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Old 09-12-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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Nutritional Ketosis (NK) - High Fat, Med Protein, Low Carb - FAQ and Links!

Hi all,

Many folks have stumbled on a thread started by mom2zeke Kristn on Nutritional Ketosis. This thread attempts to compile the information learned in our various discussions into a single FAQ. If you have additional questions or want to join the NK challenge, please go to Kristn's thread. As people find the answers to these questions, please post them here!

Introduction to Nutritional Ketosis
What is Nutritional Ketosis?

Nutritional Ketosis (NK) is the process of using food choices to train your body to burn fat as a primary energy source. For people trying to lose weight, this can allow for a reduction in body fat without the starvation symptoms of most modern diets.

How is NK different from other low carb programs?
Most low carb diets attempt to put people into a state of NK. Over time, many of these diets encourage adding more carbs slowly back into the program. This can cause stalls or setbacks in individuals who are very sensitive to carbs. In addition, many of these diets focus on protein as a favored food source rather than dietary fat. Some individuals have found that too much protein will cause one to fall out of NK and begin storing fat again. On this board, we generally consider a NK diet one that is high fat, medium protein and low in carbs. In a NK diet, fat comes first.

Isn’t a diet high in fat supposed to be bad for us?
Low carb programs have demonstrated for years that a high fat diet can be very beneficial when carbs are limited. It can be very difficult for people to take the leap of faith and start eating high amounts of fat when they have been told their entire life it is bad for them. However recent studies suggest and countless evidence on this board indicates that higher fat diets reduce body weight and improve overall health. Most importantly, fat triggers a feeling of fullness in the brain, which reduces the likelihood of overeating and makes the diet easier to maintain than more common "willpower" diets which often restrict calories and fat.

Do doctors ever prescribe NK diets?
For years doctors have prescribed NK diets to treat epileptic seizures. It is not known why a high fat diet reduces seizures in these patients, however these patients are able to live happy, healthy productive lives while eating a diet that is almost exclusively fat. Additionally, many in sports medicine prescribe high fat diets to athletes, and many doctors treating diabetes prescribe low carb diets (which often begin with a NK phase) to treat that disease.

What is the difference between ketosis and ketoacidocis?
Ketoacidocis is complication of diabetes which is caused when the body does not have enough insulin to counteract the sugar being ingested into the body. This creates a toxic combination where sugar is being consumed but cannot be converted to energy or stored as fat. For diabetics, this can be life threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Ketosis is the process of burning fat for fuel but without the complications resulting from too little insulin.

Should I go on a NK diet if I’m diabetic or pre-diabetic?
Always talk to your doctor, preferably one who understands the substantial health benefits of low carb diets to diabetics. A NK diet will produce readings in diabetic testing tools which are similar to those of ketoacidocis. Therefore it is very important to someone with diabetes to know if the readings they are seeing indicative of NK or are a sign of much more serious ketoacidocis.

2. Eating for NK
What are common food types on NK?
Foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates are good foods for achieving a state of NK. Generally speaking, nearly any food in the low carb pyramid (which you can search for online) is a good place to start. In particular, high fat foods with a low to moderate amount of protein are good choices. This includes oils such as coconut oil and palm oil as well as dairy products like heavy cream, butter and sour cream. Higher fat cuts of meat are better choices for NK than lean meats. Fishes high in Omega3 fatty acids are also good choices.

How much protein/fat/carbs/calories should I eat on a NK diet?
Most of us on this board are already low carb, so the key to getting to NK is really about tweaking the protein and fat content of the diet. The range of suggested protein is between 0.6g to 1g per desired lb of lean body mass. IMPORTANT - many people seem to find that to break a weight loss stall the protein ratio needs to be on the lower end of that spectrum.

The calculation for protein intake is as follows:

Multiply your goal weight times your desired body fat percentage. This will give you your desired Lean Body Mass (LBM).

Multiply your LBM by 0.6. This will give you the low end of daily protein consumption. Your LBM in grams is the high end of your consumption.

For example, if I desire to weigh 150 lbs with 18% body fat, my target LBM is 150 * (1-.18) = 123 lbs. This means I should consume between 73.8g of protein (123 * 0.6) and 123g of protein per day.

This post has additional information on the above topic: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lo...l#post15830358

A calculator created by one of the members of this board is located here: https://www.box.com/s/e244d6ebddaf5605d208

How do I track my intake?
Any online calorie or nutritional journal will do the trick.

Why is*Coconut Oil*so often recommended for NK?
Coconut oil is almost entirely saturated fat. It contains Medium Chain Triglicerides (MCTs) which are thought to jump start metabolism and help someone achieve NK. Many people who have plateaued on a low carb diet have been able to break the plateau by adding CO and similar fats into the diet.

