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Why Ketosis Is Called A Protein-sparing Process

Finding Your Optimal Protein Intake For A Ketogenic Diet

Finding Your Optimal Protein Intake For A Ketogenic Diet

When embarking on a ketogenic diet for health or fat loss, finding the optimum protein intake can be very confusing for many beginners. For smooth adaptation in the transition to a ketogenic metabolism I typically guide people using a caloric spread of around 70-80% fat, 15-25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate from green fibrous vegetables – but this ratio varies for every individual and using percentages is confusing and misleading in many cases. The best way to look at macronutrients is not in percentage ratios, but in grams. The slew of bloggers and gurus spouting so much conflicting information leads many into a mental stalemate about how much protein they should be eating. This article lays out the metrics I most commonly use to quantify how much protein an individual should intake – there is no magic ratio and the needs, preferences, and goals of the individual determine the amount of protein they will likely require on their ketogenic diet which usually lies within a relatively broad range of 1-2.2g/kg (and in some cases even higher *cringe say the protein-phobic) of bodyweight or .5-1g/lb of lean body mass (Lean Body Mass equals Body Weight minus Body Fat). Myth: “Too much” protein turns immediately into sugar I almost always recommend people increase their intake of fish and seafoods in order to get the vital nutrient DHA into their central nervous system and mitochondrial membranes. We see amazing results when people opt for more fish and less red meat, which I also love, but land mammals are not nearly as nutrient dense as seafoods with their incredible levels of DHA, EPA, selenium, and iodine. Sometimes this means they will be eating more protein than they believe will allow them to be “ketogenic”, this protein-phobia can be counterproductive, which Continue reading >>

In Depth Look At Ketogenic Diets And Ketosis

In Depth Look At Ketogenic Diets And Ketosis

What exactly is Ketosis? The metabolic state of ketosis simply means that the quantity of ketone bodies in the blood have reached higher-than-normal levels. When the body is in a ketogenic state, this means that lipid energy metabolism is intact. The body will start breaking down your own body fat to fuel the body's normal, everyday functions. What's So Great About Being In Ketosis? Establishing this metabolic state of ketosis even for a short period of time has many outstanding benefits. Benefit 1 The main benefit of ketosis is that it increases the body's ability to utilize fats for fuel, which gets very lazy on a high-carbohydrate diet. When on high-carbohydrate diets, the body can usually expect an energy source to keep entering the body. But in the state of ketosis, the body has to become efficient at mobilizing fats as energy. Benefit 2 Ketosis has a protein-sparing effect, assuming that you are consuming adequate quantities of protein and calories—0.7 grams per pound of body weight per day—in the first place.[1] Once in ketosis, the body actually prefers ketones to glucose. Since the body has copious quantities of fat, this means there is no need to oxidize protein to generate glucose through gluconeogenesis. Benefit 3 Another benefit has to do with the low levels of insulin in the body, which causes greater lipolysis and free-glycerol release compared to a normal diet when insulin is around 80-120. Insulin has a lipolysis-blocking effect, which can inhibit the use of fatty acids as energy. Also, when insulin is brought to low levels, beneficial hormones are released in the body, such as growth hormone and other powerful growth factors. Benefit 4 Another small but very important benefit of the ketogenic diet is that when in the state of ketosis, ketones, alon Continue reading >>

A Protein-sparing Diet

A Protein-sparing Diet

A protein-sparing diet is a modified fast, intended for obese individuals to achieve rapid weight loss, the Cleveland Clinic says. It includes not only dietary components, but medical and behavioral aspects as well. The protein-sparing diet is very restrictive and should be a plan you follow while working with your physician and dietitian. Video of the Day In an ideal world you would only lose fat tissue rather than lean body mass while dieting. Nevertheless, some loss of lean body mass occurs with any weight-loss diet, particularly with very low-calorie diets. Although a protein-sparing diet typically provides fewer than 900 calories per day, it avoids most loss of lean body mass because it includes 70 to 90 grams per day of high-quality protein, according to a 2006 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition." Carbohydrates are usually the body's primary source of energy. When a person's diet severely limits carbohydrates, the body begins to burn fat as its primary fuel source, the Cleveland Clinic says. Eating large amounts of protein during this process prevents the body from using its own protein stores in muscles, tissues and cells for energy. The rapid breakdown of fat produces waste substances called ketones that are excreted through urine, a condition called ketosis. The protein-sparing diet thus is a ketogenic diet. Loss of appetite is common during ketosis, which adds to the weight loss. The protein-sparing diet allows only lean meat, poultry, seafood and a small number of low-carbohydrate vegetables, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The diet does not allow additional types of fat or other carbohydrates. Any missing required nutrients are provided through supplements. You follow the diet until reaching your target weight and then gradually reintroduce carbohydrates Continue reading >>

