If you came here after hearing about keto diet, you may have already heard about the term ketosis. If not and you’re a total newbie, worry not, because I’m here to help you understand it.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic process in which your body will burn fats instead of glucose to use for energy. When the body is in this state, this will produce acids called ketones.
What are ketones?
Ketones or ketone bodies are compounds that are produced by the liver from fatty acids. In simple terms, these are the compounds that the liver produces when your body is burning fat! How amazing!
How does ketosis work to help you lose weight?
When our body is in the state of ketosis, the liver will burn our fat storage which in turn will produce ketones to give us energy and continue functioning. Fat metabolism! This means your body is burning fat naturally. That is the reason why ketogenic diet will help you lose fat and not just weight.
How do you reach the state of ketosis to burn fats?
Restricting carbohydrate intake
The body gets energy from three sources; carbohydrates, fats and protein. The quickest source that our bodies can convert into energy is the carbohydrates. Remember how quickly your energy levels go up after you drink a bottle of energy drink or eat a bar of milk chocolate? It may sound good because who doesn’t want to be energized quickly, right? But it’s actually not really good. Because that means it will also get into your bloodstream and get metabolized rapidly, which in turn will make you feel hungry faster and often. And when you’re often hungry, you tend to eat more and what we usually crave and eat in times like this? Candies, chocolate bars, ice cream, cakes and all the sugary foods. This, for me is not the worst, especially if you have fast metabolism. What is worse is when you eat more carbohydrates that your body doesn’t need. These carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, get into your gut and raise your blood glucose levels. When this happens, your body will increase the production of insulin – the hormones that store fat. When you body produces more insulin, it will more likely store excess food that you eat and turn it into fat. That’s how you gain weight.
When you restrict the intake of carbohydrates, once the body is finished converting and consuming that energy, it will go to the next accessible source and that is fats. Fats are not easily converted into energy. So when you run out of glucose, the body will go to your stored fat and convert it to energy. That’s when the fat burning happens naturally! Also, the body will take a while to convert fats into energy. So when you eat a high fat diet, you will feel full longer and will not be craving for food every hour.
You can also reach the state of ketosis through intermittent fasting. When you have an empty stomach for a longer period of time, your body will look for the fats you have stored in your body and convert it into energy. Remember that most experts do not recommend this for people who are just starting out. But if you have been doing the ketogenic diet for a while and still have a lot of fat to lose, this may be good for you.
Exercising on an empty stomach
Not eating will make your body convert stored fats to energy. But when you exercise and burn more calories, the body will work faster to convert those stored fats to energy.
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