HIGH on Energy TV Episode #6: Which Diet Works - The Science of Weight Loss
According to the science, what is the most effective diet for weight loss?
Today we dig deep and nerdy into the science of weight loss. What diet is best?
Is it low-carb? Low-fat? Keto?
Plus, what to consider when the scientifically-proven weight loss diet doesn’t work.
Grab your FREE Endless Energy Checklist to get my top 5 non-negotiable strategies for eliminating fatigue: https://go.kendraperry.net/energy-checklistWork with me here: https://bit.ly/2OZ4kxQ
Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to another awesome episode of High on Energy TV. This is episode six, and my name is Kendra Perry, for those of you who might just be meeting me for the first time, and you can find out more about me at KendraPerry.net. And today, we are diving into a topic that I know a lot of people love to talk about. We are talking about weight loss, but what we're gonna do is we're gonna get a little bit nerdy today, and we're gonna actually dive in into the science of weight loss, and we're gonna discuss, when it comes to the scientific research, what is the scientific research actually saying about the best diet for weight loss, because there is a lot of bad information out there. There are a lot of fad diets. There's a lot of books that are promising you a lot of really big results.
Hey, [Maryanne 00:00:51], welcome.
They're promising you all kinds of things if you just do this or do that or follow their program, but what does the science actually say, because I think it's a lot less complicated than people think. And then, we're also gonna talk about what to do when the scientifically proven diet for weight loss doesn't actually work because this happens. Just because you are following a specific diet does not guarantee weight loss and this can be really frustrating. I totally get it because I've been there. I've been the person on the healthiest diet of anyone I knew, following that scientifically proven diet for weight loss and not getting results, and that's when we need to dig a little bit deeper and so we're gonna be discussing that as well today.
So welcome, everyone who is on Facebook Live with me right now. Say hi. I know Maryanne's on here. I know we have a few other people. But all I see is just an eyeball and a number sign, so I don't actually know who's here. So if you're here, say hi. Feel free to introduce yourself and say hey, because I love to know who's here.
Okay, awesome. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna start by talking about some of the most common theories of weight loss. And probably the one that is known the best is the calories in, calories out theory of weight loss, so let's discuss that. So this theory of weight loss is the one that we're all familiar with. I feel like we're told this most of our lives.
Oh, we've got [Pardese 00:02:29], [Peardese 00:02:30]. I think I'm butchering your name. I hope I said that right. But hi, welcome. I haven't seen you here before and I'm really glad you're here. Okay, so calories in, calories out. I know that I was told this most of my life. I remember in high school reading Cosmo magazine and I knew that I always needed to eat less, and a lot of my high school experience was actually spent trying to lose weight and trying to restrict calories and eat less, which is crazy looking back. I'm sure when you look back at photos of yourself in high school you're like, "I was fit as fuck. Why did I think I needed to lose weight?" But honestly, I think I was just doing it because all my friends were doing it.
And so, basically, the theory of calories in, calories out basically is based on the law of thermodynamics, so it basically means that you need to bring in less energy than you expend in order to lose weight. So, basically, this is the eat less, exercise more model. So you wanna take in less calories and you wanna burn more calories. So the problem with this is that people automatically assume that when they bring in less calories than they consume, they're automatically going to lose weight. But this doesn't usually happen, and let's talk about why.
So let's talk about what the science says about what's actually going on when you actually start to do this method. So typically, if you start restricting calories and exercising more, there is a very good chance that you are gonna lose weight but this weight loss only will happen initially. And then, at some point, something happens. Weight loss comes to a halt. You plateau and then you slowly start to gain it back. And in some cases, you gain back extra weight. Nobody wants that. That sucks.
So why is this? So there's actually three metabolic adaptations that are happening when you decrease your calories consumption, and part of this is due to the fact that your body is always fighting against weight loss. This is an evolutionary thing. In the environment before we had fridges, and 7/11s on every corner and we didn't have access to food when food was a scarcity, our body was always trying to gain weight. It always wanted to prevent yourself from actually losing weight, because if you lost weight you could starve to death. So a lot of physiology, a lot of the information in ourselves is really, really fighting against losing weight.
So let's talk about those three metabolic adaptations that happen when you start restricting calories. So number one, it decreases your thyroid hormone. Now, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland on your neck and it's actually the main regulator of your metabolism. So when your thyroid hormone decreases, ultimately, so does your metabolic rate. So as thyroid hormone becomes less, as your thyroid hormone slows down, your metabolism slows down. So that is one of the three metabolic adaptations that happens when you follow the eat less, exercise more model of weight loss.
Number two, it will actually breakdown muscle, and muscle is more biologically active than fat. So that means, when you have less muscle, ultimately, you have less ability to actually burn calories. So the eat less, exercise more model does tend to lead to muscle breakdown.
Number three, it actually causes fatigue. And so, this happens because your thyroid is slowing down and that actually decreases your energy levels. So when you have more fatigue, you slowly start moving less and sometimes this is very gradual, and sometimes this happens without you even realizing it. So we slowly ... our metabolism goes down. We start burning muscle. We start having less ability to burn fat because we have less muscle, and then we are slowly getting more tired, so we are starting to move less, and less and less. And this can be very gradual, and this doesn't happen immediately. This might happen a year or so after you get that initial weight loss, and this is a big reason why there that big fat statistic out there that tells you that 95% of people who lose weight will gain it back, maybe plus more, within a year. And we know that, because if you look at ... if you guys are familiar with the show The Biggest Loser.
Okay, so this is pretty popular TV show. Maybe you know what I'm talking about, but it's basically a TV show where they take overweight people, they put them through an exercise program with a trainer and they restrict calories, and they lose a bunch of weight and then they choose a winner. And I believe that every single contestant of The Biggest Loser, with the exception of I think one, has actually gained all the weight back that they initially lost and sometimes even more.
