The Simple Weight Loss Equation (…If You’re Counting Calories You Have to Read This)

simple weight loss

Last week in my Alkaline Base Camp membership, one of our members asked:

question from the alkaline base camp: if I want to lose weight should I be worried about calories

Great question and she’s on the right lines in one way – the alkaline approach will remove unwanted body fat faster than you could ever imagine…


Losing weight has absolutely nothing to do with calories.

This could be a surprise for many because it’s what we’ve been told for years and years. Eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. Right?


Absolutely wrong and more likely to cause weight GAIN.

This is most people’s definition of ‘dieting’: eating fewer calories than you burn. And in that definition ‘dieting’ is a proven path to weight gain.

In a study of 854 people who were using calorie restriction to lose weight, the research found only 4.6% of them successfully lost weight – and kept it off in the long term.

It shocks me that even today when we know SO much more about how the body works than ever, we are so much more nutritionally aware than even five years ago, but if you look at most mainstream media, magazines, TV shows and so-called ‘weight loss gurus’, they’re all still talking about weight loss like it’s the 1980’s.

Losing weight has nothing to do with calories.

It has EVERYTHING to do with the foods you put into your body and how your body has to respond to deal with them.

The Two Types of Food (Read: Very Important)

There are two types of food:

  1. Foods that put the body into a reactive state where it has to deal with the food, process it and recover from it
  2. Foods that your body can USE, that contain the macronutrients and building blocks it needs to replenish and thrive

For food type #1 think: sugar, grains, refined foods, trans-fats, sweets, breads, pastries, fast foods, junk foods, sweeteners, desserts, chips…(i.e. acidic, inflammatory, oxidising, blood-sugar spiking, hormone-depleting foods – yep the most acid forming foods)

For food type #2 think: fresh foods, natural foods, vegetables, low-sugar fruits, nuts, seeds, oils & healthy fats, salads, leaves (i.e. alkaline, anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich, high water content foods like these)

THIS is the only rule you need to remember for weight loss (and for all health in general).

If you eat predominantly from group TWO you will get amazing energy, vitality, your immune system will be strong and you’ll look and feel amazing.

Eat from group ONE and you’ll be putting your body under enormous pressure, forcing it to have to deal with the onslaught of toxins, sugars, and unnatural, unhealthy substances. It will have to constantly process, deal with, and protect you from these foods.

It’s the pressure of dealing with these foods on an ongoing basis that leads to disease, weight gain, fatigue and more.

Note: your body CAN cope with you eating from group 1 for a long time. It HAS to. You won’t die from eating a chocolate bar tomorrow. Your body goes to extraordinary lengths to protect you in the short term (so you don’t die right away) but it does this with zero regards for the long term.

The symptoms of the disease you see (such as weight gain, arthritis, skin conditions, fatigue, IBS, gout, type 2 diabetes, loss of libido, eczema, rosacea, poor memory, autoimmune conditions and so on) – these are the physical outcome of your body dealing with this pressure – this is the long-term cost of your body constantly processing these poor foods in the short term (you can read more about this here)

But what about calories?

The calorie approach is insanely flawed. Let’s look at a few examples to explain this:

Example 1: Diet Soda

Diet soda has zero calories. Is this, therefore, good for weight loss?


It’s a case of big food valuing a marketing message (money) over their consumer’s health.

To get to zero calories, they use artificial sweeteners and chemicals such as aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k, or sucralose. Their target market values zero calories and so the food companies use whatever it takes to get there – regardless of the knock-on effect on the consumer’s health.

These substances have been heavily proven to increase the likelihood of weight gain.

The 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study in 2005 showed that drinking diet soft drinks hugely increased the likelihood of serious weight gain. On average, for each diet soft drink the subjects in the study drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.

And in this study in the journal Appetite the researchers found that saccharin and aspartame both cause greater weight gain than sugar.

And in this 2005 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed in a two-year-long study of 166 school children that diet soda consumption is associated with a much higher BMI.

And finally, in this study from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Athersclorosis, daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 36% greater relative risk of incident metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater relative risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with non-consumption.
So many people try to reduce calories by having ‘zero-calorie’ diet soda – and all they are doing is stuffing their blood sugar response, ruining their insulin response, filling their digestive system with inflammatory chemicals, forcing their body into emergency buffering of the strong acidity of the artificial sweeteners and flavorings and filling up on free-radical-creating, cell-destroying oxidants.

This is evidence #1 that calorie counting is utter nonsense.

Example 2: Coconut Oil

The saturated fats from coconut oil are absolutely critical to the proper functioning of practically every area of our body.

People are still petrified of saturated fats due to the long-discredited study that kicked off the public fear, Ancel Key’s incredibly flawed 1958 study called the “Seven Countries Study”. It’s been absolutely rubbished ever since (Keys basically only used data from the countries that supported his theory, a process that is known as cherry-picking – but also makes it super easy to critique when the supporting data is available – bad luck Keys).

