Understanding Your Metabolism & Fat Loss

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What Is The Metabolism Really ?

Your metabolism is the chemical reactions that take place inside your body to either build up ( build muscle) or break down  (food into energy) molecules and tissues.

  • Catabolism: breaking down larger to smaller (digesting food)

  • Anabolism: Building smaller to larger ( Building muscle mass)

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Your Metabolic Rate (Caloric Burn)

Your metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn through the breaking down & Building processes of the metabolism

The 4 components of your  daily caloric burn: The four components of your metabolism that will control how many calories you burn on a daily basis and includes.

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  • Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): This is the amount of calories your body uses to sustain basic functions. Makes up about 50-70% of  your total caloric burn.

This includes the amount of calories the body burns to support your breathing, organ function, keeping blood pumping and is impacted by your bodyweight and muscle mass.

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  • Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): This is the amount of calories your body uses for everything not eating, exercise, RMR or sleeping. Based on activity makes up 10-40% of  your total caloric burn depending on your activity level.

This includes but isn’t limited to walking, fidgeting, working at a standing desk, cooking or doing the dishes and any other kind of movement that isn’t for the purpose of elevating your heart rate or engaging in formal exercise.

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  • Thermic Effect Of Activity (TEA):This is the amount of calories your body uses for everything that's formal exercise or sports. depending on activity level can range from 10-20% of caloric burn but be much higher for athletes

TEA is going to include all forms of strength training or exercise, any kind of sports like soccer, basketball or boxing or any kind of running.

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  • Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF):This is the amount of calories it takes to digest the food that you eat. When you eat the body has to use expend energy to breaking down food into the usable molecules in the body. Each macronutrient has a different level of TEF calorie burn, and makes up about 10-12% of your caloric burn.
     

  • Protein: 20-25%

  • Fats: 3-4%

  • Carbs: 4-7%

  • Fibrous Vegetables:15-20%

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Can Your Metabolism & Metabolic Rate Change ?

As you lose weight and diet, each different part of the metabolism has an adaptive component to it that will cause it to change as a response to weight loss and dieting.

We'll be covering how RMR, NEAT, TEA and TEF all change as you diet to lose body fat in the in the rest of this series.

Understanding Your Metabolism & Fat Loss (Part 2: Fat Loss) 

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There is a lot of talk about specific diets that help someone accomplish fat loss and while the food choices among these diets are very different there is one principle they all have in common with regards to fat loss… they help create a calorie deficit.

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What Causes Any and Every Diet To Work For Fat Loss ?

To achieve fat loss you’ll need to be in a calorie deficit, meaning you’re burning more calories than you’re eating.

When this is done on a consistent enough basis assuming there are no special considerations the result is fat loss.

You can create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories, or by increasing exercise. The reality is that most people burn far fewer calories during exercise than they think.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are extremely good you burn far fewer calories exercising that you assume.  

For that reasons when it comes to creating a calorie deficit and effort is take into account it heavily favors eating fewer calories over trying increase exercise enough to burn way more calories.

On the opposite end living in a constant state of being in a large calorie deficit will cause the body to adapt and find ways to burn fewer calories wherever possible.

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Your Body Doesn't Want you To Lose Body Fat

The truth is your body doesn’t really want you to lose body fat because one of your main evolutionary goals is to conserve calories for survival, and fat loss directly threatens that goal by burning extra calories off your body. 

As you lose body your body will find ways to make this fat loss more difficult to achieve and slower. 

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The two main ways that your body will fight back against your fat loss is to make you move less which reduces your NEAT and burns fewer calories.

Secondly when you’re in a calorie deficit the body will increase your appetite and cravings in an attempt to get you to eat more food and gain back the fat that you lost.

 

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Other Ways Your Metabolism Can Adapt During Fat Loss/Calorie Deficit

There are other metabolic adaptations that take when someone is in a calorie deficit or has lost body fat place such as a smaller body burning fewer calories. 

