There are three instances where there’s research to back up a ketogenic diet, including to help control type 2 diabetes, as part of epilepsy treatment, or for weight loss, says Mattinson. “In terms of diabetes, there is some promising research showing that the ketogenic diet may improve glycemic control. It may cause a reduction in A1C — a key test for diabetes that measures a person’s average blood sugar control over two to three months — something that may help you reduce medication use,” she says.
I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever. Your mother can avoid the "keto flu" by adding sufficient sodium to her diet and staying well hydrated, especially in the first few days of starting to reduce carbohydrates. The keto flu could also be called “carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms” because of the effects on hormonal and electrolyte balance. If you're not already using a device to measure ketones in your body, I recommend this one: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketonix As far as how much to take, it all depends….you can actually do more than two servings per day if you want, and you can experiment to see how many servings your body should handle. You should know that it would be very difficult to overdose on ketones. They are water soluble, so any excess ketones will be eliminated mainly via the urine. Hope this helps!
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.
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. :)
Ketone bodies are acidic, but acid-base homeostasis in the blood is normally maintained through bicarbonate buffering, respiratory compensation to vary the amount of CO2 in the bloodstream, hydrogen ion absorption by tissue proteins and bone, and renal compensation through increased excretion of dihydrogen phosphate and ammonium ions. Prolonged excess of ketone bodies can overwhelm normal compensatory mechanisms, defined as acidosis if blood pH falls below 7.35.
Over the last few months, we have interviewed five people who have used the keto diet to each lose over 100 pounds. They shared with us the different kinds of life changing habits they developed along their keto journeys - the habits that kept the weight off. How do they deal with cravings? What was the hardest part? When did they decide to make a change? What do they eat every day? Listen to the interviews over at the Keto For Normies Podcast or stay and read them here!
We will then act out our ancestral programming by eating the most calorie dense foods (i.e., pizza, french fries, cookies, cakes, etc.) and eating much more of those foods then what our body needs to energize itself until the next meal. This results in a vicious cycle of overeating and weight gain with the subconscious intention to prepare us for famine — famine that never comes.
I have lost 5lbs so far, but what I have gained is beyond measure. I have been reading, learning and listening to so many theories that Jen has led me to. I was mad as I found out more and more about what I thought I knew about diets and was completely wrong and causing damage to my body. I was nervous to try new ways of eating, but now I’m happy to be learning and changing. I am still learning better ways to exercise and trying to pay attention to how food makes me feel. The accountability and motivation from others has been wonderful! Dana Z
I had the same experience as you with Keto. I lost over 40 lbs. but did not have any energy and I did not have the carefree enjoyment of my life with family, friends, or myself. Was not for me either. I still eat healthy as I am a critical care nurse and I workout 5-6 days a week. There is much less stress without Keto in my life and most definitely much more healthy foods and higher spirits! 🙂
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.
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.
If I see a TSH above 2.0 or a trend towards higher values in someone who is testing repeatedly, I get worried – and prefer to see TSH at 0.5-2.0. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you begin to shove carbohydrates indiscriminately down the hatch. However, it means that your high-fat, low-carb diet should include thyroid supporting foods rich in iodine and selenium, such as sea vegetables and brazil nuts, and should also include carbohydrates timed properly, such as before, during or after workouts, when the carbohydrate is more likely to be utilized for energy and less likely to spike blood glucose levels.
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!
After that happened, I set out once again to find some kind of carbohydrate source that allows one to maintain elevated liver glycogen and muscle glycogen stores without getting all the blood-sugar level roller coaster rides or gut rot and fermentation that many typical sports nutrition carbohydrate sources such as fructose and maltodextrin can cause.
Check the nutrition labels on all your products to see if they’re high in carbs. There are hidden carbs in the unlikeliest of places (like ketchup and canned soups). Try to avoid buying products with dozens of incomprehensible ingredients. Less is usually healthier.Always check the serving sizes against the carb counts. Manufacturers can sometimes recommend inconceivably small serving sizes to seemingly reduce calorie and carb numbers.
