10 Reasons To Join Thrive

10 Reasons To Join Thrive

1. We believe YOUR personal transformation is the best gift you can offer to the world

Your personal growth journey has a massive impact on your people, your groups, your networks and your entire ecosystem, more than you can fathom. When you begin healing yourself, you start affecting the whole and everyone around you benefits. That’s why we do everything in our power to enable your personal transformation and growth while you are with us. Simply because there can be nothing more valuable to us than your growth because as you heal and grow, so will we as a company.

2. We operate from a place of love for LIFE

Thrive is a healing service, one that empowers people through knowledge. Our faith in ‘an abundant life’ is our inspiration and we love everything that life encompasses. Our holistic approach to healing anyone is a manifestation of this very love. One cannot be healed without examining and fixing the obstacles in their environment and life that affect them. This includes their relationships, their finances and their growth opportunities. It also includes taking a good hard look at how close are they to fulfilling their soul’s true desires and living the life of their dreams. Compassionately experiencing their journey with them and helping them overcome each obstacle one day at time is how Thrive heals. At Thrive, nothing is more important than creating a safe space for anyone’s healing journey. And this is possible only when we operate from a space of deep love.

3. We are deeply inspired by the whole and we believe in creating a community where employees, customers, mentors, vendors all get integrated into one huge TRIBE

We as humans were meant to exist in a tribe. We are inherently designed to work together towards the greater good of the tribe out of feelings of mutual love, trust and connectedness. In return, as a whole, the tribe would always have your back. You could make mistakes, fail and the tribe would always hold the space for you to learn and grow. This is how we are designed as a species. To work together as one whole unit. In addition, at Thrive we are deeply aware that for the human species to truly thrive at peak health, we have to integrate with the Earth as a whole. That’s why we keep our focus on integrating all our practices into sustainable solutions that do no harm to our home- this beautiful Planet Earth.

4. We learn and grow exponentially in the field of NUTRITION

Learning is a big part of our DNA. Thrive has a people first model of healing. We match the practices to the person and do not force fit the person into a practice or method. In doing so, each person that comes to Thrive teaches us something new about human health. This forces us to keep learning because at no point will ever know everything there is to know about health and nutrition. In fact, despite our numerous success stories our grounding belief is that we don’t know anything. This keeps us open to learning and also allows us to accept our failures cheerfully as another opportunity to learn and grow. This approach helps us create a space of learning for all our clients as well and those clients that are able to trigger their own learning curve, enjoy their partnership with Thrive a lot more. This way, the joy of seeing someone recover is absolutely special.

5. We truly believe HAPPINESS is the key to Productivity

It turns out our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral but when they are positive. 70% of your waking hours are going to be spent at work, why not make those the happiest damn moments of your lives? Positive people improve team and group performance, it’s a ripple effect, an emotional contagion. To do this, we don’t have any office rules based on dogma. We believe humans are inherently trustworthy and in the right environment, with the right goals they can be trusted to do their best for the greater good and will show up as beautiful and happy beings. We celebrate this beauty in you and do everything we can to ensure that your happiness is never compromised on. This means lots of best friends, fun, growth, meaningful work, adventure and impromptu celebrations so that you are your happiest best while you are at Thrive.

6. Our culture is founded on empathy, respect, authenticity, gratitude, compassion and huge dollops of appreciation

A big part of our work is listening empathetically- our clients are people who’ve been suffering. They’ve been through the modern medicine system, met doctors and have found no relief. When they come to us, many of them feel relieved that there is someone who can understand what they are saying. – no matter how mysterious or ‘in their mind’ it sounds. This ability to listen with empathy permeates through everything we do. We are authentic about our screw ups and our mistakes and are honest when we don’t have all the answers, not just with our clients but with each other too. That transparency keeps the culture at Thrive sparkling clean and creates real bonds of friendship among people. Gratitude is another foundation block at Thrive, not only are we thankful to every single person who trusts us and chooses to partner with us for their health goals, we are also grateful to every single employee and partner of Thrive that has taken us closer to our goal of healing 1 Million people. Thrive exists because of your support and for that we are always grateful. Besides this, we really like celebrating and that’s what we do every time we see your awesomeness shine through. The more awesome you are, the more we celebrate you. Expect a lot of fun.

