What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet: Lose Weight With Ketosis
If you’ve faced a health or weight loss plateau, you might have heard about the ketogenic diet. But what is ketosis? Going into ketosis, or a state of fat burning, isn’t complicated, but it takes motivation. It’s a way to burn stubborn fat and lose weight. Today we’ll explore questions like what is the ketogenic diet, what is ketosis and how does it work, what are keto foods, and the benefits and dangers involved in following a ketogenic diet plan. As a bonus: I’ll provide a 1 week ketogenic diet plan plus a complimentary workout plan. Together, they will help you burn stubborn fat. We try so hard to lose a few kilos or pounds, but most of the time we don’t manage to. Luckily, there is an easy way to turn the body into a fat burning machine: the ketogenic diet. Why the ketogenic diet? It’s commonly believed that consuming fewer calories will lead to weight loss. It looks something like this: Calories stored (or lost) = Calories consumed – Calories burned Following this equation, if we eat less, we’ll create a calorie deficit and in turn, use our stored fat . Assumably, we’ll lose weight. It seems easy to do. But, things go wrong. First, as many know from experience, eating less is torturous. Second, we often don’t lose weight with calorie restriction diets. Worse than that, we sometimes lose the weight and gain it back–and do damage to our metabolism in the process. Losing weight and gaining it back means a slower metabolism. This is because body fat storage is not just a matter of calories in and calories out. It is the result of millions of years of evolution. To understand what happens, we need to review some basic biochemistry. We know that an adult has: A glycogen (carbohydrate) reserve that lasts about 1 to 2 days of survival, maximum. Fat Continue reading >>
Can You Really Fix Your Metabolism With The Keto Diet?
The new best-selling book “The Keto Reset Diet” says it can fix a sluggish metabolism and train your body to be a fat-burning machine. Experts are skeptical. It isn’t just you. Dieting is an endless pursuit for many Americans. Around 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. And the weight eventually comes back for 33 to 66 percent of people who’ve dieted. In the New York Times best-seller “The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever,” author and keto diet enthusiast Mark Sisson writes that “yo-yo dieting is severely destructive to your metabolism.” He claims that following a low-carb, high-fat diet will help “turn you into a ‘fat-burning beast’ and stay this way for the rest of your life.” The book explains that the three-week keto reset diet does this by reprograming your genes into a state of “metabolic efficiency” — which he considers burning fat, rather than being “dependent upon regular high-carbohydrate meals to sustain your energy, mood, or cognitive focus.” Critics say the science doesn’t support these claims. Does yo-yo dieting really affect your metabolism? A person’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) is largely based on their weight, but factors like age and genetics also play a role. When someone significantly restricts calories to lose weight, their body can also enter starvation mode. Their metabolism slows down considerably to conserve energy. Extremely low-calorie diets make it easier to regain weight after a diet is over. If someone with a slowed metabolism hits their target weight and celebrates by eating the same amount of daily calories a person with a typical RMR and of their same weight and age would eat, they could gain weight rapidly. Case in point: contestants from the TV show Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>
How To Fix Your Broken Metabolism By Doing The Exact Opposite
We saw last week with the Biggest Loser study that basal metabolism plummets when you lose weight with calorie reduction. As contestants lose weight, they burn a lot less energy – up to 800 calories per day less than before. Some of that is expected, since there is less body tissue to maintain, but nevertheless, these contestants burn far less than expected even taking this into account. Even 6 years later, their basal metabolic rate (BMR) remains depressed, as do the contestants themselves. The story got a lot of coverage, but one thing was consistently missing. How to fix it.That’s what I’ll show you today, and it’s the opposite of what most people expect. So, let’s think about this problem in the context of the 2 compartment model of obesity that we have used before. There are two compartments for body energy. We take calories in as food. This gets stored in the short term as glycogen, or long term as body fat. Glycogen is easily converted to energy (calories out), but body fat, not so much. So we can consider the analogous situation where short term energy is stored in a refrigerator and long term in the basement freezer. Insulin’s role is to direct food into the basement freezer. When there is excess food that can’t be kept in the fridge, insulin directs it to the freezer. This is body fat and manufactured in the liver by the process of de novo lipogenesis. What causes insulin levels to be elevated depends partly on the foods we eat, but also by insulin resistance. Fructose, for example, plays a key role in elevating insulin resistance which will, in turn raise insulin levels. Insulin resistance leads to high insulin levels, which leads to higher resistance in a vicious cycle. That is, it can be self sustaining. So during weight loss, if we don’t ad Continue reading >>
Metabolic Damage And Keto Adaptation – Why And How.
