Common Sense Keto Beginners Guide

Common Sense keto (CSK) protocols can be a bit daunting for some people initially. The idea behind CSK is to get to a point where everything is optimal for increasing metabolism and health in order to get the best and longest lasting weight loss. The end point can be a hard place to get to for some people. Especially for those that are brand new to keto. The point of CSK is not to necessarily stay at that level forever, just until you hit maintenance weight. By this time you should be flexible enough anyway that you can eat more protein or maybe even a bit more carbs and still maintain weight. I personally still eat to the CSK protocol most of the time and it suits me just fine. It is perfectly fine but some may not want to do it forever. Keep in mind though, you will always have to watch the carbs and to some extent the protein but you will be able to get more flexible eventually.

The goal of this guide is to show a path to optimal. For the optimal CSK protocol you can look here:

If you are brand new to keto and have never done it before then you want to start off with the very basics:

The easiest way to get started is to just google keto recipes. 

This in no way is ideal but it will get you a basic start and some practice at just eating low carb. They often contain foods that will have adverse reactions or sweeteners that are not optimal but if you have never eaten low carb or keto it will get you started. The ultimate goal is to not make recipes. The goal is to just eat foods in their natural state. Meat, eggs, dairy, some veggies. That is the end goal. Foods that you would have been able to find before grocery stores existed. This is a decent resource for keto recipes but you can find hundreds of different recipes just by googling “keto “insert food name here”:

Learn how to determine carbohydrate content of foods.

Either look on the food label or get yourself a tracking app like or and determine the carbs in all the foods you are eating. Don’t worry about “net” carbs, just count total carbs and initially try to get them under 20g or as close as you can. 20 total grams is the ultimate goal but you may need to titrate them down. You likely won’t get into ketosis if you don’t get below 30g though so be aggressive with cutting out the carbs.

Ideally you will want to be only eating meat, eggs, cheese, heavy cream (avoid milk), and low carb veggies and maybe some nuts but you want to try and limit nuts as they can cause weight loss issues and can be inflammatory. Initially you will be able to get away with more however and still lose weight so you may do OK with nuts. Here is a list of my personal choices for low carb veggies that are the safest for health:

How often to eat?

Most people think they need to cut calories to lose weight. Well that is true if you are eating a high carb diet. Keto works for different reasons. The biggest problem with cutting calories is actually that it is not sustainable because you can only starve for so long before you crack and start to eat more. When you cut calories you lower your metabolism. When you lower your metabolism and you do crack and start to eat more, you gain all the weight back. That is why diets fail.

Keto works because it keeps insulin low and keeping insulin low will allow the body to use fat for fuel. There is little to no need to cut calories unless you are eating too much carbohydrate and too much fat together. There is a time where too much protein can affect weight loss and that we will address when we get more advanced. For the complete newcomer, you will be able to lose weight just by cutting carbohydrate.

So how do you determine if you are eating enough to not lower your metabolism? Eat 3 meals a day. With breakfast being the most important and the largest portion of protein and carbs. We are most insulin sensitive in the morning and eating at this time causes the expression of genes that make you even more insulin sensitive and allow you to better control weight. Read these articles to see why breakfast is important:

Besides eating 3 meals a day the only other thing to begin with is to not snack. Every time you snack you raise insulin slightly and this slows down your weight loss. Just eat your 3 meals a day and that should get you in the right range to start with.

Moving forward towards TDEE

You should be fine doing this for a few weeks to get used to low carb eating. The sooner you start refining things the better so don’t sit here too long. You may be losing weight and be getting excited but you can actually be losing too much weight. I know, sounds crazy but it is true. Study after study has shown that the most lasting weight loss is in those who lose 1-2 pounds per week maximum. If you are losing more than this you may be losing too fast and slowing your metabolism. This will make things difficult later and cause you to hit the dreaded “stall” everyone is always talking about. You will definitely want to start looking at the amount of calories you are eating. We refer to the amount of calories one should be eating as Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

This number is relatively high and is why some people find it hard to get right to CSK protocols. I assure you though it is the normal amount of calories you should be able to eat and not gain weight on a standard high carb diet so it is an amount you should be able to lose weight on keto. If you can’t eat this amount and lose weight this means your metabolic rate is too low and you need to get it working properly again by eating appropriately. The first step to getting there is seeing where you are. Start tracking everything you eat in one of the trackers I mentioned above. Compare it to your TDEE which is explained here:

Once you see where you are then you can come up with a plan on how to get there. Start increasing calories from fat at each meal. Do this as fast as you feel ok doing so. The goal is never to make yourself sick. Just work at it as fast as you feel comfortable doing. Here are some of the foods I use to get more fat and less protein and carbs:

Fat sources:

  • 3 cups romaine with 4 tbsp of olive oil – 54g of fat (3g protein and 3 carbs)
  • coffee with 4 tbsp HWC – 20g fat (1g protein and 2g carbs)
  • 2 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter – 26g fat (13g protein and 1  carb)
  • 4 egg yolks – 18g fat (11 protein and 2 carbs)
  • 0.5 cups macadamia with 2 oz cream cheese – 57g fat (8 protein 11 carbs)
  • 2 oz triple cream brie – 24g fat (10 protein and 2 carbs)
  • hollandaise sauce – 31g fat (2 egg yolks, 30g melted butter, lemon juice to taste and whisk together. Put on meat or whatever you want) (5 protein and 1 carb)
  • Boursin cheese 2 oz – 24g fat
  • 0.5 cup macadamia sauteed in 2 tbsp butter – 62g fat (5 protein and 9 carbs)
  • Half an avocado – 11g fat (1 protein and 6 carbs)
  • 10 olives – 5g fat (0 protein and 2 carbs)
  • 1 tbsp butter – 12g fat (0 protein and 0 carbs)
  • 1 tbsp avocado mayo – 11g fat (0 protein and 0 carbs)
  • 1 tbsp macadamia butter mixed with 1 tbsp MCT or coconut oil – 22g of fat (4 protein and 3 carbs)
  • Liver pateâté – tons of fat with little protein and tastes amazing – (100g is 28g fat with 11 protein and 2 carbs) 
  • Raw Cacao butter – (10g of butter is 10g of fat with no protein or carbs)

What about carbs?

Carbs need to be below 20g to have this be optimal. That doesn’t leave room for much outside of the low carb veggies so use them sparingly. “Don’t I need veggies?” No you don’t. Keep lowering the veggies until you get below 20g and don’t waste any of the carbs on anything questionable like keto products with “net” carbs or keto treats. Look at the carbs in everything you eat and ensure everything is carb free as possible. All carbs count. Even fiber. Work the carbs down as low as you can. If that means eating no plants then so be it. They are not essential. I have been essentially plant free for over a decade and I thrive. There is also a rapidly growing carnivore community that is thriving. If you like plants and want to use carbs for those then so be it. Just don’t eat them out of a need. You can and will thrive without them. Here are some articles detailing why plants are not necessary unless you like them and why we count total carbs not net.

What about protein?

So protein can be an issue with weight loss as well. The body can only use so much protein. Protein is only needed to rebuild tissue and to provide some enzymes for other body processes but the amount you actually need is very low daily. Most people way over consume protein and any excess cannot be stored. It can only be used for tissue turnover or it has to be used as energy or converted to glucose for storage. Since the goal of keto is to use fat for fuel you don’t want to be using protein and you certainly don’t want to turn it to glucose.

The next goal is to start lowering your protein intake to maximize on fat loss. All we need for protein to keep from losing lean mass is 0.45g per KG of lean body mass. That is not very much. For example, my lean mass is 171 lbs or 77.7 kg. That means my requirement to not lose lean mass is 35g per day. Now I don’t want people just to get the minimum because protein is where we get most of the nutrients from on keto. A safe and reliable number I find to be useful is 50g for women and 80g for men. This number will give you what you need to maintain plus enough to build some lean mass and give you some added nutrition without leaving much to convert to glucose or be used instead of fat. Now you want to start lowering whatever you are eating for protein now down to these targets. Do this by just making the servings of protein containing foods smaller in each meal. Rather than having 6oz of steak have 4oz and so on until you reach the target number.

Once you have your carbs and protein in check and your calories where they should be you are now eating in the optimal way to ensure your metabolic rate stays high and you are running on fat for fuel. The weight should come off slowly and reliably for years to come. It might not be fast but it will be reliable and long lasting. Now once you have all this sorted and you have eaten to your TDEE for 6 weeks at least you can start playing with some more advanced strategies to get weight to move a bit faster. Keep in mind though that you still don’t want to be losing more than 1-2 lbs per week. We will cover these later but first I want to cover some other important factors. Foods to avoid and supplements.