7. We pride ourselves on being a humanity plus company.

We believe that our work serves in pushing the human race forward. We are not only teaching people how to eat healthier and how to take care of their bodies, but also teaching them about sustainable lifestyles by choosing products that do not harm the planet. With this approach we are actually reinventing the entire healthcare model. In our vision to serve the world by healing 1 Million people, we are pushing humanity forward and in doing so, we are leaving a better world for our future generations.

8. We believe in Magick

Every time we help someone heal, we are awestruck by the unbounded healing potential of the human body. The speed at which a body reverses chronic health issues and brings a person into a state of vitality and well-being often feels like pure magick. Plus, we are big believers in the power of meditation, in setting intentions, in new moon and full moon circles, in making wishes and in the general abundance of the universe in granting these wishes. Do expect sage cleansing, chants, healing crystals, angel statues and incense burning in the workplace.

9. We are obsessed about taking your health to the next level

From quarterly blood tests to in office workouts to ensuring you eat the right food we will keep a watch on your health obsessively. We do this for two reasons-

         a. We know that for any of Thrive’s employees to live up to our values, they would have to be in a place of good health, brimming with life and vitality so that we can fulfill our mission of healing 1 million people.

           b. For us to be able to heal the world outside of Thrive with integrity each one of us has to be shining examples of optimal health so that we may reflect this health within our families, our networks and our community. We walk the talk and in doing so, we inspire others to come to us to learn how take charge of their health.

10. We do genuinely care about how you feel

We are a conscious company and that includes being conscious of the fact that human beings are inherently gifted with a range of emotions and feelings. We do not expect you to be in a autopilot robot mode while you are at work. The quality of your work will always be impacted by how you
feel, so we ensure that we create an environment where you feel abundant, trusted, happy, powerful, inspired, respected, knowledgeable, deeply cared for and celebrated. Any obstacles that get in the way of you feeling this will be worked upon.

The Root Cause of Stress

The Root Cause of Stress

 

The word stress is thrown around quite loosely and as a condition, it is real…. often having a bigger impact on our health than any of the external factors we’ve discussed in the past.

I’ve seen this stress in every case I’ve worked with- a constant, underlying primordial fear based response to the environment around us. And I have been questioning the root cause of it for almost 2 years now and this is what I believe is at the root of it.

It’s the loss of the Collective. We as humans were meant to exist in a tribe. To work together towards the greater good of the tribe out of feelings of mutual love, trust and connectedness. In return, as a whole, the tribe always had your back. You could make mistakes, fail and the tribe would always hold the space for your learn and grow. This is how we are designed as a species.

Somewhere a few thousand years ago, this structure was broken and we started living in smaller and smaller units called families where each unit was forced to fend for itself. In the event of real or perceived threats and calamities you are expected to turn to these 1-2 people- most of whom are stuck in survival mode themselves and you don’t receive the support you need as an organism, as a being.

This is the reason the body end ups always staying on guard. There’s this constant message that the body is receiving that your survival is under threat. None of the passive aggressive people around you can help (sometimes they are the abusers) and as a being you feel you really need to figure out a way to make way out of this big holocaust- this big catastrophic event where anyone who had your back is missing. And you are left wondering, you know what was that great big event that occurred that took away everyone? Like where is everyone right now? That’s the question everyone is asking, where are those real connections, and where in the world is my Tribe?

It’s this loss of the collective, this loss of a sense of belonging that puts in you a flight or fight mode because every person you meet, you are questioning is this person friend or foe. And the other person is doing the same. Your body is the armor for your soul and having to stay in this state of high alert 24/7 starts wearing it down. Its painful for both the mind and body.. and to numb this pain, this lack of connnectedness we get addicted to food, alcohol, media, work, toxic relationships etc.

So what do I think is the solution?

I think one beautiful way to deal with this stress is to start finding your tribe, start finding your community where you feel like you belong, where you can open your heart, where you can be vulnerable, where no one’s going to attack you. Where, even if there’s a threat from outside, there are others who got your back.

If you think I am wrong about this, ask yourself, how many relationships do you have in your life where you can be truly completely transparent and honest and vulnerable without having to ever be defensive ever? And then you know you have a good relationship. If you are defensive, if you’re putting up a fight, if you’re constantly making justification for your existence, if you’re worried about being judged…then, you know, you’re not in your tribe.

