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Why Is Ketosis Important

What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?

What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?

If you're looking for the trendiest diet since Paleo, this might be it—only with more fat, way less protein, and virtually zero carbs. The ketogenic diet, which has reportedly been used by celebs like Kim Kardashian and NBA player Lebron James, is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was originally developed to treat epilepsy in children (experts can't say for sure why it reduces the frequency of seizures, but it does seem to work). The whole diet is based on a process called ketosis, which is when your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which can be used as energy, says Tracy A. Siegfried, M.D., medical director at The N.E.W. Program, a bariatric and metabolic weight-loss center in California. The ketones replace carbohydrates as your body’s main energy source, meaning you are running on (and burning) fat. To tell if your body is in a state of ketosis, you can measure your blood or urine for elevated levels of ketones (Ketostix, used to test keto-dieters ketone levels, are available at many pharmacies). If this sounds familiar, it's probably because ketosis is also the goal of the first stage of the Atkins diet. But unlike the keto diet, the Atkins diet aims to get you into a mild state of ketosis and allows for more carbohydrates. In other words, keto is more hardcore. So What the Heck Do You Eat? To get your body to reach ketosis, 80 to 90 percent of the calories you consume should come from fat, and the rest should come from a combo of protein and carbs, says Siegfried. Plus, your carb intake is limited to 10 to 35 grams per day. That's roughly the amount in a single apple, glass of milk, or piece of bread. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to eat fruit or milk-based products without su Continue reading >>

7 Benefits Of A Keto Diet That You’ll Want In Your Life

7 Benefits Of A Keto Diet That You’ll Want In Your Life

When people hear about the ketogenic diet one of the first questions they ask is what’s so good about it? This is a good question to ask so in this post I’m going to show you the wonderful benefits of the keto diet. First things first it’s important to understand what the ketogenic diet actually is and what it’s all about. What Is Keto? The ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. The goal of the diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. What is ketosis? Ketosis occurs when your body has run out of its glycogen (basically sugar) stores so it needs to find another fuel source. When this occurs your liver begins to process fat into ketones which become your body’s main fuel source. So to recap fat -> ketones = energy. With that quick summary out of the way let’s explore the benefits of the ketogenic diet. Benefits of a Keto Diet Many other diets suffer from only having a single benefit and that is weight loss. The problem with this being the only benefit is that it becomes a lot easier to fall off the wagon. Keto has numerous benefits due to how it changes your body’s chemistry. Your body is much more efficient when it has ketones as a fuel source. 1. Weight Loss This, of course, is the main benefit that people look for. Because fat becomes a source of energy your body actively burns fat when it needs more energy instead of looking for glucose. But how does the actual process work? When your body enters ketosis, both your blood sugar and insulin levels drop. This actually gives the fat cells the ability to release the water they’ve been retaining and this is why initially, most people see a big drop in weight loss due to losing water. After that occurs the fat cells are small enough to enter the bloodstream Continue reading >>

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Do you want to lose weight? Here’s number 16 of my 18 best tips. All of the published tips can be found on the How to Lose Weight page. Before we get started, here’s a short recap of the tips so far: The first and most crucial piece of advice was to choose a low-carb diet. The next were eating when hungry, eating real food, eating only when hungry, measuring progress wisely, being persistent, avoiding fruit, beer and artificial sweeteners, review your medications, stressing less and sleeping more, eating less dairy and nut products, stocking up on vitamins and minerals, using intermittent fasting and finally, exercising smart. This is number sixteen: 16. Get into optimal ketosis Warning: Not recommended for type 1 diabetics, see below. We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again. So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume less calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect. Video course Do you know exactly how to eat a low-carb and high fat diet (LCHF)? This is required for ketosis. If not the easiest way is watching this high quality 11-minute video course on how to eat LCHF, and the most important things to think a Continue reading >>

How Much Fat On A Ketogenic Diet?

How Much Fat On A Ketogenic Diet?

