There is a lot of confusion about the term ketosis among medical professionals as well as laypeople. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and why it should not be confused with the metabolic disorder we call ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies. Most cells in the body can use ketone bodies as a source of energy. When there is a limited supply of external energy sources, such as during prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, ketone bodies can provide energy for most organs. In this situation, ketosis can be regarded as a reasonable, adaptive physiologic response that is essential for life, enabling us to survive periods of famine. Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a metabolic condition where the blood becomes acidic as a result of the accumulation of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis can have serious consequences and may need urgent medical treatment. The most common forms are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. What Is Ketosis? The human body can be regarded as a biologic machine. Machines need energy to operate. Some use gasoline, others use electricity, and some use other power resources. Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body. To obtain energy, cells must take up glucose from the blood. Once glucose enters the cells, a series of metabolic reactions break it down into carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. The body has an ability to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen. In this way, energy can be stored for later use. Glycogen consists of long chains of glucose molecules and is primarily found in the liver and skeletal muscle. Liver glycogen stores are used to mai Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Prevent Ketosis?
When you’re on a low-carb diet, your body kicks into action, breaking down fats into ketone bodies to use for energy. This increase in ketones -- called ketosis -- is a normal adaptation to cutting carbs. In fact, the switch to ketosis is why low-carb diets work. Even though you could eat enough carbs to prevent ketosis, it's important to clarify why you want to avoid it. There's nothing unhealthy about ketosis, so you may just need to correct any misinformation to make the best decision for your weight-loss goals. Video of the Day Deal With Concerns Over Ketosis Ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is unfortunate -- ketosis is normal, while ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition related to type 1 diabetes. Most people on a low-carb diet tolerate ketosis without any problems. Then after the pounds are dropped, carb intake is gradually increased so you're out of ketosis by the time you reach the maintenance phase. If you decide to stay in an induction phase longer than the low-carb plan recommends, consult your doctor to be safe. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing ketoacidosis from lack of insulin. Due to the complex metabolism of diabetes, they end up with high levels of blood glucose and ketones, which upsets the body's normal acid-base balance. When that happens, ketosis becomes ketoacidosis, causing symptoms like thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, nausea, belly pain, rapid breathing and fruity-smelling breath. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor immediately -- diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. You may be wary about ketosis because you've heard about "ketosis flu." It's not really flu, but in the first few days or weeks of a low-carb diet, some people experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, constipation or wea Continue reading >>
Why The Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight Diabetes, Cancer
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. Getty Images stock 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. B 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 >>
10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss
10 Tips For Getting Into Nutritional Ketosis For Weight Loss What is Nutritional Ketosis? Ketosis is an eating plan where the body uses ketones to fuel the brain and body instead of glucose like most people use when on the SAD (standard American diet). It can be very helpful for blood sugar and consistent energy because fat is a very stable source of fuel. We all have a few million calories of fat we would gladly burn off, right? It takes a while to get into ketosis and it can be elusive if you are not paying close attention. It can be very safe for a period of time (even forever) but each person has to decide what feels compatible with their own lifestyle. Some experts do not think it is an optimal state for athletes but others experts disagree. I think we all have bio hack ourselves to see what feels right. Of course, I believe that the paleo template is good starting place for optimal health but ketosis can be an add-on or tweak for people who get stuck or feel hopeless. It can be a powerful and effective way to lose weight without hunger and many of my friends have had success with it. Always ask your doctor before beginning any new nutrition or weight loss plan. Here are some ways to make it work for you: 1. Eat Less Protein I have a made a handy dandy chart here for figuring out the right amounts for you. Most average ladies need about 50-100 grams, no more, fyi. You have to self experiment a little to find what is right for you. The idea is that protein can turn to sugar if someone eats more than they need, then the sugar spikes blood glucose encouraging fat storage. 2. Eat More Fat I used to see this all the time in clients, I say add more fat and people add a tsp of evoo to their salad, NO!!! I am talking about seeing fat as a food group not a side item. Avocad Continue reading >>
