The Paleo Guide To Ketosis
Ketosis is a word that gets tossed around a lot within the Paleo community – to some, it’s a magical weight-loss formula, to others, it’s a way of life, and to others it’s just asking for adrenal fatigue. But understanding what ketosis really is (not just what it does), and the physical causes and consequences of a fat-fueled metabolism can help you make an informed decision about the best diet for your particular lifestyle, ketogenic or not. Ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which the body primarily relies on fat for energy. Biologically, the human body is a very adaptable machine that can run on a variety of different fuels, but on a carb-heavy Western diet, the primary source of energy is glucose. If glucose is available, the body will use it first, since it’s the quickest to metabolize. So on the standard American diet, your metabolism will be primarily geared towards burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. In ketosis, it’s just the opposite: the body primarily relies on ketones, rather than glucose. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that some organs in the body (especially the brain) require a base amount of glucose to keep functioning. If your brain doesn’t get any glucose, you’ll die. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need glucose in the diet – your body is perfectly capable of meeting its glucose needs during an extended fast, a period of famine, or a long stretch of very minimal carbohydrate intake. There are two different ways to make this happen. First, you could break down the protein in your muscles and use that as fuel for your brain and liver. This isn’t ideal from an evolutionary standpoint though – when you’re experiencing a period of food shortage, you need to be strong and fast, Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Are In Ketosis
The Ketogenic Diet (also known as “keto”) has been all over social media. You’ve probably seen ripped fitness models claiming that Keto gave them their physique, and the even more inspiration stories of normal people like you and me, who lost weight and reclaimed their lives through this diet called Keto. If you’re not sure what the Ketogenic Diet is, head on over to What is a Keto Diet? (Ketogenic Diet 101). Over there I’ve detailed what exactly Keto is and isn’t, given you meal plans, snacks, and answered all of your questions about the diet. But let’s say you’ve jumped into Keto with both feet, and now you want to know “Is this working?” I don’t blame you. It can be hard to tell what’s going on inside your body. Are you in Ketosis? Are you eating few enough carbs? Are you shedding fat? Well, there are 7 obvious ways to tell if you’re in ketosis, without testing your blood or urine. Here are the signs you’re in Ketosis: 1. Weight Loss Weight loss is the first and most obvious sign that you’re in ketosis. The weight loss happens for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to note that it’s very fast in the beginning. This is because when you switch to a low-carb diet, your muscles start losing water. Carbohydrates are what bind water to your muscles, so when you’re not eating carbohydrates, your muscles start dumping them, and the attached water. That’s one of the things that causes Keto Flu (which you can read about in Keto 101), but drinking plenty of water and keeping your salt intake up will keep you hydrated and feeling healthy. After the initial water leaving your body, then you’ll start to see steady fat loss. Related Reading: My 60 Day Keto Challenge Results (I lost 23 pounds!) 2. Little or No Appetite When you stop eati Continue reading >>
How To Know If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips.
To know whether or not you’ve entered ketosis you can measure your blood ketone levels. But how to know if you are in ketosis without strips? Well, we’re already mildly ketogenic after an overnight fast. Once our liver glycogen stores have been depleted we begin to produce ketone bodies at an exponential rate. Despite that, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be utilizing them efficiently. If we’re not adapted, then our brain and muscles won’t be able to put those ketones into use. Nutritional ketosis begins if our blood ketone levels are over 0.5mMol. To indicate that, you can use either urine strips like Ketostix. There are also breath takers. The most optimal range for ketosis is between 0.5 and 3 mMol. Ketoacidosis occurs over 10mMol, which is quite hard to reach. It usually happens with people who are diabetic or after excessive alcohol consumption. But there are a few problems with measuring ketones. Having elevated levels of ketones doesn’t mean you’re in ketosis. These urine strips are expensive and taking several measurements a day is very costly. That’s why there’s another way how to know you’re in ketosis without strips. Like said, elevated ketone levels doesn’t necessarily mean ketosis. It might even be the opposite. If we’re not putting ketones into use, then we’re probably urinating it out. That’s why urine strips are not ideal. What we want to know as well is our blood sugar levels. Glucose and ketones are contradicting fuel sources. If one is elevated, then the other has to be decreased. If we have high blood sugar levels, then we won’t be able to use fat for fuel. We definitely won’t be in ketosis. Quantifying is great because it gives us an accurate interpretation of our condition. However, we shouldn’t get stuck with the dat Continue reading >>
What Does A Ketogenic Paleo Diet Look Like?