However, because by the time it had been figured out the ‘low-fat’ industry had become a multi-billion dollar industry – megabucks went into perpetuating the myth.

And so here we are now, almost 60-years on and only just realizing that low-fat is a terrible idea.

For a start, the saturated fats in coconut oil have been proven to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol (we also found out not all cholesterol is bad and in fact, the body NEEDS good cholesterol to protect against disease – i.e. don’t go on a low-cholesterol diet either).

And when it comes to weight loss/gain, coconut oil, and saturated fats are vitally important. The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in saturated fats

Coconut oil has been proven to speed the metabolism, reduce appetite, increase fat burning, and also in reducing visceral fat.

In one study with 40 female participants, a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference was found when they supplemented with just 30ml of coconut oil per day.

And in another study with 20 obese males there was a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day.
These two studies are just quick examples of a plethora of studies showing the same. Adding coconut oil to the diet adds a dense source of calories AND increases weight loss and improves health.

And you remember the study mentioned earlier about how diets don’t work in the long term? Well, in a study published in the journal Obesity, 891 subjects were monitored over their weight loss journey. The researchers found that those on a higher fat diet WERE able to successfully to lose weight and maintain it over time.

Cutting those calorie-dense fats DIDN’T work for everyone else. They all regained the weight and then some. But the fat eaters (note: they were eating saturated and healthy fats, not a lot of trans and hydrogenated fats) DID lose weight AND keep it off.


[Follow me on Instagram here @liveenergized]

My buddy Dr Josh Axe calls calorie counting the ‘flat earth theory of weight loss’ and I couldn’t agree more. That is a perfect way to explain it.

The Four REAL Reasons People Gain Weight (Not to Do With Calories)

When it comes to weight gain there are four key areas to focus on and none of them involve calories:

1) Protect Your Weight Loss/Gain Hormones – THESE Hormones Are the Key To Whether You Will Successfully Lose Weight For The Long-Term:

Ghrelin & Leptin.

Remember those two words.

Keeping those two hormones balanced is THE key to keeping your weight at your perfect, ideal level.

Any discussion on the role of hormones can quickly get confusingly complex, so let’s keep this simple with a super-quick overview:

Ghrelin is a hormone produced by specialized cells that line the stomach and the pancreas. It rises before meals and falls right after and it is responsible for letting you know whether you are hungry, how hungry, and for how long.

When someone has a diet that is high in inflammatory, acidic foods – heavy in chemicals, toxins, sugars, grains, sweeteners, etc, the knock-on effect of this is disarray in hormone production.

With this type of diet, ghrelin production increases dramatically. It is like a snowball effect. The more weight you gain, the more ghrelin you will produce.

This makes you feel hungry all the time.

Leptin, on the other hand, tells your brain when you have enough food in your stomach i.e. it lets you know you’re full.

The simple fact is, in order for you to gain weight, you must first become leptin resistant. Leptin resistance blocks the sensation of being full, making you eat more than you need at every meal (which is more frequent because of the increased ghrelin production telling you that you’re hungry all of the time!)

Because the body produces leptin based on body fat percentage – the more fat you have, the more leptin you will produce. It’s a vicious cycle.

Overweight and obese people, therefore, tend to become “leptin-resistant,” and leptin resistance blocks the sensation of being full, making you eat more than you need.

And as mentioned, once this is out of whack, your ghrelin production will be overstimulated, making you hungry more quickly and more often.

Being hungry more often and not feeling full when you eat is a rapid-fire combo to weight gain.

The main three points to remember here are:

1. Ghrelin controls when you feel hungry, how often, and for how long.
2. Leptin controls when you are feeling full and satisfied
3. BUT – both hormones can be controlled naturally through diet and lifestyle

It’s important to note that ghrelin and leptin are both influenced by stress levels (there are correlations with cortisol production) and sleep. For example, in this 2004 study, researchers found that those getting 5 hours of sleep per night had a 15.5% lower leptin level, while ghrelin increased by 14.9% compared to those getting 8 hours a night.

So it’s essential you take a holistic view of looking after yourself! Sleep and stress are as important as any food!

2) Being Overweight Is An Acidic State (and Why Going Alkaline Will Get You to Your Ideal, Perfect Body Shape)

Being overweight is shown to directly be a symptom of diet-induced acidosis. When you eat a predominantly acid-forming diet there are serious consequences for your weight.

When you eat acid-forming foods over a long period of time and put your body into a state of diet-induced acidosis, this wreaks havoc on your digestive system, liver, kidneys, and more.

Remember, the body will do whatever it takes in the short term to maintain your pH as close to pH 7.365 as possible.

You will not get more acid or alkaline – your pH will not change outside of a small range – your body HAS to tightly regulate this. And it’s this regulation that causes the damage.

And being in this constant battle to keep the pH at this delicate balance, this being in this state of emergency all day long is what is known as diet-induced low-grade acidosis. And this is where the damage happens.

