Keto periods: Why You Could Have No Period on the Keto Diet
Will a Keto Diet Mess With Your Period?
When it comes to periods, I consider myself lucky—mine shows up each month like clockwork; no need for tracking apps or a flag on my G-cal. But a few months ago my regularly scheduled programming went dark. I went through possible reasons for the ghosting: pregnant? Not a chance. Birth control? Used every time. Meds? Nothing new there. Then it hit me: The only change was my diet.
I’d been test-driving the ketogenic diet—the trendy but oh-so-restrictive eating plan that has people pumped over its ability to burn through body fat by seriously restricting carbohydrates in favor of meals packed with healthy high-fat foods. By limiting carbs, you drain your body’s main source of fuel, which forces your body to use fuel from fat, or ketones, as a substitute source of energy, says Ariane Hundt, a clinical nutritionist in New York City.
The radical shift can produce crazy results: I lost 11 pounds and 3 percent body fat in a month. That’s not necessarily a dangerous amount of weight to drop, but it’s certainly more than the recommended one to two pounds per week, and that alone could explain why I skipped my period, says Rekha Kumar, M. D., an endocrinologist specializing in weight control at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. When you lose weight quickly, your body registers the loss as a threat, and any system deemed unnecessary for survival begins to shut down to conserve resources. For women, the baby-making machine is typically first to go.
But that’s not the only way rapid weight loss might affect your period. “If you do one extreme thing to your body, there’s likely other downstream effects on important hormones,” Dr. Kumar says. Losing weight fast creates a state of stress in your body, which can trigger your adrenal glands to fire out more cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Extra cortisol coursing through your system can lead to libido and menstrual changes and potentially suppress ovarian function if levels get too high. The potential end result: a disappearing period.
Skipping a period isn’t necessarily a big deal—it’s normal for your cycle to fluctuate every now and again, Dr. Kumar says—but when connected to a change in your diet, it could signal bigger health risks if your period is MIA long-term. In that case, you have to worry about the same things that postmenopausal women worry about, says Zandra Palma, M.D., a functional medicine physician at Parsley Health in New York City. Think: loss of muscle mass and bone mineral density. If you miss Aunt Flo too long, you can also risk potential fertility problems down the line—difficulty with ovulation is the reason about a quarter of all infertile couples can’t conceive, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It’s unclear how many women on Keto have had their periods pull a disappearing act. Forums like Reddit are filled with stories like mine, but exact stats are hard to pin down. And many patients may not mention it to a doctor because, like me, a month or two of having a rogue cycle could be enough to scare them back to a well-balanced eating plan ASAP. As soon as that happens, the body starts to recover. (Dr. Palma says it can take up to three months for your period and the rest of your body to rebound.)
Can The Keto Diet Make Your Periods Irregular?
When you’re on the keto diet, there are a few, uh, bodily changes you prepare for (the good: weight loss; and the not-so-good: keto flu).
One thing you might not be totally ready for: the keto diet wreaking havoc on your menstrual cycle—and possibly making your periods irregular.
“The keto diet can affect women’s periods due to the rapid weight loss some women have on it,” says Angela Chaudhari, M.D., gynecologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Rapid weight loss can alter your estrogen-progesterone balance and impact ovulation, therefore causing your periods to become more irregular.”
But period irregularity isn’t your only cause for concern on the keto diet—your period could even stop altogether.
“Women who lose weight rapidly or become very thin can become amenorrheic, meaning no periods, due to anovulation, or a lack of ovulation,” says Chaudhari.
Keep in mind, though, that this is likely due to rapid weight loss that may happen on the keto diet—but it’s not exclusive to the keto diet. “This can also occur due to a very low-calorie diet, excessive exercise, or having a very low BMI,” says Chaudhari. “This can cause some hormones in your brain that regulate ovulation to drop, and therefore prevent ovulation or delay ovulation leading to menstrual irregularity.”
Another period issue on the keto diet: the lack of carbs.
“The evidence is very limited, but extreme carbohydrate restriction may lead to changes in the lutenizing hormone, a hormone released from the brain,” says Chaudhari. When the body’s functioning normally, the lutenizing hormone contributes to regular ovulation, says Chaudhari; but when carbs are restricted—and the lutenizing hormone is compromised—it may cause amenorrhea or hypomenorrhea (short, light periods).
Is it all bad news? Can the keto do anything good for my cycle?
Actually, it might: The keto diet may be helpful to women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that prevents the ovaries from developing or releasing eggs, according to the Office on Women’s Health.
“There is emerging data that patients with PCOS, who usually have issues with fertility, [may help] restore regular periods and might help with fertility by making the patient more responsive to fertility treatments,” says Ula Abed Alwahab, M. D., an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
That’s because, with PCOS, excess insulin in a woman’s body also increases her androgen and testosterone levels, which then limits her estrogen production and the body’s ability to ovulate.
The keto diet, however, can help decrease inflammation and insulin resistance, which can be to blame for higher than usual insulin levels seen in PCOS patients, says Alwahab.
Losing weight on the keto diet can also help PCOS symptoms.
“Weight loss is recommended for all women with PCOS and the ketogenic diet can be one method to help achieve weight-loss goals,” says Chaudhari. “By having a healthier BMI, women are more likely to ovulate regularly leading to more regular periods.”
But, as with any diet, it’s important to discuss going keto with your doctor before you do it—especially when you’re dealing with a medical issue like PCOS.
And instead of focusing on a specific diet, like the keto diet, it’s most important to find a sustainable and healthy diet that helps you maintain a healthy weight—and ultimately, a stable period, says Chaudhari.
“Patients who eat healthy, well-rounded diets and maintain normal BMIs are more likely to have regular ovulatory cycles,” says Chaudhari.
Keto For Carb Lovers: 100+ Amazing Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes
Emily Shiffer is a former digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention, and is currently a freelancer writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness.
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The Keto Period Survival Guide – Advantage Meals Keto Diet
It’s that time of the month. Even though you are keto and loving it, your period can send all your best intentions out the window. Bloating, weight gain, cravings, ravenous hunger, we’ve all been there. And if you are new to the keto diet, your period might change.
So how do you deal with all the normal menstrual symptoms that happen around your period, along with any changes in your period, and still stay the keto course?
No worries, ladies. I’ve got your back.
Let’s Talk Keto Periods
Can a Keto Diet affect your Menstrual Cycle?
Symptoms like cramps, bloating, weight gain, mood swings and irritability around your period are usually caused by rapid and normal changes in hormone levels. Changing levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone, among others, are necessary for the different stages of the menstrual cycle. Without changes in hormone levels, your body wouldn’t be prepared for a possible pregnancy or be able to have a period to reset the system.
While hormone fluctuations are natural and normal, if you are new to Keto, you may find that your menstrual symptoms are accentuated. Advertisement – No Cook Keto Meal Plan by Angela Davis
Why Keto Changes Your Period
There are a number of reasons why starting a keto diet might change your periods, and most of them are connected to hormones.
A ketogenic diet can cause changes in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone (NCBI Research Link), two of the big players in the female cycle. For people with a large amount of weight to lose, there is often rapid weight loss in the first couple of months on Keto. That rapid weight loss changes the estrogen-progesterone balance.
This is because estrogen & other sex hormones can be produced by and stored in fat cells (Science Daily Research Link). When the triglycerides that are stored in those fat cells are released for energy use (yeah, ketosis!), estrogen is released along with it. This causes a spike in estrogen in your system, which throws the balance with progesterone out of whack. This state of estrogen dominance can have numerous effects on your period.
Keto affects your hormones in some very good ways, namely by reducing insulin because of your reduced carb intake. However, reduced insulin doesn’t exist in a vacuum. All of our hormones affect each other, and reducing your insulin level may affect your sex hormones, as well. Insulin resistance and hyperinsulimia will cause a decrease in estrogen production. If you lower your insulin levels, you start to correct those insulin disorders, and you will most likely correct that estrogen deficiency, which is a good thing. But all adjustments in hormones take time and you may see some menstrual side effects while your body sorts it all out.
Stress, both mental and physical, causes hormone changes, too. Transitioning to ketosis is perceived by your body as a stressor, which can raise cortisol, another major hormone. If you’ve already got a lot of stress in your life (and who doesn’t?!), a big change in diet will add to that stress load.
When stress levels are high, your body increases production of cortisol, and progesterone levels also fluctuate. This again throws the estrogen-progesterone ratio out of balance, and menstrual irregularities may occur. Once you are ketone-adapted, though, cortisol levels return to normal and your periods should, too.
It’s not all bad news, either. Some of the very good changes that a ketogenic diet can bring for women include increased fertility and possible treatment for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), a common endocrine disorder that is associated with obesity, chronically high insulin levels and insulin resistance.
If you are a Keto diet beginner and seeing abnormalities in your period (heavy periods, more frequent periods, losing your period or more), chances are your body is just making adjustments to your new normal. A ketogenic diet brings big changes, and they are probably very good for you in the long run. But big changes require some time to adjust, so be patient while your body figures out the new system.
Hormonal birth control seems to make matters worse but most women report that their cycle still evens out on its own, without changing their birth control routine.
If your menstrual changes are extreme, visit with your medical professional to make sure everything is a-okay.
With time, your ketogenic diet will most likely help you achieve more balanced, ideal hormone levels. Once you are ketone adapted and your body has found its new normal hormone levels, you may find that you have less negative symptoms around your period. Hang in there!
Tips & Hacks On How To Deal With Your Keto Period
Handling the negative symptoms associated with your period is top priority while your body is making the transition to being ketone adopted. If you are on a Keto diet in order to lose weight, you may be frustrated by weight gain right before or during your period. This is a common and most likely due to water retention.
Do yourself a favor, and put the scale away for the days around your period. If you do gain some weight around your period, you will lose it when your period is done. Watching the scale closely during this time is only going to lead to more frustration.
Let the scale go and focus on taking care of yourself.
Be Prepared for Period Cravings
Food cravings are a big one for me. Sometimes they are nutritional (I seriously crave liver around my period, which is high in iron, a mineral we lose during menstruation.) More often, though, cravings are emotional.
Many women crave sweet and salty foods, and the temptation to go back to old favorites from your previous way of eating can be rough. Eating high carb or highly processed foods will most likely make you feel like crap, causing more bloating and cravings. Stay away from that vicious downward spiral with these awesome Keto period friendly foods.
- Keto Vanilla Ice Cream – This easy low carb recipe is incredibly easy and has only 5 ingredients. Rich, creamy, and delicious, it’s also almost zero carb. If you don’t have an ice cream churn, my Chocolate Avocado Mousse will also do the trick for ice cream cravings, and you only need a few minutes and a food processor.
- Chocolate– My go-to chocolate when I have a craving is often the Avocado Mousse or Chocolate Coconut Fat Bombs. If I really want a chocolate bar, I reach for Lily’s 70% Dark Chocolate Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Bar with Sea Salt. Since it’s sweetened with stevia, I know I don’t have to worry as much about limiting my serving size in order to keep my carbs down. And the less will power I need during my period, the better!
- Salty – If you’re craving salty foods, you’ve got a number of great Keto options. Salted nuts that are dry roasted are great, and we love Royal Hawaiian Macadamias with Sea Salt. Pickles and pork rinds dipped in any of our Fat Booster dip recipes are also good. For a meal, you can’t beat our Chili Cheese Dog Casserole, which is serious comfort food.
- Taco Bowl – I often crave Mexican food, too. Do you? But I’d much rather stay at home in my comfy pants than go out to a restaurant, and our No Cook Keto Taco Bowl is ready in five minutes. Like all the recipes in our No Cook Keto meal plan, there’s no cooking, it’s fast, easy and hits the spot.
