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Is Ketosis Necessary For Weight Loss?

When Should You Try A Low Carb Diet?

When Should You Try A Low Carb Diet?

This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Public Health, and staff nutritionist for ChrisKresser.com. You can learn more about Laura by checking out her popular blog or visiting her on Facebook. And if you need one-on-one help with your diet, click here to learn more about her nutrition consulting services. Recently, I wrote an article about the potential pitfalls of following an excessively low carb diet, and the symptoms to watch out for to know if you’d benefit from adding carbs back into your diet. While I repeatedly pointed out that there are many people who thrive on a very low carb or ketogenic approach, there were commenters who staunchly disagreed with my recommendations. While I stand by my original article (as well as Chris’s subsequent supporting articles here and here), I wanted to make sure that those who would benefit from a very low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet were aware of the positive impact this nutritional approach can have when implemented correctly. Yes, you read that correctly: there are many people who can do incredibly well on a properly designed, nutritionally adequate ketogenic diet. Some people find that they thrive on a very low carb or ketogenic diet. Could you be one of them? In this article, I’ll describe seven different classes of people who could experience improved health and wellbeing by following a ketogenic diet, as well as briefly explain the precautions you’ll need to take if choosing to experiment with this therapeutic diet strategy. Overweight and Obesity One of the biggest draws of a low carbohydrate diet is that it can be a highly effective tool for rapid weight loss, especially in those who are significantly overweight and/or obese. When compared to low fat diets, Continue reading >>

The Keto Diet: What You Need To Know

The Keto Diet: What You Need To Know

Hi, my name is Lauren Koski and I LOVE reality television. Among my favourites: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and let’s not forget The Bachelor in Paradise… Lol. There’s nothing quite like a drama-filled-but-possibly-scripted screaming match to make you feel normal. Give me aaaaaall the reality TV, please! This post is not about reality television, though. It was spurred by a chat I had with HHHM community member Bethany Bellingham about some Keto Diet talk that popped up on Season 13 of the Bachelorette. On Episode 3 cast member Blake mentioned he doesn’t eat bananas because they have too much sugar. He goes on to explain he’s on the Ketogenic Diet and doesn’t eat carbs… At all. Oh, Blake. Poor Blake. Someone send this article to Blake. Questions about the Ketogenic Diet come up often in our private Healthy Habits Happy Moms Facebook group. If you’re wondering what this diet is or how it works for weight loss, read on! The Ketogenic Diet works by forcing your body into a continual state of Ketosis. To understand what that means and why it’s important we need a quick anatomy lesson. Stay with me – I’ll keep it short and sweet! What is Ketosis? Our cells main and preferred energy source is glucose, AKA sugar. When we eat, our bodies break carbohydrates down into glucose to fuel our cells. Every cell in your body needs glucose to function, but it only stores limited amounts of glucose in the body, called glycogen. This serves as a backup fuel source. Your body may rely on glycogen stores when blood glucose levels drop between meals. However, during times of starvation when your glycogen stores are depleted, your body can enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis: a metabolic state in which some of the body’s energy supply comes from ketone bodies (from s 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 >>

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

When it comes to weight loss and endurance performance, dietary ketosis is the strategy everyone is asking about this year. On the surface, ketosis or a ketogenic diet offers everything an endurance athlete could dream of: endless energy, freedom from bonking, and an efficient pathway to weight loss. The diet has been all over mainstream magazines, it’s the subject of several new books, and the supplement companies have already jumped in with new products and a ton of marketing dollars. So, is it time for cyclists, triathletes, and runners to go Keto? First, a refresher course on what a ketogenic diet is. To achieve dietary or nutritional ketosis you need to severely restrict carbohydrate intake (fewer than 50 grams of CHO/day) so the body transitions to using ketones for fueling muscles and the brain. Ketones are produced from fat, which is why nutritional ketosis is so appealing to sedentary people as a weight loss solution. It’s appealing to athletes because we have a virtually unlimited reserve of fat calories to pull from but can only store 1600-2000 calories worth of carbohydrate in muscles, blood, and the liver. An athlete fueled by ketones would be theoretically “bonk-proof”, since bonking is the result of running low on blood glucose. [blog_promo promo_categories=”coaching” ids=”” /] Dietary ketosis for athletes is one of the most hotly contested subjects right now. Proponents point to the metabolic advantage of relying on fat instead of carbohydrate, and critics point out the physiological limitations of eliminating carbohydrate as a fuel for performance. You’ll find bias in both groups, either because scientists and coaches (including me) have been in the high-carbohydrate camp for many years, or because there’s a lot of money to be made b Continue reading >>