“When the body is in ketosis, it lowers the blood pH level, causing the blood to become acidic. To counter this, the body takes calcium away from the bones,” she says. “The increased acidity in the body also increases uric acid, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones.” Therefore, it goes without saying that due to the stress an extremely low-carb diet can have on the body, those with kidney damage shouldn’t try to achieve ketosis or attempt the ketogenic diet. (10)
Ketone ester drinks can improve performance30. When taken with pre-exercise carbohydrates, a BHB-butanediol (BHB-BD) ketone ester allowed cyclists to ride 2-3% further in a 30 minute time trial than with carbohydrate alone. This is likely to be a combination effect of: Ketones themselves being a highly efficient fuel and improving muscle efficiency. Fuel availability is a key determinant of performance. By increasing the availability of an alternative fuel (ketones) during exercise this spares muscle carbohydrate stores for later in the exercise bout meaning more is available for the end of the test.
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.
When you burn key tones as a funeral, whether they are from a supplement or whether they are the ones that your body makes, you do indeed become more efficient utilizing ketones. So that is one advantage. You are correct in that if you simply use these and you do not restrict carbohydrate intake then you're not going to get quite as much benefit. I am a fan of combining these with intermittent fasting, MCT oil, and a high-fat diet.
If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin.
Pro Tip: Kick-start ketosis with a teaspoon or two of MCT oil or Brain Octane Oil. MCT oils are medium-chain triglyceride fats that bypass the lymphatic system entirely and are uniquely absorbed by the liver in much the same way as carbs. In the liver, they are quickly converted into ketone bodies rather than glucose (carbs), so they’ll expedite the keto process.
Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show specific very-low-carb diets help people with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Researchers are also studying the effects of these diets on acne, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and nervous system diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's disease.
Also, take special note of sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and isomalt. Sugar alcohols are derived from plant products (ie., fruits and berries), though their carbs are uniquely altered through chemical processing. While sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than table sugar, people often overeat them because they are labeled as “sugar-free” or “no sugar added” foods. This is problematic because they can still spike blood glucose levels due to their carb content. You still need to account for them in your diet plan. Your best bet is to go with erythritol because it doesn’t cause blood sugar or insulin spikes.
A high proportion of energy from ketone oxidation is transferred to the electron transport chain at the start (as NADH+), in comparison to the energy from fat, where a high proportion is transferred ‘downstream’ (as FADH). This means that, even though there is a high amount of ‘potential energy’ in a fat molecule, less of this can be transferred to ATP.
About 20% of children on the ketogenic diet achieve freedom from seizures, and many are able to reduce the use of anticonvulsant drugs or eliminate them altogether. Commonly, at around two years on the diet, or after six months of being seizure-free, the diet may be gradually discontinued over two or three months. This is done by lowering the ketogenic ratio until urinary ketosis is no longer detected, and then lifting all calorie restrictions. This timing and method of discontinuation mimics that of anticonvulsant drug therapy in children, where the child has become seizure free. When the diet is required to treat certain metabolic diseases, the duration will be longer. The total diet duration is up to the treating ketogenic diet team and parents; durations up to 12 years have been studied and found beneficial.
Thank you soooooo much for your blog! I’m 35 and have struggled with loving myself and food now for over 20 years. I eat because I have to, not because I want to. I could go all day without even realizing I haven’t had anything to eat. I looked into maybe starting this diet, just to see if there was any benefits to it. After reading your blog I have realized how dangerous it could be for me.
A systematic review in 2018 looked at sixteen studies on the ketogenic diet in adults. It concluded that the treatment was becoming more popular for that group of patients, that the efficacy in adults was similar to children, the side effects relatively mild. However, many patients gave up with the diet, for various reasons, and the quality of evidence inferior to studies on children. Health issues include high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high total cholesterol, and weight loss.
