Spinach is a great source of iron, which is a key component in red blood cells that fuel our muscles with oxygen for energy. But researchers in Sweden identified another way in which these greens might keep you charged: Compounds found in spinach actually increase the efficiency of our mitochondria, the energy-producing factories inside our cells. That means eating a cup of cooked spinach a day may give you more lasting power on the elliptical machine (or in your daily sprint to catch the bus).
Day 8: I'm still struggling to find a morning beverage that I enjoy and that keeps me full, so I try flavorless collagen protein powder with my coffee plus a splash of macadamia nut milk. It still isn't the same as a French press with cream, but it's a win! On the solid-food front, I'm starting to get a little grossed out about all the meat I've eaten in the past week. It's more than I'd normally eat in three times as long. Lamb burgers, turkey lettuce-wrap tacos, chicken salads. My digestion is off (even though I take probiotics every morning), so Dr. Axe recommends his Keto Digest supplements at lunch. They contain fat-digesting enzymes to help break down the extra fat and protein that my body isn't used to consuming, and it helps.
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that you substitute olive oil for commercial salad dressings as a matter of heart health. Making healthy choices at every meal and for every snack is the most effective, long-term way to lose weight and keep it off. A consistent weight loss of 3 pounds per week is not only enough to take you down a whole dress size in a month, it can be done without depriving yourself. The Weight-Control Information Network also advises that too-rapid weight loss can result in gallstones. Contrary to what many fad diet websites claim, you can’t flush gallstones out of your system by drinking olive oil.
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are evident from both a medical and holistic perspective. While weight loss is not the primary intent of this diet, it’s an inherent effect from eating more plant-based foods while curbing sugar and red meat. Additionally, the high-fiber content of many whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes found in the Mediterranean diet will help you feel fuller for longer, and reduce the chance of overeating. You’ll also pick up additional perks such as better digestive health and effective weight management. A Mediterranean diet can also be beneficial to those with type-2 diabetes by helping to lower blood glucose levels while promoting good HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Lastly, studies have also shown a link between the Mediterranean diet and long-term brain health. These health perks, combined with increased exercise and leisure-time, help earn the Mediterranean diet its reputation as a well rounded, logical, and realistic way to live.
Your individual fat adaptation period. Remember your body needs time to become fat-adapted and that time depends on your metabolism. For instance, if you’re coming off a Standard American Diet (SAD) and your adult body has never run on ketones before, your adaptation period might take a little longer. You’ll only experience the true weight loss effects of keto when your body is actually running on ketones.
Maintain adequate protein intake. Too little protein and you lose muscle mass and starve the few parts of your body that can’t use ketones as an energy source, like portions of your red blood cells, kidneys and brain. Too much protein and you inhibit ketone production. Make sure you consume enough protein to support your vital functions, but not too much that protein becomes your alternate glycogen source.
That's fine since no diet is right for everyone. Keto works well for a lot of people, at least in the short term, but what really matters is a plan that you can maintain long term and helps you sustain that weight loss. And that will differ for every person. In the meantime, use these 10 strategies as a first step to bust through your weight loss plateau.
Keep in mind, too, that all oils are a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated acids (though they’re usually called by the name of the fatty acid that is most abundant). Olive oil is about 14% saturated fat, so if you’re pouring olive oil into your skillets and food every day, you’re likely consuming significantly more artery-clogging saturated fat than you realized.
Eliminating several food groups and the potential for unpleasant symptoms may make compliance difficult. An emphasis on foods high in saturated fat also counters recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association and may have adverse effects on blood LDL cholesterol. However, it is possible to modify the diet to emphasize foods low in saturated fat such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
The findings below have been limited to research specific to the ketogenic diet: the studies listed contain about 70-80% fat, 10-20% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrate. Diets otherwise termed “low carbohydrate” may not include these specific ratios, allowing higher amounts of protein or carbohydrate. Therefore only diets that specified the terms “ketogenic” or “keto,” or followed the macronutrient ratios listed above were included in this list below. In addition, though extensive research exists on the use of the ketogenic diet for other medical conditions, only studies that examined ketogenic diets specific to obesity or overweight were included in this list. (This paragraph was added to provide additional clarity on 5.7.18.)
While some Mediterranean diets do include a good deal of carbohydrates — in the form of pasta or bread, for example — being active and otherwise consuming very low levels of sugar means that insulin resistance remains rare in these countries. The Mediterranean style of eating helps prevent peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels, which zaps energy and takes a toll on your mood. All of these various factors contribute to this diet’s diabetes prevention capabilities.