A Ketogenic Diet To Lose Weight And Fight Disease

A Ketogenic Diet To Lose Weight And Fight Disease

Obesity and metabolic diseases have become the world's biggest health problems. In fact, at least 2.8 million adults die from obesity-related causes each year (1). Metabolic syndrome affects over 50 million people in the US, and can lead to a variety of health problems (2, 3, 4). To combat this, many diets have emerged, few of which are actually backed by research (5). The benefits of the ketogenic diet, on the other hand, are well-supported by science (6, 7). This article explains how a ketogenic diet can help you lose weight and fight metabolic disease. A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbs (8). As carbs are reduced and fat is increased, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Then the body starts turning fats into ketones, which are molecules that can supply energy for the brain (9, 10). After a few days or weeks on such a diet, the body and brain become very efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs. The ketogenic diet also lowers insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, are two of the main reasons this diet has so many health benefits (9, 11, 12, 13, 14). Staple foods on a ketogenic diet include meat, fish, butter, eggs, cheese, heavy cream, oils, nuts, avocados, seeds and low-carb vegetables. In contrast, nearly all carb sources are eliminated, including grains, rice, beans, potatoes, sweets, milk, cereals, fruits and even some higher-carb vegetables. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb diet. It primarily works by lowering insulin levels, producing ketones and increasing fat burning. There is strong evidence that ketogenic diets are very effective for weight loss (15). They can help you lose fat, preserve muscle mass and improve many markers of disease Continue reading >>

Five Essential Tools For Losing Weight On The Ketogenic Diet

Five Essential Tools For Losing Weight On The Ketogenic Diet

Advertisements You don’t have to punish yourself in order to meet your goals. You don’t have to starve yourself or exhaust every fiber of your being at the gym. Sure, plenty of people enjoy success living this way, and those that can sustain such a level of willpower are certainly special. But I’m going to assume that person isn’t you. Your willpower fades eventually. Your body eventually caves to the rigors of high intensity interval training. Eventually your ghrelin-induced hunger pains late at night are no longer tolerable, and you give in to a late night snack. Maybe you’re just not meant to reach your goals. While the track record of failure for the “hard knocks” approach to weight loss is irrefutable for the majority, not enough people are aware of the completely viable alternative known as the ketogenic diet. So don’t be discouraged. The ketogenic diet has a proven track record of success in helping people escape the shackles of morbid obesity to the point where they aren’t held prisoner to a sedentary lifestyle. The success behind this diet is based on the science of the human metabolism, not someone’s theory about what our early ancestors ate or some misplaced fear of fats. You’re in good graces with your own biology when you stick to the ketogenic diet, but the diet is not without its challenges. Staying in nutritional ketosis is the primary goal. The carbohydrate threshold necessary to achieve nutritional ketosis is 20-30 grams per day, or about 5% of your total macronutrients. This is about as challenging as the ketogenic diet gets, and once you master the art of limiting your carbohydrates to roughly 20-30 grams per day, everything else falls into place. Hunger goes down and fatty acids are constantly being converted into ketones to be Continue reading >>

Beyond Weight Loss: A Review Of The Therapeutic Uses Of Very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) Diets

Beyond Weight Loss: A Review Of The Therapeutic Uses Of Very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) Diets

