What Is The Keto Flu And Why Does It Make Me Feel Horrible?

I mean, it’s called a flu for a reason.

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The Keto Reset Diet Is Basically An Easier Way To Burn Fat Fast

You can still have bacon though, right?

It’s no secret that the keto diet is rough–first, you’ve got to ditch most of your beloved carbs; then, you realize the plan doesn’t include ice cream; and don’t even get me started on the keto flu.

If only there were a diet out there that could prepare you for the keto diet, right?

Actually, there is. The plan comes from Mark Sisson—founder of the Primal Kitchen food brand—who published The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever in 2016.

What is the Keto Reset Diet and how its it different?

Basically, the two diets work the same way: by changing the way your body fuels itself so that it burns fat rather than carbs. The Keto Reset Diet just gets you there a little slower.

“Essentially, the Keto Reset Diet is a step-by-step guide as to how to get into ketosis,” says Alix Turoff, R.D., a nutritionist and certified personal trainer. “Sisson’s goal is to essentially ‘dumb down’ the ketogenic diet and walk you through how to properly execute it,” she says.

That’s actually not a bad idea when it comes to the ketogenic diet, because it’s not an easy plan to take on. The OG keto diet calls for serious carb restriction and increased fat consumption (60 to 75 percent of your daily calories should come from fat, 15 to 30 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbs.)—a big change from the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend people get 45 to 65 percent of their daily calories from carbs.

Instead, the Keto Reset Diet eases you into keto through a 21-day low-carb transition period so the shift isn’t so extreme—think of it as the keto diet for beginners.

For the three weeks you’re on the diet, you’ll eliminate simple sugars as well as refined grains and breads (like the keto diet), but you can still eat eat starchy vegetables like potatoes and some grains (not so much like the keto diet).

“You stay on the first part of the program until your body has become more efficient at burning fat—you’re looking to see if you can go longer periods without feeling hungry and if you feel like you have the energy to get through a workout,” says Turoff. “Once your body has started to become fat-adapted, you move to a full-blown ketogenic diet.”

Once you’re done with the 21-day Keto Reset Diet, the goal is to be in full-on keto mode, where you’ll cut back on carbs even more and nix the starchy veggies. By transitioning slowly, you may even sidestep the keto flu (or at least lessen its hellish symptoms).

Now the real question: Will it help me lose weight?

“All diets, regardless of their methods, are effective for weight loss if they create a calorie deficit,” says Harbstreet. Turoff agrees: “It’s pretty clear that when a ketogenic diet is executed properly, it does lead to weight loss—but most people have no idea how to execute it correctly.”

This is where the Keto Reset Diet has a leg up on the keto diet—it’s a pared down version so it may be simpler to follow, which might lead to a better chance of weight loss.

Still, both R.D.s recommend using caution when starting the diet—reset or otherwise. “I hesitate to recommend the keto diet given that it’s very difficult to comply with,” says Harbstreet.

Turoff adds that it may be even more difficult for people who don’t necessarily know how many carbohydrates they eat in a day to begin with (or how to count them, for that matter). “If you’re interested in a keto reset diet or otherwise, I would highly recommend you work with a dietitian to ensure you’re doing it correctly.”

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What’s the Difference Between Keto and Atkins?

The two popular diets drastically reduce carb intake, but here’s how they stack up in terms of difficulty, safety, and results.

A keto plate can look like this.

If the most popular low-carb diets were ranked, the ketogenic diet and the Atkins diet would be neck and neck. “They both follow carbohydrate restriction,” says Erin Dolinski, RD, a clinical dietitian specialist at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

We’re not just talking about cutting back on the bad-for-you carbs — the donuts, cupcakes, and cookies — but even things like fruit and some veggies. Limiting carbs as much as these diets require puts the body into ketosis, which means the body turns to fat for fuel once its glucose stores are depleted. Ketosis plays a role in each of the diets but in different ways, which could affect how sustainable the diet is in the long run.

An Overview of How the Atkins Diet Works

The Atkins diet was introduced in 1972 by a cardiologist named Robert Atkins, and it’s been popular on and off since, Dolinski says. The original version of the diet (now called Atkins 20) has four phases. The introductory phase of the diet kicks it off with by far the most restrictive rules.

Protein and fat are fair game on Atkins, but carbs are strictly limited to between 20 and 25 grams (g) of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) during the introductory phase. Those carbs come from nuts, seeds, veggies, and cheese. “Having only that amount of carbohydrates can result in your body going into ketosis,” Dolinski says. You’ll stay in this phase until you’re about 15 pounds (lb) away from your goal weight.

RELATED: What’s the Difference Between Ketosis and Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

Phase two increases the carb allotment to 25 to 50 g, adding in foods like blueberries, cottage cheese, and yogurt. You’ll stay here until you’re about 10 lb away from your goal.

