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Stages Of Keto Adaptation

The Ultimate Alpha’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting

The Ultimate Alpha’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting

When I first heard about intermittent fasting, just because the phrase included the word “fasting” – my immediate reaction was to dismiss it. I’ll be honest – I’m not a big fan of fasting in general. I feel like the majority of fasts are either too heavily influenced by religious beliefs with no regard to health benefits or hazards, or are too esoteric and “woo-woo” and bear very little connection to real science behind them. Religious or spiritual fasts are often aimed at achieving a specific state of mind (with no regard to what this does to your body). They restrict the wrong kind of foods (most partial religious fasts restrict animal fats and protein, while being very lenient with simple carbs) or restrict too much for too long (which also deprives your body of important minerals and nutrients and leads to the breakdown of healthy tissue in an attempt to survive). In terms of non-spiritual dietary fasting – there is just not enough consistency among different protocols. Some allow liquids (usually water, but a few offer other exotic options, such as various juices, etc.) and some do not. Some only exclude a specific class of food and some restrict all of them. Some may seem like an attempt to improve health, but utilize some esoteric concepts behind them, like “cleansing” (which, I despise because of all the misinformation surrounding it). And a large number of fasts are just poorly designed dietary fads, relying too heavily on the “novelty factor” and marketability. But as I explored scientific evidence behind intermittent fasting and experimented trying to see what works best, I have made some interesting discoveries and my attitude started changing. While personally I still would not advocate long- or even medium-term fasting (at least n Continue reading >>

The Performance Benefits Of Being Keto-adapted

The Performance Benefits Of Being Keto-adapted

You may have heard that glucose is essential for energy. Furthermore, there’s a common message that we need hundreds of grams of carbohydrate per day if we are physically active. However, this isn’t strictly true, and the idea of carbs being essential for energy is incorrect. In fact, some research asserts that being keto-adapted can have substantial performance benefits in sports and for athletes. This article provides a guide to keto-adaptation, the performance benefits ketosis can have, and the limitations. What is Keto-Adaptation? Keto-adaptation simply refers to the period during which we “adapt” to a ketogenic diet. After years—or perhaps even decades—of following a high carbohydrate diet, our body optimizes itself to burn glucose for energy. In short, the primary energy source has been glucose for a long time; we can’t just flip a switch and instantly start burning fat. Take the abundant stores of glucose away, and there’s bound to be an adjustment period. During this adaptation time, a low carbohydrate intake depletes the body’s glycogen stores. Glycogen is a storage form of energy in the muscles and liver, and it is the first place your body will look for fuel. However, once the glycogen stores are empty, the body will begin to produce ketones for energy. The liver will also upregulate the number of fat-burning enzymes to better utilize all the dietary fat coming in. Ketosis and Keto-Adaptation Once the body starts using ketones for fuel, we enter a state known as “ketosis.” On the downside, many people feel kind of “off” or even sick until they can efficiently burn fat. As a result, symptoms such as headaches, nausea, tiredness, and fatigue are not uncommon. Many people refer to these common side effects as “low carb flu” or “ke Continue reading >>

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects The ketogenic diet is a powerful new tool to hit the mainstream recently. This style of eating has substantial data behind it showing that it can boost fat-burning, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive performance, and more. What has not been covered quite enough are common keto side effects and how you can avoid them to make the best of this powerful eating style. Although there can be many different side effects that manifest while becoming keto-adapted, many of them stem from similar underlying issues. In this article, I outline what those underlying issues are, their related side effects, and simple strategies to overcome them so you can become keto-adapted as smoothly as possible. Three Primary Causes Although there are a variety of symptoms that can arise during keto adaptation, they mostly manifest from the same three underlying causes. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, and electrolyte/mineral deficiencies. While these three causes are seemingly different, they are actually all related. When becoming keto-adapted initially, your body has been running on sugar for years. When you suddenly switch to fats, your body has to essentially build the cellular machinery necessary to generate and utilize ketone bodies as a fuel source. This means that instead of generating tons of ketones from the very beginning, most people experience hypoglycemia for a period of time. With hypoglycemia comes a disruption in cortisol signaling which is what accounts for the HPA axis dysfunction. Finally, HPA axis dysfunction leads to an increase in secretion of minerals from the body in the urine. Together these three causes can create all kinds of side effects. Once you understand them, though, a lit Continue reading >>

