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Keto Doesn't Work For Me

The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

Here's what you need to know... Ketosis occurs when carbs are in such low quantities that your body relies almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. Ketogenic diets have about 70-75% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat and about 5% from carbohydrates. Ingesting protein above approximately .8 grams per pound is enough to kick you out of ketosis. Ketogenic diets improve body comp, but so does any diet that reduces calories from any source. There is no literature to support that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for promoting increases in muscle mass. Ketogenic diets affect performance negatively. Questions About Ketosis While the ketogenic diet has been used widely and rather effectively in some cases, there's still a lot of confusion about it. What exactly is a ketogenic diet? How does it differ from low carb dieting? Most importantly, at least for the T Nation demographic, is the question of whether ketogenic diets allow you to put on, or at least keep, muscle. Ketosis: What is it? 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. That sounds simple on the surface, but let's unpack that explanation a bit. To function, your body requires a substantial amount of energy in the form of ATP. So, let's just assume that the average person uses about 1,800 calories per day to create enough ATP to keep him alive (not including any physical activity). Now this is where it gets interesting. You have this thing in your skull called a brain. It uses about 400 or so calories per day and runs almost exclusively on glucose. (There's some evidence it can use small amounts of fat and lactate, but in the big picture it's not Continue reading >>

Most People Shouldn't Attempt Low-carb Diets Like Keto Or Paleo

Most People Shouldn't Attempt Low-carb Diets Like Keto Or Paleo

Sustainable health change occurs not by finding a "perfect" diet — finding is fairly passive — but rather through creating an individualized health "mix." Creating is active, and health is an active process. To create an individualized health mix, you have to learn about the various nutrition options available and parse out the nutritional guidelines that will work for YOU. My personal mix is built upon being aware of what I put in my body, as well as pillars "stolen" from a variety of sources. I limit snacking and aim for a substantial gap between dinner and breakfast — thanks, intermittent fasting. I eat almost exclusively from the "outside of the grocery store" — meaning fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and good-quality fats — thanks, Paleo, and habits formed while being vegetarian. Plus, I eat what I love in moderation. I call this my "love it rule" — thanks, Weight Watchers for the balanced approach. I use what works for me and ignore what doesn't. Curious what your "mix" is? Earlier, I covered the pros and cons of high-protein diets. Then, I examined the vegetarian versus vegan versus high-protein debate. I've also tackled "low-fat" diets, the Mediterranean diet, and Weight Watchers. Today a smorgasbord of smaller analyses (I only have so much space and the material for analysis is endless): the ketogenic diet, Paleo, intermittent fasting, and meal delivery services. Ketogenic diet The ketogenic diet advocates extremely low-carbohydrate (10-15 grams daily) and high-fat (75 per cent of diet) consumption. The goal is to put your body into ketosis so that it uses ketones as energy. The rationale is that the diet gives you the benefits of fasting — such as fat loss — without actually having to fast. I know I am supposed to be "Switzerland," Continue reading >>

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

If you want to lose weight or build muscle faster and think the ketogenic diet might help, you want to read this article. How did a diet meant for treating epileptic seizures turn into a popular weight loss fad? That’s the story of the ketogenic diet, which was introduced in 1921 by an endocrinologist named Dr. Henry Geyelin. Geyelin, presenting at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, explained that the ancient Greeks had discovered that fasting was an effective method of managing epileptic seizures. Hippocrates wrote about it and, like Geyelin, found that the seizures would return once eating resumed. Why? What was it about fasting that suppressed the seizures? Well, epileptic seizures are triggered by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The causes can vary, from genetics to brain injury, but more common is chronic inflammation throughout the body. Geyelin found that when people fast, two major changes occur in the blood: glucose levels fall and ketone levels rise. You’ve probably heard of glucose, also known as blood sugar, but not ketones, which are carbon-oxygen molecules produced by the liver that cells can use for energy instead of glucose. This finding fascinated Geyelin and he set out to determine if similar effects could be achieved without starvation. A decade of work proved they could, and the “ketogenic diet,” as it would be later called, was born. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, wherein the body’s primary energy source is ketones, not glucose. Early studies showed it was an extremely effective treatment for seizures, but in 1938, it was eclipsed by the anticonvulsant drug phenytoin. This medication became the standard treatment for epilepsy, effectively retiring the ketogenic diet from cli Continue reading >>

