Where Did My Appetite Go?
It’s the flip side to being hungry all the time: what on earth do you do when your appetite just isn’t showing up to play? When you count up your food and find you’re eating almost nothing – not because you’re trying to starve yourself, but because you just aren’t hungry for it at all. You don’t even want to eat. This can be great for weight loss, but it can also be pretty scary to experience without knowing why, and you might be wondering whether you’re accidentally depriving yourself of necessary nutrients on such a tiny amount of food. So why could this be happening? Ketosis Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body runs primarily on fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates. You achieve ketosis by eating a very low-carb diet. Whether you were intending to eat a ketogenic diet or not, if you don’t make an effort to eat any tubers or fruits, you might end up accidentally taking Paleo in a ketogenic direction. And one of the best-known side effects of ketosis is loss of appetite. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this – it’s one of the reasons why ketogenic diets can be so great for weight loss. If you want to lose weight or don’t mind the appetite loss, then just sit back and enjoy the hunger-free ride! On the other hand, if you weren’t trying to lose weight, this can be a problem. For an athlete going Paleo to improve the health, for example, a ketogenic diet can be a disaster: suddenly, they aren’t eating enough to fuel their workouts, and performance goes down the drain. The fix for this is simple: try adding some more safe starches into your diet and see how you feel. You might find that your appetite comes back all on its own. Hunger as Fatigue Another potential cause for a loss of appetite is that you are hungry; you just don Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Ketosis:
If you are considering the ketogenic diet or have already started down this carb-free road, you may wonder what you can expect. Here’s the thing. Ketosis looks different for everyone, but I will share many of the most common symptoms with you today. If something other than what’s listed here is happening to you, just do a quick Google search for that symptom and keto. You should be able to find what you’re looking for! The Early Signs: The early signs of ketosis vary from person to person. The biggest impact on how quickly you notice the symptoms of ketosis will have a lot to do with how you ate before you started the diet. If your diet was very high carb, you might get hit pretty quickly and furiously with what we like to call the “Keto Flu.” This can last anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. Once your body has adapted to burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, you’ll be golden so don’t give up! Here’s what you can expect within the first 2-3 days of starting the Ketogenic Diet: Fatigue & Weakness (lack of concentration) Headaches Metallic taste or sweet taste in your mouth (I experienced this, and it tasted like blood in my mouth) Lightheaded / Dizzy upon standing Heightened Thirst Hunger / Sweet or Carb Cravings Dry Mouth possibly paired with “Keto Breath.” Stomach Discomfort / Mild Nausea / Cramping Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep (early waking) Water weight loss (perhaps an excessive loss of weight within the first two weeks) Frequent Urination Allergies or cold like symptoms may flair up For the ladies: Period issues: You may experience a longer, shorter, earlier, later period because of Keto. Seriously it causes all of that. Each woman is different, and I have experienced every one of those issues with my period since starting ket Continue reading >>
Constipation And Ketogenic Diets
Some people experience constipation on low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets and worry that it is due to a lack of fiber. If you are one of them, take heart! Fiber is not the answer! What is? Read on… The authors of Keto Clarity, Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman, acknowledge that some people develop constipation on ketogenic diets, and offer some recommendations about how to address the problem, including drinking enough water, increasing non-starchy, fibrous vegetable intake, and using sugar-free candy containing sugar alcohols as a mild laxative. I do agree that these approaches may certainly be helpful for some. However, if you have tried these ideas and they haven’t worked for you, or if you have trouble with constipation no matter what kind of diet you eat, I would like to offer some insights that I hope you will find useful. Most people believe that constipation is caused by a lack of fiber in the diet, but this is actually not so. My opinion, based on clinical and personal experience, common sense, and lots of reading of