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Does Ketogenic Hurt Metabolism

The Biggest Loser Fail And That Ketogenic Study Success

The Biggest Loser Fail And That Ketogenic Study Success

This week, splashed all over the New York Times, was an article about a paper written by Kevin Hall, a senior researcher at the National Institutes of Health. It was published in Obesity and titled “Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after ‘The Biggest Loser competition“. This generated a lot of hand-wringing about the futility of weight loss. NYT: After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight The study, along with another study presented by Kevin Hall seemed to generate more anxiety about the insulin hypothesis being dead. Of course, both these studies fit in perfectly with the hormonal view of obesity and reinforces once again the futility of following the Caloric Reduction as Primary approach. You could review my 50ish part series on Hormonal Obesity if you want a more in-depth view. So, let’s dive in an explain the findings of both of Dr. Hall’s excellent papers. His conclusions, well, let’s just say I don’t agree with them. The studies, though, were very well done. The Biggest Loser Let’s start with the first paper about the Biggest Loser. Essentially, what it did was follow 14 of the 16 Biggest Loser contestants. At the end of the show, they had all lost significant amounts of weight following a Eat Less, Move More approach. Contestants eat about 1000 – 1200 calories per day and exercise like mad people. What the study showed is that basal metabolism drops like a piano out of the Empire State building. It plummets. They are burning about 800 calories less per day than previously. The new paper shows that this metabolic rate does not recover even 6 years later. In other words, if you reduce your ‘Calories In’, your ‘Calories Out’ will automatically drop. This makes sense. If your body normally eats 2000 calories Continue reading >>

Metabolic Damage And Keto Adaptation – Why And How.

Metabolic Damage And Keto Adaptation – Why And How.

I have been getting questions about how to keto adapt, and how long does keto adaption take etc. and does keeping calories up while keto dieting, does this reduce metabolic damage or adaptation even if your carbs are very low? So what this question is kind of centering on is the concept about metabolic damage and adaptation. My take is that your body becomes very efficient at burning calories when you drive your calories lower and lower and do more and more steady state cardio. I’m not talking about 1 or 2 – 45 min cardio sessions a week, I’m talking more about one or two hours of cardio per day. So this is a high amount of cardio and very low calories. Essentially what you’re doing is you’re just kind of metabolically shocking your system and your body responds by becoming a lot more efficient. Now these mechanisms of efficiency are starting to get studied in the scientific world but that’s basically kind of what we are talking about. Right now there isn’t much evidence, but they do believe something is there. The basis of these adaptations is definitely present. So how this does relate specifically to a ketogenic diet, and you know because your carbs are really low, can you still keep your calories high so you don’t get these metabolic adaptations. And the answer is yes. So what about ketosis? Let’s Get Scientific for a Moment This is a really important key to remember, ketosis is not weight loss, instead ketosis is actually a metabolic state when fat is being burned as your primary fuel source and then ketones are being produced. Ketones are by products of fat metabolism. Fat is getting oxidized at a very high rate, which results in ketone production and then you can measure ketones in either your urine (not recommended as I discuss here in my TOP K Continue reading >>

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

Last week, my staff nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld wrote a guest post for my blog called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health”. Perhaps not surprisingly, it has caused quite a stir. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some people identify so strongly with how many carbohydrates they eat that they take offense when a suggestion is made that low-carb diets may not be appropriate for everyone, in all circumstances. In these circles low-carb diets have become dogma (i.e. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true). Followers of this strange religious sect insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diets; that all carbohydrates, regardless of their source, are “toxic”; that most traditional hunter-gatherer (e.g. Paleolithic) societies followed a low-carb diet; and, similarly, that nutritional ketosis—which is only achievable with a very high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein diet—is our default and optimal physiological state. Cut through the confusion and hype and learn what research can tell us about low-carb diets. On the other hand, I’ve also observed somewhat of a backlash against low-carb diets occurring in the blogosphere of late. While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations. With this in mind, here are 7 things I think everyone should know about low-carb diets. #1: Paleo does not equal low-carb, and very low-carb/ketogenic diets are not our “default” nutritional state, as some have claimed. Some low-carb advocates have claimed that mo Continue reading >>

Metabolism And Ketosis

Metabolism And Ketosis

Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>

When Not To Be On A Ketogenic Diet

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 >>

Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further

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 >>

The Ketogenic Diet: Does It Live Up To The Hype? The Pros, The Cons, And The Facts About This Not-so-new Diet Craze.

The Ketogenic Diet: Does It Live Up To The Hype? The Pros, The Cons, And The Facts About This Not-so-new Diet Craze.

