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Will 2 Grams Of Sugar Kick Me Out Of Ketosis

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 >>

Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?

Ketones And Carbohydrates: Can They Co-exist?

For reasons I’m 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, I’d 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 Fat: to satiety 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. I’m a bit more stringent in my practice and like to see fasting BHB levels above 1 mM. To give you a sense of one per Continue reading >>

Total Carbs Or Net Carbs: What Really Counts?

Total Carbs Or Net Carbs: What Really Counts?

Disclaimer: You should consult any dietary changes with a health professional, especially if you have a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. You may need an adjustment to the medication you are taking. Critical thinking is key to separating facts from personal opinions and unproven theories. With the ever increasing amount of misinformation, it's easy for people to get confused and fall for a diet or lifestyle dogma. My advice is to always do your own research and learn what works best for you - no diet plan fits all and you always need to make small adjustments to fit your needs. Here's a couple of examples that are frequently discussed within the low-carb community: One of the myths is that if you follow a low-carb diet, you can eat unlimited calories, while losing weight and staying healthy. Although it's not common to overeat due to natural appetite control of low-carb diets, this belief results in overconsumption which is never beneficial no matter which diet you follow. A great example of a post questioning the effects of high cholesterol and saturated fat intake can be found at Low Carb Dietitian. About 25% of people following a low carb diet experience very high cholesterol levels. There is increasing evidence that cholesterol and saturated fat do not cause heart disease. Does this mean that very high cholesterol levels are completely safe and even desirable? Not necessarily - even if your C-reactive protein test shows that your inflammation is low, it doesn't mean that it's safe to have very high cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that low-carb diets are not just about eating foods rich in saturated fat found in butter or fatty meat. In addition to saturated fats, many experts, including doctor Jeff Volek, emphasise the importance of heart-healthy Continue reading >>

How Do I Get Back Into Ketosis Faster After Cheating?

How Do I Get Back Into Ketosis Faster After Cheating?

Did you let go of your low carb diet for the holidays? Have a free meal? Maybe a carb up? Or go out to dinner? Restaurants are well known for hiding sugar in their salad dressings and putting other carby ingredients into their food that you might not know about. What you expect to be low carb isn't always as low as you think. All it takes is a single teaspoon of sugar in the salad dressing or a light dusting of flour on that chicken breast and you'll experience the consequences without even know why! However, all is not lost! You can recover from your setback and get back into ketosis almost as fast as water fasting by following the diet plan outlined below. If you went to a Christmas party, you might not have been able to tell if your food was really free of carbs, or not. You might have not wanted to upset the host, or you didn't want to feel left out, so you ate something that wasn't on plan. Tempting Christmas treats are the downfall of many. Perhaps, you deliberately caved in to those delicious looking cupcakes or a soft, fluffy donut that your boss or co-worker brought into the office. The holidays are not the only time that your self discipline and love for low carb eating will be put to the test. Maybe you went on vacation and decided to not bother with all of that carb counting stuff. If so, you might have gained a few pounds. You also might have decided to chuck the low-carb dieting game, kick back, eat what you consider a normal diet, and just enjoy your vacation. All of that delicious food looked too good to pass up! If you work out regularly and did a carb up to improve hormonal balance by bumping up your Leptin level, you might also be wondering if there's a way to get back into ketosis more quickly than water fasting. If so, this article will help you, to Continue reading >>

Will This Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?

Will This Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?

A common question people have when starting keto is “will this kick me out of ketosis?” I’m going to address as many items as I can think of and explain why it will or will not kick you out of keto. This is going to be as comprehensive as possible so either use ctrl + f to find what you’re looking for or buckle up and read on. How do humans enter ketosis in the first place? Things will become much more clear if we explain how humans enter ketosis. Mainly, liver glycogen is what determines if ketones will be produced. Specifically, glycogen in the liver signals malonyl-coa to be formed by carboxylating acetyl-coa. Acetyl-coa is used in many processes and it’s the main substrate used to be turned into ketones. The wiki on regulation of ketogenesis which applies to this scenario says “When the body has no free carbohydrates available, fat must be broken down into acetyl-CoA in order to get energy. Acetyl-CoA is not being recycled through the citric acid cycle because the citric acid cycle intermediates (mainly oxaloacetate) have been depleted to feed the gluconeogenesis pathway, and the resulting accumulation of acetyl-CoA activates ketogenesis.” Basically, when there is more acetyl-CoA than oxaloacetate, the acetyl-CoA becomes acetoacetate, a ketone body. In plain English, carbs provide oxaloacetate, so if it doesn’t have carbs, it likely isn’t going to kick you out of ketosis. I’ll state the exceptions later. Why do humans enter ketosis so readily? Humans enter ketosis faster than any animal on the planet. It usually takes 24-36 hours before we enter ketosis.This is because we have huge brains and tiny bodies. Our brains need ~400 calories/day, which for most people that equates to 20% of our total energy demands. To put this in perspective, most anim Continue reading >>

Keto Problems: Too Much Protein?