the scientific literature, is this: Constipation is usually caused by something you ARE eating, not by something you’re NOT eating. Lack of fiber does not cause constipation. In fact, fiber can actually CAUSE constipation! Take a look at this 2012 study that proves it: Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms. Ho KS et al. World J Gastroenterol 2012;18(33): 4593-4596. “This study has confirmed that the previous strongly-held belief that the application of dietary fiber to help constipation is but a myth. Our study shows a very strong correlation between improving constipation and its associated symptoms after stopping dietary fiber intake.” Plenty of people and animals have eaten mostly-m Continue reading >>
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 >>
Breaking A Weight Loss Plateau
I know all about how annoying a low carb diet weight loss plateau can be. In 2008, I began to change my eating habits in order to address some serious health problems. I also wanted to lose the excess weight I had accumulated over the years while eating a poor diet full of processed junk food. It took several years and I still struggle with my weight, but then I'm a work in progress. The Most Common Causes of a Weight Loss Plateau Here is my opinion, born of my individual experience, on the most common causes of a weight loss plateau. If you are following a ketogenic diet, and not losing weight, or the weight loss is inconsistent (going down one week and up the next), here are some of the most common causes: Eating more carbohydrate than you think (fruit, nuts, and yogurt are the particular culprits here). I call this carb creep. Eating more calories than your body can handle without storing (this is usually the result of a very high fat intake - for me, too much dairy). You want to be burning your stored fat, not excess fat from your diet. Eating large amounts of low carb foods that elevate insulin. Dairy protein (hard cheeses, yogurt and whey protein in particular), sugar alcohols, and other artificial sweeteners are culprits here. Eating lots of coconut, coconut oil or MCT oil. Coconut oil has a lot of medium chain triglycerides in it. This type of fat can't be stored, so your body has to burn it first. Again, the goal is to burn your stored fat, not fat from your diet. Not exercising in a way that increases insulin sensitivity to the muscles. (The problem is that for people with a broken metabolism, long, slow exercise doesn't work well - it has to be high intensity exercise, which uses all the glycogen stored in the muscles, and makes them more insulin sensitive. T Continue reading >>
In Ketosis But Not Losing Weight? These Foods May Be Stalling Your Progress
Stop Stalling Volume Two: Malignant Mouthfuls Welcome back to the Stop Stalling series! Today, we’re going to take a look at some specific foods that may be causing your stall. These foods may be keeping you from getting ahead. The bad news is that a lot of them may be staples for you. Many of them seem keto-friendly: they’re low in net carbs and should be “safe.” In fact, they are “safe” for plenty of people. However, for some people, certain foods can cause stalls. If you’re in ketosis but not losing weight and have implemented everything advised in Volume 1: Operator Error, here’s a list of the most likely suspects. Dairy: Dairy is a tricky one. First of all, it’s very energy-dense (i.e. it has a lot of calories). That means that it can be really easy to overdo. Alas, keto isn’t magical, and calories still count. Secondly, it’s often a carbohydrate bomb. A glass of milk has about ten grams. It can have more or less depending on the fat content. It can be tough to tell with yogurt: while the actual carb count is probably lower than what is listed on the label (fermentation consumes some of the carbohydrates), you can’t always tell just how many there are. This is even ignoring the fact that many yogurts contain additives, including starch-based thickeners. Finally, dairy is especially prone to “rounding down”: even though many labels say that a serving of cheese contains zero carbohydrates, chances are that a serving contains as many as 0.7 grams. It seems like very little, but if you eat two servings (easy to do!), it’s going to add up over time. Many people rely on dairy, and when they drop it, they start losing again. Seeds and nuts: Seeds and nuts are horrible bastards. I love nuts, especially almonds. Especially the smoked ones or th Continue reading >>
12 Possible Reasons The Scale Is Not Moving