- Check out Our Favorite Keto Snacks post for even more ideas!
If you’re hungry, eat. There is a lot going on in your body during your period, and there very well may be a good reason for extra hunger.
There’s no need to deprive yourself. Stick to Keto friendly foods and don’t stress if you go over your normal daily calories.
A few extra keto calories won’t derail you. Why add the extra stress of fighting your hunger to the mix? It will pass and you’ll be back on your normal keto game in just a few days.
No matter what feelings, cravings and symptoms you experience around your period, don’t toss in the towel. Keto is still here when your period is done, and everyday is a new day.
Whether you rock your period this month or it rolls you, you can succeed on keto. A little forgiveness and grace go a long way, particularly when you aim them at yourself.
What are your favorite period survival tips? Leave me a comment with what helps you through!
The Keto Box is a great monthly deal where you can try all kinds of new keto friendly products. ~Angela (sponsor)
Founder Advantage Meals
Angela earned her Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition 14 years ago and began her lifelong journey of nutrition and wellness learning. She began keto meal planning and cooking over a decade ago when she began working with local clients who were under the direct supervision of a medical doctor. Angela is the author of No Cook Keto, the easiest keto meal plan available.
Disclaimer: I am neither a licensed nutritionist nor a medical professional. I never prescribe diets. I only share my personal experiences and those of my clients for informational purposes only. Nutrition details are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical nutritional data. You should consult your medical professional before making any major changes in the way you eat.
Keto For Women: Getting Your Period Back
What is the Cause of Amenorrhea?
A lost period is an indication to dig deeper as it is often a sign from the body that it doesn’t feel safe.
This could be the result of a recent drastic weight change, nutrient deficiency, your body being overburdened by endocrine disruptors, or it may be dealing with chronic stress and is operating in the sympathetic fight-or-flight response with inadequate parasympathetic regulatory balance.
As a functional medicine practitioner, I seek the root causes of imbalance within the body addressing the gut, liver, and stress axis known as the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA-axis) trying to swing the individual back to a balanced parasympathetic state.
With the right approach, women can get their period back, including those with PCOS and hypothalamic amenorrhea. A high-fat, low-carb, re-feeding dietary approach combined with stress management and a diet that supports the natural detoxification of the body is a great way to start and get the body back into hormone balance.
How Does Insulin Resistance Affect Sex Hormones and Fertility?
Under normal circumstances the hormone insulin helps keep blood sugar levels stable. However, when insulin resistance occurs, glucose accumulates in the blood and can eventually lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. To be insulin resistant means that your body can’t properly respond to the insulin it makes. Over time, this leads to chronically high blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance and chronically high blood sugar levels drive hormone imbalance. This is also why metformin, a drug commonly used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, is so commonly used for the treatment of infertility.
Elevated insulin levels reduce sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) which means that our sex hormones may be suppressed, especially in severely overweight individuals suffering from hyperinsulinemia ( 1).
Elevated insulin levels reduce sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) and impair fertility. Low levels of SHBG are a marker of insulin resistance, and consequently, a predictor of type 2 diabetes.
Keto as an Anti-Inflammatory Tool and Insulin Regulator
When following a low carbohydrate diet in the state of nutritional ketosis, blood sugar levels are regulated at lower levels which will also lead to lower insulin levels.
Intermittent fasting paired with a keto diet, especially in overweight individuals, may further aid bringing insulin levels down and supporting hormone signalling in the body.
However, beware that for underweight individuals or those who have lost their menstrual cycle after losing a significant amount of body weight, measures must be taken to ensure sufficient food intake so that the body feels safe and nourished. When you follow a keto diet and want to maintain or gain weight, you simply need to eat enough fat and calories. Any fasting practices for underweight people are not recommended.
In my practice, I use the the ketogenic diet to support fertility. When the body produces ketones, inflammation and oxidative stress are reduced which often helps improve both female fertility (egg health) and male fertility (sperm quality). ( 2)
The Role of Hypothalamus in Fertility
Ketosis has a direct impact on our central stress response system, also known as the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis system, as ketone bodies cross the blood-brain barrier and influence expression of neurotransmitters. They do that by converting the excitatory glutamate into an inhibitory compound GABA which mellows out a stress fight-or-flight response in the body ( 3).
The hypothalamus plays a significant role in fertility as it produces two main hormones: gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) which signals the production of other hormones in the pituitary FSH (follicular stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone) required for an egg to mature, and for ovulation.
Nutritional ketosis also impacts hormones that regulate the HPA axis balance. On a ketogenic diet, a satiety hormone leptin is able to signal the brain and resume its dual role to lower hunger and increase metabolic rate. Leptin provides a ‘safety signal’ to the body’s regulatory system, by docking to the hypothalamus and telling the body to support regulatory signals of the parasympathetic state vs. reactive signals in the sympathetic state. Optimizing leptin can support appetite regulation as well as metabolic and hormone balance.
When the body produces ketones, inflammation and oxidative stress are reduced which is beneficial for both female and male fertility.
Hormetic Effects of Keto
The ketogenic diet can act as a mild stressor which can be beneficial, just like exercise, intermittent fasting, or even sauna. However, remember that too much of a good thing can also be harmful.
As an example, imagine you are lifting a weight for 20 reps in a couple of sets. You work the muscle to fatigue, then shift to another exercise, and eventually rest and recover to support healthy muscle growth. However, if you had to lift that weight for hours and hours, the level of tear and atrophy would be so intense that the body would suffer rather than gain any benefits from the exercise. Simply put, know your limits and make sure you are still getting the benefits you seek.
When Weight Loss Can Be an Issue
A potential pitfall that can occur with nutritional ketosis is under-eating due to the natural satiety effect of low-carb diets. Such appetite suppressing effect is beneficial for those who need to lose body fat but it is not a desired effect for those who lack ample body fat reserves, and need to either maintain or gain weight.
I have personally and clinically seen women who go keto, feel amazing, and then try to take on too much. As a result, they’re not eating enough, over-exercising and/or not sleeping enough and their leptin levels can dip too low. This way the body may go into an under-fed, unsafe mode during which sex hormones are suppressed as the body prioritizes survival in a stressed state over reproductive health ( 4).
High levels of cortisol suppress sex hormone production in the body as it feels unsafe to carry a child. In a stressed state the body prioritizes survival over reproductive health.
Manage Your Stress Levels to Help Your Body Feel Safe
When in chronic fight-or-flight mode from physical, emotional, or mental stress, and more stress drives up our androgenic hormones.
This can lead to excess levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and cortisol which suppress sex hormone production in the body as essentially the body feels unsafe to carry a child and does not prioritize ovulation ( 5).
Beyond diet intervention, consider managing your stress levels. Shifting priorities to what is truly important, and working to allow a healthy mental perspective of ‘making peace with the now’ may aid in shifting the body to a more balanced parasympathetic state.
If you are going through a divorce or have a demanding position at work, maybe you don’t have control over those factors. Focus on other factors that you do have control over, such as switching from a spinning class or a cross-fit workout — a type of exercise that further increase cortisol and enhance stress response — to calming type of physical activity such as yoga or walking while taking time for rest, meditate and sleep. You may also want to consider supplementation with adaptogen herbs such as abhwagandha or calming herbs such as chamomile to reduce stress and anxiety.
The Role of Keto in Getting Your Period Back
A whole food based approach to nutritional ketosis that includes leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, wild-caught fish, pasture-raised proteins, and an abundance of fat from olives, avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, and quality animal products can provide a rich source of bioavailable B-vitamins, hormone regulating indole-3-carbinols (I3C), omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and saturated fats as building blocks of hormone production and cell membrane support.
A healthy ketogenic diet helps reduce inflammation, gut stress, and hormone imbalance, while promoting optimized antioxidant status. A whole foods based keto diet provides the nutrients needed for the production of healthy eggs and protection of membranes to support healthy implantation.
A well formulated ketogenic diet can also aid fat loss, improve insulin sensitivity, aid in the reduction of excess estrogen and support liver health. The ketogenic diet is more than just a fat loss tool and can in fact be used for a healthy weight gain, provided you get enough fat and calories.
A whole foods based ketogenic diet provides the nutrients needed for optimal health, hormone balance and to support fertility.
7 Practical Tips for Getting Your Period Back
Here are the steps you can take to get your hormone health back.
1. Go Low-Carb
Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you’re eating to balance your blood sugar levels and reduce insulin to support hormone signalling in the body.
2. Eat More
Make sure you are not in a chronic caloric deficit and consume enough fat as a building block for hormone production. Additionally, to ensure sufficient caloric intake, you may need to give up intermittent fasting too.
3. Include Healthy Omega 3 Fats
Opt for wild-caught fish and consider supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids. A 2013 randomized controlled trial found that omega-3 supplementation at just 3 grams a day helped reduce androgen levels and regulate menstrual cycles ( 6).
4. Eat Foods High in B Vitamins
To support fertility, include liver and leafy greens for B Vitamins, including folic acid (Vitamin B9). B Vitamins are often depleted in stressed individuals and those with history use of hormonal contraception as it can drive Vitamin B deficiency and can negatively impact ovulation ( 7).
5. Consider Supplementing with Inositol
Research suggests that Myo-inositol, or Vitamin B8, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces androgens, and can even restore ovarian activity in women with PCOS ( 8).
6. Choose the Right Type of Exercise
Certain types of exercise such as high-intensity exercise (HIIE or HIIT) and prolonged cardio raise the stress hormone cortisol. If you need to get your period back, switch to other types of exercise such as yoga, walking or moderate amounts of resistance training.
7. Your Body Needs to Feel Safe
Make sure you get enough sleep — try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Managing stress is very individual and you’ll need to find ways that work for you. Try meditation, acupuncture, or schedule a massage.
- Expert Articles
- Keto For Women: Getting Your Period Back
- Keto For Women: Getting Your Period Back
- Keto For Women: Getting Your Period Back
- Diet & Nutrition
- Keto For Women: Getting Your Period Back
- Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE
- Keto For Women: Getting Your Period Back
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Period Cravings on Keto – Eat. Be Fit. Explore.
Why do we get period cravings? Why do we get bloated and gain weight during our periods? What can we do about it?
So, you’ve been following the Ketogenic diet, and it’s going great! Then, one day you wake up, and you’re hungry for carbs. All of a sudden your kid’s leftovers look delicious, and you want to binge on chocolate and chips.
Does this sound anything like you? Because this is me every single month. At first, I thought it was a lack of willpower and self-control, only to later realize when I went to the bathroom that Aunt Flow came to town.
So why do we get so hungry when we are on our period?
While menstruating, our bodies go through a lot of changes. Our hormones are all out of whack — specifically Cortisol and Seratonin.
Cortisol is your body’s stress level. It is higher than usual when you are on your period. Higher stress = more hungry
This hormone is responsible for regulating your appetite and makes you happy. It’s decreased when you are on your period which means you’re appetite is higher than, and you may be feeling sad (which leads to wanting to eat your weight in chocolate).
That explains a lot for me. Even before my period comes, I get really hungry for sweets and I become super duper moody and sad. I feel like it has become worse with each pregnancy.
Speaking of chocolate…
Why do we crave chocolate when we are on our periods?
Chocolate cravings are not random when it’s the time of the month. The reason we crave them is that your magnesium levels are lower when we are menstruating. Isn’t that crazy?
So, because of all of these changes, you have cravings, but how about the weight gain and bloat?
(This is especially hard when you are following the Ketogenic diet because it’s devastating to see the scale go up 5lbs overnight and see that belly bloat when you have been working so hard to eliminate bloat by reducing carbs).
Why do we gain weight and get bloated when we are on our periods?
