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A DROP DEAD SIMPLE GUIDE
TO ADAPTING TO A KETONE LIFESTYLE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Intro to Keto......... 5
Phase 1 – On Ramp........ 7
Phase 2 – Detox........ 8
Phase 3 – Adapt....10
Phase 4 – Maintenance
INTRO TO KETONE-BASED METABOLISMS
Congratulations on taking initiative in optimizing yourself. By opting to start a ketone-based diet you are taking the first step in the path towards a healthier, fitter, high-performing version of yourself!
A ketogenic diet is simple on paper; Here’s the one-sentence version: A higher fat diet, ultra-low in starchy carbohydrates, high in vegetables, and moderate in protein. Variations from here do exist, though it is that simple. However, there are also some key things to know before jumping in. While a ketogenic diet is not a one size fits all solution, there are numerous reasons why someone would want to start a keto diet. Some version of this nutrition strategy is currently being used to support the following goals and benefits:
FAT LOSS I INCREASED ENERGY I COGNITIVE FUNCTION I FITNESS & ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE I ENDURANCE I ANTI-ANXIETY
I LEAN MUSCLE GAIN I HORMONE OPTIMIZATION I ANTI-AGING I NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTION
I DISEASE PREVENTION & TREATMENT I REDUCED CRAVINGS I ANTI-INFLAMMATION I PRODUCTIVITY
I DETOX MORE!
If any of these benefits are on your radar (duh), then attempting some variation of a ketone-promoting lifestyle could be a good idea. However, it’s important to remember what you’re getting yourself into. As simple as a keto diet sounds, it has multiple variations and many people wind up misapplying a keto diet or underestimating the nuances, especially the adaptation phase of the diet. The reality is that you don’t have to be on a strict keto diet to have the benefits of a ketone-based metabolism. This guide is a need-to-know prep tool on how to adapt to a ketone-based lifestyle!
Ketone Adaptation: On-Ramp to Your Metabolic Advantage
In order to succeed in the short or long-term, there’s an on-ramp phase into ketosis. Unlike other diets, ketosis requires a barrier for entry. Why is that? Because with a ketone-based metabolism, you actually are looking to evolve your metabolism into a new state-think of it like a metabolic rewiring. ‘Keto’ comes from nutritional ketosis, the name for this state. Reaching this state involves a biological adaptation-a brief phase in which your body ‘shifts’ and acclimates to the presence of ketones and their interactions in your body.
What occurs during this metabolic metamorphosis?
Your system is going to be shifting from being glucose/glycogen dependent (running off of carbohydrates predominantly) into being fat-adapted (running off of fat for energy predominantly), with the ultimate goal being metabolically flexible (the ability to optimally run off of multiple fuel sources, depending on the circumstances). This is the ideal state of the body for health and fitness optimization.
What to Expect When Starting a Ketone-Based Diet.
For most of you, here are some dependable things you can expect in the start-up phase. Keep in mind, every person’s physiology is different so nutritional ketosis will respond in accordance to your own bio-individuality.
PHASE 1 – ON RAMP
Unless you’re already reasonably deep into being fat-adapted and are thus partially into nutritional ketosis, you’re going to be undergoing a biological transition. Your body is going to be transitioning between using glucose for its primary fuel source to using fat and ketones. In order for this shift to occur, we need to signal our body to convert its fuel profile from predominantly glucose to more fat and ketones.
To start this biosignal and thus really nail the adaptation phase, you need to start and maintain a daily food intake that generally consists of the proper ratio of macronutrients-fat (60-70%), protein (20-30%) and carbs (5-10%). This will initiate the switch of your fuel profile. There are variations and different end-points or maintenance phases, but this is the set-up for a successful adaptation.
PHASE 2 – DETOX
Detox (sometimes referred to as the keto flu) can mean a few things in the scientific community in this case, detoxification occurs on the cellular level. By greatly reducing potential health issues from excess glucose processing and enabling cells to process ketones, this cellular detoxification process can occur. Detox is a part of the adaptation phase and is ultimately positive.
There are two sides to this-for many, detox will involve a shade of discomfort or struggle, which precedes many of the benefits. In the beginning, this phase may have more shades of difficulty, but with a little time and adherence to the diet, these feelings will fade into the background as the positives reveal themselves.
The following are some symptoms of detox:
LOW ENERGY I POOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE I ‘FLAT’ APPEARANCE OF MUSCLES I SWEET CRAVINGS I TROUBLE FOCUSING I WATER FLUSHING I DIGESTIVE IRREGULARITY I SLEEP ISSUES
I MOOD SWINGS I DIZZINESS I NAUSEA
While the latter symptoms are more on the extreme side of things, this is ultimately the reality many may face for anywhere from a few days to a full month. Most commonly, the more extreme examples are done within days and intermediate symptoms start to fade into the background within days to weeks.
By somewhere between the first few days of initiating the adaptation phase to potentially the first month, you WILL LIKELY experience detox. Both duration and degree of detoxification will depend on your current physiology and health status. Exogenous ketones can dramatically ease your transition from your current state into this fat-adaptation (keto adaptation) phase by providing energy, appetite regulation, mental acuity, and more.
PHASE 3- ADAPT
Becoming truly keto-adapted occurs over time. For this to occur, you’re going to have to get plenty of reps in doing a ketogenic diet as your North Star. Though this process takes time, during the start-up phase of the first several weeks, you are effectively acquiring the metabolic machinery to effectively utilize ketones as your primary fuel source.
By building this key metabolic pathway, your body now has the ability to efficiently shift into nutritional ketosis. This adaptation means an easier fat oxidation process. Your metabolism is now in a more evolved state, able to break down fats-both dietary and your stored fat-into ketones. This adaptation nets you the myriad of benefits associated with ketosis and overall metabolic flexibility-the ability to readily use the multiple metabolic pathways for optimal health and performance. Congratulations, the hardest part is done!
PHASE 4 – MAINTENANCE
Okay, so you’re fully into ketosis, but now what? Where do you go from here? The next phase of your ketogenic diet is going to depend on what you want or need out of ketosis. Your goal is essentially the determinant for your next move.
First, it’s important to kick the tires on where you’re at now and check in on yourself. How are you qualitatively feeling? If any symptoms outlined are still persisting, it’s a good idea to stay the course for the time being.
Even if you’re feeling great and measurably keto-adapted, if you’re only a couple of weeks into ketosis, you’re probably going to want to stay as close as you’re comfortable doing to a true ketogenic diet before branching off. This is because the longer you’re keto-adapted, the easier it’s going to be to get back into ketosis in the future after any potential keto ‘breaks’ with high concentrations of carbs. Exogenous ketones can help provide a means to reap the benefits of ketones without being as strict with your diet and also help ease re-entry into nutritional ketosis (diet-induced spectrums of ketosis). You don’t want to redo all the pains of initial keto-adaptation, right? Didn’t think so. If you’re closer to a month or more into ketosis, qualitatively are feeling great, quantitatively are keto-adapted, then
you may consider introducing regular boluses of carbs to fuel your activity levels or perhaps giving yourself a bit more of a license for some carbohydrate refeeds on the weekend. Use this guide as a blueprint and consider exogenous ketone supplementation to help you have your carbs and eat them too.