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Reintroducing Carbs After Ketosis

How Low-carb Diets Wrecked Our Health: As Women Reveal How They Suffered Fertility Problems, Thin Hair And Fragile Bones, Do You Still Fancy A Trendy High-protein Diet?

How Low-carb Diets Wrecked Our Health: As Women Reveal How They Suffered Fertility Problems, Thin Hair And Fragile Bones, Do You Still Fancy A Trendy High-protein Diet?

Brooke Power, 27, suffered migraines and dizziness Nutritionists say a balanced diet is better Gillian O'Toole, 32, nearly passed out on the Paleo Diet Emma-Victoria Houlton loves her food; whether it's a Sunday roast with all the trimmings or an Italian meal, she's always happy to tuck in. But just five years ago, Emma, 29, would have baulked at eating pasta, bread, pizza dough, potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. Why? Because, like thousands of others, she believed high-protein, low-carb regimes like the Atkins or Paleo diets were the most effective way to be slim. Diet damage: Emma-Victoria Houlton, left, broke a bone in her foot due to calcium deficiency while Brooke Power, right, suffered migraines and dizziness during ten months on a low carb diet But, after cutting down on carbs so much that she wouldn't even eat dairy products as they contain lactose - a sugar - Emma-Victoria believes she has permanently damaged her health. 'I was only a size eight but found it hard to stay slim,' she says. 'Then, when I was 22, I saw a documentary about the Atkins diet, thought it was great and cut most carbs out of my diet. 'Breakfast was an omelette, lunch was chicken with lettuce and dinner was something meaty with vegetables like kale, cabbage, sprouts or runner beans, which don’t contain starch. 'I got all the classic symptoms associated with a low-carb diet: dry mouth, tiredness, crankiness and bad breath. But I saw great results - my 8st 7lb weight was much easier to maintain.' Unbelievably, Emma-Victoria, a creative director in Manchester, stuck to the regime for three punishing years. 'At restaurants, every meal had to be steak and salad,' she says. 'I'd go to a friend's house for dinner and if they'd made pasta, I'd eat a tiny amount, so as not to be rude, and end up f Continue reading >>

Why Your Ketogenic Diet Isn’t Working Part One: Underfueling And Overtraining

Why Your Ketogenic Diet Isn’t Working Part One: Underfueling And Overtraining

“My training, racing, and health were all great… until I crashed.” For athletes, it’s not uncommon for the transition to a ketogenic diet from a standard high-carbohydrate diet to look something like this: Take all the carbs out of your diet, cold-turkey - feel awful… Build the metabolic machinery to burn fat more efficiently - feel great! Suddenly, out of nowhere - crash. Like a rollercoaster, you went from feeling terrible to feeling on top of the world, and then back to feeling terrible. The question is “why the crash??” You think: maybe I just need to do a few more fasted training sessions each week. Or, maybe I need to drop my carbs from 30 grams per day to 20 grams per day (broccoli just has too many carbs)... Nope. You might just need to train less and eat more. Still here? Good. This is part one of a series of articles examining potential reasons why a ketogenic diet may fail to produce the expected benefits. Regardless of whether things are just now starting to go downhill, or you never saw results in the first place, the most important step is recognizing that something isn’t right. Getting into nutritional ketosis is one thing, but just because you’re registering 2.0mmol/L on the blood ketone meter doesn’t mean the diet is working for you. Ultimately, performance and health are the goals, and they may or may not coincide with high blood ketones. There are many aspects of life as an endurance athlete that must be accounted for in the equation of optimal health and performance. The most important one that we regularly see is people struggling on a ketogenic diet because they’re underfueling and overtraining. So that’s where we’ll begin! Ultimately, performance and health are the goals, and they may or may not coincide with high blood k Continue reading >>