Again, it’s those stupid hormones, Estrogen to be exact for this issue.
Estrogen goes up when you are menstruating which causes your body to retain more water. Water retention leads to bloating and weight gain. Although it’s technically “water weight.”
It’s very common to see a 3-5lb scale change when you are on your period. I usually gain 5lbs. It freaks me out, but I know that it’s only temporary.
Ok, so now that you know why you get cravings and why you gain weight and get bloated, what can you do about it?
Well, nothing. Sorry. Sucks being a female.
Buahaha, just kidding. There are a few things that can help you deal with cravings and bloat.
How can I satisfy my period cravings?
First of all, I am going to tell you this, don’t fight your cravings because they will only get louder and cause you to cheat on non-Keto foods.
I am speaking from experience here. Know that it’s normal to have cravings for sugar and carbs and make them work for you.
What does this mean?
Eat the chocolate girl. Just do it.
I say this with a caveat. Eat keto-friendly chocolate. This is when it’s great to have a batch of Salted Fudge Fat Bombs in the freezer or some Lily’s Chocolate in the pantry. However, don’t overdo it.
Allow yourself a serving or two of chocolate or a keto treat per day knowing that it will help you satisfy those cravings and prevent you from binging on non-Keto sugary and carb filled foods.
Look, even if you accidentally eat the whole bar of Lily’s, it’s ok. You don’t do that, and it’s still better than eating a full bag of snickers (been there, done that, not pretty)
Allow yourself to eat more carbs during that week-
Now, I don’t mean bread and pasta; I mean that if you usually are eating 20 grams of carbs per day, raise it to 30 or 40g.
Don’t worry so much about tracking your macros that week. Let yourself have some extra fruit to help with those sugar cravings. If you are craving salty foods, allow yourself to have some extra nuts.
Again, you are trying to prevent yourself from going off the rails on non-Keto foods so allowing yourself more of the foods that “satisfy” your cravings but won’t kick you out of Ketosis is critical.
Eat more protein-
Protein is excellent because it keeps you full. If you usually eat 70 grams of protein per day, raise it to 90 that week. Don’t worry, too much protein will not kick you out of Ketosis, that is a myth that needs to stop.
Also, being kicked out of ketosis is a normal thing while menstruating anyways so who cares. You will jump right back in when you’re period is over and if you don’t, use these tips to help you get back into Ketosis quicker.
Take (more) Magnesium
If you are following a ketogenic diet, you should already be taking a Magnesium supplement because it’s an essential electrolyte. Now that you know that Magnesium is lower when you are menstruating and that it causes cravings for chocolate make sure you are taking a good dose of it during period week.
Other tips to help you deal with weight gain, bloating and those crazy hormones
This may seem crazy to you because I know a lot of you don’t like to exercise when you are on your period or think that it’s terrible for you.
News flash, it’s GOOD for you to workout when you are on your period because it helps to regulate those crazy hormones and tone things down a bit. Not to mention, exercise releases endorphins which makes you happier.
Ok, let me be clear here though. If you are like my best friend who has an awful period cramps that leave her in the fetal position, please DON’T workout. You should ALWAYS listen to your body. Yes, exercise is beneficial but if you are physically in pain, you should probably just Netflix and chill.
Chug water like you are a horse
Seriously, drinking water will help you eliminate water retention (sounds counterproductive, I know, but it works. It will also help you control your cravings because sometimes when we are craving certain foods, it may mean that we are dehydrated.
Don’t weigh yourself
Just don’t do it. Trust me. You will become more sad and depressed. Seeing that number go up 5 pounds can be very demoralizing, mainly when you worked so hard to follow a ketogenic diet.
It’s all water, and it will fall off when things get back to normal, so why torture yourself every day and keep stepping on the scale? I used to do this all the time, and it would ruin my day and make me feel like crap. I had to tell myself that during my period week I would not weigh myself.
In conclusion, I want you to know that you are not alone. I get period cravings all the time. I want to eat all the chocolate and all the carbs, all day. I also get super bloated, gain a bunch of weight and feel like a turd. It’s normal. Blame those stupid hormones.
The point is to recognize that it’s going to happen and having the tools in place to deal with it. It sucks, but at the end of the day, this is how I view it now, (after having two kids already) TGINP – THANK GOD IM NOT PREGNANT.
Can I get an Amen?
How do you deal with your period cravings? Comment below and let me know!
Ketosis & Late Menstrual Cycle
A woman eating oatmeal from a jar.
Image Credit: AlexeyBorodin/iStock/Getty Images
Following the ketogenic diet can be a good way to lose weight and burn fat more effectively. It’s a low carb, high fat diet that actually alters the metabolic processes in your body, and with practice, it’s relatively simple to follow. But not all of keto’s side effects are positive, and it’s important to be aware of when it might be causing problems for your health.
If you’re worried that keto is affecting your period or causing weight gain, it’s best to take a step back and evaluate whether the diet is working for you. While keto could cause a late period, it’s not the only thing that affects your menstrual cycle, so it’s important to figure out the root cause before seeking a solution.
Read more: Symptoms Your Period Is Coming Soon
Avoid Keto Side Effects
The purpose of the keto diet is to train your body to burn fat as fuel rather than burning carbohydrates. People on the keto diet typically eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates daily, replacing those calories with healthy fats and protein. After a short time (usually a few days), blood ketone levels will rise, indicating that the body has gone into ketosis.
The reason ketosis is so popular for weight loss is that the body is burning its own fat to use as fuel. However, ketosis comes with unfavorable side effects if you aren’t carefully monitoring your body’s reaction.
Read more: 6 Keto Diet Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
Monitor Your Caloric Intake
In a September 2014 study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, researchers found that functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) — the absence of periods due to stress, weight loss or excessive exercise — has a significant negative impact on a woman’s body. When your period stops, it’s the sign of a deeper problem with your hormonal cycle, and it can have long-term effects on your fertility and your overall health.
One common sign of FHA is excessive calorie restriction, which can happen accidentally if you’ve limited your carb intake without adding other nutrients to your diet. Make sure you are replacing carbohydrates with healthy fats and protein and eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods. It may be helpful to keep a food journal for a few months or use a calorie counting app as you are transitioning into your new way of eating; this will ensure you are getting all the fuel your body needs to function well.
Read more: How Many Calories Should I Burn a Day to Lose Weight?
Is Keto to Blame?
Still worried that keto is causing your late period, or making it disappear altogether? If you’re eating enough calories, diversifying nutrients and still experiencing keto weight gain and period issues, it might be a sign that your hormone levels are out of whack.
Read more: 10 Crazy Facts About Our Periods
Certain hormones, like leptin, are crucial for maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle. The research on how ketosis affects these hormones is still new, and there is no definitive conclusion that the keto diet affects everyone the same way. If you’re concerned about hormone imbalances that might be caused by your diet, talk to your doctor about getting your levels tested. This will help you know for sure whether your keto diet might be the culprit.
Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients
Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004 Fall; 9(3): 200–205.
, MD PhD FICS FACS,1, MSc PhD FRCPath,4, MB ChB,5, MB ChB MD FRCSEd FACS,1, MB ChB FRCS FACSI PhD FICS FACS,1, MB ChB FRCS FICS,1, MD PhD FICS FACS,1, MD FRCPC,2 and , BSc PhD3
Hussein M Dashti
1Departments of Surgery
Thazhumpal C Mathew
4Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kuwait University, Safat;
5Ministry of Health, Safat, Kuwait
Sami K Asfar
1Departments of Surgery
1Departments of Surgery
Mousa A Khoursheed
1Departments of Surgery
Hilal M Al-Sayer
1Departments of Surgery
Yousef Y Bo-Abbas
Naji S Al-Zaid
3Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, and
1Departments of Surgery
3Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, and
4Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kuwait University, Safat;
5Ministry of Health, Safat, Kuwait
Correspondence: Dr Naji Al-Zaid, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, PO Box 24923, 13110, Safat, Kuwait. Telephone 965-531-9593, fax 965-531-9597, e-mail
[email protected] © 2004, Pulsus Group Inc. All rights reservedThis article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Although various studies have examined the short-term effects of a ketogenic diet in reducing weight in obese patients, its long-term effects on various physical and biochemical parameters are not known.
To determine the effects of a 24-week ketogenic diet (consisting of 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g/kg body weight protein, 20% saturated fat, and 80% polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat) in obese patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
In the present study, 83 obese patients (39 men and 44 women) with a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m2, and high glucose and cholesterol levels were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, urea and creatinine levels were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored after eight, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment.
The weight and body mass index of the patients decreased significantly (P<0.0001). The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment. The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment. The level of blood glucose significantly decreased. The changes in the level of urea and creatinine were not statistically significant.
The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. Administering a ketogenic diet for a relatively longer period of time did not produce any significant side effects in the patients. Therefore, the present study confirms that it is safe to use a ketogenic diet for a longer period of time than previously demonstrated.
Keywords: Diet, Ketosis, Obesity
Obesity has become a serious chronic disease in both developing and developed countries. Furthermore, it is associated with a variety of chronic diseases (1–4). It is estimated that in the United States alone approximately 300,000 people die each year from obesity-related diseases (5,6). Different methods for reducing weight using reduced calorie and fat intake combined with exercise have failed to show sustained long-term effects (7–9). Recent studies from various laboratories (10,11), including our own (12), have shown that a high fat diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (ketogenic diet) is quite effective in reducing body weight and the risk factors for various chronic diseases. The ketogenic diet was originally introduced in 1920 (13). In this diet, the fat to carbohydrate ratio is 5:1. While there was a significant decrease in the weight of obese patients who were on a ketogenic diet (12), the reverse occurred when the diet changed to one high in carbohydrates (14).
It should be noted that the concept that fat can be eaten ad libitum and still induce weight loss in obese subjects is not a recent one (13–33). Ketosis occurs as a result of the change in the body’s fuel from carbohydrate to fat. Incomplete oxidation of fatty acids by the liver results in the accumulation of ketone bodies in the body. A ketogenic diet maintains the body in a state of ketosis, which is characterized by an elevation of D-b-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate.
Mild ketosis is a natural phenomenon that occurs in humans during fasting and lactation (19,20). Postexercise ketosis is a well-known phenomenon in mammals. Although most of the changes in the physiological parameters induced following exercise revert back to their normal values rapidly, the level of circulating ketone bodies increases for a few hours after muscular activity ceases (21). It has been found that in trained individuals, a low blood ketone level protects against the development of hypoglycemia during prolonged intermittent exercise (22). In addition, ketosis has a significant influence on suppressing hunger. Thus, a ketogenic diet is a good regulator of the body’s calorie intake and mimics the effect of starvation in the body.
It is generally believed that high fat diets may lead to the development of obesity and several other diseases such as coronary artery disease, diabetes and cancer. This view, however, is based on studies carried out in animals that were given a high fat diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. In contrast, our laboratory has recently shown that a ketogenic diet modified the risk factors for heart disease in obese patients (12).
Although various short-term studies examining the effect of a ketogenic diet in reducing the weight of obese patients have been carried out (10), its long-term effects in obese subjects are not known (15). Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet on obesity and obesity-associated risk factors in a large population of obese patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Patients and biochemical analysis
The prospective study was carried out at the Academic Department of Surgery, Consultation and Training Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University (Jabriya, Kuwait) in 83 obese subjects (39 men and 44 women). The body mass index (BMI) of men and women was 35.9±1.2 kg/m2 and 39.4±1.0 kg/m2, respectively. The mean age was 42.6±1.7 years and 40.6±1.6 years for men and women, respectively. The mean age, initial height, weight and BMI for all patients are given in . Fasting blood tests were carried out for all of the subjects. Initially, all patients were subjected to liver and renal function tests, and glucose and lipid profiles, using fasting blood samples, and a complete blood count. Thereafter, fasting blood samples were tested for total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, urea and creatinine levels at the eighth, 16th and 24th week. In addition, weight and height measurements, and blood pressure were monitored at each visit.
