So What Is A Keto Diet?
So many readers ask me “What Is A Keto Diet? What Is A Keto Diet? – 101 So what exactly is the ketogenic diet? That is the question on a lot of people’s minds right now as the ketogenic diet is one of the top diet and eating plans of the year. Let’s face it, you have been seeing “Keto Diet” titles, recipes and success stories all over magazine covers, websites and everywhere in between for the last year. So again, what is keto? You may hear that it’s simply a high-fat diet or a low-carb diet, but it is not exactly either of these things. What Is A Keto Diet & LCHF Diet – Explained The ketogenic, or keto diet can be described as a very low carb and high-fat diet (LCHF). You will find that the keto diet does have similarities to other low-carb diets such as Atkins, but the keto diet is done differently. With the keto diet, you will be reducing your carbohydrates dramatically and replacing them with healthy fats. Generally, a keto diet is considered to be less than 20g carbohydrates per day, moderate protein and plenty of healthy fats. Click To Tweet Doing this will put your body into what is called nutritional ketosis, a metabolic state. This ketosis, is what allows your body to become extremely efficient at burning fat. Ketogenic diets are incredibly successful at producing stable blood sugar levels and therefore reducing insulin demand from the body. What Is A Keto Diet – Why Low-Carb? When we eat carbohydrates, they are all converted into sugars in our bodies. To keep our blood sugars from rising too high, insulin is required – whether it is produced in our body, or injected by those who cannot produce their own. Insulin regulates blood sugar but is also our fat storing hormone and helps to regulate hunger. A chronic high level of blood sugar, requi Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet Vs The Atkins Diet: Is Ketosis Better Than Atkins?
It’s not uncommon for the ketogenic diet and the famous Atkin’s Diet of the 1990’s to get lumped into the same conversation as one and the same. But are they actually different, and is one healthier than the other? Which is more impactful over the long term? There are definitely differences between the two diets, and the real comparison might surprise you! But first, let’s step back and look at them individually. The Ketogenic Diet The ketogenic diet was founded all the way back in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the famous Mayo Clinic. The diet was initially used because it was discovered to be highly effective in treating epilepsy. The principles of the ketogenic diet are based on eating a specific percentage of macronutrients: high fats (60%), adequate protein (35%), and low carbohydrates (5%), to force the body to use what are called “ketone bodies” for energy. In the absence of carbohydrates for an extended period of time, our liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies, also just simply called “ketones.” Ketones can then be processed into ATP, which is the energy currency of the cells. Now, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood leads to a state known as nutritional ketosis. Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet There are several ways the ketogenic diet can help the health and lifestyles of those who follow it. Here are some of the biggest advantages: Blood Sugar Stabilization The ketogenic diet actively helps to lower glucose levels and improve insulin resistance. Without having frequent carbohydrate intake, blood sugar levels can stabilize more rapidly. Trigger Fat Burning Ketogenic diets can also be very effective for fat loss because they ultimately reset your body’s “enzymatic machinery” to burn fat as its primary fuel source Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet Explained Simply
While the ketogenic diet itself is fairly simple and straightforward – get 75% of your daily calories from fat, and keep carb intake under 5% of your calories – it can be quite confusing and complicated to understand how it all actually works. This hand-drawn and animation type video from the PictureFit YouTube Channel does a pretty good job of explaining the details of how it all works. …a good video for introducing someone you know to the Ketogenic Diet, explaining it in simple terms, in less than 5 minutes. Continue reading >>
