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 >>
Should You Have Cheat Meals On A Ketogenic Diet?
Damn does that cake look good! Cheat meals. Everyone thinks about them when following any diet, and the ketogenic diet is no exception. You might be wondering if you should have cheat meals while going keto. Is it worth it? Is it okay? Will it mess up your progress completely? Intellectually, why would you want to eat something that isn’t in line with your goals or your health? Let’s face it, cheat day meals are bad for you. We know it. The ketogenic diet is simple, but not always easy, and there are some grey areas, so lLet’s talk a little bit about what happens when you have cheat meals and whether or not they’re worth it. You might know people who do low-carb long-term and schedule cheat meals in at regular times, such as on the weekends or set days each month. While this creates a healthy mindset around not needing to be perfect, things are a little different with the ketogenic diet. Since keto is stricter than other low-carb diets, (see our post on keto vs. Atkins) it’s more tempting to have cheat meals. However, the effects of them can be more dramatic. Disadvantages of Cheat Meals on the Ketogenic Diet Here are some consequences of having cheat meals. These are things to consider before flying off the deep end with some emotional eating. Let’s get the big one out of the way first, Cheating Takes You out of Ketosis Since cheating on the keto diet more than likely will take you out of ketosis—especially if the cheat meal or snack is carb-heavy—you have to be prepared for this fact. Know that it’ll likely set you back some and take some time to get back into a ketogenic state. When you have eaten what you suspect was a “cheat meal,” put it to the acid test, and test your ketone levels. People are often surprised that they stay in ketosis after Continue reading >>
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet Food List
This article gives you the cyclical ketogenic diet food list, including what to eat on low carb and high carb days. In case you don’t already know, the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) is a variation of the standard ketogenic diet (SKD) that includes periods of low carb periods, followed by 1-2 days of high carb refeeds. Here’s what a typical cyclical ketogenic diet schedule looks like: 5-6 days of low carb. 1-2 days of high carb The week’s menu is divided into two During low carb days, you eat the typical ketogenic macros – ultra-low carb, moderate protein and high fat. On refeed days you eat low fat, moderate protein, and high carb. The idea of carb cycling is to suppress the body’s insulin and blood sugar levels, which will increase fat burning and has other hormonal benefits. Depleting muscle glycogen initially and then refilling them with carbs has a supercompensatory effect, which increases amino acid synthesis and torches metabolic rate. Here I’ll give you the foods eaten during low carb days. These are all standard keto foods that keep insulin low and blood sugar stable. Keto Carbs – total macronutrient proportion <5-10%, in general, 20-50 grams NET a day Dark leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, artichokes, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, More greens, like green beans, chard, celery, cucumber, lettuce, salad, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, squash, mushrooms Low carb berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, currants, raspberries, rhubarb. Keto Protein – total macronutrient proportion 15-30%, in general, 0.7-1.2 grams/lb of lean body mass Fatty meat, such as pork chops, chicken with skin on, ground beef, game meat, bacon, sausages without wheat, organ meats, duc Continue reading >>
How To Get Into Ketosis Faster On A Low Carb Diet
This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. We may earn money from purchases made through links mentioned in this post, but all opinions are our own. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliates sites. Want to be a fat-burning machine without having to count calories? Here’s a few ideas on how to get into ketosis faster on a low carb diet. Do you want to look leaner for bikini season? Yoga pants starting to feel a little tighter? One way to burn fat fast is to go on a ketogenic diet. The physiological process of burning stored fat instead of sugar, can be achieved within a short amount of time after following a strict keto diet. It is possible to get there in a day. In fact, some people show you how to get into ketosis, this fat burning state, in 24 hours. Do you need to fast? Becoming keto adapted where the body burns fat rather than sugar isn’t as hard as you might think. And, you don’t have to starve yourself to get there quickly. The great news for those who want to know how to get into ketosis faster is, well … you don’t have to fast. Fasting has been used for thousands of years by virtually every religion and traditional society. There are some people who think that a complete fast (not just intermittent fasting) is a way to get into ketosis faster. But the great thing about following a ketogenic diet is that you can eat until your heart—er, stomach—is content. You just have to eat enough of the right foods. And, of course, eat very little of the wrong foods. Is getting into ketosis safe without a doctor? Before reviewing how to get into ketosis quickly, let’s take a look at a quick background: T Continue reading >>
Not Losing Weight On Low Carb? Try Carb Cycling.
