FAQ

I get it, with any program there are some questions! Here are the most common questions and answers.

What exactly is keto?

Ketosis, or “keto”, is a natural state for the body in which it becomes almost completely fueled by fat through eating a ketogenic diet: low carb, moderate protein, lots of healthy fats. As babies, we are all born in a state of ketosis and remain that way until we begin eating solid foods (breast milk is almost entirely fat!) We also dip into a state of ketosis when we enter prolonged periods of not eating, or fasting, including while we are asleep. It is highly likely that you wake up in a ketogenic state!

While in ketosis, the body is producing ketones. These small molecules are used as fuel when we have depleted our glucose (a.k.a. blood sugar) supply. Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat, as we eat very few carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The entire body – including the brain – consumes ketones as fuel.

Fun fact: the brain can ONLY run on one of two fuel sources: glucose or ketones. It’s a common misconception that the brain needs carbs. The truth is that carbs are the single macronutrient (there are three: protein, carbs, fat) that we do NOT need, and the brain will happily burn ketones for fuel.

Those of us who follow a ketogenic lifestyle switch our fuel sources back to the way we were born; we run almost entirely on fat. Insulin hormones dip to low levels and we rapidly burn stored fat for fuel. Outside of weight loss, we ketonians experience sustained energy, mental focus, exercise endurance, and a bevy of other health benefits such as disease prevention and treatment.

But aren’t carbs necessary for survival?

NO, when the body becomes fat-adapted, it has changed its primary source of fuel from glucose back to fat (yes – “back to” – because we are born in a state of ketosis). All of the vital organs in the body actually prefer to use fat for fuel.

Is this a no carb diet?

No. Whole food sources of carbohydrates, including those in non-starchy vegetables, seeds, nuts, certain berries, herbs, and high-quality dairy provide valuable micronutrients. My clients are encouraged to include these whole food carbohydrates each day.

Won’t I miss carbs?

Probably, especially at first, and especially if you are used to consuming a lot of carbs daily. It might take some getting used to, but there are some incredible ways to make keto breads, pastries, “pasta” dishes, “rice”, and so much more that you will never miss out on a thing.

But, won’t fat make me fat?

Nope. Fat is an “f word” that has been wrongly demonized for way too long. Ever since the rise of low fat and low calorie foods, obesity, Diabetes and heart disease have become a scary epidemic. We’ve removed fat from our diets, but have become fatter and sicker. It’s time to wake up and smell the bacon!

There are certain fats that could certainly make you fat, and/or block your ability to burn fat. Omega-6 oils like corn oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil – most of which are found in mayonnaise (even the “natural” kind) – and trans fats are some of the bad fats.

A ketogenic way of eating is focused on consuming HEALTHY fats, such as avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, high-quality meats, dairy, seeds and nuts.

Is this the Atkins diet?

Nope, atkins was a low carb, high protein, high fat diet. Keto is only a low to moderate protein diet. Protein, while an essential macronutrient, when not used will be converted into glucose through a process of gluconeogenesis. This is why eating protein in excess has the potential to halt ketosis; the unused protein turns into glucose, which will raise blood sugar levels.

While too much protein can kick you out of ketosis, not consuming enough can lead to muscle loss. We want to lose body fat, not muscle.

How is weight loss achieved on ketogenic diets?

This is probably the most commonly asked question, as many people are concerned about the real effects of ketosis. Keto helps you lose weight in 3 very powerful ways.

1. The Satiety Effect means you are no longer hungry all the time

The ketogenic diet food that makes you less hungry and less likely to experience cravings. It’s a fact that people naturally eat less on a low-carb diet. Protein and fat are the most sating macronutrients. Achieving satiety (feeling full and satisfied) and natural appetite control are the most important effects of low-carb eating. Insulin, which is a hormone released when you eat carbs (and protein to some effect), affects your appetite.

2. Low-Carb Diets are better for actual fat loss

Eating fat helps your body release and burn fat and lose weight, while carbohydrates have the opposite effect. This has to do with how insulin affects your body and as you may know, insulin is mostly produced when you eat carbs. With decreased insulin levels, your body will use body fat for energy and you will lose weight.

