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How Often Should You Carb Up On Keto

The Beginner’s Guide To Carb Refeeds

The Beginner’s Guide To Carb Refeeds

A “carb refeed” is strategically increasing your carbohydrate intake on specific days or meals. Here’s how carb refeeds can help boost your metabolism! The basic idea is this: your body adapts to your eating pattern over time. Because many (but not all) Paleo diets tend to be lower in carbs, your body gets used to this. If you’ve tried a low to moderate carb Paleo diet—focusing on vegetables, animal products, and healthy fats—you’ve probably seen just how effective it can be in boosting your energy and melting off body fat. Trying to figure out exactly what to eat on Paleo? Look no further than our FREE 21 Day Paleo Meal Plan It’s not uncommon to see dramatic weight loss over the first few weeks or months. But as you lean out and approach your target weight, weight loss can slow to a crawl or even stop completely. Why? Because restricting your calories (which often happens naturally when you’re following a low carb Paleo diet) decreases your leptin levels. Leptin is known as the “starvation” or “satiety” hormone, and it’s responsible for regulating your appetite and energy expenditure. (Related: How to Carb-Cycle for Fat Loss) When your leptin is low for a long time, your brain gets bombarded with hunger signals (1). You start craving calorically-dense but unhealthy foods like sugars and processed foods. It’s harder to stick to Paleo-friendly foods. And your energy levels might suffer. A carb refeed breaks the cycle. The sudden increase in carbs results in a boost in leptin (2). These occasional leptin surges keep your metabolism from adapting too much to a continuous low carbohydrate intake. By shocking your system like this, carb refeeds can benefit you physically and psychologically. You end up with more energy, weight loss, and fewer cr Continue reading >>

How Often Should Carb Up

How Often Should Carb Up

Alright, the bullshit can stop w/ the last post; everyone grow up...that kind of nonsense almost makes me not want to respond. As for the refeed, here are the protocols that I suggest: 1. It should last ~7-8 hours. 2. It's caloric value should be 1-1.5 times your maintenance calorie intake. For example, if maintenance is 3000, then the value should be 3000-4500 calories. Start at the low end of the range at first. 3. The macro breakdown should be 70% carbs, 20% protein, and whatever fat you cannot avoid. 4. Foods like potatoes, pasta, oats, bagels, low-fat pop tarts or grahm crackers, pretzels, non-fat ice cream, or basically anything else w/ little fat and fructose, esp. in the form of HFCSyrup (read the labels). 5. Twice weekly, such as Sunday and Thursday should work well. This differs slightly than the refeeds i recommend in my article, but after doing more research, this seems to be optimal. You restore glycogen with little or no fat gain, while getting the desired leptin response to ensure continual fat loss. Once you get leaner, you may be able to get away with more "cheating" per se, but the above approach will leave you very very satisfied and will allow you to eat some foods that would most certainly be off limits twice weekly, and it will actually accelerate your progress. Check out my article for an optimal training protocol. Also, please post your results. Best of luck, Continue reading >>

Staying In Ketosis Vs. Carb Cycling

Staying In Ketosis Vs. Carb Cycling

Many people struggle, sometimes for years, to lose stored fat and lower body weight. One of the biggest problems with low-calorie and even low-fat diets is that they can cause the dieter to lose weight indiscriminately, reducing fat, muscle and water weight. A ketogenic diet, a type of very low-carb eating plan, attempts to fight this problem by causing the body to lose fat while maintaining or building muscle mass. A carb cycling diet attempts to reduce some of the side effects of a ketogenic diet through limited carbohydrate intake. Video of the Day Nearly all the carbohydrates must be removed from the human body to put it into ketosis. When there are no carbohydrates left in the diet, the body relies on stored carbohydrates for energy. Once all of the stored carbohydrates are used up, the body switches to using fat stores for energy. Entering ketosis can be a difficult process for the dieter. The first couple of days on a ketogenic diet, or a diet designed to induce ketosis, often result in lethargy and muscle fatigue. It is only after you've reached ketosis that your body achieves a sort of equilibrium and the fatigue fades. However, staying in this ketosis phase is very difficult. If you eat carbohydrates, your body leaves ketosis and the initial phase must start over again. A carb cycling diet is designed to help to reduce some of the negative effects of a ketogenic diet by allowing the body to replenish its carbohydrate stores on a periodic basis. During the carb depletion phase of the diet, the dieter reduces carb intake to almost nothing, and focuses on workouts that deplete the carbohydrate stores more quickly. Then the dieter eats a specified set of carbs to refill the body's carbohydrate stores; this is called a re-feed or carbo load. This gives the dieter t Continue reading >>