What’s really intriguing is that high-fat meals increase inflammation even when calorie intake is restricted and weight is lost. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, a diet high in fat raised an inflammatory protein (CRP) in the blood by 25% despite the fact that the subjects lost weight. By contrast, CRP levels dropped by 43% when the subjects lost the same amount of weight on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. (6)
MCT oil powder is a unique form of dietary fat rapidly absorbed by the body and has a wide range of health benefits. Supplementation with MCT powder can help combat fatigue, suppress appetite[*], enhance thermogenesis (aka ‘fat burning’)[*] and help your body adapt to using ketones for fuel. A recent scientific review showed that MCTs can effectively decrease body weight, total body fat, hip circumference, waist circumference, total subcutaneous fat and visceral fat[*]. Check out this articlefor more information on how to supplement with MCTs.
When ketone bodies accumulate in the blood, this is called ketosis. Healthy individuals naturally experience mild ketosis during periods of fasting (e.g., sleeping overnight) and very strenuous exercise. Proponents of the ketogenic diet state that if the diet is carefully followed, blood levels of ketones should not reach a harmful level (known as “ketoacidosis”) as the brain will use ketones for fuel, and healthy individuals will typically produce enough insulin to prevent excessive ketones from forming.  How soon ketosis happens and the number of ketone bodies that accumulate in the blood is variable from person to person and depends on factors such as body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate. 
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. [2,7] There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes. Several theories exist as to why the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss, though they have not been consistently shown in research: [2,8,9]
hey Julius, love your blog and dirtyweights.com … im two weeks into keto and really seeing some great results..but i would liek to know what is the optimal calorie intake and macro split ishould be doing. im 31, 6 feet 2, at 195 lbs. ive put on muslce for the past year and want to burn body fat from what i am now (approx 21% fat) to ideally 15% or lower in next 6 weeks. what would you suggest?
Most fundamentally, olive oil, like all oils and fats, are a concentrated source of calories. With over 4,000 calories per pound, olive oil is far more calorie dense than even pure refined sugar, which has 1,725 calories per pound. Because of its extremely high calorie density, adding olive oil to any food or meal will dramatically increase its calorie density.
You've probably heard of the Mediterranean diet, but do you actually understand the science behind it? Full of diverse plant-based foods, healthy fats, whole grains, and yes—the occasional glass of red wine—the Mediterranean diet is widely embraced by top medical professionals and experts. This age-old eating habit is deeply rooted in the coastal cuisines of Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and northern Africa.
The Mediterranean diet wasn’t built as a weight loss plan — in fact, because it wasn’t developed at all, but is a style of eating of a region of people that evolved naturally over centuries, there’s no official way to follow it. But it’s popular because it’s a well-rounded approach to eating that isn’t restrictive. Two of the five Blue Zones — areas where people live longer and have lower rates of disease — are located in Mediterranean cities (Ikaria, Greece and Sardinia, Italy). (2) These places are known for having some of the lowest rates of heart disease and cancer worldwide. (3)
"Growing up, I was always sick to my stomach and doctors couldn’t see anything wrong. After going keto, all those symptoms went away, until I have a cheat meal. For the first year, I didn’t have any cheats. Now, 95 percent of the time it’s keto, but if we go on vacation or have an anniversary, I’ll have a cheat meal. I usually don’t feel good after cheating and I remember why I don't like to do it."
1. Healthy Grains: Whether enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, whole, healthy grains are full of fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2015 study in JAMA Internal Medicine linked whole grains and lower mortality, especially from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Common whole grains include brown rice and oats, while ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth, farro, buckwheat, and bulgur pack the added perk of being gluten-free.
After 12 weeks, the decrease in body weight and body fat was significantly greater in the MCT group than in the LCT group. The decrease in the area of subcutaneous fat in the MCT group was also significantly greater than that in the LCT group, which suggests that the MCT diet might be able to help reduce body weight and fat in individuals who need to lose weight. (3)
Cunnane, S. C., Courchesne-Loyer, A., St-Pierre, V., Vandenberghe, C., Pierotti, T., Fortier, M., … & Castellano, C.-A. (2016, March). Can ketones compensate for deteriorating brain glucose uptake during aging? Implications for the risk and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1367, 12–20. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12999/full
Loading up on fat lowers your levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store energy, either as fat or glucose. The more insulin your body releases, the more fat that gets stored. Insulin also blocks leptin, the hormone that sends a signal to your brain when you’ve eaten enough to meet your energy needs. That means when you eat carb-heavy foods, you’re at risk of overeating and won’t get that full feeling before reaching for a second helping of potatoes.
