Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works
Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating 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 >>
Keto Problems: Too Much Protein?
A ketogenic diet requires that a person eat a high fat diet while keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. The third macronutrient category, protein, is an interesting one and often creates heaps of discussion. Carbohydrates and fat are primary energy sources for the body. Protein, on the other hand, is a source of essential amino acids which are the building blocks for the body. However, the amount of protein needed by each person varies greatly based upon a number of factors, including activity level, lean mass, sex, and personal preference to name a few. One question I am often asked is, “can you eat too much protein on a ketogenic diet?” Protein is a very satiating food, and usually the more protein a person eats, the less hungry the person is. One trick people use is to eat a diet high in protein (150 grams + per day) while limiting carbs and fat. This strategy is often wildly successful for fat loss, but it can create other problems to eat so much protein while limiting carb and fat calories so dramatically. I do not advocate eating a high protein/low carb/low fat diet, especially for women. But I do believe wholeheartedly that it is important to eat enough protein. This is even more critical on a ketogenic diet, where carbs are so limited. Under eating protein can cause the body to lose muscle. Some argue for limiting protein because 1) doing so leads to higher ketone levels and 2) they believe that eating too much protein can lead the body to create new glucose from protein (gluconeogenesis) and keep a person from transitioning effectively to fat burning. My friend Mike Berta explains the fallacies of this thinking so well that I am sharing his post rather than recreating my own. Mike can be contacted directly at [email protected]. His Facebook group is cal Continue reading >>
Experiments With A Ketogenic Diet: The Holy Grail Of Fat Loss Or Just Another Fad Diet?
Members Only: This book is for members only. You can read the first two chapters for free below. If you enjoyed it and want to download the whole thing, you can become a member by clicking right here and get all the details and find out all the other cool shit you’re going to get. It costs $2.00 per month, which, if you allow me to put my marketing hat on, is less than the fancy Starbucks Coffee you buy every morning. And unlike your coffee, will yield a higher ROI by making you smarter, sexier, and healthier. What People Are Saying Enjoy the preview Table of Contents 1. Challenging Biases In 2015, I spent half the year experimenting with a Ketogenic diet. Now, this is perhaps where you stare into your Smartphone, Kindle, Macbook, or, if you’re still living in the 19th fucking century, your Windows PC aghast at the idea someone would actually want to attempt a diet like this. Oh, right…what’s a ketogenic diet, My bad. I’m jumping ahead. Let’s jump back a bit. What The Shit Is A Ketogenic Diet? There tends to be a lot of confusion around what a ketogenic diet actually is. When most people think of a ketogenic diet, they assume a low carb, high protein diet – which it isn’t. A ketogenic diet is a carbohydrate restricted, sufficient protein, high-fat diet. Meaning: 70-75% of your diet should be coming from fats, 5-10% from carbs, and 15-20% from protein. Generally, carb intake is set between 30-50g per day. Some people can increase carb intake to 100g per day and still be in ketosis, but for most, the 30-50g mark works best. The goal with a ketogenic diet is to shift your body from using glucose as its main fuel source to fat. When you restrict carbohydrates, the body enters into a metabolic state known as ‘ketosis; where the liver converts stored fat (tr Continue reading >>
Is It Ok To Eat More Protein Than Fat? Will Too Much Protein Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?
No. On a ketogenic, your main source of energy is fat and should stay within the keto diet macros limits: 60-75% of calories from fat (or even more) 15-30% of calories from protein, and 5-10% of calories from carbs. If you eat more protein than your body needs it will convert it into glucose via the process known as gluconeogenesis which will put you out of ketosis. You only need enough protein to replace damaged tissue and build new cells, which is much less than most people eat! Continue reading >>
Dietary Protein, Ketosis, And Appetite Control.
