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LCHF/KETOGENIC DIET

 
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    Posted: Aug 13 2017 at 2:24pm
I started a Low Carb way of eating 06/05/2017.  I now hesitate to add the "High Fat" to that title because I it lead me to add tons of fat to  my meals and even my coffee.  I did manage to lose 12 lbs during that time.  
I have been completely absorbed in researching the topic, and hope I have finally figured it out....It is not ALL about adding butter and oils to my foods, but eating foods that are ALREADY high in fats (not processed foods of course Wink).   Too bad,  I became really addicted to adding a tsp of coconut oil to every single cup of coffee.   Even though I lost some lbs, realistically I know it was mostly water.
I think I finally figured if I am to "burn" the fat already on my body,  I should not be ADDING too much, not really needed oils to my meals,  because my body will have to use those added fats before it can use my body fat for energy !!!! 
Since starting this WOE I am down to eating only one (1) meal per day because I am just not hungry.   I have to remind myself to eat Shocked.    In addition, I have to try to get in as many cals in that one meal so as not to deprive my body of nutrition.    Some LCHF'ers "Fast" for days or weeks, some for 36 hrs a couple times a week.   The longest I allowed myself to Intermittent Fast (IF) was 24 hrs,  and this was primarily because I was just  not hungry,  and did not want to become hungry in the middle of the night and have to get up to stuff my face.  
For so many years I ate low fat, and lots of Veggies.  I achieved weight loss, but temptation was always there.  Yep,  those "cheat days" we looked forward to LOL.  
Now cooking with butter and oils is so tasty and filling.  Not cutting the fat off my Pork Chop Clap;  adding enough salt to my foods for flavor is so gratifying;  eating the skin of my meats;  eating bacon and saving the grease to saute my veg.,  or cook my eggs in.  Who woudda thunk salt would be encouraged Question (not excessive of course),  and fats ShockedShockedShocked.
My hope is that after losing large the first 2 months,  I can at least lose 3-4 lbs per month for the last 15 to 18 lbs.  I won't be too disappointed if i don't accomplish these goals, because I can now embrace the slow and steady approach.  That,  and getting of my chunky butt to do some form of "activity".  Can't believe I lost 12 lbs sitting around 'researching'.Wink
New Research is showing this WOE is beneficial for so much of what is ailing us...Obesity, Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimer's, Epilepsy (Seizures), Hypertension, and the list goes on.
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Starting today I am making an effort to keep my total Carb below 20 gm.  Had my first meal at 2 pm. 
 I had .....2 slices of Bacon, 3-Egg Asparagus Omelette cooked in the Bacon fat,  and 1/2 sm Avocado.

Dinner will be....Salad of  Spinach and Romaine lettuce, Celery, 1/4 Tomato. Celery, 1/2 sm Avocado, and homemade  Balsamic Vinaigrette,  along with 4 ozs pan fried Chicken breast breaded with Pork Rinds and Parm. cheese. Had to add 1 tsp butter to bring up the calories a bit

  Total Carb 19.5 gms,  and Calories only 1015. 

While getting my Vitamins from the cabinet today,  I noticed for the first time in 2 years a bottle of Raspberry Ketones  LOL.   Had to laugh because at that time I was doing a 'low carb' diet but was very afraid of fats.  Used Pam spray, and never had butter or bacon in my home. 
 Even though I was eating Low Carbs then,  I purchased Raspberry Ketones in an attempt to interrupt  my digestion/absorption of the carbs.   
What made this most laughable was the word Ketones on that bottle.   What a waste of money Embarrassed
 Now I have come full circle and learned how to create Ketones in my own body simply by not being afraid of fats, and continuing to keep carbs low.  
I spent quite some time today wondering why I never threw that bottle out, because I stopped using it 2 yrs ago.   Maybe the Divine Being knew I would one day need to reinforce my belief in this WOE. Because a few years ago some Doctor and/or Chemist knew the benefits  Ketogenic Diet,  and decided to CASH-In, by making  Raspberry Ketones tabs.  
I wonder if these are still on the market  Ermm  Ermm
 
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Insulin and Fat Storage
Saturday, June 2, 2012
LifeTime WeightLoss in Metabolism, Tom Nikkola, insulin, weight loss


We left off last week with the question, “What prevents fat from leaving the fat cell?” If you missed out on it, you may want to read The Futility of Low-Calorie Diets.

To quickly recap, we talked about the fact that your body has two main fuels: glucose (sugar) or fat. The preferred source of fuel is fat, but under certain circumstances, we can shift the body to using more sugar rather than fat. At times, such as being chased by a rabid dog, this is a good thing. However, it’s not a good thing if sugar remains the main fuel for most of the day. Relying on sugar means you’re not burning fat.

Many people make lifestyle choices and nutrition decisions that have basically locked up their extra stored fat in their fat cells, making it useless for energy. The only way you can lose fat is if you use fat. You’ll be unsuccessful at losing fat if you don’t burn fateven if you eat fewer calories and burn more through exercise. You can lose weight, but most of the loss will come from lean body mass, or muscle tissue, not fat.

