You probably have heard about ketosis and the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight or improve your health. But do you have any idea what ketosis is all about? In this post, you will learn the basics of ketosis and the benefits you can derive from it.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a state in which your body uses fat as the primary source of energy to power metabolic processes in the place of carbohydrates. In a state of ketosis, your body is actively breaking down its fat stores to fuel metabolic activities instead of using glucose as its source of energy. Bear in mind that glucose is the body's preferred energy source. So, to enter into a state of ketosis, you need to starve your body its supply of glucose by drastically cutting down the consumption of carbs. When the body's supply of glucose has been depleted, it starts using its fat stores has an alternative source of energy. This is where the ketogenic diet comes into play.
When you enter into a state of ketosis, your body breaks down fat to produce ketone bodies which are used to power the body's metabolic processes.
In a state of ketosis, the body breaks down fatty acids to form three main types of ketone bodies including acetate, acetoacetate, and Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB).
How to get into a state of ketosis
A ketogenic diet is required to get into a state of ketosis. A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and extremely low in carbs. While in a state of ketosis, you need to avoid refined and process carbohydrate food products. You also need to restrict the consumption of wholesome carbs that are high in sugar as these can put you out of ketosis.
Ketosis has been touted as an effective way of improving the health in some ways. Here are some of the benefits of ketosis.
Weight loss is unarguably the main reason why most people want to get into a state of ketosis and the reason why the ketogenic diet is so popular. When you are in a state of ketosis, there is a significant increase in the body’s ability to lose weight because it is directly breaking down its fat stores to produce energy.
In addition to helping to incinerate your fat stores, a body that is in a state of ketosis feels less hungry. Being less hungry makes it easier to stick to a diet that encourages weight loss. This also makes it easier to avoid overeating.
Regulates blood sugar levels
To be in a state of ketosis, you have to be on a ketogenic diet which is low in carbs and high in fat. A ketogenic diet helps you avoid the excess processed sugar and refined carbs which causes sudden highs and lows in the blood sugar levels, and increases the fat stored in the body.
Enhanced Brain function
A state of ketosis can also improve the function of the brain as the organ can also use ketone bodies for mental performance. Ketosis is a medically recognized way of treating childhood epilepsy as well as control of Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases. A state of ketosis is also beneficial to people with type I and II diabetes.
Improved Athletic Performance
Athletes whose bodies are in a state of ketosis can exercise for longer and more intensely. The body uses its glycogen stores during physical activity. When the glycogen has been depleted, the body turns to its fat or protein stores for energy. But if the body is not already in a state of ketosis, it cannot efficiently produce enough ketones for energy and would rather break down the muscles. An athlete in a state of ketosis can avoid this because the body is already primed for using its fat stores for energy.
Being in a state of ketosis can help you lose weight, improve cognitive function, and enhance athletic performance. While many controversies are surrounding the ketogenic lifestyle, it provides a lot of benefits when done correctly.