“Dietary protein has a purpose, and that purpose is not carbs.” Nor is it to break ketosis or stall weight loss. Drastically increasing protein intake may reduce the degree of ketosis in the context of a large energy surplus, but this is likely due more specifically to the large energy surplus than the protein. This would explain why Warrior dieters (1 meal meal per day) often report reduced ketones if they eat too much protein. It’s more likely that the 2000 kcal bolus is exerting it’s anti-ketotic effect by being a large energy surplus, such that anything other than 90% fat would blunt ketosis. It’s not the proteins… Want proof? Here’s an n=1 to try: give up Warrior dieting for a few days and try 3 squares. My bet is that you’ll be able to increase protein intake and still register ketones as high or higher than before. There are data to support this and reasons why it may not matter (below). disclaimer: I don’t think “deep ketosis” is necessary to reap the benefits of carbohydrate-restriction. But if you love high ketone meter readings, then this might be a better strategy to maintain deep ketosis while getting adequate protein. win-win. if I hear: “oh no, I was kicked out of ketosis!” one more time… All of the studies below are confounded one way or another, but so are we humans. Negative energy balance promotes ketosis even with relatively high protein intake. Phinney showed this in obese patients in 1980. He fed them a very low calorie diet for 6 weeks; 50% of the calories came from protein, the rest fat. This amounted to ~76 g/d or ~1.2 g/kg of their “ideal body weight.” It was, however, a rather severe caloric restriction. They lost ~22 pounds; two-thirds of it was fat mass. Muscle glycogen plummeted from 1.53 to 1.04 mg/100 g… 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 >>
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 >>
Protein Over-consumption In Ketogenic Diets Explained
Protein over-consumption is one of the main issues discussed at the Ketogains Group everyday. People are always reading, hearing and/or misunderstanding that eating protein will cause gluconeogenesis and kick you out of ketosis. Tyler Cartwright splendidly refuted the claim that protein supply activates GNG in this post, I recommend you check it out. So, if protein consumption doesn’t massively increase gluconeogenesis, then two questions remain: Why doesn’t ketogains recommend you eat tons of protein? Why does protein over-consumption lower ketones? Ketogains Protein Recommendation Of these questions, the first is easier to answer. The reason we don’t advocate the consumption of tons of protein is because beyond a certain point -arguably somewhere between .8g and 1.2g per pound of lean mass(lbm)- there’s just no benefit. Protein also carries a couple of minor inconveniences: It tends to be expensive and it can cause indigestion. If there were no other reason not to over-consume protein, this would simply be enough. There is also a minor debate over whether or not protein over-consumption prolongs the adaptation phase (irrelevant if you are already adapted). Also some people argue that it may be sub-optimal for performance, but these are secondary to the previous points: It’s unnecessary to eat more, so there’s no reason to recommend over-consumption. Protein and lower ketones The second gets a bit more complicated, and touches on something that Tyler just hinted at in his article. My soapbox is diabetes, and to a lesser extent, obesity… Diabetes has a lot to tell us about blood sugar control and precisely how and why certain food items impact blood glucose. In type one diabetes, the population of beta cells in the pancreas mostly dies, leaving the alpha c Continue reading >>
All You Need To Know About Protein On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet
Proteins, which consist of amino acids, are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can be used as a fuel source. Unlike carbs, which are not essential for our body, protein and fat are a vital part of our diet. Without these two macronutrients, we would simply not survive. There is a misconception that the ketogenic diet is a high-protein diet. This is a myth; the ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. Why moderate in protein? Too much protein can kick you out of ketosis, while too little protein may cause muscle loss and increased appetite. What is the ideal protein intake? Does quality matter? Is too much protein dangerous? Let's have a look at these frequently asked questions in more detail. Why is protein so important for weight loss? Studies show that protein is the most sating while carbs are the least sating macronutrients. In other words, if you eat enough protein, you will feel less hungry and eat fewer calories. That's why it's critical to eat adequate amount of protein if your aim is to lose fat. Protein has also been shown to increase energy expenditure. This means that by following a diet rich in protein, you will burn more calories. This metabolic advantage is not significant (around 100 kcal a day) but every little counts! Another way to burn more calories is to build muscle mass. Protein is the most important macronutrient for preserving and building muscle tissue, especially for physically active individuals. More muscles burn more calories and slightly increase your base metabolic rate. This means that you will burn slightly more calories even at rest. Although protein slightly increases insulin, there is no need to worry about negative effects on weight loss. Continue reading >>
Protein On Keto – How Much Is Too Much?
