A number of companies have attempted to capitalize on the ketogenic diet trend, but some are better than others. Perfect Keto– a keto diet system that’s the brainchild of former sports rehab clinician Dr. Anthony Gustin– is one of the most legitimate options out there for getting started with keto dieting.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the ketogenic diet and the Perfect Keto diet system.
What is the ketogenic diet?
Simply put, the ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet plan. Keto dieters avoid eating carbohydrates almost entirely and instead focus on eating healthy fats. Their goal: to enter into and maintain a metabolic state called ketosis. Once in ketosis, your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. This can help you lose weight– but there are several other benefits to consider, as well.
The original ketogenic diet was designed in 1923 by Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. Russell Wilder. His original intent was to design a diet plan for sufferers of epilepsy that didn’t involve fasting. The ketogenic diet came gained worldwide attention in the early 2000s when people started using various ketogenic diet variants for weight loss.
In addition to epilepsy reduction and weight loss, other benefits of keto dieting include glucose sensitivity reduction and increased HDL cholesterol (sometimes called “good cholesterol”) levels.
Basic ketogenic diet concepts, explained
If you’ve just started learning about ketogenic dieting, you’ve probably already seen many of the terms listed below. Here’s a quick explanation of what they mean.
Your body is equipped with a wide range of mechanisms for taking in and using energy. Scientists refer to these mechanisms as metabolic states. After you eat a meal, your body enters the absorptive state, which lasts for about four hours. During the night, your body enters the postabsorptive state– in other words, it shifts into fasting mode. If you deprive your body of food for an extended period of time, it goes into a third metabolic state: starvation. When your body has entered the starvation metabolic state, it then begins to rely on fat for energy instead of sugar.
Glycolysis is a series of reactions that your body creates in order to extract energy from glucose, or sugar. Most of the time, your body will use up any available sugar and store the rest of any available energy as fat. However, sugar isn’t the only substance that your body can use to fuel itself. When sugar isn’t available, your body shifts from glycolysis to ketosis. When this occurs, your body begins using fat to fuel itself.
When you’re hungry but there is no food in the fridge and it’s too late to go to the supermarket, you may decide to open a can of beans– even if beans are not your favorite food. Your body follows the same principle when it shifts away from glycolysis and into ketosis. Ketosis is your body’s backup plan for when it’s preferred fuel– glucose– isn’t available. The term ketosis describes all the processes that your body uses to shift from using glucose to ketones for energy.
Ketones are the alternative fuel source that your body uses when glucose is not available. When your body breaks down its triglycerides and fatty acids, the result is a substance called acetyl CoA. A series of chemical reactions called the Krebs cycle then processes Acetyl CoA into ketones. These reactions will begin to occur after your body has entered the starvation metabolic state.
When keto dieters talk about net carbs, they’re referring to the total amount of carbs in a food, minus the fiber content. Technically, fiber falls under the carbohydrate bracket. However, you don’t need to avoid fiber if you’re on the keto diet. Unlike other types of carbohydrates, your body can’t digest fiber– so it won’t throw you out of ketosis. Fiber plays an important role in regulating blood sugar and keeping hunger in check.
Macronutrients are the food ingredients that your body needs in large quantities. There are three main macronutrients that the human body requires: fats, carbohydrates and proteins. You can think of macronutrients as fuels that your body needs to drive all of its vital functions.
Micronutrients are all the other nutrients that you need that aren’t fats, carbs or proteins. Unlike macronutrients, micronutrients don’t provide your body with energy. Instead, micronutrients play a supporting role. They give your body the tools it needs to keep all of its functions running smoothly.
Does the ketogenic diet really work?
Over 20 different scientific studies– conducted between 2003 and 2012– have studied the effects of the ketogenic diet on the body. Here is a quick overview of some of the most interesting results.
- Ketogenic vs. low-fat dieting. A 2003 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine compared the ketogenic diet to a traditional low-fat diet. After six months, the ketogenic dieters in the study lost almost twice as much weight as the low-fat dieters, on average. Though the differences between the two groups of dieters evened out after 12 months, the ketogenic group had lower levels of blood triglycerides and more “good” HDL cholesterol.
- Women. Another 2003 study published by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism subjected 53 healthy but moderately obese women to two different types of diets. After 24 weeks, the women on the ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times as much weight and had healthier blood biomarkers.
- Adolescents. Yet another 2003 study published by The Journal of Pediatrics looked into whether or not overweight adolescents could benefit from keto dieting. After 12 weeks, the low-carb dieters lost 2.3 times as much weight as the low-fat dieters and had healthier blood profiles.
