The Top 10 Ketosis Mistakes And How To Prevent Them
What mistakes are you making when it comes to your health? I know I’ve been making plenty. That’s why I’m tracking my data in this recent ketosis experiment that I’m doing. What about you? Most people think that the ketogenic diet is just “low-carb” which leads them to make many mistakes that prevent them from not reaping all of the benefits of ketosis that they could. What benefits? How about an improved immune system, increased longevity, lower inflammation, effortless weight loss, decreased hunger, reduced risk for disease and more. Read on to know the top 10 ways that people make mistakes with ketosis and how you can prevent them. 1: Not tracking protein intake By far the biggest problem with a ketogenic diet is not tracking how much protein you are eating. The far majority of people are simply eating too much lean protein, which ends up kicking them out of ketosis. Protein can turn into carbs by a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis, meaning “making new carbs.” This then spikes insulin, and reduces ketone levels. Even though you are eating super low carb, this could make your body switch back and forth between energy systems, which will lead to high levels of fatigue or “low carb flu.” The easiest way to avoid this mistake is by tracking your ketone levels to see how you respond to different amounts and different types of meat. Everyone is different, so the only way you can tell is by tracking. I “listened to my body” before and it didn’t work. I wasn’t in ketosis when I thought I was. I also thought ketosis kind of sucked. It didn’t, I was just wrong. The only way you know is by tracking. If you consume more fat with protein, it will slow this effect. So think fattier cuts of meat, and less muscle meat. But wait, are you going to Continue reading >>
Common Ketosis Killers
“I’ve tried your low-carb diet, Dr. Nally, and it didn’t work.” “Hmm . . . really?” If your mumbling this to yourself, or you’ve said it to me in my office, then lets have a little talk. I’ve heard this statement before. It’s not a new statement, but it’s a statement that tells me we need to address a number of items. If you’ve failed a low carbohydrate diet, I’d suspect you are pretty severely insulin resistant or hyperinsulinemic. You probably never really reached true ketosis. I’d want to have you checked out by your doctor to rule out underlying disease like hypothyroidism, diabetes, other hormone imbalance, etc. Next, switching to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle is literally a “lifestyle change.” It requires that you understand a few basic ketosis principles. And, it takes the average person 3-6 months to really wrap their head around what this lifestyle means . . . and, some people, up to a year before they are really comfortable with how to eat and function in any situation. I assume, if you are reading this article, that you’ve already read about ketosis and understand the science behind it. If not, please start your reading with my article The Principle Based Ketogenic Lifestyle – Part I and Ketogenic Principles – Part II. If this is the case, then please proceed forward, “full steam ahead!” There are usually a few areas that are inadvertently inhibiting your body transformation, so let’s get a little personal. First, this is a low carbohydrate diet. For weight loss, I usually ask people to lower their carbohydrate intake to less than 2o grams per day. How do you do that? (A copy of my diet is accessible through my membership site HERE.) You’ve got to begin by restricting all carbohydrates to less than 20 grams per day. Continue reading >>
If You Eat Excess Protein, Does It Turn Into Excess Glucose?
Gluconeogenesis is Demand-Driven, not Supply-Driven We have seen the claim that any protein you eat in excess of your immediate needs will be turned into glucose by spontaneous gluconeogenesis ¹. (Gluconeogenesis (GNG) is the process by which glucose is made out of protein in the liver and kidneys.) Some people think that because protein can be turned into glucose, it will, once other needs are taken care of, and that therefore keto dieters should be careful not to eat too much protein. While we believe there are valid reasons for limiting protein intake, experimental evidence does not support this one. In our opinion, it makes sense physiologically for GNG to be a demand-driven rather than supply-driven process, because of the need to keep blood glucose within tight bounds. In brief Gluconeogenesis is a slow process and the rate doesn't change much even under a wide range of conditions. The hypothesis that the rate of gluconeogenesis is primarily regulated by the amount of available material, e.g. amino acids, has not been supported by experiment. Having insufficient material available for gluconeogenesis will obviously limit the rate, but in the experiments we reviewed, having excess material did not increase the rate. We haven't found any solid evidence to support the idea that excess protein is turned into glucose. More experiments are needed to confirm that this still holds true in keto dieters. Gluconeogenesis has a Stable Rate Gluconeogenesis (GNG) is a carefully regulated process for increasing blood sugar. It is stimulated by different hormones, including glucagon — the primary hormone responsible for preventing low blood sugar. GNG produces glucose slowly and evenly ². It was once thought that the main determination of the rate of GNG was how much glucogen Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Can You Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?
