But while carbohydrates can help you have a better workout, go faster, or go longer, this only applies to acute, in-the-moment performance. Once you take a look (which you’re about to do) at the long-term effects of chronic high blood sugar levels, things change drastically. If the damage that you’re above to discover is worth it to you, then you are either mildly masochistic or you value performance much more than health.
Theoretically, supplying ketones during this period of compromised glucose metabolism could prevent the energy deficit and reduce the likelihood of long-term brain damage. This could be because ketones can act as an alternative, highly energy efficient substrate7. Additionally, the antioxidant, antiinflammatory33 and anti-apoptosis properties of ketones (i.e ketones prevent the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, which causes cell death66) could protect against neuronal loss and damage. 
I lost most of my weight on a high protein, low carb diet prescribed by my surgeon, but I’ve recently started the Deeper State Keto program which is much higher fat. I’ve cut out the protein bars and shakes and have so much energy. I feel like I could do cartwheels at all times. It’s not like I felt bad before. I wasn’t sleepy, lethargic, or sluggish. Now, I’m alert, bright and energized all the time."

The cyclical diet is another one that focuses on more carbs. This is more of a cycle—hence the name. You’ll get five days where you follow the standard diet and then two days where you get more carbs. This sort of diet could be perfect for those who struggle to stick to a plan or just know they wouldn’t be able to last without any potatoes, bread or pasta at all. Think of this like your 5:2 diet, where you get two days off.

Getting your macronutrients—fat, protein, carbohydrates—in balance ensures your body has the best sources of energy. “The ketogenic diet for ‘nutritional ketosis’ is 20 percent protein, 5 percent carbs, and 75 percent fat,” says Jake Crandall, a trainer and CEO and founder of Okie Crossfit in Tulsa, OK. “If you go too high in protein, you’re effectively on the Atkins Diet and are low-carb. You’ll achieve weight loss, but not the health benefits of being in ketosis.”
The ketogenic diet achieved national media exposure in the US in October 1994, when NBC's Dateline television programme reported the case of Charlie Abrahams, son of Hollywood producer Jim Abrahams. The two-year-old suffered from epilepsy that had remained uncontrolled by mainstream and alternative therapies. Abrahams discovered a reference to the ketogenic diet in an epilepsy guide for parents and brought Charlie to John Freeman at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had continued to offer the therapy. Under the diet, Charlie's epilepsy was rapidly controlled and his developmental progress resumed. This inspired Abrahams to create the Charlie Foundation to promote the diet and fund research.[10] A multicentre prospective study began in 1994, the results were presented to the American Epilepsy Society in 1996 and were published[17] in 1998. There followed an explosion of scientific interest in the diet. In 1997, Abrahams produced a TV movie, ...First Do No Harm, starring Meryl Streep, in which a young boy's intractable epilepsy is successfully treated by the ketogenic diet.[1]
Other experts say the long-term accumulation of ketones could be harmful. “Those ketones are emergency fuel sources, and we’re not meant to run on them long-term,” says Kristen Kizer, a registered dietitian at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Ketones are negatively-charged molecules, which means they’re acidic. When you build up ketone bodies in your system, you’re building up acid. One of the ways your body buffers acid is by pulling calcium from your bones.” Kizer also notes that the diet isn't very balanced and involves a very high intake of animal products, which generally do not protect against cancer, diabetes, or other diseases.
Lower fasting blood glucose: Fasting blood glucose gives a good snapshot of insulin sensitivity. In a healthy person, fasting blood glucose is , in pre-diabetes , and in diabetics this can exceed . A clinical study comparing a low calorie ketogenic diet to a low calorie diet showed that following the ketogenic diet resulted in lower blood glucose and lipid levels even if subjects were maintained at a constant weight 102 ,103.
The cyclical diet is another one that focuses on more carbs. This is more of a cycle—hence the name. You’ll get five days where you follow the standard diet and then two days where you get more carbs. This sort of diet could be perfect for those who struggle to stick to a plan or just know they wouldn’t be able to last without any potatoes, bread or pasta at all. Think of this like your 5:2 diet, where you get two days off.

