Ketogenic Diet For Beginners
I was always an obese kid. One that would eat and drink the same things as my friends, but gain 10 lbs while they somehow stayed young and slim. Things were this way for many years, then one day I’d finally had enough - I was going to start eating healthy and lose weight. I thought I’d do this with the typical diet and exercise that everybody was preaching, but no matter how much I ran or how little I ate - the scale would never budge. Okay, I shouldn’t say never, because there were some times where it’d go down a little bit.. But like every other crash diet, it’d find its way back within a matter of weeks. This cycle continued until my early 20’s and right when I was about to give up, I came across a new diet. One that didn’t force me to starve myself or run a marathon to lose a few pounds, and 4 years later... I can say the ketogenic diet has honestly changed my life. Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: How This Diet Changed My Life I’ll get into the details throughout this article, but I like to start with the good stuff first. The first thing I really noticed was how much fat I was losing. Within 4 weeks I could see a noticeable difference in my body, and it wasn’t just in my face, arms, or legs - I was starting to lose belly fat as well. That was huge for me as no matter what I did, this was an area that would never budge - even when I was crash dieting. And on top of that, I was actually working out less. I knew this diet was going to cause some energy issues in the first few weeks, so instead of doing my daily jog or gym workout - I was just walking for an hour a day. In other words, things were going great... but I was still skeptical. I’d had a lot of quick success with every other diet I’d tried, but as I mentioned earlier, the weight always fo Continue reading >>
The Targeted Ketogenic Diet
By now, almost everyone knows about keto, unless you’ve been living under a nutritional rock. Paleo and low carb eating approaches have become widely popular and are just beginning to ramp up. What you’ve probably not heard of is the targeted ketogenic diet. The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is a low carb diet that restricts the daily consumption of carbohydrates to less than 30-50 grams a day. As a result, your body will eventually shift into a state of nutritional ketosis, in which your metabolism has shifted from burning glucose as the primary fuel source to using ketones. Ketosis occurs either after about 2-4 days of fasting or by following a well-formulated ketogenic diet for 2-4 weeks. The targeted ketogenic Diet (TKD) is an advanced variation of SKD used to boost your physical performance exponentially. In a nutshell, you consume only a minute amount of carbohydrates 15-30 minutes before or intra-workout. There hasn’t been much research about this, but people on SKD have reported increased performance levels when they consume a bit of carbs prior to their more strenuous workouts. The reason might be that raising blood sugar to normal levels helps towards better muscle fiber recruitment and prevents fatigue. Now, how is this supposed to work? Is this even ketogenic? The answer is yes. When you’re not training, you’re still eating as if on a standard ketogenic diet. The only exception is that, once you start to train hard, you strategically use a very small dose of carbs to boost your performance and promote muscle glycogen re-synthesis. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be eating a meal full of carbohydrates. Instead, you use sugar as an ergonomic aid and as an exogenous substance. During intense exercise, you begin to use more glycogen for fuel and decr Continue reading >>
Ketosis: Twenty Mile Run, No Carbs, And No Bonks!!!
