Almond Sesame Low Carb Buns

Have you given up bread in order to stick to your low carb diet?  You don’t have to with recipes like this.  I have been making low carb almond buns for months now and not only are they only 2 NET carbs per bun, they are also gluten free and high in fiber so they will fill you up.  They literally take only 10 minutes to make so take some time this weekend and do a few batches and then freeze them individually so you have them handy at all times.  Summer is coming up (not soon enough) and we will be BBQing again and who doesn’t love a big fat juicy burger on a bun?  You can even make them into sausage or hot dog buns depending on how you shape them.  Be creative and add garlic or olives to your recipe.  Add cheese on top…whatever you want!  This recipe is a little different from mine.  I got it from the Diet Doctor web site and it is my weekend project as I just ran out of my other buns.  Personally I like to have toast with my eggs or a sandwich for lunch so I need to make some more.  My family loves my bread so much I have made it for them as well!  Give it a try…you won’t be disappointed!

2 NET CARB KETO ALMOND BUNS

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups almond flour
  • 5 Tbls Psyllium powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and add it, the vinegar and egg whites to the bowl, while beating with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds. Don’t over mix the dough, the consistency should resemble Play-Doh.
  3. Moisten hands and form dough into 4 or 8 pieces of bread. You can also make hot dog or hamburger buns. Place on parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.
  4. Bake for 50–60 minutes, depending on the size of your bread. They’re done when you hear a hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the bun.
  5. Serve with butter and toppings of your choice. Store the bread in the fridge or freezer.

Was Your New Year’s Resolution To Lose Weight? Review Your Low Carb Rules!

Ok so we are 18 days into the New Year.  How many of you made a New Years Resolution to lose weight?  What are you doing to lose the weight?  Are you still following it or have you fallen off of it already?  Anyone who has tried to lose weight will say how difficult it is because it is so hard to give up your favorite foods.  I will say again and again and again…STOP DIETING!!!  Change your lifestyle and don’t be too lazy to prepare your meals.  I mean, how bad do you want to lose weight? Not everything comes so easy but if you are determined to lose weight AND gain health, follow the rules of my low carb program.  Know that you can have bread and buns but you have to bake your own so they are low carb, high fiber AND wheat and gluten free.  Most of my recipes use almond or coconut flour and are so much better tasting than any other breads I have ever had.  I can go to a restaurant and order a hamburger (providing there are not fillers such as bread crumbs in it) and bring my own bun.  The first time I did this, I think my husband was embarrassed.  I seriously don’t care.  I just tell the waitress to bring my burger without a bun and say that I can’t eat wheat so I brought my own.  They honestly don’t care.  There is nothing that you can’t have if you make your own.  I never used to bake but now I am learning to make my own breads, pizzas, chocolate, sweets and whatever else I want.  I post many recipes on my blog but you just have to google low carb, gluten free recipes and boom…thousands of recipes are available.

So, for now I am going to re-post some of the more important things about following a low carb diet.  Please see below for the Rules of the Game on low carb diets.  It is important that you don’t cheat and slip in  more carbs than you’re allowed.  Once you are down to the weight you want to be you can start increasing your carbs but if you start gaining weight again, follow the rules and get back to where you should be.

NOTHING TASTES BETTER THAN THIN FEELS!

I think following any diet that consists of low carb, HIGH good fats and moderate protein is the healthiest thing you can do for your body. I promise if you follow what I am telling you, you will start to lose weight right away and your energy will increase and most importantly, you will lose all cravings for sugar/carbs. Please see the rules below. This program works by starving your body of sugar forcing it to burn fat for energy. The #1 fuel that your body can and does easily use is sugar. When you keep your sugars/carbs below 30 NET carbs, it has NO CHOICE but to burn its reserve energy which is fat! See below for checking how much fat you are burning.

#1 RULE to remember…EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING with the exception of meat and fat is a carbohydrate and all carbohydrates are sugar! This includes fruit, vegetables, grains…everything except meat and fat breaks down into sugar.