Decreased food intake resulting in a reduced thermic effect of food and movement/ muscular efficiency where the body will adapt to burn fewer calories for the same movements as done before.

All of these different adaptations are part of the way your metabolism can modify your calorie burn with fat loss, and slow down your future fat loss.

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Is It Metabolic Damage or Starve Mode ? 

You’ve likely heard of “Starve Mode” or “Metabolic Damage” but in many regards those are inaccurate, these are expected calorie expenditure reductions that takes place when someone loses fat, or eats in a calorie deficit for too long.

To what degree and how quickly your body will adapt to fat loss is highly individual, and something we’ll discuss in an upcoming posts. 

Understanding Your Metabolism & Fat Loss (Part 3: Adaptations) 

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The whole reason that you’re able to lose body when you diet is due to stimulus and adaptations. When you’re in calorie deficit the fat loss you achieve is an adaptation to the stimulus of burning more calories than you’re consuming regularly.

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These adaptations that take place as you lose body fat and weight are a completely normal part of the process, but it doesn't necessarily mean that your body is pleased with the situation though. 

When you lose body fat and weigh less you'll naturally burn fewer calories because a smaller body requires less energy to manage and run. On top ofweighing less when you give the body far less energy via food it starts to send the signal to the brain that those precious body fat (energy) stores are getting low which can register as a threat to your survival. 

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When you diet to lose body fat you are mimicking a form of controlled starvation, and your body doesn't know the difference between you looking to get lean or something that could be a threat to your survival. 

As your body fat gets lower your body and brain begin to recognize that the stored calories that are necessary in case of a famine are getting more and more scarce which means it needs to adapt in an attempt to bring you back into equilibrium. 

Most adaptations in the body are meant to bring you back into a state equilibrium and remove you from any form of stress.  These adaptations are meant to help you survive which is the main goal from an evolutionary perspective along with procreation.

Your body becomes much more efficient with how calories are burned and used in the body when you're dieting as a way to ensure your survivalthrough the perceived starvation you're putting it through.  

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Your body'senergy efficiency and adaptations will start to directly oppose your fat loss goals because the body  finds ways to make you burn fewer calories both at rest and during exercise in an attempt to bring you back into equilibrium and protect your fat stores. 

You'll even want to move less to conserve more energy both consciously and unconsciously, and your hunger signaling and appetite will also be impacted in an attempt to get you to eat more.

 Each part of your metabolism is uniquely impact by these adaptations to fat loss and that's what we're be discussing below is the different ways each component of the metabolism is effected. 

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RMR Adaptation:

As we mentioned above when you lose body fat and weigh less the body will have to expend fewer calories to manage and maintain your new lower bodyweight. 

Another consideration is if you've been dieting and haven't consumed adequate protein or been t strength training the body will not be getting the signal to maintain muscle mass and it can be used as an energy source. 

While not hugely significant muscle mass is a more energy intensive tissue to maintain, and uses up more calories than body fat and contributes to a higher resting metabolic rate. 

The main way to ensure that muscle mass is preserved is to use strength training as a stimulus and signal to the body that to manage the stress of lifting heavy things you'll need to hold on to as much muscle as possible. Adequate protein helps to rebuild and repair lean tissue ,and also blunts hunger very effectively. Double whammy!

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NEAT Adaptation:

For a long time people have undervalued the amount of calories we expend daily through NEAT activity, and this is also where people will see the largest reduction in their caloric expenditure when dieting due to a number of factors we'll be covering below. 

A large part of the magic that takes place with NEAT activity is that a lot of it is unconscious things that we don't give thought to like fidgeting, deciding to stand or sit when working or the basic day to day movements that are part of your normal routine. 

As someone gets deeper into dieting for fat loss what they don't consider is that the body will inherently make them move less by encouraging you to sit more, park closer or drive to someplace that they used to walk to daily. While these are small considerations on a daily basis they add to a significantly lower caloric burn throughout the day, weeks and months. 

Another interesting part of the NEAT calorie reduction equation is that even if you do maintain the same level of NEAT activity while dieting the body makes you more efficient by reducing the amount of calories your burn during that activity. 

