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What Are The Stages Of Ketosis

My Six-week Keto Diet Experiment

My Six-week Keto Diet Experiment

When Ros Lawrence first heard of a diet that allowed her to eat foods she normally denied herself, especially peanut butter, she immediately decided to give it a go. What would you say if I told you there's a diet where you can eat all the food you normally deny yourself, stop counting tedious calories, shift some weight, gain extra muscle and get an energy boost too? If you're anything like me you'd be asking 'where do I sign up?'! So when I heard about the ketogenic diet from a colleague I was immediately intrigued. This simply sounded too good to be true. Could I really eat fat and get lean? Enjoy peanut butter treats and squeeze into my skinny jeans? Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to see for myself, and so began my six-week experiment with the ketogenic diet… What is a ketogenic diet? In its simplest form, this is an extremely low-carb, high-fat diet. It's based on the principle that by lowering your carb intake your body is pushed into a metabolic state known as ketosis (pronounced key -tow -sis), where it switches from burning carbs as its primary energy source to burning fat. To be more precise, it uses ketone bodies or ketones from the breakdown of fatty acids in the liver – hence the name, ketosis. Now that fatty fuel can come from a meal you've just eaten or from the stores of fat on your body (aka, the evil muffin top). Ketosis is a metabolic process that the body initiates to help us survive when our food intake is low. Typically our bodies run on glucose derived from the breakdown of carbs – this is because glucose is the easiest molecule for the body to convert and use as energy, so it will be chosen over any other energy source. But when your body doesn't have enough carbs for your energy needs it will switch to ketosis to keep yo Continue reading >>

5 Steps To Transition Into A Keto Diet

5 Steps To Transition Into A Keto Diet

Living a low carb lifestyle can be difficult, but only if you make it that way. Most “cheat” foods have alternatives, and we’ll go over them later on. Be sure to check out some of our recipes if you’re stumped on ideas for what to eat! I’ll go over some tips for making your transition to a keto diet easier, successful, and more importantly – work. From eating out to eating on the go and everything in between, we’ll cover some foods you should and shouldn’t eat. Carb Counting Calculating your carb intake is very important and should never be overlooked. Don’t slack at first because eventually you’ll start to get the hang of things, and it will become second nature. Always read the label on foods you’re eating, and make sure that you can fit the carbs into your daily allowance. If you go grocery shopping, make sure you read the labels on everything you buy. Sure it might be difficult at first, but it will pay off in the end. When determining the carb count in food, we calculate what’s called net carbs. Roughly, you will want to eat around 20 net carbs per day. It’s okay if this fluctuates, but the general rule of thumb is to keep yourself at 20-30 net carbs per day. If you’re working out you can eat about 20-30 carbs before you start as your body burns the glucose off during the exercise, and returns to using ketones afterwards. Having a small “carb up” before you exercise is a great way to get some fast energy into your system so that you can push your workout to the max. At only 1 net carb, this would be a great choice (image to the left). Make sure that in the first few months, you keep a log of what you are eating. Sometimes it can be a simple mistake or a forgotten snack that pushes you over the carb threshold. We’ve put together a g Continue reading >>

Optimizing Cycling Stage Race Performance Using Nutritional Ketosis

Optimizing Cycling Stage Race Performance Using Nutritional Ketosis

There’s very little published material – and no peer-reviewed scientific publications that I’m aware of – about multi-day stage race performance under nutritional ketosis, which I thought could be a performance maximizing tool when rapid recovery and ability to keep going are essential. I raced an 8-day Mountain Biking stage race, riding a total of more than 40 hours, almost 400 miles and climbing more than 50,000 vertical feet in those eight consecutive days. Here’s what I learned through this N=1 person and N=8 day experience. Going into the stage race, I was simply trying to optimize the following: Rapid recovery given the back to back racing days Overall race performance each day The challenges that I knew I’d have to overcome: Sleep (=performance enhancer #1) would be difficult in tent camps Potential GI distress with 6+ hours of racing per day in African heat, so I’d want to avoid eating large quantities while racing Despite super long days, mountain biking requires frequent, all-out an-aerobic efforts, where one can’t be grinding in “fat burning zone” Approach I had already trained my body to utilize fat as the primary energy source even at higher intensities and I knew from our Pacific rowing adventure that it’d be possible to keep exercising 10+ hours a day while limiting inflammation, recovering fast and getting quality sleep even in questionable conditions. So I hypothesized I would maximize my performance if I could stay in nutritional ketosis, while loading up my glycogen stores and doing race-time feeding with limited carbohydrates to be able to “attack” on all those technical hills where an-aerobic efforts would be impossible to avoid. In other words, my goal was to rely primarily on fat utilization for energy (fuel that is pract 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: What It Is And How To Adjust

