Here is a 7 day series covering some of the basics of macros and eating in a deficit.
Eating in a Deficit
If your goal is to burn body fat and/ or weight loss you need to look at what you’re eating on a weekly basis!
You can do all the fitness in the world and eat the healthiest foods out there but still gain body fat if you aren’t eating ideal amounts of protein and If you aren’t eating in a caloric deficit. This can be very frustrating for people!
The only way to burn body fat is to be in a caloric deficit.
The only way to truly know, is to track your macros for a while! It can be quite humbling.
BUT: For most athletes, it is not a good idea to be in a caloric deficit 7 days per week. This can lead to “under recovering”, diminishing performance, and is typically not sustainable.
I recommend staying in a caloric deficit 4 days per week, on lighter workout and recovery days and utilizing 3 “re-feed” days where you are not in a surplus but eating at least your base metabolic rate in calories. (If you do not know your base metabolic rate BMR, the Inbody scan is a great option or you can use an online calculator that could help get you started).
The total weekly caloric intake will still be at a deficit if the re-feed days do not send you over. If you go over, it’s unlikely you will burn fat.
This is a great way to burn fat and still see performance results.
If you need help putting a plan together, share your goals with a coach!
In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.
Today we are going to discuss how to establish a general baseline and begin tracking your nutrition.
First off, I never want to downplay the importance of quality food in your life. I say life but I’m referring to your diet or what goes in your body. The word diet is just sketchy because then it sounds temporary. If you say life… then it sounds like you’re making long term decisions. I just want to make it 100% clear going into the “MACROS” talk… that although we are talking strictly #s – carbs, fats, proteins, water, and calories you should always assume we want the highest quality in each category… nutrient dense carbs (not white sugar), nutrient dense fats (not canola or other refined oils), quality proteins, and clean -mineral rich water sources.
Sorry… GENERAL BASELINES
Establish your base metabolic rate (BMR) –the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic life-sustaining functions.
Most accurate: Schedule an Inbody scan with one of our coaches! All access members get these included in your membership! All others – this is only $20!
Not quite as accurate but a good starting point: use an online calculator!
There are thousands to choose from. I am recommending My Fitness Pal because the basic version is free, simple to use, and I am familiar with the APP. If your friend sells you on one just make sure its simple and not wasting your money.
Tip #1 : don’t follow the recommendations on these apps. They are “general” and if you haven’t noticed based on the general FDA guidelines, food pyramid, and everything else “generally speaking” the average numbers lead to sub -average results.
Tip #2 : don’t follow the diet of the 21 year old Instagram model -or- professional athlete marketing their 6 weeks shredded jacked & tan program… I mean you can, but come back to me in 12 weeks & let me know how it went.
Tip #3 : follow along this mini series & apply the steps… I bet you will learn something & make progress or your $$$ back guaranteed
Tip #4 : ask a coach for guidance if you feel lost/overwhelmed! We’ve probably made the same mistakes before.
Plug in your “macro” goals.
Macros = carbs, fats, protein = total calories.
Sorry to leave you on a hanger! Tomorrow we will go over the very basics of establishing your “macro goals.”
Homework assignment : download a macro APP & establish a baseline BMR so we can set up your numbers!
In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.
Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”
Your nutrition APP should allow for you to set goals for PROTEINS, FATS, & CARBS.
KEEP AN OPEN MIND … Everyone is unique based on age, sex, hormones, body fat levels, muscle, lipid status, gut health, activity level, insulin sensitivity, yada yada… these are BASIC – GENERAL starting points (guidelines) and depending on the time of the month, year, season of life etc. the exact same macro nutrients will probably not be perfect 365 days per year. You need to be adaptable in nutrition just like you are at home and in the workplace etc.
Assuming if you read this you participate in at least the following activities: strength training, cardiovascular endurance, muscle endurance, speed, powerlifting, agility…
ALL OF THESE ACTIVITIES INCREASE YOUR NEED FOR PROTEIN. I will dive deep with you in specific needs of aminos for joint health, brain function, connective tissue repair, muscle recovery, gut health, etc. when we pass the basics course but for now just accept the fact that if you are living the KTX LIFESTYLE YOU NEED MORE THAN THE FDA RECOMMENDED AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN TO RECOVER AND LIVE OPTIMALLY!
If you are trying to burn fat you need protein, if you are trying to gain muscle you need protein, if you are trying to maintain… you still need that protein. Sorry.
Minimum protein goal: .7 grams per pound of bodyweight
Maximum protein goal: 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight
Use a calculator and multiple your weight by somewhere between .7 and 1.2.
MY OPINIONS REGARDING PROTEIN:
Humans with higher amounts of bodyfat (25% or more) typically respond better to lower amounts of protein… like .7 – .8 grams per lb of bodyweight. Sometimes slightly less, depending on how much muscle they have and hormone status.
Leaner humans (12% or less), typically respond better to higher amounts of protein… like .9 to 1.2 grams per lb of bodyweight. The amount in this range usually depends on activity level.
Living optimally on the lower side of this protein recommendation COULD potentially lead to a longer lifespan… If you want resources for this data Google search scholarly articles regarding the information.