There are many benefits to keto, including health benefits. I’ve lost 60bs and many of my health issues cleared up. I disagree with this article as it’s only one persons experience and there’s a lot of fear mongering here. Surgeons and doctors prescribe this way of living for diabetics and major surgery patients for their best chance of survival. There’s no way they would do this if it were harmful. Keto is not for everyone but it is for a lot of people and this blog deters people who could be genuinely interested in living a healthier lifestyle.
The gut-brain link is important not only for the hormones produced by the gut, but also for the long-term body weight regulation. Studies in mice indicate that the gut microbiome influences both sides of the energy balance by contributing to nutrient absorption and regulating host genes that affect adiposity [however there are conflicting reports (Parks et al., 2013; Schele et al., 2013)]. However, it remains uncertain just how important gut microbiota are for nutrient absorption in humans. A cohort study has demonstrated that the nutrient load is a key variable that can influence the gut/fecal bacterial content over short time frames. Furthermore, the observed associations between gut microbes and nutrient absorption indicates a possible role of the human gut microbiota in the regulation of the nutrient intake and utilization (Jumpertz et al., 2011).
Jump up ^ Ringberg TM, White RG, Holleman DF, Luick JR (1981). "Body growth and carcass composition of lean reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandusL.) from birth to sexual maturity" (PDF). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 59 (6): 1040–1044. doi:10.1139/z81-145. ISSN 0008-4301. Body growth and carcass composition were measured in lean reindeer during the juvenile growth period between birth and 3 years of age. Mean carcass weight in these lean reindeer was 56 ± 4% of body weight and the deposition of body muscle and bone mass was linearly correlated with body weight after the 1st month of age. The weight of the brain relative to body weight and carcass weight declined, while the relative changes in heart, liver, kidneys, parotid glands, and tissues of the gastrointestinal tract were small after the neonatal period. The extractable fat content in carcasses increased from 4.4 to 11.4% of wet weight or approximately 100 g fat at birth and 3.5 kg fat in adult reindeer. Fat-free dry matter represented a constant percentage (18–20%) of wet carcass weight independent of body weight after the neonatal period, while a significant inverse relationship between carcass fat and body water was found.

That doesn’t mean you’ll go hungry on a diet. It’s quite the opposite! You’re not starving yourself of calories but of carbohydrates. Your body won’t go into what’s known as starvation mode, which is where your metabolic rate drops considerably. You’re adding more fat to the diet and taking out the carbs, so the metabolism can still work, and you get the energy you need.
The results in body fat percentage lost was even more striking. The average body mass percentage decreased by 2.9% in the Atkins diet group. In contrast, it decreased by 1.5% in the Ornish diet group, by 1.3% in the Zone diet group, and 1.0% in the LEARN diet group. [16] This means that subjects in the Atkins diets decreased their average body fat percentage at least twice of any other group- including those eating the low-fat, high carbohydrate Ornish diet.
Enter the Internet. I tried a bunch of things… ordered this powder and that “organic concoction,” etc… nothing… I’m the cook in the family and my love for food has reared its beautiful head again. So in the spirit of finding a balance and battling my own obsessive issues, I eventually found a tea online that’s touted as a “detox” tea but I wouldn’t really call it that. I would describe it as doing the same thing for my obsessions that, say, chamomile tea does for relaxation. It literally “relaxes” my obsessions an mental “food shackles.” Yes, everything about it feels “salesy,” but I’ve tried literally a ton of these things and this one has had an extremely positive effect on my cravings to the point where I finally feel like I’m in control of my “food brain” again. This is what I’ve been using https://bit.ly/2K9pdUK and I’d love to know your thoughts on it.. Do you think it’s all in my head and that mind over matter is better than anything out there or do you think this is something I should stick with?

