Most common mistakes/Erros mais comuns

Diet? Now what?

This post is directed to everyone that is trying to start a keto way of eating.

Many of us have tried all diets that along the years were advertised by the media, popularized by public figures, promoted by bloggers, nutritionists, fitness enthusiasts, and so on and on.

Most of us, failed.

Most of us, failed. I mean, the diet worked for a while, but then after a while, all weight was back. Why????? Why did I put all my weight back?? You might ask (I still see this question so many times with my coachees and facebook group I help to admin). Why? Some reasons I can think of:

  1. Because you looked at it as diet
  2. Because it was boring, tasteless, repetitive, restrictive, and after the deadline set for the duration of the diet, you got back to your old eating habits
  3. Because you got anxious and quit
  4. Because you look at it as a quick fix
  5. Because it affected your health

Because you looked at it as a diet

But you know in reality what is the main reason in my opinion? Because you looked at it as a diet. Not a way of eating, not a lifestyle change. Diet, the dreaded word, that comes with a huge psychological weight.

The word diet means actually the foods and drinks we habitually consume. It is derived from the Greek word diaita, that means… wait for it… WAY OF LIVING. How awesome is that? And how the hell did diet become the dreaded nightmare of so many?

Well I guess we all know. From the vulgarization of the word diet, the multitude of quick fix, fad “diets” that popped up in our lives for many and many years, the immediacy that took control of us. The obesity epidemics that brought an urgent need to lose weight, the cult of the perfect body (and not the perfect health) that lead to people looking increasingly for fast ways to lose weight, popularized as diets.

But no, keto/lchf is not a quick fix, are not the present definition of diet, keto/lchf are actually what the word diet originally meant: A way of leaving, a lifestyle.

That is how you should look at it. Taking that step, passing through that mind shift is what you need to transition of a yo yo person, frustrated, enraged, angry with yourself, stressed, because no matter what you do, your weight always comes back, and with a vengeance, to a happy achiever.

And no, this is not a post intending to evangelize, to convert you. It is a wake up call.

And why you may ask?

Because as I above said, I help manage a ketogenic diet facebook group (ketodietblog support group), a challenge forum, a ketogenic page, and I also have patients/coachees. And I see how the large majority still thinks about this as a quick fix, as a diet, as a painful period, luckily as short as possible, to lose the weight they want. Most do not understand that their health should come first and that losing weight is e nice side effect.

Many fail to see this as a long term commitment, a very enjoyable way of getting your health back and at the same time achieving their weight loss dreams. Many just want it done in the shortest time possible. Many look at it as restrictive, many look at it as expensive, and many still believe in what people tell them, that this is dangerous.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many ways of following keto/lowcarb , and many are not the best for health improvement. The market is being flooded with keto/lowcarb products, keto/lowcarb breads, sauces, syrups, pasta. And people fall for it. And people do not go through the mind shift, and people stay tied in to old thinking, to the foods that made them gain weight, and think that those mimic foods will be perfect, that they will be ok.

That is the IIFYM – If it fits your macros way of thinking. That as long as you stay below a certain carb limit, you will be fine. Guess what? If all you think of is losing weight, that will most probably be true.

But what I do advocate, follow and believe in, is a whole foods based way of eating. How could, in the name of all gods, real food be dangerous? Honestly?

Expensive? Of course yes, if you do not keep it simple and try to buy all keto/lowcarb products inundating the market. But if you choose to eat simple and delicious, the vast array of vegetables, meat, fish, shellfish, this way of eating is not only cheaper than buying the low fat and diet processed foods you used to, or the burger at a fast food chain, but it will also give you a beautiful array of options and variety (tackling the restrictive issue)

Let me ask you a question. What good it does to you, being thin and looking great on the mirror, if you remain with poor health? Is it better to be a sick thin person, or a healthy, energetic, person that will age much more gracefully? I know the answer, what about you? Is vanity all that counts?

Isn’t it ageing gracefully, having energy to travel, to laugh, to run with your kids, to exercise, to be a happy human being while being at a healthy weight what you should be looking for? I do honestly hope so.

So, in this new year, full of promises, goals, and wishes, make yourself a promise:

Next ” diet” you intend to follow, make it a healthy one, make it a lifestyle. The results will for sure pay of.


