Common Ketosis Killers
“I’ve tried your low-carb diet, Dr. Nally, and it didn’t work.” “Hmm . . . really?” If your mumbling this to yourself, or you’ve said it to me in my office, then lets have a little talk. I’ve heard this statement before. It’s not a new statement, but it’s a statement that tells me we need to address a number of items. If you’ve failed a low carbohydrate diet, I’d suspect you are pretty severely insulin resistant or hyperinsulinemic. You probably never really reached true ketosis. I’d want to have you checked out by your doctor to rule out underlying disease like hypothyroidism, diabetes, other hormone imbalance, etc. Next, switching to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle is literally a “lifestyle change.” It requires that you understand a few basic ketosis principles. And, it takes the average person 3-6 months to really wrap their head around what this lifestyle means . . . and, some people, up to a year before they are really comfortable with how to eat and function in any situation. I assume, if you are reading this article, that you’ve already read about ketosis and understand the science behind it. If not, please start your reading with my article The Principle Based Ketogenic Lifestyle – Part I and Ketogenic Principles – Part II. If this is the case, then please proceed forward, “full steam ahead!” There are usually a few areas that are inadvertently inhibiting your body transformation, so let’s get a little personal. First, this is a low carbohydrate diet. For weight loss, I usually ask people to lower their carbohydrate intake to less than 2o grams per day. How do you do that? (A copy of my diet is accessible through my membership site HERE.) You’ve got to begin by restricting all carbohydrates to less than 20 grams per day. Continue reading >>
What Happens If I Eat Sugar In Ketosis?
The state of Ketosis is achieved through the use of either a low carbohydrate diet or in a state of starvation. Essentially your body has been restricted in glucose containing carbohydrates; glucose is your bodies primary fuel source for long enough to need to resort to alternative sources of fuel. In this case Ketone bodies, a byproduct of the breakdown of fatty acids, are used as an alternative to carbohydrates. Accordingly id your body is relying on ketone bodies for its energy needs it is in a state of ketosis. Low Carbohydrate diets rely on your bodies ability to use ketone bodies for energy by burning burn excess body fat for fuel. Video of the Day Table sugar, or sucrose, is a six carbon disaccharide containing one molecule of glucose and one molecule of glucose. Ingesting sugar in sufficient quantities, the amount varies depending on your body type and activity levels will stop ketosis as your body now has a supply of glucose to fuel it. Continue reading >>
Should You Have Cheat Meals On A Ketogenic Diet?
Damn does that cake look good! Cheat meals. Everyone thinks about them when following any diet, and the ketogenic diet is no exception. You might be wondering if you should have cheat meals while going keto. Is it worth it? Is it okay? Will it mess up your progress completely? Intellectually, why would you want to eat something that isn’t in line with your goals or your health? Let’s face it, cheat day meals are bad for you. We know it. The ketogenic diet is simple, but not always easy, and there are some grey areas, so lLet’s talk a little bit about what happens when you have cheat meals and whether or not they’re worth it. You might know people who do low-carb long-term and schedule cheat meals in at regular times, such as on the weekends or set days each month. While this creates a healthy mindset around not needing to be perfect, things are a little different with the ketogenic diet. Since keto is stricter than other low-carb diets, (see our post on keto vs. Atkins) it’s more tempting to have cheat meals. However, the effects of them can be more dramatic. Disadvantages of Cheat Meals on the Ketogenic Diet Here are some consequences of having cheat meals. These are things to consider before flying off the deep end with some emotional eating. Let’s get the big one out of the way first, Cheating Takes You out of Ketosis Since cheating on the keto diet more than likely will take you out of ketosis—especially if the cheat meal or snack is carb-heavy—you have to be prepared for this fact. Know that it’ll likely set you back some and take some time to get back into a ketogenic state. When you have eaten what you suspect was a “cheat meal,” put it to the acid test, and test your ketone levels. People are often surprised that they stay in ketosis after Continue reading >>
Can I Eat That On Keto?