When the body has to constantly buffer this acidosis here are just a few of the consequences:

  1. Mineral Imbalances & Deficiencies: we have evolved with a small acid buffering system. It was big enough to buffer our natural acidity produced by our metabolism and that’s it.

    When we were hunter-gatherers (yep, Paleo times) we didn’t ingest acid-forming foods, so we have not evolved with the capacity to buffer the acids of colas, sweets and so on.

    So nowadays when we’ve finished up with our pizza, chips, and beer our body’s acid buffering capacity is already worn out by the first mouthful of stuffed crust. After that it goes into an emergency state to buffer the acidity, pulling alkaline minerals from wherever it can (such as calcium and magnesium from the bones, magnesium from other soft tissues, potassium from your blood and other cells).

    The knock-on effect of this can be devastating and directly contribute to a considerably weakened immune system, weaker bones, conditions of chronic fatigue, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and several cancers.

  2. Excess Acidic Toxins Increase Stored Fat to Protect Your Organs:

    The body can only process so much acidity, as noted above, and the toxins created either directly from the ingestion of these acid-forming foods and drinks and/or from the result of the processing these foods have to be either eliminated from the body or stored safely away where they can’t cause harm.

    You can see the attempted elimination of these toxins in acidic folks with symptoms such as allergies, excess mucous, skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, poor bowel movements (heh, that’s hopefully not one you can see!) and so on.

    This is the first port of call for the body. After it exhausts the ability to eliminate it then has to store, and it does this first by sending the acid build-up to the extremities or joints that are furthest from your vital organs (hello gout), and then it binds them up and stores them in fat around your waist, buttocks, and thighs.

    And yes, when you start to move towards a more natural, healthy alkaline diet your body then gets the message that it’s ok to eliminate these toxins now and so the fat melts away with it.

  3. Virtually Zero Nutrient Absorption:
  4. this is a scary one, and it contributes heavily towards weight gain of course but also a serious number of serious conditions – as you can imagine. When we ingest a lot of acid-inducing foods and drinks the yeasts, sugars and bacterias produced in the digestion of these foods clogs and blocks the digestive system to the point where the small intestine is not able to extract the nutrients from the foods we consume.

    In the small intestine, there are gazillions of tiny finger-like protrusions called microvilli that dramatically increase the surface area of the small intestine – and it’s these little fingers that help squeeze and extract all of the goodness from your foods. But in a state of long-term acidosis the walls of the small intestine, and these microvilli, get impacted and clogged down with undigestible matter, yeast and bacterias.

    This is the #1 symptom of candida.

    As you can imagine, when you are no longer absorbing the majority of the nutrients you consume, your body is even further unable to deal with the acids in the diet, and the accumulation of visceral fat is dramatically increased.

And then there is cortisol…

In numerous studies, diet-induced acidosis has been proven to lead to a state of heightened cortisol (your stress hormone).

In this study from 2005, Acid–base balance may influence risk for insulin resistance syndrome by modulating cortisol output the researchers found that metabolic acidosis from eating an acid-forming diet evoked an increase in cortisol production, and that cortisol promotes the development of visceral obesity, negatively impacts insulin function and thus increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

And in this 2012 study, the researchers stated that:

Acidogenic diets, which are typically high in animal protein and salt and low in fruits and vegetables, can lead to a sub-clinical or low-grade state of metabolic acidosis…Acidosis associated insulin resistance through cortisol activity may result in compensatory pancreatic insulin secretion and higher levels of circulating insulin in the serum, a condition known as hyperinsulinemia.

They also found that being in a long-term state of acidosis increased cortisol, which then caused high levels of insulin.

An acidic diet puts your body in a constant state of weight gain, with multiple factors all pulling you in that direction. Poor nutrient absorption, the need to store toxins in more fat, high inflammation leading to fat over-production, and the increase in cortisol leading to insulin resistance – it’s a recipe for disaster, and it actually snowballs and gets worse and worse the more it continues.

3) Ongoing Inflammation WILL Cause Weight Gain

Inflammatory foods such as wheat and grains, sugar, refined foods, and packaged foods spike blood sugar like nothing else.

And when there is high blood sugar, insulin is released by the pancreas, and the higher the blood sugar the more insulin must be released.

And if you trigger high blood sugars repeatedly, the accompanying overproduction of insulin will lead to huge and rapid production of visceral fat accumulating around your abdomen.

And the bigger your belly (i.e. the more visceral fat), the poorer your response to insulin, and the result is that higher and higher insulin levels are demanded, creating a vicious cycle.

Remember, nothing provokes high blood sugar like wheat, grains, and sugar in the diet.

This is when things start to get really bad. When visceral fat accumulates, the flood of inflammatory signals it produces dramatically increases, causing the body to respond much less effectively to insulin.

This so-called insulin resistance means that the pancreas must produce even more insulin to metabolize high blood sugar.

Eventually, a vicious circle of high blood sugar increased insulin resistance, increased insulin production, increased visceral fat, leading to more increased insulin resistance, more visceral fat, more insulin production…and so on…leaving you fat, sick, and chronically fatigued.

