How To Fix Your Broken Metabolism By Doing The Exact Opposite
We saw last week with the Biggest Loser study that basal metabolism plummets when you lose weight with calorie reduction. As contestants lose weight, they burn a lot less energy – up to 800 calories per day less than before. Some of that is expected, since there is less body tissue to maintain, but nevertheless, these contestants burn far less than expected even taking this into account. Even 6 years later, their basal metabolic rate (BMR) remains depressed, as do the contestants themselves. The story got a lot of coverage, but one thing was consistently missing. How to fix it.That’s what I’ll show you today, and it’s the opposite of what most people expect. So, let’s think about this problem in the context of the 2 compartment model of obesity that we have used before. There are two compartments for body energy. We take calories in as food. This gets stored in the short term as glycogen, or long term as body fat. Glycogen is easily converted to energy (calories out), but body fat, not so much. So we can consider the analogous situation where short term energy is stored in a refrigerator and long term in the basement freezer. Insulin’s role is to direct food into the basement freezer. When there is excess food that can’t be kept in the fridge, insulin directs it to the freezer. This is body fat and manufactured in the liver by the process of de novo lipogenesis. What causes insulin levels to be elevated depends partly on the foods we eat, but also by insulin resistance. Fructose, for example, plays a key role in elevating insulin resistance which will, in turn raise insulin levels. Insulin resistance leads to high insulin levels, which leads to higher resistance in a vicious cycle. That is, it can be self sustaining. So during weight loss, if we don’t ad Continue reading >>
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Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
Do Ketogenic Diets Have A “metabolic Advantage”?
Previous studies show that eating more protein can help people lose weight. Not only does protein increase the amount of calories burned, it also seems to reduce calorie intake by suppressing appetite. The ketogenic diet is usually much higher in protein than the normal Western diet. As a result, it may help people lose weight. However, it is unclear if the weight-loss benefits of the ketogenic diet are merely due to increased protein intake, or if it improves body composition and calorie expenditure irrespective of its protein content. For this reason, a recent study examined the changes in calorie expenditure and weight loss when switching from a high-carb diet to a low-carb, high-fat (ketogenic) diet, while keeping protein intake constant. Below is a detailed summary of its findings as well as some background information. Background The rates of obesity have been rising in the past decades. Multiple aspects of the modern lifestyle contribute to obesity. For example, physical activity has decreased and the consumption of sugar and processed junk food has been on the rise. Eating excessive amounts of sugar is linked with an increased risk of obesity. However, since sugar contains no more calories than protein or complex carbs, gram for gram, it is still not entirely clear how it promotes weight gain. One popular idea is that sugar is addictive for some people, increasing cravings and calorie intake. Although the hypothesis is not yet fully proved, it is supported by several lines of evidence. Another idea is the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis of obesity. It posits that obesity is mainly caused by elevated insulin levels. According to this hypothesis, elevated insulin levels suppress the use of fat for fuel, promoting its storage in fat tissue. Additionally, scientists Continue reading >>
When Not To Be On A Ketogenic Diet
When Not To Be on a Ketogenic Diet 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 or keto 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. It also improves cellular healing and mitochondrial biogenesis which supports stronger and healthier cells. All of this leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). Where Ketosis Can Be Extremely Beneficial There are certain cases, where I typically recommend a ketogenic diet as the research appears to support that ketosis significantly improves the functionality of these individuals. Overweight or Obese Neurodegenerative Conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Most Cancers but especially those of the brain, nervous system and blood (leukemia) Chronic Pain Seizure Disorders Non-Elite athletes or individuals looking for higher mental & physical performance The final one is the area that I and many others who have pursued a state of ketosis fall into. At this point in my life, I have no chronic diseases, I feel great 99% of the time, but I am always looking to improve my productivity and performance. I have found being in mild-ketosis to be one of the best ways to improve my energy, mental acuity, creativity, physical strength and overall life performance. There is no one diet that works perfectly for everyone. Ketosis has the potential to benefit everyone, but under unique circumstances it would not be warranted. Here are a list of special cases where long-term st Continue reading >>
Keto And Metabolism, Part 1