RULE #2: You are only allowed 30 NET carbs per day or less. What is a NET carb? Not all carbs are created equal and some behave differently than others. For example, fiber (which is a carbohydrate) and sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol etc) cannot be absorbed by the human body so they go through the system unabsorbed and more importantly, they do not have a glycemic response. This means they do not require insulin to be metabolized. So to determine your NET carbs, here is the math:
Total Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols = NET carbs. (Note: Atkins products uses glycerine in their bars and some other products which cannot be absorbed but he never lists the amount of glycerine so the math never works)
Example: Total carbs = 30 Fiber = 15 Sugar Alcohols 11. So 30-15-11= 4 NET carbs. The carbs left over after subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols (and glycerine) have a glycemic response and require insulin to be metabolized and these are what you are counting. Remember only 30 NET carbs per day. You will be surprised how many carbs are in an apple or a cup of broccoli. Here is the link for the Atkins carb counter site. Use it for reference all the time:
http://files.atkins.com/1501_CarbCounter_Online.pdf

RULE #3: No potatoes, NO pasta, NO rice, NO bread and NO fruit (for now). I have a deadly recipe for low carb, gluten free bread made with almond flour and psyllium husk but you cannot have this for at least 2-3 weeks until you break old eating habits.

RULE #4: You MUST increase your good fats. These include coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil and MCT oil. I use MCT oil for my salad dressings, coconut oil for EVERYTHING including cooking (it is very stable under high heat conditions) and take a shot of MCT oil mid-afternoon and/or prior to my meals.

RULE #5: You MUST check your ketones. This is non-negotiable! When you are burning fat (it usually takes 2-3 days to convert your body) a by-product of fat burning is ketones. This means that once you start burning fat for energy, ketones will be in your urine. Go to the drug store and ask for ketone stix. You can even get ketone/diastix which will show fat burning and blood sugar levels, should you have blood sugar issues. The ketone stix go from a beige color all the way up to deep purple. The darker the color, the more fat you’re burning! If you are not burning ketones, you are NOT burning fat, simple as that. This means that you are still eating too many carbs or more importantly not eating enough fat. There is no cheating on carbs on this program. Your body will happily use sugar way faster than fat for energy as it is the easiest. It’s actually exciting to pee on that damn stick to see the dark color knowing that I am burning fat! I have noticed that if I don’t eat enough fat, my ketones are just showing trace. Once I started taking more MCT oil (shots in the afternoon and as a salad dressing) my ketones went large! You will see the difference right away.

Glycemic index and glycemic load: It is important to note the glycemic index in your food choices. The low glycemic foods do not require as much insulin to metabolize. You can download lists of food and their glycemic index from Google.

So what are you eating?

Protein (eggs, cheese, meat, bacon, protein isolate shakes for snacks etc). The ONE bars ad Quest bars are low carb but I would stay away from them for the first few weeks to wean off of sugar taste. Also, they may take you out of ketosis but you will know by checking it.

Vegetables but not the root/starchy ones. Good choices are all lettuce(s), cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, celery etc. CHECK the Atkins carb counter for amount of carbs in these vegetables. We have been programmed to count calories but calories do not count on this diet. You MUST however count carbs (NET carbs).

I strongly suggest that you have a dozen boiled eggs in your fridge at all times, as well as cooked chicken and cut up vegetables and lettuce. Sometimes we get lazy cooking and so having stuff prepared makes it much easier. I also have a home-made soup in the fridge at all times. My soups have chicken and vegetables (the ones allowed above). Be careful not to eat too many vegetables though as they are carbs.

Copy and paste this link to get the Dr Atkins NET carb counter:  https://files.atkins.com/1501_CarbCounter_Online.pdf   Know and chart your total carbs for the day so you stick below 30 net carbs but remember that everyone’s level of total carbs are different so again, it is vital you check your ketones.  If you’re not burning ketones, you are eating too many carbs even if you are at 30 net carbs.  It still may be too much for you.

 

 

 

Have You Heard of Caralluma Fimbriata for Weight Loss?

Do you have a voracious appetite?  Do you find yourself munching and you’re not even hungry?  I just watched this video from a bariatric doctor who talked about Caralluma Fimbriata which is a natural cactus plant extract which comes from India, and it’s supposed to decrease appetite and support weight loss.  The plant has been eaten in India for centuries.   Although it has been around for centuries, it gained popularity as a diet pill in the last few years.

