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Doing Everything Right But Not In Ketosis

Why Am I Not In Ketosis Yet?

Why Am I Not In Ketosis Yet?

[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy something after using one of those links, I might receive a small financial compensation, at no cost to you.] If you're having trouble getting into ketosis, one of the following 12 stumbling blocks might be standing in your way. Ketosis occurs when your glucose supply runs out, but sometimes the body can fight back pretty hard. In addition, all of those little cheats, low-carb products, daily stress, and even your current weight all affect your body's ability to burn fat for fuel. Are you ready to discover what's standing in your way? If so, this post will show you. I definitely know how you feel. Some people have lots of difficulties getting into ketosis, but don't let that fact overwhelm you and convince you to turn back. Just because you don't seem to be making any progress and other people are losing a ton of weight on Induction, that doesn't mean that a low-carb diet is the wrong choice for you. There's still hope even if nothing you've tried so far has worked, and even if you can't seem to get into ketosis no matter what you do. If your clothes are still tight, the scale isn't budging, and your Ketostix are either still tan or barely pink, all is not lost. Okay? There's always a reason why you're craving those chocolate chip cookies the kids are eating. There's a reason why you're having a hard time at work and still feel exhausted all the time. You just gotta find the barrier to ketosis and banish it from your life. Yes, I know that's more difficult than it sounds, so if you're like most people, you're probably wondering: What am I doing wrong? Why am I not in ketosis yet? Here's the fact: Ketosis occurs when the body has exhausted all potential sources of glucose. For most people, that happens in on Continue reading >>

9 Reasons Why You Aren’t In A State Of Ketosis

9 Reasons Why You Aren’t In A State Of Ketosis

If you’re having trouble getting into ketosis, it is useful to understand the factors that actually impact blood ketone levels. When I first started on the ketogenic diet, I made sure to educate myself fully on how I can efficiently get into a fat-adapted state (ketosis). Just like everything else, there’s going to be some hurdles you’ll face when adopting a keto lifestyle. Watch out for these 8 ketogenic pitfalls you could be potentially be falling for. 1. Carbohydrates Pretty much all steps involved in producing ketones are inhibited by insulin, this means that ketone levels are extremely sensitive to carb intake. There isn’t an exact amount of carbohydrates that works for everyone to get into ketosis. But, there is a general guideline that works for most people. It has been estimated that around 50 grams per day or lower of carbohydrates will elevate your blood ketone levels. You should be eating less than 30 grams in order to get into ketosis. From personal experience, I found that if i’m more active on any given day, I can get away with eating more carbohydrates and still have decent blood ketone levels. I actually have been able to get away with upwards of 100 grams of carbs and still be in ketosis. I believe this is because when you are active, you are burning extra glycogen storages that come from carbohydrates. 2. Protein. Just like carbohydrates, increasing your intake of protein to fat in your diet will limit your ketone production. The reason behind this is because over half of amino acids in proteins are converted into glucose in the body, thus, producing an anti-keto effect. This is not as big of a deal for athletes / people who are very active because the body is utilizing the protein and amino acids to the point where it is not hindering your k Continue reading >>

Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know

Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know

In Keto Flu 101 my goal is to answer the questions I get asked on a daily basis about the Keto Flu. Many people who are interested in going into ketosis are afraid that they will get the keto flu and are looking for ways to avoid getting it all together. While every person’s experience is different, knowledge is power, so prepare to arm yourself with as much information about the keto flu as possible before you start the diet, so you know what to expect. ~ This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products we use. Already started Keto? Don’t worry; this post will still give you the tools you need to prepare yourself as well. Look, this is the rest of your life we are talking about. As my favorite author, C.S. Lewis said “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” and that is true even in the case of the keto flu! Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know The “keto flu” is what we commonly call carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms usually occur in people who start a low carb diet that alters their hormones and causes and electrolyte imbalances. Don’t let this alarm you; this is a GREAT thing. In other words, it describes a cycle in the body adapting to a newly started low carb diet. Think about the keyword here, which is withdrawal. The same way an addict withdrawal from any drug. Your body is so used to living off of carbs that both your body and your mind think you need these to survive. On most diets you’ve tried in the past, your mind was probably much harder to fight than your body. Maybe you’ve never been on a diet that caused you to go through any form of withdrawal, and that’s where you’ll find the greatest source of power when it comes to Keto! With Keto, once your body goes through w Continue reading >>

Can Eating Mostly Fat Help You Lose Weight?

Can Eating Mostly Fat Help You Lose Weight?

