Achieve Your DESIRED BODY COMPOSITION
Without Depriving Yourself or Going Hungry
By Becoming a FAT BURNING MACHINE
Ketogenic diets are characterized by a reduction in carbohydrates (usually to less than 50 g/day) and a relative increase in the proportions of protein and fat.3 The knowledge regarding the metabolic effects of classic ketogenic diets originates from the pioneering work of Cahill and colleagues in the 1960s,4 but the realization of the importance of these diets from a clinical point of view can be traced back to the early 1920s when they began to be successfully used in the treatment of epilepsy.5 There even appears to be a reference to its use in the Bible in the story of the cured epileptic (New Testament, Matthew 17:14–21). Alongside the huge amount of data about the influence of correct nutrition on health status and disease prevention (encapsulated in various nutritional guidelines delivered by public health committees worldwide), there is also ample evidence to support the notion that a low-carbohydrate diet can lead to an improvement in some metabolic pathways and have beneficial health effects. To use ‘food as medicine’ is as attractive a concept as it is ancient, and in the hope of realizing this much effort has been dedicated to exploring the effects of VLCKD on human metabolism. In this review we will look at all the areas where ketogenic diets have been proposed as having potential clinical utility with a brief discussion of the evidence.
Ketosis is the result of following the standard ketogenic diet, which is why it’s also sometimes called “the ketosis diet.” Ketosis takes place when glucose from carbohydrate foods (like grains, all sources of sugar or fruit, for example) is drastically reduced, which forces the body to find an alternative fuel source: fat. Although dietary fat (especially saturated fat) often gets a bad name, provoking fear of weight gain and heart disease, it’s also your body’s second preferred source of energy when carbohydrates are not easily accessible.
Your keto meals should contain high amounts of healthy fats (up to 80 percent of your total calories!), such as olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, palm oil, and some nuts and seeds. Fats are a critical part of every ketogenic recipe because fat is what provides energy and prevents hunger, weakness and fatigue.
Johnstone AM, Horgan GW, Murison SD, Bremner DM, Lobley GE. Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87: 44–55.
We totally understand. You want an effective plan and some guidance so you can start taking action today to stay on track and motivated to begin burning off pounds of fat all day, every day effortlessly with ketosis no matter how busy you are.
Sandri M, Barberi L, Bijlsma AY, Blaauw B, Dyar KA, Milan G et al. Signalling pathways regulating muscle mass in ageing skeletal muscle. the role of the IGF1-akt-mTOR-FoxO pathway. Biogerontology 2013;, e-pub ahead of print 19 May 2013.
A computer program such as KetoCalculator may be used to help generate recipes. The meals often have four components: heavy whipping cream, a protein-rich food (typically meat), a fruit or vegetable and a fat such as butter, vegetable oil or mayonnaise. Only low-carbohydrate fruits and vegetables are allowed, which excludes bananas, potatoes, peas and corn. Suitable fruits are divided into two groups based on the amount of carbohydrate they contain, and vegetables are similarly divided into two groups. Foods within each of these four groups may be freely substituted to allow for variation without needing to recalculate portion sizes. For example, cooked broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and green beans are all equivalent. Fresh, canned or frozen foods are equivalent, but raw and cooked vegetables differ, and processed foods are an additional complication. Parents are required to be precise when measuring food quantities on an electronic scale accurate to 1 g. The child must eat the whole meal and cannot have extra portions; any snacks must be incorporated into the meal plan. A small amount of MCT oil may be used to help with constipation or to increase ketosis.
For most people, a range of 20-50 grams of carbohydrate intake per day is ideal for the keto diet. Some people can go as high as 80 grams per day to stay in ketosis, but the majority should stay in the initial range. Each person’s metabolism is different.
One of the toughest parts of keto is that it cuts out lots of fruits and vegetables that are unfortunately too high in carbohydrates. However, these fruits and vegetables are also packed with nutrients.
On the other hand, the types of unsweetened foods you’ll avoid eating on the keto diet are likely the same ones you are, or previously were, accustomed to getting lots of your daily calories from before starting this way of eating. This includes things like fruit, processed foods or drinks high in sugar, those made with any grains or white/wheat flour, conventional dairy products, desserts, and many other high-carb foods (especially those that are sources of “empty calories”). When your brain craves that sweet taste, opt for a no-carb sweetener like stevia or monk fruit.