- Severely obese individuals. A 2004 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine tested to see if a ketogenic diet could help very obese individuals shed weight. By the time the study had ended, the ketogenic dieters in the study lost three times as much weight as the low-fat dieters. In addition, they were less sensitive to insulin and had healthier blood glucose levels.
- Hunger reduction. The peer-reviewed scientific journal Obesity published a 2007 study that sought to study the effects of the keto diet on hunger. As was the case with the other studies mentioned above, the researchers split the study participants into two groups: a low-fat group and a low-carb group. The low-carb group lost twice as much weight and reported less hunger.
- Type 2 diabetes. London-based scientific journal Nutrition & Metabolism published a 2008 study that researched the effects of keto dieting on people with type 2 diabetes. One group followed the keto diet and the other stuck to a low-glycemic diet plan. The keto diet group lost about twice as much weight after 24 weeks. What’s more, 95.2% of the individuals in the keto diet group were able to reduce or eliminate their diabetes medications.
First steps for beginning a ketogenic diet
Here are a few steps you should take before you begin your ketogenic diet.
Step 1: Ask your doctor if keto is right for you
The first thing you’ll want to do if you’re thinking about trying a ketogenic diet is check with your doctor to see if your body will be able to handle it. According to physician Jeff Stanley, MD, the keto diet is “safe for most people,” but people who are on medication for diabetes and/or high blood pressure should proceed with caution. Checking in with your doctor every once in a while after you start is a good idea, as well.
Step 2: Pick a meal plan
Most keto dieters limit their carbohydrate intake to between 20 and 30 grams per day. Learning about which foods to avoid takes practice. It’s not just candy bars and soda that you’re going to have to give up. Sugary fruits and starchy veggies have carbs as well. To make things simpler, search for a keto meal plan that suits your taste in food. There are many keto meal plans to choose from. One great place to start is with Dr. Anthony Gustin’s three-day keto meal plan.
Step 3: Level up your cooking skills
Many restaurants offer meals that seem to be keto-friendly on the surface, but will actually throw you out of ketosis. Sauces and added sugars can bump you above your daily carbohydrate limit. A single Big Mac hamburger, for example, contains nine grams of sugar. One excellent way to avoid these kinds of added sugar traps is to make your food yourself. Don’t worry– many keto meals (like meals involving boiled eggs, sliced meat or nuts) are extremely easy to prepare. Learning how to roast vegetables, grill fish and cook with olive oil will give you even more options.
Step 4: Experience the benefits of “bulletproof coffee”
Some keto dieters mix coconut oil and butter into their coffee between meals. The added fat can help your body adapt to using to no-carb energy while also keeping your hunger at bay. At the same time, the caffeine in the coffee will put a spring in your step. Keep in mind, however, that coconut oil does contain a significant amount of “bad” LDL cholesterol. You should check with your doctor first to see if bulletproof coffee is right for your diet.
Step 5: Learn what to expect when your body begins to adapt
The keto diet changes the way that you get the energy you need to live. Once in ketosis, your body will shift away from carbohydrates and begin burning fat for fuel. This is a massive change that is not without side effects. Some keto dieters complain of “keto flu”– a temporary feeling of malaise that leaves you feeling mentally and physically tired. Dehydration can also be a problem, so remember to drink plenty of fluids at all times after you go keto. Bad breath, constipation and menstrual cycle irregularities can also occur.
Step 6: Come up with an exit strategy
The ketogenic diet is not meant to be a long-term weight loss strategy. Check with your doctor to find out how long you should remain on the keto diet before you start. Then, think about what you will do once it’s time to transition away from keto and towards a healthy, well-balanced diet that will sustain you and help you stay thin over the long term.
Perfect Keto: an excellent keto diet system for complete beginners
Perfect Keto– a line of keto-friendly powders, protein bars, supplements and nut butters– is a one-stop shop for getting started with ketogenic dieting. Founder Dr. Anthony Gustin created Perfect Keto with the intent to give keto dieters a way to lose weight while also maintaining good overall health. Many of the products that Perfect Keto sells are designed to reduce keto flu, brain fog, lethargy and other keto diet side effects.
Perfect Keto founder Dr. Anthony Gustin
Dr. Anthony Gustin is an American board-certified sports chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, entrepreneur, podcast host and the CEO of Perfect Keto. Before founding Perfect Keto, Gustin was the director of a sports medicine chiropractic clinic called SF Custom Chiropractic. In addition to Perfect Keto, Gustin also owns a whole food supplement provider called Equip.
