fat

Is it Keto Fever or Keto Flu?

A few weeks ago, we talked about IF (Intermittent Fasting). The Keto Diet (AKA Ketogenic Diet) is another way of eating that has been around for a while now, though more recently it is starting to become a bit of a craze.

Keto refers to a high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet, which forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates as the primary fuel source. A ketogenic diet is/was primarily implemented to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. It was first tested at a Mayo Clinic in the 1920s.

A keto meal may look something like this:

Typical keto-friendly food choices are things like seafood, low-carb vegetables (non-starchy), cheese, avocados, beef, poultry, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese (other dairy typically has too many carbs), nuts/seeds, butter, olives, and black coffee/tea.

How does Keto vary from other ways of eating?

Keto

60-75% Fat

15-30% Protein

5-10% Carbs

Mediterranean

~35% Fat

~25% Protein

~50% Carbs

Paleo

~40% Fat

~40% Protein

~20% Carbs

The Ketogenic Diet is about trying to get into ketosis

It can take anywhere from 2-7 days for the body to enter ketosis depending on the person. This happens when the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates for energy and uses up the glucose storage. During ketosis, the body starts making ketones, which happens through the oxidation/burning of stored fat.

I want to try the Keto Diet. What can I expect?

With any major diet change, there is generally an adjustment period for the body, however it does seem that this transition is a little more severe with Keto than many diets. During the first week you may experience IBS like symptoms and tiredness. The lack of quick energy from carbohydrates causes the tiredness and has been coined the “keto flu”. Other symptoms can include lightheadedness, nausea, mental fog, cramps, headaches, bad breath and diarrhea. Some of this may be due to reduced fiber and insufficient micronutrients, so it’s important to be aware that you’re doing what you can to fill those gaps.

On the plus side, people often find they can lose weight because healthy fats and lean proteins will keep you more satiated, so eating less is a natural side effect. Also, fats and protein have a higher thermic effect meaning it takes your body more energy/calories just to break the food down.

That sounds like a lot of symptoms, is it worth it?

Frankly, people do often report success. Many see results on the scale rather quickly because when you eat more carbs your body retains fluid. This is one reason why weight comes off quickly with keto initially. Results can continue for a while, but it should be noted that in the vast majority cases people report not being able to stick with it long term.

What else should I know?

Unfortunately, and similar to the “eat less and exercise more” mentality, muscle loss often accompanies the relatively quick weight loss. This can be misleading if the scale is your only source of measurement. Make sure to check with your doctor before beginning any nutrition regimen, but in particular with keto, heart and kidney damage has been observed due to low electrolyte levels (sodium, magnesium, potassium). Keto is not recommended for those with high blood pressure or diabetes. Keto can cause more calcium to be lost in the urine, which can lead to a decrease in bone density over time and increased risk of osteoporosis.

The summary: As with any way of eating, everyone is different, and results will vary depending on your body. This short-term fix may be right for some, but not everyone.

Ellipse Fitness does not endorse the Ketogenic Diet, nor do we view it as a sustainable approach to nutrition, check out these other great blog articles for more of our philosophy on how to make changes that will last you a lifetime!

Ellipse Fitness “Nutrition” Blog Posts

what the fat

There are few subjects out there that are shrouded in more mystery, distorted with more bad information, and more coveted by the general public than body fat. Well today we are going to help you learn a little bit more about body fat, and maybe shed some light on a few really interesting – and life altering – facts about that porous, squishy, yellow tissue inside all of us.

Did you know??

We have the potential to develop an increasing number of fat cells into our early 20’s, but after that point we have the number of fat cells we will have for life.

Fat is essential for brain functioning, hormone production, and protection of our organs, however body fat over 25% for men and over 30% for women can become a health hazard! Especially when stored around our internal organs, excess body fat increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Did you know??

Obese children produce up to twice the number of fat cells as non-obese children. Obese 2 year-olds only have a 1 in 4 chance of NOT being obese by the time they reach the age of 35.

That means basically 25% of obese children will grow up to be obese! It’s vital that we introduce our children to healthy foods and the joy of movement when they are young. Go out and buy 1 new vegetable or fruit this week, one that even you have not tried before, and have the whole family try it! Make it exciting whatever way you can!

Did you know??

An abundance of fat cells directly leads to a deficiency of leptin – the hormone that tells our brain that we should stop eating because we are full!

