Keto Diet Science: How Your Body Burns Fat
By now, you’ve probably heard about the keto diet. You've probably heard that it all but bans carbs and sugars, or that it's been clinically shown to reduce epileptic seizures in kids, or even that it helps people condition their bodies to burn fat. As we detailed in our recent feature on the keto diet, all of those things are true. But as any bodybuilder knows, you don't need to be on the keto diet to burn fat. Heck, you can do it with a focused meal and exercise plan. So we've been wondering: When your body "burns fat" for energy, what's really going on there? How exactly does the keto diet work? And why the hell is it called the "keto" diet, anyway? Play Video Play Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Remaining Time -0:00 This is a modal window. Foreground --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Opaque Background --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Window --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400% Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps Defaults Done Well strap some protective boxing headgear over those thinking caps, bros, because we’re about to roundhouse kick you in the brain with some KNOWLEDGE. (For a detailed breakdown of the chemistry at work, be sure to check out our references: this explainer on ketone bodies from the University of Waterloo, and this ketosis explainer from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology [PDF], plus our feature on the keto diet from the July/August issue of Men's Fitness.) Why does the body go into fat-burning mode? For most pe Continue reading >>
Gaining Weight On The Keto Diet? You’re Not Alone!
The Ketogenic Diet is suppose to be the best thing since sliced bread (no bun intended. Yes, bun, not pun, cause carbs). And like me, you also tried the Ketogenic Diet to see if all its fat burning potential was going to melt all the stubborn bubbler off your body. Chances are that if you are reading this, that didn't happen. In fact, you likely started gaining weight on the keto diet. What the hell, right?! In this article I am going to lay out for you why you are gaining weight on the keto diet, share a little bit of my experience eating keto, and then tell you how to make the keto diet work for you so you can continue to burn fat! Why You are Gaining Weight on the Keto Diet I could sit here and list at least 5 reasons why people are gaining weight on the keto diet, but I'll simplify it down to one simple reason. The early settlers on the land of Ketosis Island had this crazy idea that because dietary fat does not stimulate the release of insulin, which is a fat storing hormone, that ketosis could effectively circumvent the long standing law of energy balance, aka calories in vs calories out. While energy balance is not the only rule when it comes to whether calories are used for output or stored for later use, in most healthy people, calories in verses calories out sits at the top of the energy balance spectrum. If you were one of the unfortunate souls who got advice from one of these people early on, before the science started coming out, chances are you ignored the amount of calories you were eating during the keto diet and gained fat weight along the way. That's what happened to me. I love to eat, so when I heard there was a diet out there that could effectively eliminate the worry of calories simply by reducing carbohydrates to zero, I was sold. I follow Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>
In Ketosis But Not Losing Weight? These Foods May Be Stalling Your Progress
Stop Stalling Volume Two: Malignant Mouthfuls Welcome back to the Stop Stalling series! Today, we’re going to take a look at some specific foods that may be causing your stall. These foods may be keeping you from getting ahead. The bad news is that a lot of them may be staples for you. Many of them seem keto-friendly: they’re low in net carbs and should be “safe.” In fact, they are “safe” for plenty of people. However, for some people, certain foods can cause stalls. If you’re in ketosis but not losing weight and have implemented everything advised in Volume 1: Operator Error, here’s a list of the most likely suspects. Dairy: Dairy is a tricky one. First of all, it’s very energy-dense (i.e. it has a lot of calories). That means that it can be really easy to overdo. Alas, keto isn’t magical, and calories still count. Secondly, it’s often a carbohydrate bomb. A glass of milk has about ten grams. It can have more or less depending on the fat content. It can be tough to tell with yogurt: while the actual carb count is probably lower than what is listed on the label (fermentation consumes some of the carbohydrates), you can’t always tell just how many there are. This is even ignoring the fact that many yogurts contain additives, including starch-based thickeners. Finally, dairy is especially prone to “rounding down”: even though many labels say that a serving of cheese contains zero carbohydrates, chances are that a serving contains as many as 0.7 grams. It seems like very little, but if you eat two servings (easy to do!), it’s going to add up over time. Many people rely on dairy, and when they drop it, they start losing again. Seeds and nuts: Seeds and nuts are horrible bastards. I love nuts, especially almonds. Especially the smoked ones or th Continue reading >>
Keto Diet Weight Loss Rate – How Fast Can You Lose Weight?