I decided to try going “keto-ish” after nearly a year of unsuccessful weight loss. Before trying Keto, I was hungry all the time and the number on the scale wasn’t budging despite meticulously sticking to my meal plan and exercising 3-5 days a week. It’s been about three weeks since I’ve started this new approach to eating and the pounds are flying off. It’s amazing. I’ve discovered riced cauliflower and zoodles, two things I never knew that I loved.
Interesting article and I applaud you challenging any way of eating as so many of us are like sheep these days. However, for me, it’s really all about sugar. For example, the significant results of lowering sugar intake on type two diabetics should not be ignored. Look up Dr David Unwin’s success in the UK where many of his patients are in remission and, off their medication. I started a low sugar way of eating (diet is not a good word for anyone) Two years ago. I lost 20 kgs and have kept it off. I’ve looked at the science, I’ve looked at the manipulative history and current strategies of food manufacturers, but moreover, I look at my own results. Like you, I want my own ‘truth.’ We need to take individual responsibility in all areas of our lives to do that, instead of jumping on the next wagon of craze.
Today we had a wellness clinic at work! I have not been to a PCP in about 7 or 8 years due to white coat syndrome, but with my new found confidence, I decided it was time to step into some tests. At the clinic they tested Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, Total and Good Cholesterol, and Bone Density. I stepped into the ring and was very anxious to get it over with, I felt my blood pressure elevate and I felt like my forehead was gonna pop while waiting in line for my blood pressure to be read...it doesn't help that I had a venti coffee from starbucks and 32oz of black tea throughout the morning. Waited for the results which were elevated as expected, but only the top number...I was actually 140/62. Next up was blood glucose and cholesterol, I was excited to see what KETO had done for me here! The nurse pricked my finger and filled the testing unit, she said "Wow, excellent!" My total Cholesterol was 100 and my good cholesterol was 57 and my Blood Glucose was 90! She asked me how I was doing it and we had some discussion about KETO and how I have lost almost 100 pounds and she bought right in and said " I think I was meant to meet you today!" That brought a big smile to my face. Next was Bone Density and then off to a healthcare specialist. They took a look at my numbers and the only concern they had was my bone density. They suggested weight training and they were super impressed with my weight-loss journey.
Given the prevalence of this category of illness, and the insidious nature of the conditions, an intervention with minimal side effects (vs. drugs) such as ketosis could be used as a first line intervention before attempting treatment with medication in some cases. However, there is still some way to go before research can conclusively address this possibility, individuals considering the diet should do so with full medical supervision.

I just discovered your site and have been thoroughly enjoying many of the articles and appreciate that you get so in depth in your explanations. I’m in my late 40’s and, while not an extreme endurance athlete, I am moderately active with 18-20 mile rides 3x a week as well as some boxing and body weight resistance (push up, pull up, etc) mixed in. I’ve generally been paleo and stick to quality macros for the most part (grass fed meats/dairy, organic veg and oils) and zero supplements. I recently started following keto (after reading this article) about 10 days ago and things seem good thus far. I do, however, want to avoid any of the negative side effects you mention and also not lose any lean muscle. I’m currently about 174 lbs, 5’8″ and about 19% bodyfat – I’m taking in about 95g protein, 130g fat and <20g net carbs. I'm eating all quality – wild salmon, grass fed beef, pastured eggs, coconut oil, Brain Octane and Grass fed butter in coffee, sardines, etc. With a smattering of organic veg, but it seems real easy to bust through the carb barrier. *I'M ALSO TAKING KETOCANA PRE-WORKOUT* and I notice this is keeping me going throughout a ride or the gym.


