Keep Yourself In Ketosis
When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet: Maximum Fat Burning
Diets come and diets go. Sometimes it seems the only thing that sticks around is the fat. Most of America bases diet choice on the popular media, which is constantly seeking the "next revolution" in dieting to grab the attention of shoppers standing in checkout lines, usually next to the candy and snacks. The seasonal change in "ultimate dieting tips" is bewildering enough without further confusion created by the arguments among scientific experts or the yo-yo appearance of celebrity endorsers. For many years, the most commonly practiced diets focused on cutting out dietary fat, often eliminating many protein sources as well. Based in part upon the food pyramid, carbohydrates were the mainstay of the diets. Success with these low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets were variable, with some losing fat, others actually gaining. Forbidden Fruit Recently, another strategy in dieting has come back into vogue.1,2 Completely contrary to the recommendations of the diet plans of ‘70s and ‘80s, many diet plans now promote avoiding carbohydrates almost entirely. These diets are collectively referred to as "ketogenic diets." While there are some differences in the many plans (Atkins, Protein Power, Sugar Busters, Greenwich, etc.), they are all based on restricting carbohydrate intake. Instead, food selection is made from choices high in protein and fat. A great deal of attention has been focused on the ketogenic diets, in part due to the reported success of followers of the Atkins diet and the media exposure of its namesake, Dr. Robert Atkins. This attention has proven to be a double-edged sword, as many scientists and agencies are now disputing the effectiveness of the diet and questioning its long-term safety.3 Ketogenic diets work in some ways common to all diets and others unique Continue reading >>
Low Carb Diet Stalled? Reason #1: You Are Not Drinking Enough Water
Low carb diet stalled? Drink more water. Really. When your low carb diet is failing you, the first place to look (we assume you know when you are cheating on carbs) is at your water intake. The number one non-cheating reason people stall on low carb diets is because they are not drinking enough water. (Number two is not eating enough fat.) Low carb diets are designed to burn fat by putting the dieter into benign dietary ketosis. This takes three things: Cutting carbs down to 40 grams or less per day (and avoiding processed carbs completely); Eating enough fat to stoke the ‘fat burning’ mechanism; and Drinking water. Lots of water. What about tea, coffee, and diet drinks? You might be able to get away with drinking diet soda and Crystal Light all day with other types of programs, but low carb diets are naturally diuretic. They also break down glycogen reserves and fat that needs to be flushed out of your system. You will pee a lot and need to drink water to replace lost body fluids. Diet soda just does not do the right job. Beverages that are high in sodium (like diet soda) can cause fluid retention. No carbonated drink can hydrate the body as efficiently as plain water. And, many low carb dieters are sensitive to ingredients in soda and Crystal Light and find that they cannot enter into ketosis no matter how much they cut out carbs until they give up the artificially sweetened beverages. Citric acid, another common ingredient in diet soda and other diet products, can stall weight loss for 40-50% of people who follow low carb diets. If you are sensitive to this substance it can slow down your weight loss by kicking you out of ketosis. How much water should I drink? That depends on several things: Your climate (the hotter and dryer, the more water your body needs); Ho Continue reading >>
Water, Water, Everywhere…
Water. It’s the source of all life. Around 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with it. There is water vapor in the air around us. The human body is made up of somewhere between 50 and 75% water, depending on individual size and age. Water is truly one of the most important chemical compounds in existence. We need it not just to live, but in order for the species to even exist at all. There are a heck of a lot of dietary myths that have been dispelled or discussed on this site, but one big question that probably needs a bit of a glance is thus: How much water do we actually need to consume to be healthy? Every health and diet “guru” has an opinion on water consumption, and in general the most common opinion is that more is better. I’ve read or seen recommendations ranging from a gallon a day all the way to advice like drink until your urine has no color. And when it comes to keto, things get even murkier. Keto websites and amateur experts throw out all kinds of recommendations, for example: 100 fl oz a day, minimum, or; 2 gallons a day and supplement like crazy, or; drink until you can’t stand it anymore, and then have another glass. Yes, I’ve seriously seen that last one, and no, I will not be naming the culprit. Medical experts vary a bit in their recommendations. For example, the Mayo Clinic’s recommendations vary quite a lot depending on your own circumstances (are you pregnant, do you live in an extremely hot climate, or are you extremely physically active?), although they do mention the standard 8×8 line, as in 8 glasses of 8 fluid ounces a day. We’ve all heard that one. The U. S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that the average person needs between 91 and 125 fluid ounces of water per day. When factoring in that an estimated 20% Continue reading >>
Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further