Patient data at baseline before treatment with the ketogenic diet
|n||Age (years)||Height (m)||Weight (kg)||Body mass index (kg/m2)|
Protocol for ketogenic diet-induced body weight reduction
All 83 subjects received the ketogenic diet consisting of 20 g to 30 g of carbohydrate in the form of green vegetables and salad, and 80 g to 100 g of protein in the form of meat, fish, fowl, eggs, shellfish and cheese. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats were also included in the diet. Twelve weeks later, an additional 20 g of carbohydrate were added to the meal of the patients to total 40 g to 50 g of carbohydrate. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) were given to each subject in the form of one capsule per day ().
Composition of the capsule*
|Para-aminobenzoic acid (PH)||30 mg|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate) (BP)||15 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) (BP)||3 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (nicotinamide) (BP)||25 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (calcium pantothenate) (PH)||3 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCI) (BP)||5 mg|
|Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) (BP)||10 μg|
|Biotin (PH)||5 μg|
|Folic acid (BP)||100 μg|
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) BP||60 mg|
|Vitamin A (retinol) (USP; 2000 IU)||0.6 mg|
|Vitamin D (calciferol) (INN; 200 IU)||5 μg|
|Vitamin E (tocopherol acetate) (USNF)||10 mg|
|Lecithin (PH)||40 mg|
|Wheat germ oil||100 mg|
|Lysine (FP)||40 mg|
|Methionine (DAB)||60 mg|
|Rutin (DAB) (rutoside) (INN)||10 mg|
|Iron (as fumarate; BP)||12 mg|
|Calcium (as dicalcium phosphate) (BP)||52 mg|
|Phosphorus (as dicalcium phosphate) (BP)||40 mg|
|Potassium (as KCl) (BP)||2 mg|
|Zinc (as ZnSO4) (BP)||8 mg|
|Copper (as CuSO4) (BP)||1 mg|
|Manganese (as MnSO4) (BP)||2 mg|
|Iodine (as potassium iodide) (BP)||trace|
|Ginseng (Siberian) (5:1 concentrated extract)||4 mg|
Statistical differences between body weight, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, level of fasting blood sugar, and urea and creatinine levels before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet were analyzed using a paired Student’s t test using the Stat-view version 4.02 (Abacus Concepts Inc, USA). Weight, BMI and all biochemical parameters are expressed as mean ± SEM.
The mean initial weight of the subjects was 101.03±2.33 kg. The weight decreased significantly during all stages of the treatment period. The body weights at the eighth, 16th and 24th week were 91.10±2.76 kg, 89.39±3.4 kg and 86.67±3.70 kg, respectively (). Similar to the loss in body weight, a significant decrease was observed in the BMI of the patients following the administration of the ketogenic diet. The initial BMI, and the BMI after the eighth, 16th and 24th week were 37.77±0.79 kg/m2, 33.90±0.83 kg/m2, 33.24±1.00 kg/m2 and 32.06±1.13 kg/m2, respectively ().
Reduction in body weight at eight, 16 and 24 weeks following the administration of the ketogenic diet in obese patients. The weights are expressed as mean ± SEM
Decrease in body mass index at eight, 16 and 24 weeks during the administration of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. The values are expressed as mean ± SEM
The level of total cholesterol showed a significant decrease from week 1 to week 24 (). The level of HDL cholesterol significantly increased (), whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased with treatment (). The level of triglycerides decreased significantly after 24 weeks of treatment. The initial level of triglycerides was 2.75±0.23 mmol/L, whereas at week 24, the level decreased to 1.09±0.08 mmol/L (). The level of blood glucose significantly decreased at week 24. The initial blood glucose level and its level at the eighth, 16th and 24th week were 7.26±0.38 mmol/L, 5.86±0.27 mmol/L, 5.56±0.19 mmol/L and 5.62±0.18 mmol/L, respectively (). The changes in the levels of urea () and creatinine () were not statistically significant.
Decreased levels of total cholesterol (expressed as mean ± SEM) in obese patients at eight, 16 and 24 weeks during the administration of a ketogenic diet
Changes in the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in obese patients during treatment with a ketogenic diet for a period of 24 weeks. Data are expressed as mean ± SEM
Changes in the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol during treatment with a ketogenic diet in obese patients at eight, 16 and 24 weeks. The values are expressed as mean ± SEM
Changes in the level of triglycerides in obese patients during treatment with a ketogenic diet over a period of 24 weeks. The values are expressed as mean ± SEM
Decreased levels of blood glucose (expressed as mean ± SEM) in obese patients at eight, 16 and 24 weeks during the administration of a ketogenic diet
Changes in the level of urea in obese patients during a 24-week ketogenic diet. The level of urea is expressed as mean ± SEM
Changes in the level of creatinine in obese patients during a 24-week ketogenic diet. Values are expressed as mean ± SEM
Until recently, ketosis was viewed with apprehension in the medical world; however, current advances in nutritional research have discounted this apprehension and increased public awareness about its favourable effects. In humans, ketone bodies are the only additional source of brain energy after glucose (23,24). Thus, the use of ketone bodies by the brain could be a significant evolutionary development that occurred in parallel with brain development in humans. Hepatic generation of ketone bodies during fasting is essential to provide an alternate fuel to glucose. This is necessary to spare the destruction of muscle from glucose synthesis.
A ketogenic diet is clinically and experimentally effective in antiepileptic and antiobesity treatments; however, the molecular mechanisms of its action remain to be elucidated. In some cases, a ketogenic diet is far better than modern anticonvulsants (25). Recently, it has been shown that a ketogenic diet is a safe potential alternative to other existing therapies for infantile spasms (27). It was further shown that a ketogenic diet could act as a mood stabilizer in bipolar illness (28). Beneficial changes in the brain energy profile have been observed in subjects who are on a ketogenic diet (28). This is a significant observation because cerebral hypometabolism is a characteristic feature of those who suffer from depression or mania (28). It has also been found that a ketogenic diet affects signal transduction in neurons by inducing changes in the basal status of protein phosphorylation (29). In another study (30), it was shown that a ketogenic diet induced gene expression in the brain. These studies provide evidence to explain the actions of a ketogenic diet in the brain.
One of the mechanisms of a ketogenic diet in epilepsy may be related to increased availability of beta-hydroxybutyrate, a ketone body readily transported through the blood-brain barrier. In support of this hypothesis, it was found that a ketogenic diet was the treatment of choice for glucose transporter protein syndrome and pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency, which are both associated with cerebral energy failure and seizures (26).
One argument against the consumption of a high fat diet is that it causes obesity. The major concern in this regard is whether a high percentage of dietary fat promotes weight gain more than a low percentage of fat intake. Because fat has a higher caloric density than carbohydrate, it is thought that the consumption of a high fat diet will be accompanied by a higher energy intake (31). On the contrary, recent studies from our laboratory (12) and many other laboratories (24,32–34) have observed that a ketogenic diet can be used as a therapy for weight reduction in obese patients.
It has been found that a sugary diet is the root cause of various chronic diseases of the body. A recent study (35) showed that sugar can accelerate aging. Several recent studies (36,37) have pointed to the fact that a diet with a high glycemic load is independently associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Glycemic load refers to a diet of different foods that have a high glycemic index. Glycemic index is a measure of the elevation of glucose levels following the ingestion of a carbohydrate. The classification of a carbohydrate based on its glycemic index provided a better predictor of risk for coronary artery diseases than the traditional method of classification of carbohydrate into simple or complex forms (38). In other studies (38–46), it was shown that the risk of dietary glycemic load from refined carbohydrates was independent of other known risk factors for coronary diseases.
It is now evident that high carbohydrate diets increase fasting plasma triglyceride concentrations (47–51) and decrease HDL cholesterol concentrations (52–55). These changes are associated with enhanced atherogenesis (55). However, it has been shown that short-term ketogenic diets improve the lipid disorders that are characteristic of atherogenic dyslipidemia (56). It has also been found that sugary drinks decreased blood levels of vitamin E, thus reducing the amount of antioxidants in the body. It has been proven, beyond a doubt, that disrupting the oxidant-antioxidant status of the cell will lead to various diseases of the body (57).
The relation between a high fat diet and cancer is not conclusive. Recent epidemiological studies (17,58–60) could not explain a specific causal relationship between dietary fat and cancer. It has been found that altered energy metabolism and substrate requirements of tumour cells provide a target for selective antineoplastic therapy. The supply of substrates for tumour energy metabolism can be reduced by dietary manipulation (eg, ketogenic diet) or by pharmacological means at the cellular level (eg, inhibitors of glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation). Both of these techniques are nontoxic methods for controlling tumour growth in vivo (61). Sugar consumption is positively associated with cancer in humans and test animals (58–61). This observation is quite logical because tumours are known to be enormous sugar absorbers. It has also been found that the risk of breast cancer decreases with increases in total fat intake (16). Further studies on the role of a ketogenic diet in antineoplastic therapy are in progress in our laboratory.
A link between low fat diets and osteoporosis has been suggested. Very low fat diets are considered to be low in calcium content. Women on low fat diets excrete most of the calcium they consume; therefore, they are more prone to osteoporosis. However, a high fat diet can rectify this situation (62).
In the present study, a control population on a low fat diet was not included due to the difficulties in recruiting subjects for a control group. However, several studies (63,64) with appropriate control groups that compared the effect of a low fat diet with a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet have recently been published. In this regard, these two recent studies are comparable with the present study. Brehm et al (23) showed that obese women on a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet lost 8.5 kg over six months compared with 4.2 kg lost by those in the low fat diet group (P<0.001). Twenty-two subjects from the low carbohydrate ketogenic diet and 20 subjects from the low fat diet completed the study, with both groups reducing their energy intake by approximately 450 kcal from the baseline level. In another study performed in 132 severely obese subjects for six months (24), there was greater weight loss in the low carbohydrate ketogenic diet group than in the low fat diet group (5.8 kg versus 1.9 kg, P=0.002). Both of these studies support the findings presented in the present paper.
The data presented in the present study showed that a ketogenic diet acted as a natural therapy for weight reduction in obese patients. This is a unique study monitoring the effect of a ketogenic diet for 24 weeks. There was a significant decrease in the level of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and glucose, and a significant increase in the level of HDL cholesterol in the patients. The side effects of drugs commonly used for the reduction of body weight in such patients were not observed in patients who were on the ketogenic diet. Therefore, these results indicate that the administration of a ketogenic diet for a relatively long period of time is safe. Further studies elucidating the molecular mechanisms of a ketogenic diet are in progress in our laboratory. These studies will open new avenues into the potential therapeutic uses of a ketogenic diet and ketone bodies.
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Carbohydrate load on the keto diet
Carbohydrate load on the keto diet or refeed must alternate with the unloading phase. Thus, a ketogenic diet can have two phases – carbohydrate and low carbohydrate. As part of a ketogenic diet, the amount of carbohydrates is no more than 10% in the diet. But against the background of a refeed, this figure can rise to 80%.
What is a refeed?
Refeed is the process of loading carbohydrates into the body.The restriction of carbohydrates in the diet is abruptly replaced by their abundance. The main goals are to replenish glycogen stores, restore hormonal levels and increase endurance. Download should not be confused with cheat meal. The latter process is a small break in your diet.
How do I start a carbohydrate load?
