Coconut Oil – Shed Belly Fat

Coconut Oil – Shed Belly Fat

Thanks to coconut oil’s high concentration of metabolism-boosting fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides, it is the only oil you should be storing in your pantry if you’re looking to purge excess fat.

Rather than containing long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is made entirely of medium-chain replicas. The difference lies in how medium-chain fatty acids are metabolized. When these fats reach the digestive tract, they are not selected for storage and later used, but dispatched directly to the liver. Once there, they are used as energy immediately or turned into ketone bodies. Ketones are a much more efficient fuel source for the body than glucose. It does not put you on a sugar-spike spiral, so you won’t feel that mid-afternoon slump which only makes you want more muffins pronto.

This is why coconut oil is so highly recommended as part of the ketogenic diet.

Coconut oil and the ketogenic diet – a dietary match made in heaven?

Yes. The metabolic benefits thanks to those medium-chain fatty acids cannot be overstated. Unlike glucose, the body uses this as an immediate source of energy, which is why it’s so great just before a workout instead of carbs. You should, of course, cut your carb intake in general if you want to go into a state of serious fat-burning or ketosis.

Coconut oil has a neutral, almost insipid taste. But if you can’t stomach a spoonful of coconut oil straight from the jar before your workout or first thing in the morning on your weight loss mission, try coconut butter.

Coconut oil and medium-chain triglyceride oils (MTCs) – the difference

MTC oils have already extracted the best from coconut oil. These extracted MTCs are easily digestible saturated fats. Because of the bioavailability of these fats, they are available as energy immediately and often used as a quick, healthy energy source by athletes. Not only do they provide a longer-lasting source of energy, they also increase blood flow to the muscles so your endurance during a workout is enhanced.

Coconut oil comes with a booster pack of benefits

Besides helping you to move into ketosis, this wonder oil also boosts your immunity so you fight infections better, improves healthy cholesterol levels and lowers heart disease, soothes inflammation in the colon and elsewhere, and improves the condition of your thyroid and its functioning – and these are just some of its benefits!

Can everyone use coconut oil – is it safe?

If you are on the keto diet especially, you’d be following a low carb, high-fat diet and you may have to limit how much coconut oil you ingest – moderation is always key.

It all comes down to your existing cholesterol levels. Some individuals on the keto diet exhibit extremely high cholesterol levels, and if they are consuming healthy fats, this is probably down to genetics. Although there is not necessarily a definite correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease, it is best not to take the risk.

The benefits of incorporating coconut oil as part of your keto or any diet for that matter cannot be overstated – this simple dietary swap can be the single difference you make to turn your metabolism from sluggish to a fat-melting furnace.

The Difference Between Ketosis And Ketoacidosis

The Difference Between Ketosis And Ketoacidosis

Although they sound the same, ketosis and ketoacidosis mean two very different things. They share a common root word which is ketones. That is because both processes result from the production of ketone bodies because of the chemical reactions that are driving the body’s metabolism. Despite their common root, ketosis and ketoacidosis have strikingly different qualities.

Differences in their starting point

Ketosis begins when the body is starved of carbohydrates. This could either be because the person is fasting or because they are following a low-carbohydrate diet. When there is not enough glucose available from carbohydrates, the body switches to using fat as a source of energy. While breaking down carbohydrates for energy produces lactic acid, breaking down fats produces ketones.

In the case of ketoacidosis, the trigger is a lack of insulin which causes a reduced glucose uptake. This occurs quite commonly in diabetic patients. The same process unfolds, where the body breaks down fat and produces ketones, but the combination of the acidic ketones and the sugar causes what is called diabetic ketoacidosis. There are other causes for ketoacidosis such as a heart attack, alcohol misuse, cocaine use or sepsis.

Differences in their signs and symptoms

The only real way to tell if a person is in ketosis is if they have an acetone smell about their breath or when they perspire. This is because acetone is a ketone and it is the form in which the body excretes ketones.

Ketoacidosis, on the other hand, displays a variety of medically detectable symptoms. These include:

  • Feeling thirsty/dehydration
  • A frequent urge to urinate
  • Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath tiredness and feelings of confusion

Conducting a urine dipstick test can also give a good indication of whether a person is beginning ketosis or is suffering from ketoacidosis. A urine dipstick test for the presence of ketones can give the person an indication of the concentration of ketones in the urine. A person is considered to be in the initial stages of ketosis when their ketone levels are greater than 0.6 mmol/L. Between 0.6 and 3 mmol/L is considered to be nutritional ketosis and anything greater than 5 mmol/L is considered to be at risk for ketoacidosis. There are also blood tests that can be done but these are not conducted at home.

