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Common Mistakes when Doing the Ketogenic Diet

 

 [We are the Foolish Couple, Andy and Minna, founders of the Foco Academy. We focus on mentoring and teaching the Success Principles and how to apply the principles to the 3 areas of life that money can’t buy: Health, Time, and Love Relationship.]   

We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and probably one of the most famous landmarks that most visitors want to see is the Golden Gate Bridge.

It is a beautiful bridge and has lots of history. But it is also one of the busiest bridges in the States. So the one thing that you never want to do is to have your car stalled on that bridge, during rush hour traffic.

 

And that’s exactly what happened to my friend. He’s a young kid, driving his yellow Miata, crossing the bridge at 5pm in the afternoon. Everyone was eager to get home and so was he. So he’s driving along the bridge in the middle lane, when all of a sudden, the car just stopped. The first thing he thought was, ‘Oh shoot, what happened?’ And then he remembered. That low fuel light has been on for a while now and he has forgotten to put gas in the car. He’s out of gas. So he managed to somehow roll the car to the far right lane but on the bridge there is no emergency lane. So there he was. Sitting in a bridge yellow car with his top down. And his car stopped. The nasty glare and the swearing that he got as people behind him try to change lane and go around him, that’s something he’d never forget. As he was there on the bridge, if a genie had come along, what do you think he would’ve asked for? 

Can I have some gas please! Right. Of course. Who wouldn’t? That embarrassment is almost too much to bare.

 

Now, I was talking about a car, but your body works the same way.

Your body is a machine that burns fuel all the time as you move and think and talk and as your heart beats. And you’ve probably had experienced a moment where you felt like you just ran out of gas. There’s no fuel in your tank. And you just need to sit down, not move, chill out and get something to eat so that you can refuel your body.

 

So, what would you feel, if your body can somehow find something else inside to burn as energy? Wouldn’t it be so cool if my friend’s car could’ve somehow just switch to solar power and keep it going?

 And with all the scientific advancements and all these cool technology, we now have hybrid cars which can run on either Electricity and Gas. And that’s cool right, it can switch from one fuel source to another.

 

 

And wouldn’t it be just as cool if your body can also switch from one fuel source to another? So if you ran out of carbohydrates that is the primary source of energy for most of us? Wouldn’t it be so cool if your body can just switch to burn your own body fat instead?

 

Best of all, you actually can! Your ancestors had been doing that all along. They would eat a big meal when they catch a deer or a wild boar or whatever animal they caught. But they could also go on for days without eating. Your body is built the same way as your ancestors.

Meaning, you can also be an efficient fat burning machine, just like your ancestors, and just like a hybrid vehicle.

 Your body can naturally burn both carbohydrates and fats, or more specifically, glucose and ketones. You can be an efficient hybrid engine. It’s just that your body has forgotten how to burn your own body fat as energy. Most people can only use carbohydrates or glucose for fuel because their bodies has lost the ability to burn fat or ketones for fuel.

If you don’t know what ketones are and how they benefit your health, I have included a link here that will take you to a blog where I explained what ketones are and why they are important to us.

 

The ketogenic diet seems to be the latest fad. In the supermarket you’d probably see lots of packaged foods that says ‘keto friendly’ on them. Don’t be fooled by the packaging. Keto pizzas and keto cookies and keto cakes are usually not good for you. They are highly processed, with lots of chemicals in them, and really, they don’t put your body into ketosis. Meaning, eating those keto foods will not teach your body to burn ketones.

 

The good news is, getting your body to re-learn to burn fat for fuel is not difficult. Like our ancestors, we are born with the ability to burn fat.

However due to the diets that we grew up and got accustomed to, we lost our ability to use fat as a fuel source. Our bodies has learned to depend on carbohydrates as fuel, not just for instant energy, but sustained energy because of our constant refeeding of food into our bodies.

 

You probably know a few spoiled brats. They are people who are completely dependent on their parents to hand them money. They have no desire to go out, get a job and make money and try to be self-sufficient because they got used to just sticking their hand out and they get everything they need.

 

You have spoiled your own body. Your body sends you a signal saying ‘I’m hungry’, and immediately you would put food into your mouth to satisfy your hunger. Your have spoiled your own body into that spoiled brat.


But it doesn’t mean that you can’t get that spoiled brat to start making money and be self sufficient. There is no reason why you can’t train your body to become keto-adapted and metabolically efficient.

 

When you are metabolically efficient, your body can easily switch between burning carbohydrates and fats. Doing the ketogenic diet the right way will train your body to learn to burn fats.

And the ketogenic diet is supposed to help you lose weight quickly, give you better endurance and a clearer mind.

 

However if you don’t do the keto diet right, you may experience discomfort or even health issues.