Foods to absolutely avoid:

  1. Sweeteners (artificial or “natural”)

Sweeteners are number one thing I cut out. Sweeteners are chemically similar enough to glucose to fit in the receptors in the mouth that signal glucose is coming. This is why they taste sweet. The point of these receptors is to signal that glucose is coming. This starts a chain reaction which includes insulin secretion in the stomach. Insulin secretion is something we want to avoid as much as possible. When the gut is expecting glucose and it doesn’t come (there are more sensors in the gut to detect it but the sweeteners get broken down differently than glucose so they don’t activate the gut receptors) the gut will send a signal to the brain demanding what it was promised. This is called cravings. These cravings will continue until you either give in and produce some carbs or you just suffer through the cravings.

It also starts a possible chain reaction of negative events because of the insulin secretion without the actual glucose. If you secrete insulin without glucose there is a potential for hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). If the blood glucose drops to a level below what the body wants, it can cause a release of stress hormones like cortisol to signal the body to create more glucose. If you start this you will get increased blood glucose. This happens to me if I take stevia. I get high blood glucose. The stevia lowers my already low blood sugar and I get a cortisol spike and a subsequent glucogenic reaction resulting in elevation of blood sugar which in turn releases more insulin. Depending on how insulin sensitive you are you may not see this result but you will definitely get an insulin response. All of that just trying to satisfy a desire for sweet. Hardly worth it.

2. Pre-packaged foods and powders

Any powdered “food” like protein powders have ingredients in it that are not optimal for human consumption. Stabilizers and modifiers to keep them from hardening and to make them mix easier. These are not real foods and are not good for you. This includes collagen supplements. You can get all the collagen you need in eggs. Those are real foods and have a complete profile of useful amino acids and nutrients.

Any pre-packaged food is going to have preservatives and poor ingredients in it in order to make it shelf stable. Eat foods that are natural and that would have been available before there were grocery stores.

3. Fruits/berries

These foods are full of both glucose and fructose. Both sugar. There is no place in weight loss keto for these and they actually signal genes for weight gain. Animals eat fructose when they want to fatten up for the winter. If you are a bear getting ready to hybernate then you should eat fruit and berries. If you are a human trying to lose weight it isn’t a great idea.

4. Nut flours

As a treat for a special occasion there is nothing wrong with having a fat head pizza or a keto mug cake or something like this. These are treats and should be treated as such. For someone trying to lose weight these should be avoided. They are high in omega 6 which is very inflammatory.

5. Lectin containing foods.

See my article on approved veggies:

6. Oxalate containing foods can be an issue for some as well:

See this article on Oxalates: http://


In a perfect diet you wouldn’t need any supplements. A perfect diet is not something anyone has with the exception of maybe some indigenous hunter gatherer tribes like the Maasai who eat lots of meat, raw dairy and consume the blood of the animals. During a weight loss phase it would be impossible to consume enough of the foods you need to consume to get enough nutrients. This is true for any weight loss diet wether it is low fat or low carb. Ideally one would eat lots of high nutrient organ meats, raw dairy and eggs to get all their nutrients but that is not going to be doable in a weight loss phase. Maybe the end goal after weight loss is achieved.

With that being said here is a list of the supplements you need on low carb:

Basic Supplements

Optional Supplements:

Supplemental fats for best metabolism boosting

So this should be more than enough to get you started and get you moving towards the ideal way of eating that will keep you running optimally and losing weight for the long haul. Now I will briefly cover how I speed up my weight loss while also not cutting calories and not slowing metabolism.

Calorie cycling:

This is a basic strategy used by every nutritional coach. Usually it is done by cutting calories lower than TDEE and keeping them low until weight is lost then slowly coming back up to regain metabolic rate. This works but it is hard because you starve at the low calories and often gain some of the weight back when you bring the calories back. I do it a little different.

It is called reverse Dieting. Rather than decreasing calories to lose weight, you increase calories above TDEE to raise your metabolic rate then drop back to TDEE or just below. This has the same result except you don’t slow metabolic rate and you don’t starve. 🙂

Typically the way I do it is I go up by a large number of calories. I normally eat 2500 calories a day. When I reverse diet I go to 4,000 or sometimes even 5,000 cals a day. This is hard as well. Eating that much food is difficult. I find it almost as hard as starving but not quite. 4,000 is not too bad but 5,000 is very hard. You can follow my last 5,000 calorie challenge here:

I typically do this for anywhere from 7 to 21 days. The goal here is to eat as much as you can without gaining weight. I only gained about 2lbs while doing 5,000 cals for 21 days. That is acceptable.

For someone beginning you could start by going up by 500 calories above TDEE. You will have a hard time keeping protein and carbs down so just increase your macros and keep them in the range of these percentages:

  • 3% or less carbs
  • 13-15% protein
  • 80-85% fat

If you don’t gain weight on 500 calories after a week go up to 1,000 more calories and do another week. After two weeks that should be sufficient. Go back to TDEE or even 200 calories less than TDEE and stay there for a few weeks. Repeat this cycle. This is reverse dieting. 🙂

I hope this has been helpful in getting started on the keto diet and to move you in the direction of optimal eating for the best possible metabolism and lasting weight loss. If you still feel you need help I do offer personal coaching. I am certified in sports nutrition and am currently completing my Registered Holistic Nutritionist Certification. With 14 years of experience in the keto diet I have seen and done it all and can help you achieve the success you want.

Check out my coaching program here:

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

Everyone needs to stop fighting. Carbs don’t cause obesity or diabetes and neither does fat.

So there are two defined sides in the diet debate right now. One side says that carbs are the devil and they make you fat and diabetic while the other side says that fat is the anti-christ and is all that is evil in the world. Neither side is right and I will tell you why. 

Neither fat alone or carbohydrate alone makes anyone fat or diabetic. There are other issue at play which make me decide which diet I prefer and think is more healthy but we will leave that out of this. All we are talking about today is obesity and diabetes.

All of this is pretty easy to explain just looking at some very basics of human physiology.

How is energy processed if we only eat carbs?

  1. Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose primarily and using insulin it is pushed into cells. 
  2. It is converted to pruvate which is then converted to AcetylCoA which is the input for the Krebs cycle which makes ATP (cellular energy) and high energy electrons of NADH which are fed into the mitochondria to fuel the Electron Transport Chain. This makes even more ATP for fueling the body. 
  3. Whatever glucose we can’t use for energy is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver and the muscle. If we happen to exceed that storage the glucose will get converted to fat for storage in fat. 

Now lets look at this for the average woman pretending she only eats carbs.

Now this is a normal woman with no metabolic conditions. Let us not just assume we are talking about any woman here. 

Lets give this woman a weight of 150lbs with an average amount of lean mass being 112lbs. She works out an average of 3 times per week. 

Someone this size can store about 1,000 calories worth of carbohydrate in the muscles and liver as glycogen. That is not going to fat. She also has a resting metabolic rate of approximately 1,500 calories and a Total Daily Energy expenditure of about 2,200 cals. What does that mean exactly to this carb only eating woman?

Lets just look at resting metabolic rate for fun. She will use 1500 calories just to stay alive in a day. She also has approximately 1,500 calories worth of storage in her muscles and liver. That means that she will have to consume at least 2,500 calories worth of only carbs before she will start actually storing any as fat. That is alot of food to get in 2500 calories worth of carbs only. It is hard to do. I’ve tried. With no fat to eat with carbs it is not very pleasant and there is too much fibre to do it easily.

Now what happens if she consumes fat with this?

Since the carbs require lots of insulin, any fat you eat with this will be sent directly to storage and it will not be used until all of the carb energy you are eating is used. It is meal based as well so it would look like this:

  1. Meal is eaten with fat and carbs.
  2. Fat is stored while carbs are used for energy. 
  3. If energy need is met and there are carbs left over then leftover carbs are sent to muscles and liver for storage. 
  4. Once insulin comes down fat will start to be used but not solely fat. The body will draw on some glycogen as well from the muscles all the time but at rest more fat will be used. Still, there is always a mix. 

All of this is fine so long as you use up all that fat you ate for the last meal before the next meal. If you don’t happen to use it all before you eat again then the same process repeats and you just add more fat and more glycogen to the storage pools. This is what happens on most peoples diets. Carbs and fat are too high for energy needs in a meal so they store fat and use glucose. They then eat again before they have a chance to use all the fat that they stored at the last meal. They keep adding to the pot of both glycogen and fat at every meal. Eventually the glycogen stores are full at every meal and the only storage they have left is fat. This is the start of obesity. 

Now lets look further down the road at when Diabetes starts. 

