Do Ketogenic Diets Have A “metabolic Advantage”?
Previous studies show that eating more protein can help people lose weight. Not only does protein increase the amount of calories burned, it also seems to reduce calorie intake by suppressing appetite. The ketogenic diet is usually much higher in protein than the normal Western diet. As a result, it may help people lose weight. However, it is unclear if the weight-loss benefits of the ketogenic diet are merely due to increased protein intake, or if it improves body composition and calorie expenditure irrespective of its protein content. For this reason, a recent study examined the changes in calorie expenditure and weight loss when switching from a high-carb diet to a low-carb, high-fat (ketogenic) diet, while keeping protein intake constant. Below is a detailed summary of its findings as well as some background information. Background The rates of obesity have been rising in the past decades. Multiple aspects of the modern lifestyle contribute to obesity. For example, physical activity has decreased and the consumption of sugar and processed junk food has been on the rise. Eating excessive amounts of sugar is linked with an increased risk of obesity. However, since sugar contains no more calories than protein or complex carbs, gram for gram, it is still not entirely clear how it promotes weight gain. One popular idea is that sugar is addictive for some people, increasing cravings and calorie intake. Although the hypothesis is not yet fully proved, it is supported by several lines of evidence. Another idea is the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis of obesity. It posits that obesity is mainly caused by elevated insulin levels. According to this hypothesis, elevated insulin levels suppress the use of fat for fuel, promoting its storage in fat tissue. Additionally, scientists Continue reading >>
Ketosis – Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)
As The Eating Academy approaches its first birthday in about a month, I figured it was as good a time as any to put together some thoughts on a subject I get asked about with great frequency. (For those wondering when I’ll get to Part X of The Straight Dope on Cholesterol, the answer is, “hopefully before the end of the year.”) A few months ago I was planning a post along the lines of “the 10 things you need to know about ketosis,” but I’m now thinking that might be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. So, let’s start with a more fundamental set of questions. In part I of this post I will see to it (assuming you read it) that you’ll 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 to actually understand 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 don’t 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 it’s trendy to make blanket statements – ketosis is “unnatural,” for example, or ketosis is “superior” – but such statements mean nothing if you don’t understand the biochemistry and evolution of our species. So, let’s agree to let the unsubstantiated statements and bumper stickers reside in the world of political debates and opinion-based discussions. For this reason, I’ve deliberately broken this post down and only included this content (i.e., background) for Part I. What is ketosis? Ketosis is Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis? Hint: It Can Help You Burn Fat & Suppress Your Appetite
We’ve longed been told that calorie restriction, increasing exercise and reducing dietary fat intake are the keys to weight loss. But, if you’ve ever attempted to control your weight by subsisting on fewer calories — especially from mostly bland “diet foods”— you’re already probably aware that this typically produces minimal results and is extremely hard to stick with long-term or consistently. Considering the high rates of obesity now facing most developed nations — along with an increased risk for health conditions like diabetes or heart problems as a result — researchers have been anxiously working on how to suppress appetite and achieve weight loss in a healthy, sustainable manner. The keto diet has emerged over the past several decades as one potential answer to this large-scale weight loss problem. (1) While there are some differences in opinion, depending on who you ask, regarding the best approach to very low-carb dieting, studies consistently show that the ketogenic diet (also called the keto diet) produces not only substantial weight loss for a high percentage of people who adhere to it, but also other important health benefits such as reductions in seizures, markers of diabetes and more. The keto diet revolves around eating foods that are high in natural fats, consuming only moderate protein and severely restricting the number of carbs eaten each day. Even if you don’t have much weight to lose, entering into a state of ketosis can be helpful for other reasons — such as for improved energy levels, mental capabilities and mood stabilization. What Is Ketosis? Ketosis is the result of following the ketogenic diet, which is why it’s also sometimes called “the ketosis diet.” Ketosis takes place when glucose from carbohydrate foods (like Continue reading >>
Will A Low-carb Diet Ruin Your Metabolism?
