Exogenous Ketones: To Ketone Or Not To Ketone
My thoughts on Exogenous Ketones After being contacted (following the Youtube Q&A) by several folks – both members of Ketogains and Internet strangers, I felt compelled to write as fair and even-handed a write-up on exogenous ketone supplementation as I feel can be mustered. I condition my response by saying this – I want to deal only in evidence and hypotheses grounded in biochemistry. I admit up front that this will probably become something of a treatise on what constitutes a well-formulated ketogenic diet. I don’t have the time (or the energy) to put together a document that covers all facets of the use of exogenous ketones in sufficient depth, so what I want to do is to address the folks that I see asking me about them most often – those who have excess body fat, and are looking to lose weight. They have been told about the potential benefits to fat loss via exogenous ketones, and they want to know if the hype is real. Those of you who know me (or read my previous post here) know that I like to respond with “it depends.” So…when the question is raised, “Should I supplement with exogenous ketones?” what do you think my answer will be? Probably not! (HA, I tricked you!)…but let’s explore why. As I’m sure this is going to be hotly debated enough (as the topic is raging in numerous ketogenic groups) there isn’t any value in dealing with speculation that doesn’t have a basis in science, nor in anecdotes. The challenge in dealing with exogenous ketone supplementation is two-fold: One side of the debate has a product to sell. Anytime someone’s livelihood is tied to your purchase of their product, bias and subjective interpretation of the evidence should be considered. The evidence (either for or against) their supplemental use by average schl Continue reading >>
Am I In Ketosis? The Symptoms And Signs Of Ketosis.
One of the questions people who are new to the LCHF (keto/ketogenic/low carb) diet frequently ask me is: how do I know if I’m in ketosis? What are the main signs of ketosis? Everyone’s different and while some may experience all of the symptoms of ketosis, some might only feel a couple of them. Some feel none at all. There are basic signs and symptoms that indicate that you’re in ketosis. But please note that I’m differentiating between the signs of keto flu (covered in the post I’m linking to) that many experience in the first days of a ketogenic diet, and the feeling of being in ketosis when the flu has subsided: Dry mouth (eat more salt and drink more water to alleviate this). See my keto breath article here. Weight loss. Yay! Metallic taste in your mouth or a strange taste in the back of your throat. Some describe it as fruity or a little sweet. A kind of “buzzing” feeling that’s hard to describe. Almost euphoric at times. Different kind of urine smell, stronger too! “Ketosis breath” – It can range from being a little sweet to being almost like you’ve had a drink of alcohol. Less appetite. You can go for hours without eating and don’t feel very hungry. Increased energy. If you don’t experience it try to eat more fat. Also, drink more water and watch your electrolytes. A ketone strip you pee on shows a positive result. There are also blood ketone meters, or the popular ketone breath test, that give a more specific result. (Pro-tip: If you get the pee strips, cut them in half ) But do note that even with a positive pee strip it’s not 100% certain that you’re in ketosis. A very dark positive result may only indicate that you’re dehydrated. For me personally, the main signs of ketosis are hard to miss. I just feel different! It’s hard Continue reading >>
Is The Ketosis Diet The Most Powerful Aid For Depression?
