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 >>
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 >>
On A Low Carb Diet? Have Some Fruit.
I'm a big fan of the low-carb diet. Not only has it been shown to be more effective than a low-fat diet, but it bestows many additional health benefits over a typical diet. As I've mentioned previously, there are a lot of downsides to consuming sugar, so it makes sense why cutting it from your diet is a great way to lose some weight and improve your health. The problem with the low-carb diet is that people become too focused on cutting out all carbs verses eating healthier. I'll get to that in a second, but first I need to explain the difference between a low-carb diet and a ketogenic low-carb diet. Ketogenic Diet vs. Low-Carb Diet A lot of people think that ketogenic and low-carb diets are the same thing, this actually is not true. You can go low-carb without going into ketosis. Your body can fuel itself at anytime with either sugar or fatty acids. The only organ in your body that can't use fatty acids is your brain. When you deplete all of your body's glycogen stores (sugar stored in the liver and muscles), your body has to break fatty acids down further into ketone bodies so that they can provide energy to your brain. This is what people mean when they say they are in ketosis. Ketogenic diets are incredibly effective, but they can be a little hard to adapt to at first. To totally deplete your glycogen stores, you need to cut your carbohydrates to less than 50 grams a day. Not only will this sudden drop in energizing carbohydrates sap your energy levels, but the transition from fueling your brain with glucose to fueling it with ketone bodies can cause you to experience feelings of mental slowness. People often refer to this transition as the low-carb flu because the symptoms can be very flu-like: headaches, fatigue, mental slowness, even stomach aches, and nausea. The Continue reading >>
The Ultimate Keto Alcohol Guide
Alcohol on a Low Carb Diet! Alcohol gets a bad rep, and is certainly one of the most abused substances in the world. It can become a serious problem when it interferes with your personal/social life and well-being. To enjoy it we need to exercise moderation and self-control. If you like having a couple of beers, shots or glasses of wine to relax or have a good time on weekends, you’re in good shape! But throw a low carb diet into the mix, and you may find yourself struggling with the quantity of alcohol you’re drinking. People on a keto or low carb diet notice their tolerances significantly drop. And when you realize your favorite drink contains more than 30 grams of carbs in a small serving, you may consider giving alcohol up. Before you give it up, use our Ultimate Keto Alcohol Guide to help navigate your way through your local bar and become a keto connoisseur. How and Why Alcohol Affects Us “…alcohol molecules slow down signals from the brain for actions such as walking and talking” Alcohol is actually the fourth macronutrient, providing our body with 7 calories per gram. If you aren’t familiar with macronutrients, you can read more about macronutrients here. Since alcohol is not needed for survival and is considered toxic to humans, it’s ignored under this umbrella of essential macronutrients. When we ingest alcohol (in the form of ethanol), our body begins to work to metabolize it, or destroy/break it down to get energy. Since alcohol is toxic to our bodies, we begin to metabolize it as soon as possible. The tipsy feeling we get is the alcohol being metabolized. Since alcohol molecules are water and fat soluble, they’re able to pass through and be delivered to pretty much all parts of our body, most importantly, our brain and liver. About 98% of th Continue reading >>
Keep Yourself In Ketosis
When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>
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 >>
This Is How To Get Into Ketosis The Right Way
What if I told you that you can get into ketosis only in 2 days. It is possible. What about one day? Also possible! 1 hour? Of course! Most people are looking for the easiest and the fastest solution to everything. “Lose 20 pounds in 1 day with this magic pill!” Did it work for you? I don’t think so. I don’t blame people who want it to be easy and fast. I was one of those people when I started a ketogenic diet. What I didn’t realize is that it is not about how fast I get into ketosis, it is about changing my lifestyle and sticking to it day in and day out. Today, I want to talk about how to get into ketosis the right way. This is a blueprint that you can use when starting out with a ketogenic diet or when you want to get back into ketosis. I will also provide you with necessary techniques, shopping list, and recipes that will help you to start the keto diet and get into ketosis. Ketosis vs. keto-adapted There is a lot of confusion all over the Internet about being in ketosis vs being keto-adapted (fat adapted). Some people use them interchangeably without fully understanding the meaning behind them. Let’s clarify both terms and find out which one we are trying to achieve today. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a metabolic process that is activated when our body doesn’t have enough glycogen (derived from carbs) for our cells to burn for energy. Instead, it starts to convert fat deposits (adipose) to energy. As a part of this process, it makes ketones. Ketone bodies are water-soluble molecules that are produced by our liver from fatty acids. We produce ketones because fatty acids can’t cross a blood-brain barrier, and they can’t be used by our brain as energy. When people talk about nutritional ketosis they associate it with the presence of ketones in your bo 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 >>
Keto Diet And Alcohol
The ketogenic diet is a great way to lose weight, but it is also a lifestyle change that will stay with you for life. While you won’t be eating the extremely low levels of carbs you eat while you are losing weight once you reach your goals, you will need to restrict carbs in your diet permanently to keep those results. Of course, there are some things you have to give up during the strict, initial induction phase (which makes up the first ten to twelve days of your ketogenic diet plan) that you may not want to commit to giving up for the rest of your life. A key one of these, for many people, is alcohol. How does alcohol affect ketosis? Alcohol does have an impact on weight loss through a ketogenic diet, even when you drink low carb or carb free alcoholic beverages. This is because the body can use alcohol as a source of fuel. It isn’t stored as glycogen, like carbs, so once it is burned off you will go straight back into ketosis, however this does mean you are losing some fat burning time when you drink. How much this affects your weight loss varies between individuals. Some people find their weight loss stalls if they drink anything alcoholic, whereas others find they can drink responsible amounts of wine, hard liquor or a low carb beer (they do exist) and keep losing weight. Can I drink alcohol on a Ketogenic Diet? If you enjoy alcohol then as long as you have finished induction, you can try incorporating some low carb alcoholic drinks into your ketogenic diet, and monitor the results. Some people find they can drink vodka with no problems but their weight loss stalls if they drink wine. It is a case of experimenting and seeing what works for you, and then weighing up the pros and cons of having a drink when you want to. If it is a special occasion, you might acc Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any 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 Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
What's The Maximum Carbs On Ketogenic Diet?
Justin's answer here is pretty good. I would add that I've seen the standard recommendation as less than 40g of carbs per day. Ketosis is achievable on more carbs, as Justin points out, but is dependent on your activity level. The more active you are, the more carbohydrates you can consume while staying in Ketosis, or staying in Ketosis most of the time. To effectively get into Ketosis, you need to reduce both carbohydrate and protein intake, less your body simply use your dietary protein to create glycogen through gluconeogenesis. In other words, you can drop your carbs to 0-20 grams, but if you're consuming too much protein, you still won't get into ketosis. How much protein is too much is going to depend on how much you weigh, how messed up your metabolism is, and how active you are. Maybe try for less than 80g protein a day, and see how that works out. I would suggest eating only fatty sources of protein, e.g., eggs, 80 or 85% grass fed beef, wild caught salmon and sardines, and full fat cheese. I would also suggest that you stick to leafy and cruciferous vegetables (spinach, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts are some of my favorites) which tend to be high in fiber and low in net carbohydrates. This is a good list of vegetables to eat (The Best Low Carb Vegetables for Keto) but I wouldn't eat anything below "water chestnuts" on that list if you're trying to get into and maintain ketosis. Avoid all grains, beans and starch, including potatoes/sweet potatoes. If you've never entered Ketosis, be prepared for some discomfort as your body adapts from burning glucose to producing and burning ketones. If you've been in Ketosis before, transitioning in and out is less painful. 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 >>
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 >>