You likely already know cutting the carbs is important on a keto diet, but protein intake matters, too! One of the biggest mistakes people run into when going and staying keto is eating too much protein. So, you might be left with the question: How much protein can you eat on a ketogenic diet? Let’s cover how you can avoid the mistake of consuming too much protein and exactly how much of it you can eat on a ketogenic diet. Eating Protein on the Ketogenic Diet A great appeal of the ketogenic diet is getting to eat plenty of foods that are filling and satisfying. Those foods include rich, fatty animal proteins. But how much of these proteins is the right amount? To answer that question, you need to understand how proteins work within the ketogenic diet and why it’s important to monitor your amounts for the best results. The Role of Protein in Ketosis Protein is an important building block of life; we need them to provide our bodies with all of the essential amino acids. Proteins are important for many different actions in the body, including regulation and function of the organs and tissues. Obviously, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of these complex molecules. The problem is that when you’re eating a ketogenic diet, it can be pretty easy to eat a lot of foods high in protein. You’re almost eliminating an entire macronutrient group from your diet (carbohydrates), so those new to keto might simply replace the carbs with more protein-rich foods. This is where you have to be careful, because more protein is not always better—in fact, it can keep you out of ketosis. A common misconception is that the ketogenic diet is a high protein diet—it’s not. It’s a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet. Why Eating Too Much Protein is Bad Ket Continue reading >>
Will Too Much Protein Per One Meal Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?
In short: Yes. Your body will use gluconeogenesis to turn the protein into glucose for energy. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. From my knowledge of reading articles (probably a bunch of bro science), it depends if your body needs energy (ATP). The more you go into ketosis, the better your body gets at making keynote bodies, the more keynote bodies you have the more fat stores you will tap into, the more fat stores you tap into, the more energy you will have. If you are just starting out carb cycling, your body probably won't be so capable of making as many keynote bodies, so it won't be able to tap into as many fat stores to produce enough energy. Therefore your body will use whatever is has such as protein/amino acids and convert it to ATP via gluconeogenesis. However, your body will only convert what it needs and will still be making as many keynote bodies as it possibly can. So, the protein won't turn into large amounts of excess glucose and make you fat. So, don't be afraid of eating good meat. Protein will not cause fat gain. If you'd like to avoid gluconeogenesis/running on protein made ATP and run only on ATP synthesized from fat, there is a way. A simple solution for this is called a "Fat Fast". This is where you only eat fat. Good fats tho! Coconut oil, grass fed organic butter, avocado, cashews, cream cheese. Only do this for 1 or 2 days MAX. Good fats help tap into fat stores, so your body doesn't need to create as many keynote bodies. This will also help your body get better at creating keynote bodies, because you are still in deep ketosis. Hope that helped. I carb cycled for nearly an entire summer and went from 255 to 219. If my science wasn't incorrect, it didn't matter in the end. That was my understanding of it, I put in the dedication to t Continue reading >>
What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis
Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>
All You Need To Know About Protein On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet
Proteins, which consist of amino acids, are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can be used as a fuel source. Unlike carbs, which are not essential for our body, protein and fat are a vital part of our diet. Without these two macronutrients, we would simply not survive. There is a misconception that the ketogenic diet is a high-protein diet. This is a myth; the ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. Why moderate in protein? Too much protein can kick you out of ketosis, while too little protein may cause muscle loss and increased appetite. What is the ideal protein intake? Does quality matter? Is too much protein dangerous? Let's have a look at these frequently asked questions in more detail. Why is protein so important for weight loss? Studies show that protein is the most sating while carbs are the least sating macronutrients. In other words, if you eat enough protein, you will feel less hungry and eat fewer calories. That's why it's critical to eat adequate amount of protein if your aim is to lose fat. Protein has also been shown to increase energy expenditure. This means that by following a diet rich in protein, you will burn more calories. This metabolic advantage is not significant (around 100 kcal a day) but every little counts! Another way to burn more calories is to build muscle mass. Protein is the most important macronutrient for preserving and building muscle tissue, especially for physically active individuals. More muscles burn more calories and slightly increase your base metabolic rate. This means that you will burn slightly more calories even at rest. Although protein slightly increases insulin, there is no need to worry about negative effects on weight loss. Continue reading >>
How Does Protein Affect Blood Sugar?