Sleep, is it Important? Does it Impact Weight Loss?

Sleep is commonly not taken into consideration by us in the weight loss equation, but what a mistake it is. When you do not sleep enough or poorly sleep, your weight loss process is deeply affected, as well as of course your health.
Numerous studies have now showed that lack of sleep or poor sleep is associated with obesity and weight-gain. One of the studies, a meta-analysis observed a consistent increased risk of obesity among children and adults that did not sleep enough. So, what does lack of sleep or poor sleep affect?
Lack of sleep can cause cravings and induce a raise in appetite (the hunger hormones are impacted by lack of sleep, dis-regulating the appetite control mechanism, leading to more appetite); cortisol the stress hormone is also raised when we do not sleep enough, and it also affects appetite. Poor sleep or lack of it can also affect your ability to resist the urge to eat, affecting your self-control and leading to binging episodes
  1. Insulin sensitivity – poor sleep affects insulin sensitivity reducing it, being a factor in insulin resistance
  2. Resting metabolic rate – resting metabolic rate is the calories you burn during sleeping/rest. It is affected by several factors (eg. Someone that lifts weights has generally a higher RMR than someone who does not, and burn more calories when resting). Lack of sleep may affect RMR.
  3. Lack of sleep is related with inflammation
 OHH nooo, I do experience lack of sleep on LCHF/keto. So, I will gain weight. LCHF/Keto is not for me!!! RELAX, SOME of us experience it during the EARLY STAGES. Some and early, are the key words here.
When you start keto, you automatically cut on carbs, lowering it to levels you never did before (that is WHY some experience it while others do not, people who were already on a lower carb diet, generally do not feel sleep deprived on keto). Reducing the foods that cause insulin spikes, will affect the conversion of tryptophan in serotonin (the feel good hormone, that helps lowering anxiety and inducing a better sleep), consequently affecting sleep. However, as you progress into keto, the lack of sleep will no longer be a problem.


  1.  Establish routines. Go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time everyday
  2. Have a relaxing tea before sleeping (1 or 1h30 hour before)
  3.  Do not drink lots of liquids before bed
  4.  Make your bedroom a sanctuary, in the sense that it should be a relaxation place. Calm, with a comfortable temperature, relaxing colours, a good mattress and pillow
  5.  DO NOT watch TV in your bedroom
  6.  Try to limit blue light at night (there are great apps that reduce blue light, some cell phones already do that for you). Using the blue light blocking glasses is an option if you need to use electronics at night, especially close to bedtime
  7.  Avoid caffeinated drinks (if they affect you) at least 6 hours before bedtime
  8.  Do not nap (if you cannot sleep at night, napping is not a good idea)
  9.  Take a melatonin supplement half an hour to an hour before bed. I use the liquid form, no sugar. If you do not have access to melatonin, other natural supplements include lavender, valerian root, chamomile, passion-flower,
  10.  Take a walk, distress
  11.  Listen to relaxing music
  12.  Meditate. Meditation is a powerful tool to relax and release calming hormones. Download an app and start slowly. At first you will find difficulty focusing and emptying your mind, but as you progress it will get easier
  13.  Make sure your magnesium is balanced (a dermal spray works wonders)
  14.  Engage in activities that help you release stress (painting, writing, cooking, reading, whatever helps you relax)
  15.  Take care of your sexual/love life

How to Read Labels


So, you decided it is time to start paying more attention to what you buy, or as you are on a LCHF diet reading labels become suddenly something very important. So you start, and so you get overwhelmed and confused with all those numbers, terminology, and ingredients. Let me help you with a tutorial on how to get you started.  So we go to the store, and find this:nutr-lemonHummm ok, what does this all mean? Let me simply it for you:label1



So now we’re good right? Wrong. Why?

Well, in fact reading ingredients is for me even more important than just looking at numbers.

And why is that, you may ask?

If you are interested in clean eating like I am, there is where the importance of reading ingredients is. A food says it has 6g carbs for 100g, ok, fine, low carb it is. BUT if those 6g come from wheat, sugar, and other bad choices of ingredients, it’s totally different than it would if those carbs came from clean sources.

Remember: people want to sell that product, they are not much interested in selling you health, they are interested in maximizing profit.