The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits. Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis. In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post. If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight, have a look at my Practical Guide to Keto Diet which is freely available on my website also as PDF. 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week Top Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet 1. Carbs are Too High Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out this post. For more about ketones, have a look at this post. 2. Protein is Too High or Too Low Your protein intake may be too high/ low. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. If you don't eat enough protein, you Continue reading >>
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 >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
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- St. Luke’s Spotlights Critical Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease in Partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company
One of the most frequently asked questions by people encountering a Zero Carb diet for the first time, especially if they come from a low carb, ketogenic diet background, is… Do I need to be concerned about or measure my level of ketones? I think one of the main reasons this happens is because the descriptive label most often applied to this way of eating is Zero Carb, rather than Zero Plant Foods, All-Meat, or Carnivore (labels which are actually far more descriptively accurate). Additionally, this way of eating probably attracts more people from the low carb community than from any other dietary background. The question comes up often enough that I felt it might be helpful to collect some of the best responses offered by long term Zero Carb practitioners and put them into one place for easy reference. Basically, as you will see from the quotes below, there is no need to measure blood, breath, or urine ketone levels while eating an All-Meat diet in order to experience the benefits that this way of eating offers. ….. Rose Nunez Smith: I’ve been ZC nearly six years. A couple years ago I got scared about cancer (I’m adopted and discovered a long list of direct maternal relatives who died of cancer), so I bought a blood ketone meter, what with all the exciting research starting to happen around ketosis and cancer. When I’d been VLC eight years ago, I turned the ketostix purple consistently, so I figured I’d get a pretty good reading on a blood meter. I couldn’t get above trace. My diet for years had been meat, egg yolks, butter and lard for cooking, water, coffee. That’s it. I began cutting meat and adding more butter. The number nudged up. I cut out beef entirely, eating chicken, pork and fish, and added coconut oil to my coffee. A little more nudge. I ski Continue reading >>
Keto Electrolytes 101: How To Avoid Imbalances & Dehydration On Keto
The very low-carb nature of a ketogenic diet can change the way your body handles electrolytes and water. That means that it can be easy to experience electrolyte imbalances and dehydration when you’re first starting and throughout your ketogenic journey. Don’t worry though — it’s any easy fix! In this article you’ll learn: Let’s go. Electrolytes on Keto When you begin a ketogenic diet and drastically cut back on carbs, your body produces less insulin and glycogen stores are depleted. For every gram of glycogen (stored carbs) three grams of water are stored as well. As those stores are depleted, our kidneys go from retaining water to excreting more of it. If you’ve done keto before, you may have noticed that you experienced a “whoosh” early on, where you lost a lot of weight and felt less bloated. This is water weight resulting from the excretion of water. The upside? Looking better. The downside? With this flush of water, important minerals called electrolytes are excreted too. Below we’ll cover what electrolytes actually are, why they’re important, and how to replenish them. What are Electrolytes? Electrolytes are specific nutrients in our bodies crucial for important functions like: Muscle contractions Heartbeat regulation Body temperature control Bladder control Energy production Neurological functions Without electrolytes, you wouldn’t exist. You must have enough of these in your body for processes to function correctly. If one or more of these electrolytes are deficient, you’re going to have some issues. Symptoms of electrolyte deficiency include: Heart palpitations or racing heart Feeling shaky, dizzy or weak like you’re going to pass out Headaches or migraines Leg or other muscles cramps, such as getting Charlie horses at night Troubl Continue reading >>
Never Thirsty On Keto Diet, Should I Be Drinking Lots Of Water Anyway?
When I'm consuming lots of fat I'm never thirsty. I do get some liquid from bone broth that I use as a soup base for many of my meals but I rarely just drink water. I've read on the web that one should drink lots of water on a ketogenic diet to flush out all those ketones. Can someone provide a credible reference to whether drinking lots of water is a really good idea or not? (There's too much personal opinion on the subject hence the desire for something more scientific.) If it matters, I typically eat 5 to 10 ounces of protein a day, so not a huge amount. Update 12/29/13: Oops. I meant EIGHT to 10 ounces a day of protein. That should be 50 to 60 grams of protein. And, I'll probably start adding 3 or 4 eggs. The whites should be good for 20 or so more grams of protein, Continue reading >>
The Role Of Salt In A Ketogenic-diet. ‘keto-flu’ Explained!