Awesome info. I’ve been LCHF moderate protein (about 1 g per lean lbs/mass) and 50-100g of carbs for about a year. I’d consume around 2500 cals. I’m active 4-5 days a week (60-90 min cycling sessions) I started using MCT/Butter coffee. It surpressd my appetite and I would only eat whole food at lunch/dinner…still LCHF, but since my appetite was lower I was only takin in about 1800 cals. After about 2 weeks I started to gain body fat. Do you think the reduced caloric intake is the culprit? Should I “force” myself to eat…maybe up the MCT intake to make up the difference?
The hypothalamus is the brain's main center responsible for hunger/satiety (H/S) control. In the theory that Mayer proposed more than 60 years ago, he assigned a central role to glucose levels in the H/S control: the so-called “glucostatic theory” (Mayer, 1955). Mayer suggested that depletion of carbohydrate availability leads to hunger, and the hypothalamic centers with receptors sensitive to glucose levels might be involved in the short-term regulation of energy intake (Mayer, 1955). The “feeding center” in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), according to the glucostatic theory, reacts to the between-meal fall of blood glucose and stimulates food intake. The LHA contains glucose-inhibited neurons that are stimulated by hypoglycemia, a process crucial to mediating the hyperphagia normally induced by hypoglycemia. The subsequent post-prandial hyperglycemia activates the “satiety center” in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), which contains glucose-excited neurons and inhibits both “feeding center” and food intake.
Before you consume a BHB salt, these individual components are held together by ionic bonds. However, when you consume a supplement containing a BHB salt, it is absorbed into the blood where it dissociates into free sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), and finally, the actual ketone. This means that consuming a product containing a BHB directly and immediately puts ketones into your blood, without the need for you to eat tons of fats or engage in carbohydrate restriction or fasting to generate the ketones.

Nutrient-sensitive neurons reacting to glucose but also to fatty acids (FAs) concentrations are present at many sites throughout the brain and may play a key role in the neural control of energy and glucose homoeostasis. Central administration of oleate, for example, inhibits food intake and glucose production in rats. This suggests that daily variations in plasma FA concentrations could be detected by the CNS as a signal that contributes to the regulation of energy balance (Moulle et al., 2014).


Including greens powder in your supplement regimen is an excellent way to boost your intake of nutrient-dense vegetable. Most greens powders come with a mixture of powdered plant-based nutrients from spinach, spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, wheatgrass and more that are all beneficial for health. Adding greens powder to your drinks, shakes, and smoothies is a good way to help optimise nutrition and promote fat loss, especially when on a keto diet.
I don’t know about you, but I find these risks pretty damn concerning. The fact is that I want to be around to play with my grandkids, and considering that my genetic testing with 23andMe has revealed that I have a higher-than-normal risk for type 2 diabetes, I doubt that shoving more gooey gels and sugary sports drinks into my pie hole is going to do my health any favors. So if I can achieve similar levels of performance and body composition with carbohydrate restriction, I’m all in.
Now, I’m in low carb recovery, I need to re-lose some of what I’ve gained in the carb rebound, and to do it I’m just counting calories. I’m only 5’4, so I have a goal of 1620 per day, with the understanding that I am not going to hit that goal every day, because sometimes I will eat out or eat a donut that’s brought in at the office. I finally got tired of saying “I can’t have that” or lying and saying I didn’t even want it. Now, if I want to eat something, I eat it. I can adjust my other decisions for the day if necessary to accommodate a treat, or not, it just depends on how I feel. Some days I feel motivated to lose weight, and some days I feel motivated to eat ice cream, and the one desire does not have to destroy the other. I finally feel like I can enjoy the goodness of all of the food groups again, and I am steadily losing an average of 1 lb per week – no longer miserable.
There seems to be an assumption sometimes that the more obsessed with losing weight we are, the lower our self image must be. Mine’s just fine….I’m 63 and I am happy to look 63….but I do NOT See the sense in inviting all the very well researched obesity related health issues into my life. Getting older is hard enough on the bod! So yes, I’m incredibly keen to drop more weight (obsessed if you like) but only because I want to deal with joint pain, avoid diabetes and cardiovascular disease … and simply to function better for longer.

