Low Carb Dieting and Ketosis

If you begin a strict low carb diet, such as Atkins, then it is important to understand that the beginning of the diet will be the worst part. As most diets do, low carb diets start out more strict in the beginning and then ease up on restrictions over time. When the diet is low carb, this typically means that you will put your body into something called “ketosis” in the beginning. This does have certain side effects (aside from tremendous and quick weight loss). Read on to learn about ketosis when on a low carb diet, what it is, and how to prepare yourself to get through the first few hard days.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a condition that occurs when you limit your carb intake to a very small amount daily. When you are on a strict low carb diet, such as Atkins, the first five days to a week are the ones in which carbs are so limited that the liver doesn’t have enough stored glucose and the body begins to burn its own fat. During this short time on your strict low carb diet, you will lose more weight than with the beginning of most diets, and the majority of this weight will be actual fat lost. Once you get through this ketosis stage of your low carb diet, you will get to raise your daily carbohydrate intake allowance to a slightly higher number, which will help you continue to lose weight, but at a slower rate and without the side effects of ketosis.

The Side Effects of Ketosis on a Low-Carb Diet

As with anything different you do to your body, there are potential side effects of ketosis when on a strict low carb diet. Just a few that you may experience can include bad breath, gas, and dizziness or weakness. In addition, some people experience more mood swings (particularly being generally in a bad mood). There is also the possibility of ketosis becoming ketoacidosis, which can cause long-term kidney damage, but this typically occurs only in those with Type 1 Diabetes (just another reason to always consult a physician before starting a new diet). The body only needs to be in ketosis for the limited time as Atkins and other low carb diets suggest to achieve lasting results, and the lasting effects of a long-term ketosis diet are not fully known. If ketosis is limited, the side effects are only temporary and are not harmful. If you choose to maintain ketosis for a longer period of time, it is best to consult with your physician for possible side effects that might pertain to your particular situation.

Dealing with the Side Effects of Ketosis

One of the best ways to handle the side effects of ketosis when you are on a low carb diet is to know in advance what to expect. By knowing that gas can be a side effect, you can invest in the necessary medications in advance. Likewise, you can keep mouthwash and fresh breath spray on hand, as well as potentially warn family members that during this ketosis phase of your low carb diet, your mood might not be the best. Keep in mind that these side effects only occur for a short time while in ketosis, and the best side effect is that you will experience true lasting weight loss during this time on your low carb diet.

Thanks for reading our article! If you are ready to stock up low carb foods to get help get you through the ketosis stage of your low carb diet, visit Linda’s Diet Delites to find exactly what you need!

The Old Atkins Versus the New Atkins: A Guide To Low Carb Induction

low carbThe Atkins Diet Revolution has undergone a radical change over the post 40 years. Read about whether the “new Atkins” approach to induction is as effective as the original induction phase developed by the good Doctor himself back in the ’60s.

The Atkins Diet is immediately thought of as the original low carb diet that all other low carb diet variants are based on. And more recently, the Atkins company has been making a comeback, offering a wide range of low carb bars, low carb shakes, and now even low carb pasta to help people add some sweets and starches back into their low carb lifestyle without breaking their diet. But the fact is, the new Atkins Diet is quite different from Dr. Atkins’ original Diet Revolution — especially in the “induction” phase.

Years ago, when I first decided to investigate low carb diets, I picked up Atkins’ original Diet Revolution book in paperback. Not knowing that he had in fact published a new addition of his diet, I digested his book carefully, committing to memory the science, rationale, and philosophy behind Dr. Atkins’ proven methods for helping people lose weight without being hungry.

Recently, however, I happened across some of the new literature that Atkins’ brand and company has published about “The New Atkins” Diet. I was incredibly surprised to see how the diet has changed from Dr. Atkin’s original low carb diet plan from the late 1960s! The following article acts as a guide for low carb dieters to understand the difference between the new Atkins versus the old Atkins Diet Revolution in the induction phase.

The Atkins Induction Phase: What You Cannot Eat

Continue reading The Old Atkins Versus the New Atkins: A Guide To Low Carb Induction

Low Carb Versus Low Calorie Dieting – What You Need To Know

Find out the key differences between low calorie and low carb diet plans.

