Ketogenic Diets

Everything you need to know about following a Ketogenic Diet (Ketosis)


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Struggling to lose weight?  You many have heard the words “ketogenic”, “ketosis” and “keto diet” thrown around a lot, but what does it all mean?

To lose weight you need to find the right balance between what you consume in the day and how active your lifestyle is, however some people find they are stalling at weight plateaus, hunger pangs and just cannot shift the weight required to reduce their obesity or type 2 diabetes risk . This is where under medical guidance a ketogenic diet may be useful.

It is worth noting that Ketogenic Diets can be more complicated to follow, require stricter medical guidance and are not the be all and end all of rapid weight loss diets, you may find that you achieve similar results on our regular Very Low Calorie diet plans.


What is a Ketogenic Diet?

The first thing to note is that a low carbohydrate and Ketogenic diet come hand in hand. In fact a Ketogenic diet is essentially a more strict version of a low carbohydrate diet. That is why Shake That Weight call their Ketogenic diet plans “Strict Keto”.

Maintaining a healthy diet whilst reducing your carbohydrates to a very low level can encourage your body in to a state called “Ketosis”. So what is Ketosis and how does it work?

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a state at which the body releases ketones in to your blood stream and encourages an extremely high fat-burning rate. Even the brain runs on fat, via Ketone bodies. These are energy molecules in the blood (like blood sugar) which become fuel for our brains after being converted from fat by the liver.

Ketone production is encouraged when your insulin levels become low. Your ketone production will get higher the lower your insulin level drops. Carbohydrates are normally broken down into glucose, which is then converted into energy and transported to the body’s muscles and organs. By lowering the carbohydrate intake to a minimum the body is forced to switch its metabolism and to find other sources of energy and so begins to use the stored fat. This results in burning the fat stores and also raising the levels of chemicals called Ketones in the blood, which are then consequently released through lungs, sweat and urine. This can encourage you to eat less calories than you are burning off, without hunger pangs and begin to lose weight. This state is called Ketosis; therefore all diets based on this principle are called Ketogenic diets.

Measuring Ketone Production

There are many reasonable priced ways to measure your ketone levels. The most accurate being with a simple blood test, not a full vile like you are thinking but a simple finger prick.

Ketones in the blood

You measure the ketone levels in your blood in the morning before eating anything. Most people measure ketones using the millimol per litre (mmol/L) units.  They can be interpreted using the handy guide below.

Below 0.5 mmol/L this is not “ketosis” yet.  This is the starter level of ketone production

Between 0.5-1.5 mmol/L referred to as nutritional ketosis, this is where you start to see positive effects on your weight loss.

Between 1.5 – 3 mmol/L know as optimal ketosis, this where you will achieve the maximum weight loss results.

Values of over 3 mmol/L this is not a beneficial level as you will achieve no better results than the levels below, in fact this can be a sign that you are not getting enough food.

If your chosen method is using milligram per deciltre(mg/dl) instead then simply divide them by 10.2 to convert the units to mmol/L

Ketones in urine

The traditional way to measure Ketone levels is with urine test sticks. You can find these in pharmacies or on the internet. They can give less reliable results because they only measure the excess ketones which are excreted through urine, its also worth noting that Ketones are also released through lungs, sweat and urine.  Another downside is that the above guide cannot be easily applied to urine sticks. They are, however a much more cost-effective way of measuring ketone production.


You should also note that regardless of the method chosen, testing ketones is not always indicative of your true ketone level. Instead it tells you how many ketones you have captured for that sample. There are also other signs you can look out for instead of testing that can indicate a ketogenic state such as sweet smelling breath, reduced hunger pangs and increase in weightloss.

Take home message “Do not obsess over ketone levels. instead listen to your body, focus on your results and how you feel”

Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Following a low carbohydrate diet does not guarantee optimal ketosis. So how do you ensure you are reaching that top level of ketone production?

There are many guidelines to follow, firstly you need to avoid all sources of obvious carbs like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. This doesn’t mean just switch to purely large amounts of meat either. Too much protein can cause the excess to be converted into glucose and raise your insulin levels which will affect you level of ketosis as explained earlier.

Secondly you must stick to a ketogenic approved food list. You can consume all types of meat as they are low in carbs but be careful to not just eat fatty cuts all the time as this will raise your cholesterol level. Also be careful with your portion size, the human body can only process around 20-30 grams per sitting and too much will raise insulin levels as stated above.

Avoid grain products (wheat, oats and barley etc) and stick to non starchy vegetable like leafy greens e.g spinach, lettuce and bok choy. Cruciferous veggies are OK too like cabbage, brocolli and kale. Generally speaking avoid root vegetables like white potatoes and onions but some like spring onion, garlic and leek’s are OK in moderation.