So that's a pretty big deal, because that is ... The Biggest Loser is the epitome of the calories in, calories out model of weight loss. The other thing that happens, so this is fourth thing. I know we talked about three but there is a fourth thing that happens, is when you start restricting calories your body's like, "Okay, well, we need to get more calories in," so your body actually starts messing with your hormones. It'll increase your hunger hormones and that will actually lead to you craving more food. So as over time, you're slowly exercising less, you are also slowly starting to eat more as well.
So if you guys are on with me live today, say hey. I know there's a few of you out there. And just let me know, give me a thumbs up if you're familiar with this. Have you seen this happen to someone you know? Has this happened to you? Let me know. If I was sitting in the audience right now I would give a thumbs up in the comments because this has happened to me multiple times in high school and in my 20s when I was thinking that this is what I needed to lose weight. It was also what I thought I needed to do to be healthy, because I associated being skinny with being healthy, so I thought by restricting calories I was actually keeping myself healthy. I also was living in the '90s and early 2000s where I was totally afraid of fat. I thought it was really bad and everything I ate was a low-fat processed produce. So I was doing myself a lot of disservices at that time. Totally clueless about nutrition and health. But hey, when you're young, sometimes you just don't know.
So the reason that this approach to weight loss actually fails is because, like I mentioned, the body is actually fighting fat loss. Like I said, this is a very normal thing. Of course, our body wants to fight fat loss, because in the real world, out in nature we wanna carry as much weight as possible because food is scarce. So if we were hunter/gatherers, humans living outside of the industrialized world that we live today, we probably wouldn't be able to be overweight because we wouldn't have that much availability to food.
So why does the body fight against fat loss? Well, it's an evolutionary thing. We talked about that. But there's also this thing called a fat loss setpoint. And so, anyone who's on the cutting edge of weight loss research is talking about the weight loss setpoint.
Okay, so Nicole says, "Hello. Yes, my body crashed after being put on an 800 calorie diet." Oh, my gosh. That is so low. That is crazy. I actually can't believe someone would put you on a diet that low. That's barely enough calories for normal metabolic function, so no wonder you crashed. Totally crazy. There is some really crazy theories out there about what you need to do for weight loss. And if it's restricting calories to that point, it's not a safe thing to do.
Okay, so let's talk about the fat loss set points. So this is biological mechanism that is designed to keep your weight stable over time. So no matter how many calories you burn, your body is always fighting its way back to that setpoint. So that is a big ... the big part of this. So your body has this setpoint, whatever that is, and that can change over time but your body's always fighting to get back towards that. So a big part of weight loss is figuring out, well, how do we lower our weight loss setpoint? And we're gonna talk a little bit about, today, about some of the things that actually interfere with the weight loss setpoint and make it so that that setpoint keeps getting higher.
So when it comes to calories, so if we know that if we restrict calories that we can't lose weight, does that mean that we shouldn't consider calories? Does that mean that calories don't matter? And I think there's two big platforms out there. There's the people that are like, "Calories matter. You absolutely have to restrict them to lose weight." And then, there's the other people who are telling you that calories don't matter, just eat good food.
So what's the truth? Well, the truth is calories actually do matter, but the research shows that if you count them it won't help you lose weight. So this is probably like a WTF moment. You're like, "What the fuck? Kendra, what are you talking about? What do you mean? So I need to ... Calories matter. I need to eat less calories. But if I count them, it's not gonna lead to me losing weight, at least in the longterm? So how does that even work?"
So this is a bit confusing but we're gonna ... let's dig into this. And I just wanna say hi to Kristy. She says, "Hello. Having PCOS, it's difficult to keep weight in check and get what I need." Yeah, so there are hormones that can fight against this. I know with PCOS there is a big insulin resistance component. Your body typically has a really hard time breaking down glucose, breaking down blood sugar. For some reason, the elevated androgens really push that insulin resistance. And then, in turn, the insulin resistance pushes the elevated androgens that drive the PCOS. And so, we'll definitely talk about that in a later episode because PCOS is a big piece of energy, weight loss. It plays a big role in those various systems of the body. So we're gonna definitely dive into that in a future episode.
So the key to losing weight is to eat in a way that naturally lowers your calories without you actually counting them or trying to lower this. And so, this is actually a really big reason why people tend to lose weight on a low-carb diet. It's not because it's low-carb. It's because naturally, when you tend to eat low-carb, you need to replace the carbs with something. Typically people are going to replace the carbs with protein. So they're actually eating a higher protein diet and that's actually what the research actually says, that the best diet for weight loss is a high protein diet. Why is that? It's because protein is very satiating. It's very energy dense. It raises and lowers your blood sugar more slowly. So actually, pretty important for someone who has PCOS to eat a high protein diet.
So a high protein diet naturally makes you eat less, because it fills you up more and it gives your body a higher nutritional need. So all this big low-carb fad out there that says you need to go low-carb for weight loss actually has nothing to do with it actually being low-carb. It's just because, naturally, when people go low-carb they tend to go higher protein. And when the research actually compares low-carb to low-fat, they get pretty much the same results for weight loss. It's really all about that calorie restriction, that natural, non-counting calorie restriction, but also that higher protein content.
So how much protein should you actually be eating in a day, because this is important. And when I work with women, typically what I'll get them to do is use the free app, My Fitness Pal, and get them to track their protein for a week and see how much protein are they actually eating in a week. And what I see in a lot cases is woman aren't eating nearly enough protein.
