7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis
And convert fat into energy. By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that provides several health benefits. During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy. Studies have found that diets that promote ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, due in part to their appetite-suppressing effects. Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions. That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It’s not just as simple as cutting carbs. Here are 7 effective tips to get into ketosis. 1. Minimize Your Carb Consumption Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis. Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies. Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body. Your liver converts some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketones can be used as fuel by portions of the brain. The level of carb restriction needed to induce ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some people need to limit net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams per day, while others can achieve ketosis while eating twice this amount or more. For this reason, the Atkins diet specifies that carbs be restricted to 20 or fewer grams per Continue reading >>
5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)
A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr Continue reading >>
In Ketosis But Not Losing Weight? These Foods May Be Stalling Your Progress
Stop Stalling Volume Two: Malignant Mouthfuls Welcome back to the Stop Stalling series! Today, we’re going to take a look at some specific foods that may be causing your stall. These foods may be keeping you from getting ahead. The bad news is that a lot of them may be staples for you. Many of them seem keto-friendly: they’re low in net carbs and should be “safe.” In fact, they are “safe” for plenty of people. However, for some people, certain foods can cause stalls. If you’re in ketosis but not losing weight and have implemented everything advised in Volume 1: Operator Error, here’s a list of the most likely suspects. Dairy: Dairy is a tricky one. First of all, it’s very energy-dense (i.e. it has a lot of calories). That means that it can be really easy to overdo. Alas, keto isn’t magical, and calories still count. Secondly, it’s often a carbohydrate bomb. A glass of milk has about ten grams. It can have more or less depending on the fat content. It can be tough to tell with yogurt: while the actual carb count is probably lower than what is listed on the label (fermentation consumes some of the carbohydrates), you can’t always tell just how many there are. This is even ignoring the fact that many yogurts contain additives, including starch-based thickeners. Finally, dairy is especially prone to “rounding down”: even though many labels say that a serving of cheese contains zero carbohydrates, chances are that a serving contains as many as 0.7 grams. It seems like very little, but if you eat two servings (easy to do!), it’s going to add up over time. Many people rely on dairy, and when they drop it, they start losing again. Seeds and nuts: Seeds and nuts are horrible bastards. I love nuts, especially almonds. Especially the smoked ones or th Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Vs. Low-carb Diet: A Personal Choice
Ketogenic diets (aka keto diets, nutritional ketosis or NK) are currently all the rage, and for good reason. As I wrote in a previous post a few weeks ago, very-low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets (VLCKDs) are extremely effective for weight loss and diabetes, among other things. There's also emerging evidence suggesting they may be beneficial for certain cancers and neurological conditions like Parkinson's disease and ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Having previously worked in a clinical setting with several patients who had the misfortune of contracting these diseases, I find it very encouraging that following a ketogenic might offer some improvement for them, as well as others in the same boat. I follow a VLCKD and receive a lot of great feedback from others who have also experienced overwhelmingly positive results with this way of eating. I love hearing these success stories, so please keep them coming. However, one reader named Michelle had this to say in the comments section of my recent article: "I don't do well on a very low carb diet; I have to have around 50-70 g's of carbs a day to feel well and function. I guess this is still low carb when compared to the standard diet, but find so much prejudice against me because people say 'If you just stuck to eating VLC you would eventually lose weight and feel better'. This just is not the case with me. I've adapted the LC diet for me and I feel great and I am losing weight steadily. Please folks, stop thinking that one size fits all, it does not! Great site. Thank you for all your efforts." I was disappointed to hear that this woman -- who is most definitely following a low-carb diet and having success doing so -- feels that others are judging her for not restricting carbs to ketogenic levels (generally defined Continue reading >>
The Low-carb, High-fat Diet That's Sweeping The Nation