The prevalence of ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis is a leading cause of death in young diabetic people. Between 2% and 5% of people die from ketoacidosis. The age distribution for people who suffer from ketoacidosis is as follows:

  • Younger than 30 years old: 36 percent
  • Between 30 and 50 years old: 27 percent
  • Between 51 and 70 years old: 23 percent
  • Older than 70 years: 14 percent

Treatment for ketoacidosis

Ketosis can easily be reversed by eating carbohydrates again. Ketoacidosis, on the other hand, requires some medical interventions. These include replacing fluids orally or through a drip, replacing electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride, administering intravenous insulin and eliminating other problems such as a heart attack or sepsis.

In both cases of ketosis and ketoacidosis, it is a good idea to keep a decent record of the foods you eat each day. That can help you to maintain ketosis and to avoid ketoacidosis.

Ketosis, Diet and Exercise

Ketosis, Diet and Exercise

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis refers to a condition whereby your body burns fat for energy. This is done by reducing sugar levels in the body through the elimination of carbohydrates in the diet while increasing the consumption of fatty foods. This process leads to a build-up of body acids called ketones. It is not an easy process. Therefore, once you achieve ketosis, you should work to maintain it.

Health benefits of Ketosis

The ketogenic diet which puts the body in a state of ketosis was originally developed to help reduce the number of seizures suffered by epilepsy patients. Research claims that the number of seizures that the epilepsy patients suffered during trials was half of what they experienced when they were not following the diet. Some even stopped experiencing seizures. This diet is also helpful in reducing the risks of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, and in promoting weight loss.

How to Reach Ketosis


Ketosis can be achieved through a low-carb diet. When you consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates in a day, the blood sugar in your body is depleted. When this happens, your body starts breaking down protein and fat to use for energy. At this stage, you have reached ketosis.


Ketosis can also be reached through exercise. Exercise uses a lot of energy which is obtained from different sources, such as amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates. Once the sugar is depleted through exercise, the next source of energy that is used is muscle glycogen, depending on the extent of the exercise. This, of course, does not refer to just any exercise. An intense training such as speed cycling or heavy resistance training relies mostly on the muscle glycogen. Therefore, these kinds of exercises may help you reach ketosis faster. When your glycogen levels drop low enough, you reach ketosis. After reaching ketosis, workouts will help you stay in the ketogenic stage.

After intense exercise, you can consume a small amount of simple sugars and your ketogenic state will not be affected. This is because your insulin will help move the sugar directly into your muscles without affecting the ketogenic state.

In a small research study, nine women exercised either before or after their meals. It was found that their blood ketone levels were between 137-314% higher when they exercised before a meal than when they exercised after a meal.

Measure Your Ketone Levels and Adjust Your Diet and Exercise

As you would weigh yourself on a scale when trying to achieve your weight loss goal, measuring your ketone levels while trying to get to a ketosis state or maintain it could be useful.

Types of Ketones

  • Acetone – This is measured by using a Ketonix meter. It measures the acetone in your breath.
  • Beta-hydroxybutyrate – This is measured by using a blood ketone meter, which works the same way as a glucose meter. It measures the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate in your blood.
  • Acetoacetate – This is measured in the urine. Ketone urine strips are dipped into urine. The darker the color, the higher the ketone levels in the blood.

Take Away

Remember that even though exercise can increase the production of ketones, it will not adapt overnight to using ketones as the main energy fuel. Ketosis can be beneficial for a number of individuals, however, people with type 1 diabetes need to be careful. Very high levels of ketones could lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous state caused by insufficient insulin in the blood.

The Best Protein Shake On A Ketogenic Diet

The Best Protein Shake On A Ketogenic Diet

What are the key elements of a ketogenic diet?

The key element of this type of diet is that hardly any carbohydrates (in fact less than 15 grams) are consumed. Some protein and a great deal of fat are ingested. Ingesting a large amount of fats places the body into a ketogenic state in which the body burns fat for energy, there being too little carbohydrate fuel. The result is weight loss.

