recipe

Coconut Chocolate

From the Kitchen of Dr. Dana

  • 1 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • Stevia – to taste
  • Real Maple Syrup – to taste (grade B is the best option)

Combine 1 cup coconut oil* and 1 cup cocoa powder and whisk together until nice and smooth.

Stir in1/4 – 1/2 tsp powdered Stevia extract (you could also use liquid Stevia) and 2 -4 tbsp maple syrup and whisk well. * what you’re going for here is to sweeten the mixture with stevia until its ALMOST sweet enough for you – and then add just enough maple syrup to cut the bitterness of the stevia.

Pour into clean ice cube trays or your favorite Chocolate Molds and place in the freezer to harden.

Once hardened, remove from molds and store in a container in the freezer (or fridge) so they don’t melt!

Coconut oil is liquid above 75 degrees F. (25 C.), and below that it will be a solid fat. It can be stored in either form, and it can be liquefied easily by applying low-level heat.

*In cooler months you may need to do this on the stove. Melt the coconut oil In a small pot over low heat to bring the coconut oil to liquid state, then remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.

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P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Coconut Pesto

This is a fantastic, dairy free pesto sauce. Toss it with your salad, with Zucchini Noodles, or over you favorite veggies.

Place the following ingredients in a food processor:

  • 2 tbsp coconut cream*
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 scallions
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Begin to process all the ingredients together and then, with the processor running, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil until all ingredients make a smooth paste.

Coconut Cream
*Coconut cream, aka coconut butter, is NOT Coco Lopez. It is not sweetened. If you cannot find it you can make it – place about 3-4 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut (I use the Lets Do Organic brand) in your food processor and process for about 10-15 minutes. It will take a while, but it will turn into a smooth, creamy, DELICIOUS, liquidly butter.

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P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Burn Fat by Breathing

How Your Breath Stokes Your Fat Burning Metabolic Fire!

Did you know your lungs are powerful metabolic organs? Have you ever wondered where your fat goes when you “burn” it off? When I used to ask patients this and I would hear a lot of interesting answers from it evaporates, or it melts in sweat, to we pass it in the bathroom.

Well, here is how it works. Depending on what metabolic fuel you have set your body to run on, whether you are a SUGAR BURNER or a FAT BURNER, the given fuel source as glucose or fat (triglycerides) are liberated from food or stores in your body, or both, and get broken down into a form that can travel through your blood stream and get into your cells to “burn.”

As that fuel “burns,” it gives your cells, tissues, and organs the energy to move, detox, breath, and function. Yes, each individual cell “breathes,” so to speak. Each cell takes in the fuel, breaks it down for energy, and processes out the by-products. Some of those by-products get neutralized and pass through and out of our body in our urine, bowels, and sweat, yet the majority of it passes through our lungs. In fact, 84 percent of the fat that is lost turns into carbon dioxide and leaves the body through the lungs, whereas the remaining 16 percent becomes water.

Here is the point: there is a feedback mechanism that can turn up or slow down your fat burning and expelling process. Believe it or not, it is your rate and efficiency of breathing during a workout. We breathe out carbon dioxide because it is toxic to us, so your body will not let it build up much at all. Therefor the faster you can rid it from your lungs the more the body will be able to process by breaking down more body fat. Oh, and by the way, this process is completely calorie independent….the whole calories in vs. calories out concept……it is just a vague guess, don’t bank on it.

Remember, this is a metabolic process and your metabolism is not run by calories. Hormones control your metabolism, and although specific foods, chemicals, and nutrients will affect your hormonal responses, pure calorie count does not.

So, how can I use this info to help me burn more fat? Breathe! You will expel the most fat with a varied intensity model, or what we call metabolic workouts. Burst, peak, HIIT, all fall into the Variable Output Exercise model that we use and teach.

Here is the key: Pace and anticipate your breathing. When you workout with a high intensity it is not about getting more air in to your lungs that makes you huff and puff as much it is about getting that toxic carbon dioxide out. So, start paced deep breathing during your workout BEFORE you feel you need to. For example, within the first few minute of my workout I will start my paced deep breathing, belly breathing pacing at 3-4 seconds in through the nose and 3-4 out through the mouth.

As your exercise progresses the nose seems to not be able to keep up, that is OK, but keep the belly breathing going the best you can and start to force air out. Think of it like you are forcefully blowing out a candle during your workouts or during your recovery time in-between. I hope this makes sense; we are planning on building a video series on our Variable Output Exercise model and give examples of this technique, so keep your eyes out for it.

So, if you are at the gym, solo, or with workout partners, don’t hold back, start huffing and puffing EARLY and keep it going and you will stimulate more fat to be broken down and liberated from your body. Pretty cool huh?

Try it out; let me know how it goes.

Dr. Don

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P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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