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Should I Try Ketosis

Should You Try A Ketogenic Diet?

Should You Try A Ketogenic Diet?

The idea of a Ketogenic Diet is nothing entirely new. By definition it is a diet that moves the body into a state of “ketosis” using fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. The mainstream nutritional model recommends eating a diet rich in carbohydrates so we can convert them into glucose for fuel and energy. Ketogenic diets are the opposite. To gain energy and assist in weight loss they restrict carbohydrate consumption and rely heavily on fat and protein. Diets that have worked in a similar fashion are the popular Atkins Diet, Dukan Diet, and South Beach Diet. Typically a Ketogenic diet can look something like 60%fat 35% protein and 5% carbohydrates. What are the benefits of a Ketogenic diet? Weight Loss: Many so-called weight loss programs tell us if we eat a low-fat, low-calorie diet rich in healthy carbohydrates that we will have measured success. This method has been proven to be unsustainable if you are constantly restricting calories and feel hungry all the time. If you eat enough carbohydrates to be in a satiated state, chances are you are producing too much insulin for effective weight loss. Insulin is a hormone that signals our bodies to store fat. By eating a low carbohydrate diet that is higher in fat and protein we keep our blood sugar stabilized and avoid these insulin spikes. We also reduce hunger and improve our fat burning capabilities. It’s much harder to overeat fat and protein alone – while you can blow through a few thousand calories easily when eating pasta, chips, desserts or any kind of starchy meal because it takes a much heftier portion to actually feel full. These starchy foods are also addictive because they are so high in sugar and a major reason why I don’t recommend them when trying to achieve weight loss. Brain Enhancement: As Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Faq

Ketogenic Diet Faq

With all the new people finding, switching, and transitioning into a low carb diet, I figured it was about time I put together an FAQ on all the common questions that are asked when someone is starting out. I don’t go too in depth in the answers, but I tried to give a direct answer and then link to a more in depth article on the topic to help you fully understand it. If you have any other questions you’d like to be added, changed, or are unsure about – please feel free to leave a comment below so I can fully explain, or make changes to the answers on this page. Best wishes, and to all the new people out there – good luck and happy dieting! Frequently Asked Questions Click any of the questions below and it will take you to the answer. How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis? A ketogenic diet is not a diet that you can whimfully choose to go on and off of at any point. It takes time for your body to adjust and go into a state known as ketosis. This process? Anywhere from 2 – 7 days, depending on your body type, activity levels, and what you’re eating. The fastest way to get into ketosis is to exercise on an empty stomach, restrict your carbohydrate intake to 20g or less per day, and be vigilant with your water intake. To improve the rate at which you enter ketosis, there is a method called Fat Fasting. I’ve written an article on Fat Fasting on a Ketogenic Diet and everything involved with it. Make sure that if you use this method, it is only for a few days, otherwise it can bring harm to you. Where Can I Find Low Carb Recipes? Everywhere on the internet! There’s recipes on almost every health website nowadays, and a quick Google of what you want will definitely help you out. You can even convert high carb recipes that use sugar or fruits in them to low c Continue reading >>

What Is The Keto Diet? (and Should I Try It?)

What Is The Keto Diet? (and Should I Try It?)

Carbs are out. Fat is in. At least that’s the case if you believe the ketogenic diet. Claims that the keto diet can somehow trigger superhero-level exercise performance and fat-loss have grown so loud that it’s hard to believe the eating approach was originally designed as a way to treat epileptic seizures in children. But then, taking your body into ketosis — the process by which the body runs on fat because you don’t have enough carbs/glucose — is a rich resource for the seemingly unbelievable. This is, after all, a dieting method that requires you to purchase special test strips to examine your urine in order to confirm if you have “achieved” ketosis. (Yes, seriously.) So is the keto diet effective? Yes and no. The claims about keto superiority for fat loss and muscle gain are significantly inflated. But that doesn’t mean the diet is without value. To help you determine if the keto diet is the right approach for you, we dig into your biggest keto diet questions—and some you probably hadn’t even thought about asking. In the end, should you decide that going keto is best for you, you’ll at least know how to do it properly (most people don’t), understand what it’s really doing to your body (ditto), and be aware of the risks involved. What is a ketogenic diet? In a traditional ketogenic diet, you eat 80 percent of your daily calories from fat. The remaining 20 percent is divvied up between protein and carbohydrates—but most of it protein. Typically, carb intake is capped at 20 grams per day, or less than what you’ll find in a single apple, according to Andy Galpin, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., C.P.T., associate professor of kinesiology and director of the Biochemistry & Molecular Exercise Physiology Lab at California State University, Fullerton. This nu Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: What Not To Eat On Keto