I just think its so important that you have spaces and you have people who you are not bound to by any social ties, not related by blood but all that they do is make you feel safe. These are the people that are going to be your tribe. The people that are going to have your back. These are the people where can you are free to go miserably wrong, have really large failures and these people will still be there for you without drama. Because that’s our design- to fail, learn and grow. The tribe is essential for you to feel safe in this process. And this one of the things I really, sincerely want to do- create tribes for you and me, create safe spaces only driven by a common goal of learning and growth and nothing else.

Simply so that you can tell your body to stand down and take a break and allow yourself to heal. Because when you heal, I heal.

If this is something that resonates with you, reach out to me and we’ll see what magick comes forth.

I am part two such Tribes- The Thrive Tribe and The Heart Coherent Tribe- both extremely safe places, if you want to be part of the either of these, let me know and we’ll figure out how to get you in.

Puberty, PMS, Menopause: 3 things you could do to make it pain and struggle free

Puberty, PMS, Menopause: 3 things you could do to make it pain and struggle free

PMS

If you are a woman reading this, you need no introduction to the subject. If you are a man reading this, then you aren’t too much of a stranger to this subject either, unless you’ve been living on Mount Athos

For 80%  of all menstruating women, that time of the month when your uterus makes it’s presence known loud and clear is a not a laughing matter. More than 150 symptoms have been attributed to PMS! The symptoms are so common that the medical community considered discarding the term “PMS” and accepting the symptoms as normal! This attitude trivializes the daily significance of PMS for the millions of women women who suffer from it.

For at least 5% of all menstruating women, the symptoms of PMS are so severe that they are incapacitated on a monthly basis. For many women, even moderate PMS can interfere with work and can disrupt everything from parenting to social relationships. In addition, if PMS symptoms weren’t enough, for most women menopause has become something to dread. Plus, now that little girls as young as 8 and 9 are hitting puberty (which isn’t normal, but more on that subject in another blog post), that’s far too many years of you being your held hostage by your biology right from puberty up until you hit menopause.  PMS

But is it really your biology holding you hostage? What’s really going on? Most theories blame your hormones, inflammation, prostaglandins, neurotransmitters etc making you believe that you really have no control over what’s going on in your body.

Symptoms such as depression, diarrhea, bloating, anxiety, insomnia, migraines, and mood swings are often blamed on PMS. That blame is inaccurate. These symptoms, like the supposed symptoms of menopause (night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue, dizziness, weight gain, digestive issues, bloating, incontinence, headaches, moodiness, irritability, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, trouble concentrating, memory issues, insomnia and other sleep disorders, vaginal dryness, breast sensitivity, joint pain, tingling, hair loss or thinning, dry or cracked skin, and dry or brittle nails), are actually from underlying health conditions such as a sensitive central nervous system, IBS, heavy metal toxicity or chronic viral and bacterial infections. 

These symptoms become more apparent at this particular time in your cycle because the menstruation process takes up 80 percent of your body’s reserves. The 20 percent left over cannot manage the health conditions that your immune system normally keeps at bay. This is another prime example of how far conventional medicine is from understanding women’s health. Rather than pointing to the reproductive system as the reason for a woman’s suffering at her time of the month, we should look at it as a messenger. Rather than drowning the signals in painkillers, steroids, immunosuppressants and antibiotics we need to support both the immune system and the reproductive system with healing foods and herbs.

Your uterus is a maker of life. It sustains life for 9 months.Cute Uterus It’s a space where a living being has to be nurtured and protected. Your uterus is a fierce protector of life. This is its primary role. Does it make any sense at all that a healthy and natural life process should be causing so many problems? 

Over the last few decades thanks to an overload from the environment, we have been overexposed to radiation, toxic heavy metals, mutated versions of viruses and bacteria and chemicals like DDT. These are invisible intruders in our lives, and are the root cause of the chronic illness epidemic that we are witnessing in our times. We are exposed to these and absorb these over our lifetime. These can even be passed down generation to generation and can get stored in our internal organs like the brain, the gut, the liver, pancreas and even the uterus. These cause your underlying health dysfunctions, the ones that become so apparent during PMS and menopause. Your biology is not holding you hostage.It’s in fact sending you signals that there are intruders in your body that need to be dealt with.  Your depression, diarrhea, bloating, anxiety, insomnia, migraines, and mood swings are all indicators that something deeper needs to be fixed.

What triggers the pain though?