Ratio, Ratio, Where for Art Thou, Ratio? The first step in utilizing a ketogenic diet is to calculate your ideal ketogenic ratio, that is, your ideal ratio of total fat (in grams) to total carbs plus protein (in grams) that keeps you in nutritional ketosis. There are two main things that require management with ketogenic eating, macronutrient ratios and thresholds. To put it more simply, in what combination do you need to eat fat, carbs, and protein, and what are your individual limits of each? To get started, if you can figure out your ratio you will then pretty easily be able to figure out your thresholds. As far as your ratio goes, here are some very over-simplified guidelines. Different people have different ratios (for weight loss), but generally-speaking, here are some generic example scenarios: Teenagers: 1:1 20-Somethings: 2:1 (this is basically the old-school Atkins diet) Middle-Aged Folks: 3:1 (this is basically new-school Atkins, this is what I do, a late-30’s slightly-insulin-resistant male) Older Folks, or People with Difficult Metabolic Issues: 4:1 (this is typically the epilepsy or other medical-needs diet) What I believe will work for most people is a 3:1 ratio. You may be able to get away with a 2:1 ratio, or you may require a 4:1 ratio (especially if you are doing ketogenic for medical reasons). OK, What Do Those Ratios Mean? To calculate ratios you take total fat relative to the total carbs plus total protein for every meal. Notice I did not say net carbs. There are almost as many schools of thought about strictness of ratios as they are people airing them. My opinion is that every gram counts, no matter what it is. Fiber, artificial sweeteners, I count all of it. There is lots of argument about this but this is what works for me so it’s my $.02. Continue reading >>
What Is Keto? My Personal Definition…
What is keto? (the short version) Keto isn’t a “diet,” it’s a way of life. It’s the basic set of principles that low carb diets are based on. Atkins is one of the most popular keto diets, South Beach is another, Paleo is often considered keto as well, but I’m not doing Atkins, and I’m not doing South Beach. I am doing a lot of Paleo. Get it? OK, I’ll keep going. The keto “diet,” also known as the ketogenic “diet,” is a lifestyle change that is low carb. Everybody does it their own way (hence all the diet names and programs) but the most basic keto diet is a mix of low carb, paleo and gluten-free. The cross-fit folks do it too. No sugar, no bread, no grains, whole foods, real foods. In my version of keto, I don’t eat any artificial sweeteners or processed foods, but those on Atkins do. That’s their version of the keto diet, which is fine for them, but just not for me. On a fundamental keto diet, you’ll eat 20-50 carbohydrates per day (typical Americans eat 300) and under 1700 calories per day, although that number is variable based on your weight and activity levels. It’s ridiculously simple to eat under 1700 calories per day when you eliminate carbohydrates. It’s also easy in general, because carbohydrates make you hungry, so without them, you’re never hungry (take it from a former pasta addict!) And it’s a low-carb diet, but it’s not a bacon butter fest. My diet is actually pretty balanced, all of my carbohydrates come from vegetables, because I also believe in making sure you’re always eating alkalizing foods. Grass-fed meats and dairy from grass-fed animals are always encouraged because they have healthier fats. Keto has the same benefits of going gluten-free or adopting the paleo diet. It’s proven to help with weight loss, 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 >>
Keto Karma’s Simply Keto
Simply Keto I am SO excited to officially announce what I’ve been working on for the last year! I’m writing a book called Simply Keto! A little over two years ago when I started this journey I never would have imagined making this very announcement. I had spent so many years spinning my wheels, only to gain more weight, and lose more hope with each failed “diet” attempt. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this book with every detail of my weight loss journey, helpful information, advice, tips, and over 100 easy recipes. Simply Keto will release in early December, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound. I’ll be sure to share more soon, but I’m beyond excited to share the cover with you all today! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the best support system I could have ever asked for. Cover Photo by: Jennifer Skog Photography “The ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-fat way of eating, is remarkably effective at transforming people’s lives, helping them shed pounds and find relief from common health conditions. No one knows this better than Suzanne Ryan. In her quest to overcome her lifelong struggle with her weight, she stumbled upon the ketogenic diet and decided to give it a shot. In just one year, she lost more than 100 pounds and reclaimed control over her health and well-being. Suzanne has shared every detail of her transformation, from the very first days of starting keto to her most recent successes, on her popular blog, Keto Karma, as well as on her YouTube channel and Instagram page. Her first book, Simply Keto, isn’t just a cookbook; it’s a portal into Suzanne’s life and dieting success—how she accomplished the incredible feat of losing almost 40 percent of her total body weight and develo Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diets Explained: Is The Ketogenic Diet Right For Your Client?