The protein factor

Although this diet allows a moderate amount of protein, it is vital not to exceed the intake of protein, because the liver will convert the protein to glucose and use it for energy. Weight loss will not occur as rapidly then. However, it is also important to ensure that there is enough protein in the diet to prevent the body from burning muscle as source of protein. As a rule, 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight is sufficient as a daily intake. For active individuals, 0.9 grams will suffice, too much not being a good thing. Selecting a protein shake that does not exceed the amount of protein is therefore important, especially if several shakes are consumed daily. In addition, if you consume too much protein you may develop kidney damage, taking in too much nitrogen in the amino acids that make up the protein. If you wish to bulk up but not gain belly fat, you should ensure that the shake does not have too many calories which gives no extra benefits. Rather opt for a higher quality protein – isolate protein. This type of protein is more refined, having no unnecessary additives.

The carb factor

For this type of diet to be effective, carbohydrate intake should be less than 50 grams, certainly not more than 80 grams per day. If your carbohydrate intake is less than 30 grams per day the ketosis process will be more effective. Therefore, if a protein shake is used as a meal replacement, a shake should not have more than 10 grams of carbs, thus following a low carb diet.

The fat factor

As mentioned, this diet is based on a high-fat content (up to around 90% of fat). However, most protein shakes are not as high in fats as in protein. Therefore, you could use a low-fat protein shake and add in coconut oil, nuts, or other oils to increase the fat content. Recent research indicates that good fats can be more beneficial for your health. Excess carbohydrates lead to weight gain and raised blood-sugar levels, resulting in diabetes. Fats, however, have not been linked to cancer or weight gain.

The bottom line on the low-carb protein shake

There are various reasons for choosing to go on a ketogenic diet, from simple weight loss to health benefits of controlling epilepsy. Either way, before going on such a restricted diet, speak to your health-care provider and a dietician to ensure that you do not compromise your health. Professionals can guide you on obtaining the best ratio of carbohydrates to protein to fats.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

This type of diet involves ingesting large amounts of fats, a reasonable amount of protein, and very few carbohydrates (less than 50 grams of carbs). This process is categorized under banting. The term ketogenic itself refers to the state which the body enters as it uses up the fats and ketones (by-products of burning fat) as fuel. The result of this type of diet is weight loss. Appetite is suppressed as the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, are reduced and body fat is burnt. This diet has also been used to treat epilepsy patients as well as other neurological conditions. The ketogenic diet is very similar to the Atkins diet, as it follows the first few steps of the Atkins diet. However, unlike the Atkins diet, this diet does not work in phases. The Atkins diet allows carbs to be reintroduced after a certain length of time.

What are some of the possible side effects of the ketogenic diet?

During the first two weeks, side effects can include headaches, constipation, fatigue, and dizziness, as the body adjusts to the diet. These are all short-term side effects. Long-term side effects are also possible. These include kidney stones, increased risk of bone fractures, and increased risk of higher cholesterol levels. Some women may also experience an interruption to their menstrual cycle. It should also be noted that there is a lack of long-term research data on the effects of this diet on the human body, despite that this diet was first proposed in the 1920s. It is advisable, as with any diet plan, to speak to your doctor before embarking on such a diet.

What does a ketogenic diet meal plan look like?

  • Breakfast

Ideally, this would be up to four eggs with mushrooms, spinach, and onions, covered in olive oil and served with up to two ounces of cheddar cheese. This is a breakfast that contains less than 15 grams of carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables (not bread), some proteins, and a great deal of fat. Also, there is a difference between good and bad fats. Bad fats are saturated fats which are linked to increased LDL-cholesterol; however, unsaturated fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, are good fats. Consuming this type of fat is linked to an 11 to 19% lower risk of death.

  • Lunch

An easy lunch would be a salad with non-starchy veggies, such as arugula, and avocados, mixed with a protein source such as eggs, tuna, chicken or beef, and sources of fats in the form of bacon, cheese, nuts, with olive oil as a dressing.

  • Dinner

With this type of diet, it is recommended that at least four ounces of protein be consumed at night. This can be any meat or eggs. Added to that, large quantities of non-starchy veggies (broccoli or green beans, for example) should provide you with not more than 15 grams of carbohydrates. In addition, eat at least two tablespoons of fat (used during the cooking of the meat, olive oil drizzled over the veggies, or butter on the vegetables). In-between snacks: As with the other meals, no snack should have more than 15 grams of carbs, but should contain some protein and large amounts of fats. Snow peas dipped in peanut butter, and some cheese will do.