Every January, fat's in the crosshairs of health columnists, fitness magazines, and desperate Americans. This year, PopSci looks at the macronutrient beyond its most negative associations. What’s fat good for? How do we get it to go where we want it to? Where does it wander when it’s lost? This, my friends, is Fat Month. The ketogenic diet didn’t start as a weight-loss method. It was a treatment for epileptic kids—one of the few that worked, especially for those who had already tried traditional medications. But odds are the only people you’ll hear talking about it today are those looking to drop a few pounds without giving up butter. Keto, as it’s known among dieters, is based around getting most of your calories from fat, some from protein, and almost none from carbohydrates. It’s like a more extreme form of Atkins, except keto actually came first. It became an epilepsy treatment back in the 1920s, whereas the weight-loss paper that inspired Dr. Atkins to establish his low-carb diet wasn’t published until 1958. The idea of eating fat in order to lose fat is obviously appealing. Oils and fats are filling and soothing, so prospective dieters feel they might not have to sacrifice as much. And everyone knows that carbs are the devil anyway, right? If it started as a medically-prescribed diet, surely it must be healthy. But like your opinion on most fad diets, your thoughts on keto are probably based on vague notions sourced from the nightly news. Food trends tend to skyrocket to fame and fall from grace before science ever has a chance to weigh in. But you should want to see solid research before you commit to a whole new way of eating. In honor of PopSci’s Fat Month, let’s do a quick refresher on what keto really is—and whether it works. What is the Continue reading >>

How To Start A Ketogenic Diet The Right Way + 3 Costly Mistakes To Avoid

How To Start A Ketogenic Diet The Right Way + 3 Costly Mistakes To Avoid

As you may have heard, the ketogenic diet (keto for short) has been exploding in popularity over the past few years. According to Google Trends, interest in the ketogenic diet has more than doubled in the last year alone. But before you give keto a try, keep in mind that it’s way better to start a ketogenic diet the right way and avoid the mistakes others make. That way you can enjoy the benefits of the diet faster and with better results. Keto diets were first used about 100 years ago to help epileptic children. Now, this diet sees use in helping people lose weight, gain mental focus and energy, get rid of digestive issues, treat type 2 diabetes, and even potentially prevent/cure cancer and neurological diseases. However, while the benefits of a ketogenic diet are substantial, in this article I’ll show you exactly how to properly use a keto diet in order to reap its full benefits. The Basics Of A Ketogenic Diet As explained in this article, a ketogenic diet focuses on putting your body into a metabolic state called “ketosis.” What this generally means is that your body uses fat – rather than sugar – to generate energy for your body. In order for your body to switch into this state, the typical advice is to eat a diet low in carbohydrates, high in fats, and moderate in proteins. (Hence why bone broth is very keto-friendly.) How To Start A Ketogenic Diet A keto diet is pretty simple in theory (low carbs, high fat, moderate protein). But that doesn’t necessarily tell you exactly what to eat, what to avoid, or how much to eat. So What Exactly Can You Eat on A Ketogenic Diet? Healthy fats, e.g., coconut oil, butter or ghee, lard, tallow, bacon fat, olive oil Meats, including organ meats Eggs Fish and Seafood Non-starchy vegetables (especially green leafy veget Continue reading >>

Why You Aren’t Losing Weight On Keto And What To Do About It

Why You Aren’t Losing Weight On Keto And What To Do About It

Have you hit a weight loss plateau on keto? Do you think you’re doing everything right and the scale still just won’t budge? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people have trouble losing weight on a ketogenic diet. This is because everybody is different. While the majority of people may do well on conventional keto diet advice, there will always be outliers who don’t respond as well to the same generalized guidelines. This article will outline the most common culprits of stagnating weight loss on a ketogenic diet. Hopefully, by addressing each of these possible areas of concern, you will be able to overcome your weight loss plateau and reach your ideal weight! Are You Actually in Ketosis? Believe it or not, most of the time people aren’t losing weight on keto because they aren’t actually even in ketosis! This is why it is so important to measure ketone levels. When the body runs out of stored glycogen (glucose) and begins burning fat and creating ketones for energy, these ketones circulate through the blood. This is why the gold standard for determining whether or not you are in ketosis is by measuring blood ketones. Ketosis is usually defined as a blood ketone level between 0.5 to 3.0 mM. However, for those who are not ready to invest in a blood ketone meter, there is the cheaper and more convenient option in ketosis urine strips. Ketosis strips are not quite as accurate as a blood ketone meter. This is because they only measure ketones that your body was unable to use. This may be a good way to indicate ketosis when you first begin a keto diet, but once the body becomes more efficient at burning ketones for fuel, less ketones will be excreted in the urine creating a false negative. The Carb Creep Once you start testing ketone levels it can be a lot Continue reading >>