Perfect Keto product range
Here’s a quick overview of the four main products that Perfect Keto sells, along with relevant peer-reviewed studies that back up their health claims.
Exogenous ketone base
Exogenous ketone base is one of Perfect Keto’s most popular products. Its main ingredient is beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB. BHB is one of the three main types of ketones that your body produces. The other two types are acetoacetate and acetone. Scientists have just started looking into the effects of BHB on human health– and so far, the results are quite remarkable. Subjects in a 2017 study published by Frontiers in Physiology concluded that drinks containing BHB salt are a “practical, efficacious way to achieve ketosis.”
Perfect Keto’s exogenous ketone base supplement comes in a variety of different flavors, including chocolate, coffee, peach, vanilla and salted caramel. You can mix those flavors in with pretty much any type of drink that fits your diet, including milk, water, almond milk or even coffee. Perfect Keto recommends to take the powder on an empty stomach whenever you need a physical or mental boost. The powder comes in a large tub, which costs $56.99 and contains 15 servings. If you subscribe to Perfect Keto, the company will send you refills every 30, 45 or 60 days. Subscribing is free and you get a 15% discount no matter which refill schedule you choose.
Over 3200 people have written reviews of Perfect Keto’s exogenous ketone base supplement. Many reviewers reported that they enjoyed mixing it in with their coffee in the morning. The most popular flavor seems to be chocolate.
Learn more about exogenous ketone base and read user reviews at Perfect Keto.
MCT oil powder
MCT oil is another supplement that’s popular among keto dieters. The reason: MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are easier to convert into ketones compared to other types of fats. Various studies have shown that MCT oil supports healthy weight loss, enhances gut health, prevents heart disease and supports ketosis. There may be even more benefits, as well. A 2004 study of the effects of BHB on cognition in memory-impaired adults that was published by Neurobiological Aging revealed that the MCT oil supplement the subjects took helped improve their ability to recall paragraphs.
Like Perfect Keto’s exogenous ketone base, the company’s MCT oil powder comes in several different flavors: chocolate, carmel, salted caramel and matcha latte. There’s also an unflavored option that you can choose as well. You don’t need to use a blender and you can mix the MCT oil into any drink to alleviate hunger between meals. The powder comes in a tub, which costs $36.99 unless you subscribe to get refills every 30, 45 or 60 days. As is the case with all Perfect Keto, subscribers get 15% off of every purchase. There is no subscription fee.
Over 2400 people have reviewed Perfect Keto’s MCT oil powder on Yotpo. Salted caramel seems to be a popular flavor. As is the case with the exogenous ketone base supplement, fans of Perfect Keto’s MCT oil powder enjoy mixing it into their coffees.
Learn more about MCT Oil Powder and read user reviews at Perfect Keto.
Perfect Keto’s keto collagen supplement also contains not only MCT oil, but also collagen. Collagen can help fight against the dehydrating effects of the ketogenic diet. In a 2015 study, women who drank a collagen supplement experienced better skin hydration and elasticity. Other studies have shown that collagen can help support brain injury recovery and bone health.
The keto collagen that Perfect Keto sells costs $36.99 for a 20-serving tub. Available flavors include chocolate, salted caramel and vanilla– and there’s an unflavored version, as well. Like the MCT oil powder and the exogenous ketone base, there’s no need to use a blender to mix the keto collagen supplement into whatever beverage you prefer. You can get a 15% discount by joining Perfect Keto’s free refill program.
Over 2600 people have reviewed Perfect Keto’s keto collagen supplement on Yotpo. There are positive comments about all the flavors, and many reports of it having a positive effect on hair and nail health.
Learn more about keto collagen and read user reviews at Perfect Keto.
Exogenous ketone capsules
Another way to get BHB salts into your body is with exogenous ketone capsules. Capsules are sometimes more convenient than powders because capsules don’t require you to mix the supplement into a drink or add it to a food.
Perfect Keto’s exogenous ketone capsules only cost $19.99 and you can pay 15% less if you sign up for the 30, 45 or 60-day refill program. The bottle comes with 60 capsules, which is 30 servings. The capsules are somewhat more convenient compared to the powder, since they’re more portable and you don’t need to mix them with food. Perfect Keto recommends that you take two capsules for an added energy boost in the morning or to help get in ketosis after coming off a carb diet.
Only 16 people have reviewed Perfect Keto’s exogenous ketone capsules on Yotpo. However, all 16 reviewers seem to have had good experiences with it. The reviewers liked how the capsules were more convenient compared to the powder. However, some complained that the effects of the capsules were somewhat weak compared to the powder.
Learn more about exogenous ketone base and read user reviews at Perfect Keto.