This is a totally understandable question for a few reasons: Keto is often presented as a strict, rigid diet with a lot of rules, and even more dogma There are so many conflicting reports on what is, and isn’t, “keto friendly” Keto is often simplified to lists of “safe” foods The consequence of being knocked out of ketosis is given way too much weight I’ll tackle the big question first, and then break down that list further in this post. In a word: yes. Yes, you can eat that on keto. How do I know that, even though I have no idea what food you’re talking about? Because you can eat anything on a ketogenic diet, in the right quantity. Keto isn’t about specific foods, it’s about macronutrients and keeping your body burning fat for fuel. Even further, a low carb or ketogenic way of eating is about making informed food choices, based on what’s best for you at that moment. This concept is as simple or difficult as you want to make it. You may decide that eating a small piece of the special pie your grandma made at Thanksgiving is worth being kicked out of ketosis for a day. You may also decide that eating a slice of pie will lead you down the path of a week long sugar bender, and that is might be best for you to stick with the sugar-free dessert you brought. Knowing what your body needs is a key part of keto. In terms of the day-to-day foods you may be questioning, it comes down to a similar choice. When determining whether or not you want to eat a specific food, think about how many carbs are in that item as compared to the approximate number of carbs you eat in a day, and go from there. If you eat 20g of carbs in a day, maybe a daily yogurt with 12g of carbs isn’t in the cards for you. This will take some label-reading, but knowing the nutritional cont Continue reading >>
9 Reasons Why You Aren’t In A State Of Ketosis
If you’re having trouble getting into ketosis, it is useful to understand the factors that actually impact blood ketone levels. When I first started on the ketogenic diet, I made sure to educate myself fully on how I can efficiently get into a fat-adapted state (ketosis). Just like everything else, there’s going to be some hurdles you’ll face when adopting a keto lifestyle. Watch out for these 8 ketogenic pitfalls you could be potentially be falling for. 1. Carbohydrates Pretty much all steps involved in producing ketones are inhibited by insulin, this means that ketone levels are extremely sensitive to carb intake. There isn’t an exact amount of carbohydrates that works for everyone to get into ketosis. But, there is a general guideline that works for most people. It has been estimated that around 50 grams per day or lower of carbohydrates will elevate your blood ketone levels. You should be eating less than 30 grams in order to get into ketosis. From personal experience, I found that if i’m more active on any given day, I can get away with eating more carbohydrates and still have decent blood ketone levels. I actually have been able to get away with upwards of 100 grams of carbs and still be in ketosis. I believe this is because when you are active, you are burning extra glycogen storages that come from carbohydrates. 2. Protein. Just like carbohydrates, increasing your intake of protein to fat in your diet will limit your ketone production. The reason behind this is because over half of amino acids in proteins are converted into glucose in the body, thus, producing an anti-keto effect. This is not as big of a deal for athletes / people who are very active because the body is utilizing the protein and amino acids to the point where it is not hindering your k Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Can You Eat In Ketosis?
Having been a low-carb enthusiast and team Diet Doctor member for years, you would have thought I’d nailed ketosis ages ago. I haven’t. In the last post, Why You’re Not in Ketosis, I revealed why, and how I fixed it (by reducing my carb and protein intake to 20 and 60 grams per day respectively). But, I had a problem. Though it felt awesome to be back in ketosis, it sucked to eat so little protein – 60 grams a day isn’t much for a meat lover like me. Could I eat more protein AND remain in optimal ketosis? I was going to find out. The protein experiment I designed the following experiment: First, I would increase my protein intake from 60 grams a day to the level where I would no longer be in optimal ketosis. Then, I would reduce my protein intake until I was back in optimal ketosis, using what I ate on the last day to define my daily-protein limit. Finally, I’d eat to this daily-protein limit every day for a week to test its accuracy, adjusting my protein intake if necessary. To increase the trustworthiness of the experiment, I added five rules: 1. Keep eating 10-20 grams of carbs a day 2. Keep eating during a four-hour window (5-9pm) 3. Adjust my protein intake gradually 4. Make no other major changes to my life 5. Measure my blood-ketone levels every morning before eating “Nice plan”, I thought. But there was one thing I hadn’t taken into account… Preparation To start off the experiment, I measured my blood-ketone levels: 2.0 mmol/L. Not exactly shocking news – I had been eating 45-60 grams of protein and 10-20 grams of carbs a day for weeks, being in optimal ketosis almost every morning. But all that could end soon – it was protein time. Day 1: Taco-cheese shells On the first day of the experiment, I ate similarly to how I’d eaten lately – Continue reading >>
How Do I Get Back Into Ketosis Faster After Cheating?
