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Diet 911: Ketosis For Dummies

Diet 911: Ketosis For Dummies

Dear M&F, I’m trying to see my six-pack. I’m following a ketogenic diet, but my weight loss seems to have slowed down. Can you help me speed things up? —Wayne F., KS Ketogenic diets (around 50 grams of carbs per day) are extremely effective for getting lean because you reset the body’s enzymatic machinery to use fat as its primary fuel source in the absence of carbs. I see three problems with your diet that are certainly causing your fat-loss plateau—too much protein, not enough good fat, and residual carbohydrates. Play Video Play Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Remaining Time -0:00 This is a modal window. Foreground --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Opaque Background --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Window --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400% Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps Defaults Done To break your plateau, pump up the fat in your diet to about 50% of your total daily calories and reduce the protein to 30%–40%. The rest of your calories will come from vegetables. Traditionally, bodybuilders opt to get their protein from tuna and lean meats such as chicken breast. However, on a diet like this, you should switch to darker meats and oily fish. Eating salmon, chicken thighs, lamb, and lean beef allows you to get your protein and fat in one source. The last issue is your consumption of “residual” carbohydrates—the carbs you’re not even aware you’re eating, like those in nuts and meal-replacement shakes. It’s OK t Continue reading >>

The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

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

Breaking A Weight Loss Plateau

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 >>

How To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat Through Ketosis

How To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat Through Ketosis

Losing stubborn belly fat is one of the biggest challenges when getting in shape. Belly fat is not only aesthetically unappealing, it has health consequences. It can make you vulnerable to many conditions such as diabetes and heart problems. In this blog, we will share with you why belly fat is so ‘stubborn’ to burn, explain what exactly is Ketosis and how you can lose stubborn belly fat through Ketosis. We will also share a specific exercise and a diet plan to help burn this belly fat. What is Stubborn Belly fat and why it is bad for our health? While you may have fat all over different parts of your body, it isn’t the same. Stubborn belly fat is the soft layers of fat around the waistline that covers your abs. To be more precise, there are three types of fat: Triglycerides– A fat circulates in your blood Subcutaneous Fat– The layer of fat directly below the skin’s surface. This is the fat you can grab with your hands Visceral Fat– The dangerous fat. This is located beneath the muscles in your stomach Belly fat unfortunately does not just sit still. Some visceral fat is necessary, but too much can lead to health problems. You can estimate whether you are carrying too much belly fat by measuring your waist with tape. Anything over 80 cm (31.5 inches) in women and 94 cm (37 inches) can provoke health issues. Carrying excess visceral fat is associated with an increased risk for: Coronary heart disease Cancer Stroke Dementia Diabetes Depression Arthritis Obesity Sexual dysfunction Sleep disorders Why is Stubborn belly fat so “Stubborn”? To understand what makes belly fat so difficult to burn,let’s dive into the biology. Burning fat is a two-part process: Lipolysis is the process whereby fat cells release molecules of stored fat into the blood. Oxidation Continue reading >>

How To Make A Fat Cell Less Not Thin: The Lessons Of Fat Flux

How To Make A Fat Cell Less Not Thin: The Lessons Of Fat Flux

I do still plan to finish the third, and perhaps a fourth, part on the “Ketosis – advantaged or misunderstood state?” mini-series. However, a question I get often makes me realize a tiny bit of housekeeping is in order before we go there. The question is basically a variation on this theme: Does being in ketosis automatically translate to fat loss? For those too busy to read ahead, let me give you the punch line: No. For those who want to understand why, keep reading (hopefully this is still everyone). This topic is — surprise, surprise — very nuanced, and almost always bastardized when oversimplified, which I’m about to do, though hopefully less than most. Without oversimplifying, though, this will turn into a textbook of 1,000 pages. From the ketosis series, or at least the first and second part, along with the video in this previous post, you should have taken away that ketosis is not some ‘magical state of mystery.’ It’s simply a state of physiology where our liver turns fatty acid (both ingested and stored) into ketones. In part III (and possibly a part IV) of that series, I’ll go more into the actions of ketones and why you may or may not want to consider putting yourself into a state where your liver makes them. There seems to be great confusion around ‘nutritional’ ketosis (a term we use to distinguish ‘dietary-induced’ ketosis from the other 2 forms of ketosis: starvation ketosis and ketoacidosis, the latter a serious complication of type I diabetes). But, before I try to dispel any of the confusion, we need to go through a little primer on what I like to call “fat flux.” One point before diving in, please do not assume because I’m writing this post that I think adiposity (the technical term for relative amount of fat in the bo Continue reading >>