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>

7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet

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 >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Weight Loss Plateaus

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 >>

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

When it comes to weight loss and endurance performance, dietary ketosis is the strategy everyone is asking about this year. On the surface, ketosis or a ketogenic diet offers everything an endurance athlete could dream of: endless energy, freedom from bonking, and an efficient pathway to weight loss. The diet has been all over mainstream magazines, it’s the subject of several new books, and the supplement companies have already jumped in with new products and a ton of marketing dollars. So, is it time for cyclists, triathletes, and runners to go Keto? First, a refresher course on what a ketogenic diet is. To achieve dietary or nutritional ketosis you need to severely restrict carbohydrate intake (fewer than 50 grams of CHO/day) so the body transitions to using ketones for fueling muscles and the brain. Ketones are produced from fat, which is why nutritional ketosis is so appealing to sedentary people as a weight loss solution. It’s appealing to athletes because we have a virtually unlimited reserve of fat calories to pull from but can only store 1600-2000 calories worth of carbohydrate in muscles, blood, and the liver. An athlete fueled by ketones would be theoretically “bonk-proof”, since bonking is the result of running low on blood glucose. [blog_promo promo_categories=”coaching” ids=”” /] Dietary ketosis for athletes is one of the most hotly contested subjects right now. Proponents point to the metabolic advantage of relying on fat instead of carbohydrate, and critics point out the physiological limitations of eliminating carbohydrate as a fuel for performance. You’ll find bias in both groups, either because scientists and coaches (including me) have been in the high-carbohydrate camp for many years, or because there’s a lot of money to be made b Continue reading >>

12 Possible Reasons The Scale Is Not Moving

12 Possible Reasons The Scale Is Not Moving

Okay, first things first…I’ve said it before, a hundred times, and I’ll continue to say it. The scale is a horrible measure of success. Yet, we’ve been trained to believe it is the ULTIMATE measure. So let me start this with one small caveat, you don’t need the number on the scale to feel good about yourself. It’s a number. You’re not. Having said that, I totally understand wanting the scale to cooperate, but sometimes weight can just be stubborn because we have abused our bodies for so long that our body may be defending itself against another deprivation diet. My first response to a stalling scale (besides kicking it and cursing it) is to remind myself this too shall pass and all I need is a little patience. If I am doing everything right and am not violating any “rules” of Keto, then I can just trust the process. That said, there are things you can evaluate. Perhaps there IS something you can do to give the scale a nudge. So what are those things you can evaluate or change? Macros It is entirely possible your macros aren’t right. Your protein may be too high, your fat too low, you could be eating the wrong kinds of carbs or too many. I see a lot of people trying to apply mainstream diet rules to Keto because they have just bought in to the dogma for so long they find it hard to break the cycle and make the paradigm shift. Let it all go and embrace the Keto way! Sleep Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes lack of sleep can stall weight loss. Artificial sweeteners If they are a regular, daily part of your keto regimen, then that could be holding you back. True, they are calorie free and most of them don’t cause a spike in blood sugar, but there is something about them that stalls weight loss. I have a friend who lost 40 pounds and ALL she change Continue reading >>

Five Steps To Jumpstart The Ketogenic Diet

Five Steps To Jumpstart The Ketogenic Diet

In this post we will take a look at how Heads Up Health can help you successfully navigate the challenges of implementing and maintaining a ketogenic diet. In particular, we will introduce tools that can help you track your progress, fine tune your approach and find exactly what works for your own body as you adopt a low-carb ketogenic lifestyle. If you want to skip ahead and start logging some data now, use the button below to create your account. Or read on for our “Five Steps to Jumpstart the Ketogenic Diet.” Step 1 – Master Your Macronutrients (Protein, Fat & Carbs) The hardest part about going keto, especially for beginners, is learning how to adjust your food intake to meet the requirements of a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet (25 grams of carbs per day is a common starting point). The rest of your daily calories will come from protein and fat, the exact amounts of each depend on your goals (muscle building, fat loss, endurance athletics, disease management etc.). If you’ve never counted calories or read food labels before, learning how to correctly adjust your diet can be tricky at first. Start by calculating your target protein, fat, carb and calorie goals by using a macronutrient calculator designed for ketogenic diets. We’ve included a few good calculators in the appendix. Example: When I first came off the Standard American Diet and started keto for general weight loss, I set a goal of 80% fat/15% protein/5% carbs. It took a few weeks of trial and error to learn which foods I could to eat in order to reach my goals, but it got easier with practice. Over the course of about six months my weight dropped from 197 pounds to 184 pounds and my body fat dropped from 24% to 20%. Overall I was very pleased with these initial results. On Continue reading >>

