Here we are, with another popular diet generating a huge amount of buzz, promising things like sustained weight loss, increased energy, decreased inflammation, and more. When a fad diet surfaces I always err on the side of caution, especially when it seems like a magic pill that can take all of your worries away. In my experience, and over all of the years of research I have conducted, a balanced diet with real foods and ingredients always triumphs over a fad diet for long term sustainable weight loss and decreased inflammation. Now I know that keto may benefit some, just like paleo benefits some people. I encourage you to fully do your research before jumping into a diet like ketosis. Ketosis may have serious consequences on your metabolism, weight, and mood. Frankly, keto may not be good for you.
What is Ketosis?
I am going to steer clear of giving you a long, technical definition of ketosis. I do however think it’s worth learning the biochemistry if you plan to experiment. In that case, I highly recommend Dr Peter Attia’s posts or Dr Chris Masterjohn’s.
In short, ketosis is a state the body enters when there is an excess of molecules called acetyl groups over oxaloacetate. This happens when there is a shortage of glucose supplied to the metabolic processes that create energy, like when you eat a very low carbohydrate diet. Yet interestingly enough the body will also produce ketones when medium-chain fatty acids enter the metabolic processes.
So then, when there is this excess of acetyl groups relative to oxaloacetate, the body produces something called ketone bodies. Ketone bodies come from fatty acids that the body has liberated from fat tissue, which can be used as an alternative fuel to carbohydrates. This is important because the body (and specifically the brain and heart) literally need carbohydrates or ketone bodies in order to function. When carbs are gone, basically, ketone bodies step in to do their work.
People typically achieve ketosis by fasting or by eating diets very low in carbohydrate (high fat, moderate protein). This calls for at least fewer than 50, and maybe more like 20, grams of carbohydrate a day. This depends on your age, body type, activity level and the like.
You can verify how deeply your body has gone into ketosis by peeing on a stick, which reveals the level of ketone bodies being circulated in and used by your body.
Who Keto May Be Good For:
Those with Epilepsy disorder.
Those that struggle with seizures have been studied and proven to benefit from the keto diet. This is the only disorder that has been studied and proven to help with symptoms. No other conclusive research has been conducted on keto’s effects for any other condition (studies are happening, they are just in infancy). So tread lightly with all of the articles that tell you WHY keto is good for you, because a lot of this research has not been studied clinically.
When Keto May Not Be Good For You:
- If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes: Keto can trigger a very dangerous condition in those that have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The body essentially starts to hoard ketones which can cause an acid overload, damaging the kidneys, liver and even brain. This condition can be fatal.
- You are looking to not regain weight back: The keto diet is generally known as not being easy to stick to long-term. It is in the same category as other fad diets; people will often use to loose a few pounds, and then quickly see the weight come back after stopping the diet. It is also known that most of the weight loss attributed to keto is from removal of access water, another common reason the weight resurfaces rapidly after stopping the diet.
- You are not willing to eat lean meats and fats: There is a lot of red meat, butter, and foods generally high in saturated fat and that are common for those to eat on the keto diet. That is part of the allure right? What other “diet” allows you to eat cheese, eggs and bacon all the time? (Note to self, you can not be on a diet and eat this way 🙂 ). A lot of people forget to add in lean meat and healthy fat, resulting in adverse health affects.
- You are trying to reproduce: Women of reproductive age who are attempting to conceive or are pregnant should probably not undergo low-carb ketosis, as carbohydrates play an important role in A) pregnancy, and B) assuring the hypothalamus that the body has been properly fed. In fact, insulin is actually an important satiation hormone. For women who want to conceive, it may be best to err on the side of caution and make sure you get bountiful carbs.
- If you have a sensitive reproductive system: If you have a history of low hormone levels, hypothalamic amenorrhea, dieting, or irregular menstrual cycles, the hormone changes involved in low carb ketosis as well as the uptick in stress hormone levels may hinder your reproductive hormone production.