Devine says not to jump right into keto cycling. “I would definitely not try keto cycling until you’re about two to three months into your keto diet,” she says. “That's because you need to make sure your body is fat adapted so that it can get back into ketosis easily.” In her practice, Devine has noticed that if the body is used to being in ketosis, it’ll snap back more quickly after eating a carb-heavy meal than if a person is new to keto, though there’s no firm research to support that this is always the case.
Your daily habits. Your daily habits will make or break your weight loss efforts. Consistency is the key to keto success. Are you eating clean keto foods or high-fat junk foods with low-quality ingredients? Are you watching out for hidden carbs? Are you exercising? Eating the right foods in the right amounts for your goals and adding more physical activity to your daily life are the most important pieces of a smooth and successful body transformation.
I'm not usually a fan of prescribed "diets"—I live by more of the anti-diet mantra. Call me jaded, but the word "diet" has a bit of a negative connotation these days, with "fad" and "restrictive" usually preceding it. So, when I had the chance to give Dr. Axe's new Keto360 program a two-week test run, I did some serious digging on the ketogenic diet and whether it's healthy.
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.
Ketogenic diets are, however, a well-established way to help control Type 2 diabetes, and the plan has for nearly 100 years been used to reduce instances of childhood epileptic seizures. Some scientists also think the high-fat diet may hold promise for staving off Alzheimer's, and there are some early indications it might help improve certain cancer treatment outcomes when used in conjunction with drugs. (Harper is part of a research team investigating how the diet might help boost treatment among people with breast cancer.)
Some people believe elite athletes benefit from keto cycling because their bodies use extra carbohydrates as energy to power through difficult workouts and races. After all, research shows that following the strict keto diet impairs exercise performance. A 2017 study published in The Journal of Physiology found keto hurts athletic performance more than a high-carbohydrate diet or one that includes periods of high carbs and low carbs (which is similar to keto cycling).
After receiving Keto Comfort Foods as a gift from a friend that knew we were “doing Keto,” I was inspired to get this “how” and “why” book to get back on track. First, I just love the recipes in the Comfort Foods book—every one we’ve tried has been a big hit. So I’m planning to get more of her recipe books—they all look awesome! The “Dairy-Free” and “Restaurant Favorites” are next on my list.
The trick with the rice is to find a substitute, and we’ve already looked at cauliflower rice. Avoid over grating your cauliflower. You don’t want it so fine that it is a fine powder for this dish. It still needs to have a rice texture. You will also need to add some cream cheese to the cauliflower to work for this rice substitute. Otherwise you’ll just get the cauliflower everywhere!
Armed with the 411 on how the keto diet works, I felt encouraged and relieved. The concept is rooted in nutrition- and weight-loss science. And from my initial conversations with Dr. Axe, I liked knowing that ketogenic diet results are always meant to be time-bound—eating this way is not a lifestyle and that makes sense. You may have heard that the keto diet was ranked last in the U.S. News & World Report's 2018 list of the best and the worst diets. While I embarked on this journey before that news came out, I would have given the keto diet a try regardless. Part of the criteria for that ranked list was whether a diet was sustainable and easy to follow—the keto diet is neither, but it's not designed to be. "I don't recommend people follow strict ketogenic diets for their life," says Dr. Axe. "I recommend 30- to 90-day periods, and after that moving into more of a 'cycling' phase, where you can cycle in and out of keto." Dr. Axe admits that following a keto diet will be difficult for most people, since many Americans have diets high in sugar, salt, and carbs. But he says that the potential benefits—boosting brain health, supporting muscles and overall improved performance at the gym, at the office, and in life—are worth putting in the hard work. (Just Look at the Keto Diet Results Jen Widerstrom Saw After 17 Days.)
“Anecdotally, some people who try keto cycling do find it difficult,” she says. “When you reintroduce carbohydrates back into your diet — and this is more about refined carbs, I’m not talking about eating an apple — you don’t feel very good.” She says some people experience a so-called carb hangover — the body feels kind of bloated and inflamed, and you may develop headaches.