It was AWESOME!!! I just ran my first long run, 20 miles, while in ketosis and I didn’t Bonk! or even come close. OMG – I was laughing about it the whole time. It still amazes me, only a few months ago, I would have taken 7-8 gels and would have had some kind of fancy drink in my bottles. It definitely wasn’t my fastest time, but it wasn’t that slow. I averaged a 10:15 pace with a few hills here and there – 1,474 feet of gain. The trail is fairly groomed, maybe a typical Colorado technical trail. On top of that, the day was beautiful and there were tons of other runners. I crossed paths a number of times with the same runners One was definitely an ultra runner and the others were just out for a 3+ hour jog; it’s Colorado. HILLS: I still feel heavy in the legs on the hills and out of breath compared to pre–ketosis runs. I am not in the best of shape, but it is not the same feeling – a bit weird. Hills have always been my thing and now it seems to be my weakness. I hope after I am fully “ketosis adapted,” I will attack them like I used to. FOOD: As I recall, I only had a double shot espresso for breakfast prior to the run. During, I drank lots of water – about 60oz over the 3.5 hours, but ate absolutely nothing. The day before I stopped eating at 8pm, consuming only 1,680 calories with 31 Net Carbs. I was very satisfied all day, just a little low on the veggies. This brings up the fact that I am never hungry anymore and almost have to force myself to eat. It is like a dieters dream. Lately, I have been treating myself to a sundae providing I keep my carbs low all day, Breyers Low Carb Ice Cream, two table spoons of healthy peanut butter, and a serving of Spanish peanuts. It is the bomb! The ice cream has sugar alcohols and I have heard a lot of bad t Continue reading >>
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Before we get to what keto foods you can eat and share with you several 4-week ketogenic meal plans, we need to answer a number of questions, not the least of which is what exactly is a keto diet? To put things in perspective, the modern American diet consists of a macronutrient breakdown of 60% carbs, 25% fat, and 15% protein. A typical keto diet, on the other hand, has a ratio of just 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. So yes, a ketogenic diet is very low in carbs. However, calling it a low-carb diet is like calling the Sahara a low-moisture environment. Kinda undersells the extreme nature of it. Eat Fat to Lose Fat With so few carbohydrates available for normal glucose metabolism, a ketogenic diet pushes your body into a state of ketosis, where it switches from using carbs for energy to burning your body’s fat reserves for fuel. So you get rid of unwanted fat and in return get an energy boost! What’s not to like? Total vs Net Carbs Limiting your carbohydrate intake to just 5% of your daily calories is no easy task. For sure. That’s just 25 grams of carbs per day for the recommended average 2000 calorie diet for women (carbs have 4 calories per gram). And it’s just 31 grams for the average 2500 calorie diet for men. However, most people following a ketogenic diet don’t concern themselves with total carbs; they count net carbs instead. Why? Because dietary fiber represents the non-digestible carbohydrates in your food. Just like that coin that drops straight through to the change tray in the vending machine, it doesn’t register. And if it doesn’t register it doesn’t count! But what are you doing getting your food from a vending machine anyway?! Calculating Net Carbs So net carbs are simply the total carbs minus dietary fiber. So with this food label yo Continue reading >>
Nutrition – Are Low Carb Diets Good For Running?
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. A terrible expression, isn’t it? I’ve had cats as pets all my life and the phrase is particularly abhorrent to me. However it’s very apropos at the moment, because what I am about to tell you flies directly in the face of conventional wisdom about nutrition. It’s a subject near and dear to my heart, so I think it’s worth discussing. Now, I will add the caveat that I am not a nutrition expert by any means, but these are simply some things I have observed in myself and others. Conventional nutritional advice suggests that we fuel our runs with carbohydrates. There is, in fact, a bajillion dollar industry based on this idea, with sports drinks, gels, bars, and jellybeans full of carbohydrates out there on the market. For really long runs, the typical advice is to carbo-load starting several days in advance, but even for a 5k, the idea is to take in some easily accessible carbs prior to your run. Let’s consider why this is. Our bodies store energy in two forms: fat and glycogen. Glycogen is a form of glucose stored in the muscles and the liver, but it can only be stored in limited quantities. It is easily accessible energy for intense exercise. Fat is, well, fat and it can be stored in virtually unlimited quantities in the body. It is a more efficient source of stored energy, but it is also harder for the body to turn fat into energy. Your body will first use up your glycogen stores and then move on to turning fat into energy. So the accepted wisdom says that before runs and races, consuming carbohydrates will top up your glycogen stores and give you more energy. This is where I am going to turn that wisdom on its head. I am a diabetic, and the kind of carbo-loading that is recommended, where the runner starts increasin Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Before And After – Transformation