You are eating a meal of mixed fat and carbohydrate before you use up your stored fat and glycogen. You are constantly adding to fat stores and are starting to gain weight. Everyone is different in the amount of fat they can store genetically. This is why some people seem to stay lean no matter what they eat. We hate those people. The thing here is, they are not lucky. There is something called “Personal Fat Threshold”. This is a persons genetic ability to create new fat cells or to grow the ones they have. Personal fat threshold dictates how much extra dietary fat or carbohydrate will be able to get stored in adipose tissue. Once someone exceeds this limit is when the trouble starts. That is when fat starts to accumulate in the organs and especially the liver. Once this happens they are well on their way to diabetes. Once we reach our personal fat threshold this also means our metabolic ability to handle energy is now dramatically diminished. We no longer can handle our 1,000 cals of carbs for storage because that is full. We can now only handle the 1500 calories of our basal metabolic rate. That is bad news already since this woman is already exceeding that level enough to overfill all storage already. She will now start accelerating fat gain. 

Once the personal fat threshold is hit, the cells start developing a resistance to having more glucose or fat pushed into them. This means the energy we consume in excess of what we can use is staying in the blood. This is very dangerous to the body. The initial response is to increase inulin output to deal with the high blood glucose and fat levels. This is when you see people with high blood sugar and high blood triglyceride. No place for either to go so they sit in the blood. 

Now the increased insulin will actually force creation of new fat cells despite the fact that we have hit the personal fat threshold. This can be seen dramatically in people that inject insulin. If they inject in the same spot too often they will start seeing fatty lumps grow in the area only. This will keep the person gaining weight and keep the disease from progressing for some time. It keeps going like this until the body stops being able to make insulin fast enough to create new fat cells. This means the blood sugar and trigs start climbing again. This is the point where their doctor prescribes insulin. The added insulin will then promote the further growth of more fat cells which again gets the blood sugar levels down. Eventually the pancreas burns out and they can no longer produce their own insulin. They are then going to need far more insulin to compensate and are considered insulin dependant. This is bad news. This is pretty much end stage Type2 Diabetes and they will have to be on insulin for the rest of their lives. 

This is the progression of Type 2 diabetes and what happens if you eat carbs  and fat together in the wrong amounts. Now this being said, if you can somehow manage to keep your energy intake precisely low enough that you can use up all the glucose you consume and use up all the fat you stored before the next day of eating starts again, you can control your weight. It can be done but as we all know that is not easy. 

Now lets look at what happens when you just eat fat.

When you only eat fat, fat will go into storage. Just like it does with the carb and fat meals. This is true. The difference is, you don’t have carbs to use first so the fat might go into storage but it is a revolving door. It comes out just as fast as it goes. .

  1. You eat fat and it goes to storage.
  2. Since fat has very little insulin response the storage doors remain more open. 
  3. Fat is broken down to AcetylCoA, which we said was the fuel for the Kreb’s cycle that creates ATP (energy) and high energy electrons that feed into the mitochondria and the Electron Transport Chain to produce more ATP.
  4. If there is extra fat than what is needed for energy, since there is no insulin present it can’t be pushed back into cells for storage so it gets converted to ketones. 
  5. Ketones have an additional storage in the blood which does not cause weight gain and they can also be wasted in urine and breath. 

So that is neat. We can actually sore ketones and waste them. So if we have excess fat energy we can actually waste it unlike glucose that must be stored. Now ketone levels can get to a point where the body will stimulate an insulin response but that is very high and from my experience it is hard to get there. The insulin response will stop fat from coming out of storage and force your body to use exclusively ketones which will lower the ketones to a safe range. Not really a big problem and again this is rare to see anyone reach these levels. 

Now if you start adding carbs to this high fat meal the same things as we discussed above will happen. The fat will be stored while the carbs are dealt with and if you don’t manage to use all the fat that went into storage before your next meal the weight will climb and the same metabolically damaging process will occur. 

So we can see now why carbs nor fat in isolation is the cause of obesity or Type 2 Diabetes. 

I have proved this several times my self by eating only fruit for a period of time. I don’t gain weight and I often lose. Now that won’t be the case for everyone. People that are very insulin resistant already will not lose weight like this because their insulin levels will just remain too high for too long from the fruit to allow any fat to be used from storage. But if someone is metabolically normal, they can eat very high levels of carbohydrate and not get fat or diabetic. They just have to remain below that threshold of energy intake that they can adequately use up all the fat they store at meal time before the next meal. It is just much harder than not eating carbs at all and more fat. 🙂

I hope that all makes sense. Here is a link to a test I did on eating all fruit for two weeks. It discusses same thing a bit more along with some of the negative side effects I saw from eating high carb.

Keto On!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

Keto does not defy the First Rule of Thermodynamics

If there is one thing I love hearing from the CICO world is that you can’t break the 1st rule of thermodynamics.

Here is the rule:

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change forms.

This is a fair statement. Opposition to the idea that the keto diet allows for the consumption of more food while still losing weight constantly scream that this can’t be true because that breaks the first law!! Well I will show today that it absolutely does not and it is extremely simple minded and unscientific to think that it does.

Let us look first at the simplistic CICO model.

This is literally what they think. We are a simple machine like a car that we pour calories in and then we must run enough to use all those calories or the balance is left in the tank as fat. They honestly think that we are as basic as this.

Let’s look at what really happens.

This is probably even simplified a bit. As you can see, things are not so simple as fuel in minus fuel used equals fat left. There are thousands of processes running in the background that determine what is done with food coming in and the type of food we eat is a dramatic determinant of what happens.

For todays discussion lets just look at what happens with carbs vs fat to make things simple. We will look at them in isolation. Carb only diet vs fat only diet.

Carbohydrate Metabolism:

– Carbs enter as food.
– carbs can consist of fiber (soluble and insoluble), sugars (glucose, fructose, maltose, etc.) and starch. It gets more complex but this is adequate for the discussion.
– Soluble fiber can be digested by the bacteria in the gut to produce short chain fatty acids and used for energy where insoluble cannot. You can already see where this is getting more complex than the CICO model allows.
– Sugars get absorbed right away while starches need to be further broken down which requires slightly more energy than simple sugars. Again it gets more complicated.
– Once everything is broken down to simple sugars then the simple sugars are not yet energy. Insulin is needed to push the glucose out of the blood and into the cells. The glucose then has to go through a process. This is called cellular respiration and looks like this:

This is how ATP, the bodies energy is made. Now the body will only need so much energy, this is your metabolic rate or your TDEE, so if you eat more than you need then the rest will go to store as fat right? Not exactly.

The body likes to protect a certain weight. If more energy comes in then it will do some fun things to try and waste energy. Things like increase NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This is things like fidgeting and blinking. The body will actually make you move more involuntarily just to waste extra energy. See how fun and smart the body is! Now if you constantly consume more carbohydrates than you can store/use then eventually the body will reach a limit where it will not be able to waste as much so there are a couple options.

1. Store it as fat
2. Store it as glycogen
3. Store as blood sugar.

Since blood sugar has to be regulated tightly the storage in blood glucose is not possible above a stable limit so I guess it is fat or glycogen. This is when CICO works exactly right. If you exceed what you can store as glycogen or use then you gain weight.

Now lets look at fat metabolism:

– Fat enters as food.
– It is broken down into fatty acids (short, medium and long chain)
– Long chain have to be packaged into molecules for transport around the body (lipoproteins)
– short and medium chain get passed right through the intestinal walls into the blood and direct to the liver
– Fatty acids do not require insulin to be pushed into cells.

The process of fat going through the system is essentially the same at this point as it is for glucose but instead of the first step being Glycolysis and converting glucose to pyruvate, fat goes through beta-oxidation and is converted directly to AcetylCoA which can be fed directly to the citric acid (kreb’s) cycle. There is alot more to it but I will leave it at that for simplicity. Fat also creates much more ATP (energy) from each of the steps than glucose does.

This is what the process looks like for fat:

Now is where we get to the point of how keto can allow one to eat more while still being compliant to the First Rule.

The difference between fat and carbs for cellular respiration is this:

– Carbs only make 2 AcetylCoA molecules to feed the citric acid cycle. This cycle has a limit of how much AcetylCoA it can process. If by chance there is too much glucose in the system that the cycle gets overloaded then there are only a couple fates for carbs.

1. Storage as glycogen
2. If you are already stocked up on glycogen then it must be stored as fat

– Fat makes many more AcetylCoA than carbs. Even a short chain fatty acid makes 5 acetylCoA. This can quickly jam up the citric acid cycle.

When the cycle gets backed up from fat, something magic happens. Ketones are created from the excess AcetylCoA! It gets better though. wait….

There are three types of ketones that get created. Acetone, Acetoacetate, and Beta-Hydroxybutyrate. Why is this magical? Two of these are wasted. Acetone in the breath (keto breath) and Acetoacetate in the urine. Beyond that, we now have a whole new storage option available that is not available for carbs.