Ketogenic Diet: What Not To Eat On Keto

When you start off on a diet it is important to understand what you can eat and what you can’t eat, otherwise, it really isn’t a diet. The same thing applies to the ketogenic diet. There are certain foods that you can not eat if you wish to stay in a state of ketosis. Thankfully, the the list of keto-friendly foods that you can eat is so long that you really shouldn’t have a problem finding a lot of recipes that you enjoy and are keto-safe. The purpose of this post is to talk about the different foods that you should avoid on keto because if you aren’t prepared you can easily mess up and knock your body out of ketosis. Foods to Avoid on Keto One of the interesting things about keto is that a lot of your cravings being to disappear. When you see the foods that you can’t eat your first thought might be “there is no way I’m going to be able to give up that.” However, once you’re in ketosis you understand that many of the things you craved were simply caused by the carbohydrates within them. This is why in our weight loss manual we start people off with a carb detox so they can see the benefits of no longer craving carbs. Another blessing of being in the age of the Internet is that 1000s of people have shared different substitutes for the foods they enjoy. If you are hoping to find some substitutes for the foods that you can’t eat below then check out our post on low-carb substitutes. Grains and Starches Let’s face it, bread is a big deal. A lof people eat bread every single day in some form. It’s very convenient to be able to run down to Subway and pick up a sandwich. Bread goes with every meal so when people hear that they have to give it up for keto they turn their back and try to find another diet. But grains cause your body problems. You know th Continue reading >>

What You Should Know Before Trying A Ketogenic Diet

What You Should Know Before Trying A Ketogenic Diet

Five people have recently told me they were going to “try keto”—the most recent after gushing about a mutual friend who has been doing keto, aka the popular ketogenic diet, and getting awesome-looking results. You’ve probably heard rumblings about keto, but what the heck is it? And is it too good to be true? Let’s first get you caught up on all the hubbub around the ketogenic diet. Keto is an extremely low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. You’ll find those on keto gobbling up stuff like fat slabs of bacon, mountains of avocados, and cartons of heavy whipping cream. There’s a lot of enthusiastic fanfare around it, like this comment on Reddit: Awesome. And then there’s this one: Low-carb diets are nothing new for weight loss. And keto is kind of a low-carb diet with a twist in that you emphasize tons of fat. I spoke to Leigh Peele, NASM certified personal trainer who fields questions on all matters of weight loss, metabolism, and nutrition, and is author of Starve Mode; and she told me that the original definition of keto is a 4:1 ratio of fats to carbohydrates or protein. That is, for every gram of protein or carb you eat, you would also eat four grams of fat (hence, the avocados and heavy whipping cream). But you don’t have to stick to that exactly as long as your carbs are low and protein moderate enough to properly be “ketogenic.” Let me explain. Differences Between Keto and a Low-Carb Diet Keto’s trump card against the average low-carb diet is that, after consistently depriving yourself of bread, pasta, donuts, and any carb source, your body goes into ketosis (between a couple of days and a week). Ketosis means your body is breaking down fat and releasing large quantities of molecules called ketones into your bloodstream. Your body t Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet Might Be The Next Big Weight Loss Trend, But Should You Try It?

The Ketogenic Diet Might Be The Next Big Weight Loss Trend, But Should You Try It?

Here's what you need to know about the high-fat, low-carb diet everyone's talking about. Google has released the top search terms of 2016, and when it comes to weight loss, it turns out folks were especially drawn to the ketogenic diet. It was one of the 10 most-searched diets this year, landing halfway down the list (just a few notches below the taco cleanse!). But if you weren't among the keto-curious in the last 12 months, you're probably wondering now, Is this something I should try? (And what does ketogenic mean again?) Read on for a quick primer on the plan, and my bottom-line advice. What is the ketogenic diet? In a nutshell, it's a high-fat, low- to moderate-protein, low-carb eating plan. On a ketogenic diet, roughly 75% to 90% of daily calories come from fat; 6% to 20% come from protein; and 2% to 5% come from carbohydrates. It was originally devised as a tool for controlling epileptic seizures (though doctors aren't exactly sure how it works) before there were drugs to treat seizures. In the past few decades, it has reemerged as patients and parents seek alternatives to pharmaceuticals. But the ketogenic diet has also been adopted as a weight loss plan. The goal of the diet is to achieve ketosis, a state in which the body is using fat as its primary fuel, rather than carbs. After three to four days on a ketogenic diet, back-up stores of carbohydrates, called glycogen, become depleted and ketosis kicks in, triggering some weight loss and the appearance of a leaner physique. But in terms of dropping pounds, the primary advantage of a ketogenic diet is that it doesn't leave you hungry, since it involves eating a good deal of satiating fats, and the state of ketosis has been shown to reduce appetite. What does the research say? A recent Spanish study tracked 20 ob Continue reading >>