Fat Storage and Insulin

The most significant factor in fat storage is the level of insulin in the blood. Insulin has many effects on the body. With respect to fat storage, insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents fat cells from releasing fat for energy. This is such a key point for people to understand that I’ll repeat it: Insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents the cells from releasing it for energy.

Eight hormones stimulate fat utilization: epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), glucagon, thyroid-stimulating hormone, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, vasopressin and growth hormone.

One hormone prevents fat utilization: insulin.

The pancreas releases insulin when blood sugar levels rise above normal. Optimal fasting blood sugar should be between 70 and 90 mg/dL. Following a meal, blood sugars rise in relation to the amount and type of carbohydrates consumed. Processed carbohydrates are absorbed faster, and tend to cause faster and greater rises in blood sugar. The pancreas releases insulin, which tells the muscle, liver and fat cells to take up the blood sugar (and fat if it’s available) and remove it from the blood. This is a normal process because elevated blood sugar is toxic for the body.

With a moderate amount of carbohydrates consumed each day, the pancreas can gently say to the muscles, liver and fat cells, “Please grab that sugar.” The pancreas is happy because it doesn’t have to work too hard to get its message across. The muscle cells, liver cells and fat cells are happy because they’ve got room to store the moderate amount of sugar. The individual is happy because energy levels throughout the day stay pretty consistent and he or she stays relatively lean.

Over time, when individuals eat excessive amounts of carbohydrates, especially processed carbohydrates, on a daily basis, the muscle and fat stop listening to the pancreas’ release of insulin, which is called insulin resistance. The liver and muscle cells have a limited capacity to store glucose. Once they’re full, they shut the door and it all gets sent to the fat cells.

Since blood sugar levels are not brought down to the level they should be, the pancreas “talks louder.” It releases more insulin than it should have to. It’s like when Mom and Dad need to raise their voices because their child hasn’t done what was asked the first time. With more insulin released, glucose levels can be brought down to a safe level again, at least for a while. Over time, fasting blood sugar levels start to creep up. Fasting blood sugar levels that start trending over 90 mg/dL can be a sign of early insulin resistance. Once they get above 100 mg/dL, most physicians will tell their patients they have insulin resistance.

As the years go by and excessive carbohydrate consumption continues, blood sugar levels get higher and higher. The pancreas has to yell at the fat cells by secreting even higher levels of insulin. Eventually the cells with receptors for insulin stop listening and/or the pancreas stops secreting insulin. Blood sugar levels rise, and when they get above 125 mg/dL, type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed. Unfortunately, people don’t get enough support during the time they’re heading toward diabetes; it’s only after their blood sugar hits disease-state levels that they get attention, often in the form of drug therapy.

For someone with insulin resistance or diabetes, he or she will have an exaggerated insulin response. Eating a small amount of carbohydrate will cause the pancreas to release a large amount of insulin. Those who are insulin resistant will have elevated insulin levels throughout the day, which means their fat cells won’t be able to release fat for fuel.

Blood sugar problems often show up long before other symptoms, or even weight gain, so it’s wise to regularly check your blood sugar, and even insulin levels with a lab package like the Energy & Metabolism test.

Insulin locks fat in the fat cell. Excessive carbohydrate consumption causes elevated insulin levels. Remember that the next time you start to take a bite of a low-fat bagel.

Less Insulin, More Energy

If carbohydrates raise insulin levels and insulin increases fat storage and decreases fat burning, is a low-carb diet the answer to fat loss?

For many people, simply decreasing their carbohydrate consumption results in a decreased appetite, lowered insulin levels, improved lipid profilesand almost effortless weight loss. Once insulin levels are brought under control, fat cells are allowed to let go of their stored fatty acids. They still need to be burned somewhere, though.

Think of the lazy river at your favorite water park. The water moves freely, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. It just goes in circles. If you were to route the water somewhere else and use it in another pool, the water level in the lazy river would get lower.

If you open up the gates in the fat cells by lowering insulin levels, you now have an almost endless supply of energy available. It still needs to be used, though. Interestingly, many people proclaim how much more energy they have when they commit to a lower-carbohydrate diet. It’s especially common for those who are overweight. It makes a lot of sense, though.

When insulin levels are brought under control, it’s like getting a surprise inheritance of money after living paycheck to paycheck for years. After scraping by and keeping costs controlled from living off a meager salary, imagine how free one would feel being given a small fortune.

In Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories, Bad Calories, he explains that people become sedentary because they are gaining fat, they don’t gain fat because they are sedentary. The opposite way to look at this is once people control their insulin levels, they have the energy to become much more active. They don’t get active and energetic and then lose body fat.