Abdominal PainWell, the space in our abdominal and pelvic cavity is actually quite cramped. Every organ fits in there snugly and there’s no empty/ extra space. When any of the above factors triggers lymphedma or fluid retention, this excess fluid starts putting pressure on everything around it, there really is no place for your internal organs to go. This pressure itself makes everything uncomfortable. The nerves in your abdominal and pelvic cavity are being touched by this pressure and start sending pain signals to your brain, and that is what triggers the pain. To relieve yourself of the pain and discomfort, here are 3 things that you can do reduce your pain and suffering. 

1. INCLUDE the following foods in your diet 

Wild blueberries, Asparagus, Avocados, Apples, Spinach, Black grapes, Cranberries, Cruciferous vegetables, Leafy greens and Cucumbers

These will boost your immune system and support your reproductive system

2. ADD the following herbs and nutrients to your daily routine

Lemon balm, Red clover, Nettle leaf, Licorice root, Zinc, Vitamin B12, Folic acid, B-Complex, Vitamin D3, and Plant based Omega-3’s

3. EXCLUDE the following foods from your diet

Dairy, Wheat, Eggs, Corn, Canola Oil, MSG/ Natural Flavors/ Preservatives, Refined Sugar, Processed Foods

These foods not only cause inflammation, but also feed pathogens leading to a higher toxic load on your system.

If you struggle with issues you’ve always thought of as PMS, reach out to me to explore what could really be causing your symptoms and let’s address that true cause. Periods should be easy. You needn’t go through the pain. You deserve a stress-free menstrual cycle.

Debunking the Keto diet: 7 most dangerous misconceptions about the keto diet

Debunking the Keto diet: 7 most dangerous misconceptions about the keto diet

Keto diet or a ketogenic diet is arguably the most popular dietary trend in today’s times. Especially for someone looking for quick weight loss or for someone trying to control their diabetes. It’s quite possible that you’ve been tempted to follow the Ketogenic diet to lose weight fast, reduce HbA1C and lower your blood glucose levels. Given the benefits you’ve heard of of, it might seem really tempting to enter a metabolic state of ketosis. I’d like you to avoid the mistake I made, as in the past, I was lured into following this diet too. It’s important you know the limitations of this diet so that you are aware of the risk of developing long term complications from following this diet. To do this, I am going to take you through the 7 most common statements that the ketosis community throws around about biology and physiology of ketogenic diets and we’ll cross examine each of these statements to see if they have any biological validity or not. You’ll discover the truth underlying ketosis and I’ll refute statements based on misleading science, incorrect biology and a fundamental lack of understanding of human biology.

But first, what is ketosis?

A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet by design. You are allowed to eat a maximum of 30 grams of dietary carbs per day. The keto food pyramid has eggs, dairy, meat, oil and fish at its base. All delicious starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are avoided. Thankfully, green leafy vegetables are included (this is the only redeeming factor). A small quantity of fruits are allowed. You aren’t allowed to have any whole grains or legumes.  When you go this low carb, muscles and liver switch from oxidizing glucose as primary fuel to using fatty acids as primary fuel source. To withstand this, your liver manufactures Ketones as a emergency back up fuel for your brain. Being in this state is called as ketosis.

It seems like a great idea because now your pancreas is provided with an opportunity to reduce insulin production due to the low amount of dietary carbohydrates. A lot of people on keto diets flat-line their blood glucose (aka don’t have elevated blood glucose levels) and have reduced their need for medication while on the diet. If you’ve tried keto, you might have experienced this and you might think ‘great, eating keto is keeping my diabetes in check!’ You might have experienced other short term benefits too like rapid weight loss. reduced glucose levels, reduced postprandial blood glucose, reduced A1C, low fasting insulin. low total cholesterol low LDL etc. The problem though, these are all short term benefits and I can guarantee eating a ketogenic diet increases your risk of chronic disease and early death in the long term.

After researching advice from top ketosis gurus, I have identified seven common dangerous misconceptions about the ketogenic diet.

Myth 1: Insulin is your fat storage hormone

And by adopting a low carb diet you can prevent insulin from causing spikes blood glucose levels after a meal. Now, any biology textbook will tell you the primary function of insulin is to help glucose exit your blood and enter tissues. Sure, insulin also helps fatty and amino acids enter blood and tissues. However, the primary function of insulin is to help transport glucose from blood to tissues and secondary function is to help transfer fatty acids and amino acids to tissues. Simply because insulin has ability to transfer fat to tissues it is incorrect to label insulin as fat storage hormone. It is a scare tactic and is used to make people believe that any amount of insulin in your blood stream is bad. See, insulin triggers macro-nutrient absorption as follows:

  • Priority function No 1 is to transport glucose to tissues to be used a fuel for energy or to be stored as glycogen for later use.
  • Then it is to transport fatty acids to tissues be burnt for energy or to be stored as triglycerides for later use.
  • Followed by transport of amino acids to be synthesized into new protein or to be burnt for energy or to be converted into other compounds.