So, lets just give you some basic rules for ingredients:

  1. Choose foods with as less ingredients as possible
  2. You cannot understand those ingredients? Do they look Neptunian to you? Don’t buy.
  3. On labels, ingredients are listed in order by weight, meaning that the first ingredients are the ones in higher amount.
  4. Avoid trans fats like the plague.Trans fats are nasty, are chemically modified fats. In some countries, if a food contains less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving, it can be labelled as containing zero trans fats (remember that portion sizes can be small ad quickly it adds up and you end up with trans fats on your diet. Terms to look for are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated
  5. Look for hidden sugars. Sugar can be sneaked in by using one of the many names it can have among them high-fructose corn syrup, organic cane sugar, fructose, glucose, honey, maple syrup, sucrose, maltose, caster sugar, agave, brown rice syrup, maltodextrin, corn syrup, palm sugar, molasses, etc. NOTE: most bacon and cold cuts are cured with sugar or honey. The amount of residual sugar in the final product is very low so they are acceptable, specially if you cannot find a clean brand
  6. Stay away from added sugar as much as possible (connected to the above). Sugar naturally occurring in food, such as cheese (lactose is a sugar), fruits and veggies is totally different from added sugars
  7. Run away from “light”, “sugar free”, “Low fat”, “Diet” products, as most have hidden sugars and other not so nice ingredients to replace the nutrients taken
  8. Avoid vegetable oils such as soybean, peanut, corn, safflower, rapeseed, sunflower etc, stick with good sources such as olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil, etc
  9. Just because it states organic, does not mean it is. Try to look for labels that are certified or state that it was certified organically produced (of course that if you are in a country where organic is as difficult or more than catching the next space shuttle to Venus, you have to be less strict)
  10. Stay away from artificial sweeteners (aspartame, cyclamate, Saccarin, Sucralose,  etc)
  11. Look for additives: anything artificial is out. Caramel color is out, natural flavors can also be a no as many times there is nothing natural about them. Take a look at this infographic from the CSPI:

FoodAdditives_Infographic 2

So now, lets finish with a few examples of labels:

labeldalilalabelsdalilacanned cabbage

Hope I have helped somehow


The dreaded Keto Flu


Today I am going to talk a bit about one of the major issues we find with people starting LCHF/keto: the dreaded keto flu



Brain fog,





Increased heart rate/ palpitations

Muscle cramps

Feeling lightheaded

Do these sound familiar? Did you ever thought what was going on with you?

If you have the above symptoms and have not been careful about your electrolytes, you are probably being a part of the keto flu affected team Yes, all those symptoms can manifest in the initial stages of LCHF/keto and every time you do get lazy or forget to balance your electrolytes.

So, what are electrolytes you will ask

Electrolytes are micronutrients – minerals found in the body used for maintaining homeostasis (balance). They intervene in all functions of our bodies, such as muscle contraction, heartbeat, nerve function, fluid balance, sleep, etc.

The most relevant in the context of a LCHF/keto diet  are potassium, sodium, and magnesium

So, why do I need to monitor my electrolytes?

When you change from a high carb diet to a LCHF diet, your body will tend more to release water than store it. Why? Because you do not have insulin spikes due to the type of foods you eat, and that will signal your hormone system indicating to your kidneys that there is less need to retain water and higher need to eliminate that water. When water excretion increases, minerals are also excreted at a higher rate, leading to lack of important electrolytes and to the symptoms associated with the so called keto flu.

So, what do I do?

A baseline blood analysis before starting will tell you upfront if you need any supplementation even before starting. Then check it regularly to be sure you are on track. Besides that, and as easy to do measures that will help to ease the symptoms or even avoid them:

  • Increase your water to maintain hydration.
  • Up your sodium intake – use pink salt, sea salt or a good iodized salt (1 to 2 tsp perday in a glass of water)
  • Drink water with LoSalt (Nusalt, madson salt) for potassium – potassium is a very tricky mineral and supplementation with pills is not advised unless prescribed by a doctor. Too much potassium is as dangerous as its deficiency.
  • Supplement with magnesium (several forms forms available, magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate are the best options, citrate having a laxative effect)
  • My favorite: eat vegetables and other foods high in these nutrients. (Veggie phobia exists and there is no need whatsoever for that): For Potassium – avocados, nuts, kale, spinach, mushrooms; For Sodium: bone broth, pickle juice, bacon; Magnesium: dark chocolate, nuts, fish;

Fighting a stall – tips

Weight loss is not a linear process. That is something you need to be aware of. Stalls and gains are to be expected. Biological individuality plays a role, age, hormones, stress, sleep, not following correct macros, under eating, over eating, indulging on to many BPC’s, keto treats, mimic foods can all be a cause of plateaus, stalls or gains. So, what can I advise you to do?