Eating for performance & getting as lean as possible COULD have you eating on the higher end of this protein recommendation… that doesn’t mean you can’t live a long healthy life because you consumed more protein.
A good indicator for optimal protein levels is your (BUN) status on a blood panel. We will go into those details down the road.
I believe it is best to CYCLE between higher and lower protein loads. Don’t stick to the same exact amount 365 days per year.
Well, there you have it… there are some basic protein guidelines. In the next series, we will go deep into protein, carbs, fats etc. but for now there you go.
Next we will go over the very basics of establishing your carbohydrate needs.
Homework assignment: calculate your protein needs & plug your protein goals into your APP.
In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.
In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.
In post 3 we covered the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”
Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “fat goals.”
I originally said we would cover carbs next, but I changed my mind & decided to cover fats first
Please note: these recommendations, along with my guidelines for protein and carbs are a great place to start for the majority of people who are not obese, lifting weights regularly, and who have not yet started the final 3rd of their life expectancy (let’s ballpark 55 and over…) These guidelines will more than likely “work” decently for those who do not fall into these categories, and could work for those who do fall in one of those categories just please understand the reality of nutrition is that it’s very individual and please bear with me on that limitation.
ESTABLISHING YOUR FAT NEEDS
Most people will find while cutting bodyfat 15 – 25% of total calories will come from fat. Personally, I would never stay at 15% fat for more than 4 weeks at a time without bumping up to 25-30% for hormonal and health reasons.
Minimum fat goal for cutting: 15% of total daily calories
Maximum fat goal for cutting: 25% of total daily calories
Each gram of fat = 9 calories
Step 1: Establish your daily caloric needs (BMR) and set calories in your APP.
Step 2: Establish your daily protein goals and set # in your app.
Step 3: Establish your starting point for fats.
Example: if your daily goals are 2000 calories and %20 of the calories come from fat you will consume 400 calories per day from fats. 400 divided by 9 = 44/45 grams of fat
My opinions regarding fats.
You should almost in no circumstance consistently stay on a high fat, high carbohydrate diet. If your fats are high, your carbs should be low, and if your fats are low your carbs should be higher to make up the difference in energy.
Opt for fats from whole foods rather than oils more often than not (80% or more).
Refined, processed, and rancid oils/fats are one of the greatest (if not the greatest) contributors to the health crisis we are dealing with in our country today, and often overlooked when compared to “sugar” and other chemicals.
When eating out… you can almost be certain the fats in the food are the poorest quality options available. In my opinion, this is the worst issue with eating out on a regular basis.
The only oil supplements I would consume are cod liver oil and krill oil. I do not trust many other types. There is an issue with quality standards on supplemental oils (in my opinion).
Next, we will “for real” go over the basics of carbohydrates.
For now, you can plug in your protein, fats, and then the remainder of your daily calories will come from carbs. That will get you started.
In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.
In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.
In post 3 we covered the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”
In post 4 we covered the very basics of establishing your “fat goals.”
Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “carbohydrate goals.”
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
I am discussing carbohydrates for “fat loss” and general health—à NOT performance-based nutrition. It is important to understand there is a HUGE-BIGLY difference in eating for performance compared to eating for general health/ body composition.
We will talk about performance-based nutrition when we go into detailed discussions in the second series.
ESTABLISHING YOUR CARBOHYDRATE NEEDS
Step 1: Establish your daily caloric needs (BMR) and set calories in your APP.
Step 2: Establish your daily protein goals and set # in your app.
Step 3: Establish your starting point for fat and set # in your app.
At this point the remainder of your calories should come from carbohydrate.
EXAMPLE: If your Inbody scan shows a BMR of 2,000 calories and you are 200 lbs trying to cut down to 180 lbs.
Protein: .85 grams per lb of bodyweight until goal is reach = 170 grams = 640 calories
Fats : 20% target until goal is reached = 44 grams = 400 calories
Carbs: BMR = 2,000 calories – 640 P cals – 400 F cals = 960 calories = 240 carbs
My macro goals would be: 170g protein + 44g fat + 240 carbs
I would plan to exercise enough to burn 500 daily calories for a weekly caloric deficit of 3,500 calories to aim for 1lb of fat loss per week.
At this rate I would hit my goal of 180 in 20 weeks (4-5 months) and would maintain or possibly even gain muscle along the way, rather than yo-yo dieting or wrecking my metabolism and hormones.
Things to note about carbohydrates:
The higher the exercise intensity, the greater the reliance on carbs as fuel.
Athletes should consume enough carbs to allow for recovery after physical activity and provide proper energy (fuel) for following workouts/daily activities.
Inadequate carbohydrate stores in the body during exercise can cause low blood sugar and muscle breakdown to supply fuel for the brain in a process called “gluconeogenesis.” For this reason, I do not recommend a “low carb diet” mixed with high intensity exercises without professional guidance and caution. I’m not claiming it is impossible to do high intensity workouts on a low -carb diet, I am suggesting that if you aren’t very careful you can cause more harm than good.
If you have diabetes, insulin resistance, or have specific recommendations from a physician to eat a low carb diet, please consult a dietitian who specializes in that area and do not follow my general guidelines.
