Recommended Keto Supplements

Recommended Keto Supplements

There are a long list of supplements that have some proven benefits. This list is the supplements that we have found to be highly beneficial over the past few years eating a ketogenic diet. Before taking a new supplement we will typically research the proven benefits using Lets get to the list!


It is essential to supplement with electrolytes while doing a keto diet, especially when first starting. Your body holds less water due to the decrease in dietary carbs, which will lead to a depletion of important electrolytes. Supplementing with sodium, potassium and magnesium will help mitigate some of the symptoms of low electrolyte levels such as fatigue and headaches.


The easiest electrolyte to add to your diet is going to be sodium. While most people on a standard american diet are advised to reduce their sodium intake, keto dieters may want to do the opposite and dramatically increase it. Sodium tends to be in most processed and packaged foods, which you won't be eating as often on a keto diet. Here's some easy ways to add sodium to your diet:

  • Add salt to your meals.
  • Add salt to one of your drinks each day.
  • Eat salty snacks like pickles, roasted nuts and pork rinds.
  • Drink chicken or beef broth regularly


Potassium can be the most difficult electrolyte to get from dietary sources and supplements. Foods high in potassium are mostly vegetables and leafy greens, but the potassium in these foods has questionable bio-availability. Supplements in pill form are capped at 99mg, which is too low of a dosage to make much of a difference. Here are some effective ways of adding potassium to your diet:

  • Include avocados, salmon, nuts and leafy greens in your diet.
  • Supplement with potassium powders such as potassium citrate or potassium chloride.


Even if you're not on a keto diet you may want to consider supplementing with Magnesium as the US is becoming increasingly deficient. There are a number of factors that have lead to the high amounts of Magnesium deficiency mostly related to our modern diets and the quality of our soil, but there are ways we can counteract this:

  • Eat pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and fish.
  • Take a magnesium supplement daily. Magnesium Glycinate or Magnesium Citrate are the preferred forms.

To read even more about electrolytes check out this post!

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in the industrialized world for a number of reasons. The big ones are that we spend less time in the sun than ever before. The animals we eat are even spending less time in the sun (which means their flesh will contain less vitamin D) so we are missing out on dietary Vitamin D as well as Vitamin D from sun exposure. Supplementing is not something that is specific to those eating a ketogenic diet but it is important to consider for all those who do not spend enough time outside. 

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is a traditional supplement that has been used in Europe for hundreds of years and provides all of the fat-soluble vitamins. Particularly vitamins A and D, which were found to be 10 times higher in primitive societies that did not experience any of the health issues we experience in modern day America. In addition to being rich in vitamins it is also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. While it can be pricey, the nutrient content of cod liver oil is unmatched. We look for virgin, cold-pressed, or fermented varieties. Following the guidelines of Weston A. Price a dosage of cod liver oil that supplies between 10,000 and 20,000 IU of vitamin A is recommended.


MCT oil is often associated with a keto diet because it can be rapidly converted into ketones by the body. MCT oil is typically derived from coconuts and comes in different types based on the length of the fatty acid.

  • Caprylic Acid (C8)
    • The most costly, but also the most rapidly metabolized MCT. You will notice an immediate boost in energy, but this can also be the hardest on the digestive system.
  • Capric Acid (C10)
    • Turns into energy slower than C8 but is significantly cheaper. Most MCT oils on the market are a combination of C8 and C10. 
  • Lauric Acid (C12)
    • Lauric Acid is technically an MCT but does not behave in the same way as the previous two. It requires more digestion and will therefor not result in the same kind of instant energy.

MCT oil is a nice supplement to try out and see how you respond to it. While it does provide instant energy, it is devoid of any true nutrition. Most people like to include it in their morning coffee for an added boost.

Protein and Collagen Powders

It's always going to be best to get nutrients from whole foods, but in a pinch these powders can be nice to have. We like to create baked goods with them sometimes for more of a guilt free dessert. If consumed with adequate amounts of fat, these powders will not have a significant impact on blood glucose levels like so many keto dieters fear. It's best to look for powders that don't contain fillers and use natural sweeteners such as stevia. Most powders will use less desirable sweeteners so it can take some searching to find a really good one.

Comment below with any supplements you have found beneficial or anything else you may have questions about.

Gluconeogenesis – Is it good on Keto?

Gluconeogenesis- Is it good on Keto?