Water Fasting Ketosis Is Where The Fat Burn Heaven Begins

Water Fasting Ketosis Is Where The Fat Burn Heaven Begins

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about water fasting ketosis. I'll explain how water fasting can help you reach your absolute highest possible fat burn rates, which is easily the single biggest benefit of ketosis. You'll also see the science on how long it actually takes before you can enter ketosis during a water fast. You'll also learn about one of the most dangerous problems of water fasting ketosis. I'll also tell you why it is a very good idea to avoid one of the most common mistakes people make once they already reach ketosis during a water fast. Now that you know what you're getting yourself into, here's a quick overview of everything that's covered in this guide: The single biggest benefit of water fasting ketosis Simply put, ketosis is a state where you get to enjoy your absolutely highest possible fat burn rates. If you're on your regular diet, your body can draw energy from a couple of different sources (so not just from your body fat reserves). Those other, non-fat energy sources are the main reason why your fat burn rates stay on the low end, even if you start eating less food. But during a water fast, because you're eating no food at all, those other energy sources in your body will be completely wiped out after a while. Once that happens, your body will enter full ketosis, and in that state of full ketosis, your body will have no choice but to rely almost exclusively on your body fat reserves. With no other energy sources available, ketosis will trigger some pretty amazing fat burn rates in your body. Water fasting is one of the fastest ways to reach that state of super high fat burn. And a lot of people do a water fast just for this reason. There's only one problem with reaching ketosis through water fasting. PRO TIP: A different Continue reading >>

7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis

7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that provides several health benefits. During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy. Studies have found that diets that promote ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, due in part to their appetite-suppressing effects (1, 2). Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions (3, 4). That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It's not just as simple as cutting carbs. Here are 7 effective tips to get into ketosis. Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis. Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies. Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body. Your liver converts some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketones can be used as fuel by portions of the brain (5, 6). The level of carb restriction needed to induce ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some people need to limit net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams per day, while others can achieve ketosis while eating twice this amount or more. For this reason, the Atkins diet specifies that carbs be restricted to 20 or fewer grams per day for two weeks to guarantee that ketosis is achieved. After this point, s Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Weight Loss Plateaus

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 >>

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips 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, 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. This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). I personally recommend a cyclic ketogenic diet for most of my clients where you go low-carb for 3 days and then have a slightly higher carbohydrate day, followed by 3 lower carb days. This cycles the body in and out of a state of ketosis and is beneficial for hormone balance while keeping inflammatory levels very low. The biggest challenge with this nutrition plan is to get into and maintain the state of fat adaption. Here are several advanced tips to get into and maintain ketosis. 1. Stay Hydrated: This is considered a no-brainer, but is not easy to follow. We often get so busy in our day-day lives that we forget to hydrate effectively. I recommend super hydrating your system by drinking 32 oz of filtered water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48 oz of water before noon. I have most of my clients do a water fast or eat light in the morning doing smoothies or keto coffee or tea. So hydration around these dishes should be well tolerated by the digestive system. In general, aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water and closer to your full body weight in ounces of water daily will help you immensely. I weigh 160 lbs and easily drink 140-180 ounces of water each day. Sometimes more in the summer time. As you begin super Continue reading >>

How To Lose Weight On A Keto Diet In 5 Easy Steps (+ 4 Real-life Examples)

How To Lose Weight On A Keto Diet In 5 Easy Steps (+ 4 Real-life Examples)

