“starvation Mode” And Muscle Wasting Myth On A Low Carbohydrate Diet
Another one of the fallacies that seems to pervade is that a ketogenic diet is the same as being in starvation – whereby the body significantly reduces it’s metabolism and starts tapping into the muscles for energy. This is completely bogus and you’d be best off just ignoring the idea altogether. In light of restricted carbohydrates through either keto or starvation the body will focus on maintaining glucose homeostasis, ie constant blood-glucose level. It’s highest priority is to provide sufficient energy to the brain and other critical functions, and can do so with a mix of glucose and ketone bodies. The only real common ground is that ketone production is elevated in both a keto diet and in starvation due to reduced carbohydrate intake. Conflating keto with starvation is guilt by association – eg falling asleep makes you unconscious; being punched out also renders you unconscious and can cause serious injury; therefore falling asleep is dangerous like being punched out. Starvation is just that – severe restriction of calories over a long period, and “starvation mode” is what anti-low-carb people tend to call it as a scare tactic. After a few days of complete fasting the metabolic rate only drops 5-10% – sometimes increases – and even on an intake of half the amount of energy you’d normally consume for maintenance, you would be fine for months without too much of a drop. If you have a significant amount of fat to lose then your metabolism will barely drop at all, even on severe restriction your extra adipose stores will make up any energy requirements you have. A ketogenic diet stabilises glucose and maintains very low levels of circulating insulin, so access to liberating energy from your adipose stores is unhampered. A ketogenic diet is extreme Continue reading >>
Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works
Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>
Fasting Ketosis And Alcoholic Ketoacidosis
INTRODUCTION Ketoacidosis is the term used for metabolic acidoses associated with an accumulation of ketone bodies. The most common cause of ketoacidosis is diabetic ketoacidosis. Two other causes are fasting ketosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. Fasting ketosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis will be reviewed here. Issues related to diabetic ketoacidosis are discussed in detail elsewhere. (See "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Epidemiology and pathogenesis" and "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Clinical features, evaluation, and diagnosis" and "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Treatment".) PHYSIOLOGY OF KETONE BODIES There are three major ketone bodies, with the interrelationships shown in the figure (figure 1): Acetoacetic acid is the only true ketoacid. The more dominant acid in patients with ketoacidosis is beta-hydroxybutyric acid, which results from the reduction of acetoacetic acid by NADH. Beta-hydroxybutyric acid is a hydroxyacid, not a true ketoacid. Continue reading >>
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 >>
Ketosis In An Evolutionary Context
Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis. They’re also situated near the top of the food chain. Coincidence? During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all. Starvation ketosis Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation. We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively. And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline. Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..? Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No, more likely an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain. The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones. A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1986). If this were a harmful state, why would Nature have done this? …and all those anecdotes, like babies learn at incredibly rapid rates… coincidence? Maybe they’re myths. Maybe not. Ketosis in the animal kingdom Imagine a hibernating bear: huge adipose tissue but small brain fuel requirement relative to body size and total energy expenditure. No ketosis, because brain accounts for less than 5% of total metabolism. In adult humans, this is around 19-23%, and babies are much higher (eg, Cahill and Veech, 2003 & Hayes et al., 2012). For the rest of this article and more, head over to Pat Continue reading >>
How Ketosis Helps You Lose Weight Through Suppressed Appetite
One of the reasons The Bulletproof Diet with Bulletproof Coffee works so well for people looking to lose weight is that Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting helps your body to more easily enter a state called cyclical ketosis, which is great for a whole bunch of reasons. Ketosis is a cornerstone of becoming Bulletproof; listen to these recent Bulletproof Radio episodes with ketosis experts Jimmy Moore and Dominic D’Agostino to get the scoop on how and why it works. It’s what happens when your body switches to burning fat instead of sugar for energy, and it only happens when you eat almost no carbohydrates, or when you hack it using certain kinds of oils. Many people first stumble upon the idea of ketosis while looking for a weight loss strategy. That can be a major part of it for so many people out there who have tried just about every other diet out there but haven’t seen the results they’d hoped for. But when people experience the mental clarity and focus that ketosis brings, the game changes! This post walks you through one of the most important yet underrated mechanisms that makes ketosis so effective for people who have tried everything else to lose weight and failed to keep it off: appetite suppression. Ketosis works for weight loss in the short term, but that’s not why it’s so amazing. Short term weight loss is easy (I’ve lost at least 200 pounds of short term weight…because it always roared back on with a vengeance so I could lose it again!) When you look at keeping your weight off forever, ketosis provides a level of appetite suppression that is actually liberating. Ketosis helps you literally stop thinking about food all the time. Why Calorie Counting Is So Ineffective One of the reasons old-fashioned, calorie-restricted diets tend to fail is becau Continue reading >>
- OLIVES: This low-carb snack fights inflammation, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, and even helps you lose weight
- Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss: How Much Should You Lose?