Gluconeogenesis is a hot topic in the keto community right now. What exactly is it? Gluconeogenesis is your body's ability/process of taking non-carbohydrate sources of fuel and converting them into sugar. The biggest misconception about this process is that it is bad and it is triggered by excess protein. This is not necessarily true. In fact there are many sources your body uses for this process. Some of them include lactate, amino acids and even fatty acids. Here is a video going into depth about the process itself.  See, truth of the matter is that we are all experiencing gluconeogenesis right now! The following are three of the biggest reasons I believe that gluconeogenesis is a healthy and needed process on a ketogenic diet -   

1. Glycogen stores

2. Brain fuel

3. Blood sugar levels

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Glycogen stores

If you love the feeling of looking filled out and big at the gym, you can thank gluconeogenesis for that if your a ketogenic athlete. When transitioning into a fat adapted individual, your body finds itself in an interesting situation. It has no carbs to fill glycogen for explosive exercise. So what does it do? Gluconeogenesis! Your body decides to open up this metabolic pathway and take lactate, amino acids and even fat and turn it into glucose to be stored for later use! Another amazing thing is your body's ability to become very proficient at using and storing glycogen as a fat adapted individual. In Dr. Ryan Lowerys podcast "What The Fat" , we learn during his episode with Craig Emmerich that our bodies are very efficient at creating and utilizing glycogen on a ketogenic diet. In one study they reference, fat adapted athletes and carbohydrate based athletes started off at different glycogen levels.  At the end of the exercise they had exactly the same amount remaining! In another study referenced, they found that ketogenic based athletes and carb based athletes restore glycogen levels at the same rate! Based off their findings, it is clear that your body not only needs glycogen but, in a fat adapted state, your body's ability to create it is efficient and safe. Here is a link to listen to the podcast

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Brain fuel & Blood sugar

Our brain needs glucose, to some degree. Specifically around 30% of your brain's fuel needs to come from glucose. If we are fat adapted individuals and generally only 1-5% of our daily intake is carbohydrates, where does our body get this fuel? It makes it itself! Our bodies ability to create its own means of providing itself specific fuel is amazing. One of the amazing things people first notice on a ketogenic diet is their bodies ability to stabilize blood sugar levels. Usually people only address the fact that there is typically no rise in blood sugar. However, few notice why there isn't a drop. This is a clear indicator that our body has an amazing ability to create homeostasis by creating its own amount of glucose needed to keep blood sugars at a steady number. Your body really is an amazing machine. 


Excess Protein?

In another podcast Dr. Lowery explains that our bodies have what we would consider a thermostat when it comes to the nutrients we take in. Too far to one side or the other and our bodies will adjust accordingly. Many fat adapted individuals I know can go as high as a 1:1 ratio of fat to protein (1 gram of fat to 1 gram of protein) and still be above 0.5 mmol in their blood ketone levels.  Now, is this most optimal? For some individuals including myself it is not. However, we can gather based off of the evidence that as long as your protein does not exceed your intake in fat, your body will stick to using fat as its primary fuel source and use the protein for secondary needs.

In Conclusion-

Your body has an amazing ability to use multiple sources of fuel to create glucose for itself

Gluceneogenesis has an important role in our body's ability to be fat adapted 

As long as protein is kept in check (keeping it at a 1:1 ratio or lower) Your body will prefer fat as its primary fuel source on a ketogenic diet. 

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Benefits Of Caffeine

Benefits Of Caffeine

I want to dive into the benefits of caffeine in this blog post.  Caffeine often gets a bad rap because of it's addictive nature and supposed link to high blood pressure, impaired sleep, and cancer...  Caffeine as a supplement has been studied extensively for the past several years and there are apparent pros and cons.  There is always two sides to the coin so let's explore caffeine and some of the benefits we can derive from it.


What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is the world's most widely used psychoactive drug.  It belongs to the methylxanthine class and acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system.  Caffeine is related to the adenine and guanine bases of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).  It's found naturally in many seeds, nuts, and leaves and acts as a protective mechanism to the plants it's found in.  One of the most common plants containing caffeine is the coffea plant.  The caffeine exists within the seeds of this plant, commonly referred to as coffee beans.  Caffeine is also commonly found in tea, cola, and most energy drinks and pre workout supplements.  

Benefits of caffeine

What Does Caffeine Do?

Adenosine is a chemical that all of us contain in our bodies.  It is a neuromodulator and plays a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal.  It also is involved in the regulation of blood flow to various organs through vasodilation.  In the absence of caffeine, the adenosine accumulates in the neuronal synapse which, in turn, bind to and activate the adenosine receptors found in the CNS neurons.  When these receptors are activated, they produce a cellular response that increases drowsiness.  When caffeine is present, it antagonizes the adenosine receptors and prevents them from activating by blocking the adenosine binding location on the receptor.  This temporarily prevents drowsiness and is the main reason why you see everyone reach for a cup of coffee upon waking or during the afternoon slump.  

