Cheating And You
Cheating, or eating hidden carbs, whatever you want to call it. Let’s have a brief talk. What is cheating? Cheating is, in the most simple terms, eating a lot more carbs than you would normally. There’s no hard and fast figure, suffice to say that if you had somewhere in the realm of 50g – 100g you would likely break your ketosis, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It also stands to reason that you would possibly not have to go through unpleasant keto-flu again. How does it happen? Cheating can happen for a number of reasons, but there seem to be two main causes. Emotions Alcohol Comfort eating is something everyone I know does, and I’ll admit to eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s on my own, no problems at all, when feeling down. Though those days are also long gone. You could be stressed, sad, angry, or any number of other things, and may choose to seek comfort in sugary foods. After all, they raise your mood, though it’s only short term. You’ll probably feel down that you’ve stalled your progress or simply eaten foods that aren’t great for your body. You might even drink alcohol for a range of the same reasons, or, as is very often the case, it may be a social event. A birthday, after work drinks, oh how I could go on… One thing’s for sure, too much can and will impair judgement. The last time I cheated was definitely after a few refreshments and I said “Hey, you know what, chocolate is a GREAT IDEA!” But it wasn’t really. You’ll Feel Like a Failure – But that’s OK! The worst part is knowing that you’ve failed, but you must remember that it’s ok to fail, if you don’t, then you’re probably not doing a lot of trying or learning. I recently read some great advice on failing. It stressed one point, and one point only, Continue reading >>
How To Find Your Ketogenic Diet Carb Limit
There is no legitimate carb limit for keto. The keto gods won’t banish you to burn in sugar hell forever if you eat an extra blueberry. The truth is that every person has a different carb limit that they should stick to so that they can trigger ketone production. This “carb limit” also changes depending on the day. Whether your body achieves ketosis or not — the main reason why you are limiting carbs in the first place — depends on many factors. Some people may be able to get into ketosis with a slightly higher carb intake while others need to restrict their carbs below 35 grams per day. So, what does this mean for you? How can you find your very own keto carb limit? Finding Your Keto Carb Limit Although everyone may need to restrict their carbs to slightly different amounts to get into and stay in ketosis, there is a carb limit that almost anyone can use to achieve results. This keto carb limit is 35 grams of total carbs and 25 grams of net carbs. (Net carbs are found by subtracting the grams of the fiber from the total grams of carbs.) If net carbs are further limited to less than 20 grams, then most people will get into ketosis even more quickly. Keeping your carbs consumption at this level and rarely going above it is a reliable way to stay in ketosis (as long as you eat the right amount of protein — more on that later). To figure out how to track your carbs and stay below the carb limit, here’s a guide you can use to keep it as simple as possible. And here is a brief list of what you should and shouldn’t eat to achieve ketosis: Do Not Eat Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc. Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc. Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc. Tubers – potato, yams, etc. Do Eat Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc. Lea Continue reading >>
Will A Cheat Meal Knock Me Out Of Ketosis?
“Is a cheat day okay? The answer to your question is, if you are keto adapted. As I said before, that means that your cells essentially are running on ketones for fuel, as opposed to running on glucose, which is what the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans are running on, and therefore there’s all this disease here. The genesis of these metabolic diseases has to do with consumption of simple carbohydrates. So if you are keto adapted, and you’ve done your requisite carbohydrate depletion for 8-12 weeks, I always call this the clamp. If you were to go and eat a very, very heavy, carbohydrate-laden meal, because of the fact that you have this “clamp” if you will, if you were to go and test your blood sugars, they’re not going to shoot up to the point where you believe they may have shot up. If an individual that were not keto adapted were to eat, for example, a Snickers bar, their blood sugars may shoot up to 200 transiently. This is what we see: the blood sugars go up transiently in a keto-adapted individual and then they’re clamped right down within an hour or two to that normal level. The answer to your question is no – if you are a keto adapted individual and you are running your cells on fat, is a cheat meal going to knock you out of ketosis? No, it’s not going to knock you out of ketosis. Now, if you are an individual that is on the threshold of being in ketosis and you’re knocking your carbohydrates down – let’s say you started at 75, now you’re at 50 – and you go and eat a carbohydrate-laden meal? Yes, you’re going to have a problem. That is definitely going to delay your transition into ketosis, because what you’re doing is, you’re telling your body, “Hey! Up-regulate the enzymes that allow me to metabolize the carbohydrates Continue reading >>
How Many Grams Of Carbs Keep The Average Person Out Of Ketosis?