- Type 2 diabetes breakthrough: Scientists create first pill that not only STOPS the condition in its tracks but also helps patients lose weight - and it could be available on the NHS within 3 years
The Biggest Loser Fail And That Ketogenic Study Success
This week, splashed all over the New York Times, was an article about a paper written by Kevin Hall, a senior researcher at the National Institutes of Health. It was published in Obesity and titled “Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after ‘The Biggest Loser competition“. This generated a lot of hand-wringing about the futility of weight loss. NYT: After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight The study, along with another study presented by Kevin Hall seemed to generate more anxiety about the insulin hypothesis being dead. Of course, both these studies fit in perfectly with the hormonal view of obesity and reinforces once again the futility of following the Caloric Reduction as Primary approach. You could review my 50ish part series on Hormonal Obesity if you want a more in-depth view. So, let’s dive in an explain the findings of both of Dr. Hall’s excellent papers. His conclusions, well, let’s just say I don’t agree with them. The studies, though, were very well done. The Biggest Loser Let’s start with the first paper about the Biggest Loser. Essentially, what it did was follow 14 of the 16 Biggest Loser contestants. At the end of the show, they had all lost significant amounts of weight following a Eat Less, Move More approach. Contestants eat about 1000 – 1200 calories per day and exercise like mad people. What the study showed is that basal metabolism drops like a piano out of the Empire State building. It plummets. They are burning about 800 calories less per day than previously. The new paper shows that this metabolic rate does not recover even 6 years later. In other words, if you reduce your ‘Calories In’, your ‘Calories Out’ will automatically drop. This makes sense. If your body normally eats 2000 calories Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
Most people have heard they should eat a low-carb diet for weight loss and/or better health, but the word “ketosis” might have some tilting their heads in confusion wondering what’s so special about this funny term. Don’t worry; we’ve got all the details you need to understand the process of ketosis in the body — and more importantly, how you can implement it in your own life! Before you can fully understand ketosis, let’s cover some simple facts about the body and energy. The primary source of energy in the body — which normally fuels every function of the body, from brain cognition to athletic performance — is glucose. You typically get glucose from your diet by eating carbohydrates like: sugar bread grains Beans and legumes fruit starchy vegetables These carbs either turn immediately into glucose in the body or are stored as glycogen in the body to be used as glucose later. However, sometimes the body will have a low supply of glucose, also known as blood sugar. This could be because a person is eating a low-carb diet. When there is no longer enough glucose for the body to use, it turns to an alternative source of energy: your fat stores. It takes the fat stores and the liver breaks them down to make glucose. And when this happens, elements known as ketones are formed as a byproduct of the process. There are three main types of ketone bodies that form in your body during when this happens: Acetate Acetoacetate Beta-hydroxybutryate (BHB) Once ketones are formed, your body can use them as alternative fuel. KETOSIS FOR WEIGHT LOSS Probably the most widely talked about use for ketosis right now is utilizing it for weight loss. In fact, the ketogenic diet is built around creating ketosis in the body. There are several benefits you can experience when you Continue reading >>
322: The Truth About “starvation Mode”, Does Ketosis Work For Crossfit, Measuring Hrv During Exercise & More!
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page. —————————————————– News Flashes: You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+. You should read this if you want to really wrap your head around the concept of “starvation mode” with weight loss. Interesting analysis of which teas do best at certain temperatures. —————————————————– Special Announcements: This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s Shaving. Harry’s high-quality German-engineered blades are crafted for sharpness and precision, at half the price of big name drugstore brands, with free shipping straight to your door. Just go to Harrys.com and get $5 off when you use discount code “ben”. Sep 23-24, 2015. Ben is speaking at the Biohackers Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now. New Greenfield Longevity Panels. Working closely with WellnessFX, America’s top laboratory for concierge blood testing and online access to all your blood testing results, Ben has developed the “Greenf Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
What Is Starvation Ketosis?