Caffeine is also touted to: 

  • Give you more energy
  • Increase your mental clarity
  • Boost your sport's perfromance
  • Improve brain function
  • Enhance memory

While those all my be true, I would argue that all of those are simply a byproduct of your temporary increase in alertness.

how caffeine gives you energy

Other Benefits Of Caffeine

Another potential benefit of caffeine is it's ability to aid in fat-loss.  Now, this is up for debate but there are two fairly sound arguments.  One is that it has a satiating effect that suppresses appetite which results in a lower total caloric intake.  If consuming coffee enables you to eat at a slightly lower caloric intake and moves the energy balance towards a net negative, you could potentially lose weight.  Now, this is not to say that simply dropping calories causes fat loss, that is a whole blog topic in itself.

The other theory is that caffeine helps to stimulate thermogenesis and causes the body to generate more heat and energy.  Since caffeine is shown to increase alertness and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, this could very well hold some truth.  However, the increased fat burning effects of consuming caffeine would pale in comparison to what could be accomplished by proper nutrition and training so don't expect caffeine to be your answer for long term body recomposition.

Apart from increased alertness and a potential increase in fat burning, caffeine has also been studied as a potential aid in...

  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease
  • Reducing the risk of Parkinson's disease
  • Reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes

In Conclusion

As is true with most things in the health and nutrition world, there is much left up for debate with regard to caffeine.  For years, caffeine was frowned upon for many of its potential negative side effects (which will be the topic of another blog post).  However, with the current research, I do not see any overwhelming need to avoid caffeine.  Like most things, use it as a tool in moderation.  Don't rely on caffeine as a crutch to make it through the day-to-day.  I personally supplement with 120mg - 240mg of caffeine per day, generally prior to training.  There was a time when I consumed significantly more than that until I began to notice a dependency on the drug and realized I had to scale it back.  Now, I can quit coffee entirely if I decided to do so and I wouldn't suffer any negative consequences.  Addiction to anything is bad.  Use it strategically and benefit from the positive effects of caffeine.

Keto Electrolytes

Ketogenic diet and electrolyte supplementation

The ketogenic diet is one that is becoming extremely popular. Generally, when someone is beginning the ketogenic diet they hear about the “keto-flu”.  This "flu" is often just an electrolyte imbalance. Truth be told, this can happen at any point on any diet but specifically on keto. 

You may hear, “keto is so healthy”, “keto is the best diet”, “keto changed my life” and then wonder why all of a sudden you have to supplement specific minerals. As you begin keto, you cut out carbohydrates to the extreme and replace them with fats. When you remove carbohydrates from your diet, your body begins to produce less insulin and has less glycogen storage. With every 1 gram of glycogen, you store 3 grams of water. When you deprive your body of these stores, your body will start to flush out water weight. When people begin the ketogenic diet, they often drop many pounds within the first week or so. This  water loss helps you feel better and be less bloated but it also causes your electrolytes to leave your body with the water.  Therefor,  you need to replenish your electrolytes. 

What are the electrolytes

The basic electrolytes talked about on the ketogenic diet are Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium. There are a few others but generally they are not thought to be supplemented in addition to what you get from your food. Electrolytes are important for muscle function (including organs and the heart), nerve function, balance in the acidity of your blood, keeping your body hydrated and so much more.


Sodium is extremely important for hydrating and helps the body retain water. The other electrolytes rely on sodium to help keep proper balance. Sodium is also extremely important when it comes to nerve and muscle function. 


Potassium helps regulate the heart and blood pressure levels. Potassium also plays a large role in making sure the body has the proper fluid balance. Nerve and muscle function also rely on potassium. 


Like potassium and sodium, magnesium also aids in nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is critical for a healthy immune system and for regulating a normal heart beat.


Common symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle weakness

  • Heart palpitations

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Muscle cramps

  • Changes in blood pressure

  • Nervous system issues

  • Constipation

  • Bloating

  • Dizziness

Other general causes of electrolyte imbalance

  • Loss of body fluids (diarrhea or vomiting)

  • Sweating (especial during exercise)

How much should you be supplementing?

All things depend on your specific body. How well does your body use electrolytes and the hormones that keep them balanced. How often do you exercises. Your height and weight will also cause this to vary. Now, we don't want electrolytes too low or too high so it is important to keep yourself in check. You can even ask your doctor to test these.

Each electrolyte is going to need to be supplemented differently. Sodium should be between 3-7 grams of sodium a day. Sodium is not to get confused with salt. Salt does not contain only sodium but other minerals as well such as chloride. So make sure you are supplementing the proper amount. The total potassium intake should be about 2-5 grams per day. Magnesium is a tad less than the others and should be supplemented between 1-3 grams a day.