Keto Problems: Too Much Protein?

A ketogenic diet requires that a person eat a high fat diet while keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. The third macronutrient category, protein, is an interesting one and often creates heaps of discussion. Carbohydrates and fat are primary energy sources for the body. Protein, on the other hand, is a source of essential amino acids which are the building blocks for the body. However, the amount of protein needed by each person varies greatly based upon a number of factors, including activity level, lean mass, sex, and personal preference to name a few. One question I am often asked is, “can you eat too much protein on a ketogenic diet?” Protein is a very satiating food, and usually the more protein a person eats, the less hungry the person is. One trick people use is to eat a diet high in protein (150 grams + per day) while limiting carbs and fat. This strategy is often wildly successful for fat loss, but it can create other problems to eat so much protein while limiting carb and fat calories so dramatically. I do not advocate eating a high protein/low carb/low fat diet, especially for women. But I do believe wholeheartedly that it is important to eat enough protein. This is even more critical on a ketogenic diet, where carbs are so limited. Under eating protein can cause the body to lose muscle. Some argue for limiting protein because 1) doing so leads to higher ketone levels and 2) they believe that eating too much protein can lead the body to create new glucose from protein (gluconeogenesis) and keep a person from transitioning effectively to fat burning. My friend Mike Berta explains the fallacies of this thinking so well that I am sharing his post rather than recreating my own. Mike can be contacted directly at [email protected] His Facebook group is cal Continue reading >>

Do Bcaas Break Intermittent Fasting And Kick You Out Of Ketosis?

Do Bcaas Break Intermittent Fasting And Kick You Out Of Ketosis?

Do BCAAs break intermittent fasting and kick you out of ketosis? I was recently sent a link to a video addressing the topic of if you should use branched chain amino acids during a fast and if doing so, will kick you out of ketosis. Now I talk alot about BCAAs and ketosis and fasting on my nutrition website but I feel the need to address all three. I’m happy I was sent that video as it’s a topic I’ve been meaning to address. In summary of the video, the author states, and I’m paraphrasing, About The Author Jimmy Smith is a gentlemen, entrepreneur and founder of The Physique Formula line of all natural supplements. You can visit his site at or email him any questions at [email protected] Want To Listen While You Read? “Leucine causes a HUGE spike in insulin”. Later in the video he says…. “A subject who was fasting for 50 days was given an injection of glucose and the subject was almost instantly kicked out of ketosis”. If you're worried about BCAAS knocking you out of ketosis or during a fast, you're barking up the wrong tree. — @jimmysmithtrain These two BIG swings and misses bring the author of the video to his final point that “BCAAs kick you out of ketosis and fasting and you don’t need to have BCAAs during a fast”. Where to begin, where to begin….. You Can See Me Talk About It On Video Right Here Branched Chain Amino Acids & Fasting I appreciate anyone trying to build a business or brand but doing it was incorrect information and perpetuating lies to fulfill some personal agenda is terrible, there I said it. Let’s move on. Starting with the loosely thrown around summary of studies. You can’t just say that BCAAS or any supplement or food causes a HUGE this or a LARGE that. What are we comparing the objective to? Chocolate mi Continue reading >>

Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works

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 >>

Ketogenic Diet Foods To Avoid: 108 Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss

Ketogenic Diet Foods To Avoid: 108 Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss

There are 108 ketogenic diet foods to avoid that will slow down (or shut down) your body’s fat burning capability. Remember that carbs must be kept very low to remain in ketosis. Most people need to stay within 20-30 grams of net carbs per day, and protein shouldn’t make up more than 20-25% of total calories. Too many carb or protein-centric foods can very quickly bring you out of ketosis and slow down your body’s fat burning capabilities. This is why the foods below should be avoided on a ketogenic diet. Not to worry, though. We’ve made it easy for you with this cheat sheet covering the biggest keto foods to avoid and why. We chunked it down by macronutrient: Want a quick and easy meal plan that doesn’t include any of these keto-unfriendly foods? We’ve created one for you. Click here to get the FREE downloadable meal plan now. Carbs to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet Grains All grains—and foods made from grains (yup, even whole grains)—should be avoided. Grains contain too many carbs and will interfere with ketosis, slowing weight loss. That includes*: Beans and Legumes Beans provide nutrition for those on a regular diet, but they’re not fit for the ketogenic diet due to their high starch (carb) content. Avoid legumes including*: Fruit is healthy, right? Sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re keto-compliant. Fruit is high in sugar and carbs, so is usually a no-go on the keto diet. That includes tropical fruits, fruit juices, dried fruits, and fruit smoothies (for the most part). If you do have fruit, choose lower-sugar options like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and eat them sparingly. Starchy Vegetables Avoid any vegetables that grow beneath the ground and focus on more on the leafy greens. The high starch content of some vegetables (like tho Continue reading >>

Not Losing Weight On Low Carb? Try Carb Cycling.

