Low Carb Diet for Nutritional Ketosis

Low Carb Diet for Nutritional Ketosis

How to Add More Fat to Your Low Carb Diet for Nutritional Ketosis

Lately the interwebs have been buzzing with Jimmy Moore’s summer 2012 weight loss success after tweaking his macronutrient ratios. I have been on the edge of my seat waiting to see how he did it. He is basing his new refined low carb diet on the advice from the great book The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance by Dr. Phinney and Dr. Volek.

Just like Jimmy, many long time low carbers and nutrition enthusiasts have tried various methods – thyroid/adrenal protocols, parasite cleanses, homeopathy, HCG diets, colonics/enema’s, Leptin resets, green juices, bone broth diets, probiotics, meditation, EFT, positive thinking, HITT training, Slow Burn, Crossfit – you name it. We can all relate to his struggle of “doing everything right” but not losing weight. Maybe Jimmy Moore, Dr. Phinney and Dr. Volek have found the missing link to the low carb weight loss puzzle: restricting protein? Jimmy’s success in losing weight has given us all hope that if he can do it, maybe we can also bust through our own personal plateaus.

Is monitoring protein and increasing fat the answer to low carb weight loss stalls? It is worth a shot and it can’t hurt to try, as long we make sure to eat the highest quality fats. Read my article about which fats are healthy to eat here: Which Fats Are Healthy at GrassFedGirl.com. Please make sure and eat the right fats or you will not succeed long term on a low carb diet.

Protein free for all:

I came into low carb and paleo in the summer of 2010, and have always eaten plenty of protein and fat without worrying about percentages. This lifestyle has kept my weight stable, tamed my autoimmune condition and helped me regulate my blood sugar but I would love to lose a few extra pounds (who wouldn’t?). I have seen Paleo and low carb work wonders in my clients as well, but some people need extra help to fine-tune their low carb results.

Keto-what?

In their book, Phinney and Volek instruct readers to restrict protein and carbs to lose weight and become keto-adapted. Keto adaptation is where the body burns fat instead of relying on glucose (carbs) for fuel. The authors think that if we eat too much protein it will also turn to sugar, preventing the body from becoming keto-adapted and burning its own fat as fuel.

What should my protein intake be?

What does limiting protein mean in practical terms and how much do we actually need daily to get into nutritional ketosis? This chart should from A New Atkins for a New You, should help:

Don’t forget to keep counting those carbs:

Another tip Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney give readers in The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance is to keep carbs very low — 50 grams or less.

Getting into the optimal Ketone Zone:

It is my understanding that optimal levels for nutritional ketosis and fat burning are (1.5 – 3 mmol/L) mode. This can be measured with a blood ketone meter. It can take a week or so to get into this zone, so keep checking and don’t give up.

How to increase your fat:

If someone is limiting protein and carbs, they need to increase fat to be full after meals. Fat is very satiating. But who wants to eat plain butter? I wanted to give you some interesting ways to lower protein intake but still feel fulfilled without resorting to drinking olive oil.

Ghee: butter makes it better:

Add butter to each bite of meat. Dr. Volek and Phinney advise using Irish grass fed butter because it is more nutritious. I like to add a big bite of grass fed butter to each bite of meat to speed satiation. Don’t forget about ghee which is just butter with the casein removed. Ghee is extra delicious on top of steaks and soups. Some people who can’t tolerate butter can tolerate ghee.

Cheese please:

Add a variety of cheese if tolerated, but try to get organic and/or raw milk cheese whenever possible. Hormones and antibiotics that are given to animals are concentrated in milk products. Use caution on serving sizes; in his New Diet Revolution, Dr. Atkins advised a limit of 4 oz of cheese per day. If your weight loss stalls, removing dairy may help speed up results. It is a common food sensitivity, causing intestinal stress.

Cream of the crop:

Add cream if tolerated; again go for grass-fed and organic dairy to lower the chemical burden on the liver; this will improve fat burning. Also check for the thickener carrageenan, a carcinogen and gut irritant.

Veggies as Fat Vehicles:

Use low carb veggies like kale chips, spinach, celery, endive, romaine, etc, as a fat vehicles. See my last article on CarbSmart.com about adding crunch to your low carb diet.