It is important to understand this order of priority because it reinforces the concept that primary role of insulin is to handle all things related to glucose metabolism before it does anything with fatty acid or amino acid metabolism. Insulin is the most anabolic hormones in the body which means it provides more cell growth and more fuel storage than any other hormone. Ketogenic dieters exaggerate this fact condemning insulin saying that insulin will make you fat. The truth is that all mammals secrete insulin because insulin is required for life- your dog secretes insulin, your neighbors cat secretes insulin, your non diabetic colleague secretes insulin, your thin cousin secretes insulin. Insulin is so important that if you stop manufacturing insulin, you’d die.

In truth, a physiologically normal amount of insulin is required to stay alive. However, injecting excess insulin is what increases risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Also, excess insulin due to insulin resistance can lead to weight gain. That’s the only way insulin can be harmful.

Myth 2: Eating carbs spikes blood glucose levels and leads to weight gain

Fans of the keto diet argue that eating any food containing carbs will spike blood glucose and the only way to avoid blood glucose spikes is to avoid carbohydrate rich foods.  Purely technically speaking, when you eat carbohydrates, your blood glucose will spike and technically reducing carbohydrates will keep blood glucose stable- for this useless ‘technical’ reason keto diets keep total carb intake to below 30 gm. Those in ketosis don’t understand that the amount of glucose in your blood is not only determined by amount of carbohydrate intake but is a reflection of both, your dietary carbohydrate AND your dietary fat  intake. Keto dieters are unaware of the detrimental role that excess dietary fat plays in development of insulin resistance leading to high blood glucose, beta cell death, high cholesterol and increased risk of many chronic diseases.

Only paying attention to how much carbohydrate you are eating misleads you into thinking that this single macro-nutrient affects your entire blood glucose profile when it is in fact primarily determined by how much fat you eat and secondarily by how much glucose you eat.

Why does your blood glucose remain flat on a keto diet? It’s simply because of a near absence of any carbohydrate rich foods and in this way eating a high fat diet is every good at flat-lining you blood glucose levels. As long as you avoid carb rich foods like fruits, potatoes, whole grains, legumes your blood glucose is likely to stay very stable but the minute you eat a delicious carbohydrate rich food like bananas or potatoes or quinoa or brown rice, your blood glucose is going to rise immediately due a fatty acid induced state of insulin resistance.

The Standard American and Indian diet is perfect example of a diet that is high in both carbohydrates AND fat which increases your risk of high blood glucose, insulin resistance and diabetes. In these diets, because both the nutrients are present in large quantities controlling your blood glucose becomes increasingly difficult over time. However, because a low-fat plant based whole food diet is low in dietary fat, your carbohydrate tolerance or your ability to eat carb rich food increases substantially resulting in maximum insulin sensitivity and provides the opportunity to completely reverse insulin resistance all together.

It is quite easy to maintain a flat-line blood glucose on a plant based whole food diet as long as total fat remains controlled below 30 grams per day and your carbohydrate intake comes from whole foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes and not from products containing refined sugar. In my own case, my post prandial insulin on a high fat diet, low carb was 144 and after I switched to a plant based, high carbohydrate diet my post prandial insulin is 19. It’s not just me, I’ve seen the same pattern consistently repeat with all our patients at Thrive.

Myth No. 3: Diabetes is carbohydrate toxicity and insulin resistance a state of carbohydrate intolerance.