CLEARLY the “eat less”, “eat low fat”, and “just eat everything in moderation” diets haven’t worked too well for most people. So, if you’re still trying to lose weight and keep it off, then maybe it’s time to try something that’s working for tens of thousands of people right now… The Ketogenic Diet. But is it all too good to be true? Yes, we believe Keto is fantastic for weight loss. We’ve just seen it work for way too many people (check out the success stories below). But it’s also not for everyone. So, in this post, we are giving you the real facts behind all the hype as well as real-life stories of people who have lost a lot of weight on Keto. PLUS, how to get started on Keto to lose weight in 5 EASY Steps. What is the Ketogenic Diet? THE HISTORY: Originally the Ketogenic diet was created as an effective treatment for epileptic children. BUT NOW: More and more people are finding that a Ketogenic diet has tons of benefits, including: a healthy way to lose weight, control blood sugar levels, improve your brain function, and potentially even reverse a myriad of health conditions. How does keto do this? The Keto diet puts your body into a powerful fat-burning metabolic state called nutritional ketosis. NUTRITIONAL KETOSIS: In nutritional ketosis, your body generally uses very few carbohydrates for energy. Instead, it switches to using ketones (which are produced from the breakdown of fats). That’s why the keto diet is often called a fat-burning diet… You can literally be burning your own body fat for energy! (It’s still unclear whether ketosis is the magical factor that makes a Keto diet so effective for weight-loss, but whatever it is, it seems to work!) So, how do we get into this nutritional ketosis state? You can get into nutritional k Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Can Kickstart Weight Loss And Boost Brain Fitness

Ketogenic Diet Can Kickstart Weight Loss And Boost Brain Fitness

A ketogenic diet is an extreme nutritional intervention based on very low carbohydrate intake designed to mimic starvation and drive the body into ketosis, in which the body shifts from using glucose as its main fuel to using fat. While other low-carb diets like the Atkins and Paleo diets have also focused on carb restriction, the ketogenic diet is far more than the latest fad diet but rather one supported by strong research to improve health, energy, brain function, and weight loss. Although the ketogenic diet (KD) has been studied extensively for weight loss, promising research has shown a wide range of benefits in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzeheimer's disease. Promising research has shown that ketones may be neuroprotective, reducing the risk of cognitive decline while boosting memory, energy and mood. The KD provides antioxidant benefits that yield promise in treating cancer, and, in animal models, has been shown to confer longevity. The Science of the KD The goal of the ketogenic diet is to shift the body and brain to preferentially use ketone bodies formed by the mobilization of fat tissue as the fuel source instead of glucose. Ketone bodies such as acetoacetate and b-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are formed by the body through ketogenesis and can be oxidized as a preferred energy source when energy is sparse as with fasting or high-intensity or prolonged endurance exercise. After three to four days of fasting, the mobilization of ketone bodies from fat stores produces the state of ketosis which can be a physiological response (with low glucose, low insulin) or can be pathological as in uncontrolled diabetes (with high glucose, low insulin). Ketogenesis is an evolutionary adaptation key to our survival in periods of famine to allow the body and brai Continue reading >>

How To Increase Fat Burning During Ketosis

How To Increase Fat Burning During Ketosis

There is an overwhelming number of options for those looking for the most effective ways to lose significant amounts of weight. From crazy exercise routines to diet fads, a variety of solutions are available. Among others, one that can prove to be promising would be a ketogenic diet. In it’s purest form it is a low carb high-fat dieting lifestyle that urges the body go into ketosis. Ketosis itself is a form of body process to generate energy from ketones. These chemicals, however, are produced when our body does not store enough carb to make energy for our body, so fat is used to replace it. Yet, some people seem to have thought that ketosis is a negative state of our body and wonder how ketosis can increase fat burning? Well, in fact, ketosis can be a very effective way to burn fat. Hence, several people think about taking this ketogenic diet as a fat burning program to use maximally energy produced by fat. If you have an interest in a ketogenic diet to help weight management, then this is how it works and how to do it. How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work? When you restrict sugars and high carb foods you build up ketone molecules in your bloodstream. You stop burning glucose and essentially carbohydrates as fuels and switch to burn ketone fats for energy. The metabolic change is expected to happen as your body always prefers ketones over glucose. Its energy is a much cleaner fuel source and one that will be responsible for getting rid of excess belly fat. Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet Aside from being an effective way to lose weight, a ketogenic diet has also been popular for its benefits for various health conditions. One of the best things about ketone diet is that it dampens the appetite. It will make you feel fuller for an extended period of time. Eating moderate pro Continue reading >>

