jwc blog & videos

Ketones & Ketogenic Diets; what are they?

Ketogenic Diet, switching to FATS as primary energy source


If you are into health & nutrition you have likely heard the term ketogenic diet. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to adapt the body to utilize fat as its primary fuel source instead of sugar. The body does this by first converting fat into what are called ketones that the cells can then burn as fuel.  Is this a healthy diet option and what are "ketones"?


Biological Role of Ketones 


Eating three meals per day for our ancestors was unusual. Ancient humans would hunt and forage for the foods they could find. If food was scarce, they wouldn’t eat.


Our ancestors often faced the possibilit of going without food for days. To sustain life during these times of scarcity, the body is thought to have developed the ability to store and utilize fat as an alternative fuel source.


In a traditional nutrition course, you would learn that sugar is the body’s primary fuel source while fat is a secondary fuel source. When sugar stores are burned up, the cells then convert to burning fat as an energy source.  What we are finding out now is that fat can actually be a healthier and more sustainable source of energy.


Sugar sugar everywhere... 


Modern man has an abundance of food that is available to us on impulse. Most people will regularly eat three meals a day with snacking in between


This kind of frequent eating, along with an overemphasis on carb-rich and sugary foods, causes a reduced ability to burn fat. As these foods damage our bodies on a metabolic level, we actually lose the ability to produce ketones.


This type of reliance on sugar creates massive blood sugar spikes, inflammation, hormone imbalance, and ultimately many of the chronic diseases that plague society today.  By adopting a more ketogenic style of eating, we can reverse this damage and revert back to the efficient fat-burning machines as near to our bological forefathers as possible.


The Ketone advantage 


The energy currency of the body, comes in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). The mitochondria within every cell in the body either metabolize glucose or ketones to form this important energy molecule.


Based on what we understand of cellular energy metabolism, ketones are able to create much greater amounts of energy per molecule than glucose.   This means when the body begins to convert fat into ketones, you actually have a much more stable and sustainable energy source. 


At the same time, burning fat does not create the same insulin and blood sugar response that burning sugar does. This is part of the profound benefits of being in ketosis including, improved hormone balance, lowered inflammation and improved brain health.


Likewise, many people report feeling much more stable when they go into ketosis. Feeling less hungry, gaining control over cravings, and often experiencing a much more stable emotional state.


How The Body Gets Into Ketosis 


As I mentioned already, the body will either burn sugar or fat for energy. Sugar is converted into glucose while fats are converted into ketones by the liver.  When blood sugar drops and glycogen stores are burned up, the body begins to convert fat into ketones for energy.


As we find out more about the benefits of ketones, people are intentionally putting themselves into this state for therapeutic benefits as well as a heightened state of mental performance.


There are several ways to promote an increase in ketone bodies.  The general strategy is to supply the body with ample fats while depleting blood glucose to signal the metabolic shift towards fat-burning.  See the pie chart to analyse your Macronutirient percentages and use the nutrition guidelines on products and online calorie calculators to ensure you are keeping your dietry intake to similar values on the chart.  Contact me if you need advice on how to do this.


You can also have blood work done to analyse in more detail your levels of ketogenic state.  


Its possible after a change in your diet that you will not feel so great to start with as you enter a ketogenic state, after 2 to 3 weeks however you will start to feel the benefits.




Ketones are the body’s alternative fuel source to sugar. Derived from fatty acids, they provide a much more long-lasting and stable production of energy. In addition to providing stable energy, ketones also do not promote the inflammatory rise and fall of insulin as does sugar.


Modern dietary habits have altered our metabolism and made sugar our primary fuel source. By following a ketogenic style of eating, it is possible to reverse these metabolic defects and take advantage of the benefits that ketones have to offer for our brains and bodies!


