When you’re beginning a ketogenic diet, your main goal is to lose body fat and overall weight. You want to try and achieve the body you’ve always wanted.
Ketogenic diets have multiple benefits, but it’s safe to assume that losing weight is your end game.
How are you going to lose weight, though?
You need to get your body into ketosis. Once this diet is in full effect, your body will be in ketosis and start melting fat from your body.
Ketogenic Diet 101: What Is Ketosis?
To understand the benefits of keto and how it works it’s important that you understand what is metabolic state known as ketosis.
For starters, ketosis is a metabolic process that happens in your body. Your body is going to start burning fat since it is lacking glucose to use as energy. Without glucose in your body, there is going to be a buildup of acids called ketones.
You can think of ketones as your body’s new source of energy. Your body has used sugar as fuel your entire life, now it’s switching to using ketones. The gas your body is using has switched from regular to premium.
The ketones are going to force your body to get rid of your body’s fat stores much faster than you would on another diet simply because your body will have almost no sugar to use.
Ketones are important because your brain is going to feed off them like it’s ready to devour an entire buffet. Your brain needs fuel and since you won’t be consuming many carbs, ketones will provide your brain with the energy it needs to function properly.
How Long Does It Take?
Getting into ketosis is going to take everybody a different amount of time. For some, it may take a few days, for others, it may take up to a week.
It all depends on how your body wants to react to the ketogenic diet.
It’s possible to get into ketosis in a couple days since your glucose stores can only last two days in your body. Once your body is drained of all of its blood sugar and liver glycogen, it will enter ketosis.
Yes, you’ll be losing a lot of body fat when you’re body is in ketosis, but there are other benefits to your body being in ketosis.
Your mental focus should greatly increase. The ketones will be providing a constant flow of energy to your brain. You will also avoid a sluggish feeling because your blood sugar won’t fluctuate very often.
In the short time, it takes to become a fat burner, you may struggle with concentration. However, once your body has adapted and is running on ketones, you will have no problems in the concentration and focus department.
Typically, your glycogen stores will be out of your body in a couple days. When it comes to your fat stores, they will last a lot longer. Your fat stores can last for weeks upon weeks.
When you’re body is used to having carbs as its main fuel source, your fat stores are not very easily accessible. This causes problems for your brain when it comes to how much energy it’s using. Because of this, you’ll be feeling the need to eat more and more.
In ketosis, your brain will constantly be fueled eliminating the need to constantly want to eat. Your brain and muscles are going to have much more energy throughout the day since you’ll have constant access to your fat stores.
Ketogenic diets have been proven to help people that have epilepsy.
Being in ketosis can help epileptic people take fewer medications. In some cases, people can completely get rid of their medications. Most medications can have serious side effects so doing something that can help you get rid of those medications is a massive plus.
Seizures may go away and that is a major benefit that some people can look forward to.
It is strongly believed that being in ketosis and on a ketogenic diet can help treat cancer.
Nearly all cancer cells burn on sugar and grow even more when high levels of insulin are present. Carbs can create an ideal environment for cancer cells.
Being in ketosis means that you won’t have much sugar in your body for a cancer cell to thrive on. Your insulin levels won’t be very high either because there will be little to no carbs present in your body.
If you ever want to measure your ketosis, there are three ways that you can do this:
- Urine Strips
- Breath Ketone Analyzer
- Blood Ketone Meter
Urine strips are the simplest way to check your ketone levels. They are very easy to use and only takes seconds to get a measurement
The drawback of urine strips are the longer you’re in ketosis, the less accurate the readings are going to be. Your body is going to keep absorbing the ketones and they won’t be as present in your urine.
A breath ketone analyzer will run you for about $150. You can probably determine this from its name, but the device measures the ketones in your breath.
The good thing about these is that they are reusable so you don’t have to spend a lot of money every time you want to use one. The bad thing is that it can sometimes give you very misleading readings.
Blood ketone meters are the most accurate of the three options. They give you the ketones in your blood at the exact moment you use the device.
When using these meters, the one problem you may run into is the fact that you have to prick your finger every time you want to use it since it does need your blood to give the best reading.
Your body can easily get into ketosis, but there is an optimal level of ketosis.
The range you want to be in for optimal ketosis is anywhere between 1.5-3mmol/l. I know this doesn’t make much sense to you now, but if you use one of the three options listed previously, you’ll understand your ketone levels much more.
It is possible to have too many ketones in your body and this could cause some health issues. It’s called ketoacidosis. This happens when your ketone levels are 10+mmol/l. The good news is that this is impossible to achieve on a regular ketogenic diet.
If you are in ketoacidosis, seek help immediately. There is a severe problem with your body. You will start having nausea, stomach pain, and this could eventually lead to a coma.
Like I said, this is a rare occurrence and really shouldn’t be a worry. This should only be a worry if you have type 1 diabetes because your pancreas will produce insulin to some degree, even though it won’t be much.
Ketosis is Great
Ketosis is going to change your body and your life for the better.
Your brain function will be better all while you’re losing the weight you want to lose. The benefits speak for themselves and you’ll feel like a brand new person.