Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?
For reasons I’m still struggling to understand, the idea of “nutritional ketosis” (NK, to be distinguished from starvation ketosis, SK or diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA) is often discussed and debated in much the same way as religion or politics. Perhaps this can be said of all nutrition, which is a shame. Nevertheless, in my continued defiance of such sensitive topics, I’d like to add another layer of complexity and nuance to this discussion. The “rule of thumb” for NK is that caloric intake is determined as follows (this excludes a subset of ketogenic diets known as calorie-restricted KD which, as the name suggests, is specifically restricted in calories): Carbohydrate (total, not “net”): less than 50 gm/day, but ideally closer to 30 gm/day Protein: up to 1 to 1.5 gm/kg, but ideally below about 120 gm/day Fat: to satiety Let me illustrate what this looks like for Joe (left), Jane (middle), and Jeff (right — an example of a calorie restricted KD), three hypothetical people in NK — but each with different caloric requirements. As a general rule, as caloric requirement increases the proportion of calories derived from carbohydrate and protein decreases (and the contribution of dietary fat increases), even while absolute intake of carbohydrate and protein increases. Anyone who has bought a blood ketone meter knows how tough it can be to get “into” ketosis by carbohydrate restriction (since everyone asks, I use the Abbott Precision Xtra meter which uses two different strips: one for glucose and one for beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB). Most practitioners consider the minimum threshold of NK to be a fasting serum level of BHB above 0.5 mM. I’m a bit more stringent in my practice and like to see fasting BHB levels above 1 mM. To give you a sense of one per Continue reading >>
Here's Exactly How I Lost 50 Pounds Doing The Keto Diet
Of all the places to seek life-changing nutrition advice, I never thought the barber shop would be where I found it. But one day last January, after a couple years of saying to myself, "today's the day I make a change," my barber schooled me on something called keto. Normally, I take things he says with a grain of salt unless they're about hair or owning a business, but this guy could literally be on the cover of Men's Health. He's 6 feet tall, conventionally attractive, and his arms are about five pull-ups away from tearing through his t-shirt. If anyone else had implied that I was looking rough, I would've walked out in a fit of rage, but I decided to hear him out. I should clarify that I was out of shape, but my case wasn't that severe. I hadn't exercised in a few years and basically ate whatever I wanted and however much of it, but I was only about 30 to 40 pounds overweight. My barber went on to explain that this diet, paired with an appropriate exercise routine, allowed him to completely transform his body in less than a year, and all he ate was fatty foods. Once he showed me his "before" picture, I was sold. It was time to actually make a change. Short for ketogenic, keto is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet that forces your metabolism into what's called a state of ketosis. There's a much more scientific explanation to that, but it basically means that instead of burning carbohydrates (mainly glucose, or sugars), your body switches to burning fat as a primary source for energy. Keto isn't necessarily about counting calories, though the basic idea of eating less in order to lose weight still applies. This is more of a calculated way to rewire your metabolism so that it burns fat more efficiently over time, using very specific levels of each macronutrient Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Prevent Ketosis?
When you’re on a low-carb diet, your body kicks into action, breaking down fats into ketone bodies to use for energy. This increase in ketones -- called ketosis -- is a normal adaptation to cutting carbs. In fact, the switch to ketosis is why low-carb diets work. Even though you could eat enough carbs to prevent ketosis, it's important to clarify why you want to avoid it. There's nothing unhealthy about ketosis, so you may just need to correct any misinformation to make the best decision for your weight-loss goals. Video of the Day Deal With Concerns Over Ketosis Ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is unfortunate -- ketosis is normal, while ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition related to type 1 diabetes. Most people on a low-carb diet tolerate ketosis without any problems. Then after the pounds are dropped, carb intake is gradually increased so you're out of ketosis by the time you reach the maintenance phase. If you decide to stay in an induction phase longer than the low-carb plan recommends, consult your doctor to be safe. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing ketoacidosis from lack of insulin. Due to the complex metabolism of diabetes, they end up with high levels of blood glucose and ketones, which upsets the body's normal acid-base balance. When that happens, ketosis becomes ketoacidosis, causing symptoms like thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, nausea, belly pain, rapid breathing and fruity-smelling breath. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor immediately -- diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. You may be wary about ketosis because you've heard about "ketosis flu." It's not really flu, but in the first few days or weeks of a low-carb diet, some people experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, constipation or wea Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Per Day On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet?
