Is Constant Ketosis Necessary – Or Even Desirable?
162 Comments Good morning, folks. With next week’s The Keto Reset Diet release, I’ve got keto on the mind today—unsurprisingly. I’ve had a lot of questions lately on duration. As I’ve mentioned before, a good six weeks of ketosis puts in place all the metabolic machinery for lasting adaptation (those extra mitochondria don’t evaporate if/when you return to traditional Primal eating). But what about the other end of the issue? How long is too long? I don’t do this often, but today I’m reposting an article from a couple of years ago on this very topic. I’ve added a few thoughts based on my recent experience. See what you think, and be sure to share any lingering questions on the question of keto timing and process. I’ll be happy to answer them in upcoming posts and Dear Mark columns. Every day I get links to interesting papers. It’s hard not to when thousands of new studies are published every day and thousands of readers deliver the best ones to my inbox. And while I enjoy thumbing through the links simply for curiosity’s sake, they can also seed new ideas that lead to research rabbit holes and full-fledged posts. It’s probably the favorite part of my day: research and synthesis and the gestation of future blogs. The hard part is collecting, collating, and then transcribing the ideas swirling around inside my brain into readable prose and hopefully getting an article out of it that I can share with you. A while back I briefly mentioned a paper concerning a ketone metabolite known as beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB, and its ability to block the activity of a set of inflammatory genes. This particular set of genes, known as the NLRP3 inflammasome, has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and age-related macular d Continue reading >>
7 Days On The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is essentially the Atkins diet of the 2010s. Super popular, almost impossible to maintain long-term, and wildly effective for weight loss (per anecdotal reports as well as scientific research). What is the ketogenic diet? Your goal on a “keto” diet is to get at least 70% of calories from fat, no more than 25% of calories from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrate. For most people, that means restricting your carb intake to below 50 grams a day. The diet first started as a treatment to decrease seizures in children with uncontrolled epilepsy. The body and brain is forced to get energy from fat instead of carbs, which produces ketones in our body that then fuel our cells. Reports as far back as the 1920’s show that when epileptic children switched to a strict all-fat diet, their brain adapted its fuel source and less seizures occurred. If the brain of someone with epilepsy could benefit from running off of ketones, could your average Joe also get some kind of benefit? Of course researchers had this same question and since the 1960’s there has been evidence that a ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss and improving insulin resistance. Emerging data also suggests a neurological advantage as well as an anti-cancer effect. Please note, I’m saying evidence exists. That doesn’t mean the verdict is in and that doesn’t mean that the ketogenic diet won’t have negative effects elsewhere. What do you eat? It’s easier to start with what you DON’T eat. No bread, fruit, starchy vegetables (like potatoes or corn), cookies, candy, ice cream, pizza, sandwiches, rice, quinoa, cereal, oatmeal, waffles, smoothies, beer, protein bars… basically, most food is off limits. That leaves us with full fat dairy (cheese, plain yogurt, butter), greens Continue reading >>
How To Use (and Not To Use) Exogenous Ketones For Weight Loss
“How do I use ketones to help me lose weight?” Great question. It’s worth the few minutes to understand how exogenous ketones can help people lose weight on a ketogenic diet, and not just jump to the conclusion that ketones = weight loss. Breaking Down Ketone Weight Loss Misconceptions The most common misconception (perhaps due to excessive marketing claims) is that taking ketone supplements will induce immediate weight loss. The purpose of this article is to explain how to use ketones as a piece of the puzzle in your weight loss lifestyle. Remember exogenous ketones are supplements. Very effective at what they do, but none the less, should be supplementary to a low carb/ketogenic style of eating that is geared towards weight loss (if weight loss is the goal). Ketones don’t cause weight loss, they help cause ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body is using fatty acids for its primary source of energy. Just because you are using fat does not necessarily mean you are going to be losing weight or have a decrease in body fat percentage over an extended period of time. I have been in deep nutritional ketosis (>3.0mmol/dL) and had an increase in body fat percentage. I’ve also been in deep nutritional ketosis and had a decrease in body fat percentage. It all depends on how much fat and protein you are eating, in addition to being below a carb threshold that will induce ketosis. Please don’t take this to mean starve yourself. It just means that the average male American has over 40,000 calories in stored body fat and can, therefore, afford to eat a lower calorie ketogenic diet, and still survive (and thrive!). Take home message: Exogenous ketones are a tool to get you into ketosis or to boost your energy levels while already in ketosis. If your motive Continue reading >>
What Is The Keto Flu Or Low Carb Flu And What To Do About It?
