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 >>
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 To Prevent Ketosis?
When you’re on a low-carb diet, your body kicks into action, breaking down fats into ketone bodies to use for energy. This increase in ketones -- called ketosis -- is a normal adaptation to cutting carbs. In fact, the switch to ketosis is why low-carb diets work. Even though you could eat enough carbs to prevent ketosis, it's important to clarify why you want to avoid it. There's nothing unhealthy about ketosis, so you may just need to correct any misinformation to make the best decision for your weight-loss goals. Video of the Day Deal With Concerns Over Ketosis Ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is unfortunate -- ketosis is normal, while ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition related to type 1 diabetes. Most people on a low-carb diet tolerate ketosis without any problems. Then after the pounds are dropped, carb intake is gradually increased so you're out of ketosis by the time you reach the maintenance phase. If you decide to stay in an induction phase longer than the low-carb plan recommends, consult your doctor to be safe. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing ketoacidosis from lack of insulin. Due to the complex metabolism of diabetes, they end up with high levels of blood glucose and ketones, which upsets the body's normal acid-base balance. When that happens, ketosis becomes ketoacidosis, causing symptoms like thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, nausea, belly pain, rapid breathing and fruity-smelling breath. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor immediately -- diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. You may be wary about ketosis because you've heard about "ketosis flu." It's not really flu, but in the first few days or weeks of a low-carb diet, some people experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, constipation or wea Continue reading >>
How 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 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 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 Many Carbs Should You Eat Per Day To Lose Weight?
Republished with permission from our friends at Authority Nutrition. Original article here. Sign up for updates to receive one week FREE of my low carb and gluten free meal plans: Check out some of my other favorite low carb keto resources: Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in your diet is one of the best ways to lose weight. It tends to reduce your appetite and cause “automatic” weight loss, without the need for calorie counting or portion control. This means that you can eat until fullness, feel satisfied and still lose weight. Why Would You Want to do Low-Carb? For the past few decades, the health authorities have recommended that we eat a calorie restricted, low-fat diet. The problem is that this diet doesn’t really work. Even when people manage to stick to it, they don’t see very good results (1, 2, 3). An alternative that has been available for a long time is the low-carb diet. This diet restricts your intake of carbohydrates like sugars and starches (breads, pasta, etc.) and replaces them with protein and fat. Studies show that low-carb diets reduce your appetite and make you eat less calories and lose weight pretty much effortlessly, as long as you manage to keep the carbs down (4). In studies where low-carb and low-fat diets are compared, the researchers need toactively restrict calories in the low-fat groups to make the results comparable, but the low-carb groups still usually win (5, 6). Low-carb diets also have benefits that go way beyond just weight loss. They lower blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides. They raise HDL (the good) and improve the pattern of LDL (the bad) cholesterol (7, 8, 9, 10). Low-carb diets cause more weight loss and improve health much more than the calorie restricted, low-fat diet still recommended by the mainstream 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 >>
Carbs For Ketosis
To maintain ketosis, we need to substantially limit the carbs we eat. Ideally we should eat less than 20 grams of net carbs. Exactly how much depends on each individual person and many people will maintain ketosis even when they eat up to 50 grams of carbs. When you start out, go as low as possible and work out over time what works for you and how many carbs you can consume and still remain in ketosis. In this article we want to take a closer look at carbs to understand the different types and what they do in our bodies. With a better understanding, we can make better decisions. First we look at carbs as per their traditional classification of simple and complex. Then the more recent classification based on the glycemic index and load. Lastly we look at what carbs to eat and what not to eat. 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 >>
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 Carbs Should You Eat?