Although my initial plan was to include this post in All You Need to Know About Carbs on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet, I decided it deserves to be discussed separately. How Many Carbs per Day to Stay in Ketosis? As described in my post How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work? Weight Loss and 3 Main Effects of Ketosis, weight loss on a ketogenic diet is achieved by limiting the daily intake of net carbs and getting your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. While in ketosis, your body effectively uses fat for fuel. In general, the daily intake of net carbs required to enter ketosis could vary from 20 to 100 grams per day (and very rarely over 100 grams per day). Most people, who have experienced ketosis, claim to have reached that state at about 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. I'd suggest you start at 20-30 grams and see how you can adjust it for your needs. There are two ways to find your ideal net carbs intake: Low to high method Start from a low level of net carbs to ensure you quickly enter ketosis (~ 20 grams of net carbs per day). When you detect ketosis after about 2-3 days, start adding net carbs (about 5 grams each week) until you detect a very low-level or no ketones (using Ketostix or blood ketone meter). This is usually the most reliable and quickest way to discover your net carbs limit. It could be a bit hard the first couple of days, as you have to give up almost all carbs from one day to another but it will be worth it. This method is highly recommended. High to low method Assuming you're not in ketosis, start from a relatively high level of net carbs (~ 50 grams) and keep reducing (about 5 grams each week) until you detect presence of ketones. This is a less difficult approach but not recommended, as you may spend a long time out of ketosis before you find yo Continue reading >>
What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis
Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>
Quick Start Keto
Low carbers know ketosis is the superhero of fat-burning. But what is ketosis? And how do you get into ketosis quickly? Keto FAQs and why it makes a difference in fat loss. 6 techniques to get into ketosis fast 3-Day rapid reach ketosis technique Try a few rapid keto techniques and eat specific low carb keto foods. Our quick start guide covers everything you need to reach ketosis fast. If carbs are limited to small amounts in your diet, your body relies on fat for energy. When you reach ketosis, fat burns rapidly and muscle tissue is spared. Why Does Keto Burn Fat Faster? To get into ketosis you’ll avoid sugar, leading to low insulin levels. Low insulin curbs hunger and accelerates fat-burning. Metabolizing fat and producing ketones burns more energy than metabolizing carbs. The result is a much higher calorie burn. How Do I Reach Ketosis? Ketosis happens when carbs are very low – usually when eating 20 to 50 grams of net carbs or less per day. (Carb grams from fiber are NOT counted in daily totals.) Everyone is different. Some low carbers must eat very low carb to reach ketosis. Typical Keto Ratio Getting into ketosis requires eating meals that are high in healthy fats and low in carbs. Protein grams should not exceed 20 % of total daily calories. Keto Calculator This free online keto calculator determines your ideal nutrient ratio for weight loss or maintenance during ketosis. The keto calculator recommends the optimum daily calories, fat, carb and protein amounts to help you get into ketosis – and meet your weight loss goal. How to Know You’re in Ketosis Keto Symptoms During keto, low carbers experience bursts of energy and heightened mood – just two of the big benefits of ketosis. Some dieters notice a temporary, sweet taste in the mouth or a mild, sweet b Continue reading >>
How To Burn Stored Body Fat — A Ketosis Primer
“So, how do you tell your body to start burning stored body fat?” my friend and fellow mother asked. “Cut the carbs,” answered another mom. “I go into ketosis just about every afternoon.” “Ketosis? Isn’t that bad for you?” The short answer? No. I talk to a lot of people who want to lose weight. They try all sorts of things — exercise, calorie restriction, you name it. Sometimes, they lose the weight. Inevitably, they gain it back. That’s because what they’re doing is going on a diet — a temporary fix at best. What they need is a lifestyle change, a perspective shift, a new paradigm. Of course, you all know the paradigm I espouse — a conversion to eating real, traditional foods. Yet even a conversion to eating real food won’t necessarily help the pounds melt away. If you’re still eating 200 grams of carbohydrates a day — even if they’re “traditional” carbohydrates like sprouted or soaked grains, unrefined sweeteners, etc, you’re not going to lose weight without making some serious changes. If your body is regularly storing body fat (you gain a little bit of weight each year), then something is wrong with how your body metabolizes food. Let me introduce you to a new concept: the body fat setpoint. The body fat setpoint is the mass of body fat that your body attempts to defend against changes in either direction. It’s your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis. This is why if you exercise more, you eat more. It’s also why if you restrict calories, your metabolism slows down to compensate. Why should you care about the body fat setpoint? From Stephan at Whole Health Source: We care because this has some very important implications for human obesity. With such a powerful system in place to keep body fat mass in a narrow range, Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Beginners Guide
