Tips for keeping it Keto while Traveling by Troy Lightfoot

I travel every week for work. When I first began keto I was nervous about sticking with it but developed some things that worked for me to make it easy. This was before I began intermittent fasting which makes it a whole lot easier and less effort while traveling.

 

Carry nuts with you

Nuts are a high fat low carb snack that you can also use a side to any meal. I sometimes to use them to replace carbs. For example, I used to eat at this Himalyan place a lot and I would get their chicken and tell them to hold the rice. Instead of rice I would eat my nuts I carried with him. Complete macros of fat and protein that way. 

The nuts that are great for keto are…

1.     Macadamia nuts

2.     Pecans

3.     Brazil Nuts

4.     Walnuts

5.     Almonds.

 

Watch out for over consumption of walnuts, brazil nuts, and almonds though as they are higher in Phytic Acid. Especially ALMONDS! To learn more about why, check out my blog post here

 I created a keto trail mix that I sometimes travel with. You can find that recipe here:

 

Carry MCT oil with you.

MCT has many benefits but for traveling it makes life a lot easier. Not only does it help generate more ketones after consumption but it’s a super easy way to add fat for the day if you are trying to keep with keto macros and you don’t have to worry about fat from vegetable oils or fat from grain fed meat. You can eat leaner meat while on the road because you pretty much know it will be grain fed and add your fats with MCT oil.

 

Two strategies I’ve used. 

Buy small travel containers from CVS or Walgreens that are meant to carry shampoo, etc and fill them with MCT oil. Another option to try is buying the pre-packaged brain octane oil travel kits. https://amzn.to/2DWDp2s

 

Ask for heavy cream at Starbucks

Starbucks will give you a side of heavy cream for your coffee if you ask for it. In fact here is a quote you can use that I’ve said numerous times at starbucks… “I have certain dietary restrictions, can I please have a side of heavy cream?” Watching their reaction is part of the fun. 

 

Carry Truvia packets

 If you like a little sweetness in your coffee or tea, carry packets of truvia with you. https://amzn.to/2DZoWmw

 

Whisps

One of my favorite snacks or sides (which is what I usually use them as) are Whisps. Whisps are cheese crips which are almost zero carb depending on the flavor. My favorite is the asiago and pepperjack but they are all good! https://www.whisps.com

Keto Meal

Sometimes I carry these travel packs of Keto Meal by Kegenix as a meal replacement. I usually add MCT oil to to it as well. It’s high in minerals like potassium and vitamins. My only wish is that they didn’t use sunflower oil but after speaking with them, they confirmed they are using high oleic sunflower oil which is the best you can get. I WOULD NOT cook with it though. They have some recipes for keto meal I don’t recommend trying. As a cold drink, just add some MCT oil or even heavy cream for a more full meal replacement. It also tastes very good. https://realketones.com/products/keto-meal

For more info on exogenous ketones pros and cons check out my blog post here.

Eat at chipotle.

Chipotle is everywhere when traveling is and is one of the easiest places to eat keto. Order a bowl with steak, chicken, or carnitas. Add lettuce, hot sauce (if you like) cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and even queso. You can customize the bowl however you like just stay away from rice, beans, and the corn!

In a pinch know what to order at fast food.

If you find yourself wanting to eat but there is nothing around except fast food you have two options. Just fast (probably the best option) or customize a fast food order. It’s pretty's simple at burger places. Just order a burger without the bun and without ketchup. At places like Taco Bell they actually have bowls you can customize that can easily be keto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Side of "Healthy" foods and which to avoid on the Ketogenic Diet

Note: Much of this information may seem contrary to popular belief about nutrition but popular belief and consensus has led us to the health disaster we are in right now. I would encourage you to please read the reference studies at the end of the article and do not take my word for anything! I’m learning these things along with all of you.

The modified Ketogenic Diet has brought health to not only myself but now millions around the world. Cutting out sugar, grains, and wheat, seems to immediately bring health benefits and ketones have a measurable positive impact on the brain but there are many foods to consider reducing for long term health. 