I realize that this is highly variable, but what number of grams have you guys found to be the threshold? I suppose if you are right at the threshold, you'll be passing in and out of it, so maybe we'd want a 10g buffer or something? Personally, I'd like to stay outside of it, but only just, and am wondering what the general rule of thumb is these days. I do strength-increasing workouts and walk around a lot, but I avoid what most consider to be "exercise." 1 Worst Carb After Age 50 If you're over 50 and you eat this carb, you will never lose belly fat. HealthPlus50 I was at 3 servings of fruit a day for a while (roughly 75g of carbs) but feel like I might be able to go a little lower. I think the 3 cups (pre-cooked) of steamed spinach would add a largely negligible amount. The 50g of natto per day has something like 5-7g. No other beans or legumes to speak of. Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
9 Reasons Why You Aren’t In A State Of Ketosis
If you’re having trouble getting into ketosis, it is useful to understand the factors that actually impact blood ketone levels. When I first started on the ketogenic diet, I made sure to educate myself fully on how I can efficiently get into a fat-adapted state (ketosis). Just like everything else, there’s going to be some hurdles you’ll face when adopting a keto lifestyle. Watch out for these 8 ketogenic pitfalls you could be potentially be falling for. 1. Carbohydrates Pretty much all steps involved in producing ketones are inhibited by insulin, this means that ketone levels are extremely sensitive to carb intake. There isn’t an exact amount of carbohydrates that works for everyone to get into ketosis. But, there is a general guideline that works for most people. It has been estimated that around 50 grams per day or lower of carbohydrates will elevate your blood ketone levels. You should be eating less than 30 grams in order to get into ketosis. From personal experience, I found that if i’m more active on any given day, I can get away with eating more carbohydrates and still have decent blood ketone levels. I actually have been able to get away with upwards of 100 grams of carbs and still be in ketosis. I believe this is because when you are active, you are burning extra glycogen storages that come from carbohydrates. 2. Protein. Just like carbohydrates, increasing your intake of protein to fat in your diet will limit your ketone production. The reason behind this is because over half of amino acids in proteins are converted into glucose in the body, thus, producing an anti-keto effect. This is not as big of a deal for athletes / people who are very active because the body is utilizing the protein and amino acids to the point where it is not hindering your k Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should You Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?
If you’re considering going “keto,” keep in mind you’ll need to consider everything — worked out down to the last gram — regarding how many carbohydrates you can consume. One thing’s for sure: the statement “low carb” isn’t open to interpretation. This isn’t a quick fix “fad” diet; it’s meant to promote real and lasting change for your body — change that’s ultimately going to help you become less dependent on glucose and able to melt through fat for energy instead! You need to actually cause a metabolic shift, and just simply guessing if your carbs are low enough isn’t going to be the most efficient way to do that. While you’re on the ketogenic diet, you absolutely must keep your carbohydrate count within the specified range your body operates in — at all times. If not, you won’t reach a state of ketosis, thus rendering the entire program null and void. With that in mind, it’s important to realize you’re doing this as a more long-term process for lasting results. No matter what your goals or desired outcome, eating a lower carb diet than you are now is certainly going to benefit you in the long run. So, How Many Grams of Carbs Should I Have? If you’re a “normal” person — and by normal, we simply mean “non-athlete” — then you’ll be alright following the standard ketogenic dietary ratios. (And we use the word “standard” here because there isn’t just one version of the ketogenic diet — but more on that in a bit.) You can enjoy fantastic benefits going keto, including effortless fat loss, increased lifespan, improved energy, and sharper mental focus. Everyone responds differently to different amounts of carbohydrates, but there are some general starting points. But to achieve those, you’ll need to make 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 >>
What Happens When You Fall Out Of Ketosis During Dieting?