Update: I did a (failed) ketosis experiment on myself that you can read about here, here, here, and here. Jimmy Moore is dropping weight with the fervor of a college wrestler right now on his experimental ketogenic diet. In fact, he’s lost about 47 pounds in the last 3 months, and he’s still going. He’s an awesome guy and he’s been struggling with his weight for a while now, so I’m psyched for him to say the least. He gives updates every month or so on his progress, but he never tells his readers exactly WHAT he’s eating. I’m itching to know. Now, Jimmy isn’t strictly Paleo: he eats full fat dairy, so even if he did report to us what he was eating, it wouldn’t be super helpful to a lot of people. I got to thinking what a ketogenic Paleo diet might look like. Without all that cheese and cream to assume the fat positions, it’d require a lot more tallow, lard, coconut oil, and coconut milk, as well as the fatty meats, eggs, nuts, and avocados. Here’s a picture of one of Jimmy’s meals to give you an idea of the amount of dairy he’s eating (well, at least at this particular meal). I think that’s sausage, avocado, scrambled eggs, some sort of hot sauce, and heavy cream. By the way, I’m in no way criticizing Jimmy right now. If I could eat dairy, I probably would, and I think this meal looks amazing. What’s ketosis? Before I go any further with this, I’ll briefly explain what ketogenic means and why one would aspire to be on a ketogenic diet. Some say you need to eat fewer than 30 grams of carbs per day to be in ketosis. It may be fewer than that to get into a deep state of ketosis, and you must not eat too much protein either. So a ketogenic diet is high fat, low(ish) protein, and very low carb. More on that in a moment. When you are in ketos Continue reading >>
Can A Low-carb Diet Make One's Urine Smell Bad?
Urine usually has little odor to it, so you may be puzzled if yours smells stronger than usual. A restrictive low-carb diet can put you into a state of ketosis, a side effect of which is a fruity-smelling urine. Moderate low-carb diets are unlikely to give your urine an unusual odor, however, so consider other causes and, if still not sure why your urine smells, consult your medical provider. Video of the Day It's unlikely that you'll reach the state of ketosis with moderately low-carb diets. You'll need to follow a restrictive plan, such as the Atkins 20™ diet, which only allows 20 grams of carbs per day, with virtually all high-carb foods off your plate. You focus on moderate amounts of protein and large amounts of fat. No added sugar, fruit, grains or starchy vegetables are allowed in a ketogenic diet. Meals consists of meats, cold-pressed oils and leafy, watery vegetables. Nuts, eggs and cheese serve as snacks. After several days or weeks of following this extremely low-carb plan, your body starts to produce ketones. You don't have enough carbs for energy, so, to fuel activity, your body becomes efficient at burning fat and the liver produces ketones to fuel the brain. This production is normal, but not regularly experienced by people that consume the 225 to 300 grams of carbohydrates recommended on a standard American 2,000-calorie diet. Benefits of the ketogenic diet include stabilization of blood sugar and insulin levels and the weight loss that results from your body reaching into your fat stores for energy. The diet may also help alleviate symptoms of a number of diseases, including neurological conditions and some cancers. Your Urine on Ketosis One of the first signs that you've reached a state of ketosis is frequent urination. As the diet stabilizes your in Continue reading >>
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 >>
The Signs Of Ketosis On Atkins Diets
The Atkins diet, first published in 1972 and reinvented 20 years later, has helped countless people lose weight, but isn't without controversy. The diet severely limits your intake of carbohydrates -- found in sugar, bread, pasta, most fruits, starchy vegetables and many processed snacks -- to encourage your body to lose fat. Often, this pushes you into a state of ketosis, a process that occurs when you burn fat for fuel. Video of the Day Ketosis isn't inherently harmful, but in some cases can lead to a build up of the ketone bodies, causing dehydration and changes in your blood chemistry. Though a blood test is the most accurate way to determine if you're in ketosis, certain other physical changes provide clues that you're in this state. Ketosis and the Atkins Diet Your body usually uses glucose, derived