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Sudden Hair Loss and Burning Itching Scalp

Not all hair loss is due to getting older or because it runs in the family. Sometimes people in their twenties and thirties experience sudden episodes of hair loss, and it can be quite worrying.

First, rule out that it isn’t any of the following:

  • recently having had a baby
  • recently having undergone extreme stress or trauma
  • chemotherapy
  • genetic reasons

Second, look into the following possibilities:

  • Iron and protein deficiency: For vegetarians/vegans and those on poor diets this can definitely be a factor. Iron in plant products is poorly absorbed unless taken with vitamin C. Chicken, fish, and eggs are low in iron. Red meat and/or liver are the most potent sources of it. For protein, if you’re getting less than 25 grams per day sedentary and 50 grams per day active, you’re at risk of protein deficiency.
  • Zinc deficiency, or a copper/zinc imbalance: Zinc deficiency will cause hair loss, guaranteed. It’s also hard to get in the diet unless you eat beef and liver regularly. Aim for 20mg per day. Again, vegans and vegetarians will have a hard time with this from diet alone. You’d need to eat 2.5 lbs of tofu just to get your 20mg of zinc, which is ridiculous. So look into supplements, and know that zinc is best absorbed when taken with Vitamin D3, K2, and magnesium.
  • Sodium overload: Another big contributor to sudden hair loss. Hair follicles depend on “potassium ion channels” to stay alive and healthy, and sodium is a competitor to potassium in the body. So too much sodium can disrupt these potassium channels and kill off hair follicles. Some articles on the net say it’s a myth that too much salt causes hair loss, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. Typically it’s fast food, junk food, cheese, bacon, ranch, bread, soups, and chilis that are loaded with sodium. Eat a diet of nothing but that and watch your hair fall out.
  • Scalp yeast and auto-immune reactions: Itchiness of the scalp and associated hair loss can also be due to dryness (from lack of essential fatty acids) and over-proliferation of natural scalp yeasts. When the immune system fights these yeasts, it may end up attacking the hair follicles by mistake. The cause of these problems is too much sugar, dairy, and wheat. Sugar feeds yeast, dairy can trigger auto-immune reactions, and wheat gluten can aggravate the immune system. So cut back especially on the sugar and dairy. If you eat lots of dairy and your scalp itches within a few hours, now you know why.

In summary, reduce salt, sugar, and dairy for at least 2 weeks, take a 25mg zinc supplement each day, and eat beef or beef/chicken liver a couple time each week for the iron, protein, and other nutrients. Then see if hair stops falling out. The best way to check for hair loss is to get up after waking, go to the sink, and quickly rub your hair to see how many hairs fall into the sink.

Emergency Stove made from Cardboard, Tuna, and Oil

You can use old cooking oil to boil water and cook food. Doesn’t matter whether the oil is fresh, gone rancid in storage, or used too many times for deep frying.

You’ll need:

  • 1 can of tuna
  • corrugated cardboard
  • 1/8 cup of oil
  • cooking vessel
  • stand

Cut cardboard into 1 inch wide strip(s) and bend into spiral. Place inside empty tuna can.

Add oil over the top and let cardboard fully soak it up. Any extra oil you can pour back, or leave for extended cooking time.

Place can inside stand, light on fire with a lighter or match, and place cooking vessel on top. Will boil 2 cups of water within 15 minutes. It will be an orange flame and the vessel will get sooty, but it will work. Do this outdoors away from anything flammable.

For the stand, this folding stove on Amazon is ideal. But you can just as well use a larger tin can with top and bottom cut out and then a single cut up the sides so you can splay it out a bit.

The cardboard acts as a wick so it’s mostly the oil that burns. You’ll likely have 3/4 of your cardboard left after you blow it out, so you can fill a bit of oil and cook again using the same cardboard.

Workout Tips for People with High Cortisol Levels

If you have high cortisol levels, you overtrain more easily and so your workout capacity is reduced.

Signs of high cortisol include:

  • feeling burnt out
  • being on edge
  • shallow breathing
  • trouble losing bodyfat
  • prone to accumulating fat especially around the middle
  • problems sleeping through the night

One big problem with cortisol is that it temporarily makes you more diabetic-like when cortisol levels are high. That means you become more insulin resistant during that time. You’re less tolerant of carbs and intense workouts. In fact, doing an intense workout during such a time can cause cortisol to become so high, that insulin likewise rises and sucks a good deal of glucose out of your blood (by converting it to fat) and so you get an energy crash.

Because white blood cells need glucose to function, this can lead to upper respiratory infections post workout. Your immune system takes a hit and you come down with a cold for a day or two.

