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The Truth behind Keto and Fasting

“Keto” has been a buzzword in the health and fitness industry of late. Same with “fasting”. But few people are really clear about what ‘going keto’, a ‘keto diet’ or ‘intermittent fasting' really looks like or is. 

Keto = steaks + butter + cheese? Not exactly...

What is ketosis?
When your body isn’t provided with exogenous carbohydrates in adequate amounts (usually less than 50g/day), it begins to switch energy sources to using fatty acids and converting these into molecules that can also be used for energy called ketones. These can fuel almost all of the cells in the body, including the brain, although the brain still has a requirement of about 30g of glucose/day. However, even if this is not consumed directly via carbs in the diet, the liver can convert the backbone of triglycerides as well as protein into glucose if needed. Primarily using ketones as the energy source in the body is referred to as being in a state of ketosis. Ketosis can be achieved by limiting carbohydrate consumption or abstaining from eating for extended periods of time (forcing your body to turn to it’s own stored energy).

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Why is ketosis desirable? 
- Relying more on fat for energy, or having the ability to equally effectively use both substrates for energy, as opposed to leaning heavily on carbs, means more steady energy with less up and down highs and lows of energy spikes and crashes. 
- Weight loss with less severe hunger pangs and no energy crashes
- Dramatically reduced inflammation 
- Improved cognition 
- Less brain fog and tiredness 
- Ancestral (our hunter gatherer ancestors had limited access to carbohydrates and went through regular fasting periods; therefore they were well adapted to use stored fat for ketone production for energy)
- Improved mood 
What is allowed/not allowed on keto? 
Generally need to stick below 50g of net carbs a day. 
Net carbs = Carbs – fibre (fibre passes through the small intestine, instead feeding your microbiota mainly in your large intestine, so is not absorbed into the bloodstream, and therefore not metabolized into glucose or fructose in the body, not affecting your ketogenic state)
Using a macros tracker like Carb Manager is a tool that enables you to realize what that 50g net carbs looks like and create a mindfulness around food will help keep you on track with ketosis. 

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Now on to fasting….
Another ancestral staple, fasting is a variable term that technically describes a state of not eating. Historically, hunter gatherers went extended periods of time fasting, followed by feasting. This was natural; not every hunt was successful and there was not always a supermarket nearby or fridge at home full of food to eat from! 
For general health, a minimum of 12h of an overnight fast should be a staple, with days or weeks where you abstain from food for 16-18h. This will accelerate your fat adaptation and allow you to improve your ability to maintain steady energy even in the absence of food.

Why fast? 
- The research is still in its infancy, but studies are indicating that at the 16/18 hour mark of fasting, a process called autophagy (self-eating) occurs. 
- This is basically a cellular clean up, where your cells get rid of or recycle old and damaged parts that are sitting around. This is a very powerful and important process for managing inflammation or reducing risk of diseases like cancer (those damaged parts of the cells, if left sitting around and never cleaned up, can accumulate over time and lead to cancerous and uncontrolled growths) 
- In addition, regular fasting helps your body adapt to ketosis because during this extended time of no food coming in, your body needs to turn to its own fat stores for energy! 
- Improved cognition and focus

So what’s with all this nonsense about ketosis and fasting have to do with me? 
You started in January with new energy, new enthusiasm, new commitment to ACTUALLY dialing in your nutrition this year. REALLY committing to change. THIS was going to be the year where, by summer, you'd be looking and feeling like this:

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or this: 

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Now its almost June, and you're more like:  

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec porta, mi ut facilisis ullamcorper, magna risus vehicula augue, eget faucibus magna massa at justo. Sed quis augue ut eros tincidunt hendrerit eu eget nisl. Duis malesuada vehicula massa... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec porta, mi ut facilisis ullamcorper, magna risus vehicula augue, eget faucibus magna massa at justo. Sed quis augue ut eros tincidunt hendrerit eu eget nisl.

Everyone slips down a little in their dedication and motivation at some point in the year. Now summer is fast approaching - but it's not to late!
Or - maybe you did reach your new years goals, but want to push yourself further. Maybe you were happy to see some improved energy, performance, sleep, cognition from some nutrition and lifestyle changes - but you want to take it up a notch!  
We have the solution whether you were motivated and want to push more or need a kick in the butt and are willing to put in the work and commit to changing yourself for the better with nutrition and training!  

Sign up for our 4-week HARDCORE SUMMER NUTRITION CHALLENGE starting JUNE 17 and throw yourself back into the commitment of your health and fitness. 


This is not for the faint of heart! The challenge will be all in or nothing, hardcore, really see how far your can push your boundaries of comfort and challenge your limiting beliefs to make a real, lasting change on your health, confidence, energy. 
During the challenge, you'll be pushed to achieve your very best potential and reach your goals with a small, motivational group atmosphere. Not only will we focus on nutrition, but we'll implement lifestyle changes that will make a meaningful positive contribution to reaching your goals, boost energy and improve performance, and lay the foundation for long lasting and sustainable healthy habits. You will be held accountable for sticking to your word, and staying on track for the entire four week program: not only with what you're putting into your body but also to move your body; weekly training together will make you feel good, boost your results, and have fun! 

The four weeks will train your body, your nutrition, and your mindset so you're stronger mentally and physically - and give you the confidence to enjoy your summer as well and permenently changing your life for the better 
Spots are limited and filling up so send an email to hello@escapistcrossfit.com to sign up now to get the early enrollement discount: your future self will thank you when your friends invite you to the beach 😉