It took a while, but by now most of us know that fat is not the enemy, that there are certain kinds of fat that can actually help your heart, and that it need not be obliterated from your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. In fact, for some people, fat is actually the superhero of their diet—and chowing down on olive oil, butter, and heavy cream is the key to watching the scale dive lower and lower, without feeling hungry or deprived. But can a diet heavy on the heavy cream turn out to be not unsafe—and maybe even good for you? We consulted top-shelf, unbiased sources that specialize in diet and nutrition, and were surprised to find that the answer is a resounding yes. First, the basics about the diet. It’s called a ketogenic diet, one that’s heavy on fat, moderate in protein, and extremely light in carbohydrates (typically less than 50g a day). The way it works involves a neat little trick of your body’s own biology, says Charles Passler, a nutritionist in New York City, who works with many of the top models you see sashaying down the runways at fashion week. (Bella Hadid is among his clients, as are many of the Victoria’s Secret models, including Adriana Lima.) The body typically burns carbohydrates—aka glucose—for fuel. But if you give your body little to no carbohydrates, it will go into ketosis. This is a state in which fat stores in the body are broken down into ketones, which then fuel the muscles and brain. If that sounds a bit odd, it’s not, says Passler. “The human body is designed to be able to handle times of food scarcity,” says Passler. “The trouble is, we currently have access to food 24/7, but our physiology hasn’t caught up with that yet. Say you have breakfast at 8 a.m., and then it's 1 p.m. and you think you're starving, Continue reading >>
Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further
The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits. Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis. In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post. If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight, have a look at my Practical Guide to Keto Diet which is freely available on my website also as PDF. 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week Top Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet 1. Carbs are Too High Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out this post. For more about ketones, have a look at this post. 2. Protein is Too High or Too Low Your protein intake may be too high/ low. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. If you don't eat enough protein, you Continue reading >>
How I Fixed The Biggest Ketosis Mistakes
The ketogenic diet isn’t always as easy as it seems. I tried for a long time, but not until I dove deep into the research and found out how to fix all of the common mistakes was I able to enjoy the full state of ketosis. This article is to help you avoid those same mistakes. Why Try the Ketogenic Diet First, why would you want to even try ketosis? I truly enjoy trying diets and eating methodologies to research what I like and what works for me. I’ve experimented with low-carb diets, high-carb diets, and everything in between, but I’ve never cut them out to the point to achieve ketosis. What’s most exciting about the ketogenic diet to me is that, yes, it’s amazing for weight loss, but it’s not just a “diet.” Ketosis is literally a state of metabolism. You are either in or you’re out. I wanted to see and feel for myself the benefits everyone is talking about from going full Keto. My Keto Coach has a great line that goes like this: I was sold and needed to try this and commit. If you are new to researching ketosis, a quick review of the popular benefits: Mental Clarity  Fat Loss  Feeling Full  Better Sleep  Better Mood  Better Skin  The list goes on and on, including disease and inflammation reduction, better cholesterol, etc. For my purposes I didn’t care about weight loss or fat loss, I just cared about doing the diet the best I could, and to do that, I needed to prepare accordingly. Preparation Stage – Learning the Keto Basics Here is what I did to educate myself and prepare for six weeks of the Ketogenic Diet. I picked a start date and spent $30 at In-N-Out burger on a massive send-off to carbohydrates. A whole other post could be dedicated to the mistakes I made at In-N-Out. After this epic meal, it was officially time Continue reading >>
Low Carb Vs Keto: Why Ketosis Is Different From A Low Carb Diet
Are you making a critical mistake when it comes to ketosis? I’ve been extremely guilty of it in the past. One of the biggest mistakes for people trying to improve their health is the misconception that a low carbohydrate diet equals a ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and could be killing your efforts to get all of the health benefits you are looking for. There are some critical differences in what people think a “low-carb high-fat” (LCHF) diet is and what a ketogenic diet is. High carb doesn’t mean diabetic. Just like low carb doesn’t mean ketogenic. If you’re not super down with what ketosis is, it is simply a metabolic state of using fats for energy. This provides a lot of benefits that we can get into later, but long story short, there are numerous benefits that you’re going to be missing out on if you are simply “low-carb” and not definitively in ketosis. Your low carb diet can actually be pretty brutal if it is not a ketogenic diet. As evidence, this is a maddening conversation that bubbles up more and more as I won’t shut up about ketogenic diets: Person: “Yeah, I tried ketosis and it sucked, I felt awful. Doesn’t work for me.” Me: “Hmm, that’s weird, did you check your ketone levels?” Person: “No. But, I was low carb. Ketosis isn’t for me. It sucks.” Me: “Well… low carb doesn’t mean you’re burning fats and utilizing ketones, so your body was still probably trying to use carbs as fuel, but you didn’t have enough around eating low carb, which is why it sucked.” Person: “I’m not tracking. Ketosis sucks. And so do you.” This person was low-carb, not keto. There is a huge difference. By why? Time for some definitions: Low-carb: Eating an arbitrarily “low” number of carbohydrates, or just a Continue reading >>
Not All Low Carb Diets Are Keto: Why Most Bodybuilding Fans Get It Wrong!
