The Pros and Cons of the Ketogenic Diet

If you are thinking about trying a ketogenic diet for weight loss or health, it is worth considering the pros and cons.

Ketosis is a natural body process that converts stored fats into energy. A ketogenic diet helps your natural fat burning function work its magic longer than normal. In this way, it is a very natural form of dieting.

What are the cons or disadvantages of the keto diet plan?

  • You will need to go through an adaptation period of around 1 to 2 weeks. For some people, this phase can be uncomfortable as the body becomes fat adapted.
  • Many people take great pleasure in eating carbs, and feel like they lose the fun aspect of eating.
  • It takes more time to consider your meal choices. This can be especially true when dining at restaurants, where a lot of meals are carb-heavy.
  • For those who exercise a lot, there can be a drop in performance ability and stamina in the early stages. This can be unmotivating if you are a person who does a lot of physical activity.
  • Sometimes your friends may criticize you, or say you are crazy for eating more fat. This is common on the keto diet, as for almost 50 years it has been believed that eating fat is bad for your health.

What are the pros or advantages of the keto diet?

  • Reduce insulin levels meaning you have fewer crashes (sometimes known as a carb crash) during the day. This leads to more consistent sustained energy.
  • A lot of people feel like they have reduced appetite, and will need fewer snacks. This is because the body is used to burning fat for fuel and isnt seeking quick burn carbs and glucose.
  • Studies have shown and Increase in thermogenesis (meaning the production of body heat) which increases the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.
  • Reduced risk of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes. The current research is showing how much our carb and heavy sugar diets are causing issues with our health. Ketogenic diets can potentially reduce this risk dramatically.
  • When youre in ketosis your brain switches to ketones as a fuel source. Because it has a consistent fuel source, this means that you can focus for longer periods of time.
  • Recent medical studies have shown that the Keto diet can be a great way to help to lower blood pressure.

When weighing up the pros and cons of keto, you must decide what is more important: short or long-term results. Most of the cons of keto diets are short-term, whereas the pros of the ketogenic diet are long term.

 

Jerry Hizon, MD is a keto doctor working from Murrieta and Temecula, California. He assists people with weight loss and lifestyle changes to improve their health. If you are interested in getting started with a keto diet, we can help you stay on track, with our Nudge Coaching program, and guidance from Dr. Jerry Hizon. Reach out to us today to see how much better you can feel!

Ketogenic Diet Tips: What to eat and when to eat

Whenever someone starts a new diet, it seems like the focus is always on how many calories you eat, or whether you should eat a specific type of food. This makes logical sense, as it is estimated that as much as 75% of weight loss is attributed to the diet.

However in the past few years, there has been more interest in not just what you eat, but when and how often you eat.

The concept of intermittent fasting, and eating smaller meals more often are two trends that have become common. I believe that both have some value in improving your results.

Fasting and the keto diet work together

When considering a ketogenic diet, it seems that intermittent fasting works well, as typically you are less hungry for longer periods.

When your body goes into a ketosis mode, it begins to consume fat reserves. If you have just eaten fats (which is common on the keto diet), your body will burn those fats first. But if you keep yourself in ketosis, it will begin to consume your stored fat.

One of the challenges people have when on a conventional diet is that they are constantly hungry. I believe this is less to do with the actual physical hunger, and more to do with the psychological habit of eating too often.

How often do you really need to eat?

Our society teaches us to eat three meals a day, with snacks in between. But often we aren’t eating out of hunger as much as habit.

One of the keys that I have been talking to my keto diet patients about is whether they actually need to eat as often as they do. As a medical doctor, I am typically a very health conscious person, so I have always been very disciplined in my approach.

However, even when eating healthy, I have never experienced the same energy and weight loss results that I have on a ketogenic diet. This is especially true when combined with some intermittent fasting.

I have been adding some fasting days (24-hour fasts) and even tried a 72 hour fast recently. Both were actually less challenging than I had assumed they would be. I believe that is because of my adherence to the keto diet.

Try a fasting window with a keto diet

When you get started on a keto diet, you can also begin trying a fasting window. This is another way of choosing a length of time when you dont eat. For some people, this can start with 8 hours when they sleep or moving to 12 hours or 16 hours.

The longer you can resist eating, the better you will enable ketosis to begin in your system. Intermittent fasting has been proven to give some of these benefits:

  • Balancing your blood sugar levels
  • Improving nutrient absorption for the body
  • Removing toxins naturally
  • Clearing the mind and increasing focus
  • Increased fat burning throughout the day

Aside from these nutritional and health benefits here are some lifestyle benefits Ive found from fasting on a keto diet:

  • Save money: you tend to eat out less, and that costs less
  • Eat higher quality food: when you do eat, you crave high-quality, healthy foods
  • Enjoy eating more: when you eat, it is enjoyable and satisfying

Changing your mindset around when to eat along with what to eat can be a game changer. It gives you back a sense of self-control and makes you accelerate your health results.

