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 healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
What Does It Mean That I Burn Fat Over Carbs?
Your body is always burning a combination of carbs (as glucose, stored in glycogen stores in the body) and fat. At rest, you're mostly burning glucose, with a small percentage of fat. Fat is converted to acetyl sugars through the beta oxidation process and then enters the Krebs cycle like a normal sugar, though it requires oxygen (thus, aerobic metabolism). When you start exercising, you initially burn ATP and ATP-PC for 30 seconds or so, then the glycogen stores take over the load (anaerobic metabolism). As the glycogen stores are used, the aerobic metabolism sources (fats) slowly ramp up. After the glycogen stores are depleted (it's never fully unused, it just ramps down), the aerobic metabolism mostly takes over. When you "hit the wall" while doing exercise it's possibly due to the fact that aerobic metabolism requires oxygen to complete the kreb's cycle. When they mean when they say: "burning fat over carbs" it means that you're utilizing your aerobic metabolism store more than your anaerobic metabolism store. Additionally, when your glycogen stores are low, your body can convert fat to glucose in a process called Gluconeogenesis. If that's what they're referring to, they're misunderstanding the process that a low-carb diet is utilizing to burn fat. In that case your body is still burning glucose, it just turns the fat into glucose in a multi-step process in order to keep your blood sugar stable. It's not as simple a process as simply eating carbs, but it's possible to sustain your body on it simply by eating protein and fats (and a very low percentage of carbohydrates). Gluconeogenesis in combination with aerobic metabolism is the basis of the Ketogenic diet and the initiation phase of the Atkins diet. The Catabolism of Fats and Proteins for Energy Gluconeogenesis: Continue reading >>
10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is a popular, effective way to lose weight and improve health. When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels. These provide a new fuel source for your cells, and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet (1, 2, 3). On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. However, it can often be hard to know whether you're "in ketosis" or not. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of ketosis, both positive and negative. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It's actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath (4). While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day, or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet. It is not a permanent thing. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets, along with normal low-carb diets, are highly effective for losing weight (5, 6). As dozens of weight loss studies have shown, you will likely experience both short- and long Continue reading >>
What Is It Like To Go On A Ketogenic Diet?
It's do-able. Some people love it and some people hate it. Personally, I find that nutritional ketosis is almost ideal for me, whereas "normal" eating with lots of carbs in my diet leads to feelings of non-satiety, drowsiness, mood swings, insulin spikes, bloating, and sometimes nausea. A ketogenic diet consists of 70-80% calories from fat, 15-25% calories from protein, and 0-5% calories from net carbohydrates (carbs). You must restrict your daily net carbs to 20-40g daily. (total grams carbs) - (grams fiber) = (net grams carbs) Your transition period depends on a few factors: how strictly you limit your carbohydrate intake, how much energy you expend day-to-day, and how much energy in the form of glucose and glycogen you have stored in your body currently. My transition period takes 3 days. Day 1: This is an easy day. Your blood is still filled with circulating glucose, and any deficit will be taken from the glycogen in your liver to be converted to glucose. You may feel hunger pangs by the afternoon, and a small dip in insulin, which will feel normal to you because this is what happens every day on a normal diet and you are used to it. Day 2: This is an easy day, too. Your body is happily pulling glycogen from your liver, converting it to glucose, and all is well. Any small amount of carbs that you consume are burned away, nothing is being stored. You may feel the typical afternoon slowdown and hunger, as on day 1. Day 3: Hard day. Your body has been (or is nearly) depleted of glucose and glycogen. The small amount of carbs that you consume are not enough to fuel your brain. You have a feeling of satiety from all the fat you are consuming, but you may feel achy, have headaches, and feel sluggish. Your body is alerting you to the lack of glucose and glycogen. It will t Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>
What Does Dr Tiny Nair Think About A Ketogenic High-fat Diet In Terms Of Its Effects On Health, Especially The Heart?
Human systems use protein, carbohydrate and fat from diet. Fat gives a lot of calorie and is traditionally thought to be the culprit of weight gain and cardiovascular disease. Low carb keto diet means restricting carb to a very low or undetectable levels. This makes little glucose available (which is the primary fuel of the body), leading to breakdown of stored glycogen in Liver. When Glycogen is exhausted, body uses fat to produce energy. In essence, a keto diet changes body’s nutritional pathway from carb to fat (burning more fat). Very Low carb “Keto” diet means the body generates ketones (a acidic metabolic byproduct) which is used as a fuel. Many studies have shown beneficial effects of low carb diet on metabolic disease and weight loss. My View Indian diet is very high in carb (Rice, chappathy), so restricting carbohydrates is good, and I support it. I myself take a very small amount of carbohydrate. Such diet has low carb dose, but does not induce ketosis like a crash keto diet. Crash low carb diets There are problems of inducing ketosis. The resulting acidosis may temporarily disable many enzyme systems and change bodies metabolism. Many people feel down and bad on starting such diet (keto Flu). Also the safety of increasing fat in diet (may increase LDL) is unknown. Take Home diet I believe that any dietary change has to be gentle. Our system is used to take a particular diet right from our childhood and trying to radically change it in one day may not be a good idea. I would recommend a diet low in carb, controlled and moderated fat and protein; vegetables and fruits a plenty; and red meat, dairy and bakery the least. A crash diet, as the name suggests, might result in a crash. Continue reading >>
Ketosis Explained – For Weight Loss, Health Or Performance
Get Started Ketosis is a natural state for the body, when it is almost completely fueled by fat. This is normal during fasting, or when on a strict low-carb diet. Ketosis has many potential benefits, but there are also side effects. In type 1 diabetes and certain other rare situations excessive ketosis can even become dangerous. On this page you can learn all about how to harness the benefits of ketosis, while avoiding any problems. It all starts with understanding what ketosis is. Choose a section, or keep reading below for all of them. Ketosis ExplainedKetosis Explained BenefitsBenefits How to Get Into KetosisHow to Get Into Ketosis Ketosis ExplainedSymptoms & How to Know You’re In Ketosis Side Effects, Fears & Potential DangersSide Effects, Fears & Potential Dangers How to Reach Optimal KetosisHow to Reach Optimal Ketosis ketones Ketosis Explained The “keto” in the word ketosis comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”.1 This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can be converted to blood sugar). Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then consumed as fuel in the body, including by the brain. This is important as the brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day,2 and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones. Maximizing fat burning On a ketogenic diet your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is o Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Measuring Ketones
Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
How To Detect Ketosis
How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f Continue reading >>
Does Having The Keto Flu Mean You Are In Ketosis, Or Does It Take More To Actually Enter Ketosis?