Okay, first things first…I’ve said it before, a hundred times, and I’ll continue to say it. The scale is a horrible measure of success. Yet, we’ve been trained to believe it is the ULTIMATE measure. So let me start this with one small caveat, you don’t need the number on the scale to feel good about yourself. It’s a number. You’re not. Having said that, I totally understand wanting the scale to cooperate, but sometimes weight can just be stubborn because we have abused our bodies for so long that our body may be defending itself against another deprivation diet. My first response to a stalling scale (besides kicking it and cursing it) is to remind myself this too shall pass and all I need is a little patience. If I am doing everything right and am not violating any “rules” of Keto, then I can just trust the process. That said, there are things you can evaluate. Perhaps there IS something you can do to give the scale a nudge. So what are those things you can evaluate or change? Macros It is entirely possible your macros aren’t right. Your protein may be too high, your fat too low, you could be eating the wrong kinds of carbs or too many. I see a lot of people trying to apply mainstream diet rules to Keto because they have just bought in to the dogma for so long they find it hard to break the cycle and make the paradigm shift. Let it all go and embrace the Keto way! Sleep Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes lack of sleep can stall weight loss. Artificial sweeteners If they are a regular, daily part of your keto regimen, then that could be holding you back. True, they are calorie free and most of them don’t cause a spike in blood sugar, but there is something about them that stalls weight loss. I have a friend who lost 40 pounds and ALL she change Continue reading >>
When Not To Be On A Ketogenic Diet
When Not To Be on a Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted or keto adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. It also improves cellular healing and mitochondrial biogenesis which supports stronger and healthier cells. All of this leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). Where Ketosis Can Be Extremely Beneficial There are certain cases, where I typically recommend a ketogenic diet as the research appears to support that ketosis significantly improves the functionality of these individuals. Overweight or Obese Neurodegenerative Conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Most Cancers but especially those of the brain, nervous system and blood (leukemia) Chronic Pain Seizure Disorders Non-Elite athletes or individuals looking for higher mental & physical performance The final one is the area that I and many others who have pursued a state of ketosis fall into. At this point in my life, I have no chronic diseases, I feel great 99% of the time, but I am always looking to improve my productivity and performance. I have found being in mild-ketosis to be one of the best ways to improve my energy, mental acuity, creativity, physical strength and overall life performance. There is no one diet that works perfectly for everyone. Ketosis has the potential to benefit everyone, but under unique circumstances it would not be warranted. Here are a list of special cases where long-term st Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Is Ketosis Safe And Does It Have Side Effects?
Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous. However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different. While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state. In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to have major benefits for weight loss (1, 2). Ketogenic diets have also been shown to have therapeutic effects in epilepsy, type 2 diabetes and several other chronic conditions (3, 4, 5, 6). Ketosis is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, it may lead to a few side effects, especially in the beginning. First, it's necessary to understand what ketosis is. Ketosis is a natural part of metabolism. It happens either when carbohydrate intake is very low (such as on a ketogenic diet), or when you haven't eaten for a long time. Both of these lead to reduced insulin levels, which causes a lot of fat to be released from your fat cells. When this happens, the liver gets flooded with fat, which turns a large part of it into ketones. During ketosis, many parts of your body are burning ketones for energy instead of carbs. This includes a large part of the brain. However, this doesn't happen instantly. It takes your body and brain some time to "adapt" to burning fat and ketones instead of carbs. During this adaptation phase, you may experience some temporary side effects. These are generally referred to as the "low-carb flu" or "keto flu." In ketosis, parts of the body and brain use ketones for fuel instead of carbs. It can take some time for your body to adapt to this. In the beginning of ketosis, you may experience a range of negative symptoms. They are often referred to as "low-carb flu" or "keto flu" because they resemble symptom Continue reading >>
What Happens When You Fall Out Of Ketosis During Dieting?