***Nutrient deficiencies can inhibit oxygen delivery to cells, which will impair your performance. Impaired performance = decrease in power output = less results. ***
HOMEWORK: Complete these basic steps. Aim to hit your new MACRO GOALS for the remainder of this week!
Now that we have wrapped up the very basics of establishing macros I will discuss how I believe you can set yourself up for success in nutrition, what sustainable fat loss and muscle gain goals look like, and other strategies to help you succeed on your nutrition journey! That will wrap up series ONE. Please let a coach know if you have any questions!
Don’t forget the fiber!
What is often left out of discussion is “FIBER.” Although fiber technically falls under CARBS some preach they should not be added to carb totals & others oppose the idea… neither is right or wrong because there are no ABSOLUTES in nutrition.
What I can tell you is that eating a diet rich in fiber means your carbohydrate sources are typically coming from whole food sources such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains rather than flours, juices, and sugars. – Try to debate which of those sides is healthier.
Now that we have wrapped up the very basics of establishing macros, we are going to discuss setting yourself up for success with nutrition. THE BASICS. I am going to target fat loss first, as this tends to be the 90%. The 10% who want to gain muscle can still apply fat loss techniques to prevent gaining too much bodyfat on their muscle gain journey.
While I know it can be tempting to try immediate & drastic fat loss challenges, the long-term results usually end up looking like a roller coaster ride. Long term-sustainable (LIFESTYLE) changes are what bring on true results. This applies to positive AND negative results. Years and years of either A or B = what you end up with.
The ability to have a wild and crazy bender during vacation or overindulge on those holiday and celebratory weekends and immediately get back into a routine all comes down to your habits (lifestyle). You can’t expect to jump right back into a routine that hasn’t been successfully carried out and tested before.
A man I look up to greatly has repeatedly said the following…” WHAT HASN’T BEEN TESTED CANNOT BE TRUSTED.”
Taking steps towards changing your overall lifestyle will help prevent disaster to your goals as soon as a stressor (like a pandemic for example) comes along! It takes consistent effort (work) and discipline to establish new habits but once they are developed you can reap the benefits (rewards) and enjoy feeling better than before.
If you have established healthy nutrition habits over an extended period (YEARS… not a few weeks or months) … an extreme challenge can be a fun experiment! But I truly believe the basics should be stress free & happen like clockwork before this is even a thought.
If you jump right into a 6 week strict paleo plan with no eating out etc. then what happens when the 6 weeks is over? Where do you go next? If it isn’t planned out I would be willing to bet you would (fall back into your old habits) pretty much immediately. – If you are satisfied with where you are in regards to your health and want a challenge then jumping into a 6 week challenge makes more sense.
That’s just my opinion, feel free to disagree.
When I say basics, I am meaning —-> = Eat mostly (80% or more) of your nutrition from vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts, seeds… and the remaining 20% (or less) from starches, grains, and “whatever else.” Drink lots of clean water, black coffee, and unsweetened herbal teas for your liquids.
Messing around with an extreme fad diet that teaches you nothing along the way except how to be extreme just to hit your goal weight for a wedding or beach vacation just to return home & “relapse” on old habits is my definition of a roller coaster ride. If you enjoy the ride, I won’t try to stop you from riding it.
BUT: It doesn’t have to be like that! It also doesn’t have to be extreme or stressful. You should be able to feel great, and the process should be enjoyable or somethin’ ain’t right! The “relapse” could be like “HEY I don’t feel that great from this crazy holiday week, I’m excited to get back into my routine!”
My goal of this message was to (hopefully) detour a few minds from extreme fad diets to shift focus towards creating healthier long-term habits and thinking of a lifestyle rather than a short-term fix or “bandaid.”
I hope on this journey we can all drop (or cut down on) some habits that are adding stress or holding us back from our goals and replace them with some habits that help us feel better.
HOMEWORK: Think of a few changes you could make to help you reach your goals and improve your quality of life. This does not have to be a life changing goal. It could be something as simple as “I want to drink more water on a regular basis.” Or… “I want to quit eating ice cream before bed for a few months.”
Tomorrow we are going to go over what a low stress- sustainable caloric deficit looks like and how you could plan out a week of macros in your APP.
I would plan to weigh in DAILY.
So, what is a low stress, sustainable caloric deficit to aim for? – The most accurate answer depends on your goals and lifestyle factors, but there’s always a place to start without getting deep into the weeds…
A “safe starting point” for most people is a 300-500 caloric deficit 3-4 days per week and 3-4 days right around the BMR or base metabolic rate.
EXAMPLE: If my Inbody scan shows a BMR of 2000 calories I could set a fat loss deficit as follows…
M – 1700 cals (normal workout day- easy day to plan meals)
T – 1700 cals (normal workout day – easy day to plan meals)
W- 2100 cals (normal workout day – usually random things pop up & we like to enjoy a large dinner w/ maybe a few drinks )
TH – 1300 cals (rest day- good day to intermittent fast & only eat lunch & dinner without overly feeling hungry)
Fr- 1800 cals
Sat – 2400 cals
Sun – 1500 cals
Total weekly deficit = 1,500 cals
Expected fat loss = approx .5 lbs or ( 2 lbs bodyfat loss per month)
This may not seem like a lot but 2 lbs of body fat per month = 26 lbs of bodyfat in a year… if you have the mindset of lifelong investment on your body here, this is realistic and awesome!