Ketosis is a natural survival function of the body. It helps your body function on fat when food is not readily available. Similarly, the keto diet focuses on “starving” the body of carbohydrates, transforming the body into a fat-burning state and supplementing with optimal nutrition.
Also, it’s never a bad idea to catchup with your primary care physician to find out anything you need to know about your body. If you are on any kind of medication, you should consult with a doctor to check whether following a ketogenic diet could have any adverse effects. Also, if you struggle to digest fats, keto might not be the right choice.
I’ve laid out my exact food recommendations below for following the ketogenic diet to reduce blood glucose, burn fat and reverse disease in your body. First and foremost, consider that the type of fats you consume are very important— as not all fats are created equally. To get enough healthy fats in your diet, I recommend eating mostly: coconut or coconut oil, avocado, chia seeds or flax seeds, non-starchy vegetables, sprouted nuts, organic grass-fed meat and raw dairy products.
Of the few studies done on keto and gallstones, most people have either improved or cured gallstone problems. The only downside is that many reported an increase in discomfort when starting out on low-carb. If you stick with it, you should notice a vast improvement.
One study, for example, found that adhering to the ketogenic diet and keto diet food list for 24 weeks resulted in decreased levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose in a significant percentage of patients, while at the same time increasing the level of HDL cholesterol. (8)
The CNS cannot use fat as an energy source; hence, it normally utilizes glucose. After 3–4 days without carbohydrate consumption the CNS is ‘forced’ to find alternative energy sources, and as demonstrated by the classic experiments of Cahill and colleagues4 this alternative energy source is derived from the overproduction of acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). This condition seen in prolonged fasting, type 1 diabetes and high-fat/low-carbohydrate diets leads to the production of higher-than-normal levels of so-called ketone bodies (KBs), that is, acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyric acid and acetone—a process called ketogenesis and which occurs principally in the mitochondrial matrix in the liver.6
Using ketone testing strips, which measure your levels of ketone bodies via urine, I noticed how my level of ketosis fluctuated after each meal and time of day. Forking into just half a sweet potato would kick me out of ketosis, so I resolved to avoid high-glycemic produce, no matter how healthy they may be. By day seven, the strips informed me that I had reached a deep level of ketosis—aka, my self-inflicted carb deprivation was definitely paying off. If you’re planning to try this diet, I highly recommend purchasing test strips to determine your individualized upper carb limit and get an idea of how certain foods affect your ketosis levels.
A ketogenic diet may be more expensive than a standard American diet, but it’s no different than other clean eating lifestyles. That said, there’s still numerous ways to save money while cooking keto. The best ways to save money is the same as with any other budgeting:
Insulin resistance is the primary feature underlying type 2 diabetes (T2D) but it also exists across a continuum in the general population, and to varying extents it disrupts insulin action in cells, which can cause a wide spectrum of signs and symptoms. A primary feature of insulin resistance is an impaired ability of muscle cells to take up circulating glucose. A person with insulin resistance will divert a greater proportion of dietary carbohydrate to the liver where much of it is converted to fat (that is, de novo lipogenesis), as opposed to being oxidized for energy in skeletal muscle.30 Although Hellerstein31 has recently reported that de novo lipogenesis contributes only ∼20% of new triglycerides, this greater conversion of dietary carbohydrate into fat, much of it entering the circulation as saturated fat, is a metabolic abnormality that significantly increases risk for diabetes and heart disease. Thus, insulin resistance functionally manifests itself as ‘carbohydrate intolerance’. When dietary carbohydrate is restricted to a level below which it is not significantly converted to fat (a threshold that varies from person to person), signs and symptoms of insulin resistance improve or often disappear completely.
Both animal fats (saturated fats) and plant-based fats can be consumed on the keto diet. Healthy fat sources include butter, tallow and ghee from animals or coconut oil, olive oil, sustainable palm oil and MCT oil from plants.
The ketogenic diet has being studied for potential therapeutic use in various neurological disorders other than epilepsy: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, headache, neurotrauma, pain, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and sleep disorders.
Moghetti P, Castello R, Negri C, Tosi F, Spiazzi GG, Brun E et al. Insulin infusion amplifies 17 alpha-hydroxycorticosteroid intermediates response to adrenocorticotropin in hyperandrogenic women: apparent relative impairment of 17,20-lyase activity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996; 81: 881–886.
Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >
That last item may surprise you, but for many people, it makes all the difference. Why? When carbs are cut, we rapidly deplete glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrate. For every gram of glycogen we lose, we lose 3 grams of water. Addition of the bouillon will help prevent dehydration and improve the way you feel on the diet. Water isn’t enough on keto; you need enough sodium, too.