So this is what happens when fat backs up the citric acid cycle:

1. Excess gets converted to ketones
2. Some gets wasted in breath and urine
3. You can store a bunch in your blood.

The big difference comes in when you are consuming carbs and fats together. The carbs have to get used primarily which means the fat will wait in storage while if you limit carbs, fat can be the primary fuel source and it doesn’t have to stay in fat. It can completely fulfill the energy cycles needs and any extra can be converted to ketones for wasting and stored ketone energy.

To summarize:

CICO for carbs meets the laws because the first law says energy must be balanced. It cannot be destroyed or created.

Energy Balance = Energy in – Energy out + Energy Stored (as fat or glycogen)

CICO for fat also meets the law.

Energy Balance = Energy in – Energy out + Energy stored (as fat or ketones) + energy wasted (as ketones)

The reason why you can eat more on keto and still lose weight is because we have additional means of dealing with energy. It can be wasted and stored in an alternate location compared to carbs. There is no defiance of the law.

I hope that all makes sense. I will be doing a youtube video on this in the future as well and hopefully that will make it even more clear.

Keto ON,
Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

Fasting and Metabolic Damage

During fasting thyroid function becomes severely dysfunctional.
Not only does free T3 drop but reverse T3 rises. This is the worst case scenario. Reverse T3 (rT3) is not even looked at by most doctors so you may have normal TSH/T3 but still present as hypothyroid. You can still be having all the negative symptoms like difficulty losing weight and extreme fatigue yet the doctor will tell you it is all in your head. 
Reverse T3 is a disposal form of the active thyroid hormone. When fasting or calorie restricting, it builds up and blocks receptor sites so that any active T3 cannot get into the cells. This essentially disables thyroid function and shuts metabolism down to Just enough to keep you alive but slow enough not to have any weight loss. This is how people can fast and lose little to no weight. Those that do lose some weight often see it come back as soon as they eat again. This is because all they lost is mostly water weight. 
This is a life preservation system. If this didn’t happen you would die of starvation very rapidly when food is not available. Your metabolism would keep running on high and you would quickly consume all your muscle and then your organs. If metabolism stayed high you would continue to use glucose for the cells that need it at a high rate and this requires either glucose coming in or it will use your protein (muscle and other tissue) to fuel gluconeogensis to make glucose. Your body shuts down metabolism to a bare minimum to keep you alive as long as possible in order to survive through the starvation period. It does this to save you and there is a cost. It saves your life but it does damage to your thyroid and metabolism. Doing it enough will do permanent damage and this is why so many women are having to take thyroid medication now and so may more are suffering the symptoms but are yet to be diagnosed. Once doctors start testing and understanding the role of rT3 I think we will see the number of diagnosed cases rise dramatically. 
If you look at the most prolific promotors of fasting in the keto community they are:
Jason Fung: Has admitted publicly, though Megan Ramos (Director of IDM), that they do not fast people more than 24-36 hours except in extreme cases and only under strict supervision. They ensure it is safe by check their blood work constantly to ensure safety. He himself does not do extended fasts on a normal basis . This is a video where Megan Ramos (Director of the IDM clinic) admits that they rarely do any fasts beyond 36 hours. She changed her presentation based on a presentation against fasting given by Stephen Phinney which I speak about later. 
Listen to this talk. This is how fasting can be done safely. In clinic. With supervision. She discusses the very key aspects of doing this safely and that includes diagnosing issues that may be problematic like former eating disorders, obsessive behavior and bullying from weight issues. All of these can lead to obsessive fasting which can be extremely dangerous. I still don’t think it is necessary but if you really want to do it, do it in a clinical setting where you can be led safely through it. This is not something that anyone should ever do on their own.
Jimmy Moore: Jimmy wrote the book “The Complete Guide to Fasting” which recommends fasts as long as 21 days and more. People doing this level of fasting on their own is something that Dr. Fung would never recommend. It is not only stupid but dangerous. Blood should be checked regularly in order to assure there is no danger of any nutrient deficiency. Dr. Fung does this in clinic but all those at home doing this as recommended by Jimmy do not. This is unethical .Jimmy has gained back massive amounts of weight and despite his continued dedication to fasting he can no longer lose weight. He blames this on “Metabolic damage” and he is right. This is caused by his continued fasting and nothing else. He successfully lost 170lbs around the exact same time I did using Atkins just like I did. I believe he started Atkins in 2004 and I started in 2005. We both followed the 20g per day initial phase of the program fro the whole time we were losing weight and didn’t cut calories. We both lost massive weight. If his reason for not losing weight is metabolic damage from when he was obese the first time why was he so easily able to lose it then but now he can’t? The reason is because he has caused his current metabolic damage by continuing with these extended fasts. 

Like Jimmy, I was insulin resistant, I was poor, I was sick and I was obese. I was metabolically damaged yet I am still able to maintain my weight loss and continue to lose weight year over year. Why? I don’t fast and I don’t calorie restrict. That is it. Other than that we had the exact same experience. 

Lets look at what fasting has done for Jimmy:

It has gotten worse. If fasting was beneficial should he not be getting leaner with all the many multiple day fasts he is always doing? He appears to be getting more metabolically damaged not less. Why can’t he see it?

I read Jimmy’s book. Primarily because I thought it was written by Dr. Fung. It turns out it was written by Jimmy and made to look like it was written by Fung. Fung was only a contributor. When I read the book I implemented the recommendations.

I started the year at 214lbs. I did extensive fasting periods. Way too much from what I now understand. I likley spent 3/4 of an entire year in a fasted state with alternate day fasting and numerous extended fasts ranging from 3-5 days. I ended that year at 215lbs. Really beneficial right?

The only time I had this type of results when I was doing paleo and eating 1500 cals a day. Complete stall. This past year I have not missed a single meal. I have also spent 42 days eating 5,000 calories when my normal intake is approximately 2500 calories. I started this year at 215lbs and I am currently sitting at 195lbs consistently. My lowest weight in 6-7 years and I also have the most amount of muscle mass I’ve ever had. With no fasting.

Carl Franklin (Two Keto Dudes): Carl often talks about the latest extended fast he is doing. From 7-14 days is what he refers to mostly. He is also still obese and can no longer lose any weight. Despite his constant fasting. How can a person not eat for 14 days and not lose weight? Extreme metabolic damage. How does one cause this? By shutting down their thyroid with fasting. He has now gotten himself to a point just like Jimmy where he can no longer lose weight no matter what he does.

Luckily Carl has not gained any weight back but he clearly is not having any success in losing anything with his continued fasting. Why continue to starve yourself if there is no measurable effect? Yes he lost alot of weight but at 297lbs he is still obese and is now stuck and cannot seem to lose anymore. From what I understand he didn’t start fasting until late into his weight loss.

The one common factor in every person I work with that is having a hard time losing is thyroid function and that they have a long history of calorie restriction and fasting.
It is a clear fact that low calorie drops metabolic rate. What is the most extreme version of calorie restriction? Fasting.
Here are some articles I wrote with links to studies showing the fact that caloric restricting and fasting lowers thyroid function:
Here is a video by Dr. Stephen Phinney Discussing why he disagrees with fasting. I don’t agree with his estimates on lean mass loss and there are lots of reasons I don’t think it is accurate but mainly because the physiology dictates that lean mass preservation is taken as priority. What he is using as an extrapolation is what very active people see when fasting and only in the short term. The act of the body shutting down thyroid decreases the amount of lean mass losses. You will still lose lean mass though. There will always be a need for some glucose so if you are fasting you will need to get that from somewhere. Some of it will come from autophagy (breaking down of unnecessary/defective tissue) which is why it is said that fasting is good for autophagy, but some will still come from lean mass. For me that part that is bad is the thyroid shutdown and the more fasting you do the more damage you do.
Lastly I want to discuss something that someone brought up in the facebook group.
“But I know people that do long fasts and they feel great. They are full of energy and don’t feel cold. How can it be true that thyroid function drops?”
Lets look at what happens in fasting:
1. Caloric intake stops. Insulin and blood sugar drops.
2. The body continues to use glucose to fuel the tissues that need it.
3. Thyroid starts to down regulate metabolism to preserve lean mass
4. After a full day all possible glycogen stores are gone and blood sugar starts to get very low.
5. This causes an increase in cortisol in order to trigger gluconeogenesis to keep blood glucose stable and prevent hypoglycaemia.
6. Epinephrine and adrenaline are also released as a result of the low blood glucose. These are the reason people get surges of energy and clarity when fasting. Especially in later stages like day 2 and 3. This is for one reason and one reason only. To give you the energy and mental clarity to HUNT AND GET FOOD!!!
This whole process is one of survival and not one of some magical fountain of youth or magic healing process. It is survival of the fittest and nothing more. It is the body doing everything to keep you alive long enough to eat again. No animal in nature is foolish enough to purposely go without food. Except humans.
Our ability to use science to dig into the mechanisms of how the body reacts to eating or not eating is amazing but it is also our greatest enemy. It led us to “fat is bad” and “eat less and move more”. Two of the greatest mistakes of our time and now it has led us the next great mistake. “Fasting is good for you and will help you lose weight!”
Don’t let this next big mistake ruin your thyroid and your ability to get healthy and maintain that health. Just eat the right foods and enough of it to keep your body functioning properly and the weight you lose will stay off rather than creeping back like it has for so many others.
Keto ON,
Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