Nigeria: Furore Over Ketogenic Diet

Nigeria: Furore Over Ketogenic Diet

It is the latest weight loss fad in town. Some Nigerians have successfully used ketogenic or keto diet to achieve weight loss, but leaving them with sagging skin. Recent studies have shown that ketogenic diet, which is high in fat, could also help beat epilepsy and seizures, increase lifespan, and boost memory. However, there are fears that these benefits may come at a cost- constipation and kidney stones. CHUKWUMA MUANYA (Assistant Editor) and STANLEY AKPUNONU write. Can a low-carb, high fat diet help you lose weight, improve health, and beat diseases such as diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease? Assistant Director, Dietetics, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile Ife, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, said that naturally, the ketogenic diet has its own advantages especially for children having common seizures like epileptic seizures, as it has been proven to help in frequent seizure. Ogbonna lamented that recently, so many adults are now going in to it because they want to use it as a weight reduction measure. The dietician, however, said one of the problems it might create is that the immediate effect would not be known because it is more fatty oriented. Ogbonna explained: "You must balance your diet because various nutrients have its functions in the body and fats are not supposed to be used as a form of energy really. "We discovered that in the keto, it is more of the fat, the fatty level is high and the carbohydrate is lesser than what it should be. The carbohydrate should be used as energy, so during the process the body might be tasked to use other forms of energy, we call it gluco-neogenesis. It produces more of its energy through that fats and that is not the best. "The long term effect is what people have not known and it is hazardous. The Continue reading >>

“starvation Mode” And Muscle Wasting Myth On A Low Carbohydrate Diet

“starvation Mode” And Muscle Wasting Myth On A Low Carbohydrate Diet

Another one of the fallacies that seems to pervade is that a ketogenic diet is the same as being in starvation – whereby the body significantly reduces it’s metabolism and starts tapping into the muscles for energy. This is completely bogus and you’d be best off just ignoring the idea altogether. In light of restricted carbohydrates through either keto or starvation the body will focus on maintaining glucose homeostasis, ie constant blood-glucose level. It’s highest priority is to provide sufficient energy to the brain and other critical functions, and can do so with a mix of glucose and ketone bodies. The only real common ground is that ketone production is elevated in both a keto diet and in starvation due to reduced carbohydrate intake. Conflating keto with starvation is guilt by association – eg falling asleep makes you unconscious; being punched out also renders you unconscious and can cause serious injury; therefore falling asleep is dangerous like being punched out. Starvation is just that – severe restriction of calories over a long period, and “starvation mode” is what anti-low-carb people tend to call it as a scare tactic. After a few days of complete fasting the metabolic rate only drops 5-10% – sometimes increases – and even on an intake of half the amount of energy you’d normally consume for maintenance, you would be fine for months without too much of a drop. If you have a significant amount of fat to lose then your metabolism will barely drop at all, even on severe restriction your extra adipose stores will make up any energy requirements you have. A ketogenic diet stabilises glucose and maintains very low levels of circulating insulin, so access to liberating energy from your adipose stores is unhampered. A ketogenic diet is extreme Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Vs Paleo Diet

Ketogenic Diet Vs Paleo Diet

I often get asked, “What is the difference between the Ultra Lite Ketogenic diet, and the Paleo Diet? We at Ultra Lite specialize in helping people to make better food choices with a view to teaching them how to balance ones consumption of proteins and carbohydrates, to give one the tools for sustainable weight management. The Ultra Lite program provides a natural balance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which not only achieves weight loss but promotes a total feeling of health and well being. The main concept is that we teach people that by eating 3 whole food meals a day (as opposed to meal replacements) they can get into ketosis (a fat burning state) safely. So What Is The Difference? What It Means To Be Ketogenic The goal is to force the body into a state of ketosis, the process of the body burning stored fat. On this plan, you achieve ketosis a modified protein sparing fast, the reduction of carbohydrates and the increase dietary fat. A 2004 study published in Experimental & Clinical Cardiology found that long-term adherence to a ketogenic diet may: Reduces body mass Lowers blood LCD and glucose Increase the level of HDL or “good” cholesterol What Is The Palaeolithic Diet? The Paleo plan focuses more on eating meat under the assumption that early cave dwellers had limited access to grain and greens, and thus were ‘made’ to eat a diet primarily composed of protein. Practitioners of this plan focus of getting energy from animal products that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods like: Refined sugar • Table salt • Dairy Modern man faces many chronic diseases that didn’t plague them in prehistoric days, so hypothetically, eating the same way should improve your health. The ketogenic diet focuses on manipulating the thr Continue reading >>