3 Months Strict Zero Carb - Can't Induce Ketosis. What To Do?
Hello All, I???ve been trying to get into ketosis for 3 months, and I can???t seem to do it. I???m someone can give me some insight on what???s happening and how to induce ketosis in stubborn adaptors like myself. I???m a 43 year-old male, 5???7, 94 kg. I???ve been on a strict zero-carb diet for 3 months. Almost immediately on going zc I found that joint and muscle aches and pains that I???d had for years disappeared. I???ve also suffered from depression, and my depression is in remission. Which is amazing. However, after a full three months of being super careful zero carb, I am still not in ketosis, and I???m utterly exhausted most of the time. For the first month, I ate a wide variety of foods but kept my carb intake to as close to zero as possible. I was not in ketosis after a month, so I transitioned to an all-beef diet for 6 weeks. Over time I found that I was gradually feeling worse and worse ??? I simply had no energy, and each day was a long struggle just to do basic things. About three weeks ago I started reintroducing other food ??? cheese and eggs, at first, and then butter. This helped somewhat with brain clarity, but the low energy continued. A week ago at the suggestion of some of the great folks on the ???zeroing in on health??? forum, I stopped drinking caffeine and increased my intake of eggs. When I started zc, I was drinking up to a gallon of coffee and tea per day. Cutting caffeine also seemed to help with brain clarity. I also had a major realization, which was that I was not at an 80/20 fat/protein ratio. I started tracking on fitday, and I found that I had probably been way out with regard to the ideal ratio. So I made adjustments and I???m now on my 8th day of eating a 80/20 fat/protein ratio. My diet is butter, eggs, ground beef, beef roast and Continue reading >>
How Ketosis Helps You Lose Weight Through Suppressed Appetite
One of the reasons The Bulletproof Diet with Bulletproof Coffee works so well for people looking to lose weight is that Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting helps your body to more easily enter a state called cyclical ketosis, which is great for a whole bunch of reasons. Ketosis is a cornerstone of becoming Bulletproof; listen to these recent Bulletproof Radio episodes with ketosis experts Jimmy Moore and Dominic D’Agostino to get the scoop on how and why it works. It’s what happens when your body switches to burning fat instead of sugar for energy, and it only happens when you eat almost no carbohydrates, or when you hack it using certain kinds of oils. Many people first stumble upon the idea of ketosis while looking for a weight loss strategy. That can be a major part of it for so many people out there who have tried just about every other diet out there but haven’t seen the results they’d hoped for. But when people experience the mental clarity and focus that ketosis brings, the game changes! This post walks you through one of the most important yet underrated mechanisms that makes ketosis so effective for people who have tried everything else to lose weight and failed to keep it off: appetite suppression. Ketosis works for weight loss in the short term, but that’s not why it’s so amazing. Short term weight loss is easy (I’ve lost at least 200 pounds of short term weight…because it always roared back on with a vengeance so I could lose it again!) When you look at keeping your weight off forever, ketosis provides a level of appetite suppression that is actually liberating. Ketosis helps you literally stop thinking about food all the time. Why Calorie Counting Is So Ineffective One of the reasons old-fashioned, calorie-restricted diets tend to fail is becau Continue reading >>
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The Secret Thing That Stops You From Getting Into Ketosis
Keto adaptation is a difficult process and takes a long period of time. How to do it? No carbs, just meat, right? If it only were that simple. There’s a lot more that needs to be considered. Especially this one secret thing that stops you from getting into ketosis. What Causes Ketosis Once you start eating low carb (less than 50 grams NET a day), your body’s glycogen reserves will deplete themselves. A dreadful situation to be in, but only at first. Captain Liver flies to the rescue and starts producing ketone bodies that will be used to feed the brain and fuel the muscles. Ketones get created from fatty acids, either from the adipose tissue or dietary fat intake. After a while, the body’s enzymes will have completely shifted from using glucose to preferring ketones and fat for fuel. In a nutshell: your sugar body’s sugar concentration decreases and in response you become a fat burning beast. Am I in Ketosis? How to know if you are in ketosis in the first place? Ketosis is characterized by serum blood concentrations of ketone bodies above 0.5 mMol. In conjunction with low and stable blood sugar levels. Optimal measurements are between 0,5 and 3,0 mMol. You shouldn’t use urine strips, because they only indicate that you’re not utilizing ketones and are simply pissing them out. What Stops You from Keto Adapting It’s more than eating low carb and requires quite a decent amount of meticulousness. At least during the initial period. In my own experience, I remember struggling with reaching the optimal zone. But dialing down some of these variables, I was able to become fat adapted. Most common causes that stop you from keto adapting: Too many carbs (read how many you need to stay in ketosis) Too much protein Not being patient These are the first things that nee Continue reading >>