Any diet begins with the consultation of a nutritionist. When it comes to the ketogenic diet, the refeed follows the unloading period. During this period, the body “dries up”.Fat and stagnant water are removed first. During unloading, the ration is:
- proteins – 25-35%;
- fats – 50-70%;
- carbohydrates – 5-10%.
It is important to avoid canned and refined foods. A good alternative is dishes made from fresh and natural products. Keto food menus are offered by the healthy food service Yamdiet.com. At the same time, you do not need to count calories on the keto diet, the menu is compiled by a nutritionist, with an accurate calculation of the calorie content and composition of the BJU for each dish.The calorie content of the 8-course menu per day for women is 1300 kcal, for men 1800 kcal.
What is “allowed” and “not allowed”?
Highly digestible carbohydrates combined with saturated fat are prohibited during loading. Whole grains should be preferred.
What is included in the menu for a ketogenic diet?
Wheat flour products should be excluded from the diet. Keto diet with coconut, flax and almond flour is an effective solution.They are rich sources of unsaturated fatty acids and are low in carbohydrates.
The keto diet is not easy to navigate. It is advisable to enlist the help of nutritionists from Yamdiet.com. The service also offers a ready-made menu of the classic keto diet for the period, examples of dishes on the menu:
- tuna, salmon and veal in yoghurt with fresh vegetables and grilled herbs;
- Adyghe cheese, olives, avocado, Brazil nut and olive oil;
- omelet with cottage cheese, tomatoes and basil.
More than 10 different ready-made natural food programs can be ordered from Yamdiet.com for home delivery.
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90,000 The Keto Diet – What We Should Know
Proper nutrition for many people today is a philosophy, a way of thinking and living. Increasingly, in conversations about healthy eating, there is a keto diet .This diet turns out to be the most talked about, and the reason is that it is used the most. Everyone in need resorts to the keto diet not only to lose weight , but also to improve their health.
This low carb and high fat diet has become a legendary diet. All this gives rise to curiosity – what exactly is the keto diet , what are the benefits, harms, how did this idea come about and for what purpose?
History of the ketogenic diet
The keto diet is a diet that uses fats as an energy source.As a result, their amount in food is greatly increased by carbohydrates. The beginning of the idea was given back in the last century.
Exactly a century ago, in 1920, Dr. Wilder from an American clinic, in an attempt to improve the condition of type 1 diabetes patients – insulin-dependent, as well as children with epilepsy, which is then difficult to treat, began to develop a diet. At that time, due to the lack of effective drugs, diet therapy was almost the only treatment.
After about 30-70 years, interest in the ketogenic diet gradually diminished due to the development of new drugs that allow you to take control of disease.
The keto diet for the treatment of epilepsy in children is gaining popularity again today. In addition, the ketogenic diet shows potential in treating other diseases of the nervous system, rare diseases of genetic origin, and other difficult to control conditions. Last but not least is the desire to maintain a healthy weight and good appearance.
Essence of the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is a type of diet in which fats are the source of energy, so they are given priority in food.Today, according to the recommendations, in order to eat properly, it is necessary to get 45 to 60 percent of all calories from carbohydrates; 10-20 percent – from proteins, and up to 30 percent – from fats.
If the recommended daily intake for one person is about 2 thousand kilocalories, then with a ketogenic diet, each serving of food should include 165 grams of fat, 75 grams of protein and only 20 grams of carbohydrates.
The biochemical foundations of the ketogenic diet were laid down in the course of evolutionary development as a species.The human body has adapted to using glucose as its main source of energy. Most of our tissues, such as muscle tissue, can function using fatty acids. However, others depend on glucose intake. Most of all, this concerns the human brain and kidneys.
During carbohydrate starvation, muscle mass begins to break down. For the body, however, the loss of valuable muscle tissue is unacceptable. To preserve it, the body uses ketogenesis from fats.So the need for energy is covered by ketone bodies called ketones. They are formed as a result of the breakdown of adipose tissue.
Ketones are produced in the liver from fat and are primarily used as fuel by the brain. It consumes a lot of energy and cannot work directly with fats. They have to be converted, because the brain needs either ketones or glucose.
Ketogenesis arose during episodic famine during the nomadic lifestyle of the human race. And today, a healthy person often spontaneously falls into ketosis.Such cases occur with prolonged sleep without food; hard training without preliminary support of the body with food, hunger strikes in various religious rituals, etc.
With the keto diet, ketosis occurs, ketones overcome the blood and brain barriers and reach two important centers of the cerebral cortex. These are centers of appetite and euphoria. Ketone bodies affect two hormones, ghrelin and leptin. They regulate appetite and satiety. Ketones suppress appetite, control hunger and reduce the desire for sweets.This leads to a decrease in energy intake, a decrease in body weight, but does not affect muscle mass. The tasks that are set for the diet are performed without prejudice to the elements important for the body.
Benefits of the keto diet
This diet is very effective in losing weight without damaging muscle tissue. Along with this, it has a positive effect on various diseases.
Obesity – weight loss is achieved without the risk of disease. The diet is varied; You can eat food without constantly worrying about the accumulation of calories.
Heart problems – Some risk factors for heart problems can be eliminated with this diet – high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar.
Cancer – The diet is used to shrink tumors in certain types of cancer.
Epilepsy – with a keto diet, seizures in sick children are significantly reduced.
Alzheimer’s Disease – Diet can relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Acne – Low insulin levels and reduced sugar intake improve skin health.
The harm and danger of the keto diet
Described a number of side effects resulting from the loss of carbohydrates. These are fatigue, pain in muscles and joints, the appearance of cramps, irritability and aggression, as well as apathy and complaints of depression.
There are also problems with the digestive tract, more frequent complaints of the kidneys, liver, bones, stunted growth of children and an increase in their infectious diseases.
The keto diet is contraindicated for children and adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, people with malnutrition or underweight, suffering from diseases of the kidneys, liver, and endocrine system, as well as malignant diseases.
In order to reduce the risks of prolonged ketosis, it is recommended that you consult with a dietitian before starting a ketogenic diet.
Foods prohibited on the keto diet
– Drinks with high sugar content – fruit juices, cocktails, ice cream;
– Cereals and starches – pasta and cereals;
– All fruits;
– Legumes – beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas;
– All root vegetables – carrots, parsnips, potatoes;
– Low fat dietary foods;
– Processed fats;
– Meat – red meat, steaks, ham, sausages, bacon, chicken and turkey are good choices;
– Oily fish such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel are recommended;
– Eggs, butter and cream can also be included in the diet;
– Any nuts and seeds are recommended – walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds;
– Also, the menu can be diversified with green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers;
– Avocado is a good choice.It provides almost everything the body needs;
– Condiments and healthy herbs are also permitted.
Types of Keto Diet
The most popular is the standard ketogenic diet . It is low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in fat. In percentage terms, this means 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates.
The cyclical keto diet includes periods of a low-carb diet, such as 5 ketogenic days and 2 days of high-carb meals.
The Target Keto Diet allows you to consume the carbohydrates that you burn during training.
High Protein Keto Diet Similar to standard but high protein. The ratio is 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates.
90,000 The Keto Diet – The Complete Beginner’s Guide
In this beginner’s guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the keto diet, including how to start and what to eat.
What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates. In it, you replace starchy bread and sugary cereals with avocados, butter, and fatty cuts of meat. Many people use the keto lifestyle to treat conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and chronic inflammation.
This is all possible due to a process known as ketosis, which I will discuss below. In addition to the health benefits I have already mentioned, he also:
- Increases energy level
- Reduces sugar addiction
- Improves memory
- Promotes saturation
- Reduces inflammation
The ketogenic diet was first introduced in the 1920s to treat refractory epilepsy in untreated children.Not only did this diet significantly reduce cramps, it unexpectedly resulted in rapid weight loss.
Keto is not like a standard high-calorie diet. In fact, you can lose weight while in ketosis, not counting calories. Weight loss has been closely related to calorie counting for the past 50+ years, and it hasn’t worked very well. By focusing on nutritious, dense, low-carb foods, you can automatically control your calorie intake without active restriction.
Macros on the keto diet are everything. Simply put, your body needs a certain ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) to maintain ketosis.
Carbohydrates should make up less than 5% of your calorie intake. At the beginning of the diet, it is recommended to consume less than 20 g per day. A good ratio is 1.5 grams of net carbs per 100 calories.
When following a ketogenic diet, you should keep track of your net carbs.This calculation is pretty simple: Net Carbs = Total Carbohydrates – Fiber.
For example, one cup (91 grams) of broccoli contains 6 grams of carbohydrates and 2.4 grams of fiber. This means there are 3.6 grams of carbohydrates in one cup of broccoli. We count net carbs because dietary fiber does not have a significant metabolic effect, which means it does not raise blood sugar levels.
When carbohydrates are removed from the diet, it is easy to replace them with protein, but eating foods high in protein does not promote ketosis.In order to properly switch your body to use fat for fuel, the protein content must be moderate.
A moderate amount of protein is 1.2-1.7 g of protein per day per 1 kg of body weight. That is, if you weigh 70 kg, then you need to consume about 85-110 g of protein per day.
Now let’s talk about fat. Fat is what makes you complete, energizes (in ketosis) and makes food tasty. For most people, this figure should be at least 70% of daily calories. Keep carbs under 20g, eat moderate amounts of protein, and eat fat until you are full
At first, you may overeat calories, but over time, the keto diet will automatically fix this.Your diet and natural hunger signals will automatically adjust.
Here’s a quick example of the daily breakdown of macronutrients on a keto diet at about 2,000 calories per day:
- 80 calories / 20 grams net carbs
- 320 calories / 80 grams protein
- 1200 calories / 133 grams of fat
Again, the total calories you eat isn’t as important as controlling your macros. For an accurate calculation, use our keto calculator.
Why ketosis works
During the first 3-7 days of a ketogenic diet, your body goes into a state known as ketosis. First, a lack of carbohydrates causes the body to deplete the glycogen stores it stores for energy.
Once these stores are depleted, your body adapts to using fat for fuel as the liver makes ketone bodies (“ketones”) to generate energy to replace glucose.
Ketones are a slower, much more efficient energy source than glucose.To make ketones, your body must break down fat, while glucose is made when you consume carbohydrates.
Former “carbohydrate addict”, happy mom and editor-in-chief of KetoDieto.
Ask an Expert
Think of it this way: ketosis literally turns your body into a fat burning machine. You don’t need to use up all of your energy stores before you lose fat, as you would on a standard high-carb diet.
Although producing more ketones does not lead to more weight loss, it can lead to increased energy and satiety between meals, which can lead to weight loss.
But ketosis isn’t just for burning fat. The way your brain gets energy on a ketogenic diet is one of the reasons it is so effective for seizures. You see, the brain needs far fewer ketone bodies than glucose molecules. This super-efficient energy means that keto users often clear up the “fog” in their head and are able to think more clearly.
Does keto have a positive effect on health?
The short answer to this question for most people is “YES!” Keto is a healthy lifestyle that can fight many chronic diseases. Let’s see why.
How do you like the keto diet?
Super) Not very
For many years, a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables has been promoted around the world. Dietary fats, especially saturated fats, were thought to clog arteries and cause heart disease.
Unfortunately, these dietary recommendations are based on weak data. While there are many sources that claim keto is an erratic, short-term diet, history does not seem to support this.
According to modern science, there is really no need for the high-carb diet that most people are used to today (225 to 325 grams per day).
Ketosis mimics fasting, which is one of the reasons keto is only beneficial in the short term.However, the biological benefits of fasting (dietary ketosis) may be much better for you if they go away throughout your life. In fact, it can literally increase your lifespan!
When calories are severely restricted or ketosis is reached, a “cell cleanse” occurs in the body known as autophagy. This complex biological function results in a more rebuilt, revitalized body down to the cellular level.
