Friday, August 4, 2017

Keto Grocery List: What You Need to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

Have you made the decision to commit to the Ketogenic Diet?
Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to decide what to buy when you go shopping?
Ready to go to the grocery store prepared?

For those just starting the Ketogenic Diet, it is completely understandable to feel intimidated with you step into the market. Maybe you’re not sure what counts as keto and you want this diet to be successful.

Stop driving yourself crazy. Below, I’ll share with you exactly what you need to buy when you walk into a grocery store. I’ll also explain the difference between the Ketogenic Diet and other trendy diets. No more guesswork, get ready for only great results on the Ketogenic Diet.

Breaking Sugar Addiction with Ketosis

When people first begin the Ketogenic Diet, many have thoughts of never being able to give up those sugar-based carbohydrates. The cookies, the pies, and the snacks that you put in your cart while shopping may seem like they can never be parted with but the truth is that you’ll quickly forget about them on the Ketogenic Diet. Here’s why:

Believe it or not, once you have fully entered a state of ketosis, your body will no longer crave those sugar-based carbohydrates. It may seem crazy but science has revealed that sugar is addictive. This is why those sugar-based carbs are your go-to foods when you’re having a bad day or when you want to celebrate. They make you feel good because they fulfill that addiction high. (1)

Studies have confirmed time and time again that sugar is addictive. It should come as no surprise that once sugar gets the boot, your body can break its addiction to sweetness. Outside of studies, you can chat with any number of successful people on the Ketogenic Diet and they will tell you the same thing: sugar loses its hold once you are in a ketogenic state.

Ketogenic Diet vs. Atkins Diet

One other hesitation that people have about diving into the Ketogenic Diet is that it may sound like other diets they tried and were not successful with.

The Atkins Diet is also a low carbohydrate diet; however, it also promotes two things that are problematic. First, the Atkins Diet allows for more carbohydrates than a Ketogenic Diet would. This means that weight gain via carbohydrate intake is still possible. 

Second, Atkins focuses on protein as the primary macronutrient, not fat. Glucose can be manufactured from excess protein. This means that you may still be encouraging weight gain.

Many people who tried the Atkins Diet often had no roadmap to follow outside of “eat more meat, less carbohydrates.” In response, these same people began loading up on meats that were high in cooked saturated fats. It’s no surprise then that their cardiovascular risk numbers like cholesterol increased. 

The Ketogenic Diet may be fat-focused but it focuses on healthy fats. In fact, studies show that the Ketogenic Diet can help to improve cardiovascular risk factors, not increase them. (2)

Ketogenic Diet vs. Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is another trendy way of eating that is often compared to the Ketogenic Diet. The Paleo Diet is a great diet, especially because it helps to teach people how to eat whole foods, not processed junk.

The Paleo Diet, while a great teaching tool for first time dieters, doesn’t capture nearly the same scientifically studied benefits as the Ketogenic Diet. This is because being Paleo doesn’t mean you’re low-carb. The focus with being Paleo is on foods that were available to ancient peoples. That includes carbohydrate-loaded vegetables such as sweet potatoes and fruits such as apples.

What’s more, the Paleo Diet doesn’t have a focus on fat-intake. It’s more of an idea of being focused on healthy fats, not concentrating 80% of your daily intake on fat. Someone on a Paleo Diet could never achieve a state of ketosis for the reasons that their carbohydrate intake is too high and their fat intake is too low.

Again, Paleo isn’t bad but if you want to experience all of the benefits associated with ketosis, you need to be on the Ketogenic Diet. 

The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Grocery List

Let’s jump into your new best friend when you go shopping for your Ketogenic Diet success: your easy-to-understand ketogenic grocery list.

All of the foods that I’ve listed below are considered “Ketone-Friendly Foods.” This means that they will help you enter a state of ketosis, not drive you away from it. Buy the following foods based on your preferences and personalized portions.