Keto-adaptation #1 – Lessons Learned From 1 Year And 5 Months Of Ketosis

Keto-adaptation #1 – Lessons Learned From 1 Year And 5 Months Of Ketosis

Intro Update: before reading this, make sure to know my current thoughts (about page) As of February 2015, I’ve been 1 year and 5 months into ketosis. I entered this metabolic state using nutrition primarily and I was able to maintain it through nutritional, as well as other interventions. More than 98% of the time I was in ketosis. It was, I believe, two or three times when I was out of ketosis for a couple of hours and this happened during the first months, back in late 2013. Be reasonable My personal nutritional approach is individualized. I do not do 80+% fat and 5% carbohydrate and I would be inclined to say that it may not be optimal for healthy adults to eat so much fat and deprive their bodies of micronutrient, vitamin, and mineral diversity that come from vegetables, leafy greens, and/or some legumes, unless a severe medical condition (such as epilepsy, for example) implies it. I do 65-70% fat, 15-18% protein and ~10-15% carbs. It keeps me in ketosis. I eat below my daily energy requirements, I consume low protein, <1g per KG of bodyweight – which fall somewhere in-between 50 – 65g of protein per day, sometimes even lower. I fast a lot, I train fasted and I feel that my lifting performance keeps getting better, contrary to popular belief. Many folks would opt-in for much higher protein intake. I find it not necessary for me. Ketones may play a crucial role in this. Ketosis is not magic. Keto-adaptation does not happen overnight (or in 2-3 weeks of ketosis)1 Eating low calorie does not make me nutrient deficient. On the contrary, I optimized my approach so that I can get as many nutrients from food as possible. I also supplement. I want to underline that this works for me (apparently) and I do not want to get more specific so that folks will immediately th Continue reading >>

What Is Fat Adapted?

What Is Fat Adapted?

Being “in ketosis” and being “fat adapted” are two different things. Being in ketosis simply refers to a state in which your body is producing ketones. Most people can get into ketosis fairly quickly but it takes longer to become fat adapted. Fat adapted, also referred to as keto adapted, is the state in which your body is accustomed to using fat as its primary source of fuel. Our bodies are always using a combination of glucose and fat for energy, but in someone who is a “sugar burner” (using carbs as the primary source of energy), the body will turn to glucose first. Once you’re fat adapted, the body no longer looks for energy from glucose because it now knows it can burn fat. When you first start a keto diet, your body will burn through its glycogen stores (glucose stored in the body). This is what causes the rapid weight loss experienced in the beginning stages of a keto diet: each gram of glycogen is stored with 3 to 4 grams of water, so all of this water gets flushed out of the body as the glycogen stores are used up. But don’t be discouraged if people tell you you’re “just” losing water weight! All of this is necessary for your body to become fat adapted and to start experiencing the benefits that come along with it. It typically takes about 2 to 3 weeks to become fully fat adapted. If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet and you feel like it isn’t working, give it some time. You may notice some signs of fat adaptation fairly quickly, but it may take a while to really experience all of the benefits of your new diet. In the beginning, urine ketone strips can tell you if your body is producing ketones, but these are less effective over time, as your body begins to use ketones more efficiently and excretes less of them. Testing your blood f Continue reading >>

The 3 Stages Of The Ketogenic Diet

The 3 Stages Of The Ketogenic Diet

Is the ketogenic diet the best one out there? Do you have to be in ketosis all the time? These questions are relevant for dissecting the 3 stages of the ketogenic diet. The more I learn about ketosis and the ketogenic diet, the more I’m amazed by how powerful it is for overall health, cognition, and physical performance. It’s truly one of those optimal human diets because it not only keeps you healthy but also puts you into this post-optimal state where your body can create its own fuel without calories. Even though I could happily eat the ketogenic diet for the rest of my life because you feel amazing all the time – and the foods are also delicious – I still recommend you to occasionally dip in and out of ketosis. There are many reasons for it – not because it’s unhealthy or to voluntarily go through the drudgery of keto flu again – but to increase metabolic flexibility and improve diversity in the microbiome. People do the ketogenic diet for many reasons – to lose fat, to battle diabetes, improve their health or to eat bacon – but healthy people who simply want to live the keto lifestyle should follow certain stages on their ketosis journey. I’m going to share with you the 3 stages of the ketogenic diet you should go through. The first purpose of the ketogenic diet is to maintain nutritional ketosis for the vast majority of time – to be in this fat burning state where you’re body burns ketones the ketones in your bloodstream. That energy can come from either dietary fat intake or straight from your adipose tissue when you’re in a caloric deficit. If you’re doing keto because of diabetes, then you should pay particularly close attention to this because irregular ups and downs of insulin can make your disease worse. That’s the reason why th Continue reading >>