When we get into this cycle, we ultimately lose the ability to access our body’s biggest source of energy – fat.

Remember, fat is our biggest source of energy and high insulin levels remove our ability to burn body fat. Not only will you store considerably more fat, but you won’t be able to access it for energy anymore – meaning you will retain it. The presence of insulin in the blood inhibits the breakdown of body fat into free fatty acids for energy production.

Normally we switch between fat burning and glucose burning whenever and however it’s needed. But when you are living with constantly elevated insulin your body will be desensitized to this and fat will no longer be a source of energy and fuel.

The sheer volume of insulin eventually damages the pancreas and leads to even greater volumes of visceral body fat and the cycle continues, leaving you with chronic fatigue and a host of inflammation-based illnesses.

4) When Your Count/Restrict Calories You Go Into Starvation Mode

And when you are in ‘starvation mode’ your body is programmed to store as much fat as possible.

This is an absolute evolutionary fact.

It’s why people who starve themselves for that wedding, holiday or special event end up piling the weight back on and more when they start eating their normal diet again.

When you lower your calorie intake to a level of ‘starvation’ your cells detect low levels of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is the chemical energy that powers your cells and is formed from a combination of all macronutrients that you eat, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

These macronutrients get converted to ATP that keeps the body functioning normally, so a low level of ATP production will send signals to the brain that something isn’t right.

The first reaction is that your energy levels drop considerably and your blood sugar gets knocked out of whack.

Your body will use any foods that you’ve recently eaten and are still in the body for as long as possible, but once these are gone your body the body begins to detect that it’s experiencing starvation and uses lean tissue and muscle fibers as an energy source instead of stored fat!

To try to keep your fuel levels at an acceptable level the body will then sacrifice amino acids from your muscle tissue, leaving you with a slowed down metabolic rate, huge sugar cravings, and distorted levels of the ghrelin and leptin hormones we talked about above. Extreme, low-calorie diets cause more resistance to leptin and more secretion of ghrelin – totally the opposite of what you would want!

How to Reverse These, Quickly Release the Weight & Feel ALIVE!

The three steps I’m about to show you are not the whole, complete enchilada. They are the three steps that will give you the biggest bang for your buck, with the least effort needed and the fastest result.

Of course, there is more to the whole picture than this – but these three steps will massively move you in the right direction.

The Three Changes to Sustainably Melt Body Fat & Unlock Your Energy

1) Cut Sugar

This is the obvious first step. A calorie from sugar is not the same as a calorie from fat. As Damon Gameau documented in ‘That Sugar Film‘ – you can eat the exact same amount of calories in a high-fat, low sugar diet as in a ‘Standard American Diet’ of high sugar and low fat and gain considerable amounts of weight.

Sugar is sugar, whether it’s from fructose, glucose, sucrose, or any other “-ose”. It all causes huge acidity, inflammation, blood-sugar spikes, insulin resistance, leptin, and ghrelin imbalances and thus rapidly creates visceral fat.

You can and have to cut it out.

BUT, I know this can be a challenge.

In my guide ‘How to Banish Sugar Cravings‘ I give you a step-by-step plan to doing this, and I strongly recommend you check it out.

My key beliefs about kicking sugar are that there are two streams you have to tackle:

  1. The big, known contributors: sodas, sweets, chocolates, ice creams, treats, adding sugar to drinks, jams and so on
  2. The hidden secret sources: this is where sugar is hidden in foods such as cereals, spreads, sauces, yogurts, dressings, dips, ‘healthy’ muesli bars and so on
  3. [Note, according to Mercola, most baby formulas in the USA contain the equivalent sugar to a can of cola!]

    These should be tackled separately because they are being consumed for very different reasons.

    The first group – the big known sugars – are consumed largely emotionally (i.e. really craving a chocolate bar), whereas the second group is consumed functionally, for convenience (i.e. I’ll use this jar of bolognese sauce rather than make my own from scratch).

    The second group needs far less willpower, just more effort. To fix the second group you basically have to stop buying packaged, processed foods and convenience foods and start making it from scratch. This will eliminate a LOT of sugar from your diet.

    Considering women should not consume more than 25g of sugar per day and men 36g (note: this is the absolute max, not an ok amount you shouldn’t go over – this is the absolute most your body should have to tolerate), it’s shocking to see the sugar content of these everyday foods:

    – salad dressing: 7g per serve
    – pasta sauce: 12g per serve
    – yogurt: 8-10g sugar (fat-free can contain up to 20g of sugar per serve!)
    – muesli bars: generally between 8-14g – some are worse: the Eat Natural Brazil Nut & Sultana bar contained 19.4g!
    – all-natural, no added sugar jam: 12-15g per serve
    – fruit juice: a 330ml serve contains 39g sugar

    As you can see, from just these few examples (it is found everywhere when you start looking at packaged foods – bread, dips, drinks, alcohol, even sauces like Worcester sauce have it!), it’s SO easy to go way over the max sugar recommendation before you even start adding known sources like sugary snacks and treats.