Turn on The Biggest Loser or any other diet-related reality TV show, and what you’re bound to see are a dozen or so morbidly obese contestants exercising like crazy and pining for the sweets, sugar, and carbs that got them to where they’re at with their weight. Watch for a few minutes and you’re bound to see some crisis over a contestant sneaking in some sweets to their otherwise low calorie diet.

Yes, this is typical of what many people experience themselves while undertaking their own low calorie diet — reality TV show or not. While the science proves that low carb diets are indeed among the safest and most viable, low calorie diets continue to dominate the mainstream thinking from doctors, nutritionalists, and even accredited health organizations such as the AMA and the Surgeon General.

Given the mainstream popularity of low calorie dieting, it’s important to know a few things about how low calorie diets compare and contrast.

The Big Similarity Between Low Calorie & Low Carb Diets: Fat Burning

Although both sides of the dieting divide will claim otherwise, low calorie and low carb dieting contribute to fat burning. The fact is, if a dieter restricts their caloric intake so that it is below what they require on a daily basis, their body will indeed tap into body fat to make up the caloric difference in order to keep the body running. So too does a low carb diet shift the body into bat burning mode through ketosis, as we have discussed in another blog article.

The difference is how and why both of these diets burn fat.

In the case of a low calorie diet, the body need only burn enough fat to meet the caloric requirements of the dieter. In this way, a calorie-restrictive diet works in the same way as starvation, putting the body on red alert and making sure to take only the bare minimum from fat stores to meet energy demands. Because of this, a low calorie diet can only be as effective as how few calories the dieter can go without in their daily intake of food.

Sure, to accelerate a low calorie diet, one can simply restrict even more calories from their diet. But there are unpleasant side-effects to this approach: namely, hunger and malnutrition. And hunger of course is the primary reason why most diets fail.

A low carb diet, on the other hand, does not mimic the body’s fail-safe starvation functions. Instead, by restricting carbohydrates, which in turn convert to sugar in the bloodstream, the body ceases to rely on the glucose from dietary carbs and instead begins to burn fat in its place. This is what is known as ketosis, and, unlike low calorie dieting, ketosis puts the body into an ongoing fat-burning process, so long as the dieter continues to restrict carbs. Fat is converted into amino acids, which power the body, and any excess is dispelled through sweat, skin, and breath.

The genius of the low carb diet is that restricting carbs does not cause hunger, since the dieter can eat as much fat and protein as they want. While it is tre that low carb dieters do feel cravings for sweets and simple carbohydrates, these are not the “hunger pangs” of a low calorie diet: instead, these are psychological cravings left over from years of “using” carbs and sweets as comfort foods. Most serious low carb dieters learn to control these cravings with great-tasting low carb foods.

A Scientific Fact: Calories Don’t Make You Fat!

We’ve written before that dietary fat does not make you fat, but the same is true with calories. Calories will not make you fat! The fact is, unused calories are not converted into body fat — they are expelled through the body. Instead, it is carbohydrates and sugar that are stored as body fat. This common misconception — which is propagated even by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Sugeon General — is the single reason why America continues to have an overweight problem: our health officials encourage the population eat more carbs and less protein, making them fatter!

In this way, no matter how many calories you eat on a low carb diet, you’re bound to lose weight — and not be hungry in the process.

Bear in mind, however, that low calorie diets do work. If your daily recommended intake of calories each day is 3,000 calories and you restrict down to 2,000, there is no doubt that your body will burn fat to make up the difference. But why suffer with the hunger of a low calorie diet when you can eat low carb lose the same if not more weight, and not be hungry?

Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that there are many great-tasting low carb food products on the market today that can make sticking to your low carb diet a breeze? Linda’s Diet Delites is a leading online supplier of low carb food products, offering a wide selection at affordable prices. Take a look!

Michael Nace is a low carb blogger for Linda’s Diet Delites. He is not a Doctor, and his article does not represent the view and opinions of Linda’s Diet Delites, nor are his articles meant to be construed as medical advice.