Roller Coaster Weekly EXAMPLE: (and what usually happens without at least some accountability or idea of what’s going on…)
M – 1700 cals (perfect)
T- 1700 cals (perfect… right on track for the week)
W- 2400 cals (had a fun night.. its all good Ill get back on track tomorrow)
Th- 1200 cals – (didn’t want to eat a lot… and then forgot to eat)
FR – 3000 cals – ( woke up starving and tired because undereating Thursday so had a big breakfast and went out after work & got off track)
Sat- 2500 cals – (insert fun thing here)
Sun- 2500 cals – (Not too bad, but ill get back on track Monday!)
Total weekly SURPLUS = +1000 cals
Expected weight gain = approximately .25 – .5 lbs
At first glance the bodyfat loss and gain examples do not seem extreme. We are always great at looking and thinking short term. Looking over the course of a year though… example A could potentially lead to 26 lbs of bodyfat loss and example B could lead to 13-26 lbs of weight gain.
Compound these habits 2,3,4… 10… 20 years and you start to see the big picture.
Weekly deficit goals:
If your goal is to lose .5 lb per week aim for a weekly deficit of around 1500 calories.
If your goal is to lose 1lb per week aim for a weekly deficit of around 3,000-4,000 calories.
You can add in extra exercise/activity to burn additional calories… which will allow you to eat the same number but remain in a larger “deficit” of calories.
Personal advice — > what works when I am trying to cut:
Lowest calorie days + intermittent fasting on rest/recovery/ lower stress days of the week. For me this is Thursday & Sunday. I enjoy days where I’m not eating meals all day, if that is not enjoyable to you then aim for a different route!
Plan a higher calorie day on a hard workout day, a day where I will be eating with friends and family or eating out, and DO NOT feel guilty about my decisions. Give thanks and enjoy the party!
Being in a deficit 5+ days per week with 1 or 2 days at my BMR or higher has never worked for me. I feel drained, “hangry”, sleep and recovery suffer, and I can usually go 2-3 weeks before I’m ready to quit. None of that is enjoyable to me.
After a few years of habitual efforts you will not have to plan weeks/days very often (if ever)… you will figure out what works pretty quick!
Plan the best days of YOUR week for a deficit and days you enjoy more food/drinks. This will help plan your week.
This is a tough situation, but that does not mean we have to hit rock bottom in our health. Here are a few good tips for maintaining health during this period.
DECREASE CORTISOL LEVELS
High cortisol can wreck havoc on us physically and mentally, here are a few tips on balancing your levels:
DITCH THE ALARM CLOCK
Alarms immediately wake us up into a fight or flight state. This is the opposite of what we should strive for (waking up peacefully…) During a period like this, if waking up early for school or work are not a concern, this is a great opportunity to get on your natural clock. Aiming to fall asleep and wake up around the same times daily will generally allow your body to get in rhythm, and should decrease high cortisol.
Pay attention to your breathing (or lack thereof) especially during times of stress. When I am extra stressed, I will find myself almost naturally holding my breath and then taking short shallow breaths until I realize what is going on and I change my focus to full inhales and deep exhales. It’s amazing how I begin to feel better after 10-15 deep breaths. (TRY IT)!
Look for APPS like Headspace, follow a YOGA video on Youtube, or close your eyes and listen to your favorite songs while you focus on 6-10 second inhale and 6-10 second exhales. Meditation and stretching are both great ways to breath and maintain healthy cortisol levels!
P.S. – One of the reasons aerobic exercise is great is because IT FORCES YOU TO BREATH!
Time restricted eating habits can improve immune function, improve blood glucose and insulin levels, cholesterol & triglyceride numbers, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones (to name a few). If you have concerns, talk to your physician about whether or not time restricted eating or intermittent fasting is a good option for you.
The most common time restricted eating practice is eating your full days worth of food in an 8 hour time frame. Calorie restriction is NOT the goal of fasting. The break you give your body from constantly eating on a regular basis (habitual) will pay off.
Exercise in the right dosage is one of the best ways to improve health and boost immune function. There is no debate here.
Chronic cardio -or- extreme amounts of exercise can compromise our immune health. So during a time like this, balance is key (150-300 minutes per week). If you are locked up in the house, over exertion should not be an issue, move as much as you can- to overdue it, you typically have to be going to the extreme day in and day out.
ZERO exercise | sedentary lifestyle in today’s world is one of the best ways to guarantee health issues arise at some point. Not always, but the odds are against you. Get outside and sweat.
EAT THE RAINBOW
Aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods that are not in a package. This is a good time to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen!
Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep every day. This is an excellent opportunity for many folks to create healthy sleep patterns and get our your proper biological clock.
Inadequate sleep is linked to shorter lifespan, hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, and just about every stress related disease you can imagine… if there is one most important lifestyle factor to focus on, sleep might be at the top.
NOTE: If you get 7+ hours of sleep regularly, but still feel exhausted then you might not be getting quality sleep.