Do You Need To Periodically Carb Up On A Lchf Or Ketogenic Paleo Diet? How Would You Do It?

Do You Need To Periodically Carb Up On A Lchf Or Ketogenic Paleo Diet? How Would You Do It?

The short answer is no--there is no need to "carb up" ever as long as you are eating a good low-carb, high-fat diet with sufficient protein and other nutrients. There is no recommended daily allowance for carbs. (Many doctors and even dieticians don't seem to know that the body can make its own glucose in the liver, so your brain will not go hungry without carbs.) In fact, any time you eat excessive carbs, you will go out of ketosis and it will make you crave carbs again. You can be perfectly healthy eating just a few grams of carbs daily in the form of vegetables and very limited fruits, which are needed more for the vitamins and fiber than for the starch or sugar content. I find that "falling off the wagon" and eating a standard American diet a few times a year--vacation, Christmas--is more than sufficient, but even that is not medically necessary. It's just hard to avoid if you still love eating certain foods once in a while. 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 >>

Advanced Ketogenic Dieting

Advanced Ketogenic Dieting

There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to ketogenic dieting. All around us we have hundreds of books, so many experts, endless opinions from people who have done it themselves and posted their views online. Right now the water is exceedingly muddied. The goal of this article it to not only give a clear view on the keto protocols but also lay out an sound tried and true protocol along with a systematic way to set it up. Ketogenic Dieting Defined Lets start this off talking about what ketogenic dieting means and doesn’t mean. A lot of people think that keto means eating low carbs. Some people think it means just eating protein. Ketogenic dieting is achieved by getting into ketosis, and that is a process that the body has to go through. Eating low carbs or only eating protein, etc, doesn’t mean the body will get into ketosis. Generally speaking being keto means that someone has limited their carbohydrate intake to extremely low levels until their body runs out of stored glycogen causing the body to start making ketones (fats) to run on. THAT is what the main goal of a ketogenic diet is- being in ketosis and a state of using fat for fuel. We all have glycogen (carbs) stored in our liver, and when we limit carb consumption our liver kicks out stored glycogen to fuel our activity. When that liver glycogen runs out that is when the body flips the switch and starts making ketones for us to use as energy. Ketones are fractionated fats that yield 7 cals per gram (regular fats yield 9 calories per gram when used for energy). This is very interesting because when we are eating a carb based diet, carbs give us 4 calories per carb eaten to burn for energy. Being in a ketogenic state we are burning 7 calories per ketone….meaning we are burning more energy at rest. I 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 >>

Not Losing Weight On Low Carb? Try Carb Cycling.

Not Losing Weight On Low Carb? Try Carb Cycling.