The western world is in the grip of a terrible malaise. Depression has been earmarked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the fastest growing health problem right now and expects it to be that way for many years to come. But why? What gives? Do they know something we don’t? Or is it, in fact, that people just don’t really understand Depression and are blithely wandering into its clutches because they just can’t see it coming? Well, I obviously don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned over the years with my research into food and health matters. The first piece of information worth considering is the old quote “You are what you eat”. Or the version attributed to the “Father” of Western medicine “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”. Now, I remember my A-Level chemistry, and I was pretty good at it, and I remember that the bottom line is that you can’t make certain compounds if the ingredients for those compounds are not present in the reaction vessel. Your body is the reaction vessel in this instance, and therefore it stands to reason that if you don’t get enough, say, Iron in your diet, you will find your body exhibiting symptoms which are caused by a lack of Iron. Pretty simple stuff, right? Right. Except that during the whole time that Depression has been becoming the world’s number one disease, the ‘official line’ on dietary recommendations has stressed the importance of not eating too much fat. Low-fat carbs have been the order of the day, and we have probably all seen one version or another of that Special K woman on our screens literally thousands of times. She seems to be doing alright on it… what’s the problem? Well, my money is on the fats. It takes a bit of hea Continue reading >>
The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets
Here's what you need to know... Ketosis occurs when carbs are in such low quantities that your body relies almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. Ketogenic diets have about 70-75% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat and about 5% from carbohydrates. Ingesting protein above approximately .8 grams per pound is enough to kick you out of ketosis. Ketogenic diets improve body comp, but so does any diet that reduces calories from any source. There is no literature to support that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for promoting increases in muscle mass. Ketogenic diets affect performance negatively. Questions About Ketosis While the ketogenic diet has been used widely and rather effectively in some cases, there's still a lot of confusion about it. What exactly is a ketogenic diet? How does it differ from low carb dieting? Most importantly, at least for the T Nation demographic, is the question of whether ketogenic diets allow you to put on, or at least keep, muscle. Ketosis: What is it? Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. That sounds simple on the surface, but let's unpack that explanation a bit. To function, your body requires a substantial amount of energy in the form of ATP. So, let's just assume that the average person uses about 1,800 calories per day to create enough ATP to keep him alive (not including any physical activity). Now this is where it gets interesting. You have this thing in your skull called a brain. It uses about 400 or so calories per day and runs almost exclusively on glucose. (There's some evidence it can use small amounts of fat and lactate, but in the big picture it's not Continue reading >>
Strength Without Carbs
When you hear the terms “low-carb” or “zero carb,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Well, it’s certainly not big-time strength gains. The way most people view the diets I’ve created, Carb Back-Loading is for mass and strength gains, and Carb Nite, my ultra-low-carb plan, is strictly for fat loss—with compromises in performance and strength levels. Surprisingly, at least to people with preconceived notions about how these low-carb plans work, it doesn’t have to be this way. Several clients I’ve worked with, including massive powerlifters Mark Bell and Jesse Burdick, have continued to get stronger while adhering full-bore to the principles of Carb Nite. The issue, however, is the effectiveness of the plan. You’ll lose a ton of fat, and it’ll happen quickly—forcing you to make several adaptations with regard to biomechanical considerations and the way you schedule your training. Let’s say you’re a really big, bulky guy who’s carrying a lot of body fat. With Carb Nite, guys like this will typically lose 20–40 pounds of fat over a three-month period. When this much fat comes off, the shape of your body goes through some drastic changes. Depending on how you train—but especially if you lift heavy—you’re going to have to figure out how this affects the way you move. Schedule Change The first thing you’ll need to do is change your training schedule, because you’re going to find it very hard to maintain the volume and intensity of your workouts later in the week. The longer you stay on a diet like Carb Nite, the harder this will be. Jesse Burdick, a world-class powerlifter, and trainer at Combat Sports Academy in Dublin, CA, has a few suggestions: “With my clients,” Burdick says, “I really don’t until they start to fe Continue reading >>
Ketosis For Psychosis
What happened when two adults with severe mood and psychotic symptoms for years embarked on a ketogenic diet for weight loss? Yes, they lost weight, but what ELSE happened? Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Chris Palmer shared the inspiring stories of two people in his practice who experienced long overdue relief that even the strongest antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medications could not provide. Read the remarkable results in my newest post on Psychology Today. Continue reading >>
The ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, adequate protein, low-carbohydrate diet that is primarily used in medicine to treat difficult-to-control, or refractory, epilepsy in children. Heavy cream, butter and vegetable oils provide the necessary fat and the diet eliminates sweets such as candies and cookies. Other foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, rice, cereals and pasta are not allowed on the strictest form of the diet, but are allowed in small amounts on more liberal forms of the diet. All foods must be carefully prepared and weighed on a precise food scale and each meal must be eaten in its entirety for the diet to be most effective. No one is certain how the diet works, but some children do become seizure-free when put on the diet. However, the diet does not work for everyone and there is no way to predict whether it will be successful. In every decade since the 1920s, studies consistently show that 50 to 75 percent of children with difficult to control seizures of all types are helped by the diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for energy. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported throughout the body and is particularly important in providing energy for brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrates in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as the energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. Starting the ketogenic diet If your child's doctor determines your child is a good candidate for the diet, it is started under close medical supervision. Blood te Continue reading >>
The Truth About The Ketogenic Diet: Is It The Best Way To Lose Weight?