Starvation ketosis is a metabolic state in humans and many animals in which the body breaks down fat and produces acids known as ketones, then uses these as a primary energy source. The “starvation” part of the name owes to the fact that, in most cases, people only use ketones for energy when they aren’t getting adequate glucose from food. The body typically converts carbohydrates to glucose as a main source of energy, but once the liver has used all of its stored glucose it begins to metabolize fatty acids, forming ketone bodies. Malnutrition and fasting are two of the most common causes, but it can also be the result of conditions like diabetes, alcoholism, and a low carbohydrate diet. People sometimes intentionally trigger this state as a means of burning fat to lose weight, but whether this practice is safe or even advisable is widely disputed in the medical community. Ketones are capable of supplying energy to the body, but an abnormally high level can cause a number of problems, including organ damage, coma, and even death. Understanding Ketones The liver typically makes ketones in response to some sort of energy crisis in the body. People generally get the majority of their energy by synthesizing glucose, which is a sugar molecule found in carbohydrates like bread and grain products. When people aren’t getting enough glucose, the liver begins creating ketones that the body uses in combination with any fat stores it has on hand. Ketones in many ways prevent the body from robbing muscles of their core proteins. Starvation ketosis happens when these become the body’s primary source of energy. The condition can usually be identified by looking for excesses. The body gets rid of unneeded supplies by spilling them out through exhalations, urine, and sweat. Wh Continue reading >>
What You Should Know About “starvation Mode”
“Starvation mode:” it’s the boogeyman of diets everywhere, but it’s hard to know what to say about it when the people worrying about it can’t agree on a definition! Whether or not any such thing as “starvation mode” actually exists depends on what you mean by the term. What Is “Starvation Mode?” The basic idea of “starvation mode” is that your body can tell when it’s not getting enough calories, assumes there’s a famine going on, and pulls out all the stops to prevent any further weight loss. It’s not controversial at all that weight loss causes metabolic adaptation (more on this below). But the big question is: does starvation mode completely stop weight loss, or just make it increasingly difficult? Can/does it actually cause weight gain? The answers to those questions are the difference between “starvation mode” as scare-tactic nonsense and “starvation mode” as a serious problem. Metabolic (and Other) Adaptation to Weight Loss It’s objectively that if you reduce calories enough to lose weight (whether or not you’re counting them, which is a completely different question), your whole body will adapt in ways that resist weight loss. Body temperature drops (so you can burn fewer calories to keep yourself warm); levels of thyroid hormone drop; levels of other hormones like leptin and ghrelin change. If you want to read all about it, you can do it here. This is a survival mechanism. You can reduce the damage, but it’s impossible to avoid completely, and you can’t cheat it with hot peppers or green tea or anything else. The only way to avoid it is to never reduce calories below the level needed to maintain your weight. The adaptation is not just because calorie restriction causes weight loss, and a smaller body takes less energy t Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis, And Is It Healthy?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. It involves the body producing ketone bodies out of fat, and using them for energy instead of carbs. You can get into ketosis by following a very low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet (1). In addition to fast weight loss, ketosis may have several health benefits, such as reduced seizures in epileptic children (2). Ketosis is quite complex, but this article explains what it is and how it can benefit you. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which fat provides most of the fuel for the body. It occurs when there is limited access to glucose (blood sugar), which is the preferred fuel source for many cells in the body. Ketosis is most often associated with ketogenic and very low-carb diets. It also happens during pregnancy, infancy, fasting and starvation (3, 4, 5, 6). To go into ketosis, people generally need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day and sometimes as little as 20 grams per day. This requires removing certain food items from your diet, such as grains, candy and sugary soft drinks. You also have to cut back on legumes, potatoes and fruit. When eating a very low-carb diet, levels of the hormone insulin go down and fatty acids are released from body fat stores in large amounts. Many of these fatty acids are transferred to the liver, where they are oxidized and turned into ketones (or ketone bodies). These molecules can provide energy for the body. Unlike fatty acids, ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy for the brain in the absence of glucose. Ketosis is a metabolic state where ketones become the main sources of energy for the body and brain. This happens when carb intake and insulin levels are very low. It's a common misunderstanding that the brain doesn't function without dietary carbs. It's true that glu Continue reading >>
Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same
There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstandings lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50 grams of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person in a state of “nutritional ketosis” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of “diabetic ketoacidosis” (DKA) and lastly, there are “starvation ketones” and “illness-induced ketones” The fact is they are very different. DKA is a dangerous state of ketosis that can easily land a diabetic in the hospital and is life-threatening. Meanwhile, “nutritional ketosis” is the result of a nutritional approach that both non-diabetics and diabetics can safely achieve through low-carb nutrition. Diabetic Ketoacidosis vs. Nutritional Ketosis Ryan Attar (soon to be Ryan Attar, ND) helps explain the science and actual human physiology behind these different types of ketone production. Ryan is currently studying to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Connecticut and also pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition. He has interned under the supervision of the very well-known diabetes doc, Dr. Bernstein. Ryan explains: Diabetic Ketoacidosis: “Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), is a very dangerous state where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is effectively starving due to lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into our cells and without it the body switches to ketones. Our brain can function off either glucose or fat and ketones. Ketones are a breakdown of fat and amino acids that can travel through the blood to various tissues to be utilized for fuel.” “In normal individuals, or those with well controlled diabetes, insulin acts to cancel the feedback loop and slow and sto Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. 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 provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>