When most people think of keto, they think of low carb. While ketogenic diets are low carbohydrate diets, the reality is that not all low carbohydrate diets are keto. As I’ve written before, it is quite popular for fitness professionals and YouTube fitness pundits to “beat up” low carbohydrate dieting. Much of this derives from the fact that many physique competitors, who are also quite often YouTube influencers, had horrible experiences with low carbohydrate diets. Low carbohydrate dieting often evokes imagery of meal after meal of bland, tough, chalky fish or chicken with vegetables in plastic Tupperware being choked down by bodybuilders. The truth is that, while many bodybuilders have experienced a low carbohydrate diet, the high protein, low fat, and low carb diet that most bodybuilders do is far from ketogenic. The bodybuilding version of a low carbohydrate diet, performed with the desire to get to minimal (and unhealthy) levels of bodyfat, is an extreme diet that can get you very lean in the short term, but lead to metabolic and hormonal damage in the long term. With this diet, once you get lean, it becomes nearly impossible to hold that level of conditioning for longer than a few days. The idea here is to peak for a show, and then fatten up for the off-season. On the other hand, the ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, high fat diet with a very different purpose – to get you to optimal levels of bodyfat and performance for the long term. While many who have done the typical bodybuilding low carb diet have experienced weakness, brain fog, and muscle loss, the ketogenic diet can increase strength, endurance, brain energy, and muscle gains. Let’s end the confusion between these two diet methods once and for all by examining the key differences b 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 >>
10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss
10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss What is Nutritional Ketosis? Ketosis is an eating plan where the body uses ketones to fuel the brain and body instead of glucose like most people use when on the SAD (standard American diet). It can be very helpful for blood sugar and consistent energy because fat is a very stable source of fuel. We all have a few million calories of fat we would gladly burn off, right? It takes a while to get into ketosis and it can be elusive if you are not paying close attention. It can be very safe for a period of time (even forever) but each person has to decide what feels compatible with their own lifestyle. Some experts do not think it is an optimal state for athletes but others experts disagree. I think we all have bio hack ourselves to see what feels right. Of course, I believe that the paleo template is good starting place for optimal health but ketosis can be an add-on or tweak for people who get stuck or feel hopeless. It can be a powerful and effective way to lose weight without hunger and many of my friends have had success with it. Always ask your doctor before beginning any new nutrition or weight loss plan. Here are some ways to make it work for you: 1. Eat Less Protein I have a made a handy dandy chart here for figuring out the right amounts for you. Most average ladies need about 50-100 grams, no more, fyi. You have to self experiment a little to find what is right for you. The idea is that protein can turn to sugar if someone eats more than they need, then the sugar spikes blood glucose encouraging fat storage. 2. Eat More Fat I used to see this all the time in clients, I say add more fat and people add a tsp of evoo to their salad, NO!!! I am talking about seeing fat as a food group not a side item. Avocad Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
Bulletproof Vs. Paleo Vs. Low-carb And Ketogenic Diets: What’s The Difference?
