9 Reasons Why You Aren’t In A State Of Ketosis
If you’re having trouble getting into ketosis, it is useful to understand the factors that actually impact blood ketone levels. When I first started on the ketogenic diet, I made sure to educate myself fully on how I can efficiently get into a fat-adapted state (ketosis). Just like everything else, there’s going to be some hurdles you’ll face when adopting a keto lifestyle. Watch out for these 8 ketogenic pitfalls you could be potentially be falling for. 1. Carbohydrates Pretty much all steps involved in producing ketones are inhibited by insulin, this means that ketone levels are extremely sensitive to carb intake. There isn’t an exact amount of carbohydrates that works for everyone to get into ketosis. But, there is a general guideline that works for most people. It has been estimated that around 50 grams per day or lower of carbohydrates will elevate your blood ketone levels. You should be eating less than 30 grams in order to get into ketosis. From personal experience, I found that if i’m more active on any given day, I can get away with eating more carbohydrates and still have decent blood ketone levels. I actually have been able to get away with upwards of 100 grams of carbs and still be in ketosis. I believe this is because when you are active, you are burning extra glycogen storages that come from carbohydrates. 2. Protein. Just like carbohydrates, increasing your intake of protein to fat in your diet will limit your ketone production. The reason behind this is because over half of amino acids in proteins are converted into glucose in the body, thus, producing an anti-keto effect. This is not as big of a deal for athletes / people who are very active because the body is utilizing the protein and amino acids to the point where it is not hindering your k Continue reading >>
It’s Okay If You Get Hungry
I spend a lot of time online in LCHF/Keto forums, mostly on Facebook, and there are lots of things I notice being posted over and over. I am addressing another one today. People seem to have a fear of being hungry. Like, they are afraid to get too hungry. I do understand this as I used to have the same fear, but with this way of life, hunger is freedom. What do I mean? I mean that to know TRUE HUNGER is a good thing. We should only be eating when we are experiencing true hunger, but I notice a lot of people pursuing a Keto/LCHF way of life are still hanging on to the old rules. Rules like, “you should eat 4-6 small meals throughout the day” and eating by the clock, “Oh, it’s noon – time for lunch!” UGH! No, please, let’s stop the madness. If you are insulin resistant and/or Type 2 Diabetic, the worst thing you can do is eat every couple of hours! Your blood sugar will never regulate and you won’t heal your diabetes if you are constantly eating, even if you are eating Keto. Allow yourself to go hours and hours without food. You won’t shrivel up. Eat healthy fats and they will satiate you for hours. What’s that? You haven’t eaten in five hours?? Seriously, it’s okay to go hours and hours without food. You won’t slow down your metabolism, you probably won’t pass out (unless you’re the dramatic type) and if what you ate five hours ago was a lot of healthy fat you won’t even notice it’s been five hours since you’ve eaten. I generally have a fat-laden coffee in the morning and then I do not feel hungry for about 4-6 hours later. Then I eat a meal that is very low carb or zero carb, with protein and fat – such as a 6 oz bunless burger, topped with one slice of cheese or two oz, of cream cheese, mushrooms and avocado. I am then full again f Continue reading >>
Silicon Valley's Favorite Diet Has Techies Eating Lots Of Fat
Geoffrey Woo, left, is one of Silicon Valley's biohackers — those who experiment with diet and medical devices in a DIY approach to biology.Melia Robinson/Business Insider Geoffrey Woo likes to start the day with a plate of eggs, cheese, and avocado. It might not sound as if Woo — cofounder and CEO of "cognitive enhancement" supplements startup Nootrobox — is dieting. But he subscribes to an increasingly popular diet — the ketosis or "keto" diet — that he hopes will help him live longer and better. It has especially gained traction among Silicon Valley's biohackers, who often experiment with diet and medical devices in a DIY approach to biology. The high-fat, low-carb diet turns the body into a fat-burning machine. When you turn off access to glucose, a primary fuel source derived from eating carbohydrates, the body taps into its own fat stores for energy. Here's why health nuts, from Silicon Valley to fashion runways, are saying yes to fat. The keto diet has been called the "holy grail of good health and weight loss" by some doctors and bloggers. Melia Robinson/Business Insider Sources: Nootrobox, GreenMedInfo.com On the flip side, it's a nutritionist's nightmare, according to Scientific American. The keto diet completely reorganizes the building blocks of the food pyramid as outlined by the USDA. A strict keto diet cuts back carb consumption to 20 or 30 grams a day, which is about the number of carbohydrates in one small apple. Source: Time On the keto plan, it's all about healthy fats. "You'd want healthy fats to account for about 80% of your calories, and protein around 20%," Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Duke University, told Time. By comparison, Americans, on average, get about 50% of their calories from carbs, 15% from p Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>
Fasting, Ketosis And Fat Loss
