If the thought of assisting your body into a state of constant fat burning (no matter if you are working out in the gym, sitting in an office meeting or lounging on the couch) sounds too good to be true, you may not be familiar with Ketosis!
For most of us, energy is produced by our bodies burning of carbohydrates and sugars. However, those who enjoy a Ketogenic Diet are instead supporting their bodies to burn fat for energy.
In doing so, these people not only rid themselves of excess weight, but stimulate the production of “ketones” in the blood, thus increasing their energy, suppressing hunger and preventing swinging blood sugar levels.
So, what do we need to change to shift our bodies into this higher gear? Read on to find out …
You mean I can reach my goal weight while lying on the couch?
Okay, so it may not be quite that easy. In reaching and maintaining a state of ketosis, we must be committed to embracing a number of key dietary changes as part of our daily routine.
Once implemented, these changes are easily maintained and can quite effortlessly be applied no matter whether you are travelling, working or enjoying a meal at home.
In essence, the Ketogenic diet is anchored on the high consumption of fats and the restricted consumption of proteins and carbohydrates.
In many cases, this transition also calls for the introduction of Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, which consists of a strong black coffee, specially brewed on filtered water and blended with Brain Octane Oil and grass-fed ghee or butter, instead of breakfast.
To understand Ketosis, we must learn how our bodies utilise each of the food groups we consume. While carbs provide us with an instant burst of energy, they soon leave us feeling low and craving more. In appropriate amounts, proteins form essential building blocks within our bodies, however, in excess, they can be counterproductive and prevent weight loss. For this reason, the Ketogenic Diet views healthy fats as the slow burning fuel source that provides the best source of energy.
Depending on your level of health, reaching ketosis can take anywhere from one to six weeks, with obvious signs of the transition including frequent urination, dry mouth, “keto” (fruity smelling) breath, a reduced appetite and increased energy.
It should be noted that the Ketogenic diet is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers, and people with diabetes or high blood pressure should consult a doctor before commencing the Ketosis path, as medication may need to be adapted.
So, what does it look like on a plate?
Reaching ketosis without dietary alterations is difficult, as our bodies are having to burn through the carbohydrates and proteins before they can reach the fat.
However, when we alter our diet increase quantities of fats (and restrict protein and carbs) the effect mimics fasting and releases the desired “ketones” into our blood.
In a Ketogenic diet, we are aiming to eat as little as one gram of protein per kilo we weigh, a maximum of 20 digestible grams of carbohydrate and as much fat as we need to feel satiated each day.
What we are free to enjoy:
- Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts (macadamias, pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and brazil nuts) and seeds (pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds)
- Natural, whole foods
- Healthy starches including sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, pumpkin, butternut squash, cassava, plantain and taro
- Bulletproof Upgraded MCT Oil, Brain Octane Oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, pastured lard, coconut oil and virgin olive oil
- Pastured, grass-fed meats, wild fish, shellfish and pastured eggs
- Grass-fed and whole fat dairy products
- Organic vegetables, which provide significantly greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties
- Spices and fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and basil to flavour meat and vegetables
- Low fructose fruits (1-2 servings per day)
What we need to banish:
- Sugars including fruit juice, sports drinks and even natural sweeteners like honey
- Grains including wheat, corn, millet, oats, buckwheat and quinoa
- Synthetic additives, colours and flavours
- Grain-derived and vegetable oils such as corn, soy, canola, walnut, flax and peanut oil
- Legumes such as peanuts, beans and lentils. If you must have your beans, soak, sprout (or ferment) and cook them
- Processed, homogenized, pasteurized and non or low fat dairy
- Microwaved and fried food
What’s the ideal ketone level?
Studies show that a blood ketone level of 0.5 mM is appropriate and, depending on our current metabolism, just one large cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning (without other foods) can be enough to raise ketone levels enough to suppress appetite.
To read Ketone levels, we can undertake blood or urine tests, use a breath analyser or read our blood glucose levels.
But wait, there’s more!
In addition to being a fabulous weight loss aide, studies have highlighted the low carbohydrate approach employed in a Ketogenic diet is effective in the reversal of Type 2 Diabetes, the regulation of blood pressure, the treatment of acne, the calming of digestive systems and the reduction of heartburn.
As we burn fat stores, we will enjoy increased energy levels, improved concentration and increased physical endurance.
It is important to be aware that there may be some side effects in the early days of a Ketogenic journey. These may include fatigue (due to metoblic shifts), altered cholesterol levels and potential micronutrient deficiencies, which can be treated with supplements.
Top tips for women
Women embracing a Ketogenic Diet may require some minor adjustments to support their wellbeing. Consider the following:
- Nurture your adrenals with the addition of more Himalayan Sea Salt. Adrenal exhaustion leads to salt cravings, so enjoy quality protein and vegetables tossed in grain fed butter and dressed with salt to increase your intake.
- Enjoy an occasional carbohydrate indulgence. Choose one day a week (some women may need two) on which to enjoy greater quantities of Ketogenic approved carbohydrates such as sweet potato, carrot and white rice.
- Take your Bulletproof Coffee to another level. Women, particularly those 40+ years and/or with significant weight to lose, will benefit from the addition of a quality protein (such as grass fed collagen, pastured eggs or whey protein) in a Bulletproof Coffee. In doing so, we can reset leptin levels, which play a key role in weight loss. Just be sure to avoid carbs in the morning!