Plagued by pimples? You may start to notice a difference in your skin on the keto diet, especially if you were a former sugar addict. Consuming lots of empty carbs is linked to worse acne—in part because these foods trigger inflammation and signal the release of hormones that up the production of pore-clogging oils, according to a review published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Some findings suggest that curbing your carb intake could help solve these problems, improving your skin as a result.
Bottom Line: Research has shown in both humans and other primates that diets high in fat and cholesterol promote atherosclerosis. By contrast, research in animals and humans, such as the Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project, have demonstrated that diets very low in total fat and cholesterol can not only prevent atherosclerosis but actually shrink plaque and reverse atherosclerosis.
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When your body goes into ketosis, it will start to produce by-products called ketones. This includes acetone—yes, the same chemical found in nail polish remover, which your body actually naturally makes on its own, according to a 2015 review of research. Because acetone is a smaller molecule, it tends to make its way into your lungs. You’ll eventually exhale them out, resulting in “keto breath.” Your mouth might also have a metallic taste, but it won’t last forever as you adjust to the diet. Just be diligent about brushing your teeth!
Sleep enough – for most people at least seven hours per night on average – and keep stress under control. Sleep deprivation and stress hormones raise blood sugar levels, slowing ketosis and weight loss a bit. Plus they might make it harder to stick to a keto diet, and resist temptations. So while handling sleep and stress will not get you into ketosis on it’s own, it’s still worth thinking about.
I’ve been trying this keto diet that my dr.and daughter recommended, it’s been close to a week. I’ve changed my food intake, no bad carbs that I know of, was a huge chip addict stopped all that with no cravings. I’m not seeing any results I’m getting discouraged and everything sounds so complicated watching this, measuring that, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. just that I stopped bread,pasta,poratoes,rice all those kind of carbs.I’m drinking more water eating green vegetables and trying to increase my fat intake. I don’t feel motivated to exercise which probably doesn’t help and have 100-130 to lose. I need help I don’t understand or have the time create a lot of meals and measure my fat,protein and carb intake.
A 2010 study in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism assigned 259 overweight diabetics to one of three diets: a low-carb Mediterranean diet, a traditional Mediterranean diet or a diet based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association. All groups were told to exercise 30 to 45 minutes at least three times per week. After a year, all groups lost weight; the traditional group lost an average of about 16 pounds while the ADA group dropped 17 pounds and the low-carb group lost 22 pounds.
Love this stuff-use in my BP coffee every morning, and it is the only thing that has changed my body composition. Since I have been very fit my entire life, very little affects me (good or bad) but since I have gotten older this is the only thing so far that has affected by over body fat distribution. Granted it is slight (only I can tell) but that means I am that much healthier, so I am a happy customer. Plus I contacted the company to request ratios of the oil contained, and I got a prompt reply. Order a 2nd bottle. Added bonus- it truly is tasteless, which means I can add to my kids baking and they don't complain :)
I’ve tried several brands of MCT oil hoping to save 3 dollars. I don’t need to try any more brands. THM is the best one by far! It’s tasteless and not HEAVY like some I’ve tried. I also just had my annual check up with cholesterol check and ALL my numbers went the right direction! (The numbers that were suppose to be high were higher. The numbers that were suppose to be low were lower!) . Don’t forget that you can use this in salads, over eggs but I like it best in my morning coffee! Lots of ways to incorporate this healthy fat!
Τhe number one concern I get when I present or suggest using plenty of olive oil in the recipes I post here, is worrying about the calories and fat. Too much fat and you will gain weight, right? Well, no not exactly. As I have explained, when you have one of the many vegetable based Greek dishes which are made with vegetables and olive oil, the percentage of fat will be somewhat high because the calories from the vegetables is so low, but overall the calories balance out. As Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou, M.D., Ph.D., top Mediterranean diet researcher and one of the developers of the Oldways Mediterranean Pyramid, has said “Certainly olive oil has many calories, but a diet can be followed that can include oil while staying within normal limits calorie wise”.
While each person’s keto journey will be unique, the fact remains: going keto is an effective way to shed extra weight and kickstart a life with better health. You’ll look better, feel better, and perform better in everyday life. But as with any diet, there will be times when the weight effortlessly slips off, and other times when the weight stubbornly hangs on. When you hit those weight loss stalls, the best thing to do is stick with it and stay on track. The ketogenic diet works and the health benefits of losing weight could transform your life.