I’m not going to discuss the absolute worst “keto ok” thing I see people consuming which is “vegetable” oils as that requires a blog post on it’s own. There are a couple of excellent blog posts I suggest starting with as they are thorough and informative. 

See This Post by Alex Fergus and This Post by Dr Jason Fung.

And see This Talk by Nina Teicholz and what I consider a MUST READ book by Nina. 

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The BEST thing you can do is to remove the following oils immediately from daily consumptions as they are worse for you than anything that’s coming in this post. I just didn’t include them because I don’t even consider them “food.” Even if you do consume them in a processed food from time to time, do NOT cook with them.

  • Canola Oil

  • Safflower Oil

  • Hyrdogenated Vegetable Oil

  • Vegetable Oill

  • Rapeseed oil

  • Margarine

  • Corn Oil

  • Sunflower Oil

  • Soybean Oil

  • Cottonseed Oil

  • Rice bran oil

  • Grapeseed oil

  • Peanut oil

  • Wheat germ oil

  • Rapeseed oil

  • Linseed Oil

  • Flaxseed Oil

  • Vegetable Shortening

  • Trans & Partially Hydrogenated Fats

Now that the poison is out of the way let’s get to the food! Our first food group to discuss are foods that are high in Lectins.

Lectins

Lectins are a natural insecticide that certain plants produce. Lectins are genetically modified in the foods we eat to increase the efficacy of their natural insecticide. 

Unfortunately, the effects they have on insects and animals can also translate to humans. 

Here is how they work:

  • Lectins are not digested by humans so when they reach your gut they are not broken down. Once they reach the gut, they latch onto the gut lining wall and actually block vitamins and nutrients from getting inside. 

  • On top of this they release a toxin called zonulin which opens up the lining of your gut wall and causes something called “Leaky Gut”

  • Once the lining is open lectins can enter your gut as well as endotoxins which causes inflammation in your gut and ultimately your entire system. Your body senses this and ramps up immune responses to remove the invasion.

  • Lectins can latch onto healthy cells and your immune system actually begins to attack your healthy cells. This is called “Autoimmune.” Some people develope autoimmune disorder and struggle for a lifetime. Anecdotally, removing lectins from the diet has fixed this for many people. 

  • Lectins also disrupt cell communication which can cause a decline in cognitive performance. 

  • They also negatively impact the endocrine system, affecting the performance of hormone functions. (See references below for this section)

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Ever heard of Gluten? Gluten is a lectin which is found in wheat, barley,and rye. Many people have different levels of gluten intolerance leading to an immune response and inflammation. Some people have a full blown reaction to it called “Celiac’s Disease”

Worse than Gluten, is Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) which has demonstrated impacts in human studies. 

  • WGA mimics insulin in your system and binds to cell receptors. 

  • When it binds to a fat cell, it blocks real insulin which leads to more fat storage. 

  • Because it can also attach to muscle and brain cells it actually blocks the cells from allowing insulin for energy ultimately creating more hunger signaling to the brain including actual sugar cravings. 

  • Eventually this can kill off brain cells and peripheral nerves and is thought to lead to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia. (See references below for this section)

  • WGA can attach itself to blood vessels leading to an immune attack and artery inflammation (the first step in the mechanism of atherosclerosis.)

  •  WGA can actually transport viruses kept in the gut to the rest of the body causing more sickness and more systemic inflammation. 

If you want to consume these foods there are some things you can do to help reduce the impact such as soaking, fermenting, and using a pressure cooker. 

Foods high in lectins starting with some of the worst offenders: (These are on the DO NOT CONSUME if so only occasionally list) 

  • Soy and soy derivatives

  • Grains (Especially Whole Wheat) and products made with grain or flour, including cakes, crackers, and bread

  • Here are more foods high in lectins

  • Legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts

  • Corn

  • Fruit

  • Nightshade vegetables, such as eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes

 Milk and milk derivates from grain fed cows also contains lectins but the makeup is not the same as plant lectins. Some people feel less inflammation when cutting dairy, this could be a reason why as grass fed dairy sources are more expensive and not as available. 

