So I slowly began cutting back on the amount of fat I was eating and adding in more carbohydrates. Foods I had missed so much like yams, potatoes, rice, fruit, whole wheat bread became part of my every day eating. I started eating out again. I started enjoying pizza and cake with my family again. I stopped tracking my macros. I gained more energy. My bloating went away. But most importantly, I started loving myself again.
Thanks so much for the reply! One more question about the LivingFuel SuperGreens…I had very bad GI issues with VEGA Protein in 2011 when I tried it (quit after half a container), which scared me away from the vegetarian proteins with greens in them. Is this drastically different from VEGA? Or seeing that pea is the primary source of protein should I look towards something else? Thanks again!
Acetyl-CoA can be metabolized through the TCA in any cell, but it can also undergo a different process in liver cells: ketogenesis, which produces ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are also produced in mitochondria, and usually occur in response to low blood glucose levels. When glucose levels are low, oxaloacetate is diverted away from the TCA cycle and is instead used to produce glucose de novo (gluconeogenesis). But when oxaloacetate is unavailable to condense with acetyl-CoA, acetyl-CoA cannot enter the cycle, and so the body has evolved an alternative way to harvest energy from it.
We can say that no species, including humans, could have survived for millions of years without the ability to withstand brief periods of hunger or starvation (Amen-Ra, 2006). These periods of fasting are themselves ketogenic (McCue, 2010) during which the concentrations of insulin and glucose decrease while that of glucagon increases in the attempt to maintain normal blood glucose levels. When the body passes from a condition of food abundance to one of deprivation (or else via VLCKD simulated deprivation), there is, with a slight delay, an increase in the concentration of free FAs as well as KB in the blood. Thus, from this point of view KD could be compared to caloric restriction for fasting. These manipulations of nutrients, both in quantity and quality, seem to not only act on blood glucose/KB level but also to promote changes in metabolic pathways and cellular signaling. How this kind of metabolic condition (ketosis) can affect satiety and hunger mechanisms is still a matter of debate.
On the ketogenic diet I feel very shaky/anxious from when I wake up til about noon. Eating doesn’t really help. It could be electrolyte related but seems possibly more related to excess cortisol/adrenaline as noon is also when I start to crash and get tired on a more normal diet, and because those 3 am awakenings that worsen simultaneously in ketosis seem to also have to do with HPA axis stuff. Does this side effect potentially also have to do with my fasting blood sugar being elevated?
Here's what I learned about the keto diet: You essentially swap a high-carb diet, which most Americans tend to eat, for a diet that's very high in fat (the healthy kinds), moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. The idea is that you change the source from which your body gets its energy (and burns calories) from glucose (from carbohydrates) to ketones (from fat). This shift doesn't happen after one bulletproof coffee, though. It usually takes a few days of eating this way for your body to reach ketosis—where it's looking to fat as its first source of fuel. Once there, though, your body "will be burning fat all the time," says Dr. Axe. "It doesn't matter if you're working out or sleeping, or what you're doing, your body continues to burn fat in ketosis."
Brain glucose and KB uptake was investigated in rats subjected to mild experimental ketonemia induced by 2 weeks on the KD or by 48 h fasting. To test this, researchers developed a carbon-11 labeled AcAc (11)C-AcAc for PET use. They found in rats that after 10 days of KD (11)C-AcAc brain uptake increased up to 8-fold, an increase comparable to those measured after 48 h of fasting (Pifferi et al., 2008).
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.
The state of ketosis occurs when ketone bodies, which are actually three biochemicals -- acetone, acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid -- build up in your bloodstream. Your body needs carbohydrates to fully break down fat, so a lack of carbohydrates in your diet leads to ketosis. It is normal for the body to produce small amounts of ketone bodies, but when placed in a state of starvation, the liver produces ketone bodies from fatty acids to nourish essential organs like the brain and heart. The excess acetone is excreted in the urine and producing the characteristic sweet breath often found in diabetics
Don’t stop tracking your ketones when you’re trying to lose weight. An excellent way to keep your ketone levels up is taking exogenous ketones. Just put a scoop in your favorite drink to get back into ketosis — it’s easy and delicious. If you want more keto food inspo, follow Perfect Keto founder Dr. Anthony Gustin (@dranthonygustin). This is how he mixed his iced green tea with Peach & Cream exogenous ketones:
Long story short I’ve had the most terrible diet and mindset about food of anyone you’ve ever met my entire life. It consisted of pretty much only carbs. After studying them I’ve realized that it’s the reason that I got so big.. 570 at my known largest when I was weighed in the hospital. First time seeing a doctor in over 20 years. I bought a scale and tried random diets but couldn’t keep to them. I stayed at 530 ish for a year.