Need more proof?
Scientifically proven benefits of keto
This is the reason why most people start a ketogenic diet. Moving to a fat-adapted metabolic state is very helpful in weight loss as well as facilitating intuitive eating.
The keto diet results in greater weight loss compared to a low fat diet in both healthy people and people with medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
One reason for this is that the keto diet has the unique ability to increase feelings of fullness by positively altering the levels of hunger hormones such as ghrelin.
Fat, especially at the waist, is one of the factors of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms and conditions associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The keto diet reduces all five cluster states, including waist fat.
2. Improves heart function
The myth that dietary fat equates to increased cholesterol is just a myth! In fact, the opposite happens – the keto diet improves cholesterol levels.
One study in obese patients found that following a keto diet in the long term reduced all risk factors for heart disease:
- LDL Cholesterol
- Blood glucose
- Blood pressure
- Also, the authors of the study noted that during the diet, the level of HDL cholesterol (“good”) increased.
3. Increases the energy level
Once you move on to burning fat as your primary fuel source, you will notice an increase in steady energy throughout the day.No more ups and downs!
This is due to the fact that on keto blood sugar levels remain stable throughout the day. The highs and “glitches” that people typically experience during the day are caused by spikes in blood glucose levels.
4. Reduces epileptic seizures
As the brain changes into ketosis, the electrical impulses that cause seizures tend to subside and sometimes even stop altogether.
Numerous clinical trials have shown that ketosis reduces seizures across the board, with 24% or more of patients achieving zero seizures.
5. Helps in the treatment of diabetes
According to numerous studies, a long-term keto diet improves the prognosis in many people with diabetes. Ketosis fights insulin resistance and allows the body to reuse the insulin it makes to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
For many patients, this diet made it possible to completely abandon diabetic drugs. It can not only control blood sugar levels, but it can even help reduce glycohemoglobin to normal levels.
6. Positively affects the symptoms of PCOS
In the modern world, one of the main causes of female infertility is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is characterized by excess body fat, insulin resistance, no periods or delay, acne, male pattern hair growth, and more.
Fortunately, keto can be one of the remedies for women who suffer from this condition. In a 2005 clinical trial, there was an improvement in insulin sensitivity, testosterone levels, body weight, and hormone levels after 24 weeks of eating.Two of the 11 women in the pilot study became pregnant, although they were unable to do so prior to the study.
Similar results were seen in another 2006 study.
7. Reduces the number of acne
The science of keto and acne is in its early stages, but it seems that some of the autophagic improvements caused by keto can improve skin health and reduce acne.
8. May help in the treatment of brain diseases
Unlike many modern treatments for brain-related diseases, keto can be incredibly effective in reducing symptoms.
The keto diet is being studied in conjunction with all of these brain diseases:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Traumatic brain injury
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Huntington’s disease
9. May help treat cancer
The keto diet can help improve mitochondrial function (the source of energy for all living cells), which is one of the reasons it can help in tumor shrinkage in various types of cancer.
Most important may be the ability of keto to transform brain cancer. A 2007 study found that the keto diet can reduce malignant brain tumors.
Also, some studies support the idea of using the keto diet along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
In one animal study, using hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a ketogenic diet was able to increase survival time in metastatic cancer by almost 78%.
Several case studies of keto and certain cancers have shown significant benefits of this diet. Two pediatric cancer patients ate a ketogenic diet with 60% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) every day. One of them showed incredible improvement in mood, as well as a complete cure for cancer within 12 months on the diet.
In another study, a 65-year-old woman with brain cancer (glioblastoma) completely got rid of a brain tumor after two months on a keto diet.After stopping the strict diet, the tumor returned after about 10 weeks.
Former “carbohydrate addict”, happy mom and editor-in-chief of KetoDieto.
Asking an expert
Although these results are very interesting, it is important to never change your cancer treatment regimen without first consulting your doctor.
10. Increases life expectancy
As I mentioned earlier, the keto diet can help increase the overall lifespan of your body by supporting cellular regeneration through autophagy.
What you can eat and drink on keto
The hardest part of the keto diet is getting used to a whole new way of eating, especially avoiding most high-carb foods and adding tons of fat.
Here are some tips on how to best eat keto.
1. Eat a lot of fat
Look for fat in meats, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and oils. Some of the examples are:
- Ghee ghee
- Vegetable oils: olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, etc.d.
- Beef fat
- MCT oil (great for smoothies and fat bombs)
- Heavy cream
2. Choose foods of animal origin
Animals supply people with nutrients that nourish us and give us energy. Choose fatty cuts of meat such as salmon and chicken thighs to keep your macros high. Plus, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are great for reducing the risk of chronic disease!)
Eggs are another keto friendly food as they are roughly equal in protein and fat.
Cheese also contains an equal ratio of protein to fat and is high in calories. However, be aware of lactose intolerance! Stick to only unprocessed cheeses (such as mozzarella, cheddar, goat, cream, or blue) and consume them in moderation.
3. Choose vegetables that are low in carbohydrates
Many vegetables are low in carbohydrates as they are high in fiber and water. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, beets, or beans, which are high in carbohydrates.Stick to leafy greens and vegetables that grow above the ground. Here are some ideas for your grocery basket:
- Brussels sprouts
4. Add fruit
Look for fruits that are low in sugar and high in fiber to keep your carbs low.Banana contains about 30 grams of carbs, while kiwi only contains about 10 grams, so choose wisely.
- Raspberry – 5 grams
- Blackberries – 5 grams
- Strawberry – 6 grams
- Coconut – 6 grams
- Lemon – 6 grams
- Lime – 8 grams
- Kiwi – 10 grams
- Plum – 10 grams
- Blueberries – 13 grams
5. Snack on low-carb nuts and seeds
Nuts are a great alternative to chips and sweets when you need a quick bite.Nuts are high in calories and carbohydrates can build up quickly when consumed in large amounts, so keep track of how many servings you eat.
- Drank walnut – 0 grams
- Pecan – 1 gram
- Brazil nuts – 1.5 grams
- Macadamia nuts – 2 grams
- Walnuts – 2 grams
- Peanuts – 2 grams
- Pistachios – 5 grams
- Cashew – 8 grams
Other keto-friendly nuts and seeds include almonds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.
6. Low carbohydrate drinks
- Specified amount of carbohydrates per 100 grams
Be especially careful with beverages as they may contain more carbohydrates than you might think. Good examples in keto:
- Creamy coffee (also known as bulletproof coffee or keto coffee)
- Unsweetened teas (green tea to turmeric tea)
- Bone broth
- Low carb cocktails (in moderation)
- Low Carb Smoothies
- Mineral / sparkling water
- Pure water
Former “carbohydrate addict”, happy mom and editor-in-chief of KetoDieto.
Ask an Expert Stevia, erythritol, allulose, and monk fruit are generally the keto-friendly sweeteners we recommend on a ketogenic diet. They don’t affect your blood sugar, and some, like stevia and monk fruit, have great health benefits.
Foods and drinks to avoid on keto
Now, let’s take a look at what to avoid on keto.
- Foods and drinks with a high sugar content : carbonated drinks, cakes, candy, ice cream, fruit juices, biscuits and all other foods with a high sugar content.
- Cereals and starch (even gluten-free versions): bread, pasta, rice, beans, cereals.
- Most fruits: Most fruits contain too many natural sugars (berries and a few exceptions are listed above).
- Starchy vegetables: carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips.
- High carbohydrate condiments: Some condiments, such as mustard and low carbohydrate mayonnaise, are permitted, but most condiments are high in sugar.
- Low-fat foods and beverages: Processed ingredients and carbohydrates are the most commonly used fat substitutes.
- Sugar-free foods and beverages: Proceed with caution and avoid excessive consumption of sugar alcohols or unhealthy artificial sweeteners
- Inflammatory fats: such as processed mayonnaise or vegetable oil, as these can increase inflammation in the body.
- Alcohol: Until your liver metabolizes alcohol, ketosis stops completely, so proceed with caution.
More detailed and visual guides on what to eat on a ketogenic diet.
Fruits and berries
Nuts and seeds
Also on our site there are delicious and healthy recipes with low carbohydrate content.
Detailed ketogenic diet menus with recipes, accurate counting of all macros and a breakdown by day of what you should eat.
For 5 days (without fish)
For 5 days (fatty fast)
Example of a keto plate
Prepare for the Keto Flu
There are many changes going on in your body, and you will feel it! Your brain cannot feed on fatty acids like other cells, so at the beginning of the keto diet, it will tell your body that it is starving. Typically, the keto flu includes headaches, body aches, foggy head, intense sugar cravings, and fatigue.Don’t worry, it will go away within the first few days and is totally worth it.
The first 3-7 days can be quite tough as your body breaks through its sugar addiction during this time. During this transition period, it is important that you consume enough electrolytes. Your body is now losing a lot of water, and with it electrolytes.
Keto flu symptoms can be significantly reduced by adding sodium, potassium and magnesium to your diet.
Have / have you had the keto flu?
Yes (Fortunately, no)
Ways to combat the keto flu include:
- Add more electrolytes to your diet
- Eating excess fat and cutting carbohydrates dramatically over a period of time
- Drink more water
- Sweating (from training or sauna)
- Temporary intake of exogenous ketones
- Intermittent fasting (48 hours of complete water fasting is equivalent to ketosis levels after about two weeks of the keto diet.Even intermittent fasting with a limited amount of food can help speed up ketosis.)
Cons and Side Effects of Keto
There are several dangers and / or side effects of keto to be aware of before starting.
- Keto Flu: is described in the previous section.
- Nutrient Deficiencies: Since glycogen stores are where your body loves to store micronutrients, there are some minerals that you may lack on keto.This includes selenium, zinc and copper. Also, you should have a sufficient amount of salt in your diet. You can take supplements or, as recommended, eat lots of fiber-rich vegetables that are high in minerals.
- Hormone Issues: Since many people tend to eat a lot of animal products rather than vegetables on a ketogenic diet, there is a concern that women with hormone-sensitive diseases should not do so in the long run.There is no research to support this, but if you are a woman, watch your hormone levels.
- Constipation: To cope with constipation, eat more vegetables and seeds that are rich in fiber. Increasing the amount of fat in your diet (such as MCT oil) can also help.
- Acetone Smell: Your body will produce ketone bodies in three forms, one of which is the smell of acetone when you breathe. It usually goes away after a short amount of time as your body adapts to fat.
- Temporary decrease in physical strength: You can train on keto, but at the beginning of the diet you will feel a little less stamina than before. Just get through it!
- Seizures: are fairly common early in the ketogenic diet. This usually happens in the morning or at night, but this is a rather minor issue. Seizures are a sign that your body is deficient in minerals – specifically magnesium. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and replenish salt.This can help reduce magnesium loss and get rid of the problem. If the problem persists, try adding a magnesium supplement.
- Rapid heart rate: Once you start a keto diet, you may notice that your heart is beating faster and stronger. This is pretty common, so don’t worry. If the problem persists, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and eat enough salt. This is usually enough to get rid of the problem right away. Although, if the problem persists, it may be worth taking a potassium supplement once a day.
Have you experienced any side effects on keto?
Yes (Fortunately, no)
Less common side effects: In a small number of people, the keto diet can result in:
If you have any of the conditions listed below:
- Liver failure
- Fat metabolism disorders
- Genetic metabolic disorders
then I recommend skipping the keto diet because it will put too much pressure on your body.It is best to eat a moderate, low-carb diet (at least 50 grams of carbs per day).
If you suffer from any of the diseases below:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Chronic constipation
- High blood pressure
Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a keto diet.
Types of ketogenic diets
There are variations on the keto diet that may work better for specific people.