So what is its mechanism?  Caralluma apparently works by blocking a specific enzyme (called citrate lyase) , which is necessary for the formation of acetyl CoA, a basic ingredient of essential fatty acids that become stored in the body as fat.  Caralluma blocks the formation of an enzyme (called Malonyl CoA).  Caralluma manufacturers claim that blocking these enzymes necessary to form fat will prevent the body from storing fat. This, combined with a purported interference with the brain’s hunger signals will cause you to eat less, and your body will burn stored fat for fuel.

Other health benefits of this cactus include:

Anti-Inflammation: Disease is often caused by inflammation within our bodies. Caralluma fimbriata contains high levels of omega-9 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. It’s also been linked to healthier blood glucose levels, reduced cholesterol, and more regular blood pressure.

Reduce Fatigue: As mentioned above, Caralluma fimbriata can activate stored fat, turning it into lean muscle mass and burning the rest as energy. This makes you feel more energetic while also enhancing results at the gym.

Anti-Aging: Like many plants, Caralluma fimbriata contains high levels of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants target free radicals within the body, which reduces aging in the brain and the body. That means fewer wrinkles and better overall cognitive and physical health.

Having said all of this, the studies are still new.  This supplement has only been available for a few years and studies on it are on-going so ones that are released now are still preliminary.   You never know…this could turn out to be the most promising weight loss aid in the near future.  Keep your eyes out for more studies and weight loss results!

 