Do calories matter? How much fat can I eat to lose weight on a ketogenic diet? These are just some of the many questions I focused on when writing this post. What's the Ideal Fat Intake on a Ketogenic Diet? As most of you know, ketogenic diets are high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates. The aim of the ketogenic eating is to get your body into a state known as ketosis. Generally, the macronutrient ratio varies within the following ranges: • 60-75% of calories from fat (or even more), • 15-30% of calories from protein, and • 5-10% of calories from carbs. However, percentages are relative and don't say anything about the amount of calories you are eating. Percentages will give you an idea of the macronutrient composition of a diet. To determine the amount of calories, you have to look at absolute numbers - macronutrients in grams. So it's totally different to consume 4,000 kcal and 2,000 kcal on a ketogenic diet. Can I Eat less than 60% of Calories from Fat? Yes, you can. Since you only regulate your energy intake via fat when following a ketogenic diet (protein and carbs remain more or less constant), you may end up eating less than 60% of calories from fat, especially if you are trying to lose weight. This is perfectly fine. In his bestselling books and also in this video, Dr. Stephen Phinney explains the different phases of the ketogenic diet. Depending on your goal, your fat intake will vary in each phase and you will lose different amount of body fat. Weight loss slows down and it's completely natural - you will lose more weight at the beginning (water weight + accelerated fat loss) so don't get discouraged if your weight loss slows down as you get close to your target weight. Why You Need to Use a Keto Calculator Not everyone follows the keto Continue reading >>

How To Burn Stored Body Fat — A Ketosis Primer

How To Burn Stored Body Fat — A Ketosis Primer

“So, how do you tell your body to start burning stored body fat?” my friend and fellow mother asked. “Cut the carbs,” answered another mom. “I go into ketosis just about every afternoon.” “Ketosis? Isn’t that bad for you?” The short answer? No. I talk to a lot of people who want to lose weight. They try all sorts of things — exercise, calorie restriction, you name it. Sometimes, they lose the weight. Inevitably, they gain it back. That’s because what they’re doing is going on a diet — a temporary fix at best. What they need is a lifestyle change, a perspective shift, a new paradigm. Of course, you all know the paradigm I espouse — a conversion to eating real, traditional foods. Yet even a conversion to eating real food won’t necessarily help the pounds melt away. If you’re still eating 200 grams of carbohydrates a day — even if they’re “traditional” carbohydrates like sprouted or soaked grains, unrefined sweeteners, etc, you’re not going to lose weight without making some serious changes. If your body is regularly storing body fat (you gain a little bit of weight each year), then something is wrong with how your body metabolizes food. Let me introduce you to a new concept: the body fat setpoint. The body fat setpoint is the mass of body fat that your body attempts to defend against changes in either direction. It’s your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis. This is why if you exercise more, you eat more. It’s also why if you restrict calories, your metabolism slows down to compensate. Why should you care about the body fat setpoint? From Stephan at Whole Health Source: We care because this has some very important implications for human obesity. With such a powerful system in place to keep body fat mass in a narrow range, Continue reading >>

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>

7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis

7 Tips To Get Into Ketosis

And convert fat into energy. By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE 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. Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions. 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. 1. Minimize Your Carb Consumption 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. 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 Continue reading >>

Keto Tip: 5 Reasons You Need To Drink More Water On A Ketogenic Diet!

Keto Tip: 5 Reasons You Need To Drink More Water On A Ketogenic Diet!

It’s often been said that most problems you run in to on a ketogenic diet can be solved by doing one of three things; drink more water, eat more salt, or eat more fat. Over the years as I’ve done this, I’ve found this adage to be fairly accurate as most of the “tweaks” I’ve done to get over a plateau or speed up my weight loss has been some variation of these 3 things. Probably the most powerful part of that truth is to drink more water. I’ve seen over and over again how upping my water intake leads to faster weight loss and a healthier overall feeling as I continue on this little weight loss journey of mine. Here are 5 reasons you should be drinking more water on a Ketogenic Diet Replaces Lost Water This is something I just didn’t know when I started cutting out the carbs and wasn’t prepared to deal with in those early days. Your body stores glycogen in water in your muscles. As your body burns through that stored glycogen and you don’t replace it because you aren’t eating carbs, your body’s water stores get depleted as well. This is why you tend to lose up to 10 lbs in the first week on keto and also what causes the “keto flu” or the miserable feeling that happens just before you switch over to being fat adapted. That feeling is caused by mild dehydration and can be shorten tremendously just by drinking more water. Like I said, that would have been awesome to know in those early days. Suppresses Appetite and Curbs Cravings This is another one of those things that I really wish I had known early on but every time you have a hunger pang or a sugar craving, just drink some water and they go away fairly quickly. In fact, even though I’m almost 2 years into this journey of mine, it is still the ever present glass of water on my computer desk t Continue reading >>