3 Reasons You Might Want To Ditch That Ketogenic Eating Plan

3 Reasons You Might Want To Ditch That Ketogenic Eating Plan

Ketogenic eating might just be the most popular idea in the unconventional health and fitness movement right now. I get dozens of emails a week from people asking for Keto tips and tricks. I’m not convinced that most of these people should be Keto though. It’s been billed as a great way to lose weight, which has attracted a lot of attention, but it’s not all roses, unicorns, and fairy dust. Here’s three reasons why you might want to reconsider your plan to go Keto… 1. Ketogenic eating is obsessive. When I interviewed Jimmy Moore, author of Keto Clarity, this is one of the issues I brought up. Ketosis is notoriously difficult to get into, verify, and sustain without bringing back some of the old, obsessive Dieting strategies that we’ve been working hard to get away from. Tracking macros, monitoring blood glucose, and testing ketone levels are all required steps in the process for most people. This kind of protocol attracts people with disordered eating habits. It’s the perfect blend of effective, obsessive, and new. If you’re trying to get into ketosis for medical reasons, then you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. If you want to get into ketosis because you heard it’s great for weight loss or for some other non-medical reason, it’s too obsessive for my taste. 2. Ketogenic eating probably doesn’t fit your lifestyle. You know me—I’m not a huge fan of cardio or long workouts. I’m bearish on exercise as a modern concept, but I’m bullish on functional fitness and DWYLT. In other words, I want people to do active things they love with a little sprinting and short functional strength workouts thrown in. In order to actually enjoy those things and feel strong and healthy when doing them, you’ll need adequate glycogen. That’s something that Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>

This Is Who Should Try Keto — And Who Definitely Shouldn't

This Is Who Should Try Keto — And Who Definitely Shouldn't

Who should try the keto diet? According to clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNC, it's just like any diet — it can be incredibly powerful for some, but there are a certain few who should definitely not try it. "Everyone's body is different," Dr. Axe told POPSUGAR. "Certain people should be on certain diets; not everyone should be on the ketogenic diet. But if you have certain goals and struggles, the ketogenic diet is a breakthrough diet." There are a few specific categories of people Dr. Axe recommends keto for (we'll get into those shortly), but there are a few he'd advise to not try the diet as well (we'll cover them, too). Keep in mind that Dr. Axe recommends this as a temporary diet, with a "max of three months" (and a hard stop of one year). Who Should Try Keto? Dr. Axe says to try the ketogenic diet "if you have the goal of overcoming epilepsy, fighting cancer, overcoming blood sugar issues such as diabetes, or [combatting] hormonal issues," such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). In addition, he said it could be helpful for anyone with "neurological issues" and those who want to "improve overall brain health," as well as anyone who has been struggling to lose weight, and those with metabolism issues. Who Should Avoid Keto? While Dr. Axe sang the praises of what the keto diet can do for so many ailments, there are a few categories of people who he'd "never put on" the diet: Anybody with galbladder disease Anybody with liver disease Pregnant women As with any diet, some just don't work for certain people. Consult with your doctor (and/or a dietitian!) before starting something new with your nutrition, and see what works best for your body's chemistry and makeup. Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio Continue reading >>

What Is The Ketogenic Diet And Why Should I Try It?

What Is The Ketogenic Diet And Why Should I Try It?