Carbohydrates are just as addictive as nicotine, if not more. The first time I quit smoking after fourteen years, I quit it for two years. Then one night at a party I was offered a cigarette by someone I hadn’t seen for a while and I, figuring I was “cured,” lit it up. The next day I bought a pack and jumped right back into smoking a pack a day for three more years before I finally quit again (2.5 years now!) When it comes to carbohydrates, I don’t see a difference. Last year on my birthday, after doing keto for a solid six or seven months, my wonderful fiance got me a doughnut cake as a cheat day treat. A doughnut, the size of a cake. I figured hey, it’s one day, one doughnut. But it wasn’t. The minute carbohydrates were back in my system it was as if they were never gone. And suddenly we were ordering Dominos and drinking Coca-Cola. And again. And again. In fact, I never ate pizza regularly or drank soda until that moment. It’s like one big doughnut was a gateway drug to everything bad, even things I didn’t eat before. Eight months and 20lbs later we were able to get the will power together to quit them again. Losing Weight on a Low Carb Diet If you’re on a low carb diet, you don’t need me to tell you the benefits. Some do it for weight loss, others for mental clarity, and others for illnesses like cancer and alzheimers. But remember, quitting carbs doesn’t mean quitting real food. Every day I eat grass-fed meat, organic greens like spinach, and even berries. If you choose to drink diet coke and processed things loaded with fake sugars, with a block of cheese for lunch, you’re not making yourself healthier, you might even be damaging your body rather than helping it. One thing I’ve learned from quitting carbohydrates and then falling off the Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: What Not To Eat On Keto

Ketogenic Diet: What Not To Eat On Keto

When you start off on a diet it is important to understand what you can eat and what you can’t eat, otherwise, it really isn’t a diet. The same thing applies to the ketogenic diet. There are certain foods that you can not eat if you wish to stay in a state of ketosis. Thankfully, the the list of keto-friendly foods that you can eat is so long that you really shouldn’t have a problem finding a lot of recipes that you enjoy and are keto-safe. The purpose of this post is to talk about the different foods that you should avoid on keto because if you aren’t prepared you can easily mess up and knock your body out of ketosis. Foods to Avoid on Keto One of the interesting things about keto is that a lot of your cravings being to disappear. When you see the foods that you can’t eat your first thought might be “there is no way I’m going to be able to give up that.” However, once you’re in ketosis you understand that many of the things you craved were simply caused by the carbohydrates within them. This is why in our weight loss manual we start people off with a carb detox so they can see the benefits of no longer craving carbs. Another blessing of being in the age of the Internet is that 1000s of people have shared different substitutes for the foods they enjoy. If you are hoping to find some substitutes for the foods that you can’t eat below then check out our post on low-carb substitutes. Grains and Starches Let’s face it, bread is a big deal. A lof people eat bread every single day in some form. It’s very convenient to be able to run down to Subway and pick up a sandwich. Bread goes with every meal so when people hear that they have to give it up for keto they turn their back and try to find another diet. But grains cause your body problems. You know th 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 >>

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). I personally recommend a cyclic ketogenic diet for most of my clients where you go low-carb for 3 days and then have a slightly higher carbohydrate day, followed by 3 lower carb days. This cycles the body in and out of a state of ketosis and is beneficial for hormone balance while keeping inflammatory levels very low. The biggest challenge with this nutrition plan is to get into and maintain the state of fat adaption. Here are several advanced tips to get into and maintain ketosis. 1. Stay Hydrated: This is considered a no-brainer, but is not easy to follow. We often get so busy in our day-day lives that we forget to hydrate effectively. I recommend super hydrating your system by drinking 32 oz of filtered water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48 oz of water before noon. I have most of my clients do a water fast or eat light in the morning doing smoothies or keto coffee or tea. So hydration around these dishes should be well tolerated by the digestive system. In general, aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water and closer to your full body weight in ounces of water daily will help you immensely. I weigh 160 lbs and easily drink 140-180 ounces of water each day. Sometimes more in the summer time. As you begin super Continue reading >>