6 Easy Steps For Reintroducing Carbs Without Gaining Weight

6 Easy Steps For Reintroducing Carbs Without Gaining Weight

Have you tried a ketogenic diet and discovered it's not the right diet for you? Me too! Maybe, you've arrived at the Atkins pre-maintenance phase, Phase 3, and are now feeling a bit timid about returning carbs to your diet. This article will help you, too. Either way, reintroducing carbs doesn't mean you have to settle for weight regain. While you do have to be mindful, here's the 6 easy steps I used to reintroduce carbs after leaving ketosis. A traditional low-carb diet is very restrictive. Most plans require you to lower your carbohydrates to less than 50 net carbs per day. Some people enjoy eating mostly protein foods and vegetables, and some do not because along with lowering those carbohydrates, most low-carb plans don't let you eat potatoes, rice, bread, or other starchy foods -- even at higher carb levels. Many people begin missing those higher carb foods, especially if you've never adapted to burning fat for fuel or the weight isn't coming off as easily as you thought it would. While you can always adapt your low-carb meal plan to fit your preferences, most people don't know how to do that. If you used low carb as a temporary, lose-weight-quick solution, you might have discovered that body fat doesn't go away any faster than it does on other diet plans. This can be quite frustrating! The frustration increases even more if you don't have the genetics to easily burn fats for fuel, or you have health conditions that interfere with fat burning. If so, you just won't feel well eating at very low carb levels. No matter what your reasons are for leaving ketosis behind, you have probably found carbohydrate restriction to not be sustainable long term. While some people feel better eating at very low-carb levels, others do not. Regardless of what most low carbers believe, Continue reading >>

Losing Weight By Giving Up Carbohydrates

Losing Weight By Giving Up Carbohydrates

Last August, a routine physical left me surprised. I learned that I had gained 20lbs since college, roughly 40% of which came in the last year. I had an exercise routine, I walked a lot, and I thought I ate well. I didn’t think I felt or looked noticeably fatter, but the data doesn’t lie. This was not the “up-and-to-the-right” graph that I like. In retrospect, I think I indulged in the free sweetened drinks and desserts at work a little too much. It was clearly time for a dietary change. At the time several of my coworkers were espousing the virtues of a keto diet, one that significantly reduces carbohydrate intake and replaces it with fats and protein. The overly simplified premise is that consumption carbohydrates spike secretion of insulin, and insulin is responsible for fat storage. By eliminating the carbohydrates, there is significantly less fat storage. Without carbs, the body goes into a state of ketosis where it uses ketones for fuel. Ketones are from the breakdown from fat stores when there’s not enough glucose. This causes weight loss and a variety of metabolic improvements. I’m missing a lot of detail, of course, but this is the gist of it. The TL;DR: I lost 15lbs in 2 months by giving up carbohydrates. Then 5lbs more in the months that followed. After my first couple days, I experienced the “keto flu”, the uncomfortable transition of entering ketosis. I had a headache, felt lethargic, and endured a stomach cramp, but the symptoms only lasted for a day. I didn’t see any weight improvements after a week, but after two, the improvements were noticeable. I’ve heard people who claim that this diet gave them more energy, and they felt sharper, etc. Mentally, the only change I noticed was that I would wake up quicker and feel less bleary-eyed. Continue reading >>

Targeted Ketogenic Diet: An In-depth Look

Targeted Ketogenic Diet: An In-depth Look

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD), simply put, is nothing more than a regular keto diet – with the exception of eating carbs around your workout times. That means any day you exercise, you will be consuming carbohydrates. If your goal is still fat loss, make sure to include the extra calories from the carbs in your totals. Assuming that you ARE reading this because you exercise, this means that fewer fats should be consumed on these days. Benefits of a TKD The TKD is a “compromise” between a Standard Ketogenic Diet and a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, meaning that you can still perform high intensity activity, but you won’t have to be out of ketosis for long periods of time. For most people’s purposes, TKD can withstand performance in high intensity exercise – although not as well as CKD. It’s most appropriate for beginner or intermediate strength trainers or for those who cannot use a CKD diet for health reasons. As of now, there are no studies out that will show the limitations of weight training based on low sources of blood glucose. There are studies that give carbs prior to resistance and strength training, but have not found increased performance over the long run. However, many SKD keto-ers report strength and endurance improvements in high intensity environments if they consume pre-workout carbs. Most people that are involved in anaerobic training on an SKD typically report improved performance with pre-workout carbs. The problem is that SKDs can even be as limiting to low intensity exercise performance due to the limited glucose and muscle glycogen. If you’re an athlete, or in the process of training, I recommend that you experiment with carbohydrates around your training. Although performance increase is a great benefit of a TKD, it is not the primar Continue reading >>