Some things that can disrupt proper sleep patterns may include : more than 2 alcoholic beverages before bed, caffeine consumption after 1:00 PM (even if you think you can drink it and go straight to bed, try tracking your sleep patterns), THC, too much exercise (it takes A LOT ) , not enough exercise, not consuming enough nutrients, WIFI in or near the bedroom, blue lights in the bedroom, dehydration, stress, and… well maybe children. Some things are out of our control , most most are not.
Sunlight, fresh air, dirt, and the sight of earthly objects (like trees, grass, clouds, etc…) all have positive effects on our health. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself inside. You also do not have to go out in public if you are worried, your backyard is just fine 🙂 15-20 minutes of sun hitting as much skin as possible may do the trick.
If you are not getting regular sun exposure, adding in 2,000-3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with 100-200mcg vitamin K could be a great option.
Getting back on track after a break (more than 2 weeks) -or- in a “sore achy slump.”
Getting back on track or starting a new fitness adventure can go from a great idea full of spark and motivation to a week of crippling pain and regret real quick without a smart plan! I’ve been there, ready to get back where I was in my prime and mentally prepared to crush a week of workouts. There I was, so sore I was embarrassed to be at the gym and so worn out it was hard to get daily activities outside the gym completed.
A comeback doesn’t have to hurt! But you need to keep your pride aside, start back light, lessen the reps, “sandbag” the intensity for a bit, and get high quality nutrients to recover!
1.) Keep all lifts under 60% of your abilities for 2 weeks. Light-perfect movements.
2.) Cut total reps on workout in 1/2 (or more) and do not “redline” your heart rate. Just do the workout for movement and completion for at least 1 week.
3.) Be careful with extreme dieting. Often times people will decide to get back to working out and also jump into a carbohydrate restrictive diet. This can be shocking to your body and leave you mentally and emotionally exhausted.
4.) Talk with a coach about a safe and effective “come back” approach. We want you to accomplish your goals and feel your best. Communication with how you are feeling will help both sides!
Traditional leading brands of sunscreens are full of harmful chemicals and toxins.
There are more than a few issues with lathering our bodies with this type of “protection.” FEAR NOT. Here we come to save the summer… KTX Natural Zinc Lavender Sunscreen for your DIY needs!
A few reasons we believe most sunscreens are trash rather than protection:
1.) Many sunscreens and their ingredients interfere with the utilization of Vitamin D from the sun. The sun is detoxifying (by design) and we not only block this mechanism, or at least minimize it, but we also decrease the absorption of one of the greater cancer fighting vitamins available… vitamin D.
2.) Chemicals commonly used in sunscreen are known to be endocrine disruptors, estrogenic and may interfere with thyroid and other hormone processes in the body.
3.) The most common sunscreen chemical, oxybenzone, was found in 96% of the population by a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This is especially alarming since oxybenzone is considered an endocrine disruptor, can reduce sperm count in men and may contribute to endometriosis in women.
4.) The EWG warns against using oxybenzone, especially on children or pregnant/breastfeeding women.
5.) Rather than us having to “prove these chemicals are dangerous” they should first have to prove they are safe before selling us the products. Environmental concerns led Hawaii to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. The ban cited these chemicals as harmful to coral reefs and ocean life. Other places have followed suit, including places like Key West in Florida. Why would we use this on our skin?
6.) Artificial flavors -or- scents as well as the ones that add colors are also estrogenic. For those who care. Why does a sunscreen need to have colors added? How do you know if colors are added? They list on the ingredients RED (#), BLUE (#), LAKE(#), YELLOW (#)… none of them are safe. Just because you do not die instantly does not mean they are healthy for you.
A short list of other “things” we found in leading brands (even many “natural” ones):
Keep in mind… it took awhile to write these out, there is no way I’m going to examine each one… some may not be bad at all but why risk it when you can do without them?
This is the disturbing list… how do we have to recommend people consult their physician to use our homemade suncreens but then this is a list sold for $14 to put on babies? I would NEVER put this on a baby.
Lastly, how does 96% of the population encounter oxybenzone? Well, most “things” with the letters “BENZ” in the name are estrogenic in nature. They linger around in our water (similar to ATROZENE) and other herbicides/pesticides like the more popular Roundup Glyphosate…
CHALLENGE: Next time you are in a public swimming pool, river, or lake look around at how many people are lathering these chemicals all over their skin… then look at how the chemicals float on top of the water around these groups of people. Then, watch as they come up out of the water and have a mouthful to spit out… I’m sure the fish love it… and the frogs.
BEFORE WE CONTINUE: WE ARE NOT ADVOCATING AVOIDING SUNSCREENS, especially with long term sun expsosure! – Just the poopy ones.
Just like in our food chain, we are pushing for cleaner sources. Earth provides every tool we need to live long prosperous lives, we just need to pay attention. Below is one alternative- The KTX sunscreen.
The upfront cost of these supplies is an immediate “turn off.” Purchasing what you need on Amazon will cost around $60 but then you will have way too much sunscreen so unless you are “TEAM MOM” it makes sense to pitch in with a group of like minded humans (or give it to all your children’s friend’s parents so your child isn’t swallowing their friend’s chemicals). Hehe- that was a joke… kind of. You can create a large amount and as you will see BELOW the healthier sunscreens are not cheap. But how many tubs of sunscreen do you go through per year? Not that many…
Coconut oil should not be used as a stand-alone sunscreen. You can find battles in the DIY community vs. the I hate everyone community & it is comical. At the end of the day coconut oil has a very low SPF (but still some) but it is very good for your skin… it is the “base” of this formula, we use it for oil (like a lotion) not for the “sun protective properties.” We just need to make that clear.