Please keep in mind that not everyone will need to supplement these electrolytes.  If you feel fine without supplementation, try it for a week or two and see if you happen to feel even better. Electrolyte imbalance can happen quickly. Many of the symptoms are so similar with other things and you might overlook it.  A suggestion might be to up your electrolytes first if you have any of those symptoms rather than reaching for anything else.

What foods have the electrolytes?


  • Eat salt (Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt)

  • Add 1 tsp of salt to 1 liter of water

  • Drink broth or Bouillon


  • Avocado

  • Meat (114 g for every 4 oz)

  • Swiss Chard

  • Spinach

  • Salmon

  • Broccoli


  • Spinach

  • Swiss Chard

  • Avocado

  • Mackerel


One thing we didn't speak about in this blog is water and hydration. As most of us know, water makes up more than half of our body.  It's critical that we stay hydrated in order to have a normally functioning body. The electrolytes need water in order to do their job properly as well. Drink more water and do not be afraid of gaining water weight. It is natural at times for your body to hold on to water. Truth is, if you restrict your water, your body will hold on to even more water. Drink it to lose it.


There are many safe supplements to take to provide all of these aforementioned electrolytes.  Any grocery store, pharmacy, or drug store near you should have them. There are different types of these electrolytes.  Some are absorbed by the body very quickly while others take much longer. There are many keto electrolyte products out there that are great to use and generally make it much easier for us. Don't stress about the electrolytes but know that they are just as important as the food you put into your mouth.

Program Review: The Juggernaut Method

We've been lifting seriously for the past 2 years, and over that time we have tried a bunch of different programs and methodologies. For the past 8 months we have been using the Juggernaut Method and have achieved our best results to date! The Juggernaut Method was created by Chad Wesley Smith, a very accomplished power lifter. To get a full understanding of the program I would recommend picking up the kindle version of the book for $9: The Juggernaut Method 2.0.

Why We Love This Powerlifting Program

Submaximal Training

The Juggernaut Method uses submaximal training which was a new concept to us. This means you will only be performing 1 max effort set per major lift, per month. So that's 1 max effort set of bench press, deadlift, squat and overhead press per month. The rest of the time you are working well below your training maxes, while still progressively overloading each training session. This kept us motivated to keep beating our previous lifts without burning out from training at our maxes each session.

Rep Ranges Change Monthly

The program is divided into "waves". Each month of the 4 month program has a different rep range for the compound lifts. The rep ranges are 10, 8, 5, and 3 which means as you progress through the program you are working closer to your training maxes. For beginners it is recommended that you use the standard wave structure laid out in the program, starting with the 10 rep wave. This means you'll have less weight on the bar and can focus heavily on form to begin with. For more advanced lifters it is recommended that you use the "Inverse Juggernaut Method" which reduces the rep range on the first 2 waves. The first time we went through the program we used the default structure, the 2nd time we used the inverse method.

Set it and Forget it

While this is true of most programs, The Juggernaut Method takes all the guess work out of your training sessions. At the end of each wave you will have an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) set, which is used to calculated your weight for the next wave. It's completely automated! We preferred this to other strength programs that require you to try and beat your previous weeks max each training session. 

deeper state matt

The Juggernaut Method Results!

We've gone through this program twice now, but lets just talk about our results from the first round. 


Experience: Casual lifter for 3 years. No experience power lifting.

Starting Max Lifts

Bench: 40lbs

Squat: 45lbs

Deadlift: 85lbs

Overhead Press: 35lbs

Total: 205lb

Final Max Lifts

Bench: 75lbs

Squat: 115lbs

Deadlift: 140lbs

Overhead Press: 55lbs

Total: 385lbs


Experience: Casual lifter for 8 years. No experience power lifting.

Starting Max Lifts

Bench: 195lbs

Squat: 215lbs

Deadlift: 335lbs

Overhead Press: 105lbs

Total: 850lbs

Final Max Lifts

Bench: 250lbs

Squat: 300lbs

Deadlift: 405lbs

Overhead Press: 135lbs

Total: 1,090lbs

Beginners Workout Program

While this isn't what you would typically consider a beginners program, we would definitely recommend it as one. As beginners ourselves we had amazing improvements in all of our lifts. What's even more important than those increases is how our form improved and our passion for power lifting remained strong throughout the duration of the program. In fact, we liked it so much we started it all over again as soon as we finished it the first time. 

While there's plenty of good strength training programs out there, The Juggernaut Method is the best one we've tried so far. To learn more about the specifics of the program pick up the kindle book and download the program template spreadsheet. Let us know how you like the program if you end up giving it a try!