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TEA Adaptation:

In the same way that your body ensures you burn fewer calories through NEAT when dieting it does the same for more formalized exercise and strength training as well. 

As you strength train for an extended period of time and the body gets somewhat used to the stimulus of strength training or cardio, and the stimulus requires fewer calories because the body and your muscles have adapted to the movements and forms of exercise you've been giving it. 

This reduction in caloric expenditure can be made larger when someone is dieting as the body will strive to conserve calories and become more efficient wherever it can.  Another point worth mentioning is that you'll have less energy in the gym or on the field, and as performance in the gym reduces your intensity which can translate to an even bigger reduction in calories burned. 

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TEF Adaptation: 

This is likely going to be the smallest and least noticeable when it comes to a reduction in your metabolic rate, yet from a psychological perspective having to continually eat smaller portions and less food can be psychologically taxing for many people. 

None the less because you are eating fewer calories and a smaller amount of food your body is going to have to expend fewer calories to digest, breakdown and assimilate those calories. On top of that we we mentioned above when you're dieting part of the struggle is with the reduced caloric burn, but there is also the mental battle. 

You body will actively decrease satiety hormones in the body and upregulate hunger hormones in an attempt to get you to eat more food. In essence the body will make you hungrier and far less satisfied on the same amount of food. 

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How To Properly Set Up Your Ketogenic Diet For Fat Loss (Part 3)

Alright Folks,

Today we’re going to get to the last part of this series on ketogenic diet myths, mistakes and how to properly set up your own ketogenic diet.

I’m sure most of you are curious about how to properly set up a ketogenic diet, as the previous blogs in the series have been dedicated to myths and mistakes around nutritional ketosis.

If you’re looking to lose body fat you’ll need to be in a calorie deficit, and If you’re looking to maintain your weight you’ll need to balance your calorie intake with your output to match up.

In large this comes down to your calorie balance which means if you burn more calories than you take in you’ll lose body fat.

If you match your calories to the amount you’re burning each day your weight will stay the same, and if you eat more calories than you need you’ll gain weight.

Something to keep in mind when it comes to setting calories is these are estimates and a good starting place, but there are so many complexities to the human body you should expect some margin of error.

This is why adjustments after the initial calorie targets is so important, because we need to see how the body responded to that initial calorie and macro target and use that information for inform how to make an adjustment.

If you’re currently stuck and need help making an adjustment or are missing the mark with your own fat loss and health goals click HERE to hop on a complimentary nutrition strategy session.

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Setting Calories

The first thing we’ll need to find is the amount of calories you require to maintain your

bodyweight. Once we know this we can figure out your calorie deficit for fat loss.

There are a lot of formulas and calculators out there to establish what your baseline calorie intake should be, but I like to keep things as simple as possible.

To find an estimate of the amount of calories you need to maintain your weight simply multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 13-17.

The reason for the wide range is based on a number of factors such as:  height, gender and daily activity.

If you have a pretty sedentary job that requires a lot of sitting or you’re a smaller woman choose the lower 13-15 end of the spectrum.

If you have a high output manual labor style job, or lead a  really active lifestyle with 3-5 trips to the gym week, I’d go with the higher end of the spectrum 16-17.

Example:

If you’re a 165 pound male who works at a desk all day and isn’t all that active other than going to the gym to train 3 times a week multiply your bodyweight by 14-15.

165 lbs X 14-15 = 2,310 - 2,475 calories for maintenance

Now a 165 pound male who works an intense manual labor job and trains 3 times per week would use 17.

165 lbs x 17 = 2,805 calories for maintenance

A  woman who’s 125 pounds and works a job where she’s on her feet all day say a waitress and trains 4-5 times a week should go with 15.

The reason why she would go with 15 instead of the 16-17 range is because she has a lower body weight and as a result her basal metabolic rate (BMR) would be lower.

