Being Fat Adapted Versus "in Ketosis" (pt.1/3)
UPDATE!! (9/20/2017) I have a new post that explains how and why the body produces ketones, It will help you understand much better the difference between burning fat and having a fat-based metabolism, versus being "in ketosis." It's very long, but I think it's worth reading if you'd really like to understand this -- and if you want to stop freaking out about your ketone levels. (If you click over to that post and want to read only the section that explains the difference between ketosis and running on fat, scroll way down to where it says Ketogenesis: How and Why Do We Make Ketones? Also: Fat Adaptation versus Ketosis.) Happy reading! If I never hear or read those six words, in that order, ever again, I’ll be one happy individual. Based on what I come across on low-carb forums, blogs, and videos, there is a lot of confusion about the correct use of urine ketone test strips (which I’ll sometimes refer to as ketostix, since “ketone test strips” is a mouthful, even when you’re only reading). So allow me to ‘splain a little bit about how to interpret these things, and what role they should play—if any—in your low-carb life. First and foremost is the most important thing you will read in today’s post. (And it is so important that I will likely repeat it in all the posts to follow in this little series. Plus, you can tell it’s important because it’s red, bold, in italics, and all caps, hehheh.) You can be in ketosis and not lose body fat, and you can lose body fat without being in ketosis. Here is an exhaustive, comprehensive list of everything urine ketone test strips tell you: There is acetoacetate in your urine. That’s it. Nothing more. Nada más. Game over. Finito. The fat lady has sung, and Elvis has left the building. Your worth as a human being Continue reading >>
How Long Can You Stay In Ketosis Safely?
Are you looking for a diet for weight-loss or fat-loss? If so then you might be interested in ketosis. The question is whether you can stay on it permanently. That’s because it’s critical for any ‘diet” to become part of your everyday life and eating habits. It’s important to first understand what it is all about. It’s a natural state of the human body when it’s fueled almost 100% by body fat. This state takes place during a low-carb or “keto” diet as well as during fasting. It’s important to understand how this process is related to fat loss. The term originates from the fact that the human produce produces tin fuel molecules known as “ketones.” When the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar/glucose it gets energy from this source. The body produces chemicals when it gets a very low supply of carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The liver’s fat produces ketones then the body and brain use it for fuel. The process is especially important for the brain since the organ can only run from glucose/ketones. Medical research shows that early humans probably experienced the state very often. The reason is that hunter-gatherer societies ate a high-meat diet and had less access to carbohydrates than modern humans. As a result human bodies evolved so they could get energy from fat even though it mimicked starvation mode. Today there are various reasons why people use the ketogenic meal plan. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight or control epilepsy. The firm supporters point out the health benefits of the diet but others note that it’s a dangerous “hack” of the body’s regular metabolic system. These are the benefits to this process: Less eating due to no appetite More fat loss from abdominal cavity Lower blood sugar/insulin levels Lo 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 >>
Burn Fat With A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet What is a cyclical ketogenic diet and how does it help one burn fat? By the way, what even constitutes an optimal physique? This is different based on each individual’s unique genetic potential but researchers would agree that we should have a moderate to thin structure and good muscular development. While many have sought after a thin physique, the mantra of the 21st century is that strong is the new thin! We want to have a good body fat percentage (6-15% for men and 15-30% for women) and have developed well-toned musculature. This article discusses how to build muscle and burn fat with a cyclical ketogenic diet Ketogenic Diet and Fat Metabolism: A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the bodies metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). The ketogenic diet is built around good fats such as grass-fed butter, coconut products, avocados, nuts/seeds, pasture-raised animal products and extra-virgin olive oil. This diet should also focus on low-carbohydrate fruits, vegetables and herbs as staple components. The fat levels will be between 60-80% of calorie intake. How Ketones Are Formed? The body has two major energy sources, it burns glucose or ketone bodies. The majority of people burn glucose primarily because they are constantly supplying a steady form of sugar, starches and proteins that can be turned into blood sugar. When one either fasts or goes on a low-carb, moderate protein and high fat diet they switch their energy source to fat. In particular, the fatty acids are broken down into keto Continue reading >>
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
Burning Fat For Fuel Increases Quality And Quantity Of Life
More than half of all Americans struggle with chronic illness, and 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. is obesity-related. This is a direct result of eating far too much sugar and grains, too much protein and far too little healthy fat To optimize your mitochondrial function through diet, you need to eat so that your body is able to burn fat as its primary fuel rather than sugars. Ketogenic diets are very effective for this, as is fasting When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates ketones that burn more efficiently than carbs, thus creating far less reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals that can damage your cellular and mitochondrial cell membranes, proteins and DNA By Dr. Mercola Humans suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases today than ever before; more than half of all Americans struggle with chronic illness, and 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. are obesity-related. These discouraging statistics are largely the result of an inappropriate diet. Most of us eat far too much sugar and grains, and far too little healthy fat. Many also eat too much protein, and most of it of poor quality processed food to boot. Unfortunately, the notion that glucose is the preferred fuel for your body is a pervasive one. Everyone from diabetics to top athletes are advised to make sure they eat "enough" carbs to keep their systems from crashing. This misguided advice is at the heart of many of our current health failures. It's also a driving factor in our diabetes, heart disease and cancer epidemics. Dietary fats are actually the preferred fuel of human metabolism, and this can be traced back to our evolutionary roots. One of the keys to long-term weight management and good health is healthy mitochondrial function, and for that you need to get your net carb, protein Continue reading >>
Can You Burn Fat Without Being In Ketosis?