Keto flu symptoms, mitigation and getting over excess carbohydrates Any major dietary or lifestyle change has the potential to cause discomfort or lets face it, even mess you up for a bit. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘flu’. It’s the most common time during which people will quit their dietary or lifestyle shift as many simply feel they are unable to function without significant carbohydrates and snacking throughout day. Here we’ll discuss the major downside to starting a ketogenic diet or a low carb one, and how to minimize the discomfort often accompanying this adaptation period. Like most people you’ve probably spent 20 – 60 years feeding your body a significant amount of carbohydrates and much of them from poorly chosen overly processed sources. Your cells, organs, central nervous system and brain have all adapted to it through hormonal and metabolic responses normally running in the background. Switching fuel sources, like eating less carbs and more fat, is likely to throw your body and brain for a loop. To be clear, the “keto flu” label is a bit of a misnomer. It’s more akin to carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms resulting from a shifting hormonal states and imbalanced electrolyte adjustments that are along for the ride. Regardless, this buzz term is in the general consciousness now so we might as well keep using it for now. Before diving into the details, keep in mind that the following four books should teach you nearly everything you need to know about low carb and ketogenic diets, including how to handle the keto flu. The rest of the relevant science is dispersed amongst hundreds if not thousands of papers only a search away on PubMed. If you want to ask questions about it or be part of our community please visit Ask BreakNutrition. Sympto Continue reading >>
The Only Diet You Should Ever Consider (ketogenic Diet)
You are what you eat. If you feel like shit – that’s because you eat like shit. Lately (last 3-4 months) I’ve been running several experiments to find a diet on which I can perform optimally. I’m a big believer that health is one of the key ingredients for a better life; If your nutrition is in order, you’ll have more energy. If you have more energy, your brain functions better. If your brain functions better, you make better choices. Your life quality is the product of your choices. Better input, better output. Simple, right? There’s a lot of conflicting opinions on this topic, but I’ve finally settled on a diet that seems to work great. In this article I’ll go in-depth on the ketogenic diet. I’m convinced that a diet, high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates is optimal for (almost) anyone. If the whole world would switch to this diet, we’d see a dramatic decline in health expenses globally (+-500B/year) I’ll also be using a Color code in this article, like so: Difficult words that make me feel smart That will be all. —————————————————- What Is A Ketogenic Diet? A ketogenic diet is a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein and low (or no) carbs. It’s based on the premise that humans were never designed to eat so much damn carbs. In the paleolithic era, carbohydrates were only available seasonally. To supply food for a constantly growing population, we’ve turned to (cheaper) mass production of corn, wheat, soy and other modified crops (crap(s)). This hasn’t only degraded the quality of grains but also the amount it represents in our diet. Literally turning the food pyramid upside-down since agriculture became the established norm. Grains are cheaper to produce and maintain, compared to Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet: Does It Live Up To The Hype? The Pros, The Cons, And The Facts About This Not-so-new Diet Craze.
If you believe the buzz, ketosis — whether via the almost-zero-carb ketogenic diet or via ketone supplements— can curb appetite, enhance performance, and cure nearly any health problem that ails you. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. Want to listen instead of read? Download the audio recording here… ++++ Wouldn’t it be awesome if butter and bacon were “health foods”? Maybe with a side of guacamole and some shredded cheese on top? “I’m doing this for my health,” you could purr virtuously, as you topped your delectably marbled, medium-rare steak with a fried egg. Well, many advocates of the ketogenic diet argue exactly that: By eating a lot of fat and close to zero carbohydrates you too can enjoy enhanced health, quality of life, performance, brain function, and abs you can grate that cheese on. So, in this article, we’ll explore: What are ketones, and what is ketosis? What, exactly, is a ketogenic diet? What evidence and scientific research supports the ketogenic diet? Do ketone supplements work? Is the ketogenic diet or ketone supplementation right for me? How to read this article If you’re just curious about ketogenic diets: Feel free to skim and learn whatever you like. If you want to change your body and/or health: You don’t need to know every detail. Just get the general idea. Check out our advice at the end. If you’re an athlete interested in performance: Pay special attention to the section on athletic performance. Check out our advice for athletes at the end. If you’re a fitness pro, or interested in geeking out with nutritional science: We’ve given you some “extra credit” material in sidebars throughout. Check out our advice for fitness pros at the end. It all started with the brain. If you’ve called Client Care at Pr Continue reading >>
The Top 10 Mistakes Low-carb Athletes Make And 5 Keto Recipes For Active People.