125 lbs x 15 = 1,875 calories for maintenance

Conversely a woman who’s 125 lbs works at a desk job for the majority of her day and hits the gym 2-3 times per week would would go with 13.

125 lbs x 13 = 1,625 calories for maintenance

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Setting A Calorie Deficit

In the beginning a good start is to reduce calorie intake by 20% so you can get some initial fat loss. Moving forward you’d reduce your calorie intake by less, usually in the 5-10% range. The goal is to always eat as much as possible while losing at a steady rate.

Let’s use our 165 pound male who works an intense manual labor job and trains 3 times per week as an example here.

165 lbs x 17 = 2,805 calories for maintenance

2,805 (maintenance cals) X 0.20 = 561 calories

2,805 (maintenance cals) - 561 (cals) = 2,244

Calorie intake for fat loss: 2,244

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Your Macro Breakdown

Now that you know how many calories you’ll need to eat to lose body fat, the part of this equation is to find out where those calories are going to come from to set up a proper ketogenic diet.

As mentioned in the newsletter from earlier this week on a ketogenic diet people typically consume between 30-50 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Carbs: For the ease of this all let’s set carbohydrates at the higher end with 50 grams per day and use that as a starting point. Maybe later into the diet you play around with the 30 gram range, but for now 50 grams is a good starting place.

Protein: Next when looking at protein there’s an important note to make which is in the first few weeks of a keto diet it’s wise to have protein a little higher than the normal range to help stave off any muscle loss from the transition over to a more ketogenic state, this can be accomplished with around  140-160 grams of protein.

After the first few weeks of adapting to the ketogenic diet you can drop protein a little bit so it fits into 15-20% range of total calories.  

Fats: After carbohydrates and protein are set, the rest of your calories will be dedicated to your fat intake which should make up around 70-75% of your total calorie intake.

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Putting It All Together

To help put this all together in a neat little package I’m going to use a 165 pound male who works at a desk all day and isn’t all that active other than going to the gym to train 3 times a week.

He find he first finds his maintenance calorie intake by multiplying his body weight by 14.

165 lbs X 14 = 2,310 calories for maintenance

Now we’re going to find how many calories he’ll need to lose body fat while following the ketogenic diet.

2,310 (calories for maintenance) x 0.20 = 462 calories

2,310 (calories for maintenance) - 462 calories = 1,848

Calories for fat loss: 1,848

Now we need to set his macros for the keto diet:

Since we know how many calories he’ll need to eat to lose fat the next part of the equation is to determine which macronutrients those calories are going to come from based on the keto diet principles.

An important thing to keep in mind is the different caloric content of the macros, which comes into play below:

1 gram carbohydrates = 4 calories

1 gram of protein = 4 calories

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

We’ll need to go through and do some math to figure all this out.

Carbs: 50 grams

Protein: 165 lbs x 0.7 = 115.5 (116 grams of protein)

And lastly we set his fat intake as the remainder of the calories. To do this we subtract the calories from carbohydrates and protein from total calories needed for fat loss.

1. ) Get calories from carbohydrates

50g (carbohydrates) x 4 ( calories per 1 gram of carbs) = 200 calories  

2.) Get calories from protein

116g (protein) x 4 (calories per 1 gram of protein) = 464 calories

3.) Add protein and carb calories together and subtract from total fat loss calories

200 (carbs cals)  + 464 (protein cals)  = 664 calories

1,848 ( fat loss cals) - 664 = 1,184 calories towards fat intake

4.) Fat intake

To find the grams of fat you should be eating simply divide the remaining 1,184 calories by 9 ( calories per 1 gram of fat)

1,184 / 9 = 132 grams of fat ( rounded up from 131.5)

Our example 165 lb male’s calories and macros for fat loss on a ketogenic would be:

Calorie Intake: 1,848 calories per day

Carbs: 50 gram per day

Protein: 116 gram per day

Fat: 132 grams per day

If you have any questions about how to go about crunching the numbers or setting this up for yourself send me message or email me at evolvent.pdx@gmail.com

Ketogenic Diet Myths, Misconceptions & Mistakes (Part 2)

Today we’re continuing our series today on the ketogenic diet myths, mistakes and how to set up a ketogenic diet properly.