Keto-adaptation (on A Zero Carb Diet)

Keto-adaptation (on A Zero Carb Diet)

For a comprehensive page on keto-adaptation and performance by the experts visit this page, or just read The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living which covers this subject in depth and many others: According to Owsley “The Bear” Stanley This is not a dedicated nor complete article, this page is an extract from Owsley’s correspondence with others. See this page for more info. Keto-adaptation on zero carbs should be complete in 3-4 weeks. Ketosis is the situation in which ketones are voided in the urine. It takes place within a few hours of blood glucose stabilising and no glucose entering from the diet. At this point many of the body-structures, such as the brain and deep dense tissues like cartilage and tendon will still require glucose and will not take up the ketone by-products of fat metabolism. So the excess ketones are voided and the necessary glucose is obtained from glycerol and liver glycogen. If carbs continue in small amount, this condition will persist. If however carbs do not reappear in the diet, then the body begins to adapt to using the ketones as food hence the term keto-adaptation. During the period of adaptation, energy levels are subjectively low. As the body begins to run most of the glucose-dependent tissues on ketones, energy increases several fold and some additional benefits are realised, such as a lack of ‘hunger pangs’, increased endurance time, increased strength, a feeling of well-being, and rapid bodyfat loss. Keto-adaptation takes time, from a very minimum of about 2 weeks in a very remarkable person, to from three to six weeks in most people. This is a very hard but very important first hurdle to overcome in getting comfortable in the all-meat dietary path. A person in permanent ketosis will feel tired, lacking in energy mo Continue reading >>

The Keto Adaptation Process

The Keto Adaptation Process

So, what is the keto adaptation process? Minimal consumption of carbohydrate (< 50 grams/day) for an extended period of time results in a phenomenon called keto adaptation. Keto adaptation denotes an altered metabolism in which fat becomes the predominant energy source, consequently, shifting the body from a state of fat storage to fat oxidation (1). The biochemical modifications essential to transition from a “glucocentric” (reliance on glucose for fuel) to an “adipocentric” (reliance on fatty acids and ketone bodies for fuel) metabolism require carbohydrate restriction for several weeks to months (2). Two common approaches to become keto-adapted include sustained consumption of a very low-carbohydrate/high-fat ketogenic diet (KD) or an extended period of fasting. Low Insulin / High Glucagon Surges of glucose enter the bloodstream after consumption and digestion of dietary carbohydrates. To prevent glucose from reaching high/toxic levels in the circulation, the pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that signals tissues to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen or leads to storage of fat in adipose tissue (body fat). On the other hand, restriction of carbohydrate intake results in limited exogenous glucose availability (i.e., dietary glucose) and as a result, blood glucose levels must be maintained endogenously (inside your own body). For example, unlike a mixed diet (moderate to high carbohydrate), a study demonstrated that individuals who adapted to a KD for 12 weeks showed no increase in blood glucose or insulin following a meal (3). Therefore, consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet such as the KD would not raise blood glucose levels directly. During dietary carbohydrate restriction, the pancreas releases another hormone known as glucagon in response t Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose.[1][2] It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides[3]). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate,[4] and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon.[5] Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes.[6] In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed.[5][7] For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode.[8] Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: How To Become Fat Adapted