Gluconeogenesis – The Worst Name For A Rock Band Ever

Gluconeogenesis – The Worst Name For A Rock Band Ever

At least three times a week I am engaged either in the Facebook group or other places asking questions that generally go like this: “At what point do I eat too much protein and go into gluconeogenesis ?” So I wanted to provide a more thought out answer, so here goes. I should add that my commentary here is largely to be filtered through the lens of T1 diabetes…if you’re T1 diabetic, the regulatory feedback mechanisms are endogenously broken (the pancreas isn’t producing insulin), and must be regulated exogenously (the injection of insulin). What is gluconeogenesis? Gluconeogenesis (also known as GNG) is the process by which the body takes “stuff” that isn’t glucose (the more technical term is “non-glucose substrate”) and turns it into glucose. It is an ongoing process which happens in complete starvation as well as in a modified starvation or even a fully fed state. Translation – gluconeogenesis happens all the time, in everyone, everywhere. It seems to happen at a relatively consistent rate. I will get into some additional details on that rate later, but for now, the message is this – studies which have been conducted on humans are lacking, but those which have been done have shown that the rate of GNG does not materially change when protein content of the diet is manipulated. Often, GNG is spoken of as “too much protein in my diet causes it to turn into glucose,” or glibly said…“protein turning into chocolate cake.” The biochemical reality is, however, that it is a bit more complex than that. There are essentially three major contributors to gluconeogenesis which warrant discussion. Protein Protein is composed of amino acids linked together. Some amino acids are called “ketogenic” which (for the purposes of our talk) means that th Continue reading >>

How Too Much Protein Is Bad For Ketosis

How Too Much Protein Is Bad For Ketosis

One of the well-known mantras of the ketogenic diet is very low carb intake and high fat intake. But there’s another nutrient that’s important to monitor when going keto—and a lot of people make the mistake of not considering its importance. That would be protein. Although protein is a critical element in the diet we need for optimal health, it’s important to not eat TOO much protein on the ketogenic diet. Why? Well, there are a couple reasons that we’ll be discussing below. How Too Much Protein is Bad for Ketosis The biggest energy source on the ketogenic diet is fat. In fact, around 75% of your diet should come from healthy fat sources. The key here is that, unlike the traditional idea of low-carb diets where protein is higher, protein intake should bemoderate, not high, on keto. Not following this advice will never allow your body to enter ketosis, which is the main point of going keto and reaping all of the amazing benefits. The reason too much protein is bad for ketosis is because our bodies have a fundamental energy process called gluconeogenesis. For a deeper dive into the topic, see our post on fixing the biggest ketosis mistakes. For now we shoud know the basics. Let’s break it down this mouthful of a term. The word gluconeogenesis has three parts to it, Gluco – coming from the greek root glukos – literally meaning “sweet wine.” Neo – “new” Genesis – “creation” So a great way to think about it is this is how your body creates new sweet wine for your body. Some people tout that “you don’t need carbohydrates to survive,” which is only partially true. To clarify, you don’t need to eat any carbs to survive, but make no mistake, your body needs carbs in the form of glucose and glycogen, and it will get this via survival mechan Continue reading >>

