Thanks for your comment. I would start by saying that I personally don’t like Maria Emmerich’s approach to Keto. She follows a VERY low calorie approach, which I find detrimental to women’s health overall. I do like Leanne Vogel’s approach better since it’s more flexible and she does want women to eat more in order to heal their bodies. You’re right, we need to find what works for us. I’m glad to hear keto has helped you. Will this approach work long term? Who knows. There are no long term studies done on keto, so that is yet to be known.
I totally agree with what you just wrote. I also follow Maria and Craig Emmerich. Science based, well regulated and truly a Ketogenic way of eating. So much misinformation on so many of the low carb websites and no science to back up their information. Three years Keto and didn’t do it for weight loss, I’ve always been thin and ate what is referred to as a healthy low fat diet till my insulin began sky rocketing into pre diabetes. This is not a diet, this a lifestyle. Calories in and calories out still mater. I count total carbs and stay at 25-30 total not net. If your trying to lose weight then fat is lever not a goal, you want to burn your own body fat, fat to feel full, that is all. Cheese and nuts are inflammatory for some and you will not lose weight till the inflammation is gone. High fat (only for those who have reached their goal weight), moderate protein (60-80 is the normal range for women) , low carb (under 30 total gram a day). I have never felt better or been healthier. Maybe not for everybody, perfect for me. Keto for life
As with any serious medical therapy, the ketogenic diet may have complications. These are generally less severe and less frequent than with anticonvulsant medication or surgery. Common but easily treatable short-term side effects include constipation, low-grade acidosis and hypoglycaemia if there is an initial fast. Raised levels of lipids in the blood affect up to 60% of children and cholesterol levels may increase by around 30%. This can be treated by changes to the fat content of the diet, such as from saturated fats towards polyunsaturated fats, and, if persistent, by lowering the ketogenic ratio. Supplements are necessary to counter the dietary deficiency of many micronutrients.
Though I do appreciate your perspective based on your own experience which is very important and valid both to yourself and others, I would suggest that you state that your experience is only a personal one and that it isn’t a fact that this will be the experience for someone who’s body is in ketosis. I have personal experience with friends and family who have not only completely turned their lives around Healthwise but have reversed diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lost over 70 pounds which is a lot more than water weight, and have reversed some of the effects of a six-year-old epileptic girl who was told that she would have the symptoms she’s been experiencing for the rest of her life which have stopped at five months after following a ketogenic diet. I love hearing other peoples stories and experiences but it is important to acknowledge how cutting out complex carbohydrates and Sugars can really benefit a person’s mental state and their lives in general. Regardless of what nutritionist are saying in any part of the world if you watch a documentary called the magic pill it should open up your mind a bit on how following a meat , healthy fats and plant-based diet is what nature had always intended for human consumption and it’s people who have come in and created our food pyramid with what was being produced massively in order for people to make money which is wheat. I just thought I’d share my two cents, good luck with everything!
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.
If you have high triglycerides and low HDL, or you have any type of genetic issue that would cause you to have high sensitivity to saturated fats then the diet may not actually be for you. I think you should start by reading this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/nutritio… If you prefer a more direct, customized approach, 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.
I appreciate you sharing your story. In this day and age Keto is the holy grail for some. There are those of us though that do not respond well. I’m one of them. I couldn’t lose weight, I didn’t feel good (and that was after the Keto “flu”) and my periods were coming every 2 weeks (I’m 48 and peri-menopausal). What I did find, after the same soul searching, was that I do have some sort of weird physical reaction to wheat in any form. If I avoid it, I feel better. Whatever works, we’re all unique and what works for one will not work for all. That’s my big take away. I can appreciate that people have had success but something about going THAT low in my carbs created a stress response in my body. Also, I was needing to use my emergency Xanax a whole lot more. Thanks again for sharing!
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.
I am new to Keto, but not new to a low carb diet. I just started a keto diet 8 days ago. My goals for being on the diet is a little body recomp (nothing major, a few pounds of fat loss), and moving to fat as primary fuel for endurance with a focus on trail ultra marathon races and training. Along with Keto I am doing heart rate training using MAF and OFM as a guide. supplemented with body weight and free weight strength training and some HITT.
Ketogenic diets have become popular in recent decades for their demonstrated positive effects on weight loss (Bueno et al., 2013), though the precise mechanism of action is not fully understood (Paoli, 2014). In fact there is contradictory data about KD in mice and rats. In fact, there are contradictory data about KD in mice and rats. For example whilst a huge amount of data confirm that KD in humans is effective in weight reduction, improving lipidemia and glucose tolerance (Bueno et al., 2013), it has been recently demonstrated that a long-term KD (22 weeks) caused dyslipidemia, a pro-inflammatory state, hepatic steatosis, glucose intolerance and a reduction in beta and alpha cell mass, all without weight loss in mice (Ellenbroek et al., 2014). Two considerations should be made: (1) the induction of ketosis and the response to ketosis in humans and mice are quite different and (2) mice and humans have different life spans, and results obtained in mice after several weeks on the diet can correspond to months on the diet in humans (Demetrius, 2005, 2006).