“…..in sixteen days, I lost 6.6 kilograms or 15 pounds…..” “….my blood sugar went down to 49 mg/dl, a dangerously low level by most medical standards…..” haha Fasting is defined as an act of willing abstinence from food for a prolonged period. The objective of a fast is to give the body a break from digesting food, though allowing the natural repair processes within the body, to take place. When food intake stops, the body is compelled to live of the energy it has stored, primarily body fat. The main purpose of having body fat is to temporarily store it as an energy source. If we did not have this storage capability, we could not sleep through the night between dinner and breakfast, without having to wake up and snack every few hours. Because body fat is the main energy source during a fast, this time period can be very effective in reducing body weight that is carried in the form of excess fat tissue. haha Within the first twenty four to forty eight hours of fasting, the body enters into a state known as ketosis. This is a natural condition where compounds called ketones start to be produced in the liver, from body fat being mobilized for energy. All of our body’s muscles and organs, aside from the brain, can use fat directly as energy. hahha haha haha hahah ah ah aha h ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah hh The only way fat can fuel the brain is when it gets converted into Ketones. Once blood sugar starts to drop, as it inevitably does during a fast as the glycogen (sugar) stores gradually become depleted, then Ketones become the only other alternate source of fuel for the brain. Ketosis is a completely natural state and an essential bodily function, especially during a fast. haha On the 12th of January 2015, I embarked on an extended fast. The main Continue reading >>
Intermittent Fasting On A Keto Diet
Intermittent Fasting, or “IF”, is a relatively new craze that is used as a supplement to your diet. It revolves around the timing of your food intake, and can have some benefits in the long run. There are quite a few people misinformed on fasting, so we’ll clear that up and explain how intermittent fasting can be useful. On your ketogenic journey, it’s important to know that your success is not only dictated by eating enough fat and protein and restricting carbs. When you eat, how often you eat, and how much you eat have a substantial impact on your health and function as well. If your results have plateaued or you are thinking of starting a ketogenic diet, this article will provide you with a way to lose more fat and improve energy levels called intermittent fasting. If you need to learn how to calculate your macros, visit our Keto Calculator. Fasting isn’t required to lose weight on a ketogenic diet. If it doesn’t work for you, then do not force yourself to fast. Restricting yourself unrealistically is pointless – it’s not worth it if it makes you unhappy. There are 2 basic terms we need to understand here first: feeding and fasting. Your body is in a feeding state when you are eating your food, and you are in a fasting state when you are between your meals. The Approach Skipped meals. This is when you skip over a meal to induce extra time of fasting. Usually people choose breakfast, but others prefer to skip lunch. Eating windows. Usually this condenses your entire macronutrient intake between a 4 and 7 hour window. The rest of the time you are in a fasting state. 24-48 hour cleanse. This is where you go into extended fasting periods, and do not eat for 1-2 days. I don’t recommend that you go straight for a 1-2 day fast, but begin by restricting you Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>
Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind The Scenes Data On The Ketogenic Diet
Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind the Scenes Data on the Ketogenic Diet I’ve tried a lot of diets. I first went vegetarian, then slow carb, then gluten-free, then Paleo. I even did a 28-day Chipotle diet, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds. Eventually I found the Ketogenic diet. For me, like for many people in our communities, this all started with a health concern. I was born with a heart condition. It never impacted my life, but it was there, lingering. When I was a junior in college, a few classmates and I were out enjoying late night pizza. Out of nowhere, one classmate suddenly jolted upright and fell off his stool. He died. I found out the next morning it was from a lingering heart condition, not too unlike my own. I started to think about my health a lot more after that. I read about nutrition and started exploring the confusing world of diets. As I learned more and as I became more involved in Quantified Self, I found myself wanting to quantify these diets. That’s what drew me to Keto. It’s the most measurable diet. Quick Summary of the Ketogenic Diet Keto is a high-fat, very-low-carb diet, usually with 70% of calories coming from fat. The idea is to switch your body from using glucose as its primary energy to breaking down fats into ketones for energy. You can measure the macros that you eat and you can measure the ketones in your urine, breath, and blood. In 2013, I did my first experiment with the ketogenic diet. In that experiment, I tracked everything I ate in MyFitnessPal and compared it to other data I was collecting. I found my energy increased, my sleep quality went up (according to my Zeo data), my cholesterol levels improved, and my food cravings went away. However, I also found that measuring everything I ate was a pain, I didn’t really kn Continue reading >>
My Egg Fast Diet Results!