The Importance Of Electrolytes On A Ketogenic Diet

The Importance Of Electrolytes On A Ketogenic Diet

Many people who start a ketogenic diet often experience the dreaded “keto-flu”, which is the name for the experience of one or a combination of the following symptoms: Even if you are following a well-formulated ketogenic diet, with a low amount of carbohydrate, moderate amount of protein, and high amount of fat as suggested, it is likely that you may still experience some of these symptoms. The reason being while your macronutrients may be in line, there is another important factor to consider, ensuring you keep your body properly nourished and functioning well. That key factor is the balance of electrolytes in the body. In this article, we will cover the importance of electrolytes on a ketogenic diet. What Are Electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals found in the body that are the electrical signaling molecules used for maintaining functions within the body such as regulating your heartbeat and allowing muscles to contract for functional movement. The most relevant electrolytes in this context are sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium. Why Monitoring Your Electrolytes is Important. When you shift to a ketogenic diet, your body tends to release more water as opposed to storing it. The reason being that there is less insulin produced as a result of the composition of the diet. This leads to hormonal signals via the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system, signaling your kidneys to excrete MORE water and retain LESS. Along with increased excretion of water, the minerals found in that water are lost at a higher rate (1,2). In the end, you can quickly become depleted of the key electrolytes that your body needs to function properly. As a result, you can experience some of the negative symptoms associated with the “keto flu”. Getting The Right Amount o Continue reading >>

Why You’re Not In Ketosis

Why You’re Not In Ketosis

As the COO of Diet Doctor and low-carb enthusiast for years, you would have thought I’d nailed ketosis years ago. I haven’t, and here’s why. Am I still in ketosis? To get into ketosis, the most important thing is to eat maximum 20 grams of digestible carbs per day. When I went low carb in 2012, I followed that advice to the letter – replacing all high-carb foods like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, legumes, fruit, juice, soda, and candy, with eggs, dairy, meat, vegetables, fats and berries – counting every carb I consumed. I felt great – effortless weight loss, no stomach issues, tons of energy and inspiration. But over time, something changed – I no longer felt as great as I used to. Until recently, I had no idea why. The journey to find out started with a simple question: Am I still in ketosis? The moment of truth At a Diet Doctor dinner a while ago, our CTO, Johan, gently challenged me. “Bjarte, you’re eating quite a lot of protein. Have you measured your ketones lately?”. “No”, I said, feeling slightly defensive, “I’ve never measured my ketones. Should I?”. It was wake-up time. Johan and I grabbed two blood-ketone meters from a dusty drawer, pricked a finger each, and touched the ketone strips. His results came out first – 3.0 mmol/L – optimal ketosis. He looked happy. It was my turn. The ketone meter made a weird beeping sound and the screen started blinking – 0.0 mmol/L – no ketosis whatsoever. What?! I’d been eating strict low carb for years, how could I not be in ketosis? I felt slightly embarrassed, but mainly relieved. Was this the reason I no longer felt great? Experiment 1: Eating less than 60 grams of protein a day Several of my colleagues agreed with Johan – I was eating too much protein. To test that hypothesis, I s Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Type 1 Diabetes

The Ketogenic Diet And Type 1 Diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes? How is it different than type 2? Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin, forcing the pancreas to produce ever more insulin, and leading to a downward spiral of metabolic illness. It’s also called “Adult Onset Diabetes”, because the vast majority of people who develop it do so in adulthood, after years of eating a high-carb diet. Type 1 diabetes, also known as “Juvenile Diabetes”, is a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. Only the pancreas can produce insulin, and insulin is the hormone primarily responsible for shuttling molecules out of the blood and into cells for energy or storage. That means, if the pancreas isn’t producing insulin, a person will starve to death from the inside. Their cells, literally, cannot get any food. They can eat and eat and eat, but there’s no mechanism to transport that food energy into the cells. That’s why they need regular insulin shots. On a regular-carb diet, those insulin shots might be several times per day. On a high-carb diet, those shots will be even more frequent. Type 1 diabetics must keep injecting themselves with insulin in order to deal with all the glucose in their blood stream. They have to keep insulin levels high, if they eat high carbs, because they have a high level of glucose to deal with. Being ketogenic means insulin levels don’t have to be high, because there isn’t a high level of glucose that needs to be shuttled around. And, because there isn’t a big requirement for insulin, the type 1 diabetic can reduce the amount of insulin needed on a daily basis (many reduce this requirement by 80%). The important thing to remember is that someone suffering from type 1 dia Continue reading >>