There are less significant factors that affect one’s ability to access fat. That’s why we stress the importance of comprehensive lab testing to ensure one has a healthy, functional metabolism. However, controlling insulin seems to be the most impactful thing one can do to open up the fat gates and give the body access to the fuel stored behind them. Fortunately, you have a significant amount of control over your insulin levels by what you put in your mouth every day. If you base your diet on vegetables and protein, like in our Healthy Way of Life Food Pyramid, you won’t have to worry about rising insulin levels, and you will be able to burn fat the way your body was designed to.

In case you haven’t realized it already, none of what is mentioned above requires calorie counting; only the wisdom to make the right choices about the foods you eat.

Share thoughts and comments below.

Written By Tom Nikkola - Director of Nutrition & Weight Management 

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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I had a "woosh effect" which resulted in a 1 lb weight loss from yesterdays weight. 
A little TMI.... Ladies, know when you sit on the toilet and your urine shoots out to the front of the toilet bowl ??  That is not what happens when a "woosh" occurs.  That urine pours straight down, and slow, a bit longer than a 'regular' urine.  I think it's because it is so concentrated with 'stuff'. 
I remember the first time I noticed it,  I sat there wondering why can't this urine stop ?   It went on for what seemed like forever.   Then I got on the scale and was down 5 lbs.  Fat cells releasing their stored 'stuff' !!!   
I weigh daily !!   There will be fluctuations, but that does not bother me as long as I know I am not over indulging.  I know my body may hold on to fluids or whatever it thinks it needs, and release it in due time.   I will,  however claim the lowest weight I had that week, or use the average weight of the week.
Just finished my Costco size CheddarEmbarrassed.  I will not be buying cheese again until I reach my goal.  It has been my mindless nibble food late at night when reading.  Yeah, huge chunks of out-of-control nibbling which takes a few days for my body to recover from.
Note to self...No Cheese or Nuts for now.Stern Smile


Edited by Benni - Aug 16 2017 at 12:51pm
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Low Carb

Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

By Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD – Updated August 2017
A ketogenic diet (keto) is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance, but also some potential initial side effects.

A ketogenic diet is similar to other strict low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat). These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. The main difference between strict LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.

A keto diet is designed specifically to result in ketosis. It’s possible to measure and adapt to reach optimal ketone levels for health, weight loss, or for physical and mental performance. Below, you can learn how to use keto to achieve your personal goals.

Make keto even simpler by signing up for our free two-week keto challenge. Get unlimited meal plans, shopping lists and much else with a free membership trial.

 




 

1. Introduction: What is Ketosis?

Ketosis

The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”.

"Ketones"

Learn far more than you’ll ever need about ketones here:

Dr. Peter Attia: Ketosis – advantaged or misunderstood state? (Part I)

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 This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.

Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).

Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day,

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 and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones.

On a ketogenic diet your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, like for example less hunger and a steady supply of energy.

When the body produces ketones it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but obviously it’s not possible to fast forever.

A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinitely and also results in ketosis. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast.

Learn more about ketosis 

 

checklistWho should NOT do a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is safe for most people, but in the following situations you may need extra support:


 


 

2. What to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

Here are typical foods to enjoy on a ketogenic diet. The numbers are net carbs per 100 grams. To remain in ketosis, lower is generally better:

 

Keto diet foods: Natural fats (butter, olive oil); Meat; Fish and seafood; Eggs; Cheese; Vegetables that grow above ground
 

The most important thing to reach ketosis is to avoid eating most carbohydrates. You’ll probably need to keep carb intake to under 50 grams per day of net carbs,

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 ideally below 20 grams. The fewer carbs the more effective.

 

Try to avoid

Here’s what you should not eat on a keto diet – foods full of sugar and starch, including starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. As you can see, these foods are much higher in carbs.

Foods to avoid on low carb: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, beer, soda, juice, candy

 
The numbers are grams of digestible carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces), unless otherwise noted.

This means you’ll need to completely avoid sweet sugary foods, plus starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Basically follow the guidelines for a strict low-carb diet, and remember it’s supposed to be high in fat, not high in protein.

A rough guideline is below 10% energy from carbohydrates (the fewer carbs, the more effective), 15-25% protein (the lower end is more effective), and 70% or more from fat.

More specific advice on what to eat – and what not to eat 
 
 

What to drink

Low-carb drinks

So what do you drink on a keto diet? Water is perfect, and so is coffee or tea. Ideally, use no sweeteners. A modest amount of milk or cream is OK (but beware of caffe latte!). The occasional glass of wine is fine too.

Check out our full guides to keto drinks and keto alcohol.

 

Visual keto guides

For more on specific areas – like what fruits or nuts to eat on a ketogenic diet – check out our visual guides:


 

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How low is keto?

The fewer carbohydrates you eat, the bigger the effects on weight and blood sugar will be. A keto diet is a very strict low-carb diet, and thus highly effective.

