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10 Tips to Optimize Ketosis #5

My fifth tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is:
 
TRACK YOUR KETONES
 
Although this may sound like a given, you’d be surprised at how many people have never checked their ketone levels to determine if they are even in a state of nutritional ketosis in the first place. Knowing how to “hit your macros” is all well and good, but the most important part of the ketogenic equation is knowing whether or not your body is successfully creating ketones. If there aren’t any ketones, you're not burning fat.
 
Ketosis is a measurable state of metabolism; at any point in time you can test to see where you stand. Yet many people simply do not test. What we generally hear is, “I am in ketosis, but I’m not losing weight." The next question we pose is, “How do you know you are in ketosis?” It’s usually followed by, “Because I eat less than 20 grams of carbohydrates.” I wish it were always that...
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10 Tips to Optimize Ketosis #4

My fourth tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is:
 
WATCH FOR HIDDEN CARBS
 
Most of you probably feel like you have the low-carb part of keto down to a fine art. You know not to eat more than 20 grams of carbohydrates in a day, and are actively reading nutrition labels. You scroll down to the part that says “carbohydrate” and can quickly see if it's low enough in carbs to fit the lifestyle, or maybe you see a zero by the carbohydrate count and think you're home free.
 
What many people fail to realize is that many items actually contain hidden carbs.
 
Hidden carbs?!?! What does that mean?
 
It means you can’t necessarily trust those labels.
 
Food manufacturers are sneaky. They are legally allowed to say that a product has zero carbs as long as it is less than one gram per serving. Heavy cream is a good example here. Most heavy creams are between 0.4 and 0.8 g carbohydrate per tablespoon, but because...
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10 Tips to Optimize Ketosis #7

My seventh tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is:
 
HIIT THE WEIGHTS
 
In order to maximize the benefits of nutritional ketosis, we must understand the part that exercise plays. This may require a little re-adjustment in our thinking. We’ve long been taught that exercise (combined with semi-starvation) is the beginning and end of weight loss, and so our reasons for doing it are often skewed.
 
Most people with any significant amount of weight to lose will find the “eat-less, move more” method to be severely lacking in its ability to produce a leaner body. Keto, on the other hand, is muscle-sparing and muscle-revealing, meaning that as you lose fat you also maintain and reveal the existing muscle underneath.
 
To maximize this benefit, it is necessary to understand why you should exercise, and what type will be most beneficial.
 
Let’s talk about the why.
 
The number one reason most people...
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10 Tips to Optimize Ketosis #8

My eighth tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is:
 
KEEP PROTEIN LEVELS MODERATE
 
This is a “biggie." Most people have the low-carb portion of Keto down to a fine art, it's the protein that tends to trip them up. If you have Insulin Resistance (IR), Fatty Liver Disease (FLD), or any significant degree of metabolic damage, your body simply may not be able to handle a lot of protein. Not only is moderating protein part of a true Ketogenic diet, it is key to establishing and maintaining nutritional ketosis. Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis and fat adaptation, or prevent you from ever getting into ketosis in the first place.
 
Protein is insulinogenic, meaning it stimulates insulin release, and excesses may be used by the liver to make glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. In those with normally functioning metabolisms, this may not be so problematic, as normally functioning metabolisms have mechanisms that may serve...
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10 Tips to Optimize Ketosis #9

My ninth tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is:

 
Incorporate Intermittent Fasting
 
What is Fasting? Essentially, it's not eating. When you're asleep, for example, you're fasting. That's why the first meal of the day is called breakfast! It's the meal whereby you literally break your overnight fast. Fasting has no standard duration. A fast can range from 12 hours to 12 days or more.*
 
What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)? Intermittent Fasting is a timed eating pattern; you cycle between times wherein you are not eating (fasting) for short periods- albeit longer than we typical fast on the Standard Western way of eating- followed by periods of where you are eating (feasting). Generally, this means that you consume all of your food for the day during a specific window of time, and choose not to eat food for a larger period once your eating window has closed. Please note, it is important that you eat very well during your feasting windows; at bare...
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10 Tips to Optimize Ketosis #10

My tenth tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is:

Get Some Sleep

Sleep is another important component in maintaining proper ketone levels, and therefore intertwines with my previous advice about managing your stress. Lack of sleep kickstarts a viscous hormonal cycle that can greatly impede ketosis.
 
When you don't get sufficient sleep, the body increases cortisol. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol has a direct influence on blood glucose levels and accumulation of belly fat. Elevated cortisol usually means higher blood sugar, followed by higher insulin and decreased ketone levels, all of which results in decreased fat burning. Research indicates that even one night of sleeplessness may lead to dramatic increases in cortisol. In one study, 33 men were evaluated in three groups over a 32-hour period; some slept for a regular eight hours, others slept half of that, and some got no sleep at all. Testing showed the subjects in the two sleep deprived groups had...
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