“I have to lose extra weight fast, urgently, right here and right now. I can not wait a minute, otherwise I cannot wear my favorite clothes to a party, wedding, concert etc.” You are familiar with those thoughts, aren’t you? We always wait until the last day, and then we begin to panic and search for a diet for rapid weight loss. You try to water or juice fast, lose 3-5 kg (6.6 – 11 lb) of nothing but water weight and despite what the scales say, you look no different and feel weak and dehydrated. The keto diet is the safest way to lose weight very fast, but just what is the keto diet weight loss rate? Read on to find out. What is the keto diet weight loss rate? I’m sure there are only ketogenic diet followers among my readers. Well, I’m almost sure of that. Some of you have just entered our low-carb club, and you are really wondering – what is the keto diet weight loss rate? After all, you could be in the category of those who need to fit into a sexy dress just next week. Keep track of your progress! Weight loss is easier when you’re collecting analytic data on yourself! Add to cart Select options Select options Add to cart So, let’s find out what is the weight loss rate on a ketogenic diet. First of all we have to figure out how exactly how our calories get burned with a keto diet. The principle of calorie burning is very simple, although to be honest, I do not agree with it. As for me it is complicated. I think everything is very difficult with our bodies. I will explain it with simple words, without bothering your brain with any detailed information. You are definitely in a rush to start doing whatever needs to be done to fit into the same dress. When you live your usual life without any diet your body gets energy from carbohydrates. As soon as you Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
Low-carb Diet: Can It Help You Lose Weight?
Could a low-carb diet give you an edge in losing weight? Help you keep weight off permanently? Here's what you need to know about the low-carb diet. Definition A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates — such as those found in grains, starchy vegetables and fruit — and emphasizes foods high in protein and fat. Many types of low-carb diets exist. Each diet has varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat. Purpose A low-carb diet is generally used for losing weight. Some low-carb diets may have health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Why you might follow a low-carb diet You might choose to follow a low-carb diet because you: Want a diet that restricts certain carbs to help you lose weight Want to change your overall eating habits Enjoy the types and amounts of foods featured in low-carb diets Check with your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. Diet details As the name says, a low-carb diet restricts the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates are a type of calorie-providing macronutrient found in many foods and beverages. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. They can further be classified as simple refined (table sugar), simple natural (lactose in milk and fructose in fruit), complex refined (white flour) and complex natural (whole grains or beans). Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include: Grains Fruits Vegetables Milk Nuts Seeds Legumes (beans, lentils, peas) Food manufacturers also add refined carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of sugar or white flour. Examples of foods that contain refined carbohydrates are white breads and Continue reading >>
Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
These are the top 10 reasons you’re not losing weight on a low carb diet. A great FREE printable for the fridge and an easy reminder to stay on track. Just click on the image below to save the PDF for printing. UPDATE – watch the quick video below. No compatible source was found for this media. Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight Eating LCHF Too Many Carbohydrates – are carbs starting to sneak back into your diet? Be honest and start tracking everything using KetoDietApp. A little treat here and there adds up. Some are more carb sensitive (or insulin resistant) than others. I know that my carbs have to be around 50g/day to be feeling great and in control of my appetite. Lower than that and I will lose a little bit of weight, above that and I know my weight loss will stall. I generally go between 35-70g/day without too much tracking because I have done it for so long. Too Much Fruit – yes I use berries on my breakfast and desserts, but that is it. I allow my children to eat fruit (without gorging) as they are fit, healthy and in the normal weight range. For me, the sugar and fructose in fruit is too much. Sure, enjoy it as a treat and eat only low carb nutritent dense berries. See fruit as an occasional sweet treat. Packed with fibre, antioxidants, nutrients……… “If you are overweight, fruit is not your friend” Too much Dairy – my biggest downfall is milk. I love my lattes and flat whites. Now milk is great, full of protein and calcium, but it also contains about 5% carbs. A latte can range from 9g to 15g carbs depending on the size you choose. Most dairy such as milk, cream and yoghurt contains approximately 4- 5% but you are more likely to drink a large glass of milk, eat a bowl of yoghurt or drink a large latte than eat 250g of full fat cheese Continue reading >>
How To Burn Stored Body Fat — A Ketosis Primer
“So, how do you tell your body to start burning stored body fat?” my friend and fellow mother asked. “Cut the carbs,” answered another mom. “I go into ketosis just about every afternoon.” “Ketosis? Isn’t that bad for you?” The short answer? No. I talk to a lot of people who want to lose weight. They try all sorts of things — exercise, calorie restriction, you name it. Sometimes, they lose the weight. Inevitably, they gain it back. That’s because what they’re doing is going on a diet — a temporary fix at best. What they need is a lifestyle change, a perspective shift, a new paradigm. Of course, you all know the paradigm I espouse — a conversion to eating real, traditional foods. Yet even a conversion to eating real food won’t necessarily help the pounds melt away. If you’re still eating 200 grams of carbohydrates a day — even if they’re “traditional” carbohydrates like sprouted or soaked grains, unrefined sweeteners, etc, you’re not going to lose weight without making some serious changes. If your body is regularly storing body fat (you gain a little bit of weight each year), then something is wrong with how your body metabolizes food. Let me introduce you to a new concept: the body fat setpoint. The body fat setpoint is the mass of body fat that your body attempts to defend against changes in either direction. It’s your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis. This is why if you exercise more, you eat more. It’s also why if you restrict calories, your metabolism slows down to compensate. Why should you care about the body fat setpoint? From Stephan at Whole Health Source: We care because this has some very important implications for human obesity. With such a powerful system in place to keep body fat mass in a narrow range, Continue reading >>
Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further
The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits. Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis. In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post. If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight, have a look at my Practical Guide to Keto Diet which is freely available on my website also as PDF. 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week Top Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet 1. Carbs are Too High Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out this post. For more about ketones, have a look at this post. 2. Protein is Too High or Too Low Your protein intake may be too high/ low. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. If you don't eat enough protein, you Continue reading >>
Will I Lose Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?