Keep in mind that I am an ultra slow loser and that I only followed this egg fast diet for 3-4 days a week and then regular LCHF for the rest of the week. The bottom line is that following the egg fast diet did break my stall! Update June 2017! This article was written after my 1st attempt at the Egg Fast in 2014. I have gone on to lose another 50 pounds and I give all the thanks for that to the Egg Fast for teaching me what my own stalling foods are. I’ve explained more below. If you do not know what the Egg Fast Diet is all about, read the egg fast guidelines here. Egg Fast Tracker App: This is a free app for Android that helps you keep track of your Egg to Fats ratios, plus your water and cheese consumption. Install the Egg Fast Tracker app here. Update: When I wrote this post I did not know how to properly transition from Egg Fast to regular LCHF. After being an admin in the Egg Fast Stall Breaker group for a few months I am very clear now on how to make a successful Egg Fast transition. In fact, I follow the transition plan now almost all the time. It is a great tool for ongoing weight loss after the Egg Fast. Week 1: Tuesday morning after Easter weekend I weighed: 264.1 Blecchh! I followed the Egg fast diet Tues-Thursday. Friday May 2 I weighted 254.4 for a total loss of 9.7 pounds! Week 2: After going back to regular LCHF from Friday to Sunday, I was back up 3 pounds to 257.4 pounds, which I was told was to be expected. Followed Egg Fast Diet Monday to Thursday. Friday May 9 weight 255.4. Total net loss 8.7 pounds. Week 3: Followed LCHF from Friday May 9 to Sunday May 11. Went back to Egg Fast Diet on Monday May 12. I decided to try it for a full 5 days, which for me turned out to be a tactical error. Friday morning weight was 251.5 for a total loss of 12.6 pou Continue reading >>
Whether Your Ketostix Show Light Pink, Purple Or Beige, It Has No Bearing On Your Low-carb Diet
One of the most interesting tools we have at our disposal when we start livin’ la vida low-carb to let us know whether we are doing it right or not is a testing strip that measures ketone levels called Ketostix (there are other brand names for ketone sticks, but this one from Bayer is the most common). Basically, here’s how it works: you can check your urine on this testing strip to see how many ketone bodies you are excreting out of your body. Ketones are present when you are in ketosis which is instigated when you keep your carbohydrates at a ketogenic level (usually under 50g carbs daily). I recently asked a group of low-carb experts the following question–“Is Ketosis Necessary On A Low-Carb Diet?” That seems to be a “well duh” kind of question which is why we use things like Ketostix to see whether we are in ketosis or not. But where people seem to get most confused is with the color of the testing strip. If it’s light pink, then I must be doing something wrong. My Ketostix need to be dark purple if I am experiencing “deep” ketosis, right? I get these kind of questions every single week and they miss the point of the testing strips. In Episode 47 of “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb On YouTube,” Christine and I seek to better explain the purpose of Ketostix by telling you what they are for, what the various colors actually mean, why showing no ketones on these strips may not be a bad thing, and how you can virtually guarantee your body is in ketosis. I’m astonished by how many people are still so concerned about the results of their Ketostix, but hopefully this video will clear up some of the miscommunication. Find out all you need to know about Ketostix in today’s video: Noted biochemistry professor Dr. Richard Feinman from SUNY Downstate in Br Continue reading >>
21 Invaluable Lessons I’ve Learned In Ketosis
The 21 lessons I’ve learned during my 4-week ketosis experience. How adapting to a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb eating style is changing my health and the steps I’ve taken to get here. New to Healthful Pursuit? Read this introduction to ketosis. I’m on the final leg of my 10-day solo British Columbia road trip. On Sunday night, my (new) Toyota broke down. Totally dead. I could have spent the next 5 hours obsessing about all of the plans that were ruined because of my stupid car… but I didn’t. Instead, I accepted where I was at, gathered details, weighed options and moved forward with the best intentions. I was forced to remain aware of my surroundings, let go of expectations and act in the present moment. Much like what I (try) to practice with my eating style. Plans change, circumstances change, bodies change. Change brings opportunity (for better, more-awesome things!) Taking care of my body is an ongoing evolution of learning, experimenting and figuring out what works best for me. What my body needed 2 years ago is different than what it needs today. Each eating style has assisted me in transitioning to the next with ease. If you’re somewhere in between going dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free or vegan and you’re thinking, “what the hell do I eat?” my weekly meal planning program is a fabulous resource. 