How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips

How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips

A ketogenic diet is having a minor resurgence as of late, surpassing low carb diets for fat loss. The idea of keto dieting is to use all of your bodies glucose reserves and burn ketones for energy. The body eventually reaches a state of ketosis from the result of reducing your net carb intake. People who are new to a low carb high fat, ketogenic diet often ask what are the signs, symptoms and how to tell if you are in ketosis without strips. If you’ve never been in ketosis before then you may not even realize you are in it. The human body is quite remarkable being able to switch from burning glucose for energy to ketones. Your body experiences many physiological adaptions, including a decline in insulin and breakdown of fats. While Ketosis may be confirmed by urine ketone sticks and blood ketone tests, it is not always practical or convenient. You may be at work, out to eat with friends and don’t need the hassle of measuring your blood or urine levels of ketones. There are many small signs and symptoms of ketosis which can help your analysis. Sleep and Ketosis No matter what type of diet you follow, after a good nights sleep you are already in light ketosis. While you have fasted for over 8 hours you are on your way to burning ketones. Once our liver glycogen stores have been depleted we begin to produce ketone bodies at an exponential rate. Despite that, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be utilizing them efficiently. We will not be able to effectively use ketone bodies for our muscles, brain, digestive system if we are not keto-adapted. When following a ketogenic diet some people may experience all symptoms of ketosis, some may only feel a few signs or none at all. If you are brand new to low carb high fat dieting then achieving the optimal fat burning state takes ti Continue reading >>

Low-carb And Exercise In The Real World

Low-carb And Exercise In The Real World

The general consensus around the Paleo world is that the more active you are, the more carbs you need. That’s especially true if the exercise is intense: walking is one thing, but if you’re getting up into the high-intensity sprinting or ten-mile runs, your body will be hurting for some carbs. This is all based on science, but the vast majority of the science is from a very limited population: trained elite athletes, and/or college-age men doing intense exercise and not looking to lose weight. What about the people who aren’t doing sprinting or 10-mile runs, but might be doing occasional squatting or 3-mile runs? What about middle-aged men? What about women? What about people who went low-carb to lose weight? There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence about exercise on a low-carb diet, but it’s all conflicting. On the one hand, beginners often start trying to do a hard workout every day on a low-carb version of Paleo where they’re also trying to restrict calories for weight loss. Then they get exhausted and their performance completely tanks, but if they add in a potato or two every day, they perk right back up again and feel fine. But on the other hand, there are also plenty of anecdotes about people who eat low-carb and feel just fine in the gym. So here’s a look at some studies on low-carb diets for ordinary non-athletes, how they affect exercise, and the role of different individual factors (for example, everything can change depending on whether or not weight loss is involved, which is not something you’ll find in the elite athlete studies). Performance on a Low-Carb or Ketogenic Diet When it comes to diets and athletic performance, it’s important to distinguish between a true ketogenic diet and a low-carb diet that isn’t ketogenic. If you don’t kno Continue reading >>

Ketosis Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)

Ketosis Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)

Ketosis advantaged or misunderstood state? (Part I) In part I of this post I will see to it (assuming you read it) that youll know more about ketosis than just about anyone, including your doctor or the majority of experts out there writing about this topic. Before we begin, a disclaimer in order: If you want toactuallyunderstand this topic, you must invest the time and mental energy to do so. You really have to get into the details. Obviously, I love the details and probably read 5 or 6 scientific papers every week on this topic (and others). I dont expect the casual reader to want to do this, and I view it as my role to synthesize this information and present it to you.But this is not a bumper-sticker issue. I know its trendy to make blanket statements ketosis is unnatural, for example, or ketosis is superior but such statements mean nothing if you dont understand the biochemistry and evolution of our species. So, lets agree to let the unsubstantiated statements and bumper stickers reside in the world of political debates and opinion-based discussions. For this reason, Ive deliberately broken this post down and only included this content (i.e., background) for Part I. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies at sufficient levels, which Ill expand upon later. First, lets get the semantics correct. The first confusing thing aboutketosisis thatketone bodiesare not all technically ketones, whose structure is shown below. Technically, the termketonedenotes an organic molecule where a carbon atom, sandwiched between 2 other carbon atoms (denoted by R and R), is double-bonded to an oxygen atom. Conversely, the term ketone bodies refers to 3 very specific molecules: acetone, acetoacetone (or acetoacetic acid), and Continue reading >>

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