Advocates of the keto diet will say that while their total cholesterol will increase, it’s only the good kind (HDL) that increases, not the bad kind (LDL.) However, a study using the keto diet as a form of treatment for epileptic seizures in children found that after 6 months of administering the diet, triglyceride levels increased, total cholesterol levels increased, and HDL and LDL increased. So if heart disease runs in your family, you may want to do more research before jumping on the Keto bandwagon.
The biggest draw for me is how many of those who’ve tried it say they don’t get hungry. The possibility of that blows my mind, as someone who’s used to any sort of calorie restriction meaning hours of feeling hungry every day. It’s tantalizing enough that I at least want to try. And what have I got to lose, right? I’m already morbidly obese; it’s hard to imagine screwing this up so bad it makes that worse.
A: The amount of weight you lose is entirely dependent on you. Obviously adding exercise to your regimen will speed up your weight loss. Cutting out things that are common “stall” causes is also a good thing. Artificial sweeteners, dairy, wheat products and by-products (wheat gluten, wheat flours, and anything with an identifiable wheat product in it).
Thanks for this article. It was really interesting. I have tried Atkins in the past, and I usually lose 10 pounds immediately and then start gaining it back PLUS MORE! Aaaargh. I tend to have high blood sugar and at age 41 am trying to do all I can to stay healthy and NOT get diabetes (I have five boys, the youngest of whom is only 6, who need their mama with all her limbs attached!). Anyhoo, I started the Trim Healthy Mama diet as soon as the book came out and lost 50 pounds in about 14 months. It was the first diet I ever did that gave me a lot of food freedom to eat carbs AND fats AND proteins. I am a HUNGRY mama, but I ate as much as my body wanted and had SOOOO much energy. A couple years into the diet, my middle son developed PANDAS and tic disorder, and we had to put him on GAPS diet and all kinds of nutritional therapy, so I found I didn’t have time to focus on my own health and diet at the same time as his, and his definitely took priority. So of course I gained over half the weight back over the past 3.5 years. But now my kiddo is doing so well and able to eat a lot of more normal foods, so I am back to eating THM style and riding my bike. I am already feeling better and hoping to lose this weight (4 pounds so far, but this is not a fast weight loss diet), bring the blood sugar down and get on with this wonderful, nutty life of mine! Thanks for all the great insight into why Atkins/keto does NOT work for this mama. God bless!
An increase in fat burning ability could improve endurance capacity: as body fat represents a larger store of energy (150,000 kCal) compared to carbohydrate (2000 kCal), a greater ability to burn fat during exercise could prolong endurance performance. Whilst the theory appears sound, there is only one study showing an IMPROVEMENT in performance with a low carbohydrate diet18, with many showing no clear benefit of a low carbohydrate diet 19 ,20.
A systematic review in 2016 found and analysed seven randomized controlled trials of ketogenic diet in children and young people with epilepsy. The trials were done among children and young people for whom drugs failed to control their seizures, and only one of the trials compared a group assigned to ketogenic diet with a group not assigned to one. The other trials compared types of diets or ways of introducing them to make them more tolerable. Nearly 40% of the children and young people had half or fewer seizures with the diet compared with the group not assigned to the diet. Only about 10% were still on the diet after a few years. Adverse effects such as hunger and loss of energy in that trial were common, with about 30% experiencing constipation.
The diet that worked for me was keto. Thanks for the recommendation for the keto strips- I ordered the exact ones and used my first test strip this morning- it worked great!! So I’ve got something else to keep me in check. Dropped 100 pounds after my first child (I really went overboard about eating for two- I thought I was doing something good) and then dropped 30 after my second child. Since then, it’s the same 10-15 pounds that I keep losing and gaining back. Love your mantras- I’ve written a few down in my journal and some just ring in my head like a music track- never two in a row!! Can’t outrun your fork!! With keto, it gets me fantastic and very quick results and I go with a recarb meal (not recarb day) once a week. Eat a little more carbs after workouts. Now with the strips, I can see if what I’m doing post-workout keeps me in keto. Thanks for all your resources- they are so eye-opening and so motivating (and funny)!! I did hours of research about keto- if your article had come out a couple of months earlier- it would havr saved me all that time!! Great knowing that if I feel like I need the boost with 1-1 coaching it is available. Keep up the outstanding work!