Ketosis is the metabolic process of using fat as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. This means your body is directly breaking down its fat stores as energy instead of slowly converting fat and muscle cells into glucose for energy. You enter ketosis when your body doesn’t have enough glucose (carbohydrates) available. The prime function of the ketogenic diet is to put the body in ketosis.
You need to educate yourself about cholesterol. I recommend reading The Great Cholesterol Myth and also Cholesterol Clarity. Who cares if total cholesterol increases. Yes good fats can in some people raise LDL ( which is NOT bad cholesterol unless it’s oxidized) I’ve never heard of the Keto diet elevating triglycerides IF it’s done right. Never! If it’s done right, triglycerides go down, usually way down, LDL MIGHT rise in some people but HDL goes up and if you get the correct cholesterol test which breaks down LDL into particle size and number, you’ll find that even if it’s elevated, it’s made up of mostly large fluffy LDL,s instead of the harmful small dense LDLs which damage vessel walls. IF Keto is done right the HDL to triglyceride ratio ( most important numbers on a regular lipid panel) is very low- and that’s excellent.
Ketosis is an option for many people with type 2 diabetes because they still produce insulin, which helps their body maintain a safe level of ketones in the blood. If you’re considering trying ketosis or the ketogenic diet with type 2 diabetes, be sure to consult your healthcare provider first to ensure it’s safe for you. This eating approach may interfere with some types of diabetes medication or be inappropriate for you if you have certain diabetes complications, such as kidney damage.
Thanks for all of the great info!! I have Hashimoto’s and would really like to try a high fat/low carb diet. You mentioned that this might not be a good option for people with thyroid issues. How do you recommend I modify my diet to lose weight taking into consideration the Hashimoto’s. I take Westhroid, a non-synthetic thyroid supplement to help with my sluggish thyroid. Thanks so much for any advice you can give me. :)
Key Takeaways: Two large-scale meta-analysis indicate that people who consume a low-carb diet (<50 g carb/day) lose a slightly larger amount of weight compared to people eating a low-fat diet over 12-month span. Neither meta-analysis assessed the loss in body fat percentage within each diet and which other dietary of exercise interventions promoted weight-loss when coupled with the ketogenic diet.
Notably, it can take several months to become fully ‘keto-adapted’ and performance can decline in the short term as these adaptations occur. It is also likely that individual responses to the diet vary. These factors make design and interpretation of sports science studies challenging and leave the door open for continued disagreement between scientists on each side of the debate. If you want to find out what each side has to say, we would recommend reading the comprehensive reviews by Louise Burke (who dislikes the use of the ketogenic diet)27 and Volek and Phinney (who promote the use of ketogenic diet)28. 
Finally, exogenous ketones have been shown to decrease the levels of triglycerides and free fatty acids in the blood after one drink 107 ,106 ,11. There is also early data showing that ketone ester consumption decreases cholesterol biosynthesis in rodents, an effect which appeared to be conserved in humans114. It is unclear at this stage what the long term effects of exogenous ketone consumption on blood lipids and cholesterol would be, but this is an area of promising research. 
Furthermore, the participants who ate the low-carbohydrate diet lost an average of 0.8% body fat while those that ate the low-fat diet gained an average of 0.7% body fat. [18] This suggests that a higher fat diet may improve may lead to more favorable changes in body composition. Subjects in both groups notably reduced their waist circumference. [18] However, the reduction was greater for the low-carbohydrate group. [18]
For a given quantity of fuel, the maximum amount of work that can be obtained from that fuel in a closed system is called ‘the Gibbs free energy’ (G). This takes into account the inherent ‘heat’ (combustion enthalpy (H)) and a property called entropy (a measure of tendency towards ‘disorder’ (S). The change in Gibbs free energy (∆G) is related to the change in combustion enthalpy (∆H), change in entropy (∆S) and the temperature (T):
Roughly 15 million Americans have food allergies.[3] The most common food allergies are to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish. While food allergies are serious business, food intolerances can plague you too. While not life-threatening, food intolerances cause imbalances in the gut leading to inflammation, which can directly affect your weight. Learn how inflammation shows up as weight gain here.
Are you sure you have your percentages correct? Keto is 80% vegetables , 10% fat and 10% proteins. The diet you seem to be talking about sounds like Atkins. As a diabetic, keto has given me normal blood sugars with much less insilin, no more cravings, no more hunger. I’ve also lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks since I started it. Look up Dr. Berg. He has hundreds of YouTube postings with all questions addressed. Goes into the medical science behind our bodies. Minerals, vitamins , what we actually need to make our bodies function.
Many low carbers continue to enjoy caffeine-containing beverages with no serious impact on their weight-loss efforts. However, there are some sensitive individuals ... and persons who are extremely insulin resistant may need to restrict or even eliminate all caffeine. If you have been losing successfully then find your weight loss stalled for a month or two, and you are following your program to the letter, you might consider stopping all caffeine for a while, to see if that will get things started again.
These two meta-analyses (and the other research you’ll find in this article on keto & weight loss) provide us with a look at the real world significance of low-fat and low-carb diets. When you put people on a low-carb ketogenic type diet, they tend to lose more weight than people who are on a low-fat diet. The ketogenic diet also provides us with clear rules to follow, which makes it is easier for us to keep ourselves from overeating.

