Secrets About Very Low Carbohydrate Dieting (Ketogenic)

There’s low carb dieting, and then there is the ketogenic diet. According to the FDA, a normal diet should contain between 45 and 65% of total calories from carbohydrates. A low carbohydrate diet to the FDA consists of anything less than 65% of carbs, and a very low carbohydrate diet is less than 45% carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet is even more low carbohydrate than that. Depending on how many grams of fat you consume, you could possible eat between 10 and 20% of your calories from carbohydrates. It has been shown that consuming 4 fat calories to every 1 carbohydrate calorie (excluding fructose) will allow someone to maintain ketosis. This is roughly a 1 g to 2 g ratio (Politi K [2011] The Ketogenic Diet). With that fact being established, a ketogenic diet is as carb free as it can be.

However, doing a ketogenic diet may not be as simple as it seems. Aside from the carb cravings and the low-blood-sugar induced mood swings, there are other factors involved with maintaining ketones in the body.

Before moving on I should ask, do you still have some questions about ketosis?
I hope that good bit of reading helps you understand this diet a bit better.

I’m not going to attempt to swoon you into wanting to do this diet, but I am going to help you understand some of the underground discrepancies with this diet. For starters, when someone begins doing a ketogenic diet they may want to purchase kitostix.

It may take up to 14 days for your body to effectively begin ketosis. If you don’t want to sit around for 14 days you can check your urine with a ketostix. If the ketostix changes colors at all, indicating at least 5 mg/dl then you are in ketosis. If you show more than 40 mg/dl then you are suffering from ketoacidosis and you probably have diabetes – so be careful. Now, if you are a healthy individual you should enter ketosis very quickly, unfortunately, a common complaint people have is that their ketostix stops changing colors after a few days. Why is that? When you do a ketogenic diet your liver has to realize that there is a lack of carbohydrates, and then it has to create ketones. Ketones are lypolised fats which are converted into carbonyl groups bonded to two hydrocarbon groups. When this bond is broken to produce energy, ATP, an acetone group is released. The healthier a person is the more effectively they will recycle acetone groups. Ketostix measure the amount of acetone in the urine. So, when you pee on a ketostix and it doesn’t change even though you’ve only had 100 carbs in the past 14 days don’t worry. Ketostix are great ways to monitor ketosis during the first few days of dieting or after a cheat day. (The art and science of low carbohydrate living)

Another problem people may come across is sweeteners. Many people can remain ketogenic while consuming a small amount of sugar, however, consuming High Fructose Corn Syrup is a one way ticket out of ketosis (link to another blog on ketostix). Avoid it at all cost.

Many people during Very Low Carbohydrate diets consume large quantities of synthetic sweeteners. Getting through sugar cravings is a lot easier when we can still taste sweet stuff. Unfortunately, research is showing that putting something extremely sweet in your mouth may cause a spike in insulin (Just T. [2008] Cephalic phase insulin release in healthy humans after taste simulation). Now, insulin may not seem like such a bad guy until you realize what it does to your body. This pancreatic hormone stores nutrients, sometimes as fat, and it causes changes in blood sugar levels. Insulin levels can impact how the liver handles ketones. Ipso facto, you’re “sugar free” treat may have ruined your diet. (Liang Y [1987] the effect of artificial sweetener on insulin secretion. 1.) That being said, some people can consume moderate amounts of sweetener while remaining in ketosis. Stevia is a possible sweetener that could be used sparingly.

Now that you know entirely too much about ketosis, you may ask yourself, what’s the point? Well, a ketogenic diet can help with things such as cancer, fatty liver disease, pre-diabetes, and insulin resistance. Likewise a diet like this will help decrease body fat and make you feel healthier overall.

I’m currently doing a ketogenic diet as a method to cut down for my weightclass. Sometime in February I will release a post detailing how I was able to lose weight while still consuming 4000 calories per day. Stay tuned if you’d like to lose body fat while consuming plenty of calories. Until then use these "secrets" when you do a ketogenic diet, and reach your dietary goals. 

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.