Metabolism is something about which I would venture the vast majority of people don’t really have any firm understanding. Yet it’s pretty key to understanding how we lose weight, which is kind of a big deal for most of the folks who’ve chosen a keto lifestyles. I’d like to spend the next couple of weeks discussing the various aspects of metabolism, and then connecting them to the different things we tend to recommend. One thing we here at Ketovangelist have discussed a bit- and a get a TON of pushback on- is calories and whether or not they’re really relevant to the discussion of weight loss, especially on keto. The key takeaway I’ve had from most of these discussions is that most folks don’t have the faintest idea what a calorie is anyway. To a lot of folks it’s some nebulous, magical part of our food that either gives us energy or makes us fat. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the entirety of the weight loss community, regardless of what style of eating we’re talking about, is pretty obsessed with calories. So what the heck are they anyway? A calorie is a unit of measurement. That’s all. To be ultra precise, it’s the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. So it’s like an inch or a teaspoon, except instead of pulling out a ruler or a spoon to measure something tangible like a piece of paper or a bit of salt, you have to take the item into a lab and burn it to find out how much potential energy output it has. When it comes to food, we measure the energy it contains in kilocalories, which simply means that one kilocalorie is the same in potential energy output as one thousand calories. (I don’t even want to think about how much bacon they’ve burned to get that number o Continue reading >>
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What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?
If you're looking for the trendiest diet since Paleo, this might be it—only with more fat, way less protein, and virtually zero carbs. The ketogenic diet, which has reportedly been used by celebs like Kim Kardashian and NBA player Lebron James, is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was originally developed to treat epilepsy in children (experts can't say for sure why it reduces the frequency of seizures, but it does seem to work). The whole diet is based on a process called ketosis, which is when your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which can be used as energy, says Tracy A. Siegfried, M.D., medical director at The N.E.W. Program, a bariatric and metabolic weight-loss center in California. The ketones replace carbohydrates as your body’s main energy source, meaning you are running on (and burning) fat. To tell if your body is in a state of ketosis, you can measure your blood or urine for elevated levels of ketones (Ketostix, used to test keto-dieters ketone levels, are available at many pharmacies). If this sounds familiar, it's probably because ketosis is also the goal of the first stage of the Atkins diet. But unlike the keto diet, the Atkins diet aims to get you into a mild state of ketosis and allows for more carbohydrates. In other words, keto is more hardcore. So What the Heck Do You Eat? To get your body to reach ketosis, 80 to 90 percent of the calories you consume should come from fat, and the rest should come from a combo of protein and carbs, says Siegfried. Plus, your carb intake is limited to 10 to 35 grams per day. That's roughly the amount in a single apple, glass of milk, or piece of bread. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to eat fruit or milk-based products without su Continue reading >>
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The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet
If you want to lose weight or build muscle faster and think the ketogenic diet might help, you want to read this article. How did a diet meant for treating epileptic seizures turn into a popular weight loss fad? That’s the story of the ketogenic diet, which was introduced in 1921 by an endocrinologist named Dr. Henry Geyelin. Geyelin, presenting at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, explained that the ancient Greeks had discovered that fasting was an effective method of managing epileptic seizures. Hippocrates wrote about it and, like Geyelin, found that the seizures would return once eating resumed. Why? What was it about fasting that suppressed the seizures? Well, epileptic seizures are triggered by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The causes can vary, from genetics to brain injury, but more common is chronic inflammation throughout the body. Geyelin found that when people fast, two major changes occur in the blood: glucose levels fall and ketone levels rise. You’ve probably heard of glucose, also known as blood sugar, but not ketones, which are carbon-oxygen molecules produced by the liver that cells can use for energy instead of glucose. This finding fascinated Geyelin and he set out to determine if similar effects could be achieved without starvation. A decade of work proved they could, and the “ketogenic diet,” as it would be later called, was born. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, wherein the body’s primary energy source is ketones, not glucose. Early studies showed it was an extremely effective treatment for seizures, but in 1938, it was eclipsed by the anticonvulsant drug phenytoin. This medication became the standard treatment for epilepsy, effectively retiring the ketogenic diet from cli Continue reading >>
What A Broken Metabolism Feels Like