Brief Overview A ketogenic diet is a way of eating that promotes a state of ketosis in the body. Generally speaking a ketogenic diet will have the following macronutrient ratios: High Fat – 60%-80% of total calories come from fat. Moderate Protein – 15%-35% of total calories come from protein. Low Carbohydrate – 5% or less of total calories come from carbohydrates. Everyone’s macronutrient breakdown will be different and depends on a variety of factors. Reference our Keto Macro Calculator to figure out what yours are! Eating in accordance with these macronutrient ratio’s will deplete your body of glucose and force it to start producing ketones. Your body will then use these ketones for energy. What is Ketosis From Wikipedia: Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body’s energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose (sugar) provides most of the energy. With the abundance of high carbohydrate foods available in modern times, virtually all human beings that don’t make a concerted effort to restrict carbs are always in a state of glycolysis. There are a number of reasons why ketosis is beneficial when compared to glycolysis, which we will get into later. What are Ketones? Ketones are the fuel source your body is running on when it’s in a state of ketosis. They are produced in the liver when glycogen is depleted and are characterized as a slower burning fuel source when compared to glucose. Insulin and Keto This is where the magic happens. Eating a high carb diet means you’re always producing insulin to transport the glucose around your body. The fat can just sit around and watch because insulin is doing all the work. The fat is eventually stored, which leads to weight gain. In a Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Can You Eat On A Low-carb Diet?
Source If you've chosen to embark on a carbohydrate-controlled diet, then you may be wondering how many carbs in a low carb diet? The answer, in large part, depends on the diet you have selected as well as how far along you are into the diet plan. It also depends on factors unique to your body type and body chemistry. Low Carbohydrate Diets There are a large number of different low carbohydrate diet plans. Some of the popular low carbohydrate diet plans include Atkins, South Beach and the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet. While the details of each of these diet plans differ, they are all based on a common principle - to limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat in order to control the amount of insulin released into your bloodstream. According to low carb diet proponents, insulin plays an important role in weight fluctuation. When there is sugar in your blood, your body releases insulin to neutralize the effects of sugar on the body. Blood sugar rises when you eat carbohydrates - especially refined and simple carbohydrates like white flour and sugar. While insulin plays an important role in neutralizing spikes in sugar, it is also the primary mechanism by which fat is escorted into the fat cells. It also prevents fat from being released from your fat cells to be used as fuel. Low carbohydrate diets limit the amount of insulin released into the bloodstream, which allows your body to rely on its own fat as its primary source of energy. The byproduct of burning fat as your primary energy source is known as ketosis, which can aid in satiating hunger and keeping your energy levels high. How Many Carbs in a Low Carb Diet? Limiting dietary sources of carbohydrates is what starts the whole process of ketosis. Determining how many carbs in a low carb diet depends, to some extent, on y 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 >>
The Keto Diet: A Low-carb Approach To Fat Loss
