How Many Carbs Should I Eat A Day While Dieting?
Dietary ketosis, for the purpose of intentional weight loss, generally occurs when total carbohydrate intake is limited to somewhere in the range of approximately 50 to100 grams of carbohydrate spaced throughout the day, for a period of several days. The exact number depends on the individual, and is influenced by such factors as exercise and activity level. Because the body uses carbohydrates for energy, the more active you are, the more carbohydrates and fat you will burn. If you have a particularly sedentary day, you may find that you need to decrease your carbohydrate intake to achieve ketosis. As you lose significant amounts of weight, your body’s energy requirements change and you may find it necessary to further reduce carbohydrate intake or increase exercise in order to achieve ketosis. People who follow a low calorie, low carbohydrate ketogenic weight loss diet experience a rapid rate of weight loss. Because they tend to lose weight more rapidly than on “traditional” diets that focus primarily on calories, their motivation to stick with their program until they achieve their goal is great. Most individuals experience reduced hunger and cravings, and increased physical and mental energy while in ketosis. They also tend to report feeling less moody, less irritable, and less depressed. The degree to which people experience these benefits varies from person to person. Continue reading >>
5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)
A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr 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 >>
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 >>
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 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 >>
How Many Carbs Should You Eat To Get Into Ketosis?
Limiting carbs is one of the easiest ways to get into ketosis. It doesn’t require fasting; it doesn’t even require you to eat fewer calories — all you have to do is restrict your carbohydrates and eat just enough protein (and not too much) to stimulate fat burning and ketone production. Other factors like fat consumption, stress, and activity levels are important to consider as well, but knowing how many carbs you need to eat to get into ketosis is a good place to start. How Many Carbs For Ketosis? Regardless of how many variables impact ketosis, it is important to start somewhere, and carbs are the most important metric to start with on the ketogenic diet. For most people, keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g) will get them into a deep ketosis after about a week. (To figure out your net carb consumption, simply subtract total fiber intake from total carbs.) Note: Some sweeteners are considered keto-friendly and do not raise blood sugar levels. These can be subtracted from the total carbs as well. For more, read our Guide to Low Carb Sweeteners > To eat such a small amount of carbs, you must be vigilant about your food choices. You may find that many of your favorite foods will put you over the carbohydrate limit for the day with just one serving. Even healthier foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with sugar and carbs, but don’t get discouraged — there is plenty of delicious food you can eat on the ketogenic diet. For example, you can have a Bacon Breakfast Bagel for breakfast, a Thai BBQ Pork Salad for lunch, and a Keto BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner. Mouthwatering aren’t they? Check out this list for some more ideas of what you should and should not eat on the ketogenic diet: Do Not Eat Grains – wheat, corn, ric 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 >>
How Do You Count Carbs On A Ketogenic Diet?
If you are using the Keto Zone Diet for weight loss then you are probably paying a lot of attention to how many carbohydrates you are consuming. You are likely already aware of the myriad of benefits of a ketogenic. They include weight loss, improved energy, and enhanced cognitive performance. However, in order to reap the benefits, you need to keep your daily consumption of carbs below 20 grams per day, especially for the first 2-4 weeks. Keto Macros The macronutrient ratios (macros) of daily caloric intake for a successful ketogenic diet look like this: High healthy fat intake at 60%-80% of calories. Moderate clean protein intake at 15%-35% of calories. Low carbohydrate intake at 0%-5% of calories Many people initially scoff at these ratios as ridiculous or even impossible. The fact is, however, that it is not only possible, but once the body is adapted it is actually incredibly easy to maintain. This is because once the body has adapted to using ketones (fat) for fuel instead of glucose (sugar), hunger diminishes dramatically and cravings virtually disappear. But first, you must make it through the keto adaptation phase. Keto Adaptation The human body is designed to efficiently burn fat for fuel. That is actually why the body stores fat to begin with, as a backup fuel supply when no food is available. For those of us in the Western world, food is always available, so most of us never tap into our body fat reserves and instead pile on body weight from all the excess calories. The easiest way to access these fat reserves would be to simply not eat (i.e. fast), but that is simply too difficult for most people with busy lives. A ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrates and protein to a degree that mimics the metabolic effects of fasting. This allows the body to remember ho 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 >>
Find Your Keto Macros