26 Weight Loss Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based

  1. Drink Water, Especially Before Meals: It is often claimed that drinking water can help with weight loss, and this is true.  Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories.  One study showed that drinking a half liter (17 oz) of water about a half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose 44% more weight
  2. Eat Eggs For Breakfast: Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of benefits, including helping you lose weight.  Studies show that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours, and lose more weight and more body fat.  If you can’t eat eggs for some reason, then that’s fine.   Any source of quality protein for breakfast should do the trick.
  3. Drink Coffee (Preferably Black): Coffee has been unfairly demonized. Quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants, and can have numerous health benefits.  Studies show that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 10-29%.  Just make sure NOT to add a bunch of sugar or other high-calorie ingredients to it. That will completely negate any benefit you get from the coffee.
  4. Drink Green Tea: Like coffee, green tea also has many benefits, one of them being weight loss.  Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine, but it is also loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins, which are also believed to work synergistically with the caffeine to enhance fat burning.  Although the evidence is mixed, there are many studies showing that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help you lose weight
  5. Cook With Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is very healthy. It is high in special fats called medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than other fats.  These fats have been shown to boost metabolism by 120 calories per day, and also reduce your appetite so that you eat up to 256 fewer calories per day.  Keep in mind that this is not about adding coconut oil on top of what you’re already eating, it is about replacing some of your current cooking fats with coconut oil.
  6. Take a Glucomannan Supplement: A fiber called glucomannan has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies.  This is a type of fiber that absorbs water and “sits” in your gut for a while, making you feel more full and helping you eat fewer calories.  Studies have shown that people who supplement with glucomannan lose a bit more weight than those who don’t.
  7. Cut Back on Added Sugar: Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet, and most people are eating  way too much of it.  Studies show that sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with the risk of obesity, as well as diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and others.  If you want to lose weight, you should be cutting back on added sugars. Just make sure to read labels, because even so-called health foods can be loaded with sugar.
  8. Eat Less Refined Carbs: Refined carbohydrates are usually sugar, or grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts (includes white bread and pasta).  Studies show that refined carbs can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. Eating refined carbs is strongly linked to obesity.  If you’re going to eat carbs, make sure to eat them with their natural fiber.
  9. Go on a Low Carb Diet: If you want to get all the benefits of carb restriction, then consider taking this all the way and going on a low carb diet.  Numerous studies  show that such a diet (or “way of eating”) can help you lose 2-3 times as much weight as a standard low-fat diet, while improving your health at the same time.
  10. Use Smaller Plates: Using smaller plates has been shown to help people automatically eat fewer calories in some studies. Weird trick, but it seems to work.
  11. Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories: Portion control (eating less) or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons.  There are also studies showing that keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat, or taking pictures of all your meals, can help you lose weight.  Anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be useful.
  12. Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry: Keeping healthy food close by can help prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become excessively hungry.  A few snacks that are easily portable and simple to prepare include whole fruits, a handful of nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and a hardboiled egg (or two).
  13. Brush Your Teeth After Dinner: Although I’m not aware of any studies on this, many people recommend brushing your teeth and/or flossing right after dinner. Then you won’t be as tempted to have a late-night snack.
  14. Eat Spicy Foods: Spicy foods like Cayenne pepper contain Capsaicin, a compound that can boost metabolism and reduce your appetite.
  15. Do Aerobic Exercise: Doing aerobic exercise (cardio) is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health.  It appears to be particularly effective to lose belly fat, the unhealthy fat that tends to build up around your organs and cause metabolic disease.
  16. Lift Weights: One of the worst side effects of dieting is that it tends to cause muscle loss and metabolic slowdown, often referred to as starvation mode.  The best way to prevent this from happening is to do some sort of resistance exercise, like lifting weights. Studies show that weight lifting can help keep your metabolism high, and prevent you from losing precious muscle mass.  Of course, it’s not just important to lose fat. You also want to make sure that what is beneath looks good. Doing some sort of resistance exercise is critical for that.
  17. Eat More Fiber: Fiber is often recommended for the purpose of weight loss. Although the evidence is mixed, some studies show that fiber (especially viscous fiber) can increase satiety and help you control your weight over the long term.
  18. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits: Vegetables and fruits have several properties that make them effective for weight loss.  They contain few calories, but a lot of fiber. They are also rich in water, which gives them a low energy density. They also take a while to chew, and are very filling.  Studies show that people who eat vegetables and fruits tend to weigh less. These foods are also super healthy and nutritious, so eating them is important for all sorts of reasons.
  19. Chew More Slowly: It can take a while for the brain to “register” that you’ve had enough to eat. Some studies show that chewing more slowly can help you eat fewer calories and increase the production of hormones linked to weight loss.
  20. Get Good Sleep: Sleep is highly underrated, but it may be just as important as eating healthy and exercising.  Studies show that poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity, being linked to an 89% increased risk of obesity in children, and 55% in adults.
  21. Beat Your Food Addiction: A recent 2014 study of 196,211 individuals found that 19.9% of people fulfil the criteria for food addiction.  If you suffer from overpowering cravings and can’t seem to get your eating under control no matter how hard you try, then you may be a food addict.  In this case, get help. Trying to lose weight without dealing with this problem first is next to impossible.
  22. Eat More Protein: Protein is the single most important nutrient when it comes to losing weight.  Eating a high protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, while helping you feel so satiated that you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.  One study also showed that protein at 25% of calories reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, while cutting the desire for late night snacking in half.  This is the single most important tip in the article.  Simply adding protein to your diet (without restricting anything) is one of the easiest, most effective and most delicious ways to lose weight.
  23. Supplement With Whey Protein: If you struggle to get enough protein in your diet, taking a supplement can help.  One study showed that replacing part of your calories with whey protein can cause weight loss of about 8 pounds, while increasing lean muscle mass.
  24. Don’t Drink Calories, Including Sugary Soda and Fruit Juices: Sugar is bad, but sugar in liquid   form is even worse. Studies show that liquid sugar calories may be the single most fattening aspect of the modern diet.  For example, one study showed that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, for each daily serving.  Keep in mind that this applies to fruit juice as well, which contains a similar amount of sugar as a soft drink like coke. Eat whole fruit, but use fruit juice with caution (or avoid it altogether).
  25. Eat Whole, Single Ingredient Foods (Real Food): If you want to be a leaner, healthier person, then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat whole, single ingredient foods.  These foods are naturally filling, and it’s very difficult to gain weight if the majority of your diet is based around them.  Keep in mind that real food doesn’t need a long list of ingredients, because real food IS the ingredient.
  26. Don’t “Diet”, Eat Healthy Instead: One of the biggest problems with “diets,” is that they almost never work in the long term.  If anything, people who “diet” tend to gain more weight over time, and studies show that dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain.  Instead of going on a diet, make it your goal to become a healthier, happier and fitter person. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it.  Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect.