There is a lot of confusion within the low-carb community about metabolism. Carbs seem to be a scapegoat that people like to blame when weight loss doesn’t happen fast and easy. If you are following a low carb diet and struggling to succeed, you might believe that all the years you spent eating carbohydrates to your heart's content must have destroyed your metabolism and made you fat. Otherwise, you'd be able to eat like normal folks. Maybe, you are questioning the validity of low-carb diets. You live on the other side of the argument and think that carbohydrate restriction will permanently alter your metabolism, thereby making it impossible to ever return to a well-balanced diet. But what’s the truth? Will eating too many carbohydrates, or eating too few, ruin your metabolism – or not? What is Metabolism? Does hearing about the energy equation make you feel nervous or irritable? Many low-carb dieters feel that way. They don't like hearing about calories or thermodynamics and are quick to jump up and defend the low-carb way of life. Regardless of the truth, most people following a low-carb lifestyle would rather believe in low-carb magic. Afterall, Dr. Atkins told you that you no longer need to worry about calories. You don't have to be afraid of fat. You can eat until you are satisfied. So most people believe that the laws of thermodynamics do not apply to low-carb diets. "Calories don’t matter," they often say. Dr. Eades has tried to set the record straight. But, far too many people still do not want to go outside and drag the energy equation back in from the trash and take a closer look. They’d rather leave it out of sight, pretend it doesn’t exist, and let the myths about starvation mode and damaged metabolisms reign in their lives instead. However, we a Continue reading >>
Is There A Problem With Low Carb Diets?
Is low-carb the way to go? Don’t swear off carbs quite yet! You may want to hear what my good friend and best-selling author Ari Whitten has to say about the problems with low carb diets. Ari is the best selling author of Forever Fat Loss and the creator of cutting-edge program The Energy Blueprint. (By the way, he’s got an incredible FREE training on how to increase your energy levels. It’s a MUST WATCH for anyone who cares about being healthy, increase their energy or wants to lose fat. You can sign up for that 100% FREE Virtual Training HERE.) His website is www.theenergyblueprint.com *NOTE: Before reading on it is important to note that this article does not claim to be a treatment or cure for any disease. If you have a serious medical condition, see your doctor and take appropriate action. The problem with low carb diets – by Ari Whitten In this article, I am going to introduce you to what may just seem like some very radical ideas. You’re about to learn: That carbs do not make you fat. That low-carb diets have no scientifically proven beneficial effect on fat loss, and that well-designed higher carbohydrate diets achieve equal or better fat loss, and typically better performance, energy, and health too. That the weight loss many people achieve on low-carb diets is not due to carbohydrate restriction, but is actually due to shifts in the amount of whole foods and protein a person eats. Not only is low-carb eating not particularly beneficial, but in many cases, if you do it long enough, it can result in severe hormonal dysfunction and a slower metabolism. Perhaps this all seems hard to believe right now. (After all, I’m sure you’ve heard so many gurus over the last five years tell you all about those evil $%^*bohydrates!) So read on, and I’ll show yo Continue reading >>
The Science Behind Fat Metabolism
Per the usual disclaimer, always consult with your doctor before experimenting with your diet (seriously, go see a doctor, get data from blood tests, etc.). Please feel free to comment below if you’re aware of anything that should be updated; I’d appreciate knowing and I’ll update the content quickly. My goal here is to help a scientifically curious audience know the basic story and where to dive in for further study. If I’m successful, the pros will say “duh”, and everyone else will be better informed about how this all works. [UPDATE: based on a ton a helpful feedback and questions on the content below, I’ve written up a separate article summarizing the science behind ketogenic (low-carb) diets. Check it out. Also, the below content has been updated and is still very much applicable to fat metabolism on various kinds of diets. Thanks, everyone!] tl;dr The concentration of glucose in your blood is the critical upstream switch that places your body into a “fat-storing” or “fat-burning” state. The metabolic efficiency of either state — and the time it takes to get into one from the other — depends on a large variety of factors such as food and drink volume and composition, vitamin and mineral balances, stress, hydration, liver and pancreas function, insulin sensitivity, exercise, mental health, and sleep. Carbohydrates you eat, with the exception of indigestible forms like most fibers, eventually become glucose in your blood. Assuming your metabolism is functioning normally, if the switch is on you will store fat. If the switch is off, you will burn fat. Therefore, all things being equal, “diets” are just ways of hacking your body into a sufficiently low-glycemic state to trigger the release of a variety of hormones that, in turn, result in Continue reading >>
- This Incredible Detox Drink Helps You Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, Fight Diabetes And Lower Blood Pressure.