- If you have thyroid Issues: People (mostly women) with sensitive thyroid systems may also be in jeopardy from low carb ketosis. Ketosis is well known to down regulate thyroid production. T3 (the form of thyroid hormone that is actually active in cells) decreases, and reverse T3, a molecule that blocks the activity of T3, increases. Ketosis advocates may bend over backwards trying to make this phenomenon seem hunky dory, but I would advise anyone with thyroid issues to step carefully around ketosis. If you have clinical hypothyroidism I would consider consulting a doctor first.
- If you are stressed out: People with adrenal issues or a lot of stress are not great candidates for this diet. Adrenal glands may become more active with low carb ketosis, which can exacerbate feelings of being wired, stress, and all the attending symptoms that come along with it.
- If you are having trouble sleeping: Low carb ketosis may up-regulate the production of stress hormones, which can have a negative impact on sleep.
- If you’re an athlete: If you are trying to gain muscle mass or improve performance as an athlete, keto is not a great option. The bodies preferred fuel source is glucose or glycogen, not fat. So when we force the body to run on fat, whether adipose or dietary, we are inhibiting athletic performance because it is a slower and more energy consuming process to burn fat.
- If you’re trying to maintain and moderate inflammation: Some of our cells lack mitochondria, meaning they are dependent on glucose from carbohydrates to survive. When in ketosis, we are basically starving these cells that can be found in our blood, retina, corneas, testis and renal medulla. These are not just aesthetic cells, we need our blood and eyes for instance, to be fully functioning.
- You are not willing to commit to gradual transitions: When you transition off of keto, it has to be a gradual transition or you can damage your metabolism and most likely gain back any weight you have lost. It is not the best idea to jump right back in to processed refined carbohydrates, it is better to slowly introduce carbohydrates. You can start by adding a few carbohydrates to one meal a day, and slowly work up towards incorporating them into your diet.
- If you struggle with restrictive eating: If you have a history of punishing yourself for falling off the wagon, feeling guilty about food, engaging in cycles of over- and under- eating, or confining yourself to strict dietary rules, I would not recommend ketosis. In order for someone to truly achieve wellness, then psychological health must be prioritized, perhaps above whatever ketosis-based goals you may have (and of course this varies by the individual. If you have brain cancer then please feel free to try ketosis regardless of how much you love your body).
- If you seek any of these things:
- Self love
- Body acceptance
- Overcoming an obsession with food
- Overcoming cravings
- Eating intuitively
- Eating guilt-free
- Keto is NOT diet freedom.
Then I would never recommend a set of diet rules – and again, especially one where you can’t eat for days or one where you have to pee on a stick — to help you.
Side Effects of Keto
I completely understand wanting to try a particular type of eating to see if it may have any benefits for your metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. I know that some of you are, or have, tried keto. One unfortunate side effect of keto, as with any diet where you are trying to manipulate your bodies biochemistry, is that there are going to be ways our body lets us know that change is occurring.
- Keto Flu: There are no solid facts to what is causing keto flu, but it is speculated that keto flu is caused by changing the metabolism and experiencing sugar withdrawal. There are also speculations that the body is purging toxins from fat storage during the transition into a fat burning state. While purging the toxins the body may experience the following:
- Cravings for carbs and sugar
- Loss of appetite
- Heartburn or other symptoms of indigestion
- Low motivation to exercise and poor recovery from workouts
- Brain fog
- Trouble sleeping
- Moodiness or irritability
This is a huge less for little promised returns. Ask yourself, is it truly worth it to hop on a new diet bandwagon, and experience this obnoxiously long list of side effects?
Still Not Sure?
Robb Wolff provides this super handy quiz that you can take to determine whether keto is a great option for you. I definitely recommend consulting with your primary care physician before making any transitions, even if the handy dandy quiz says keto may be for you. Check it out here: Quiz
I know my thoughts on the keto diet are controversial, but I am coming from a place of love and education, and hoping the best for you. I would never want you to embark on a diet journey that has negative long-term consequences for immediate returns. It does scare me that the long-term research is not available for the keto diet, meaning we really don’t know how it effects our metabolism and biochemistry, ultimately. I have heard that Arctic nations have actually developed a gene that blocks ketosis. Arctic indigenous people have a much different climate, diet and lifestyle than us, yes, but doesn’t it seem a little strange that a culture would develop a gene to block ketois, a state that so many people are trying to live in?
