No-carb is the new low carb! The ketogenic diet is currently on everyone’s lips. Celebrities like Adriana Lima, Tim Ferriss and Lebron James are fans of the high-fat diet. In this article you will find out if the hype also has a hand and foot.
“Lebron James also keto? Then there must be something in it! “When I learned from my former teammate and NBA Scout for the Philadelphia 76ers Danny that the world’s best basketball and show-jumping athlete was feeding ketogen, I was ready for a new experiment. When I first tried to live a ketogenic life, I did not really know how Keto was doing right. I lost too much weight and felt suboptimal. In the meantime, I have dealt intensively with the high-fat diet, continued experiments with constant blood measurement and high-caliber keto experts like Dave Asprey , Ben Greenfield, Marina Lommel and Todd Whiteinterviewed intensively in the podcast. Keto has become a real trend not only among professional athletes, actors and other artists. Something is also stirring in our community.
WHY KETO? 428 ANSWERS FROM OUR READERS.
A few days ago, I emailed our readers with the following two questions:
- What is your primary goal with the ketogenic diet?
- Which one question about the ketogenic diet do you really want to have answered?
The interim result (there are still some answers coming in) shows a clear interest in the topic of ketogenic diet. We have received 428 valuable answers so far. More than 700 people clicked on the survey. According to this, our readers primarily want to achieve three different goals with keto: burn fat, have more energy and generally be healthier. The great thing is, Keto is enormously promising in all three areas! But first we look at the basics.
WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF KETOSIS?
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which there is an increased conversion of fatty acids to so-called ketone bodies in the liver. Ketone bodies are molecules that are formed in the liver from fatty acids. They are a transportable form of acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA for short) , an acetic acid residue that mitochondria can use to generate energy. Ketone bodies thus serve the body as an alternative source of energy for glucose (glucose), which is derived from the digestion of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates or simplified sugars (glucose) are the main energy supplier for our body. The energy supply of the body is essentially ensured by the glucose dissolved in the blood and every body cell can process glucose directly. If we are no longer carbohydrates, the glucose stores are used up after 24 to 72 hours depending on the person. Stop, that’s pretty short! If our brains were actually running on carbohydrates, would we starve to death after three days at the latest? That would have been fatal for our ancestors in many cases. From an evolutionary perspective, our body must have thought of something else.
In the absence of glucose, our body has learned a cool trick over the course of evolution. If the body no longer receives sugar for several hours, the blood sugar level drops and the pancreas secretes a hormone called glucagon, which in turn causes the conversion of fatty acids into transportable ketone bodies. From these ketone bodies, the cells can then, as from glucose, gain energy. The reason why a person without food can survive 50 to 60 days is therefore the bacon. Rampant feasting really makes evolutionary sense! For an ingenious introduction to the ketogenic diet, be sure to listen to our podcast with sympathetic foodpunk founder Marina Lommel ! You can find the video right here.
WHAT ARE THE SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF KETO?
To summarize again: The state of ketosis is reached when a significantly reduced carbohydrate intake (less than 50 grams per day) causes the body to switch from sugar to fat as the primary source of energy. This condition usually involves a lot of changes.
Weight Loss : The ketogenic diet is very good for getting rid of excess pounds. The many fat saturates and unused ketone body can be easily released without starting.
Sleep and Energy : Ketone bodies provide your body with an ideal source of energy that keeps blood sugar levels stable and balances various hormones. This will make you sleep better and make you feel refreshed and fit every morning.
Concentration and mental performance : Some well-known followers of the ketogenic diet, such as Peter Attia , Dave Asprey and Lyle McDonald, swear by the mental performance leaps that come with ketosis. Also I feel a strong increased concentration in the morning. However, I have yet to make any scientific basis for this and there are always critical voices. Due to the reduced carbohydrates, the blood sugar stabilizes and the feeling of hunger normalizes. In addition, ketone bodies have an anti-inflammatory effect, which gives the body more energy for mental challenges. Goodbye Brainfog!
Disease prevention : Ketone bodies protect our body against oxidative stress and are already used in various therapy cycles and for prevention. Among other things, positive effects of keto in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, some cancers, hypertension and Hashimoto’s are associated. Only recently, the promising effect of keto in migraine was again highlighted.
Sport : Although many athletes fear the initial decline in performance with fewer carbohydrates, Keto is also promising in competitive sports in the long term. After admitting fat to the body, many athletes, including basketball player Lebron James and tennis player Novak Djokovic, report longer periods of concentration and faster regeneration.
Slowing down the aging process : Over the next few years, the use of ketosis and ketone bodies in therapy cycles could revolutionize the treatment of some serious neurological diseases. Ketone bodies protect our bodies from oxidative stress and are therefore likely to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. To do this, they slow down the natural aging process of the body. Who wants to understand the benefits of ketosis in more detail, I can only recommend the really interesting lecture by Peter Attia.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS WITH KETO?
Risk of ketoacidosis in insulin deficiency : Ketoacidosis describes too high a concentration of ketone bodies in the blood. In contrast to ketosis, blood gases, blood salts and hormones in ketoacidosis are life-threatening and must be treated. Since this condition is mainly caused by an acute insulin deficiency, especially diabetics must be very careful. However, a properly applied ketogenic diet also has enormous potential, especially for diabetics. However, this should be well informed and started in the company of a nutritionist or doctor.
Nutritional deficiencies : People on a ketogenic diet often do not get enough of some essential minerals and nutrients , including magnesium, potassium, sodium, and vitamin D (which is fat-soluble), which contribute to a rapid recovery of the body after high effort. Especially people who are dependent on many different nutrients, such as pregnant women and competitive athletes, should be careful and consult an expert if they want to feed ketogen. Especially in ketosis you should try to keep your electrolyte balance stable. My tip: Add a spoon of Himalayan salt more to your meal or a glass of water in the morning.