- This Incredible Detox Drink Helps You Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, Fight Diabetes And Lower Blood Pressure
- This Incredible Detox Drink Helps You Burn Fat, Lower Blood Pressur,Fight Diabetes And Boost Metabolism
The Metabolic Effects Of Low-carbohydrate Diets And Incorporation Into A Biochemistry Course
Abstract One of the challenges in teaching biochemistry is facilitating students' interest in and mastery of metabolism. The many pathways and modes of regulation can be overwhelming for students to learn and difficult for professors to teach in an engaging manner. We have found it useful to take advantage of prevailing interest in popular yet controversial weight-loss methods, particularly low-carbohydrate diets. The metabolic rationale behind these eating plans can be linked to glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, lipolysis, gluconeogenesis, ketosis, glycogen metabolism, fatty acid oxidation, and hormonal regulation. When this approach was used in undergraduate biochemistry classes at the State University of New York at Geneseo, students were highly motivated to learn the biochemical principles behind these diets. The following provides information about low-carbohydrate diet plans that will enable professors to speak authoritatively on the subject. History and studies regarding efficacy as well as biochemical metabolic effects are included. Learning the metabolic pathways is a challenge for students taking a biochemistry course. The amount of information is vast; details of the pathways are often difficult to remember, and the material is often presented in a “one reaction after another” manner that does little to engage students. To link concepts together, facilitate learning, and help students appreciate the relevance of the material, the biochemistry of popular low-carbohydrate diet plans was integrated into metabolism units in an undergraduate class at the State University of New York at Geneseo. All of the students in the class were familiar with these eating plans, in part due to media sensationalism. Some students or their family members and acquaintances ha Continue reading >>
The Top 10 Ketosis Mistakes And How To Prevent Them
What mistakes are you making when it comes to your health? I know I’ve been making plenty. That’s why I’m tracking my data in this recent ketosis experiment that I’m doing. What about you? Most people think that the ketogenic diet is just “low-carb” which leads them to make many mistakes that prevent them from not reaping all of the benefits of ketosis that they could. What benefits? How about an improved immune system, increased longevity, lower inflammation, effortless weight loss, decreased hunger, reduced risk for disease and more. Read on to know the top 10 ways that people make mistakes with ketosis and how you can prevent them. 1: Not tracking protein intake By far the biggest problem with a ketogenic diet is not tracking how much protein you are eating. The far majority of people are simply eating too much lean protein, which ends up kicking them out of ketosis. Protein can turn into carbs by a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis, meaning “making new carbs.” This then spikes insulin, and reduces ketone levels. Even though you are eating super low carb, this could make your body switch back and forth between energy systems, which will lead to high levels of fatigue or “low carb flu.” The easiest way to avoid this mistake is by tracking your ketone levels to see how you respond to different amounts and different types of meat. Everyone is different, so the only way you can tell is by tracking. I “listened to my body” before and it didn’t work. I wasn’t in ketosis when I thought I was. I also thought ketosis kind of sucked. It didn’t, I was just wrong. The only way you know is by tracking. If you consume more fat with protein, it will slow this effect. So think fattier cuts of meat, and less muscle meat. But wait, are you going to Continue reading >>
Breaking A Weight Loss Plateau
I know all about how annoying a low carb diet weight loss plateau can be. In 2008, I began to change my eating habits in order to address some serious health problems. I also wanted to lose the excess weight I had accumulated over the years while eating a poor diet full of processed junk food. It took several years and I still struggle with my weight, but then I'm a work in progress. The Most Common Causes of a Weight Loss Plateau Here is my opinion, born of my individual experience, on the most common causes of a weight loss plateau. If you are following a ketogenic diet, and not losing weight, or the weight loss is inconsistent (going down one week and up the next), here are some of the most common causes: Eating more carbohydrate than you think (fruit, nuts, and yogurt are the particular culprits here). I call this carb creep. Eating more calories than your body can handle without storing (this is usually the result of a very high fat intake - for me, too much dairy). You want to be burning your stored fat, not excess fat from your diet. Eating large amounts of low carb foods that elevate insulin. Dairy protein (hard cheeses, yogurt and whey protein in particular), sugar alcohols, and other artificial sweeteners are culprits here. Eating lots of coconut, coconut oil or MCT oil. Coconut oil has a lot of medium chain triglycerides in it. This type of fat can't be stored, so your body has to burn it first. Again, the goal is to burn your stored fat, not fat from your diet. Not exercising in a way that increases insulin sensitivity to the muscles. (The problem is that for people with a broken metabolism, long, slow exercise doesn't work well - it has to be high intensity exercise, which uses all the glycogen stored in the muscles, and makes them more insulin sensitive. T Continue reading >>
What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?