    And a note on fruit..

    Fruit contains fructose, which is as bad as any other sugar. It just is. Fruit really should be kept to 1-2 serves per day of in season fruit.

    You still have to stay under your daily recommended sugar amount, even if that includes fruit.

    And as an example, here are a few fruits with their sugar content:

    – Banana: 7.1g
    – 1 Date: 7.7g
    – Pear: 11.8g
    – Pineapple (1/4): 9.7g
    – Orange: 6.7g

    And it is VITAL that you don’t juice the fruit. When fructose is consumed without fiber it’s effects on the body are really quite damaging. You really have to eat the whole fruit. If you want to include a little fruit in a fresh vegetable juice, I really do recommend blending the fruit in afterward so you still get the fiber from the fruit.

    How to Tackle These Two Groups of Sugars

    I’ve grouped these two types of sugars (emotional and convenience) because they need slightly different approaches.

    The ‘convenience’ sugars, that have no level of willpower needed to avoid, and have no emotional connection to us should be cut right away. It’s not like we crave having that jar of store-bought pasta sauce or the muesli bar. These sugars should be watched out for and eliminated from day one, today. It is just a case of you needing slightly more prep time to replace these foods. They are convenient, pre-made, packaged, refined foods that not only contain these hidden sugars but also preservatives and likely oftentimes also chemical flavorings and additives.

    For the ’emotional’ sugars – from chocolates, sugary snacks, treats, etc. I believe the best way is to approach it bit by bit. Work out which of these is your BIG one – the one that contributes the lion’s share of the sugar to your daily life and then work out a plan to transition away from it over time.

    Definitely have something you can replace it with – there is nothing worse than just a big void where you used to have that soda or chocolate staring back at you. Find something you can have there instead. And give yourself a month, or at least a fortnight to transition away from it.

    For instance, if you’re currently having 4 cans of soda a day, then week one you just cut down to 3 cans, then 2 cans in week two, then 1 can a day in week 3, and so on.

    But again, having the substitute is critical.

    For tips on how to make this transition smooth like Lionel Richie – check out my 10 Ways to Banish Sugar Cravings Forever guide here.

    [And here’s some more help: guides from the awesome Dr Mark Hyman, the wonderful Dr Frank Lipman and the ever-resourceful Leo Babauta]

    2) Cut Grains

    For years we’ve been told grains are good for us.

    It’s not true.

    Absolutely not true.

    There is irrefutable scientific evidence to suggest that grains cause inflammation, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, brain conditions such as depression and Alzheimer’s, IBS and chronic digestive issues, fatigue conditions such as Fibromyalgia, skin conditions and more.

    So why have we been continually told to keep on eating it 3 times a day? Why is it the largest part of the food pyramid? Why do whole grain products get the tick of approval from health bodies?

    For 14-days I challenge you to put all preconceptions about grains aside and try a grain-free fortnight.

    Wheat and grains spike blood sugar like nothing else – more than eating a chocolate bar, drinking a soda, eating a cake, or sneaking a cookie (source).

    Why? Wheat contains a “super carbohydrate” called amylopectin A – and this carb drives your blood sugar very high, very, very quickly.

    Remember, if you’re on anything like a standard Western diet, 70% of your food consumption either is grain-based – and therefore you’re consuming a LOT of amylopectin A.

    When there is high blood sugar, insulin is released by the pancreas, and the higher the blood sugar the more insulin must be released.

    In this study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants were given a diet of 70% amylose or 70% amylopectin. Those on the amylopectin diet had higher glucose and insulin responses after a meal – not good.

    If you trigger high blood sugars repeatedly, the accompanying overproduction of insulin will lead to huge and rapid production of visceral fat accumulating around your abdomen (this has it’s own, related fatigue effect which we will get onto in a few minutes).

    And the bigger your belly (i.e. the more visceral fat), the poorer your response to insulin, and the result is that higher and higher insulin levels are demanded, creating a vicious cycle.

    Remember, nothing provokes high blood sugar like wheat.

    This is when things start to get really bad. When visceral fat accumulates, the flood of inflammatory signals it produces causes the body to respond much less effectively to insulin.

    This so-called insulin resistance means that the pancreas must produce even more insulin to metabolize high blood sugar.

    Eventually, a vicious circle of high blood sugar increased insulin resistance, increased insulin production, increased visceral fat, leading to more increased insulin resistance, more visceral fat, more insulin production…and so on…leaving you fat, sick, and chronically fatigued.

    When we get into this cycle, starting with the consumption of wheat (and the amylopectin A) that causes the high blood sugar, we ultimately lose the ability to access our body’s biggest source of energy – fat.

    Remember, fat is our biggest source of energy and high insulin levels remove our ability to burn body fat.