Whilst it has benefits, is it really the best way to lose weight? You must weigh up this eating approach to see if it's the best decision for you. So allow me to break it down for you to make this decision easy! THE KETOGENIC DIET AND KETOSIS The ketogenic diet involves lowering your carbohydrates extreamly low, putting your fats high and keeping protein adequate, to the point where your body is in a state of what's called ketosis. This is when you burn fats as opposed to carbohydrates for energy. When we eat carbohydrates, the glucose is used to fuel the body and our brain. But when we aren't getting adequate carbohydrates (such as in the ketogenic diet) fats are broken down into glucose instead. This is called gluconeogenesis (neo is greek for "new" and "genesis" means to make). IS THE KETOGENIC DIET BETTER FOR MUSCLE GROWTH AND FAT LOSS? There's some good research into this, including this study (1) that looked at 20 overweight people for 6 weeks on either a ketogenic diet or a moderate carb (non-keto) diet. Both diets had 1500 calories, and the subjects did no exercise. The ketogenic diet consisted of: PROTEIN: 125 CARBS: 33 FAT: 100 The moderate carb diet was: PROTEIN: 117 CARBS: 157 FAT: 50 And what did they find? No significant differences in fat loss. There was no significant difference in fat free mass either. Furthermore, hunger ratings were better for both diets, with no differences found there either. Also, insulin sensitivity was bolsted for both diets, with no differences between them. However, recent research has found to the contrary (2). In this study, 26 college aged resistance trained men were divided into a ketogenic diet (Pro=20 Fat=20 Carb=5) or a tradtional western diet (Pro=20 Fat=25% Carb=55%). These subjects were performing a periodised weight Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Plan – The Best Fat Burning Diet
For the best diet to rapidly burn fat using the body’s natural metabolism, consider a ketogenic diet plan. Nutrition has the strongest effect on the body’s production of important hormones, which regulate metabolism and allow the body to burn fat for energy and retain muscle mass, with little need for excessive exercise. What is a ketogenic diet plan? Basically, it is a diet that causes the body to enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural and healthy metabolic state in which the body burns its own stored fat (producing ketones), instead of using glucose (the sugars from carbohydrates found in the Standard American Diet – SAD). Metabolically speaking, ketogenic foods are very powerful. The amazing benefit is that these foods are also delicious, natural whole foods that are extremely healthy for you. So what foods are encouraged? Some of the best-tasting, most fulfilling foods are part of this plan, including lean meats like beef and chicken, healthy sources of protein and high-quality fats like eggs, butter, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado. Also, delicious leafy-green vegetables like kale, chard, and spinach, as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These foods can be combined with seeds, nuts, sprouts, and a wide range of other amazing foods that lead to incredible health benefits that give your body the protein, healthy fats, and nutrients it needs while providing metabolism-boosting meals for easy cooking at home or on the go. What foods should be limited? On a ketogenic diet plan, the main foods to avoid are those high in carbohydrates, sugars, and the wrong types of fats. These foods can be toxic to the body and create excess glucose levels that the body turns into stored fat. These foods increase the level of insulin Continue reading >>
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I Just Started Ketogenic Diet. I'm Losing Weight, But Once I Reach Target Weight, Is There A Way I Can Go Back Into A More Normal Diet That's Not Super High Carb Of Course, But Perhaps A Bowl Of Rice A Day Without Gaining The Weight Back?