So I believe there are two generally allocated camps of people out there. Those that want to lose weight because they believe they should weigh and look a certain way, and those that need to lose weight for health related reasons.
The first camp is often fueled by society’s ideal body type, and the standards women have placed on their heads regarding what their bodies should look like. We have all heard stories of women that just want to lose that LAST FIVE POUNDS. I used to be one of them. But I would like to ask you, how important is that last five pounds really? Will it truly bring you happiness? Probably not. Will it make a difference in how your clothes fit? Most likely no. So why do we put ourselves through hell to lose five pounds which is already just an arbitrary number?
Healthy Weight Loss
Those in the second camp are looking for weight loss based on a health based need. This may have been a conversation you have had with your doctor or based on your physiological bodies language to you such as underlying illnesses, you may have been able to determine this was a proper course. To you, I absolutely recommend my program, Weight Loss Unlocked. In this program I detail the following:
- Healthy Weight Loss Goals
- The Metabolic System Basics
- How to Accelerate Weight Loss
- Developing Your Own Personalized Plan
- Quantity and Quality of Exercise Needed
- And so much more.
Get Weight Loss Unlocked here
If you have been dieting and are consistently not experiencing weight loss, the following items could be contributing.
1) You are not healing underlying issues
No matter how hard you try to lose weight, you might not be able to if you suffer from an underlying health condition.
Thyroid diseases like hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are super common problems for people trying to lose weight, especially women.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and leaky gut are all gut health problems. They might not seem like they are important for weight loss, but they are some of the most important. Without a healthy gut, you cannot absorb nutrients well, or have a healthy hormonal response to food.
Autoimmune diseases are also very important to tackle. The best guide for overcoming them, in my opinion, is Sarah Ballantyne’s, here on Amazon.
Figure out your underlying issues by taking stock of your body. What symptoms do you experience? When? For how long? How long have you had them? Take your answers to google and to the doctor. Get some tests done. Paleo is fantastic for healing, but a more targeted approach can help heal you all the faster.
Then, the faster you heal your underlying problems, the faster you can lose weight.
2) You are Under Eating
People are not wrong when they say that you need to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
This is one of the reasons paleo can be so great for weight loss: it spontaneously helps you eat less, by being more simple and satisfying than processed foods.
But there is such a thing as over-doing it.
If you undereat, and especially if you do so for an extended period of time, your thyroid gland will slow down. The body starts to burn body fat more slowly because it detects an energy decrease.
Depending on how restrictive you are, your body might even stop burning fat altogether, or will gain it. This is especially common for women. The female body is so much more sensitive to body fat levels (which you can read more about at my post here) than the male body is.
This is a weight loss plateau. The solution? Eat when you’re hungry! If you need more specific advice than that, do not eat below 1800 calories a day, and if physically active, then at least 21 or 2200.
3) You’re stressed out:
Stress, for a third, is also incredibly important. Many studies show that stress, like fitness level, is more important than body fat percentage in promoting health and longevity. For example, some studies show that implementing Healthy At Every Size practices, which means ignoring weight regulation in favor of intuitive eating and living, significantly decreases mortality in overweight adults, and promotes better lab results, health behaviors, and self-esteem than weight loss treatment. For those who are stressed out about losing weight this can be a never ending cycle, try not weighing yourself and paying more attention to how your body feels. You can read more about how the parasympathetic and sympathetic states of the body are influenced by stress and can influence your weight loss.
4) You’re not getting enough sleep:
In 1960, a survey of over 1 million people found a modal sleep duration of 8-9 hours. In 2002, polls conducted by the National Sleep Foundation indicated that the average duration of sleep for Americans had fallen to 6.9-7 hours. Recent data indicate that a higher percentage of adult Americans report sleeping 6 hours or less. In 2005, in the US, more than 30% of adult men and women between the ages of 30 and 64 years reported sleeping on average less than 6 hours each night. This decrease in sleep duration has occurred over the same time as the increase in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes. These studies have shown correlations with hormone leptin, sleep, and weight loss.