As fat cells shrink, they produce less leptin which would make us tend to eat more because we are not being told as loudly that we are not hungry, making this a larger problem for people who were significantly overweight or obese as children and/or teenagers. Fat cells want to be filled with lipids. Help your body receive that “full” signal by eating whole/unprocessed foods at regular intervals while being aware of physical hunger vs fullness cues. Sometimes when you body tells you it’s hungry, what it really is asking for is water! If you haven’t had any water for a little while try drinking an 8 oz glass and wait 10 minutes to see if you still want to eat.

Here’s what you need to know for your weight-loss goals:

It starts with the liver: The liver is used to store glycogen (sugar) for reserves. As we eat, our body fills those reserves. It’s when we eat too much (simple or complex sugars) and the liver is at capacity that the remaining glycogen floating around gets moved into our fat cells.

If you want to lose fat, don’t engage in extreme diets! Stay consistent with your healthy habits and make little changes that you will be able to maintain for the long term. Fad diets and quick fixes that yield 30 pounds weight loss in 30 days for instance almost always result in your body losing mostly water and muscle in the process. This is why you often “rebound” back to your original weight shortly after quitting the diet, and sometimes even end up gaining more than you lost because your body is not happy with the yo-yo trend!

What happens when we “lose fat”? Through a series of chemical reactions, fat leaves the body through sweat and urine, but fat primarily leaves the body through respiration (breathing)! Help lose and or maintain body fat percentages by incorporating non-exercise physical activity every day like parking in the furthest spot at the store or at work, taking the stairs, or just playing with your kids and grandkids more often!

Deflating fat cells CAN be done! Two quick hitters to get started are to exercise at least 5 hours per week and get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You might be one of those who think you only need 5 or 6 hours, and while that may be true for you to live and generally function, burning fat is hard work. Rest is key!

Italian Sausage Sauté

Hi Everyone,

The average brat has about 19-24 grams of fat!  That is nearly the amount of fat you want to have in your diet in an entire day.  A great swap for a regular brat is a chicken brat/sausage.  Most likely you can find them in the frozen section of your local grocery store.  Otherwise, we have found great varieties at Sam’s Club, Woodman’s, and Trader Joe’s!  This recipe is a great way to incorporate the chicken sausage into your diet without putting it on a boring ol’ bun!

Italian Sausage Sauté

4  Chicken Sausages

2  Cups Whole Wheat Rigatoni Noodles, cooked

1  Tbsp. Olive Oil

2  Cloves Garlic, minced

1  Large Red Pepper, chunked

1  Zucchini and/or Squash, sliced

1  Cup Mushrooms

1  Small Onion, sliced

1  Jar Hunt’s Reduced Sugar Spaghetti Sauce

2  Tbsp. Parsley, chopped

Directions:  Cut sausages into 1″ pieces, warm over medium heat in a sauté pan, and keep warm.  Cook the rigatoni according to package directions, keeps warm.  In a large saucepan, place olive oil and garlic, sauté lightly for 30 seconds.  Add peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, & onions and cook until crisp-tender.  Combine cooked sausage and pasta sauce with veggies and heat until warm.  Mix with the pasta or serve separately.  Top with fresh parsley.

Serves:  4

Total Calories: 296   Carb=33g Prot=21g Fat=8.3g

Ellipse Tip:  Great pasta choices are a whole wheat noodle, Barilla Protein Plus Noodles, or Shiritaki Tofu Noodles!

Egg White Scramble by Ellipse

Hi Everyone,

Add a little dazzle to your egg whites by adding loads of your favorite veggies!  Another great veggie to add to this recipe is asparagus.  If you prefer, you may also substitute Egg Beaters instead of the egg whites as well.  Enjoy!

Egg White Scramble

  • 4   Egg Whites
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Onion
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Green Pepper
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Cup Reduced-fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions: Spray a cooking skillet with non-stick cooking spray and sauté vegetables for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until vegetables are tender.  Add egg whites to vegetables and scramble until cooked through.  Sprinkle with cheese (if desired) and place cover on skillet to melt cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves:  1

Total Calories: 149   Carb=7.7g Prot=20g Fat=4.2g

Ellipse Tip: Want to bump up your protein?  Add a couple more egg whites!  On average, an egg white has only 20 calories, 5 grams of protein, and NO fat!  The yolk of the egg has approximately 5 grams of fat per yolk, so choose wisely!