Raspberry Seed Oil
Raspberry Seed Oil (RSO) has a lot of misinformation behind it… Here at KTX we have formed the belief that it is great for your skin, great in addition to OTHER sunscreen ingredients, and just… GREAT.
For those who are skeptical… here is a paragraph from one of the most detailed reads on SPF you will ever find… with the nerdy link below it.
“It is also noted that red raspberry seed oil and caneberry seed oil may be used as all natural SPF essential oils. In the present disclosure an SPF of 30 or greater is enabled using red raspberry seed oil (in lieu of titanium dioxide) in a 4:1 ratio with ZnO (16%) concentration to raise the SPF of a base formulation to above SPF 30. With an 11% concentration of ZnO and red raspberry seed oil in a 4:1 ratio, a spray formulation with an SPF 22 was achieved. The amount of the ultramarine pigment in the composition can range from about 0 to about 25 weight percent of the composition, and preferably from about 1 to about 5 weight percent of the final formulation. Optionally, the sunscreen emulsion can contain one or more additional ingredients, including emollients, waterproofing agents, dry-feel modifiers, insect repellants, antimicrobial preservatives and/or fragrances.”
Honestly, it smells delightful. But there is plenty of Google-able information available on lavender’s healing properties. That is why it was our fragrance of choice. If you are concerned about lavender being “bad for boys” fear not… the estrogenic nature of lavender oil compared to things like flax, soy, fragrances, plastics, dyes, etc. is so marginal it is a joke… the joke is so strong that if you use sunscreen from a plastic bottle you are guaranteed to have more of an estrogenic effect than using lavender. The pros outweigh the cons. Don’t buy into the nonsense.
Known as the king of oils. Frankincense oil promotes healthy cell regeneration and keeps existing cells and tissues healthy. It’s useful for skin health, and can help treat dry skin, reverse signs of aging and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
100% Zinc Oxide Powder
The key SPF ingredient in the mix.
Zinc oxide particles in sunscreen sit invisibly on the surface of your skin bouncing the UV rays off like balls bouncing off a hard surface. There is no chemical reaction at your skin level as there is with chemical sunscreens.
-One of the two UV-A1 sunscreen ingredients approved by the FDA. The other one, avobenzone Is too sketchy in our opinion.
-Gives you broad spectrum protection from UVB all the way through to UV-A1, meaning your skin is getting the best sun protection possible.
-Stable sunscreen ingredient that is much less likely than chemical ingredients to break down in the bottle or on your skin.
-Gives broader protection than titanium dioxide and is cosmetically more elegant to use (aka invisible on your skin)
-Does not typically irritate sensitive skin.
-Not absorbed into your body; it stays on your skin where you put it and where it can protect you from the sun.
Shea butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection (it is SPF ~6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.
Place glass jar in a pan that has a few inches of water slightly heated (we had it on 3) until it was all melted together then turn off the heat…
Once mixture has melted together stir in the master SPF:
2 tablespoons of Zinc Oxide powder.
Once the lotion has cooled add the following*:
10 Drops Lavender Oil
10 Drops Frankincense Oil
*We did not want to cook the essential oils. They have nourishing properties & they might remain after heating, but we did not want to risk it.
The sunscreen is ready for use at this point, however it seemed “more legit” after sitting out a day or so.
We made a bulk batch… so to come up with these numbers we just divided the total amounts used by 12… also, this is not advanced chemistry, if you add more or less of each ingredient you will be just fine.
*8+ oz mason jar should be fine. Just make sure the opening is large enough for your hand when it is time to apply. We ordered the fancy looking jars on Amazon. I will use a mason jar next time because it was a mess.
You could use more or less zinc oxide depending on the level of blockage you desire. This amount did not leave the skin white and prevented all “test subject” participants from sunburn at the beach. Tanning still occurred.
Please ship any questions to the comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org !
Q: Is this safe for babies?
A: Always consult your physician. However, when inspecting “leading brands” of baby/toddler sunscreens it is astonishing how many chemicals are in some of these. So, always keep an eye on the ingredients.
Q: What is the total SPF?
A: We have not tested this in a lab, so the exact number is unclear. The more zinc oxide you add the greater protection you will have.
Q: Can I use different essential oils rather than lavender and frankincense?
Q: Does the oil separate?
A: We experienced some separation as the warm liquid began to cool off (harden). Simply swirl your finger in the sunscreen before applying. (We assume this is the reason for many additives in traditional sunscreens.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids only account for roughly 35% of the essential amino acids in our muscles. That leaves 65%…. BCAAs are out. Vegans trying to gain muscle or “vegan athletes” could consider supplementing LEUCINE specifically due to MANY vegans lacking proper leucine levels for muscle growth but we see no reason to load up on BCAAs without other essentials. BCAAs are cheaper than EAAs (duh). There is an abundance of marketing claims behind BCAAs (but they are so 2005). We recommend eating real food sources of protein and supplement with EAAs for specific application.