Because I often get questions like “What is the Ketogenic Diet?”, I’ll be spending some time posting here more often about different diets, or ways of eating. I believe that no one diet works for everyone because we all have different biochemical make-ups. That said, the more you’re informed, the better you can piece together a way of eating that works best for you. The only way to know what works for your body is to experiment and listen to what it says to you. The Ketogenic Diet, also called the Keto Diet, was first developed in the 1920s by doctors at the Mayo Clinic as a treatment for epileptic seizures in patients who didn’t respond to medication. Once advances in medicine made it possible to control seizures more effectively with medication, the diet fell out of favor but has recently gained popularity for its ability to improve how the body responds to insulin. The unique feature of the diet is ketosis, a process by which the body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates. Ketogenic diets are low in carbohydrates. The main macronutrient is fat which comprises about 70-80 percent of the total caloric intake. The remainder of calories come from low-carbohydrate vegetables and protein. The focus of the keto diet is on healthy fats from foods like high-quality oils like coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds and grass-fed dairy products. High-carb fruit and vegetables, grains, beans, sugar, trans fats and processed foods are all avoided. Transitioning your metabolism from burning carbs to burning fat can result in quick weight loss and increased energy, but whether or not you should try it yourself is controversial. While it has seen positive results for weight loss, cancer and athletic performance, the diet isn’t only challenging to maintai Continue reading >>

7 Days On The Ketogenic Diet

7 Days On The Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is essentially the Atkins diet of the 2010s. Super popular, almost impossible to maintain long-term, and wildly effective for weight loss (per anecdotal reports as well as scientific research). What is the ketogenic diet? Your goal on a “keto” diet is to get at least 70% of calories from fat, no more than 25% of calories from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrate. For most people, that means restricting your carb intake to below 50 grams a day. The diet first started as a treatment to decrease seizures in children with uncontrolled epilepsy. The body and brain is forced to get energy from fat instead of carbs, which produces ketones in our body that then fuel our cells. Reports as far back as the 1920’s show that when epileptic children switched to a strict all-fat diet, their brain adapted its fuel source and less seizures occurred. If the brain of someone with epilepsy could benefit from running off of ketones, could your average Joe also get some kind of benefit? Of course researchers had this same question and since the 1960’s there has been evidence that a ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss and improving insulin resistance. Emerging data also suggests a neurological advantage as well as an anti-cancer effect. Please note, I’m saying evidence exists. That doesn’t mean the verdict is in and that doesn’t mean that the ketogenic diet won’t have negative effects elsewhere. What do you eat? It’s easier to start with what you DON’T eat. No bread, fruit, starchy vegetables (like potatoes or corn), cookies, candy, ice cream, pizza, sandwiches, rice, quinoa, cereal, oatmeal, waffles, smoothies, beer, protein bars… basically, most food is off limits. That leaves us with full fat dairy (cheese, plain yogurt, butter), greens Continue reading >>

Why A Leading Cancer Scientist Believes We Should Try The Ketogenic Diet

Why A Leading Cancer Scientist Believes We Should Try The Ketogenic Diet

A diet extremely high in fat may not seem like the best way to lose fat. But there’s a growing body of research showing that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is not only good for weight loss, but also may help in preventing disease. The ketogenic diet, or keto, relies on using your fat as fuel, instead of glucose from carbohydrates or protein. Simply put, the daily ketogenic diet consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent of protein, and a teeny allotment of carbohydrates, about 5 percent. This balance of macronutrients is intended to put your body in a state of ketosis, which suppresses the release of insulin and blood glucose levels. The benefits of ketosis to your health are improvements in biomarkers like blood glucose, reduction of blood pressure and decreased appetite due to fullness linked to consumption of fats. You might think this sounds a lot like the Atkins diet — it’s not. The main difference lies in the protein content of the diet. Atkins tends to be very high in protein, while ketogenic is moderate. It's not the easiest plan to follow, but the theory of ketosis as a possible prevention against disease is gaining attention from cancer specialists. Tumor immunologist Dr. Patrick Hwu, one of the leading cancer specialists in the U.S., has followed the keto diet for four years, although he prefers to call it the fat-burning metabolism diet, or fat-burning diet. More research is needed to prove its benefits, but Hwu, the head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson in Houston, believes in it after seeing improvements in his own health. Why keto works The body’s first and preferred fuel of choice is glucose — stored as glycogen. Anytime you eat a carbohydrate, be it lentils or licorice, the body turns it into glucose, or sugar. Because the body doe Continue reading >>

Should You Follow The Ketogenic Diet?