Ketosis, Low Carb Diets & Burning Fat Instead of Sugar

With the ever-fluctuating price of oil and gasoline, more and more we hear about alternative fuels for today’s automobiles: traditional combustion engines are being replaced with hybrids, flex-fuel, diesel, and electrical engines, all in an effort to conserve energy and lower fuel prices.

If you’re one of the millions of people who both love the idea of alternative energy and are looking to lose some weight, you’re in luck: a low carb diet is all about switching the kind of fuel your body burns for energy. And this alternative fuel for your body is something that you probably have plenty of — fat.

Overdosing on Carbohydrates and Sugar

Few people realize how the majority of food that we consume in a given day is actually nothing more than sugar. While refined sugar is omnipresent in many of the foods that we eat, most forms of carbohydrates are metabolized like sugar. In the end, the pasta, white bread, rice, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables all end up as glucose in our bloodstream. And because many of us eat considerably more carbohydrates than necessary, the excess sugar in our system is converted into fat.

In this way, body fat builds up as a result of sugar, not dietary fat, as we have explained in another article.

The fact is, most peoples’ metabolisms are not capable of handling anything over 40 net grams of carbohydrates a day. Sure, you might know one or two people who can seemingly eat whatever they’d like, but the fact is, most people consume 4 or 5 times the amount of carbs in a day that they should. And people who suffer with their weight are almost always major carb bingers.

Ketosis: Burning Fat Instead of Sugar

A low carb diet effectively switches the fuel that a dieter’s body uses, switching from glucose to fat. Everyone has a Critical Carbohydrate Level, or CCL, that maintains their ideal weight. As you may have read about low carb dieting, when people exceed their CCL on a regular basis, they gain weight. However, with a low carb diet, as people stay well under their CCL, they begin to shed pounds, because their body switches from burning sugar to burning fat.

This is known as ketosis.

Ketosis is basically a metabolic process of converting fat into energy. During ketosis, your body releases fatty acids into your bloodstream, which are then converted into ketones. These ketones become the fuel for powering your brain, muscles, and other organs. And whatever ketones are not used are expelled through urine and breath. Therefore, not only does your body burn fat for fuel, but also you’re literally urinating and breathing out fat as well!

But the only way to engage your ketone engine is to stop feeding your body carbs.

Until you begin to restrict the glucose in your bloodstream, your body will continue to run on carbs and sugar. That’s because your metabolism always takes the path of least resistance: carbohydrates make for easily-converted and stored energy. When there’s no sugar present, however, your body has to work hard to convert fat into fuel.

And that’s a good thing!

Low Carb Versus Low Calorie

Let’s be clear: the low carb diet is not the only diet that encourages your body to engage in fat burning. Reducing calorie intake will have the same effect: if you need 2000 or more calories a day to fuel your body and you restrict your caloric intake, your body will indeed tap into fat reserves to make up the difference.

But there’s a big difference between the metabolic state of a low calorie dieter and a low carb dieter.

While the low calorie dieter’s metabolism is simply making up the difference between calories needed and calories consumed, the low carb dieter experiences an entire shift in their metabolism while in ketosis. That means that, as long as ketosis in maintained, there is a constant burning of fat for energy. The low carb diet doesn’t merely supplement the body’s need for energy; it retools the entire process by which you fuel it.

So, while the vast majority of diets out there will tell you that eating less is the key to weight loss, science and experience shows that ketosis is by far the most direct means burning actual fat while continuing to eat the same amount of food that you’re used to day in and day out.

Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that there are many great-tasting low carb food products on the market today that can make sticking to your low carb diet a breeze? Linda’s Diet Delites is a leading online supplier of low carb food products, offering a wide selection at affordable prices. Take a look!

Michael Nace is a low carb blogger for Linda’s Diet Delites. He is not a Doctor, and his article does not represent the view and opinions of Linda’s Diet Delites, nor are his articles meant to be construed as medical advice.

What You Need To Know About Low Carb Dieting & Ketosis

Low carb diet detractors have maligned Dr. Atkins’ controversial diet for decades, citing the dangers of ketosis. Now, learn the truth of how humans maintained a ketogenic diet for millenia, and that a low carb diet is what the human metabolism is made for.