Be careful with fruits too as they can have very high carb counts.

Maintaining this delicate balance can be difficult and this is where Shake That Weight diet shakes can help. They are perfectly formulated to match the criteria to achieve Ketosis, low in carbs, fat and balanced protein profile. Whilst being quick to make, they also contain 25% of your vitamin and mineral profile to ensure your body is supported.

Who should use a Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenic Diets are suitable for people who are very overweight (obese), and have remained very overweight despite making healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle. Ketogenic diets do have their critics and most people would find themselves better off on a regular very low calorie diet.

However, it may be right for you if all of the following statements apply to you:

– You have already made healthy changes to your diet and level of physical activity.

– You have tried a regular very low calorie diet but are not progressing.

– After committing to a diet for an acceptable period you are still struggling with hunger pangs

– You are still very overweight (your BMI is 25 or over).

– You are no longer losing weight.

Ketogenic Diets are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and they are not suitable for children. Find out more about healthy eating in pregnancy.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you should not follow a ketogenic diet – it may be risky. If you have ketones in your blood at all, you must be sure that your blood sugar levels are normal.

Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

Similar to a VLCD there are many positive aspects of being placed on a ketoenic diet. Some of which are outlined below:

Cancer Prevention

 Ketogenic diets have had their effects on cancer prevention studied. Several research studies have shown that ketogenic diets may help prevent and even reduce tumor growth.

Rapid Weight Loss

Fast and effective weight loss benefits due to its ability to burn through stored fatty deposits.

Improved Cognitive Function

Studies have shown ketogenic diets improve behavioral performance in aged rats. leading to the conclusion that it may help with other degenerative cognitive function issues.

Pain Relief & Reduction in Inflammation

Research by Ruskin and Masino looks at numerous ways in which reducing glucose metabolism could potentially influence pain.

Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Both ketogenic and very low calorie diets have been shown to improve IBS symptoms

Stable Energy Levels

Many people on ketogenic diets report an increase in energy levels which is better sustained than previous.

Due to the fact that a ketogenic diet follows the principals of a very low calorie diet you can also see more shared benefits here.


How to use a Ketogenic Diet

If you think a Ketogenic Diet may be right for you, the first step is to talk to your GP. They can provide advice on whether a Keto Diet will help: they may measure your BMI and talk to you about other steps you’ve taken to lose weight. Ketogenic diets are not suitable for people with certain health conditions, such as eating disorders and epilepsy, and your GP can also talk to you about this.

If your GP agrees that a Keto Diet is a good idea, the next step is to find a good provider of a ketogenic products like Shake That Weight. The GP can talk you through the weight loss you can expect and the side effects that may occur while you are on the diet. Although these are usually minor, and can include fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation and nausea that only last for a short time whilst your body adjusts.

Typically, you should keep a record of your weight loss and any side effects, to discuss with your GP.

Choosing a Diet Plan

All Shake That Weight diet plans are designed around the Very Low Calorie diet principle and will stimulate ketone release. You have the choice though if you wish to follow our regular plans or try the ketone targeted one which can be slightly more complicated to follow called “strict keto”.

With the regular plans you have a choice which one you follow and it depends on whether you wish to consume only the Shake that Weight range of delicious meal replacements per day or combine them with healthy regular food.

The first is called the Woman Plan or Man Plan depending on your gender, and can be known as our Total Food Replacement plan.

If you wish to have regular healthy food alongside the plan you should look for our Woman with Meal or Man with Meal plans.

If you are looking for our plans aimed at achieving a higher level of ketosis then depending on your gender you need to follow either Strict Keto Woman or Strict Keto Man

After you have reached your goals you can use the Shake That Weight maintenance plan to ensure safe transition back to a regular diet.

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light only

A rapid weight loss plan aimed at achieving a higher state of ketosis. This plan has more restrictions over the meal products you can have.

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Light only

For those wanting a stricter plan with no evening meal. Only Shake that Weight products each day to keep carbs and calories low.

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1 2 4 6

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All the information is available on our diet plan page. If you are unsure why not try our diet plan finder .

Shake That Weight is based on the very low calorie diet principle to encourage more rapid weight loss than traditional diets. The plans are also formulated so that you can have smaller more regular meals throughout the day, which is proven to reduce cravings, keep steady blood sugar levels and increase your metabolism.

We do not offer free samples but we have a discounted Taster Pack with free delivery so you can try the products of your choosing before committing to a big order.

This varies by individual and is determined by your metabolism and lifestyle etc. If you would like to see what others have achieved, read our success stories and reviews in which customers have lost up to 10 stone.

You will lose similar amounts of weight on both diet plans when followed correctly. Simply choose the one best suited to your lifestyle.

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