Keto-adaptation: What It Is And How To Adjust

What is keto-adaptation? Keto-adaptation is the process of shifting your metabolism from relying mostly on glucose for fuel, to relying mostly on fat-based sources of fuel. Not only does fat oxidation itself increase, but your body starts producing enough ketones that they can be used as a significant source of fuel as well. Ketones are derived from partially metabolized fat, and they can be used in many of the same tissues of the body as glucose can, including much of the brain. The benefits of using fat and ketones rather than glucose for fuel are many, and are the main subject of this site. However, it takes time for the metabolism to adjust to producing and using ketones at a significant rate. Even though changes are evident within days of carbohydrate restriction, improvements continue for weeks. In brief: Carbohydrate-based fueling is a self-perpetuating cycle: it runs out quickly, and every time you eat more carbs you delay adaptation to fat-burning. Fat-based fueling is sustainable, because it allows access to a very large store of energy without you frequently stopping to refuel. Blood sugar is maintained though precise internal processes without wild swings. These two together create a desirable flow of even, stable energy, mood, and alertness. There is a delay between first reducing the amount of carbohydrates that you eat, and having a smoothly running fat metabolism. In the intervening days, you may feel slow, or even unwell. These symptoms can be minimized by making sure to eat lots of fat, staying hydrated, and using salt liberally. Other electrolytes may also be helpful to add -- homemade broth makes a good supplement. Keep carbs consistently low, or you will never adapt and the process will go on indefinitely. Carbohydrate-based fueling is a self-perpet Continue reading >>

How To Detect Ketosis

How To Detect Ketosis

How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f Continue reading >>

P-r-o-f-i-l-e Yourself.

P-r-o-f-i-l-e Yourself.

To kick off National Nutrition Month we’re breaking down Profile so you can better understand what our program means to us and the thousands of individuals who are achieving success every day through the help of Profile. Plan The plan is one of the most valuable assets to our program. Developed by the Profile Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board, which consists of Sanford researchers, physicians ranging from OBGYN to internal medicine, diabetes educators and more. With this board, we built the plan to be tailored and personalized to fit the weight loss needs of all who join, ensuring a high quality experience that is simple, effective and sustainable. Results Profile focuses on setting short-term and long-term weight loss goals for members to see real results. The Profile plan uses three phases to help you lose weight responsibly. Phase one, a low-carb, high-protein meal plan that puts your body into a state of ketosis, changing the way energy is used in your body. The second phase is a transition period where you’ll lose weight gradually while working more grocery foods back into your meal plan. The final phase of the Profile program is a long-term plan for sustaining and managing your weight. A line of great tasting Profile products that are nutritionally formulated to accommodate your plan are a key component to results. One-on-One From the beginning, each Profile member will receive one-on-one coaching from a Certified Profile Coach. These individuals go through comprehensive training on nutrition, activity and lifestyle skills to help members get the most out of the program. Coaches answer questions, provide advice and help you address success and struggles. Through weekly meetings with your coach, you will create a relationship that results in accountability Continue reading >>

Acute Effects Of The Very Low Carbohydrate Diet On Sleep Indices.

Acute Effects Of The Very Low Carbohydrate Diet On Sleep Indices.

Abstract OBJECTIVE: We compared the effect of short-term consumption of a very low carbohydrate (VLC) diet over 48 h to a control mixed diet on sleep indices in healthy, non-obese men. DESIGN: This study employed a repeated-measure design where subjects were given isocaloric (2400 kcal) diets and matching evening test meals (4 h before usual bed-time), which were either mixed low-fat, high carbohydrate (15.5%, 12.5% and 72% of energy from protein, fat and carbohydrate, respectively) or VLC (38%, 61% and < 1% of energy from protein, fat and carbohydrate, respectively). Polysomnographic testing was performed on the familiarization and control night, 4 h after the first VLC test meal (acute phase) and 48 h (ketosis phase) following commencement of the VLC diet. SUBJECTS: Fourteen healthy, non-obese men (aged 18-35 years; body mass index 23.4 +/- 1.9 kg/m(2)) who were good sleepers took part in the study. MEASUREMENT: Objective sleep was recorded using a computerized sleep system. Urine ketone level was monitored with reagent strips before the evening test meals and at bed-time on the control night, during the VLC acute and ketosis phases. Blood glucose level was measured with a glucometer before the evening test meal until 120 min following the meal. Hunger and fullness were assessed immediately after the meal until bed-time with Likert scales. RESULTS: The proportion of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep to total sleep time was significantly reduced at the VLC acute and VLC ketosis when compared to the control night (P = 0.006; n = 11 and P = 0.05; n = 14, respectively). The percentage of slow wave sleep (SWS) significantly increased for both the VLC acute (17.7 +/- 6.7) and ketosis (17.8 +/- 6.1) phases compared to control (13.9 +/- 6.3), P = 0.02 for both phases. CONCLUSION Continue reading >>