Life Tips – Consistency

Consistency - The Key to Success 

“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do with consistency.”
― Anthony Robbins

Consistency, a word that gets over looked a lot but at the same time is so vital to accomplishing our goals. Whether its weight loss goals, business goals or simply family health. Consistency is needed, the ability to do the right things over and over again the right way. I want this to blow your mind. By the time your done reading this, I hope you perceive your goals differently. I want to give you two analogies about consistency that will challenge the way you might look at the details. 

Details Matter 

Imagine with me, if you will, a painting. Starry night for example. Now, when you see this amazing piece of art, most see it for what it is , a starry night. I however take a much deeper look. Have you ever stopped and considered every stroke made in that painting? All the time put in thinking about the contrasts, the light colors, the dark colors. What about the curves, the different kind of strokes made over and over again? Vincent Van Gogh knew the details make the masterpiece. He knew the consistency needed to make the final piece of art come to life.  Its pointless to have a goal and not consider the small things it will take to get there. Weighing your food at every meal. Going through your morning checklist when you open up the shop. With Persistence hitting a goal is possible but without Consistency, you will not keep it. 

Understanding Growth

Being as I am a bodybuilder I want to talk about gaining muscle. Muscle growth is not made from going to the gym and having one workout and calling it a week. It takes work, A LOT of work. There is no once a week or choosing not to eat. It is an absolute grind that requires consistent effort. Notice as well that it's not just showing up, you have to be consistent with. The intensity, the eating and the muscle mind connection. I could go on and on about different little things that cause the final result. So many people want to sweat a little, do a weight that is heavy enough to make them gasp for air or maybe even scream a little. Are you willing to do that every day? Are you willing to throw an extreme level of intensity at your goals everyday? Are you willing to do it again and again and again regardless of whats going on around you? What are you willing to do to get your goals.  Results in life do not come from lottery tickets, that is luck. Results come from the grind. The willingness to put in the effort day in and day out regardless of how you feel or what is going on around you.

I'm going to tell you something I tell my clients. If you are not willing to put in the day to day effort, you do not really want it. Do you want to know what it takes to achieve your goals? Your ability to push past barriers, to set schedules and follow through or to follow your macros to the gram. The willingness to stick to your plan no matter what is going on around you. Can you be consistent ? Do the little things matter to you? What are you willing to do over and over and over again to get what you want ? 

“One bulb at a time. There was no other way to do it. No shortcuts--simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded. Loving an achievement that grew slowly and bloomed for only three weeks each year.” 
― Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards, The Daffodill Principle

Jonathan Shane - DSK Coach

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Reverse Dieting

Reverse Dieting

Reverse Dieting, what is it exactly?  According to the internet, reverse dieting is gaining weight without rapidly gaining fat to allow your metabolism to gradually improve and adjust to a higher intake of calories.  I'd say that is a pretty fair definition of the word but I want to take a moment and flesh it out in much greater detail.  Why??  Because NOT taking the time to reverse out of a diet is one of the most common and most damaging mistakes I see in the health and nutrition space.  I have to assume that this mistake is made out of ignorance.  I hope to shed some light on the topic and at least offer my stance on the concept of reverse dieting.

reverse dieting

Who Needs Reverse Dieting?

In my opinion, everyone who has dieted down, dropped their calories, gone through a competition prep, chronically under eaten, struggled with eating disorders, struggled with their weight, doesn't have a high metabolism, or wants to know more about their body and how to optimize it with regards to their nutrition.  So, basically, everyone!  I'm sure either you or someone you know fits this description perfectly...

You're not happy with the way you look, you're holding a bit of extra fat.  You decide to do something about it and watch what you eat.  The best way to lose weight is eat less right?  So, that's exactly what you do.  You start dropping your calories bit by bit week after week.  Or, you take a much more aggressive approach and slash your calories significantly to help jumpstart things.  Before long, you're living on iceberg lettuce and miracle noodles and constantly starving.  You're not eating hardly anything and confused with why you're not dropping some serious pounds.  Sure sure, you may have lost a few lbs initially but not near as much as you would like.  You're still nowhere near your goal except now, you're hungry ALL the time!  You convince yourself that it's ok to overindulge a bit for one meal because heck, why not.  The iceberg lettuce diet isn't working anyways so what do you have to lose???  The next thing you notice, that one binge turns into two, then five, then a daily occurrence.  Before long, you're fatter than when you started and you have no idea what to do next!  Guess what, you should have reverse dieted 😉

