The term ketosis and ketogenic seem to have been overtaken by the eating lifestyle call “keto”. “Keto” is a high dietary fat eating lifestyle. So what is ketosis? The term ketosis simply means you’re getting your energy from fat rather than from sugar. Keto is ketosis. But not all ketogenic programs are keto. This means not all ketogenic programs have to be high in dietary fat.
How do you get into ketosis?
Your body has three fuel sources of energy: carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Carbohydrates (sugar) are your body’s primary fuel source of energy. This means your body will always burn sugar first. It doesn’t matter how much fat is available for usage, your body will always burn sugar first. Only once your sugar stores are exhausted, will your body begin to look at fat as an energy source. Therefore, you get into ketosis by reducing your carbohydrate intake. For the average person this means eating under 50 net carbs per day (a net carb is your total carbs minus your fiber). Once you have reduced your carbohydrate intake, you no longer give your body that as a fuel source option. Now your body will begin to utilize fat as an energy source.
However, once your body is in ketosis (using fat as an energy source), your body also wants to equally burn protein. If you are not eating enough dietary protein, you are risking your body using your muscle as part of it’s energy source. Burning your lean muscle mass is not good. Your muscles are the key players in your body movement and function. Loss of muscle mass can affect your strength and endurance and lead to decreased functional performance and other health problems. Your muscles are also the engine that burns calories. If you are losing lean muscle mass this can cause your metabolism to slow down. A slower metabolism means that you are more inefficient at weight loss and susceptible to weight gain.
Benefits of ketosis
There are many benefits of ketosis. Some of the benefits are:
- Weight loss
- Improved blood sugar management
- Reduce seizures
- Decreased inflammation
- May have a positive effect on migraines
- May have a positive effect on acne
- Reduced appetite
- Reduce triglycerides
- Increases good cholesterol (HDL)
- May lower blood pressure
- Effective against metabolic disorder
- Improved bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
- May be therapeutic for brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- May have a positive effect on some cancers
- May have a positive effect on mental health
Ketosis for weight loss
In order to be in weight loss you have to be in a hypocaloric state. This is one of the many mistakes that people make when they do a ketogenic program on their own. Many people mistakenly believe that they can eat as much fat as they want on a ketogenic weight loss program. Remember, that ketosis simply means you’re getting your energy from fat rather than from sugar. So if you are eating a lot of dietary fat, you will be burning the fat that you’re eating instead of the fat that you’re storing. In order to lose weight, you need to also decrease your caloric intake. This means you cannot eat as much fat as you want because that will increase your calories and cause insufficient weight loss. It is recommended that you drop your caloric intake by a couple hundred calories in order to lose weight. This will most likely be through fat as you do not want to drop your protein intake too much and risk burning through your lean muscle mass.
Healthy Weight Loss
A ketogenic diet done properly can have effective and healthy weight loss. Working with a health care practitioner that has knowledge of ketogenic based weight loss programs can help you achieve the weight loss and wellness goals that you are looking for.