Jerry Hizon, MD is a keto doctor working from Murrieta and Temecula, California. He assists people with weight loss and lifestyle changes to improve their health. His keto coaching programs helps people to track their progress and stay on track. Visit his website today to learn more, or sign up online for a keto coaching session via nudge coaching.

What are the Benefits of the Keto Diet?

When considering a ketogenic diet, many people wonder if the change is worth it? Obviously any diet is usually started because of the health and weight loss benefits. However, there are many benefits to low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets.

Below I have listed a few of the benefits that sway many people to choose a keto diet.

Increased weight loss

Eating a high-fat diet, low-carb diet facilitates weight loss by diminishing hunger, reducing overeating or eating too many “empty” calories. Feeling satiated longer also helps facilitate fasting, which can further assist in weight loss.

In addition, a high-fat, low-carb diet can decrease total body fat as it decreases insulin levels, leading to less fat storage, and it causes the body to “burn” its’ fat stores for fuel decreasing fat stores overall.
Reduced risk of Type II diabetes

When we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into simple sugars. They are then released into the bloodstream, leading to increased blood sugar levels. As blood sugar levels increase, insulin is released. Insulin is a hormone that tells our bodies to store as much energy in the form of glycogen and fats as possible.

By eating a low-carb keto diet, one can normalize blood sugar levels, control the release of insulin, and reverse the effects of insulin resistance (characteristic of type II diabetes). In this manner, keto can be used to treat or possibly reverse type II diabetes, sometimes even replacing or supplementing medication.

Improvement of neurological disease

A high-fat, low-carb keto diet has a neuroprotective effect by correcting abnormalities in cellular energy usage common in most neurological disorders.

In this way, a keto diet can improve memory function, minimizing diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

It has also been shown to help epilepsy by reducing seizures and lead to mood stabilization when dealing with diseases like autism and even schizophrenia.

Reduced risk of heart disease

A low-carb, high-fat diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing triglycerides, increasing “good cholesterol” and decreasing “bad cholesterol,” lowering blood pressure, and reducing abdominal fat.
Increased triglycerides levels in blood and increased fat in the abdominal cavity lead to increased risk for heart disease. A keto diet decreases the amount of triglyceride in blood and lowers the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, a low-carb, high-fat diet leads to increased HDL (“good cholesterol”) and a decrease in LDL (“bad cholesterol”). LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, carries cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. Whereas, HDL, the “good cholesterol,” is a lipoprotein that carries cholesterol away from the body and to the liver where it can be reused or excreted.

In addition to the above, a low-carb, high fat keto diet is also known to decrease blood pressure, reducing the stress on the heart and the risk for heart disease.

Cancer treatment and prevention

Cancer cells, unlike normal cells, can only metabolize glucose for energy. Thus, switching to a high-fat and low-carb diet can essentially “starve” cancer cells of glucose, whilst still feeding normal cells which can metabolize fats as energy.

Consistent energy levels

A low-carb, high fat keto diet can help to stabilize energy levels throughout the day as one can avoid the “bonking” or crashes from carbohydrate intake (rapid blood sugar increase and decrease).
The high fats can keep one satiated and full of energy longer, reducing any cravings or caffeine needs/ crashes as well.

Increased performance for endurance athletes (endurance performance)
A low-carb, high fat keto diet has been implicated with increased output and increased performance for a longer duration for endurance athletes.

Increased longevity

A keto diet can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction and protect against strokes, in turn decreasing associated mortality.

Anti-aging

As mentioned above, a low-carb keto diet can lower insulin. Lowering insulin reduces oxidative stress on the body. Reduced oxidative stress increases lifespan and slows degradation, having an “anti-aging” effect.

Decreased pain and lower inflammation

A low-carb keto diet also decreases inflammation. Decreased inflammation, leads to decreased pain.

These are some of the benefits that you can expect from the keto diet, if you stay committed to it. Of course, there can be challenges, but the results are worth it.

If you are interested in getting started with a keto diet, we can help you stay on track, with our Nudge Coaching program, and guidance from Dr Jerry Hizon. Contact us to see how much better you can feel!

– Courtney Assumma

How to make keto coffee

A morning coffee has become a staple for many around the world. When starting the keto diet, one of the biggest questions people have is: ‘Can I keep drinking my coffee when adopting keto?’

The good news is yes!

In fact, coffee can be a great addition to the keto diet as it can give one energy and keep one satiated until lunch when intermittent fasting.

However, there are certain things to take into consideration to make sure your morning coffee routine is keto-friendly.

What is keto coffee?

Keto coffee is essentially low carb and high fat, just like the keto diet. The low-carb aspect comes from using less milk and sugar. High fat usually entails the addition of unsweetened, full-fat heavy cream, MCT or coconut oil, or grass-fed ghee butter.