So what you wanna do ... So the range for daily protein consumption ranges from about .4 to .7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That range really depends on your activity level. If you are a sedentary person, maybe you don't move around in a day, you have an office job like me, or you run an online business, or you're just ... you're not ... you don't have a lot of movement throughout the day, and then you're not doing really intense exercise. Well, probably, you're gonna need protein on the lower end of that. Whereas, if you have a physical job, I used to work in forestry so I was in the bush, running around the forest all day long. And so, in that case I needed higher protein in a day. Or, maybe you're a professional athlete, or your someone who goes to Crossfit every day, or you exercise intensely on a regular basis, well, you're probably gonna need on the higher end of this.
The reason why I tell you to use an app, like My Fitness Pal, [Foodjacate 00:15:20] is another good one as well, is because 100 grams of chicken doesn't have 100 grams of protein. And so, chicken has some fat in it as well, so it's not gonna be just 100% protein and that varies a little bit depending on the type of protein you are consuming. So you do need to track that for about a week and just get an idea of where your protein is at.
Typically, when I recommend protein, I do recommend high-quality, grass-fed, organic, local if possible, animal products because they are significantly higher in protein than vegetarian sources. There are some things out there that have a really good protein profile for vegetarian sources, spirulina is a good example, so is hemp, but it is really hard to meet those protein requirements if you are consuming a plant-based only diet. I'm not saying I don't believe in a plant-based diet. I do believe in a plant-based diet but I do think you need some amount of animal protein in most cases. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and there are some people who do thrive on a vegan diet. I just don't see it very often. So I recommend high-quality animal protein. And what you'll see is that your protein requirement for the day doesn't actually require you to eat a ton of meat, and it probably doesn't require you to eat meat every day. It's just, maybe, a few times a week and then you top that up with the vegetarian sources of protein.
So I talked about, before, that fat loss setpoint. And if you wanna lose weight, the biggest thing, and you wanna lose it for the longterm, you really gotta work on lowering that fat loss setpoint. And so, let's talk about some of the things that cause that setpoint to malfunction. So number one is what's called high reward food. So these are food that are really easy to consume a lot of. They taste really good. They're addictive. They make you wanna eat more. Yet, they have very little nutrition or minerals. So this is that processed food category. So this would be things like chips, or crackers, or ... I'm trying to think, nuts and seeds can be a bit of a high reward. Because typically, when you get nut or a seed, it has a shell and you have to hack that shell open. And so, if you had to hack open a shell of every single nut you ate, you probably wouldn't eat that many nuts. But if they de hauled, so they've got the shell and the haul away from them, you can just consume them, consume them, consume. You could sit there and eat a thousand calories worth of nuts in a 20 minute sitting because they're easy to consume.
So these high reward foods have been processed, so they have a lot of the minerals and nutritional components stripped of them. The thing that's left is the really digestible and consumable and addictive carbohydrates. So a bag of chips is really to consume. You could probably eat three bags of chips. But if you actually had a potato, how many potatoes would you actually be able to eat? Maybe you'd be able to eat one, maybe two potatoes and then you'd be super full because there's starch in that. There are minerals. There are nutrients. There's all these different things in a potato that makes it really hard to eat potatoes for an hour straight, but I bet you could eat chips for an hour straight. So those high reward foods actually do mess with the weight setpoint. And this is a big reason why processed foods need to be removed. Any healthy diet removes these type of foods.
The other thing that messes with weight setpoint is high food variety. So this is eating tons of different foods at once. So think of, you go out for a fancy dinner. Maybe you have bread to start, and then you have an appetizer, and then you have a main course, and then you have a dessert, and then you have a cocktail in there, or something like that. And so, that's a ton of food variety. You've got fats, carbs, proteins. You have multiple different food ingredients. That is a lot for the body to handle and that's for a body to digest. And doing that can actually really mess with your setpoint. So simplicity really wins when it comes to a good weight loss diet. So you wanna stick to simple foods. And when you look at traditional foods, typically, they're eating the same food over, and over and over again and it's just ... it falls into just a few categories.
I'm not telling you to eat the same food over, and over and over again, because that might make you really bored. But you really wanna be sticking to those simple foods. Have you animal protein, your small little bit of animal protein, like chicken, pork, beef, whatever it is. If you're a vegetarian, maybe that's some tempeh. And then, you're gonna have some veggies and you're gonna have some fats, and maybe you're gonna include some legumes, or maybe some gluten-free grains in there. That would be a very simple meal and that would be a very good diet for weight loss.
The third thing that really messes, number three, with that weight loss setpoint is circadian rhythm disruption. So this has nothing to do with diet, but it's really important. This is pretty clear in the research. So if you're not getting enough sleep, this is a big thing. So not getting enough sleep in the night can actually make you quite insulin resistant and that is gonna cause you to gain weight.
So if you want to lose weight, and you wanna maintain a healthy weight, you need to get to bed at a decent time, and I would say no later than 10:30. You need to sleep seven to eight hours every single night. Things that can mess with your circadian rhythm is not getting enough sunlight, a light deficiency, malillumination, just like malnutrition, is a thing.
So if you're not getting enough sunlight, this is probably a big reason why people in the Northern Hemisphere gain weight in the winter, because you don't get sun for a bunch of months out of the year. So I do recommend, for those people, it might be worth it to get a vitamin D lamp. The one I recommend is call Sperti, S-P-E-R-T-I. It's a really good vitamin D lamp if you do live in a northern place and you don't get a lot of light for half the year. You can use a red infrared light. I have a, do I have it next to me, I usually have it right here, but I have a little red light which helps me get more light. And then, of course trying to get outside and getting unfiltered sunscreen-free natural light, and how much you need really depends on your skin tone. I have Italian heritage. I need to get a lot of sun. I'm one of those people who never burns. I get super dark and I actually need a lot more unfiltered sun exposure than my boyfriend who is a ginger, and he probably needs 10 to 15 minutes and he's good. So that will depend on your skin tone.
