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How Many Carbs To Be In Ketosis?

5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)

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 >>

How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need?

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 >>

A Breakdown Of The Fat/protein/carb Ratio For A Ketogenic Diet

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 >>

Here's Exactly How I Lost 50 Pounds Doing The Keto Diet

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 Can You Eat On A Low-carb Diet?

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 To Stay In Ketosis

How Many Carbs To Stay In Ketosis

The ketogenic diet is probably one of the most meticulous ways of eating out there. For it to actually work you need to be careful and know how many carbs to stay in ketosis. Nutritional ketosis occurs as the result of our body running low on glycogen and the liver producing ketone bodies. It can be caused by either a prolonged period of fasting or by restricting carbohydrate intake significantly. At first, your body will show signs of withdrawal, because glucose is its primary fuel source. To start using ketones effectively you need to go through a period of adaptation. The length this of time this takes depends on several things. How many carbs have you been eaten before. How many carbs are you eating on keto right now. How well your body is accepting ketones for fuel. There isn’t a set magic barrier, that once crossed, will instantly put you into ketosis. As said, the liver will start to produce ketones as a substitute for glucose. The lower your daily carbohydrate intake, the sooner your liver glycogen will be depleted and the quicker your body will start utilizing. For complete adaptation to take place as quickly as possible, you would have to restrict your carbs to under 30 grams per day. NET, that is. Some people have a higher carb tolerance than others. At first, it’s advisable to go even lower than 30 grams, for ketosis to occur faster. Eating less than 20 grams for the initial 2 weeks will definitely hasten adaptation. After this initial period, your body’s biochemistry will have been completely altered. Your liver enzymes will have changed from preferring glucose to loving fat and ketones. Even our hungry brain will be satisfied and won’t create sugar cravings. However, how many carbs to stay IN ketosis is a totally different question. Despite our inc Continue reading >>

How To Get Into Ketosis Faster On A Low Carb Diet

How To Get Into Ketosis Faster On A Low Carb Diet

This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. We may earn money from purchases made through links mentioned in this post, but all opinions are our own. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliates sites. Want to be a fat-burning machine without having to count calories? Here’s a few ideas on how to get into ketosis faster on a low carb diet. Do you want to look leaner for bikini season? Yoga pants starting to feel a little tighter? One way to burn fat fast is to go on a ketogenic diet. The physiological process of burning stored fat instead of sugar, can be achieved within a short amount of time after following a strict keto diet. It is possible to get there in a day. In fact, some people show you how to get into ketosis, this fat burning state, in 24 hours. Do you need to fast? Becoming keto adapted where the body burns fat rather than sugar isn’t as hard as you might think. And, you don’t have to starve yourself to get there quickly. The great news for those who want to know how to get into ketosis faster is, well … you don’t have to fast. Fasting has been used for thousands of years by virtually every religion and traditional society. There are some people who think that a complete fast (not just intermittent fasting) is a way to get into ketosis faster. But the great thing about following a ketogenic diet is that you can eat until your heart—er, stomach—is content. You just have to eat enough of the right foods. And, of course, eat very little of the wrong foods. Is getting into ketosis safe without a doctor? Before reviewing how to get into ketosis quickly, let’s take a look at a quick background: T Continue reading >>

How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Prevent Ketosis?

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 >>

A Keto Diet For Beginners

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 >>

How To Find Your Ideal Carb Intake

How To Find Your Ideal Carb Intake

Low-carb, high-fat diets have a number of known benefits for your body and mind. They keep you lean, support your hormones and brain, regulate your blood sugar, stop food cravings, keep you full for hours, and give you license to put bacon on everything. For the vast majority, a low-carb, high-fat diet is miles ahead of a low-calorie, low-fat one. But within the realm of low-carb, there is no one-size-fits-all. Instead, it’s important you find your body’s sweet spot for carb intake and timing. Tailoring your nutrition to your unique biology helps you perform even better. This guide will show you how. Let’s break down how to hack your carb intake, step-by-step. Find the Goldilocks zone of carb intake: not too low, not too high This is where you get to do some personal experimenting. Most people do best eating somewhere between 30-150 grams of net carbs daily. “Net carbs” means you can subtract fiber and sugar alcohols (like xylitol) out of your daily carb count – they don’t affect your blood sugar or get stored as glycogen. Here are three different low-carb approaches within the 30-150 gram range: Cyclical Ketogenic Diet Eat high fat, very low carb (<50g net carbs/day) 6 days a week, then have a carb refeed on day 7 (~150g net carbs). This is what the Bulletproof Diet is based on. Here’s why : Some people (Dave included) have thyroid issues when they do very low carb with no carb refeed [1]. For some people, chronic low-carb eating can lead to low mucous production, which disrupts gut bacteria [2] and causes dry eyes. A cyclical ketogenic diet works very well for a lot of people. On the other hand, re-upping on carbs once a week will keep you out of deep ketosis, which may cause carb cravings (Brain Octane helps with that). Try a weekly carb refeed and se Continue reading >>

Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?

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 Should I Eat A Day While Dieting?

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 >>

Ketogenic Diet Beginners Guide

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 >>

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

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 >>

How To Find Your Ketogenic Diet Carb Limit

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 >>

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