3. Metabolic advantage

Finally, there are studies that appear to support the idea of a potential “metabolic advantage” of low-carb diets. This means that you could achieve weight loss at a higher level than the calorie intake would suggest.

For more about metabolic advantage of low-carb diets, check out this article: Is a Calorie Really a Calorie? Metabolic Advantage of Low-Carbohydrate Diets In this study, participants following a low-carb diet experienced increased energy expenditure (by 300 kcal) compared to those following a low-fat diet.

Will I be required to purchase any products/supplements?

Not at all! I advocate for eating whole foods, and our bodies should get all of the nutrients we need from FOOD, not supplements.

What are the diseases that keto can help with?

Benefits include the following: lower triglycerides, sustained energy without blood glucose spikes, mental clarity, euphoria, lower blood pressure, lower LDLp cholesterol, increased HDL cholesterol, eliminate sugar cravings, weight loss, exercise endurance, Epilepsy, Type-2 Diabetes, some forms of Cancer, Alzheimer’s, leaky gut, thyroid issues and Hashimoto’s, hormone regulation, PCOS/infertility, Osteoporosis, depression/anxiety.

I have diabetes, is this plan safe for me?

The keto lifestyle is very effective at reducing your blood glucose levels. This is a great thing if you are pre-diabetic or insulin resistant. If you are on blood glucose lowering medications, you need to change your diet slowly, under the direct supervision of your medical doctor. Sadly many doctors are not up to date with the latest nutritional information. If your doctor is not up to date, you can find another doctor. There are many around that have had additional nutritional training.

If you are a Type-1 Diabetic, alcoholic or have a history of anorexia, please consult with your doctor before attempting a ketogenic lifestyle. Please note that Simply Ketogenic life bootcamp is not suited for clients who are Type-1 Diabetic, or who are currently alcoholics and/or anorexic.

I am pregnant or breastfeeding, can I do this plan?

Yes, you will have to allow for about an extra 300-500 calories each day, but this diet is safe to have while pregnant or breastfeeding. As always you should talk with your healthcare provider.

Keto is absolutely a healthy option for you because you are fueling your body with the best foods. That said, we will need to work closely together on your macros so that you get into ketosis, FEEL good, while your breast milk supply stays up.

I don’t use Facebook, can I still participate?

YES! Our main communication is via daily emails, the groups is also well utilized, but you will get all the required information via email as well.

I am a fussy eater, what if I don’t like the meal plans?

As a bonus, you get 6 weeks access to Earth Larder’s keto meal plans that you can switch out the meals if you prefer. After the 6 weeks you can choose to continue to get these plans delivered to your inbox for as little as $1 . 55 per week.

What if I have thyroid issues?

Many women suffer from thyroid dysfunction, and simply taking a synthetic hormone might regulate symptoms, but will not actually heal the thyroid. In fact, when combined with a diet high in carbohydrates, sugar, grains, gluten, dairy and starch, a thyroid medication will barely work at all.

A ketogenic lifestyle removes gluten, sugars and processed carbohydrates which reduce inflammation and stimulate the endocrine system. People with thyroid issues should also avoid dairy as it can cause inflammation and is often an allergen.

Supplementing with a high-quality iodine and adding seed oils and nuts may also help heal the thyroid.

What if I have cancer?

Cancer cells thrive on sugar because they have 10 times more insulin receptors on their cellular surface. High amounts of carbohydrates will feed cancer cell growth since carbs convert to glucose.

A ketogenic lifestyle – low carb, moderate protein, lots of healthy fats – starves cancer cells of the glucose it needs to grow. Combined with intermittent fasting, a ketogenic lifestyle may help kill off cancer cells and save the lives of those diagnosed with the disease.

Can I ever cycle off of keto or will I have to eat this way forever?

Only you can decided if you will eat 100% ketogenic forever. I can personally tell you that I do not worry about being ketogenic when I am traveling to different countries and wanting to experience the food and culture.

There are many ways to practice ketogenic living, but restricting yourself to never having a burger with the bun and a side of fries ever again does not have to be one of them.