First, decide if you need to check ketones. Amy Berger of Tuit Nutrition has a great post here to help you decide. If, after reading that, you still want to check your ketone levels, there are several ways to check them. You can buy Bayer ketone stix, and check the levels of ketones in your urine. Or you can use a blood ketone meter. The Precision Xtra has been the one to use until just recently. The problem is that this meter is hard to find, as the manufacturer Abbott keeps changing the name. The strips are even harder to find and buy.
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 remaining calories in the keto diet come from protein — about 1 gram (g) per kilogram of body weight, so a 140-pound woman would need about 64 g of protein total. As for carbs: “Every body is different, but most people maintain ketosis with between 20 and 50 g of net carbs per day,” says Mattinson. Total carbohydrates minus fiber equals net carbs, she explains.
That’s when I realized that I had to address my own desires and cravings and effectively re-train my entire psyche before I could approach any sort of program. I seriously tried everything I could think of and, living in LA at the time, there were more crackpot theories, “experts,” specialists, et al than I could have ever imagined. It became ridiculous pretty quickly and I realized that absolutely ALL the work that needed to be done could only be done internally and by absolutely nobody but myself. I began juicing and fell in love with it. My obsessive nature with regard to experiencing food was replaced with an obsession for juicing, different recipes, different combinations of ingredients, different methods of juice extraction, etc… Guess what happened? Exactly… I took it too far… It became a new addiction and like any addiction, it was costing me way too much money. Literally, by absolute chance, I had a meeting that was scheduled to take place at a tea shop I’d never heard of before in Santa Monica. I dug the place and it was close to home so once again my obsessive nature kicked in and I quickly became a regular. As such, I became friends with the owner and came to learn about their lives which included the fact that the owner was a 3rd generation herbalist whose family had been somewhat prolific in China before coming to the States. Surprise! I became obsessed again. I wanted to know all I could possibly learn. The problem is that there are, apparently, a lot of “secrets” in their world. Understood. No questions asked… take all my money because I feel so great coming here and I have no cravings for any foods I ever obsessed over.
Rami co-founded Tasteaholics with Vicky at the start of 2015 to master the art of creating extremely delicious food while researching the truth behind nutrition, dieting and overall health. You can usually find him marketing, coding or coming up with the next crazy idea because he can’t sit still for too long. His favorite book is The 4-Hour Workweek and artist is Infected Mushroom.
2) I'm currently using Ketocana and in that section you state "Similar to the BHB salts and MCT’s from the KETO//OS I discuss above, powdered forms of ketones are excellent if you don’t want to completely eliminate carbohydrates or fat or eat copious amounts of fats, but want to simultaneously maintain high levels of blood ketones." – How would eating copious amounts of fat be a negative? Wouldn't that help contribute to a ketogenic state?
Is it recommended to calculate our macros using the method suggested in the article to calculate yourself or by using the linked calculator? I get two different sets of numbers and am not sure which might be the better version. The main difference is amount of caloris and amount of protein to consume. The calculator gives me about 300 less calories, about the same amount of fat and carbs, but about 40 less protein than when I calculate myself.
Additionally, they remarked that “concerns about adverse metabolic effects of the Atkins diet were not substantiated within the 12-month study period.”  They acknowledged that more research needs to be done on the long-term effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health especially on men. However, their study supports the idea that a low-carbohydrate diet can help you lower body mass and body fat better than higher-carbohydrate alternatives.
Anecdotally speaking, people do lose weight on the keto diet. Heather Wharton, a 35-year-old business relationship manager from Tampa, Florida, lost 140 pounds since starting the keto diet in January 2016: “I plan on being on the keto diet for the rest of my life,” says Wharton. “My husband and I consider ourselves to be food addicts, and the keto diet is what we use as a form of abstinence from trigger foods that have sugar and other carbohydrates." A typical day of eating for Wharton includes coffee with a protein supplement, a cup of unsweetened cashew milk, cauliflower rice with ground turkey and liquid aminos (a carb-free substitute for soy sauce), spinach, six slices of turkey bacon, six eggs, and a little salsa.
