Ketosis is a cutting-edge tool for improving your health.
You may want to consider ketosis if you are experiencing weight loss issues, looking for an advantage for mental performance, or simply improving your overall health and longevity.
What is it? Ketosis is a natural metabolic state where our bodies primarily utilizes fats for fuel. The main goal of the ketogenic diet is to train your body to rely on fat (instead of glucose) for energy.
Ketosis is a completely normal adaptation for times when food is not as plentiful as it is now. The sheer abundance and availability of food prevents most of us from experiencing the state of ketosis. The majority of people consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) which is heavy on the carbohydrates (sugars). Our bodies are constantly running on glucose, without ever getting the chance of tapping into our fat-burning capabilities.
Ketosis is the cornerstone of the Comprehensive Weight Loss Program due to the fact that it is an ultra-powerful fat loss tool. It is rapidly gaining popularity amongst high-performing individuals - both in sports and academics.
Metabolism bonfire analogy
Ketosis trains our body to switch from being a sugar burning “machine” to a fat-burning “machine.” Once we reach ketosis, we are now in the sweet zone for weight loss and the fat will start melting off incredibly fast.
Another benefit of ketosis is appetite-suppression. When our body is in “sugar-burning mode” it is always craving broken down carbohydrates - glucose. Glucose is an energy source that is very short-lived, so our body is constantly craving more of it. This is one of the main reasons why ketosis helps with making weight loss effortless. When our body is in ketosis, this removes the mood swings, the cravings, the irritability. Fats provide the body with a stable source of energy that helps carry us through the day. This provides us with a level of appetite suppression that is liberating and helps us stop thinking about food all the time.
Studies consistently show that when you combine ketosis with a low-calorie diet, you will likely experience an increase in appetite in the first days of your diet, and then a decrease in appetite and a return to normal appetite control in just a few days but you have to achieve ketosis for it to work.
This happens when your body is using fats for fuel. Now, instead of always needing sugar and carbs from the outside, your body can begin utilizing the long term fat stores on your body.
When your body begins to break down fats for fuel, this produces an energy source called “ketones.” Not only do ketones provide the body with energy, they affect several other key hormones that assist with weight loss. These are hunger and satiety hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone which makes you feel full, and ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.”
When your body is in ketosis, this helps your body increase energy levels and muscle mass while decreasing hunger pangs and total caloric intake.
Ketosis has shown positive neurological benefits for the treatment of epilepsy. We have known this since the 1920s; yet, the development of pharmaceuticals has shifted the direction for treatment options. Today, research is also promising for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and autism.
Our brain consists of approximately 60% fats. Feeding the brain with a diet full of high quality fats is helpful in providing the necessary building blocks that your brain needs to heal.
In addition to that, broken down fats (ketones) are also profoundly neuroprotective. They increase the brain-protective antioxidants and stimulate mitochondria. Finally, when our brain is receiving plenty of high-quality fats this has an anti-inflammatory effect on the entire body.
In addition to being an extremely effective tool for melting of the fat, ketosis has also been shown to have other benefits.
It stimulates the growth of new neural pathways in the brain.
It increases the production of mitochondria, which are the energy-producing centers in the body.
It raises glutathione, which is the most powerful detoxifier and antioxidant that we currently know about.
Ketosis is achieved by consuming most of our calories from fats. When we eat a high amount of quality fats while restricting carbohydrates, this trains our body to work on broken down fat cells – in other words, ketones.
Now, instead of working off of glucose or sugar, the body taps directly into your long term energy stores – aka the fat cells on our body.
The process of switching to ketosis normally takes anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how high your diet has been in carbohydrates.
To achieve the state of ketosis, we generally need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day and sometimes as little as 20 grams per day.
This requires removing certain carbohydrate rich foods from your diet, such as grains, candy and sugary soft drinks. You also have to cut back on legumes, potatoes, rice and fruit.
Wait, don’t we need glucose to function? How can the brain survive without sugar?
Ketosis and gluconeogenesis are perfectly capable of fulfilling the brain's energy needs.
In addition, your body can use protein to produce the little glucose the brain still requires during ketosis. This process is called gluconeogenesis.
A large portion of your brain can also use ketones for energy, such as during starvation or when your diet is low in carbs (7).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19227486/
Does Ketosis Have Any Negative Health Effects?
There are very few potential side-effects you may experience from ketosis and ketogenic diets.
These include headache, fatigue, constipation, high cholesterol levels and bad breath.
However, most of the symptoms are temporary and should disappear within a few days or weeks.
And although extremely rare, there have been a few cases of breastfeeding womendeveloping ketoacidosis likely triggered by a low-carb or ketogenic diet (42, 43, 44).
People who are taking blood sugar lowering drugs should consult with a doctor before trying a ketogenic diet, because the diet may reduce the need for medication.
Sometimes ketogenic diets are low in fiber. For this reason, it is a good idea to make sure to eat plenty of high-fiber, low-carb vegetables.
All that being said, ketosis is generally safe for healthy people.
Nevertheless, it will not suit everyone. Some people may feel great and full of energy in ketosis, while others feel miserable.
BOTTOM LINE:Ketosis is safe for most people. However, some people may experience side effects, including bad breath, headaches and constipation.
Ketosis is not for everyone, but it can have powerful benefits for certain people.
1. Can I ever eat carbs again?
Yes. However, it is important to eliminate them initially. After the first 2–3 months, you can begin to re-introduce carbs.
2. Will I lose muscle?
There is a risk of losing some muscle on any diet. However, the high protein intake and high ketone levels may help minimize muscle loss, especially if you exercise.
8. I heard ketosis was extremely dangerous. Is this true?
People often confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. The former is natural, while the latter only occurs in uncontrolled diabetes.
Ketoacidosis is dangerous, but the ketosis on a ketogenic diet is perfectly normal and healthy.
Consult with Dr. Sharikov to see if the ketogenic diet is the right fit for you.
Interested in ketosis?
The ketogenic diet is only recommended under a doctor's supervision but definitely expresses potential not just for an alternative treatment for neurological diseases but for athletes and anyone looking to nourish their brain.
While we definitely expect to see more research on the long-term benefits and effectiveness of the ketogenic diet popping up in 2017, we hope to see plant-based versions of this diet and less extreme ways to reap similar benefits.
Ketosis is an extremely effective way to lose weight fast, but it needs to be done properly.