What Is Ketosis?
Your body typically gets all of it's fuel from dietary carbohydrates. Carbohydrates includes foods like rice, bread, pasta, and other grains, along with fruit, sugars and vegetables.
When carbohydrates enter your body they are broken down into glucose, and used by the body for energy.
The hormone insulin then steps in to remove glucose from the bloodstream. And the body either uses it for energy or stores any that is unused.
Any glucose that is not immediately used as fuel will be sent to the liver. And muscles to be stored as glycogen as a fuel reserve. And any unused glycogen in the muscles, such as through exercise or energy expenditure turns to stored body fat.
For people with a carb sensitivity or those with insulin resistance it’s a grim outlook! Unfortunately this can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Lipolysis & Ketosis
An alternative source of fuel for the body is its own body fat. This process is triggered when the intake of carbs is limited, and their sources controlled. That's when your body enters a state called lipolysis.
Lipolysis is the most efficient biochemical pathway to weight loss. And it's a scientifically proven alternative to the body using or needing glucose for energy.
Lipolysis occurs as the body begins to burn the body’s own fat stores for energy instead of dietary carbohydrates. The by-products of this fat burning process are ketones. So ketosis is the secondary process of lipolysis.
When you eliminate carbs, the body is forced to use its fat stores instead, which literally turns into a fat burning machine. Ketones are the byproducts of ketosis and provide fuel for the body.
The only true exception to the body not needing glucose for fuel is ketones.
Ketosis not only provides adequate energy for the cells within the body. It also fuels the brain and other organs just as glucose from carbs does! BUT unlike what may occur during the use of glucose, ketosis does not store fat. It actually allows the body to burn stored fat for fuel.
This is the reason why low carb diets are so popular and have allowed thousands of people to lose weight and keep it off.
Low Carb Diets
There are cases where doctors will induce ketosis to medically intervene for various conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes.
This process involves a patient being placed on a low carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet to increase fat and protein intake to provide fuel for energy, while reducing your carb intake.
WebMD explains that kicks in when consumption is limited to less than 50 grams per day and the ketogenic diet is one of the most popular strict carb intake plans.
One of the greatest benefits of low carb diets and using fat for fuel is that this type of eating greatly regulates the appetite. This means there is no starvation or out of control hunger and erratic cravings become a thing of the past.
One of the reasons for this is that carbohydrates trigger blood sugar spikes that can wreak havoc on hunger and cravings.
They took 83 obese patients (39 men, 44 women) and over 24 weeks studied the results of a low carb diet. The subjects were given carbohydrates in the form of green vegetables, and salad.
In the end, the subject’s glucose levels, cholesterol levels, weight, and BMI numbers all fell!
Low Carb Wins Over Low Fat
The ketogenic diet has been around for decades! And while the medical community has long believed that a diet high in fats would cause weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease, many studies and randomized trials have shown low carb to actually be more effective in not only the amount of weight lost, but in reducing markers and risk factors for heart disease!
Experts now advise that the public should be more mindful of their carb intake versus their fat intake, since obesity rates in US adults have increased during the same time that fat intake was decreased and carb intake increased.
The Keto Flu
Some people may experience the keto flu when they begin a low carb diet. While not all women will fall prey to it, you should be aware of the symptoms which include: sleepiness and fatigue, brain fog, nausea, headaches and upset stomach.
You can also try drinking 2 cups of broth daily or using soy sauce on you food. All of these things will help to to re-balance the electrolyte levels in your body. And the symptoms will likely disappear within a few days and you will be on your way to ketosis success!
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