Carbohydrates are just as addictive as nicotine, if not more. The first time I quit smoking after fourteen years, I quit it for two years. Then one night at a party I was offered a cigarette by someone I hadn’t seen for a while and I, figuring I was “cured,” lit it up. The next day I bought a pack and jumped right back into smoking a pack a day for three more years before I finally quit again (2.5 years now!) When it comes to carbohydrates, I don’t see a difference. Last year on my birthday, after doing keto for a solid six or seven months, my wonderful fiance got me a doughnut cake as a cheat day treat. A doughnut, the size of a cake. I figured hey, it’s one day, one doughnut. But it wasn’t. The minute carbohydrates were back in my system it was as if they were never gone. And suddenly we were ordering Dominos and drinking Coca-Cola. And again. And again. In fact, I never ate pizza regularly or drank soda until that moment. It’s like one big doughnut was a gateway drug to everything bad, even things I didn’t eat before. Eight months and 20lbs later we were able to get the will power together to quit them again. Losing Weight on a Low Carb Diet If you’re on a low carb diet, you don’t need me to tell you the benefits. Some do it for weight loss, others for mental clarity, and others for illnesses like cancer and alzheimers. But remember, quitting carbs doesn’t mean quitting real food. Every day I eat grass-fed meat, organic greens like spinach, and even berries. If you choose to drink diet coke and processed things loaded with fake sugars, with a block of cheese for lunch, you’re not making yourself healthier, you might even be damaging your body rather than helping it. One thing I’ve learned from quitting carbohydrates and then falling off the Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Beginners Guide
Brief Overview A ketogenic diet is a way of eating that promotes a state of ketosis in the body. Generally speaking a ketogenic diet will have the following macronutrient ratios: High Fat – 60%-80% of total calories come from fat. Moderate Protein – 15%-35% of total calories come from protein. Low Carbohydrate – 5% or less of total calories come from carbohydrates. Everyone’s macronutrient breakdown will be different and depends on a variety of factors. Reference our Keto Macro Calculator to figure out what yours are! Eating in accordance with these macronutrient ratio’s will deplete your body of glucose and force it to start producing ketones. Your body will then use these ketones for energy. What is Ketosis From Wikipedia: 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 (sugar) provides most of the energy. With the abundance of high carbohydrate foods available in modern times, virtually all human beings that don’t make a concerted effort to restrict carbs are always in a state of glycolysis. There are a number of reasons why ketosis is beneficial when compared to glycolysis, which we will get into later. What are Ketones? Ketones are the fuel source your body is running on when it’s in a state of ketosis. They are produced in the liver when glycogen is depleted and are characterized as a slower burning fuel source when compared to glucose. Insulin and Keto This is where the magic happens. Eating a high carb diet means you’re always producing insulin to transport the glucose around your body. The fat can just sit around and watch because insulin is doing all the work. The fat is eventually stored, which leads to weight gain. In a Continue reading >>
Carb Refeed When Doing A Ketogenic Diet?
