Basic facts about the Keto diet

Most of us would say that we gain weight simply because we are lazy and eat more. But what if the opposite is true?

Over the last few decades, we have been given the wrong advice on nutrition and the effects of fatty foods on weight gain. What if the main problem is that due to our modern diets we can not satisfy our appetite?

Ketogenic diets are actually closely related to the Paleolithic diet. Both exclude carbohydrates and aim to eat real food. Today, carbohydrates make up the bulk of our diet and have significant implications for our health, including hormonal balance. For example, insulin, which is responsible for storing fat in our body, is strongly affected by excessive carbohydrate consumption. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are without a doubt the most fattening element in our diet.

Based on research conducted over the past two decades, calorie-restricted diets or fat-restricted diets generally have little effect on our long-term weight loss. These types of diets are practically ineffective for most people. As concluded in Dr. John Brief’s book “Escape from the Diet Trap”: Prouchvaniyaand for low carb diets in which people eat as much as they like, constantly surpassing those with low fat, limited calories for weight loss. Systematic review of clinical trials on health effects in low-carb diets since 2012 shows that low-carb diets lead to significant weight loss and improve most of the major risk factors for heart disease.

Another advantage of ketogenic diets is the ability to man to build and preserve muscle tissue instead of losing it. When you follow a high-carb diet (ie, low-fat, low-calorie), only some of your body fat is burned during weight loss. Unfortunately, with such diets, your body will use up its protein stores (muscles) and convert them into glucose for energy instead of using fat. This, of course, is an adverse effect, as you lose significant muscle tissue instead of fat.

This is probably the most frequently asked question, as many people are concerned about the real consequences of ketosis. Does ketosis work? There are three main effects of low carb diets

Ketogenic diet is not only a great tool for weight loss, but has been shown to improve many diseases. This is a diet that causes ketones to be produced by the liver, shifting the body’s metabolism from glucose to fat absorption.

The keto diet is an effective tool for weight loss, but does not guarantee immediate weight loss. It helps you achieve your health goals in an easier way. There are three main effects of low carb diets, including keto diets …

Three main effects of low carb diets

Satiety effect = No problems with hunger

First, eat a lot of rich and nutritious food, which makes you less hungry and less likely to feel hungry. The fact is that people naturally eat less on a low carb diet. Proteins and fats are the most saturated macronutrients so far. Achieving satiety and natural appetite control are the most important effects of a low-carb diet.

Insulin, which is a hormone released by your pancreas when you eat carbohydrates, affects your appetite and with more carbohydrates you will experience more hunger.

Low carb diets are better for fat loss

Second, eating fat helps your body release fat and lose weight, while carbohydrates have the opposite effect. This has to do with how insulin affects your body, and as you may know, insulin is mostly produced when you eat carbohydrates. With reduced insulin levels, your body will use body fat for energy and lose weight.

Potential metabolic advantage

Finally, there are studies that seem to support the idea of a potential “metabolic advantage” of low-carb diets.

This means that you could achieve weight loss at a higher level than calorie intake suggests.

When ketones are produced by the breakdown of fat in the liver, ketones in the urine are excreted and may contribute to fat loss. However, this effect is not significant and the energy lost as ketones in the urine is not more than 100 kcal.

Ketogenic diets are a subset of low carb diets. It is generally accepted that any diet below 130-150 grams of carbohydrates is considered low in carbohydrates. Ketogenic diets cause a metabolic condition known as ketosis , which is usually achieved at a level of about 50 grams of carbohydrates per day (20-30 grams of pure carbohydrates) or less. The exact amount is individual and may vary.

Do you have to be in ketosis to lose weight? Not necessarily. You can lose weight without being in ketosis. Foods high in fat, high in protein and low in carbohydrates satiate you, making you less hungry and therefore less hungry for food. Research on this subject shows that carbohydrates are the least saturating, while proteins and fats are the most saturated nutrients.