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Dementia Tsunami

This is a response I wrote to an article that was on the front page of our local paper last year. Several people have been sharing it from my personal feed lately so I thought it would be good to repost here.
I have never written to any news publication but today I had to.
This article was in the local paper today. It seemed fitting as I have been ranting like a lunatic about this very issue for months or more. The article was in regards to the growing elderly population and the increasing number of cases of dementia and Alzheimers cases. Having a grandfather and uncle suffer from these diseases I am very familiar with the struggles. All they did was talk about how we need to prepare care programs for them and how we need to find out what causes it.
We already know and there have been hundreds of studies showing why. This is my letter to the editor.
“Good afternoon,
I have never even considered writing to an editor before regarding an article in any publication but after reading todays front page I felt I had to address this.
Having a grandfather that suffered his last months with this disease as well as my uncle currently battling a severe case of Alzheimers I am all to familiar with the struggles the many affected families face.
While I absolutely love the fact that this was addressed in the article, what I find deplorable is that in this day we are still talking about what to do to better handle people suffering and that we still need research to determine the cause. I have been researching what causes this disease heavily for almost a year and it has become very evident to me there are some very simple factors that are contributing to this and while age makes us more susceptible to these disorders, it is not the major factor.
My grandfather was 94 years old before he finally went into a home. This was mostly due to the passing of his wife. Until she passed he was taking care of her and the household just fine. One day in particular I remember speaking to him and he was complaining about his back. I asked if this was normal and he replied “No, I was playing around on the 4 wheeler and went over a little jump and landed too hard.” He was 92 years old. No signs of dementia at all. After his wife passed he felt it was too difficult to manage on his own. It was very shortly after his entry to the facility that we started to notice a quick decline in his faculties. It progressed so rapidly that it was kind of shocking. We just assumed it was nature taking its course. Soon he didn’t even know who we were. He passed away not knowing he faces that were there with him in his final days.
Only recently, since completing my certification is sports nutrition and researching the science behind diet and its effect on disease, did I start to see the big picture. Then after spending a week in the hospital with my wife and seeing what they would bring her to eat at every meal did it start to become more clear. In the months that followed I would dig deeper into the causes of dementia and Alzheimers. I stumbled on a book called The Alzheimer’s Antidote. It was absolutely mind blowing. It connected all the dots.
These diseases are not a disease of age but of diet. The whole problem with the people that are affected by these terrible afflictions is that they cannot properly utilize glucose in the brain. Alzheimer’s is actually being referred to now by many experts as “Type 3 Diabetes” because it is a problem of metabolizing glucose for fuel in the receptors of the brain causing them to be malnourished. This causes them to shrink and when the synapses shrink they cannot properly send signals across them. Think of a spark plug in a cars engine. If the gap is just right the spark is hot and the engine runs well but if the gap becomes too large the electricity cannot properly jump the gap and the engine sputters. It is the same with the synapses of the brain. These disorders are simply an electrical misfire of the brain.
When I looked at the food that was being served in the homes and hospitals it was very apparent to me why our elderly are declining so quickly. The foods served are almost exclusively carbohydrate and severely lack in healthy fats. Our body requires fat to absorb vital minerals and vitamins. Our brains are comprised mostly of fat and even our sex hormones are derived from fats. If the issue with these disorders is a problem of metabolizing glucose, then why on earth would we be feeding people a diet that is primarily carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is converted directly to glucose in the body and the brain will try and fuel with this preferentially but if an affected persons brain cannot metabolize it, what will it use for fuel? Nothing. It will starve and the cells start to shrink and die. Thus the onset of dementia and Alzheimers.
In addition, I think about the poor woman in the story. My first and probably a safe guess is that she is either pre-diabetic or already a type 2 diabetic. My next guess is that she is on statin drug for controlling cholesterol. First, diabetes is a disease of glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. This is a precursor to dementia and Alzheimers for the most part. Again this comes down to a problem with diet and not age specifically. All very controllable and reversible. On to statins. They have been shown to increase risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and a host of other issues. They are being given to people far too easily without ever being really needed. Especially in the elderly. Having higher cholesterol in your later life has been shown n study after studu to be protective of brain function and shows a decreased risk of all cause mortality. There is virtually dozens of studies showing they do absolutely nothing for preventative care and very little for post cardiac event care either. I am 39 years old and a 6 year crossfit athlete and because my LDL cholesterol was slightly elevated I was offered a statin with no other risk factors. I won’t continue down this path for now as I could write 10 pages on this subject alone and am currently working on a study with a prominent researcher in the Cholesterol field that may go a long way towards changing the way statins are prescribed. I’ll just get back to the issue at hand.
So in summary;
1. These disorders are due to poor metabolism of glucose for fuel in the brain.
2. We continue to feed these people the fuel that they cannot use to fuel their brains
3. We are perplexed when the cells shrink and die even though we are starving them for fuel.
4. We exacerbate the issue with the carbohydrate laden foods we serve them in care facilities.
5. We give them drugs to lower an arbitrary number that has no causal relationship to cardiac issues but actually pushes them closer to dementia and Alzheimers.
6. We look at ways to care for them after they have it rather than ways to stop it from happening even though it is right in front of us already.
So am I just ranting or do I have a hypothesis on how to correct it? I do have such a thing.
There is an alternate fuel to glucose that the brain is very happy to use. It is called ketones. They are produced by the body in the absence of substantial carbohydrate. It is a natural state that infants are born in and continue to be in while breast feeding. It was the way our ancestors survived for thousands of years when they got their food from being hunter gatherers rather than going to grocery store for bread and pasta.
The state in which I speak of is called ketosis and has been used to treat neurological disorders like epilepsy for over a hundred years. It can also be used to treat and reverse Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimers, dementia and a host of other metabolic disorders. All it requires is a dietary change that includes eating real food like meat, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts, seeds and non starchy veggies. How hard does this sound? Not at all!
I now this sounds ideological but it isn’t. I suggest anyone suffering with this disease read the book “The Alzheimer’s Antidote” by Amy Berger. It may change yours or your loved ones life forever. Please note that I do not have any affiliation with the author but the book is too important to not speak about. I hope this letter does more than make it to your inbox and deleted as it has such an important message that so many have heard and used already to save themselves from this terrible plight.
Jack McAnespy Pn1, CF-L1″

LDL is NOT associated with Heart Disease!!!! Stop with the madness!!!

This is something that really grinds my gears. Every day we have someone posting in the facebook group about how their LDL is up and their doctor is putting the fear of god into them and telling them their heart will explode if they don’t get on a statin ASAP!

Here is a study that really makes me fume.

LDL levels in 136,905 people hospitalized for heart attacks did not indicate risk

Here are the parts that really get me:

1. The general consensus for a health LDL level is:

– Less than 160 if you have less than 2 other risk factors (family history/diabetes/etc)
– Less than 130 with 2 or more risk factors
– Less than 100 if you have had a prior event (heart attack)

Now if you look at the data, the average LDL score was 104. Well below the normal range. Furthermore, if you look at the study they show that half of all admissions had LDL less than 100! What is more telling is that more than half of the admission had less than 40mg/DL of HDL when the optimum level is more like 50.

2. If you look at the below chart you will see the vast majority of all events occurred in those with LDL of less than 160mg/DL which is the acceptable level. Here in Canada we don’t even discuss LDL when it is below 190mg/DL Why? Is US LDL more dangerous than Canadian LDL? This is suspicious at best.

Even beyond that, look at the highest level. People that have 220mg/DL have a far less chance of heart attack than those that have levels well below the 70mg/LD level. 10 fold less chance. If LDL is causal how does this data explain that?

3. The take away from this was that LDL targets are too high!

What? How on gods green earth does that make sense? Looking again at the chart above you can see that this doesn;t make sense. People with LDL of 200 had the same rate of heart attack as those with 30mg/DL! What good does lowing LDL more do? Clearly nothing. The only thing that I can gather here is that you want to have 30 or below or 200 or higher and you are good to go. How does that make LDL a valuable marker for anything? It doesn’t. This is nothing but straw grasping and an attempt to increase statin drug sales. It is clear.