One of the common pitfalls for people living a ketogenic lifestyle centers around protein and how it can sabotage your ketosis without you even knowing. You might think you are doing well, eating right, avoiding carbs, but you’re not seeing progress. One of the points I talked about here has to do with moderating your protein as a step to get back on track or break a plateau. So I thought I’d go into a little more depth. Your body has two main sources of energy: glucose and ketones. Ketones are only generated through fat metabolism. Glucose can be created by metabolizing carbs or proteins. A brief interruption to discuss carbs and protein Carbs are, basically, just sugars that are arranged in different structures that can be rearranged into glucose. Proteins, on the other hand, are a complicated matter. Proteins are strings of amino acids. There are 22 dietary amino acids, nine of which are essential, which means they cannot be generated by the cells in the body. So we must get those nine amino acids via our diet. And, of course, meat is the best dietary source for our amino acids. All of our body tissues are constructed of protein, so when we eat protein, we are supplying our tissues with material for rebuilding and healing. That’s why bodybuilders shovel huge amounts of protein into their gullet, because they are constantly breaking down their muscle fibers, so they need a constant stream of protein to heal and build their muscle. Interruption complete Our bodies can use ketones to power roughly 75% of its energy needs. The remaining 25%, almost all of which is used by the brain, comes from glucose. But, if we’re ketogenic, how do we get that glucose? If we are powered by fat, dietary and stored, and fat metabolism results in ketones, then where can we get the Continue reading >>
13 Common Keto Mistakes
Adjusting to the Ketogenic diet and lifestyle is a process, and, like any other process, there are some learning curves and speed bumps. These curves and bumps can lead to frustration and disappointment, but they don’t have to. I’ve put together a list of what I see as the most common keto mistakes (and what you can do about them). You are obsessing over macros On the surface, this might seem a little contradictory to some of the other items on this list, but hear me out for a second. The mistake isn’t tracking your macros. The mistake is OBSESSING over your macros. The biggest psychological benefit to keto is the freedom it provides. You’re no longer shackled to the hangry, sad existence filled with constant food preoccupation. You’re free to live. So don’t shackle yourself by fretting and obsessing about macros. You aren’t eating macros, you’re eating food. Make sure your food is keto-friendly, and you’re going to be doing just fine. You are obsessing over the scale I’ve written about this before, but it’s important enough to repeat. The number on the scale is the least important metric you can use to gauge your success. This is another pet peeve of mine that is similar to the previous mistake. Enjoy the freedom of your life, don’t fret about the number on the scale. The scale is always a snap shot of what happened two weeks ago. Think about it. Aside from water, which can fluctuate many pounds in a short period of time, in order for you to gain or lose weight, it requires time. The scale doesn’t tell you important information. Don’t sweat it. You are eating too much protein Protein is, probably, the most important macro, because it is essential (we cannot manufacture all the requisite amino acids) and it is required to build and rebuild al Continue reading >>
Keto Problems: Too Much Protein?
