Being Keto Active is just one part of a self reinforcing integrated lifestyle
This introductory series on ketosis has been about the underlying biochemistry of ketosis and the process of Keto Activation. Being Keto Active is just one part of a self reinforcing integrated lifestyle. The goal has been to explain how to achieve ketosis within our modern culture. This doesn’t imply just a set of rules for ketosis. Fasting, exercise and nutritional composition are, in an overall context, all about energy management. Associated lifestyle is based upon the principles of hormesis, catabolism and anabolism. This is a much larger context which will incorporate the ketosis effects.
The real benefits of ketosis start once the body is fully keto active
Of course the real benefits of ketosis start once the body is fully keto active. Here’s a list of some of the more significant, known and verified advantages of sustained ketosis, organised into the categories of Healing, Protection and Performance…
- 85% of epileptics are 100% cured
- Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome are reversed
- Diabetes type 2 is reversed in around 90% of cases
- Diabetes type 1 can be managed extremely well with less or no medication
- Diabetes type 3 (Alzheimer’s) can be managed and awareness returned
- Cancer protection (and treatment) is enhanced
- Inflammation and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) reduced – including free radicals
- Cholesterol and triglyceride profiles are improved
- Advanced Glycemic End Products (AGES) are greatly reduced for everyone
- Mitochondrial density is increased
- Mitochondrial “uncoupling” enabled (heat production – increase in brown fat)
- Mitochondrial efficiency increased
- Autophagy protects from microorganisms and disease
- Neurogenesis is enhanced
- Preserves muscle mass/protein when fasting
- Flexible metabolism
- Hypoglycemia is impossible, including “hitting the wall” for athletes
- Sport endurance is improved and dependence on constant feeding eliminated
- Sensitivity to the body – adrenaline drives glucose production for intense efforts naturally
- Epigenetic reprogramming and passing on to next generation (in conceiving)
- Becomes a lifestyle, self empowering, extends healthspan and lifespan
- Improved mental health and cognitive function
- Lowers food cravings
- Improves body mass composition
Each topic listed above could be the subject of an entire article (or book!). More will be added to this list as this page is constantly updated.
Keto Active Maintenance (Outline)
For the time being we just need to look at how to maintain and exploit constant ketosis and to integrate it into an overall lifestyle.
The lifestyle of the majority of people involves three to six high carb meals per day with regular snacking between meals. If they follow government “food pyramid” nutritional recommendations they may end up looking like a pyramid eventually.
Being Keto Active requires a measure of re-organising your life around a permanent state of ketosis – instead of a permanent state of glucose dependence. It’s not difficult to do. It doesn’t take over your life it just alters some priorities. Priorities become centered on genuine human values instead of deceptive commercial and industrial values. Any perceived struggle being in ketosis is due to having carbohydrate withdrawal issues, long term habits and having to row against the current of mainstream culture.
Often you hear how it is hard to maintain a “ketogenic diet”. Well, strict ketogenic nutrition on its own would definitely make ketosis hard to maintain but that’s why it’s part of a lifestyle and not a diet. There is so much more to it all.
There are three simple key aspects to being Keto Active and in order of significance they are:
- Ketogenic Nutrition
- Time Restricted Feeding (Intermittent Fasting)
Nutrition is a huge subject so I’m not going to break it down into detail right now. All we are aiming for at the moment is an outline.
We get most calories (55% to 70%) from quality fats, then moderate protein (15% to 35%) and low to very low carbs (5% to 15%). The ratios vary according to the individual and specific energy requirements.
Vegetable oils (which are really seed/grain oils) are NOT quality fats. We need animal fats, butter, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil – all organic. Do not worry about saturated fat – despite endless bad propaganda it is very definitely not damaging to health. On the contrary, polyunsaturated vegetable oils are the ones we need to be very careful with.
Time Restricted Feeding (Intermittent Fasting)
Time restricted feeding is important. This is a form of intermittent fasting where you have a window of time for eating during the day. It is very flexible and easy to maintain. When the body has a rest from digesting food it starts to focus on maintenance and cleaning itself up. For this to happen you need a break of around 15 hours minimum where you simply don’t consume any calories. Most people opt for 16 hours with an 8 hour window for eating two meals. Some opt for 20 or 22 hours with a 4 or 2 hour window and just eat one meal. Obviously it has to fit into your daily routine but the key is really to allow the body enough time away from eating and digesting to start consuming its own fat reserves. This allows reparative autophagy (cleaning up of tumours, damaged cells, invasive bacteria viruses and proteins). You may feel some hunger getting to the 16 hours mark but it’s not unpleasant. Due to being in ketosis you do not have an energy slump.
The video clip below is a short extract from an interview with Dr Jason Fung explaining why no amount of exercise or caloric restriction can avoid the damage and diabetes caused by sugar. “You can exercise all you want but you can’t exercise your liver!” This is precisely how Dr Tim Noakes the inventor of carbohydrate gel sports supplements ended up with diabetes despite running over 70 marathons and ultra marathons. The liver is however “exercised”, and cleaned up through fasting…
Exercise can be either resistance training or moderate aerobic work building up a good sweat.