Hi Julius, I’ve just started keto and I’m losing weight at a great rate so far. My blood pressure is still high. Did your blood pressure ever go down. Mine goes down sometimes other times it’s back up again. I have been on this diet about 3 weeks now. I don’t know if maybe I should wait longer for results. I wanted to try keto before getting on the meds. Please respond
Dr. Wendy Kohrt, of the University of Colorado Denver, leads its IMAGE program (Investigation into Metabolism, Age, Gender and Exercise) and has been studying the impacts of menopause for more than 20 years. She has found that during menopause women’s metabolisms slow by about 50 calories a day and that women experience more food cravings, less movement and more muscle loss, which together create a quadruple whammy for gradual weight gain over time. Kohrt notes, however, that menopause itself has been vastly under-researched over the years, a point shared by other commentators, considering the impact it has on the health and wellness of millions of women.
Minerals/Electrolytes: Adopting a ketogenic diet will change the way your body uses (and loses) certain minerals. Not replacing these minerals can lead to symptoms of the “keto flu” such as lightheadedness, headaches, constipation, muscle cramps and fatigue. Refer to this article for tips on how to replace common minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Here’s the tricky part: There’s no definite answer for how much protein you’d have to eat before you run into trouble. “It really depends on how much protein a person is consuming versus how much they need, as well as the health of their kidneys at baseline,” Hultin says. That’s why it can be helpful to speak with a nutritionist or doctor who can help you tailor your diet before going keto.
One review, published in April 2016 in The American Journal of Medicine, looked at five research trials on overweight and obese people and found that after one year those who followed a Mediterranean diet lost as much as 11 pounds (lbs) more than low-fat eaters. (6) (They lost between 9 and 22 lbs total and kept it off for a year.) But that same study found similar weight loss in other diets, like low-carb diets and the American Diabetes Association diet. The results suggest, the researchers say, that “there is no ideal diet for achieving sustained weight loss in overweight or obese individuals.”
The results in body fat percentage lost was even more striking. The average body mass percentage decreased by 2.9% in the Atkins diet group. In contrast, it decreased by 1.5% in the Ornish diet group, by 1.3% in the Zone diet group, and 1.0% in the LEARN diet group.  This means that subjects in the Atkins diets decreased their average body fat percentage at least twice of any other group- including those eating the low-fat, high carbohydrate Ornish diet.
Eating a keto diet can have some short-term health perks. But in the long run, it also has the potential to create some serious health problems. That’s why many experts say you shouldn’t attempt it on your own. “In general, if a person follows a ketogenic diet, they should only do so for a brief time and under close medical supervision,” says Hultin.
"I was on Reddit one day when I saw a weight loss transformation of a guy who had lost 140 pounds in a year using the keto diet. I started reading the keto subReddit and began researching the science behind it. After years of using upcoming events as excuses not to diet, I chose to start keto in January when the holidays were over and there weren’t any weddings or parties for the next few months.
Day 2: There's a bagel shop less than a block from my office. I pass it every single day and never really think anything of it. Well, not today! The smell of the freshly baked everything bagels-and was that veggie cream cheese I smelled?-was wafting out the door as I walked by extra quickly. (Though I found out later that there is a way to have bread and still stay in ketosis.)
Another key component of the Mediterranean diet is lifestyle. Enjoy the social component of eating by sharing meals with family and friends as often as possible, whether on a weeknight or special occasion. Slow down, savor each bite, and don’t be afraid to have a glass of wine (or two) in moderation. While wine packs antioxidants, you should also drink plenty of water, as staying properly hydrated keeps your body functioning. The last bit of the equation is making physical activity a part of your daily routine, whether it’s biking to work or simply taking a walk during your lunch break to enjoy the fresh air.
Extra virgin olive oil helps in supporting your weight loss goals effectively. This is because of the satiating power of the fatty acids found in olive oil. This means that the regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil leads to a greater feeling of fullness. Extra virgin olive oil does contain calories but it is a healthier type of fat and is a great alternative to the others like butter or refined oils, especially if you are on a diet. In Greece, which consumes more olive oil than any other country, it is traditional to drink half a cup of extra virgin olive oil with lime water every morning to stay slim, prevent hunger pangs and increase longevity. You must consult a nutritionist to help you add extra virgin olive oil to your weight loss diet.