Information taken from Health Line.com

What Exactly is Ketosis and is it Good or Bad For Me?

When you eat carbohydrates, they break down into glucose which is the main source of fuel for your bodies.  If however you eat very few carbs and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can be converted to blood sugar), your body will look for alternate ways to get energy from and it starts to produce ketones.  Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel in the body, including the brain. This is important because the brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day.  It’s a common misconception that the brain needs carbs. The truth is that the brain happily burns carbs when you eat them. But if you don’t eat too many carbs, the brain is happy to burn ketones instead.  Your body cannot run on fat alone, it can only run on glucose…or ketones.

On a ketogenic diet your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat.  Insulin levels become very low and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off.  This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, and studies show that ketogenic diets lead to more weight loss.  Being in ketosis also reduces hunger and cravings so you lose weight effortlessly and even reverse type 2 diabetes.  Also, by giving your body and brain an almost unlimited supply of energy, you can increase your physical and mental endurance.

Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous.  However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different.  While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state.  In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to be very safe for long periods of time.

So how do you get your body into ketosis?  Cut the carbs!  Remember that everything, with the exception of meat and fat, is a carb which breaks down into glucose.  So how many carbs per day can you eat and still get into ketosis?  Approximately 20-50 NET carbs.  NET carbs are not the same as TOTAL carbs.  For example, fiber is a carb but the human body doesn’t absorb and it requires no insulin to metabolize and thus it has no glycemic response, so we subtract it from the total carb.  So if your bread has 30g total carbs but 5g of fiber, the net carb is only 25g.  You would be amazed at how many carbs you are eating if you are not counting or cutting them.  Other carbs that have no glycemic effect are sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol etc) which are used as a calorie free sugar substitute.

It is important to check your ketone levels by using Ketone sticks or “ketostix”.  You can get them in the drug stores.  You pee on the stick and it turns a color.  Basically the more ketones that are in the burning, the darker red-purple the stick will turn.  There is a chart on the bottle so you see if you are burning negative, small, medium or large.  If you are negative, you are not in ketosis and are not burning fat this way.  This is the best way to know if you are eating too many carbs or not eating enough good fats.  I find when I add MCT oil, I burn larger, faster.  You can put the MCT oil (which comes from coconut oil) in your shakes, drizzle it on steamed veggies or use it for your salad dressing with vinegar and spices.

So, get into ketosis…it’s good for you!

10 Bizarre Weight Loss Tips That Really Work

Reader’s Digest published an article for bizarre weight loss tips and believe it or not, I have heard of most of them and they do have some science behind them.  Here is the list they put out:

  1. Sniff a banana, apple or peppermint: The more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost—an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.
  2. Eat a bigger breakfast than dinner: According to the physicians of The Doctors, in a recent study one group of obese women consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. Another group ate the same foods but had 200 calories in the a.m. and 700 at night. After 13 months, the big-breakfast eaters shed 18 pounds, while the big-dinner eaters lost only about seven.
  3. Tie one on: “A number of French women wear a ribbon around their waist and underneath their clothes when they go out for dinner. It keeps them conscious of the tummy—particularly if the ribbon starts to feel tighter as the evening goes on!”
  4. Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table: One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.
  5. Take a picture of your food: Rather than writing down every morsel, take a picture of it; a visual account may help curb your intake. “Snapping photos and then looking back at them can make people stop and think before indulging.”
  6. If you must eat candy, stick with wrapped candy: People ate 30 percent less candy when they had to unwrap it first, a Swiss study found. Peeling off the wrapper requires effort, which can make you eat less.
  7. Light a vanilla scented candle after your meal: The aroma has been shown to dampen dessert cravings. One group of 160 volunteers actually lost an average of 4.5 pounds each by wearing vanilla-scented patches.
  8. Surround yourself with blue: There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: the color functions as an appetite suppressant. Researchers have found that people eat 33 percent less in a blue room; the bluish light that results evidently makes food look less appealing. So eat on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and use a blue tablecloth. Avoid red, yellow, and orange; studies find they encourage eating.
  9. Turn the lights up and the tunes down: Restaurants don’t just dim the lights to create a romantic atmosphere; they do it so you order more food. Low lighting lowers eating inhibitions. As for music, soft tunes playing in the background actually encourage more leisurely chewing and goes against hurry-up, stress-related, mindless eating patterns.
  10. Eat 3 fewer bites of your meal: One less treat a day, or one less glass of orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year.