Could there possibly be a more controversial topic than how many carbs we should be eating?! One of the perks of following a Paleo framework is that when we maximize nutrient density (see The Importance of Nutrient Density) and eat high-quality foods from both the plant and animal kingdom, other elements of diet, like macronutrient ratios, tend to fall into place without us needing to obsessively count fat or carb grams. Still, considering how much bad press carbohydrates tend to get (as well as the tendency for the media—and even some leaders within the Paleo movement itself—to mis-portray Paleo as being low carb), a great deal of confusion exists surrounding optimal carb intake. What’s the scoop? The short answer is… it depends! It depends on what our goals are, how far away we are from those goals, how active our lifestyles are, how well we sleep, how well-managed our stress is, and what health issues we might be dealing with. All of these factors can influence the healthiest level of carbs for our specific situation. The AIP Lecture Series is a 6-week video-based, self-directed online course that will teach you the scientific foundation for the diet and lifestyle tenets of the Autoimmune Protocol. But, while there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation we can all safely shoot for, we can definitely pull together some guidelines based on available evidence. Hunter-Gatherer Intakes Let’s start with hunter-gatherers! According to Loren Cordain’s 2000 publication, “Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets” (which analyzed ethnographic data for 229 hunter-gatherer societies), the majority of hunter-gatherer populations ate between 22 and 40% of their diets as carbohydrates. That translates to Continue reading >>
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 . For some people, chronic low-carb eating can lead to low mucous production, which disrupts gut bacteria  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 >>
How Low Carb Is Low Carb?
How few carbs are there in a low-carb diet? It depends. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve and who you are. Generally speaking, the fewer carbs the more effective it will be. Faster weight loss without hunger. More rapid and powerful reversal of type 2 diabetes. But also more restrictive and possibly more challenging. Here are three examples of how a low-carb meal can look, depending on how many carbs you eat per day (the yellow stuff is delicious herb butter). Some people need to keep the carbs very low for maximum effect – a strict low-carb diet. This includes many people with significant weight issues, diabetes (mainly type 2) and food or sugar addiction, for example. Others – less carb-intolerant people – do great on a more liberal low-carb diet. This also minimizes the risk of any side effects. A third group of healthy, lean, active people may not even need to eat very low carb, as long as they mainly eat unprocessed slow carbs. If you want to start doing low carb, I suggest starting out on a strict version, just to experience the power of it. Later, as you hopefully approach your weight and health goals, you can try adding more natural carbs to see how much you tolerate. Here’s a two-week guide to a strict low-carb diet. Meal plans Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial). More Low-carb recipes – marked strict, moderate or liberal A keto diet for beginners (strict low carb) Low-carb basics videos Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet: A Low-carb Approach To Fat Loss
Along with the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet, individuals who are interested in low carbohydrate approaches to dieting will likely want to look into the Keto Diet. Popular among many who are trying to maintain blood sugar levels and lose body fat, the main premise of this diet is, 'eat fat to lose fat'. So How Does It Work? The idea of the ketone diet is to get your body into a process called Ketosis where you stop burning carbohydrates as fuel and instead turn to the burning of what are known as ketones. This will occur when you bring your carbohydrate levels to around 50 grams per day or lower. Many keto activists advise that number to be 30 grams of carbohydrates but most individuals can still maintain ketosis while consuming the 50 grams and this allows for a little more leeway in the diet since you can increase the consumption of vegetables and a variety of flavoring's that contain a few grams of carbohydrates. TKD Or CKD Usually people who are involved with exercise will follow either a TKD (targeted keto diet) or a CKD (cyclical keto diet). TKD A TKD is one where you will eat carbohydrates right before and right after your workouts. This is the best bet for those who are involved in more intense activities and require some carbohydrates to fuel them and who are not as interested in doing carb loads and depletion workouts. CKD A CKD on the other hand is a diet where you will eat a minimum amount of carbohydrates per day (that 30-50 gram number) and then on the weekend (or at a time that is appropriate for you) do a large 'carb-up' phase where you will eat a large amount of carbohydrates in an effort to refill your muscle glycogen stores so you can continue to workout the coming week. Normally right before the carb-up phase you will do a depletion workout wh Continue reading >>