Lost some weight doing HCG or some other very low calorie diet and now put on fat just looking at food? Your metabolism might be broken. Let's fix it... Every time I see someone promoting a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) as a lifestyle diet I just want to slap them in the greedy little faces. We once promoted it. We tried it and lost weight. Then we slapped ourselves in the impatient faces when we finished the diet and found we would put on fat eating a f*(n salad. So we got fat and blamed ourselves. "Low self control," we said. Out came the whip of self loathing... Jokes. We don't do that shit. We don't hate ourselves when we try something and fail! That just doesn't help. Instead, we educate ourselves. Which is what I'm going to do here for you. Save you the 5 years of yo-yo dieting we went through... A very low calorie diet should only be done once in your life... ever. Unless you're in the first 3 months post partum, you risk permanently shutting down your metabolism by repeatedly starving yourself. If you've done a HCG diet before, then you should NEVER do it again. And if someone tells you to, especially if that someone profits from you (buying their magic woo-woo potion), run away and never buy anything from that low life, cash guzzling monster again. NOTE: This post is not about doing HCG or a low calorie diet, it's about what to do if you have done one and want to actually eat something again. How to Know If Your Metabolism Is Broken first, let's quickly work out if your metabolism is running ineffectively... Fill in the following form: Gender MaleFemale Age Weight kglb Height cmft Submit Scroll down to the bottom of the results, and you'll see the following table: Your numbers will be different to the above ones, but whatever they are, you sho Continue reading >>
The Paleo Guide To Ketosis
Ketosis is a word that gets tossed around a lot within the Paleo community – to some, it’s a magical weight-loss formula, to others, it’s a way of life, and to others it’s just asking for adrenal fatigue. But understanding what ketosis really is (not just what it does), and the physical causes and consequences of a fat-fueled metabolism can help you make an informed decision about the best diet for your particular lifestyle, ketogenic or not. Ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which the body primarily relies on fat for energy. Biologically, the human body is a very adaptable machine that can run on a variety of different fuels, but on a carb-heavy Western diet, the primary source of energy is glucose. If glucose is available, the body will use it first, since it’s the quickest to metabolize. So on the standard American diet, your metabolism will be primarily geared towards burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. In ketosis, it’s just the opposite: the body primarily relies on ketones, rather than glucose. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that some organs in the body (especially the brain) require a base amount of glucose to keep functioning. If your brain doesn’t get any glucose, you’ll die. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need glucose in the diet – your body is perfectly capable of meeting its glucose needs during an extended fast, a period of famine, or a long stretch of very minimal carbohydrate intake. There are two different ways to make this happen. First, you could break down the protein in your muscles and use that as fuel for your brain and liver. This isn’t ideal from an evolutionary standpoint though – when you’re experiencing a period of food shortage, you need to be strong and fast, Continue reading >>
The Science Behind Fat Metabolism
Per the usual disclaimer, always consult with your doctor before experimenting with your diet (seriously, go see a doctor, get data from blood tests, etc.). Please feel free to comment below if you’re aware of anything that should be updated; I’d appreciate knowing and I’ll update the content quickly. My goal here is to help a scientifically curious audience know the basic story and where to dive in for further study. If I’m successful, the pros will say “duh”, and everyone else will be better informed about how this all works. [UPDATE: based on a ton a helpful feedback and questions on the content below, I’ve written up a separate article summarizing the science behind ketogenic (low-carb) diets. Check it out. Also, the below content has been updated and is still very much applicable to fat metabolism on various kinds of diets. Thanks, everyone!] tl;dr The concentration of glucose in your blood is the critical upstream switch that places your body into a “fat-storing” or “fat-burning” state. The metabolic efficiency of either state — and the time it takes to get into one from the other — depends on a large variety of factors such as food and drink volume and composition, vitamin and mineral balances, stress, hydration, liver and pancreas function, insulin sensitivity, exercise, mental health, and sleep. Carbohydrates you eat, with the exception of indigestible forms like most fibers, eventually become glucose in your blood. Assuming your metabolism is functioning normally, if the switch is on you will store fat. If the switch is off, you will burn fat. Therefore, all things being equal, “diets” are just ways of hacking your body into a sufficiently low-glycemic state to trigger the release of a variety of hormones that, in turn, result in Continue reading >>
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Four New, Cutting-edge Ways To Easily Shift Your Body Into Fat-burning Mode & Ketosis.