Ketogenic Diet: How To Become Fat Adapted

Becoming Fat Adapted: Ketones and Fat Intake The obvious first step to being fat adapted is to cut out sugar, and when I say sugar, I also mean starch. Complex carbohydrates are just glucose molecules hooked together in a long chain. The digestive tract breaks them down into glucose, AKA sugar. Therefore, a diet filled with “safe starches” like sweet potatoes is still considered a sugary diet. To become fat adapted, you need to start using ketones for energy instead of glucose. When you do this, you will become a fat burning machine! So, what are ketones? Ketones are a byproduct of fat oxidation that are basically super-fuel for your body. They are the fuel your body uses when you are fat adapted. Sounds great, right? Ketones are created in the liver during beta-oxidation. Fatty acids are broken down into acetyl-CoA, which is then oxidized, and its energy is used for the production of ATP, the coenzyme used as an energy carrier in the cells of all known organisms — the body’s energy source. If excess acetyl-CoA is produced or inadequate quantities of a required precursor called oxaloacetate are present, the extra acetyl-CoA is transformed into ketone bodies. When are you are fat adapted, you can actually produce ketones and oxidize fat for ATP at the same time. Fun fact: we all naturally go through a mild ketosis (keto-adapted) after fasting during a long night of sleep, if you don’t eat right before bed and after you’ve woken up. You need to not eat for over ten hours to be in mild ketosis. How can I become fat adapted and start producing ketones? To start producing ketones, my first suggestion is to start with a diet of less than 10 grams of carbohydrates a day. This may seem like an awful battle that you can’t win, but it really isn’t that hard to do. Continue reading >>

Does The Ketogenic Diet Cause Muscle Cramps?

Does The Ketogenic Diet Cause Muscle Cramps?

Short Answer: It certainly can if you don’t have a well-formulated Ketogenic diet. One of the more common complaints I hear from people new to the ketogenic diet is muscle cramps, especially in the legs at night. Just as a personal aside, I got the occasional leg cramp before I went keto but never had one after I started losing weight so it is entirely possible to avoid them. Causes of Muscle Cramps The most common causes of muscle cramps are dehydration and low electrolytes. Guess what you are very prone to in the transition stage of a ketogenic diet. That’s right, dehydration and low electrolytes. When you start weaning yourself off the sugar and grains, your body begins to burn off its sugar stored in the form of glycogen. While a certain amount of that sugar is stored in the liver, the majority is stored in water in the muscles. As the body burns off sugar, it dumps the extra water the glycogen is stored in. This is why it is not uncommon to pee a lot during the early stages of keto adaptation. As that water leaves the body, it takes with it electrolytes like potassium and sodium. This gives you the double-whammy of being low on both water and salts which can result in muscle cramping. How to Fix Muscle Cramps So what do you do? Well it’s a pretty easy fix. Drink more water and eat more salt. I would recommend against the highly processed salt like Morton’s that most of us use and spring for a more natural salt. My personal favorite is Redmond’s Real Salt. If you would like to see more reasons why you should up your salt intake, click here. For more reasons why you should drink more water, click here, The reason why these problems will sometimes happen is people tend to get a hold of the low-carb part of the diet and miss the other components that make for Continue reading >>

8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis

8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis

Have you just started a low-carb diet? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted and overcome by tiredness? Perhaps you are thinking that going low-carb wasn’t a good idea after all… You might already know that these symptoms are not uncommon, especially if you are doing low-carb for the first time. Also known as “low carb flu” or “Atkins flu”, this phase is completely normal – although by no means pleasant. This condition occurs when you cut your carb intake sharply, to about 20-30g a day, in order to induce ketosis. What is low-carb flu? Your body is used to running on carbs. It’s been operating this way for decades. Cutting carbs in favour of fat is a huge change for your metabolism. Your body needs some time to adjust to this change. This period of adjustment can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms. Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog. Some of these symptoms are markers of sugar withdrawal. Sugar addiction is real and common, so trying to break away can be difficult. Low-carb flu is not actual flu Please note that “low carb flu” does not include fever or respiratory cold-like symptoms such as coughing or sneezing. If you are experiencing any of these, it means that you might have actually caught an infection! So it would be a good idea to postpone starting your diet until you are all clear. How can you fight tiredness and other symptoms of low-carb flu? First of all, remember that it won’t last forever. Low-carb flu usually lasts around 3-5 days (although could be 1-2 weeks for some unlucky people with high metabolic resistance). Here are some simple tips on making this transition easier. 1) Eat more fat Fat is the key to this whole issue. You must eat lots of it – a lot more th Continue reading >>