Leptin has a distinct diurnal and circadian rhythm. It has minimum values during daytime and a nocturnal rise with maximum values during early to mid sleep. The amplitude of the circadian variation averages approximately thirty per cent. Leptin levels rise during the night to suppress appetite while sleeping.
Moreover, with sleep deprivation, the reduction of leptin at night spells bad news for the rest of the day: it sets the individual up not just with lower leptin levels in general but also decreased glucose tolerance and an increased craving for carbohydrates. So not only are our bodies hungry, but they are craving foods that are less nutrient rich.
Putting away electronic devices or wearing blue blocking glasses before bed can help melatonin production which will help you fall asleep easier as well. You can learn more positive sleep hygiene tips here.
5) This is the weight you’re meant to be:
Just because your body might not burn through fat as efficiently as someone else’s doesn’t mean they are more healthy than you.
If there isn’t an underlying health condition associated with fat storage, it may be a simple matter of genetics, the quality of nutrition and a body type you had as a child growing up, or of having a history of dieting (which so many of us do), which leads to slower fat burning mechanisms in the long run.
It is also incredibly important to bear in mind that fat cells don’t go away once created. They can shrink, but they never go away. This makes it much easier for people who have been overweight in the past to keep weight or to regain it once they’ve lost it. This has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with the biochemistry of fat storage.
But by and large, you may just be at a satisfactory weight especially if you do not have an existing or underlying health conditions. I know it is scary to approach the thought that you just may not be destined to be a size zero, but that is OKAY. Body types vary, and that is what society doesn’t show us. It also doesn’t show us the extremes that it may take to maintain that size of body.
All I ask, is that you consider this on your weight loss journey: How important is this weight loss to the grander scheme of life and my purpose in life? Will losing weight allow you to achieve your goals and make shit happen? Is this something I am doing for my health or to live up to somebody else’s expectations of who I should be?
For those that are going working through restrictive eating patterns or negative body image, this post may be triggering.
I have definitely put off wearing a bikini, or a bathing suit for that matter, for YEARS, like probably half my life easily. Regardless of my weight or size, I always saw something different and unacceptable in the mirror.How many times have I looked back at photos of myself being extremely thin but also extremely unhealthy and unhappy at the same time, knowing my thoughts went something along the lines of:
“If I lose five more pounds I will be happier”
“Why can’t I work harder to maintain a fitter thinner shape?”
“I will never be strong or thin enough”
“I would give up blankity blank blank if only I could be my goal weight”
I look back on a lot of these mindsets and cannot help but face the overwhelming sadness and pain I was going through, and how I am incredibly happy and relieved to be at a place where I can respect and love my mind and body together.
And that includes wearing what I want, when I want it, especially if it makes me feel sexier and more confident in my own skin. This is because everyday is a new day to continue to implement this healthier mindset, or not. And in order to continue on this path of grace and self love, I have to work at it.
In this instance, working at it means wearing my bikini. If you have been in a similar pattern as me, please read through a few of these reasons (amongst many) why you should give society’s idea of a women a big ole adios and put on that bikini.
1) Because if you want to wear the bikini, you should wear the bikini:
Seriously let’s cut the crap. Why are we still caring what others think of what we are wearing?
2) Because its hot!
We already have to wear bras, why are we subjecting ourselves to more torture by wearing more clothes than necessary when it’s hot out!
3) Because the styles available are endless:
Check out Swimsuits For All for styles that look great on everybody.
4) Because you can embrace and love yourself in a bikini regardless of your weight:
This is possible, but it really starts with taking care of your mind body connection. With a more confident and accepting mind, you can learn to love your physical appearance too.
5) Because you may just love it :
What if…. just what if…. you put on that bikini and you feel damn good! Think of all the years you have been holding back, and just try it out. You may really love it.
6) Because you need Vitamin D:
We all need Vitamin D . If you’re going to be outside why not multitask and wear that bikini and get the Vitamin D you need at the same time! Just don’t forget the sunscreen, it doesn’t prevent the body from absorbing Vitamin D, just preventing sunburn!