from carbohydrates, for energy -- particularly to fuel the brain. Ketones are produced when you're short on carbohydrates and must burn fat for fuel. When you produce ketones for energy, you are in ketosis. Phase One, or the "Induction Phase," of Atkins will likely cause you to produce ketones. During these first two weeks, you consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. This represents a significant restriction in carbohydrates -- the Institute of Medicine recommends you eat 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbs, or 225 to 325 grams daily on a standard 2,000-calorie diet. To meet your low-carb limit, the Atkins diet has you subsist primarily on meats, fish, poultry, eggs, oils, some cheese and watery, fibrous vegetables with few carbohydrates, such as lettuce and cucumbers. Breath and Urine Signs of Ketosis Ketones are burned for energy, but also breathed out through the lungs and excreted in the urine. As a result, your breath takes on a frui Continue reading >>
5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones
5 Ways to Measure Your Ketones A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. Research has demonstrated that this nutrition plan improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation throughout the body. This leads to greater fat metabolism and muscle development as well as a reduced risk of chronic disease. (1, 2). I get asked all the time how to measure the state of ketosis. There are several major ways and we will discuss those in this article. Measuring Your Ketones There are three types of ketone bodies: Acetone, Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB). Each of these three can be tested as acetone is a ketone released through the breath, acetoacetate is a ketone released through urine and BHB is (although not technically a ketone it acts like a ketone) in the blood stream and used by the cells for energy. 1. Blood Ketone Meter This measures BHB and is considered to be the most accurate way to measure ketone bodies. These have the ability to determine the ketone level in your blood precisely but they are also pricey and invasive. Personally, I freak out every time I have to prick my finger!! The Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone meter is a good buy at $28-$30. The expensive part is the ketone test strips here which can cost $4 each. If you are looking at testing yourself every day it is going to cost you $120 a month and the $30 meter. Here is a starter kit you can get on Amazon Most people will enter into a light nutritional ketosis (between 0.5-1.0 mmol/L on the meter) within two or three days. It typically takes Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?
Many people following keto diets want to be in ketosis, a natural state in which the body burns fat for fuel. For this reason, people are curious about whether they are doing enough (via carb restriction) to achieve this state. As a result, ketone strips are a popular tool that numerous people use as a way of measuring ketosis. However, just how accurate are they? And how do they compare to alternate methods of measuring ketones? What is Ketosis? Anyone following a standard high-carbohydrate diet will be burning glucose for energy. However, the body can use both carbohydrate and fat for fuel (1). When carbohydrate intake is very low, the body switches to burning fat for energy. As this happens, our body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural biological state during which our body burns fat for fuel. While we are “in ketosis,” our blood levels of ketones—a by-product from the breakdown of fats—rise. Measuring these ketones (also known as ‘ketone bodies’) can, therefore, provide a hint as to how deeply our body is (or isn’t) in ketosis. For this reason, ketone strips—which measure the level of ketones—have become increasingly popular in recent times. Key Point: Ketosis is a biological state where the human body burns fat rather than carbs. What are Ketone Test Strips? For people who want to know if they’re in ketosis, ketone test strips are a cheap and simple way of detecting ketone levels. They are otherwise known as ‘ketone sticks’ and work by urinalysis to tell us the volume of acetoacetate in our urine. If you don’t know what acetoacetate is, then let’s start at the beginning. First of all, there are three types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Acetoacetate is one of the two main ketone bodies, and it is present in urine. We can test f Continue reading >>
