The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?
A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>
How Long Can You Stay In Ketosis Safely?
Are you looking for a diet for weight-loss or fat-loss? If so then you might be interested in ketosis. The question is whether you can stay on it permanently. That’s because it’s critical for any ‘diet” to become part of your everyday life and eating habits. It’s important to first understand what it is all about. It’s a natural state of the human body when it’s fueled almost 100% by body fat. This state takes place during a low-carb or “keto” diet as well as during fasting. It’s important to understand how this process is related to fat loss. The term originates from the fact that the human produce produces tin fuel molecules known as “ketones.” When the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar/glucose it gets energy from this source. The body produces chemicals when it gets a very low supply of carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The liver’s fat produces ketones then the body and brain use it for fuel. The process is especially important for the brain since the organ can only run from glucose/ketones. Medical research shows that early humans probably experienced the state very often. The reason is that hunter-gatherer societies ate a high-meat diet and had less access to carbohydrates than modern humans. As a result human bodies evolved so they could get energy from fat even though it mimicked starvation mode. Today there are various reasons why people use the ketogenic meal plan. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight or control epilepsy. The firm supporters point out the health benefits of the diet but others note that it’s a dangerous “hack” of the body’s regular metabolic system. These are the benefits to this process: Less eating due to no appetite More fat loss from abdominal cavity Lower blood sugar/insulin levels Lo Continue reading >>
Is It Bad For The Body To Jump Between Ketosis And Glucose?
I would not use that particular cycle, but think it would be hard to make a scientific argument that the occasional indulgence is “bad” - at least after the initial adaptation period. I’d do 4 weeks on, then maybe a meal/day or two off. That’s what we initially committed to. However, we wound up not wanting to do that indulgence we had scheduled for a few months. Then when we did, felt pretty terrible. We often will “relax” the diet when we travel, but it’s not really great-feeling. It gets a lot easier to transition back and forth as you get some practice at it, and some would say that doing it cyclically (seasonally) is more similar to what would have happened in primitive man (carbs were only available to most cultures for part of the year). But YMMV. Continue reading >>
Is Going In And Out Of Ketosis Bad?
In the earlier stages of adaptation going into ketosis may feel bad and going out may stop your progress for a fair while, so is to be avoided if all possible IMHO. Eventually once properly adapted you should have a lot more metabolic flexibility and will more readily switch. At that point you should mostly not notice anything anymore. Apart from how it feels, it is IMHO obviously not bad for you to switch energy pathways as conditions demand, that’s just part of how your metabolism works to help ensure you’re properly fuelled. According to Dr. Colin Champ, oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, for weight loss in someone who doesn’t have much to lose, periodic ketosis for a couple days seems to work. For others with a lot of weight to lose and/or those that do poorly with carbohydrates, the diet may need to be maintained for several months. He said: “I personally go in and out of ketosis frequently, getting very strict every month or two for about 5 days. I have been in ketosis for 6 months and even over a year, but function and feel better when I avoid long-term ketosis.” Anecdotally, when some individuals still have some fat to burn, they thrive in ketosis for longer periods of time more so than others. Some longer-term ketogenic diet followers do experience hormonal changes and probably should not be on the diet for an extended period of time. Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
What Is It Like To Go On A Ketogenic Diet?
It's do-able. Some people love it and some people hate it. Personally, I find that nutritional ketosis is almost ideal for me, whereas "normal" eating with lots of carbs in my diet leads to feelings of non-satiety, drowsiness, mood swings, insulin spikes, bloating, and sometimes nausea. A ketogenic diet consists of 70-80% calories from fat, 15-25% calories from protein, and 0-5% calories from net carbohydrates (carbs). You must restrict your daily net carbs to 20-40g daily. (total grams carbs) - (grams fiber) = (net grams carbs) Your transition period depends on a few factors: how strictly you limit your carbohydrate intake, how much energy you expend day-to-day, and how much energy in the form of glucose and glycogen you have stored in your body currently. My transition period takes 3 days. Day 1: This is an easy day. Your blood is still filled with circulating glucose, and any deficit will be taken from the glycogen in your liver to be converted to glucose. You may feel hunger pangs by the afternoon, and a small dip in insulin, which will feel normal to you because this is what happens every day on a normal diet and you are used to it. Day 2: This is an easy day, too. Your body is happily pulling glycogen from your liver, converting it to glucose, and all is well. Any small amount of carbs that you consume are burned away, nothing is being stored. You may feel the typical afternoon slowdown and hunger, as on day 1. Day 3: Hard day. Your body has been (or is nearly) depleted of glucose and glycogen. The small amount of carbs that you consume are not enough to fuel your brain. You have a feeling of satiety from all the fat you are consuming, but you may feel achy, have headaches, and feel sluggish. Your body is alerting you to the lack of glucose and glycogen. It will t Continue reading >>
What Is It Like To Experience Ketosis?