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>

Why Is Ketosis Is Important For Our Bodies

Why Is Ketosis Is Important For Our Bodies

A lot of people are confused by the term "ketosis." You may read that it is a "dangerous state" for the body, and it does sound abnormal to be "in ketosis." But ketosis merely means that our bodies are using fat for energy. How Ketones Are Made in Our Bodies Ketones (also called ketone bodies) are molecules generated during fat metabolism, whether they are from the fat in the guacamole you just ate or fat you were carrying around your middle. When our bodies are breaking down fat for energy, most of it gets converted more or less directly to ATP. (Remember high school biology? This is the "energy molecule.") But ketones are also produced as part of the process. When people eat less carbohydrate, their bodies turn to fat for energy, so it makes sense that more ketones are generated. Some of those ketones (acetoacetate and ß-hydroxybutyrate) are used for energy; the heart muscle and kidneys, for example, prefer ketones to glucose. Most cells, including the brain cells, are able to use ketones for at least part of their energy. But there is one type of ketone molecule, called acetone, that cannot be used and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and breath (sometimes causing a distinct breath odor). If enough acetone is in your urine, it can be detected using a dipstick commonly called by the brand name Ketostix (though there are other brands, they are still often called Ketostix). Even though everyone is generating ketones continuously, this detection in the urine is what is commonly called "ketosis." (Less commonly but more accurately blood ketones can also be measured). The higher the concentration of ketones in the urine, the more purple the sticks will turn. The Atkins Diet, in particular, advises people to monitor ketosis as an indication of fat burning. Other r Continue reading >>

Ketosis Weight Loss Rules

Ketosis Weight Loss Rules

Ketogenic dieting is a controversial weight loss method, popularized by Dr. Robert Atkins. During a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are severely restricted and replaced with high amounts of fat and protein. With no carbohydrates, the body shifts into ketosis, a form of fat metabolism. The theory behind the diet is that despite high amounts of dietary fat, weight loss is accelerated because insulin production is reduced, limiting your body’s ability to store body fat. If you are considering a ketosis diet, there are some important rules to follow. Video of the Day Before you even attempt a ketosis diet, get a full checkup, including blood work. Ketosis diets require a high intake of saturated fats, which may have an adverse effect on your cholesterol. Stay under the supervision of your doctor throughout the diet so you're alerted to any negative changes. Carbohydrates, in the form of glycogen, are stored with water, keeping you hydrated. When you restrict carbohydrates, your body quickly sheds water weight. While most dieters are encouraged by this reduction in body weight, remember that you are now more vulnerable to dehydration. Harvard Medical School recommends drinking at least 6 to 8 cups of liquid per day. Be especially diligent with water intake when working out and in hot weather and drink two to three cups of water for every hour of exercise or vigorous activity. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends women consume at least 20 grams of fiber per day, while men need over 30. When you eliminate carbs from your diet, you may unintentionally reduce your intake of fiber. Throughout the diet, maintain your consumption of vegetables, which are low in carbs but high in fiber. You may also need to take a dietary supplement containing psyllium husk. Getting plenty Continue reading >>

The Truth Behind The World's Most Cutting-edge, Fat-burning Performance Meal Plan: The Keto Diet

The Truth Behind The World's Most Cutting-edge, Fat-burning Performance Meal Plan: The Keto Diet

Timothy Noakes, M.D., is an emeritus professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town. While his name may not ring a bell here in the U.S., he’s a full-blown celebrity in his native South Africa and one of the most accomplished exercise physiologists on the planet. You can’t walk by a restaurant in Cape Town that doesn’t offer a “Noakes option”—say, an avocado stuffed with breakfast sausage and eggs, or a double cheeseburger with lettuce sans bun—and evidence of his teachings seems to be everywhere, mostly in the form of the nation’s best-known athletes, including ageless golfing legend Gary Player and eight-time Ironman World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser. In fact, Noakes’ celebrity these days is such that he’s even been pulled into South African presidential politics: To echo the country’s papers of record, “Is President Jacob Zuma’s and his wife’s dramatic weight loss a result of the Noakes Diet?” No one is sure about the president, but his wife, definitely: She’s lost 66 pounds following the Noakes plan. To high-performing athletes, Noakes preaches that the bedrock tenet of endurance athletic nutrition—that winning performance is best fueled by eating lots of carbohydrates—is simply wrong. Instead, he believes athletes can alter their bodies so that their metabolism burns fat as a primary fuel source, a physiological process known as ketosis, either from stored body fat or from the foods they eat every day. For non-athletes and anyone trying to lose weight or keep it off, Noakes’ advice is that eating a high-fat diet, with few if any refined carbs and as little sugar as possible, will switch on the same fat-burning system and keep your body lean and your weight stable without making Continue reading >>

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