In case you missed it in Part 1 we discussed what a true ketogenic diet is, and some of the common myths about keto diets that people continue to believe, you can read Part 1 HERE.

In Part 2 today we’re covering the 5 common ketogenic diet mistakes that people make that will make them feel poorly or eventually give up on keto.

Let’s take a closer look at what these top 5 mistakes are, and learn how you can avoid them when structuring your own keto diet.

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1. Thinking Keto (or any diet) Is The Only Way:

For people who are at higher levels of body fat, and switch to a ketogenic diet they’re likely to see large drops on the scale very quickly due to water weight being lost.

It can be very encouraging for someone who struggles with weight loss to see a big drop on the scale, but it can also be equally frustrating when scale weight doesn’t continue to drop as fast.

Keto diets can be used for fat loss, but just like any other diet that works you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose body fat.

The reality is Keto may work for you, but it may not and either of those is totally fine because there are a multitude of diet that work and it’s about finding what works best for you as an individual.

An old client of mine used a ketogenic diet to drop 60lbs in 6 months to get ready for his wedding.

He was extremely diligent though and worked his ass off daily to lose that weight, and we were constantly checking in and making sure things were moving in the right direction and make any necessary changes.

Don’t approach keto as a quick fix though or any diet for that matter. To truly follow a keto diet it can be restrictive, and require you to be diligent but if you get results it can be worth it.

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2. Not Tracking Your Food At All

None of you probably want to walk around with a food scale and constantly be on my fitness pal tracking your food day in day out, and I don’t want that for you either.

However when you can only eat 30-50 gram of carbs a day, and need to keep your fat intake much higher than your protein, this is where tracking can be a benefit.

Especially for people who have either been stalled in their fat loss journey or have eaten a higher carb lower fat diet for a long period of time using tracking helps them to have a guide to follow.

As humans we just have poor portion and calorie awareness and lack the basic skills to eyeball food portions until we’ve trained that skill.

When tracking your food for two weeks you’re likely to see some trends emerge and realize a few areas you can improve to get the most out of your ketogenic diet.

Maybe your protein is getting a little higher than it should, or you have some sneaky carbs putting you over the 30-50 gram range.

If fat loss is your goal make sure you’re eating in a calorie deficit, but not starving yourself either as ketone can have appetite suppressing effects.

Unless you track and can see the real numbers you would have no idea what your mistakes are and could be putting all the work in but not seeing the results you’re after.  

As Peter Drucker the author of the book The Effective Executive said “What gets measured, get managed” and this whole heartedly applies to your diet and nutrition.

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3. Not Eating Enough Fat

When you eat a real ketogenic diet you’re dropping carbohydrates very low usually only about 5-10% of your total calories and by doing so you’re removing one of the main fuel sources for the body.

That gap in fuel from carbohydrate removal needs to be filled with another energy producing macronutrient, and on a ketogenic diet those calories need to come from dietary fat.

If you’ve been lead to believe that dietary fat is bad for your health, embracing a higher fat diet can can be difficult. Especially for someone who is switching from a higher carb lower fat diet.

If you don’t eat enough dietary fat while keeping carbs really low on a keto diet you’ll end up feeling burned out and fatigued.

When you don’t give the body enough of the energy producing macros for a long enough period of time you’re putting a lot of stress on your adrenal glands to release more stress hormones for the purpose of energy mobilization.

An overabundance of stress hormones can make any kind of fat loss more difficult, and the water retention from a stressed state can mask body composition changes in the mirror and weight changes on the scale.

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4. Not getting enough salt and electrolytes

When you’re eating a keto diet making sure you’re getting enough salt and electrolytes is crucial to making sure you stay hydrated and avoid keto flu.

In the absence of carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet your body will flush more water and electrolytes because carbohydrates help to pull water into the muscles.