Did you let go of your low carb diet for the holidays? Have a free meal? Maybe a carb up? Or go out to dinner? Restaurants are well known for hiding sugar in their salad dressings and putting other carby ingredients into their food that you might not know about. What you expect to be low carb isn't always as low as you think. All it takes is a single teaspoon of sugar in the salad dressing or a light dusting of flour on that chicken breast and you'll experience the consequences without even know why! However, all is not lost! You can recover from your setback and get back into ketosis almost as fast as water fasting by following the diet plan outlined below. If you went to a Christmas party, you might not have been able to tell if your food was really free of carbs, or not. You might have not wanted to upset the host, or you didn't want to feel left out, so you ate something that wasn't on plan. Tempting Christmas treats are the downfall of many. Perhaps, you deliberately caved in to those delicious looking cupcakes or a soft, fluffy donut that your boss or co-worker brought into the office. The holidays are not the only time that your self discipline and love for low carb eating will be put to the test. Maybe you went on vacation and decided to not bother with all of that carb counting stuff. If so, you might have gained a few pounds. You also might have decided to chuck the low-carb dieting game, kick back, eat what you consider a normal diet, and just enjoy your vacation. All of that delicious food looked too good to pass up! If you work out regularly and did a carb up to improve hormonal balance by bumping up your Leptin level, you might also be wondering if there's a way to get back into ketosis more quickly than water fasting. If so, this article will help you, to Continue reading >>
Whey Protein On Keto: Does Whey Protein Kick You Out Of Ketosis?
“What’s the best whey protein on keto diets? Will it knock me out of ketosis?” If you’re currently on a ketogenic diet or looking to start it because of its fast fat-burning qualities, you might be wondering whether you can pour yourself a delicious protein shake to drink. Keto diets are very strict. And since only some foods are allowed, and some are thrown right out the window, this is a common question. Most people joining keto diets come from the bodybuilding community. And a big part of their diet is whey protein shakes. But there’s one problem… Is it okay to drink whey protein on a keto diet? Do they stop you from reaching ketosis? By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll find out the exact answer to whether you should or shouldn’t use whey protein on keto diets. (Hint: you can only use some) Plus, the best protein powders you should use if you’re on a keto diet. But to answer this question, you need to know how ketogenic diets work. How Ketogenic Diets Work (I assume most of you already know how it works, so I’m going to keep it short. And get straight to your question after) A keto diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet. Its main goal is to simply get your body into an optimal state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body is so low on blood sugar (glucose), your liver is forced to burn stored body fat to produce ketones. These ketones are then used as energy, instead of stored glucose from eating carbohydrates. Once at this stage, your body is constantly burning fat to fuel itself. Insulin Another big part of keto is simply avoiding foods that spike your insulin levels. Insulin is released by the pancreas when blood sugar levels rise from eating lots of carbohydrates. Insulin allows your cells to use and store the gluco Continue reading >>
How Many Grams Of Carbs Keep The Average Person Out Of Ketosis?