When it comes to weight loss, we know that fad diets are a big no-no simply because they are often impractical, but more so that they can often be very unhealthy. That said, a good diet to achieve healthy weight loss is different for everyone, although one diet that has been getting more buzz lately is the high-fat ketogenic diet. Here’s how to know if such a diet fits a particular client of yours, or if they may be better off with something else. What exactly is the ketogenic diet? The ketogenic diet involves severely restricting carbohydrate intake to about 10-20 grams per day. You make up those calories with a disproportionately high fat intake, along with moderate protein consumption. The fundamental idea behind such restriction of carbohydrates is to put the body in a state of ketosis, which is when the body increases conversion of fat by the liver into compounds known as ketone bodies. Normally, the brain uses primarily glucose as energy, but when carbohydrates (and thus glucose) are limited, ketone bodies can instead be used as an alternative energy source. The brain is capable of using these ketone bodies. As you may have guessed, the fat necessary for the production of ketone bodies need to come from somewhere. Usually that comes from the stored body fat you have or excess sources from your diet. How the ketogenic diet can help your client If you and your client are considering following the ketogenic diet, you need to consider what it is that they hope to achieve. Here are a few conditions where a ketogenic diet may be useful. It may help your client lose weight Findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that low-carb diets (like the ketogenic diet) are better for losing weight than low-fat diets. That’s because a ketogenic diet helps supp Continue reading >>
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Ketogenic Diet Benefits For Weight Loss, Fighting Disease & More
Unlike many fad diets that come and go with very limited rates of long-term success, the ketogenic diet (or keto diet) has been practiced for more than nine decades (since the 1920s) and is based upon a solid understanding of physiology and nutrition science. Rather than relying on counting calories, limiting portion sizes, resorting to extreme exercise or requiring lots of willpower (even in the face of drastically low energy levels), the ketogenic diet takes an entirely different approach to weight loss and health improvement. It works because it changes the very “fuel source” that the body uses to stay energized — namely, from burning glucose (or sugar) for energy to dietary fat and, critically, your own body fat after the stage of “ketosis” is reached. Meanwhile, beyond its outstanding potential to help people lose weight and burn off fat stores, research shows that the ketogenic diet helps to fight serious diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s. Table of Contents 1. What Is the Keto Diet? What Is Ketosis? How to Get Into Ketosis What Are the Stages of Ketosis? Does the Keto Diet Work for Women? 2. Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet 3. What Is the Ketogenic Diet Plan? 5. Keto Side Effects and the Keto Flu What Is the Keto Diet? The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet plan that was originally designed in the 1920s for patients with epilepsy by researchers working at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. (1) Researchers found that fasting — avoiding consumption of all foods for a brief period of time, including those that provide carbohydrates — helped reduce the amount of seizures patients suffered, in addition to having other positive effects on body fat, blood sugar, cholesterol and hunger levels. (4) Unfortunately, long-term fasting is not a feasible op Continue reading >>
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What Is Ketosis?