A ketogenic diet requires that a person eat a high fat diet while keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. The third macronutrient category, protein, is an interesting one and often creates heaps of discussion. Carbohydrates and fat are primary energy sources for the body. Protein, on the other hand, is a source of essential amino acids which are the building blocks for the body. However, the amount of protein needed by each person varies greatly based upon a number of factors, including activity level, lean mass, sex, and personal preference to name a few. One question I am often asked is, “can you eat too much protein on a ketogenic diet?” Protein is a very satiating food, and usually the more protein a person eats, the less hungry the person is. One trick people use is to eat a diet high in protein (150 grams + per day) while limiting carbs and fat. This strategy is often wildly successful for fat loss, but it can create other problems to eat so much protein while limiting carb and fat calories so dramatically. I do not advocate eating a high protein/low carb/low fat diet, especially for women. But I do believe wholeheartedly that it is important to eat enough protein. This is even more critical on a ketogenic diet, where carbs are so limited. Under eating protein can cause the body to lose muscle. Some argue for limiting protein because 1) doing so leads to higher ketone levels and 2) they believe that eating too much protein can lead the body to create new glucose from protein (gluconeogenesis) and keep a person from transitioning effectively to fat burning. My friend Mike Berta explains the fallacies of this thinking so well that I am sharing his post rather than recreating my own. Mike can be contacted directly at [email protected] His Facebook group is cal Continue reading >>
What Is A Good Protein Shake For A Ketosis Diet?
A ketosis diet -- more correctly termed a ketogenic diet --- normally includes three dietary characteristics: low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein intake. This type of diet puts you into ketosis, a metabolic condition where your body burns fat for energy rather than carbohydrates, its normal energy source. Protein shakes designed for low-carbohydrate diets will meet your need if you want to follow a ketogenic diet. Ask your doctor before making major diet changes. Video of the Day If you're following a ketogenic diet, you need a moderate amount of protein in your diet. If you consume too much protein, your liver will convert some of the protein to glucose to use for energy, explains Dr. Michael Eades, co-founder of Medi-Stat Medical Clinics. This slows the changeover to burning fat for energy. Protein intake must remain high enough to prevent muscle loss and low enough to not interfere with ketosis, author Lyle McDonald explains in his book, "The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner." On average, you need 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight if you're sedentary and 0.9 grams if you're active, according to McDonald, although you might need as much as 150 grams of protein per day in the first few weeks of a ketogenic diet. Protein supplements often contain 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving; don't drink protein shakes that exceed your daily limit if you drink several per day. If you drink protein shakes, check the label to make sure the shakes contain no more than a few grams of carbohydrate. As long as you keep your carbohydrate intake to less than 50 to 80 grams per day, your body will go into ketosis, author and trainer Mark Sissons explains on his website, Mark's Daily Apple. However, keeping carbohydrates to les Continue reading >>
Can Too Much Protein Stall Your Results?
It’s true that eating protein may boost metabolism and help you to feel fuller but this doesn’t mean that Atkins is the protein ‘free for all’ that many believe it to be and excessive amounts of steak, cheese, eggs and other foods shouldn’t be over-eaten, and this is for a valid reason. If you consume too much protein then this can be converted into glucose by a process called ‘gluconeogenesis’. The conversion of protein to glucose occurs as a result of the hormone, glucagon, which prevents low blood sugar and so isn’t a bad thing unless you are OVER-consuming protein. You see, when you reduce carbs, you go into ‘ketosis’ or fat burning and you produce ketones which are also used for energy. The small amount of glucose needed for brain function comes partly from the process of gluconeogenesis. This means you’ve no need for high amounts of carbs, above and beyond the ‘good’ carbs which you get from vegetables, pulses etc.; and this is for their nutritional factor as they are packed with fibre and other nutrients. When following Atkins, if you do overeat protein foods then you can stall the transition to ketosis; or even get knocked out of this fat burning state altogether. Don’t worry too much though as gluconeogenesis is a slow process and so you’ll not instantly stop burning fat if you eat a steak that’s too large, or you have an extra helping of bacon on your full English breakfast. However don’t eat large helpings of meat or eggs on a daily basis as this may set you back and stall weight loss. It’s also depends on you as a person as some people are more sensitive to protein and are best advised to err on the lower end of the scale when choosing meals. Others can eat more protein and needs will increase if you’re exercising too. S Continue reading >>
Dietary Protein, Ketosis, And Appetite Control.