I have been getting questions about how to keto adapt, and how long does keto adaption take etc. and does keeping calories up while keto dieting, does this reduce metabolic damage or adaptation even if your carbs are very low? So what this question is kind of centering on is the concept about metabolic damage and adaptation. My take is that your body becomes very efficient at burning calories when you drive your calories lower and lower and do more and more steady state cardio. I’m not talking about 1 or 2 – 45 min cardio sessions a week, I’m talking more about one or two hours of cardio per day. So this is a high amount of cardio and very low calories. Essentially what you’re doing is you’re just kind of metabolically shocking your system and your body responds by becoming a lot more efficient. Now these mechanisms of efficiency are starting to get studied in the scientific world but that’s basically kind of what we are talking about. Right now there isn’t much evidence, but they do believe something is there. The basis of these adaptations is definitely present. So how this does relate specifically to a ketogenic diet, and you know because your carbs are really low, can you still keep your calories high so you don’t get these metabolic adaptations. And the answer is yes. So what about ketosis? Let’s Get Scientific for a Moment This is a really important key to remember, ketosis is not weight loss, instead ketosis is actually a metabolic state when fat is being burned as your primary fuel source and then ketones are being produced. Ketones are by products of fat metabolism. Fat is getting oxidized at a very high rate, which results in ketone production and then you can measure ketones in either your urine (not recommended as I discuss here in my TOP K Continue reading >>
The Biggest Loser Fail And That Ketogenic Study Success
This week, splashed all over the New York Times, was an article about a paper written by Kevin Hall, a senior researcher at the National Institutes of Health. It was published in Obesity and titled “Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after ‘The Biggest Loser competition“. This generated a lot of hand-wringing about the futility of weight loss. NYT: After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight The study, along with another study presented by Kevin Hall seemed to generate more anxiety about the insulin hypothesis being dead. Of course, both these studies fit in perfectly with the hormonal view of obesity and reinforces once again the futility of following the Caloric Reduction as Primary approach. You could review my 50ish part series on Hormonal Obesity if you want a more in-depth view. So, let’s dive in an explain the findings of both of Dr. Hall’s excellent papers. His conclusions, well, let’s just say I don’t agree with them. The studies, though, were very well done. The Biggest Loser Let’s start with the first paper about the Biggest Loser. Essentially, what it did was follow 14 of the 16 Biggest Loser contestants. At the end of the show, they had all lost significant amounts of weight following a Eat Less, Move More approach. Contestants eat about 1000 – 1200 calories per day and exercise like mad people. What the study showed is that basal metabolism drops like a piano out of the Empire State building. It plummets. They are burning about 800 calories less per day than previously. The new paper shows that this metabolic rate does not recover even 6 years later. In other words, if you reduce your ‘Calories In’, your ‘Calories Out’ will automatically drop. This makes sense. If your body normally eats 2000 calories Continue reading >>
Nutritional Ketosis Affects Metabolism And Behavior In Sprague-dawley Rats In Both Control And Chronic Stress Environments
1Applied Neuroscience Branch, Warfighter Interface Division, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH, USA 2Research Associateship Program, National Research Council, National Academies of Science, Washington DC, USA 3Infoscitex, Inc., Dayton, OH, USA Nutritional ketosis may enhance cerebral energy metabolism and has received increased interest as a way to improve or preserve performance and resilience. Most studies to date have focused on metabolic or neurological disorders while anecdotal evidence suggests that ketosis may enhance performance in the absence of underlying dysfunction. Moreover, decreased availability of glucose in the brain following stressful events is associated with impaired cognition, suggesting the need for more efficient energy sources. We tested the hypotheses that ketosis induced by endogenous or exogenous ketones could: (a) augment cognitive outcomes in healthy subjects; and (b) prevent stress-induced detriments in cognitive parameters. Adult, male, Sprague Dawley rats were used to investigate metabolic and behavioral outcomes in 3 dietary conditions: ketogenic (KD), ketone supplemented (KS), or NIH-31 control diet in both control or chronic stress conditions. Acute administration of exogenous ketones resulted in reduction in blood glucose and sustained ketosis. Chronic experiments showed that in control conditions, only KD resulted in pronounced metabolic alterations and improved performance in the novel object recognition test. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response revealed that KD-fed rats maintained peripheral ketosis despite increases in glucose whereas no diet effects were observed in ACTH or CORT levels. Both KD and KS-fed rats decreased escape latencies on the third day of water maze, Continue reading >>
