what is ketosis

What is Ketosis? A Fat Burning Guide

Long studied by nutrition scientists, universities, and other individuals in the health field, it’s only relatively recently that ketosis has seemed to hit the mainstream.

There aren’t many topics in the health, nutrition, or fitness world that seem to instantly set multiple camps against each other, and sometimes it can be really hard to figure out the truth from the noise and talking points.

So just what is ketosis and why has it garnered so much attention? Read on to find out!

How Does Ketosis Work?

a woman does yoga while in ketosis

Ketosis is a natural process, but it is one that very few people are frequently in unless that is what they are aiming for.

This is a normal shift in metabolism by the body.

When there aren’t enough carbs or sugars for energy, the body switches to burning stored fat.

This shift in processes also creates a build up of acids in the body that are called ketones, hence the name ketosis.

This is a way for the body to stay at high energy levels even without sugars and has recently been seen as a mainstay of many diets claiming that the ketosis that results from low carbs and high fat/protein can actually be healthier and certainly helps with weight loss.

How to Put Your Body Into Ketosis

a woman exercising

Getting your body into ketosis is actually easier than you may think, and that’s because of something called the ketogenic diet.

Keto, as it’s probably better known, is the best way that I know of to get your body into full blown ketosis. So how do you do it?

The principles are pretty simple, and as long as you stick with a few basic rules, you should be able to get there.

Some of these include:

  • Follow a Ketogenic Diet
  • Stick to 20 net Carbs per Day
  • Avoid All Sugars

Essentially, that is pretty much the nuts and bolts of it. Of course ketosis and the ketogenic are slightly more complicated than that, but those are good baseline numbers to shoot for.

Before you try keto or getting your body into fat-burning mode, you should do research and learn everything you can about the diet. This will make sure you’re eating the right  foods, and following the program to get yourself into ketosis.

Assuming you’re doing everything right, you can often get your body into ketosis in just a few days.

Of course, check with your doctor before trying the ketogenic diet or trying to get into ketosis to make sure you’re healthy enough to try it.

Physical Changes

a woman shows off her weight loss

There are many changes that happen within the body when it is in ketosis.

While some people argue this is bad and others argue it is good, the truth is that ketosis itself is neither good or bad: it simply is the internal process taking place.

There can be both positive and negative effects and a lot is going to depend on each individual person and their particular situation.

The biggest is that the body is going to be primed to burn fat as opposed to carbs as its main energy source.

The body is always going to burn carbs and sugars you put into it, but when withheld for extended periods of time, that’s when the body will make the shift over to burning fat. This applies to both fats that you eat as well as what is stored on the body.

a ketogenic dinner

For many people, this switch-over doesn’t mean much in and of itself but it can be very jarring to someone who is diabetic or has insulin issues.

On the other hand, ketosis has been shown to radically help out many epileptic individuals who suffer from constant serious seizures and had found no relief with any medical treatment.

Why this causation takes place no one is sure of, but it has been tested and re-affirmed multiple times.

Many individuals report that going into ketosis makes them drowsy at first, but after a few days reported stronger mental clarity as well as higher energy levels overall.

Keto and Weight Loss

a keto meal and workout plan

The one place where ketosis is showing up a lot is in the weight loss field.

As low carb or no carb diets have come back powerfully because of many people lauding their strength and effectiveness, many people have wanted to go further than most low carb diets and that naturally brings up the ketogenic diet which is based around the idea of ketosis.

Many individuals report heavy weight loss when in ketosis, and it has worked for many morbidly obese individuals who have had no success with any other weight loss plan.

Some nutritionists have said the shift to burning body fat makes sense as a way to get into better shape and promote long-term weight loss while on the other side of things there are nutritionists who say it’s not the ketosis so much as the elimination of many junk foods and the heavy emphasis on drinking water and eating large amounts of the right vegetables to balance out the meat.

The Ketogenic Diet focuses on keeping the fat intake high, protein semi-high, and then cutting out all carbs and sugars including those in bread, rice, grains, and even fruit.

a man who has lost a lot of weight

This has brought some criticism from some dietitians saying a more balanced eating approach is going to be healthy for the body and multi-vitamins are no substitute to getting them naturally through food.

Many individuals also point out that the human body is too complex to give a general answer and it can vary greatly from one person to another.

Is Ketosis Safe?

By itself, ketosis is neither good nor bad, safe nor dangerous. Each situation is going to be different and this also means that the best way for any individual to determine how ketosis will impact them is under medical supervision that starts with bloodwork from a doctor beforehand and continues with tests every week or couple of weeks to see what changes are happening in the body.

Final Thoughts

While there’s a lot of talk over ketosis and how it affects the body, the truth is that we really don’t know all that much about it long-term because most studies on it have been relatively recent in nature.

There’s no question that as more studies are done a large number of people will be watching closely to see exactly what the new data tell us!

Resources:

WebMD