We all know that being on a diet is not an easy task in the world, especially if you don’t know what should eat. So, it should be a challenging thing to follow a healthy low-carb diet to get into the desired shape. If you’re new to the low-carb diet, then you should meet a lot of difficulties in following a proper diet. Many people who met failure in their diet move on to the low-carb diet plan. If you’re one of them have decided to follow a low carb diet plan, then this section is really for you people. The low-carb diet is a very effective plan and as well as works well scientifically. This is the reason why most of the people prefer to follow this one. But, some people met failure in their results even though they’re having low carb diet foods. So, it is very important to know what low carb diet is and what to eat on the diet. However, the approach of the diet is very simple and it’s not only recommending eating low carb items, but also focusing on having real foods too. In this section, we’re going to know about keto diet in a detailed manner with foods to eat on a keto diet and before and after results of the diet. What is keto diet? The keto diet is called as low carb diet, which produces ketones in the liver. When you follow a keto diet, the ketones are produced in the liver and it uses calories as energy. On the other hand, it is also called as the ketogenic diet, low carb high fat, low carb diet and like more. The main concept of a keto diet is reducing the glucose and insulin in the body. In order to reduce the level of glucose and insulin, you need to have low carb foods items. This is because when you consume high carb food items, your body will produce a high amount of glucose and insulin. You know, glucose is the easiest molecule and your body Continue reading >>
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The One Thing You Didn't Know About The Ketogenic Diet
In with the avocados, out with the carbs—that's what the ketogenic diet is all about. By eating a diet high in healthy fats, the idea is to reach a state of ketosis, meaning the body is no longer using glucose for energy. So it turns to stored fats and breaks those down instead. In addition to weight loss and improved energy, research shows that going keto may be an effective way to reduce chronic pain, making it nature's pain reliever. While we're well-versed in what to eat while on the ketogenic diet—grass-fed butter, pasteurized eggs, coconut oil, fish, nuts, and vegetables—whether a high-fat diet lends itself to CrossFit or light jogging isn't as clear. We decided to get to the bottom of how you should exercise while on the ketogenic diet. Here's what you should know. If you're a long-distance runner who tends to carbo-load before a big run, consider ditching the pasta and loading up on healthy fats instead. According to celebrity trainer Wes Okerson, the ketogenic diet is ideal for endurance sports. "There are a lot of triathletes who are pushing more toward having higher fat content or variables in their diet, and they're cutting out the idea of carb loading," he says. "They're doing 20- to 30-mile bike rides and getting three, four, even five hours of exercise per day. The keto lifestyle works really well for them." At first glance, the ketogenic diet may seem like a perfect fit for CrossFitters who are lifting massive amount of weight regularly. While the keto diet isn't necessarily bad for them, their workouts lend themselves to a slightly more carb-heavy diet. "Those people are going through their warm-up and doing some basic calisthenic work and working full-on max effort—they're going to need some carbs," says Wes. "They should have their carbs befor Continue reading >>
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Long-distance Running On A Low-carb, High-fat Diet
Humans are natural endurance athletes. While the concept of “carb loading,” or the use of sports drinks and gels in endurance events are increasingly popular, human physiology is perfectly set up to use fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. Olaf Sorensen, seen here in the blue shirt, is a 40-year-old long-distance runner who will be running a marathon soon. What’s unique about his upcoming endeavor is that, first, his goal for this event is to beat his grandfather’s Olympic qualifying time of 2 hours and 40 minutes. But what is particularly unique about Olaf’s plan is that he plans to accomplish this feat on a high-fat, extremely low-carb diet. He will essentially demonstrate to the world that being in a state of ketosis (burning fat as opposed to carbohydrates) is an extremely efficient human adaptation permitting long stretches of efficient physical activity. Olaf does a lot of his running either barefoot or with minimal footwear, again emulating our forebears. I really appreciated his instructions when we ran together. But while I’m definitely dialed in on the keto adaptation part of the story, I’ll likely stick with my running shoes. We will be following Olaf’s progress and will soon provide information about the movie being made about this incredible athlete. For more on applying this lifestyle, read my blog post on how to balance your intake of fat, protein, and carbs. UPDATE: In May 2017 I had the chance to catch up with Olaf and see how he’s doing. Read Next Continue reading >>
What Is A Keto Diet? Can I Still Enjoy A Treat?