Going Low Carb In Fight Camp? – Diet Advice For Fighters

Going Low Carb In Fight Camp? – Diet Advice For Fighters

In most minds a low-carb diet is the best way to lose weight. Fighters often need to lose a lot of weight in a brief period of time. A calorie-reduced low-carb or ketogenic diet is the most common option, with the consequence of feeling tired and moody all day. If you are a fighter, the added pressure of making weight might make you aggressively stick to the diet. This might also have negative effects on your training volume, something you don’t want when you’re preparing for a fight. Studies have proven that low-carb and low-fat diets are the most effective ones [1] when it comes to losing weight fast. Are they healthy, enjoyable and without side effects for your training and recovery? Definitely not! Drastically losing weight with a low-carb diet while increasing performance is contradictory. It’s not impossible, but let me tell you that low-carb isn’t the best option. High-carb isn’t a good option either. Let me share my experience from my previous fight camps: Preparing for fights on low-carb Preparing to defend my BAMMA title in 2015 I drastically reduced carbs. I had always done it like that. Someone warned me beforehand: “If you cut out all your carbs, your body will burn less.” Well, I was still eating a bit of fruit now and then so I wasn’t too serious about their advice. I didn’t believe another diet higher in carbs would be an option as the low-carb one was working so well for me to lose weight. I never missed weight at the 125lbs flyweight limit, so the diet was working. I looked good, I felt good and I performed well in the cage. I looked shredded! Looks-wise I was in the best shape of my life. Nevertheless, I was struggling with energy levels and my body switched into energy-saving mode during the weeks of preparation. If I wasn’t train Continue reading >>

Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?

Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?

For reasons I’m still struggling to understand, the idea of “nutritional ketosis” (NK, to be distinguished from starvation ketosis, SK or diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA) is often discussed and debated in much the same way as religion or politics. Perhaps this can be said of all nutrition, which is a shame. Nevertheless, in my continued defiance of such sensitive topics, I’d like to add another layer of complexity and nuance to this discussion. The “rule of thumb” for NK is that caloric intake is determined as follows (this excludes a subset of ketogenic diets known as calorie-restricted KD which, as the name suggests, is specifically restricted in calories): Carbohydrate (total, not “net”): less than 50 gm/day, but ideally closer to 30 gm/day Protein: up to 1 to 1.5 gm/kg, but ideally below about 120 gm/day Fat: to satiety Let me illustrate what this looks like for Joe (left), Jane (middle), and Jeff (right — an example of a calorie restricted KD), three hypothetical people in NK — but each with different caloric requirements. As a general rule, as caloric requirement increases the proportion of calories derived from carbohydrate and protein decreases (and the contribution of dietary fat increases), even while absolute intake of carbohydrate and protein increases. Anyone who has bought a blood ketone meter knows how tough it can be to get “into” ketosis by carbohydrate restriction (since everyone asks, I use the Abbott Precision Xtra meter which uses two different strips: one for glucose and one for beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB). Most practitioners consider the minimum threshold of NK to be a fasting serum level of BHB above 0.5 mM. I’m a bit more stringent in my practice and like to see fasting BHB levels above 1 mM. To give you a sense of one per Continue reading >>

Keto Vs Atkins Diet

Keto Vs Atkins Diet

The Keto vs Atkins debate has been raging for years with neither able to establish a clear advantage in the eyes of the public. Both have their passionate advocates and equally ardent detractors so trying to find a definitive answer to which is better can be challenging. Much of the confusion regarding which low carb diet is better centered on the fact that there is a significant amount of overlap between the two diets. But while the overlay is real there are genuine differences as well. Below we’re going to take a close look at both the similarities and the differences between the diets. First a brief overview of each. The Atkins Diet is often called the "Atkins ketosis diet", which you eat as much fat and protein as possible while avoiding foods that are high in carbs. This process has been known to work for many people along with medical proof from proven professionals. The Atkins diet has been highly popularized and it consists of 4 different phases: The Keto diet (read about it in-depth here) was developed nearly a century ago. Like the Atkins diet that came after it (and borrowed from it) this diet relies on drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and entering ketosis where the body is burning fat for energy. There are several accepted variations of the diet: The following table presents a side by side comparison of known issues with the 2 diets so you can better understand the important ways in which they differ. Possible Issue Atkins Keto Carbohydrate Levels With Atkins this changes from phase to phase, starting with drastic reductions followed by gradual re-introduction. Fixed level: Approximately 10% of average consumption. Carbohydrate Monitoring Method Net carbohydrates Total carbohydrates Protein Intake Three 4 to 6 ounce servings of protein daily. Appro Continue reading >>

After Ketosis...going Back On The Carbs

After Ketosis...going Back On The Carbs

I had a question for anyone who had gone VLC or Keto and then decided to add fruit or sweet potato back in. I bloat when I eat carbs (possible intolerance?) and am wondering if this could be a simple adaptation period or if you can actually create carb intolerance by going VLC for a longer period of time? I am a semi professional athlete training twice per day, and am thinking of adding more carbs to help with recovery (I am very sore and it is starting to affect sleep). 1 3 Foods to Remove from - The Fridge Forever Cut a bit of belly bloat each day, by avoiding these 3 foods nucific.com 2 1 Worst Carb After Age 50 If you're over 50 and you eat this carb, you will never lose belly fat. HealthPlus50 Thoughts and experiences? Continue reading >>