Ideally exercise towards the end of fasting and complete the workout an hour before eating. Adjust the amount of protein in accordance with the demands of the exercise.
That’s it in a nutshell. Of course it’s hugely complex the deeper you dig down into the biochemistry and refine the entire process but the lifestyle aspects are entirely centred on those principles. The main goal of being Keto Active is to totally avoid the epidemics of chronic sickness and diseases of modern civilization – none of which are prevented or cured by medicine. Doing so will naturally maintain a higher quality of life, longer health span and perhaps increase longevity and sports performance.
General Discussion… KISS! (keep it simple stupid!)
Ketosis is starting to become well known despite very limited research. Considering how fundamental ketosis is the lack of medical research, physiological research and knowledge surrounding it is astounding. I can only assume that the reason for this is the absolute separation of the medical/pharmaceutical world from anything associated with nutrition. Doctors are not educated in nutrition! In the US it’s estimated that in 7 years of educational/vocational training student doctors will spend only 1 hour on the subject of nutrition.
This chasm only appears to be bridged when doctors/researchers such as Tim Noakes, Volek and Phinney etc are directly employed for research into sports performance (or for the military). There is increasing research going on now as more and more people realise we have been totally let down by the medical and pharmaceutical monopoly in conjunction with agribusiness and food production. Citizen scientists, even crowd funded, have started to take things into their own hands and honest, right minded doctors and researchers are no longer pretending to have exclusive rights to information. Obviously, the internet has enabled most of this change.
One issue probably linked to this knowledge vacuum is that notions and trends regarding ketosis are emerging based more on marketing than for genuinely good reasons – hence the expanding list of terms; Fat Adaptation, Flexible Metabolism, Cyclic Ketogenic Diet (CKD) , Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD), Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD), Paleo Keto, Carnivore Keto. Those examples have arisen mainly from the bodybuilding world and lifestyle marketing of the urban gym culture.
Being fully Keto Active is often defined as having a “flexible metabolism”. This implies that while efficiently metabolising ketones you can immediately switch to glucose and avoid high blood glucose levels and without being kicked out of ketosis. In comparison the carb dependent individual is said to be inflexible because in that state ketones simply can’t be properly metabolised. This quality then gets packaged into the Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) where exercise can permit a targeted increase in carbohydrate consumption while remaining in ketosis.
The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) is where this is taken further and for one or two days per week the food is high carb and ketosis is lost temporarily. This is mainly bodybuilders trying to maximise anabolic muscle growth. However, there is also another motivation for this “refeeding” of carbohydrates because often you are told not to stay in ketosis too long. There’s a suggestion that extended continuous ketosis potentially develops insulin resistance.
What “potentially” happens (I’ve not heard of this actually reported in any humans) is that if you stay a long time in ketosis you eventually can’t metabolise blood glucose efficiently and you get get high blood glucose if you eat a high carb meal. (Medically this would be called “glucose intolerance” or “Insulin resistance”). However! Insulin resistance from ketosis is “peripheral” meaning that it’s only in the muscles (not the organs). This is not a pathological issue such as the insulin resistance of diabetes which begins in the liver. Basically the muscles have gone from not being able to fully use ketones to now not being able to fully use dietary carbs. What it just means is that being fully Keto Active is perhaps not such a “flexible metabolism” but instead it is a fat burning and minimal carbohydrate metabolism – which sounds pretty much ideal.
We clearly shouldn’t be worried about being permanently ketogenic. Imagined problems are only concerning the systematic abuse of carbohydrates. Top researchers like Dr Phinney remain permanently in ketosis. Bodybuilders go in and out of ketosis to prioritise the building of muscles, even deliberately spiking insulin as high as they can get it. The list of benefits of both immediate and long term ketosis is long but there is no comparable list for glucose. Fructose (the other half of sugar) is 20X worse than glucose. Considering that the lab experiments of Volek and Phinney show normal glycogen and glucose activity in elite athletes with on average 20 months of ketosis it all looks like very solid ground to be on.
Listen to Dr Jason Fung explain his view on “insulin resistance” (metabolic syndrome and diabetes type 2) and how he considers that the medical industry has it entirely wrong. It took me until about half way through his talk before it really sunk in. The medical misunderstanding of what pathological “insulin resistance” actually is, is causing doctors to kill hundreds of millions of people with entirely inappropriate, expensive medications and cause untold disease and distress. Dr Fung’s cure is – guess what? Just stop eating carbs. Dr Fung is far from being alone with this view in his profession; but as he says, it’s hard to get someone with 11 years education and training and 25 years practice to admit even to themselves that they were wrong the whole time. Dr Tim Noakes is a wonderfully admirable exception to that rule!
If the medical industry can profit from this criminal level of stupidity over “insulin resistance” then I’m certainly not going to allow them to use exactly the same term to discourage ketosis!!!