Carcinogenesis is a complex process involving multiple sequential mutations, which occur randomly in the DNA of normal cells over many years, even decades, until finally specific genes are mutated and cell growth becomes out of control resulting in the full neoplastic phenotype and often metastasis. There is evidence that hyperinsulinaemia, hyperglycaemia and chronic inflammation may affect the neoplastic process through various pathways, including the insulin/IGF-1 pathway, and most cancer cells express insulin and IGF-1 receptors. Insulin has been shown to stimulate mitogenesis (even in cells lacking IGF-1 receptors)50 and it may also contribute by stimulating multiple cancer mechanisms, including proliferation, protection from apoptotic stimuli, invasion and metastasis.51 The IFG1/insulin pathway may also enhance the promotion and progression of many types of cancer cells and facilitate cancer diffusion through angiogenesis.52 Insulin may act directly, but also indirectly through IGF-1, as it reduces hepatic IGF-binding protein-1 and -2 production,53 thereby increasing the levels of circulating, free active IGF-1, which may have a role in cancerogenesis due to its mitogenic and antiapoptotic activity.53 Considering the obvious relationship between carbohydrates and insulin (and IGF-1) a connection between carbohydrate and cancer is a possible consequence, and some links have been recognized since the 1920s when the Russo-German physician Dr A Braunstein observed that glycosuria falls off notably in diabetic patients who developed cancer.54 Later Warburg et al.55 of the Kaiser Wilheim Institute fur biologie described what was later known as the Warburg effect—where energy is predominantly generated by a high rate of glycolysis followed by lactic acid fermentation in the cytosol, even in the presence of plentiful oxygen.51, 55 The Warburg effect has been confirmed in many studies and today is a well-established hallmark of many types of cancers, and rapidly growing tumour cells typically have glycolytic rates up to 200 times higher than those of their normal tissues of origin.56 As stated above, the stimulus of the insulin/IGF-1 pathway is involved in cancer development, but also mitochondrial damage or dysfunction may have a role.18, 57, 58 Dysfunctional mitochondria may upregulate some oncogenes of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt mammalian target of rapamycin signalling pathway.58 Akt, a downstream of insulin signalling,59 is involved in changes in tumour cell metabolism and increases resistance to apoptosis; it also decreases β-oxidation and increases lipid synthesis in the cytosol.60 Hence, it seems a reasonable possibility that a very-low-carbohydrate diet could help to reduce the progression of some types of cancer, although at present the evidence is preliminary.61 In the 1980s, seminal animal studies by Tisdale and colleagues62, 63 demonstrated that a ketogenic diet was capable to reduce tumour size in mice, whereas more recent research has provided evidence that ketogenic diets may reduce tumour progression in humans, at least as far as gastric and brain cancers are concerned.64, 65, 66, 67 Although no randomized controlled trials with VLCKD have yet been conducted on patients and the bulk of evidence in relation to the influence of VLCKD on patient survival is still anecdotal,68, 69, 70 a very recent paper by Fine et al.71 suggests that the insulin inhibition caused by a ketogenic diet could be a feasible adjunctive treatment for patients with cancer. In summary, perhaps through glucose ‘starvation’ of tumour cells and by reducing the effect of direct insulin-related actions on cell growth, ketogenic diets show promise as an aid in at least some kind of cancer therapy and is deserving of further and deeper investigation—certainly the evidence justifies setting up clinical trials.
In particular, I recommend consuming a large amount of MCFA’s (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) from sources like unrefined coconut oil and MCT oil since this is probably the easiest type of fat for your body to metabolize properly and burn as fuel. In addition to MCFA’s, consume a moderate amount of saturated fat from sources like grass-fed beef or raw dairy products. Finally, other sources of fat, like polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats, should come from healthy, whole foods like nuts, seeds and wild-caught fish.
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.
I have just started low carb and exercising 1 hour. I lost 6 pounds on the first week. I’ was 10 st 6 and hope to get down to 9 st. Doing well at the moment but I’m worried about the winter months. I will not be able to maintain the exercise.
When you eat a diet rich in carbohydrates, your body converts those carbs into glucose. This causes an “insulin spike,” as insulin carries the glucose to your bloodstream for energy. Glucose is the preferred energy source of the body. When glucose is present, your body will burn it before burning fat.