I was keen to understand why all the low-carb diet resources tell you to eat more salt. I therefore decided to look into this in greater detail. The problem I encountered was that nothing actually states the reasoning behind it; sources merely allude to the requirements, then make recommendations on how to achieve them. What I was keen to understand in particular, is the role of insulin in causing the kidneys to retain salt. The below is what I’ve managed to piece together. As always, I must state that I have no medical or dietary training; all I can do is try and present the results of my own reading in as clear and jargon-free way as possible. If readers’ comments can help guide my understanding, then all feedback will be gratefully received! So here goes… Salt! When you switch over to a ketogenic diet, you’re effectively changing the way your body creates and burns energy. On a glucose-based metabolism, the energy-form ‘glycogen’ is produced in the liver. This energy is water-soluble and transported around the body in your blood. The blood-stream is therefore our ‘road-network’ for distributing energy to all the cells and muscles that need it. Glycogen is also stored in the muscles, so the blood-motorway serves to ‘top up’ these stores when required. Because glycogen is transported in liquid & is water-soluble; it’s unsurprising that glycogen itself contains a lot of water. In fact, it’s stored in liquid form; three to four parts water to one part glycogen (sources state 3-4g water to 1g glycogen). When you restrict carbohydrate, you stop consuming glucose, the raw-material from which glycogen is made (see Fuel versus Energy for more details). Your stores of glycogen therefore deplete as your body burns energy, and because glycogen carries 3-4 Continue reading >>
5 Newbie Mistakes On Keto
First and foremost, Happy New Year to all of the new low-carb, gluten-free, keto-ers! As you can tell , I haven’t posted at all last month. To be honest, I made a huge flopping fail during the month of December. I guess I just wanted to celebrate my birthday the entire month! I’m now officially 24 (cue mid-twenties crisis) and I’m ready to jump back on the keto bandwagon. Since it is the New Year, I thought I’d share with you the easy mistakes on keto that I made when first starting. That way, you won’t make the same ones that I did. 1. Eating low-fat foods Yeah. Don’t do it. I know that we’ve been told to avoid fat since we were children, but the time has come to smash that rule. Eat full fat cheese. Eat that skin off of your chicken. Drown your broccoli in butter. Yes, all of it. The only fats I would look into avoiding are vegetable oils like canola and corn. These oils don’t help the body’s inflammation at all when there are so many other, tastier options (like bacon grease, butter and coconut oil). 2. Not replacing electrolytes On keto, you must drink a lot of water since it is dispelled so quickly. When this happens, electrolytes are excreted through your urine and it’s VERY important to replenish them. Use coconut water, low-sugar gatorade or my favorite – bone broth. Using these will also significantly help with the keto flu. 3. Too many changes at once This one is very important. Remember, you are a human. Changing from a lifestyle of processed junk and no exercise to a completely keto and active lifestyle are opposite ends of the extremes. Choose one or the other to focus on first. You don’t want to get burnt out in such a small amount of time. 4. Not giving fat adaption the time it takes The first week will most likely leave you feelin Continue reading >>
The Importance Of Electrolytes On A Ketogenic Diet
Many people who start a ketogenic diet often experience the dreaded “keto-flu”, which is the name for the experience of one or a combination of the following symptoms: Even if you are following a well-formulated ketogenic diet, with a low amount of carbohydrate, moderate amount of protein, and high amount of fat as suggested, it is likely that you may still experience some of these symptoms. The reason being while your macronutrients may be in line, there is another important factor to consider, ensuring you keep your body properly nourished and functioning well. That key factor is the balance of electrolytes in the body. In this article, we will cover the importance of electrolytes on a ketogenic diet. What Are Electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals found in the body that are the electrical signaling molecules used for maintaining functions within the body such as regulating your heartbeat and allowing muscles to contract for functional movement. The most relevant electrolytes in this context are sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium. Why Monitoring Your Electrolytes is Important. When you shift to a ketogenic diet, your body tends to release more water as opposed to storing it. The reason being that there is less insulin produced as a result of the composition of the diet. This leads to hormonal signals via the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system, signaling your kidneys to excrete MORE water and retain LESS. Along with increased excretion of water, the minerals found in that water are lost at a higher rate (1,2). In the end, you can quickly become depleted of the key electrolytes that your body needs to function properly. As a result, you can experience some of the negative symptoms associated with the “keto flu”. Getting The Right Amount o Continue reading >>
What Is Acetone?