Study after study mimics these same results. People have all ranges of LDL and still have heart attacks yet there are a few commonalities. They all have low HDL and higher triglycerides. This is a sign of inflammation. Inflammation causes heart attacks not LDL.

If LDL was causal then the charts would look much different. They would look like this:

At the end of the day does it make any sense looking at this report that we can use LDL as a marker for health. It makes far more sense that risk is more associated with inflammation and most importantly, high glucose and insulin levels. These are causing the damage and LDL is just doing it’t job by bringing cholesterol to fix the problems.

Like blaming fire fighters for fires because they are at the scene. This needs to end.

One last example to show that LDL is not a cause. Familial Hypercholesterolemia.

Before the rise of processed food and sugar consumption these people lived just as long or longer than anyone else and the have the highest level of LDL of anyone. Today they tend to have the highest risk of CVD but that is only correlated in with people that are overweight and diabetic. If you look at the population of fit and healthy people with FH they see a similar risk profile to anyone else. More over, they tend to have a higher survival rate when they do have heart attacks.

This is an article I wrote that discusses this in more detail and has 2 studies linked.

More about Familial Hypercholesterolemia

If these people were not at risk before and still don’t seem to be at risk if they are not diabetic or overweight then LDL has no relevance. It is the inflammation.

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

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Coach Jack gets real about Common Sense

So many people come into the group and read some of the recommendations and posts and think I am out of my mind. I can assure everyone that I am in some respects. Not because I don’t know what I am talking about but because I can’t believe what goes on in the world of nutrition and it causes me to lose it. 🙂

Today I am going to lay it all out for everyone as to what my goal is and what my overall view of nutrition is. Some of this will shock people but it will hopefully all make sense and let people see that I am not cray cray. I’m in fact a very open minded person and very rational. I don’t even think that keto is the only way for everyone to be healthy!!! Yes I said it. Stay tuned. 🙂

The basic principles of the CSK (Common Sense Keto) protocol is for those people that need to lose weight. It is not necessarily for the general public who just wants to eat healthier or for the athlete who wants to get ripped and be the best at your sport. Not to say that these people can’t implement some of my ideas but those are not the people that this whole thing is aimed at.

When I tell people to eat lower protein and much higher fat and no veggies I am speaking to people who are looking to lose weight and do so in a manner that will not wreck their metabolism and thyroid function. It is aimed at the people that are stuck from years of listening to people tell them to eat less and less and workout more and more and have gibbled up their metabolism to a point where nothing works anymore. All the supplements I recommend are so people can eat a certain way that will allow weight loss to happen while still getting optimal nutrition. I am not saying this is how you must live for the rest of your life. I am not saying that one cannot eat this way for the rest of their life either. I still eat this way despite being at a very healthy weight and being an athlete.

With all that being said, here is what I really believe about nutrition and humans.

We are all one species but we come from very different places. Everyone evolved from a certain environment. Some people came from a place where it was cold and very little plants could grow and some evolved from a place where there were an abundance of plants. This resulted in a given set of genetic traits that makes humans have a great deal of variation in what they can live on. That being said, we are still the same species and we can all eat one thing without any difficulty. Animals. Every human on the planet no matter where they come from can eat meat with no issue. The same can’t be said for plants. There are some people who have great difficulty eating plants. I am one of them. Does this mean plants are not for anyone? Nope, not at all. Those that evolved in a place where there was constant availability of plants will be very well adapted to this and can handle lots of plants. Now a person that doesn’t handle plants well could supplement with man made supplements like probiotics to force a state of false adaptation to allow them to handle plants but the fact of the matter is that meat is more nutrient dense than any plant and this is not debatable. You can compare any meat to any veg gram for gram and see that this is true. Meat is also more readily absorbed by the human body. This is pretty basic.

My real opinion on this is that if you have no problem eating plants and have no problem with weight then it is likely fine that you eat lots of plants. It is apparent that cultures like the Okinawan’s ate a very high amount of plants and they are lean and live long lives. It has to be possible. This is commons sense. On the other side of the coin, it is clear that people like the Inuit and the Maasai are cultures of people that ate little to no plants and also live very long lives and are free of disease. Both instances are true so it is clear that there is no one right way. The big difference is that these people evolved in very different places and each have a set of genetic adaptations that allow them to adapt to these ways of eating.

Alot of what I do is study people and what their stature looks like on their natural diet and use this as a measure of how I want to live. Look at the Okinawan’s.

The average height of an Okinawan is 4’9″. They are tiny people. Not very robust. They also have poor dental health with 72% of people going to dental clinics having severe periodontal disease and most with narrowed jaws and crowded teeth. The average lifespan is 90 for women and 84 for men. This number is declining with the westernization of their diet.

Now compare this to a culture eating little to no plants. Like the Maasai.

The average height of the Maasai is 6’3″ tall. That is a difference of 1 and 1/2 feet in average height! These are large and robust people. Their dental health is exceptional. Their dental health is exceptional especially considering they do not brush their teeth. There are some that use sugar cane tooth brushes but even at that it tends to be a couple times a month. There is currently a rising trend of cavities in children and this is accounted to tourists giving them candy. Because nobody does census reports on the Maasai it is not known what the average age truly is. The life expectancy of Tanzania is low at 44 for women and 42 for men but this is a result of primitive life, lack of medical treatment and infant mortality rates. It is not uncommon to see Maasai live well above 90.

Interview with 95 year old Maasai

So the message here is that people can live long and relatively healthy lives on high plant diets and on little to no plant diets. There are markable differences in their size and robustness but they both live well. Alot of it is to with evolution to the diet they eat as well but just to say that carbs are not 100% evil and many many can live healthy with consuming carbs.

With my own experiments I’ve see that you can lose weight on a high carb diet therefore you can easily maintain weight on a high carb diet. The issue with that is that in this case caloric intake does matter alot. In order to do this you have to eat less and that is what makes it less sustainable. If a person was completely metabolically healthy they could likely eat a lower fat diet and little to no trouble as long as they get adequate protein from animal sources if they only stay away from sugar and grains and processed foods but for those that are metabolically damaged from years of poor diet this is simply not doable and thus the reason I think the keto diet is best for these folks.

Many folks do great eating “lazy” keto and not tracking and eating all kinds of sweeteners and fake carb keto versions of bad foods and treats. I admit that this is true and possible. My message is that this will likely catch up to you in one way or another. Some people it will cause them to stall and when you stall it becomes hard to get out of. Some people can get to their goal by doing this. Those people may be lucky enough to eat this way forever and never have a problem. Is it optimal? No but not everyone wants to be optimal and this is fine. If you are having trouble these things need to go. They do have an effect and if you are lucky enough to eat them and get away then so be it but because you can does not mean anyone should. I also feel that if you constantly chase the bad foods that got you to the bad place you will be more likely to return to the bad stuff. Everyone knows that no matter how good that keto treat is you are always slightly disappointed that it is not a real cheesecake. This is always going to leave you on the edge of eating that real cheesecake just out of sheer disappointment with the fake one. You will never be truly satisfied with real, natural whole foods like meat, veg and water if you continually have yourself in a place of disappointment. Just my opinion. If you want to lose weight and be healthy and happy in the most optimal way cut out that junk. Can you still have them? Sure. It is up to you. You’re an adult. Just don’t get mad at me for saying it is not optimal. It isn’t. I’m not telling you that you can’t have anything. I’m just telling you it isn’t good for you.

My number one biggest thing with nutrition is that calorie restriction is detrimental to those that need to lose weight. If you want to lose weight you need to eat enough calories to not slow your metabolism. It is well documented that restriction of calories slows metabolism. mainly through reduction to thyroid function. If you are at a healthy weight and you want to eat one meal a day or eat low calories then by all means you can do this and there is even evidence that you might live longer. For someone who wants to remain robust and have the ability to lose weight for a long time to come don’t slow down your metabolism. A high fat keto diet that is adequately low in carbs and has the right amount of protein will not result in weight gain no matter how many calories you eat within reason. There is a point where that will not be true but this level of calories does not make sense to eat. Nobody will naturally eat this much. I know as I’ve tried and it is not doable long term or even for more than a week. Anybody eating until they are satisfied or even abnormally stuffed will not consume enough calories to gain weight on my protocols. I’m also not saying that it is healthy to eat crazy high calories. There are downsides. I had inflammation, elevated heart rate and constant feelings of being over stuffed when I ate 5,000 cals for 21 days. I did this twice and both times I gained essentially no weight and lost at least 5lbs after stopping. I would never consume this much naturally. You don’t have to worry about eating too much and gaining fat when eating to your TDEE. Not going to happen. If you do it is only fluid retention and will come off eventually.