    When you eat mostly wheat and grains (as we’ve been told to by our government, food pyramid and ‘healthy’ authorities), your body becomes resistant to insulin’s effects and so more and more has to be created with each whole wheat sandwich, a bowl of pasta, serve of rice and so on.

    The sheer volume of insulin eventually damages the pancreas and leads to even greater volumes of visceral body fat and the cycle continues, leaving you with chronic fatigue and a host of inflammation-based illnesses.

    This blood sugar DROP is the instant hormonal reaction that gives you the sudden feelings of fatigue and the need for sleep, alongside the irresistible hunger as the body tries to protect you from the dangers of low blood sugar.
    …which then leads to a craving for more grains and carbs to spike that blood sugar up again…!

    [Other Great Info: 3 Ways Wheat is Giving You a Belly by Josh Axe, Breaking Up with Grain by William Davis MD and this is Dr David Perlmutter’s list of gluten free grains (author of Grain Brain)

    The best way to give up grains is to work out which to substitute with ‘gluten-free foods’ and which to swap with a naturally gluten-free alternative.

    For instance, if I would have previously cooked with pasta I can choose to use a packaged gluten-free pasta* or I can swap for different food to have such as rice or quinoa.

    And where I’d normally have cous-cous I would have cauliflower rice or quinoa.

    Instead of regular gluten-containing cereals, you can have oats. Instead of bread you can have gluten-free wraps, or make your own gluten-free bread.

    When you think about it – most of our gluten consumption comes from pasta, bread, and cereals – and all three are REALLY easy to swap for non-grain foods.

    * note on packaged gluten-free foods. By and large, a lot of these are so processed and refined that they’re almost as bad as having gluten in the first place.

    Try to find brands that use as few ingredients as possible (in my local grocery store, for instance, there are two brands of GF pasta – one has about a dozen or so ingredients, and the other has three. Less is best). And try as much as possible to substitute in a natural grain-free alternative.

    For instance, we’ll often have lettuce wraps now such as these instead of buying a loaf of GF bread. It just makes sense – you are trying to cut the refined, processed foods from your life remember!

    3) Add Alkaline Forming Foods

    OK, so while the last two were about cutting stuff out – this one is easy because it’s all about adding good stuff in. This is where the real magic happens. The combo of releasing your body from the constant state of emergency caused by the low-grade, ongoing acidosis alongside you now following these next steps to add an abundance of the nourishing tools IN that your body can use to repair, rebuild and replenish….you’re going to be blown away by how amazing you can feel.

    Quick Reference Guides

    We’ve covered this briefly above, but here are some quick references for you:

    You can get my list of alkaline & acid forming foods here
    And here’s the 7 most alkaline forming foods
    And of course the 7 most acid forming foods to avoid

    How to Make it EASY to Get Alkaline Foods IN

    Tip #1: Juices & Smoothies

    Having a fresh alkaline juice or smoothie every day (or 4-5 times a week) is hands down the single most powerful way to get an abundance of alkaline foods into your daily life.

    A decent alkaline veggie juice/smoothie will deliver 4-5 serves of greens direct into your body.

    It really does only take 5-10 minutes per day to prep, wash, chop, juice/blend, and clean up.

    And you can make 2 serves at a time so you could have one today and one tomorrow – so you only need to do the hard part every other day (making it 2-5 minutes a day on average!).

    Here’s some recipe ideas for you:


    + The Alkaline PowerHouse Juice
    + The Fat Flushing Juice
    + The Kidney Rejuvenating Juice

    And here’s my list of 8 unusual ingredients to make your green drink awesome!


    + The Energy-Doubling Smoothie
    + The Fill-You-Up-Til-Lunch Smoothie
    + The Anti-Inflammation Smoothie

    get the alkaline recipe book here

    Tip #2: Side Salads with Every Meal

    This is one of my favorite tips. Basically it involves you having the same meal you’d have normally had for your lunch or dinner and simply adding a side salad that you HAVE to finish.

    It can be as simple as two big handfuls of spinach, arugula, lettuce or a combination, dressed with some lemon and olive oil. That could be it. Takes 30 seconds to prepare. If you like you could also add other salad items, but starting with just the leaves there is no excuse. Anyone can do this.

    If you have a side salad at lunch and at dinner that would be an additional 2-3 serves of green foods every day!

    Tip #3: Sauces & Dressings

    Having delicious sauces and dressings available is the insider’s tip, the secret trick to making the alkaline diet easy and delicious.

    Just imagine – you are eating all of your normal, favorite meals, without having to give it a second’s though…yet you’re still getting alkaline.

    This is what ALKALINE SAUCES & DRESSINGS do for your life!

    You can use them to dress foods, as a pasta sauce, a curry sauce, in lasagne, in soups, on salads, with meats…anywhere!

    In my guide here I take you through three delicious alkaline sauces/dressings that will add a whole lotta raw, alkaline veggies to your day.

    Tip #4: Sneaking Veggies In

    I have a huge big guide on this here, but these are my top three faves:

    1. Shave a Head of Broccoli into Dinner:

    Heh, I love this one. This is such a sneaky one.