But sadly, whether due to government subsidy of high carb foods like corn and grain, funding from big companies like Gatorade and Powerbar, our sugar-addicted Western palates, or the constant (unfounded) fear mongering about saturated fats and heart disease, the type of research that shows these fat-burning and performance benefits of carbohydrate restriction simply get shoved under the rug.
When examining the studies, the researchers noted that, on average, the participants in the VLCKD groups lost about 2 lbs. more of bodyweight compared to the low-fat diet groups.  This difference was statistically significant and described as “moderate”. The researchers also noted greater improvements in triglycerides, blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol in the VLCKD group compared to the low-fat diet group.
I've been researching the ketogenic diet for quite awhile so when I started this book, I was a little skeptical that there was anything else I could learn. I was wrong. Craig and Maria have done a wonderful job breaking down the science in a way that's easy to understand. Their knowledge and experience show you how to be successful on keto and how to break through plateaus so you can achieve your health goals. This isn't a "this is how keto works for me and my body so it should work for you too" book, it's a "this is how the human body works, how keto affects the human body, and how you can be successful with keto all based on science". There are also chapters dedicated to discussing the benefits of keto and how to heal your body - it's not all about weight loss. I knew keto was a good way to eat, but I had no idea how many syndromes, diseases, and even cancers that can be reversed through a clean keto diet.
Absolutely Steve. I love ranch salad dressing, cheese, cream cheese, steak, shrimp, and some vegetables. I am making “fakery” to satisfy my sweet tooth. (Fakery is baking using almond or coconut flour instead of wheat and white flour, and Swerve sweetener instead of sugar (made with Erythritol which has no impact on GI and is good for your teeth) I am over half way to my goal already. Thank you for your article. I appreciate your dedication, knowledge and sharing with the world. (and your cute animal gifs)
Hi Ben – Great article. I had trouble at the end figuring out if you were now eating high fat (60-80% of calories), or if you went back to something closer to 50% fat calories and higher carbs and are using exogenous ketones to get int ketosis when needed. Are you doing any carbs at night or a refeed, or just having higher carbs on most days? Thanks
Because keto cycling is so new, no relevant studies have examined the benefits and risks yet. Kieffer says cycling in and out of ketosis — eating carbs and then not eating carbs — could be dangerous. “If you eat a high-fat diet one day (like what is recommended in the keto diet) and then go back to eating carbs the next, I think a person could be in danger of storing much of that consumed fat, which can result in high triglycerides and cholesterol,” she says. She explains the body may not have time to convert fat to energy, so it may stick with using carbs for energy and storing fat.
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.
It seems strange that a diet that calls for more fat can raise “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol, but ketogenic diets are linked to just that. It may be because the lower levels of insulin that result from these diets can stop your body from making more cholesterol. That means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart failure, and other heart conditions.
Some Inuit consume as much as 15–20% of their calories from carbohydrates, largely from the glycogen found in raw meats. Furthermore, the blubber, organs, muscle and skin of the diving marine mammals that the Inuit eat have significant glycogen stores that are able to delay postmortem degradation, particularly in cold weather.
Improved insulin markers: In Type II diabetes, fasting insulin levels are often elevated, and insulin has less of an effect (meaning it takes longer for blood glucose to fall after the post-meal increas). Whilst evidence is not conclusive, some studies have claimed to demonstrate an improvement in insulin sensitivity with the ketogenic diet104. The evidence supporting a decrease in fasting insulin levels with a ketogenic diet has been demonstrated more consistently 104 , 105 .
"With only 4.3 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams (most of which are fiber), sauerkraut is an excellent food to try during a low-carb eating regime," Ruani added. You can try making your own sauerkraut by fermenting shredded green cabbage and chopped garlic cloves in salted water, and optionally adding a carrot or two, she suggested. However, if you opt for commercial sauerkraut, she advised double-checking your labels and avoiding products with added sugars.