Very-low-carbohydrate diets or ketogenic diets have been in use since the 1920s as a therapy for epilepsy and can, in some cases, completely remove the need for medication. From the 1960s onwards they have become widely known as one of the most common methods for obesity treatment. Recent work over the last decade or so has provided evidence of the therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets in many pathological conditions, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, neurological diseases, cancer and the amelioration of respiratory and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The possibility that modifying food intake can be useful for reducing or eliminating pharmaceutical methods of treatment, which are often lifelong with significant side effects, calls for serious investigation. This review revisits the meaning of physiological ketosis in the light of this evidence and considers possible mechanisms for the therapeutic actions of the ketogenic diet on different diseases. The present review also questions whether there are still some preconceived ideas about ketogenic diets, which may be presenting unnecessary barriers to their use as therapeutic tools in the physician’s hand. During recent years, an increasing amount of evidence has accumulated in the literature, suggesting that very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (VLCKD) could have a therapeutic role in numerous diseases. The use of VLCKD in treating epilepsy has been well established for many decades and these diets have become even more widely known, as they became popular in the 1970s for weight loss—especially as the ‘Atkins Diet’.1 More recently, the therapeutic use of ketogenic diets in other diseases has been studied with positive results—it is an important direction for research because, clearly, Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet Over the past few decades practitioners and researchers have been searching for the holy grail of macros for fat loss. During that search, the Ketogenic Diet has been extensively studied because it is an interesting tool as it “hacks” an aspect of our physiology. Is that hack something that conveys additional weight loss benefits? We dive into the research and talk about the practical applications of ketogenic diets. Now before we dive in I want to be honest about personal stance and plant a flag in the middle of the open. I am going to be upfront about my stance before you dive into this article so you can gauge my level of bias and take the writing below with whatever level of salt you feel necessary. I don’t hate the Ketogenic Diet. I find it to be a tool that can be used successfully in some context and unsuccessfully in others. Now with that out of the way lets dive into the science What is the Ketogenic Diet? A full, deep, nuanced discussion of what exactly the ketogenic diet is beyond the scope of this article. However a basic understanding of if is necessary and for those of you who are new to the concept let me break it down quick and dirty (a lot of this is borrowed from our previous article on the same topic) Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism to produce ATP. You have tissues in your body that can utilize either carbohydrates or fat and function fairly well (e.g. muscle tissue)*. You also have tissues in your body that use glucose really well but can’t really function on fatty acid metabolism (e.g. your brain). This is part of the reason why regulating blood glucose is pretty important Continue reading >>

The Keto Bomb Review – Ketogenic Weight Loss Creamer

The Keto Bomb Review – Ketogenic Weight Loss Creamer

The Keto Bomb is a genuinely unique product that deserves further review and analysis. First, it is important to understand the keto diet and what it entails. This kind of diet is revolutionary in many ways and is perhaps one of the most innovative. Unlike other traditional types of dieting techniques, a ketogenic diet is instead on refocusing the macronutrients they eat. Most of the diets in circulation today limit or exclude nutritious and tasty foods. The keto diet concept is different. Based upon actual scientific studies and clinical research, this type of diet helps individuals shed unwanted and unhealthy fat. It also helps people return to a more balanced and healthy body weight. The best part of the ketogenic dieting strategy is that it allows participants to enjoy their favorite foods. The Keto Bomb is a weight loss creamer that is an ideal complement to an already highly effective diet Incredibly tasty and highly effective at supporting a ketogenic diet, the Keto Bomb is an impressive product that helps to enhance performance while promoting healthy fat “burn-off” and weight loss. This performance-enhancing creamer is intended for those who are actively participating in a ketogenic or low-carb diet. It helps to enhance as well as accelerate and promote the body’s ability to burn fat in a highly efficient way. Even more impressive is the fact that the Keto Bomb blends a proprietary mix of medium chain triglycerides with electrolytes to perfectly complement the science of ketosis from a ketogenic dieting perspective. The product is comprised of other essential fats that are very helpful in fueling the brain and body for improved mental clarity and intense athletic performance. Offered in a variety of flavors such as Caramel Macchiato and French Vanilla Lat Continue reading >>

Ketosis And Losing Fat (or Gaining It)

Ketosis And Losing Fat (or Gaining It)