Did I convince you? Would it help to know I wore a bathing suit while writing this for you? I am serious about eating my own dog food, loves!
If you are struggling with repairing your body image or are interested in losing weight in a HEALTHY sustainable manner, you can check out my program Weight Loss Unlocked here.
I also have a plethora of resources for increasing your body image. Check them out below.
My fave self love and self help books : http://paleoforwomen.com/resources/#selflovebooks
5 Things You Must Know About Self Love
My Favorite Self Love Resources
5 Habits Preventing You From Cultivating Self Love
Overcoming Self Sabotage
Self Love and Weight Loss: Enemies or Bedfellows?
Summer can bring up a lot of negative feelings towards our bodies. This is the prime time to be targeted by ad campaigns that shame us into feeling like we need a certain body type to wear certain summer clothes. Which we know is bulls^&*.
In light of this, I want to give you a little reminder to you that you should celebrate your body, no matter what it looks like, regardless of whatever anyone tries to shame you into feeling. Your body is your home, and with your mind body connection, you are a fearless, powerful women.
Can we please keep pushing momentum towards the women empowerment movement? A huge part of this is being respected and treated equally as others, but another important part of it is also to not let others dictate what we should think of ourselves or what we should and shouldn’t look like.
I am asking you to challenge yourself and your thoughts on this topic. Put on that dress, outfit, bikini whatever, and OWN IT. Don’t put it back in the closet and say “I will wear it someday”. Wear it today.
Let’s celebrate ourselves and our bodies and minds because we are kickass! Let’s stop denying that of ourselves, it is truly an empowering and inspiring feeling to be on your own side.
Here are a few ways to start:
Where a bikini or whatever swimsuit you want – If you want to wear the bikini, wear it! If you want to wear the one piece, wear it and wear it with confidence! It is hot out there woman, let yourself enjoy some sun in whatever you want to wear, just remember to put on sunscreen. Have y’all seen Ashley Graham’s swimsuit campaign? It gives me all the feels. Check it out here.
Hula Hoop in the Rain – Hula hooping is an awesome, full body low impact workout (insert link to last weeks blog) that is a ton of fun. There is something about the connection we form with our body while being able to keep a hoop in the air in unison with our bodies movements. Try in the rain for a spiritual-like experience, or just throw on your favorite music and hoop it up! They also make weighted hula hoops if you are looking to modify this into an even more intense workout.
Meditate in the Sunshine – Meditating is crucial. Elevate this experience by sitting in the sunshine, or on a bench in the middle of the woods. Focus on feeling your breath through your entire body to really engage the mind-body connection. This is a great way to increase your Vitamin D and gain peace of mind after a long workday.
Walk in the Sun – Movement + sunshine is a great way to take care of your body: Vitamin D! Bonus; a connection with nature! I find that sunshine strolls are a great time to practice gratitude, not only for the things in my life but for my bodies ability to move and carry me throughout these strolls.
Exercising – Exercising is basically giving our body positive fuel to maintain itself. By giving our body exercise, we are increasing our mental strength and are able to see in action our bodies capabilities which is so fulfilling. Don’t look at it as a punishment but as a reward for your body.
Have a Photoshoot – Boudoir shoots are becoming more mainstream since the explosion of the body positive movement. I seriously recommend this as a way to view your body in a new light. Photographers are talented people, and with their help and your body, you can be exposed and forced to look at your body in a different way. This can also help you become more confident in your poses and physical body.
Look in the Mirror – Check yourself out! I went so many years without looking in a mirror if I was passing by because I was scared to see something I didn’t like, and I didn’t feel confident catching my appearance off guard like that. Don’t be afraid to check yourself out, take a moment to reflect on the things (try identifying at least 3) about your body that you love versus what you don’t like.
Be Positive Towards Other Women – We are in a culture that makes us believe we can only feel good about ourselves by putting another person down. Don’t post that negative comment on someone’s instagram or gossip about another body. Give a compliment to a stranger and watch your own self-esteem rise. If we identify positive things about others it becomes easier to see them within ourselves.