Mucho (homemade) Mayo:

Try this easy recipe for macadamia nut oil mayo, it will add life to chicken or ham. Beware low quality fats like soybean and canola; Volek and Phinney find they can make low carbers feel unwell.

5 Ways Low Carb Lifestyles Help You To Lose Weight Without Starving.

5 Ways Low Carb Lifestyles Help You To Lose Weight Without Starving.

Low carb diets are common in the weight loss spectrum. Many studies have shown them to result in more weight lost as compared to the standard low fat diet plan.

Going on a low carb diets has so many health benefits, including the fact that they are highly effective at eliminating visceral fat, such as that in the belly, a most dangerous type of body fat.  

There have been so many speculations, thoughts and ideas on why low carb diets are effective for weight loss, hopefully this article will bring some clarity.

What Exactly Is A Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet is a system of eating where carbohydrates are drastically or significantly, cut from the diet, and in the strictest plans, like the Ketogenic diet, carb intake is limited to non-starchy vegetables and some dairy. When ones diet contains fewer carbohydrates, the body no longer gets its energy from the glucose they produce and instead begins to burn fat for energy.

Starch and sugar carbohydrates are substituted with healthy fats and a moderate protein intake. Sugar, pastries, pasta, bread, cereal, beans, or any other starches are no longer allowed, as you will indulge vegetables, fatty foods such as Ghee, butter, fatty fish, oils and some dairy along with eggs, steak, chicken, seafood and other protein sources.

How Does It Aid Weight Loss?

  1. Triggers Ketosis: Eating a low carb diet triggers a process known as ketosis, which is where the body begins to burn fat for energy instead of dietary carbs, which is a very efficient way to burn fat stores and lose weight.
  2. Eliminates water weight: People who have gone on low carb diet typically lose quite a bit of weight in the first two weeks, likely, this occurs when water that is tied to glycogen comes off the body and is actually a quite encouraging event that supports the continuation of a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Eliminates insulin trigger foods: Starch and sugar carbs are insulin triggers that cause blood sugar spikes that lead to weight gain. While on a low carb diet, these insulin triggers are eliminated so the body can burn fat instead of storing it.  
  4. They are high in protein: Protein helps keep you full and satisfied so you naturally eat less, it also helps to increase lean muscle mass that promotes fat burning. This is one of the factors that make low carb diets effective.
  5. Regulates the appetite and naturally reduces calorie intake: A low carb diet naturally regulates the appetite because all those insulin triggers foods that wreak havoc in the blood stream to cause erratic hunger and out of control cravings are eliminated.

    Additionally, Researches from St. Louis and Japan (Banks WA1, Coon AB, Robinson SM, Moinuddin A, Shultz JM, Nakaoke R, Morley JE, et all) found that the hunger regulating hormone leptin is positively affected by the low carb diet’s ability to reduce triglyceride levels in the body, which allows that hormone to work more effectively in regulating the appetite.

When people embark on a low carb diet, their appetite significantly drops naturally, and they naturally feel satisfied with less food, resulting in weight loss as they naturally eat less calories and without suffering and starvation.

Are Low Carb Diets Safe?

This is a frequently asked question, which is common amongst people wanting to embark on a low carb journey. The low carb experience is not for everyone, though it is followed by thousands of people around the world, without any problems.  

  • It may have side effects for some, while others may experience nothing. Usually any side effects are short lived. In general, statics and research shows them to be highly effective for weight loss, and to also reduce risks for cardiovascular disease better than low fat eating plans.
  • Make sure you understand what a particular low carb diet has to offer before choosing it.  
  • In conclusion, low carb diets aids weight loss by triggering ketosis, a metabolic state where the body uses stored fat as its source of energy. 
  • Low carb diets also do a great job of regulating appetite and naturally allow those following them to eat less, while feeling satisfied and this is another one of the main reasons that the weight loss is so strong and visible.
  • Low carb diets are not fads, but lifestyles that have helped thousands of people reverse obesity and improve their health. It may just do the same for you.

Stay well and take care!