Ppar Alpha: The Protein That Revs Up Metabolism And Ketosis
PPAR alpha is a very important protein for metabolizing fat and for weight loss. If you want to interpret your genes, you can put them into SelfDecode. I’ve spoken about PPAR gamma. This post is about its related kin PPAR alpha, which has somewhat different effects. PPAR-alpha is a protein (transcription factor) that increases fat breakdown in the liver and elsewhere. Good metabolism is important for energy production. PPAR-alpha alters the expression of a large number of genes. PPAR-alpha is activated under conditions of calorie restriction and is necessary for the process of ketogenesis, a key adaptive response to prolonged fasting. PPAR-alpha is mainly found in the liver and brown fat, followed by the heart and kidney. Lower PPAR-alpha expression levels are found in the small and large intestine, muscle and adrenal gland. Activation of PPAR-alpha promotes uptake, utilization, and breakdown of fatty acids by increasing genes involved in fatty acid transport, binding, activation, and oxidation. Besides increasing fat utilization, it increases glucose production and bile synthesis/secretion (R). PPAR-alpha is critical for normal responses to fasting. Without PPARa, there is major metabolic disturbances including low levels of ketone bodies, hypoglycemia, and fatty liver. PPAR alpha helps with the detoxification of drugs and toxins (R). PPAR alpha is protective against heart disease by inhibiting macrophage inflammation and increasing cholesterol efflux (via LXR and ABCA1) (R). PPAR-a can help increase IGF-1, which will help you build muscle. Mice without PPAR-alpha have 40% less IGF-1 (R). PPAR alpha increases UCP-3 (R), which is important for fat loss. This and other mechanisms make PPAR alpha important for fat loss. Males are more prone to Th17 dominance, while fema Continue reading >>
A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity And Healthspan In Adult Mice
Summary Calorie restriction, without malnutrition, has been shown to increase lifespan and is associated with a shift away from glycolysis toward beta-oxidation. The objective of this study was to mimic this metabolic shift using low-carbohydrate diets and to determine the influence of these diets on longevity and healthspan in mice. C57BL/6 mice were assigned to a ketogenic, low-carbohydrate, or control diet at 12 months of age and were either allowed to live their natural lifespan or tested for physiological function after 1 or 14 months of dietary intervention. The ketogenic diet (KD) significantly increased median lifespan and survival compared to controls. In aged mice, only those consuming a KD displayed preservation of physiological function. The KD increased protein acetylation levels and regulated mTORC1 signaling in a tissue-dependent manner. This study demonstrates that a KD extends longevity and healthspan in mice. To access this article, please choose from the options below Now available: purchase access to all research journal HTML articles for 6 or 36 hours. Click here to explore this opportunity. Purchase Access to this Article If you are a current subscriber with Society Membership or an Account Number, claim your access now. Continue reading >>
Metabolic Effects Of The Very-low-carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood "villains" Of Human Metabolism
Go to: The Ketone Bodies are an Important Fuel The hormonal changes associated with a low carbohydrate diet include a reduction in the circulating levels of insulin along with increased levels of glucagon. This activates phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, fructose 1,6-biphosphatase, and glucose 6-phosphatase and also inhibits pyruvate kinase, 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase, and glucokinase. These changes indeed favor gluconeogenesis. However, the body limits glucose utilization to reduce the need for gluconeogenesis. In the liver in the well-fed state, acetyl CoA formed during the β-oxidation of fatty acids is oxidized to CO2 and H2O in the citric acid cycle. However, when the rate of mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue is accelerated, as, for example, during very low carbohydrate intake, the liver converts acetyl CoA into ketone