If you believe the buzz, ketosis — whether via the almost-zero-carb ketogenic diet or via ketone supplements— can curb appetite, enhance performance, and cure nearly any health problem that ails you. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. Want to listen instead of read? Download the audio recording here… ++++ Wouldn’t it be awesome if butter and bacon were “health foods”? Maybe with a side of guacamole and some shredded cheese on top? “I’m doing this for my health,” you could purr virtuously, as you topped your delectably marbled, medium-rare steak with a fried egg. Well, many advocates of the ketogenic diet argue exactly that: By eating a lot of fat and close to zero carbohydrates you too can enjoy enhanced health, quality of life, performance, brain function, and abs you can grate that cheese on. So, in this article, we’ll explore: What are ketones, and what is ketosis? What, exactly, is a ketogenic diet? What evidence and scientific research supports the ketogenic diet? Do ketone supplements work? Is the ketogenic diet or ketone supplementation right for me? How to read this article If you’re just curious about ketogenic diets: Feel free to skim and learn whatever you like. If you want to change your body and/or health: You don’t need to know every detail. Just get the general idea. Check out our advice at the end. If you’re an athlete interested in performance: Pay special attention to the section on athletic performance. Check out our advice for athletes at the end. If you’re a fitness pro, or interested in geeking out with nutritional science: We’ve given you some “extra credit” material in sidebars throughout. Check out our advice for fitness pros at the end. It all started with the brain. If you’ve called Client Care at Pr Continue reading >>

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

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 >>

Ketosis For Metabolism Control

Ketosis For Metabolism Control

We know that simply counting calories doesn’t work for weight loss. The threadbare ideas of “calories in versus calories out” and “just eat less and exercise more” are outdated concepts, and not effective long-term. However we do know that the quality of your diet has a tremendous impact on your hormones, satiety, and body composition. In this article, we cover how ketosis for metabolic control wins out over other ways to try and lose fat. How Ketosis Changes Metabolism Let’s do a very quick overview of metabolism in the context of ketosis: When the average person eats, their body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose to be used as energy for all functions of the body. In this case, carbohydrates provide the main fuel source for the body. But when someone is in ketosis, either from eating a ketogenic diet or from fasting, their body is instead breaking down fats into ketone bodies for energy. These ketone bodies are then used to provide the body with a constant source of energy instead of carbs. Being in ketosis allows you to literally shift your metabolism. Now, let’s look at some of the powerful ways ketosis can be used for maintaining a healthy metabolism: Calorie Restriction Versus Ketosis As we prefaced above, simply reducing calories to lose weight is not effective. We know this based on research from people like Gary Taubes. And that’s just part of the story: it can actually be harmful to your metabolism and lower metabolic rate (the amount of calories the body burns per day) — just look at the long-term results from past winners of the Biggest Loser. After forcing the body into caloric reduction, the contestants’ metabolisms dropped, leading to weight loss plateaus and weight regain. In contrast, research has also shown that when we fast, th Continue reading >>

Can You Really Fix Your Metabolism With The Keto Diet?

Can You Really Fix Your Metabolism With The Keto Diet?

The new best-selling book “The Keto Reset Diet” says it can fix a sluggish metabolism and train your body to be a fat-burning machine. Experts are skeptical. It isn’t just you. Dieting is an endless pursuit for many Americans. Around 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. And the weight eventually comes back for 33 to 66 percent of people who’ve dieted. In the New York Times best-seller “The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever,” author and keto diet enthusiast Mark Sisson writes that “yo-yo dieting is severely destructive to your metabolism.” He claims that following a low-carb, high-fat diet will help “turn you into a ‘fat-burning beast’ and stay this way for the rest of your life.” The book explains that the three-week keto reset diet does this by reprograming your genes into a state of “metabolic efficiency” — which he considers burning fat, rather than being “dependent upon regular high-carbohydrate meals to sustain your energy, mood, or cognitive focus.” Critics say the science doesn’t support these claims. Does yo-yo dieting really affect your metabolism? A person’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) is largely based on their weight, but factors like age and genetics also play a role. When someone significantly restricts calories to lose weight, their body can also enter starvation mode. Their metabolism slows down considerably to conserve energy. Extremely low-calorie diets make it easier to regain weight after a diet is over. If someone with a slowed metabolism hits their target weight and celebrates by eating the same amount of daily calories a person with a typical RMR and of their same weight and age would eat, they could gain weight rapidly. Case in point: contestants from the TV show Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: Lose Weight With Ketosis