When you're trying to lose weight, what you really want is to lose fat while preserving your lean muscle mass. Ketosis occurs when the body burns fat at a high rate. Lowering your carbohydrate intake gets you into the fat-burning zone, but you don't necessarily have to be in ketosis to achieve this goal. Video of the Day Ketosis means that your body is burning fat at high enough rates that you have a lot of ketone bodies, waste compounds produced during the burning of fat. These ketone bodies can also be burned for energy by your brain and most of your other body cells. To have ketone levels high enough to be detectable, you need to keep your carbohydrate intake lower than 50 grams per day, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. If you are in ketosis, which can be verified by using urine ketone strips, you can be 100 percent sure that your body is in fat-burning mode. During a study published in 2005 in the "Journal of the American Medical Association," researchers compared different diet plans, finding that people can lose fat without being in ketosis. If your carb intake is too high, your body prioritizes burning these carbs first. You can promote fat burning by decreasing your carbohydrate intake, but you don't necessarily need to go as low as required to be in ketosis. Restrict your carbs slightly to help your body switch into fat-burning mode more easily. You can burn fat even if you're not producing ketones as long as you create a calorie deficit. In other words, if you eat slightly less than your body needs, your body must gain energy from somewhere else, such as the fat in your love handles. To burn more fat, cut down on your portion sizes, especially of carbohydrate-rich foods such as sweets, soft drinks, bread, pasta, rice an Continue reading >>
How To Become A Fat-burning Machine With The Ketogenic Diet
Perhaps the most immediate and dramatic benefit of ketogenic eating is the opportunity for quick and efficient reduction of excess body fat. This also means easy, long-term maintenance of your ideal body composition. Ketogenic eating can make you an efficient fat-burning machine. When you are in full-blown keto, you enjoy complete dietary satisfaction, rarely feel hungry (even if you skip meals!), and never have to struggle, suffer, restrict calories, or force strenuous workouts in order to burn extra calories. Instead, you allow your body to naturally calibrate you to a healthy composition and weight. The scientists, medical professionals, and athletes on the ground floor of the keto movement can barely contain their excitement over its power to reliably reduce excess body fat, enhance neurological function, protect against diseases of cognitive decline, and slow the rate of inflammation and oxidative damage that are the essence of the (accelerated) aging process. Research has suggested it's also able to help prevent seizures, halt the growth of cancerous tumors, and improve athletic performance for all types of athletes.1 In essence, ketogenic eating allows you to benefit from the extraordinary (and scientifically validated) metabolic efficiency, general health, and longevity benefits of fasting—without having to starve yourself. When you're starving, engaging in a purposeful fast, or adhering to a nutritional ketosis eating pattern, your cells prefer to burn fat and produce ketones. Ketones burn efficiently and quickly in the body. In fact, they have been the preferred human fuels in our body for 2.5 million years of our hunter-gatherer existence.2 On the other hand, the high-carb, high-insulin-producing Standard American Diet (SAD) causes you to burn glucose (also Continue reading >>
Do I Need To Eat More Fat To Burn Fat – Q&a
Question: I’ve often seen it claimed that one needs to ‘eat fat to burn fat’ and that this is one of the advantages of low-carbohydrate diets. But, like so many myths in the diet world, I’m wondering if this is actually true. Is it? Answer: The short answer, as you might have guessed is no. Now, as always, here’s the longer answer. I suspect that the idea that one needed to eat fat to burn fat came out of a misunderstanding of some of the early literature on low-carbohydrate/high-fat/ketogenic diets (note: I’m defining a ketogenic diet here as any diet that contains less than 100 grams of dietary carbohydrate; a topic discussed in more detail in my first book The Ketogenic Diet). In those studies, there was clearly an increase in the body’s use of fat for fuel (indicated by a large scale decrease in something called the respiratory exchange ratio or RER) and I have a hunch that people assumed that it was the huge increase in dietary fat that was driving the increase in fat burning. But as I discussed in Nutrient Intake, Nutrient Storage and Nutrient Oxidation as well as in How We Get Fat, the burning (oxidation) of fat isn’t really related to fat intake per se. Rather, it’s related to carbohydrate intake. That is, the act of eating dietary fat doesn’t usually have a major impact on how much fat you burn. I say ‘not usually’ as some studies find that very high fat intakes (like 80 grams all at once) have a small effect on fat oxidation by the body. But for the most part, how much fat the body burns during the day is related primarily to carbohydrate intake, secondarily to protein intake, and almost not at all to dietary fat intake itself. Also consider that the following three conditions: Complete fasting (no food intake at all) A high-fat, low-ca Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
You Can Eat Fat And Lose Weight! Expert Says Controversial Ketogenic Diet Does Work - So What's The Secret To Doing It Safely?
