STRONG QUESTION Number 1: “What are your thoughts on Keto Diet? Just curious as I started it and so far working pretty well, low carb and limited veggies.” Great question! I’ll do my best to answer succinctly-if you want more info I would get on poliquingroup.com or marksdailyapple.com and do q quick search for “keto diet”. A ketogenic (or keto) diet is one in which you seriously restrict your daily carbs to less than 50 grams per day or 5-10% of your total daily calories. For reference, a low carb diet can be defined as 10-25% of daily calories and a moderate carb diet can be defined as 26-45% of daily calories.Keto diets have been around for a while, but seem to really be getting popular these days. There’s some real technical science behind it, but basically a keto diet works when you limit carbs, and to a certain extent protein, so that your blood glucose levels fall. Stored triglycerides (fat) are broken down into free fatty acids, which are then turned into ketones in the liver. The body is able to utilize these ketones for fuel. A keto diet can help you lose fat (since you have to break down stored fat to manufacture ketones), help with energy and performance (your body has enough fat to supply tens of thousands of calories whereas stored glycogen-basically sugar stored in the muscles and liver-is roughly 2400 calories) and may help with cognitive function.The cons of a keto diet include a high level of adherence difficulty, the one to two week adaptation phase, possible muscle loss if protein is restricted and heavy weights are not lifted during a keto diet, and the fact that energy production is a slower than other energy systems (ie a keto diet would work better for an endurance athlete than for a soccer player).So what are my thoughts? I think the keto diet has the potential to work very well for a broad spectrum of people, especially those of us who tend to be more sedentary. Would I recommend a keto diet? For most people, no. I find that diets this restrictive are super tough to follow. You can have the perfect diet, but if it’s too hard to follow and people quit it, it’s less effective than a more typical, balanced diet. I still believe strongly in a balanced, moderate carb diet where 40% of your calories are coming from carbs (and these should be high fiber carbs), 30% from protein and 30% from fats. These guidelines are realistic to follow, they still reset your metabolic machinery to be less reliant on a steady supply of quick sugars (most athletes find they have more energy while consuming less total calories and less carbs), and you can get some amazing results you can stick with long term (think 3-5% body fat loss in 6 weeks). And while you need to be smart about your carbs, they aren’t the “evil” some people make them out to be, especially when you commit to proper timing and eat most of your carbs pre and post workout.HAVE A QUESTION FOR ME? MAKE SURE IT’S “STRONG” AND SEND IT MY WAY!