Keto Diet Fail: How I Found What Worked For Me

Keto Diet Fail: How I Found What Worked For Me

At some point in life, you've probably looked in the mirror and wanted to change something about how you look. Be it the color of your hair, the texture of your skin, or how much you weigh, no one sees themselves as perfect. Everyone who has made it through the complicated and body-morphing teenage years has struggled in some way to mold themselves into the person they are today. When I was a teenager, I found myself fighting to keep my weight under control. Just like many other adolescents, I was obsessed with the idea that how I looked was the most important thing about me. The fact that I couldn’t control my weight left me frustrated and unhappy. As fad diets came and went, I noticed one that has seemed to stick around — the keto diet. In one way or another, many different diets that claim to cause you to lose weight fast are ketogenic diets. These diets followed a specific set of rules to attempt to encourage your body to process food differently, subsequently causing weight loss. What Is Ketosis? Ketogenic, or "keto," diets rely on a metabolic process called ketosis to make you lose weight. As detailed by the Free Medical Dictionary, our body normally relies on starchy or sugary foods to get energy. Things like bread, pasta, fruit, and milk all contain starches and sugars that our body turns into glucose, which our cells burn to generate energy. Keto diets starve the body of these glucose-rich foods, forcing it to find alternative energy sources, such as the glucose already stored within your body in the form of excess fat. However, ketosis doesn’t mean you aren’t eating at all. In fact, you should be eating the same number of calories per day that you normally eat. The difference is simply that you avoid bread and sugars, which will encourage your body to Continue reading >>

Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?

Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?

I can’t remember what appetizer she pointed to, but the woman sitting to the left of me said this so casually, and several folks at the table knew exactly what she meant, confirming what I’d long suspected: Ketogenic diets have officially gone mainstream – or recognizable at a party mainstream at least – in 2017. Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel. Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply. Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones. Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel. In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver. Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action. Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In Continue reading >>

Epilepsy And The Keto Diet

Epilepsy And The Keto Diet

Disclaimer: Please consult with your doctor before starting the keto diet, or considering dropping or reducing your daily medication intake. For most, epilepsy is something that is completely manageable with the introduction of medication. But not everyone wants to take medication every single day. It’s tough to carry around an array of pills with you at all times. There are side effects to certain medications, such as drowsiness, reduced concentration, personality changes, and reduced IQ . Taking medication is stigmatized. A large number of people don’t want to be seen taking medication all the time. It can make you feel like a patient.¹ An avenue explored by a select number of people with epilepsy that has worked very well is following a diet. More specifically, the keto diet. The Keto diet is popular among people exploring alternatives to medication with epilepsy, and has been shown to reduce, and even eliminate day-to-day medication in some cases. What is Keto? The goal of a keto diet is to put the body into ketosis. Ketosis is a state where the body primarily consumes ketones (fat) for energy versus using glucose (sugar). A ketone is a substance produced in the body, by fat, when blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are low. This means the body is relying on fats for energy versus relying on sugar (carbs). When blood glucose levels in a person are low, insulin levels drop. When insulin levels drop the body realizes that it has to turn to a form of energy that isn’t sugar. The body turns to ketones, thus entering ketosis. Ketones are produced in the liver from fat. When your body enters ketosis, it uses fat almost exclusively as it’s energy source.² The reasons why most people switch to a Keto diet are simple – it often results in an increase in energy, bo Continue reading >>

Here's Exactly How I Lost 50 Pounds Doing The Keto Diet

Here's Exactly How I Lost 50 Pounds Doing The Keto Diet

Of all the places to seek life-changing nutrition advice, I never thought the barber shop would be where I found it. But one day last January, after a couple years of saying to myself, "today's the day I make a change," my barber schooled me on something called keto. Normally, I take things he says with a grain of salt unless they're about hair or owning a business, but this guy could literally be on the cover of Men's Health. He's 6 feet tall, conventionally attractive, and his arms are about five pull-ups away from tearing through his t-shirt. If anyone else had implied that I was looking rough, I would've walked out in a fit of rage, but I decided to hear him out. I should clarify that I was out of shape, but my case wasn't that severe. I hadn't exercised in a few years and basically ate whatever I wanted and however much of it, but I was only about 30 to 40 pounds overweight. My barber went on to explain that this diet, paired with an appropriate exercise routine, allowed him to completely transform his body in less than a year, and all he ate was fatty foods. Once he showed me his "before" picture, I was sold. It was time to actually make a change. Short for ketogenic, keto is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet that forces your metabolism into what's called a state of ketosis. There's a much more scientific explanation to that, but it basically means that instead of burning carbohydrates (mainly glucose, or sugars), your body switches to burning fat as a primary source for energy. Keto isn't necessarily about counting calories, though the basic idea of eating less in order to lose weight still applies. This is more of a calculated way to rewire your metabolism so that it burns fat more efficiently over time, using very specific levels of each macronutrient Continue reading >>