Gaining weight on TDEE? Why and it will stop.

Caloric restriction lowers metabolic rate and thyroid function

I’ve rambled on a bit so let me drill this down to my overall points:

1. Carbs are not the devil. Some people do very well eating carbs. People with weight problems need to avoid.
2. Low fat and high carb diets can work to lose weight. Just not for long and not sustainably.
3. Nutrition is complex but one thing is evident. Everyone is best designed to eat meat more so than plants. But you can eat plants if you want. You just don’t have to.
4. People are differently adapted to different diets based on where they evolved from.
5. People with weight to lose have different dietary needs than athletes and the already lean.
6. Junk food is junk food regardless of carb content.
7. In the context of a diet that keeps insulin low calories don’t matter. That doesn’t mean you need to eat double your metabolic rate. You likely can but there are down sides.

I think that is about it. If you have any more questions or think I’ve left anything out comment.

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

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What fats to eat to increase your mitochondria/metabolic rate

Coach Jack talks increasing metabolism and mitochondria

With recent developments in the understanding of how fats affect mitochondria I have been working on a plan that will focus on the fats that increase mitochondria fusion. This makes mitochondria more effective in using fat for fuel which will increase the amount of fat you can burn. Everyone wants this!

Here is a great video of Dr. Eades reviewing how this works. If you skip to 21 minutes he gets into the thick of it.

The short story is that there are two saturated fats that will increase mitochondrial biosynthesis and therefore increase metabolism. Palmitic Acid and Stearic Acid. Stearic acid being the best. It is also pretty well documented that stearic acid foods have less of an impact on cholesterol, if that matters to you, and also has a positive effect on blood pressure. If you can focus on foods that have these fats you will increase your metabolism.
Here are a list of the foods highest in these fats.

It is not a list of approved keto foods. It is just a list of foods high in these fatty acids.

Stearic Acid

Palmitic Acid

To summarize the way this works:

When fats are broken down for use in the mitochondria they are broken apart at carbon bonds. The longer the chain of carbon bonds they more high energy electrons they create. These high energy electrons enter the Electron Transport Chain of the mitochondria and as they move through it there is one part that has a limit of electrons it can accept. If they carbon chain is long enough it will provide enough electrons to hit the limiter in the cell and at that point it bounces back anything else. This means no more energy can enter the cell and it cannot continue to grow (fat cells for example). This also means that the body has excess electrons to deal with. The length of the chain that seems to do this is 16 carbons long. The fatty acid Palmitic acid has 16 carbons and is referred to as C16. Stearic acid has 18 carbons and is referred to as C18. Stearic acid would be better for this process as it has more carbons and will create more of the high energy electrons needed to overcome the cell and pop off the signalling molecules.

These electrons that get kicked out of the cell function as signalling molecules to increase mitochondria to better deal with the excess. This is how you increase metabolism.

Note that this only works with saturated fats as unsaturated fats have additional hydrogen bonds in the chain so it stops the process of creating the high energy electrons and the limit is never reached in the Electron Transport chain and you never create the signalling molecules needed to create more mitochondria. An example of this is Palmitoleic acid which is a 16 carbon monounsaturated fatty acid. This means it has 16 carbons but it has 1 extra hydrogen bond in the chain. This hydrogen bond breaks the cycle of creating the high energy electrons that go into the mitochondria so it does not create enough to overcome the flow into the mitochondria and create the signalling molecules. Dr. Eades goes over this in depth in the video above.

A great example of how the change from using these fats in cooking has increased our weight was given in the video above.

French fries cooked in beef tallow vs french fries cooked in veggie oil.

Fries in beef tallow are high in stearic acid so the energy from the carbs in the fries is free to get in the cell as it never hits the threshold of the ETC but the stearic acid does hit the threshold and kicks back the energy so the cell does not continue to grow and new mitochondria are created. We get a little fat but not obese. 🙂

Fries in veggie oil are full of unsaturated fat that cannot trigger the kick back of molecules in the ETC so all of the energy is going into the cell and no new mitochondria are created. We have a slower metabolism and the cells are free to get fat. We have a slow metabolism and we become obese.

I thought this was very interesting and I will be testing it shortly.

Here is another study showing the effects of these fats on mitochondria.

See: Regulation of mitochondrial morphology and function by Stearoylation of TfR1 — “We find that animal cells are poised to respond to both increases and decreases in C18:0 levels, with increased C18:0 dietary intake boosting mitochondrial fusion in vivo.”

This is the fat breakdown of some of the discussed fats as well as coconut oil. You can see the difference in the length of the carbon chains.

Coconut oil:

You can see that it has very little of the long chain fatty acids that increase mitochondria. Very little palmitic Acid and no Stearic. It has some Oleic acid but that produces minimal amounts of the signalling molecules.

Palm Oil:

You can see this is very high in Palmitic acid so it will be great at the desired effect. It is also very high in Oleic which is the primary fatty acid in olive oil and is the reason so many believe it to be so healthy. This is a mix of great mitochondria generating and the believed health benefits of olive oil.


You can see now that tallow has far more stearic acid than ay of them. Stearic acid being an 18 carbon chain has the best effect on the process. It is also again, very high in Oleic which is the believed to be the best part of olive oil.

Now and interesting one that people will like, Raw Cacao Butter:

This is actually much higher than almost anything in stearic acid while still being reasonable high in palmitic and Oleic. A very good combo.  I approve of raw Cacao. Make sure it has no sweeteners or other junk in it. Just raw Cacao Butter.

I hope this makes sense but if not feel free to ask lots of questions. I have inquired with a friend that has a supplement company about the possibility of creating a stearic acid supplement but I am still waiting on it. I have actually found a few supplements that are just Palm oil in a capsule but the are too expensive and the dose is far too small to be effective. Just to show that I am not the only nut looking at this stuff in depth and it is a real thing. Hopefully we can make something happen with this. Very interesting stuff.

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Caloric Restriction is PROVEN to lower thyroid function which lowers metabolism!!!!

I have been screaming about this for a year straight now. Any diet that restricts calories will reduce metabolic rate. This is not even debatable at this point in my eyes. The bigger thing now to show is that not only does it lower metabolic rate and that makes it not work long term but now I have found that it reduces thyroid function to accomplish this and we have know this for some time. Why are people still promoting this. The science on this is solid and clear. I am about to show you.

We have the already seen one very definitive study on the most well know example of caloric restriction. The Biggest loser. The NIH did a 6 year follow up of the contestants and it was clearly demonstrated that they all had a dramatic reduction in metabolic rate after 6 years. It was also well documented that they all gained the majority of the weight back despite still doing a pile of exercise and eating a caloric restricted diet. They gained the weight back because once you have decreased metabolic rate and you follow the calories in and calories out model, if you even eat slightly more than the impossibly low amount of calories you were using to lose weight, you gain weight again. It is a system built to fail.

Biggest Loser Study

Now we have to look at how the body lowers metabolic rate. What controls metabolic rate? Thyroid hormones!!!! I am about to lay out multiple studies for you that show that caloric restriction not only lowers thyroid levels and increases Reverse T3 levels, which block active thyroid hormone receptors so the hormone can’t get into cells, but that we have known this as fact for some time and that we know that this is how the body conserves energy to avoid death from starvation. How this cannot infuriate you is beyond me. Yet more evidence that we know that the eat less move more movement is harmfull and yet it is still pushed as the gold standard.

This first study is one looking at iodine supplementation to see if it will help reduce the effect of caloric restriction on thyroid function. The first line from the study:

“It is well recognized that starvation and malnutrition are associated with a low-T3 syndrome in man.”

It is well known??? To who? Not anyone that I have ever spoken to.

They continue on to say that the same effect has been seen in hypocaloric carb restricted diets. Well duh. Caloric restriction is the same no matter what macros you cut to do it. 800 calories is starvation no matter where that energy comes from. What their point is here I am unsure. Just another way to dig at carb restriction I guess.

So the end result of the study was that, of course, the 800 calorie diet killed thyroid function but also that iodine had no effect on the most important of results.

“The intake of the hypocaloric low carbohydrate diet resulted in a striking decrease in both total and free T3 and an increase of rT3 irrespective of iodine supplementation. T4 and fT4 were not affected in either group.”

Effects of Iodine on thyroid function in caloric restriction

This next one also states it as fact that caloric restriction lowers thyroid function and that fasting does this even faster. They also show it as a function of reducing energy expenditure to save lean mass. They go into more depth on the mechanism behind what causes it even. When they genetically modify mice to not be receptive to the CAR receptor that seems to control the lowering of thyroid levels and calorically restrict them they do not see a reduction in thyroid function and the lose significantly more weight than in the non altered mice on the same calorie restricted diet.