To stay healthy the cells in your body need to maintain a certain balance of fluids inside and outside of the cells. That fluid balance inside and outside of your cells is controlled by electrolytes.

When you lose lots of water on a keto diet and create electrolyte imbalances it can cause fatigue, nausea, headaches and make you feel light headed.

This is why many people get keto flu, which can be avoided by drinking enough water,  re-balancing electrolytes, and with a sufficient amount of dietary fat and calories.

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5. Not Eating Enough Fiber

On a ketogenic diet you’ll need to make sure to have your carbs, protein and fats in the right portions and getting plenty of water and electrolytes is crucial too.

However just because this diet is high fat, and lower carbs doesn’t mean that you should neglect non starchy vegetables and fiber.  

When people go on a ketogenic diet the main focus is to keep carbs very low and fat very high, and as a result they often neglect the intake of vegetables and focus on sources of fat and meat instead.

If you go on a ketogenic diet and neglect vegetables and fiber you can end up constipated and with some digestive issues.

Some of the constipation issues can also be traced back to dehydration and a lack of having electrolytes to hold water in the body.

Given the fact that fiber has been touted for years as something that helps with digestion, cholesterol and has significant health and longevity benefits it’s important to eat your veggies no matter what diet you’re on.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to fiber intake is to consume 10-15 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories that you eat. So if you’re eating 2,000 calories a day you should be eating 20-30 grams of fiber each day.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog series where we’ll discuss how to set a ketogenic diet properly, and avoid the mistakes we covered above.

Ketogenic Diet Myths & Misconceptions

Hey Folks!

A subject that seems to be really popular these days in the media and a common area of interest for many people looking to improve their health, and lose some body fat is the ketogenic diet.

Just like any diet out there a lot of times myths and misconceptions are what people hear most frequently, and end up believing.

In this blog series I’m going to cover the top myths and mistakes people make on a ketogenic diet that hurt their results, and how to set up a ketogenic diet properly.

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No Diet Is Magic

The reality is that every diet works based on the principle of energy balance. To lose fat on a diet you have to expend more calories than you consume on a daily basis.

No matter the diet you choose to eat they all have effective ways of helping you to eat fewer calories.

Paleo eliminates processed foods, veganism prohibits animal products, and ketogenic diets eliminate any source of denser carbs.

While the ketogenic diet can be a very effective approach for certain people it’s  just like every other diet in that to lose body fat on a ketogenic diet you have to be in calorie deficit.

Something interesting about ketogenic diets is that when someone does enter nutritional ketosis it can have appetite suppressing effect due to the ketones that the body is using.

However let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and take a closer look at what a ketogenic diet actually is.

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What Is A Ketogenic Diet Really ?

There’s a lot of misconceptions about what a ketogenic diet is, and many people assume it’s low carb and high protein, but this isn’t quite right.

While a ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, it’s not supposed to be a high protein diet, it’s a high fat diet.

Generally on a  ketogenic diet  70-75% of your calories should coming from fats, 10-20% from protein and 5-10% carbs.

While some people can maintain a higher carbohydrate intake and remain in ketosis most of you will need to have carbohydrates in the 30-50 gram range to enter into ketosis.

The main reason for the extremely low carbohydrate intake and much higher fat intake is to shift the body away from using glucose from carbohydrates as the main fuel source over to ketones.

When you dramatically restrict carbohydrate intake, or calories the body will shift over to metabolizing ketones which are  is a byproduct of fat metabolism that takes place in the liver.

While most people don’t want to starve themselves into ketosis the more logical route is to restrict carbohydrate intake.

Something else to consider is that the amount of time it will take someone to enter ketosis can differ from person to person based on a number of different factors.

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Experiment and Find What Works For you

A caveat to consider is that a ketogenic diet may not be the best route to go for everyone to go when dieting.

I followed a low carb paleo approach and would use a cyclical keto approach for a long time and it was extremely effective for me at the time.

However as my needs and circumstances changed my diet also needed to change to match what I had going on.