I realize that this is highly variable, but what number of grams have you guys found to be the threshold? I suppose if you are right at the threshold, you'll be passing in and out of it, so maybe we'd want a 10g buffer or something? Personally, I'd like to stay outside of it, but only just, and am wondering what the general rule of thumb is these days. I do strength-increasing workouts and walk around a lot, but I avoid what most consider to be "exercise." 1 Worst Carb After Age 50 If you're over 50 and you eat this carb, you will never lose belly fat. HealthPlus50 I was at 3 servings of fruit a day for a while (roughly 75g of carbs) but feel like I might be able to go a little lower. I think the 3 cups (pre-cooked) of steamed spinach would add a largely negligible amount. The 50g of natto per day has something like 5-7g. No other beans or legumes to speak of. Continue reading >>
Do Bcaas Break Intermittent Fasting And Kick You Out Of Ketosis?
Do BCAAs break intermittent fasting and kick you out of ketosis? I was recently sent a link to a video addressing the topic of if you should use branched chain amino acids during a fast and if doing so, will kick you out of ketosis. Now I talk alot about BCAAs and ketosis and fasting on my nutrition website but I feel the need to address all three. I’m happy I was sent that video as it’s a topic I’ve been meaning to address. In summary of the video, the author states, and I’m paraphrasing, About The Author Jimmy Smith is a gentlemen, entrepreneur and founder of The Physique Formula line of all natural supplements. You can visit his site at or email him any questions at [email protected] Want To Listen While You Read? “Leucine causes a HUGE spike in insulin”. Later in the video he says…. “A subject who was fasting for 50 days was given an injection of glucose and the subject was almost instantly kicked out of ketosis”. If you're worried about BCAAS knocking you out of ketosis or during a fast, you're barking up the wrong tree. — @jimmysmithtrain These two BIG swings and misses bring the author of the video to his final point that “BCAAs kick you out of ketosis and fasting and you don’t need to have BCAAs during a fast”. Where to begin, where to begin….. You Can See Me Talk About It On Video Right Here Branched Chain Amino Acids & Fasting I appreciate anyone trying to build a business or brand but doing it was incorrect information and perpetuating lies to fulfill some personal agenda is terrible, there I said it. Let’s move on. Starting with the loosely thrown around summary of studies. You can’t just say that BCAAS or any supplement or food causes a HUGE this or a LARGE that. What are we comparing the objective to? Chocolate mi Continue reading >>
Cheating And You
Cheating, or eating hidden carbs, whatever you want to call it. Let’s have a brief talk. What is cheating? Cheating is, in the most simple terms, eating a lot more carbs than you would normally. There’s no hard and fast figure, suffice to say that if you had somewhere in the realm of 50g – 100g you would likely break your ketosis, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It also stands to reason that you would possibly not have to go through unpleasant keto-flu again. How does it happen? Cheating can happen for a number of reasons, but there seem to be two main causes. Emotions Alcohol Comfort eating is something everyone I know does, and I’ll admit to eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s on my own, no problems at all, when feeling down. Though those days are also long gone. You could be stressed, sad, angry, or any number of other things, and may choose to seek comfort in sugary foods. After all, they raise your mood, though it’s only short term. You’ll probably feel down that you’ve stalled your progress or simply eaten foods that aren’t great for your body. You might even drink alcohol for a range of the same reasons, or, as is very often the case, it may be a social event. A birthday, after work drinks, oh how I could go on… One thing’s for sure, too much can and will impair judgement. The last time I cheated was definitely after a few refreshments and I said “Hey, you know what, chocolate is a GREAT IDEA!” But it wasn’t really. You’ll Feel Like a Failure – But that’s OK! The worst part is knowing that you’ve failed, but you must remember that it’s ok to fail, if you don’t, then you’re probably not doing a lot of trying or learning. I recently read some great advice on failing. It stressed one point, and one point only, Continue reading >>
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 >>
How Does Protein Affect Blood Sugar?