What Really Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Carbs

What Really Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Carbs

Many people think that the Atkins Diet marked the beginning of the low-carb diet craze, but that's simply not true. In 1862, an obese undertaker named William Banting, tired of experiencing hearing problems, sought the advice of an ENT named Dr. Harvey. Harvey told Banting his problem wasn't in the ears, but rather, in the fat pressing on his inner ear. He put Banting on a diet of meat, vegetables, wine and fish only — no starch or sugar (except for the wine). Banting lost weight, and his hearing problem disappeared. Over the years, many studies and many low-carb diets were tested. In most cases, subjects lost weight. That could be why, today, low-carb, high fat diets are still a thing. But are they safe? What happens to your body when you deprive it of carbs? You do lose weight Critics of the low-carb diet will say most of the weight lost is water weight. They're right. But, as former endurance athlete and Olympian Mark Sisson points out, that might not be such a bad thing. He says, "Retained water can amount to 10, 20 or more pounds depending on how large the person is." Since diets high in sodium and insulin-promoters (like refined carbs) force the body to store water inside and in between cells, the body doesn't really need it. So, when you cut out carbs, your body gets rid of it, resulting in weight loss. Keep in mind, however, that Sisson promotes the Primal Diet, one that encourages people to eat enough carbs to provide enough glucose for brain function and some anaerobic exercise. His point? Depending on how active you are, you may need to consume more carbs. A caveat here – no self-respecting nutritionist or dietitian (or former endurance athlete/nutrition guru) will tell you it's OK to eat refined carbohydrates. When these diets tell you to limit carbs, th Continue reading >>

Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs: The Truth About Low-carb Diets

Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs: The Truth About Low-carb Diets

The low-carb frenzy hit its zenith in the early 2000’s and has since ebbed and flowed in popularity. I’ve seen patients get impressive results doing very low-carb diets, but eventually many become burned out and regain the weight as the novelty of eating bacon and other formerly forbidden foods becomes monotonous. Traditional thinking suggests carbohydrates are bad for you. I have something surprising to say that might go against everything you’ve heard: Carbs are the single most important thing you can eat for health and weight loss. In fact, I often say my plan is a high-carb diet. But wait, you say, don’t carbs contribute to insulin resistance, heart disease, and other health concerns? Some do, but the truth is more complicated. You see, “carbohydrates” encompasses a huge category. A hot fudge sundae and cauliflower both fall into the “carbs” category, yet they are entirely different foods. In fact, almost all plant foods fall into the carbs category. These are what I refer to as slow carbs, which are low-glycemic and don’t spike your blood sugar or insulin. These slow carbs come loaded with nutrients, fiber, and amazing molecules called phytochemicals. When you eat a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables teeming with phytonutrients — carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols – they help improve nearly all health problems, including dementia, diabesity, and aging. Ideally, about 75% of your carb intake should come from non-starchy veggies plus low-glycemic fruits. By volume, most of your plate should be carbs. Note I said volume, not calories. Many plant-based carbs actually have very few calories. Why All Carbs Are Not Created Equally Carbs are necessary for long-term health and brain function. But not the doughnuts, breads, bagels, and swee Continue reading >>

Dear Mark: Ketosis

Dear Mark: Ketosis

Dear Mark, What are ketones? How does ketosis play into the Primal Blueprint? Did our bodies evolve to run on ketones? If not, why do they exist? Ketones, to put it briefly, are compounds created by the body when it burns fat stores for energy. When you consume a diet very low in carbohydrates, the body responds to the significantly lowered levels of blood sugar by flipping the switch to another power source. The body converts fatty acids in the liver to ketones. Ketones, then, become the main energy source as long as blood sugar levels remain low. Recently, researchers have discovered more about the unique mechanisms behind this energy “switch.” It turns out a specific liver hormone, FGF21, is essential for the oxidation of the liver’s fatty acids. Furthermore, animals who were fed a ketogenic diet over time showed “increased expression of genes in fatty acid oxidation pathways and reduction in lipid synthesis pathways.” In other words, their bodies adapted metabolically and genetically to the diet. Ketosis was crucial to our evolution. Given the relatively minor role of carbohydrate-rich foods (even the consumption of many tubers is thought to have come later with the advent of cooking practices), our bodies were fairly frequently operating in the arena of ketosis. Add to this the fasts and famines of primal living, and it’s clear that ketones served as an essential energy source. The Primal Blueprint recommends “generally” about 100-150 grams of carbohydrates a day, but many who follow it or the related paleo principles choose diets that fall in the realm of 50-80 grams a day, a practice (along with IF) that spurs the body to turn on ketosis as needed. These practices encourage “upregulation” of the body’s fat-burning metabolic functioning and Continue reading >>