As a matter of fact, it’s more dangerous to have high levels of cholesterol and high levels of CRP than low levels of cholesterol and high levels of CRP – even if your high levels of cholesterol are “healthy”, big fluffy LDL particles, and not small, dense vLDL particles. In other words, no matter how many healthy fats you’re eating, these fats may actually come back to bite you if you’re creating high inflammation from too much exercise, not enough sleep, exposure to toxins and pollutants, or a high-stress lifestyle.
Ketosis could benefit patients with PD, as ketones provide an alternative energy source to the brain and also have antiinflammatory effects. Several research groups have shown that the ketogenic diet can have manifold beneficial effects in animal models of PD: alleviating motor symptoms, reducing inflammation, decreasing neuronal loss 61 ,62. Also, an in vitro model of PD (neurons in culture treated with a drug called MPTP) was used to demonstrate that addition of 4 mM of BHB was protective against neurodegeneration52. An early study of the ketogenic diet in PD patients reported very promising results: patients improved their clinical PD ‘score,’ as classified by factors including tremor, balance and mood 63. Whilst there are promising results, further clinical studies are required to demonstrate if the ketogenic diet or exogenous ketones (either alone or in combination) are a tolerable and efficacious intervention for PD.
Protein: Keep in mind that keto is high-fat, and not high-protein, so you don’t need to eat very much meat. Too much protein turns into glucose in the body, making it harder to stay in ketosis. Stick to fatty cuts of grass-fed, pasture-raised, or wild meat, and wild-caught fish. Red meats, offal/organ meats, pork, eggs (preferably pastured), fish, shellfish, and whey protein concentrate.
To put it another way, the ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to “hack” our brain and food environment so that we naturally eat fewer calories and lose weight. What is even more interesting is that this isn’t the only reason why many people find weight loss success with keto. By restricting carbs, we also unlock the weight loss boosting benefits of ketones.
The keto diet is known for helping people lose a few pounds very quickly, says Becky Kerkenbush, RD, a clinical dietitian at Watertown Regional Medical Center. Carbs hold on to more water than protein or fat, so when you stop eating them, your body releases all that extra H2O by making you pee more. As a result, the scale might read a few pounds lower, and you may look a bit leaner.
It is known that different dietary components exert some effects on gut microbiome composition, mainly in relation to obesity and inflammatory states. In general, a Mediterranean diet has a positive effect while a high-protein diet seems to have detrimental effects due to putrefaction phenomena (Lopez-Legarrea et al., 2014; Flint et al., 2015). Few data are available at this time about the effects of KD on gut microbiota. For example, a study by Crawford et al. (2009) investigated the regulation of myocardial ketone body metabolism by the gut microbiota and demonstrated that, during fasting, the presence of gut microbiota improved the supply of ketone bodies to the heart where KBs were oxidized. In the absence of a microbiota, low levels of KB was associated with a related increase in glucose utilization, but heart weight was still significantly reduced. The myocardial-mass reduction was completely reversed in germ-free mice feeded with a ketogenic diet. Regarding food control we can hypothesize that the particular metabolic state of ketosis could provide some benefit to weight and food control via synergic actions between butyrate production by gut bacteria and circulating high blood ketones (Sanz et al., 2015).
Therefore the combustion enthalpy (∆H) of each fuel is an important factor in the energy it can provide to the cell. When expressed as the energy per 2 carbons in the molecule, ketones (BHB) have a higher combustion enthalpy (∆H) than pyruvate, lactate and glucose (see table). This means that the amount of energy that could possibly be transferred to ATP is higher than for those other substrates:
The current hypothesis is that the brain functions differently on ketones than on glucose, and this is what causes certain brains to reduce epileptic seizures. I would then also hypothesize that certain people who feel that “brain fog” lifted on ketosis is due to either placebo effect OR their brain actually functioning differently on ketones vs glucose.
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.
The investigators found that this was because ketone metabolism resulted in greater “free energy per ATP molecule” (G). ATP is adenosine triphosphate and is the "energy currency" of biology. The “free energy” (∆G) of ATP represents how much potential energy is stored in each ATP molecule, and this value can shift slightly depending on the conditions inside the cell. The more negative the value of the ‘free energy’ of ATP, the more potential to do work the ATP molecule has.
Dieters and healthy eaters are programmed to get vegetables at every meal in order to reach their daily plant quota, but Mancinelli says the cumulative total can blow through your daily net carbs. “They have vegetables in their breakfast omelet, big salads, snack on celery and carrot sticks, and have big sides of leafy greens in place of rice at dinner,” she says. “The carbs in all those vegetables add up. A few carbs here and there with cheese, nuts, and seeds, and you can really miss the mark for ketosis.” Start smart by cooking with these low-carb vegetables.
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!
Yancy WS Jr, Westman EC, McDuffie JR, Grambow SC, Jeffreys AS, Bolton J, Chalecki A, Oddone EZ, “A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet vs orlistat plus a lowfat diet for weight loss,” Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jan 25;170(2):136-45. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20101008?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=2.