Whilst the diet is broadly acknowledged to be safe strategy where medications have failed, side effects such as kidney stones, hyperlipidemia and can occur47. Furthermore, maintaining dietary adherence in young school age children can be very challenging for caregivers. Exogenous ketones may be an alternative or a adjunct to the ketogenic diet in epilepsy. Early work suggests that exogenous ketones could have antiseizure effects. Injection of the ketones acetoacetate and acetone have been found to have anticonvulsant properties in animal models48, and an acetoacetate diester was found to protect against seizures in rats exposed to high levels of oxygen49. Further studies are required to understand specifically how ketone bodies affect seizure control, however for children who experience daily seizures a combination of the ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones could be helpful to manage their condition.
But all those studies were very small, and not all research on the keto diet is as promising. One American Society for Clinical Nutrition study of 20 participants found that those on the diet didn’t lose more weight than those on a non-keto diet. But they did have fouler moods and higher levels of inflammation, which has been linked to a variety of conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
Ketosis is a metabolic state where most of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis where blood glucose provides most of the energy. Ketosis is characterized by serum blood concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 millimolar with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. However, with ketone supplementation (as you’ll learn about later in this article) ketosis can actually be induced even when there are high levels of blood glucose.
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.
Apparently, Dominic’s research seems to be suggesting the fact that diet-induced ketosis from a high-fat, low-carb intake, especially when combined with the use of nutrition supplements such as powdered ketones or MCT oil, can vastly reduce the need for the brain to use oxygen to burn glucose. This is because the brain can use up to around 75% of its fuel from ketones. So a ketone-fed or a fat-adapted brain can be better equipped to withstand low oxygen availability and potentially support longer breath-hold times. Dominic’s research also shows that in the presence of ketosis, the brain and body are able to resist the potential cell damage of long periods of time with low oxygen, also known as “hypoperfusion”.
Lower HbA1c: HbA1c is an abbreviation for ‘glycosylated hemoglobin.’ Hemoglobin is a protein inside red blood cells, this means it is always exposed to the substances that circulate in the blood (i.e glucose). When glucose levels are high, glucose can bind to hemoglobin (i.e it becomes glycoyslated). As red blood cells survive inside the body for 100-120 days, the amount of glyosylated hemoglobin is a good indicator of long term glucose control. The healthy limit for HbA1C is below 5.7% (Source: WebMD).
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.
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.
I enjoyed this article. My whole family has been on keto for a few months now. My husband started earlier that we did. We all enjoy this way of eating. But I do believe that Keto is not for everyone. I have type 2 diabetes and my doc actually recommends this way of eating and she also practices it. We are not strict and we have all lost weight and are feeling better. But with that being said if I want to eat a few French fries or take a bit of my bun from my burger I do. And when my daughters bday comes up soon I will have cake and I’m gonna eat a piece and enjoy every bite.
I started with completely cutting sugar. This was after B.Cancer. Also estrogen caused I decided to cut carbs to loose body fat which produces estrogen. I kept carbs to 15-20 grams. I researched and learned alot about research, nutrition and health. Primarily it gave me some semblance of control over the Russian Roulette that is cancer, chemo and radiation which all take a mighty toll on your body and mind. It has been 2 years of low carb and intermittent fasting. I have introduced a few seasonal foods, I eat chocolate, and the occasional celebratory cake. Just a bite or 2 not a huge serving. There are several alternative treats that are yummy and satisfying. Not a struggle. I am 67, lost specific fat that I could never shed even on the best eating plan. Belly fat especially. I am 3 years post and hope to live many more years.
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.
In this study by Dr. Dominic D’Agostino it is also mentioned that your blood brain barrier (BBB) “is relatively impermeable to most hydrophilic substances, such as ketone bodies. Therefore, the transport of ketones across the BBB is highly dependent on specific carrier-mediated facilitated transport by a family of proton-linked monocarboxylic acid transporters”. Basically, what this means is that MCT powder may act as a carrier to shuttle the ketone bodies across the BBB.