5% carbohydrates, 10-20% protein, 75-85% fat.
20-30% carbohydrates, 30-40% protein, 30-40% fat (this is unlikely to lead to sustained ketosis).
Cyclic or target
Includes high carb cycles between keto days, usually in a 50:50 or 70:30 ratio. High-intensity workouts are also commonly included in the diet.
Used for cancer patients, this keto diet limits not only carbohydrates but also calories, usually 400-800 calories per day.
This type of keto increases protein to closer to 30% of daily calories while reducing fat. Be careful: if you don’t do weightlifting, it can lead to falling out of ketosis. This type of diet is mostly suitable for bodybuilders.
Vegetarian / Vegan
Some people call it the ketotarian diet. I personally don’t recommend it – animal products are vital to our keto diet.
Implies the same macros but accepts inflammatory oils. I do not recommend sticking to it for a long period of time.
For those who do not want to track their macros.Basically, the lazy keto diet only tracks carbs and tends to include as much fat as possible without tracking it. This can lead to less impressive results and not very good consequences in the beginning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is ketosis safe for the body? How long should I stay on the diet?
Ketosis is safe, as it simply enhances the fat burning processes that are completely normal in our body.There is no time limit for keto, although many people choose to follow this diet on a cyclical basis, which means more carbohydrates while on vacation.
Do keto fats severely clog arteries?
Basically, fat in your blood moves as lipoproteins along with cholesterol, proteins and phospholipids. In order for the artery to be “clogged”, a plaque must first appear on its inner wall. They can be caused by stress, smoking, etc.
In order for the walls to be normal and thus prevent “clogging”, it is necessary to take vitamin E.As a fat-soluble vitamin, it needs fat for better absorption by the body. Thus, consuming fat can help your arteries self-heal and thus prevent them from clogging up.
Is it normal to feel nauseous and not hungry by the end of your first week on keto?
Perfectly normal as your body adapts to consuming fat for energy. If your symptoms are too severe, try adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.
Can I train on keto?
Of course yes! In a 2012 study, 8 elite gymnasts followed a keto diet for a month.In the end, it turned out that their strength and overall athletic performance had not decreased.
Another study that was conducted among male college athletes and published in 2017 showed that the keto diet can help increase testosterone levels, and increase strength and muscle mass.
Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis?
Ketoacidosis is a common myth associated with the keto diet. In ketoacidosis, the body cannot produce enough insulin for long enough, and the liver eventually produces dangerously high levels of ketone bodies.
For comparison, in case of dietetic ketosis on a keto diet, the level of ketones in the blood exceeds 7-8 mmol / L. For most people, it is almost impossible to maintain this level, so for most it fluctuates between 1-3 mmol / L. In diabetic ketoacidosis, blood ketone levels peak at 16.7 mmol / L, often over 20. This condition is usually caused by illness, problems with insulin therapy, or type 2 diabetes.
Important! In the first days and weeks of keto, the level of ketones in the blood can actually reach or even exceed 16 mmol / L, but do not be alarmed.During this time, your body is adapting to fat, so add more electrolytes (calcium, magnesium and sodium) to your diet, drink more water, and monitor your well-being; ketone levels should decrease over time.
If this does not happen, and you feel bad and your blood sugar rises, be sure to see a doctor and take all the tests!
What can I expect in the first week or two after starting a ketogenic diet?
During the first 3-5 days of strict carbohydrate avoidance (and not over-eating keto-friendly foods), you will notice a lot of water loss, especially in the morning.Glycogen accumulates with water in the body, so when glycogen is burned, water is expelled from the body. Thus, you will lose a couple of pounds.
While this is “just” the weight of water, it is still extra weight that you do not need to carry with you. You can still consider it lost weight, and you may even notice that you feel less bloated and even slightly slimmer. After that, weight loss will turn into a series of plateaus and small shifts.
This process is rarely stable or robust, so just trust it.It is best to lose 1 kg per week, but even 300 g per week is a success. Electrolytes play a big role in the keto diet, as lost water carries away some of our minerals. When there is little loss of electrolytes in the body, we can be grumpy, tired, lethargic, and have a headache or pain in our entire body.
Many people also experience cramps, especially in the legs and feet. Electrolytes are sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and you need to add all four to your diet.Sports drinks are full of sugar and contain only small amounts of these minerals, so they are best avoided. Instead, focus on vegetables that are high in these minerals, and be sure to add salt to your food to taste.
In addition, some people become constipated. This is due to sudden changes in the diet – in particular, cheese can cause problems with the intestines, so reduce the amount. Be sure to include plenty of fiber-rich vegetables in your diet and drink plenty of water.
How to overcome the keto plateau?
After spending some time on the keto diet, you may notice that you suddenly stopped losing weight. This state is called the keto plateau and we have on our website for a detailed guide, .
How to increase your fat intake without switching to protein?
MCT oils are a great way to increase your fat intake without increasing your protein intake.
What happens if you don’t eat enough fat?
You will feel hungry all day long, so increase your fat intake.
What if I am allergic to coconut oil?
You can try adding lard, lard, avocado oil, olive oil, ghee, etc. In principle, you can use any other fats traditionally used in the keto diet.
How much food should you eat per day?
When you are just starting the keto diet, you can eat whenever you feel hungry. Most people cut back on the number of meals they eat per day to two meals.
Do I need to weigh my food?
In the beginning of keto, some people like to weigh their food in order to have a better idea of the amount of carbohydrates they are consuming. But ultimately no, you don’t need to weigh your food to be successful.
What are fat bombs?
Fat Bombs Are Designed To Increase Your Healthy Fat Intake According To Your Daily Macros These are delicious high-fat, low-carb snacks.You can make them in bulk and refrigerate.
Former “carbohydrate addict”, happy mom and editor-in-chief of KetoDieto.
90,000 Does Popcorn Break the Keto Diet? Expert opinion
When you plan to try a new diet, the first thing you wonder is if it will still keep you enjoying your favorite foods. If you are ready to adopt a keto diet in consultation with your doctor, this will mean a dramatic reduction in carbohydrate intake and an increase in the proportion of fatty foods.Remember, the main goal of the ketogenic diet is to bring the body into ketosis, a metabolic state where fat is used as fuel instead of carbohydrates.
So does popcorn, the favorite snack when watching movies, do it? Is popcorn part of the keto diet?
The short answer is no, says Naomi Whittel , author of High Fiber Keto . Popcorn is made from corn, that is, grains, and grains (as a high carbohydrate product) are usually excluded from the list of foods allowed on this diet.
Hold on, though, this isn’t all bad news for die-hard popcorn lovers.
“If you make popcorn at home using coconut oil, a little herbal oil and a lot of sea salt, then two cups of popcorn will contain about 12 grams of carbohydrates and a couple of grams of fiber,” explains N. Whittel . “So, if your goal is not to consume more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, then two cups of homemade popcorn does not seem to contradict this.”
However, these are more than just numbers.
“For some people, even this high-fat popcorn variant can raise blood sugar levels and break or prevent ketosis,” continues Naomi Whittel .
In other words, for those who are already in ketosis, a small amount of popcorn here or there is normal and acceptable. For others, once ketosis is achieved, the solution may be to periodically quit the keto diet, and it is during these periods that popcorn can be consumed.
If this product is so important to you, experts recommend that you first achieve the transition of metabolic processes into a state of ketosis, and then, as an experiment, try popcorn – to see how you feel and what happens to your ketone levels. “It will show you how, in your individual case, the body processes food,” says N. Whittel .
Both the keto diet and any other meal plan can be tailored to suit your body.
“The answer to the question of whether popcorn meets the requirements of the keto diet will depend on the individual carbohydrate intake limit and the overall grain decision,” says Professor Summer Yol .
In his opinion, popcorn is a highly nutritious food: “it is a whole grain, which contains fiber, as well as a small amount of vitamins and minerals, including folate, niacin, thiamine and vitamins B6, A, E and K.”
But if you’re used to eating popcorn in fatty oils or covered in sugar, you’d better find yourself another snack, says Yule . Which one – it depends on your goals. Want to eat more vegetables? Increase your protein intake? Change your body’s metabolism? Consulting with a dietitian will allow you to develop a meal plan that meets these goals.
MD Cynthia Sass , editor of the nutrition website, has previously advised our users to read the popcorn packaging label carefully.The best heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory oils contain monounsaturated fats such as avocado and olive oil. But oils high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, are best avoided.
Based on materials from the Health website
essence, features and diet menu
The only thing that is clear about the keto diet is that it should help your health.The rest of the questions were answered by Olga Islamkina, a popularizer of the keto diet in Russia and the author of of project , dedicated to this food system.
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet (LCHF diet). When there is a minimum of carbohydrates in the diet – up to 25 g per day, the body begins to use fats as fuel – both those that come from food and from the sides.
On a ketogenic diet, 75-80% of the daily calories are fats, and carbohydrates account for 5-10%.True, the numbers are very relative and only confuse newcomers.
If we are not talking about a therapeutic ketogenic protocol that is introduced in a hospital, then the main thing is to limit carbohydrates to a minimum and eat whole natural fatty foods for hunger until satiety.
Something similar to the keto diet in the middle of the 19th century was formulated by the undertaker William Bunting. He tried a lot of diets and at some point gave up on himself and decided before his death to eat what he loves: meat, butter, eggs, bacon. And he magically lost weight and improved his health.Now you can find the term “bunting diet”, under this name keto is popular in South Africa.
The concept of the “ketogenic diet” was coined almost 100 years ago (in 1921) when it was discovered that prolonged hunger helps children with epilepsy to reduce the frequency of seizures. This is explained by the fact that during the period without food, the body enters a state of ketosis. And then it turned out that the same effect can be achieved if you limit not food at all, but only carbohydrates, and get most of the calories from fats, which are broken down into ketones.
Now this is the main argument of opponents of the keto diet: they say, it is only suitable for sick people for a short time. In fact, physiologically for the body, it reproduces the state of hunger (and we have evolved from hand to mouth for millions of years) and at the same time gives a feeling of satiety.
There are a lot of scientific works on the topic of keto, let’s say thanks to Dr. Atkins. His diet is essentially keto, and he pioneered research on how a high-fat, low-carb diet works.In the 21st century, ketoprotocols are actively studied by oncologists, neurologists, gynecologists, and cardiologists. There are many qualitative studies that say you don’t have to be afraid of animal fats.
The LCHF diet is recognized as the best strategy for obesity in Sweden. And recently, even the American Dietetic Association has recognized the benefits of reducing carbohydrates in diabetes.
But most importantly, all the science of the 20th century suggests that the then dominant low-fat approach was a terrible mistake.
In the classic ketogenic diet, only macros are important – the proportions of macronutrients (75-80% fats, 5-10% carbohydrates, 15-20% proteins). Likewise, Atkins, after losing weight, allowed his patients both a slice of bread and bran, and his low-carb line of food contains controversial ingredients. But now we know that the quality of the products is just as important. Therefore, the product lists look like this.
Allowed for keto:
- Meat, fish, seafood, poultry, offal, eggs.
- Animal fats (lard, beef, duck, goose fat, fat tail, bacon, lard), butter and ghee.
- Some vegetable fats: coconut oil, avocado, cocoa, olive, palm (real), macadamia oil.
- Greens and vegetables growing on the surface of the earth.
- Nuts and berries for dessert.
- Sweeteners – Stevia, Erythrtol, Monk.
- Fatty dairy products (cheese, cream, sour cream).
There is a lot of controversy about the last point in the ketogenic community, but I would not rule out dairy products by default only if there are reactions.
Forbidden on keto:
- Sugar in all types and forms, including honey, any syrups – date, agave and Jerusalem artichoke.