OK, here’s the deal – I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: an extremely high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is not for everyone. But since ketones are a preferred fuel for the heart and the diaphragm, and because a state of ketosis can give you extreme focus and cognitive performance during difficult mental tasks, a ketogenic diet can be extremely useful for endurance athletes like triathletes, distance swimmers, cyclists, marathoners, ultra-runners, etc. Problem is, there aren’t a ton of resources out there about how highly active people can actually get into a state of ketosis without… A) chugging coconut oil and MCT oil all day long, which (trust me, I’ve tried) gets boring really, really fast; or B) experiencing some pretty extreme nutrient deficiencies from a ketogenic diet gone wrong – nutrient deficiencies that really get magnified when you combine them with crazy high levels of physical activity. So in this article, author, triathlete, and ketogenic expert extraordinaire Patricia Daly is going to fill you in on how to do things the right way. Patricia just finished writing an amazing book called “Practical Keto Meal Plans For Endurance Athletes: Tips, Tricks And How To’s For Optimizing Performance Using A High Fat, Low Carb Meal Plan“, and she’s a wealth of information on this topic. Take it away, Patricia. ————————————– Maybe the title of this article scares you a little bit… …after all, if there’s so much that can “go wrong” with the ketogenic and low carb lifestyle, is it worth all the effort? Or do you think you will never “get there” and achieve nutritional ketosis because there seem to so many stumbling blocks in your way, like talk about thyroid damage, lack of energy or extreme dietary Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet: Is It Worth It?
It seems as though there’s always a new diet making waves in the fitness world. The Atkins Diet, the grapefruit diet, the South Beach Diet. It’s a neverending cycle of eat this, not that. But the only diets that really work are those that make an actual lifestyle change. Enter the Keto Diet. This is a way of eating that is really gaining steam … and for many, it’s one that works wonders. But what’s the deal? Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Take a look at the details involving this diet to determine whether it’s right for you. What is Keto? To be extremely short and basic, the Keto Diet involves drastically cutting carbohydrates and sticking to proteins and healthy fats. Proponents of this way of eating strive to put their body into ketosis. This happens when the body is starving for carbs, and turns to your fat reserves for energy. You may find that this eating plan involves mostly fats -- nuts, avocado, etc. -- and absolutely zero breads or heavy starches. What Are the Advantages? Those who partake in this way of eating claim many incredible benefits to the body and mind. The first and most often touted is that of weight loss. When people finally enter ketosis, they often find the weight practically falls off of their bodies. Other benefits that many report include: clear skin, enhanced focus, lower blood pressure, level blood sugar, a reduction in hunger pangs, and a boost in energy. The positive side effects, according to proponents of the diet, are endless. What Are the Dangers? Before you jump head first into this way of life, it’s important to know that it comes with its own set of risks. First, ketosis can be dangerous. Many experts suggest that a body should not constantly be in a state of ketosis. Others suggest that anyone at risk -- pregnant Continue reading >>
Is Keto Worth It?