: Episode 559 – On this Wednesday edition of the Celebrity Fitness Trainer podcast, Nicole Recine fills in for Andy Schreiber to co-host alongside Vinnie Tortorich. The two talk about the critical distinction in the sometimes mixed up Ketosis and Ketoacidosis, and what ketosis is and its relation to losing fat. PLEASE SUPPORT OUR SPONSOR Pure Vitamin Club KETOSIS VS. KETOACIDOSIS Ketoacidosis is a serious condition type 1 diabetics (& severe alcoholics) get, where their bodies make far too many ketones (10x higher blood ketone levels) Ketosis is when your body is in a great metabolic state from restricting carb intake — very good for you KETOSIS AND LOSING FAT You DO NOT need to be in ketosis to lose fat Additionally, if you are in ketosis it does not necessarily mean you are losing fat You can even gain weight in ketosis People get confused because ketones are made in the process of fat burning Doesn’t necessarily correlate to fat loss though PODCAST TRANSCRIPT (Compliments of Margaret Vitalis) Vinnie Tortorich (VT): What are we talking about today? Nicole Recine (NR): Ketosis VT: Ketosis. I’ve heard about this stuff. I’ve heard that if you go into ketosis, you could die, right? Oh no wait, that’s ketoacidosis. NR: Ketoacidosis. I think that’s been cleared up enough. I think all the listeners know… VT: No they don’t…no they don’t, because we get new listeners all the time, Nicole. NR: Okay, new listeners, ketoacidosis is something you can die from and go into a coma. It’s weird. It can only happen to type 1 diabetics, and it’s very, very high ketone levels, typically 10 times higher blood ketone levels than ketosis. Ketosis is a healthy natural metabolic state that you can get into when you restrict your carbohydrates and protein well enough Continue reading >>

How To Make A Fat Cell Less Not Thin: The Lessons Of Fat Flux

How To Make A Fat Cell Less Not Thin: The Lessons Of Fat Flux

I do still plan to finish the third, and perhaps a fourth, part on the “Ketosis – advantaged or misunderstood state?” mini-series. However, a question I get often makes me realize a tiny bit of housekeeping is in order before we go there. The question is basically a variation on this theme: Does being in ketosis automatically translate to fat loss? For those too busy to read ahead, let me give you the punch line: No. For those who want to understand why, keep reading (hopefully this is still everyone). This topic is — surprise, surprise — very nuanced, and almost always bastardized when oversimplified, which I’m about to do, though hopefully less than most. Without oversimplifying, though, this will turn into a textbook of 1,000 pages. From the ketosis series, or at least the first and second part, along with the video in this previous post, you should have taken away that ketosis is not some ‘magical state of mystery.’ It’s simply a state of physiology where our liver turns fatty acid (both ingested and stored) into ketones. In part III (and possibly a part IV) of that series, I’ll go more into the actions of ketones and why you may or may not want to consider putting yourself into a state where your liver makes them. There seems to be great confusion around ‘nutritional’ ketosis (a term we use to distinguish ‘dietary-induced’ ketosis from the other 2 forms of ketosis: starvation ketosis and ketoacidosis, the latter a serious complication of type I diabetes). But, before I try to dispel any of the confusion, we need to go through a little primer on what I like to call “fat flux.” One point before diving in, please do not assume because I’m writing this post that I think adiposity (the technical term for relative amount of fat in the bo Continue reading >>

How To Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

How To Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Ketosis Weight Loss First of all what is ketosis? You have tried all the “healthy” ways to lose weight and you lost a lot of weight too. But you are not yet at your goal and whatever you try does not seem to be working anymore. You are eating right, you are working out, and you are drinking lots of water. Now what else can you do? When you are at a plateau, you need to pull out the big guns to help you lose weight. The Ketogenic diet is one of those magic tricks that can put your body back into gear and jump start weight loss again. Normally, our body utilizes carbohydrates that we consume to get energy for regular body functions. But when we are on a diet, our body produces energy molecules known as ketones from the fat present in our body. This process of burning a lot of fat to produce these ketones is known as ketosis. This method of weight loss is most effective because you do not lose much muscle mass, and instead lose more fat in a short amount of time. Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss: Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan in a Nutshell: The trick to put our body into ketosis mode is to avoid all sources of carbohydrates from rice, grains, sweets, potatoes and all those starchy food. You need to consume a controlled amount of proteins such as eggs, meat etc. but you should not overdo it as excess protein intake will spike your insulin level too. A way to feel full quickly is by ingesting high amount of fatty food, like using copious amount of butter in your meat or with your vegetables. Since you are not eating starch and consuming less amount of proteins, this will not make you gain weight, but instead will make you feel fuller. You can also consume certain vegetables that contain fewer carbohydrates to keep your hunger in control. More fat consumption will make sure you eat Continue reading >>

