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October 05, 2017
The ketogenic diet is quickly losing its status as a “fad diet” and is becoming a new way of life for many people - and for good reasons. People who initially go on the ketogenic diet to lose weight are realizing that this diet not only helps them to slim down, but it can also improve energy levels, appetite control, mental clarity, and is sustainable long-term. Researchers are discovering that it seems to have very powerful therapeutic effects as well - from helping to treat those with epilepsy, migraines, diabetes and potentially even cancer, the ketogenic diet is one of the best diets to promote overall health.
When you go on a ketogenic diet your goal is to lower your carbohydrate intake to 20 - 50 grams per day and to use fat as the body's main fuel source instead of carbohydrates. When fats are broken down they are converted into ketones - and when carbohydrates are broken down, they are converted into glucose (sugar). Since our bodies are incredibly adaptive, we all have the ability to switch between using either glucose (sugar) or ketones for energy. This is known as being “metabolically flexible.” The main advantage of using ketones as the body’s main fuel source, however, is that their effect on blood sugar and insulin levels is minimal.
The biggest obstacle for people who follow a high-carbohydrate diet is their appetite. When someone eats a high-carbohydrate meal, these foods will be quickly broken down by the digestive system and converted into glucose (sugar). This glucose will then enter into the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. If we were then to go for a prolonged period of time without eating during the day, let's say 3-4 hours, our blood sugar levels would eventually start to dip and become very low. Low blood sugar levels often lead to feelings of extreme hunger, weakness, shakiness, fatigue, irritability, and intense food cravings. When our blood sugar levels are low, our will power often goes out the window and we end up eating whatever is quick and available. Combined with the fact that we are constantly surrounded by fast-food and pre-packaged junk food, and it’s no wonder that so many people are struggling to eat healthy!
Insulin is produced by our pancreas to help us manage our blood sugar levels. When we eat a meal that contains many refined carbohydrates or we consume a sugary drink, our blood sugar levels will spike and our pancreas will have to produce an abundance of insulin to help control it. Typically this isn’t a problem, but if your diet is one that is high in refined carbohydrates, this can have disastrous side effects. When our insulin levels are constantly spiking, our bodies will start to build a tolerance to its effects. This is known as being “insulin resistant”. Some of the early signs of insulin resistance include weight gain and fatigue, but the long-term effects can include obesity, type ll diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Insulin is also our body's main fat-storage hormone, meaning that if we are eating a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates and we are not very physically active, weight gain is inevitable. However, by switching from a carbohydrate-based diet to a fat-based diet, you can avoid a lot of these issues, because fat has a minimal effect on insulin.
The Benefits of Going Keto
There are many health benefits that people experience when going on a ketogenic diet. However, there are three major benefits that offer the most compelling reasons to switch.
Reduced appetite is the most noticeable benefit of going keto. Once your body starts to adapt to the ketogenic diet, you’ll notice that your overall daily appetite will start to take a backseat. Your cravings for food and feelings of extreme hunger if you skip a meal will become quite dull. One of the reasons for this is because you’re no longer riding the blood sugar rollercoaster, so you’ll no longer have to deal with the effects of low blood sugar. Another reason is that your body will naturally start to become more efficient at satisfying its hunger by burning body fat, giving you a secondary fuel source for when you’re not eating.
A ketogenic diet is without a doubt one of the best diets for weight loss. Since fat is so satiating, you will naturally start to eat less food throughout the day. Then, once your body slowly begins to switch from a primarily carbohydrate-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism, your ability to burn excess body fat will start to improve.
Since the ketogenic diet is more of a lifestyle than a temporary diet, the good results are more permanent than the results from traditional diets, where there is typically a beginning and an end date. What happens with most diets is that a person will adhere to specific dietary guidelines until they reach their ideal weight - then, once their goal is reached (or they give up), they will revert back to their old eating habits and all the weight they lost will quickly be added back. What makes the ketogenic diet different from other diets is that you don’t have to stop following its principles; In fact, you won’t want to stop following them because you’ll notice such a big difference in how you feel that reverting back to any other diet will seem illogical.
The Ketogenic Diet & Level Up Coffee
Transitioning into and maintaining any new diet can be tough. We often lack confidence in our meal planning abilities and it’s often very difficult to find convenient and healthy, pre-packaged food products that fit our dietary requirements. This is one of the main reasons why I started Level Up Superfoods. Here’s how Level Up Coffee can assist you on your ketogenic journey:
It’s Keto Friendly
Made from organic, whole-food ingredients and containing 3 net carbs, 2 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat per serving, Level Up Coffee fits perfectly into a ketogenic diet.
Since Level Up Superfood Coffee Mix is a pre-made mixture, all you have to do is add a scoop to your seal-proof travel mug or blender, pour in coffee, and shake or blend - no hassles or prep time and with minimal clean up!
Level Up Superfood Coffee Mix comes in a glass jar that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which means it can go anywhere you go! From school, to work, or even on a trip, if you have your Level Up Superfood Coffee Mix and a seal-proof container, you can make Level Up Coffee!
It’s Low in Calories
Other keto-friendly coffee drinks, such as butter coffee or bulletproof coffee, can contain over 400 calories per drink! Although I’m not a big proponent of counting calories, one of the main benefits of a ketogenic diet is that it can improve your appetite control, which will help you to eat less calories more comfortably. However, if you go overboard on the fat and end up eating an exorbitant amount of calories everyday, you may actually start to gain weight, which some people have experienced on a ketogenic diet. The good news is that Level Up Coffee only contains only 80 calories per serving, and it does an excellent job of satiating hunger. This means that you can enjoy multiple Level Up Coffees per day without having to worry about overeating!
It Helps with the “Keto Flu”
One common side effect of transitioning into a ketogenic diet is what is known as the “keto flu”. As your body starts adapting to a fat-based fuel source, you may experience flu-like symptoms. This is due in part to the body going through carbohydrate withdrawals. When this happens, you may experience cravings for carbohydrates and be tempted to reach for the nearest and most convenient carb-rich snack. This scenario makes having quick and convenient keto-friendly foods that much more valuable - by making yourself a Level Up Coffee or eating a couple spoonfuls straight from the jar (this is not uncommon), you give yourself a quick, nutritious and delicious solution for your carb cravings!
Another reason for keto flu is due to loss of water weight. High carbohydrate diets require the body to retain excess water weight. When you cut out carbohydrates, the body will immediately drop that excess water weight, which can contribute to dehydration and loss of electrolytes. This makes it important to stay hydrated and to make sure you’re consuming enough daily electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. It just so happens that raw cacao powder and coffee contain all four of these electrolytes, which makes Level Up Coffee the perfect drink to help you transition into a ketogenic diet.
Resources for Following the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is definitely something that I would recommend experimenting with. Here are some resources if you are interested in learning more about it:
Podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience #994 with Dom D'Agostino
The Keto Diet Reset Book by Mark Sisson
August 02, 2020
November 13, 2018
June 10, 2018
November 05, 2017