When To Carb Up On A Ketogenic Diet

When To Carb Up On A Ketogenic Diet

If you’ve been doing the ketogenic diet for long, you may have heard the term “carb up” used. We are going to explain When to Carb Up on a Ketogenic Diet to help you make the most of your recent choice to live a healthier lifestyle and work toward losing weight. When to Carb Up on a Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is mostly a low-carb and high-protein dietary option. However, many individuals restrict carbohydrates strongly and use what they call a cyclic keto diet by using a few days on a regular basis to “carb up”. Below, I will explain more about the process, and some tips for when you should choose this method. Have you hit a plateau with weight loss? If you have been doing the ketogenic diet for a length of time, your body may be at a point where it just needs a change. That includes those who have lost a lot, but have just a few last pounds to reach their goal. A carb load can switch your body out of ketosis just long enough for the change back to ketosis to boost you back into loosing mode. Are you training regularly for building muscle? Many who are focused on building muscle find that doing a carb up day helps give them the extra boost of energy needed to really push to a goal. This is especially found with those who are preparing for a competition or a marathon of some sort. A carb up day allows them to add extra energy for 1-2 full days to get past that event. Most who do this follow a weekly regimen of ketogenic for a week, then follow that with 1-2 days of carb loading. They may limit this to once a month or do it routinely each week. However, they are using this as part of their high-intensity workout regimen. Do you have the discipline to go back on plan? If you don’t have the discipline to stop and go back on plan after 1-2 days, then this ma Continue reading >>

Carb Ups On Keto Diet (cyclical Ketosis)

Carb Ups On Keto Diet (cyclical Ketosis)

If you have already mastered the standard ketogenic diet, have a solid workout routine and would like to mix things up a little, you might want to consider starting to do carb ups, or a cyclical ketogenic diet. A carb up (also called “carb loading” or “carb refeeding”) is a period of time, usually 1 day (but it could be as short as 1 meal or as long as 2 days) where you’re intentionally consuming more carbs than usual. Yes, this will kick you out of ketosis and this is the purpose – find out why below. Warning: carb up practice is NOT for everyone. You need to understand your body and your goal first. If you’re a beginner, this is absolutely NOT recommended. Why do carb ups on a Keto Diet? Carb ups can serve a few purposes: break a weight loss stall, improving hormonal balance, enhancing muscle growth, increases energy expenditure and leptin concentration (1). To get the full benefits of a carb refeed, you need to do it in a controlled manner, in order to make sure that you get back to keto right after that, and that your carb up weekend does not turn into a carb up week or month. Things to consider before doing a carb up You should consider doing carb ups on a keto diet only once your body has adapted to burning fat as its primary fuel source, which for most people comes after at least 4-6 weeks into their new ketogenic way of eating. Related: 5 Signs You Are Fat Adapted If you start doing carb ups earlier, you risk getting keto flu all over again, and your body will need to restart the fat adaptation process, which can be a generally unpleasant (and unnecessary) experience. Carb ups might awaken your carb cravings, so you need to be extra careful if you’re prone to having strong cravings in the first place. In order to keep those at bay in the days aft Continue reading >>

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

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 >>

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: An In-depth Look

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: An In-depth Look

Instead of ingesting small amounts of carbohydrates around your workouts, the cyclical ketogenic diet devotes one to two FULL days of high carbohydrate consumption in order to fully refill muscle glycogen stores. This means that CKDs are not for beginners that are not able to perform the necessary amount or intensity of training. You must completely deplete glycogen stores each week in order to have a successful CKD. CKD is used for maximum muscle growth, but the downside is that you might gain some body fat. It’s easy to overeat, gain fat, and has extreme depletion workouts – so if you’re a beginner it is certainly NOT recommended. If you’re a beginner or intermediate trainer, then a Targeted Ketogenic Diet is recommended. The standard format for a cyclical ketogenic diet is 5-6 days of ketogenic dieting and 1-2 days of high carb eating. Others have also experimented with 2 week cycles, where 10-12 days are of ketogenic nature and 3-4 days are carb loading. The 2 week split has also had good results, but it doesn’t fit around everyone’s schedules as neatly. The primary goal here is to temporarily switch out of ketosis to refill muscle glycogen, in order to sustain training performance in the next cycle. If you are on a ketogenic diet for health reasons (hyperinsulinemia or hypertension), you may find the CKD unworkable as the hormonal response can trigger health symptoms that are being treated by a low carbohydrate diet. Since the goal of a CKD is to completely deplete muscle glycogen – a proper workout schedule is needed for optimal results. A good workout example would be: Monday/Tuesday – Full body split. Monday could be legs and abs, and Tuesday could be chest, back, and arms. Friday – Full body, high rep depletion workout. The amount of training Continue reading >>

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