Although I wanted to get as close to the macros as I could, I was off by a little bit. The 28 day average across all days comes out to 1597 Calories – broken down into 136g Fats, 19.6g Carbs, 8.4g Fiber, 11.2g Net Carbs, and 74.9g Protein.
Ketosis transforms your body into a fat-burning machine, burning fat (not carbs) for fuel. Specifically, the liver converts fatty acids in your body into ketone bodies, or ketones. This becomes your body’s new energy source. When you increase your fat intake, your body responds by becoming “keto-adaptive,” or more efficient at burning fat.
The easiest macro to calculate in the ketogenic diet is fat. Once you’ve got your carbs and protein set, simply fill the rest of your daily calorie needs with fat sources. If you find yourself wanting to gain a bit of weight, add approximately 500 calories, or 55 grams. If you want to lose weight, cut down on your fat intake by 200-500 calories, or 22-55 grams.
In fact, saturated fat intake had an inverse association with the risk for suffering from a stroke, meaning the more saturated fat included in someone’s diet, the more protection against having a stroke they seemed to have. (12)
You can use my plan as a guideline to help you create something that fits into your life and schedule. Keep in mind that hitting your daily macros is the most important thing when it comes to dieting.
The exact ratio of recommended macronutrients (or “macros”) in your diet (grams of carbs vs. fat vs. protein) will differ depending on your specific goals and current state of health. Your age, gender, level of activity and current body composition can also play a role in determining your ideal macros, including your carb versus fat intake.
Sometimes there’s issues or problems that aren’t covered in this guide. There are many other articles on the site, so make sure to search. If you’re having trouble with a specific question, we have a very helpful community on the website too!
^ a b c d e Zupec-Kania B, Werner RR, Zupanc ML. Clinical Use of the Ketogenic Diet—The Dietitian’s Role. In: Stafstrom CE, Rho JM, editors. Epilepsy and the ketogenic diet. Totowa: Humana Press; 2004. p. 63–81. ISBN 1-58829-295-9.
All the rage now, fat coffee is kind of exactly what it sounds like. Taking a good quality coffee, and blending it with 2 tbsp of grassfed butter, 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil, and stevia or whatever other zero-calorie sweetener and flavors you like. This coffee greatly boosts energy and suppresses hunger, and it’s frothy and delicious!
Dr. Cabeca came up with the concept of combining an alkaline diet with a keto diet after weighing the benefits of very low-carb eating on one hand, with some of the negative feedback she was receiving from clients on the other. Although many of her clients experienced weight loss quickly and reliably while reducing their intake of total carbs, many also reported dealing with side effects like nausea, fatigue and constipation due to the keto diet. It became clear that something else had to be adjusted in order to prevent the side effects associated with the keto diet. This is when she came up with the idea to focus on restoring alkalinity first and foremost.
In recent years there have been an increasing number of studies published, suggesting that at least for certain food types there is a nutritional influence on the development of acne. The negative effects seem to lie in the capacity of some foods/nutrients to stimulate proliferative pathways that in turn stimulate development of acne—suspect foods include those with a high glycaemic load and milk.11, 43, 44 Other evidence comes from several studies reporting that the prevalence of acne varies significantly between different populations and is substantially lower in non-Westernized populations that follow traditional diets,45 a common factor among these traditional diets being a low glycaemic load.46 Various studies have provided evidence that high-glycaemic-load diets are implicated in the aetiology of acne through their capacity to stimulate insulin, androgen bioavailability and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) activity, whereas the beneficial effects of low-glycaemic-load diets, apart from weight and blood glucose levels, also include improved skin quality.44 The clinical and experimental evidence does in fact suggest ways in which insulin can increase androgen production and affect via induction of steroidogenic enzymes,47 the secretion by the pituitary gland of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and the production of sex hormone-binding globulin.48 Insulin is also able to reduce serum levels of IGF-binding protein-1 increasing the effect of IGF-1.49 These insulin-mediated actions can therefore influence diverse factors that underlie the development of acne such as:
These recipes on here that were provided all have seem to have a lot of protein once added at the end of the day. When I figure mine I can eat 55g protein and me eating the omelette alone with half a chicken breast for lunch puts me over ? Someone help with this! I don’t wanna eat too much or too little’ how should I know.
You’ve probably heard about the low carb, high fat diet that’s so popular among actors and models, and with good reason: low carb diets offer proper nourishment with whole foods, while keeping your body burning fat for fuel. This is a great way to be, as it makes fat loss largely effortless! But where does this “ketogenic” word fit into the picture?