Insulin is one of the most important hormones. It is secreted by the pancreas and is the focus of ketogenic diets, affects body fat and carbohydrate metabolism. It is an effective storage hormone responsible for transporting nutrients from the bloodstream to target tissues. Its other job is to regulate your blood sugar level.

Keto adaptation occurs when the body shifts glucose to fat metabolism.

Adaptations to ketosis are complex and involve most of the body’s systems. The main adaptations occur in the tissues of the body, especially in the brain, liver, kidneys and muscles.

As I mentioned earlier, ketosis is usually easy to get into, but it can be harder to adapt to keto.

Keto-adaptation is for people who are seriously eating well and adopt a low-carb approach as a way of life, not as a short-term solution to weight loss.

It can take 3-4 weeks before your body learns how to use ketones effectively.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a type of dietary approach that is often used to overcome, despite the persistent monthly plateau for weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is not only used for weight loss – it has been proven to have countless health benefits in the long run.

What is periodic fasting (IF)?

Compared to calorie restriction, IF is not calorie-restricted – it simply limits your eating windows to just a few hours a day. In fact, you usually starve for 14-20 hours or even up to 36 hours.

The idea is that you should eat as much as you want during the meal window, but you should not eat or drink anything high in calories during the fasting window (black coffee or tea sweetened with stevia or erythritol is allowed). You should strive to achieve your daily goals of macronutrients, without limiting yourself – just eat to satiety.

Most studies compare intermittent fasting to calorie restriction in the sense that both have several health benefits.

However, unlike IF, calorie restriction has many drawbacks: It’s hard to stick to and can be frustrating. This leads to loss of muscle mass, loss of bone mineral density and can also cause severe micronutrient deficiencies. This, of course, is relative and depends on the scale of the calorie restriction.

There are several types of starvation

1) Skip meals from time to time

It is important to note that you should not force yourself and start feeling too hungry. This should be a gradual process in which you slowly get used to your body, postponing your next meal every day. This is our favorite way and can be practiced 4-5 times a week, skipping breakfast. This is actually what most keto-adapted people do – they eat when they are hungry, because foods high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates cause severe satiety.

2) Divide the 24-hour period into 2 windows (eg 18/6)

This means that you fast for 18 hours just by drinking water or tea and have a 6-hour calorie intake. You can also have 16/8, 20/4 or even 21/3 periods based on what suits you best.

3 ) Alternate fasting days with eating days while you are on the keto

This approach may be too extreme for most people, and we don’t recommend following it unless you’ve tried one of the above methods first. You can do this by including one or two days of fasting a week.

What are the benefits of periodic fasting?

Sometimes fasting has been shown to have the same benefits as calorie restriction. Most studies on intermittent fasting so far have focused on its health benefits.

If it improves the markers of metabolic syndrome

Studies show that intermittent fasting improves blood lipids and cardiovascular markers, increases insulin sensitivity and reduces blood pressure and markers of inflammation.


Several studies have shown increased life expectancy when a fasting period is included in the diet. The most likely reason for this is that starvation affects the aging process by limiting calories. Another reason for increasing longevity may be the fact that starvation improves the symptoms of metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes, etc.) and reduces the risk of cancer. It has also been shown that starvation and ketosis increase autophagy. “Restores”). Autophagy is needed to maintain muscle mass and has anti-aging properties. Finally, fasting has been shown to increase the production of growth hormone, which is known to naturally decrease with age.


A review of studies shows that metabolic factors are strongly associated with different types of cancer. The strongest risk factors identified in men are high blood pressure and triglycerides, and in women – high plasma glucose. Because IF improves markers of metabolic syndrome, it also reduces the risk of cancer. In addition, another study shows that fasting helps reduce the negative side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

Mental clarity and neurological health

Fasting and ketosis are good for the brain. Once your body adapts to keto and you are no longer dependent on glucose, usually after 3-4 weeks, your body will effectively use ketones, dietary fats and stored body fat for energy.