About two years ago I got a really nasty staph infection from jiu jitsu that spread to my face, inside thigh and both forearms… it was gross in case you’re wondering.

I had to take a strong round of oral and topical antibiotics that wiped me out. I had no energy, my concentration was horrible, and my digestion was the worst it has been in years.  

I can’t explain this part of the after antibiotics effect, but I got legitimately puffy and gained 8-10 pounds even though I was eating the exact same way.

Some of it was water weight that went away after I finished the antibiotics, but I have a good 5 pounds that seemed to stick around which seemed really odd.

After the antibiotics my digestion was still a wreck and trying to go back to lower carb made it way worse. 

Even with a metric ton of fermented food and probiotic supplements my digestion wasn’t improving at all.

Some days it felt like I had a cement mixer in my stomach when I’d eat meals and would end up face down on my desk in pain.

Low carb  wasn’t working, and I knew that I needed to make a change. I decided to flip things around and significantly increase my denser carb intake and lower my fat intake.

Within the week my digestion started to improve dramatically, all my workouts felt way better and I started to get a “pump” while working out.

I also found my new way of eating to be more enjoyable, sustainable and well rounded too. Since then I’ve stuck with a higher carb intake, and a more moderate fat approach to support my goals.

I’m not saying this to discourage the use of a ketogenic diet because I’ve used and had had great success with a keto diet myself and with certain clients.

In fact I’m going to do a ketogenic diet experiment here in the next 6 months and document everything to revisit the subject.

Keep in mind there’s a variety of diets that people will have success with, and what works great for one person may make another feel horrible. Everyone is different.

My point is to not be so married to one approach that you stick to it when it no longer supports your goals, be willing to change and try new things.

It took me a while to learn this lesson, and I highly encourage you to experiment and see what works for you as an individual.

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Ketogenic Diet Myths

With ketogenic diets being more of an extreme approach to dieting and nutrition there are some fringe folks who treat it like the cure all and like to spread myths and misconceptions about the diet.

Let’s address those before we get too far

1.) You’ll Burn More Fat:

While this is true, we need to apply the context that you’re eating significantly more fat and restricting carbohydrates so you’ll be burning more fat, but you’ll be burning dietary fat.

That is unless you’re in a calorie deficit and on a ketogenic diet then you’ll absolutely be burning body fat, but not if you match or exceed your calorie needs then fat loss won’t happen.

A ketogenic diet can help with appetite suppression, and it does allow some people to feel fuller for longer but it isn’t an exception to the law of thermodynamics.

If you exceed your caloric needs on a ketogenic diet you can absolutely gain body fat.

2.) You’ll Go Through Keto Flu

Generally speaking some people may experience a lit bit of this, but a large amount of the “keto flu” can be avoided by setting up the diet up properly.

Firstly if you set up a ketogenic diet correctly with regards to calories and macronutrients you’ll be off to a good start.

Secondly you can avoid “keto flu” by being especially mindful of your electrolyte balance, as the lack of carbs can cause large water shifts in the body.

The electrolyte subject is one we’ll be expanding a lot more in the mistakes section, but this is an area I rarely see people address when they feel like crap on a keto diet and it can make a big difference.

3.) There’s A Metabolic Advantage

The common phrase, and misconception that a ketogenic diet has a metabolic advantage has been proven incorrect in more than a few well done studies including the one below.

A two month study done in a controlled metabolic ward under the strictest of standards, was published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition showed there was no metabolic advantage to the keto diet compared to a higher carb lower fat diet.

If you’re coming out of a state of metabolic adaptation from extreme dieting, and barely eating any fat and your hormones are a wreck some people will use a cyclical ketogenic diet to restore hormonal balance.

There are also folks  who have insulin regulation problems and could benefit from using a lower carb or ketogenic approach as they’re tolerance of carbohydrates is very poor.

Again we need to look at someone’s overall context.

In Part 2 of this series we’re going to cover the common mistakes that people make on a keto diet and how to properly set up you ketogenic diet to avoid these pitfalls.