2 weeks ago, I shared why counting calories for weight loss isn’t the answer + what I’m doing instead. Now, I’m 4 weeks in and I’d love to share MORE of my experience with you because (to my surprise) many of you are interested in the ketogenic lifestyle. Psst… this isn’t just about weight loss. My shift to a ketogenic eating style is a natural progression and feels good in my body. 21 lessons I’ve learned while being in ketosi Continue reading >>
Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?
Ketones and Carbohydrates: Can they co-exist? For reasons Im still struggling to understand, the idea of nutritional ketosis (NK, to be distinguished from starvation ketosis, SK or diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA) is often discussed and debated in much the same way as religion or politics. Perhaps this can be said of all nutrition, which is a shame. Nevertheless, in my continued defiance of such sensitive topics, Id like to add another layer of complexity and nuance to this discussion. The rule of thumb for NK is that caloric intake is determined as follows (this excludes a subset of ketogenic diets known as calorie-restricted KD which, as the name suggests, is specifically restricted in calories): Carbohydrate (total, not net): less than 50 gm/day, but ideally closer to 30 gm/day Protein: up to 1 to 1.5 gm/kg, but ideally below about 120 gm/day Let me illustrate what this looks like for Joe (left), Jane (middle), and Jeff (right an example of a calorie restricted KD), three hypothetical people in NK but each with different caloric requirements. As a general rule, as caloric requirement increases the proportion of calories derived from carbohydrate and protein decreases (and the contribution of dietary fat increases), even while absolute intake of carbohydrate and protein increases. Anyone who has bought a blood ketone meter knows how tough it can be to get into ketosis by carbohydrate restriction (since everyone asks, I use the Abbott Precision Xtra meter which uses two different strips: one for glucose and one for beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB). Most practitioners consider the minimum threshold of NK to be a fasting serum level of BHB above 0.5 mM. Im a bit more stringent in my practice and like to see fasting BHB levels above 1 mM. To give you a sense of one persons numbe Continue reading >>
In Ketosis But Not Losing Weight? These Foods May Be Stalling Your Progress
Stop Stalling Volume Two: Malignant Mouthfuls Welcome back to the Stop Stalling series! Today, we’re going to take a look at some specific foods that may be causing your stall. These foods may be keeping you from getting ahead. The bad news is that a lot of them may be staples for you. Many of them seem keto-friendly: they’re low in net carbs and should be “safe.” In fact, they are “safe” for plenty of people. However, for some people, certain foods can cause stalls. If you’re in ketosis but not losing weight and have implemented everything advised in Volume 1: Operator Error, here’s a list of the most likely suspects. Dairy: Dairy is a tricky one. First of all, it’s very energy-dense (i.e. it has a lot of calories). That means that it can be really easy to overdo. Alas, keto isn’t magical, and calories still count. Secondly, it’s often a carbohydrate bomb. A glass of milk has about ten grams. It can have more or less depending on the fat content. It can be tough to tell with yogurt: while the actual carb count is probably lower than what is listed on the label (fermentation consumes some of the carbohydrates), you can’t always tell just how many there are. This is even ignoring the fact that many yogurts contain additives, including starch-based thickeners. Finally, dairy is especially prone to “rounding down”: even though many labels say that a serving of cheese contains zero carbohydrates, chances are that a serving contains as many as 0.7 grams. It seems like very little, but if you eat two servings (easy to do!), it’s going to add up over time. Many people rely on dairy, and when they drop it, they start losing again. Seeds and nuts: Seeds and nuts are horrible bastards. I love nuts, especially almonds. Especially the smoked ones or th Continue reading >>
Keto-adapted, But No Ketones?