If you're looking for the trendiest diet since Paleo, this might be it—only with more fat, way less protein, and virtually zero carbs. The ketogenic diet, which has reportedly been used by celebs like Kim Kardashian and NBA player Lebron James, is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was originally developed to treat epilepsy in children (experts can't say for sure why it reduces the frequency of seizures, but it does seem to work). The whole diet is based on a process called ketosis, which is when your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which can be used as energy, says Tracy A. Siegfried, M.D., medical director at The N.E.W. Program, a bariatric and metabolic weight-loss center in California. The ketones replace carbohydrates as your body’s main energy source, meaning you are running on (and burning) fat. To tell if your body is in a state of ketosis, you can measure your blood or urine for elevated levels of ketones (Ketostix, used to test keto-dieters ketone levels, are available at many pharmacies). If this sounds familiar, it's probably because ketosis is also the goal of the first stage of the Atkins diet. But unlike the keto diet, the Atkins diet aims to get you into a mild state of ketosis and allows for more carbohydrates. In other words, keto is more hardcore. So What the Heck Do You Eat? To get your body to reach ketosis, 80 to 90 percent of the calories you consume should come from fat, and the rest should come from a combo of protein and carbs, says Siegfried. Plus, your carb intake is limited to 10 to 35 grams per day. That's roughly the amount in a single apple, glass of milk, or piece of bread. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to eat fruit or milk-based products without su Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
What is ketosis? Ketosis is the physiological state where the concentration of ketone bodies in the blood is higher than normal. This is generally agreed to be at beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations greater than 0.5 mM. How to achieve ketosis? Ketosis occurs either as a result of increased fat oxidation, whilst fasting or following a strict ketosis diet plan (ENDOGENOUS ketosis), or after consuming a ketone supplement (EXOGENOUS ketosis). When in a state of ketosis the body can use ketones to provide a fuel for cellular respiration instead of its usual substrates: carbohydrate, fat or protein. Why does ketosis exist? Normally, the body breaks down carbohydrates, fat, and (sometimes) proteins to provide energy. When carbohydrate is consumed in the diet, some is used immediately to maintain blood glucose levels, and the rest is stored. The hormone that signals to cells to store carbohydrate is insulin. The liver stores carbohydrate as glycogen, this is broken down and released between meals to keep blood glucose levels constant. Muscles also store glycogen, when broken down this provides fuel for exercise. Most cells in the body can switch readily between using carbohydrates and fat as fuel. Fuel used depends on substrate availability, on the energy demands of the cell and other neural and hormonal signals. The brain is different as it is dependent on carbohydrates as a fuel source. This is because fats cannot easily cross the blood-brain barrier. The inability to make use of energy within fat poses a problem during periods where there is limited carbohydrate in the diet. If blood glucose levels fall to low, brain function declines. Relatively little energy is stored as carbohydrate (2,000 kCal) compared to fat (150,000 kCal). The body's store of carbohydrates runs Continue reading >>
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 >>
7 Healthy Things Slowing Down Your Metabolism
Nutritionist Lauryn Lax breaks down the facts. By Dr. Lauryn Lax “Metabolism” is a buzz word in the world of health and fitness. Defined as the rate at which the body processes food and converts it into energy, metabolism is often referenced when people are looking to lose weight. From marketing gimmicks for protein powders that promise to fire up your metabolism to personal trainers that swear they hold the secret to boosting your metabolism, there is a lot of information out there, and it can be difficult to discern what is actually accurate. Here are seven healthy things slowing down your metabolism and what to do about them. Artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners have long been touted as the healthier alternative to sugar. Found in sugar-free alternatives—from protein powders and bars to ice creams, yogurts, diet soda and coffee creamers—artificial sweeteners are the no-nonsense solution for busting your sweet tooth and abstaining from the three pounds of sugar most Americans consume every week. But the truth is artificial sweeteners are foreign chemicals and your gut has no idea how to digest them. Consuming artificial sweeteners can alter gut bacteria and cause bacterial overgrowth, leading to weight gain, anxiety, polycystic ovarian syndrome and hormone imbalances. Watch out for stevia as well, as many people consume the processed version instead of the raw, green-leaf stevia found in nature. Drinking coffee. It’s time to take another look at coffee. For starters, the standard coffee most Americans drink is full of gluten-cross-contaminated proteins. In other words, your cup of Starbucks coffee is one of the most cross-contaminated foods with gluten out there. While not every single person is allergic or intolerant to gluten, there is no question Continue reading >>