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

Are you new to the ketogenic diet or are unsure what this latest diet trend is all about? Are your clients curious about ketosis and whether it can help them achieve their health and weight goals? Here’s your ketosis 101. What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that is gaining in popularity for its use in weight loss, insulin sensitivity, brain health and athletic performance, in addition to its original use for treating epilepsy. Following a ketogenic diet forces the body to use up all of its stored carbohydrates and turn to its alternative fuel source—fat (body fat and dietary fat)—which it converts to ketones and uses for energy. On a ketogenic diet, the macronutrient composition looks like this: 70-80% fat 10-20% protein 5-10% carbohydrates Given those numbers, you may wonder how eating like this could be healthy. After all, fat has been the dietary bad guy for years. However, numerous studies have been conducted comparing ketogenic diets to traditional low-fat/high-carb diets and the results suggest that ketogenic diets can be effective. Keeping total carbohydrates low (usually less than 50 grams a day) by cutting out all starches, sugars and fruit keeps insulin production low. Insulin is the hormone that is produced by the pancreas to shuttle glucose from the bloodstream to the cell where it is burned for energy. When carbohydrate intake is continuously high (high-carb meals, frequent meals and snacks), insulin is constantly being produced and a state of insulin sensitivity develops. Instead of moving glucose into the cells for fuel, much of the glucose is converted to body fat. This leads to weight gain and an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. What to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is f Continue reading >>

Fasting Ketosis Symptoms: Common Side Effects

Fasting Ketosis Symptoms: Common Side Effects

Ketosis is one of the natural, physiological effects of the body when fasting. When we’re eating a ketogenic diet or have gone on an extended period of time without food, our bodies will enter ketosis. This is because the body no longer has glucose available and begins breaking down the body’s fatty tissues for energy. With the ketogenic diet, we’re inducing ketosis by “starving” the body of carbohydrates so that it must turn to fat burning, which has many benefits. Simply fasting by not eating any food can have the same effect. Many people on the ketogenic diet will incorporate fasting to speed up ketosis and also reap the benefits of fasting on keto. Whether you’re eating a ketogenic diet, simply fasting, or combining the two, your body is entering ketosis. Since the symptoms can be similar, this article covers the common fasting ketosis symptoms, as well as how to deal with them. Fasting Ketosis Symptoms It’s important to note that most of these symptoms are temporary as your body is getting adapted to being in ketosis and can be remedied by the tips we cover below. Ketosis Flu If you’re using fasting as a way to get into (or get back into) ketosis, you might experience what’s commonly known as the “keto flu” as the body adapts to fat burning. The keto flu typically includes symptoms like: Water Flushing As your body burns through its glucose and stored glycogen during a fast, a lot of water is released. Your kidneys will also excrete more sodium as insulin drops. This is why people who start low-carb often experience a big initial loss of water weight and reduced bloating. Fatigue With the loss of excess water, the body also flushes out electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This can cause you to feel lightheaded and fatigued more 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 >>

Ketosis Symptoms

Ketosis Symptoms

Source Ketosis is the name for a state achieved on a low-carbohydrate diet. According to WebMD, when you are in ketosis, it means your body is burning fat for energy. When that happens, your body releases ketones into your bloodstream, and you are in ketosis. This state may cause a host of temporary symptoms. Understanding the Symptoms Many dieters develop symptoms that let them know ketones are present. For many people beginning a low-carb diet, ketosis kicks in after a few days of strict adherence to the diet. In fact, many low-carbohydrate plans, such as Atkins and paleo, have an initial phase in which dieters take in extremely low amounts of carbohydrates (usually less than 25 grams per day) to kick start ketosis. You can test for ketones in the urine using ketosis strips, or rely on symptoms to tell you ketosis has been achieved. Early Stages Symptoms of ketosis vary, depending how long you've been in the state. In the early stages, the symptoms may be a bit unpleasant. However, as your body adapts to ketones in the bloodstream, symptoms may decrease. Early symptoms usually last for several days or up to a week in some people. This period of symptoms is sometimes called the keto flu. It may continue until your body is used to burning fat instead of glucose. Afterwards, the levels of ketones should lessen, but that doesn't mean you aren't losing weight. It means your body has found a balance and is no longer producing excess ketones. According to Diet Doctor, early stage symptoms include: Flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and headache Nausea Brain fog Constipation Leg cramps Feeling unusually thirsty Irritability Heart palpitations Dry mouth Ketosis breath, which smells fruity and unpleasant Decreased energy and weakness Dizziness Sleep problems Cold hands and feet Continue reading >>