Ketosis, a metabolic state where fat rather than carbohydrates becomes your primary energy source, occurs only when you follow a low-carbohydrate diet or a near-starvation diet. Your body normally uses carbohydrates for energy. On a low-carb diet, you cut carbohydrate consumption, so your body must find a new energy source. Eating as little as 50 and 100 g of carbohydrate per day can keep you out of ketosis, registered dietitian Janice Hermann, Ph.D. of Oklahoma State University reports. If you fall out of ketosis, a low-carbohydrate diet may not work for weight loss. Video of the Day Falling out of ketosis may slow or stop your weight loss, because low-carb diets don’t generally count calories. In fact, you may eat more calories while in ketosis and still lose weight. The official Atkins website published an abstract presented at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity Annual Meeting 2003. The 12-week study found that subjects following a low-carb diet who were consuming 300 calories per day more than subjects eating a low-calorie diet still lost more weight. However, if you are still eating fewer calories than you use, you may continue to lose weight even if you’re no longer in ketosis. Ketone Test Strip Changes Ketone test strips measure the concentration of ketones in your urine. The specially impregnated sticks turn purple when urine contains enough ketones to register. Generally speaking, the darker the purple, the deeper your degree of ketosis. If your ketone test strips were previously turning purple, the test strips will not change color if you’re no longer in ketosis. Being in ketosis appears to have an appetite-suppressant effect. This may help you eat less without feeling hungry while following a low-carbohydrate diet. If you're no long Continue reading >>
How Do I Get Back Into Ketosis Faster After Cheating?
Did you let go of your low carb diet for the holidays? Have a free meal? Maybe a carb up? Or go out to dinner? Restaurants are well known for hiding sugar in their salad dressings and putting other carby ingredients into their food that you might not know about. What you expect to be low carb isn't always as low as you think. All it takes is a single teaspoon of sugar in the salad dressing or a light dusting of flour on that chicken breast and you'll experience the consequences without even know why! However, all is not lost! You can recover from your setback and get back into ketosis almost as fast as water fasting by following the diet plan outlined below. If you went to a Christmas party, you might not have been able to tell if your food was really free of carbs, or not. You might have not wanted to upset the host, or you didn't want to feel left out, so you ate something that wasn't on plan. Tempting Christmas treats are the downfall of many. Perhaps, you deliberately caved in to those delicious looking cupcakes or a soft, fluffy donut that your boss or co-worker brought into the office. The holidays are not the only time that your self discipline and love for low carb eating will be put to the test. Maybe you went on vacation and decided to not bother with all of that carb counting stuff. If so, you might have gained a few pounds. You also might have decided to chuck the low-carb dieting game, kick back, eat what you consider a normal diet, and just enjoy your vacation. All of that delicious food looked too good to pass up! If you work out regularly and did a carb up to improve hormonal balance by bumping up your Leptin level, you might also be wondering if there's a way to get back into ketosis more quickly than water fasting. If so, this article will help you, to Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Will Kick You Out Of Ketosis?
You are asking what level of circulating and stored glucose is required to prevent you from primarily burning fat. Typically, one begins while primarily burning glucose and must virtually exhaust that before you begin adapting to burning fat. During that period the best answer is zero grams. After that, some tissues (such as red blood cells) can burn only glucose. Small amounts can be made from fats but usually one will cannibalize amino acids from muscle and converting them to glucose. About 30–40 grams of glucose is the minimum that one can achieve in a mixed diet and should suffice to preserve muscle. Protein will also kick one out of ketosis because as much as half may be converted to glucose on first pass through the liver. One would normally plan for 50–60 grams rather than the recommended 30–40 grams of protein to reduce muscle catabolism. Since the above totals 400 Calories, most Calories must come from fat and that is what actually drives ketosis. Fat kills appetite. The proportion of glucose and protein in a food would not matter if one is not hungry enough to eat. I keep using the term glucose because sucrose and HFCS contain 50% fructose which does not count. Fructose is metabolized into fat on first pass through the liver. Some long molecules are not digested and bacteria convert them to fats in the gut. Assume that those would be reported as fiber on a label. Finally, humans react to the circulating glucose/insulin level, not a written number. Very slowly digesting starches won’t break established ketosis. I find that beans and green vegetables do not count if served with enough olive oil. Continue reading >>
Should You Have Cheat Meals On A Ketogenic Diet?