The solution is simple: do shorter workouts more frequently and don’t push yourself to extremes.

For example, do 2-3 workout sessions per day, each lasting just 5-10 minutes. Go for resistance exercises, where you can manage around 15-20 reps per set, or light cardio that makes you hot (but not winded) within 10 minutes. Don’t push yourself to failure. If you’re breathing through your mouth, you went too hard.

In summary, it’s better to do several short workouts per day than one or two intense workouts per week. Volume makes up for weight and intensity in terms of muscle growth and fitness. This allows for faster recovery so that you can work out every day.

Obviously if your cortisol and hormone balance is fine and you can train hard without getting sick or injuring yourself, go for it. But for anyone who has experienced overtraining symptoms, including getting dead tired after a workout instead of feeling invigorated, try this approach instead.

As for managing high cortisol in the first place, the number one thing is getting more sleep and that includes taking naps or power naps when needed (set a timer for 18 minutes and try to nod off at least once during that time by relaxing your body, breathing naturally, and blanking your mind). Getting only 6 hours each night and then chugging coffee to make up the difference will cause adrenal fatigue and rapid aging in the long run. So get enough sleep and that will go a long way.

The second most important thing is getting enough of the proper vitamins and minerals, particularly active/methylated B vitamins. Your body needs these to convert homocysteine and other stress chemicals/hormones to less harmful forms. Antioxidants like Vitamin C, NAC, Na-R-Ala, Resveratrol, Curcumin, and Ginger can also help. Without proper vitamins and antioxidants, you’ll experience poor sleep, weight gain, cardiovascular and heart disease, and rapid aging.

How to Lose Body Fat Quickly Using a Low Calorie Keto Diet

How do you burn body fat, retain muscle, and do it as quickly as possible without exercise?

There’s only one way, and that’s by switching your body into ketosis.


Ketosis is where the body has run out of glucose-based energy (glycogen) that’s normally stored in the liver and muscles. It then has no choice but to turn to body fat for energy.

That’s why body fat exists in the first place. Your body stores tens if not hundreds of thousands of calories in the form of fat. It’s there for survival reasons in case you run out of food. But the body doesn’t like to dip into that if it doesn’t have to. So you make it have to.

In ketosis, fat is turned into “ketones” – which is an alternate form of energy that’s actually more energizing and efficient than glucose derived from sugars and starches in non-keto diets. Your brain runs better on ketones than glucose, so once you enter ketosis you will feel clearer and more energized than on a normal diet.

How to Get Into Ketosis

There are two ways to enter ketosis.

1. Not eating carbs. No potatoes, rice, oats, fruits, pasta, cookies, cakes, candy, soda, sugar, etc. Just protein and fat. That means meat, eggs, fish, green veggies, nuts, butter, and oil.

2. Fasting (eating nothing) for at least 30 hours. That’s what ketosis is really meant for. That’s the fastest and most evolution-based natural way to induce ketosis. But it’s not strictly necessary to achieve ketosis.

In either case, it takes about 30-36 hours on average for glycogen (a glucose-based form of energy stored in the liver) to run out and for ketosis to begin. You can buy keto indicator strips that you pee on and watch the color change on the strips to show you how deep into ketosis you are.

As your glucose levels decrease, insulin drops. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas secretes to help the body deal with excessive blood sugar levels. When blood sugar gets too high, insulin removes it by converting it into body fat. But when insulin gets too low, it triggers ketones to be made from body fat.

So whether you go no carb, or fast, you’ll be running out of glycogen within a day or two and body will switch over to ketosis.

During this “keto induction” phase, you may feel like utter crap — low energy, hungry, tired, cold, mentally losing it. That’s the price of admission to ultra fat burning mode. But a point comes when that all lifts and you feel amazing. The keto indicator strips will show a change of color in proportion to how great you feel.

How Low Calorie?

Once you’re in ketosis, you can go on a low calorie keto diet.

How low calorie? It’s critical you know this, because going below that can be dangerous.

You calculate it via this formula:

Daily Calories to Eat = Base Metabolic Rate – (30 x Weight x Body Fat Percentage / 100)

There are online BMR calculators if you need to figure that out.

For example, if you weigh 170 lbs, and BMR is 1800 calories per day, and you’re at 20% body fat:

Daily Calories to Eat = 1800 – (30 × 170 × 20/100) = 1800 – 1020 = 780 calories minimum.

Only 780 calories per day? Sounds insane, right? But it’s not “actually” 780, because your body is tapping into another 1020 calories from body fat deposits per day.

So energy-wise, you’ll feel like you’re doing a normal 1800 calorie diet in this example, even though you’re only consuming 780 of those calories through the mouth. The rest comes from the body, as it should.