And then, of course, too much blue light after the sun goes down. So screens, computers, cellphones, these are a really big culprit for blue light and the big thing is because the light, the rising and the setting sun actually sets our circadian rhythm and that blue light mimics the sun of a rising sun, or the light of a rising run. So if you are looking at screens, if you're watching Netflix, if you have really bright lights in your house, you on your tablet, this can mess with your circadian rhythm. So I do recommend avoiding these types of lights in a couple hours leading up to bedtime. If you do need to use them, get those really sexy blue light blocking sunglasses. They are the orange sunglasses and they work really well.
Other things that can mess with circadian rhythm, and of course I'm bringing it back to minerals because you know I love talking about minerals, but magnesium deficiency can mess with your circadian rhythm, copper toxicity is a big one because copper stimulates adrenaline and that can keep you up at night, sodium excess, and then zinc deficiency. All these things can actually mess with your circadian rhythm. So ultimately, if you're following this perfect scientifically proven diet for weight loss, you're not eating high reward food, you're eating simple foods and you're not indulging, or over consuming, because this another thing that will mess with the weight loss setpoint, then you really need to think about minerals and metals and toxicity, and we're gonna talk about that in just a second.
So the next thing that messes with the weight loss setpoint is the over consumption of calories and overindulgence. And honestly, this can happen even when you're eating healthy food. A really important thing is to not overindulge and overeat, but you don't wanna be counting calories. But if you're eating this simple diet of wholefoods without those high reward foods, it's actually really hard to over consume food. When was the last time you were like, "Man, I really binged the hell out of that broccoli"? When was the last time you said that. You said that never, because who can ... who binges of broccoli? You just can't do it. It's just not possible. What do you typically binge on? Well, chips, or pasta, or cereal, or crackers, or something along those lines. It's the high reward foods. So if you're eating this really simplistic wholefoods diet that doesn't have those high reward foods, then it's actually really hard to overindulge and over consume calories.
The other thing that we need to mention is movement deficiency. So this is why it's so important to have regular movement, and this is something that I personally do need to work on because I'm really good for getting exercise in the morning, and then later on in the evening after my workday, but when I'm on my computer in the day I get locked in to projects, or things that I'm working on and I ... I'll just sit there for multiple hours and I know that's really bad for me. Because even if you sit all day, then you go pump it at the gym for two hours, that's not enough. If you were stagnant for that entire day, that is gonna mess with your weight loss setpoint. So regular movement is really important. So if you have a desk job, you need to set a timer and every 30 to 40 minutes you need to get up and do something. And it doesn't need to be a lot, it just needs to be something to get the blood flowing.
So something I have in my office, right over there, is a rebounder. So I have a little trampoline and I set a timer and I try to do 100 jumps every 30 to 40 minutes. So now, I'm not super consistent with this. This is definitely one of my challenges, but something like that, maybe you can't have a rebounder in your office but maybe you could do a quick lap of the office, maybe you can do some jumping jacks, maybe you can just run on the spot, but doing something for even just a couple minutes every 30 to 40 minutes is actually really, really important. If you're not doing that, that exercise, or that gym session that you have at the end of the day, or the beginning of the day isn't enough to offset the negative effects from movement deficiency from not moving on a regular basis. So that is really, really important.
So the final thing that I wanna discuss, and I've eluded this, so in the beginning I said if you are doing, so you're doing the scientifically proven diet for weight loss, which is high protein, low food reward, simple meals, and then natural, organic, all of that stuff, you're getting good sleep, you're moving on a regular basis and you are not overindulging but you still can't lose weight, you gotta think about minerals and metals and toxicity. This is big thing.
So get exposed to a lot of crap in today's world. We are the forefront of the generation that is getting extremely toxic because of all the chemicals, and metals and plastics and everything in our environment. These things are getting into our body. And once they enter the body, if your body isn't able to detox them and if you're someone who has a slower metabolic rate, which is 80% of the population, it's very hard for your body to move these things out. So the body needs to store them.
A really good place to store toxins is actually fat cells. They provide this stable matrix to put a toxin into you where it won't have a negative effect on the body, to some degree, versus it being out in the blood running amuck in the body causing all these issues. So your body will actually push toxins into fat cells. And sometimes, your body is like, "Well, I'm not gonna let you burn fat because the fat cells are full of toxins and if we immobilize all these toxins you'll probably die." So a lot of times your body actually might be protecting yourself from toxicity. This is why I think a effective detox ... or weight loss program needs to include detoxification. It also needs to involve correcting mineral imbalances, because if your minerals are really out of whack, it actually is really hard to regulate blood sugar. You may end up with lots of cravings and it may be really hard for your body to even lose weight and produce energy, because you actually need to have good energetic potential to actually lose weight.
So if this is the case, if you're at this point where you're like, "Man, I've done all these things and I can't lose weight," you wanna be doing something like a hair mineral analysis and a heavy metals panel. These are the best ways to address your mineral status, to address toxic metals in the body and you wanna work with a practitioner to go through some sort of mineral rebalancing detox program, because if you don't do this it will be stuck and I see this all the time.
And so, that's what I recommend. You wanna ... You don't wanna try to do this on your own. A hair mineral analysis is not something that you can interpret on your own. It's a very complex test. Trying to interpret tests on your own without actually knowing how to interpret them is a really good way to waste your money, so you do wanna find a mentor. I hope it's me. I hope you want me to mentor you, because I do mentor people in my High on Energy membership program. Where, basically, I give people a step by step program to help them restore their energy, help them lose weight, help them eliminate brain fog, get their hormones balanced. And then, you can access the testing as an upgrade. Hair mineral analysis, gut testing, metal panels, so that we can make that protocol customized for you because everyone's different, and my mineral imbalances are probably very different from your mineral imbalances.