Periodic starvation can improve neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and stroke. Researchers at the National Institute on Aging, led by Dr. Mark Matson, have found that in animal studies, intermittent starvation can increase the resistance of neurons in the brain to dysfunction and degeneration.

Weight loss

Constant starvation is not associated with starvation. When you follow IF, you are effectively eating the same amount of food that you would do on an empty stomach in just a shorter meal window. This in itself usually does not help to lose weight. The main reason people lose weight with IF seems to be the fact that they naturally eat less. Imagine if you are already adapted to keto and have only one or two large meals, you will hardly eat the same amount of food as if you had 3 regular meals.

Also, some studies show that periodic fasting increases fat oxidation. As mentioned above, it increases growth hormone production and lowers insulin levels: all of which are factors that help us lose body fat. Compared to calorie restriction, most studies on IF have shown that people find IF to be less restrictive, easier to follow, and better at sticking to it.

Better endurance

When you train on an empty stomach, you will increase fat burning. Because you have low glycogen stores, your body will use ketones and body fat for energy instead of glycogen. Contrary to popular belief, starvation does not have a negative effect on endurance.

Studies show that it can either improve endurance or have no effect. Will you lose muscle if you train on an empty stomach? No, no – fasting also improves the synthesis and recovery of muscle proteins after exercise.


Getting used to IF is great for those who can’t always find low-carb foods – either traveling, working with disabilities, or being too busy to cook. Although we would suggest that you eat low-carb snacks or prepare your food in advance, this is not always possible.

Bottom line: There are undoubtedly several advantages to IF. However, the truth remains that there has not yet been a long-term, randomized clinical trial of IF in humans to say whether it prolongs our lives or leads to permanent weight loss. These potential benefits have only been assessed on the basis of short-term and animal studies.

7 tips on how to start periodic fasting

1) Do not try if you are on a low carb ketogenic diet for the first few weeks .

This is very important because your body must first adapt to keto before trying IF. You will first need to get used to a low-carb diet so that your body can fully use energy ketones instead of glucose. If you try right away, you will not succeed, because you will initially be addicted to glucose and you will be too hungry to follow it.

There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about IF. Intermittent fasting should be natural and you should not fight and feel hungry. This is a gradual process and will take some time before it can be used effectively.

2) It works best when done naturally

Is it time for lunch and you don’t feel hungry? Skip it and save the food for dinner. Is it too late to eat? Skip dinner and have a hearty breakfast instead. Mostly fast from Monday to Friday, skipping breakfast and sometimes even lunch.

You can just make your first meal at 13-15 hours and try not to eat at least 3-4 hours before bed to have enough time for your body to digest food and avoid sleep disturbances. Don’t starve on the weekends because you can go out or just enjoy breakfast with loved ones.

3) Do not force yourself, but start slowly

As mentioned above, IF should be natural and you should not limit yourself and deprive yourself. Once you become adapted to fat, you will feel less hungry. Start by avoiding snacks between meals. Then try to skip the “regular” meals, but only if you do not feel hungry.

4) “Armor-piercing coffee with butter” will disrupt the fasting period

Ingestion of butter and coconut oil or MCT oil will not keep you hungry. Everything with a caloric value will have the same effect and is therefore called “starvation”. What you can do is have breakfast regularly or with armored coffee and skip lunch and dinner only.

5) Keep busy

We find it easier and more natural to skip meals when we have a busy schedule and do not spend time near the kitchen. Even if you are not hungry, you may be tempted to eat or have breakfast if you are surrounded by food.

6) Don’t expect IF to fix everything

Although IF can potentially help you lose weight and live longer, this is just one of several factors that will help you achieve your goals.

Levels of stress, enough sleep, macronutrients and micronutrients and exercise are just some of the most important factors to keep in mind. Don’t use IF as a “quick fix” when you’re eating more carbs than you planned, at least not too often. You should do it naturally and you should never feel deprived if you are starving.