Diabetes is often labelled as a problem of carbohydrate toxicity suggesting that dietary carbohydrates are the primary cause of disease. In addition keto dieters believe insulin resistance is caused by insulin itself, triggered by excess consumption of dietary carbohydrates. In order to find out if these statements are factually correct it is necessary to go back to basic biology principles that have shown that vast majority of people who develop insulin resistance develop it due to eating a high quantity of dietary fat. The research world has know this for 85 years. This was first established in 1930 by Dr. Hemsworth and by Dr. Walter Kemper in 1950 and by Dr. JW Anderson in 1970.  Despite this, the cause of insulin resistance remains the most debated subject in the world of diabetes even today. I’d like you to think of insulin resistance as a series of metabolic of dominoes and the dominoes are arranged this way:

  1. You eat a diet containing dietary fat greater than 15% of total calories,
  2. You eat a  banana, potato or rice and check your blood glucose after 2 hrs and you find your blood glucose reads 200 or higher. You then say bad banana, bad potato, bad rice, saying that these foods increased my blood glucose.
  3. Now, the reason that this happened is not because bananas and potatoes are bad foods, but because the insulin receptors in your muscles and in liver have become dysfunctional due to too much dietary fat. Under normal circumstances the glucose from these carbohydrate rich foods is accompanied by insulin into your cells. Insulin says knock knock, would you like to take this energy up and normally the receptor cells in your liver and muscle would say yeah sure, but when you go into insulin resistance the receptors say you got to be kidding me.. do you see how much energy I’ve already have inside? First I have to burn this only then I can allow glucose. Now, when glucose becomes trapped in your blood due to dysfunctional insulin receptors, you have two choices- either you avoid carbohydrates  like the plague and continue to remain in ketosis or drop your fat intake and gain the ability to eat carbohydrate rich food.

Diabetes is not a problem of carbohydrate toxicity but a problem of fat toxicity. Insulin resistance and the weight gain that accompanies it is a state of carbohydrate intolerance first created by excess dietary fat.

Myth No. 4: Carbohydrate is not an essential nutrient

Keto followers often say there are no essential carbohydrates while there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Technically this sounds correct, however, let’s return to basic human physiology for a moment. Liver, muscles and other tissues are capable of oxidizing either glucose, amino acids and fatty acids for energy. Your beautiful brain however, can’t oxidize amino acids or fatty acids. Your brain can only run on glucose for energy plus the brain can’t store glucose. As a result, the brain must oxidize glucose on demand. Carbohydrate rich foods are your brain’s primary fuel source. When you consume a low carb diet you force your liver to make an emergency back up food called ketone bodies to prevent brain from starving. You go into ketosis and and ketones become the brain’s primary food.

Keto diets were invented for people with epilepsy and can reduce seizures but they come with a laundry list of unwanted side effects including diarrhea, nausea, constipation, vomiting, acid re-flux, stunted growth in children, hair-loss, kidney stones, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, hypoglycemia, impaired cognition, impaired concentration, mood swings, ,disordered mineral metabolism, increased risk of bone fractures, acute pancreatitis, high cholesterol, high cortisol, menstrual irregularities, amenorrhea and premature death. In short, people on low carbohydrate diets die sooner and suffer from more diseases. Therefore, labeling carbs as non essential is not just factually inaccurate, it results in a wide variety of chronic health conditions and can decrease quality of life.

Myth No. 5: Low fasting insulin means high insulin sensitivity.

People in the keto community often measure their fasting insulin levels as indicator of their insulin sensitivity and fasting tests measure the amount of insulin your pancreas have to secrete to control your blood glucose level. The lower the number the higher your insulin sensitivity. Low numbers are a good thing. Keto dieters report very low fasting insulin numbers and then draw the conclusion their insulin sensitivity has increased. This is untrue. The only way to actually measure your insulin sensitivity is to utilize a glucose challenge which is done either by drinking a glucose solution or by eating a food containing carbohydrate energy. You measure insulin sensitivity is with the oral tolerance test by drinking 75-100 gm glucose dissolved in water. You then measure your serum insulin and glucose levels at 60, 120 and 180 mins. The higher your glucose and insulin, the worse you perform on the test and conversely the lower the numbers, the better your insulin sensitivity. The reason why this test is so good is because it measures the ability of your liver and your muscles to uptake glucose from the blood when challenged by a food or drink containing glucose. Simply measuring fasting insulin or glucose independent of glucose challenge is insufficient information.

However many keto dieters fail to understand this concept entirely. If you never challenge your glucose metabolism with carbohydrate rich foods or glucose solution, it is impossible to measure insulin resistance. Despite this those in ketosis often claim their insulin sensitivity has increased even though they avoid eating carbs completely.

Myth No . 6- Low carbohydrate diets are not high protein diet

The question to ask here is what proportion of total calories constitutes a high protein diet according to this scientific evidence? According to the evidence.. diets containing more than 10-15 % calories from total protein increase risk for cardiovascular and diabetes mortality. Especially if majority of protein comes from animal foods. Many studies have shown that a diet that’s got protein calories more than 15-20% of total calories can lead to heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis. Any diet containing excess of 10-15% of total calories from protein is a high protein diet. It is practically impossible for a keto diet to be low in protein.