So the link for that is in the show notes, or just on top of this live video if you wanna check that out. We have about 70 women so far and counting, and it's probably the most amazing community of women I have ever come across. They are so supportive and multiple times a month I bring everyone cutting edge functional health strategies to help move the needle and help them get towards their health goals. Which, for a lot of them, is losing weight and gaining more energy because a lot of people are chronically fatigued these days.
So let's just quickly summarize before we hop off today. Let's talk about what is the best diet for weight loss. So high protein, low food reward, so get rid of that processed bagged plastic food crap. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. High protein, eat high-quality organic animal protein or vegetarian protein, if you don't eat animal meat. Make sure to include some fruits, some vegetables, and if you are eating nuts, seeds or grains, make sure to properly prepare them, because they contain anti nutrient factors that will bind with minerals and pull them out of the body.
And so, with nuts and seeds, you wanna soak them, and then roast them. And with grains, you wanna ferment them and that will help breakdown those anti nutrient factors to make them less damaging to the system and prevent them from actually effecting your mineral status negatively.
So I hope this was helpful, guys. If, for those of you who are with me live, if you have any questions, throw them into the comments box now because I would be more than happy to answer them. I love connecting with you guys and answering your questions, because you guys always have really good ones for me, and remember that we do this Facebook Live every Tuesday at 4:30, and then I release it as a podcast every Thursday. And the last Tuesday of every month, we do a live Q&A. So if you have questions, you can send them to my Facebook page. Just send me a message and I will answer them live on air, or you can always hang out with me, 4:40pm Pacific, on Tuesdays, the last Tuesday of the month is the Q&A.
And guys, if you wanna work with me, if you wanna connect with me, I do encourage you to join my High on Energy group membership program where, for a very, very low price point, you can get full access to me. I will help guide you and coach you. I will bring you the most cutting edge functional health strategies you need to start moving the needle to help you lose weight, to help you get more energy, to help you eliminate brain fog, and just basically get your life back. Because when your health sucks, you don't really have a full quality life.
And if you're not sure you wanna go that far and you just wanna get some basic tips, you can download my free Endless Energy checklist. Again, the link for that is in the show notes or in the Facebook Live description, and that is just my five non-negotiable strategies for getting more energy. So it's where to start, if you don't know where to start.
All right, thanks guys. Thanks so much for being here with me today. I love you all and I will see you guys next week.
HIGH on Energy TV Episode #5: Why potassium is important for energy and how to support it
Potassium is BEYOND important for your energy levels. Many people are deficiency in potassium and it is making them impossible to feel vibrant and energetic.
In this episode, we discuss the importance of potassium, who is at risk for potassium deficiency, common symptoms of potassium deficiency and my three most important foods for raising potassium.
Grab your FREE Endless Energy Checklist to get my top 5 non-negotiable strategies for eliminating fatigue: https://go.kendraperry.net/energy-checklistWork with me here: https://bit.ly/2OZ4kxQ
Hey guys, how's it going? Welcome to episode five of, of High on Energy TV. I'm your host Kendra Perry from KendraPerry.net. And I am so excited to help you get more energy.
So today we're going to be talking about potassium and why it is so important for energy and how you can support it. And so this is actually one of my favorite minerals. The reason for that is because so many people are incredibly deficient in it and it plays a major role in the fatigue that people are experiencing and it's one of the minerals that when people start to boost it and people start to replenish and restore their status, that they tend to get pretty big results. I have to tell a lot of my clients that potassium needs to be their mission. Okay. So today we're going to be talking a little bit about what is potassium, why should you care about it? We're going to be talking about how much potassium you need in a day and it's actually quite a bit. You'll probably be surprised. We're going to talk about what can cause potassium deficiency, symptoms of potassium deficiency and who is at risk for potassium deficiency. And then I'm going to give you three simple ways that you can support your potassium levels.
So. Hi, Marion. Marion just hopped on the live recording on my facebook page. How's it going? Welcome. I'm super glad you're here. I hope you are excited to learn about potassium. Okay.
So what is potassium? So potassium, I think when most people think about potassium, they think about bananas. I think everyone is well aware that potassium is very high in bananas, but there's way more to potassium than this, I promise. So it's one of your body's major electrolytes, which means that it's just a very abundant mineral in the body. It's very important for regulating your heart, very, very important for this. It helps dissolve and keep calcium in the bone. So that means it's very important for bone density and not having brittle bones. When people have lower potassium, they tend to have calcium building up in the wrong place, which is the soft tissue, which means that, they break bones more easy, they have brittle bones, they may have osteopenia, osteoporosis. It's very, very important in regulating the thyroid and in fact, people who have hypo thyroid or hyper thyroid, so underactive or overactive thyroid, they tend to have lower potassium levels. Potassium is anti cancer, so it helps fight cancer. So in a lot of natural cancer protocols, there's a lot of juicing and a lot of potassium support in those protocols because it does have anticancer effects. It regulates fluid in the body, that fluid balance in the body, it controls cell permeability, so it controls how well things get in and out of the cell and it helps your water get into the cell. Okay.
So as you can see, it's very important. Potassium is incredibly important. And a lot of us aren't getting enough of it. And even if we are consuming enough of it, there may be other factors, other sort of factors either in our diet or in our body that might be preventing us from properly absorbing potassium. So according to the recommended daily allowance for potassium, it's about 4,500 milligrams. You probably need a little bit more than that because I feel like, the RDAs are always on the lower side and usually they're just enough to, for you to avoid nutritional diseases rather than actually build and promote health. 4,500 milligrams is actually quite a bit and it's actually even challenging I find to get that 4,500 milligrams. So at the end of the livestream I'm going to be telling you guys like what foods will give you the best bang for your buck with potassium. So that's coming up. So stay tuned.