bodies: Acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate. The liver cannot utilize ketone bodies because it lacks the mitochondrial enzyme succinyl CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase required for activation of acetoacetate to acetoacetyl CoA . Therefore, ketone bodies flow from the liver to extra-hepatic tissues (e.g., brain) for use as a fuel; this spares glucose metabolism via a mechanism similar to the sparing of glucose by oxidation of fatty acids as an alternative fuel. Indeed, the use of ketone bodies replaces most of the glucose required by the brain. Not all amino acid carbon will yield glucose; on average, 1.6 g of amino acids is required to synthesize 1 g of glucose . Thus, to keep the brain supplied with glucose at rate of 110 to 120 g/day, the breakdown of 160 to 200 g of protein (close to 1 kg of muscle tissue) would be required. This is clearly undesirable, and the body limits glucose utilization to reduce the need for gluconeogenesis Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Weight Loss Plateaus
I keep hearing people talk about their weight loss plateaus, and how they can get around them. Some go the extreme route of doing liquid fasting, others will ignore it and keep on keeping on. I wanted to put together a short list of common things that may be wreaking havok on the average ketogenic dieter, and go over some solutions that might help out. Keep in mind, this does not cover everything and it also covers a wide range of topics. As you read this, please read to the end. Don’t form ideas about your own body and apply the things that I am saying with no thought behind it. This is strictly for people that are hitting weight loss plateau’s and need some help. If you have only lost 1 or 2 pounds in a week, that is still weight loss and does not require action against it. Hidden Carbohydrates People on ketogenic diets eat more carbohydrates than they think. They’re hidden in vegetables, nuts, and certain meat products. Yes, that peanut butter you’re chomping on could be causing a problem! Especially if it’s store bought – that stuff is loaded with extra sugar. Some vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and squash are common culprits that find their way into our lives on a frequent basis. You might think that they’re low carb, but in large consumption, those carbs really do add up. You can look at the list of the best low carb vegetables we’ve put together, so that you can be more aware of the vegetables you eat. Meat is the center of most of our lives, and there’s sugar everywhere you look. Some bacon is honey smoked, adding unnecessary carbs to an already delicious product. Why the madness? Look for bacon with no sugar added. When you start to look into Italian sausages, chorizo, and canned meats, there’s more carbs than most think. Some b 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 >>
Metabolic Pathways: How The Body Uses Energy
Metabolic pathways in the body determine how we utilize the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) we eat, and ultimately what happens to the fuels that come from each macronutrient. It all depends on when the last meal was finished. If the body is in a "fasting or starvation" mode, energy pathways will behave differently than when food is available. Food is available! The macronutrients (carbohydrate, fats and protein) on your plate are broken down in separate metabolic pathways: Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by various enzymes. Some are burned for immediate energy, but overall the level of glucose in the blood stream rises, which triggers an insulin release by the pancreas. The insulin acts to push glucose into the cells to be made into ATP, stored as glycogen or when in excess amounts, stored as fat droplets called triglycerides in the fat cells (adipose tissue). Fats are digested in the small intestine, and then packaged into lipoproteins for various functions (ever heard of LDL and HDL? ) Excess fat calories often end up as fat droplets in fat cells. When fats are used as an energy source, they are broken down in cellular mitochondria through a process called beta-oxidation. Proteins are broken down into individual amino acids and used in body cells to form new proteins or to join the amino acid pool, a sort of "cache" for these molecules. Amino acids that are in excess of the body's needs are converted by liver enzymes into keto acids and urea. Keto acids may be used as sources of energy, converted into glucose, or stored as fat. Urea is excreted from everyone’s body in sweat and urine. Body is "Fasting" Carbohydrate, fats and protein are metabolized in separate processes into a common product called acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is a major meta Continue reading >>
The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?
Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>