Sure. Paoli et al. did just that in a research study back in 2013. He had participants do 20 days of ketogenic dieting and then transitioned them to a low carb, high protein diet, and then finally had them on a Mediterranean diet – a moderate intake of fats, carbs, and protein for six months. They repeated this process. They found that during the bouts of keto, the participants lost body fat and maintained that loss throughout the transition to the Mediterranean diet. The key to transitioning successfully without gaining body fat – depending on how long you were in ketosis, insulin resistance can be a problem – is to take the transition slow. Meaning, don’t go from ~12 g carbs straight to 200g. Here’s what I’d recommend: One way to do this is is to slowly add 20-30 grams of carbs per week while holding your fat and protein intake where they are, until you’re out of a deficit and back to maintenance. As an example. Let’s assume you end the diet at 1700 calories. And you want to start bringing your calorie intake back up to your new maintenance of 2300 calories. This is how I would do it. If you’re end of diet macros were: 150g protein / 50g carbs/110g fat. Week 1: +20 grams carbs/ keep fats as they are / protein stays the same – 150g protein / 70g carbs / 110g fats (1870 calories) Week 2: +30 grams carbs/keep fats as they are/ protein stays the same – 150g protein / 100g carbs / 110g fats (1990 calories) Week 3: +30 grams carbs/ fat remains the same / protein stays the same – 150g protein / 130g carbs / 110g fats (2110 calories) Week 4: +30 grams carbs/ fat remains the same / protein stays the same – 150g protein / 160g carbs / 110g fats (2230 calories) At this point you can either keep things as they are, or start reducing fat intak Continue reading >>
948: Dr. Adam Nally Is A Family Practitioner Who Champions Ketogenic Diets
A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Board Certified Family Practitioner, and Board Certified Medical Bariatrician utilizing low-carb ketogenic diets with patients named Dr. Adam Nally is our guest today in Episode 948 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” Finding a good doctor who understands the key role that nutrition plays in their patient’s health can be extremely challenging nowadays. Since most medical professionals are lucky if they’ve had just a few hours to two weeks worth of education on the role diet plays in health during their medical school training, many don’t know how to adequately help their patients dealing with chronic health problems like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cholesterol and weight management. These topics are all a passionate focus of attention by a Surprise, Arizona-based family medicine practitioner named Dr. Adam Nally from Nally Family Practice. He blogs about how he routinely uses a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet to help his patients maximize their health where all other forms of traditional medicine has failed. He blogs at DocMuscles.com and is one of the strongest medical proponents of ketogenic diets you’ll ever hear. Dr. Nally was invited by our host Jimmy Moore to be one of the featured speakers on the 2014 Low-Carb Cruise which we shared on this podcast a couple of months back. But the video and audio footage with Dr. Nally became corrupted and unusable. To remedy that, Jimmy invited Dr. Nally to come on the podcast today for a fresh interview that we know you’re gonna love. Listen in as Jimmy and Dr. Nally discuss how the interest in low-carbohydrate nutrition is becoming more attractive to physicians, the surprised response he gets from his patients as he teaches Paleo-based low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic prin Continue reading >>
5 Supplements For Ketogenic Dieters
When you make the decision to embrace ketogenic dieting—or "go keto"—you need fat and plenty of it. After all, all those calories that you used to get from carbs have to come from somewhere, right? And as Dr. Jacob Wilson pointed out in his "Ketogenic FAQ" article, eating excessive protein (at or above .67-.81 grams per pounds of body weight) can actually produce enough glucose to kick you out of the desired state of ketosis. Where the fat comes from, well, that's up to you. For many people, bacon, avocado, and heavy cream can found on the menu eaten at almost any meal, and never do you need to think twice about choosing egg yolks again. But even with the mouth-watering menu, the adaptation period to a ketogenic diet can be challenging. Many have felt compelled to quit before actually entering ketosis—which is when the pure fat-burning and benefits begin! These three supplement staples can help you make it through the dreaded "induction flu" that many experience during the early days of ketogenic diet, and help you and come out stronger and leaner on the other side! 1. Electrolytes Transitioning your body's preferred fuel sources from carbohydrates to fat can be tough. Not only does it take time to do so, but along the way, you're likely to have a few headaches, perhaps some nausea, and for some, day-long fatigue. This is the so-called "induction flu." As carbs get kicked to the curb, so do key electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. To prevent headaches and fatigue, consider an electrolyte supplement. If you're dehydrated or low on electrolytes, all of these symptoms are going to be worse. Compounding the quandary is that many people end up cutting out electrolytes such as sodium and potassium as their carb consumption goes down. Particularly if you're trainin Continue reading >>
Experiment: Optimal Ketosis For Weight Loss And Improved Performance