Your current health status. Your overall health plays a major role in how fast you will lose weight and adapt to a lower carb diet. If you have any hormonal or metabolic issues, weight loss might be slower or a bit more challenging than expected. Insulin resistance, excess visceral fat, and thyroid issues, for example, can all have a significant impact on your weight loss rate.
Ketone esters (BHB-BD) lowers glycogen use30. During exercise, the muscle breaks down stored carbohydrate (glycogen) to provide a fuel for the working muscle. When a ketone ester drink was taken pre-workout, the muscle used far less glycogen compared to when the pre-workout drink contained carbohydrate. The high levels of blood ketones meant that the muscle used ketones as a fuel before needing to use glycogen. Reducing reliance on muscle glycogen could improve performance and decrease the time for muscle glycogen to fully recover between exercise bouts.
Physicians of ancient Greece treated diseases, including epilepsy, by altering their patients' diet. An early treatise in the Hippocratic Corpus, On the Sacred Disease, covers the disease; it dates from c. 400 BC. Its author argued against the prevailing view that epilepsy was supernatural in origin and cure, and proposed that dietary therapy had a rational and physical basis.[Note 3] In the same collection, the author of Epidemics describes the case of a man whose epilepsy is cured as quickly as it had appeared, through complete abstinence of food and drink.[Note 4] The royal physician Erasistratus declared, "One inclining to epilepsy should be made to fast without mercy and be put on short rations."[Note 5] Galen believed an "attenuating diet"[Note 6] might afford a cure in mild cases and be helpful in others.
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.
I have never been able to fix the electrolyte loss symptoms I get on the ketogenic diet (heart palpitations, dry mouth, air hunger) by supplementing with electrolytes. Blogosphere says that is just the transition, but mine seem to only get worse over time. I’ve tried about 2 grams of extra potassium, 800 mg extra magnesium, and 3 grams extra salt (in addition to my already liberally salted foods) spread throughout the day. This did not help. Also does eating salt alone cause you to retain water and therefore retain the rest of the electrolytes without supplementing them?
Wow! Such an informative article! A lot to take in! Loving that you mentioned the KETO//OS! I’ve actually lost 10 lbs in 3 weeks! Kinda cool. I haven’t heard of the other products but I’m excited the check them out! Also, the breath tool is new to me. Thank you! If anyone wants to checkout my testimonial with epilepsy, weight loss on the KETO//OS you can read it here: http://bit.ly/keto-os
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.
Same here, been low carb/keto fir almost 6 months, noticed energy levels increased. I started for medical reasons, I have brain cancer with seizures, I have not had any seizures at all since starting this. For me, if I don’t lose anymore (I have lost 25 lbs), and I could stand to lose about 25 more, but I am 64 and it’s harder lose those pounds, or I could be at my set point…
Cancer is a broad term that refers to the presence of abnormal cells in the body that have the potential to grow and spread to other sites in the body. Cancer develops over time as cells acquire defects that affect their function, growth, proliferation and metabolism. Recently a list of ‘Hallmarks of Cancer’ was proposed by some of the leading investigators, Hannahan and Weinburg90 . These hallmarks include:
I’m glad I came across this post. One of my friends was advised to do Keto by her doctor due to insulin resistance and was talking about how much weight she has lost in a very short time period and I thought maybe it would be worthwhile to try myself for at least a jumpstart to weight loss. The more I read about the diet, the more concerned I was that eating that much fat would be detrimental to me because my cholesterol is slightly higher than normal, my family has a history of heart disease, and I had my gallbladder removed two years ago. It seems that after reading this post, my concerns may have been warranted. I’m glad to see something to balance out all of the positive press that keto seems to be receiving these days and give an alternate point of view. I’ll keep looking for a balanced diet that will work for me. Thank you.
At the beginning of the year I was counting calories, I was losing weight but I was eating the same thing....every day....never deviating. I lasted 4 months. The lowest I ever hit was 325, starting from 347. I mean that is not bad, and I was losing weight, but I was so bored with my food. Since starting Keto, I am already down to 328 IN TWO WEEKS. I am shocked. I had to have my wife hide the scale, because I kept standing on it not believing what I was seeing. I am eating so well right now.