You can find it in paint thinners, nail polish, and the manufacturing of plastics. But it’s also found naturally (and safely) in the human body, especially in those following a ketogenic diet. What we’re talking about here is acetone, a ketone body produced in the ketosis process, which has many benefits in the body. But what is acetone, exactly? What role does it play in ketosis? Those are questions we’ll be diving into below so you can better understand how this molecule fits into your ketogenic diet and why it’s important. What is Acetone? Acetone is a type of ketone. When someone is eating a high-fat and low-carb diet (namely, the ketogenic diet) or goes through prolonged fasting and there isn’t enough glucose in the body for fuel, the liver starts breaking down fatty acids for energy for the body and the brain. This is the process known as ketosis, the primary function and goal of the ketogenic diet. When ketosis happens, water-soluble molecules called ketone bodies, or just simply “ketones,” are released. These three ketones are: Acetoacetate Beta-hydroxybutyrate Acetone Acetoacetate is created first, followed by beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone. Acetone is created spontaneously from the breakdown of acetoacetate and is the simplest and most volatile ketone. It diffuses into the lungs and exits the body from exhaled breath. Acetone Benefits on the Ketogenic Diet One way that those on a keto diet ensure they maintain their ketosis, and receive the benefits of ketosis, is by measuring the amount of acetone on the breath. Typically, the higher amount of acetone present, the further they are into ketosis. Weight Loss Benefits There are many reasons someone might choose to follow a keto diet and put their body in ketosis. Benefits of being in ketosis incl Continue reading >>
Why Hydration Is So Important During Ketosis
Starting a ketogenic diet requires constant attention and planning regarding the number of: Carbs; Fats; and Protein that are eaten on a daily and weekly basis. But in addition to macronutrients, you should also be thinking consciously about the amount of water you drink. Proper hydration is extremely important during ketosis. Water Retention During Ketosis When your first try ketosis, it’s normal to gain a few pounds right off the bat. That’s because retaining glycogen in your glycogen stores and water retention go hand-in-hand. Until your body fully depletes its glycogen, it’s likely to hold on to water, too. The best way to remedy this is to, despite common sense, drink more water. Increased Risk of Nephrolithiasis A ketogenic diet may lead to a minimal increase risk of developing nephrolithiasis, or kidney stones. This may be in part due to the fact that the urine is more acidic while on a ketogenic diet. However, the slightly higher risk of nephrolithiasis should not be a discouraging factor in making the switch to a ketogenic diet; rather, fluid intake should be increased to lower the risk. Water and Fat Metabolism Drinking water is also important on a ketogenic diet as it may help the body to more quickly metabolize fat. Proper hydration can also help with keto breath. Learn More About Proper Hydration for Your Body To learn more about how hydration can affect your body during ketosis, contact Get Your Body Back today. Continue reading >>
Keto Tip: 5 Reasons You Need To Drink More Water On A Ketogenic Diet!
It’s often been said that most problems you run in to on a ketogenic diet can be solved by doing one of three things; drink more water, eat more salt, or eat more fat. Over the years as I’ve done this, I’ve found this adage to be fairly accurate as most of the “tweaks” I’ve done to get over a plateau or speed up my weight loss has been some variation of these 3 things. Probably the most powerful part of that truth is to drink more water. I’ve seen over and over again how upping my water intake leads to faster weight loss and a healthier overall feeling as I continue on this little weight loss journey of mine. Here are 5 reasons you should be drinking more water on a Ketogenic Diet Replaces Lost Water This is something I just didn’t know when I started cutting out the carbs and wasn’t prepared to deal with in those early days. Your body stores glycogen in water in your muscles. As your body burns through that stored glycogen and you don’t replace it because you aren’t eating carbs, your body’s water stores get depleted as well. This is why you tend to lose up to 10 lbs in the first week on keto and also what causes the “keto flu” or the miserable feeling that happens just before you switch over to being fat adapted. That feeling is caused by mild dehydration and can be shorten tremendously just by drinking more water. Like I said, that would have been awesome to know in those early days. Suppresses Appetite and Curbs Cravings This is another one of those things that I really wish I had known early on but every time you have a hunger pang or a sugar craving, just drink some water and they go away fairly quickly. In fact, even though I’m almost 2 years into this journey of mine, it is still the ever present glass of water on my computer desk t Continue reading >>