My own journey to reclaiming my health would lead me to discovering my signature sustainable weight-loss method. I call it The Alka-Terranean Method. This Method transformed my life and I am honoured to have shared it now with over 4,000 people who have also achieved incredible life-changing results.
The Alka-Terrean Method combines the principles of Alkaline nutrition with the elements of a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.
Alkaline nutrition includes foods that are plant-based such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and seeds. It avoids processed foods, animal-based products and most grains which cause your body to produce acid.
Following a diet that is strictly Alkaline requires a high level of effort and many foods are off limits. So while an Alkaline diet provides major health benefits, in order to experience sustainable weight-loss results, I’ve combined it with the principles of a Mediterranean diet as these are more realistic to follow.
A Mediterranean diet is similar to an Alkaline diet in that it is also rich in plant-based foods. However it also includes eggs, poultry, fish, grains, unsaturated fats (such as olive oil) and a low intake of meat and dairy. These are foods that not only contain essential nutrients, they are foods that we love, providing more variety.
Alkaline Nutrition is effective for weight-loss but following a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is important for sustainability of that weight-loss. There are many features of the Mediterranean lifestyle which support healthy and sustainable weight-loss, therefore these lifestyle habits also make up my signature method.
To be able to describe what “Alkaline” means, it makes sense for me to explain a little bit of basic chemistry and acid & base reactions as alkaline means base.
Let’s start with pH.
pH is a figure that shows the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. If a solution has a pH 7, this means the solution is neutral. Neither acid, nor base (or alkaline).
If the pH of the solution is lower than 7, the solution is acid. If it’s higher than 7, it is base (or alkaline). The strength of the acid or base also increases as the pH goes farther from 7. Meaning, a solution with pH 0 is a way more stronger acid than a solution with pH 6. Or a solution with a pH 14 is stronger alkaline than a solution with a pH of 8.
Acid and alkaline solutions have the ability to neutralize each other or weaken their strengths. For example, if an acid and base of the same strength goes into a reaction, they might produce a neutral solution as a result. Or when a strong alkaline solution goes into a reaction with an acidic solution, if the strength of the alkaline solution is higher than the strength of the acid, the resulting solution of the reaction may be a weaker alkaline.
Now that we know the simple rules about acid-alkaline reactions, we can start to explore why we are trying to eat an Alkaline Diet.
To start with, our blood’s pH is in the range of 7.35 - 7.45 which means our blood is slightly alkaline. And this value never goes out of that range. To be able to maintain our metabolic functions, our blood has to stay in its slight alkaline state. When the blood pH goes below 7.35, this condition is called severe acidosis which results in shock & immediate death.
For this reason, it’s our bodies' one of the main roles to keep our blood alkaline.
However, the majority of the foods we eat in a Western Diet produce acid when digested. When acid is produced, our body wants to get rid of that acid as soon as possible to keep the blood in its slight alkaline state. We know that alkaline elements have the ability to buffer out acid. Therefore, when we eat lots of acid producing foods, our body will begin to use its Alkaline reserves in order to clean out that acid.
So what are those Alkaline reserves and what happens when our body uses them?
For example, calcium is a high Alkaline mineral, and most of the calcium is stored in the bones. So when acid is produced by our diets, the body might take calcium from the bones to clean up the acid. In time, this could cause osteoporosis (bone loss)
Magnesium is another example of a high Alkaline mineral, and most of it is stored in the muscles. When our body starts to take magnesium from the muscles to clean up the acid, this will result in muscle loss.
As a result, we can say that, when our body uses its’ alkaline stores to buffer out the acid, the body part (cell, tissue or organ) that provides those alkaline minerals starts to get acidified, and that acidification might be the start of a disease in that particular area.
Alkaline mineral stores can be found in all parts of the body and it’s important to maintain these stores, so that the body can thrive and be healthy.
Alkaline nutrition focuses on increasing alkaline foods in the diet, not to change to the blood’s pH as some might suggest, but to help the body in its’ role of maintaining the blood in its’ slight alkaline range, so that it doesn't use its’ alkaline stores.
Eating a diet rich in Alkaline foods can not only improve health, it can prevent other chronic medical diseases such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high LDL cholesterol or even cancer which is known to thrive in high acidic environments.
Essentially, in order to prevent chronic issues and promote good health, we need to consume Alkaline foods so that the body doesn’t access its vitamin and mineral stores to clean the acid.
How Does Alkaline Nutrition Support Weight-Loss?
A diet high in alkaline-rich foods supports quick and effective weight-loss.
When we eat, our bodies convert any calories we don’t need into triglycerides and these are stored as fat cells.
The molecular formula of one triglyceride is made up of three molecules of fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol. As the name suggests, fatty acid is acid. And glycerol is sugar. This means that our bodies take three molecules of acid and one molecule of sugar and store it as one molecule of fat. So when we keep eating acid producing foods, we’re going to store more fat because it’s one of the easiest ways for the body to get rid of that acid.