One of the common pitfalls for people living a ketogenic lifestyle centers around protein and how it can sabotage your ketosis without you even knowing. You might think you are doing well, eating right, avoiding carbs, but you’re not seeing progress. One of the points I talked about here has to do with moderating your protein as a step to get back on track or break a plateau. So I thought I’d go into a little more depth. Your body has two main sources of energy: glucose and ketones. Ketones are only generated through fat metabolism. Glucose can be created by metabolizing carbs or proteins. A brief interruption to discuss carbs and protein Carbs are, basically, just sugars that are arranged in different structures that can be rearranged into glucose. Proteins, on the other hand, are a complicated matter. Proteins are strings of amino acids. There are 22 dietary amino acids, nine of which are essential, which means they cannot be generated by the cells in the body. So we must get those nine amino acids via our diet. And, of course, meat is the best dietary source for our amino acids. All of our body tissues are constructed of protein, so when we eat protein, we are supplying our tissues with material for rebuilding and healing. That’s why bodybuilders shovel huge amounts of protein into their gullet, because they are constantly breaking down their muscle fibers, so they need a constant stream of protein to heal and build their muscle. Interruption complete Our bodies can use ketones to power roughly 75% of its energy needs. The remaining 25%, almost all of which is used by the brain, comes from glucose. But, if we’re ketogenic, how do we get that glucose? If we are powered by fat, dietary and stored, and fat metabolism results in ketones, then where can we get the Continue reading >>
Caffeine And Ketosis Is Coffee Ok On A Ketogenic Diet
You know how it goes; you just can’t start the day without a good strong coffee to get you up and running. But what about the interaction between caffeine and ketosis, does coffee have a negative effect on a ketogenic diet? Or any LCHF diet for that matter. This is a good question not only for coffee but other caffeinated beverages such as soda, energy drinks, and some supplements. The first thing I’d like to address is that there is no scientific study that points to any negative or positive interaction between caffeine and ketosis. However, Dr. Atkins (for which the Atkins Diet is named) does make a point of advising that people consume caffeine in moderation and that caffeine has been shown to cause hypoglycemic reactions in people who consume large amounts of it. Whether that reaction occurs in people who are on Keto or LCHF diets remains to be known. Personal Experience on Caffeine and Ketosis with my Keto Diet From personal experience I see no negative impact on ketosis from consuming caffeinated beverages, I drink probably too much coffee, the odd energy drink and caffeinated sodas from time to time and still maintain a state of ketosis. The best way to know whether or not what you’re drinking or eating is throwing you out of ketosis is to test yourself with a blood ketone glucose meter like this one here about 45 minutes after consumption. It must also be noted that one guy’s experience doesn’t form the basis of credible scientific research, that my friends would be “bro science.” So it’s for you to make the decision about what is best for you. I drink coffee and sodas because I like them, caffeine certainly isn’t purposely put into my diet for any nutritional benefit, and if you can go life without it, I say, “good on you.” What I can say Continue reading >>
The Top 10 Ketosis Mistakes And How To Prevent Them
What mistakes are you making when it comes to your health? I know I’ve been making plenty. That’s why I’m tracking my data in this recent ketosis experiment that I’m doing. What about you? Most people think that the ketogenic diet is just “low-carb” which leads them to make many mistakes that prevent them from not reaping all of the benefits of ketosis that they could. What benefits? How about an improved immune system, increased longevity, lower inflammation, effortless weight loss, decreased hunger, reduced risk for disease and more. Read on to know the top 10 ways that people make mistakes with ketosis and how you can prevent them. 1: Not tracking protein intake By far the biggest problem with a ketogenic diet is not tracking how much protein you are eating. The far majority of people are simply eating too much lean protein, which ends up kicking them out of ketosis. Protein can turn into carbs by a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis, meaning “making new carbs.” This then spikes insulin, and reduces ketone levels. Even though you are eating super low carb, this could make your body switch back and forth between energy systems, which will lead to high levels of fatigue or “low carb flu.” The easiest way to avoid this mistake is by tracking your ketone levels to see how you respond to different amounts and different types of meat. Everyone is different, so the only way you can tell is by tracking. I “listened to my body” before and it didn’t work. I wasn’t in ketosis when I thought I was. I also thought ketosis kind of sucked. It didn’t, I was just wrong. The only way you know is by tracking. If you consume more fat with protein, it will slow this effect. So think fattier cuts of meat, and less muscle meat. But wait, are you going to Continue reading >>