In short, anytime you decrease your caloric intake, your body's metabolism is going to slow down.  That's not even a bad thing, it's just a thing.  It happens to the best of us so don't fret it.  However, learn to deal with it correctly.  Your body is smart, it's evolved to survive.  If you're consuming less energy, it only makes sense to down regulate your body's internal thermostat.  That is the best way of ensuring you don't die.  Your body is resilient, you can push it much harder than you may realize.  For this reason, it's ok to drop your metabolism a bit temporarily.  I literally do this every single time I go through a competition prep.  I drop my calories and my metabolism follows suite.  However, it's equally as important to ramp up your metabolism after the dieting is over. 

under eating

When To Start Reverse Dieting

Like most things in the nutritional world, this is going to vary from individual to individual.  I personally recommend transitioning into a reverse diet immediately following a competition prep, a 90 day cut program like DSK, any kind of caloric deficit protocol really.  If you are chronically under eating I also recommend starting a reverse diet.  Now, I would be remiss if I didn't include a little blurb on how long a cutting protocol should last.  That also depends on the individual but I don't typically recommend staying in a caloric deficit for more than about 5 or 6 months.  Now, there are some outliers such as people that are incredibly overweight BUT, make no mistake, it's still not optimal for them to be chronically under eating.  What if 5 or 6 months passes and you still haven't reached your goal???  I still recommend transitioning into a reverse diet and then returning to your goal after your metabolism has had a chance to recover.  If you are going through a "cut" the right way and gradually tapering your calories as needed, you're going to eventually run out of macros.  If you continue dropping calories well beyond what is healthy or sustainable, your metabolism is basically going to shut down and you're not going to make any headway towards losing bodyfat.  In fact, your body is going to fight you and work to store as much food as it can as bodyfat because it's afraid it won't get any more caloric energy.  This is why chronically dropping calories beyond a healthy limit can do so much more harm than good. 

when to start reverse dieting

How To Reverse Diet

If you've gone through the Deeper State Keto course then you're familiar with the "Off-boarding" phase.  Off-boarding is basically the same concept of reverse dieting.  For those that haven't gone through off-boarding, let me explain how I recommend reversing out of a caloric deficit.  Before I do though, let me forewarn you...reverse dieting will very likely result in an increase on the scale.  WHAT??!!!  I know, I know, crazy right.  Why would you want to do something that is going to move you farther away from that lower weight you've been striving for.  Well, because it's absolutely necessary!  Body recomposition is a marathon, not a sprint.  You are playing the long game here.  Sacrifice a slight increase on the scale to reach the goal in the end.  If you've been dieting down for long, your body is going to assume food isn't readily available and it's going to store any surplus you give it.  This is why you can expect a slight increase in weight in the beginning.  However, after a time of caloric increase, your body will recognize that food is no longer scarce and it won't be as likely to store it as bodyfat.  That is when things start improving.  Just as decreasing your caloric intake results in a slower metabolism, increasing your caloric intake leads to a faster metabolism.  

However, this doesn't mean go out and eat everything in sight.  I recommend you take a strategic approach to your reverse dieting just as you took towards your actual dieting.  Keep the foods clean and make small, incremental changes.  Generally speaking, you can be slightly more aggressive with the reverse diet than you were with the depletion diet.  Try and increase by 50 to 150 calories week after week depending on how your body responds.  If you start to notice adverse effects, take a slightly more conservative approach.  

This increase in caloric intake is adding more fuel to the furnace.  Put that furnace to use.  Train harder, eat more, and reap the benefits of a healthier metabolism.  No matter what diet you're on, chronic under eating and long term caloric deficits are damaging to your hormones and your metabolism.  Make sure you emphasize the reverse diet and give your body time to recover and improve it's foundation.  

boost your metabolism

The Sustainability Of Reverse Dieting

In all honesty, reverse dieting is what makes dieting sustainable in the first place.  You couldn't possibly stay in a caloric deficit indefinitely, your hormones would tank, your metabolism would shut down, your performance would plummet, could die.  Rather than fight your body, work with it.  It's healthy to cycle your caloric intake.  Leverage periods of healthy caloric depletion to shed body fat and improve your composition.  Be excited about the opportunity to eat more and reverse out of that deficit to improve your metabolism and hormones.  If you so choose, enjoy the maintenance intake for a bit and focus on other areas of your life that need attention.  If done properly, going through these different phases is incredibly sustainable.  Each time you cycle through, your composition and metabolic baseline will improve.  You can consistently be moving the needle forward in the long game of life.  Don't think shortsightedly and damage the only body you have.  Play the long game and win!

If you're interested, below is a video I made for my YouTube video that illustrates some of these concepts.