Not Losing Weight On Low Carb? Try Carb Cycling.

Carbohydrates are just as addictive as nicotine, if not more. The first time I quit smoking after fourteen years, I quit it for two years. Then one night at a party I was offered a cigarette by someone I hadn’t seen for a while and I, figuring I was “cured,” lit it up. The next day I bought a pack and jumped right back into smoking a pack a day for three more years before I finally quit again (2.5 years now!) When it comes to carbohydrates, I don’t see a difference. Last year on my birthday, after doing keto for a solid six or seven months, my wonderful fiance got me a doughnut cake as a cheat day treat. A doughnut, the size of a cake. I figured hey, it’s one day, one doughnut. But it wasn’t. The minute carbohydrates were back in my system it was as if they were never gone. And suddenly we were ordering Dominos and drinking Coca-Cola. And again. And again. In fact, I never ate pizza regularly or drank soda until that moment. It’s like one big doughnut was a gateway drug to everything bad, even things I didn’t eat before. Eight months and 20lbs later we were able to get the will power together to quit them again. Losing Weight on a Low Carb Diet If you’re on a low carb diet, you don’t need me to tell you the benefits. Some do it for weight loss, others for mental clarity, and others for illnesses like cancer and alzheimers. But remember, quitting carbs doesn’t mean quitting real food. Every day I eat grass-fed meat, organic greens like spinach, and even berries. If you choose to drink diet coke and processed things loaded with fake sugars, with a block of cheese for lunch, you’re not making yourself healthier, you might even be damaging your body rather than helping it. One thing I’ve learned from quitting carbohydrates and then falling off the Continue reading >>

How Many Carbs Per Day On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet?

How Many Carbs Per Day On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet?

Although my initial plan was to include this post in All You Need to Know About Carbs on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet, I decided it deserves to be discussed separately. How Many Carbs per Day to Stay in Ketosis? As described in my post How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work? Weight Loss and 3 Main Effects of Ketosis, weight loss on a ketogenic diet is achieved by limiting the daily intake of net carbs and getting your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. While in ketosis, your body effectively uses fat for fuel. In general, the daily intake of net carbs required to enter ketosis could vary from 20 to 100 grams per day (and very rarely over 100 grams per day). Most people, who have experienced ketosis, claim to have reached that state at about 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. I'd suggest you start at 20-30 grams and see how you can adjust it for your needs. There are two ways to find your ideal net carbs intake: Low to high method Start from a low level of net carbs to ensure you quickly enter ketosis (~ 20 grams of net carbs per day). When you detect ketosis after about 2-3 days, start adding net carbs (about 5 grams each week) until you detect a very low-level or no ketones (using Ketostix or blood ketone meter). This is usually the most reliable and quickest way to discover your net carbs limit. It could be a bit hard the first couple of days, as you have to give up almost all carbs from one day to another but it will be worth it. This method is highly recommended. High to low method Assuming you're not in ketosis, start from a relatively high level of net carbs (~ 50 grams) and keep reducing (about 5 grams each week) until you detect presence of ketones. This is a less difficult approach but not recommended, as you may spend a long time out of ketosis before you find yo Continue reading >>

Cheating And You

Cheating And You

Cheating, or eating hidden carbs, whatever you want to call it. Let’s have a brief talk. What is cheating? Cheating is, in the most simple terms, eating a lot more carbs than you would normally. There’s no hard and fast figure, suffice to say that if you had somewhere in the realm of 50g – 100g you would likely break your ketosis, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It also stands to reason that you would possibly not have to go through unpleasant keto-flu again. How does it happen? Cheating can happen for a number of reasons, but there seem to be two main causes. Emotions Alcohol Comfort eating is something everyone I know does, and I’ll admit to eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s on my own, no problems at all, when feeling down. Though those days are also long gone. You could be stressed, sad, angry, or any number of other things, and may choose to seek comfort in sugary foods. After all, they raise your mood, though it’s only short term. You’ll probably feel down that you’ve stalled your progress or simply eaten foods that aren’t great for your body. You might even drink alcohol for a range of the same reasons, or, as is very often the case, it may be a social event. A birthday, after work drinks, oh how I could go on… One thing’s for sure, too much can and will impair judgement. The last time I cheated was definitely after a few refreshments and I said “Hey, you know what, chocolate is a GREAT IDEA!” But it wasn’t really. You’ll Feel Like a Failure – But that’s OK! The worst part is knowing that you’ve failed, but you must remember that it’s ok to fail, if you don’t, then you’re probably not doing a lot of trying or learning. I recently read some great advice on failing. It stressed one point, and one point only, Continue reading >>

What Happens If I Eat Sugar In Ketosis?

