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 >>
For Those Who Successfully Entered Ketosis, What Was Your Diet?
There are several ways to cover the conditions of ketosis: Fast for an extended period of time Restrict your carbohydrate intake to close to zero for a few weeks Not consuming any calories for 3–5 days will put you into a state of fasting ketosis. It’s the easiest and fastest ways of doing it. Nutritional ketosis is when you induce ketosis through carb restriction. The standard ketogenic diet prescribes keeping your carbs at <5–10% of total calories. Keto foods are low carb, moderate protein and high fat. How do you make the foods work? The key to making keto work is making your meals as fool proof as possible. No surprise sugars, hidden carbs, inflammatory compounds, unhealthy fats or proteins. By excluding all processed food and eating mostly whole nutrients, you’re excluding almost all of the potential dangers. You can also make it easier by eating the same meals over and over again. This way you can already tell the macros by heart and will predict how eating certain foods affect your body and ketosis. Here are some of the staples I love to eat on keto: 3–4 eggs with 1–2 strips of bacon and a cup of spinach coated in butter A can of sardines with an avocado and a cup of broccoli 2 chicken thighs cooked with cabbage and cheese 2–4 boiled eggs, a handful of nuts and seeds An 8 oz steak with a kale salad in olive oil However, you need to keep blood sugar and insulin levels low, as to promote ketone production. That’s why reducing stress and increasing sodium intake is an important part of successfully becoming keto-adapted. If you’re interested in learning more about the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, then check out my blog. Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide
What is a Keto Diet? A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc. When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source. Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body. Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates. Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits. Make keto simple and easy by checking out our 30 Day Meal Plan. Get meal plans, shopping lists, and much more with our Keto Academy Program. Looking for Something Specific? There are numerous benefits that come with being on keto: from weight loss and increased energy levels to therapeutic medical appl Continue reading >>
What Are The Dangers Of The Ketosis Diet?
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the "Atkins" and low carb dieting thing was just coming on in a big way, there was a terrific number of idiotic claims made about the dangers of it -- many of them confusing (as the questioner points out) diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition, with voluntary nutritional ketosis, even though there is no relation whatever. But, leaving all that aside, some caution is in order. The diet seems to stress the adrenals. This has been noted anecdotally by many people who've followed the diet. It was also noted by Dr Wolfgang Lutz, one of the early pioneers of the diet, who personally practiced the diet for 40-odd years, as well as advocated the diet to thousands of his patients. He noted in his book on the subject ("Life Without Bread" was the title, though it was published later I believe under a different title) that some patients would suffer mild autoimmune reactions that required small doses of corticosteroids to control. This sounds like what would happen if the adrenals are failing to produce a normal amount of steroids. You can find a lot more of a mostly-anecdotal nature by searching for "ketogenic jaminet". Paul Jaminet is a popular health blogger who has written about what he perceives to be problems with the ketogenic diet, including the possibility of deficiency of mucus and other key glycoproteins. He has some scientific backing for what he is saying, but it is far from air-tight. Read and judge for yourself. You can also learn a lot from the comments below his posts. Jaminet and others have also written about the risk of kidney stones on the ketogenic diet, and this is a serious concern, albeit a rare occurence. As far as the kidney stress goes: this would I believe be easy to avert simply by taking some alkali during 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 >>
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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 >>
Is Ketosis Essential To Losing Fat?
Ketogenic Low-Carbohydrate Diets have no Metabolic Advantage over Nonketogenic Low-Carbohydrate Diets – Research Review Title and Abstract Johnston CS et. al. Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (2006) 83: 1055-1061 Background:Low-carbohydrate diets may promote greater weight loss than does the conventional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Objective:We compared weight loss and biomarker change in adults adhering to a ketogenic low-carbohydrate (KLC) diet or a nonketogenic low-carbohydrate (NLC) diet. Design:Twenty adults [body mass index (in kg/m2): 34.4 ± 1.0] were randomly assigned to the KLC (60% of energy as fat, beginning with 5% of energy as carbohydrate) or NLC (30% of energy as fat; 40% of energy as carbohydrate) diet. During the 6-wk trial, participants were sedentary, and 24-h intakes were strictly controlled. Results:Mean (±SE) weight losses (6.3 ± 0.6 and 7.2 ± 0.8 kg in KLC and NLC dieters, respectively; P = 0.324) and fat losses (3.4 and 5.5 kg in KLC and NLC dieters, respectively; P = 0.111) did not differ significantly by group after 6 wk. Blood ß-hydroxybutyrate in the KLC dieters was 3.6 times that in the NLC dieters at week 2 (P = 0.018), and LDL cholesterol was directly correlated with blood ß-hydroxybutyrate (r = 0.297, P = 0.025). Overall, insulin sensitivity and resting energy expenditure increased and serum -glutamyltransferase concentrations decreased in both diet groups during the 6-wk trial (P < 0.05). However, inflammatory risk (arachidonic acid:eicosapentaenoic acid ratios in plasma phospholipids) and perceptions of vigor were more adversely affected by the KLC than by the NLC diet. Conclusions:KLC and NLC diets were equally eff Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>
What Is It Like To Experience Ketosis?