During the third phase, you’ll increase to between 50 and 80 g of net carbs as you try to find that perfect balance — how many carbs can you eat before the weight loss stalls? “It is done slowly, realistically, with some trial and error to see what amount of carbohydrates can be consumed again without causing any weight gain,” says Michelle Jaelin, RD, a Hamilton, Ontario–based blogger at NutritionArtist.com.

Once you figure that out and maintain it for one month, it’s on to phase four: Lifetime Maintenance. This part of the diet focuses on continuing the habits developed during phase three. Carbs are allowed (up to 100 g per day), as long as the weight doesn’t creep back on.

RELATED: How Do You Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbohydrates?

An Overview of How the Ketogenic Diet Works

There are a lot of moving parts with Atkins and its four phases. The ketogenic, or “keto,” diet, on the other hand, promotes one way of eating for the entirety of the diet. You’ll cut your carbs down to about 5 percent of your daily intake. Seventy-five percent of your remaining calories will come from fat and 20 percent from protein. As a result of eating this way for a few days, you will enter ketosis, which you can monitor with keto urine strips if you choose.

The keto diet was first developed in the 1920s as a way to treat children with epilepsy, Dolinski says. Since then, research has linked the diet to weight loss, hence the many people without a history of seizures who have hopped on the bandwagon. A study published in November 2017 in Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews found that subjects who followed the keto diet for 10 weeks had significant changes in weight, body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), and HgA1c levels.

Still, Dolinski recommends the diet only for children with epilepsy, because cutting out entire food groups and drastically changing the way you eat poses a fair amount of risk. “The buildup of ketones can cause a lot of side effects, such as nausea, headaches, mental fatigue, and bad breath,” she says. It can also lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals and increase your risk of kidney stones and potentially heart disease, depending on the types of fats people choose.

RELATED: What to Eat and Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet

Similarities Between the Ketogenic Diet and the Atkins Diet

Will you lose weight on either of these low-carb diets? Most likely you will, if you follow them strictly.

Dolinski suspects you’ll mainly lose water weight in the beginning because carbs retain water. She suspects you’ll gain a lot of that back once you start eating normally again. A study published in November 2014 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that after one year, people who followed Atkins lost a modest amount of weight (4.6 to 10.3 lb), though some of the weight was regained by the end of year two.

You don’t have to count your calories on Atkins or keto. But you do need to track the number of carbs you take in. On keto, you also need to make sure you’re hitting the right percentages of calories coming from fat and protein.

As for which diet is easier to follow, Jaelin says it depends on the person and his or her eating habits before starting the diet. Neither one will be easy, though, because low-carb diets can lead to dizziness, nutritional deficiencies, and mental and physical fatigue, Dolinski says. U.S. News & World Report puts the Atkins diet’s “easy to follow” score at 1.8 out of 5 and keto’s at 1.4.

RELATED: Here’s What to Expect if You Try the Ketogenic Diet

A Look at the Differences Between Keto and Atkins

One key difference between the keto diet and Atkins is the amount of protein you’re allowed to take in. There’s no cap on Atkins, while keto limits protein to about 20 percent of your daily calories.

The other big difference is that keto centers on the body being in ketosis during the entire period of the diet, while ketosis plays a role only during phase one and possibly two of Atkins. On Atkins, you eventually reintroduce carbs, but on keto, carbs are always limited.

That means Atkins may be more sustainable in the long run because it’s not quite as restrictive and doesn’t require you to make sure your body remains in ketosis. Plus, on Atkins, you can eventually add back nutritious foods like quinoa, oatmeal, and fruit, the Atkins website notes.

RELATED: 8 Veggies That Make Great Low-Calorie Bread Substitutes

Which Low-Carb Diet Is Safer, According to Dietitians?

Jaelin says neither of these diets is recommended for people with diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease. But without any of those chronic conditions, the diets can be safe if done short term, Jaelin says. A study published in American Family Physician found that low-carb diets are more effective than low-fat diets at lowering levels of triglycerides and A1C and raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

The long-term safety of low-carb diets is a little iffy. Jaelin suspects that’s because dropout rates for studies involving low-carb diets are high. A study published in February 2017 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care looked at 10 low-carb studies and found dropout rates ranged from 2 percent to 60 percent.

Considering giving one of these diets a try? Both Jaelin and Dolinski recommend speaking to a doctor or dietitian first.

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11 Essential Tips to Get Fat Adapted with Keto Diet

Healthy lifestyle strategies have an immense impact on a person’s life. From waking up to eating food and getting back to bed, the human body demands a regular set of circumstances to sustain. More and more common people are getting indulged into fitness regime to stay in fine fettle.

With the sudden emergence of the keto diet, staying in shape is a lot more convenient now. However, a body needs time to earn acquaintance with an entirely new way of eating style.

Before jumping into the methods to inherit ketogenic diet, check out the basic.

What is the keto diet?

