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When fat is metabolized, ketones are produced and diets that maintain low insulin levels tend to result in ketone production from fat metabolism.  A ketogenic.diet (low carb, high fat) is essentially the opposite of the standard [American, Canadian, Australian, etc] diet (high carb, low fat) and is effectively the US Food Pyramid turned upside down.  While it has been known a long time that insulin lowers the basal metabolic rate (BMR, ~ 300 calories/day difference between the fasted and fed states), Dr Ben Bikman's research has found that ketones increase the metabolic rate because they cause white adipose tissue to become uncoupled so that they generate heat like brown adipose tissue.  High ketone levels also tend to waste fat via respiration and urination while also improving metabolic health.

Many people believe that the reason that they've gained weight and have such a hard time losing weight is because their metabolic rate (how fast they're burning fuel) has slowed down as they've become older.  According to the 1992 Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging. a better predictor of weight gain (and loss) is the Fasting Respiratory Exchange Ratio (FRER), which is the ratio of CO2 exhaled to O2 inhaled and is reflective of the degree to which a person is burning glucose to fat.  Basically, burning more glucose increases FRER and burning more fat lowers FRER and the study showed that higher FRER results in the higher long-term weight gain and the lower FRER results in the lower long-term weight gain.  The actual metabolic rate (determined by body mass) had NO effect on long-term weight gain or loss.  Although increased muscle mass requires more energy, you lose more weight by burning fat rather than by how much fuel you're consuming.

While exercise is highly beneficial for multitude of reasons, it is nowhere as effective at weight loss compared to diet.  Exercise doesn't burn-off nearly enough calories as you would want although you're probably not snacking while you're exercising. In addition to insulin's effect on the BMR, it's a lot more effective to avoid ingesting unnecessary calories than it is to metabolize them . For example, a 300 calorie doughnut will require about 60 minutes of walking (3.5 mph / 17 minutes/mile) or 30 minutes of running (5 mph / 12 minutes/mile) for a 155 lb person. See Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights.

Ben Bikman PhD recommends only consuming whole foods and has an easily-to-remember macronutrient alliteration for maintaining low insulin levels:

  1. Control Carbohydrates (< 50g/day from unprocessed, low glycemic index foods)
  2. Prioritize Protein (1-2g per kg of body weight per day)
  3. Fill with Fat (all remaining caloric needs from animal & fruit)

According to Dr Bikman, fat and protein should ideally be in a 1:1 ratio as is found in animal-sources food such as eggs and meat.  Keep in mind that your own body fat counts in your fat consumption, which is why you need to have sufficient protein intake for tissue maintenance and we need more protein as we become older (1.0-1.2 g/kg/day and 1.2-1.5 g/kg/day for those with acute or chronic diseases).  Since the body has no ability to store protein, excess protein is excreted and there appears to be no evidence that high levels of protein consumption is deleterious.  The healthy fats that we should be eating are saturated.  The degree of saturation depends upon the amount of hydrogen atoms that fatty acid chain contains and the difference between between beef tallow (containing stearic acid) and olive oil (containing oleic acid) is one carbon double-bond and 2 less hydrogen atoms, which makes olive oil a mono-unsaturated fat of the same 18-carbon chain length.  All of the body's nutritional needs can be supplied from animal-sourced foods and plant-sourced foods often have antinutrients in them, which makes them even less nutritious.  Another benefit of a high-fat diet is gall bladder health due to increased bile use.

Eat when you're hungry and don't when you're not.  Don't count calories.  A lean physique is a characteristic of metabolic health.  Rather than focussing on losing weight, it is far better to become healthy and the weight will come off and stay off.  To see how I've reversed my own Type 2 Diabetes, see Metabolic Health..