How To Reintroduce Carbs Coming Off A Ketogenic Diet

How To Reintroduce Carbs Coming Off A Ketogenic Diet

Reintroducing carbs at the end of a ketogenic diet requires a structured and gradual approach to avoid adding body fat, say Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery Iron Insights Carb control Following a keto diet means you are no longer carb-adapted, so you can’t suddenly expect to be able to return eating them at your former level and not see any negative impact. Start slowly Our study shows that adding carbs back in at 1g per kilo of bodyweight doesn’t result in fat storage, and allows you to then increase intake each week while maintaining your physique. Avoid overspill We also found that reintroducing carbs at 3g per kilo led to a fat overspill within one day because your body is not well-adapted to deal with carbs after avoiding them for so long. Continue reading >>

Benefits And Risks Of A Low-carb Diet — And How Low Is Too Low?

Benefits And Risks Of A Low-carb Diet — And How Low Is Too Low?

Made famous by the Atkins diet and other similar weight-loss plans, low-carb diets are most well-known for shedding pounds fast. But despite what might initially come to mind when you think about low-carb diets — loads of meat, cheese and butter on top of constant bread cravings, for example — we know now that a balanced low-carb diet (like the ketogenic diet) done right poses few, if any, major health risks and can be effective for far more than weight loss. Should You Try a Low-Carb Diet? Low-carb diets are nothing new and have been used in the medical community for a variety of purposes for more than a century. Based on decades of research, low-carb diets have been linked to benefits including: reduced hunger better control over insulin and blood sugar enhanced cognitive performance lower risk for heart disease factors reduced risk for certain types of cancer How do low-carb diets work? The benefits of low-carb diets mentioned above are due to a reduction, or in some cases almost an entire elimination, of glucose. Glucose, or other molecules that can turn into glucose once eaten, are found in all carbohydrate foods, whether grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, fruits, sweeteners of all kinds — and even nuts, seeds and vegetables. Once glucose from carbohydrates is no longer available for energy due to following a low-carb diet, we begin to burn stored fat instead and experience weight loss fast. Our bodies normally run on glucose or sugar for energy, but we cannot make glucose ourselves and only store about 24 hours worth within our muscles and liver. Glucose quickly runs out, and when our supply is low enough, the body turns to fat for fuel as a backup — luckily whether it’s coming from our diet or our own body fat. A ketogenic diet — one form of a very Continue reading >>

Long Term Very Low Carb And Ketogenic Diets = Bad News

Long Term Very Low Carb And Ketogenic Diets = Bad News

Via Spanish Caravan, a frequent commenter with let’s just say a “medical background.” ~~~ Physiological Insulin Resistatnce (PIR) results from glucose deficiency the same way mucin deficiency induces dry eyes, nostrils, colon and anemia like symptoms. They’re both ways of preserving glucose for your brain. When you VLC, your muscles become insulin resistant to preserve your glucose for the brain. So while your muscles are running on fatty acids, they become insulin resistant. This leaves glucose for your brain but the net result is your BG going up as you’re “physiologically” insulin resistant. There doesn’t really seem to a problem with this state, as there is with mucin deficiency; it’s not known to induce diabetes or make prediabetics diabetic. At least not according to those who advocate VLCing. I have a feeling however, that this is a disease-prone state. The effects of low carbohydrate diets on insulin sensitivity depend on what is used to replace the dietary carbohydrate, and the nature of the subjects studied. Dietary carbohydrates may affect insulin action, at least in part, via alterations in plasma free fatty acids. In normal subjects a high-carbohydrate/low-GI breakfast meal reduced free fatty acids by reducing the undershoot of plasma glucose, whereas low-carbohydrate breakfasts increased postprandial free fatty acids. Why is it disease-prone? Because high serum free fatty acids are implicated in various disease states, especially immune related (and also diabetes in some cases). High serum FFA and very low trigs that we see among those who VLC are associated with nascent autoimmunity, especially rheumatic autoimmunity. See: Low fasting serum triglyceride level as a precocious marker of autoimmune disorders. We’re talking about triglycer Continue reading >>

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