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How Does Ketosis Lead To The Slowing Of Metabolism

Is There A Problem With Low Carb Diets?

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 >>

Breaking A Weight Loss Plateau

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 >>

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

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

The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits. Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis. In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post. If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight, have a look at my Practical Guide to Keto Diet which is freely available on my website also as PDF. 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week Top Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet 1. Carbs are Too High Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out this post. For more about ketones, have a look at this post. 2. Protein is Too High or Too Low Your protein intake may be too high/ low. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. If you don't eat enough protein, you Continue reading >>

Is Low Carb Bad For Hypothyroidism?

Is Low Carb Bad For Hypothyroidism?

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

How To Reset Your Leptin Sensitivity And Master Your Metabolism

How To Reset Your Leptin Sensitivity And Master Your Metabolism

You have a “stop eating!” hormone that plays an instrumental role in your hunger and weight management, and it’s called leptin. The word leptin comes from the Greek word leptos – it means thin. It puts the brakes on hunger by sending a signal to the brain when your body’s energy needs have been met, and it controls energy expenditure over the long term. It’s that overwhelming full feeling that happens before you want to eat that second serving of sweet potatoes. A properly working leptin system leads to better metabolic performance, brain function, mental sharpness, memory, coordination and it can even affect the regulation of mood and emotion. (1) (2) But when it’s been hijacked, it can lead to obesity. The Bulletproof Diet book has a lot of info about how to control your leptin levels – the rest of this post is about how to reset your leptin sensitivity if you think it’s gone awry. The book also talks about ghrelin, which gets broken before leptin fails. (BTW, this is one of the several reasons Bulletproof Coffee profoundly turns off hunger…it’s easier to hack ghrelin than leptin.) What is leptin and how does it work? Fat cells produce leptin in proportion to body-fat levels: the more fat you have, the more it makes leptin. It enters the bloodstream via your circulatory system. Leptin binds to protein in the blood, and when leptin reaches capillaries in the brain, it travels across the blood-brain barrier, binding to leptin receptors on the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Leptin lets your hypothalamus know when it’s time for you to stop eating, then it increases your metabolic rate in order to achieve energy balance (known as homeostasis). (3) (4) (5) Conversely, leptin also tells us when to eat – when you have less body fat, less leptin Continue reading >>

Do Ketogenic Diets Have A “metabolic Advantage”?

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 >>

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

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

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

Ketosis – Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)

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 >>

Ketosis Fundamentals

Ketosis Fundamentals

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 >>

How A High-fat Diet Could Slow Down Your Metabolism

How A High-fat Diet Could Slow Down Your Metabolism

Do you want to lose weight, build muscle, or feel more fit? Join Beachbody On Demand, and get unlimited access to Beachbody’s world-famous programs, including 21 Day FIX®, CORE DE FORCE®, and P90X®. Don’t miss out on your chance for amazing results. Sign up today! Before you head to the buffet line and pile mac-n-cheese and hot dogs on your plate for the third night in a row, take a moment to read this. A new study in the journal Obesity found it took only five days for your body to feel the effects of a high-fat diet, and potentially impact your metabolism. Researchers placed 12 healthy, young men on a 30% fat diet (the Institute of Medicine recommends fat should comprise anywhere between 20 and 35% of your diet). After a week, they moved the participants to a high-fat diet. Half of the individuals received 55% of calories from fat, while the other group received 63% of their calories from fat. To test the results of this sudden change, scientists took muscle biopsies before and after the experiment. After five days of eating macaroni and cheese, ham and cheese sandwiches with butter, and frozen dinners, the subjects’ metabolisms took a turn for the worse. “The normal response to a meal was essentially either blunted or just not there after five days of high-fat feeding,” said study author Matthew W. Hulver, PhD, Department Head of Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise at Virginia Tech. Normally when you eat, your body converts the carbs you consume to glucose (blood sugar), which is then delivered to cells via a hormone called insulin. In the cells, the glucose is converted into energy. When you consume too much sugar, your cells can start to reject insulin. This is called insulin insensitivity or insulin resistance. It causes an excess of blood sugar and o Continue reading >>

The Science Behind Fat Metabolism

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 >>

Ketogenic Diet: Lose Weight With Ketosis

Ketogenic Diet: Lose Weight With Ketosis

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

How To Fix Your Broken Metabolism By Doing The Exact Opposite

How To Fix Your Broken Metabolism By Doing The Exact Opposite

We saw last week with the Biggest Loser study that basal metabolism plummets when you lose weight with calorie reduction. As contestants lose weight, they burn a lot less energy – up to 800 calories per day less than before. Some of that is expected, since there is less body tissue to maintain, but nevertheless, these contestants burn far less than expected even taking this into account. Even 6 years later, their basal metabolic rate (BMR) remains depressed, as do the contestants themselves. The story got a lot of coverage, but one thing was consistently missing. How to fix it.That’s what I’ll show you today, and it’s the opposite of what most people expect. So, let’s think about this problem in the context of the 2 compartment model of obesity that we have used before. There are two compartments for body energy. We take calories in as food. This gets stored in the short term as glycogen, or long term as body fat. Glycogen is easily converted to energy (calories out), but body fat, not so much. So we can consider the analogous situation where short term energy is stored in a refrigerator and long term in the basement freezer. Insulin’s role is to direct food into the basement freezer. When there is excess food that can’t be kept in the fridge, insulin directs it to the freezer. This is body fat and manufactured in the liver by the process of de novo lipogenesis. What causes insulin levels to be elevated depends partly on the foods we eat, but also by insulin resistance. Fructose, for example, plays a key role in elevating insulin resistance which will, in turn raise insulin levels. Insulin resistance leads to high insulin levels, which leads to higher resistance in a vicious cycle. That is, it can be self sustaining. So during weight loss, if we don’t ad Continue reading >>

Does Your Thyroid Need Dietary Carbohydrates?

Does Your Thyroid Need Dietary Carbohydrates?

Thyroid hormones have an important role in regulating metabolic rate, and that’s why they have emerged front and center as a common concern associated with nutritional ketosis among some internet bloggers. There’s no question that when some people adopt a low-carbohydrate lifestyle, their thyroid hormone levels may change. Several factors may contribute to the thyroid response. For example, eating fewer calories than you expend, causing weight loss, prompts the body to reduce thyroid function to slow its metabolism. That’s because the body interprets any form of energy restriction from any cause as a sign of famine, leading it to reduce metabolism by 5-15% to conserve energy stores. Second, even when energy is not restricted, a ketogenic diet is associated with sharply reduced blood levels of active thyroid hormone. In this case, even when energy is plentiful and body weight stable, either the low intake of carbs or the presence of ketones reduces circulating concentrations of active thyroid hormone. To the casual observer, this reduction in active thyroid hormone (called T3) has been taken as evidence that carbohydrate restriction impairs thyroid function. Some have opined that carb restriction should never be maintained below 100 grams per day in order to prevent this effect. Others advocate that people on a low-carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diet take intermittent “holidays” from carb restriction to boost thyroid function back up to “normal.” An alternative explanation for these changes in thyroid hormones when one is weight stable on a LCHF diet is that the body becomes more responsive to these hormones due to beneficial changes in cell structure and function when in nutritional ketosis. As a result, it can function normally at lower T3 levels. Put anot Continue reading >>

What Is Ketosis? Hint: It Can Help You Burn Fat & Suppress Your Appetite

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 >>

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