Dry Eyes : Many people who start with ketosis report dry eyes after a few days. This probably stems from the strong drainage, which is accompanied by the strong reduction of carbohydrates. Here, eye drops from the pharmacy help.
Conclusion : After a first experiment I was not convinced of any carbohydrates on my plate. A new attempt with much more background knowledge has been promising so far. I do not want to miss the long concentration after my morning favorite coffee! In the meantime I have been able to upgrade this recipe and develop a proper Biohacker Coffee to bring even more flow into your life.
Important in the state of ketosis is the supply of healthy fats, this is the Flowgrade MCT oil and the Flowgrade C8 oil optimal companion. The differences of the matching oils can be found here .
GET STARTED WITH THE 5-STEP PROTOCOL FOR A QUICK KETO ENTRY
For those who want to get started with the ketogenic diet right now, we have our 5-step protocol. With it you can easily and quickly achieve the first successes with keto. But if you are already advanced and want to go deeper into the ketogenic diet, then below we have an offer for you.
- Reduce the sugar to less than 50 grams per day!
The body prefers glucose to ketone bodies and runs on sugar as long as you leave it. Therefore, reduce the sugar content in your diet to a minimum (maximum 50 grams per day). In fact, this is very little and just two apples or a cereal bar.
- Increase the fat content drastically!
Without sugar you need energy from other sources. Therefore, plump yourself on good quality fats such as meat from grazing, fresh fish, local vegetables, pasture butter, olive and coconut oil, avocados and nuts (no peanuts, are actually not nuts). Many keto beginners do not know what to eat. For this we have created an ingenious Keto-Recipe Ebook , which you can download for free.
- Start your day with the Biohacker Coffee!
To better get over the first withdrawal symptoms with the loss of the usual carbohydrates, a fatty drink is suitable in the morning. The Biohacker Coffee is the most effective and fastest way to recharge your batteries and boost fat metabolism. The blend of high quality coffee, pasture butter and C8 oil provides energy, sharpens the mental focus and lasts for a long time. Products to support a ketogenic diet can be found in the Flowgrade Shop .
- Speed up the process with intermittent fasting!
For quick initial success, include two intermittent fast days, for example Tuesdays and Thursdays, in your diet plan. This gives your body enough time to do cell renewal and get into ketosis faster. A Keto sample day with intermittent fasting can be found here! In our recipe book you will find delicious ideas for the meal after fasting.
- Stay disciplined until you get the fat adaptation!
At the beginning of a transition to a ketogenic diet, many people feel tired and tired. This is called the “keto flu” or the “keto fever” and describes the phase in which enzymes are formed and the body learns to effectively use ketone bodies as an energy source. Once the body has learned to run on fat, it is keto- or fat-adapted. This usually takes between 1 and 3 months. Therefore, stay disciplined for at least 4 weeks and keep your carbohydrate intake as low as possible. It’s going to be worth it! After the adaptation, you can jump back and forth quite easily and even have an exception day or “Cheat Day”.
MY 4-WEEK KETO SELF EXPERIMENT
In my athletic past, I had little success with Low Carb. Although I lost weight, but also muscle strength and my hormone levels were totally messed up. I blamed low muscle glycogen stores that did not replenish fast enough after carbohydrate sports. By now I realize that I just did not know enough at the time. I set up a new experiment, got a blood ketone reading device (using the Glucom LX Plus with these test strips)that you have to buy separately). Even though I have been in good shape all my life through the many sports, I have always struggled to get a six-pack and above all to keep it. After my four-week keto experiment I was very satisfied with the results.
What have I done?
Over 4 weeks, I reduced my carbohydrate intake (with a few exceptions) to less than 50 grams of carbs per day. For this I have fasted several times a week (usually 3 to 4 times) for about 16 hours at a time. This method is called intermittent fasting, which does not eat for a period of between 14 and 18 hours. So I did not eat from 10pm to about 2pm, usually even longer. In the morning I drank a biohacker coffee . Strictly speaking, the coffee interrupts the fasting period. However, since I drink the coffee with butter and C8 oil, this even helps to reach the state of ketosis. I measured the ketotic state on the basis of my blood ketone values.
What were my results?
After about 4 days I was the first time in the ketosis with a blood value of 1.8 mmol per liter. I measured beta-ketone or beta-hydroxybutyrate, the most prominent ketone body. Here is a review of generally considered optimal ketone levels in the blood:
In addition to an increased energy level, a more balanced mood and less need for sleep, I have made the following observations:
- From 20.4% to 16.8% body fat (via my Withings body fat balance )
- From 105.4 to 99.8 kilos decreased (even if that was not my goal)
- A significantly better HDL / LDL ratio
- Magnesium deficiency (is washed out of the body with less carbohydrate intake)
- About 5% loss of power
My body also lost a good deal of water, as can be seen from the prominent veins on my right arm.
My conclusion: Keto is heavy and brings enormous benefits
It was pretty hard for me to stick to the rigorous, low-sugar diet plan. But once I was in ketosis, the announced changes were quickly felt. I felt more energetic, needed less sleep and burned noticeably more fat. In addition, I lost water (which accounts for a significant part of the weight loss) and so were probably also minerals flushed out. Once I fell out of ketosis, I also experimented with KetoForce , an exogenous ketone product from KetoSports. From the level of 0.0 mmol / l to 0.8 mmol / l. There are currently different reports of exogenous ketones. Do not miss the guest post by Martin von Wolfersdorff in which Martin reports on a self-experiment with exogenous ketones in endurance sports.
Is keto interesting for you and your health goals? Do you still have questions before you try keto? Leave something below in the comments!