I enjoyed reading this part of your blog. I’ve had a hard time starting keto. I need this kind of diet due to diabetes. My blood sugar was really high when it was last checked. I can do without most high starch foods like rice and pasta. Never been too fond of those two. My problem is potatoes and high refined sugar foods. (I love cake only for the real buttercream icing!) I’ve decided that I am going to make my carbs count. By that I mean natural sugar in fruit and veggies. When I eat my protein and “healthy” carbs and a bit higher fat, I do lose weight. I discovered that years ago. While I do want weight loss, keeping control of my blood sugar is far more important. In the past 10 years I’ve lost 80 pounds and have kept it all off. I want to lose 55 more, but will happily accept 25 more off. My want for weight loss is for my health and cheaper (and prettier!) clothing. Your struggle has shown me that I may have to do what I’ve been trying- finding a “compromise” diet that works for me. Thanks for sharing your struggle.
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!
Finally, an important consideration is the effect of the ketogenic diet on blood lipids. This is because the levels of various lipids in the blood have been shown to predict the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. Lipids and cholesterol are carried through the blood in biochemical assemblies called ‘lipoproteins,’ because they do not dissolve in water. There are two broad classes of lipoproteins in the blood: high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is thought of as more ‘healthy’ (H = ‘Healthy’) because it responsible for moving cholesterol and lipids from the peripheral tissues into the liver for metabolism. LDL is demonised as bad cholesterol (L = ‘Lethal’), levels are elevated after a fatty meal and elevated LDL is associated with cholesterol build up in the arteries.
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!
Studies also contradict the claim that the ketogenic diet will help your Crossfit performance, or whatever. A 2018 study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness reports that a low-carb diet inhibited cardiovascular performance. Want to check that half marathon off your bucket list? Science says eat your carbs. Multiple studies have shown similar results. The best news I can tell you about keto is that a 2017 Journal of Human Kinetics study said that it can help maintain a lower body weight, which can help athletic performance. But the study also said that “some aspects regarding the effects of long-term LCHF diets in athletes are still unexplored and in need of investigation, including (...)Strength, power, psychological status, and perceptual-motor performance after weight loss.” So, take that with a grain of low-carb salt.
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
Meat – like grass-fed selections – and fresh veggies are more expensive than most processed or fast foods. What you spend on Keto-friendly foods will vary with your choices of protein source and quality. You can select less-expensive, leaner cuts of meat and fatten them up with some oil. Buying less-exotic, in-season veggies will help keep you within budget.
At the same time, you need to remember to increase the amount of fat that you eat. Also, it doesn’t mean a complete ban on carbs. You just need to reduce the amount that you eat to 15g or less per day. On average, we tend to eat around a third to a half more than that on a daily basis. Reducing carbs won’t be easy for some, which is why having delicious recipes to try first is the way to go.
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.
For patients who benefit, half achieve a seizure reduction within five days (if the diet starts with an initial fast of one to two days), three-quarters achieve a reduction within two weeks, and 90% achieve a reduction within 23 days. If the diet does not begin with a fast, the time for half of the patients to achieve an improvement is longer (two weeks) but the long-term seizure reduction rates are unaffected. Parents are encouraged to persist with the diet for at least three months before any final consideration is made regarding efficacy.
The process of generation ketones (ketogenesis) is kept in check by the presence of insulin in the body. Insulin regulates the flow of fatty acids from our fat cells, and it acts in a feedback loop to regulate ketogenesis. As long as insulin is circulating within the body, in general, the flow of fatty acids and the production of ketone bodies will be limited to a range that is not dangerous. In contrast, ketoacidosis is a condition associated with a lack of insulin. For example, it can manifest in type 1 diabetics who fail to inject enough insulin, or who are newly diagnosed.
This is an absolutely necessary function for basic survival. As the body can only store carbs for a day or two, the brain would quickly shut down after a couple of days without food. Alternatively it would quickly have to convert our muscle protein into glucose – a very inefficient process – just to keep the brain going. That would make us waste away quickly. It would also ensure that the human race could hardly have survived all those millennia before we had 24-7 food availability.
Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., Holly R. Wyatt, M.D., James O. Hill, Ph.D., Brian G. McGuckin, Ed.M., Carrie Brill, B.S., B. Selma Mohammed, M.D., Ph.D., Philippe O. Szapary, M.D., Daniel J. Rader, M.D., Joel S. Edman, D.Sc., and Samuel Klein, M.D., “A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity — NEJM,” N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2082- 2090. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022207.
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) plays a central role in the control of energy balance. Many molecules produced by the GIT exert hunger or satiety effects on the brain. Ghrelin is a peptide produced mainly by the stomach's oxyntic cells that stimulates ghrelin secretion in the hypophysis and has some neuroendocrine activities. However, its orexigenic properties are the most relevant to us and ghrelin is the only known peripheral orexigenic hormone (Date, 2012). Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a peptide produced mainly in the duodenum and jejunum that acts on the vagus nerve and directly on the hypothalamic nuclei. CCK is an anorexigenic factor and it reduces food intake, meal size and duration (Murphy et al., 2006). Three other related hormones are pancreatic polypeptide (PP), amylin, and peptide YY (PYY). PP is a peptide produced by the endocrine pancreas in relation to the caloric content of meals, and it reduces food intake both in rodents and humans. Amylin is a peptide co-secreted with insulin; its main effect on food control is a reduction of meal sizes and food intake (Murphy et al., 2006). Peptide YY (PYY) is produced in the gut and is similar to PP. PYY is stored in intestinal cells and released into the circulation as PYY3−36, a truncated form of PYY. The release of PYY3−36 is dependent on a meal's caloric and fat content (Veldhorst et al., 2008). The glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is produced by the cleavage of pro-glucagon gene in the intestine. It acts as incretin at a pancreatic level, promoting insulin secretion and as neuro hormone on hypothalamic nuclei, inducing satiety (Valassi et al., 2008).
Also, when I read what you’re eating, that doesn’t seem like nearly enough!! I’m not one to promote counting calories, however, I do feel that it can be helpful to see if you are eating enough. That doesn’t sound like it’s even close to 2,500-3,000 calories. Yes, you read that right…2,500 – 3,000 calories!!! When we don’t eat enough, our metabolism slows and no matter what we do, we won’t lose weight.
Cyclical ketogenic diet: The Bulletproof Diet falls into this category. You eat high fat, low carb (less than 50 grams of net carbs a day) five to six days of the week. On day seven, you up your carb intake to roughly 150 grams, during what’s called a carb refeed day. Carb cycling this way helps you avoid the negative effects some people experience when they restrict carbs long term, like thyroid issues, fatigue and dry eyes.  Full ketosis isn’t for everyone, and adding carbs such as sweet potatoes, squash, and white rice one day a week keeps your body systems that need some amount of carbs functioning properly.
Many low-carbohydrate diets tout the benefits of being in a state of ketosis, which they claim results in weight loss. The idea is that by not eating enough carbohydrates to use as energy, your body will instead break down fat for energy. As a result, you will lose fat and weight. The idea of ketosis for weight loss, however, does not work as well in reality and comes with many health risks. Talk to your doctor before going on a diet that promotes ketosis.
In many developing countries, the ketogenic diet is expensive because dairy fats and meat are more expensive than grain, fruit and vegetables. The modified Atkins diet has been proposed as a lower-cost alternative for those countries; the slightly more expensive food bill can be offset by a reduction in pharmaceutical costs if the diet is successful. The modified Atkins diet is less complex to explain and prepare and requires less support from a dietitian.
Infants and patients fed via a gastrostomy tube can also be given a ketogenic diet. Parents make up a prescribed powdered formula, such as KetoCal, into a liquid feed. Gastrostomy feeding avoids any issues with palatability, and bottle-fed infants readily accept the ketogenic formula. Some studies have found this liquid feed to be more efficacious and associated with lower total cholesterol than a solid ketogenic diet. KetoCal is a nutritionally complete food containing milk protein and is supplemented with amino acids, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It is used to administer the 4:1 ratio classic ketogenic diet in children over one year. The formula is available in both 3:1 and 4:1 ratios, either unflavoured or in an artificially sweetened vanilla flavour and is suitable for tube or oral feeding. Other formula products include KetoVolve and Ketonia. Alternatively, a liquid ketogenic diet may be produced by combining Ross Carbohydrate Free soy formula with Microlipid and Polycose.