What is keto? What is ketosis? What has any of this to do with candy? All right, readers. We shall take a step back from hearing hilarious stories about my first bouts of candy-making, and turn our attention to Curly Girlz’ Keto-Friendly Candies (aka the Sugar Free line). This will be a series of posts, so stay tuned until the very end! This first section will talk about what a keto diet is, and where it gets its name from. It seems almost everyone is talking about “keto” these days. The first time I heard the word, I thought it was some sort of exercise stretch, falling somewhere between yoga and jogging. Needless to say, that’s not correct. So, let’s start this series at the beginning—a very good place to start—by asking, just what is a ketogenic diet? For those of you who don’t already know, the ketogenic diet (affectionately known as “keto”) is a protein restricted, very low-carb diet specifically designed to result in ketosis. But what is ketosis? you may inquire. Well, ketosis is when the human liver produces ketones which are then used as the body’s fuel. The idea behind the ketogenic diet is that your body switches from using glucose as its fuel and starts using ketones instead. When you go on this “keto” diet, or this “Low Carb High Fat” diet, your insulin levels become very low and fat burning dramatically increases. In other words, your keto diet helps your body become its own fat burning machine! Not only that, but with our Sugar Free line, you can STILL have CANDY during a DIET. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Stay tuned for more information in our second post, where we’ll talk more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help heal your body! To learn more about keto, check out the Diet Doctor’s website at dietdoctor.com Continue reading >>
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 >>
High Intensity Exercise On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this post I will explore the theory behind a Ketogenic diet for endurance athletic performance, and tell you how I tested the idea for myself using both a Half-Marathon and 5k races as performance markers. I will attempt to answer the following questions: What is a Ketogenic diet? Why might a Ketogenic diet enhance endurance performance? Will a ketogenic diet work for high intensity performance such as a 5k? What are the downsides of a ketogenic diet? In their book, The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance, Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney claim that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for endurance sports performance. The idea behind a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet is this: teach the body to use fat as fuel by restricting carbs. By starving the body of carbs, the liver will generate ketones to act as a fuel in place of glucose. Ketones can act in place of glucose as a fuel for the body, especially the brain, which can only run on glucose or ketones. One advantage of ketones is that they don’t require an active transporter to cross cell membranes; they can easily diffuse to body tissues for energy. They’ve also been shown to treat epilepsy, increase mental focus, slow the onset of Alzheimer’s, help heart attack patients recover faster, and maybe even prevent bonking in a long distance running event. Advocates of this type of diet point out that it’s probably a much more natural way to eat, since in an ancestral environment, carbs were scarce. Fruit was much smaller and less sugary and grains have only been around in large quantities for around 10,000 years. For much of human history the theory goes, we existed in a state of ketosis, sometimes going days without food, and living off stored body fat and ketones generated from fat stores. If you are new to the Continue reading >>
Can I Exercise While On A Ketogenic Diet?
One of the most common questions I’ve noticed, in regards to keto, is whether exercise is needed for results. Having done both, I wanted to share my experience with exercising while on a keto diet. Do you need exercise to lose weight while in ketosis? If you’re like me, chances are you haven’t worked up a good sweat in ages. At my heaviest, I could only dream about running around without having to instantly catch my breath. The thought of any form of exercise was intimidating. Technically, weight loss is all about burning more calories than you consume. So to answer this question, no, you don’t need to exercise to lose weight. Keto can help you feel full longer (fat being more satiating than carbohydrates, it can help you manage your cravings and stick to a more strict caloric deficit. While the majority of weight loss comes from sticking to a solid diet, exercise can aid in the journey. Not only will it help speed up the process, but you will notice tons of other benefits. Why should you exercise on Keto? Enter ketosis faster One of the questions I get asked a lot is: Will working out help me get into ketosis faster? Being in ketosis means your body enters a state in which your body does not have enough glucose (glycogen) to burn for fuel and begins using fat as a source of energy. By exercising, you expend more energy and burn through your glycogen stores at a faster rate, allowing your body to achieve ketosis at a faster pace. Fill out and tighten loose skin If you have a ton of weight to lose (50lb+), chances are your skin has stretched out while putting on those pounds. It will take some time for your skin to readjust, but you can help reduce the loose skin issue by filling out your body with muscle mass. Increase your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) Continue reading >>