If on average you go below 780 in this example, your body will start breaking down muscle to make up the rest of the calorie needs. That’s bad. If you keep that up, it will eat away heart muscle too and heart problems will develop.

At a 1020 calorie deficit per day, you’ll lose 8.5lbs of fat per month. That’s decent. The scale weight will show more (closer to 10-12 pounds lost) due to water being lost when in ketosis, and a little muscle which is unavoidable (not to mention your bowels will hold less food).

You can lose more fat if you eat less or throw in some fasting days, but then you’ll also lose more muscle over time. It’s your call if you want to risk that. But again, if you go too low in calories (like say 300 per day if you’re at 20% body fat) you will have trouble sleeping, cortisol will shoot through the roof, heart feels weird, and other danger signs. I’m not talking about the ‘feeling like crap’ during keto induction, but actual dangerous symptoms that happen if you go too far below your Daily Calories on this diet. It’s okay to eat over your limit, since it’s pretty low already, but avoid consistently going under.

If you’re over 30% body fat, you can get away with 24 or 48 hour fasts here and there. That’s because you have enough body fat to fuel you all day long. The limiting factor is that only 30 calories can be extracted per pound of body fat per day. There’s a famous case of a 450 lb man named Angus Barbieri who went over a year without eating. He got a physical at the end of it, and the doctor determined him to be in good health. But if you’re only 10% body fat, you can’t make it even 24 hours without muscle starting to be eaten. So that’s why body fat levels are so critical for determining how low of a calorie keto diet you can do.

You simply cannot do this type of thing in non-keto (like a low calorie bread and rice diet) unless you want to look like a concentration camp victim before long. That’s because carbs keep you out of ketosis, and if you’re not in ketosis, you’re not really sparing muscle or dipping heavily into body fat, so the muscle gets eaten first to provide glucose the body needs in non-keto mode.

Protein and Muscle

In a low calorie keto diet, you still need protein. Aim for 40-60 grams of protein per day minimum if you don’t work out, and 100+ grams if you work out intensely (the kind that leaves you with sore muscles). Just know that, as I’ll explain shortly, the more protein you eat at a time, the more your ketone levels drop, the less energy and clarity you will have.

Now, you don’t actually need to work out on this diet to lose fat since ketosis burns fat by definition. So even while walking, standing, sitting, or sleeping, you are burning body fat.

Walking or house chores or light yard work is fine and ideal. Keep heart rate below 120 bpm, as there’s a limit to how fast body fat can be converted into energy. If you go above 120 into the anaerobic exercise range (135-165 bpm) you will dip into any glycogen stores in the muscles, put there by protein you’ve recently eaten being converted to glycogen for exactly such emergency uses. But that’s pretty hard on the body so stay in the cardio aerobic range.

If you want to work out at higher intensity, namely anaerobic exercises like sprints, it’s a good idea to eat 20-30g fast digesting carbs 15 minutes beforehand. The quickest carb is pure glucose, which comes in a powder form called dextrose. It will burn off during exercise and will prevent the body from becoming so low in glucose that the immune system takes a hit. Working out too hard in keto will make you catch a cold or flu unless you take some carbs before, during, or right afterward. Rule of thumb: take some carbs/glucose before any activity that’s above say 130 bpm heart rate, but stay fasted or strict keto for 120 bpm or below.

Since breathing is how the body expels burned fat (in the form of water and carbon dioxide and some acetone), the sedentary lifestyle only becomes bad if it causes you to do faint shallow breathing all day, which slows down fat burning (hence the technical term “fat oxidation” as in oxygen). Some deep breathing throughout the day is a good idea.

As for fat, eat enough fat to meet your calorie goals, typically 60-100+ grams of fat per day. Whatever approximates the “Daily Calories to Eat” in the above equation. The equation tells you the minimum you can get away with if you are sedentary. If you work out, you can bump that up by a couple hundred calories.

Ketosis is pretty sparing of the muscles compared to non-keto. If you try to do a low calorie diet in non-keto, the body is in glucose-burning mode and when it’s low on glucose from carbs it will break down muscle to turn into glucose. That’s why a non-ketogenic low calorie low protein diet is the fastest way to lose muscle, even faster than not eating at all because at least when fasting you’re in ketosis which preserves muscle.

The reason ketosis preserves muscle is because the body prefers ketones for energy and has all that body fat to draw from, so the muscles are left alone for the most part. The reason I say “most part” is because certain organs of the body need glucose regardless, even in ketosis, and muscles will break down to feed them unless you eat enough protein. 40-60 grams of protein per day, when not working out, is sufficient.