Okay. So what causes potassium deficiency? So people who have thyroid issues have a really hard time with potassium retention, meaning that they don't hold onto potassium well. So if you have hypo thyroid or Hashimoto's, then I do encourage you to pay attention and make potassium your life mission because it's really gonna help. It's gonna help with your energy. It's going to help you feel better. And so the thing for people who have hypo thyroid, it may not necessarily be that they don't consume enough potassium, but they don't retain it well. So their body has a really hard time holding onto this. And I see this all the time when I'm running hair mineral analysis. I see really bottomed out. Potassium and people who have thyroid, typically they have very high calcium, they have very low potassium, sometimes it's barely registering and, they tend to feel a lot better when you raise the potassium. But the thing is is when you look at, I look at their diet and I'm like, well, they actually consume a lot of potassium rich foods, but they just have this really low retention because of this thyroid issue. The other thing that will promote potassium loss from the body is hormonal birth control. Okay. So, the synthetic estrogen that is in pretty much all hormonal birth control, some talking about the pill, the patch, the ring, the implant, the needle, pretty much the whole Shebang of any hormone containing birth control form of birth control, has the effect of raising copper. So estrogen and copper have this very unique relationship where copper actually boost estrogen and then estrogen increases the retention of copper. But what copper does is it causes potassium loss, so it makes it really hard to retain copper, so copper will get pushed out of the body. So if you're someone who is currently taking hormonal birth control, or you have for a significant amount of time in your life, then again, I encourage you to pay attention and make potassium your mission. Okay.
The copper IUD also will have the same effect, right? Copper in the copper iud will have that effect of driving potassium out of the body. Stress can greatly increase the burn rate of potassium. Pretty much all your minerals, stress burns through your minerals, stress is actually pretty energy intensive, right? So if you have a lot of stress, mental and emotional stress, then yeah, there's a good chance that your body is losing a lot of potassium. Inflammation can also cause potassium loss because there is, again, there's a lot of interesting relationships between minerals, but there's an interesting relationship between sodium and potassium, and they actually help synergize each other. They help enhance the retention of the other, but when they get really out of balance, they can start to antagonize each other or drive the other one out of the body. So inflammation will drive up sodium and sodium drives up inflammation. So there's again, this interesting relationship between stress and, sorry, sodium and inflammation. And when sodium gets really high, it will actually help start to push potassium out of the body. The other thing that will make it really hard for your body to retain potassium is iodine deficiency. And this is probably one of the most common deficiencies that I see. A lot of us aren't getting enough iodine because, you know, we're not living near the sea. We're not bathing in the ocean. We're not consuming seafood and seaweed and Kelp and even these days you have to avoid a lot of fish, right? Because of how toxic the ocean has become.
Hey Teresa, welcome. Anyone else's here? I'd love to know who's here. Give me a Hi. Give me a heart giving a little thumbs up. I love knowing who's hanging out in the audience because right now all I see is an eyeball with a number. That's all I see on my end. I know there's seven of you hanging out here.
Hey Ellen. So yeah, there we got a few of you here and thanks for saying hi.
So like I mentioned, I had an deficiency, very common. A lot of us aren't getting enough of it and a lot of...
A lot of us are bringing things into our diet, into our lifestyle, into our environment unknowingly that actually make it really hard for the body to retain iodine. And so when I run hair mineral analysis, there is no marker for iodine. That's because iodine.
Iodine does not actually get excreted through the hair. So if there was an iodine marker, it would always pretty much be zero. Okay. But I can actually look at your potassium levels and some of the other minerals and get a pretty good idea if you're someone who's iodine deficient and if you have a thyroid issue.
Hey Brittany, she says, 'Yay potassium.' I know Brittany also loves potassium just like me.
Then I can, you know, if you have that low potassium than I can tell that you're probably iodine deficient, especially when it's really bottomed out. When there is a severe iodine deficiency, usually that potassium, it's like, it's not even registering like the lab, the lowest number of the lab can report is one. So it'll say one, but then we'll have these little arrows. This basically means that it wasn't even detectable. What they have to report one. So those are all the things that can cause potassium deficiency. I would say a poor diet can also cause that not getting enough fruits and vegetables. And then, you know, even if you are eating a really healthy whole foods diet, just the fact that our soil tends to be more deficient and what Google tells you is in something is probably not actually true, right? If Google tells you, well, this, you know, like 200 milligrams of this has this much potassium in reality, it probably varies quite a bit depending on where that vegetable or fruit, was actually grown, right? Because it all depends on the soil that it's grown in and we know that our topsoil in North America especially has been pretty depleted. So if that's going to vary a lot as well.
Okay. So let's talk about symptoms. So if you were suffering from potassium deficiency, what might you be experiencing? So the number one thing is typically water retention. So you're kind of, you're bloated and you know, it's not weight, you know, it's not fat. It's like this water retention and woman might notice this in the week leading up to their period, you know, they gain a bunch of weight. More than likely it is water weight, right? And that is because potassium is what brings water into the cell and there are two oceans of water in the body. I like to think of these two oceans, there is what is inside the cell and what is outside the cell. So if you have potassium deficiency, you have nothing to bring that water into the cell, which means that when you drink water, it just hangs out outside the cell and bloats you and then you pee it out. So another sign that you might have potassium deficiencies that you don't retain your water well. So it's like you drink water, you pee it out, you just don't actually feel like you are retaining it and you constantly feel dehydrated even though you might be drinking eight glasses of water a day or more.
The other thing that you would likely experience is heart palpitations. So potassium is very much responsible for regulating the heart. So if potassium is deficient and sodium is in excess, which is really common, that will actually drive high blood pressure, you can get a lot of heart palpitations, pelt, pelt, palpitations. I'm probably totally butchering that word.
I'm terrible at pronouncing things. I always have to go on Google and just type it in and ask for the pronunciation because I'm always saying things wrong. People are always calling me out for it.