That said, if you are someone who has a history of binge-eating with sugar and carbs, or you have a condition such as cancer, type-2 diabetes or epilepsy, ask yourself if a “cheat meal” is really worth it.

What if I’m allergic to dairy?

Consuming dairy is not a requirement of a ketogenic lifestyle. In fact, there are many ways to substitute dairy in any recipe, including nut milks and cheeses, coconut cream, ghee, avocados, to name a few. There are many ways to create and eat delicious foods and reach your daily fat goals without traditional cows milk dairy products.

I’m a vegetarian or vegan. Can I still do keto?

Absolutely! Keto is not all about bacon and burgers. Eggs, dairy, wild-caught seafood, certain seeds and nuts, and some vegetables are excellent sources of protein for vegetarians, vegans find it a bit harder to get their protein in without going over their carb limits, but it is not impossible. There are also some high-quality low-carb protein powders, such as Jay Robb, that will help vegetarians hit their protein goals without going over in carbs.

What if I’m an endurance athlete?

It’s a common misconception that athletes need more carbs; they actually need more protein than an average person following a ketogenic lifestyle.  Many endurance athletes find they do much better keto than they ever did running on carbs.

What if I travel frequently for work?

Keto on the go! Many restaurants – even fast food – can provide low-carb options. Burgers without the bun and a salad instead of fries will help you avoid ketosis-hindering carbs.

Companies like Keto Bars and Keto Krate offer some awesome options for the keto traveler. You can DIY a keto travel kit with macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, uncured beef jerky, a keto bar and keto shake, salami, celery, single-serving packets of natural almond butter and coconut oil. Easy-peasy!

Keto and high cholesterol levels

A common misconception is that because ketogenic diets are high in fat, they must increase cholesterol in your body and clog your arteries. However, much of the recent research shines light on how low-carb diets can optimize your cholesterol levels and in fact improve your heart health.

Cholesterol is another demonized word, but we NEED cholesterol to live. Cholesterol is produced in the liver, and the body is so dependent on it for a variety of reasons that the liver makes sure the body always has enough to function. Not only does the liver make sure we have enough cholesterol, it also regulates production so that if we eat more cholesterol, it will produce less.

Those of us who follow a ketogenic lifestyle do tend to have higher total cholesterol levels. Here’s why: our production of high density lipoproteins (HDL) increases. HDL transfers cholesterol from the body’s tissues to the liver. It is ESSENTIAL for survival, which is why HDL is the “good” cholesterol.

Low density lipoproteins (LDL) is known as the “bad” cholesterol, but that’s only partly true. The body still needs LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) for cholesterol transportation from the liver to the body’s tissues, but high levels of LDL particles (LDL-P) put you at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Finally, triglycerides are the form that fat takes as it travels from the body’s tissues and into the bloodstream. Again, this is a normal function of the body, but high triglyceride levels with low HDL levels are a red flag; the body may be insulin resistant, Type-2 diabetic, inflamed, have cardiovascular disease. What causes high triglyceride levels? Lots of carbs and sugar.

If you want to truly be schooled in cholesterol’s role in the body, and keto’s role in cholesterol, I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Cholesterol Clarity” by Jimmy Moore.

How much weight will I lose?

As with any diet, individual results will vary. However if you are coming from a typical high carb diet, you will likely lose 5-15lb over the 6 weeks of the course. Some lose MUCH more.

Those with more weight to lose will likely lose faster, and those with 10 pounds or less may see it happen more slowly. Keep in mind, though, that a scale only measures your relationship with gravity, not your overall health. Instead of weight loss, the goal should be to change body composition by reducing body fat and maintaining – or building – lean muscle.

If your weight is trending upwards without exercise, or has stalled for more than two weeks, other tactics including macro adjustment, intermittent fasting, fat fasts, or carb-ups may be considered.

Can I/do I have to workout on keto?

Yes you CAN, and yes you SHOULD, but you don’t HAVE to. When we talk about a healthy lifestyle, daily movement should to be a part of it. Remember, the goal is fat loss, not muscle loss.

