How Important Is Ketosis?
In 2012, the low-carb community began awakening to the reality of ketosis and its importance in achieving your weight-loss goals. Up to that point, ketosis was just taken for granted. But was this awakening just another trick to get the scales moving again? Was the low-carb community buying into just another deception as to what ketosis actually is and does for you? Most of the theory taught about ketosis, insulin, and low-carb diets is pure imagination. It started as hypothesis (a guess as to why low carb works) and evolved into theory as more and more individuals blindly accepted the hypothesis as fact. What many low-carb advocates believe has never been proven to be true. The difference between hypothesis and theory is how many people believe it. Neither hypothesis, nor theory, is truth. Hypothesis has a small group of believers and theory has a much larger group of advocates, but hypothesis and theory both function only in the world of imagination. So what's the truth about ketosis? How important is ketosis to a low-carb diet? [This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something after using one of those links, I might receive a small financial compensation, at no cost to you.] The Truth About Ketosis The state of ketosis is not necessary to achieve a healthy weight. Many people lose weight easily in the presence of high insulin levels, provided they are eating at a caloric deficit. At the fundamental level, all diets work the same way. They create an energy imbalance to force the body to use its body fat for fuel until equilibrium can be attained. And the same holds true for LCHF diets. How the LCHF Diet Was Born In 2012, one of the low-carb influencers felt he had it all figured out. After reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performa Continue reading >>
Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works
Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>
Is Constant Ketosis Necessary – Or Even Desirable?
162 Comments Good morning, folks. With next week’s The Keto Reset Diet release, I’ve got keto on the mind today—unsurprisingly. I’ve had a lot of questions lately on duration. As I’ve mentioned before, a good six weeks of ketosis puts in place all the metabolic machinery for lasting adaptation (those extra mitochondria don’t evaporate if/when you return to traditional Primal eating). But what about the other end of the issue? How long is too long? I don’t do this often, but today I’m reposting an article from a couple of years ago on this very topic. I’ve added a few thoughts based on my recent experience. See what you think, and be sure to share any lingering questions on the question of keto timing and process. I’ll be happy to answer them in upcoming posts and Dear Mark columns. Every day I get links to interesting papers. It’s hard not to when thousands of new studies are published every day and thousands of readers deliver the best ones to my inbox. And while I enjoy thumbing through the links simply for curiosity’s sake, they can also seed new ideas that lead to research rabbit holes and full-fledged posts. It’s probably the favorite part of my day: research and synthesis and the gestation of future blogs. The hard part is collecting, collating, and then transcribing the ideas swirling around inside my brain into readable prose and hopefully getting an article out of it that I can share with you. A while back I briefly mentioned a paper concerning a ketone metabolite known as beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB, and its ability to block the activity of a set of inflammatory genes. This particular set of genes, known as the NLRP3 inflammasome, has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and age-related macular d Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Is It Necessary To Include High Fat Intake In A Ketosis Diet, Or Is It Just A Convenience, Because Isn’t The Idea To Burn One’s Body Fat To Make Up For The Lesser Caloric Intake?
Hi, It is actually necessary to include more healthy fat in your diet if you want to follow keto diet. It is one of the major differences between low-carb diet and ketogenic diet. (low-carb diet does not emphasize on eating more fat while ketogenic diet does) Ketogenic diet is a diet that is high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates. 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. In other words, the fat-protein-carbs ratio should be around 7:2:1. You can include more healthy fat by eating more: Coconut oil Olive oil Avocado Organic butter Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews…) Seeds (Flaxseeds, Chia seeds…) Cheese If you want to learn more about Keto diet, you can read my blog post where I listed all useful resources of ketogenic diet. Here’s the link: I would suggest that you watch all those videos to better understand how human body works when following a keto diet, and get a well-rated cookbook to get started. Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Ketogenic Diet Benefits For Weight Loss, Fighting Disease & More
Unlike many fad diets that come and go with very limited rates of long-term success, the ketogenic diet (or keto diet) has been practiced for more than nine decades (since the 1920s) and is based upon a solid understanding of physiology and nutrition science. Rather than relying on counting calories, limiting portion sizes, resorting to extreme exercise or requiring lots of willpower (even in the face of drastically low energy levels), the ketogenic diet takes an entirely different approach to weight loss and health improvement. It works because it changes the very “fuel source” that the body uses to stay energized — namely, from burning glucose (or sugar) for energy to dietary fat and, critically, your own body fat after the stage of “ketosis” is reached. Meanwhile, beyond its outstanding potential to help people lose weight and burn off fat stores, research shows that the ketogenic diet helps to fight serious diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s. Table of Contents 1. What Is the Keto Diet? What Is Ketosis? How to Get Into Ketosis What Are the Stages of Ketosis? Does the Keto Diet Work for Women? 2. Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet 3. What Is the Ketogenic Diet Plan? 5. Keto Side Effects and the Keto Flu What Is the Keto Diet? The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet plan that was originally designed in the 1920s for patients with epilepsy by researchers working at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. (1) Researchers found that fasting — avoiding consumption of all foods for a brief period of time, including those that provide carbohydrates — helped reduce the amount of seizures patients suffered, in addition to having other positive effects on body fat, blood sugar, cholesterol and hunger levels. (4) Unfortunately, long-term fasting is not a feasible op Continue reading >>
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What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
A Beginner’s Guide To The Ketogenic Diet: An Effective Way Of Optimizing Your Health
Many Americans suffer from various chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and the main culprit is usually the food they eat. The standard American diet contains excessive amounts of protein and carbohydrates, neither of which is good for your health because it eventually causes you to develop insulin and leptin resistance. As a result, you gain excess weight, develop inflammation and become prone to cellular damage. To avoid this problem, significant changes in your diet are necessary, and the best way is inducing your body into a state of nutritional ketosis, a condition where your body burns fat as its primary fuel instead of sugar. In order to reach nutritional ketosis, you must follow a ketogenic diet. But what exactly is a ketogenic diet? This guide will tell you everything you need to know about a ketogenic diet – how you can apply it to your lifestyle and what positives you can reap from it. The Various Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is a dietary approach that focuses on minimal carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and high healthy fat consumption — the three keys to achieving nutritional ketosis. In fact, it’s what I recommend for most people who would like to optimize their health. There are many reasons why you should try a ketogenic diet. It can be very beneficial for people suffering from chronic conditions, or for people who would simply like to be healthier than their current state. You’ll be excited to know that a ketogenic diet can help with the following: • Weight loss If you’re trying to lose weight, then a ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do it, because it helps access your body fat so that it can be shed. Obese people in particular can benefit from this method. In one study, obese test subjects were Continue reading >>
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 >>