This makes it easy to eat less and lose excess weight – just don’t eat until you’re hungry. This makes intermittent fasting easy, super-charging efforts to reverse type 2 diabetes and speeding up weight loss. Plus, you’ll save tons of time and money by not having to snack all the time. Many people only feel the need to eat twice a day (often skipping breakfast), and some just once a day.
Fortunately, Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo had the same burning question. In 2017, they analyzed the data and published a meta-analysis of controlled feeding studies that compared diets of equal calorie and protein content with variations in carbohydrate and fat content.  By filtering out the diet data in this way, the researchers could finally find out whether restricting carbs or limiting calories is more important when it comes to weight loss.
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when ketone levels become too high and poison the body. This condition is more common in people with type 1 diabetes because their bodies don’t make insulin. In the event that their ketone level rises, their bodies are unable to produce insulin to slow down this production. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a diabetic coma or death.
If you would like to read more on ketogenic diets and ketosis, Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney discuss the new method of checking blood ketones in their book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance", and they also offer another good book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living", which is a good book for those who need an introduction to the science of ketogenic diets.
I don’t agree with this article completely. I’ve been Keto for a year and half and have kept off the 45 lbs I’ve lost. I’ve gained more muscle mass by lifting and take mineral supplements which I needed before as well. I’ve not purchased and if the Keto “stuff” everyone seems to be selling these days. I still love this way of eating since my intestinal issues after gone and I’m feeling great. It may seem like a fad and with that reach person needs to research very careful to what is healthy and what is not.
If you’ve cleared the approach with your healthcare team and weight loss is your ultimate goal, know that keto cycling won’t be nearly as effective as keto, Devine points out. “It can halt your weight loss by taking those days off because during that time you’re not going to be burning any fat and you could be putting more on,” she says. Kieffer adds that the results of keto cycling are never as dramatic as when the body is kept in a constant state of ketosis.
After increasing water intake and replacing electrolytes, it should relieve most all symptoms of Keto Flu. For an average person that is starting a ketogenic diet, eating 20-30g of net carbs a day, the entire adaptation process will take about 4-5 days. My advice is to cut your carbs to fewer than 15g to ensure that you are well on your way into ketosis within one week. If you are experiencing any more keto flu symptoms, double check your electrolyte intake and adjust.
I’ve been experimenting with MCT Oil Brain Octane. I have one questions. I’ve been eating about 20 – 25 gr. of carbs per day on a high fat, medium protein diet. I’m measuring ketones in the morning before taking the MCT and after. I’ve been taking btw. 1-2 tbsp of MCT Brain Octane with butter (Bulletproof coffee) – I measure again after 30 min., 1hr, 2 hrs. and don’t see a raise in my blood ketones. Anything I’m missing, would love to hear your thoughts, Ben. – Thx I’m measuring with Precision Xtra and Ketonix Red.
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.
If you’re serious about maximizing the benefits of ketosis, then forego coconut oil, MCT liquid oil, olive oil, etc. and instead use Brain Octane as your oil of choice for recipes like bulletproof coffee, or in teas, salad dressings, or as a sushi or entrée flavor enhancer. For a slightly less expensive, but not quite as effective form of MCT, use XCT oil.
Hello, I am doing IF 16:8 & my eating window is in the evening. I’m confused as to what to eat during those 8 hours. I’ve been eating 1 meal & a snack. Is this enough? I’ve been doing Keto dieting for 6 months. Initially lost 5 #. (Realize it was water #) Now I weigh more than I ever have, as of today!! Drink loads of water, eat healthy fats, mod protein & limited carbs, non processed. Can you help? Thanks!!
How It Works This is the most common approach to keto and involves sourcing 75 percent of calories from fat, 20 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbs. That means limiting carb intake to about 20 to 30 grams (g) of carbs per day, Shapiro says. It’s important to note that while this is the keto diet that most people follow, it’s not the original, or therapeutic, version of keto that an article in Canadian Family Physician shows can help children with epilepsy. That diet consists of slightly different percentages: 80 percent of calories from fat, 15 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbs.