Here are three examples of what a low-carb meal can look like, depending on how many carbs you eat per day. Note that only the left plate is reliably ketogenic:

 
 
We recommend following the dietary advice as strictly as you can. When you’re happy with your weight and health, you may carefully try eating more liberally (if you want to).

 



 

Get started

For everything you need to get started – meal plans, shopping lists, daily tips and troubleshooting – just sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge:

challenge_pic2

More

Low-Carb Foods

 

 


 

3. The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

The benefits that come from a ketogenic diet are similar to those of any strict low-carb diet. However, the effect might be even greater since protein is more restricted. This raises ketones more, and lowers insulin (the fat-storing hormone) more.


 

Low carb and weight lossLose weight

Turning your body into a fat-burning machine has obvious benefits for weight loss. Fat burning is vastly increased while insulin – the fat-storing hormone – levels drop greatly. This creates ideal circumstances in which fat loss can occur, without hunger.

Around 20 scientific studies of the highest class (RCTs) show that, compared to other diets, low-carb and ketogenic diets result in more effective weight loss.

Shai 2008 or Bazzano 2014.

Full list of studies with the most important findings explained

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How to lose weight using optimal ketosis 

Learn more about losing weight on low-carb diets 

 

Low carb and diabetes reversalReverse type 2 diabetes

A ketogenic diet is excellent for reversing type 2 diabetes,

Daly 2005, Westman 2008 and Tay 2014.

Full list of low-carb studies

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since it lowers blood-sugar levels and the negative impact of high insulin levels.

Learn more about reversing type 2 diabetes using a low-carb diet 


 

Low carb and weight lossImproved mental focus

Ketosis results in a steady flow of fuel (ketones) to the brain. And on a ketogenic diet you avoid big swings in blood sugar. This often results in the experience of increased focus and improved concentration.

A lot of people use keto diets specifically for increased mental performance.

Interestingly, there’s a common misperception that eating lots of carbs

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 is needed for proper brain function. But this is only true when ketones are not available.

After a few days (up to a week) of keto adaptation – during which people may experience some difficulty concentrating, have headaches and become easily irritated – the body and brain can run effortlessly on ketones.

In this state, many people experience more energy and improved mental focus.


 

Low carb and weight lossIncreased physical endurance

Ketogenic diets can vastly increase your physical endurance, by giving you constant access to all the energy of your fat stores.

The body’s supply of stored carbohydrates (glycogen) only lasts for a couple of hours of intense exercise, or less. But your fat stores carry enough energy to easily last for weeks or even months.

When you’re adapted to burning primarily carbohydrates – like most people are today – your fat stores are not easily available, and they can’t fuel your brain. This results in constantly having to fill up by eating before, during and after longer exercise sessions. Or even just to fuel your daily activities and avoid “hanger” (hungry and irritable).

On a ketogenic diet this problem is solved. As the body and brain can easily be fueled 24/7 by your powerful fat stores, you can keep going forever like the Energizer Bunny.

Whether you are competing in a physical endurance event, or just trying to stay focused on reaching some other goal, your body has the fuel it needs to keep you going and going.

Two problems

So how is it possible that most people believe that carbs are necessary to perform exercise? There are two reasons. To unlock the power of ketogenic diets for physical endurance, and not instead suffer reduced performance, you need:

  1. Enough fluid and salt
  2. Two weeks of adaptation to burning fat – it does not happen instantly

Learn more about maximizing physical endurance on low-carb ketogenic diets 

Metabolic syndrome

There are many studies showing that low-carb diets improve markers of metabolic syndrome

Carbohydrate Restriction Improves the Features of Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2005.

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 such as blood lipids, insulin levels, HDL-cholesterol, LDL particle size and fasting blood sugar levels. Improvements have been shown to be even greater when carbs and protein are restricted to a the point of being steadily in nutritional ketosis.


 

Keto and epilepsyEpilepsy

The ketogenic diet is a proven medical therapy for epilepsy that has been used since the 1920s. Traditionally it has mainly been used in children with uncontrolled epilepsy despite medication.

More recently it has also been tested successfully by adults with epilepsy, with similar good results. There are many randomized controlled trials that demonstrate the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet in decreasing seizures in patients with epilepsy.

Ketogenic Diets: An Update for Child Neurologists. Journal of Child Neurology, 2009.
  • Kosoff, EH et al. Optimal Clinical Management of Children Receiving the Ketogenic Diet: Recommendations of the International Ketogenic Diet Study Group. Epilepsia, 2009.
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    Using a ketogenic diet in epilepsy is that usually allows people to take less anti-epileptic drugs, while remaining seizure-free. It’s not unusual to even be able to completely stop taking these drugs while staying seizure-free.

    As all anti-seizure medications have side effects – like drowsiness, reduced concentration, personality changes or even reduced IQ – being able to take less or no drugs can be hugely beneficial.

    More about controlling epilepsy on a ketogenic diet 

     

    More common benefits

    The benefits above are the most common ones. But there are others that are potentially even more surprising and – at least for some people – lifechanging.