Great article. You actually answered my question as to the ratio of the 3 BHB salts which is quite helpful for me. For me, I had Keto O/S and found it quite good – my favorite was the chocolate swirl. But it was and is very expensive. Only 15-20 servings and would break the bank. So I turned to KetoCaNa and I’ve tried two flavours. Both of them were so salty that I almost threw up every time. Like flavoured sea water. Also only 15 serving per bottle. Then I turned to Ketond which is okay – Tigers Blood and Caramel Macchiato. What I like about Ketond is that it has a full 30 servings and is very transparent with it’s ingredients. It’s also the same price as Keto OS but you get 30 servings. But still, not the best taste. So in the end, I ordered 1kg of pure BHB Magnesium from a supplier in China and I will be developing my own Ketone product with 30 servings as a lower price than all the competitors, and with more Magnesium, and Calcium in it than Sodium so that it tastes the best and actually helps with weight loss (which Magnesium is proven to do at the right amount). What the companies don’t tell you is that actually Sodium BHB is the cheapest, then Calcium BHB and then Magnesium BHB to source so I would be interested in knowing if what you wrote is actually true or just an excuse to make the product cheaper. Probably a mix of both. So I have 2 questions Ben: 1. If you had to split the 11.7g of BHB into Sodium, Ca, and Mg, what ratio would you do for the best health results and potential weight loss? The current products on the market are about an 80/12/8 split. I would think it should be the other way around. 2. When I develop my own product and sell it, would you be up for sampling it and reviewing it on your website here? What flavours do you like/would Continue reading >>
My Experience With The Ketogenic Diet & Repairing A Damaged Metabolism
Ever since I started doing some research on health and fitness, I joined the millions of North Americans who fell into the trap of obsessing over weight loss through dieting. Granted I wasn’t in poor shape or anything, I had a about 5-10 pounds I was looking to lose. I read up on some diets on popular fitness websites such as bodybuilding.com seeking a lose fat quickly avenue. Just a little background on myself before I explain how the diet went, I have an addictive personality and I’ve struggled through battling a few addictions in the past already. Once I set my mind to something, I tend to get pretty invovled in it, I put a lot of my focus and energy into it whether its by choice or not. The Ketogenic diet caught my attention and I decided to try it out and see if it actually works, well according forums many people swear by it so I thought it was pretty reliable. My first problem is that I dove into my first real diet without really doing a full research of the pros, cons, and following a plan. There’s a saying that goes”fail to plan, plan to fail”, Which is what happened, I was really reacting and making it up as you go. A ketogenic diet is essentially a HIGH fat, medium protein, and LOW carbohydrate intake. The idea is that carbohydrates are not an essential macro nutrient, the human body can survive without it. However, it cannot survive without protein and fats. Normally, our bodies run off carbohydrates as a main fuel source, a typical North American diet consist of high carb, medium fats, and low protein if you eat out at restaurants and processed foods. So the philosophy behind the Ketogenic diet is switching to a High fat, medium protein, but LOW carbohydrate diet. This will switch the body to use Fats as a main source of fuel instead of carbohydra Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Weight Loss Plateaus
I keep hearing people talk about their weight loss plateaus, and how they can get around them. Some go the extreme route of doing liquid fasting, others will ignore it and keep on keeping on. I wanted to put together a short list of common things that may be wreaking havok on the average ketogenic dieter, and go over some solutions that might help out. Keep in mind, this does not cover everything and it also covers a wide range of topics. As you read this, please read to the end. Don’t form ideas about your own body and apply the things that I am saying with no thought behind it. This is strictly for people that are hitting weight loss plateau’s and need some help. If you have only lost 1 or 2 pounds in a week, that is still weight loss and does not require action against it. Hidden Carbohydrates People on ketogenic diets eat more carbohydrates than they think. They’re hidden in vegetables, nuts, and certain meat products. Yes, that peanut butter you’re chomping on could be causing