Ketosis, a metabolic state where fat rather than carbohydrates becomes your primary energy source, occurs only when you follow a low-carbohydrate diet or a near-starvation diet. Your body normally uses carbohydrates for energy. On a low-carb diet, you cut carbohydrate consumption, so your body must find a new energy source. Eating as little as 50 and 100 g of carbohydrate per day can keep you out of ketosis, registered dietitian Janice Hermann, Ph.D. of Oklahoma State University reports. If you fall out of ketosis, a low-carbohydrate diet may not work for weight loss. Video of the Day Falling out of ketosis may slow or stop your weight loss, because low-carb diets don’t generally count calories. In fact, you may eat more calories while in ketosis and still lose weight. The official Atkins website published an abstract presented at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity Annual Meeting 2003. The 12-week study found that subjects following a low-carb diet who were consuming 300 calories per day more than subjects eating a low-calorie diet still lost more weight. However, if you are still eating fewer calories than you use, you may continue to lose weight even if you’re no longer in ketosis. Ketone Test Strip Changes Ketone test strips measure the concentration of ketones in your urine. The specially impregnated sticks turn purple when urine contains enough ketones to register. Generally speaking, the darker the purple, the deeper your degree of ketosis. If your ketone test strips were previously turning purple, the test strips will not change color if you’re no longer in ketosis. Being in ketosis appears to have an appetite-suppressant effect. This may help you eat less without feeling hungry while following a low-carbohydrate diet. If you're no long Continue reading >>
Metabolism And Ketosis
Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>
Can You Be In Ketosis And Not Lose Weight?
Are you in ketosis, but not losing weight? This phenomenon is far more common than you think. What you might not know is that insulin is not necessary to store body fat. That's a myth. The body has a back up system to store excess energy even when carbs are very low. However, the situation isn't hopeless. It just requires you to embrace your individuality. If you're stuck, and your weight won't budge, here's what you can do to get the scale moving again. In 1972, Dr. Atkins introduced the world to the concept of carbohydrate sensitivity. He talked about the damage that excessive carbohydrates can do to your metabolism, suggested that overweight and obesity was caused from a metabolic defect, and played up the necessity of being in the state of ketosis to achieve effective weight loss. Since then, many low-carb dieters have mistakenly thought that the number of ketones that have backed up in the bloodstream is what makes the diet work. It doesn't. This strong misconception -- that ketones are vital to the fat loss process -- has caused a lot of confusion. While being in ketosis is essential to initially trigger the metabolic changes needed to switch from predominantly burning glucose to predominantly burning fats for fuel, you can certainly be in ketosis but not lose weight. And here's why: [Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you decide to buy something by using one of those links, I might receive a small financial compensation, at no cost to you.] What to Do if Low Carb Doesn't Work If your metabolism is average, you lost a decent amount of weight during the first two or three weeks, but then suddenly, weight loss slowed down. For some people, weight loss completely stopped. For others, you might have gained some of that initial water loss back. The Continue reading >>
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Why You Need To Stop Worrying About The Color Of Your Ketostix
Yeah, I know you like to use them, but there are so many misconceptions about what they are telling you, that I need to intervene and make sure you get it. But before I go there, let me urge you to just buy The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, and read pages 164-165. Phinney and Volek have the best description of this that has probably ever been written, and you should really just read it from them. If I could copy these pages verbatim and paste it here, I would. Seriously, it’s only a few bucks and it’s quite literally the book you want to own if you’re interested in low carb ketogenic diets. OK, while you wait for your book to arrive, let’s dig in… What ketostix measure First off, we need to understand what ketostix actually measure, and more importantly, what they don’t. Generally speaking, ketostix measure excess ketones in your urine. They are considered excess, because they are removed from your serum and shunted to your urine by your kidneys. Their caloric content is thereby wasted. Of the three types of ketones (acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) produced by your body, ketostix only measure acetoacetate. This is extremely important to understand, because it turns out that your body produces different quantities of these different types of ketones depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis. If you’ve been in ketosis for a while, you’re going to see a reduction in the “intensity” of what you register on your ketostix for two reasons: A change in the relative volume of the ketones produced/present in your body A reduction in the volume of ketones in your urine as your kidneys reduce the amount they secrete Both of these are covered below. Changes in the types of ketones you produce When you first start your ketogenic Continue reading >>