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How To Maintain Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now, and more people are learning about the benefits of ketosis on their health and weight loss goals. However, there’s still some confusion around the process itself and the correct ways to maintain ketosis. This information will help you maintain a steady state of ketosis safely and efficiently, no matter your needs. Getting into Ketosis First things first. Before we can maintain ketosis we have to get understand what is ketosis and get into this primal metabolic state. Ketosis occurs when the body has little to no access to carbohydrates, its normal source of fuel, and begins breaking down and burning fat for energy instead. The ketosis process can have many benefits including: Curbed hunger and faster weight loss Improved blood sugar regulation Enhanced cognitive performance Better mental focus Less chance of inflammation Reducing risk for conditions like type II diabetes When the body’s in ketosis, fats are broken down and ketone bodies, or “ketones,” are created for the body to use for energy. Three Main Ways of Maintaining Ketosis Long-term Short-term Cyclical The way you use the ketogenic diet depends on your specific needs, but what’s important is making sure you maintain a state of ketosis during the full time you’re on keto. This is not the same as simple going low-carb, and it requires some extra effort and tracking. However, the results are worth the extra work! Short-Term vs Long-Term Ketosis Just as it sounds, the only difference between short- and long-term ketosis is the amount of time you properly follow the ketogenic diet. The standard version of the ketogenic diet involves eating around 20-50 grams of net carbs per day to keep the body in ketosis, although the exact amount depends on each person. C Continue reading >>
7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that provides several health benefits. During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy. Studies have found that diets that promote ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, due in part to their appetite-suppressing effects (1, 2). Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions (3, 4). That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It's not just as simple as cutting carbs. Here are 7 effective tips to get into ketosis. Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis. Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies. Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body. Your liver converts some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketones can be used as fuel by portions of the brain (5, 6). The level of carb restriction needed to induce ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some people need to limit net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams per day, while others can achieve ketosis while eating twice this amount or more. For this reason, the Atkins diet specifies that carbs be restricted to 20 or fewer grams per day for two weeks to guarantee that ketosis is achieved. After this point, s Continue reading >>
Will I Lose Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?
The ability to simultaneously gain muscle and lose fat is a rather controversial topic amongst those in the fitness industry; however, this seems to be the desired goal of anyone looking to optimize body composition. One of the biggest conundrums we face is that in order to shed body fat, we tend to cut calories so much that we lose muscle mass, and in order to build muscle mass, we tend to bring along some fat gain for the ride. These changes in body composition can happen for a number of different reasons, a few of which we will touch on in this article. In any case, the evidence is clear that a properly implemented ketogenic diet exhibits a protein sparing effect, which may allow one dieting to preserve more muscle mass than if he/she hadn’t been ketogenic. This means that we can ideally shed off that pesky lower abdominal fat, all the while keeping those prized muscles we have worked so hard to build. In this article we are going to discuss some of the mechanisms of fat loss and muscle maintenance on a ketogenic diet and why a ketogenic diet may be more ideal for attaining these goals than a traditional low fat diet. One particular piece of dietary advice that people tend to give is the “calories in, calories out,” hypothesis which indicates that it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you eat it, just as long as you eat less than you expend. This is true to a certain degree, but far too often we tend to simplify what both of those equations mean without taking into account other variables (e.g. fiber, thermogenic effect of protein, brown adipose tissue, etc.). If you put yourself in a caloric deficit, it is likely that you will experience weight loss; however, it is possible that some of this weight loss will not come strictly from body fat, and that some of Continue reading >>
Common Ketosis Killers