The basic keto coffee recipe consists of three ingredients: oil, butter, and coffee.

Typically a keto coffee contains about a tablespoon of MCT or coconut oil and a tablespoon of grass-fed butter or ghee per one to two cups of coffee. Some people blend these ingredients in a blender or Vitamix. Often this is called bulletproof coffee.

Other ways to keep your morning brew keto-friendly

  1. Use sugar-free sweeteners (like stevia or sugar-free flavored syrups)
  2. Use unflavored beans (most flavored have added sugars and carbs)
  3. Substitute milk or coffee creamers for almond milk, coconut milk, or heavy cream
  4. Avoid pre-made drinks or ingredients (most contain lots of added or hidden sugars and carbs)
  5. Add fats with coconut or MCT oil in hot coffee drinks or heavy cream in cold coffee drinks
  6. Add cinnamon (this can help add flavor without added carbs and possibly reduce the desire for sugar-filled syrups)

Keto-friendly options at your favorite coffee shop

  1. Espresso: Avoid milk altogether and drink shots of espresso with some added coconut or MCT oil.
  2. Cappuccino: With less milk, and more foam these are more keto-friendly than lattes. Use nut milk or heavy cream instead of milk for an additional reduction of carbs.
  3. Iced or hot americano: Order with a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk and sweeten with stevia or sugar-free syrups.
  4. Hot or cold tea: For a coffee alternative, teas can be ordered. Most are caffeinated and can be sweetened with sugar-free sweeteners.
  5. Coldbrew: The cold brewing process typically brings out the sweeter flavors of beans, helping you cut out carb-filled sweeteners. Add some extra fat with coconut milk or heavy cream.
  6. Lattes: Substitute milk for almond or coconut milk or heavy cream to keep carbs down and increase fat content.

For anyone wanting to being the keto diet, its good news to know that coffee and tea can be a part of the to the keto diet, and can add to the enjoyment.

Dr. Jerry Hizon

A Typical Day on the Keto Diet

Just like trying anything new, switching to the keto diet and getting used to what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat can be hard at first.

Rest assured, all of these things will become easier and habitual with time.

In this article, we have included what a typical day on the keto diet may look like.

These are just some examples of typical meals and snacks, as you delve into your ketogenic journey, you should adapt your diet to match your lifestyle.

A Typical Keto Breakfast

A lot of people who embark on the ketogenic diet incorporate intermittent fasting into their routines. This means that they typically don’t consume meals past 8:00 p.m. on a given day, and before 12:00 p.m. the next day. Often, this means skipping breakfast and just supplementing with a keto-coffee to get them through the morning until lunchtime.

Keto coffee is coffee with added (and sometimes blended for added creaminess) ghee, butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil. If one isn’t intermittent fasting, a typical keto breakfast consists of eggs and bacon cooked in butter or avocado oil.

Adding mushrooms or spinach to these egg scrambles for some fiber and added nutrients or avocado for some added fats is not uncommon.

A Typical Keto Lunch

A ketogenic lunch usually consists of a fatty cut of meat (80/20 steaks or chicken of fatty fish like salmon) coupled with a spinach salad or some form of low-carb vegetable and an additional fat source. To add an extra fat component salads and veggies are topped with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, coconut flakes, flax seed, sunflower seeds, or even avocado. Meats are often cooked in ghee, butter, or oil to add an additional source of good fats.

A Typical Keto Dinner

Dinner is typically similar to a ketogenic lunch, however often in more substantial portions since it is often the last meal until 12:00 p.m. the next day. It consists of a fatty protein, low carb vegetable, and an additional fat source.

Fatty steaks or chicken wings served with cauliflower rice and/or buttered zucchini noodles serves as an example. Adding dressings and sauces to these dishes can not only be used to add flavor, but also increase fat intake.

Typical Keto Snacks

Most of the time, snacks are not needed on the ketogenic diet, as the higher fat intake makes one feel satiated until the next meal. Common snack choices for the rare times one needs them include: a handful or two of nuts (especially macadamia nuts with their high omega-6 fats), an avocado with some olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt, hard boiled eggs, cured meats, cubed cheese, a spoonful of nut butter or some fat bombs.

Another common and recommended thing to have on hand, especially when first transitioning or when one has a busy schedule is MCT oil or supplements. These can help one kick carb cravings and remain in ketosis until the next meal.

Keto and Hydration

It is important to note that a typical ketogenic diet consists of lots of electrolytes and fluids to combat dehydration. That means drinking a large glass of water upon waking in the morning and before coffee or breakfast, adding salts to most food choices throughout the day, and consuming roughly 10-12 glasses of water minimum throughout the day.

So there you go, an example of a typical day on the ketogenic diet. Of course, these are just a guide to work with, and you will create your own version of the keto diet and lifestyle as you continue on your journey.

Dr Jerry Hizon