For Keto people who may consume any items above on a daily basis, it’s something to think about as the nutrition you believe you may be getting from these foods is actually stripped by Lectins. I’m not suggesting to never eat these foods (well except the ones on the do not consume list) but it’s important to understand the natural defense mechanisms these plants use protect themselves and how it impacts the bodies of animals and people who consume them. If you are dealing with inflammation even on a keto diet or auto immune, this would be the first place to start elimination and observe the effects once removed. 

Next up are Phytates

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Phytic Acid is compound created by plants for the purpose of retaining essential minerals for their seeds to grow. Animals such as cows have the ability to break phytates down but human beings do not. When we consume them, the phytic acid binds to minerals such as phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium and prevents absorption. (So far we have lectins which block absorption of vitamins and nutrients and phytates which block mineral absorption.)

A key point to understand here is the nutrition we consume is not necessarily what we absorb. Phytates can cause iron deficiencies which is becoming a common issue. Fortunately, animal iron doesn’t become binded by phytates like plant iron does. This study of 75 vegan women found that 40% of them were deficient in iron despite having above average the recommended daily allowance. This Is due to the fact that ingestion does not equate to absorption of plant nutrients.

In addition. phytic acid can inhibit digestive enzymes like amylase, trypsin, and pepsin. This results in macronutrients not getting digested properly.

Below are foods containing phytic acid. For people on a keto diet, the worst offenders are almonds. In fact I consume almonds once in a while now and do not include them in my regular diet. On average I eat them about once a month. Peanuts are lower in phytic acid but I do consume peanut butter more than almonds just because it’s one of my favorite things to eat! On average a tablespoon or two a week. Like anything related to food there is a balance between enjoying life and understanding potential impacts of the foods you consume. 

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The last topic for today are Oxalates:

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Oxalate is another compound created by plants with the purpose of creating a natural insecticide to ward off insects. They also help store calcium for the plants seeds. Unfortunately it’s toxic to humans in large amounts (and even small for some people.) People have actually died from eating foods with oxalates. 

Oxalates absorb calcium and form calcium oxalate. This is what causes kidney stones. Your body stores calcium oxalate in your joints, muscles, and of course kidneys causing inflammation and pain. 

Not to be an alarmist but there is emerging evidence that calcium oxalates induce caner. Here is one example: https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-015-1747-2

Oxalates are an anti-nutrient that also depletes calcium and iron.

On top of this they are actually toxic to the body and brain. They can disturb sleep patterns and cause problems with memory and concentration. They release histamines and contribute to fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome. 

A common practice for the treatment of autism is the elimination of oxalate-containing foods.

Different people can handle different levels of oxalates. A key factor seems to be people with “leaky gut” from lectins as we discussed earlier. They tend to see the worst impact from oxalates. 

The oxalate foods starting from the worst at the top:

  • Soy (notice a pattern here???)

  • Wheat (notice a pattern here???)

  • Spinach

  • Sorrel

  • Kale

  • Almonds

  • Cashews

  • Sesame and Poppy seeds

  • Berries

  • Cauliflower

  • Broccoli

  • Chocolate

  • Beans

  • Potatoes

Am I suggesting you should never eat spinach or kale? No, but I am suggestion these foods are not the miracle foods people make them out to be and the idea of juicing them in high amounts every day seems like a pretty bad idea. If you are dealing with kidney stones I would eliminate them all together.

 

In Summary

  • If you feel healthy and have zero issues while consuming these foods then you probably don’t need to change anything. Sometimes you can have issues but not even realize, such as poor quality sleep and nutrient and mineral deficiencies.

  • If you are dealing with any issues, especially inflammation, sleep, depression, or GI issues; it might be a good idea to try and eliminate them for a couple weeks and see if you notice any changes. If things improve slowly reintroduce foods you enjoy and take note to what might be causing the issue.

  • Vitamins and nutrients on paper do not equate to what is actually absorbed by your body ESPECIALLY with the foods mentioned in this article.

  • Unlike people, animals, and insects; plants cannot run away and have natural defense mechanisms to protect themselves and their offspring “seeds.” Understanding the potential impact of these defense mechanisms on health is something that not many people are aware of but could be the missing key to many health issues.