Ketogenic Diet: Lose Weight With Ketosis

If you’ve faced a health or weight loss plateau, you might have heard about the ketogenic diet. But what is ketosis? Going into ketosis, or a state of fat burning, isn’t complicated, but it takes motivation. It’s a way to burn stubborn fat and lose weight. Today we’ll explore questions like what is the ketogenic diet, what is ketosis and how does it work, what are keto foods, and the benefits and dangers involved in following a ketogenic diet plan. As a bonus: I’ll provide a 1 week ketogenic diet plan plus a complimentary workout plan. Together, they will help you burn stubborn fat. We try so hard to lose a few kilos or pounds, but most of the time we don’t manage to. Luckily, there is an easy way to turn the body into a fat burning machine: the ketogenic diet. Why the ketogenic diet? It’s commonly believed that consuming fewer calories will lead to weight loss. It looks something like this: Calories stored (or lost) = Calories consumed – Calories burned Following this equation, if we eat less, we’ll create a calorie deficit and in turn, use our stored fat . Assumably, we’ll lose weight. It seems easy to do. But, things go wrong. First, as many know from experience, eating less is torturous. Second, we often don’t lose weight with calorie restriction diets. Worse than that, we sometimes lose the weight and gain it back–and do damage to our metabolism in the process. Losing weight and gaining it back means a slower metabolism. This is because body fat storage is not just a matter of calories in and calories out. It is the result of millions of years of evolution. To understand what happens, we need to review some basic biochemistry. We know that an adult has: A glycogen (carbohydrate) reserve that lasts about 1 to 2 days of survival, maximum. Fat Continue reading >>

Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?

Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?

I can’t remember what appetizer she pointed to, but the woman sitting to the left of me said this so casually, and several folks at the table knew exactly what she meant, confirming what I’d long suspected: Ketogenic diets have officially gone mainstream – or recognizable at a party mainstream at least – in 2017. Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel. Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply. Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones. Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel. In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver. Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action. Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In Continue reading >>

The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?

The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?

Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>

Is Low Carb Bad For Hypothyroidism?

Is Low Carb Bad For Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is becoming increasingly more common in Western countries. One of the main symptoms of this hormone disorder is a slower metabolism and gradual weight gain. Low carb and ketogenic diets have emerged as popular approaches to weight loss, at least in otherwise healthy individuals. But there is some controversy over the safety of these eating patterns for hypothyroidism. This article reviews the scientific evidence available. What is a Low Carbohydrate Diet and Ketogenic Diet? A low carbohydrate (low carb) diet is any eating pattern that limits carbohydrate consumption. The standard Western diet is about 50-60% energy carbs, or roughly 300 grams per day. Low-carb diets are typically 30% energy or lower, although there is no set criteria. However, there is a clear distinction between a low carb diet and a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet (keto diet) is a very-low carb diet that restricts carbs to less than 20-50 grams per day, or less than 10% of total energy intake. This makes the body switch to ketones for energy – produced from fats – rather than glucose from carbs. Hence the name ketogenic diet. Summary: Low carb diets restrict carbohydrates to less than 30% of total energy intake, while ketogenic diets restrict to less than 10%. A ketogenic diet causes the body to shift to using ketones as energy, rather than glucose. Carbohydrates and Thyroid Health Thyroid hormones are essential to maintain and regulate carbohydrate/energy metabolism (1). Conversely, the energy (glucose) we get from carbs is required to fuel the production of thyroid hormones. This is because the parts of the brain ultimately responsible for thyroid hormone regulation – the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland – require glucose to function. In fact, the main regulation hormone, Continue reading >>

Metabolic Effects Of The Very-low-carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood

Metabolic Effects Of The Very-low-carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood "villains" Of Human Metabolism

Go to: The Ketone Bodies are an Important Fuel The hormonal changes associated with a low carbohydrate diet include a reduction in the circulating levels of insulin along with increased levels of glucagon. This activates phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, fructose 1,6-biphosphatase, and glucose 6-phosphatase and also inhibits pyruvate kinase, 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase, and glucokinase. These changes indeed favor gluconeogenesis. However, the body limits glucose utilization to reduce the need for gluconeogenesis. In the liver in the well-fed state, acetyl CoA formed during the β-oxidation of fatty acids is oxidized to CO2 and H2O in the citric acid cycle. However, when the rate of mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue is accelerated, as, for example, during very low carbohydrate intake, the liver converts acetyl CoA into ketone bodies: Acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate. The liver cannot utilize ketone bodies because it lacks the mitochondrial enzyme succinyl CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase required for activation of acetoacetate to acetoacetyl CoA [3]. Therefore, ketone bodies flow from the liver to extra-hepatic tissues (e.g., brain) for use as a fuel; this spares glucose metabolism via a mechanism similar to the sparing of glucose by oxidation of fatty acids as an alternative fuel. Indeed, the use of ketone bodies replaces most of the glucose required by the brain. Not all amino acid carbon will yield glucose; on average, 1.6 g of amino acids is required to synthesize 1 g of glucose [4]. Thus, to keep the brain supplied with glucose at rate of 110 to 120 g/day, the breakdown of 160 to 200 g of protein (close to 1 kg of muscle tissue) would be required. This is clearly undesirable, and the body limits glucose utilization to reduce the need for gluconeogenesis Continue reading >>

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