    Did you know that low carb often can normalize blood pressure result in less acne, control migraineand much else?

    Follow the links below for more knowledge, stories and science:

    Other potential benefits

    Alzheimer’s,

    Dietary ketosis enhances memory in mild cognitive impairment. Neurobiology of Aging, 2012.

    There are studies linking high, or even “normal”, non-diabetic blood sugar levels to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Since a ketogenic diet lowers blood glucose it could conceivably cut the risk of developing these diseases. Take a look at this study for instance:

    Crane, Paul K. et al. Glucose Levels and Risk of Dementia. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2013.

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     Cancer,
    Targeting Insulin Inhibition as a Metabolic Therapy in Advanced Cancer. Journal of Nutrition, 2012.
  • Tan-Shalaby, JL et al. Modified Atkins diet in advanced malignancies – final results of a safety and feasibility trial within the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Nutrition & Metabolism, 2016.
  • In brain cancer in particular the ketogenic diet looks like a promising addition to other treatments:

    NOTE: This is only an experimental additional treatment of selected cancers, with highly limited evidence. Many conventional cancer treatments (surgery, chemo etc.) are highly effective and they often offer excellent chances of a cure when used in early stages of the disease. To turn down such treatment would be a mistake that could easily be fatal.

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     Parkinson’s disease.
    Treatment of Parkinson disease with diet-induced hyperketonemia: a feasibility study. Neurology, 2005.

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    4. How to Know You’re in Ketosis

    How do you know you’re in ketosis? It’s possible to measure it by testing urine, blood or breath samples. But there are also telltale symptoms, that require no testing:

    Symptoms of ketosis: dry mouth, thirst, frequent urination

    • Dry mouth and increased thirst. Unless you drink enough and get enough electrolytes, like salt, you may feel a dry mouth. Try a cup of bouillon or two daily, plus as much water as you need.
    • Increased urination – another ketone body, acetoacetate, can end up in the urine. This makes it possible to test for ketosis using urine strips. It also – at least when starting out – can result in having to go to the bathroom more often. This is the main cause of the increased thirst (above).
    • Keto breath – this is due to a ketone body called acetone escaping via our breath.
      ketogenic diet:

      AJCN: Breath acetone is a reliable indicator of ketosis in adults consuming ketogenic meals. (2002)

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       It can make a person’s breath smell “fruity”, or similar to nail polish remover. This smell can sometimes also be felt from sweat, when working out. It’s often temporary. Learn more 

     
    Other, less specific but more positive signs include:

    • Reduced hunger – many people experience a marked reduction in hunger.
      Obesity Reviews: Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis (2014)

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       This may possibly be caused by an increased ability of the body to be fueled by its fat stores. Many people feel great while eating just once or twice a day, automatically ending up doing a form of intermittent fasting. This saves both time and money, while also speeding up weight loss.
    • Increased energy – perhaps after a few days of feeling tired (the “keto flu“) many people experience a clear increase in energy levels. This can also be experienced as clear thinking, a lack of “brain fog” or even as a sense of euphoria.


     

    How Do You Measure Ketosis?

    ketone meters
    There are three ways to measure for ketones, which all come with pros and cons:

    1. Urine strips
    2. Breath ketone analyzers
    3. Blood ketone meter


     

    1. Urine stripsketostix

    Urine strips is the most simple and cheap way to measure ketosis. It is the first option for most beginners.

    You dip the stick in your urine, and 15 seconds later the color change will tell you the presence of ketones.

    14
     If you get a high reading (a dark purple color) you’ll know that you’re in ketosis.

    Pro: Ketone strips are available in regular pharmacies or via Amazon and they’re very cheap. A strongly positive test reliably proves that you’re in ketosis.

    Con: Results can vary depending on how much fluid you drink.

    15
     The strips don’t show a precise ketone level. Finally and most importantly, as you become increasingly keto-adapted and your body reabsorbs ketones from the urine, urine strips may become unreliable even if you’re in ketosis.
    16
    Thus the test may sometimes stop working – always showing a negative result – when you’re been in ketosis for several weeks.

    Order urine strips at Amazon 


     

    2. Breath-ketone analyzers

    ketonixBreath-ketone analyzers are a simple way to measure ketones

    17
     in your breath. At around $150 they are more expensive than urine strips. But they are cheaper than blood-ketone meters in the long run, as they are reusable any number of times.

    These analyzers do not give you a precise ketone level, but rather a color code for the general level. Research shows that there is decent correlation with blood ketones in most situations.

    Pro: Reusable, simple test.

    Con: Does not always correlate well with blood ketones. Not accurate, and can sometimes show entirely misleading values. More expensive than urine strips upfront than blood meter. Not portable, needs computer hookup to read.

    Order Ketonix 

    Video

    Using Breath-Ketone Analyzers


     

    3. Blood-ketone metersprecision xtra

    Blood-ketone meters show an exact and current level of ketones in your blood.