16 Ways Keto For Women Is Different + Doesn’t Need To Suck

16 Ways Keto For Women Is Different + Doesn’t Need To Suck

As a female, we have to tinker the keto diet a little more than our male keto-ers do. For example, during shark week I can’t eat meat or I’ll end up on the couch in agony, with a heating pad, wanting to tear my ovaries out. So, I have to opt for things that are more easily digestible to my puffy, unhappy insides. Keto for women is just different. For one week every month we have brain-consuming cravings, we weigh more, have a hard time digesting, we get headaches and cramps and dammit we just want a blanket, some chocolate and a tub of icecream. end OK, but you get it. We also have other things to think about, like vaginas and boobies. For these two special things, we need to make some alterations too. You can’t just cut out some things. How to make keto for women easier and less grouchy Here are some tips I’ve cooked up over the past year that I’ve been told have been really helpful, enjoy! Eat yogurt. The diet says no, but I SAY YES. Men don’t need to care about the Lactobacillus acidophilus in yogurt, but a good healthy vagina does! Dannon makes a Light & Fit “Diabetic Friendly” vanilla yogurt that’s only 3 carbs per cup. Take cranberry supplements. Additionally, we need cranberry to ward away pesky urinary tract infections if we ever plan on forgetting to pee after sex again. So, take a cranberry supplement every day, and accept the carbs that come with it. Prepare for the lady in red. When the red devil is in town and you “need” sweets, opt for a handful of dark chocolate chocolate chips. The gourmet ones, real dark chocolate ones have the least carbs. The Milk Chocolate Almond Bars from Meleleuca only have 7 carbs for the entire bar, 9 for the DHA-enhanced dark chocolate ones which is also awesome. Remember that meats take more Continue reading >>

13 Common Keto Mistakes

13 Common Keto Mistakes

Adjusting to the Ketogenic diet and lifestyle is a process, and, like any other process, there are some learning curves and speed bumps. These curves and bumps can lead to frustration and disappointment, but they don’t have to. I’ve put together a list of what I see as the most common keto mistakes (and what you can do about them). You are obsessing over macros On the surface, this might seem a little contradictory to some of the other items on this list, but hear me out for a second. The mistake isn’t tracking your macros. The mistake is OBSESSING over your macros. The biggest psychological benefit to keto is the freedom it provides. You’re no longer shackled to the hangry, sad existence filled with constant food preoccupation. You’re free to live. So don’t shackle yourself by fretting and obsessing about macros. You aren’t eating macros, you’re eating food. Make sure your food is keto-friendly, and you’re going to be doing just fine. You are obsessing over the scale I’ve written about this before, but it’s important enough to repeat. The number on the scale is the least important metric you can use to gauge your success. This is another pet peeve of mine that is similar to the previous mistake. Enjoy the freedom of your life, don’t fret about the number on the scale. The scale is always a snap shot of what happened two weeks ago. Think about it. Aside from water, which can fluctuate many pounds in a short period of time, in order for you to gain or lose weight, it requires time. The scale doesn’t tell you important information. Don’t sweat it. You are eating too much protein Protein is, probably, the most important macro, because it is essential (we cannot manufacture all the requisite amino acids) and it is required to build and rebuild al Continue reading >>

Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further

Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up And Read Further

The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits. Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis. In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post. If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight, have a look at my Practical Guide to Keto Diet which is freely available on my website also as PDF. 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week Top Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet 1. Carbs are Too High Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out this post. For more about ketones, have a look at this post. 2. Protein is Too High or Too Low Your protein intake may be too high/ low. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. If you don't eat enough protein, you Continue reading >>

Low Carb Vs Keto: Why Ketosis Is Different From A Low Carb Diet

Low Carb Vs Keto: Why Ketosis Is Different From A Low Carb Diet

Are you making a critical mistake when it comes to ketosis? I’ve been extremely guilty of it in the past. One of the biggest mistakes for people trying to improve their health is the misconception that a low carbohydrate diet equals a ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and could be killing your efforts to get all of the health benefits you are looking for. There are some critical differences in what people think a “low-carb high-fat” (LCHF) diet is and what a ketogenic diet is. High carb doesn’t mean diabetic. Just like low carb doesn’t mean ketogenic. If you’re not super down with what ketosis is, it is simply a metabolic state of using fats for energy. This provides a lot of benefits that we can get into later, but long story short, there are numerous benefits that you’re going to be missing out on if you are simply “low-carb” and not definitively in ketosis. Your low carb diet can actually be pretty brutal if it is not a ketogenic diet. As evidence, this is a maddening conversation that bubbles up more and more as I won’t shut up about ketogenic diets: Person: “Yeah, I tried ketosis and it sucked, I felt awful. Doesn’t work for me.” Me: “Hmm, that’s weird, did you check your ketone levels?” Person: “No. But, I was low carb. Ketosis isn’t for me. It sucks.” Me: “Well… low carb doesn’t mean you’re burning fats and utilizing ketones, so your body was still probably trying to use carbs as fuel, but you didn’t have enough around eating low carb, which is why it sucked.” Person: “I’m not tracking. Ketosis sucks. And so do you.” This person was low-carb, not keto. There is a huge difference. By why? Time for some definitions: Low-carb: Eating an arbitrarily “low” number of carbohydrates, or just a Continue reading >>