Carb Refeed is one of the predominant terms used against ketogenic athletes, people say you need carb to do endurance or any kind of exercise, but is this true? New post by Jacob Wilson aka “The Muscle Prof” Do you Need to Carb up on a ketogenic diet? The answer is NO! In this study 22 elite athletes on either a high carb diet (50 % of calories) or a ketogenic diet (Carbs only 5-10 % of calories) performed a long duration endurance event meant to deplete muscle carbohydrate stores (glycogen). After exercise subjects in the keto group received a high fat low carb shake, while the carb group received a high carb, low fat drink. As you can see muscle glycogen / carb stores were the same in both groups at the beginning. And amazingly the low carb athletes replenished carb stores equally as fast as the high carb group following exercise! This brings into question the need to carb up on the weekends when ketogenic dieting. Do you Need to Carb up on a ketogenic diet? The answer is NO! In this study 22 elite athletes on either a high carb… Continue reading >>
Carbing Up On The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
Please send us your feedback on this article. Introduction Although ketogenic diets are useful for fat loss, while simultaneously sparing muscle loss, they have one significant drawback: they cannot sustain high intensity exercise. Activities like weight training can only use carbohydrates as an energy source, ketones and free fatty acids (FFA) cannot be used. Therefore the lack of carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet will eventually lead to decreased performance in the weight room, which may result in muscle loss, and carbohydrates must be introduced into a ketogenic diet without affecting ketosis. Probably the most common way to do this is to do a weekend carb-load phase, where ketosis is abolished. During this time period, assuming training volume was sufficient to deplete muscle glycogen (see last article), the body can rapidly increase muscle glycogen levels to normal or supra-normal levels prior to beginning the next ketogenic cycle. Anyone who has read both "The Anabolic Diet" (AD) by Dr. Mauro DiPasquale and "Bodyopus" (BO) by Dan Duchaine should realize that there are two diametrically different approaches to the carb-up. In the AD, the carb-up is quite unstructured. The goal is basically to eat a lot of carbs, and stop eating when you feel yourself starting to get bloated (which is roughly indicative of full muscle glycogen stores, where more carbohydrate will spill over to fat). In BO, an extremely meticulous carb-up schedule was provided, breaking down the 48 hour carb-up into individual meals, eaten every 2.5 hours. The approach which this article will provide is somewhere in the middle. This article will discuss a variety of topics which pertain to the carb-load phase of the CKD, including duration, carbohydrate intake, quality of carbohydrate intake, fat gai 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 >>
Advanced Ketogenic Dieting
There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to ketogenic dieting. All around us we have hundreds of books, so many experts, endless opinions from people who have done it themselves and posted their views online. Right now the water is exceedingly muddied. The goal of this article it to not only give a clear view on the keto protocols but also lay out an sound tried and true protocol along with a systematic way to set it up. Ketogenic Dieting Defined Lets start this off talking about what ketogenic dieting means and doesn’t mean. A lot of people think that keto means eating low carbs. Some people think it means just eating protein. Ketogenic dieting is achieved by getting into ketosis, and that is a process that the body has to go through. Eating low carbs or only eating protein, etc, doesn’t mean the body will get into ketosis. Generally speaking being keto means that someone has limited their carbohydrate intake to extremely low levels until their body runs out of stored glycogen causing the body to start making ketones (fats) to run on. THAT is what the main goal of a ketogenic diet is- being in ketosis and a state of using fat for fuel. We all have glycogen (carbs) stored in our liver, and when we limit carb consumption our liver kicks out stored glycogen to fuel our activity. When that liver glycogen runs out that is when the body flips the switch and starts making ketones for us to use as energy. Ketones are fractionated fats that yield 7 cals per gram (regular fats yield 9 calories per gram when used for energy). This is very interesting because when we are eating a carb based diet, carbs give us 4 calories per carb eaten to burn for energy. Being in a ketogenic state we are burning 7 calories per ketone….meaning we are burning more energy at rest. I Continue reading >>
Low Carb Dieting Myths
The myths about low carb dieting and specifically ketogenic diets abound in the American collective consciousness. These are just a few of the most pervasive myths I've encountered, with explanations as to why they are incorrect and simply don't make sense, scientifically: Myth 1: Carbs are an essential nutrient for good health. Some nutrition professionals still believe that carbohydrates are necessary to provide glucose to fuel the brain and avoid hypoglycemia. It's an old way of thinking, and it's just not true scientifically. Essential nutrients are nutrients which your body cannot make, so they have to be obtained on a daily basis from your food sources. There are essential proteins, and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. When the body is in ketosis, it has a “glucose sparing” effect. First, the skeletal muscles burn fatty acids preferentially which spares glucose for the brain to use. Second, once a person is keto-adapted, the brain switches to using ketone bodies for over half of the fuel it needs, and less glucose is needed since ketone bodies are being used as an alternative fuel. This small amount of carbohydrate (glucose or blood sugar) needed to fuel the brain during keto adaptation can be generated internally. Your liver can make all the glucose needed for brain function from glycogen stored in the liver. And if need be, the body can also make glucose from the protein in your food. Hence, carbohydrates are NOT essential nutrients, and many people, such as the Inuit of Alaska and the Masai of Africa live without them for long periods of time without any effect on health and well-being. The “brain needs carbs” idea is only true if you consistently eat a high carb diet (as most registered dietitians will tel Continue reading >>
Carbs For Ketosis
To maintain ketosis, we need to substantially limit the carbs we eat. Ideally we should eat less than 20 grams of net carbs. Exactly how much depends on each individual person and many people will maintain ketosis even when they eat up to 50 grams of carbs. When you start out, go as low as possible and work out over time what works for you and how many carbs you can consume and still remain in ketosis. In this article we want to take a closer look at carbs to understand the different types and what they do in our bodies. With a better understanding, we can make better decisions. First we look at carbs as per their traditional classification of simple and complex. Then the more recent classification based on the glycemic index and load. Lastly we look at what carbs to eat and what not to eat. Continue reading >>
What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?