  • Avoid Soy, Vegetable Oils, and Wheat as much as possible

References: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC159974/pdf/030001.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16635908https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15302522

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15302522

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10884708

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22109896

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8955334https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1919/,

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1842004

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705319/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359455/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705319/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8399111

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/669209

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6351847

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780318/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1459329/

https://reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/0196324-role-of-calcium-oxalate-crystals-in-plant-defense-against-insects.html

https://jevohealth.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1085&context=journal

https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/vegetarianism-and-plant-foods/the-role-of-oxalates-in-autism-and-chronic-disorders/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24393738

Note: Much of this information I learned from NIH directly, the book “Wheat Belly” and this blog https://www.wheatbellyblog.com and from Dr. Kevin Stock. You can find him on twitter @kevinstock12

 

Keto Macros, what are they and should you track them? By Troy Lightfoot

The Ketogenic diet as we know it today was coined in 1923 by Dr. Russel Wilder at the Mayo Clinic for Epilepsy. His diet is now known as the classical ketogenic diet and it comprised of 90% calories from fat, 6% from protein, and <4% from carbs. This was proven to be effective in reducing and reversing epilepsy. Notice I didn’t mention anything about weight loss. The ketogenic diet was NOT designed for weight loss. It was designed because it mimicked the benefits of fasting in patients by utilizing ketones and fatty acids as a fuel source instead of glucose. These ketones were shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in the brain and were neuroprotective (this is a simplification.) This happens when the human body enters a state of ketosis (liver producing ketones)

Fast forward to 2019 and you see the word “keto” everywhere relating to weight loss. Weight loss is a side effect of the ketogenic diet and specifically fat loss. As I discussed in my last blog post, the ketogenic diet has shown to protect muscle mass while reducing body fat. No wonder everyone is attracted to this way of eating that doesn’t cost anything. You don’t even NEED to exercise to lose the fat! You don’t need supplements, a personal trainer, Jenny Craig, Weight watchers, or even Julian Michaels!  

The question is, how is this possible? It’s possible by switching over your bodies preferred fuel source from glucose to ketones and fatty acids. This only happens when we abstain from carbohydrates for a period of time and feed our bodies an alternate fuel source (fat.) This is called “Fat adaption.” Your body begins to prefer fat as a fuel source so when it needs energy it gets it from fat (dietary and body fat.) This process is actually more about elimination than it is addition, meaning the elimination of carbs is MORE important than the addition of fat. Eating more fat will help with energy levels and overall feel better and will help to speed up the actual fat adaptation process. This process usually takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks. 

A certain macronutrient range has been found to speed up the process if maintained daily for most people. Everyone is different but the basics are this…

75% calories from Fat

20% from protein 

5% from Carbs or less.

 This macronutrient profile is much more sustainable than the classical ketogenic diet while providing the same benefits for non-medical reasons. In fact it prevents side effects from a low protein diet which occur on the CKD. 

 Lets look at an example of what a day of eating looks like with this macronutrient profile. Note, this is not taking to account intermittent fasting or special diets like vegetarian or carnivore, just a diet that includes a bit from each area that I see most commonly eaten. 

For breakfast we have two eggs, 3 pieces of bacon and coffee with MCT oil and heavy cream. This is almost zero carb. The only tiny amount of carbs are from eggs! Also high fat with the MCT oil and heavy cream. Some nice fat and protein added with eggs and bacon.

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Because we didn’t have any carbs from breakfast it allows more flexibility for lunch and dinner.

For lunch is a basic grilled chicken salad with a slice of tomato and olive oil and a side of macadamia nuts. You probably won’t even be that hungry after that breakfast! Good luck finishing this. 

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For Dinner we have a ribeye steak with a side of broccoli with butter. 

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At the end of the day the macros break down like this…

Fat: 139g

Protein: 87g

Net Carbs: 12, Total carbs 18. 