Can measuring ketones help you lose weight and improve performance? Let’s try to find out. Today my ketone experiment reached goal #1: achieving stable optimal ketosis*. After getting my blood ketone meter I’ve eaten a stricter LCHF diet than I usually do. More fat, less carbs. No bread, no potatoes, pasta, rice or fruit. Instead I’ve eaten meat, fish, vegetables, egg and extra large amounts of high-fat sauces and butter. In the mornings coffee with plenty of butter/coconut fat in it. I’ve occasionally cheated with some nuts, root vegetables, berries, cream and a little wine. After just a few days I entered light nutritional ketosis (over 0.5 mmol/L on the meter). But it took a full three weeks to achieve stable optimal ketosis (1.5 – 3 mmol/L) in the mornings. It was also interesting that it was much quicker to get high ketone readings during daytime and in the evenings (data not shown in the chart above). I’ve also tested keto sticks for measuring urine ketones (cheaper and simpler). In my case the results so far track the blood ketones reasonably well, even if urine ketones is a more inexact and unreliable test. So what do you think I’ve noticed? Does it feel different? What do you think happened to my weight & waist measurement (I started at a normal satisfactory weight) and training/mental performance? Answers are coming up, but feel free to guess in the comments! Ketosis */ Ketosis is a natural state where the body is almost only burning fat.The secret of ketosis is to eat very low amounts of carbs and only moderate amounts of protein. Then add fat to satiety. Some less informed people still confuse natural ketosis with the pathological state ketoacidosis. The latter has completely different causes, usually extreme insulin deficiency in type 1 diabet Continue reading >>
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The Ketogenic Diet Offers New Approach To Fat And Protein
Photo from Flickr Creative Commons. Every year, one of the top resolutions is to lose weight or get in shape. However, there is so much information out there, and a lot of it is wrong or conflicting information. If you pay attention to diet trends, one of the most searched “diets” last year was the Ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-fat nutrition plan. Even though the word “diet” is in the title of it, it isn’t a diet. Nutrition should be a lifestyle plan, a system of eating that works for you. You never go off of it, but you can make modifications as your goals change from weight and fat loss to more energy, better performance, or healthy aging. Keto is a lifestyle nutrition system. It is not a calorie counting plan. Keto is very individualized. All the macronutrients will vary person to person depending on where you are starting and your history with nutrition and health. With that said there are some general guidelines: Total carbohydrates (CHO) will be fewer than 50 grams. Some people, like hard-charging athletes, can get up to 100 or more and still be in nutritional ketosis. Some people might need to be as low as under 10 grams. This is not a high protein diet. I would say my average on Keto is around 70 to 80 grams. Again, this will be dependent on each person. I said “No way can I keep my muscle and strength eating that low protein.” Well, I’m the strongest pound for pound I’ve ever been since starting in July 2014. This is a high fat diet, but don’t worry — fat doesn’t make you fat. It will vary person to person. However, it should be a minimum of 150 grams. I typically shoot for 250 to 300 grams at a body weight of around 175 to 182 pounds. Fat calories are at least 70 percent of your total and can sometimes reach as high as 90 percent. I Continue reading >>
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Classic Keto And Modified Ketogenic Diets
Frequently asked questions about the Classic and Modified Ketogenic Diets 1. What is the ketogenic diet? The ketogenic diet is a special high-fat diet that is used for difficult to treat seizures. Heavy cream, butter, plus, nut and seed oils, provide the necessary fat. The diet also completely eliminates sweets such as candy, cookies, and desserts. Other carbohydrate rich foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, cereals, and pasta are not allowed on the strictest form of the diet, but are allowed on more liberal forms of the diet. All foods must be carefully prepared and weighed on a gram scale. Each meal must be eaten in its entirety for the diet to be most effective. The Classic diet consists of a ratio in grams of fat to non-fat (protein and carbohydrates) of 4:1 and 3:1. The modified ketogenic diet consists of ratios of 2:1 and 1:1. 2. Who can be helped by the diet? People with seiures from infancy through the adult years may be helped by the diet. There is no way to predict beforehand whether it will be successful. Traditionally the diet has been used for children with myoclonic, atonic and tonic-clonic seizures. In every decade since the 1920’s, studies consistently show that 50-75% of infants through adults with difficult to control seizures of all types are helped by the diet. Creative recipes have helped to make the diet more palatable in the past few years. 3. How effective is the diet at controlling or eliminating seizures? Four major meta-analyses (reviews of many studies) have been published in the past 10 years and have determined that the ketogenic diet is effective in reducing seizure frequency in children with difficult-to-control epilepsy. A randomized, controlled study published in 2008 revealed that seizure frequency after 4 months was significantly lo Continue reading >>