    All you have to do is take a head of broccoli and quite literally just run a knife over it to shave the tiny little bits of broccoli into any salad, sauce, pasta dish, soup, veggie dish, casserole – ANYTHING!

    what shaved broccoli looks like

    Again, from my photo serves of each of the most alkaline veggies – this is how much a ‘serve’ of broccoli is:

    Not a lot – and you can easily add this in. Plus of course, broccoli is just absolutely ridiculously good for you. Sweet.

    2. Blend into Soups:

    One of my current favourites and here’s how it works:

    Yep – you can easily add 2-3 extra serves of veggies per bowl with pretty much zero extra effort. Why wouldn’t you do this?

    3. Zoodles:

    This is a ridiculously great way to add vegetables – and raw ones at that – to your meal. It’s delicious, easy and I absolutely love it – simply spiralize zucchini (courgette), carrots, beetroot, squash, or sweet potato (although I find zucchini works best) and use this instead of regular pasta or noodles.

    You can get a pretty low-cost spiralizer on Amazon and you’re away – it’s just a smart move that I highly recommend.

    And even with no spiralizer you can still use a vegetable peeler like this:

    Again, there are a few recipes below, but I LOVE a raw tomato sauce on raw zoodles for a ridiculously nutritious, light, energizing lunch.

    Click here to get this recipe

    Tip #5: Have an Alkaline Breakfast

    Starting the day right is SO SUPER IMPORTANT. When you start the day right you are ten times more likely to carry on the day right. But when you start the day wrong, you are more likely to fall into that trap of thinking – oh well, today is a right off, I’ll try again tomorrow…

    If you’ve started the day right and you’re feeling awesome then you are much more likely to turn down the opportunity to have something naughty when given the chance.

    And so this is where alkaline breakfasts come in.

    Alkaline Base Camp Member Extra

    Access your ‘Alkaline Breakfast Menu Plan & Masterclass’ in The Alkaline Base Camp Members Portal

    Grab your 7-Day Alkaline Breakfast Menu, Recipes & Shopping List, plus full guide, video training & more in the portal.

    MEMBERS: Click here to access the Alkaline Breakfast Masterclass

    Not an Alkaline Base Camp member? Click here to learn more about the Alkaline Base Camp

    One of the concerns people have when they look at the ‘most alkaline foods’ chart is that they see lettuce, broccoli, spinach, kale etc and think “FOR BREAKFAST???”

    The fact is, with a little creativity you can most definitely have a breakfast that avoids the most acidic foods and at the same time is nicely alkaline, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant rich – and also pretty tasty.

    Think oats with coconut yoghurt, chia seed pots, avocado smash, quinoa porridge…there are heaps of options and here are a few delicious ones to get you started:

    + Chia-Infused Quinoa Porridge
    + Super Nutrient Breakfast Bowl
    + Scrambled Tofu Mega Brekkie


    Circling back to the start: we opened up debunking the calorie-counting approach to weight loss. Not only is accurate calorie counting and logging of calorie expenditure almost impossible, but it’s also scientifically a nonsense way of trying to lose weight.

    We proved that calorie counting is ineffective, and if pushed to the extreme that most calorie-restrictive diets push it – it actually leads to weight gain in the medium-to-long term. Calorie restricting puts your body into a state of ‘starvation’ where you will not lose accumulated fat, but rather muscle, and will program your body to cling on to fat and accumulate as much fat as possible at every given opportunity.

    We showed how weight gain is principally caused by acidification, inflammation, oxidation, and how we need to look after our body to regulate our hormones effectively – especially ghrelin, leptin, and cortisol. If these three hormones are out of whack then you will NOT lose weight (and starving one’s self will put them out of whack).

    Finally I gave you the actions to take above, and here’s what you need to do next:

    1. Stop Calorie Counting
    2. Don’t Fear Fats
    3. Cut Sugar
    4. Cut Grains
    5. And Add in Alkalinity

    By doing these five things, you will synergistically be removing acidity, oxidation, and inflammation from your body and adding in alkalinity, anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatory foods – while giving your body the cell-nourishing tools it needs to thrive, repair and replenish. You will unlock fat as a source of energy again and your body will receive the message that it no longer needs to bind up those toxins in the fat, it can let it all go.

    Your digestion will start to clear and heal and you’ll be absorbing so many more nutrients than you were before.

    Mental fog will lift as you remove grains from the diet (that are proven to mess with our brain, focus, and mental energy).

    The weight WILL drop, at a considerable rate, and for life.

    This is the long-term, sustainable weight loss plan.

    The only right way to count calories is to stop counting calories!


    PS. I hope you’ve loved this! If you appreciate this free guide, please do share it on Facebook! It would mean a lot to me.