Why? Because cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, seeds, avocados, vegetables and coconut oil make up bulk of calories and with exception of vegetables and coconut oil every food listed here is high in fat and also higher in protein. So, low carb diets are in fact high protein diets too.

Myth No. 7- Evidence based research shows low carb diets are effective

Low carb dieters are great at documenting effectiveness of their diet using studies with small population sizes as is conducted over short time periods (often over weeks or months). While these studies are useful in documenting short term benefits of ketosis they fail to document long term effects of the same. A classic example is a paper that was published in 2017 documenting results of 10 weeks of ketogenic diet in 262 patients following a diet containing less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day and an average of 175 grams of protein per day.

Researchers document how 10 week of ketosis resulted in drop of average A1C by 1%, an average weight loss of 7.2% and how more than 56% of participants reduced their need for all medication. These are all great outcomes. The problem is the study was conducted in a small cohort of over a relatively short period of time.

In order to determine the true effectiveness of any diet you have to do two things. First, study your diet in large number of people which is atleast tens or hundreds thousand of people and study the outcome of following your diet over a long period of time which should be greater than approximately 5 years. Studies conducted in thousands of people over twenty years indicate that low carbohydrate diets promote the following disastrous outcomes

1. increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease

2. increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke

3. increased risk for hypertension

4. increased risk for atherosclerosis

5. increased risk for diabetes mortality

6. increased risk for obesity

7. increased risk for cancer

8. increased risk for all cause mortality (premature death from any cause)

Low carbohydrate diets trick patients and doctors into believing that ketosis is an excellent long term dietary strategy. In reality the long term consequences are worse than the initial disaster the diet was trying to avert.

If you are a keto dieter or are planning to go on one, ask yourself a simple question. Are the long term consequences worth the short term benefits? If your are answer is no, and you need to talk to someone regarding your health goals, book your free consultation with Thrive. We can help you uncover the root causes of your health problems and solve them permanently.

Top 6 ways in which obesity can harm you

Top 6 ways in which obesity can harm you

As I founder of functional nutrition centre I have often asked my clients the crucial question – ‘Why do you want to lose weight?’ The answers vary from ‘I want to look good’ to ‘I cannot take the back pain anymore’. Rarely does anyone tell me that they want to ease the strain that they are putting on their body every day. Yes, obesity wreaks havoc on your body and is proof of bodily functions gone wrong within. I think returning your body processes to optimum is the number one reason you should be shedding those extra kilos immediately.

effects of obesity

Being overweight puts a lot of stress on your organs and sets you up for misery that will come sooner than you think. This might sound harsh but it is the scary truth that reveals itself once you know your body.

This post will educate you on the workings of your body the relation of obesity with various illnesses and health risks. Bear in mind that most of the below health risks are not the effect of obesity but go hand in hand with it. Some of them are even the cause of obesity. For example, insulin resistance or Type 2 Diabetes leads to weight gain and not the other way round.

But first, let’s define what being overweight or obese is. This is determines by your BMI or Body Mass Index. Calculate your BMI using the following formula:

 

 

For Asians

BMI of 18 to  23 normal

BMI of 24 to 25 is overweight

BMI of 26 and above counts as obese

 

Health Risks

Obesity is closely related to increased risk of type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, sleep apena, heart stroke, asthma, certain cancers, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In fact, obesity is said to be linked with more than 50 different health problems.

Why Being Overweight is related to so many health problems? 

Extra fat in your body puts strain on your cardiovascular system. Fat makes your blood thick and your arteries stiff which causes high blood pressure. Although being overweight increases all these problems it is not at the heart of all the illnesses. To know the real cause we must get to the root of weight gain itself.

Obesity is not the normal way of a body. A lot of people think that obesity is just a matter of too much eating and too little exercise. While these factors do play a role they are not enough to get you on the path to become obese. Consider the case of childhood obesity.