  • Most people go onto the ketogenic diet and and go off the formula 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates. This is only about 30-50 grams of carbohydrates. This extremely low amount of carbs can cause you to experience some keto flu with symptoms such as nausea, constipation, headaches and fatigue. The 75-20-5% formula was used to treat medical conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. A recent study shows that depending on your physical condition, you may be able to eat up to 15-25% of carbohydrates and still be able to stay in ketosis and burn fat for fuel.     It really comes down to how physically active you are. If you are sedentary most of the time, you probably do need to go as low as 30-50 grams of carbohydrates. But if you are physically active, you may be able to eat up to 250 grams of carbohydrates and still get into nutritional ketosis. So depending on your physical condition, you may be able to eat more carbs and still get into ketosis with less or no signs of the keto flu. The secret is eating high fiber whole food carbs, such as organic vegetables, and organic fresh fruits, such as avocados, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. It’s best if you don’t eat any other types of fruits until your body is fat adapted and in nutritional ketosis where it is burning ketones for fuel.

 

  • Most people that go on a ketogenic diet praise how fast they lose weight the first week. The ketogenic diet initially sheds your water content really fast, and this weight loss can be mistaken as fat loss. When you stop feeding your body carbohydrates or glucose for fuel, it will look for stored carbohydrates in your body in the form of glycogen. When glycogen is broken down to glucose for energy, water is excreted from the body. Most people get nausea and headaches because they are dehydrated from all the water loss. So make sure you stay hydrated when you are a ketogenic diet.

 

  • When you are on a ketogenic diet, you have to choose whole foods, healthy fats, stay away from bad fats, and any processed foods that say keto friendly on them. This the biggest mistake most people make because they think it is free reign to eat any type of fats or any type of processed foods that are labeled as “keto friendly”. A ketogenic diet does not mean that you are free to eat all the bacon, spam or other processed meats that can be high in preservatives such as nitrates and high in salt. This includes anything that is fried, like fried chicken, French fries, fried fish, fried shrimp, you get the idea. When choosing meats, choose grass-fed, organic sourced meats and poultry and wild caught seafood. These meats have a higher profile of the anti-inflammatory fats, the omega 3s then omega 6s that is found in conventional meat and poultry. They are also free of growth hormones and antibiotics that can cause damage to our gut and immune system. Also, you should be eating more organic nuts, such as macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans and almonds. For oils, use only organic coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil and MCT oil. Stay away from any vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil and corn oil, as these are highly inflammatory to the body and will stop you from getting into ketosis.

  • The biggest mistake people make when doing the ketogenic diet is that they actually don’t know if it is working. They go by symptoms, such as the keto flu, bad breath, weight loss, appetite suppression, increased focus and Energy, short-term fatigue, and short-term decreases in performance. These are all symptoms, and some of them can actually be just in your head. The weight loss may be just water loss. Bad breath could be from all the bad fats you are eating. The only real way to know if you are in nutritional ketosis is to measure your ketones. You can measure it in your breath or urine, which are not very accurate unless your ketone levels are off the charts. The best way is to measure it through your blood. Our favorite tool is the Keto-Mojo meter. It measure both your blood glucose level, which should drop when you are in ketosis and you ketones that should go up when you are in ketosis. You can purchase one here at a substantial discount and with extra testing strips.

 

 

Although the ketogenic diet may be helpful for many people, it is not suitable for everyone.

 For example, the ketogenic diet may not be appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and teens, unless it is being used therapeutically under medical supervision.

 Furthermore, those with certain health conditions like kidney disease, liver disease, gallbladder or pancreatic conditions should avoid the ketogenic diet.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the ketogenic diet and I intend to stay on it. My diet is mostly fats with some meats and nuts and lots of vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants and low in sugar.

 

You may ask how long you need to be on the ketogenic diet until you are in ketosis and burning fat for fuel. Well that depends, it depends on your physical level, your current diet and your current cellular condition. For some people it can be days, others weeks and for most people it can take months.

 

In our next blog, I will share with you hacks you can use to boost your body into ketosis faster. Cutting down the time it takes from months to just within a week. Stay tuned for the next blog

 

Until next time, Love What You Live, and Live What You Love.

 

We believe that healthy relationships start with health. We help you achieve total success in health and in relationships through nutrition, exercise, mindset and lifestyle. If you know someone who can benefit from this blog, share with them. Let them know that you care about them. And of course, leave us any comments below. We love to hear from you.

 

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We are not medical doctors. This blog is not intended to diagnose medical condition, or replace your health care provider. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your personal physician before starting any fitness or exercise program or changing dietary habits. The content of this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services or counsel provided by medical professionals. However, we do hope to inspire you to become healthier, more self sufficient, and more aware of options.

 

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