7) Keep in mind that IF is not for everyone

According to Dr. John Brief, author of “Avoid the Diet Trap,” people with anorexia, bulimia, and type 1 diabetes should avoid it altogether.

Type 2 diabetics should only do this under medical supervision (as they should when following a low-carb diet), as they may need to adjust their medication. Others who should avoid IF are those who are usually “stressed” or suffer from chronic fatigue and adrenal disorders, those with sleep deprivation or those who overdo it.

Also, studies show that pregnant and lactating women should avoid IF. Mark Sison has a great post explaining why IF may not be an effective weight loss tool for premenopausal women or even women in general.

It usually takes 2-3 days to enter ketosis if you maintain your optimal net carbohydrate limit.

You can speed up this process by training to speed up the depletion of glycogen in your body. If you are quite stuck, it can take up to a week based on experience.

Once you stick to the plan, it’s actually easy to get into ketosis, you can easily figure it out by using ketone detection strips.

This is again individual and can vary from 1.5 to 2.5 kg per week. It depends on the speed of your metabolism, age and level of physical activity, etc. Again, focus on your body fat percentage, not your weight, as it says nothing about your body composition. Use a meter – it shows more than the scale.

There are critics who say that most of the weight you lose in the first week or two is just water. That’s right. However, this is only a natural process, as your body loses glycogen during the first few days. There is nothing wrong with this. The reason is that one molecule of glycogen attracts 3-4 molecules of water and as a result, when your body releases glycogen, it also excretes water. Do not panic, since you do not have a supply of glycogen, the process of ketosis begins and you lose fat. Just remember – drink plenty of water; you will probably need to drink more than you are used to.

In fact, you can lose weight without being in ketosis. The reason is that you usually eat more nutritious and filling foods that can help you lose weight.

Here are the stages of the ketogenic diet:

  1. Initial rapid weight loss – phase of induction

Most of the first few days of weight loss will come from water. It doesn’t have to be dramatic; everyone can react differently.

  1. Retention syndrome after induction

A new balance of water and glycogen will be set. This can cause a delay or even a slight weight gain. Don’t panic, it’s just water and won’t last long, probably only a few days.

  1. Keto-adaptation

People adapt to keto after a few weeks (average 3-4 weeks). It can take up to a month for a complete keto-adaptation, in which the body has learned to use fat for fuel and your brain has switched from using glycogen to ketones. Your weight may stop falling or even fluctuate, but your overall weight trend should be down.

With increasing consumption of carbohydrates and sugar, people have become “immune” to bodily signals and tend to eat more than they need. Conventional wisdom also tells us to eat regularly, in small portions, to avoid hunger and end up eating too much. However, the best approach is not to eat every 2-3 hours, but to eat when you start to feel hungry, but not fiercely hungry. You should have a snack with you in case you do not have time for regular meals. Such a breakfast can be a handful of nuts, a piece of dark chocolate (at least 80% cocoa), avocado or low-carb keto fruit, you can also use keto bars or keto protein.

Try to eat slowly and avoid any other activities while eating. You will gradually regain the ability to recognize when you have had enough. There is no reason to clean the plate completely if you feel full.

Remember: Eat when you are hungry, even if it is one eating a day. Do not allow others to dictate what you will eat or how often you should eat. If you do not need to have breakfast, avoid breakfast.

If you are new to the diet, it will help if you test your ketone levels daily.

Once you adapt to keto and fully understand ketogenic nutrition, you will not need to test ketone levels.

A common misconception is that you can eat an unlimited number of calories and still lose weight. Although this does not happen often, you can gain weight even on a low carb diet.

Low carb ketogenic diets have a natural appetite suppressant effect. Therefore, you will eat less and will not have to count calories, which is one of the main effects of a ketogenic diet.

Reaching a weight loss plateau can be caused by several factors and you don’t have to eat too much, in fact you may find that you haven’t eaten enough. Losing body fat becomes more difficult as you get closer to your target weight.

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