Ketosis is great, it's the transition that stinks. Being in ketosis means that your body is receiving its primary energy from ketones, which come from fat. The standard American diet is pretty high in carbohydrates, which convert to glucose in the blood. As long as your body has glucose around, it will always pick that over ketones. The transition from processing glucose to processing ketones invariably creates a gap in energy delivery to the brain (and other parts of the body), which will NOT kill you but which WILL trigger a stress response in the form of aches, headaches, fatigue, fogginess, etc. Really, it will vary by person. YMMV. If you fast (don't eat anything), you could be in ketosis in 24-48 hours (apparently, I've never tried it). If you carb-restrict your diet to less than 20-40g carbohydrates per day, you could be in ketosis within 3-5 days. It depends on a few factors, but mostly how much glycogen you have stored in your liver (glycogen converts to glucose). I was listening to a Tim Ferris podcast with Dom D'Agostino (Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer) where they talk about exogenous ketones among other things. Exogenous ketones are apparently available in several forms (BHB monoester, AcAc di-ester, BHB mineral salt) and if taken during the transition period will eradicate any negative side effects. I haven't tried them for myself (Peter Attia has! but it's intriguing to think that the one thing that prevents most people from enjoying ketosis (the crappy transition) could be optional. While in ketosis, I experience a little bit higher than normal energy level and fewer food cravings. I can think more clearly. I get hungry less often. I am frequently thirsty (this is normal side effect, and if you are in ketosis you should be dri Continue reading >>
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Alright, here’s what the ketogenic diet (often referred to as “keto”) is and the basics of how to follow it. What is the ketogenic diet? For those who don’t know the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high fat diet (LCHF) with many health benefits. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. Benefits: Ketogenic diets generally cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased level of ketones provide the numerous cited health benefits. Ketogenic benefits include: Fighting diabetes Epilepsy control Alzheimer’s disease Certain cancers Cognitive performance High blood pressure control Satiety Weight/fat loss Reduced cholesterol levels The most obvious and commonly cited benefits is the decreased insulin levels. This is why fasting becomes a great solution to people’s type 2 diabetes, cushing’s disease and many other metabolic diseases. Fasting as well as the ketogenic diet increases insulin sensitivity, improves insulin resistance and allows your body to use the hormone insulin more effectively (which is important for fat loss). There are also four different classifications of the ketogenic diet. The standard ketogenic diet is accepted as reducing your carbohydrates intake to 5% carbs, with just enough protein (20%, let’s say) and the rest coming from fats. Inflammation is the root cause of so many of our ailments, which lower insulin levels decrease. Energy use: The basic principle around ketogenic diets is that our bodies first port of call f Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet: Are There Any Foods Or Supplements I Can Eat To Speed Up Ketosis?
If you want to help yourself get into ketosis faster then using a high quality MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) Oil will speed this up. I think Dave Asprey makes the best oils. The next level down is the standard MCT Oil which has both C8 and C10 chains XCT Oil - 32 oz. By far my favorite way of getting into and staying in Ketosis (and this is coming from somebody who follows all the correct nutritional rules) is Exogenous Ketones. These put you into a state of Ketosis almost immediately (and that is reflected in the price range). Until now most of them were too unpalatable to bother with but there have been some fantastic innovations in the last year. I really like KetoSports KetoCaNa (10.75oz) The Original Exogenous Ketone Supplement - it has a very pleasant taste and does not have any sugar, unlike some of the other brands. Anyway, best of luck to you. And if you have any more questions pop them in the comments below. Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more 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 >>