Oils
Your focus on a Ketogenic Diet is healthy fat. You will be getting some of that fat from animal sources but you need to focus first on getting fat from low protein options. Remember that too much protein can be converted into glucose.
  • Coconut oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocado oil

Nuts / Seeds
Another fat-focused whole food, nuts and seeds can supply a great amount of fatty acids in small portions. Focus on raw and organic, when possible.
  • Macadamia 
  • Brazil
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Meats
The focus here is on organic and grass-fed meat options that also provide you with healthy fatty acids. Protein is important but you don’t want to overdo it.
  • Chicken breast
  • Steak
  • Ground beef
  • Salmon
  • Bacon
  • Pork chop

Dairy
It can be hit or miss with carbohydrate content and dairy products. Try to focus on a moderate consumption of dairy, instead focusing on oils, nuts, seeds, and meats as the bulk of your diet.
  • Greek yogurt (sugar free)
  • Aged cheeses
  • Heavy cream
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Cream cheese
  • Mozzarella 

Vegetables
While some vegetables do contain high carbohydrate profiles, we’ll be focusing on dark, leafy greens while avoiding high-starch options to keep you in ketosis.
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce 
  • Bell peppers

Fruits
Famously packed with carbs, very selective fruits are allowed and only in small quantities.
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries

Desserts
You can find plenty of recipes on homemade ketogenic desserts. Here are a few easy to snack-on items that you may want to pick up while you’re at the store.
  • Raw cacao nibs
  • Kale chips

Conclusion

Stay up to date with the latest information on the ketogenic diet including updated grocery lists and recipes. Subscribe to my newsletter and don’t forget to find me on YouTube Channel

Are you currently on the ketogenic diet?
Have you mastered shopping for ketosis?
Let’s hear about your tips and tricks for when you go shopping below!

References

1. Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. 2008;32(1):20-39. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2007.04.019.


2. Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology. 2004;9(3):200-205.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Benefits of KetoCoffee & How It Can Maximize Your Ketosis

Why is there such a fascination with coffee and ketosis?
Can drinking coffee improve your ability to enter a ketogenic state?
Or does coffee do the opposite, that is, break you out of ketosis?

Whether you are just starting your ketogenic diet or you’ve been following it for months, there’s a great chance that you’ve already run into the idea of mixing coffee with ketogenic dietary choices.

Let’s review what ketosis is along with the role that coffee and ketogenic supplements can play in your ketogenic diet.

What is Ketosis?

When you achieve a state of ketosis, your body begins to rely on fatty acids and ketone bodies for energy. Ketone bodies are produced in the liver as a response to a very low carbohydrate diet. 

Ketone bodies and fatty acids have been suggested in numerous studies to be a beneficial form of energy for the body that avoids the free-radical footprint commonly found with glucose uptake. When your body breaks down nutrients for energy, there is waste that gets left behind on a cellular level. 

In other words, using ketone bodes for fuel is more energy efficient and produces less waste than when you use glucose. (1)

Why You Need to Achieve Ketosis

Entering a state of ketosis brings with it a number of scientifically proven benefits including weight loss, enhanced exercise performance, and cognitive boosting.

Click here to read my article on the benefits of ketosis and how it can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Supplements Can Help Achieve Ketosis

Entering a state of ketosis relies primarily on whole food nutritional choices. As mentioned above, you will be drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake while increasing your consumption of healthy fats. Protein consumption will remain moderate.

When you begin your ketogenic diet, the transition into ketosis is not immediate. You won’t enter a state of ketosis immediately. It usually takes several days to a couple of weeks depending on your lifestyle and nutritional choices before you began.

Your body needs to burn through the remaining glucose. A high activity level and fat-focused nutritional choices will help to encourage your body to enter ketosis faster. Ketogenic supplements can also help to facilitate a faster transition.

In particular, healthy fatty acid supplements such as MCT oil can help provide your body with an increased consumption of tasty and easy-to-swallow fats that will promote ketosis.

MCT Oil & Ketosis

As I mentioned above, when you enter a state of ketosis, your body is utilizing fatty acids and ketone bodies as its primary fuel source. For those few instances when your body needs glucose, it can easily make glucose from protein through a process called gluconeogenesis.

MCT oil is one of the best supplements that you can use on a ketogenic diet as it contains the ideal blend of fatty acids to promote entering a state of ketosis.

Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil, or MCT oil, is made from one of two sources: coconut or palm kernel. There are four types of fatty acids found within MCT oil including:

  • Caproic acid
  • Caprylic acid
  • Capric acid
  • Lauric acid

These four fatty acids, in particular, have been the subject of numerous studies, revealing their health benefits. Regardless of whether your mission is ketosis or not, it has been shown that ingesting medium chain triglycerides as a part of healthy diet and exercise plan can significantly improve health. 