“Dietary protein has a purpose, and that purpose is not carbs.” Nor is it to break ketosis or stall weight loss. Drastically increasing protein intake may reduce the degree of ketosis in the context of a large energy surplus, but this is likely due more specifically to the large energy surplus than the protein. This would explain why Warrior dieters (1 meal meal per day) often report reduced ketones if they eat too much protein. It’s more likely that the 2000 kcal bolus is exerting it’s anti-ketotic effect by being a large energy surplus, such that anything other than 90% fat would blunt ketosis. It’s not the proteins… Want proof? Here’s an n=1 to try: give up Warrior dieting for a few days and try 3 squares. My bet is that you’ll be able to increase protein intake and still register ketones as high or higher than before. There are data to support this and reasons why it may not matter (below). disclaimer: I don’t think “deep ketosis” is necessary to reap the benefits of carbohydrate-restriction. But if you love high ketone meter readings, then this might be a better strategy to maintain deep ketosis while getting adequate protein. win-win. if I hear: “oh no, I was kicked out of ketosis!” one more time… All of the studies below are confounded one way or another, but so are we humans. Negative energy balance promotes ketosis even with relatively high protein intake. Phinney showed this in obese patients in 1980. He fed them a very low calorie diet for 6 weeks; 50% of the calories came from protein, the rest fat. This amounted to ~76 g/d or ~1.2 g/kg of their “ideal body weight.” It was, however, a rather severe caloric restriction. They lost ~22 pounds; two-thirds of it was fat mass. Muscle glycogen plummeted from 1.53 to 1.04 mg/100 g… Continue reading >>
10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips
10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). I personally recommend a cyclic ketogenic diet for most of my clients where you go low-carb for 3 days and then have a slightly higher carbohydrate day, followed by 3 lower carb days. This cycles the body in and out of a state of ketosis and is beneficial for hormone balance while keeping inflammatory levels very low. The biggest challenge with this nutrition plan is to get into and maintain the state of fat adaption. Here are several advanced tips to get into and maintain ketosis. 1. Stay Hydrated: This is considered a no-brainer, but is not easy to follow. We often get so busy in our day-day lives that we forget to hydrate effectively. I recommend super hydrating your system by drinking 32 oz of filtered water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48 oz of water before noon. I have most of my clients do a water fast or eat light in the morning doing smoothies or keto coffee or tea. So hydration around these dishes should be well tolerated by the digestive system. In general, aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water and closer to your full body weight in ounces of water daily will help you immensely. I weigh 160 lbs and easily drink 140-180 ounces of water each day. Sometimes more in the summer time. As you begin super Continue reading >>
More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Protein & Gluconeogenesis
My dear readers, the website/blog update has run into some snags. Rather than continuing to keep you waiting, though, I’m going to publish new posts and I’ll worry about transitioning them over later on. And since it’s been a few months since I last posted anything of substance, I’ve decided to drop this enormous, enormous post on you to make up for that lost time—and it might take you equally long to read it. Sorry about that, but hey, I haven’t written anything meaningful since May, so, depending on your point of view, this post is either a gift or a punishment. As I’ve said in the past, if you’re an insomniac or a cubicle dweller with lots of time to kill, you’re welcome. (The rest of you, go get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, come back, and get comfy.) I’ve been meaning to write this post for over a year, but it’s such a big topic and so much can go wrong that the thought of tackling it all was enough to make me not write it. But it’s gotten to the point that I’m tired enough of seeing the same questions asked and the same myths propagated over and over on various keto and low carb forums that I’ve decided this needs to be done, no matter how painful I might find it. Because seeing nonsense and fearmongering regarding the role of protein in low carb or ketogenic diets is even more painful. So if finally managing to organize my thoughts into some kind of coherent prose means I never have to read the phrase, “too much protein turns into sugar” ever again, it will be worth it. So that’s what’s on tap today, kids: Gluconeogenesis. That’s right, friends, it’s time to do some myth-busting surrounding the whacked-out notion that protein—lean protein, in particular (like a skinless chicken breast, or tuna canned in water)—is the Continue reading >>