What Happens If I Eat Sugar In Ketosis?

The state of Ketosis is achieved through the use of either a low carbohydrate diet or in a state of starvation. Essentially your body has been restricted in glucose containing carbohydrates; glucose is your bodies primary fuel source for long enough to need to resort to alternative sources of fuel. In this case Ketone bodies, a byproduct of the breakdown of fatty acids, are used as an alternative to carbohydrates. Accordingly id your body is relying on ketone bodies for its energy needs it is in a state of ketosis. Low Carbohydrate diets rely on your bodies ability to use ketone bodies for energy by burning burn excess body fat for fuel. Video of the Day Table sugar, or sucrose, is a six carbon disaccharide containing one molecule of glucose and one molecule of glucose. Ingesting sugar in sufficient quantities, the amount varies depending on your body type and activity levels will stop ketosis as your body now has a supply of glucose to fuel it. Continue reading >>

Is Halo Top Ice Cream Ketogenic Friendly?

Is Halo Top Ice Cream Ketogenic Friendly?

At the time of writing this post I’ve been on the ketogenic diet for over four years and logged over 200 blood ketone tests in an effort to estimate the effects of food and ingredients on my ketosis, including those in Halo Top ice cream. Everybody likes ice cream and it can be very ketogenic friendly like Dave Asprey’s “Get Some” ice cream but homemade ice cream is a lot of work. Is there a ketogenic friendly store-bought option for an easy ice cream fix? In this post, I’ll evaluate Halo Top ice cream, give it a ketogenic compatibility grade, and unfortunately further crush your dreams of a ketogenic friendly store-bought ice cream. Halo Top Ice Cream Ketogenic Compatibility Grade: Grade: D- (Barely compatible, detrimental to ketosis and not recommended.) Savage Fuel Ketogenic Compatibility Grades:[1]These grades are based only on a foods compatibility with a ketogenic diet, not overall health or any other factors. jQuery("#footnote_plugin_tooltip_9179_1").tooltip({ tip: "#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_9179_1", tipClass: "footnote_tooltip", effect: "fade", fadeOutSpeed: 100, predelay: 400, position: "top right", relative: true, offset: [10, 10] }); A: Completely compatible with positive or no impact on ketosis. B: Highly compatible, good choices but don't go crazy. C: Moderately compatible, enjoy but be mindful and limit intelligently. D: Barely compatible, detrimental to ketosis and not recommended. F: Not compatible, avoid or kiss your ketosis goodbye. Grade Factors: Ingredients:[2] Milk and cream, eggs, erythritol, prebiotic fiber, milk protein concentrate, organic cane sugar, vegetable glycerin, vanilla extract, vanilla beans, sea salt, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, organic stevia. FatNet Carb EstimateProtein Net Carbs: 20-28 grams of net carbs per Continue reading >>

All You Need To Know About Carbs On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

All You Need To Know About Carbs On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

When it comes to ideal carbs intake, I've discussed it in my post here: How Many Carbs per Day on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? However, daily carbs intake is not the only aspect you should focus on. Does our body need carbs? It's a common misconception that our body, especially our brain needs carbs. In fact, the brain can either use glucose or ketones. When you restrict the intake of carbohydrates, your body will switch to using ketone bodies instead of using glucose. Not only that, ketones are a better fuel for our body and brain than glucose, even for highly active individuals. Once you get keto-adapted (3-4 weeks), you will experience improved energy levels. Although a small amount of glucose is still needed, our body can produce glucose on demand via gluconeogenesis. Dr Volek and Dr Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (2012): "Ketone bodies are an important lipid-based fuel, especially for the brain, when dietary carbohydrates are restricted." It has been estimated that about 200 grams of glucose can be generated daily just from protein (Dr Briffa, Escape the Diet Trap, 2012). Our body needs some glucose (e.g. for the thyroid health) but according to Dr Volek, it's a very small amount. As I said in my post here, there is no need for everybody to follow a very low-carb / "zero-carb" diet and you may need to adjust the level of carbs to fit your needs. Types of carbs in ketogenic diets Generally, you should avoid any sugary or starchy foods. The best measure to represent "good" and "bad" carbohydrates is their Glycemic Load (GL), which measures how much insulin will be released by your body for a given food measured in standard portions. This is different to Glycemic Index (GI), which doesn't take the serving size into account. As a result, some Continue reading >>

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