If you’ve found this article, chances are you’ve found a little bit out about the ketogenic diet, and you’ve discovered that it’s gonna take a fair bit of effort and a pretty large change of habits. However you’ve also read about all the benefits that you can gain from being in ketosis…. as long as you stick with it, without cheating (not once), and are prepared to wait for the results. Sure there’s many people who drop weight like crazy and suddenly have glowing skin and energy that just won’t quit. But then there are others who go through the keto-flu, have to lie on the couch stuffing butter in their mouths and end up giving up after 2 weeks because they haven’t suddenly turned into their 18 year old self. So. That begs the question… Is keto-adaptation worth fighting for? Well, if there’s one thing for sure… anyone who sticks at the ketogenic diet reaps the rewards. Whether it’s in a few days or a few months, you can seriously turn your entire life around by making the changes that are required to bring about a state of nutritional ketosis. But here’s the thing. If you’ve spent a good many years eating high carb and/or stuffing crap into your body, it’s going to take time for your body to adjust and to heal. Because that’s what it’s really about – giving your body a chance to heal. Yes, yes I know you want to lose weight (and lose it fast), and yes that may be exactly what happens for you when you begin eating keto. It’s what a lot of people experience after all. But don’t be discouraged if the weight doesn’t just drop off. If you find yourself in this situation, what it means is your body is using all those extra nutrients and fatty goodness to heal first. Because that is always your body’s first priority. And although i Continue reading >>
Keto Os Review
Created by Prüvit, Keto OS, which stands for Ketone Operating System, is a “revolutionary drink mix based on a proprietary ketone energy technology. It delivers advanced macro nutritionals and promotes optimized cellular regeneration, energy and longevity.”  Also known as the keto diet, KETO OS is a line of supplements that promise to turbocharge your metabolism and send your body into ketosis without resorting to the draconian no-carb, all-fat diet. The History of Ketones Known for centuries, it wasn’t until a hundred years ago that ketones (Beta-hydroxybutyrate) were used to treat seizures in kids with epilepsy. A “neuroprotective effect” was produced, which calms the nervous system. Soon researchers were exploring an expanded use of ketones to help with mental, emotional and cognitive health, according to Prüvit spokesperson Andra “Dr. Andy” Campitelli , a naturopathic doctor. She says ketone use was expanded as a tool to enhance athletic performance. Ketones result when the body burns fat for fuel.  Prüvit on Better Business Bureau There are two Prüvit profiles on the Better Business Bureau site, one in Indiana and one in Texas. Both sell Prüvit products, but have no website link. The Texas profile has an F rating, mostly for lack of response to customer complaints about return issues. The Indiana profile has an A rating, but no reviews or complaints, and it’s only been open a year. Neither profile lists the CEO the same as the website. There is no phone contact on either the Prüvit website or the Texas BBB profile, only an “Ask a Question” form that goes via email. The Indiana profile does have a phone number: (812) 631-4282.    What Keto OS Does? So Prüvit claims Keto OS supplementation helps shed fat, build a better body Continue reading >>
Being Fat Adapted Versus "in Ketosis" (pt.1/3)
UPDATE!! (9/20/2017) I have a new post that explains how and why the body produces ketones, It will help you understand much better the difference between burning fat and having a fat-based metabolism, versus being "in ketosis." It's very long, but I think it's worth reading if you'd really like to understand this -- and if you want to stop freaking out about your ketone levels. (If you click over to that post and want to read only the section that explains the difference between ketosis and running on fat, scroll way down to where it says Ketogenesis: How and Why Do We Make Ketones? Also: Fat Adaptation versus Ketosis.) Happy reading! If I never hear or read those six words, in that order, ever again, I’ll be one happy individual. Based on what I come across on low-carb forums, blogs, and videos, there is a lot of confusion about the correct use of urine ketone test strips (which I’ll sometimes refer to as ketostix, since “ketone test strips” is a mouthful, even when you’re only reading). So allow me to ‘splain a little bit about how to interpret these things, and what role they should play—if any—in your low-carb life. First and foremost is the most important thing you will read in today’s post. (And it is so important that I will likely repeat it in all the posts to follow in this little series. Plus, you can tell it’s important because it’s red, bold, in italics, and all caps, hehheh.) You can be in ketosis and not lose body fat, and you can lose body fat without being in ketosis. Here is an exhaustive, comprehensive list of everything urine ketone test strips tell you: There is acetoacetate in your urine. That’s it. Nothing more. Nada más. Game over. Finito. The fat lady has sung, and Elvis has left the building. Your worth as a human being Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet: Is It Worth It?