Damn does that cake look good! Cheat meals. Everyone thinks about them when following any diet, and the ketogenic diet is no exception. You might be wondering if you should have cheat meals while going keto. Is it worth it? Is it okay? Will it mess up your progress completely? Intellectually, why would you want to eat something that isn’t in line with your goals or your health? Let’s face it, cheat day meals are bad for you. We know it. The ketogenic diet is simple, but not always easy, and there are some grey areas, so lLet’s talk a little bit about what happens when you have cheat meals and whether or not they’re worth it. You might know people who do low-carb long-term and schedule cheat meals in at regular times, such as on the weekends or set days each month. While this creates a healthy mindset around not needing to be perfect, things are a little different with the ketogenic diet. Since keto is stricter than other low-carb diets, (see our post on keto vs. Atkins) it’s more tempting to have cheat meals. However, the effects of them can be more dramatic. Disadvantages of Cheat Meals on the Ketogenic Diet Here are some consequences of having cheat meals. These are things to consider before flying off the deep end with some emotional eating. Let’s get the big one out of the way first, Cheating Takes You out of Ketosis Since cheating on the keto diet more than likely will take you out of ketosis—especially if the cheat meal or snack is carb-heavy—you have to be prepared for this fact. Know that it’ll likely set you back some and take some time to get back into a ketogenic state. When you have eaten what you suspect was a “cheat meal,” put it to the acid test, and test your ketone levels. People are often surprised that they stay in ketosis after Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Can You Eat In Ketosis?
Having been a low-carb enthusiast and team Diet Doctor member for years, you would have thought I’d nailed ketosis ages ago. I haven’t. In the last post, Why You’re Not in Ketosis, I revealed why, and how I fixed it (by reducing my carb and protein intake to 20 and 60 grams per day respectively). But, I had a problem. Though it felt awesome to be back in ketosis, it sucked to eat so little protein – 60 grams a day isn’t much for a meat lover like me. Could I eat more protein AND remain in optimal ketosis? I was going to find out. The protein experiment I designed the following experiment: First, I would increase my protein intake from 60 grams a day to the level where I would no longer be in optimal ketosis. Then, I would reduce my protein intake until I was back in optimal ketosis, using what I ate on the last day to define my daily-protein limit. Finally, I’d eat to this daily-protein limit every day for a week to test its accuracy, adjusting my protein intake if necessary. To increase the trustworthiness of the experiment, I added five rules: 1. Keep eating 10-20 grams of carbs a day 2. Keep eating during a four-hour window (5-9pm) 3. Adjust my protein intake gradually 4. Make no other major changes to my life 5. Measure my blood-ketone levels every morning before eating “Nice plan”, I thought. But there was one thing I hadn’t taken into account… Preparation To start off the experiment, I measured my blood-ketone levels: 2.0 mmol/L. Not exactly shocking news – I had been eating 45-60 grams of protein and 10-20 grams of carbs a day for weeks, being in optimal ketosis almost every morning. But all that could end soon – it was protein time. Day 1: Taco-cheese shells On the first day of the experiment, I ate similarly to how I’d eaten lately – Continue reading >>
Not Losing Weight On Low Carb? Try Carb Cycling.
Carbohydrates are just as addictive as nicotine, if not more. The first time I quit smoking after fourteen years, I quit it for two years. Then one night at a party I was offered a cigarette by someone I hadn’t seen for a while and I, figuring I was “cured,” lit it up. The next day I bought a pack and jumped right back into smoking a pack a day for three more years before I finally quit again (2.5 years now!) When it comes to carbohydrates, I don’t see a difference. Last year on my birthday, after doing keto for a solid six or seven months, my wonderful fiance got me a doughnut cake as a cheat day treat. A doughnut, the size of a cake. I figured hey, it’s one day, one doughnut. But it wasn’t. The minute carbohydrates were back in my system it was as if they were never gone. And suddenly we were ordering Dominos and drinking Coca-Cola. And again. And again. In fact, I never ate pizza regularly or drank soda until that moment. It’s like one big doughnut was a gateway drug to everything bad, even things I didn’t eat before. Eight months and 20lbs later we were able to get the will power together to quit them again. Losing Weight on a Low Carb Diet If you’re on a low carb diet, you don’t need me to tell you the benefits. Some do it for weight loss, others for mental clarity, and others for illnesses like cancer and alzheimers. But remember, quitting carbs doesn’t mean quitting real food. Every day I eat grass-fed meat, organic greens like spinach, and even berries. If you choose to drink diet coke and processed things loaded with fake sugars, with a block of cheese for lunch, you’re not making yourself healthier, you might even be damaging your body rather than helping it. One thing I’ve learned from quitting carbohydrates and then falling off the Continue reading >>