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    Colditz GA, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, London SJ, Segal MR, Speizer FE.; Patterns of weight change and their relation to diet in a cohort of healthy women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Jun;51(6):1100-5. (source)

    Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florêncio TM. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601. doi: 10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6. Epub 2009 May 13. (source)

    Kai Ming Liau, Yeong Yeh Lee, Chee Keong Chen and Aida Hanum G. Rasool; An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity; ISRN Pharmacol. 2011; 2011: 949686. (source)

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    Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 May;20(5):435-44. (source)

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Ask Me a Question or Leave a Comment Here - I'd Love to Hear from You


  1. Pingback: Celery & Celery Juice: The Truth, the Benefits & the Research - Live Energized

  2. Jhoei Reply

    This is a good reading resource. Very interesting and contains a lot of details.

  3. Pingback: Alkaline Recipe #222: Perfect Weight Loss Breakfast Oats - Live Energized - My Journey Of Fat Loss

  4. Bianca Reply

    Thanks for so many information and detailed discussion about alkaline and diet myths. Another great article!

    • Angela Reply

      Are oats ok to eat? Or is it also a grain to be avoided?

      • ross Reply

        Unless you’re specifically carb-restricting, oats are alkaline and fine to eat

  5. Pingback: Alkaline Diet Explained and Your Plan to Make It Step-by-Step Easy

  6. Pingback: Complete Guide to Sugars, Sweeteners & Healthy Alternatives - Live Energized

  7. Pingback: 6 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When you Quit Sugar - Live Energized

  8. Manal Reply

    Finally some “sane” thoughts, it finally makes sense to me.
    Great article that i’ll definitely share — thanks again!

  9. Angela Reply

    Excellent article, logical well researched info. Shared on FB. Thank you!

  10. lesley Reply

    have been an avid follower for some time after having my gall bladder removed a few years back.Wish I had found you before that.
    my question is do I have to go easy on the coconut oil having no gall bladder

    thanks Lesley

  11. T K Reply

    Somehow my diet I formed for myself is nearly identical to what you have written, only I didn’t have all the Scientific Backing to support why I changed my ways of eating clean. The main difference between your recommendations is I eat more protiens from animal(Chicken, Grass fed beef, White Pork, Turkey, Tuna) than your suggestions, but every morning, I have a spinach/Kale/bok Choy/green Cabbage/celery/whey protien/cocunut milk smoothie, with about 10 almonds. I eliminated all sugars, processed foods, and grains and dairy, with the exception of some sour cream, and some cheese occasionally. I stick to meats that allow me to have more per serving that is lower calorie. I am 95% with you on your diet suggestion, only I do think if you are eating the right foods, lowering your daily intake of calories happens naturally, as you cant possible eat 4000 calories of vegatables and healthy meats on a daily basis. I was in great shape in my youth, and over the past 30 years I allowed myself to become morbidly obese. I started eating 100% clean on Jan 1st. I lost 47 pounds by slowing changing the way I eat week by week. I am always improving on the foods I eat. I even use the Cauliflower greens that are left over from when I making Cauliflower rice, and use those in my Smoothis. I chose the foods I eat because of the low calorie foods that allow you eat alot more are the healthy vegitables. I also on a daily basis drink homemade bone broth with added organic Gelatin, either cooked in with my foods, or I drink it similar to a tea. Sorry for the long background story, but I think it might be helpful for my question. I lift weights moderately hard 3 times a week, and I do moderate cardio for 25 minutes daily and go on 2 mile walks nightly. I am in my mid 40s, and my energy is returning, sleep is better and better with the more I lose.
    My biggest concern right now is that I am noticing acne forming on my body, and face area. Is this a side effect of years of bad eating trying to expel from my body, or is there something you would recommend that might be causing it? Maybe there is something that I am not watching for?

    • ross Reply

      Hi TK

      Firstly – congratulations – your efforts are awesome and you’re clearly getting the benefit of this – 47lbs in 3 months is fantastic – WELL DONE.

      The emergence of acne is almost definitely a detox/side-effect of you now releasing all of these toxins from your body. As mentioned in the guide above (easily missed – it is a long article!) one of the reasons that the body holds onto fat is to bind up the excess acidity/toxins that it can’t remove – so it binds it up in fat and stores it to protect your vital organs.

      Once you start to consume an abundance of clean, nourishing and detoxifying foods like you have, the body receives the signal that it is safe to now release those toxins to be expelled (and with it goes the fat – it’s one of the reasons we lose the body fat when we start eating well).

      The body only has a few mechanisms to eliminate these toxins – one of which is the skin. And if you’re exercising regularly this is AWESOME because you’re helping this process along rapidly as you’re able to sweat and breath deeply (another elimination mechanism is through breath) several times a week.

      BUT…the downside of this in the short term is the acne.

      This will clear up in no time, I am absolutely sure.

      Keeping hydration up will speed this too as it will increase the flushing of the toxins from your body and you may want to add a teaspoon of psyllium husks in 300ml of water per day to your diet too to speed along the cleansing of your digestive system.

      In short – this will go away in no time, as it’s just your body expelling the toxic build up from the previous years 🙂