Along with the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet, individuals who are interested in low carbohydrate approaches to dieting will likely want to look into the Keto Diet. Popular among many who are trying to maintain blood sugar levels and lose body fat, the main premise of this diet is, 'eat fat to lose fat'. So How Does It Work? The idea of the ketone diet is to get your body into a process called Ketosis where you stop burning carbohydrates as fuel and instead turn to the burning of what are known as ketones. This will occur when you bring your carbohydrate levels to around 50 grams per day or lower. Many keto activists advise that number to be 30 grams of carbohydrates but most individuals can still maintain ketosis while consuming the 50 grams and this allows for a little more leeway in the diet since you can increase the consumption of vegetables and a variety of flavoring's that contain a few grams of carbohydrates. TKD Or CKD Usually people who are involved with exercise will follow either a TKD (targeted keto diet) or a CKD (cyclical keto diet). TKD A TKD is one where you will eat carbohydrates right before and right after your workouts. This is the best bet for those who are involved in more intense activities and require some carbohydrates to fuel them and who are not as interested in doing carb loads and depletion workouts. CKD A CKD on the other hand is a diet where you will eat a minimum amount of carbohydrates per day (that 30-50 gram number) and then on the weekend (or at a time that is appropriate for you) do a large 'carb-up' phase where you will eat a large amount of carbohydrates in an effort to refill your muscle glycogen stores so you can continue to workout the coming week. Normally right before the carb-up phase you will do a depletion workout wh Continue reading >>
How To Get Into Ketosis In Less Than 3 Days
Do you need to get into ketosis super fast? Don't think you can handle the deprivation and hunger of a water fast? The good news is that you don't have to. You can rev up your metabolism, escape hunger, and be on your way to fat burning in one or two days! All it takes is a ketogenic diet that is lower in carbs than standard keto. This will cut your cravings to the bone and switch you from a glucose burning metabolism to burning fat faster than anything else! Ketogenic diets work by reducing basal insulin levels, lowering blood triglycerides, and setting up conditions that will move you into the state of nutritional ketosis. Getting into ketosis is important because when the body produces ketones, your hunger level goes down, your energy goes up, and you experience a state of well-being. All of these benefits will make it easier for you to stick to your low-carb diet plan. On a typical keto diet, it takes 3 to 5 days to enter into the state of ketosis. But how quickly you do that depends on how many carbohydrates you were eating per day before you started restricting them. In addition, if you're looking for the urine testing strips to change colors right now, that only occurs once ketosis is well under way. Most low-carb diets start you off at 20 to 30 net carbs. Atkins 20 and the Reddit version of Keto begin at 20 net carbs, and the Protein Power Lifeplan begins at 30. These amounts are low enough to get the job done within a few days. If you're coming from a carb-heavy diet, it might take a little longer to switch metabolic pathways than if you're merely switching from a low-calorie plan to Atkins, Keto, or LCHF. However, there is a much quicker method that you can use right now instead of these standard Keto diets. The quick-start method I'm going to share with you i Continue reading >>
Advanced Ketogenic Dieting
There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to ketogenic dieting. All around us we have hundreds of books, so many experts, endless opinions from people who have done it themselves and posted their views online. Right now the water is exceedingly muddied. The goal of this article it to not only give a clear view on the keto protocols but also lay out an sound tried and true protocol along with a systematic way to set it up. Ketogenic Dieting Defined Lets start this off talking about what ketogenic dieting means and doesn’t mean. A lot of people think that keto means eating low carbs. Some people think it means just eating protein. Ketogenic dieting is achieved by getting into ketosis, and that is a process that the body has to go through. Eating low carbs or only eating protein, etc, doesn’t mean the body will get into ketosis. Generally speaking being keto means that someone has limited their carbohydrate intake to extremely low levels until their body runs out of stored glycogen causing the body to start making ketones (fats) to run on. THAT is what the main goal of a ketogenic diet is- being in ketosis and a state of using fat for fuel. We all have glycogen (carbs) stored in our liver, and when we limit carb consumption our liver kicks out stored glycogen to fuel our activity. When that liver glycogen runs out that is when the body flips the switch and starts making ketones for us to use as energy. Ketones are fractionated fats that yield 7 cals per gram (regular fats yield 9 calories per gram when used for energy). This is very interesting because when we are eating a carb based diet, carbs give us 4 calories per carb eaten to burn for energy. Being in a ketogenic state we are burning 7 calories per ketone….meaning we are burning more energy at rest. I Continue reading >>
How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need?