Your glycogen stores can still be refilled while on a ketogenic diet. A keto diet is an excellent way to build muscle, but protein intake is crucial here. It’s suggested that if you are looking to gain mass, you should be taking in about 1.0 – 1.2g protein per lean pound of body mass. Putting muscle on may be slower on a ketogenic diet, but that’s because your total body fat is not increasing as much.5Note that in the beginning of a ketogenic diet, both endurance athletes and obese individuals see a physical performance for the first week of transition.
I started low carb to help reduce inflammation in my body. And have better mental clarity. Weight loss is an added benefit. I’ve only lost 25lb. since January, not a lot but ill take it. I found it too hard to track the amount of protein, carb, fats. I try to stay at 20g carb ,6 oz. Protein and fill in with buttered veg. Coconut oil MCT oil olive oil. So far I’m doing ok I think. Everyone needs to find what works for them.
Your body composition. Do you have a lot of fat to lose? How much muscle do you have? The people who have the most to lose will tend to shred the fat at a much faster rate than those who have a few extra pounds to burn off. This phenomenon is mostly explained by the fact that obese individuals can easily maintain a much larger calorie deficit, which will result in faster weight loss. Muscle mass also plays a vital role in weight loss because it helps keep your metabolic rate from dropping significantly as you lose weight. This can help stabilize your weight loss rate and may even prevent a dreaded weight loss plateau.
I also felt so much better. My body avhes and pains were i creasingly less i felt better, looked better and ate better. I didnt follow it to the tee though i ate low carbs and watched calories and fat intake and found that if i had a cheat day and ate carbs, i seeked to lose a few more pounds extra then normal. From your artical it sounds as though she really over did it on not eating carbs etc… maybe this is why your body reacted the way it did. I dont think thus should scare anyone away from Keto. I think each person needs to work keto diet the way they feel it works best for their body. I didnt monitor if I was in Ketosis or not., and I still lost weight fely great Nd my bloid work was awesome.
I'd recommend starting with glucose and hemoglobin A1C, along with a good multi like https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/multi and a fish oil like the one at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com – Anyways, 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.
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.
#3: Next, calculate your protein requirements. If you are active, Target 0.8-1.2 g of protein per pound of weight. This is a simplified version of a complex calculation you can do, which is dependent on your lean body mass, how active you are, etc. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you’ll wan to adjust this number down to more like 0.5-.6g per pound (consult the above calculator) You can multiply this by 4 to see how many calories total that would be.
Advocates for the diet recommend that it be seriously considered after two medications have failed, as the chance of other drugs succeeding is only 10%. The diet can be considered earlier for some epilepsy and genetic syndromes where it has shown particular usefulness. These include Dravet syndrome, infantile spasms, myoclonic-astatic epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex.
The ketogenic diet — a high-fat and very low-carb eating plan — can be tough to start. After all, it’s likely a radical departure from the way you’re eating now (a typical standard American diet is high in carbohydrates and processed foods). But many people are trying the keto diet, which puts your body in a state of ketosis. That's what happens when your body’s carb-burning switch flips to a fat-burning one, a change that can cause weight loss and has even been credited with controlling diabetes. (1)
This article is excellent and I’ve actually read it a few times just to make sure I’m absorbing as much as possible. With that said can we talk a bit about protein? Why does it seem like protein is taking a back seat? What about the athlete who needs to maintain and/or increase muscle mass. I don’t want to make any assumptions and with all the research I’ve done along with personal testing into Keto it just seems to me that protein and its benefits are not a discussion point in this diet. Why?
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.
Happy Transformation Tuesday 🤗🎉 I can honestly say a year ago, I never would’ve imagined surpassing my goal of a 50 lbs weight loss, but here I am 75 lbs lighter and feeling better than ever! The girl on the left was ashamed of her body and would cover it up to make sure no one would see it. The NEW girl on the right is confident, empowered, and STRONG! I feel so lucky to have a great support system around me and thank all of you who have reached out for advice or sent kind words 😊 Keep Calm and Keto On Friends! . . . #keto #ketoweightloss #ketotransformation #ketogenicdiet #ketodiet #ketogenic #ketosis #ketolife #weightlosstransformation #weightlossjourney #weightloss #fitness #fitnessjourney #stronger #lowcarb #lowcarbdiet #lowcarblifestyle #lchf #transformationtuesday #weightlosstransformation #transformation #losingweight #fitnessmotivation #fitchick #weightlossbeforeandafter #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #samebutdifferent #motivation #curves