Ketosis Vs Keto-adapted

Ketosis Vs Keto-adapted

As you might know already, I started a Facebook group called Ketogenic Success as a positive, success-oriented community of like-minded folks who are on their own keto journey. Well, the group is growing every day (almost 15k members as of right now), which is awesome. Because the group is growing so fast, new folks will frequently ask the same questions. There’s nothing wrong with that. Asking questions is how we all learn and grow. So I wanted to take some time to address one of the most common questions we see in the group: What’s the difference between being in ketosis and being keto-adapted? It’s easy to see why this is such a confusing topic, and it’s not made easier by the common misconceptions (and just plain errors) that seem to abound. First, let’s address the subject of ketosis. Ketosis is a situation where your body is producing ketones. There are three ketone bodies: acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Ketones are produced hepatically (which is a fancy way of saying “by the liver”) as a product of breaking down fatty acids. But there’s a bit of a problem with this simple definition of ketosis. You see, your liver is constantly breaking down fatty acids, and therefore creating ketones, but it would be difficult to say that you’re in ketosis. That’s because the level of ketones isn’t high enough to be considered ketosis. So, having ketones in your body doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in ketosis. Okay. Cool. Cool, cool, cool. But, hey…so…wait a sec. Is there, like, a level of ketones that DOES mean you’re in ketosis? Well…yes. Yes, there is. Dr. Stephen Phinney is the grandmaster of ketogenic research (along with Dr. Jeff Volek), and he’s the person who coined the term “nutritional ketosis.” Before Phi Continue reading >>

Conclusion: Transitioning From Keto-adaptation To A Fat Burning State

Conclusion: Transitioning From Keto-adaptation To A Fat Burning State

Something additional to consider about the Weight Loss phase because it takes two weeks to go through the majority of ones keto-adaptive transformation to burning fat instead of carbs (sugars) for fuel, those who stick consistently to a low-carb (< 60 gram per day), ketogenic diet will feel consistently well. On the other hand, those who bounce back and forth between carb restriction and carb consumption will struggle more as their bodies repeatedly go through the cycle of fatigue associated with the early stage of keto-adaptation to a low-carb state. One final point on the Maintenance phase maintenance will present a different picture as each individual needs to determine a safe personal level of carbohydrate tolerance; that threshold below which they can sustain their losses and stay lean. For most patients at JumpstartMD, that will still require carbohydrate restriction but typically at a level closer to 100-150 grams per day rather than the 50-60 grams per day they followed in the Weight Loss phase. That said, for those who are more carb sensitive and either gain weight more readily in response to carbohydrates or have health risks (low HDL, high triglycerides, pre-diabetes or diabetes) associated with carbohydrate intake, we would consider greater carbohydrate restriction in the Maintenance phase closer to that 50-60 grams per day. Continue reading >>

Keto Adapted Or Adaption On A Ketogenic Diet

Keto Adapted Or Adaption On A Ketogenic Diet

Keto adaption is the initial stage of a Ketogenic Diet; its primary purpose is to turn your bodies metabolism around from using glucose as fuel to using fats through fat oxidization and the production of ketone bodies. The end goal; being keto adapted. Ketone bodies are produced through a process called ketogenesis which happens when your body is depleted of glycogen. What is Ketogenesis Ketogenesis and glucose depletion is achieved by limiting carbohydrate intake, moderating your protein consumption and consuming high amounts of healthy fats. You can work out your ketogenic diet macronutrients with this Keto Calculator. Good nutritional planning is essential in the keto adaption process; you should plan each day’s meals and snacks and make sure that they fit in with your macros. Ensure adequate consumption of electrolytes, vitamins and green cruciferous vegetables to stave off keto flu and other symptoms for which you can read more about here. How to tell if you’re Keto Adapted There are a few telltale signs that you’re in ketosis or keto adapted they are: A rapid loss of weight for which most will be the flushing of water from the water retention that excess carbohydrates are responsible for. Ketone Breath – This is caused from a ketone body called acetone, smells a little like nail polish or sometimes a bit fruity, its easily combated with decent oral hygiene. We recommend some xylitol gum or sugar free mints Initially, you’ll be urinating often, again this is the result of flushing of your system and is a really good thing. Drink plenty of water and ensure you get essential electrolytes such as sodium (salt), chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. These are easily supplemented with extra salt, green vegetables, bone broths, an Continue reading >>

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