Example Meals

Keto meals are easy. Some examples:

  • Eggs and bacon with side of celery
  • Egg omelet with cheese and veggies
  • Broiled salmon and asparagus
  • Steak and green beans
  • Liver and onions
  • Salad made of greens, celery, meat, and avocado with lime + olive oil dressing
  • Beef stew with turnips, celery, onions, and some carrots
  • Pan-fried chicken breast filets and broccoli
  • Bun-less burger with cheese
  • Canned sardines and cherry tomatoes
  • Stir fry made of chopped cabbage, onions, small amount of carrots, and chicken

Add your choice of fat to each one as needed. Vegetables mainly just add bulk to make a meal more filling while providing micronutrients that are lacking in meats and fats.

Protein and Insulin

The issue with eating protein is that it raises insulin as much as an equal amount of carbs does. And the higher the insulin, the lower the ketones.

That’s why after eating 4-6 oz of meat, your insulin goes up and ketone levels go down for several hours. During that time, you may feel not as clear or energized. Fat burning will slow during that time too. But that’s what you have to do if you want to preserve muscles on a low calorie ketogenic diet. If the tiredness is an issue with eating protein, then eat the bulk of your protein before bed so you sleep through it.

Some people actually go into ketosis very easily, enter it deeply, and can eat more protein without affecting ketones too much. These are the types that can do strength training, eat more protein, stay in keto, and achieve rapid body transformation.

Other people have a tough time inducing ketosis, and anything beyond 4 oz of meat at a time knocks them out of it for many hours. They have to be ultra careful about what they eat.

Why the difference? It has to do with how insulin sensitive or resistant they are, which depends on genetics and hormones and lifestyle. When insulin resistant, the body makes more insulin to “get the point across” to the “deaf” cells, but that higher insulin drives down ketone production. When you eat protein, the protein stimulates the release of both glucagon and insulin. Glucagon is a pro-ketone hormone, while insulin is anti-ketone. The ratio between the two determines how well you can handle protein on a keto diet. If insulin resistant, insulin is higher than glucagon and protein hurts your progress. If insulin healthy, glucagon is higher and eating protein can sometimes actually increase ketone production. It’s paradoxical that way, but that’s how the body works.

People who are insulin resistant are diabetic or on their way to being diabetic. Or they might have metabolic disorders, thyroid issues, low testosterone, super high cortisol levels, and so on. (If you’re full blown diabetic and have kidney issues, avoid keto diets. The ketones produced can get so high that there is risk of ketoacidosis and thus further kidney damage; stick instead of a Paleo or Zone type diet).

If you have high stress, sleep issues, and accumulate fat easily especially around the mid section, you may be of the latter category. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone. Chronic stress and/or lack of sleep leads to high cortisol levels. Cortisol makes you more insulin resistant (more diabetic-like) even in the short term, therefore you’ll be more sensitive to carbs and protein on keto when cortisol levels are high.

If you have that problem, here’s what you can do.

First, limit your protein to 35g or less per meal. That’s the equivalent of 4-5 ounces of meat max.

Second, eat your protein later in the day. Cortisol levels follow a natural 24 hour cycle that’s highest when you get up and lowest when you’re about to go to sleep. Therefore, eat the bulk of your protein within an hour or two before bed. You’ll notice that you are less keto-sensitive to protein at that time, versus eating it early in the day. So if you have to eat earlier in the day, keep it lower in protein and higher in fat. That way you’ll have energy and clarity as you go about your day, and any tiredness caused by the later higher protein meal is handled while you sleep, which is also when the most muscle repair happens so it makes sense to have protein before bed. Carnivores eat and then go to sleep, that’s nature.

Third, try to get more sleep, including short 20 minute naps, and do a daily breathing / relaxation / vibe raising meditation. This reduces cortisol levels over time.

Fourth, make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, as that’s what the body uses to reduce cortisol and homocysteine (another stress hormone) levels. Chicken livers are the best natural source, but in pill form look for a methyl-B complex, which is more easily absorbed especially by people with the MTFHR gene mutation which tends to go undiagnosed so more people have it than they realize. The latter causes extraordinarily high cortisol levels, so the above advice is especially important for them.

Fifth, due to protein restriction, don’t go crazy with exercise that leaves muscles really sore afterwards, like weight lifting or all out sprinting, as that requires a ton of protein to rebuild stronger than before. Keep those activities for when you’re not on a ketogenic diet. Focus instead on walking, hiking, yoga, cleaning, etc. If you do require that kind of training, see about doing it later in the day and eating your bigger protein meal and going to bed afterwards. That way you’re at the lower part of the daily cortisol cycle. If you need to do strength training, keep it around 20 reps per set and only do two sets. This stimulates the muscle without needlessly micro-tearing it which dramatically ups protein requirements.