Specific applications may include:
Brain health (sleep, mood, anxiety)
Muscle Preservation (growth and maintenance)
Nursing (yes, that is correct…)
… and many others.
How we formulated KTX Nutrition’s Essential Amino product:
1.) There is a very specific ratio needed of essential amino acids to make protein. The balance study is done on nitrogen utilization.
2.) We removed L-histidine. Arguably an essential amino acid, L-histidine can be formed by the body with the proper ratios of the 8 essentials and has been proven to decrease the efficacy of the other EAAs from 99% to 94% when consumed in addition to Arginine. Every % counts.
3.) We use 100% L-Form aminos. Any aminos not “L-Form” are essentially useless and a waste of money. Many supplements will claim high numbers of amino acids but really they are just loaded with “fillers” like “r-form” or those no listing any “L-” before the amino type.
4.) Our aminos will not cause a blood glucose spike, insulin sensitivity, and are not “cheap quality” like BCAAs. The essentials contain branched chain aminos L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine however these BCAAs are not “superdosed” like many other products and they are in proper nutrition balance.
EAAs compared to FOOD:
Products like “whey protein” may only convert 15-20% of the protein by weight into useable Aminos. This means 100 grams of whey protein consumed would compare to taking 20 grams of essential amino acids, but will also likely add some undesirable gastric effects, unfavorable uric acid levels, as well as inflammatory issues at this amount.
Similar to Aminos in the form of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), up to 70% of a beef steak can be converted into carbohydrate once consumed. Over consumption of these proteins will spike blood glucose, create insulin sensitivity, and are not ideal protein forms. This is one of the main reasons many people who eat excess flesh meat protein without a balanced diet have metabolic health concerns.
Lastly, egg whites are still trending (we don’t know why). Approximately 16% of the protein consumed from egg whites is effectively utilized into body protein. This is a horrible conversation rate and the egg white lacks the nutrients and supportive aminos that come along with the yolk. This is mainly in part to the majority of the methionine existing in the yolk, which increases the efficacy of the protein retention from the WHOLE EGG. We encourage whole egg or no egg at all. (+ they should be free range eggs).
SO What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and serve as the catalyst for nearly every chemical process in the body. Most people associate amino acids purely with protein synthesis and muscle gain, but they’re also necessary for nearly every other physiological function, including enzyme production, hormone regulation, cognitive ability, neurotransmitter balance, and metabolism. There are 20 amino acids in total, and all of them are required to make these vital processes happen.
What Are the Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)?
Of the 20 amino acids, nine are classified as essential. Essential amino acids are the ones that the body can’t produce itself; they must be acquired through diet, specifically from protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and eggs, and of course, amino acid supplements. EAAs support the body in several critical ways:
Lysine plays a role in growth hormone secretion, which supports muscle repair and recovery. It’s also a critical component of structural proteins like collagen and elastin, which are important for building strong connective tissue.
Methionine helps the body process and eliminate fat, promotes cardiovascular health, and supports liver function to help the body eliminate toxins.
Phenylalanine has a pain-killing and antidepressant effect and is necessary for the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine. It also stimulates the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are critical for nervous system function.
Threonine supports fat metabolism and immune function. Like lysine, it’s also a crucial component of structural proteins and connective tissue.
Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, which regulates sleep, appetite, and mood. It also has pain-suppressing qualities and can increase pain tolerance during hard workouts or competitions.
Leucine is critical for protein synthesis, blood sugar regulation, and growth hormone production.
Isoleucine helps prevent muscle from breaking down during exercise, which could lead to faster recovery. It’s also important for immune function, hemoglobin production, and energy regulation.
Valine helps stimulate muscle regeneration and is involved in energy production.
Histidine is a precursor to histamine. Histidine’s status as “essential” is debatable since it can be easily produced in the presence of the other essential amino acids. This is why histidine did not make the cut in our “essentials blend.”
What Are the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?
Three of the essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – are known as the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), named for their branched chemical structure.
The BCAAs are unique because they are metabolized in the muscle instead of the liver. This means that they’re available in the bloodstream soon after ingestion and can be used for quick energy during exercise. BCAA supplements are popular among athletes because they’ve been linked with increased muscle mass, decreased fatigue, and improved glycogen storage.
However, the supposed benefits of BCAAs are often embellished, misunderstood, and some even flat out wrong.
The Problem with BCAAs:
A recent meta-analysis of research conducted between 1985 and 2017 revealed zero human studies in which BCAAs alone were responsible for more efficient protein synthesis or improved athletic performance.
In fact, the meta-analysis detailed two studies which found that BCAAs decreased muscle protein synthesis and actually accelerated the catabolic rate of lean tissue. This means that muscle was being broken down faster than it could be repaired.
The catabolic state was so aggressive in the presence of BCAAs because the body was rapidly trying to derive the other essential amino acids to complete protein synthesis. Without a complete profile of essential amino acids, the body was left with no choice but to break down muscle to derive the six that were missing.
In other words, BCAAs do not work in isolation; all of the essential amino acids are required to complete protein synthesis.