FIRST: 2 days, 2 weeks are nothing really. Relax, revise your diet. What can you be doing wrong? Are you not losing measures? Are you on “your time of the month”?

If you still think you hit a stall, there are some things you can do to try to break it:

  • Are you keto adapted? Try Intermittent fasting
  • Stick to whole foods for a month. No mimics
  • Cut dairy, sweeteners, nuts, fruits, chocolate and alcohol
  • Lower your fat, up your fat, play with your fat macro as filler for satiety
  • Stay under 25g of net carbs
  • Make sure your electrolytes are balanced (magnesium and sodium specially)
  • Identify your stressors, introduce 10min of daily meditation, have a nice herbal calming tea before bed
  • Plan your meals, log them ahead and keep a journal
  • identify which foods still cause you cravings
  • Stop BPC
  • Add exercise to your routine – HIIT and weights, avoid extraneous cardio exercises as it raises cortisol
  • Get your thyroid checked
  • Get your Vit D levels checked, supplement if needed
  • Keep hydrated
  • Make sure you sleep enough

Cheating or not cheating, that is the question

I m not talking here about carb up strategies for bodybuilders or other heavylifters. I am talking  about plain and simple cheat meals. 

On a daily basis I see people talking about so called carb ups, fall off the wagon, derail, go offplan, and a myriad of other names to refer to what we just consider cheating. What is the definition of cheating?

“a person who acts dishonestly, deceives, or defrauds:

a fraud; swindle; deception:

an impostor:

A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage”

Is there anything positive in any of the above ? No. Its the same on keto when you cheat.

A large part of the people I know are carb/sugar addicts. For them, cheating is indeed a dangerous road, a slippery slope. It ends up in a succession of cheats, in feeling guilty and disgusted and not being able to get back on the train. To some, at first nothing happens, and some report even losing more weight – they get so happy with that, and they will simply think that all people say against it is bullshit. Sadly, most of them find themselves bloated, inflammed, heavier, feeling like crap a while later, just because that single cheat lead to another, and another and another…

When you cheat, almost everytime you will be kicked out of ketosis, making your body suffer due to the jumping from fat as fuel to carbs as fuel and back, and of course, delaying your keto adaptation process. So, why? Why would you sabotage yourself?

Being on keto/LCHF is not a short ride, is a commitment to yourself, its a commitment to health, its a way of living. Of course for some people its only a weight loss tool (I can never understand that, but I respect your choices). But for (thank God) many people, keto/lchf is a health improvement way of eating, and the only way to keep enjoying the advantages it brings, the regained health, its to keep being on keto, not cheating. So, what happens when you cheat?

  • You get hunger and cravings return
  • You gain weight
  • Your blood sugar will spike
  • You may feel sick
  • You may have skin troubles such as acne, rashes, itchiness
  • You will feel bad
  • Your confidence fails
  • Your focus vanishes
  • Restarting is increasingly difficult
  • Losing weight is increasingly difficult
  • You can get into a binging cycle

Is it really worth it? Is it really “life is too short not to have cakes”?

I prefer to say: “Life is too short, don’t make it shorter, don’t cheat on yourself”




Gluten free – good or bad?

From Dr. Mark Hyman, Author of Eat Fat, Get Thin

We are all aware that “gluten-free” has become a major buzz term. Restaurants proudly offer options like gluten-free bread, and even mainstream supermarkets have whole aisles dedicated to the trend. Nearly everyone has jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon.

I don’t recommend this to everyone – not at least until you understand a few facts…and here’s why.

As a doctor who treats sick patients, I find that gluten often is a major cause of digestive, autoimmune, weight, mood and neurologic problems. While one would think that I would be 100% pro gluten-free, I want to be clear that there are some downsides to this trend.Read the rest in the link below

Gluten free – is it really good?

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