Fine tune your fat-burning with the perfect keto ratio. Learn the special concerns for protein and fat ratios, how to track your keto macros and where to find the wiggle room. Best keto ratio for rapid fat-burning Printable keto food pyramid Online keto calculator Printable list of keto macros: calories, fat, net carbs, protein Keto macro is short for ketosis macro-nutrient. The three keto macro-nutrients are fats, proteins and carbs. Sometimes, calories are also considered part of the equation. What’s the best keto ratio? “Best” depends on your goals. A typical keto ratio has 75% of calories from fat, 20% of calories from protein and 5% of calories from fiber-rich carbs. A Typical Keto Ratio Keto Tip: A perfect ketogenic ratio happens when the amount of protein grams are equal to or slightly great than the grams of fat. Keto Food Pyramid Keto foods center around healthy fats, with moderate amounts of protein and scant carbs. During ketosis, think of fat as a food group. The Atkins Keto Food Pyramid illustrates which of the 200 ketosis foods to enjoy liberally and which ones to limit. Click the image to view, print or save. Tracking Keto Macros Track keto macros helps identify diet stalls and plateau. Macro tracking pinpoints troublesome keto ratios in your diet. For example: Are you eating enough fat? Are you eating too much protein? Track your keto foods and find out. Keto Wiggle Room If your keto ratio is off a bit, it’s not a big deal. You have wiggle room. If some days are over and some days are under your ideal goals, it’s fine. Keep your calories in check and track your keto macros by averaging several days at a time. A single day won’t make or break your plan. Testing for Ketosis Special test strips called keto sticks (or ketostix, keto strips) are u Continue reading >>
Keto Shopping List (with The Carb Count For Every Food)
If you plan to start a ketogenic diet, then you might be feeling some confusion over which foods to eat. With this in mind, this article provides a keto shopping list featuring the best foods. You can see the carbohydrate content and net carbs clearly listed for each food. This knowledge will allow you to plan for precisely how many carbs you consume. As a general guide, the upper limit to stay in ketosis is approximately 50g carbohydrate per day (1). Keto Shopping List Below you will find some tables showing the best ketogenic foods along with the number of carbs they contain. These tables spread over ten different categories, which include: Dairy Fruit Meat Nuts Oils and Fats Poultry Seafood Seeds Vegetables Everything else (such as sauces, snacks, and condiments) About the Carb Count For all keto foods, the carb count is per 100g. ‘Total carbs’ refers to the overall amount of carbohydrate in the food. In contrast, ‘net carbs’ means the amount of non-fiber carbohydrate in the food—the carbs that are digestible. Some foods can be high in carbohydrate but very low in net carbs (such as cacao), while others can be the opposite. Sources Nutrition data and the USDA Food Database are the sources for all nutrition values. Dairy Keto Foods Almost every dairy food is an excellent choice for a keto diet, but be careful to buy real dairy. By this, I mean that a yogurt full of added sugar and chocolate rings is not going to be beneficial for health. Also, while full-fat milk is a perfectly healthy food, there is approximately 5g lactose (milk sugars) per 100ml. With this in mind, don’t go overboard with drinking milk if you are trying to do a ketogenic diet. For instance, a big glass of milk would be almost half of your daily carb limit. Food Total Carbs Net Carbs But 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 >>
A Breakdown Of The Fat/protein/carb Ratio For A Ketogenic Diet
When on the ketogenic diet, one of the most important things you’ll have to pay attention to is your macronutrient breakdown. This means you’ll be getting a certain portion of your calories form carbohydrates (a very small portion) at 5%, a larger portion of calories from protein (35%), and the largest number of calories from fats (65%). There are many online sites that can help you figure out how many calories you need on a daily basis, based on your height, weight, measurements, age, gender and level of activity. From there, you can also use online calculators to help you figure out the proper breakdown, in grams, for each macronutrient percentage you’ll be eating. You’ll multiply your total daily calories by each percentage to get the grams of each macronutrient that you’ll need. For example, if you need 1200 calories per day, and your carbohydrates are 5% of that total, then multiply 1200 by 5% to get the number of grams of carbohydrates you’ll be allowed to eat each day. In this case, 5% of 1200 calories is 60 calories. You then divide the calories by the grams per unit of carb, protein or fat. Carbohydrates and proteins both have 4 calories per gram and fats have 9 calories per gram. Again, in this example, 60 calories divided by 4 grams per carb leaves you with a total of 15 grams of carbs per day. There are several great phone apps that will do the calculations for you. My personal favorite is Carb Counter. This also makes restaurant eating a breeze. One last note on food and nutrient tracking applications—you can typically also use these to plan your meals ahead of time. Just plug in the proposed foods for the day to see where your calorie and macronutrient values will lie, and make adjustments from there. Then, you build your meals around those n Continue reading >>
A Keto Diet For Beginners
A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance, as millions of people have experienced already. 1 Here you’ll learn how to eat a keto diet based on real foods. You’ll find visual guides, recipes, meal plans and a simple 2-week get started program, all you need to succeed on keto. Get even more, custom meal plans, ask the experts and low-carb TV, with a free trial. 1. Introduction: What is ketosis? The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. 2 This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar). Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, 3 and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones. On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy. When the body produces ketones, it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but nobody can fast forever. A keto diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinite Continue reading >>