Why is the keto diet good for you? A keto diet is one that prioritizes fats and proteins over carbohydrates. It can help reduce body weight, acne, and the risk of cancer. Find out about the mechanisms through which it achieves these benefits and the research that supports it. This MNT Knowledge Center article also discusses the risks of the diet. Read now

An increase in fat burning ability could decrease the efficiency of exercise: one adaptation to a high fat diet is an increase in a process called mitochondrial uncoupling. This means that some of the stored energy from metabolic substrates is not used to generate ATP but is ‘dissipated’ leading to a decrease in efficiency of energy production 26 ,19.  
While guest starring on the Rachael Ray Show, the actress opened up about how she stays motivated through intense workouts: “No carbs. No dairy. No refined sugar. [It’s] eating real foods. It’s honestly high-fat, high-protein. I think that we’ve been brainwashed to think that fat is bad, but really, it’s what going to make you feel fuller longer. And your body can burn it and use it as fuel.”
Might not be nutritional. Could be a training issue. Could be fascial. Could be neurotransmitter. If you're taking 1 serving of UCAN perhaps you need two. Not sure of ht, body wt, etc. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching. and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

Ben, great article! I recently did my own ketosis experiment and didn’t catch the 100-200g advise until later than I should have, I’m guessing. Great results for 1-2 months but after 3 months I quit sleeping through the night and would wake after about 4 hours of rest each night. My guess is that the extra carbs at night coupled with iodine supplements should allow me to “have my cake and eat it too?” Any other suggestions on the sleep issue? I’ve gone back to High Fat/Low Carb, have improved sleep but I do miss nutritional ketosis and want to try again once my sleep is stable. Thank YOU!!!
Hi Ben…first, I have learned so much from you, thank you! I’m interested in using exogenous ketone supplements and I have a question for you. I just read the transcript of an interview Dave Asprey did with Dr. Richard Veech (episode 299). He advises against them, and says they can even be harmful. I was disappointed to read this, and wanted to ask you about it, since I respect your opinion greatly….thank you.

So which MCT to pick? Brain Octane (pure C8) provides the fastest rise in ketones and burns the cleanest, with minimal gut irritation. XCT oil is more affordable but works more slowly with less direct cognitive effects. The capric acid C10 in XCT Oil doesn’t break down into ketones as quickly as pure caprylic C8, but capric acid C10 is more affordable, so you can save money by going with the XCT oil. XCT oil still goes to brain energy, just not as quickly as Brain Octane. Both can be used for energy without processing by the liver, unlike many other fats and oils.


MCT oil powder is a unique form of dietary fat rapidly absorbed by the body and has a wide range of health benefits. Supplementation with MCT powder can help combat fatigue, suppress appetite[*], enhance thermogenesis (aka ‘fat burning’)[*] and help your body adapt to using ketones for fuel. A recent scientific review showed that MCTs can effectively decrease body weight, total body fat, hip circumference, waist circumference, total subcutaneous fat and visceral fat[*]. Check out this articlefor more information on how to supplement with MCTs.
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