I was in my 20s when I started suffering from severe fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. I was 300 pounds, sick constantly, and almost had to drop out of grad school because I couldn’t concentrate. Back then, I thought my inability to think clearly and perform at high levels was some sort of moral failing. I would beat myself up. I would work harder and stay up later, trying to catch up with my peers. I tried every diet imaginable, including raw vegan and years of falling off the low-fat bandwagon. I hit the treadmill for hours every day. Nothing worked. So I took matters into my own hands. The Bulletproof Diet was born after a decade of working with some of the world’s top health and nutrition researchers. Over a span of about 15 years, I devoured thousands of research papers and books on human nutrition. I used my body as a testing ground to determine what worked best for my biology. The result is a diet that has helped thousands of people lose fat and gain the energy and clarity they thought they’d lost forever. So, what differentiates the Bulletproof Diet from other low-carb diets? Read on to find out. For an in-depth plan on how to boost energy and increase brain function in just two weeks, get your copy of Head Strong. Bulletproof vs. Paleo: The Big Picture If you were to map out the most popular diets, you’d see a vast spectrum of practices and plans ranging from low-fat vegan to high-fat, low-carb (HFLC). This deliciously fatty end of the spectrum is where the Bulletproof Diet and the Primal, Paleo, and Atkins diets would lie. The Paleo diet eliminates processed foods and focuses on what our paleolithic ancestors ate – mostly meat, plants, nuts, and seeds. The Bulletproof Diet is similar but designed to maximize your willpower by reducing cravings and m Continue reading >>
Ask The Nutrition Tactician: What's The Difference Between Low-carb And Keto?
The words "low-carb" and "keto" get thrown around a lot. Are they the same thing? At first glance, it may appear that if you eat one less cup of rice, you can transition from a low-carbohydrate diet to a ketogenic diet. After all, both nutritional strategies place an emphasis on reducing carbohydrates, and both are often followed for their fat-loss potential. Pretty much the same thing, right? Not so fast, ketobro. Although both diets are considered low-carb compared to the standard Western diet—you know, the one made up mostly of processed carbs and mystery ingredients—the similarities stop there, both in philosophy and execution. Here's what you need to know about low-carb and ketogenic diets so you can make an informed choice! The Low-Carbohydrate Diet Defined A low-carbohydrate diet is a pretty vague description in and of itself. After all, "low" is a relative term. But in the most effective versions of this approach, the priority is being more selective about your carbs and where they come from. In many cases, you can still eat fruit, vegetables, and beans, while eliminating or cutting back on grains, baked goods, and processed sugars. This shift from carb-dense sources to low-density ones naturally reduces the daily amount of carbs you take in. However, a low-carbohydrate diet lacks specific classifications of what "low" means, and often neglects protein and fat recommendations. Technically, if you're used to eating 300 grams of carbohydrates per day, and drop to 200 per day, you're following a lower-carbohydrate diet. If you don't replace those lost calories, you'll probably lose some weight, but it may have been the lower calories that caused it, not the lower carbs. Conversely, if you replace those missing calories with either more fat or more protein, you Continue reading >>
Everything You Need To Know Before Going On A Low-carb Diet
Much like Oprah, we LOVE bread. So naturally, the thought of cutting it out of our lives (along with any other carbs) is terrifying. But then again, if everyone and their mom (and lots of scientific research) claim that quitting carbohydrates is the key to weight loss, there's got to be something to it, right? Whether it takes the form of Atkins or the Paleo Diet, the low-carb trend has been around for a long time. But chances are you might not fully understand where it came from, how it works, and why experts are torn on whether this eating plan is smart. Here, we break down all of that so you can decide if carb-cutting in the name of weight loss is worth it. What Low Carb Actually Means Depending on who you talk to, there are different definitions of a low-carb diet. Plans can range from 100 grams of carbohydrates per day to zero grams (yikes), says Susan Kleiner, Ph.D, R.D., author of Power Eating. To put that into perspective, a small piece of fruit has about 15 grams of carbs and a banana contains up to 30 grams. For the sake of this article, though, we'll talk about a diet containing 100 grams of carbs per day, for someone who exercises three times a week at a moderate pace. For everyone else, a true low-carb diet would be about 50 grams per day, says Kleiner. What’s Considered a Carb? Unfortunately for Regina George, butter is not a carb. But according to the USDA’s Nutrient Database, lots of foods, including fruits and veggies, contain high amounts of carbohydrates. Though you probably know potatoes and bananas are packed with the carbohydrates, over 20 grams of the macronutrient are also found in a serving of grapes, apples, pears, and cauliflower. Plus, dried fruits, such as apricots, cranberries, and raisins, have a whopping 80 grams per serving. You’ll Continue reading >>