4 Easy Tricks To Help You Maximize A Low Carb Diet Plan

4 Easy Tricks To Help You Maximize A Low Carb Diet Plan

Looking for the best way to get the most out of your low-carb diet program? If you are looking for a simple way to help you reach your target weight quickly then you have probably come across one of the many low carb diet plans out there that are popular. Weight loss diets such as the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Primal Blueprint and The Paleo Diet are some examples of the popular dietary trends out there today that are extremely low in carbs. In essence, they are pretty much all the same, with each one putting their own unique twist on the subject of eating a diet low in carbs while branding their approach specifically for marketing purposes. The Popularity of Low Carb Diets Has Grown These types of restricted carbohydrate diets have become extremely popular over the past few years because people have reported fast and effective weight loss by using them. There have also been reports of amazing health benefits in treating many ailments and improving overall well being. With that said, it seems that there are way too many new low carb diet plans, books and programs that are coming out every month. Just check out Amazon and you will be surprised how many copycats there are being released at the speed of light, all way too similar in approach. Regardless of which plan you choose to follow though, in order for you to experience the best results, there are a few significant tips you need to abide by. This article will help you to reap the greatest benefits in the shortest amount of time, regardless of which plan you decide to follow. And these are simple tips too; just a few things you should do in order to see the fastest results while following any low carb diet program. 1. Turn Down the Exercise Volume The first thing that you will want to keep in mind when following a Continue reading >>

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Do you want to lose weight? Here’s number 16 of my 18 best tips. All of the published tips can be found on the How to Lose Weight page. Before we get started, here’s a short recap of the tips so far: The first and most crucial piece of advice was to choose a low-carb diet. The next were eating when hungry, eating real food, eating only when hungry, measuring progress wisely, being persistent, avoiding fruit, beer and artificial sweeteners, review your medications, stressing less and sleeping more, eating less dairy and nut products, stocking up on vitamins and minerals, using intermittent fasting and finally, exercising smart. This is number sixteen: 16. Get into optimal ketosis Warning: Not recommended for type 1 diabetics, see below. We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again. So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume less calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect. Video course Do you know exactly how to eat a low-carb and high fat diet (LCHF)? This is required for ketosis. If not the easiest way is watching this high quality 11-minute video course on how to eat LCHF, and the most important things to think a Continue reading >>

Is A Ketogenic Diet Really More Effective For Fat Loss?

Is A Ketogenic Diet Really More Effective For Fat Loss?

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study last week to investigate claims that a ketogenic diet can facilitate greater fat loss than diets relatively higher in carbohydrate. Commonly known as “keto”, a ketogenic diet is a diet typically characterized by a 4:1 ratio of dietary fat to protein and carbohydrate and was originally used in the treatment of childhood epilepsy. It has been theorized that keto diets facilitate greater fat loss in humans as an absence of dietary carbohydrate forces the body to oxidize fat as its primary energy source. Taubes and colleagues set out to test this theory. Their study was conducted over eight weeks in a research facility known as a metabolic ward. Seventeen overweight or obese volunteers participated, with no opportunity to eat foods outside of the diets of the study. For the first four weeks, the subjects were fed a high-carbohydrate, high-sugar diet. Fifty percent of their total calories came from carbohydrate (338g per day), and 25% of their total calories came from sugar. The HCD diet totaled 2,739 calories per day. For the second four weeks, they were fed a very-low-carbohydrate, low-sugar ketogenic diet. Five percent of their total calories came from carbohydrate (36g per day), and 2% of their total calories came from sugar. 15% percent of the calories came from protein. The keto diet totaled 2,738 calories per day. Note that the caloric intakes were kept close to identical, meaning fat loss could only be attributed to the source of the food rather than its caloric content. The volunteers spent two days a week inside metabolic chambers, where their calorie expenditure was measured. Once every two weeks, their body composition was measured via a DEXA scan. The researchers also used doubly labeled water to m Continue reading >>

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