    18
     They are currently the gold standard and the most exact way to measure your ketosis level. The major disadvantage, however, is that they are quite expensive: A meter with 10 ketone-test strips and 30 needles included, costs about $120 and then an additional $3 per test after that.

    GOOD: Exact, reliable.

    BAD: Expensive. Requires pricking your finger for a drop of blood.

    Order blood-ketone meter Precision Xtra with everything included, at Amazon 


     

     

     

    5. How to Reach Optimal Ketosis

    Getting into ketosis is not a black or white thing. It’s not like you’re either in ketosis, or out of ketosis. Instead, you can be in different degrees of ketosis, as this chart demonstrates.

    The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance by Professor Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek. Highly recommended.

    "perf"

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     The numbers below refer to values when testing blood ketone levels.

     
    The Ketone Zone

    • Below 0.5 mmol/l is not considered “ketosis”. Although a value of, say, 0.2 demonstrates that you’re getting close. At this level you’re still far away from maximum fat-burning.
    • Between 0.5–1.5 mmol/l is light nutritional ketosis. You’ll be getting a good effect on your weight, but perhaps not optimal.
    • Around 1.5–3 mmol/l is called optimal ketosis and is recommended for maximum mental and physical performance gains. It also maximizes fat burning, which can increase weight loss.
    • Values of over 3 mmol/l aren’t necessary. That is, they will achieve neither better nor worse results than being at the 1.5–3 level. Higher values can also sometimes mean that you’re not getting enough food (“starvation ketosis”). For type 1 diabetics, it can be caused by a severe lack of insulin that requires urgent attention.
      20
    • Values of over 8–10 mmol/l are usually impossible to get to just by eating a ketogenic diet. It means that something is wrong. The most common cause by far is type 1 diabetes with severe lack of insulin.
      while breastfeeding or on a class of diabetes medications called SGLT-2 inhibitors (e.g. Farxiga, Jardiance, Invokana).

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       Symptoms include feeling very sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and confusion. The end result can be a state called ketoacidosis, that may be fatal. Needless to say abnormally high ketones requires immediate medical care. Learn more 

     

    How to achieve ketosis

    There are many things that increase your level of ketosis. Here they are, from most to least important:

    1. Restrict carbohydrates to 20 digestible grams per day or less – a strict low-carb diet. Fiber does not have to be restricted, it might even be beneficial.
      22
    2. Restrict protein to moderate levels. If possible stay at or below 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight. So about 70 grams of protein per day if you weigh 70 kilos (154 pounds). It might be beneficial to lower protein intake even more, especially when overweight, and then aim for 1 gram of protein per kg of desired weight. The most common mistake that stops people from reaching optimal ketosis is too much protein.
    3. Eat enough fat to feel satisfied. This is the big difference between a ketogenic diet and starvation, that also results in ketosis. A ketogenic diet is sustainable, starvation is not.
    4. Avoid snacking when not hungry. Unnecessary snacking slows weight loss and reduces ketosis.
    5. If necessary add intermittent fasting, like 16:8. This is very effective at boosting ketone levels, as well as accelerating weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal.
    6. Add exercise – adding any kind of physical activity while on low carb can increase ketone levels moderately. It can also help speed up weight loss and diabetes type 2 reversal slightly.
    7. Usually not necessary: Supplement MCT oil and/or Bulletproof coffee.
    8. Usually not necessary: Supplement exogenous ketones.
      KETO//OS. This drink raises blood levels of ketones and may possibly improve physical and mental performance under certain circumstances.

      However, it does not lower insulin or blood sugar, and it does not increase fat burning. Thus it hardly helps with weight loss or type 2 diabetes reversal.

      Also note that they are selling through a multi-level marketing scheme, meaning their affiliates are paid on commission. So take all endorsements with a grain of salt.

       

      ""

      Pruvitnow.com

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    Two stories about achieving long-term ketosis

    Optimal ketosis experimentHere are the three reports from a 2-month experiment in reaching optimal ketosis:

    1. Experiment: Optimal ketosis for weight loss and increased performance
    2. Four weeks of strict LCHF and ketone monitoring
    3. Final report: Two months of strict LCHF and ketone monitoring

     
    Here’s a great ten-minute presentation about self-tracking one year in nutritional ketosis:

    A Year of Self-Tracking in Nutritional Ketosis – Dr. Jim McCarter13010:20

    Do I have to reach optimal ketosis to experience the benefits?

    In short, no. Many of the benefits, such as weight loss, are experienced at lower levels of ketosis (at least above 0.5). There are indications that you might need to reach higher levels of ketosis for high-level physical performance.