If you keep even a toe dipped in the waters of social media or the internet at large, you have most likely heard someone singing the praises of the ketogenic diet in recent times. At first glance, it’s obvious why. Many people report impressive fat loss when following the diet and it doesn’t take a nutrition degree to observe that the average human eats too many carbohydrates and are overweight or obese. On the face of it, something that is based around moderate protein intake and minimal carbohydrate consumption sounds like a winner for body composition. I have used variations of the ketogenic diet for varying amounts of time with every kind of person from those wanting to look hot to people with bad health problems. My intention is not to blindly support or dismiss any method because, as with many things in fitness the real answer is ‘it depends’. The ketogenic diet is not without its downsides and is often altered and tweaked to the point it’s no longer a ketogenic diet. As you will see, my personal opinion is that a strict, standard ketogenic diet can be useful for 4-6 weeks for rapid fat loss, improving eating habits and fast changes to important health markers. However, it is not physiologically possible to sustain intense, anaerobic exercise on a ketogenic diet as it cannot be fuelled by fat or ketones. Simply from a performance perspective alone, a standard ketogenic diet cannot support intense training which should be the backbone of any long-term training plan whether the objective is sports performance or just looking better. The reality is that there is little evidence that a standard ketogenic diet out performs any other well structure diet based on natural food and calorie control when comparing FAT LOSS over months or years. Initial WEIGHT LOSS Continue reading >>
Keto Diet Craze Is Difficult But Worth It
As health concerns become increasingly prevalent, the ketogenic diet, also known as “keto,” is becoming a new health trend in the United States. The science behind keto, which is a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet, is that carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose and then are transported around the body as a fueling source. But, if there is only a small amount of carbohydrates in the diet, the liver converts fat into acids and ketones, and those are used instead of glucose as an energy source. “We use it a lot,” Dee Harris said, who is a nutritionist and dietician for D-Signed Nutrition in Fort Myers. “Keto is great for neurological conditions such as epilepsy. We have had many experiences where keto has shown to promote brain health.” According to Harris, sending ketones to the brain rather than glucose creates more nerve synapses in the brain, which can have positive effects such as memory retention. The potential benefits of a ketogenic diet don’t stop at neurological improvement. A lot of athletes are using it. According to Harris, athletes that burn fat versus carbohydrates allow themselves to burn a lot more calories. The ketones in the body rather than glucose allow for higher levels of energy to be sustained for a longer period of time. However, for the average everyday citizen, partaking in a ketogenic diet is not the simplest process. It’s a strict diet, even requiring a daily intake of some unfamiliar fuels such as coconut oil. According to Harris, coconut or MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil is necessary on a ketogenic diet to have the energy to get a person through the day. “A lot of people do it incorrectly,” Harris said. “It’s a tough diet to sustain because carbohydrates are in a lot of food we are so used to e Continue reading >>
Ketosis: Worth It?
Ketosis, or “keto”, is the big thing right now. The dieting hemispheres go through different phases – low fat, carb cycling, ketosis, a plethora of cleanses, “gluten-free” – and at the moment, ketosis seems to be the king of the crop in fitness circles. BHB salts (ketone salts) are huge in the supplement game right now as well, with companies such as Granite Supplements, Giant Sports, and MPA Supps all coming out with and industry-leading and innovative ketone salt supplements to assist with getting you into and maintaining a ketogenic state. That being said, there are a few things that need to be addressed. Is ketosis a worthwhile metabolic state for performance, muscle gain, or fat loss? Is your diet even conducive to inducing a ketogenic state? Is the rigidity of the diet worth the results? Ketosis is Not Necessarily Conducive to High-Intensity Performance As an athlete, when one weighs the cons and pros of hopping head-first into keto, one must factor in the diet’s performance impact. A 2014 study of cyclists aged 28-32 years, who competed in off-road cycling with a training experience of at least 5 years and a minimal VO2max of 55 mL/kg/min, led to a simple conclusion. Though ketosis did indeed increase long-term endurance (based upon sessions that lasted roughly two hours), it also drastically decreased short-term high intensity performance. The ketosis-tuned (keto-adapated) athletes also experienced a significantly lower level of muscle damage from lactic acid, leading to more rapid recovery between sessions. Each athlete must consider their performance goals – strength and explosiveness athletes would be better of utilizing a traditional dieting method that incorporates an adequate amount of carbohydrates, while endurance athletes would fare quit Continue reading >>
What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis
Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>