Hallberg suggests caution, however, around very long fasts lasting multiple days. “If you are skipping meals because you are not hungry from doing a proper low-carb, high-fat diet that is just fine.” She is concerned, however, about very long fasts in which people are ignoring hunger signals and for the potential for a dangerous physiological fluid and electrolyte imbalance called refeeding syndrome that can arise after very long extended fasts, lasting many days, when normal eating is resumed.

Starting in Italy thousands of years ago and spreading to Greece, Spain and other areas around the Mediterranean, this diet is now successful all over the world for promoting health and longevity. While it’s always existed, even before books and studies were dedicated to it, the diet really began to take hold around the world in the 1990s, when a Harvard University doctor showcased it as a diet useful for improving heart health, losing weight and clearing up other health issues.
Don’t get it wrong — just about all the cheap and abundant oils in coconut oil are good for you, which is why coconut oil is high on the list of Bulletproof foods! The problem is that studies show you can’t get enough of the really useful MCTs from just eating coconut oil or a so-called “MCT oil” that is diluted with lauric acid, a useful, but cheap, and hugely abundant part of coconut oil that is marketed as an MCT oil.[1]
Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. (4)
Don’t get it wrong — just about all the cheap and abundant oils in coconut oil are good for you, which is why coconut oil is high on the list of Bulletproof foods! The problem is that studies show you can’t get enough of the really useful MCTs from just eating coconut oil or a so-called “MCT oil” that is diluted with lauric acid, a useful, but cheap, and hugely abundant part of coconut oil that is marketed as an MCT oil.[1]
The capric acid in XCT Oil doesn’t break down into ketones as quickly as pure caprylic, but capric acid is more affordable (but still works) so you can save money by going with the XCT.  XCT Oil still goes to brain energy, just not as quickly as Brain Octane. Both can be used for energy without processing by the liver, unlike many other fats and oils.

What makes MCTs a top source of essential healthy fats? Medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism. This is one reason why many people claim that MCTs, including coconut oil, are burned by the body for energy, or “fuel,” instead of being stored as fat.
Here's what I learned about the keto diet: You essentially swap a high-carb diet, which most Americans tend to eat, for a diet that's very high in fat (the healthy kinds), moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. The idea is that you change the source from which your body gets its energy (and burns calories) from glucose (from carbohydrates) to ketones (from fat). This shift doesn't happen after one bulletproof coffee, though. It usually takes a few days of eating this way for your body to reach ketosis-where it's looking to fat as its first source of fuel. Once there, though, your body "will be burning fat all the time," says Dr. Axe. "It doesn't matter if you're working out or sleeping, or what you're doing, your body continues to burn fat in ketosis."

The FDA appears to agree with data showing that replacing butter with olive oil generally improves blood lipids, “but it also recognizes that this improvement might or might not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease,” points out Gomer “There is no convincing evidence at this time that those better-looking blood lipids necessarily lead to a lot less atherosclerosis or fewer heart attacks.”
Evidence suggests that the Mediterranean diet serves as an anti-inflammatory dietary pattern, which could help fight diseases related to chronic inflammation, including metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. (9) One reason the Mediterranean diet might be so beneficial for preventing diabetes is because it controls excess insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, makes us gain weight and keeps the weight packed on despite us dieting.
You'll get a chance to eat rich-tasting foods like roasted sweet potatoes, hummus, and even this Lima Bean Spread. You digest them slowly so that you feel full longer. Hunger's not a problem when you can munch on nuts, olives, or bites of low-fat cheese when a craving strikes. Feta and halloumi are lower in fat than cheddar but still rich and tasty.
Note to all potential buyers: these are meant to support a ketogenic diet (no carb, high fat, moderate protein), a specific diet which takes time and dedication to engage in. These are not “silver bullets” that will cause rapid weight loss without diet and exercise, so don’t expect it. No such products exist, on Amazon or otherwise. On the other hand, if you’re following a ketogenic diet already and need a little boost every now and then, these are for you. Watch out, though, they have a lot of caffeine. Three pills have 200 mg, the equivalent of several cups of coffee. If you can tolerate it, go for it. Just don’t make a regular habit of it.
Sleep is good – cpap makes sure of that 🙂 Health issues are arthritis, high LDL ( think that will go away once I loose lots of weight, family history though). I try to track nutrients and I know I need to do better but I am pretty sure I am getting enough fats and calories but the pen and paper will tell for sure. This morning I am making a egg,spinach, mushroom, cheese & bacon in a large cupcake holder so I know how much I put in each. Stress….. I am a nurse, some of my high need patients are really tugging on my emotions and dealing with the ones who want their “pain meds” grrrr but overall I work for a great Dr in a great office so I am lucky, home life is great, could use some more money – lol who couldn’t – but have an ex who I guess I still have some pstd (20 yrs is hard) but still working on it – my last son is a senior in high school so won’t have to deal with the ex too much longer.