There are many misconceptions about ketosis. The most common is mixing it up with ketoacidosis – a rare and dangerous medical condition that mostly happen to people with type 1 diabetes if they don’t take insulin. Even some health care professionals tend to mix up these two situations somewhat, perhaps due to the similar names and a lack of knowledge about the distinct differences.
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.
You see, I think when we start a certain diet, it’s often to try and manipulate or change the look of our body in some way. We are looking for that magic ticket to help us effortlessly lose the weight. And I’m not saying that wanting to lose weight is bad. But what I am saying is that we need to look deep within and really ask ourselves WHY we want to jump on some diet trend.
Oh man, this is a great read. Entertaining and full or resources and digestible content even though it is a long article. But I appreciate the research you went through it. I remember 5 years ago researching about Keto diet took forever because of how spread out the sources were. This is great work as a guide. Thanks for the article. Before reading this article I thought the requirements were too strict, but now that I read it, I am already doing a third of that list. I am trying IF right now, but I think this will help me with my satiety problem with meals, plus help me with weight loss. Thanks for the motivation and information Steve. I am starting my plan of attack and try a Keto diet.
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
This has been an amazing experience! I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I started this journey! It hasn’t always been easy, but with hard work and determination it has paid off! I don’t feel like I have to stand behind the kids during family photos anymore! I feel good about myself and all that I have accomplished! If I can do it, anyone can do it! My husband and I have been married for 22 years and we have a daughter that is a Senior and our son is a Sophomore. I also work full-time as a Speech Therapist for the school system. Life is always busy, but make the time for yourself! I get up every morning at 5am to get my workout in without any interruptions! I feel truly blessed that I found Jen a year ago! She has helped me so much in this journey! I don’t know what I would do without her! You have really made a difference in my life! So, thank you!
There are many ways in which epilepsy occurs. Examples of pathological physiology include: unusual excitatory connections within the neuronal network of the brain; abnormal neuron structure leading to altered current flow; decreased inhibitory neurotransmitter synthesis; ineffective receptors for inhibitory neurotransmitters; insufficient breakdown of excitatory neurotransmitters leading to excess; immature synapse development; and impaired function of ionic channels.
Best ever support for intermittent fasting, kills cravings and boosts energy. After only a couple weeks I could nicely fit into a skirt I wore 20 years ago in high school. There are sometimes light headaches due to 200mg caffeine (I’m not used to drinking the equivalent in coffee) but when you move around it’s easy to forget. Overall, I’m truly happy with the results :)
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.”
Shifting your metabolism and achieving ketosis may speed up weight loss and result in other health benefits, like more energy and a lower blood pressure. But while ketosis is a preferred nutritional state for some people, it isn’t recommended for everyone — and it’s not a good long-term eating approach due to its restrictive nature, which may lead to potentially dangerous nutritional deficiencies.
But what does the science say? Results are mixed. In one Spanish study of 20 obese adults, participants were put on a low-calorie keto diet and lost an average of 40 pounds over four months. Another small experiment had a similar outcome. In a six-month Experimental & Clinical Cardiology study of 83 obese adults, those on the keto diet lost an average of 33 pounds, while lowering their bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and increasing their good (HDL) cholesterol.
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.
I’ve been trying this keto diet that my dr.and daughter recommended, it’s been close to a week. I’ve changed my food intake, no bad carbs that I know of, was a huge chip addict stopped all that with no cravings. I’m not seeing any results I’m getting discouraged and everything sounds so complicated watching this, measuring that, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. just that I stopped bread,pasta,poratoes,rice all those kind of carbs.I’m drinking more water eating green vegetables and trying to increase my fat intake. I don’t feel motivated to exercise which probably doesn’t help and have 100-130 to lose. I need help I don’t understand or have the time create a lot of meals and measure my fat,protein and carb intake.