After some planning and discussion my colleagues we have decided to take on a new and exciting project. We have officially started a podcast on health, nutrition and fitness. You can listen to that podcast here: Well Talks. Each of us has extensive experience in the health industry and needed an outlet to discuss and debate all things health. We’re very excited and hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoy releasing content.
That being said, we decided it would be a great idea to begin the podcast with a challenge. A quite extensive challenge I might add. We will be releasing content on a weekly basis covering topics in health that interest us and the listeners, however in addition to that, we will be tackling the topic of diets by immersing ourselves completely in a diet for each month. We plan on taking on as many diets as we can think of and detailing our successes, failures, frustrations and the health benefits or detriments of each one. Our first challenge, the Ketogenic Diet. All 3 of us will be following a ketogenic diet for the month of January and reporting our results to you throughout. If you are unfamiliar with the Ketogenic diet and would like to learn more about it, check out my previous post here before diving into this one.
So to kick off the first diet of the new year, here are 5 ways to boost ketone production, getting you into that fat burning, mind boosting zone as quickly as possible!
Yet another reason to start your day off right with a beautiful cup of coffee. Studies have shown that coffee consumption can increase ketone production in the body immediately after consuming it. Caffeine seems to be the important factor here. It can cause a shift in the body’s metabolism which leads it to break down more fat, thus increasing ketone production. More is better, so having an extra cup will further increase the amount of ketones produced. There is most likely a point of diminishing return here but you don’t have to feel guilty enjoying that morning cup of coffee!
This is definitely the easiest way to increase ketone production, in terms of simplicity at least. Our body will run on stored glycogen for as long as it can, once it runs out, it will rely on fat. This tends to happen relatively quickly, so taking advantage of this transition can ensure fantastic ketone production. After waking from sleep, our body is carb depleted and already relying on fat and ketones for fuel. Pushing that morning fast a little further can provide a huge boost to ketone production which can be of particular usefulness to those of you just starting out. My recommendation here is to practice intermittent fasting, aiming for 14-16 hour window of fasting, and eating what you normally would during an 8-10 hour time period. You can read more about how to properly fast and the benefits associated with it here: Intermittent Fasting.
There will never be a time where I don’t stress the importance of regular exercise. The benefits of physical activity are quite extensive and are only outweighed by the detriments of inactivity. As far as ketone production goes, exercise pushes the body into fat burning, ketone producing mode quicker than anything else. After as little as 20 minutes of medium to low intensity, steady state exercise, our body begins to burn fat as a primary fuel source. It will also help deplete those glycogen stores (carbs) in the muscles. Not only do you force your body to burn fat, but depending on how you refuel after exercise, you are able to keep your body in that fat burning state indefinitely. Exercise and a high fat diet go a long way towards a healthy level of ketone production.
4. MCT Oil
MCT or Medium-chain-triglyceride oil, is an easy to break down fat that is abundant in coconut oil. Because of the wonders of modern technology, we can purchase and consume MCT oil that is 100% MCT oil, separated and concentrated from the coconuts it is found in. This causes it to be liquid at room temperature as opposed to the solid state we see regular coconut oil in. Because it is in a medium-chain and not long chain form (like most of the fats we consume), it is much easier for the body to break down, providing a relatively quick, fat based fuel source. Anytime we break down fat for fuel, we increase ketone production, making MCT oil a fantastically useful supplement for someone looking to bring up ketone production quickly! Try adding a tablespoon to your morning cup of coffee while fasting and you’ll quickly find you have a lot more energy in the morning!
5. Exogenous Ketones
This is a newer but quite effective supplement that has been starting to make some heads turns in the health world. These exogenous ketones typically come as a powder you can mix into water (or coffee, tea and protein drinks) which provide an immediate boost to ketone levels because you are literally drinking them. I love these as a little boost to energy and ketones, especially if you already follow a ketogenic diet. I am hesitant to recommend anyone try these if they do not already follow a high fat diet, but for those who do or are about to start, this supplement can put you into ketosis immediately, after that, it’s up to you to keep your body in that state.
Well there you have it, 5 great ways to help you get started on a fat burning, energy boosting, ketogenic diet. What are you waiting for? Get to it!
Dr. Rob Raponi ND, CISSN, B.Kine(Hons)
Podcast: Well Talks