This clearly shows that if we can maintain out metabolism we will lose weight faster. This is the reason I make people eat to TDEE and then if we want to move weight faster we can play with short bursts of other strategies but the main goal is to maintain metabolism or weight loss stops.

Effect of CAR on thyroid Function

This study shows yet again that caloric restriction lowers thyroid function but also that zinc deficiency can have a similar impact regardless of restriction or not. Imagine now if you are both zinc deficient and restricting calories which I am sure many are.

They took rats and starved one group but had their zinc levels correct and another group that were adequately fed and found that both groups had significantly reduced thyroid hormone levels.

Effect of Zinc deficiency compared to caloric restriction on thyroid hormones

This one actually shoots holes in the ketogains theory that as long as you get adequate protein you will be fine to caloric restrict.

They took humans and divided them into groups of either calorie restricted, sedentary eating at maintenance or exercising and eating at maintenance. They ensured the calorie restricted group was getting adequate protein and all other micronutrients as compared to the other groups.

Calorie restricted group had an average caloric intake of 1,779 calories.

Sedentary maintenance group had an average intake of 2,433 calories.

Exercising group had an average intake of 2,811 calories.

The end result was that the only group to have reduced serum levels of the active Thyroid hormone was the calorie restricted group. End of story there. How can we debate this?

Effect of Long-Term Calorie Restriction with Adequate Protein and Micronutrients on Thyroid Hormones

Finally I want to stress that the only thing worse for thyroid function than restricting calories is fasting. I wrote this piece the other day about a doctor who showed his blood work after a week of fasting and it was blatantly clear that he tanked not only his thyroid function but also his testosterone. This is not healthy and the number one reason I tell people not to fast. Any weight you do lose in fasting is going to be only water weight and will only serve to further damage your hormones. It is not worth it.

Fasting wrecked Doctors thyroid function

There are actually plenty more of the same thing that are available to anyone that searches yet this is not something we ever hear about. Thyroid issues are such a huge issue today and it is pretty clear to me that the dieting industry that is dominated by caloric restriction is the reason. It is not a coincidence that the vast majority of people with this issue are women who have dieted most of their life. What more do we need to say about this? Why when the evidence is so clear and so easy to find that no one is talking about this and everyone, even the keto community as a whole, is still stressing that eating less is the way to go.

This is why I hate it that the keto community is hung on the idea that your hunger going away so you can eat less is such a great benefit. It isn’t. If as a community we truly believe that it is not about calories and that insulin is the driving factor then we need to stop with all this eat less bullshit. We need to fuel our bodies to make them work. Stop starving and start thriving. Feed your Thyroid.

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Low Carb Diet from a Doctor’s perspective

I watched this video and immediately connected with this Doctor for obvious reasons. If only more experts would get it like this guy does.

Low carb from a Doctors Perspective

I feel the need to make a blog post about this just to highlight all the similarities in our philosophies and I want to point out some of the things he shows but doesn’t address.

1. We need to drop the CICO mentality.

He has a patient speak in the beginning. She is listening to the eat less and move more advice and eating low calorie and working out 6 days a week. She is not losing any weight. Now most experts would say she is cheating and lying. I don’t believe that to be the case. I’ve seen it too many times. Not everyone that diets is a liar. Even though the famous starch based Diet proponent Dr. Macdougall would say this is the case. Nasty man.

Here is the problem with that. She is eating less which is causing her body to slow metabolism to save her from starvation. Natural response that has been proven to be the case again and again in studies like The Biggest Loser Follow up done by the NIH. Every contestant showed a dramatic reduction in metabolic rate with prolonged caloric restriction. The big problem here is that as soon as they eat even a little more than the small amount they were eating they quickly gain weight back.

To add insult to injury, the client in the video was exercising like crazy. One thing that exercise is great for is making you efficient. If your body needs to do a given amount of work and it has to do so with a given amount of food energy it will do it and it will get very efficient at doing it with that amount of energy. Unfortunately this comes at a price. Your body will get used to doing this amount of work with a set amount of energy and it will slow caloric expenditure on other body processes to allow the energy to be dedicated to exercise. This is the exact same thing as slowing metabolic rate.

Now you add together the slowed metabolism from caloric restriction and the slowed energy expenditure to account for energy for exercise and you have a recipe for easy weight gain. Eat a little more or exercise a little less and the weight comes barrelling back on. If you had done nothing in the first place but eat 2,000 calories and not exercise at all you would have been immensely better off than eating 1200 cals and working out. After a few months of this you could eat 1500 cals and exercise 5 days a week instead of 6 and gain weight. Who hasn’t been there? I know I have.

2. Protein has a significant insulin response that lasts longer than carbs or fat.

At 5:34 in the video he posts a graph of insulin response to macros. You will see that yes, carbs have the largest spike but protein has a significant one as well. Halfway between that of fat, yes fat has a response, and carbs. What is most important to notice is that the spike from protein trails out way longer than that of carbs. Protein takes longer to process than either of these so the insulin stays elevated longer. This is counter productive to our goal of getting insulin back to baseline as quick as possible. This is the reason I advise keeping protein just to what we need and no more.

I would be very interested to see this graph on fiber as fiber takes even loner to process than protein as it slows gastric emptying. I suspect it would be similar to the protein but slightly higher for longer.

3. He understands how fat storage works and that it is actually easier for glucose to be stored as fat than it is to store fat as fat.

He goes into this at about 9 minutes into the video. In order for fat to be stored as fat it has to first be enzymatically cleaved apart. The Glycerol backbone has to be removed with an enzyme, LPL (Lipoprotein Lypase), then the fatty acids can be packed into the cell then it has to be recombined with the glycerol inside the cell. Glucose, with the help of insulin can be packed into the fat cell directly through the glut 4 transport where it turns to glycerol to be combined with the fatty acids to form trigs again. Which process is more costly?

4. He knows that insulin can create new fat cells when you have reached your limit genetically.

This is why many diabetics gain weight quickly when they start taking insulin. At 11 minutes he starts talking about something I made a post on awhile back on. Lipohypertrophy. This happens to diabetics that inject insulin in the same spots repeatedly. They get masses of fat building up in that area. What more proof do we need that insulin makes us fat? It can literally create masses of fat where you inject it.

5. This one is something I believe him to be incorrect about. Insulin resistance is not caused by over stimulation of insulin, spiking it too many times a day, but rather it is caused by our genetic ability to create new fat cells or to grow our fat cells large.

At 14 minutes he speaks about this. What I and many others are now starting to believe is that insulin resistance starts when the fat cells either reach their limit of fat storage or you reach your genetic threshold for fat cell creation. This causes the cells not to react to insulin as they are now full and no longer want to accept any new storage.

What causes me to believe this is because when the person starts to become insulin resistant they tend to stabilize in weight. They no longer gain but their begin having massive complications from the high blood sugar. They are tehn given drugs to better manage their glucose and this helps for some time. Then they are given insulin and the trouble begins. At this point the person tends to start putting on weight again. This is because the insulin has the ability to grow new fat cells. This is actually how fat cells are made in a lab. Using insulin. This is evident by the aove point on lipohypertrophy.

6. Another item I don’t particularly like. Not everyone can be 100% right I guess. 🙂

He talks about the appetite supression of ketones like it is a way to cut calories despite the fact that he dismissed it above. It is like he felt the need to somehow make ketosis fit the model. The reduction in appetite is not a benefit of keto and is not meant to help you eat less. It is because ketosis is a hack. It tricks our body into thinking we are starving. I wrote these articles addressing this:

Eating to Satiety is misunderstood

Listening to your body is great if you understand it’s language

Not being hungry is not a benefit

7. He believes in experimenting to see the effects foods have on ketones.

He talks about this at 24 minutes.

Experimenting is the best way to learn how your body works. Having someone who knows how to interpret the data is even better. 🙂

8. He understands how bad fructose is and how sweet effects the brain.

25 minutes in he discusses the issues with fructose.

Fructose is far sweeter than glucose thus is more addictive and it only gets processed in the liver which cause the mitochondria in the liver to be over taxed which can result in fatty liver. It also creates far more glycation end products which are highly inflammatory. Berries are not good for you.

9. The most important reason why I think Dr. Paul Mason is likely the best Low carb Doctor out there today!!!


21:45 Dr. Mason starts getting into why we need to stop with the sweeteners. Thank you lord I am not the only one who gets this!! 🙂

This is the post I wrote way back.

Sweeteners are not for weight loss

I highly recommend watching or reading anything else Dr. Mason has out there. He is so far the most together Doctor nutrition wise I have seen. Way to go.

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

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