- Any flour products: bread, pasta, baked goods.
- Potatoes and roots and tubers in general (but you can use onions and carrots in cooking).
- Vegetable oils: sunflower, corn, soybean, flaxseed, etc.
- Any semi-finished products, surrogates, processed products.
- “Useful” sweets (marshmallows, jam without sugar, marshmallow) and especially sweets based on fructose.
- Juices, soda.
Information about how harmful frying is, is rather controversial. Still, research has featured sugar-filled hamburgers cooked to a brown crust, and they are definitely harmful. And man has been frying normal meat on fire for a long time, and this is one of the reasons for the evolutionary leap. But there is no exact data, so we are not afraid of frying on keto, but we also do not abuse it.Otherwise, everything is as usual.
Many ketogenic people try to practice the carnivore diet, when all plant foods are removed from the diet for a while, and they discover the wonderful world of raw meat.
For many, ketoration is a salvation. There are many studies on how keto can help with conditions ranging from migraines to PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). It is a very effective weight loss tool. Even a healthy person on ketoration will feel the changes: a fat diet improves cognitive functions, provides a lot of clean energy.Most of them say that there is “enlightenment of the mind.”
Usually among the cons they talk about ketoflu. This state occurs during the transition to ketration. Just imagine, you used one type of fuel for 20-30-50 years, and then switch to another. Of course, it can shake things up. But this is not as scary as traditional nutritionists are afraid.
I would say the disadvantage of the keto diet is that it is difficult to fit into a calorie calculator.
The body is complex, once you get on a slippery greasy path, you have to admit it and start thinking about food and how it affects your health, somewhat more than the diet, which is called “proper nutrition.”
Keto diet, it seems to me, is the best food option for residents of a big city. Modern people are prone to metabolic disorders. We live in absolutely different conditions in which we evolved.
- We do not sleep in accordance with circadian rhythms.
- We do not eat according to the season and the area.
- We live in a situation of excess food.
- And in a state of chronic stress: we rarely get out of the “hit-and-run” state into the “relax-recover-digest” mode.Because our vacation is watching John Wick III. On a mountain of corpses on the screen, the body reacts hormonally like to stress.
All this already makes us predisposed to insulin resistance. And just a little – porridge in the morning and a banana for lunch – is enough to kickstart prediabetes and metabolic disorders.
Those who feel sleepy after eating, who do not have enough energy, who have acne and migraines, PCOS and problems with conception and gestation, stubborn fat on the waist, should take a closer look at the keto diet.
If you beat yourself up for laziness and lack of motivation, if you are a person in a bad mood, if you have anxiety or even depression, try changing your body chemistry with the help of the keto diet. You will be amazed at your potential.
There are a number of serious metabolic disorders in which keto is contraindicated. You should not switch to a diet with exacerbation of gastritis (with “chronic gastritis” – it is possible) and in general with any gastrointestinal disease in the exacerbation stage. Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and Gilbert’s syndrome are contraindications to ketotherapy.In case of oncological diseases, ketoprotocols are used, but there are peculiarities, there is no need to self-medicate, it is better to find a specialist.
Keto is not recommended for chronic fatigue syndrome. With RPP – individually.
No problem here at all. It’s difficult for vegans, with the ketoculinary specialist Lilia Voronina we made a ketogenic diet for Lent. It is possible, but such food cannot be called complete. And for vegetarians who eat fish and / or eggs, it is quite easy to formulate a fatty diet with enough protein.The only negative: in Russia, after all, avocados are more expensive than lard.
The first rule of keto is to cut carbs. As soon as they become 20-25 g per day, insulin will decrease significantly, and this hormone retains water. For some, 3-4 kg fly away like this, edema goes away. This is not yet a result, but it’s nice.
The more weight, the faster and more noticeable the first results, I know people who lost 8-9 kg in the first month. In general, you should not get hung up on the scales, this is not the most accurate device for monitoring results, it is better to use a centimeter.The volumes go away quickly and precisely due to the fat – this can be seen in the quality of the body.
On ketoration, many people start eating 1-2 times a day without effort, this triggers cellular renewal, so the skin is tightened. Although I will not promise that it will not sag at all if the excess weight is very large.
During the transition, you may lose strength and headache. Usually it is 3-4 days, but sometimes the condition stretches for a couple of weeks. If you endure, magic happens – the energy level rises sharply, the emotional background stabilizes, clarity and clarity of thought appear, and you can sleep in fewer hours.This is ketosis.
I believe we should all eat a LCHF diet all the time – a high-fat, low-carb diet. Such a food system will help the body to resist the diseases of civilization. Ketoration is the strictest variation of LCHF, ideal for cold weather. This winter I ate only cabbage – stewed and sauerkraut – and meat. And I felt great.
As soon as the sun began to bake, I buy bunches of greens. In summer, you can afford more vegetables and berries, get micronutrients.Our ancestors lived like this.
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Every year it “pleases” nutritionists with the appearance of a new diet or a revolutionary nutritional model.
Are these newfangled nutritional trends as versatile and safe as they say?
Elena Nikolaevna Ignatikova, therapist, nutritionist, CDC FGBU “NMITs TPM” of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.
“One of the most popular diets at the moment is the keto diet, which means limiting any carbohydrates and eating a lot of fat. As a doctor, I am not a supporter of this approach. I am for rational nutrition! You can not limit yourself to carbohydrates. After all, carbohydrates are not only baked goods and sweets, but also vegetables and fruits – a source of vitamins, microelements and fiber. If a patient chooses a keto diet, it is important that he does not harm himself with such a strict restriction.
Definitely, the keto diet is not a way of life.It can be used for no more than 2 months in order to reduce weight and with a further transition to a balanced diet. The long-term effect of the keto diet has not been studied by anyone, the possible consequences are not known, including from the cardiovascular system, because the cholesterol level rises on the keto diet. But how this increase affects atherosclerosis, the state of the liver, we do not yet know.
The only medical indications for the keto diet are neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
The second popular diet is intermittent fasting. Based on the principle of autophagy, in which cells, in the absence of nutrition, process themselves. In fact, this is not a diet, it is a dietary pattern that involves alternating periods of eating and hunger (16/8, 20/4, or 12/12).
For many doctors, intermittent fasting patients are a real problem. By resorting to intermittent fasting, the patient creates himself a nutritional deficiency. But one of the most formidable complications is anemia.I see such girls very often.
Intermittent fasting is clearly prohibited for those with liver problems, gallbladder problems. For example, with fatty liver hepatosis there is a lack of glycogen in the liver. Long periods of hunger in such a patient can lead to so-called vegetative crises, symptoms – cold clammy sweat, hand tremors, acute hunger.
Thus, intermittent fasting has no medical indications, but there are many contraindications and side effects, so I do not recommend it to anyone.
But if I have not convinced you, and you still decide to adhere to intermittent fasting, then it is better to periodically undergo an examination – to take a clinical and biochemical blood test, to do an ultrasound examination of internal organs. ”
When asked what our expert would advise to patients, Elena Nikolaevna unequivocally answered that the Mediterranean model of nutrition. It is recognized all over the world, it is balanced in proteins, fats and carbohydrates, it is recommended by doctors.
Sign up to E.N. Ignatikova, call +7 (495) 510-49-10
90,000 Is the keto diet good for endurance sports? Can you count on serious results on it? According to the doctor – Healthy lifestyle Daily – Blogs
The ketogenic diet (or simply the keto diet) is a diet high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates. One of the main goals of this diet is to get the body to burn fat to provide the body with energy.
Low content of carbohydrates in the diet leads to the fact that the liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The latter enter the brain, which begins to use them instead of glucose as the main source of energy against the background of a low-carb diet.
Dr. Jeff Sankoff, an ER physician and veteran triathlete, explains in his Training Peaks article why serious athletes training and preparing for competition should not try the keto diet.
Jeff has six IRONMAN starts, including the Kona World Championship, as well as countless starts on shorter distances, including 5 Half World Championships. Here is an adapted translation of Sankoff’s article.
As obesity continues to rise in developed countries, more and more unusual diets are emerging. One of these is the keto diet, which has gained significant popularity among endurance athletes in recent years.This is the latest version of the Atkins low-carb diet, which first appeared in the early 70s. While proponents of this diet will argue that it is based on scientific evidence, it actually does not provide athletes with the nutrition they need to achieve high performance. And that’s why.
Why do we need carbohydrates?
The keto diet is based on several fundamental statements. The first is that obesity has increased in North America and other developed regions due to the consumption of processed foods and refined sugar.Second, repeated spikes in blood glucose levels and the accompanying spikes in insulin are associated with long-term health problems. Both of these statements are true, but their misinterpretation led to the development of the keto diet and everything that followed.
The human body has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to develop a complex endocrine system response to food. Our bodies can operate on a variety of energy sources (carbohydrates, sugars, fats, ketones and proteins), but carbohydrates are the preferred fuel because they are burned most efficiently by the body.When food is scarce, the body switches to other stores of fuel for the reproduction of carbohydrates, and also begins to use less efficient energy sources (fats).
In the last century, there was too much food, and the evolutionary mechanisms in the body were overloaded. The cells of the body, faced with an increasing amount of incoming carbohydrates, store their excess in the form of fat. Thus, the body prepares for a period of possible deficiency, which with a high degree of probability will never occur.
Low Carb Diet: Why Athletes?
The Low Carbohydrate Atkins Diet proved to be extremely popular mainly because it actually helped you lose fat – at least initially. Many who switched to the keto diet lost weight, but soon found that it was too difficult to adhere to this diet. In addition, the excess fat in the Atkins diet turned out to be dangerous for people with a high risk of heart disease: they had problems due to excessive consumption of saturated fats.
Over time, the Atkins diet has adapted and changed. Recently, a special keto diet for athletes has emerged. This version still retains the emphasis on low carbohydrate diets. The theory states that by training the body on a low-carb diet, athletes learn to use alternative fuel sources such as fat more efficiently. Accordingly, in endurance sports such as triathlon or marathon running, this should give an advantage over the distance … in theory…
Why doesn’t keto work in endurance sports?
All claims of keto proponents are not scientifically tested. Studies have shown that high fat diets reduce long-distance performance and are extremely difficult to follow. Since the diet is restrictive (carbohydrate), it causes mood swings and increased irritability.
Celine Evans, dietitian and nutritionist at LifeSport Coaching, asks to be wary of claims that the ketogenic diet has any positive impact on athletic performance: Diet Refusal – More than 50% of the study participants interrupted the keto diet before the end of the study.But even among those who were able to complete the experiment, there was no improvement in performance in any discipline or competitive distance. ”
Evans is also concerned about the unintended consequences of strict adherence to the ketogenic diet and its impact on the gut microbiome: “With a dramatic reduction in food intake, people on a ketogenic diet may experience micronutrient deficiencies, intestinal problems due to inadequate fiber intake, and significant changes in the gut microbiome that can affect the immune system.Women need to be especially careful. ”
Why doesn’t keto improve performance?
Proponents of the keto diet argue that low-carb training is then beneficial in competition, where the athlete begins to efficiently utilize both fat and carbohydrate energy sources. In fact, when carbohydrates are abandoned in the training process, the body loses its ability to effectively break them down with increasing load. Moreover, the overall performance also sags.
Allen Lim, sports physiologist, cycling trainer and founder of sports nutrition company Skratch Labs, is also concerned that athletes are using ketogenic diets based on the performance myth: “Ketogenic diets don’t make sense at short distance competition. Our body uses carbohydrates much more efficiently, and given the current reality, an athlete can always feed on carbohydrates at a distance. In ultra-long distance competition, if you train correctly and consistently, you naturally adapt to fat as your main source of energy.