Below is a picture of the breakdown. Take note to the percentages at the bottom. Since 1 gram of fat is 9 calories and 1 gram of carbs and 1 gram of protein are 4 calories, the ratio is high fat even though the grams aren’t THAT much different between Fat and protein. The ratio is the percentage of calories that come from the macronutrient. 

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Eating with a ratio similar to this daily will cause fat adaptation, (be careful not to go off the plan during this period or you will slow down the process.) Ultimately you will gain what is called “metabolic flexibility” meaning your body can efficiently use fat and carbs as a fuel source instead of just one or the other. That’s exactly where you want to be but it takes time. Understand that your body NEEDS glucose to survive. Glucose is stored in your muscle in the form of muscle glycogen so activities that require lifting or intense movement will use stored glucose (Carbs). 

Here is the best part, your never actually have to eat carbs to store glycogen or for your brain to use glucose. Glucose can be made from protein in your liver. Your Body CANNOT make fat or protein. They are the two essential macronutrients for survival for a human being, carbs are not. The process of making glucose from protein is called “gluconeogenesis.” Which literally means “making new glucose.” This is why people can go on a zero carb diet and not only survive but flourish in health. Aside from the current zero carb trend, there have been studies done on the Maasai and Inuit peoples who ate an almost zero carb diet with the only carbs naturally occurring in animal sources. 

In the summer of 1935 Dr. Weston A. Price visited the Maasai and reported that according to Dr. Anderson from the local government hospital in Kenya most tribes were disease-free. Many had not a single tooth attacked by dental caries nor a single malformed dental arch. In particular the Maasai had a very low 0.4% of bone caries. He attributed that to their diet consisting of raw milk, raw blood, raw meat. He noted that when available every growing child and every pregnant or lactating woman would receive a daily ration of raw blood. He also noted that they were on average the tallest people he studied with the highest lean muscle mass to body fat ratio. All of this information can be found in Dr. Price’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Nutrition-Physical-Degeneration-Weston-Price/dp/0916764206

The point of all this is to emphasis the fact that we never have to consume carbohydrates to be healthy. Our bodies literally make glucose whenever it needs it but cannot make protein or fat. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either at worst knowingly spreading fake news or at best scientifically ignorant. Yes that includes doctors too.  

So, do you always need to track macros? 

Tracking macros will help with the fat adaptation process. It will also help teach you the amount of carbohydrates in foods so once you are adapted you won’t have to track them forever. This is exactly what happened to me. Once you are fat adapted you don’t even need to worry about a “keto ratio” in my opinion. You don’t have to force eating fat. Yes, higher fat intake on a keto diet will likely make you feel better and give you more energy than a lower fat intake but everyone is different. It will also help produce more ketones which have the great cognitive, energy, and anti-inflammatory effects. 

I’ve played around with flipping the protein and fat ratios to try to use more body fat for energy and personally I didn’t feel as good and didn’t notice any difference in fat loss with this strategy. Through trial and error, I found that a daily calories from fat ratio of 60% or above is perfect for me, any less and I feel suboptimal but I don’t feel like I need to consciously add fat over that. Let’s look at an example of a typical day of eating for me when I’m eating two meals a day. 

For breakfast I eat nothing as I usually practice intermittent fasting. For lunch in this example I’ll have some roasted chicken with the skin and a side of Brussel sprouts with olive oil and parmesan cheese. For dinner, I chose a NY strip steak with 2 eggs and a tblsp of MCT oil. Here is how that breaks down. 

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 And without adding MCT oil at dinner the ratios are.

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Sometimes I like to have a bulletproof bar as a side or dessert. I’ve replaced the MCT oil with the bulletproof bar which is made up of nut butter, collagen powder, MCT powder, and stevia. Here is what the macros look like then. 

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Notice for me it’s always just naturally at or above 60% fat but I’m not so concerned with forcing fat in every meal I eat. My strategy is to just eat fat and protein until I’m full and keep carbs very low. Usually under 20 a day but sometimes under 10 a day. For my body this is when I feel the best and stay in ketosis but some people can handle more carbs, especially athletes. I just know that I don’t need them in my daily life and don’t really care to eat them. Do I eat fat bombs sometimes or keto desserts which are high fat? YES! They are fun and usually make me full very full while tasting great adding variety to the diet. I do avoid processed keto desserts like Slim Fast and Quest products as i’ve found they only tend to make me more hungry and are not satiating. I’d rather make them from scratch. In the past 12 months i’ve lost 25% body fat and 90 pounds with this strategy. Went from 245 to 155 in a year without exercising. (I am now into running while fasted!)