The Beginner’s Guide To The Ketogenic Diet
I just need to clear my mind. I want to be a better friend. Better wife. Better person. I want to be healthier. There are a million reasons we run, and if you asked us to list just one, we would be hard pressed. But when we run through the litany of “whys,” one particular reason tends to resonate with all of us. It has something to do with looking good in our jeans. But, somewhere along the road we lose our way. As we wrestle the need to balance time spent running with time spent eating, we turn to fast and filling food to curb our craving for energy. And as we grow into long distance runners, those long miles command servings upon servings of high-calorie sugar bombs to keep muscles stocked with glycogen to fend off the infamous “wall.” But what if there was a different way? What if there was a way to run for hours without running on empty, avoiding a need to refuel every 45 minutes, and—perhaps even more importantly—nudge those stubborn fat stores to finally turn into fuel rather than weighing you down? Recent research and a new way of eating known as the ketogenic diet suggests there is. Ketosis? Is that a new chew? Your running buddies, family and even your doctor may already be talking about the ketogenic diet—a high-fat, moderate protein and very low-carb way of eating. While it’s been around for close to a century, the ketogenic diet is rapidly gaining a following in both athletic and medical settings, and is making its way to the top of Google’s most searched diet terms. Not that long ago, saying the word “ketosis” in conversation was only going to get you puzzled stares. The keto diet relies on fat as fuel, requires enough protein to meet daily needs for health and activity, and severely limits carbohydrate intake. Typically, on a carb-bas Continue reading >>
Mythbusting: Training On A Keto Diet
There’s a number of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation floating around that are confusing a lot of people about the ketogenic diet. They’re teaching that when you’re training, whether for strength or for endurance, that carbohydrates are necessary in order to get the best results. This is not true, and I’ll tell you why. You Need Carbs To Build Muscle People that tell you this don’t understand how muscle building really works – it’s entirely possible to be gaining muscle mass while on keto. In a simple way, the 3 easy steps to build muscle are: Eating enough protein – For mass building between 1.0 – 1.2g / pound of LEAN body mass. Eating a calorie surplus – You can’t build muscle without eating more calories than you need, and these come from fats in a ketogenic diet. Training correctly – You need to promote hypertrophy in your muscles. Are carbs good for building muscle? Of course they are – they promote insulin release and help restore glycogen in the muscles. With carbs you gain mass quicker, but that’s because you’re also gaining fat. What exactly is glycogen? It’s a molecule that our bodies use as energy. What exactly does glycogen do? Wikipedia explains it nicely: In humans, glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles, and functions as the secondary long-term energy storage (with the primary energy stores being fats held in adipose tissue). Muscle cell glycogen appears to function as an immediate reserve source of available glucose for muscle cells. Other cells that contain small amounts use it locally as well. As you can see, glycogen is being used as a secondary source of energy, where fats are being used over it. Once your body has become adapted to using fats (you’re in ketosis), then Continue reading >>
How To Become A Keto Runner
There has been a lot in the press recently about a ‘controversial’ book by running supremo Professor Tim Noakes called The Real Meal Revolution. He is responsible for the training bible The Lore of Running and is a very experienced runner. After years of training on a high carbohydrate diet – carb loading before races and using carbs as a source of energy/fuel he had become lethargic and no longer enjoyed running. He had also developed Type 2 diabetes. A shift in his thinking led to Tim adopting a Low Carb/High Fat approach called the Banting Diet and went from ‘running like a 60-year-old to running like a 40-year-old’. He was so inspired by it that he turned it into his Real Meal Revolution book. Years ago I used to run pretty much entirely fueled by carbs. For the first 20 minutes or so I would fly along and then slowly my energy would disappear (along with my sense of humour) and I would get progressively slower. When I was marathon training I needed to constantly pop jelly beans after an hour or so of running. My skin was bad, my digestive system was a mess and I began to resent how running made me feel. I no longer enjoyed it, it was a chore. NOW, in 2016 it is a completely different picture. When I run I sometimes have to stop myself….I feel like I could run forever…… I am not suggesting that a LCHF/Banting/Keto approach is for everyone, one size doesn’t fit all. BUT and it is a big BUT, if you try it and it works for you then it will change your life. If you are a new runner then now is the perfect time to start. If you are an experienced runner then you may have a bit of frustration becoming adapted to this new way of approaching fuel. Bear with it though and give it at least 6 weeks. Keto Runner – The Diet There is now plenty of Low Carb/Ket Continue reading >>