The other thing you would experience would be muscle cramps and spasms. So those little spasms that maybe you get in your eyebrow and your leg in your back, a lot of muscle cramping. That can be a sign that you might have potassium deficiency, thyroid issues if you have any thyroid issues at all. Hyperthyroid, hypo thyroid, Hashimoto's, I guarantee there's going to be a potassium issue. And then bone density issues and we kind of already discussed this, but potassium helps keep calcium in the bone. So, if you have low potassium then you might be struggling with Osteopenia, osteoporosis or just, you know, breaking your bones pretty easily.
So who is at the highest risks for potassium deficiency? Well, like I mentioned, I, we've kind of already went through this, but just to sort of reiterate this, are the people with thyroid issues. I would say that is the biggest, people who have Hashimoto's, hypothyroid or hyperthyroid, even graves' disease are going to be really at risk for low potassium. Anyone who's on hormonal birth control, the copper Iud is that risk for very low potassium. And then if you're someone who lives inland and North America so you don't live near the coast, you're not consuming fresh fish and seaweed or marinating your body in the sea, you're going to also be at risk for having potassium deficiency.
And you know, for me personally, like as you guys have probably heard me say over and over, like I struggled with chronic fatigue for so long, you know, my energy levels have been an issue for the past six years or probably even longer now. And potassium was a really big piece for me and it still is a really big piece for me. I always have to be super on top of my potassium levels because I'm copper toxic. I'm still dumping copper a year and a half after I initially started. And copper will help drive potassium out of the body. So I always need to be really on top of it. I have a huge need for potassium. Okay.
So the good news about potassium, is it, is the most well absorbed through the food, which is great. You don't necessarily need to take a supplement, although sometimes I do recommend a potassium supplement, especially when people are really deficient. But this one's actually a little bit new and I kind of hate to say this because I kind of fought it for a while and I hate to jump on this train but I'm jumping on celery juice. Okay. And so I know the medical medium guy, he's all over celery juice. Everyone's drinking their celery juice and I kind of thought it was a bit bunk until I actually started to research it and read into it. And then when I discovered how much potassium that celery juice actually has, I was blown away. It has probably one of the best profiles for potassium than any other food I've really seen. Okay.
So you want to, you obviously need a good juicer and you want to be juicing celery, but for a cup of celery juice you get almost 700 milligrams of potassium, which is really awesome. Okay. And so you need your 4,500 milligrams, you're going to get some of that from food, you're going to get some of that from, you know, sprinkling sea slat on your food or putting salt in your water. But, but that celery juice is actually a really, really good potassium support. I will warn you, it doesn't taste good. I started drinking it every morning and it, it actually, it does tend to make me feel even a bit nauseous, like the taste is really bad. So I've actually started adding it later in the day because first thing in the morning is just a little too much on my gut. So you may want to mix it with some other type of juice just because, yeah, I don't really think it tastes very good. And, the, the great thing about it is you get a lot of other minerals as well. The potassium has a really good sodium profile as well, and then on top of that it's a bitter food, so it's a bile stimulant as well. And I love bile. I think most of us need to be focusing on bile. I think a lot of reasons why people have thyroid issues, why people are fatigued is due to, a sluggish, toxic, thick, bile instead of that nice, thin, viscous. I don't think that's the right word, but a nice thin, like kind of easily movable, like watery, sort of bile, which is what we want. So celery juice as number one. Trying to get a cup in a day. I think it's really, really helpful.
Laura has a great question in the audience. She says, doesn't matter if you're taking out the fiber by juicing it? So don't think of the celery juice, Laura as a replacement for food. Think of it as a supplement. Okay. So, you know, just juicing. Yes. Like not having the fiber is going to be a big issue because we do need fiber. It's really important. It's important for detox, it's important for bowel movements. It's important for a gut bacteria, there's so many reasons we need fiber, so you still want to be consuming your cooked vegetables, you're three to four to six cups of vegetables a day, but you're using the celery juice more as a supplement, as an extra boost so you're not using it to replace. So hopefully that makes sense.
And then Jenny says, 'Hi Kendra, would you be able to touch on high potassium levels? I've been warned to watch how mine get with my kidneys tested high in the last few months.' So yeah, if you have a kidney disorder, you may have to be more concerned about potassium. Definitely, everyone's different and people who have a faster metabolic type do tend to have higher levels of potassium. So those are the type of people who probably don't want to take potassium. Remember that It is all, everyone's different. Right? And that's why I always like to work with hair mineral analysis testing. I know Jenny's in my membership, so she's probably either done the hair mineral analysis or we're waiting on results. We're going to do one soon, but for those of you who aren't in my membership, it's the best way to get access to the testing, it's a pretty low price point to be in the membership and then you can upgrade and get the hair mineral analysis because really in the end you do want to know your levels, but if you're someone who doesn't have kidney issues or any specific, yeah, like kidney disorder, kidney to disease, and then you have some of the issues we talked about, the hormonal birth control history, copper iud, the thyroid issues, then it's not going to be a big deal to use food as a support for your potassium. Your body does a really good job of regulating and if you have too much, typically the kidneys will just move it out. But of course if you do have, a kidney issue, then, maybe that's not happening as much. So you do want to be wearing obviously if you've been diagnosed with something like that.
Teresa says, 'Heart to the membership.' Yes, Teresa is one of my members. It's a great place, for, to work with me to connect with me and we actually have a pretty awesome group of ladies. I would say that they're all pretty bad ass and the support I see everyone giving each other just like makes me cry every single day.
Okay. And then Jenny says, 'I do add celery to my vitamix for smoothies to keep the fiber.' Yes. So you can do that as well. The reason I like a juicing is just because it's a really potent potassium hit versus having to consume all that fiber and getting full. You can just get a lot more bang for your buck from the juice.