Ever since the dawn of the low carb diet in the 1960s, doctors, nurtritionists, and spokespeople for the sugar industry have maligned Dr. Atkin’s famous and controversial Diet Revolution, citing a wide range of different reasons why the diet is either ineffective or even dangerous. One of the most enduring claims is that ketosis, the metabolic state that results from reducing carb intake, is in fact dangerous and degenerative to the liver. Other claims conclude that humans need a large intake of carbohydrates to fuel exercise and other physical exertations, and in this way, a low carb diet underfuels the body.

However, top analysts — including the work of Dr. Atkins himself — have proven that neither of these claims are true.

Ketosis Versus Ketoacidosis

The cornerstone of the argument against the low carb diet is that the restriction of carbohydrates in one’s diet creates ketosis, a degenerative state found in people who suffer from Type I Diabetes. The thinking behind this is that low carb dieters are constantly putting themselves in a dangerous metabolic state and putting stress on their pancreas and liver as a result.

The truth of the matter, however, is that ketosis is not what people with Type I Diabetes suffer with. Diabetes patients experience what is called ketoacidosis, which is “a pathological metabolic state marked by extreme and uncontrolled ketosis” The operative words here are “extreme” and “uncontrolled;” just as a diabetic struggles to control their insulin, so too do they struggle to control their ketone levels as well. This is why many diabetics check their ketosis levels alongside their blood sugar levels.

It is important to understand that ketosis, or the process of ketogenesis that low carb diets induce, is not the same thing, because the condition is neither extreme nor uncontrolled; the dieter is always in complete control of their ketone levels, and can adjust them simply by reintroducing carbohydrates in their diet. It is for this reason that all reliable low carb diet plans do not keep dieters in a high level of ketosis for the duration of their diet. Rather, after an induction period, low carb dieters slowly reintroduce carbohydrates gram by gram, with the long-term diet plan being not a state of ketosis, but rather a non-ketogenic state that is just below a person’s Critical Carbohydrate Level (CCL).

From The Dawn of Low Carb to the Dawn of Man

There’s more to the legitimacy of the low carb diet than just biology. The field of biological anthropology also shows that, when you survey the history of humankind, the vast majority of our metabolic history has been dominated by ketogenesis, and that the rise of obesity, diabetes, and other maladies associated with blood sugar have resulted from a rise in sugars and carbohydrates.

Nutrition scientist Stephen D. Phinney states categorically is his 2004 abstract that our developmental period as hunter-gatherers most certainly featured a ketogenic metabolism, and that even current tribal societies function on ketogenic metabolisms without any health issues related to high ketone levels and a lack of carbohydrates. In this way, the “dawn of low carb” and “the dawn of man” are inextricably linked, and help to bring us back to our more primal metabolic state.

The Low Carb Conspiracy Theory

When you consider how the science and logic behind the low carb diet easily dispels the talking points against low carb living, it’s hard to imagine why such fear-driven campaigns have been levied against the likes of Dr. Atkins and all of the diets that are based on his original Diet Revolution. But if you dig deep enough, the answer to this question is simple:


Dr. Atkins was not merely peddling his own low carb diet books; he was also pro-actively engaged in revolutionizing the way that sugar is processed, marketed, and regulated. He believed that sugar and all of its food byproducts are in fact a public health hazard, and he even appeared before a Congressional panel in 1980 to testify on his findings and call for warning labels to be affixed to all high-sugar food products, much like the warning labels on cigarettes.

Since the sugar industry is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the U.S., the combination of the low carb diet’s effectiveness and Dr. Atkins’ calls for regulations on sugar has been and continues to be a major threat to the sugar industry. Simply put: if all the dieters in the world today went on a low carb diet, it would dramatically affect sugar-made products.

So, every time you hear the arguments against the low carb diet, remember the facts, and keep in mind that ketosis is as old as being human.

Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that there are many great-tasting low carb food products on the market today that can make sticking to your low carb diet a breeze? Linda’s Diet Delites is a leading online supplier of low carb food products, offering a wide selection at affordable prices. Take a look!

Michael Nace is a low carb blogger for Linda’s Diet Delites. He is not a Doctor, and his article does not represent the view and opinions of Linda’s Diet Delites, nor are his articles meant to be construed as medical advice.