Leonor Fragoso WQS Las Americas Pro

WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife surfing pro surfer surf contest
WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife

First couple of days in Tenerife @lasamericaspro waxing up, surf today looking great.  The set up left is solid with good shape.  Seems to work on various tides and swells.  Couple of bigger but slower sets swing wide but all open with various opportunites to hit the lip.  There is a similar warm up wave next to the contest area.  We arrived a few days early to get used to the surf environment, analyse the set up, tides and see how some of the local rippers approach the set up.


Our focus is Leonor's back hand attack, more vertical lip approach.  Contest strategy have fun, focus on achieving two scoring waves in the first ten minutes of the heat, gradually up the risk to better the first two scores.


Nutrition has been spot on and trying out some new boards.  The forecast looks like the swell is dropping so we have found a smaller peak to warm up on and breaking out the Lacrau Surfboards small wave epoxy.


Let's go.

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Leading light in the darkness hahahahah

I am a happy, positive person although I have not always been this way, through trial and error, through pain and a bit of suffering I have found what works for me;

  • Self discipline for me is key to everything else
  • Be dedicated & motivated & prepared for change
  • Do the things that others don't want to do
  • Reduce material possession - I am always much freer and less stressed without clutter, grasping, fixing or holding. 
  • Be original don't be afraid to follow your own path as long as your heart is full of good intention
  • Surround yourself with positive, interesting & motivated people
  • Refrain from ALL intoxicants; you don't need them if you live a satisfied whole existence.  You will always lose they will always win.
  • Stop watching TV; this device corrupted, manipulated and infested my free thought for years.
  • Walk more often and leave the car at home - whilst walking my mind is super active and alert.
  • Immerse yourself in nature as often as you can.
  • Consume organic, locally produced, non packaged, no GMO food - one of the many reasons I now live in Portugal.
  • Take a back seat - sometimes its good to sit back and listen to friends or watch the world go on around you.
  • Think more local, act more local - supporting my fellows, a good word here, directing people there always works.  Banging your head against the walls around international politics is pointless; be the seeds of change.
  • Seek out visionaries of the future - change will come and those who adapt quickest will thrive and be able to help others.
  • Keep physical exercise & activity a priority in your life - you will never regret a healthier life.
  • Encourage, Support and be the facilitator of positivity in those around you
  • Be compassionate but distance yourself from those that act or talk about others in a negative way
  • Give people your views on how to make their lives happier, more content they will pretend not to listen but they actually will.
  • Seek knowledge & learn new things; with the internet it is possible to study subjects & interests without ever paying a University fee, after all who cares about a degree certificate, education is truly free.

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Great to see Marcus & Yvonne again.  Yvonne and I have had a few coaching sessions over the last few years, I think this for Marcus is a total of 8 days coaching with me so we can really see progression from absolute beginner to improver, taking off on some nice green waves, looking down the line of the wave, timing the position one or hands to the rail, improving paddling technique, stand up, foot positioning and general stance.


Key learning objectives:



  1. Paddling technique
  2. Positioning on board
  3. Nose tail control with head
  4. Position 1 hold, gain control & direction
  5. Front foot positioning less than 45 degrees
  6. Twist in position one
  7. Chin up in take off look down the line of wave not straight or down
  8. Stance...bring hips forward less leaning most of the weight on front foot
  9. Compress using legs not bending at the waist

*to work on:

  1. Stand up drills in front of the mirror 50 reps per week



Key learning Objectives:



  1. Head & body positioning whilst paddling to gain better Nose to Tail trim control...using gravity to assist wave catching
  2. Engaging rail from take off, higher line
  3. Looking at the approaching wave
  4. adjusting direction
  5. Judging the degree of angle take off
  6. angle take offs 
  7. paddling entry angle
  8. leaning inside rail in position 1
  9. mid face turn
  10. back side surfing
  11. front side to back side turn

*to work on:

  1. Looking straight ahead & down
  2. Look down the line of the wave through the whole stand up routine
  3. Drills stand up drills 50 reps looking down an imaginary wave line