It is a low carb diet, which aims at small intake of carb, moderate protein and a significant portion of fat in the daily diet.

What is ketosis diet up to?

The primary aim of this LCHF diet is to cut down the amount of carb to minimal, and use fatty acid converted into ketones as the primary source of energy instead of glucose.

How to get fat adapted to the diet?

Obeying keto diet allows the liver to produce ketones; this phase is termed as being fat adapted. So to get accustomed with it, one can follow to cyclic ketogenic diet to get useful results.

Follow these 11 tips to fetch maximum out of the low carb diet and maintain fat adaption.

  1. Drink lots of water

This is a no-brainer tip; drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. The main reason behind this is, body vents out more water when carbohydrate intake is less.

The goal should be drinking water at least, half of the body weight of a dieter. Drinking 1 to 1.5 litres of water after waking up is an excellent way to practice proper hydration.

One can combine the super hydration tactic with intake of herbal teas, detoxifying smoothies or even bullet coffee to make this run-through more palatable. Permutation and combination of healthy drinks with water is an easy way to achieve hydration during hectic hours.

  1. Have Adequate Sleep

Lack of proper sleep, leads to various pathological conditions, including irritability and depression, making it tough to live a normal healthy life. When a person undergoes a keto diet, it is crucial to have adequate hours of sleep.

Poor sleep increases the level of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a stress hormone which deters a person, from burning body fat. A nap of 7 to 8 hours is must for the dieters.

Try to sleep in a relatively chilly room (around 65 degrees) keeping low light inside. Humidity can cause a disturbance in sleep leading to prevention of weight loss.

People on ketosis should try to have a particular schedule of slumber to make the process restorative.

  1. Choose crab wisely

Choosing and keeping track of carb intake is of utmost importance in keto diet. The general thumb rule in consumption of carb per day is between 20 to 30 Gms. If one can exercise regularly, a maximum of 50 Gms is allowed.

Foods like chicken wings with loaded sauce, milk, yoghurt can have hidden carb. Avoid certain foods which are not keto-friendly and are full of sugar.

Crab plays an evil-necessary in low carb diet. So, incorporate carb in the diet through non-starchy veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and cabbage. Also consume low-glycemic fruits like lemon, lime, handful of berries etc.

  1. Exercise frequently

Exercise frequently while on a ketogenic diet by practising yoga or some heavy intensity workouts, to stimulate a GLUT-4 receptor in muscle tissues and liver.

This receptor removes sugar from bloodstream and stores as glycogen. Getting a regular exercise regime helps to double this vital protein in liver and muscle.

This is an essential physiological, metabolic adaptation for maintaining ketosis. Additionally, one can take up a light workout scheme like swimming and walk to strike a balance between glucose level and ketogenic diet weight loss.

  1. Shoot down the stress

Chronic stress is an awful agent to hinder a person going into the state of ketosis due to increase in cortisol hormones. These hormones, in turn, raise blood glucose level, which prevents a body against chronic stressors.

Considering the stressful circumstances, the body fails to adapt ketogenic diet and gains extra pounds. So, it is of utmost importance to cut down stress from life and adopt relaxation technique like deep breathing, meditation to fit into this food regime.

  1. Emphasis on Bowel Motility

Gut health plays a key role in the overall wellness of a person’s health. When a person takes up keto diet, constipation is a significant problem that crops up. Primary reasons behind this gastrointestinal problem are:

  • Presence of pre-existing intestinal bacterial growth
  • Dehydration
  • Insufficient consumption of electrolytes
  • Chronic stress

A person having difficulty in bowel movement ends up having a high level of stress hormones that affect body’s ability to produce ketones. Focusing on fermented food like kimchi, apple cider vinegar, pickles etc. helps to improve gut motility.

Intake of a lot of electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium also help mend gut microbiome and turns the body asa right fat burner.

  1. Opt for Intermittent Fasting

Practising intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to maintain and get into ketosis diet. Read the following tips to make most of the benefits of fasting:

  • Building Phase:

This is the time interval of 8 to 12 hours between the first and last meal.

  • Cleansing Phase:

It ranges between 12 to 16 hours between first and last meal.

Consume organic tea or coffee, and loads of water in the interval to adapt the body for production of ketones.

  1. Use quality MCT oil in the food

MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) is a vital item to elevate ketones in the body during a keto diet. It allows a dieter to devour more proteins and even carbohydrate maintaining a proper ketogenic state.

It is made up of caprylic and capric acids, reduces calorie load to 60 to 70 per cent of fats. MCT oil can be used in various ketogenic recipes like coffee, tea, protein shakes, and smoothies.

Bottom Line

Maintaining a proper keto diet includes creating a new lifestyle with habits that are beneficial for a person entering a state of fat adaptation. By understanding the mechanism of one’s own body, a person can eventually gain significant advantages to living a happier and healthier life.

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