First, a simple explanation of the process: the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy. Whenever your intake of carbohydrates is limited to a certain range, for a long enough period of time, you reach a point where your body draws on its alternate energy system, fat stores, for fuel. This means the body burns fat and turns it into a source of fuel called ketones. (Ketones are produced whenever body fat is burned.) When you burn a larger amount of fat than is immediately needed for energy, the excess ketones are discarded in the urine. Being in ketosis means your body has burned a large amount of fat in response to the fact that it didn’t have sufficient glucose available for energy needs. Dietary ketosis is among the most misunderstood concepts in nutrition because it is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition most often associated with uncontrolled insulin-deficient Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn’t occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Dietary ketosis, however, is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no break-down of healthy muscle tissue. The most sensitive tests of ketosis (“NMR” and “blood ketone level”) show that everyone is in some degree of ketosis e Continue reading >>
The Biggest Mistake Most People Make On A Ketogenic Diet
Have you tried a ketogenic diet for weight loss, cognitive health, improved mood, or increased energy levels? Then don’t make this mistake. While these benefits are common outcomes for many of those who make the switch to a ketogenic (keto) lifestyle, unfortunately some people don’t immediately see the results. Occasionally some people may even report minor symptoms such as indigestion or loose stools when adopting a keto diet. This is not normal, however, and in most cases it can be explained by this one simple mistake most people make on a keto diet. Keto 101 On a ketogenic diet, the body’s metabolism switches from primarily using glucose (sugar) as fuel to primarily using ketones (fat) for fuel. This is why the Keto Zone Diet is the best diet for healthy and natural weight loss. Once the body learns how to burn fat for fuel, as soons as you enter a caloric deficit and glycogen (sugar) stores have been depleted, then the body will begin to burn off stubborn body fat from places like the belly, hips, and thighs. But it is difficult for your body to use fat for fuel if you are not properly digesting the healthy fats that you consume! This leads to the big mistake most keto dieters make. The Big Mistake Ketogenic diets, like the Keto Zone Diet, are generally high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diets. The Keto Zone Diet also emphasizes the considerable consumption of non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens. Unfortunately, many people’s digestive systems are not adapted to this kind of diet. A lifetime of breads, pastries, pastas, potatoes, candies, cookies, crackers, and other assorted starches and sugars, most people have a digestive system optimized for sugar. Digestion is mediated by a cocktail of enzymes that chemically break down our food into its co 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 The Ketogenic Diet?
The concept of ketogenic dieting is not new – it has existed in many forms and in many variations. It has many similarities to the Atkin’s Diet, and is cousins with other popular diets like South Beach and Paleo. Below, we’ve outlined exactly what the ketogenic diet is, how and why it works, and how you can get started with a ketogenic diet today. Before we dive in, however, it is important to understand that there are three types of ketogenic diets: the Standard Ketogenic Diet, the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, and the Targeted Ketogenic Diet. All are very closely related but differ in regards to limits and timing of carbohydrate consumption. For all intents and purposes, when we refer to ketogenic diets on TheKetogenicDiet.org, we are typically referring to the Standard Ketogenic diet unless otherwise noted. Most information here is relevant regardless of what type of ketogenic diet you are practicing, however. Okay…so what is the ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. A proper ketogenic diet calls for the dieter to consume high amounts of fat, adequate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. Our bodies are used to turning carbohydrates into glucose to send all over the body as energy. When we enter ketosis by sufficiently limiting our carbohydrate intake, our livers start breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones, to be used as energy. Why does the ketogenic diet work? The ketogenic diet works much like any other diet: by limiting the amount of calories you consume, thereby creating a caloric deficit where the body burns more energy than it takes in. That is the fundamental science of weight loss, Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet 101: A Detailed Beginner's Guide
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. Over 20 studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve health (1). Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease (2, 3, 4, 5). This article is a detailed beginner's guide to the ketogenic diet. It contains everything you need to know. The ketogenic diet (often termed keto) is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain (6, 7). Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits (6, 8, 9, 10, 11). The ketogenic diet (keto) is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones. There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including: Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs (1). Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days. Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts. High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% Continue reading >>
A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide
What is a Keto Diet? A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc. When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source. Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body. Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates. Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits. Make keto simple and easy by checking out our 30 Day Meal Plan. Get meal plans, shopping lists, and much more with our Keto Academy Program. Looking for Something Specific? There are numerous benefits that come with being on keto: from weight loss and increased energy levels to therapeutic medical appl Continue reading >>