In 2014, a group of three Brazilian researchers assessed the available literature on the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets in a meta-analysis. They specifically looked at trials that compared a ketogenic diet that consisted of no more than 50 grams of carbs per day with a conventional, low-fat diet with less than 30% of calories from fat. The researchers included 13 studies that lasted 12 months or more with a total of 1577 subjects.
Cut out the alcohol for now: Many people love the fact that on a low-carb or keto diet you can have a glass of dry white or red wine from time to time. If you are experiencing a weight-loss plateau, or gaining weight, cut out all alcohol for now until weight loss starts again. Even a few drinks a week can cause a stall. “I love my Friday night glass of wine after a hard week, but I will cut it out for now,” says Samantha.
During my honeymoon to Greece I had the chance to visit the oldest-known olive oil tree in the world. Most olive trees can live more than 500 years, but this one is at least 2,000 years old! Given that Greeks consume 12.8 kilograms of olive oil per year — compared to four kilograms in North America — it got me thinking about the importance of these trees to their daily life. Greece’s increased consumption of this healthy fat shows why the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and lowered cancer risk for those who follow it.
Compared to other types of oils and fats, MCTs seem to have positive effects on fat burning and weight reduction. As part of a healthy diet, MCT oil can help increase satiety and even raise the metabolic rate at which the body functions. Does this mean eating large amounts of MCTs daily will make you drop pounds? Not quite. Not every study has shown that MCTs can produce weight loss necessarily, but some definitely have shown the positive effects of MCTs on metabolic function.
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?