Babies Thrive Under A Ketogenic Metabolism

Babies Thrive Under A Ketogenic Metabolism

Some people, even some scientists who study ketogenic metabolism, have the idea that ketogenesis is somehow abnormal, or exceptional; an adaptation for emergencies only. We disagree. One reason we think a ketogenic metabolism is normal and desirable, is that human newborns are in ketosis. Despite the moderate sugar content of human breast milk, breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic. This period of development is crucial, and there is extensive brain growth during it. Although the composition of breast milk can be affected by diet [1], it is reasonable to assume that breast milk has always been ketogenic, and this is not an effect of modernisation. When the brain is in its period of highest growth, and when the source of food is likely to be close to what it evolved to be for that period, ketones are used to fuel that growth. If nothing else, this suggests that learning is well supported by a ketogenic metabolism. It is also consistent with the ability of ketogenic diets to treat a variety of seemingly unrelated brain disorders and brain trauma. Newborn infants are in ketosis. This is their normal state. Breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic (compared to formula feeding). Breastfeeding longer (up to a point) is associated with better health outcomes. This suggests the hypothesis that weaning onto a ketogenic diet would be healthier than weaning onto a high-carb diet. (Mark-up ours) Human babies are in ketosis Soon after birth, human babies are in ketosis, and remain so while breastfeeding [2]. They use ketones and fats for energy and for brain growth. When this has been studied, in the first couple of hours after birth, babies aren't immediately in ketosis. There is a short delay [3]. During that brief period before ketogenesis starts, lactate (confusingly not to do Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Dieting: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Ketogenic Dieting: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Ketogenic diets are all the rage lately, but do they really work? Will it get you shredded, or will it leave you flat? We’ll look at the right way and the wrong way to diet and set the record straight! A nutritional trend that has persisted for several years, and has seen countless bodybuilders and hopeful dieters lose valuable muscle tissue and get weaker in the gym – all in an attempt to become leaner – is low, or zero, carbohydrate consumption. This is often referred to as a ketogenic diet, or just plain keto for short. The common thinking is that by lowering carbohydrates and increasing the fat to somewhere north of 70% that we are able more effectively control insulin to lower blood sugar levels and, by consequence, prevent body-fat storage. It has even been argued that by replacing carbohydrates with fats, and keeping protein consumption consistent (the so called ketogenic diet, during which the user is thought to become more efficient at mobilizing fats for energy while their insulin levels are down-regulated to further lessen fat storage), we can become leaner and more muscular. Though the “keto” diet may prove effective in the short term, sustaining this approach is likely not feasible over the long term. While low carb eating plans may work for some people, a meal plan which emphasizes higher complex carbohydrates and proteins, and moderate fats, has been proven by many an athlete to be very effective, and most importantly, sustainable. Low Carb & Bodybuilders From Arnold to Ronnie, to modern day giants such as Phil Heath and Ben Pakulski, the standard bodybuilding diet comprised of carbs, proteins and fats in a typical 45:35:20 ratio (though slight modifications can be made based on individual circumstances) has stood the test of time. The great six Continue reading >>

Program Options

Program Options

Weight Loss Program Options First Visit Subsequent Visits Pricing Information Know Your BMI FAQ's Option 1: Protein Sparing Modified Fast Our Protein Sparing Modified Fast protocol is the most aggressive option to lose weight rapidly but in a safe and scientifically proven manner. It involves the use of pharmaceutical grade meal replacements in the form of shakes, soups and bars. The program typically runs 6-8 weeks and a person can expect to lose approximately 5 pounds a week on average. This protocol is not suitable for all patients and requires a thorough evaluation by the physician to determine eligibility. When following this protocol, the patient requires to be regularly monitored by the physician to ensure safety. This protocol forces the body to selectively burn its fat stores while preserving the lean body mass to generate energy by a process called ketosis leading to rapid loss of excess fat deposits. Option 2: Low Calorie Diet Low Calorie Diet is a less aggressive protocol and the weight loss is at a more moderate pace. Other than the usage of meal replacements, the protocol allows the usage of one's own regular, but low calorie food. This program typically runs for 16-20 weeks and one can expect to lose approximately 2-4 pounds per week on average. Majority of the patients qualify to follow this program, however the details vary depending upon the patients needs and co-morbid conditions. As before, this requires a thorough physical evaluation before starting and a regular follow-up by the physician usually once a month. Weight Loss Medications Medications may be used as an adjunct to meal replacement options, exercise and other regular low calorie food . Their usage is based on scientifically proven guidelines and the best clinical judgment of the physician. Continue reading >>

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

If you want to lose weight or build muscle faster and think the ketogenic diet might help, you want to read this article. How did a diet meant for treating epileptic seizures turn into a popular weight loss fad? That’s the story of the ketogenic diet, which was introduced in 1921 by an endocrinologist named Dr. Henry Geyelin. Geyelin, presenting at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, explained that the ancient Greeks had discovered that fasting was an effective method of managing epileptic seizures. Hippocrates wrote about it and, like Geyelin, found that the seizures would return once eating resumed. Why? What was it about fasting that suppressed the seizures? Well, epileptic seizures are triggered by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The causes can vary, from genetics to brain injury, but more common is chronic inflammation throughout the body. Geyelin found that when people fast, two major changes occur in the blood: glucose levels fall and ketone levels rise. You’ve probably heard of glucose, also known as blood sugar, but not ketones, which are carbon-oxygen molecules produced by the liver that cells can use for energy instead of glucose. This finding fascinated Geyelin and he set out to determine if similar effects could be achieved without starvation. A decade of work proved they could, and the “ketogenic diet,” as it would be later called, was born. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, wherein the body’s primary energy source is ketones, not glucose. Early studies showed it was an extremely effective treatment for seizures, but in 1938, it was eclipsed by the anticonvulsant drug phenytoin. This medication became the standard treatment for epilepsy, effectively retiring the ketogenic diet from cli Continue reading >>