The second way to increase potassium is coconut water. So I love coconut water, not only is coconut water, a great source of potassium, but it's a really good electrolyte replacement drink. I think the biggest concern that people have with the coconut water is that it has sugar in it, but I wouldn't worry too much about the sugar. This is a natural sugar. Yes. There are some coconut waters that have higher levels of sugar. Maybe because of the coconuts had been bred to produce higher levels of sugar, or there's sometimes added sugar sometimes. There's really weird things added into coconut water, but you just want a basic. I wish I could remember the brand of the stuff I've been buying. I really like it. It's, it comes from a Thai coconut. It's in a big grain long bought bottle. I can't remember the name of it, but, the other one I use is blue monkey. I do like blue monkey. And, yeah, you just want to make sure it's straight up coconut water and there's nothing else added. I don't worry too much about the added sugar because it is natural and the minerals that you get from coconut water are awesome. So if you're someone who uses the sauna, if you're someone who likes to exercise and sweat a lot, coconut water is something you should take for a mineral replacement drink. It would take the place of something like Gatorade, right? Like obviously don't drink gatorade, drink coconut water. That's what I would say. But I really love coconut water. You're someone who does struggle with really low potassium. I would, you can drink up to a liter of coconut a day. There are some days where I'll drink a full liter of coconut water in a day.
'What about coconut water with high ammonia levels?' So I'm not super familiar with that. Emily. I don't actually, I'm not super familiar with ammonia being in coconut water. I would think that it shouldn't be in coconut water. I would say good quality organic coconut water shouldn't have high ammonia.
And then the third way that I like to support potassium is with nettle. And nettle is comes from stinging nettle, but when it's dry it into a tea, loses that stinging quality so you don't have to worry about that. But you can brew like an infusion. And that actually is a really great way to support potassium as well. And I actually have combined coconut water, so like three parts, coconut water to one part nettle in the summer and made this cold drink and actually really like it. So that's a really good way to support potassium as well.
Ellen says, 'If you were to take potassium, what would a potassium supplement?' So I wouldn't take citrate. The only supplement I found that I like. I haven't right here. It's the designs for health, K Plus 2 potassium and this one is actually a mixture. It's a mixture of bicarbonate and glycinate and this is the only one I found that I like that I think is a high quality well absorbed form. I don't, I wouldn't use it as your only way to support potassium if you have low potassium because three of these is only giving you about, I think you're getting about 900 milligrams. So it's good. I take this every day. I'm someone who's very copper toxic and so I need to be really on top of my potassiums. I do take a potassium supplement. This is the only one I've found so far. There is actually one other, but I found it really hard to get, premier labs makes the HCL activator and that's just comes from potassium foods. But basically it's just potassium foods. So I prefer to support potassium with food. It's better tolerated.
Laura says, 'I love nettles. Nettle infusion. Two thumbs up.' That's great.
Emily says, 'High blood ammonia from infections.' Yeah. So certain infections that consume protein will produce ammonia. I don't see coconut water and ammonia really being an issue. Like if you have high ammonia levels from infections, I would say you can still consume the coconut water. I had several infections that do tend to produce ammonia as a byproduct. Drink lots of coconut water. I don't think it's an issue.
Marion says, 'How can you make coconut water tastes better? I have a hard time getting it down.' So that's funny because I actually love the way it tastes. I love it. I'm obsessed with. I think it tastes great. Marion, I would just say that, maybe it's just a brand thing. I find depending on where the coconuts are being grown or where they come from, they have a bit of a different flavor. So you may just want to experiment with different brands of coconut water to see if you find one that you like or if you really just don't like it and some people just aren't into it. Right? It's a, it's a palette thing. I would stick to, nettle, I would try celery juice or you can even do coconut milk. The only thing I don't love about coconut milk is it comes from an aluminum cans. So there is that, you know, whatever the can is lined with. I never liked that. But you can do a coconut milk because it has about the same potassium profile as, a coconut water.
Jenny says, 'Smoothies.' So that's actually a really good, good recommendation is put it into a smoothie.
'In the US, we have pineapple, pineapple, coconut water. It's fabulous.' That's awesome Ellen.
Awesome. I love how stoked everyone is about coconut water right now. And Potassium. This is like my favorite group of people ever. I talk about potassium so much because the truth is, with potassium, it is the hardest mineral to raise. It can take time, especially when you have other things working against you, like high copper, high sodium, iodine deficiency, adrenal issues, that sort of thing. All of these can affect your potassium.
Theresa says, 'Can you make coconut water?' So you don't actually need to make it, you just need to break open a coconut. When I was in Costa Rica in, when was I there in November, I was literally just buying coconuts and I was using a, a wine opener, a corkscrew and I was just drilling into the coconut and then drinking it. And it was actually amazing, like even though it was getting all the coconuts from the same place, the difference in how they all tasted actually range quite a bit. So I think the taste of coconut water really depends on the coconuts and each individual coconut and where it's coming from. Okay.
So I think that's all I got. Anyone in the audience who's on me on with me on facebook live right now, just let me know if you have any more questions. I'm happy to answer them. I'm going to throw these into the show notes. If you guys want to connect with me, if you want more for me, you can grab my free high energy checklist with my five non negotiable tips for getting more energy or if you want to work with me, the best way to do that is in my high on energy membership program. Bunch of people we have here in the audience are members. And in that program we help you get more energy. We support you with regular group coaching calls and we give you access to the functional testing that helps us get the information we need to customize a protocol specifically for you because you know, I believe in testing and not guessing.
Alright guys, thank you so much. Remember that we go live on the facebook page for High on Energy TV every Tuesday. And the podcast gets released every Thursday. So I will see you guys in one week for the next episode. And thanks guys. Thanks so much for being here. Love you all. And I'll talk to soon.