What To Know Before Going Keto

The ketogenic (or “Keto”) diet has been creating a lot of buzz recently, and for good reason. The low-carb diet offers several health benefits, but there still seems to be some confusion around what it entails. Over the last two years, my wife and I have implemented a more ketogenic lifestyle. Below, I discuss several benefits as well as what you can expect before committing.

Diet vs. Lifestyle Choices

First, I want to start out by acknowledging the difference between a diet and a lifestyle. A diet is temporary. Once an individual achieves his or her desired goal, the person tends to go back to his or her normal way of eating. Lifestyle choices involve more manageable, longterm habits that include other things like physical activity. For this reason, I recommend focusing on implementing a healthy lifestyle over a diet.

Benefits of a Ketogenic Lifestyle

A ketogenic lifestyle offers several benefits, including:

  • Decreasing appetite
  • Lowering blood sugar/insulin levels
  • Shifting the body’s metabolism toward a more fat burning (ketosis) state
  • Cleaning out damaged cells
  • Supporting a healthy brain and cognitive development
  • Increasing cellular energy

What to Expect

If you’re thinking of trying keto yourself, it’s important to know what you’re up against. Here are a few things to consider before getting started:

Increased Fat

If you’re like most Americans, you probably think fat is bad for you. But that’s not necessarily true. In addition to making food taste good, fat plays an important role in a healthy, balanced diet. At nine calories per gram, fat is the most calorie-dense of the macronutrients, making it crucial for energy storage. It’s also key to the ketogenic diet, which focuses on high fat and low carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate Restriction

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to enter ketosis or a state where the body burns fat for fuel rather than carbs. Doing so requires limiting carbohydrate and protein consumption to 20 to 30 percent of calories, while increasing calories from fat to 70 to 80 percent. Typically, this involves cutting out legumes, fruits, starchy vegetables and processed sugar.

Ketosis

When your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy, it turns to fat, a process known as ketosis. For most healthy people who don’t have diabetes and aren’t pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after three or four days.

Fasting

You can also start ketosis by fasting. The process stimulates cellular cleanup, restores metabolic balance, triggers longevity pathways and stimulates brain cell growth and connectivity, according to Marisa Moon, Intermittent Fasting (IF) Instructor and Certified Primal Health Coach. Many experts also suggest that intermittent fasting is similar to how our ancestors ate and she explains why it’s a good idea to incorporate the practice into our lives.

The Keto “Flu

Our bodies prefers to get their energy from carbohydrates, so it can be natural to feel a little lethargic when you start removing them from your diet. Typically, the feeling will go away within about a week. Consider adjusting your diet gradually (decreasing carb intake while upping fat) to make the transition smoother.

While keto may be trendy, it requires lifestyle changes that aren’t for everyone. Do your research, experiment and see what works best for you, and consider reaching out to an expert for help getting started.

In addition to traditional chiropractic techniques, Dr. Wiechmann specializes in nutritional counseling. Together, him and his wife are passionate about helping people life healthier lives. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 712-249-8231.

Seven Tips to Manage Stress

person grabbing faceElections are stressful — and this one particularly so. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed, helpless and anxious when it feels like the fate of our country is so precarious.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize conflict and take care of yourself.

  1. Seek chiropractic careChiropractic services, such as adjustments or manipulation, trigger point dry needling and soft tissue therapy, can help release muscle tension, soothe irritated spinal nerves and improve blood circulation — changes that can often alert the brain to switch off the fight-or-flight response and help your body relax.
  2. Schedule a massage – Regular massages can rebalance your hormones and release muscle tension caused by stress. Research also shows that it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as increase the production of “feel good” endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.
  3. Make time for fitness – Your body can fight off stress better when it’s physically fit. Consider going for a walk, lifting weights or swimming for at least 30 minutes most days per week to stay active and keep your body in shape.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques – Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi are great relaxation techniques for managing stress. Practicing these methods for even a few minutes each day can provide a sense of overall calmness as well as ease anxiety.
  5. Get adequate rest – In addition to regular exercise, your body needs proper time to recover. Give your body the rest it needs by taking breaks when necessary and getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep (more for children and teens) each night.
  6. Eat a balanced diet– Chronic stress can make you more susceptible to viral illnesses, GI issues and infections. Consuming processed food and beverages, like chips, soda and candy, actually increases the volume of stress on your body and contributes to other health issues. Consider reaching for nutrient-dense foods that promote good gut bacteria, such as prebiotics and probiotics. Fruits and vegetables with inulin, like asparagus, bananas, garlic and onions, contain prebiotics. Fermented foods, like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt are great sources of probiotics.
  7. Avoid drugs and alcohol – If you typically reach for a cigarette or a glass of wine when you’re stressed, consider a new vice. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco can stress your body out even more and often lead to serious health issues like heart disease, liver disease, respiratory diseases and GI problems.

While it’s impossible to completely eliminate all stress from your life, the strategies above can help you manage your symptoms. Prioritizing self-care first can help you cope with what comes next. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 712-249-8231.

Tips for Staying Healthy and Combating Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness for the disease and the important steps people can take to reduce their risk.

National statistics show that one in every eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. But the disease doesn’t only affect women. Men are also at risk.

Moreover,  studies show that serious health issues, such as cancer and other chronic diseases, are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals and unhealthy lifestyles. In fact, nearly 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of the disease. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk, including getting regular exercise and maintaining proper nutrition.

Join Nathaniel Wiechmann, D.C., at the The Downtown Family YMCA in Omaha on Sunday, October 14, as he discusses tips for staying healthy and combating cancer. Dr. Wiechmann’s wife, Melissa, will also be leading a 20-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) demonstration, along with other group exercise samplers. Options will be available for all fitness levels and abilities, and you do not have to be a member of the YMCA to attend. Feel free to bring your friends and family…and wear pink!

Download the flyer for more information. To request a guest pass, please contact us.

Nourishing Gut Health: Learn Tips to Balance Your Gut

Picture of weights, measuring tape and healthy appleOur guts are home to a collection of 100 trillion microorganisms (aka gut flora) that inhabits our intestines and have a powerful influence over our immune systems and mental health. Unfortunately, poor diets, overuse of antibiotics and elevated stress can often wipe out good bacteria in the gut, enabling bad bacteria to proliferate and take over. Additionally, certain foods can create inflammation in the gut, which can trigger certain food allergies and sensitivities.

The good news is that there are specific diet and lifestyle strategies that you can adopt to help heal your gut and restore balance.

Join us at the The Downtown Family YMCA in Omaha on Tuesday, August 21, at 10 a.m. as Nathaniel Wiechmann, D.C., discusses:

  • Why gut health is important to your overall health
  • What factors may compromise your gut health
  • What foods can help nourish and restore your gut health.

As a licensed chiropractor, Dr. Wiechmann is dedicated to providing complimentary community education on health and wellness topics such as nutrition, weight loss, sports medicine and injury prevention, backpack safety, stress and pain management, and many others.

This presentation is intended for the active older adults group. Other YMCA members can register by calling Danielle Abbott, Group Fitness Manager at The Downtown Family YMCA, at 402-930-4342.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to eat, drink and learn more about healthy living in an engaging, social atmosphere!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.