To prove this point, they knew full well they had to have a lower osmolarity than their competition. So, Gaspari spent the money and had their competitors’ products tested at a 3rd party laboratory to see where they stood. With some fine tuning using Osm Technology, Glycofuse is proven to have outstanding osmolality compared to just about every product on the market, including the biggest brands out there.
I have read your article and lots of other stuff on Keto, but I still don’t understand why it has to be so high in fat? I am on a calorie controlled diet which should also be pushing me into ketosis (Optifast + veges) nutritionist suggestion to go hard for a month. But after that was looking at moving to a Ketogenic diet. I am just having a hard time with understanding why it has to be high fat. Can you help me understand? Also love your writing style (particularly referencing Ace Ventura).
Pretty soon, I became scared to eat too much protein for fear that it would turn into sugar via gluconeogenesis. I became scared of fruit and many vegetables. I became scared to eat out for fear of things being cooked in unhealthy oils. I didn’t celebrate my kid’s birthdays with pizza and cake because God forbid I eat that many carbs and get kicked out of ketosis. I became obsessed with tracking my fat intake and trying to get it lower and lower, spending so much time planning my day so I would never go over that 5% carb intake. I started losing energy. I got really, really bloated and couldn’t figure out why.
In addition, most studies that compare carbohydrate utilization with fat utilization fail to take into account the fact that full “fat adaptation” that allows you to gain all the benefits of using fat as a fuel actually takes time – often more than four weeks – and up to a couple years. But since most studies that compare fat and carbohydrate burning are short-term, you rarely see the benefits of this kind of fat adaptation actually fleshed out in research. Instead, the average research participant begins the study in a non-fat adapted state, gets either a high fat or high carb diet, then launches into exercise. But in an ideal study, that person would have followed either a high-fat or high-carb diet for many months before getting their fat burning capability investigated.
Lasty, why are you doing keto? Because a friend did it? Everyone is different. Keto didn’t work for me (and doesn’t work for most people in the long run.) High carb works much better for me. I suggest listening to your body and letting it guide you in your food choices. You will end up much happier. It starts with learning to love yourself as you are. If you don’t, you’ll never be happy, no matter what weight you are.
So how does our body make ketones out of the stored fat? First blood sugar and insulin have to be low enough to allow access to stored fat. If they are, stored fat (in the form of triglyceride) can be mobilized as a fuel source. A substance called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) breaks the triglyceride compound down into one glycerol molecule and 3 fatty acid molecules. These fatty acid molecules come in various lengths of carbon based chains.
You probably expect to see results with keto quickly. Many keto eaters lose a lot of water weight rapidly after beginning this diet. Without carbs to maintain your glycogen (energy) stores, your body burns through them and dumps all the water they hold. That’s the “water weight” you will rapidly lose in the early days of a keto diet. “We see people quitting before they feel all the benefits of being a fat-burning machine. Some quit even as soon as the first week,” Santo says. That’s often the result of keto flu, a temporary condition that many keto eaters experience as their body transitions natural energy sources. Keto flu symptoms include mood swings, nausea, headaches, sluggishness, and more. “Many people do not realize that keto leads to fundamental changes in how the body operates,” says Dr. Metzagar.
Because the ketogenic diet alters the body's metabolism, it is a first-line therapy in children with certain congenital metabolic diseases such as pyruvate dehydrogenase (E1) deficiency and glucose transporter 1 deficiency syndrome, which prevent the body from using carbohydrates as fuel, leading to a dependency on ketone bodies. The ketogenic diet is beneficial in treating the seizures and some other symptoms in these diseases and is an absolute indication. On the other hand, it is absolutely contraindicated in the treatment of other diseases such as pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, porphyria and other rare genetic disorders of fat metabolism. A person with a disorder of fatty acid oxidation is unable to metabolise fatty acids, which replace carbohydrates as the major energy source on the diet. On the ketogenic diet, their body would consume its own protein stores for fuel, leading to ketoacidosis, and eventually coma and death.
The researchers agree that the diet itself isn’t inherently dangerous. But, cautions Weiss, “If you have any medical condition, if you take any medicine at all – there are lots of things that change how medicines work in our bodies, and nutrition is definitely one of them. If you’re making a real change in your nutrition, you really should talk to your doctor.”
Ketone breath meters: The breath test method, where you blow into a meter, measures acetone levels in the breath. Acetones are one of three types of water-soluble ketone molecules; and in this type of test, the more you have, the farther you are into ketosis. Breath meters are more accurate than urine strips in determining whether you’re in ketosis or not.
L-glutamine is an amino acid with many functions in your body including acting as a powerful antioxidant[*][*]. Research shows that L-glutamine can help stabilize blood glucose levels[*] and has been recommended to help reduce sugar cravings. Supplementing with L-glutamine (about ½-1 teaspoon powdered form or 500 mg dose) may help in reducing carb/sugar cravings and aid in your ketogenic weight-loss journey.