So in summary. 

1.    Counting macros is a helpful and almost necessary tool when first transitioning to a keto diet as it will basically teach you how to eat and help promote ketone production and fat adaptation. 

2.    You don’t need to count them forever

3.    You also don’t need to eat 70-80 percent fat every day or force yourself to add fat. Just eat naturally fatty foods and protein and add MCT oil sometimes if you like the benefits. 

4.    There is also nothing wrong with eating 75,20,5 or some variation of that forever if that’s what makes you feel good and is achieving the benefits you want. There is nothing wrong with fat bombs, or bulletproof coffee, etc. In fact they can be beneficial but again, everyone is different. 

5.    There are no magical macros. 

App I used above is Called “My Macros+”

If you would like to join my guild or want 1:1 coaching you can reach me at patreon.com/ketotroy as well as contact me on this website!

Ketosis DOES Matter (emerging science behind sustained weight loss) by Troy Lightfoot

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot online “Ketosis doesn’t matter” regarding weight loss. Unfortunately for the authors and YouTubers involved, the science doesn’t seem to agree with their position.

For a simplistic definition, ketosis is when your liver creates ketones to be used for energy. Your liver will create ketones in certain conditions without being in ketosis but clinically a blood ketone reading of 0.5 MMOL or above is seen as nutritional ketosis. At this measurement, you will have needed to keep your carbohydrates low enough for your liver to produce ketones on its own and your body will mainly be using fatty acids and ketones as a fuel source.

I do understand the sentiment behind not focusing on ketone levels. For one, once you are actually in ketosis it doesn’t really matter how “deep” you are to use fat as an energy source. The amount of BHB in your blood doesn’t correlate with the amount of fat loss but for certain medical conditions, it actually does matter. For example, epileptic patients.

Marilyn Strathern described Goddard’s Law with this quote "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." Blood ketones are just a measure of what’s happening in your blood, they should not be a target to shoot for. Otherwise, you could just take exogenous ketones, raise your blood ketone level to 3.0 and assume that you would be “burning more fat.”

With all that being said actually being in a state of nutritional ketosis does matter scientifically. Before going into the science behind this it’s important to understand the science behind the “Calories In / Calories Out” theory.

The largest clinical trial ever done to test this theory was called the “Women’s Health Initiative.” It followed almost 50,000 women for 7 years as they reduced their fat intake and kept their caloric intake below their “metabolic rate” (This term is another blog post on its own but for now let’s just go with it) The trial costs the US taxpayer over 400 million dollars. This was the study that was supposed to support the low fat, low calorie, “eat less move more” hypothesis. Instead what it proved was that for long term sustained weight loss, it doesn’t work. Over 7 years, women reduced their daily calorie intake by 361 calories per day. They reduced their percentage of calories from fat and increased their carbs. They also increased their daily exercise by 10%.

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Note this was a randomized controlled trial. According to the study, the participants adhered to the diet and exercise interventions. Here was the result.

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Initially, caloric restriction worked and they lost weight. It doesn’t mean they lost much body fat by the way but they did lose weight. Eventually, they gained it all back while keeping calories low and exercising more. In fact, by the end of the trial, waist circumference size was the same.

This happens because your body isn’t a calorie machine, in fact, it doesn’t even know what a calorie is. The less fuel you give your body the less it will require to use for daily activities aka your “Resting Metabolic Rate.” It’s why people like Jillian Michaels often fail when coaching long term sustained weight loss. Just see the biggest loser long term results. Simply put, if you cut your calories when trying to lose a lot of weight, you will have to keep cutting and cutting to lose weight over time and to keep it off as your body will adjust to your intake. This is obviously unsustainable long term and unhealthy.