    A master class in ketosis

    Here’s a great presentation by Professor Jeff Volek, about the benefits of adapting your body to run on fat and ketones for fuel:

    Keto-Adaptation and Performance – Prof Volek13558:58

    Long-term ketosis

    Do you want to understand what it takes to successfully and enjoyably reach and maintain long-term ketosis? Then there’s no better teacher than Professor Stephen Phinney. Get inspired here:

    Low-Carb Living – Dr. Stephen Phinney1111:00:21

     


    6. Keto Tips and Guides

    To make keto truly simple and enjoyable requires a few new skills. For example, how do you cook keto breakfasts that you love? How do you eat more fat? And what’s important to think about when dining out?

    Here are all the guides you need.

     

    breakfast-800-roundedBreakfast

    Breakfast is a great time to eat keto. Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs? In the unlikely event that you answered “I”, there are even great keto options with no eggs at all.

    Another strong option is to just have a cup of coffee, as many people get less hungry on a low-carb, high-fat keto diet and don’t really need breakfast at all. This potentially saves you tons of time.

    There are many other options – both delicious and fast 

     

    meals-800-roundedMeals

    So, what’s for lunch and dinner? You could for example have meatfish or chicken dishes with vegetables and a rich full-fat sauce. There are a million alternatives.

    Check out this guide to learn to cook amazing keto meals 

     

    instead-800-roundedInstead of potatoes, pasta and rice

    Who needs starchy sides when you can have cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice instead? Not to mention butter-fried green cabbage, yum!

    In short, there are lots of great keto alternatives to carb­-rich foods that are both tastier and healthier 

     

    dining-out-800-rounded-ffDining out

    How do you eat low carb at buffets, at a friend’s house or at fast­-food restaurants? The basic idea is to avoid the starchy foods (like bread or pasta) and instead ask for additional natural fat, like butter or olive oil (so you’ll still be satisfied).

    There are many more helpful things to know. This guide explains it all 

     

    snacks-800-roundedSnacks

    You probably don’t need to snack as much on a keto diet, as you’ll feel satisfied longer.

    However, if you want something right away you could have cheese, nuts, cold cuts or even an egg. There are lots of amazing options 

     

    bread-800-roundedBread

    Do you have a hard time living without bread?

    There are good and bad keto options. Spoiler: you’ll probably want to stay away from “low­-carb” bread from the grocery store! Here’s why, and what to do instead 

     

    fat-rounded800How to eat more fat

    Fat is filling and an amazing flavor enhancer. But how do you get in enough of it in your diet? And how much fat should you really eat? Hint: enough to feel satisfied and not hungry.

    Learn all about it in this guide 

     

    cheap-800-rounded-1Avoiding special products

    Another common mistake on a keto diet is being fooled by the creative marketing of special “low-carb” products. Remember: An effective keto diet for weight loss should be based on real food.

    Low-carb products like chocolate, candy, pasta and bread often use all kinds of deceptive marketing, while really being junk food – including carbs – in disguise. Learn more 

    (Picture credit: KetoDiet)

     

    cheap-800-rounded-1How to make keto cheap

    A keto diet doesn’t have to be expensive. In this guide, you’ll learn how to make it super cheap.

    With a little planning and preparation you could save a ton of money 

     

    keto cheatingKeto cheating

    To cheat or not to cheat? This guide will help you decide, and if you do decide to cheat, it will help you do it smarter 

     

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    7. Potential Side Effects of Ketosis

    If you stop eating sugar and starch cold turkey (recommended) you may experience some side effects as your body adjusts. For most people these side effects tend to be mild and last a just few days. There are also ways to minimize them.

    Another option is to decrease the intake of carbohydrates slowly, over a few weeks, to minimize side effects. But the “Nike way” (just do it) is probably the best choice for most people. Removing most sugar and starch often results in several pounds lost on the scale within a few days. This may be mostly fluids, but it’s great for motivation.

    Here are side effects that may occur when you suddenly start a strict keto diet.

     

    cheap-800-rounded-1Keto flu

    By far the most common side effect is called the keto flu, or induction flu. It’s what makes some people feel really bad 2-3 days after starting keto.

    The most common symptoms:

    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Light nausea
    • Irritability

    These side effects rapidly subside as your body adapts and your fat burning increases. Within a week, they are usually gone.

    The reason for this is that carbohydrate-rich foods may increase water retention in your body. When you stop eating high-carb foods you’ll lose excess water and salt through your kidneys, peeing more than usual. This can result in dehydration and a lack of salt during the first week, before the body has adapted, resulting in the symptoms above.

    You can minimize the keto flu by drinking more fluids and by temporarily increasing your salt intake. A good option is to drink a cup of bouillon/broth 1-2 times a day. This usually keeps the keto flu minor or even non-existant.

    Alternatively, drink a few extra glasses of water and put more salt on your food.

    Learn more about keto flu and how to treat it 


     

    cheap-800-rounded-1Ketosis vs. ketoacidosis

    Can ketones get too high, dangerously high, resulting in a medical emergency called ketoacidosis? Not under normal circumstances.

    For most people it’s quite a challenge to even get to optimal ketosis (1,5-3 mmol/l), getting the full benefits and feeling great. Getting into dangerously high ketone levels (more than 8 – 10 mmol/l) is in most cases simply impossible.