And sixth, to improve insulin sensitivity, build up your muscles before starting keto. Having more muscle mass has been scientifically proven to make you less diabetic in your insulin response. Eat 100g protein per day and work out your whole body, doing pulling motions one day (deadlifts, arm curls, pull ups/downs, crunches, rows) and pushing motions the next day (squats, chest press or pushups, overhead raises, calf raises) and then take a day’s break. Keep reps in the 10-20 rep range per set and go to failure. This combination will create good muscle hypertrophy (growth) but strike a natural balance between strength and endurance. Be sure to work out your legs and glutes, they are the largest muscles in the body and will therefore soak up the most insulin, which improves your ability to handle protein on keto.

Protein during Keto Induction

If in doubt, when trying to induce ketosis without fasting, during the first day or two eat just veggies (lettuce, avocado, celery, cucumber, broccoli, green onions), olive oil, egg yolks, and fatty nuts like walnuts and macadamia nuts. Yes you’re not getting much protein for one or two days. But you’ll enter and stay in ketosis more quickly, which then helps spare muscle. Just take it easy those days in terms of physical activity and you won’t need much protein anyhow.

By limiting protein during the keto induction phase, you won’t screw it up. There’s nothing worse than staying in that limbo state between non-keto and keto and endlessly feeling like crap by keeping yourself from fully flipping over. This is likely if you are pre-diabetic.

As you advance along keto, your body adapts more and more, and after 10-14 days you’ll notice that your protein tolerance goes up, especially after 30 days. Go with it, up your protein a bit, reduce fat a bit (since body is better able to tap into body fat stores) and you’ll break through weight and body composition plateaus that tend to happen after a month. I would not go beyond 2 months at a time with this diet.

Ideal Ketone Range

Now, the keto indicator strips can tell you what ketone range you’re in. You want to aim to be somewhere in the middle of the scale, somewhere between 2.0 and 5.0 — if it’s higher (darker color) feel free to eat more protein to bring it down. If it’s in the none, trace, or small range then cut back on the protein and check that you’re not consuming hidden carbs, or just fast more often. Some veggies like carrots and tomatoes have too many sugars that can add up if overeaten.

Mineral Deficiency

Because you’re eating less and losing stored water (glucose in muscles helps it store water… less glucose = less water in body) you’ll be losing minerals and may become low on sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. You can supplement or create your own electrolyte fluid with this recipe:

Keto Juice Version 1.0

2L of water
1/2 tsp magnesium chloride
1 tsp potassium chloride
1 tsp sodium chloride (table salt)
1 tsp calcium carbonate

This is a modification of the “Snake Juice” recipe given by Cole of Snake Diet fame. Let’s call it “Keto Juice Version 1.0” — It has a better form of magnesium, includes calcium carbonate since increased magnesium absorption can decrease calcium levels, and omits the baking soda since calcium carbonate is a PH buffer already. Or you can just follow Cole’s recipe and take a calcium pill on the side, but just keep in mind that magnesium sulfate in that recipe is not absorbable and probably functions more as an anti-constipation element.

IMPORTANT: take a D3 + K2 supplement with this, so that the calcium goes where it should. Without those, calcium can build up in soft tissues including the arteries and heart. This is true for everyone, regardless of keto or non-keto status. Never take calcium without D3 and K2.

This is an electrolyte fluid that can be consumed while fasting to prevent muscle cramps and other common mineral-deficiency symptoms. For example, acute calcium deficiency may cause numbness and tingling in the extremities and face, which can happen with the original Snake Juice recipe. Calcium carbonate solves that problem.

If you’re not really fasting, but eating one or two meals per day, then since you’re getting nutrients in your food you won’t need to be drinking 1-2L of this Keto Juice as you would if fasting 24-48 hours. In fact, eating salty food all day while drinking Keto Juice all day can lead to sodium overload, which has symptoms like hair loss (due to sodium disrupting the potassium channels in hair follicles) so the more you’re eating, the less Keto Juice you need.

Eat Nutritiously

Lastly, because you’re eating less, it’s important to eat more nutritious foods. For proteins that would be egg yolks, chicken livers, and salmon. For vegetables that includes asparagus, broccoli, peppers, and green onions. These are just some examples. Be sure to include these among what else you’re eating. You’ll be peeing out sodium more than normal, so feel free to add more salt to your foods.

You can research Keto Diet and Snake Diet for more tips and ideas. The above is not strictly those, but has various improvements learned from a lot of experimentation and research.

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