When Will Ketosis Kick In

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What Is Ketosis?

"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For health Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Rcroix

    Hello everyone.
    I have been on the 2:5 for about 6 months and lost about 10kg (over 20lbs) So thank you Dr Mosley!
    A lot of the reviews of the fasting lifesyle seem to suggest that it is just a way to reduce average weekly calories, but I’m sure most of you think there is more going on than simple calorie reduction.
    During the last 10 days I didn’t fast as I was on holiday traveling and found it difficult. Amazingly I did not gain any weight. This has happend on two occasions during the last 6 months.
    I think the fasting days are forcing the body to relearn how to burn fat. I’m a bit confused about the correct scientific terms for this ‘lypolysis’ is I believe the breackdown of fats (into amino acids) and ketosis the burning of
    fat as fuel.
    What ever the terminology it seems like the fasting days teach the body a long forgotten trick of switching from available glucose derived from what we just ate, to reserves stored as fat.
    I suggest that this trait applies to non fast days too, hence the lack of weigh gain during holidays.
    I used to do a bit of distance running and am quite familiar with the concept of ‘hitting the wall’. This is when a runner runs out of glucose and has to switch to fat burning (around the 18mile mark). Often that process is difficult, I have had to sit on the ground for about 3 minutes until my legs felt like they would work again.
    I’m not running now so I can’t try a quick marathon to see if the diet has helped with the switch.
    I welcome your thoughts.
    Good luck
    Perhaps Dr Mosely could weigh in on this with some scientific evidence.

  2. zec4peach

    I love science and this is why I love the 5.2 as it makes so much sense.
    Your body will go into ketosis when fasting for a short time, this is probably why some people get headaches. It will also make you very thirsty and wee a lot as your body tries to flush out the by products from fat metabolism. This is a common symptom of type 1 diabetes but obviously they go into a severe more ketoacidosis due to prolonged lack of insulin and metabolism of glucose and start burning muscle for fuel.
    It’s quite complicated stuff but if you google fasting ketosis there’s loads of interesting info online. Michaels book was lacking in any science stuff which is a shame as I think people are interested.
    I know that athletes or very fit people are more efficient at burning fat as they are used to it so yes I think the 5.2 does reset the metabolism in a similar way.
    I have managed to this this after years of cycling and find I can ride for a few hours on an empty stomach. Always need coffee though !!!

  3. Nika

    Hey Martin!
    I’m also very interested in ketosis. I tried it out a few weeks ago and didn’t eat any carbs for 1,5 week. I lost quite some weight, but felt like I couldn’t sustain it – I started feeling really weak, dizzy, couldn’t walk straight some days and all in all didn’t get the energy boosts some people boast about.
    So now I just cut carbs on my fast days and allow myself fruit and yoghurt on normal days – still prefer not to eat rice, noodles, bread and potatoes though. Sometimes a baked good or chocolate pudding as a treat, but not regularly. I do think this really contributes to my quicker than average weightloss (7kg in 3 weeks, of which most during that first 1,5 week).
    I’ve also started working out fasted. I do this after work before my only meal of the day, so after fasting for over 20 hours. I do HIIT (Insanity), which combines cardio and strength through bodyweight exercises. So far my results have been worse than when I did the program before when eating regularly, but I’m waiting to see how it goes in two weeks when I do my second fit test. My body is most likely also learning how to switch to burning fat efficiently.
    What you said about going on a holiday, this reminded me of the “carb loaders” I know. They basically cut carbs during the week, then they “carbload” on Saturday – eating everything from pizza to ribs to whatever they want. They say that it doesn’t cause them to gain weight, because the body is still in fat burning mode and the glucose from the carbs goes straight to the muscles, giving the muscles the strength to keep working out through the next week. Hence carb ‘loading’. These people are basically in ketosis 3 days a week (it usually takes the body about 3 days to go into full ketosis).
    These are all bodybuilder types though, who do mostly strength training so it doesn’t really sound like a great idea for me. I wanna be lean, not buff.
    Anyway, long post – gonna head over to the next one

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