AM I IN KETOSIS ? SIGNS & SYMPTOMS. ================= One of the questions people who are new to the LCHF (ketogenic/low carb) diet frequently ask me is: how do I know if I’m in ketosis? Everyone’s different and while some may experience all of the symptoms of ketosis, some might only feel a couple of them or none at all. There are basic signs and symptoms that indicate that you’re in ketosis, but please note that I’m differentiating between the signs of keto flu (covered in the previous post) that many experience in the first days of a ketogenic diet, and the feeling of being in ketosis when the flu has subsided: So Am I In Ketosis ? ------------------------- • Dry mouth (eat more salt and drink more water to alleviate this). • Metallic taste in your mouth or a strange taste in the back of your throat, some describe it as fruity or a little sweet. • A kind of “buzzing” feeling that’s hard to describe, almost euphoric at times. • Different kind of urine smell, stronger too! • "Ketosis breath” – It can range from being a little sweet to being almost like you’ve had a drink of alcohol. • Less appetite. You can go for hours without eating and don’t feel very hungry. • Increased energy. If you don’t experience it try to eat more fat, drink more water and watch your electrolytes. • A ketone strip called Keto Diastix you pee on shows a positive result. There are also blood ketone meters that give a more specific result. (Pro-tip: If you get the pee strips, cut them in half ) But do note that even with a positive pee strip it’s not 100% certain that you’re in ketosis and that a very dark positive result may only indicate that you’re dehydrated. For me personally, the feeling of being in ketosis is hard to miss. I just feel differen Continue reading >>
What Will Happen If I Don't Eat Carbs For 3 Weeks?
In 2012, I wanted to lose weight extremely fast. I had been weight lifting for about a year and I had put on some muscle as well as some fat due to poor dieting choices. This is a photo from 2015 but it’s similar to what I looked like in 2012. Not majorly overweight, but chubby. So, I decided to try and find the shortest way possible to get ‘shredded’. I wanted to look like Zyzz (below). I read somewhere online that to lose body fat, Zyzz would go on a ketogenic diet. I Googled some more and found details about what a ketogenic diet was. After minimal research I discovered that many people had lost weight using a similar approach. I was excited, I had found the method I was going to use to lose weight. My searching told me that a ketogenic diet involved eating practically 0 carbs. So I cut every single source of carbohydrates out of my diet. I said so long to my beloved sweet potato, rice, bread, fruit, everything. I also was led to believe that fat was evil when trying to lose weight, so I cut all of what I knew were sources of fat out of my diet too. So now nuts were gone, milk, cheese, oils. What was even left? A diet of minimal fats or carbohydrates… So my food sources at this stage was practically meat and green vegetables. More specifically chicken and broccoli. No sauce. Nothing else. Every meal. This meal looks 10x better than what I was having. See that sauce on the chicken? Not on my meals. I went extreme. I would tell myself, “It’s only four weeks.” What happened next? I felt terrible. I had little to no energy. My daily existence was fuelled by caffeine and pre-workout supplements (more caffeine). I was not doing a proper ketogenic diet at all… I didn’t understand it at the time. I was eating lean meats and green vegetables, how could I be Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis? Hint: It Can Help You Burn Fat & Suppress Your Appetite
We’ve longed been told that calorie restriction, increasing exercise and reducing dietary fat intake are the keys to weight loss. But, if you’ve ever attempted to control your weight by subsisting on fewer calories — especially from mostly bland “diet foods”— you’re already probably aware that this typically produces minimal results and is extremely hard to stick with long-term or consistently. Considering the high rates of obesity now facing most developed nations — along with an increased risk for health conditions like diabetes or heart problems as a result — researchers have been anxiously working on how to suppress appetite and achieve weight loss in a healthy, sustainable manner. The keto diet has emerged over the past several decades as one potential answer to this large-scale weight loss problem. (1) While there are some differences in opinion, depending on who you ask, regarding the best approach to very low-carb dieting, studies consistently show that the ketogenic diet (also called the keto diet) produces not only substantial weight loss for a high percentage of people who adhere to it, but also other important health benefits such as reductions in seizures, markers of diabetes and more. The keto diet revolves around eating foods that are high in natural fats, consuming only moderate protein and severely restricting the number of carbs eaten each day. Even if you don’t have much weight to lose, entering into a state of ketosis can be helpful for other reasons — such as for improved energy levels, mental capabilities and mood stabilization. What Is Ketosis? Ketosis is the result of following the ketogenic diet, which is why it’s also sometimes called “the ketosis diet.” Ketosis takes place when glucose from carbohydrate foods (like Continue reading >>
Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works
Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>