There are more than 10 million cases of childhood obesity in India alone! Cases of obesity are seen in children as young as 2 to 5 years today. Clearly, it’s not the result of too much food and too little exercise. Something else is going on here. Weight gain is actually a case of your cellular metabolism gone wrong.

child obesity

The truth is- it can happen to anyone. Toxic load in our environment, stressful lifestyle, sedentary jobs, food allergens, poor diet and nutrient deficiency are all to be blamed for the metabolic syndrome. All these external factors lead to insulin resistance, poor metabolism and adrenalin stress in our body. It is the seed that grows into a host of other chronic illnesses including obesity. Obesity is hence a marker of metabolic dysfunctions in your body and the start of many chronic illnesses.

 

Diabetes and Obesity

There have been numerous studies linking weight gain with diabetes. In fact, experts have coined the term ‘diabesity’ as diabetes and obesity go hand in hand. The famous Harvard study that studied 170,000 people over the span of 10 years found that obesity increases the risk of diabetes by 20 times! However all these studies measure risk of diabetes by correlating obesity with presence of diabetes? It doesn’t necessarily mean that obesity is the cause of diabetes. In fact it may be the other way around.

diabetes and Obesity

Insulin resistance is at the heart of type 2 diabetes. Insulin acts as a gate pass for glucose to enter into cells for its conversion into energy. Insulin resistance happens when your cells refuse to take in the glucose and shut off to the insulin in your blood. This is caused by poor lifestyle factors, consuming too much sugar or genetics. This extra glucose in the blood is then stored in fat cells causing you to gain weight.

Insulin resistance points to a metabolic syndrome in the body and it usually precedes weight gain. This means that if you are overweight there is a good chance that you are already suffering from metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. This is more likely if you easily put on weight on your waist.

 

Hypertension and Obesity

Hypertension is the measure of pressure that blood applies to the inner walls of your arteries. Abnormal glucose metabolism increases the LDL (Low-density Lipid) in blood causing the blood and arteries to thicken. This leads to high blood pressure. More cholesterol in your blood also means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body and leading  to increased risk of heart attack.

blood pressure and obesity

 

Cancer

Observational studies have shown that obese persons are at a higher risk of many types of cancer. This includes endometrial cancer (cancer of uterus lining), liver cancer, brain tumor, gall bladder cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

The exact mechanisms of how obesity causes cancer are yet to be discovered. As of now, there are only theories that best support the evidence of higher incidences of cancer in obese people.

One of the theories is that the chronic low-level inflammation that obese people often have leads to DNA damage that leads to cancer. Yet another link is the excess estrogen produced by fat tissue in obese people. Excess estrogen is known to be associated with breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer.

Fat cells also produce adipokines, hormones that can mess up the growth stimulation and inhibition mechanism of cells. Increased level of insulin in the blood is also known to help certain cancers.

 

Stress on Organs

All the extra body mass obviously puts strain on the organs of your body which are meant to handle much less. Increase in fat tissues means that your heart has to pump harder to reach through more blood vessels in your body. Fat deposits also diminish the lung’s capacity to hold air according to studies.

Extra weight also causes structural burden on your skeleton. Obesity usually leads to osteoarthritis, back pain and joint pains.

 

Mental Health

The relation of mental health and obesity is again the story of chicken and egg. We do not know for sure which one comes first.  People with mental health issues have a two to three times higher risk of obesity and people with obesity have a 30% higher risk of mental health issues.

The reason of overlap could be the common risk factors such as stress. Cortisol levels are known to be higher in both obese and depression patients. Inflammation in body and increased stress can lead to a flight or flight response in body which can cause both depression and weight gain. Depression and obesity can lead into a vicious cycle where loss of self-esteem can lead to binge eating which leads to more weight gain. Mental health issues associated with obesity include anxiety, depression, PTSD.

obesity and mental illness

Social Health

The social effects of obesity may not be acknowledged medically with a term, but they are just as damaging. Not being able to fit into your favorite dress and gaining weight every week attacks your self-esteem. Constant low energy takes away your favorite activities and hampers your daily routine. Repeatedly failing to lose weight despite your intention is enough to lose confidence and give-up on life itself.

Many people with obesity become averse to interaction and avoid social events. Obesity affects not just your relations with the outside world but also your relation with yourself. Emotions of frustration, guilt, self-loathing and self-victimization are common because of the illnesses and stigma attached to obesity.

 

Conclusion

Obesity is a result of metabolic processes gone wrong. This root cause is common to many other illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular complications and mental illness. This is the reason that weight gain goes hand in hand with so many health problems and many times is a marker for chronic illnesses to come.

In next blog we will talk about the root causes of weight gain and how to make sure your body functions run smoothly for a lifetime.