Should You Follow The Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet may be on the rise as far as diet trends go, but the concept isn't new. First identified as a beneficial treatment for epilepsy, the high-fat, very-low-carbohydrate approach has been around for close to 100 years. Recently, the diet has become popular among athletes (LeBron James tried it) and those looking for the next weight-loss cure-all. Followers eat foods like butter, oils, fatty meats and cheese. Proponents claim it can lower cholesterol and improve athletic performance, but before you go "keto," here's a look at the science behind the popular diet. Try It: How to Start a Low-Carb Diet the Healthy Way Ketogenic Diet Basics The keto diet requires the body to rely mostly on fat for energy, rather than the usual carbohydrates (see Carbohydrates vs. Fat for Fuel below). When carb intake is very low, ketones—products of fat breakdown in the liver—must fuel the body. According to John Hawley, Ph.D., director of the Centre for Exercise and Nutrition at Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research in Melbourne, Australia, there is no global definition of the ketogenic diet. In other words, no standard exists for how many grams of carbohydrate, fat, or protein should be consumed when following the diet. Most research around the diet has identified a carbohydrate intake between 25 and 50 grams per day, which is equivalent to two medium apples or one cup of cooked brown rice. This extreme reduction in carbohydrate is very difficult to maintain long-term and makes it impossible to meet the recommended amount of fruit, vegetable and whole-grain servings recommended for a healthy diet. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbohydrates should make up 45 to 60 percent of daily calories, or 130 grams/day, for most people to eat a balanced die Continue reading >>

How To Know If The Ketogenic Diet Is Right For You

How To Know If The Ketogenic Diet Is Right For You

It’s almost a universally accepted fact that diets leave you hungry. After all, that rumbling tummy two hours after mealtime (not to mention, strict and time-consuming calorie counting) is the reason most New Year’s resolutions fail by February, right? But Dr. Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery, the authors of The Ketogenic Bible, say you don’t need to go hungry or count calories to lose weight. The ketogenic diet, also referred to as “keto,” is a dieting method gaining popularity from people with diabetes to CrossFitters. “The ketogenic diet induces ketosis, which is a state where your body is running primarily off of fat and ketones,” explains Wilson, instead of sugar from carbs. “That can occur through lowering your carbohydrates and having very high fat intake.” Specifically, the ketogenic diet targets about 80 percent of calories from fat, 15 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates. RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar The Upside of Ketosis While this method may have gained popularity among athletes and other hard-core fitness buffs, they’re far from the only ones who will see benefits from this method. “When you implement a well-formulated proper ketogenic diet, you can see improvement in performance and body composition at the same time,” says Lowery. You’ll look leaner and shed fat, but you won’t feel sapped of energy like when you decrease calories. The bonus is you won’t experience the post-meal crash associated with a higher-carb diet, he says. Lowery also says that for most ketogenic diet newbies, there won’t be a need to count overall calories either. As long as you’re paying attention to your diet and inducing ketosis through high-fat and low-carb consumption, most dieters automatically hit a calorie Continue reading >>

Should I Try The Keto Diet?

Should I Try The Keto Diet?

“Keto” is trending in all corners of social media. Posts from celebrities, fitness gurus, wellness bloggers, and an especially popular paleo chef are bringing the ketogenic diet into the spotlight. I recently attended a webinar presented by SmartShape Centre for Weight Management addressing this question: Is the ketogenic diet #fadorfuture? The ketogenic diet (KD) is not a new concept. KD was used as far back as 460 BCE to treat epilepsy, and developed officially in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic in America. Research has shown that the KD can be used to reduce seizure activity in both adults and children. Today—KD is still used for treatment-resistant or “difficult-to-manage” epilepsy, and it has shown potential in other areas of medicine as well. Believe it or not, clinical trials are currently underway to determine whether or not the ketogenic diet could treat brain cancer. Other areas of research have investigated the KD’s potential to assist in weight loss and treat other conditions (i.e. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, autism, Type 2 diabetes, and PCOS). However, more studies are needed as most of this research has been done in animals. So, what is the “keto,” or ketogenic diet? The keto diet is a strict low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Your liver converts some of the fat you’re eating into ketones, which your body can use instead of glucose (aka carbs) for energy. Higher fat diet=more ketones in your blood. This puts your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis—when your body adapts to burning fat as the primary fuel source instead of glucose. Keto is not your average low-carb diet—it requires the dieter to be extremely disciplined, restricting daily carbohydrate intake to a maximum of 40 grams (or less). The level of c Continue reading >>

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