The study concluded that the idea that BCAA supplements stimulate muscle growth or produce an anabolic response is entirely unwarranted. And that’s just the beginning. In addition to being ineffective for building muscle or faster recovery, BCAAs can also have deleterious effects on overall health:
High doses of BCAAs can deplete B vitamins. The utilization of BCAAs requires several B vitamin cofactors. This siphoning of B vitamins can disrupt the hundreds of other biological functions that require them including digestion, nervous system function, cognition, and hormone production.
An overabundance of BCAAs can hinder serotonin production. The BCAAs and tryptophan both use the same carrier system to get to the brain. This means an overabundance of BCAAs will disrupt the brain’s uptake of tryptophan and therefore create a shortage of serotonin. Low serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, sleep problems, carbohydrate cravings, attention disorders, and more.
BCAAs may cause insulin resistance and interfere with blood glucose regulation. Increased BCAA levels are associated with a high risk of metabolic disorder and insulin resistance, and may even predict the development of type 2 diabetes
Why EAAs Are Superior to BCAAs
Despite all of this, BCAAs are still essential for human health and actually serve as a good source of fuel for workouts.
They simply don’t build muscle in isolation.
You need adequate levels of all of the essential amino acids to optimize health and complete protein synthesis. Think of it this way: BCAAs begin the process of protein synthesis, and the other six EAAs complete the process.
This is why it’s best to choose supplements that contain all of the essential amino acids if you truly want to maximize performance, recovery, and well-being.
Health Benefits of Essential Amino Acids:
Muscle Maintenance: EAAs have significant muscle-preserving effects, especially when training in a fasted state. These include decreased indicators of muscle damage and the maintenance of a healthy inflammatory response.
Exercise Recovery: Supplementing with EAAs post-workout increases muscle protein synthesis and net muscle protein balance. This may stimulate faster recovery and reduce fatigue after training.
Appetite Regulation: Having a sufficient balance of amino acids may help normalize appetite because EAAs activate the brain cells that regulate hunger and satiety.
Cognitive Function: Appropriate levels of tryptophan are necessary to produce serotonin and optimize cognitive performance.
Improved Sleep: Amino acid supplementation has been shown to improve sleep and mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Metabolic Health: Proper ratios of amino acids could increase red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and serum albumin. They can also lower fasting blood glucose, support better red blood cell formation, and improve glycogen replenishment
Fasting and Ketosis: Ingestion of high amounts of leucine triggers an insulin spike, which may “break a fast” and interfere with ketosis. However, this only happens when leucine levels aren’t balanced by the other EAAs, which help buffer the glycemic response. The insignificant insulin response from a supplement with the proper ratios of EAAs won’t interfere with fasting or ketosis, and might even make them easier!*
*The one exception is fasting for autophagy or cellular healing. In this case we support water fasting with nutrient dense re-feeds, where EAAs can be used in conjunction with healing foods. For the proposes of insulin and performance goals EAAs may be used in a fasted state pre, intra, and post workout with great success.
EAAs crush BCAAs as the best amino acid supplement, and their benefits go far beyond building muscle. EAAs are a true nutritional powerhouse that can help you optimize your training, recovery, sleep, mood, and so much more.
If you would like to purchase the greatest aminos in the history of the world we won’t judge… just follow the link below.
Most of our culture today views “protein” as animal meat. This protein obsession at overly high levels is not only toxic to us but the meat we consume is lacking the structure and nutrients that they once contained.
“Flesh meat” makes up the mass majority of the animal consumed today. Although this flesh meat contains large amounts of essential amino acids, the majority of the micronutrients and healing components come from areas of the animal we need to re-familiarize ourselves with. Our ancestors consumed the vital organs, connective tissues, bone marrow, and used every bit of the animal. Today we end up with all sorts of different “meat products” loaded with chemical flavorings and preservatives as well as MSG and many “others.”
One way to alleviate health issues we are experiencing today we need to take steps BACK to how our earth and foods were designed. This is much more complex than just eating clean animal sources and more varieties of organ meats…
Animals originated on earth eating luscious clean grass high in omega 3s & “CLA” as well as fruits and vegetables. Not grain pellets. Chickens were small and ate bugs… not genetically modified corn.
Herbicides and pesticides came in the form of herbs, spices, and he right balance of “bugs” which allowed for a healthy environment. We are a long, long, way from the way things were designed but we can use these ancestrial principles and COMMON SENSE applications to begin the “reversing process” or at the very least try our best to avoid these damaging chemicals and replace them with healthier options.
Carnivors should eat more than just flesh meat. Bone broths, organ meats, or supplemental liver, kidney, heart, & collagen products should be used in addition to consuming meat products. ESPECIALLY for those who do not get these vital enzymes and vitamins through vegetables and fruit consumption.
We like local, grass fed and free range organ meats from places like Katerra Market in Katy i.t found at your local farmers market.
We make our own bone broths but we also support Kettle & Fire Bone broths found commonly at local grocers.
Collagen & Supplemental
This is the most practical starting point for most people in this process. They are easy, convenient, and when purchased from reliable sources you know they are high quality. We like Ancestral Supplements and Vital Proteins.
Many of the nutrient deficiencies commonly seen today can be fixed with adding in a wide variety of these vital animal organs and tissues. We believe they are better options than traditional synthetic vitamins and this is a step in the healthier direction!