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Staying on track through the holidays

Staying on track through the Holidays

The holiday season can be rough for many to get through when it comes to staying on track, working toward a healthier lifestyle, and focusing on macros. Remember that holidays and vacations are here for a reason. That reason is to allow us to take a step back from work, school, and other stresses to focus on our family, happiness, faith, and health. The reason we have gatherings are to spend time together as family and friends, to celebrate with the people we love the most. Gorging yourself on food should not be the thing we are drawn to. Rather, feed your body with nourishing food and feed your soul with your family.

Why we fail to stay on track

We fail to follow through or stick to the plan simply because we are weak. There is no other reason. There is always a way to track, hit the macros or simply fast. You mentally choose to eat carbs, overeat or nibble on things we know are not optimal. There are many excuses and some are really good, but is it worth it? Remember, the only person you are hurting is yourself, the only goals that are being set back are yours. Get mentally strong, grow and stretch yourself.

drinking on the holidays

Tips for staying on track during the holiday season

As mentioned above there are many ways to stay on track, I will list a few.

  • Plan ahead

  • Learn how to say no

  • Offer to bring a main dish or side (One that you are able to eat)

  • Fast through the holiday

  • Bring your own food

  • Keep it simple, Focus on the meat and light veggies

  • Dont even entertain the idea of eating what you know you shouldn't

  • Remember the reason you are at the gathering

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Stay away from alcohol

  • Eat OMAD for the day

  • Eat most of your food before gathering then get a small plate

  • Bring a small food scale (they have ones as small as a phone)

  • Make the gym a daily must, even if its at home

  • Have a partner there who understands you are trying to better yourself and can have your back

Decide what is more important

Why are you cutting? What is the reason for you focusing on your health and nutrition?  Could in be to be there, alive and healthy for the ones you are spending time with? Possibly to feel more confident in yourself? Is the reason strong enough? Find your reason and remind yourself each morning why you do what you are doing. Remind yourself that it will be worth it.

family gathering

When family & friends dont understand 

As mentioned above, know your reason. Remind people that it is your body and you are doing what you believe to be best for you and your health. If people don’t like what you are doing or eating, more than likely it is an insecurity within themselves. Most people aren’t concerned with their food, nutrition, and health. When you bring up the fact that you are taking action with yours, it makes them insecure and allows them to recognize what they could be doing for themselves. This right here is the best way you can be an example for the people you want to see healthy and happy. Be the leader in the group of family and friends. Take action and they shall follow. Most importantly stick to it for yourself. Why give up or give in now?

This Holiday season I challenge you all to stay true to the commitment you have made yourself. Be stronger than you ever knew you could be.

Crystal Love- DSK Coach

For coaching or consultations with Crystal click ​HERE

Deeper State Carnivore – My Keto – Carnivore Experiment

Keto & Carnivore , two words used a lot in the same group of friends. While sometimes being vastly different, when put together can become something else all together. This is what I set to find out, if combining the deeper state keto high fat protocol and a meat only diet would yield results.  I was pleasantly surprised by this experience and in this post I want to share my findings with you. We will cover both what I ate and the results of this 20 day experiment, both the mental and physical aspects. 

Keto - ​Carnivore Food

Being that I am a certified foodie, making this creative wasn't so hard. The diet was made up of your basic high fat cuts of meat (pork belly , 80/20 ground beef, short ribs & rib-eye).  The photo above is a highlight of this 20 day meal plan as it was by far the best thing I ate. What you are captivated by is what I call the Carnivore Burger. Two 1/2 lb patties with goat cheese between my creation, the carnivore biscuit. You can find the recipe to the biscuit on this Instagram  link. Oh and in case your wondering, yes it is 100% meat. I played with my protein threshold a little and to my surprise it was a little higher than the standard DSK ratios (probably due to the lack of carbs). So during the experiment my ratios stayed roughly around 77%fat , 23% protein & 0% carbs. A good tip for volume if you want to give it a go is when making ground beef, pour it in into a bowl of beef broth. Take my word for it, it is very satisfying.  Week two I re-introduced eggs and butter and that was a very smooth transition without any adverse effects. I am currently going into week four and have re-introduced goat cheese and sheep milk yogurt. So far I tolerate these two things just fine. The only tip I would give is to make sure you start with nothing but meat, salt and water and add things one at a time to assess your tolerance. You would be surprised what kind of food sensitives surface when doing this type of diet.  I personally really enjoy it. I crave meat all the time now, so nothing makes me bounce around more than the though of a medium-rare steak. YUM! 