In the end, I'm pleased with my keto diet results both internally and externally. I lost 4 pounds in two weeks, gained some energy and efficiency with my training, and more often than not felt that I could see better muscle tone instead of feeling bloated or weighed down. While the ketogenic diet may not be my go-to on a regular basis, Dr. Axe's final feedback was encouraging: He says because I've now had a successful keto trial run, if I wanted to cycle through some keto weeks (or even a month, next time), I'd be able to easily, potentially reaching ketosis even more quickly. While going full-force back on the carbs could derail me or anyone else who wants to keto-cycle, Dr. Axe says the odds are in my favor. “Ninety percent of the time if someone's done it once, they will get into ketosis quicker and easier the next time,” he says.
Includes Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) – When You Drop Your Carbs, You’re Eliminating a Source of Energy for Your Brain as Well as Your Body. Your Brain Requires About 100g of Glucose a Day to Function, So on Low-Carb Diets, You Can Feel a Bit Slow or Fuzzy. BHB is an Exogenous Source of Ketones That Will Help Combat This by Providing Fuel for Your Brain.
No and yes. The liver can make ketones out of alcohol, so technically, when you drink you'll continue to produce ketones and so will remain in ketosis. The problem is ... alcohol converts more easily to ketones than fatty acids, so your liver will use the alcohol first, in preference to fat. Thus, when you drink, basically your FAT burning is put on hold until all the alcohol is out of your system.
Whether ketosis is taking place can be checked by using special urine test strips such as Ketostix. The strips have a small pad on the end, which the user dips in a fresh urine specimen. Within seconds, the strip changes color to indicate the level of acetoacetate ketone bodies, which reflects the degree of ketonuria, which, in turn, gives a rough estimate of the level of hyperketonemia in the body (see table below). Alternatively, some products targeted to diabetics such as the Abbott Precision Xtra or the Nova Max can be used to take a blood sample and measure the β-hydroxybutyrate ketone levels directly. Normal serum reference ranges for ketone bodies are 0.5–3.0 mg/dL, equivalent to 0.05–0.29 mmol/L.
I’ve been on the Wheat Belly Diet over 2 years. You have to read the book on it by Dr. Allen Wolfelt. It works. Basically you’re cutting out grains do to the GMO. No wheat or corn, cousins of, or biproctucts of. It took some getting use to, and adjustments. I started out with certain things and worked my way. You’d have to read his book. I’m making it my life style, rest of my life.
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.
Another difference between older and newer studies is that the type of patients treated with the ketogenic diet has changed over time. When first developed and used, the ketogenic diet was not a treatment of last resort; in contrast, the children in modern studies have already tried and failed a number of anticonvulsant drugs, so may be assumed to have more difficult-to-treat epilepsy. Early and modern studies also differ because the treatment protocol has changed. In older protocols, the diet was initiated with a prolonged fast, designed to lose 5–10% body weight, and heavily restricted the calorie intake. Concerns over child health and growth led to a relaxation of the diet's restrictions. Fluid restriction was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of constipation and kidney stones, and is no longer considered beneficial.
Some athletes swear by the ketogenic diet, not just for weight loss but for improved performance in their sport, as well. But Edward Weiss, PhD, associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University, doesn’t buy it. “I hear cyclists say all the time that they’re faster and better now that they’re on keto, and my first question is, 'Well, how much weight did you lose?'” he says.
Roughly 15 million Americans have food allergies. 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.
Achieving ketosis is a pretty straightforward, but it can seem complicated and confusing with all of the information out there.4If you want to learn more about ketosis and the scientific process around it, you can visit a very in-depth discussion about on Dr. Peter Attia’s website. Here’s the bottom line on what you need to do, ordered in levels of importance:
Amazing article – gonna have to print it and read it again. To much to break down in one sitting. Thanks Ben – you’ve pulled together so much insight and references that’s given me greater confidence and conviction. I’m 50 and use to be super active and a seasoned athlete but after a few ‘mid life surgical interventions’ I had to find a better way… Ketogenics has been that for me… no more inflammation… I can’t tell you how great it’s been to be pain free! Keep leading from the front.
Collagen is a type of protein that has been shown to suppress appetite[*], provide fullness compared to other proteins like whey, casein, or soy[*], help retain muscle mass[*] and even help to reduce the appearance of cellulite due to it’s ability to improve skin elasticity and thickness[*]. Refer to this article for more information on the benefits of collagen and the best way to supplement it in your diet.