Protein is an oddly controversial macronutrient. It is an essential building block for muscle development, helping to promote health and good body composition. Protein also makes us feel full, which helps you lose weight. Yet, many people feel that too much protein is dangerous (it isn’t!). For anyone on a keto diet, protein is more complicated still. Too much protein will kick you out of ketosis. Yet, too little protein on keto isn’t good either. So, what’s the balance? I’m going to show you why protein matters and how much you should be having. After all, you want the best possible outcomes. Right? For one thing – protein helps in muscle building. That’s important for maintaining a healthy body composition, which then promotes health. Regardless of your weight, you need lean muscle and protein is a key aspect of that process (1,2,3). Protein is also important for health, offering various benefits. Many protein-rich foods are nutrient dense as well. So, if you have too little protein, you might miss out on other key nutrients too. If you’re losing weight, getting enough protein is critical. If your intake is too low, you’ll start to lose lean body mass rather than fat (4). That’s not what you want to do. Protein makes sure that you lose fat, not muscle. How Protein Helps Weight Loss Research shows that protein tends to be satiating, helping people to feel full for longer (5,6). This aspect alone is critical for losing weight (7). After all, feeling hungry is frustrating – and it’s a key reason why people fail diets. Protein also helps in other ways. For example, high-protein meals can lower cravings and help people to snack less (8). Likewise, protein increases energy used. This effect isn’t dramatic but any benefit helps. The muscle-building as Continue reading >>
Stevia For Ketogenic Diet?
Is stevia suitable for a ketogenic diet (30 grams of carbs per day maximum)? Does it cause the body to "burn" stevia's sugars and "kick" the body out of ketosis? For argument's sake, let's say I somehow manage to never eat more 30gr of carbs per day, and my body kicks out of ketosis at 31 gr/day of carbs. If I eat 1 teaspoon of stevia (e.g. on tea during the day), will I get out of ketosis? Can the body burn it, or it just goes through me like water? Is stevia really safe to use on a ketogenic diet? Continue reading >>
Finding Your Optimal Protein Intake For A Ketogenic Diet
When embarking on a ketogenic diet for health or fat loss, finding the optimum protein intake can be very confusing for many beginners. For smooth adaptation in the transition to a ketogenic metabolism I typically guide people using a caloric spread of around 70-80% fat, 15-25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate from green fibrous vegetables – but this ratio varies for every individual and using percentages is confusing and misleading in many cases. The best way to look at macronutrients is not in percentage ratios, but in grams. The slew of bloggers and gurus spouting so much conflicting information leads many into a mental stalemate about how much protein they should be eating. This article lays out the metrics I most commonly use to quantify how much protein an individual should intake – there is no magic ratio and the needs, preferences, and goals of the individual determine the amount of protein they will likely require on their ketogenic diet which usually lies within a relatively broad range of 1-2.2g/kg (and in some cases even higher *cringe say the protein-phobic) of bodyweight or .5-1g/lb of lean body mass (Lean Body Mass equals Body Weight minus Body Fat). Myth: “Too much” protein turns immediately into sugar I almost always recommend people increase their intake of fish and seafoods in order to get the vital nutrient DHA into their central nervous system and mitochondrial membranes. We see amazing results when people opt for more fish and less red meat, which I also love, but land mammals are not nearly as nutrient dense as seafoods with their incredible levels of DHA, EPA, selenium, and iodine. Sometimes this means they will be eating more protein than they believe will allow them to be “ketogenic”, this protein-phobia can be counterproductive, which Continue reading >>
- Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)*
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Pre-diabetes goes into remission on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet (Zone diet balance)
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 >>
The Ketogenic Diet Part Two: Troubleshooting
Since writing about the ketogenic diet, I received a slew of inquiries on the “how-to’s,” and the process of keto-adaptation. I have also received emails from some who are having a hard time breaking into ketosis. There are numerous factors involved in the adaptation process and properly following the diet for success; however, I believe more research is needed to learn why some people become efficient fat burning machines and others struggle to keto-adapt and lose fat. I have learned a lot working with so many weight loss resistant individuals, and will attempt to bring more clarity to some of these difficult questions. Since each of our bodies is different, the diet needs to be fine-tuned to gain the greatest benefits, but there are conditions like perimenopause, hypothyroidism, and neurotoxicity that I have found will keep someone from adapting to an efficient fat burner. The complex topic remains an ongoing subject of interest for me and many of my clients, and following are some common questions I’ve been asked, as well as strategies I developed to help those who struggle to break through into fat burning machines. Some people confuse being in nutritional ketosis (NK) with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is very different. DKA is a serious condition affecting people with diabetes (mostly type 1), and occurs due to a massive shortage of insulin in the body that forces the body to burn fatty acids for energy and gives off a massive amount of the byproduct from the fat burning (ketones > than 10). The lack of insulin also leads to an increased release of glucose by the liver and dangerously high blood sugar levels, and can result in death. Conversely, NK is safe, produces normal levels of blood ketones from fat burning (.5 to 5), and can provide outstanding Continue reading >>