A perennial question, argument and debate in the field of nutrition has to do with how many carbohydrates people should be eating. While the nutritional mainstream is still more or less advocating a large amount of daily carbohydrate (with fat being blamed for the health problems of the modern world), groups often considered at the ‘fringe’ of nutrition are adamant that carbohydrates are the source of all evil when it comes to health, obesity, etc. They advocate lowering carbohydrates and replacing them with dietary protein, fat or both. This is a topic that I discussed in some detail in Carbohydrates and Fat Controversies Part 1 and Carbohydrate and Fat Controversies Part 2 and I’d recommend readers take a look at those for a slightly different look at the issue than what is discussed here. Arguments over recommended carbohydrate intake have a long history and it doesn’t appear to be close to ending any time soon. Typical mainstream recommendations have carbohydrates contributing 50% or more of total calories while many low-carbohydrate advocates suggest far fewer (ranging from the 40% of the Zone diet to close to zero for ketogenic diets). This article looks at the topic in detail. And while I originally wrote it quite a while back (some of you have probably seen it before), it was nice going over it with fine toothed comb for an update. While the majority of it stands up well over time, I was able to make some slight changes to the values, along with removing some original stuff that wasn’t really relevant. Enjoy. Introduction It’s safe to say that most carbohydrate recommendations that you will see are put in terms of percentages, you should be eating 45% of your calories as carbs, or 65% or whatever number is being used. As I discussed in Diet Percentag Continue reading >>
What You Should Know Before Trying A Ketogenic Diet
Five people have recently told me they were going to “try keto”—the most recent after gushing about a mutual friend who has been doing keto, aka the popular ketogenic diet, and getting awesome-looking results. You’ve probably heard rumblings about keto, but what the heck is it? And is it too good to be true? Let’s first get you caught up on all the hubbub around the ketogenic diet. Keto is an extremely low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. You’ll find those on keto gobbling up stuff like fat slabs of bacon, mountains of avocados, and cartons of heavy whipping cream. There’s a lot of enthusiastic fanfare around it, like this comment on Reddit: Awesome. And then there’s this one: Low-carb diets are nothing new for weight loss. And keto is kind of a low-carb diet with a twist in that you emphasize tons of fat. I spoke to Leigh Peele, NASM certified personal trainer who fields questions on all matters of weight loss, metabolism, and nutrition, and is author of Starve Mode; and she told me that the original definition of keto is a 4:1 ratio of fats to carbohydrates or protein. That is, for every gram of protein or carb you eat, you would also eat four grams of fat (hence, the avocados and heavy whipping cream). But you don’t have to stick to that exactly as long as your carbs are low and protein moderate enough to properly be “ketogenic.” Let me explain. Differences Between Keto and a Low-Carb Diet Keto’s trump card against the average low-carb diet is that, after consistently depriving yourself of bread, pasta, donuts, and any carb source, your body goes into ketosis (between a couple of days and a week). Ketosis means your body is breaking down fat and releasing large quantities of molecules called ketones into your bloodstream. Your body t Continue reading >>
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