Take a second and give yourself a hug and share a moment of gratitude for yourself. It is so hard knowing the things we as women say to ourselves that are just mean, cruel and astounding. Replace that negativity with love and watch how much more time and love you can give to other things in your life that are more important than your physical appearance.
Usually, when we think of weight loss, we think of work. We picture dumbbells, ellipticals, squat racks.
But – as most of our community knows – I am my most happiest when I am not slaving away at the gym everyday. It isn’t fun and it feels like work. To top it off, it is not the most efficient way to lose weight!
However, I am also my most happiest when I am engaging in physical activity. It makes me feel more energetic, confident, strong, and inspired. Over the years I have found a way to be really fit without being a total gym rat (balance!), and it is a huge reason I am able to maintain my weight management goals. In this post I show you how you can do it, too. The best way to achieve harmony with your body (and contribute to your weightloss goals) is by combining a low level activity that you love with a handful of high intensity exercises throughout the week. Balance! Summer is a perfect time to get in touch with outdoor activities that are actually fun but are also a workout.
How Much Should You Exercise?
I recommend that you try a low-level activity, like one mentioned in the list below, combined with one or two high intensity interval exercises and one strength training session a week to fully maximise your bodies potential. This will totally help you optimize your free time as well as health benefits, further contributing to a healthy balanced life!
It is important to give yourself the amount of exercise that your body needs. What does that look like? We really need to be intune with how much is too much, but we also need to not sell ourselves short. If you are obese, overweight, or ill, start as slowly as you need. The important part here is to just start. As you start slowly and continue, you will be able to achieve more weight and health goals overtime.
Best Summer Exercising Activities
There are literally a ton of ways to combine socialization, nature and its positive effects, and exercise with summer activities. You are capable of killing three health beneficial activities with one stone! This is why we all love warmer weather, right? I absolutely love doubling up on tasks by doing things like going on a walk with a friend to catch up, or getting competitive with some corn hole.
Any of the following would be considered at least a low impact activity that you can also do outside. These can definitely be modified to be a high intensity workout depending on the conditions.
- Kayaking or canoeing
- Lawn games like cornhole or bocce ball
- Outdoor yoga
- Climbing trees
- Tossing a frisbee or ball
- Hula hooping
High Intensity Workouts
- Interval Sprinting
- Interval Biking
- HIIT Classes
- Spin Classes
What to Eat
Seasonal produce is the best in the summer, there is a huge plethora of delicious fresh foods in season, not to mention it’s also grilling season.
Check out my post here on the best kabob recipes, and this post on what produce is in season right now.
I am a big fan of salads during the summer; they’re easy to throw together and you can combine so many different toppings to make it a superfood salad. My favorite right now is throwing arugula in a bowl with salmon, persian cucumbers, broccoli sprouts, seaweed and tahini for an asian style salad. The fat from the tahini combined with the protein from the salmon keeps me full and it’s super easy to throw this together.
If you are looking for more ways to reach your weight loss goals, check out my program, Weight Loss Unlocked here.
For more resources on healthy weight loss, check out my list of resources available here.
MCT oil has been a big deal in the paleosphere since bulletproof coffee surfaced as the new wellness trend.
While I’m not a huge fan of dosing myself with caffeine and fat while fasting (in fact, I never do it), I do really believe that MCT oil can have some great benefits. I use it while cooking sometimes (this is my fave). This is because MCT Oil may be able to surpass coconut oil for its nutritional, physical and cognitive benefits.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT’s, or Medium Chain Triglycerides, are a form of fat that is digested differently than an LCT (long chain triglycerides) or SCT (short chain triglycerides). (For more detail on the molecule content, click here.) They’re unique because short chain and long chain triglycerides are metabolized in the digestive system. MCT’s are metabolized in the liver for faster, cleaner conversion to energy or ketones. Ketones are the highly valued component in the ketogenic diet.
While I am not the biggest fan of ketosis, ketones can be wonderful.
4 types of MCT
There are four types of MCT’s, distinguished by carbon content.
C6 – Caproic Acid : is one type of MCT, the shortest of the medium chain triglycerides. This MCT is known as the MCT behind “disaster pants” or a negative digestive side effect resulting in immediate bouts of diarrhea.