5 Signs You Should Be Eating More Carbs

5 Signs You Should Be Eating More Carbs

It’s unfortunate how we treat the poor carbohydrate. Mistakenly associated with weight gain and empty calories, carbs are actually an essential part of a balanced diet — especially if you want to do any sort of physical activity — and often a tasty one, at that. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and adults get about 45 to 65 percent of their daily calories from carbs. Of course, not all carbs are created equal. Those that come from refined sugars and flours may only cause more troublesome cravings. But carbs from whole grains or veggies don’t result in the same dramatic blood sugar spike, LiveScience reported. So skip the sugary cereals and the second spaghetti helping, but get your fill of squash, beans, fruit, quinoa, oatmeal and so much more. Don’t believe us? Here are a few good reasons you’ll want to do just that. 1. You have bad breath. The aim of low-carb diets, of course, is to burn the body’s stores of fat for energy instead of carbs, although most experts agree this does not lead to long-term weight loss. When the body burns fat, it does so by a process called ketosis, which releases chemicals called ketones. Ketones, unfortunately, have a less than pleasant smell, and are often released through the breath. The bad news for low-carb dieters is this isn’t an oral hygiene issue, so “all the brushing, flossing, and scraping of the tongue that you can do is not possibly enough to overcome this,” Kenneth Burrell, DDS told WebMD. 2. Your workouts are slipping. When physically active people don’t get enough carbs, the body can resort to using protein for necessary muscle function, including muscle building, which is why carbs are often called “protein sparing”. Replenishing the body after workouts with the carbs bu Continue reading >>

How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need?

How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need?

A perennial question, argument and debate in the field of nutrition has to do with how many carbohydrates people should be eating. While the nutritional mainstream is still more or less advocating a large amount of daily carbohydrate (with fat being blamed for the health problems of the modern world), groups often considered at the ‘fringe’ of nutrition are adamant that carbohydrates are the source of all evil when it comes to health, obesity, etc. They advocate lowering carbohydrates and replacing them with dietary protein, fat or both. This is a topic that I discussed in some detail in Carbohydrates and Fat Controversies Part 1 and Carbohydrate and Fat Controversies Part 2 and I’d recommend readers take a look at those for a slightly different look at the issue than what is discussed here. Arguments over recommended carbohydrate intake have a long history and it doesn’t appear to be close to ending any time soon. Typical mainstream recommendations have carbohydrates contributing 50% or more of total calories while many low-carbohydrate advocates suggest far fewer (ranging from the 40% of the Zone diet to close to zero for ketogenic diets). This article looks at the topic in detail. And while I originally wrote it quite a while back (some of you have probably seen it before), it was nice going over it with fine toothed comb for an update. While the majority of it stands up well over time, I was able to make some slight changes to the values, along with removing some original stuff that wasn’t really relevant. Enjoy. Introduction It’s safe to say that most carbohydrate recommendations that you will see are put in terms of percentages, you should be eating 45% of your calories as carbs, or 65% or whatever number is being used. As I discussed in Diet Percentag Continue reading >>

Protein Sparing Effect

Protein Sparing Effect

I recently received a letter from a reader that asked about the protein-sparing effect of carbs. He sent me the address of a bodybuilding website he had been reading and wanted to know if what the guy who wrote the material said was true. The basic premise of the piece is that in order to keep from losing muscle during dieting, one has to eat carbs. If no carbs are eaten, then muscle vanishes, or so he would have us believe. Is this true, the reader wanted to know. Let’s take a look. Here are the pertinent paragraphs from the website: The first thing you may think of is protein. Protein builds muscle. You learned that in the high school weight room. Protein in excess, however, can be used as energy or converted to body fat. Using protein as energy means less body fat is being used as energy. So, having the right amount of protein plus a little extra “just to be sure” you have enough is optimal, but gross overages of protein isn’t going to help you build muscle or retain it. Believe it or not, carbs are key to retaining muscle. Carbohydrates and insulin have been targeted as the deadly duo in obesity and weight loss for very good reasons. However, even though excess carbs will make you gain fat fast, the silver lining is that you gain and retain muscle through the same mechanism. Even when dieting with a lower than normal carb intake, your carbs can be targeted to help you retain muscle, maintain energy levels, and keep your metabolic rate high. The anabolic effects of carbohydrates have been well documented since a 1940’s study showed them to be “protein sparing.” Compared to a fasting group, those with carbs (still no protein) lost only half as much muscle as those without carbs. Throw protein in and you get the same effect just at a higher level. Those w Continue reading >>

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