Lose weight by eating more fat – it almost sounds too good to be true. But followers of the ketogenic food plan claim it not only works, it can revolutionise the way you eat. Although the keto diet – as it's known – has been hailed as being extremely effective for weight loss, it's not without its share of controversy. Those who subscribe to a keto-based food programme eat a diet that's significantly higher in fat – this is offset by a major reduction in carbohydrates which is understood to put the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. In essence, nutritional medical expert Fiona Tuck explained to Today Tonight Adelaide, the body burns fat to use as fuel. Right now the diet being touted as the hot new way to strip unwanted kilos with celebrities - including Guy Sebastian - crediting their success to following the high-fat food regime. But is the diet a safe way to sustainable weight loss? Fiona Tuck breaks it down. 'An extreme keto diet is made up of 75 per cent healthy fat, 20 per cent protein and just five per cent carbs, which means limited fruit and vegetables,' she said. While she said the food plan would work for quick weight loss, it's not one she thinks is beneficial long term. 'We have to be very careful not to take the body into an extreme case of acidosis (caused by an overproduction of acid in the blood) because that can actually be life threatening or fatal.' However Ms Tuck does believe the diet can be followed safely, if carb levels are increased to 50 or 100 grams. She also advocates for following a dietary plan that includes a wide range of fresh foods. 'You could not be getting enough of those brightly coloured fruits and vegetables which could put us at risk of nutritional deficiency,' she warned. For some the health benefits of followin Continue reading >>
10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is a popular, effective way to lose weight and improve health. When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels. These provide a new fuel source for your cells, and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet (1, 2, 3). On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. However, it can often be hard to know whether you're "in ketosis" or not. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of ketosis, both positive and negative. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It's actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath (4). While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day, or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet. It is not a permanent thing. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets, along with normal low-carb diets, are highly effective for losing weight (5, 6). As dozens of weight loss studies have shown, you will likely experience both short- and long Continue reading >>
Is A Low-carb Diet Effective For Burning Fat? Is Ketosis Dangerous?
“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” ~William Gibson One hundred years from now, medical doctors, scientists, nutritionists, and the general public will be puzzled and astounded by how few of us were able to grasp the obvious – high-carb, low-fat diets simply do not achieve long-term fat loss. Athletes, bodybuilders, Hollywood and others have known for decades that a low-carb, high-protein diet achieves incredible fat metabolism and enables rapid muscle gains. Hundreds of scientific studies have – again and again – proven the same. Special interests have ridiculed and disparaged these approaches and prevented most of this knowledge, however, from being incorporated into conventional wisdom. While some diets do follow effective fat loss principles, many take them to extremes (Atkins, Dukan, the Ketogenic Diet, etc.), advocating weight loss at any cost. Avoiding fruits and vegetables while encouraging hot dogs and bacon binges – while it might actually help you lose weight in the short term – is not a healthy or sustainable strategy. The LeanBody System is unlike these diets in that you will achieve fat loss and muscle gains as a direct result of improving your overall health, not sacrificing it. So How Do Low-Carb Diets Work? Extreme low-carb diets push the body into ketosis, which means that the body primarily burns fat (instead of carbs) for energy and levels of ketones in the blood are elevated. Ketones are small carbon fragments created by the breakdown of fat stores after the body is depleted of stored glucose (known as glycogen). Humans can use ketones as energy for bodily functions and even as a replacement for glucose to provide fuel to the brain. Since the body relies on stored fat for energy, people lose weight – 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 >>