So why does Ketosis Matter? Take a look at the following study:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5816424/

Background

The resting metabolic rate (RMR) decrease, observed after an obesity reduction therapy is a determinant of a short-time weight regain. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate changes in RMR, and the associated hormonal alterations in obese patients with a very low-calorie ketogenic (VLCK)-diet induced severe body weight (BW) loss.

Results

Despite the large BW reduction, measured RMR varied from basal visit C-1 to visit C-2, − 1.0%; visit C-3, − 2.4% and visit C-4, − 8.0%, without statistical significance. No metabolic adaptation was observed. The absent reduction in RMR was not due to increased sympathetic tone, as thyroid hormones, catecholamines, and leptin were reduced at any visit from baseline. Under regression analysis FFM, adjusted by levels of ketonic bodies, was the only predictor of the RMR changes (R2 = 0.36; p < 0.001).

Conclusion

The rapid and sustained weight and FM loss induced by VLCK-diet in obese subjects did not induce the expected reduction in RMR, probably due to the preservation of lean mass.

When reading the actual study, the level of ketones in their blood correlated with retention of muscle mass. Meaning they lost body fat, not muscle and kept the metabolic rate the same while losing weight! Another incredible finding “It is noteworthy that despite the considerable weight loss induced by the VLCK-diet, there was a positive nitrogen balance throughout the entire study.” A positive nitrogen balance is seen as the key to muscle growth.

THINK ABOUT THAT.

Ketones seem to be protective against muscle loss and in fact promote muscle growth in periods of fat loss.

In the future, I’m going to write a blog post about antioxidants and studies showing ketones are protective against reactive oxygen species without needing to ingest “anti-oxidants” in the form of fruit or plants. That is more about longevity rather than weight loss but the same concept applies. It seems ketosis does matter!

Exogenous Ketones are a Tool (How to implement them properly in a Keto Lifestyle) by Troy Lightfoot

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with any products nor do I make money off of recommending anything. I am only sharing my experience.

Recently i’ve been seeing a lot of hate towards exogenous ketones. A Doctor and Youtuber I really admire and respect put out a video last week ranting about them. You can watch that below…

I understand his opinion and believe it’s a logical argument. A well formulated ketogenic diet does not require exogenous ketones, I completely agree. A lot of companies are now trying to take advantage of the keto craze and sell people products they don’t need, I also agree.

Before discussing why I think they are a tool that can be used effectively, I will give a little background about myself and exogenous ketones.

One of the first videos I watched online was of Dom D’agostino on the Joe Rogan podcast discussing Keto and exogenous ketones. Dom is one of my favorite people in the community and I was fascinated by this discussion about his work with Navy Seal Divers and the potential of exogenous ketones. So much so that I went out and bought some exogenous ketones when I first started Keto.

Many people find the transition to Keto difficult at first. Typical side effects are…

  1. Low Energy

  2. Headaches

  3. Flu Like Symptoms

  4. Cravings

My first week I took a product called “Kegenix Prime” every morning and a few times a week took a meal replacement called “Keto Meal” and I didn’t experience any of these symptoms. In fact I believe these products made my transition extremely easy and I had LOTS of energy the first week of Keto while transitioning.

In my experience the benefits of these products for newer people are…

  • Gives your brain instant ketones and puts your into a state of ketosis without waiting 3 or more days (prime does that)

  • Gives you a meal replacement which makes it easier to not worry about a meal

  • Helps prevent “Ketu flu” by giving you electrolytes and ketones

  • Makes you feel full and you naturally eat less which is definitely helpful at first. 

  • Adding MCT oil to Either is a great way to add fat for the day

After the transition I believe products like prime aren’t really needed on a daily basis or at all but can be used strategically for a pre workout or if you decide to go out of ketosis, it can help speed up the entrance again.

On the other hand I think the Keto Meal product is still a good meal replacement or supplement to a meal and can be use strategically in a lifestyle.

Personally I don’t use them often but from time to time I will still use them when it feels appropriate.

Tools are just that, tools. Understanding what tool is useful for right job can help lead to success.