a problem! Especially if it’s store bought – that stuff is loaded with extra sugar. Some vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and squash are common culprits that find their way into our lives on a frequent basis. You might think that they’re low carb, but in large consumption, those carbs really do add up. You can look at the list of the best low carb vegetables we’ve put together, so that you can be more aware of the vegetables you eat. Meat is the center of most of our lives, and there’s sugar everywhere you look. Some bacon is honey smoked, adding unnecessary carbs to an already delicious product. Why the madness? Look for bacon with no sugar added. When you start to look into Italian sausages, chorizo, and canned meats, there’s more carbs than most think. Some b Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet's Effect On Cortisol Metabolism
(Related post: Red Light, Green Light: responses to cortisol levels in keto vs. longevity research) One of the myths surrounding ketogenic diets comes from misunderstanding the role of cortisol — the "stress hormone". In a previous post, we addressed one of the arguments behind this myth: the idea that to activate gluconeogenesis (to make glucose out of protein), extra cortisol must be recruited. That is just factually incorrect, as we showed in the post. The other argument, which we address here, is more complex. Like the previous cortisol myth, it involves a faulty chain of reasoning. Here are the steps: Ketogenic diets may raise certain measures of cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol is correlated with metabolic sydrome, and therefore higher cortisol measures may indicate the onset of metabolic syndrome. Therefore, ketogenic diets could cause metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a terrible and prevalent problem today. It is that cluster of symptoms most strongly identified with diabetes — excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar, and a particular cholesterol profile — but also correlated with other life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer. In this post, we're going to explain some of the specifics of cortisol metabolism. We'll show how this argument is vague, and how clarifying it leads to the opposite conclusion. The confusion may all stem from misunderstanding one important fact: different measures of cortisol are not equivalent. First, though, there is an important reason why the argument doesn't make sense. We already know that a ketogenic diet effectively treats metabolic syndrome. As we will describe below, it turns out that certain cortisol patterns are strongly linked to metabolic syndrome, and might even be a cause of metabol Continue reading >>
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The Lowdown On Keto Side Effects: What’s Real, What’s Not, And What’s Helpful, Written By Mark Sisson
With more people enthusiastic about the ketogenic diet comes more talk about potential adverse side effects. Upon closer examination, almost all of the complaints can be traced to a flawed approach. Granted, if you are coming to the game with significant metabolic damage from decades of carbohydrate dependency, or not paying attention to some common sense best practices, such as choosing healthy foods instead of blindly focusing on macros, you will likely struggle with something as stringent as keto. Let’s cover some of the common keto complaints being bantered about these days, examine what’s really going on, and discuss strategy for how to avoid any adverse side effects to going keto. Keto Flu The keto flu refers to feelings of general malaise and even immune disturbances in association with dietary modification. Commonly cited symptoms include feeling lethargic (especially in the afternoon), feeling hot, feeling achy in joints and muscles, among other related sensations. Here are eight important tips for avoiding the keto flu. Check out the full post for further details. Get sufficient omega-3s, from oily, cold water fish or supplementation. Consume an extra five grams (1 teaspoon) of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt per day when going keto. Consume foods rich in potassium and magnesium. Avocado is an excellent high fat, low carb source for both. Make an extra effort to hydrate strategically, especially around workouts. Consume more healthy, natural fats to replace the carbs you are cutting out. Consume MCT oil (from coconut oil or MCT oil supplements) to stimulate external ketone production. Move frequently and conduct cardio sessions at low heart rates. Try a gradual reduction in carbs if an abrubt reduction seems problematic or you experience keto flu symptoms. Continue reading >>