Benefits of medium chain triglycerides include healthier cholesterol levels, weight loss, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. (2)

The MCT Oil That I Use

Personally, I was opposed to MCT oil supplements for a while. Not because they didn’t work but because of the digestion-based side effects that some of my clients reported.

After plenty of research along with trial and error experiments, I found an MCT oil that is not only effective at putting you into a state of ketosis but it comes with none of the common side effects associated with MCT oils supplements.

I use Keto 8 by KetoSports. Keto8 is made from palm kernel and it contains all of the fatty acids you need to push you into ketosis without the digestive issues. Click here to check out Keto8 on the official KetoSports website.

Like many on the ketogenic diet, I find that the best way to ingest and absorb Keto8 is with my morning coffee.

Benefits of Coffee for Ketosis

Why all the rage with coffee and MCT oil? Aside from being a delicious way to start the day and support your ketogenic diet, coffee may be able to promote a faster transition into ketosis.

Studies show that the caffeine in coffee is considered a thermogenic ingredient. A thermogenic ingredient directly increases the body’s metabolic response. In other words, caffeine is a known metabolism booster that supports fat loss. This is important for entering ketosis as you will want to burn through remaining carbohydrate stores to encourage the body to use ketone bodies, not glucose, as fuel. (3)

Some studies point out that caffeine usage increases glucose levels in the body. While no studies have yet to take an in-depth look at the relationship between coffee and ketosis, the explanation for the increase in glucose levels may be due to what caffeine does once it’s inside your body. 

Caffeine triggers our fight-or-flight mechanisms. In response, our bodies may release liver glycogen to provide the body will usable energy to make quick decisions. Once the glycogen is released, insulin is also released as a response. This is beneficial as the more glucose is used up, the faster you’ll enter a state of ketosis. (4)

Looking for great brands of coffee to go with your MCT oil? I personally use these two brands:

Conclusion

Are you currently on a ketogenic diet?
Do you drink KetoCoffee every day?
What benefits have you noticed?

Stay up to date with all of the latest information on ketosis including ketogenic meal planners and workout programs. Subscribe to my newsletter and be sure to follow me on YouTube.




References

1. Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology. 2004;9(3):200-205.

2. Dean, Ward, and Jim English. “Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs): Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging.” Nutrition Review. 20 June 2016. Web.

3. Kim, TW., Shin, YO., Lee, JB. et al. Effect of caffeine on the metabolic responses of lipolysis and activated sweat gland density in human during physical activity. Food Sci Biotechnol (2010) 19: 1077. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-010-0151-6.


4. Lane, James D., et al. “Caffeine Impairs Glucose Metabolism in Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association, 1 Aug. 2004. Web.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Top 7 Ways to Prevent Keto Flu

If you’ve been considering the Keto Diet and you’ve been roaming around on Google, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across the term Keto Flu

Is this some new age health scare like Swine Flu?
No, of course not.

Isn’t the Keto Flu just a myth?
Not even close.

There’s no doubt that you want to be successful when starting your Keto Diet. One of the best ways to ensure compliance on the Keto Diet is to learn how to avoid the dreaded Keto Flu. 

Let’s take a look at what the Keto Flu is and the top 7 ways to prevent the Keto Flu.

What is the “Keto Flu?”

Before you decided to jump on this Keto Diet, your body was happily using carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel. All of a sudden, your body is starting to notice a huge lack of the carbs it loves. In between cutting carbohydrates and the body realizing that it needs to start using fat as fuel, there is that grey area where the Keto Flu lives.

When you make a drastic change to your diet, like trying to eliminate all carbohydrates at once, your body is going to have a natural reaction. With the Keto Diet, your body may experience the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion / Clouded thoughts
  • Aches
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme cravings

These symptoms are a reaction to your body learning to make the change to switch fuel sources. The severity of the Keto Flu will vary from person to person. One thing that seems to be common: Those people who had a lot of sugar in their diets pre-Keto are going to be hit the hardest. This is because the body is essentially going through sugar withdraw.

Studies show that sugar dependency is a real thing and the more sugar your body is accustomed to, the harder it may be to come down from the sugar high. (1)

Don’t let that scare you. Here are the top 8 ways to prevent the Keto Flu and have a successful weight loss.

