Ketogenic diets have been increasing in popularity as they can be very effective in weight-loss. Cutting out carbs from your diet can lead to a fat burning process in your body called ketosis. But what exactly is ketosis and how does it work?
Ketosis is a completely natural metabolic process that occurs in your body. During ketosis, the fat cells in the body are burned to create a substance of ketones. These ketones are in turn used as fuel for your body. Carbohydrates are your body’s first option for energy, as carbs increase the body’s blood sugar levels. When there is a deficit of carbs in the body, the levels of the hormone insulin will decrease. This causes the body’s fat cells to release “fatty acids.” Fatty acids are in turn sent to the liver to be synthesized into ketones - which are then used as energy sources for the body. The use of fat cells for energy is exactly how ketosis causes weight-loss.
Ketones not only function as an energy alternative, but they also can be effective. Converting the otherwise unused fat cells to energy makes sure that your body is using its resources efficiently. Additionally, ketones are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing your brain to get the sufficient energy it needs to operate well. Staying in ketosis for a long period of time can also lead to an improvement in your overall health as well. Ketosis can promote increased energy, reduced appetite, better focus, and a decreased risk of a wide variety of conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
While a ketogenic diet sounds like it may be a game changer for weight loss, it is important to note that some people may have adverse effects due to a low carb diet. For example, ketogenic diets have been shown to cause developmental issues for pregnant women and infants. You may experience initial short-term discomfort such as dizziness, nausea, or fatigue. This is commonly known as the “keto flu”. However, this typically resolves within a few days to a few weeks. When used correctly, ketosis can be a powerful tool for weight management and healthy living. Before starting any new diet, it is important to consult your primary caretaker. Make sure that your primary caretaker is monitoring your ketogenic journey so that you are safe.
Palsdottir, H. (2017, June 3). What Is Ketosis, and Is It Healthy? Retrieved from HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-ketosis
UK, D. C. (n.d.). Keto Diet Safety . Retrieved from Diabetes.Co.Uk: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/keto/keto-diet-safety.html