It is very common to come across the concept of ketosis as we begin to study and research more about the world of nutrition. One wonders that how does keto work on our body that enables us to shed weight fast? Usually, this search begins because people want to lose weight and enjoy a healthier and happier life.
And if that’s your case too, then stay with us until the end.
Well in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to understand why ketosis is so popular.
What is Ketosis?
Basically, ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body gets energy mainly from fats. And not glucose (which would be the most common functioning of the body called glycolysis). In fact, our bodies start to “burn” molecules called ketone bodies.
These ketone bodies are produced by the liver during periods of food restriction ( fasting ) or carbohydrate ( low carb diets ) to be used as a source of energy.
So ketosis is nothing more than this state in which the body gets energy from a different source than usual. (It is important to mention that, from a biological point of view, both are normal ways of getting energy.)
The state of glycolysis is observed to be more common here because most people’s diets are highly prone to major carbohydrate intake.)
How does Keto work (Ketosis)?
The operation of the process, although it has some more complex biochemical details, we can understand this in 3 simple steps:
# 1 – Due to carbohydrate restriction, your body is deprived of its usual supply of glucose
# 2 – Because your cells need energy, your body needs another source to supply it. (And, interestingly enough, you have a powerful energy reserve in the form of fat, and you’re crazy to spend it!)
# 3 – The liver then breaks down fatty acids from its adipose tissue into ketone bodies (which, as we mentioned, can be used as glucose substitutes)
How Did Ketosis Begin? Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet
As we said, ketosis is a natural process of the human body. So it makes no sense to speak of an early ketosis. However, we can trace the use of ketosis induction through diet. The first ketosis-inducing diet was called the Ketogenic Diet.
It was designed by doctors to treat cases of epilepsy in patients. Who were not responding well to conventional treatments for this condition?
Interestingly, in addition to success in reducing epilepsy episodes, loss of body fat is observe in these patients and improvement in other health indicators.
As a result, the ketogenic diet became popular among people with no serious health problems but wishing to lose weight.
In short, the diet is based on very low carbohydrate intake, median protein, and very high fat.
Putting this phrase in macro-nutrient proportions, we can say the following:
- Carbohydrate intake should not exceed 5 to 10% of total calories.
- Protein intake should be around 20-30% of total calories consume daily.
- And fat intake should provide 65 to 75% of calories (possibly even more).
Recalling that the amount of carbohydrate we refer to above is liquid carbohydrate – that is, total carbohydrate minus total fiber.
And that the easiest way to understand these proportions is by looking at the nutritional table of foods. Generally, the diet begins with a 24-hour fast to accelerate the induction of ketosis in the patient.
From then on, the strict distribution of macro-nutrients ensures that the individual remains in this state of ketosis and accelerates his weight loss.
Additional Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
Some additional benefits reported by people who have followed a very restricted carbohydrate diet such as ketogenic are:
- Increased HDL (good cholesterol),
- Better regulation of hunger and blood glucose (reducing or even eliminating cases of hypoglycemia).
- Relief of some symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,
- Decreased joint pain.
Of course, you probably won’t reap all these benefits (because if you don’t have Parkinson’s symptoms, you can’t slow them down, right?) .
But it is interesting to know that this high fat and carbohydrate-restricted diet can help in treating various medical conditions.
How Does Ketosis Help You Lose Weight?
As we mentioned earlier, ketosis is a normal body process that uses fatty acids to generate ketone bodies. These ketone bodies, in turn, provide energy to the body.
The big cat leap lies in the fact that these fatty acids are currently stored in your fat cells.
In this way, ketosis works to lose weight because it stops taking energy from glucose (because you have restricted your intake of sugar), and now provides energy to your body from your fat burning.
That is, it is a mechanism that helps you eliminate excess fat without the need for exercise – all because your body will be using a different source of energy than usual.
But what we are saying here is that it is possible to lose weight without exercise. This is how keto works…quite miraculously, for many.
And if you want to optimize your weight loss, we suggest adding exercise to optimize fat burning on a low-carb diet, including the interval workout method. Just be careful not to overdo the intensity.