How To Lose Weight On A Keto Diet In 5 Easy Steps (+ 4 Real-life Examples)

How To Lose Weight On A Keto Diet In 5 Easy Steps (+ 4 Real-life Examples)

CLEARLY the “eat less”, “eat low fat”, and “just eat everything in moderation” diets haven’t worked too well for most people. So, if you’re still trying to lose weight and keep it off, then maybe it’s time to try something that’s working for tens of thousands of people right now… The Ketogenic Diet. But is it all too good to be true? Yes, we believe Keto is fantastic for weight loss. We’ve just seen it work for way too many people (check out the success stories below). But it’s also not for everyone. So, in this post, we are giving you the real facts behind all the hype as well as real-life stories of people who have lost a lot of weight on Keto. PLUS, how to get started on Keto to lose weight in 5 EASY Steps. What is the Ketogenic Diet? THE HISTORY: Originally the Ketogenic diet was created as an effective treatment for epileptic children. BUT NOW: More and more people are finding that a Ketogenic diet has tons of benefits, including: a healthy way to lose weight, control blood sugar levels, improve your brain function, and potentially even reverse a myriad of health conditions. How does keto do this? The Keto diet puts your body into a powerful fat-burning metabolic state called nutritional ketosis. NUTRITIONAL KETOSIS: In nutritional ketosis, your body generally uses very few carbohydrates for energy. Instead, it switches to using ketones (which are produced from the breakdown of fats). That’s why the keto diet is often called a fat-burning diet… You can literally be burning your own body fat for energy! (It’s still unclear whether ketosis is the magical factor that makes a Keto diet so effective for weight-loss, but whatever it is, it seems to work!) So, how do we get into this nutritional ketosis state? You can get into nutritional k Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

This article is about a dietary therapy for epilepsy. For information on ketogenic diets as a lifestyle choice or for weight loss, see Low-carbohydrate diet and No-carbohydrate diet. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.[1] Almost half of children, and young people, with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet.[2] There is some evidence that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective.[1] The most common adverse effect is constipation, affecting about 30% of patients—this was due to fluid restriction, which was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of kidney stones, and is no longer considered beneficial.[2][3] The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories[Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was develope Continue reading >>

How To Know If The Ketogenic Diet Is Right For You

How To Know If The Ketogenic Diet Is Right For You

It’s almost a universally accepted fact that diets leave you hungry. After all, that rumbling tummy two hours after mealtime (not to mention, strict and time-consuming calorie counting) is the reason most New Year’s resolutions fail by February, right? But Dr. Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery, the authors of The Ketogenic Bible, say you don’t need to go hungry or count calories to lose weight. The ketogenic diet, also referred to as “keto,” is a dieting method gaining popularity from people with diabetes to CrossFitters. “The ketogenic diet induces ketosis, which is a state where your body is running primarily off of fat and ketones,” explains Wilson, instead of sugar from carbs. “That can occur through lowering your carbohydrates and having very high fat intake.” Specifically, the ketogenic diet targets about 80 percent of calories from fat, 15 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates. RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar The Upside of Ketosis While this method may have gained popularity among athletes and other hard-core fitness buffs, they’re far from the only ones who will see benefits from this method. “When you implement a well-formulated proper ketogenic diet, you can see improvement in performance and body composition at the same time,” says Lowery. You’ll look leaner and shed fat, but you won’t feel sapped of energy like when you decrease calories. The bonus is you won’t experience the post-meal crash associated with a higher-carb diet, he says. Lowery also says that for most ketogenic diet newbies, there won’t be a need to count overall calories either. As long as you’re paying attention to your diet and inducing ketosis through high-fat and low-carb consumption, most dieters automatically hit a calorie Continue reading >>

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