If you're looking for the trendiest diet since Paleo, this might be it—only with more fat, way less protein, and virtually zero carbs. The ketogenic diet, which has reportedly been used by celebs like Kim Kardashian and NBA player Lebron James, is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was originally developed to treat epilepsy in children (experts can't say for sure why it reduces the frequency of seizures, but it does seem to work). The whole diet is based on a process called ketosis, which is when your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which can be used as energy, says Tracy A. Siegfried, M.D., medical director at The N.E.W. Program, a bariatric and metabolic weight-loss center in California. The ketones replace carbohydrates as your body’s main energy source, meaning you are running on (and burning) fat. To tell if your body is in a state of ketosis, you can measure your blood or urine for elevated levels of ketones (Ketostix, used to test keto-dieters ketone levels, are available at many pharmacies). If this sounds familiar, it's probably because ketosis is also the goal of the first stage of the Atkins diet. But unlike the keto diet, the Atkins diet aims to get you into a mild state of ketosis and allows for more carbohydrates. In other words, keto is more hardcore. So What the Heck Do You Eat? To get your body to reach ketosis, 80 to 90 percent of the calories you consume should come from fat, and the rest should come from a combo of protein and carbs, says Siegfried. Plus, your carb intake is limited to 10 to 35 grams per day. That's roughly the amount in a single apple, glass of milk, or piece of bread. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to eat fruit or milk-based products without su Continue reading >>
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 >>
The Keto Diet: A Low-carb Approach To Fat Loss
Along with the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet, individuals who are interested in low carbohydrate approaches to dieting will likely want to look into the Keto Diet. Popular among many who are trying to maintain blood sugar levels and lose body fat, the main premise of this diet is, 'eat fat to lose fat'. So How Does It Work? The idea of the ketone diet is to get your body into a process called Ketosis where you stop burning carbohydrates as fuel and instead turn to the burning of what are known as ketones. This will occur when you bring your carbohydrate levels to around 50 grams per day or lower. Many keto activists advise that number to be 30 grams of carbohydrates but most individuals can still maintain ketosis while consuming the 50 grams and this allows for a little more leeway in the diet since you can increase the consumption of vegetables and a variety of flavoring's that contain a few grams of carbohydrates. TKD Or CKD Usually people who are involved with exercise will follow either a TKD (targeted keto diet) or a CKD (cyclical keto diet). TKD A TKD is one where you will eat carbohydrates right before and right after your workouts. This is the best bet for those who are involved in more intense activities and require some carbohydrates to fuel them and who are not as interested in doing carb loads and depletion workouts. CKD A CKD on the other hand is a diet where you will eat a minimum amount of carbohydrates per day (that 30-50 gram number) and then on the weekend (or at a time that is appropriate for you) do a large 'carb-up' phase where you will eat a large amount of carbohydrates in an effort to refill your muscle glycogen stores so you can continue to workout the coming week. Normally right before the carb-up phase you will do a depletion workout wh Continue reading >>