Where do I find CO in my grocery store?
CO can be found where other oils are found in the store. It often comes in a jar form and has a solid white appearance as it is a tropical oil that has a melting point of around 80 degrees. In organic grocery stores, you will often find "virgin" CO as well as "refined" CO. Virgin CO is the purest form available and also has the strongest coconut taste. Refined CO has been more heavily processed by machines and has a more neutral taste.

What are the best ways to consume CO?
The most common is to use it as a source of oil in cooking, as a substitute for olive oil or other oils. It can be mixed in with a cup of coffee or hot tea as well. A few people eat the CO straight from the jar. Finally, there are recipes for "fat bombs" which are designed to provide high amounts of CO.

What are “fat bombs” and how do I make them?
Here are two recipes to try:

Do supplements help?
As with many low carb diets, people find that sodium and magnesium are good supplements to consider, especially while the body is adapting to a state of NK. These supplements can fight the symptoms of what is commonly referred to as the "Atkins flu" which is a brief period during which the body is learning to burn fat as a primary fuel source. In addition, fish oil or cod liver oil supplements are often recommended, particularly if you are not eating much fish in the diet.

Methods for measuring NK

Good – understand the symptoms of NK
A cost free option would be to track your protein/fat intake closely and look for symptoms of NK such as increased thirst and of course a decreasing waist line!

Better – ketosticks
Ketosticks detect the presence of certain types of keytones in the urine and are generally available at most pharmacy counters (you will have to ask for them and the cashier will likely have to ask the pharmacist for help finding them). Ketosticks are a lower cost option of detecting NK, however they only detect a certain type of keytone and the presence of this particular type of keytone seems to dissipate the longer one is in NK. Therfore most people do not find the keytosticks to be helpful long term. However if you are dabbling in the world of NK or are on a tighter budget, this may be an option to start with.

Best – keytone testing
This method is the most accurate AND the most expensive. It involves testing your blood using an at-home glucose/keytone meter. The meter can be obtained for low cost from a few different sources, however each test costs about $2. Therefore this is a much costlier approach and probably only necessary if you continue to stall after trying the above methods or want to make sure you have immediate results.

More information on the differences between ketosticks and keytone testing is available here:

What if I’m struggling to get into NK?
The best suggestion is to continue lowering protein until you are consistently at the 0.6 ratio described above.

Learning more about NK

What brand name diets are essentially NK diets?
The initial phases of many popular low carb diets are designed to spur NK. Atkins Induction is essentially a NK diet, however it does not impose significant protein restrictions.

What books focus on NK?

Drs. Volek & Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living and The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance are recommended reads. The TNT Diet also seems to follow this formula.

What bloggers are on NK?
Recommended is Dr. Peter Attia's The Eating Academy.
Jimmy Moore hosted a podcast with Dr. Phinney on this specific subject as part of his Ask the Low Carb Expert podcast. Look for the 8/18/12 episode.

What are other helpful links?
Kristn has compiled a helpful list of links here:
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
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I've been slowly reading through the 36+++ pages of the NK thread, and this summary is awesome. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
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I am following all the high fat/mod. protein threads lately, thanks for a such a good work!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:34 PM   #5
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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marking my spot & thanks Miker
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
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Thanks so much!!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #8
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Subscribing =)
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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sub and thanks !!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:18 PM   #11
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For me ketosis is low carb lol.. That's just me though...
being fat is hard, losing weight is hard.... choose your hard -DJFoodie
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:42 AM   #12
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:07 AM   #13
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #14
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Thank you so much for making a summary post like this!! It is super helpful!!
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:57 AM   #15
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Thanks for consolidating all of this Miker. The NK thread is huuuuuge. I've read it all, but it moves fast and it's just too much to have to sort through to find the pertinent info.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:27 PM   #16
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:08 PM   #17
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Someone needs to make this a sticky.
Re-start on 06 Dec 2014, from 224.6 lbs (after some seriously self-destructive, off-plan behavior)
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:07 PM   #18
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Thanks for posting this i have just started back on low carb and am doing hi fat. Maring my spot
Keep your carbs low, and Fats high.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:55 PM   #19
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Thanks for this thread and all the NK threads.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:59 PM   #20
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Thanks for this. I'm just in the trying to figure it all out phase. This was very helpful.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:55 AM   #21
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Thanks for such a great post with all the wonderful info on NK. I am among the many subbing, I had thought about trying it but didn't really understand it fully until I read your post.

Thanks so much for making it easy to understand!!!

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Old 11-24-2012, 08:08 AM   #22
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FYI, there's a new forum here at Low Carb Friends under Weight Loss Plans for Nutritional Ketosis: Nutritional Ketosis / High Fat, Low Carb - Low Carb Friends

It's a great place to learn more, ask questions, and talk with people who are trying to figure this NK thing out.
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Nutritional Ketosis Thread Information and Posts of Interest
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Maintaining 150-155 August 2012 to January 2107
New goal January 2017--140
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