Science also tells us that it is going to be difficult to burn fat in an environment that is high in acid. When one molecule triglyceride is burned, this is going to actually produce three molecules of acid. The last thing we want is to produce more acid in the body. So to make it easy to offset this reaction of more acid production in the body, we need to eat Alkaline foods. By doing this, it will be easier and faster for our bodies to burn fat.
When the environment is alkaline, basically, our body doesn’t refrain from producing more acid as there are enough alkaline minerals in the environment to buffer that acid. That’s the reason why Alkaline Nutrition supports fast weight-loss mainly from fat.
Why is My Signature Alka-Terranean Method Sustainable for Weight-Loss?
A diet that is strictly or heavily Alkaline is difficult to maintain as it requires a lot of effort. It’s also not enjoyable because it restricts the foods we know and love. This is not sustainable. However I do believe that it is important for my clients to understand Alkaline nutrition in order to balance the overall pH in their meals. This will help to speed up weight-loss and improve overall health.
Coming from the Aegean Mediterranean part of Turkey, and having been raised with Mediterranean culture, I have combined principles of an Alkaline diet with elements of a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. This allows flexibility which will ultimately result in long-term, sustainable weight-loss.
Growing up in the Mediterranean, I myself, have observed the innumerable benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle. It is also one of the most researched diets for longevity.
A Mediterranean diet provides a realistic and sustainable approach because it allows us to eat foods we enjoy in moderation such as dairy and meat. There is also an emphasis on herbs and spices, which not only add flavour but are also high in antioxidants and aids weight-loss. There are no strict rules, there is lots of flexibility making the practice of eating enjoyable.
The Mediterranean lifestyle is really key in healthy eating and weight-loss success because it involves eating mindfully. In a Mediterranean environment, eating is an activity that is enjoyed with family and friends. ‘Fad’ weight-loss diets you may have come across make us dread mealtimes, whereas a Mediterranean lifestyle promotes gathering people at the table and making mealtimes a positive experience and something to look forward to. There are studies that show that eating mindfully and socially with others can decrease stress levels, increase nutrient absorption, and promote digestive health. This is so important for overall health and well-being.
How Much Can I Eat, How Often and When?
There is strictly no calorie counting as part of my method, when providing eating plans, and I do not provide a guide as to how many calories to consume for each meal or each day. I also do not tell clients how often and when to eat. This is because I do not want my clients to use calorie counting and strict eating plans as part of their ongoing lifestyle. This won’t achieve sustainable weight-loss. In addition, everybody is unique, and our metabolic needs change from a day-to-day basis. For instance, you may notice you may be more hungry on some days compared to other days. On the days you don’t feel hungry, you may eat less.
This non-diet based approach is effective in not only losing weight quickly, but you will be able to maintain results. Through working with me, you will develop a healthy and enjoyable relationship with eating. Through the process, you will intuitively understand how much and when to eat. I teach my clients to listen to their bodies and tune into their hunger signals rather than having specific meal times as well as eating to satisfy hunger, rather than eating to eating to complete fullness. These habits are also reflected in Mediterranean culture.
Are Any Food Groups Completely Off-Limits?
It’s important not to restrict or remove any food groups not only to maintain results but in ensuring no nutrients, vitamins or minerals are neglected. Most of my clients have very busy lives, therefore I ensure that they include foods that are high in essential vitamins and minerals that could support stress management and increase energy. Some of my clients may be very active, so eating plans may factor training regimes. Everybody has unique needs, therefore my method does not involve any strict rules around macronutrient breakdown for each meal or each day as again, this is not a sustainable approach.
There is a myth that eating carbohydrates leads to weight gain, and as a weight-loss coach, I get asked about this a lot. Carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates, provide nutritional benefits we need for our bodies to function and thrive. In order to speed up weight-loss, I do encourage higher protein and fibre consumption, however meal plans do also incorporate carbohydrates. Along with the nutritional benefits, I do not want my clients to feel restricted or experience cravings. Carbohydrates could be reduced some days, but increased on other days. This teaches clients that carbohydrates are okay, and they are able to lose weight while still enjoying all food groups.
Other indulgences such as chocolate, sweets and alcohol are not completely restricted. Through the process when working with me, clients will develop confidence in knowing that it is okay to enjoy life’s little luxuries occasionally and still have the confidence in knowing that they can eat healthily, make healthier choices and achieve balance as well.
What You'll Achieve When Working with Me
When working with me you will achieve sustainable weight-loss. Through a non-diet based approach, you will learn how to incorporate the nutrition principles of an Alkaline and Mediterranean diet into your eating and lifestyle plan. Rather than feeling restricted, you will enjoy the process of losing weight and improving your overall health at the same time by implementing new lifestyle habits that will help cope with stress, improve sleep and energy levels. If you would like to know more about my coaching programs simply click here or send me a DM on instagram with the word COACHING. Find me on Instagram with this handle @selencoaching