C8 – Caprylic Acid : This MCT contains 8 carbon molecules. Because of the smaller amount of carbon content, C8 is easily transferred metabolized into ketones in the liver resulting in instantaneous bursts of energy.
C10 – Capric Acid : This MCT contains ten carbons. The addition of two extra carbons means the MCT reaction is more delayed in the body than C8, but still faster than C12.
C12 – Lauric Acid : The longest of the medium chain triglycerides, C12 is also closest to resembling the molecular structure of an LCT. Like C10, C12 is digested in the liver the slowest, and ketone production can only occur if you are on a low carb diet.
If you are interested in learning how MCT oil is actually made, check out this article.
Why are people using MCT oil to begin with?
- Eliminating Brain Fog
Because the carbon content of these triglycerides is less than that of their shorter and longer cousins, they are digested faster and more readily resulting in a more immediate release of energy and clarity. In addition, MCT’s do not require additional energy to digest or be metabolized in the body, so the energy you receive from consuming MCT’s can immediately turn over into a clean form of energy.
With all the commotion regarding ketogenic diets these days, MCT’s have been put in the spotlight as commonly seen as an important partner for those on the ketosis diet. Many people who try to do ketosis focus on MCT oil because it further helps their body build up ketone levels in the blood. Interestingly enough, eating a low or zero carb diet, contrary to popular opinion, is not necessary to have ketones in the blood, exactly because you can achieve the same effect from MCT oil. To read more about this ‘shortcut,’ check out this post.
- Gut and Skin health
MCT’s containing Lauric Acid (from coconut oil) are known to be antiviral and antibacterial. This has led researchers to believe that MCT’s can contribute to healthy gut flora by stabilizing the bad bacteria. The derivative of Lauric Acid, Monolaurin, has shown antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Lauric Acid is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties against acne. This combined with its antimicrobial properties make it a great supplement to promote a healthy gut reduce inflammation.
- Weight Loss
This is a debated topic amongst MCT consumers. Many believe that MCT aids in weight loss, and several studies conducted contribute to this mindset. This study compared individuals using LCT vs MCT and in the course of 4, 8, and 12 weeks demonstrated that those ingesting MCT’s “lost more subcutaneous fat than their counterparts using only LCT.” A lot of this can be attributed to the satiety produced by consuming MCT’s resulting in less consumption of food overall. This inhibits our leptin receptors which also may lead to increased overall satiety. Curious regarding the other ways leptin affects us? Check out this post here.
(I happen to have a program for healthy and sustainable weight loss if you’re into that sort of thing, which you can check out here!)
How to Use it
MCT can be found in coconut and palm oils and high fat dairy products, but is most commonly used in a liquid form, like this one that I have been using. Mixing with coffee or tea in the morning is a common and effortless way to ingest the MCT’s. Start small first, and work your way up to the recommended dose. My friends say a good way to start is by putting a teaspoon in coffee, but I mainly stick to using it in food as that can have less digestive effects. If you do use the coffee method, I recommend consistently stirring or whisking your coffee or tea, as the oil can congeal towards the top of your beverage.
MCT oil can be used in :
- Teas or Coffee
In food sources, MCT is most highly concentrated in palm oil, and then coconut oil. High quality cheese also contains a substantial amount of MCT’s. Goat’s milk total percent fat content of MCT’s is 19.8%, however it is barely near the 79% found in palm oil. For a full chart of foods containing MCT’s, click here.
MCT oil really has no drawbacks, so long as you’re using a high quality source.
MCT’s ability to be metabolized in the liver and immediately make ketones creates a clean instant burst of energy that lasts. This is perhaps my favorite part – the long energy and satiation.
Also, because of the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties found in Lauric Acid, MCT oil can also be an excellent way for those with autoimmune conditions to metabolize fat and boost immune systems. MCT can stray leptin cues however, so ensure you are listening to your body and feeding it the proper amount of food while supplementing, especially carbs!!
If you are looking for additional information on MCT oil, check out PerfectKeto’s Comprehensive Guide, which can be found here.
I would love to know about your experiences. Have you tried MCT oil? If so, what was your experience like?