10 Things Your Pee Can Tell You About Your Body: Taking A Deep Dive Into Urinalysis, Dehydration, Ketosis, Ph & More!
See, for the past several days, I’ve been randomly grabbing drinking glasses from the shelf in the kitchen… …and peeing into them. And yes, I realize that now you will likely never want to join me at my home for a dinner party. So why the heck am I urinating into our family’s kitchenware? It’s all about better living through science and figuring out ways to live longer and feel better (at least that’s what I tell my wife to appease her). It’s also about my sheer curiosity and desire to delve into an N=1 experiment in self-quantification with urinalysis. It’s also because I’ve been too lazy to order one of those special urinalysis specimen cups with the cute plastic lid. And let’s face it: with my relatively frequent use of a three day gut testing panel, my wife is already somewhat accustomed to giant Fed-Ex bags full of poop tubes sitting in the fridge, so urine can’t be all that bad, right? Anyways, in this article, you’re going to learn exactly why I think it’s a good idea to occasionally study one’s own urine, and you’ll also discover 10 very interesting things your pee can tell you about your body. Enjoy, and as usual, leave your questions, thoughts, feedback, and stories of your own adventures in urinalysis below this post. ———————– The History Of My Interest In Urinalysis Two years ago, I first became interested in urinalysis when I discovered a new start-up called “uChek”. The premise of uChek was quite simple. People with diabetes who want to check the amount of glucose in their urine would simply be able to download uChek to their iPhone or iPad. Then, after a “mid-stream collection,” (yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like and, in my experience, despite my Private Gym training, can be quite difficult to Continue reading >>
Ketosis symptoms are a result of the way the body gets rid of the excess ketone bodies which build up in the blood stream when a person eats a low carb, ketogenic diet. In short, the body has three ways of dealing with excess ketone bodies: First, the muscles liver and brain can burn them for energy in the cells. Second, the body can breathe ketones out through the lungs. And third, the body can flush ketones out through the kidneys and urine. Legionella Testing Lab - High Quality Lab Results CDC ELITE & NYSDOH ELAP Certified - Fast Results North America Lab Locations legionellatesting.com The ketosis symptoms associated with the benign dietary ketosis caused by eating a low carb, ketogenic diet are not dangerous. They may differ for each individual, with the most common symptoms being: Ketosis breath, which has a fruity odor, and the person in deep ketosis may feel a sort of slight burning in the nose and a slight smell of ammonia. Dry mouth, which is alleviated by drinking more regular tap or bottled water. (Reverse osmosis water will make this worse.) In the first week of beginning a ketogenic diet, most people experience frequent urination followed by fatigue, as insulin levels come down, and the kidneys release extraneous water stores. Minerals such as sodium, magnesium and potassium are also lost with excreted urine, and it is the mineral loss that causes the fatigue. This can be offset by eating more salt, drinking more fluids, and increasing the intake of magnesium and potassium containing foods. (Dairy foods and avocados are high in potassium, and you can drink broth for more sodium.) A slight headache at first which goes away in a few days. This is usually a sign of not getting enough salt. Ketone bodies become detectable in the urine. Ketone bodies are molecu Continue reading >>
The Many Benefits Of Ketosis
Along with living an alkaline lifestyle, one of the key principles of my Magic Menopause hormone reset program is eating a ketogenic-friendly diet. This diet puts your body in a fat-burning state called ketosis. My program’s Keto-Alkaline™ Diet includes ketogenic methodologies. It also incorporates the “reality of everyday life” into one’s diet. I’ll explain what I mean about this in just a moment. First, for those of you who aren’t familiar with ketosis, let me give you a short overview. A ketogenic diet is a diet which is low in (unhealthy) carbs and high in (healthy) fats and (healthy) protein. So how does a ketogenic diet work so well at supporting fat loss and other health benefits? It’s really a simple concept at the surface, a bit more complex when you look at the actual physiology. Ketosis is all about what your body uses as fuel. Eating high carbs = high blood glucose (sugar), high