The ability to simultaneously gain muscle and lose fat is a rather controversial topic amongst those in the fitness industry; however, this seems to be the desired goal of anyone looking to optimize body composition. One of the biggest conundrums we face is that in order to shed body fat, we tend to cut calories so much that we lose muscle mass, and in order to build muscle mass, we tend to bring along some fat gain for the ride. These changes in body composition can happen for a number of different reasons, a few of which we will touch on in this article. In any case, the evidence is clear that a properly implemented ketogenic diet exhibits a protein sparing effect, which may allow one dieting to preserve more muscle mass than if he/she hadn’t been ketogenic. This means that we can ideally shed off that pesky lower abdominal fat, all the while keeping those prized muscles we have worked so hard to build. In this article we are going to discuss some of the mechanisms of fat loss and muscle maintenance on a ketogenic diet and why a ketogenic diet may be more ideal for attaining these goals than a traditional low fat diet. One particular piece of dietary advice that people tend to give is the “calories in, calories out,” hypothesis which indicates that it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you eat it, just as long as you eat less than you expend. This is true to a certain degree, but far too often we tend to simplify what both of those equations mean without taking into account other variables (e.g. fiber, thermogenic effect of protein, brown adipose tissue, etc.). If you put yourself in a caloric deficit, it is likely that you will experience weight loss; however, it is possible that some of this weight loss will not come strictly from body fat, and that some of Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Necessary On A Low-carb Diet? Let’s Ask The Experts!
One of the most asked about aspects of livin’ la vida low-carb has got to the issue of ketosis. There is so much misinformation about there about this very natural state that the body goes through when you are on a low-carb diet (primarily confusing it with a serious condition that diabetics must be careful of called ketoacidosis–NOT the same as ketosis). As such, there may be confusion that lingers out there among my readers who are just learning about this way of eating. In this recent blog post where I provided some “quickie one-liner” responses to some e-mails, I made the following statement: Being in ketosis is like being pregnant–you either are or you’re not; regardless of what the Ketosticks show you, if you are eating less than 30g carbohydrates a day, then you ARE in ketosis.? One of my readers named Charles Fred decided to respond to my statement which he disagreed with and it gets to the very heart of this issue about ketosis. Here’s what he wrote: Your statement reflects today?’s informed opinion, but my article in work, ?Unified Physiology of the Metabolic Syndrome,? has given me an unusual perspective which for the sake of brevity I?’ll state dogmatically. Ketosis need not and should not be part of low-carb eating. Low-carb diets should never be labeled as ?ketogenic? diets. Ketosis appears to be an ?Induction? phase of low-carb eating, but in fact it is a last ditch response to inadequate glucose. As such it is either temporary or avoidable. Low-carb eating is the evolution-derived diet of humans (unlike other primates). Humans are carnivores, hunters, because human evolution happened pre-fire and pre-agriculture when very few carbs were edible. For carnivores, gluconeogenesis in the liver supplies all necessary glucose. But if someone a Continue reading >>
How To Lose Weight On A Keto Diet In 5 Easy Steps (+ 4 Real-life Examples)
CLEARLY the “eat less”, “eat low fat”, and “just eat everything in moderation” diets haven’t worked too well for most people. So, if you’re still trying to lose weight and keep it off, then maybe it’s time to try something that’s working for tens of thousands of people right now… The Ketogenic Diet. But is it all too good to be true? Yes, we believe Keto is fantastic for weight loss. We’ve just seen it work for way too many people (check out the success stories below). But it’s also not for everyone. So, in this post, we are giving you the real facts behind all the hype as well as real-life stories of people who have lost a lot of weight on Keto. PLUS, how to get started on Keto to lose weight in 5 EASY Steps. What is the Ketogenic Diet? THE HISTORY: Originally the Ketogenic diet was created as an effective treatment for epileptic children. BUT NOW: More and