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to measure ketones is to use ketone test strips, e.g. Ketostix. Ketone test strips use a chemical reaction to measure acetoacetate (see below), usually in urine, though the same method can be used for blood. (Not to be confused with the blood strips used at home for beta-hydroxybutyrate.) However, acetoacetate test strips are of limited usefulness. For one thing, urine concentrations are affected by dilution, which means that they are affected by how much you drink. But the problem is deeper than that. Acetoacetate is only one of the three ketone bodies (see below). Initially, when you start a ketogenic diet, acetoacetate will make up about half of the circulating ketones , but when you are keto-adapted, it makes up only about 20% of the ketone bodies in circulation (see below). Morover, the sensitivity of the strips is a little lower than optimal for our purposes. They register negative unless the concentration is quite high. So, it is not uncommon for a keto-adapted person to measure negative for acetoacetate. Different ketone bodies occur in different amounts There are three compounds grouped together as ketone bodies: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. In keto-adapted people, acetoacetate levels are relatively low even though beta-hydroxybutyrate is high. Typically, beta-hydroxybutyrate levels are 4–5 times as high as acetoacetate. (Acetone makes up only about 2% of total ketone bodies .) The graph above shows that in the ketosis of fasting, the proportion of acetoacetate (the top, white part of the bar) is much smaller than that of beta-hydroxybutyrate (the black part). In the study here, after 21 days of fasting, the average level of blood acetoacetate was 1.04 mmol/L, while the beta-hydroxybutyrate level Continue reading >>
Why I Stopped Testing My Ketones On A Ketogenic Diet
On measuring Ketones. Like many people, when I first started a Ketogenic diet in early 2014 I bought the Ketostix and just couldn’t wait to see the color change. And change it did! It was neat, and it provided motivation for me to continue. Eventually, I got a blood meter, a breath meter and spent lots of time (and money) testing ketones. Between a Ketonix Breath Ketone Analyzer, as well as dozens of blood ketone test strips, I’ve probably spent well over $500 testing ketones. The main thing I learned from my extensive ketone testing regimen is that the results vary widely and there’s little application to my goals. Eventually, I stopped testing and here are several reasons why: 1. Burning fatty acids from fat is the main benefit of a ketogenic diet On a ketogenic diet, some of the brain’s energetic demand is fueled by ketones, but the heart, muscles, etc. are fueled by fatty acids. Most of the energy we utilize both at rest and at sub-maximal exertion on a ketogenic diet is fatty acid, not ketones. Quoting Dr. Ron Rosedale on chasing ketones at the Keto Summit: “I don’t want people to have the mindset that it’s the ketones that are the benefit of the diet. They are a beneficial side effect, but the main benefit is that you are burning fatty acids from fat. The more fatty acids from fat you are burning, the less glucose you need to burn. And that’s really where you are getting the benefit…So ketones are great but the term ketogenic diet indicating that the diet is so good because you are generating all these ketones is a misinterpretation of the benefit. The main benefit is that you are burning fatty acids, and as a side effect of burning fatty acids you are producing ketones that your body can burn too!” 2. Urine Ketones aka “peetones” are ridic Continue reading >>