insulin, stored fat… and low fat burning, low metabolism and belly fat. Your body’s fuel source is glucose, not fat. Let me explain. When you eat carbs your body’s blood glucose increases and spikes your blood sugar. Your body releases more insulin as a reaction to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin is produced to get the glucose from your body and into the cells. There it gets converted to energy. Your body burns the glucose to make its energy and then insulin tells the cells to store their energy as carbs or fat (the unhealthy and dreaded belly fat). When you eat a lot of carbs on an ongoing basis (like many Americans do, eating a lot of processed foods, sugar, alcohol, soda and such!) insulin is continually stimulated. This can lead to a health condition called insulin resistance, where the cells start to resist the insulin. When this happens, your blood Continue reading >>
Why You Need To Stop Worrying About The Color Of Your Ketostix
Yeah, I know you like to use them, but there are so many misconceptions about what they are telling you, that I need to intervene and make sure you get it. But before I go there, let me urge you to just buy The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, and read pages 164-165. Phinney and Volek have the best description of this that has probably ever been written, and you should really just read it from them. If I could copy these pages verbatim and paste it here, I would. Seriously, it’s only a few bucks and it’s quite literally the book you want to own if you’re interested in low carb ketogenic diets. OK, while you wait for your book to arrive, let’s dig in… What ketostix measure First off, we need to understand what ketostix actually measure, and more importantly, what they don’t. Generally speaking, ketostix measure excess ketones in your urine. They are considered excess, because they are removed from your serum and shunted to your urine by your kidneys. Their caloric content is thereby wasted. Of the three types of ketones (acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) produced by your body, ketostix only measure acetoacetate. This is extremely important to understand, because it turns out that your body produces different quantities of these different types of ketones depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis. If you’ve been in ketosis for a while, you’re going to see a reduction in the “intensity” of what you register on your ketostix for two reasons: A change in the relative volume of the ketones produced/present in your body A reduction in the volume of ketones in your urine as your kidneys reduce the amount they secrete Both of these are covered below. Changes in the types of ketones you produce When you first start your ketogenic Continue reading >>
Being Fat Adapted Versus "in Ketosis" (pt.1/3)
UPDATE!! (9/20/2017) I have a new post that explains how and why the body produces ketones, It will help you understand much better the difference between burning fat and having a fat-based metabolism, versus being "in ketosis." It's very long, but I think it's worth reading if you'd really like to understand this -- and if you want to stop freaking out about your ketone levels. (If you click over to that post and want to read only the section that explains the difference between ketosis and running on fat, scroll way down to where it says Ketogenesis: How and Why Do We Make Ketones? Also: Fat Adaptation versus Ketosis.) Happy reading! If I never hear or read those six words, in that order, ever again, I’ll be one happy individual. Based on what I come across on low-carb forums, blogs, and videos, there is a lot of confusion about the correct use of urine ketone test strips (which I’ll sometimes refer to as ketostix, since “ketone test strips” is a mouthful, even when you’re only reading). So allow me to ‘splain a little bit about how to interpret these things, and what role they should play—if any—in your low-carb life. First and foremost is the most important thing you will read in today’s post. (And it is so important that I will likely repeat it in all the posts to follow in this little series. Plus, you can tell it’s important because it’s red, bold, in italics, and all caps, hehheh.) You can be in ketosis and not lose body fat, and you can lose body fat without being in ketosis. Here is an exhaustive, comprehensive list of everything urine ketone test strips tell you: There is acetoacetate in your urine. That’s it. Nothing more. Nada más. Game over. Finito. The fat lady has sung, and Elvis has left the building. Your worth as a human being Continue reading >>