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

Last week, my staff nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld wrote a guest post for my blog called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health”. Perhaps not surprisingly, it has caused quite a stir. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some people identify so strongly with how many carbohydrates they eat that they take offense when a suggestion is made that low-carb diets may not be appropriate for everyone, in all circumstances. In these circles low-carb diets have become dogma (i.e. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true). Followers of this strange religious sect insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diets; that all carbohydrates, regardless of their source, are “toxic”; that most traditional hunter-gatherer (e.g. Paleolithic) societies followed a low-carb diet; and, similarly, that nutritional ketosis—which is only achievable with a very high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein diet—is our default and optimal physiological state. Cut through the confusion and hype and learn what research can tell us about low-carb diets. On the other hand, I’ve also observed somewhat of a backlash against low-carb diets occurring in the blogosphere of late. While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations. With this in mind, here are 7 things I think everyone should know about low-carb diets. #1: Paleo does not equal low-carb, and very low-carb/ketogenic diets are not our “default” nutritional state, as some have claimed. Some low-carb advocates have claimed that mo Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?

Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?

In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>

The Keto Diet – What This Dietitian Actually Thinks About A Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss

The Keto Diet – What This Dietitian Actually Thinks About A Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss

I review the pros and cons of the Keto Diet and what I actually think about people using the ketogenic diet for weight loss. I wasn’t planning on writing about the ketogenic diet but that all changed with my recent YouTube video. If you guys caught this video on my channel, my girl Abby Langer and I found a hilarious Reddit thread that shared some keto-followers favourite “strange but delicious” keto-friendly meals and snacks. Let’s just say, it was extreme. I was by no means under the impression that everyone (or even a large number of people) on the Keto diet ate that shit. But, I get why some viewers on youtube maybe thought that and they got PISSED. Like, viciously pissed. So, jokes aside, I decided to share what I ACTUALLY think on all things keto and give you guys a comprehensive review of the diet so there’s no confusion. At the end of the day, ‘haters gon hate’ but at least I can sleep at night knowing I’ve done my due diligence in whole heartedly giving you all the necessary information around this diet. Let’s dive in. What Is the Keto Diet? If you haven’t already jumped on the keto diet bandwagon, I’ll give you a brief introduction. Basically, the ketogenic diet is a super high in fat (80% of your diet is fat), a super low carbohydrate (<5% of your diet) and moderate in protein (15-20% of your diet). Surely, not the most balanced of diets considering Health Canada your diet should contain 20-35% of protein, 45-65% of carbohydrate and 10-35% of fat. So how to you meet that skewed macronutrient distribution? Well, you load up on keto diet staples like meat, fish, butter eggs, cheese, heavy cream, oils, nuts, avocados, seeds and low carb green vegetables. And you cut out all your go-to carb sources like grains, rice, beans, potatoes, sweets, Continue reading >>

Why The Atkins Diet Still Doesn’t Work

Why The Atkins Diet Still Doesn’t Work

The goal of any diet is to help you lose excess weight and keep it off. The first part is relatively easy to achieve; the second part is incredibly difficult to maintain. Any diet that restricts calories will do the first part, but invariably the lost weight returns. This is definitely the situation for the Atkins diet. I knew Bob Atkins well, and the only answer he had as to why people regain weight on his diet was that they are addicted to carbohydrates. Frankly, I never bought into that explanation from Bob any more than I believed the reasoning of the advocates for low-fat diets saying the failure to maintain weight loss is because people are addicted to fat. To paraphrase former President Clinton, “It’s the hormones, stupid.” In most cases what really causes weight regain is cellular inflammation induced by hormonal imbalance. This is why any diet that uses the word “low” or “high” to describe itself will induce hormonal imbalance, and therefore ultimately fail. Low-fat diets are generally high-carbohydrate diets. High levels of carbohydrates will increase the production of insulin, which is the hormone that makes you fat and keeps you fat. This increase in insulin will generate increased cellular inflammation that increases the likelihood for weight regain (1). On the other hand, the Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that is also a high-fat diet. If those fats on the Atkins diet are rich in saturated and omega-6 fats (which they usually are), then their presence will also increase cellular inflammation (1). This increase in cellular inflammation (by either type of diet) disrupts hormonal signaling patterns (especially for insulin signaling) that generate increased insulin resistance. This was shown in one of my earlier research articles that dem Continue reading >>

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