Ketosis is great, it's the transition that stinks. Being in ketosis means that your body is receiving its primary energy from ketones, which come from fat. The standard American diet is pretty high in carbohydrates, which convert to glucose in the blood. As long as your body has glucose around, it will always pick that over ketones. The transition from processing glucose to processing ketones invariably creates a gap in energy delivery to the brain (and other parts of the body), which will NOT kill you but which WILL trigger a stress response in the form of aches, headaches, fatigue, fogginess, etc. Really, it will vary by person. YMMV. If you fast (don't eat anything), you could be in ketosis in 24-48 hours (apparently, I've never tried it). If you carb-restrict your diet to less than 20-40g carbohydrates per day, you could be in ketosis within 3-5 days. It depends on a few factors, but mostly how much glycogen you have stored in your liver (glycogen converts to glucose). I was listening to a Tim Ferris podcast with Dom D'Agostino (Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer) where they talk about exogenous ketones among other things. Exogenous ketones are apparently available in several forms (BHB monoester, AcAc di-ester, BHB mineral salt) and if taken during the transition period will eradicate any negative side effects. I haven't tried them for myself (Peter Attia has! but it's intriguing to think that the one thing that prevents most people from enjoying ketosis (the crappy transition) could be optional. While in ketosis, I experience a little bit higher than normal energy level and fewer food cravings. I can think more clearly. I get hungry less often. I am frequently thirsty (this is normal side effect, and if you are in ketosis you should be dri Continue reading >>
When On A Very Low Carb Diet Or In Ketosis, Is It Bad To Fast A Lot, Like, Eating Only One Or Two Meals A Day? Or Should I Only Do This Every Other Day?
There are no doubt advantages to intermittent fasting, but I wouldn't recommend it while you're on a low carb diet. When your body can't use carbohydrates to obtain energy it will switch to use other components in your body. You'll be happy to see any fat go, but unfortunately the proteins that make up your muscles aren't safe from being used. Not to mention by fasting while you're already on a high-demand diet, your body will be entirely out of balance. Getting a dangerously low blood sugar level would be a very likely to happen. Take it slow and listen to your body. I follow a strict intermittent fasting requisite and during my 'eating window' I eat mostly paleo/primal - which is very low carb. It's been over 6 months of daily intermittent fasting now. This has had HUGE benefits on my mind and body - my whole way of life, really. It can be kind of tough to stick with it during the first two weeks, but give it a shot and see how you feel. How To Start Your Intermittent Fasting Requisite And Avoid Hangovers | Avoiding Hangovers Continue reading >>
Is Nutritional Ketosis Bad For A 16 Year Old?
I love what nutritional ketosis does for me, but I would not recommend my 16 year old self to undertake it. There are a few reasons. The biggest one is that at that age, I really didn't understand my body well at all. I had little awareness of hunger vs thirst, good pain vs bad pain from working out, and determining what my personal physical and mental limits were. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying "you're a silly teenager who knows nothing". Not at all! However, it is really important to be aware of yourself when undertaking any dramatic eating regimen, and having the benefit of living with yourself and making decisions for yourself for 20+ years vs 6+ years makes a huge difference in your success. It's easy to fall into bad habits on ketosis, like relying too heavily on dairy to get your fat macros (I'll just add more butter) instead of eating a balanced diet with adequate nutrients for your growing body. Will power, do you have it? Most teenagers are eating and enjoying all kinds of foods that simply aren't permissible on ketosis. Chips, pop, pizza, burritos, pasta, ice cream, and even some "healthy" snacks like carrot sticks, Gatorade, and watermelon are no-nos. You might develop an (eating) disorder because these are formative years and what you put in your mouth impacts your body and mind. It's easy to think of ketosis as a quick fix with minimal effort, and far better to develop a healthy relationship with food AND exercise to achieve your body goals. Continue reading >>
Is Going In And Out Of Ketosis Bad For Cholesterol Levels Or Organs?
I would be a bit cautious about “going in and out” - not because it’s bad or because it’s hard to do. Rather, because if you go “in and out continuously” - I’m hoping that you say that as supported by actual measurements and not just the mere fact that you don’t eat carbs for a day and then binge the next day - and then the cycle repeats. Although your body utilizes ketones on a continuous basis, the onset of “ketosis” per se, requires some adaptation period and a relatively substantial depletion of glycogen. You need to allow some time for this to happen - if you change your eating pattern too quickly (and if you didn’t specifically do anything to deplete your glycogen reserves, such as heavy-weight exercise, etc.) - you might not even get into ketosis before, allegedly, getting out of it. Of course, those could be just my assumptions - but, generally, I would say you have to follow ketogenic diet for at least 2–3 days to actually slip into ketosis, while you may only need a couple of hours to get out of it, if you overindulge in carbs. Other than the frequency of those changes - getting in and out by itself is not an issue and, actually, may be preferred (unless you have specific medical conditions that require you to be in ketosis for a long time). Now, to address cholesterol - cholesterol is generally not an issue by itself (read: Dietary Cholesterol Redeemed). It’s only in combination with other pro-inflammatory compounds and other detrimental effects of an unhealthy lifestyle that it may become an issue and contribute to heart disease. In reality, cholesterol is an “indicator” of a problem, not the cause for it. Conversely, none of your cells would be able to function properly - but that’s a topic of a different discussion. Your org Continue reading >>