In case you are wondering, no I did not expect to get extremely leaned out during this time frame. The fact that over the 20 day period I increased my daily caloric intake by 400 calories would make it obnoxious to make such a claim. However, the results were still very awesome! Over the 20 days I lost a total of about 10 lbs. Keep in mind that I just got off a show prep and was stuffing my face so I am 100% positive a lot of that was just built up junk. That is the point though! Look at the photo above, specifically the dip in the mid-abdominal area over the 20 day period. To me that is a clear indication of reduced gut bloat, inflammation and water retention. 

As I said before I just got off prep and if anyone one of you have experienced that, the sweet cravings can be bad. Which leads me to my next point, physiologically this is the strongest I have felt towards my food control since 6 weeks out from my show. It has blown my mind how well it reset my hormones & my mental state when it came to my relationship with food.

Finally, I want to talk about the strength improvements. Coming off a show you are very weak, its almost hard to explain. The first 14 days nothing changed, I was seeing slow increase just due to my body getting fed better and so on. Then this week something amazing happened! I was stronger on all my core lifts! To be specific I even dead lifted 405 LBS!! That was a really big deal to me for no other reason except the fact that i have not been able to do that for over a year. To be able to do it 10 weeks post- show just solidifies to me two things.

1. You don't need carbs to gain muscle

​2. Red meat and muscle gain have a strong correlation.


​Over all this was an amazing experience for me. It helped me not only record data for my Deeper State Carnivore Protocol but in the process I-

1. Reduced inflammation and over all bloat

​2. Got control over my eating and cravings

3. Hit new PR's with out ANY CARBS

So if you want to give keto - carnivore a shot , I say give it the old college try. Whats the worst that could happen? You have to eat butter covered steaks for a couple weeks. Sounds like a pretty awesome time to me!

Interested in begin coached by me with a DSK or keto- carnivore approach ?

​To sign up for coaching , ​CLICK HERE​​​

Dealing with Body Dysmorphia

Dealing With Body Dysmorphia

Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance. In other words pertaining to someone who overthinks and can obsess about pieces of their body. BDD tends to sneak up on people, even those who may be extremely confident. It has been said that 1 out of 50 people can suffer from this disorder.

Body dysmorphia

Symptoms Of Dysmorphic Disorder

Symptoms are  some of the following:

-Obsessing over a slight imperfection on your face, skin or hair.

-Emotional distress over the way you look

-Feeling that your appearance is too fat or even more slender than you truly are.

-Covering up your body or specific areas of yourself

-Constantly looking in mirrors or completely avoiding them

-Excessive exercise or dieting

-Continually talking negatively about your body (specific parts) or putting yourself down.

The list goes on.

The reason I am touching on this subject is because I believe many people suffer from this disorder and it is simply not talked about enough. I personally have gone through trial and error trying to correct the way I think about myself or my body.

Healthy Body Fat

My Struggle With Body Dysmorphia

My quick story:

As many of you may know, I recently competed in my first ever figure bodybuilding competition. I went from 26% body fat to 12% body fat within a 6 month time period. We used this DSK protocol along with extensive exercise. I did this process in the most healthy manner and I did everything perfectly by the books. As my body fat began to shed I literally could not see the difference in the way I appeared. I knew I had lost pounds and I knew my body fat had gone down but I could not physically see any changes. I felt that my “loose skin” was fat and I would look down to see “rolls”. I could see the veins popping out of my biceps but could not understand because I simply didn’t see myself any different. I would go to the gym and pinch my stomach fat so hard to hurt myself  so I could remember why I was working so hard. The image I had of myself was beyond skewed. After my competition, I needed to gain some weight back to maintain a healthy female body fat. As I did, the dysmorphia got a tad worse. Gaining even just that healthy weight back was horrible in my mind. All I could see was so much fat. I obsessed about food, my body, my workouts, my nutrition. I’d spend hours working on my diet and workout plans. I simply couldn’t maintain this way of living. So, I asked for help and put myself out there for others to see. I changed the way I looked at myself and I chose to see beauty in the healthy weight I had gained. I look back at pictures of my competition or my prep and well up with tears. In those moments, I had no idea that's what I looked like. I am now better, not completely but always a work in progress.

Crystals Competition Picture

Body Dysmorphia Awareness

I bring this to your attention because most of you are following DSK as a simple weight loss strategy. I have seen many come and go through this program that also have suffered from BDD. I am here to bring its awareness. I am here to put its ugly face out there and give you freedom from those thoughts. Open up to someone, allow yourself grace, take a look at yourself from a larger perspective, look at how far you have come and what you have accomplished. You can do every single step right but somehow our minds still go another direction. Be confident, be strong and be willing to watch your body change as you put in the work.

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”

-Marilyn Monroe

Crystal Love- DSK Coach

For coaching with me follow this link..​COACHING