The Healthiest and Safest Methods for Your Upcoming Journey in Weight Loss
New Year Inspiration from Karissa Long, New York-Based Keto Health and Lifestyle Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Product Ambassador
The Ketogenic diet has become something of a buzz word over the last couple of years, but it has an incredible 100-year history. First used to help control epilepsy in children, the diet coordinated periodic fasting phases and supported children to ease or reduce their seizures. Many children later switched to anti-consultant drugs, but studies and trials about the Ketogenic diet made a resurgence in the 1960s and again in 1994. 
Then, in 1998, a team from John Hopkins Hospital published an “intent-to-treat prospective design” which again showed the efficacy of the diet for treating children with epilepsy. The same research used to help children, now further developed, became of interest to the general public who found that adopting a high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carbohydrate diet forced the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates as fuel leading to effective weight loss. Additional clinical trials show that Keto may help people manage the symptoms of autism, depression, migraine headaches, heart disease, cancer treatment, polycystic ovary syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. 
Today, the Ketogenic diet is available in many formats, but the information can be very overwhelming, confusing and just downright inaccurate.
As an Integrated Nutrition Health Coach trained by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I specialize in transforming people's lives through my proprietary “Clean Keto Lifestyle” which is simple to implement and nets incredible results!! I developed and fine-tuned this protocol during my personal health journey over a ten-year period, that started with being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (a debilitating autoimmune disease). After using myself as a guinea pig, coupled with hours of studying medical research, reading of any dietary theory book that I could get my hands on, and lastly, a full year of comprehensive training by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I FINALLY found the formula to looking and feeling your best!
If someone would have told me that today after years of medication and suffering, that my Ulcerative Colitis would be in remission, I would be in the best shape of my life, a health coach, and the Founder of the Clean Keto Lifestyle, I would have laughed and said they were crazy. But it has all happened with the help of the Ketogenic diet!!
Since establishing my private practice in NYC, I have designed custom wellness plans and worked with hundreds of busy women to help them implement a "Clean Keto Lifestyle" and achieve their health goals!
The Lean and Skinny: How the Ketogenic Diet Works with Carbs and Fats
Carbohydrates from food are usually converted into glucose, which is then transported through the body for energy. Glucose gives you quick energy that doesn't last and your body cells can't use heaps of it all at once so it saves some in your liver and muscles, as glycogen. Once there is enough glycogen stored in your liver and muscles the rest turns into fat. And who wants that?!
If you limit carbs though, your liver will convert fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood means you are in a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is the holy grail for humans to operate the most efficiently and can lead to numerous benefits such as weight loss, more energy, improved focus, better sleep, clear skin, strength gain, reduced appetite, better digestion and balanced mood to name a few.
Keto Diet Myths Debunked
There is a ton of misinformation related to ketogenic diet. Let's take a look at some of the common misnomers!
Myth 1: The Keto diet is unhealthy and low in fiber.
Answer: The Keto diet is actually full of protein, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals. It is also very high in fiber when followed correctly and focusing on real foods. The cornerstones of my ketogenic diet are healthy fats, quality protein and organic veggies so you will actually be upgrading your nutrition.
Myth 2: Glucose is the preferred fuel for the brain.
Answer: Your brain has something called a "blood barrier" which is a very tight barrier that only allows certain components of your blood to penetrate it. Glucose is actually one component that can’t directly cross the blood brain barrier, meaning you get inconsistent energy to the brain depending on how much glucose is available to cross the blood brain barrier at any point in time. On the other hand, ketones are actually small enough to cross this blood brain barrier and can facilitate a constant supply of energy to the brain. That means no more brain fog or 3pm afternoon crash!
Myth 3: The protein recommended on the Keto diet will damage your kidneys, pancreas and liver.
Answer: The Keto diet carefully recommends only a certain amount of protein each day (between 15-20% of your total calories) and studies show protein intake alone will not damage internal organs. In addition, you are probably eating just as much or even more protein today vs. on the ketogenic diet.
My “Stay Safe” Keto Diet Tips
1. Keep it REAL! Read labels carefully. Many products are labeled as “sugar-free” or “low-carb”, but come loaded with chemicals and preservatives. These do nothing for your health. Make sure you recognize every ingredient on the food label so you know it is the real deal!
2. Eat FAT to get skinny. Embrace healthy fats such as coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, and avocados.
3. Be sure to shop for QUALITY! Look for organic and non-GMO veggies, grass-fed beef/dairy, pastured eggs/poultry and wild-caught seafood. High quality ingredients are the cornerstone of my Keto diet.
4. Focus on eating vegetables that are on the low-carb spectrum (pretty much anything green is a good choice!) and also make sure you get plenty of fiber.
5. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of potassium and magnesium. You can also use supplements to help balance the minerals in your system.
6. Drink, drink, drink and drink. Water, though, not alcohol! Well maybe a glass of wine once in a while! Aim for at least half an ounce for each pound you weigh.
7. Add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt to your drinking water or meals throughout the day to aid with any sodium loss.
8. Throw out your artificial sweeteners (Spenda, Equal, Sweet 'n Low, even Truvia) or anything else that contains aspartame, sucralose, etc. Yes - that also means all diet soda!! Your body can’t tell the difference between artificial sweeteners and actual sugar, so it responds the same and raises your insulin and blood sugar levels.
9. Get moving! Aim to move your body for 30 minutes a day. That could be walking, riding a bike, swimming or going to your favorite fitness class.
10. Think HOLISTICALLY. The Keto diet and its amazing health benefits will change how you think about your life so focus on adapting better habits in all aspects of your life. That includes making sleep a priority, utilizing stress management methods such meditation or yoga and incorporating green beauty/household products into your daily life.
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