7. Avoid Cold Turkey Method

First and foremost, do NOT try to eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet in one shot. This is a sure way to get Keto Flu. Instead, slowly ween yourself off of carbohydrates over the course of a few weeks. A good first step is to cut out sugar-based carbohydrates while eating healthier options like brown rice and sweet potatoes.

After the sugar is gone, you can start to slowly eliminate healthy carbohydrates from your diet. This month-long process will ensure you avoid the Keto Flu and help your body transition into Ketosis.

6. Fats First

While slowly cutting out carbohydrates over the course of a month, you need to increase your intake of healthy fats. Some of the best options to begin including in your diet are as follows:

  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Butter (grass fed)
  • Grass fed lean meats such as chicken, beef, and fish

Healthy fats should begin to make up the bulk of your diet paired alongside lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables.

5. Hydrate

To help your body make the transition from carb-happy to fat-focused, you need to make sure that you are consistently properly hydrated. For the sugar addicted, this will help to flush out sugar and toxins from processed foods.

There is no set amount of water to drink as the amount will vary from person to person. Be sure to sip water throughout the day and especially when you are thirsty. There’s a catch: Hydrate daily but you have to make sure that your hydration options aren’t limited to only water.

4. Electrolytes

The need for different ways to hydrate is because you need electrolyte-focused beverages.

Electrolytes are extremely important for overall health. When you are running low on electrolytes, you tend to experience a variety of symptoms. The less electrolytes you have, the worse your symptoms. You may feel light-headed, fatigue, and nausea, which is a big part of the Keto Flu.

This happens because as you take out carbohydrates from your diet, your insulin levels drop. When insulin levels decrease, your body will flush out key electrolytes. What’s more, if you’re only drinking water, you are flushing out even more electrolytes. (2, 3)

Try the following to ensure you have optimal electrolyte levels:


3. Get Moving 

Although it may be the last thing you are thinking about doing, getting up and moving is very effective in helping with Keto Flu AND supporting your body’s transition from carbohydrates to fats.

It doesn’t have to be anything extreme. Simply taking 30 to 60-minute walks during the week you begin your Keto Diet can be very effective.

Gradually, as your body settles into the diet, you can begin to increase your exercise routine. In fact, at that point, you may want to jump right back into your old routine. No need to rush though. Base your activity level on how you feel.

2. Supplements

While the bulk of your transition into Ketosis should be based on the whole food nutritional choices that you make, supplements can play an important role in making things much easier. Not only can supplements help you transition into Ketosis faster but they may also be able to help you avoid the Keto Flu.

I recommend and personally use the following supplements to assist with my Ketosis:

  • Exogenous Ketones
  • Electrolyte Blend
  • Vitamin B Complex

Click here to read my article on why you should take these supplements in order to achieve a successful and effective Ketogenic state.

1. Sleep Well

Finally, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get enough sleep.

Many of us wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honor but when it comes to achieving a successful Ketogenic state, you must consistently get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

Sleep is when your body gets to work to repair, recover, and rebuild. It’s essential for you to sleep 7 to 9 hours each night because a dietary transition can take a lot out of you. Sleep is going to be vital for ensuring you can effectively achieve Ketosis while avoiding symptoms of the Keto Flu.

Conclusion

The health benefits of Ketosis are clear but there may be a rocky road you have to cross the get there. Thankfully, you can take an alternate route. By following the top 7 ways listed above, you’ll be able to avoid the Keto Flu and successfully reach a Ketogenic state.

Have questions about some of the tips and tricks above?
Leave your questions below and I’ll be happy to answer them!
References

1. Nicole M. Avena, Pedro Rada, and Bartley G. Hoebel. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008; 32(1): 20–39.

2. Tiwari, Swasti, Shahla Riazi, and Carolyn A. Ecelbarger. "Insulin9s Impact on Renal Sodium Transport and Blood Pressure in Health, Obesity, and Diabetes." American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology. American Physiological Society, 01 Oct. 2007. Web. 17 July 2017.


3. Chatterjee, Ranee, Hsin-Chieh Yeh, David Edelman, and Frederick Brancati. "Potassium and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes." Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2011. Web. 17 July 2017.