“I’ve tried your low-carb diet, Dr. Nally, and it didn’t work.” “Hmm . . . really?” If your mumbling this to yourself, or you’ve said it to me in my office, then lets have a little talk. I’ve heard this statement before. It’s not a new statement, but it’s a statement that tells me we need to address a number of items. If you’ve failed a low carbohydrate diet, I’d suspect you are pretty severely insulin resistant or hyperinsulinemic. You probably never really reached true ketosis. I’d want to have you checked out by your doctor to rule out underlying disease like hypothyroidism, diabetes, other hormone imbalance, etc. Next, switching to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle is literally a “lifestyle change.” It requires that you understand a few basic ketosis principles. And, it takes the average person 3-6 months to really wrap their head around what this lifestyle means . . . and, some people, up to a year before they are really comfortable with how to eat and function in any situation. I assume, if you are reading this article, that you’ve already read about ketosis and understand the science behind it. If not, please start your reading with my article The Principle Based Ketogenic Lifestyle – Part I and Ketogenic Principles – Part II. If this is the case, then please proceed forward, “full steam ahead!” There are usually a few areas that are inadvertently inhibiting your body transformation, so let’s get a little personal. First, this is a low carbohydrate diet. For weight loss, I usually ask people to lower their carbohydrate intake to less than 2o grams per day. How do you do that? (A copy of my diet is accessible through my membership site HERE.) You’ve got to begin by restricting all carbohydrates to less than 20 grams per day. Continue reading >>
5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)
A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr Continue reading >>
The Top 10 Ketosis Mistakes And How To Prevent Them
What mistakes are you making when it comes to your health? I know I’ve been making plenty. That’s why I’m tracking my data in this recent ketosis experiment that I’m doing. What about you? Most people think that the ketogenic diet is just “low-carb” which leads them to make many mistakes that prevent them from not reaping all of the benefits of ketosis that they could. What benefits? How about an improved immune system, increased longevity, lower inflammation, effortless weight loss, decreased hunger, reduced risk for disease and more. Read on to know the top 10 ways that people make mistakes with ketosis and how you can prevent them. 1: Not tracking protein intake By far the biggest problem with a ketogenic diet is not tracking how much protein you are eating. The far majority of people are simply eating too much lean protein, which ends up kicking them out of ketosis. Protein can turn into carbs by a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis, meaning “making new carbs.” This then spikes insulin, and reduces ketone levels. Even though you are eating super low carb, this could make your body switch back and forth between energy systems, which will lead to high levels of fatigue or “low carb flu.” The easiest way to avoid this mistake is by tracking your ketone levels to see how you respond to different amounts and different types of meat. Everyone is different, so the only way you can tell is by tracking. I “listened to my body” before and it didn’t work. I wasn’t in ketosis when I thought I was. I also thought ketosis kind of sucked. It didn’t, I was just wrong. The only way you know is by tracking. If you consume more fat with protein, it will slow this effect. So think fattier cuts of meat, and less muscle meat. But wait, are you going to Continue reading >>
Does Alcohol Stop Ketosis?
Does alcohol stop ketosis? What happens if you eat more fat than your body needs? And will a slightly higher carb intake kick you out of ketosis? Get the answers in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt: Alcohol stopping ketosis? We are trying to get into ketosis and measuring blood ketones which seem to be sitting around 1.0 mmol/L. We have adjusted and readjusted our protein and carb amounts to be within the limits you suggest. Last night I had three vodkas – being no-carb alcohol, can this still affect ketosis levels or would we be doing something else wrong? Thank you, Meg Alcohol should not have any major effect on ketosis, as long as it’s no-carb alcohol like vodka (without sweet ingredients in a drink of course). If anything, pure alcohol tends to somewhat increase ketosis. For best results choose low-carb alcoholic drinks like wine or other low-carb drinks, see the guide below. Also note that many people get more sensitive to alcohol on a ketogenic diet. Be careful and never drink and drive, this is especially true on keto. Best, Andreas Eenfeldt If I eat more fat than my body needs for fuel, what happens to the excess? I understand that if one eats more carbs (glucose) and/or protein than one’s body can immediately use, the excess can be stored as fat. What happens to dietary fat if one eats more of it than can be used? Is it, too, stored, or does the body excrete it? Kathleen It’s mostly stored, though there may be a slight increase in calories burned on low carb. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry, and this should not really be an issue on a low-carb diet, as fat is very satiating. Best, Andreas Eenfeldt Will going moderate low carb >50 carbs turn brain back to using carbs for fuel instead of ketones? I think I need to up carbs for energy. I e Continue reading >>