    There are 3 exceptions though, where ketoacidosis is possible and extra caution is warranted:

    • Type 1 diabetes: As your body lacks insulin you need to make sure you inject what you need. You’ll need less on keto, but still some. Learn more 
    • Medication with SGLT-2 inhibitors
      more

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       for type 2 diabetes. Learn more 
    • Breastfeeding: In very rare cases a keto diet when breastfeeding can result in ketoacidosis, so you need to adapt the diet to be safe. Learn more 

    Ketoacidosis makes you feel very sick, nauseous and extremely weak.

    There’s a simple treatment if you suspect this may be happening: eat some carbohydrates right away (e.g. a couple of fruits or a sandwich or a glass of juice). If you have type 1 diabetes take more insulin. Then contact emergency medical services if you do not immediately start feeling better.

    Learn more about the differences between healthy ketosis and ketoacidosis 

     

    Other common issues on keto

    Beyond the induction flu, there are five more relatively common side effects. Many of them can also be mostly avoided by getting enough fluid and salt.

    25

    There are also more things you can do to minimize any problems, click to read more if you’ve experienced one of these issues:


     

    Less common issues

    These are less commonly noticed issues, that generally only affect a minority of people:



    All keto and low-carb side effects and how to cure them 

     

    Keto myths

    Beyond the usually minor and transient side effects that may occur (see above) there are tons of myths and fears that simply don’t hold up to closer scrutiny. For example, your brain is supposed to stop working unless you eat carbs. We’ll, that’s simply wrong.

    There are many more unfounded fears about keto, that are mostly based on myths and misunderstandings. Read all about them on our low-carb and keto myths page, or choose a specific topic below:





     

     

    8. Keto Q&A, Troubleshooting and Resources

    What’s the difference between low-carb and keto diets?

    Keto is a very strict low-carb diet, that also puts even more emphasis on moderating the protein intake, and relying primarily on fat to supply energy needs.

    A regular strict low-carb diet will likely put most people in ketosis anyway. But a keto diet tweaks things even further to make sure it’s working and, if desired, to get even deeper into ketosis.

    Keto could be called an extra strict low-carb diet.

     

    Why am I not in ketosis?

    The two most common reasons for not getting into ketosis are:

    1. Too many carbs
    2. Too much protein

    For more tips see our full guide above.

    Note that the amounts that people tolerate while staying in ketosis are individual, differing from person to person. Here’s a 3-part series of blog posts about how our coworker Bjarte Bakke found out how to get into optimal ketosis:

    1. Why you’re not in ketosis
    2. How much protein can you eat in ketosis?
    3. What to eat in ketosis

     

    Should you aim for high ketone levels to speed up weight loss?

    Yes and no. Eating fewer carbs, less protein and doing intermittent fasting certainly promotes weight loss, while lowering insulin and raising ketones.

    However, adding extra fat to raise ketone levels does not promote weight loss. Neither does supplementing with MCT oil to raise ketone levels, or drinking “exogenous” ketone supplements. These methods actually slow down weight loss, by providing alternative fuel to be used instead of burning body fat.

    If you want to lose weight, only use these methods – MCT oil or exogenous ketones – when you are hungry, or for performance reasons (unrelated to weight loss).

    Learn more: The Benefits of Ketones… Endogenous Ketones

     

    At what time of the day should you test ketone levels?

    For comparison purposes, it’s good to measure about the same time every day. Measuring in the morning before eating makes it easier to compare the result from day to day.

    However, morning numbers are usually among the lowest in the day, while evening numbers are higher. So if for some reason you want impressively high numbers, measure in the evenings instead. Be aware that your ketone levels don’t distinguish between the burning of dietary fat and stored fat.
     
    More low-carb questions & answers


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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2017 at 5:23pm
    Dear Diary Wink;  It's 3 pm pst and I have not eaten yet today.  No appetite.  So, I decided for the first time in more than a year to purposely do some physical activity in the form of exercise,  hoping to stimulate my appetite.  Did not do much, just a 15 min walking video. I made it through without breathing hard or working up a sweat, not even a little misting.  Maybe tomorrow I will try the 
    2-mile video Shocked.

    I decided to give myself until 6 pm to eat, whether I'm hungry or not.   Already prepared a large mixed greens salad with 4 slices Bacon (needed to keep protein up), 2 hard boiled Eggs, 1/2 Avocado, piece of Red Bell Pepper and Celery along with dressing.
    Will also have 4 ounces of chicken leg & thigh meat sometime before bed.
    Carbs total..16.6 gms (Clap keeping it under 20)
    Protein......61 gms
    Fat.....83 gms
    Cals...1062 (will need to find a way to bring that up a bit without going overboard)

    Tongue
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2017 at 8:20pm
    ..

    Edited by Benni - Aug 16 2017 at 8:25pm
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