more people are finding that a Ketogenic diet has tons of benefits, including: a healthy way to lose weight, control blood sugar levels, improve your brain function, and potentially even reverse a myriad of health conditions. How does keto do this? The Keto diet puts your body into a powerful fat-burning metabolic state called nutritional ketosis. NUTRITIONAL KETOSIS: In nutritional ketosis, your body generally uses very few carbohydrates for energy. Instead, it switches to using ketones (which are produced from the breakdown of fats). That’s why the keto diet is often called a fat-burning diet… You can literally be burning your own body fat for energy! (It’s still unclear whether ketosis is the magical factor that makes a Keto diet so effective for weight-loss, but whatever it is, it seems to work!) So, how do we get into this nutritional ketosis state? You can get into nutritional k Continue reading >>
Quick Start Keto
Low carbers know ketosis is the superhero of fat-burning. But what is ketosis? And how do you get into ketosis quickly? Keto FAQs and why it makes a difference in fat loss. 6 techniques to get into ketosis fast 3-Day rapid reach ketosis technique Try a few rapid keto techniques and eat specific low carb keto foods. Our quick start guide covers everything you need to reach ketosis fast. If carbs are limited to small amounts in your diet, your body relies on fat for energy. When you reach ketosis, fat burns rapidly and muscle tissue is spared. Why Does Keto Burn Fat Faster? To get into ketosis you’ll avoid sugar, leading to low insulin levels. Low insulin curbs hunger and accelerates fat-burning. Metabolizing fat and producing ketones burns more energy than metabolizing carbs. The result is a much higher calorie burn. How Do I Reach Ketosis? Ketosis happens when carbs are very low – usually when eating 20 to 50 grams of net carbs or less per day. (Carb grams from fiber are NOT counted in daily totals.) Everyone is different. Some low carbers must eat very low carb to reach ketosis. Typical Keto Ratio Getting into ketosis requires eating meals that are high in healthy fats and low in carbs. Protein grams should not exceed 20 % of total daily calories. Keto Calculator This free online keto calculator determines your ideal nutrient ratio for weight loss or maintenance during ketosis. The keto calculator recommends the optimum daily calories, fat, carb and protein amounts to help you get into ketosis – and meet your weight loss goal. How to Know You’re in Ketosis Keto Symptoms During keto, low carbers experience bursts of energy and heightened mood – just two of the big benefits of ketosis. Some dieters notice a temporary, sweet taste in the mouth or a mild, sweet b Continue reading >>
Can Eating Fat Help You Lose Weight? Let’s Look At The Ketogenic Diet.
Fat makes your meals more palatable and helps you feel full, so it’s no wonder the high-fat ketogenic diet is increasing in popularity. The diet has been trending for the past three years, as “keto” blogs and cookbooks continue to pop up and build an impressive fan base. This diet has been used under close supervision by physicians and dietitians since the 1920s for treating epilepsy and has shown promise in managing brain cancer. But is it useful and healthy as a strategy for weight loss? First, the basics: On the ketogenic diet, at least 70 percent of your daily calories come from fat. Five to 10 percent of your calories come from carbohydrates (20 to 50 grams a day). The rest, up to 25 percent of your daily energy, comes from protein. By contrast, the healthy diet recommended by the Institute of Medicine is 45 to 65 percent carbs, 20 to 35 percent fat and 10 to 35 percent protein. The ketogenic diet’s low-carb target can be met only by avoiding grains, dairy products, fruit, and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils. Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash are out, and even amounts of lower-carb vegetables are limited. So what’s left to eat? Typically, eggs cooked in butter for breakfast; for lunch and dinner, meat, chicken or fish with salad or green vegetables and plenty of oily dressing. Sorry folks, no alcohol on this diet. Even red wine is out. The ketogenic diet gets its name from a process called ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body doesn’t have enough energy from glucose (carbohydrates), so it adapts by using stored fat for energy. The result? Weight loss. Does the ketogenic diet lead to faster or more sustainable weight loss than other diets? The research to date suggests that initial weight loss on the keto diet is impressive but Continue reading >>