Atkins Diet – What To Expect

Atkins Diet – What To Expect

Having recently posted an overview of five popular low-carb plans, I’ve been asked which is the one I prefer myself. For me personally, it is still the good old Atkins. Having lost a substantial amount of weight on Atkins back in 2007, I still follow Atkins Maintenance principles. Here’s my advice on what to expect when you go on Atkins. Atkins Diet – quick overview Atkins is a classical LCHF diet – your food will be low in carbs, and high in fat and protein. The diet consists of four phases, starting with a really strict two-week Induction phase. It then gradually relaxes over phases 2-4. If you can manage the first two weeks, the rest will be much easier. Your carb allowance starts with just 20g of carbs a day on Induction (can be 30-40g for very active people). You then add more carbs and more food groups in increments throughout the next two phases. The last stage of Atkins – Maintenance – is more like a nutritional guideline rather than a “diet”. All wholefoods are back on the list, with only sugar and white flour excluded. By Maintenance stage, your carbs intake could be up to around 100g a day or over. This is a comfortable amount, but it is still lower than the average carb consumption of people who eat sugar and grains. Atkins Diet Phase 1 – Atkins Induction Atkins Induction is designed as a shock to your system. It completely resets your food habits, to break away from sugar addiction and kick-start fat-burning metabolism. The ultimate aim is to get you into ketosis – a safe and natural metabolic state where you will burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. Induction is very strict. You can only have 20g net carbs a day, and only from the list of permitted foods. This amounts to several cups of salad vegetables a day (see more information on Atk Continue reading >>

What Is “nutritional Ketosis”?

What Is “nutritional Ketosis”?

IN A NUTSHELL: Nutritional ketosis is a state of health in which your body is efficiently burning fat as its primary fuel source instead of glucose. When undergoing a ketogenic diet you are essentially converting yourself from a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner”. This is accomplished by reducing your consumption of carbohydrates, increasing your intake of fat, and consuming only an adequate amount of protein to meet your body’s needs. The term nutritional ketosis is claimed to have been coined by Dr. Stephen Phinney & Jeff Volek, two of the leading experts and researchers in the field of low carbohydrate dieting (Check out this informative video to hear a talk from Dr. Phinney). Ketosis is achieved by following a “ketogenic diet” which is high in fat, very low in carbohydrates, and adequate in protein (Please Note: It is “adequate” in protein, NOT “high” in protein. More on this later). By consuming more lipids you are enhancing your body’s fat burning function by up-regulating the enzymes and other “metabolic machinery” needed to burn fat more efficiently, therefore making it easier for your body to tap into stored adipose tissue as an energy source (i.e. you turn yourself into a fat-burning machine!). But don’t we NEED carbohydrates? While it’s true that our red blood cells and a small percentage of brain cells and kidney cells are exclusively glucose dependent, the body can actually GENERATE carbohydrates in a process called gluconeogenesis in which certain non-carbohydrate substrates like proteins (amino acids) and certain constituents of fatty acids (glycerol) can be converted into glucose. The quantities of glucose produced by the body are sufficient to meet the needs of these particular cells and also help to balance the body’s bl Continue reading >>

The Stages Of Fasting: What Happens To Your Body When You Fast?

The Stages Of Fasting: What Happens To Your Body When You Fast?

Print Friendly or Save as PDF While fasting is nothing new, it is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as many discover its health benefits. If you are planning your first fast or looking for ways to improve your next one, there are a few things you should do to prepare. The first step is learning about the different stages of fasting. This knowledge helps you mentally and physically prepare for what happens to your body when you fast. The stages of fasting outlined below are based off a water fast, a traditional fast in which you abstain from any food and only drink water for 12-48 hours or longer. Personal experiences can vary depending on the type of fast, age, or health of the individual, but these should give you a general idea of what to expect when you fast. Stage 1: Day 1-2 Stage one lasts for the first couple of days of the fast or about 12-48 hours from your last meal. Usually, it is a good idea to put some planning and preparation into how and when you will start a fast. Try selecting a start day and time and then make preparations in your schedule for the duration of your fast. How You Feel: Hungry This stage is when your body transitions into fasting mode and, for many people, it’s the most challenging part of their fast. This stage is where you start to feel the hunger pains as you skip your regular mealtime routine. Most first time fasters start to feel a reduction in their energy levels. These effects can induce a negative mood or irritability for most fasters. It’s wise to prepare yourself for the possibility of being short on patience during this stage. What’s Happening With Your Body: Battery Save Mode Several things happen at the cellular level that cause hunger and fatigue during this first stage. When you’re eating regularly, your body b Continue reading >>

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