More Info On Low Carb Diets From Dr. Mercola

I ran across this article from Dr. Mercola website while searching what doctors think of low carb diets and had to share it with you.  See below to see his opinion on a low carb diet and I will say that I totally respect his opinions!  Please know that this entire article below is taken from his website: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/31/high-fat-low-carb-diet-benefits.aspx

If you want to read more, click the link above…

“Your body can burn both carbs and fat, but your body will burn carbs first. As long as you’re eating carbs, your body will try to burn those first. They’re like the bully cutting in line. You may just think of them as kind of a throw-away nutrient too, because your body cannot store high levels of carb.

You have to try to oxidize them and burn them first. But if you’re carb intolerant, which is highly prevalent in this country, you can’t burn carbs, by definition, very well.

Your body then only has one alternative, and that’s to convert the carbs you eat into fat. That happens to a greater extent to folks who are insulin resistant or carb intolerant. That really sets the stage for a lot of metabolic problems. Again coming back to how do you train the body to burn more fat; it all starts with removing the availability of carbohydrate because, as long as it’s there, it’s going to take precedence, and will simultaneously inhibit burning of fat.

These are very sensitive and exquisite mechanisms in place for this to work. You eat just a single meal of carbs and your fat-burning shuts down right away.

This is why a low- nonfiber carb diet works so well to shift fuel use over to fat. You restrict the amount of glucose and starches that you’re consuming, and your body naturally shifts over to preferring fat for fuel. It does take some time to adapt to that. Your cells have to shift over their machinery to handle the increased levels of fat and lipid-based fuels. It takes a matter of weeks to get that adaptation.

But once it’s there, they’re fairly robust adaptations that don’t just go away. This is why there is an adaptation period to a low-carb diet. It can be disrupted though if you reintroduce carbs. But a lot of the adaptations do remain.”

Finding Your Ideal Carb Level

According to Volek, a level of non-fiber carbs that allows you to enter into nutritional ketosis (a metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; it’s the biological reflection of being able to burn fat) is on average about 50 grams per day or less of digestible or absorbable carbohydrates. However, we all vary how we respond to the same food, so this is not an exact recommendation.

Some people can be in a full fat-burning state with full ketosis at a level of non-fiber carbs that’s higher than 50 grams; maybe 70 or 80 grams. Others, especially if you’re insulin resistant or have type 2 diabetes, may require less than 40 grams or even 30 grams per day.

Again, it bears repeating that when we say carbohydrates, we’re referring to non-fiber carbs only. If you look at the nutrition facts on a processed food package, it will list total carbs, and that’s not what we’re talking about. Don’t get confused about this or you’ll get really nervous. You do need carbs, but you need most all of them from vegetables.

By volume, vegetables are not very calorie-dense. You could have an 85 percent fat diet, and the volume of the fat would be one-tenth the volume of the vegetables you’re eating.

To find your personal carb limit, it’s important to actually measure your ketones, which can be done either through urine, breath, or blood. This will give you an objective measure of whether or not you’re truly in ketosis, rather than just counting the grams of carbohydrates you consume.

“That even varies within a person over time,” Volek says. “You may be able to tolerate more carbs when you’re in your 20s, but suddenly now you’re in middle age and the same level of carbs is resulting in a few extra inches on your waist, your blood sugars are creeping up, you now have prediabetes, or worse.

The appropriate level of carb for an individual is bit of a moving target, but it is a very important element to personalizing a diet, which I think is fundamental to this idea of personalized nutrition. It’s finding the appropriate level of carb for you at any given point in your lifespan that allows you to maintain health.”

Research has shown that ketosis is a very safe and a therapeutic metabolic state to be in, especially if you’re diabetic or suffering from carb intolerance. But there are people who are naturally very insulin sensitive and carb tolerant that don’t need to be in ketosis to thrive. So there’s certainly room for flexibility, depending on your individual situation.”

Dr. Mercola