If you've been cooking with vegetable oil or coconut oil, make the switch to extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which may improve HDL cholesterol, the "good" type of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol ferries "bad" LDL particles out of arteries, according to a 2017 study in Circulation. Use olive oil in homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Drizzle it on finished dishes like fish or chicken to boost flavor. Swap butter for olive oil in mashed potatoes, pasta, and more.
Eating fat has virtually no effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, but too much protein can actually drive up insulin levels in the blood and interfere with the process of burning fatty acids in the body. It’s critical to get the right balance of fats and protein in order to promote ketosis and weight loss. See my post about the Top 10 mistakes people make on their ketogenic diet plan.
Jackie Eberstein agrees: “Measure your success by a loss of inches, rather than the scale.” She advises that you accept that weight loss in middle age will be slower than when you were younger. “Remember that you are in this for the long haul. It is an investment in your health as you get older. Have patience. Your long-term goal is to make a permanent lifestyle change as well as lose the excess fat.”
“The beneficial components of the Mediterranean diet,” concluded Robert Vogel, MD, and colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, “appear to be antioxidant-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives such as vinegar, and omega–3–rich fish…” These foods, he continued, “appear to provide some protection against the direct impairment in endothelial function produced by high-fat foods, including olive oil.”
I so admire all the hard work you put into this article. I learned so much ! And you look healthy and great ! This article was really thorough and includes everything someone like me needs to know about keto. I’ve slogged through the last 1 1/2 to 2 years on a so-so low carb diet, never really committing. I have more energy now but I know I could have more. Yes, I lost some weight–about 25 to 30 pounds over the course of the last two years, but I need to lose way more. Just in the last week or so I’ve started seriously considering keto and trying to learn more about it. Your article was a godsend…thank you !! You’ve given me just that boost I needed ! Thanks so much !!
What is the best diet for osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis has no cure, but it is possible to reduce its symptoms by making dietary changes. People can eat foods that reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, such as broccoli, oily fish, and dark leafy greens. Avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugar should also help to minimize symptoms. Learn more here. Read now
Almost everything in this diet is good for your heart. Olive oil and nuts help lower "bad" cholesterol. Fruits, veggies, and beans help keep arteries clear. Fish helps lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Even a daily glass of wine may be good for your heart! If you've never fallen in love with fish, try this Mediterranean-inspired recipe for Grilled Whole Trout With Lemon-Tarragon Bean Salad.
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.)
As a dietary supplement, take 1 tablespoon (15 mL) 1 to 4 times daily. Onnit Pure Premium MCT Oil can be mixed into smoothies, or try it with Hemp FORCE for a certified delicious protein shake. Can also be used as a substitute for conventional oils in salad dressings or unheated sauces. Not recommended for cooking due to its relatively low boiling point. Not recommended for use with Styrofoam or any other foam-based material.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy. This may help keep you alert and focused.
Finally, if you want to speed things up a bit I can highly recommend switching to intermittent fasting for your meal frequency which is not eating for most of the day then eating in just a short window of a few hours, can be whenever is most convenient for you but I find afternoon/evening window works best, the shorter the window the better, this can be quite hard for a lot of people to begin with as your brain is trained to expect food at certain time of the day but it doesn’t really need it, and after a few days of doing it you won’t get hungry anymore at those times as your body will be quite happily burning your stored body fat for fuel 🙂
Both MCT oil and coconut oil are beneficial for balancing bacteria in the gut microbiota, which in turn has positive effects on the digestive symptom, energy expenditure, and the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Medium-chain fats can help kill a wide range of pathogenic viruses, strains and bacteria that cause digestive issues, including candida, constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, stomachaches and so on. (8)
Julius thanks for sharing your story with us and the great breakdown of everything. I’m two weeks in on my standard keto diet along with exercise and I feel great. I know how vital sleep is but I find myself waking up very early in the morning usually between 3-4 am(I wake up at 5 for work) but I have so much energy I can’t go back to sleep and I am not tired throughout the day. From your knowledge and experience is this normal? And is working out more than 3x a week counter productive in your opinion? Thanks again, Josh
Olive oil is an integral part of the "Mediterranean diet" which is associated with sensible tasty portions and slower, more enjoyable eating. People who eat a "Mediterranean diet" have been shown to have a remarkable variety of health benefits. The olive oil in the Mediterranean diet can quickly satisfy hunger and lead to fewer total calories ingested at mealtime. It is unclear if any single component of this diet is responsible for these health benefits or if it is a combination of olive oil and a diet high in vegetables, fruit and fish.
I lost 7lbs in the first 2 weeks of Keto, I do one aerobic type class a week and 4-5 HIIT classes. I have recently purchased the Ketostix and according to that i’m not in a ketogenic state. I have decided to throw myself back into this week regardless and I’m consciously writing down everything that I’m eating and keeping the net carbs to less than 20g’s a day. I’d be interested to know how many calories and protein you are consuming a day and what should my minimum fat intake be? A day for me at the min looks something like this
Dr. Hallberg notes that vigorous exercise can sometimes create a false weight plateau. “If you are exercising to the point of getting sore, you are tearing muscle — which is a good thing, that is how we build muscle, by micro-tears.” But in order to deal with that, the body sets off a small inflammatory response, which causes people to retain fluid. “So after a vigorous workout you can jump up a few pounds overnight. It is not a real plateau, it is a pseudo plateau.”
One interesting finding of this eating plan is that it dispels the myth that people with or at risk for heart disease must eat a low fat diet. Although it does matter which types of fats are chosen, the percentage of calories from fat is less of an issue. The PREDIMED study, a primary prevention trial including thousands of people with diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts and without any fat and calorie restrictions reduced the rates of death from stroke by roughly 30%. [6] Most dietary fats were healthy fats, such as those from fatty fish, olive oil, and nuts, but total fat intake was generous at 39-42% of total daily calories, much higher than the 20-35% fat guideline as stated by the Institute of Medicine. [7]  Risk of type 2 diabetes was also reduced in the PREDIMED trial. [8]
With all this talk of the great benefits of olive oil, let’s talk about how to take it. We know, of course, that it may be a bit difficult to start your day with an entire shot of olive oil on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. In fact, if oil is consumed in large amounts, it may actually upset the stomach that is not used to it. Here are a couple more ways to go about it.
At the end of the twelve months, 60 participants (about 82%) in the low-fat group and 59 participants (about 79%) in the low-carbohydrate group successfully completed the trial. The decrease in body weight was substantially greater in the low-carbohydrate diet group which lost four times as much weight as the low-fat group (1.1 kg vs. 4.4 kg). [18]
“However, it may be time to question the wisdom of promoting diets with 20 to 35% fat or more for people with cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes. Diets this high in fat appear to greatly increase both acute and chronic low–grade inflammation in the body. Increasingly, inflammation is being linked to not only more cardiovascular disease but also insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.”
How do MCTs help with weight loss? Experimental studies demonstrate that dietary MCTs suppress fat deposition through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation in both animals and humans. (4) In other words, it’s believed that they help the body produce ketones, which gives you the same benefits as the ketogenic diet without needing to cut carbs to drastically low levels.

Also don’t weigh yourself everyday, your weight will fluctuate a lot on this diet due to water loss/retention cycle (particularly if you’re a woman), if you want to weigh yourself regularly then pick a day of the week and do it at the same time every time (like Sunday morning after you’ve woken up and been to the loo etc but not had breakfast yet), otherwise though just go by whether your clothes are getting looser slowly over time (they will).
It's important to realize that MCT oil will not produce weight loss miracles all on its own. However, it is an excellent addition to an otherwise healthy diet. Moreover, many consider MCTs "the ultimate ketogenic fat," as it allows you to eat slightly more net carbs while still staying in nutritional ketosis. Without MCTs, you'd have to cut carbs more drastically in order to maintain ketosis.
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.
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.
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