Without any exercise it is surely possible to lose weight with a ketogenic way of eating, however, some of that loss could be muscle density. Incorporating exercise into any nutrition plan will yield better, faster results. When the body is fat-fueled, you will notice an increase in energy and endurance, allowing you to power through your workouts and hold onto strong, lean muscle.

How do I figure out/track my macros?

There are no shortage of macro calculators; simply Google “keto macro calculator” and take your pick. I prefer Carb Manager or My Fitness Pal.

Is this possible while raising my family?

Without a doubt! Ketogenic foods are delicious! If your family doesn’t plan on going completely keto with you, it’s still an easy lifestyle to maintain. You may need to make some pasta or rice as a side item for them, but keeping it simple by serving proteins and non-starchy vegetables will be easy for you to prepare while keeping your family happily fed. Give them the grains and/or starch, and load your plate up with healthy fats!

Will my food choices be boring?

Have you been on Pinterest or Google lately?! Keto goes way beyond bacon and butter! There are a million of delicious ketogenic recipes out there. When you have some extra time, perhaps on a weekend, experiment with some of these tasty treasures!

What is the difference between a low-carbohydrate diet, the paleo diet and a ketogenic diet?

Ketogenic diet and the paleo diet are a subset of low carbohydrate diets. It is generally accepted, that any diet below 130-150 grams of carbohydrates is regarded as low-carb.

Ketogenic diets induce a metabolic state known as ketosis, which is usually achieved at a level of about 50 grams of total carbohydrates a day (20-30 grams of net carbs) or less. The exact amount is individual and may vary. Keto is a low to moderate protein diet, as too much protein has been shown to spike your insulin too.

The paleo diet is anything under 150g of carbs per day, but it is limited by philosophical limits, only eating things that were available during the caveman times. The paleo diet is a moderate to high protein diet, with no dairy. It is possible to do paleo-keto.

Do you need to be in ketosis to lose weight?

Not necessarily. You can lose weight without being in ketosis. Foods high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates are satisfying, making you less hungry and, therefore, you’ll be experiencing less food cravings.

To access your fat stores, you need to keep your insulin levels low and steady. To achieve this you need to be consuming very little carbs and plenty of fat for energy.

The fastest way to melt fat is to be in a state of ketosis, where your brains is using ketones for energy, not glucose. To get here you need to use up all your glycogen stores in your liver and muscles, and not eat enough carbs for them to be replaced.

It takes a while to become “fat adapted” as your body will need to build more mitochondria for your cells. These are the fat burning parts of your cells. This can take up to a couple of weeks for some people.

Do I need to count calories? Do calories matter?

It’s a common misconception that you can eat unlimited amount of calories and still lose weight. Although this doesn’t happen often, you can put on weight even on a low-carb diet. Overall calories do still matter.

Generally eating keto, will automatically mean you will be very satisfied with less calories, so counting them usually isn’t too much of an issue.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.

There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.

The benefits of fasting are huge and they include a reduction in insulin levels, inflammation markers, improved health markers and it saves time and money eating!

When combined with the keto diet, intermittent fasting is a quick, simple way to speed your weight loss and boost your metabolic health.

What about ketoacidosis? Aren’t ketones bad?

There is a massive difference between ketones and being keto-adapted and having ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a very dangerous condition in diabetics where both their ketones and their blood sugars are extremely and dangerously high.

This combination makes their blood very acidic, and if left untreated, will kill them within hours.

It is alomst impossible for a non diabetic to induce this state. As to get high ketones, a normal person needs to not be eating carbohydrates that would be required to drive blood sugars up that high.

Nutritional ketosis like that on the ketogenic diet needs blood ketone levels to be between 1-5mmol and the blood sugars will sit between 4-7mmol. In ketoacidosis the ketone levels are over 15mmol and the blood sugars are over 20mmol.

It is quite a different beast! If you are a diabetic and are going on the ketogenic diet, good on you! Keep checking your blood sugars regularly, decrease your medications as required and ONLY do this under the supervision of a doctor. Do not drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and take your full dose of insulin, your blood sugars will drop like a stone.

Still got questions? Flick me an email at support @ simplyketogeniclife . com