Using A Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss
Weight loss is a billion dollar industry for one major reason, people are not getting sustainable results. If you are looking to lose some stubborn fat and you have stumbled across this article, chances are you have been doing your research. The internet is filled with millions of opinions on how to lose weight and get healthy.
With skyrocketing rates of obesity and related health conditions in the US, eating less and exercising more usually just doesn’t cut it. Fortunately, you are in the right place now. Based on the latest research and my experience, I am going to explain to you why you should consider the ketogenic diet for weight loss.
I love the ketogenic diet for so many reasons. Not only can it boost your mental and physical performance, but it naturally and safely promotes fat burning as well. Another plus is that following a ketogenic diet, in my opinion, is not as limiting as some other diet strategies. I’m here to tell you that losing weight is possible while still enjoying delicious food!
Easier To Follow
Most people, especially those who have unsuccessfully experimented with a new diet, cringe at the thought of adopting a new way of eating. The way they see it, they have to starve themselves, avoid all their favorite foods, and be satisfied with limited results. To me this is a ridiculous way to live your life and why the ketogenic diet is such a game changer.
On a ketogenic diet, you simply reduce carb intake and increase your consumption of healthy fats until your body learns to burn fat for energy over sugar. This metabolic shift is advantageous for the body, your metabolism, your hormones, and all while keeping you full naturally.
Because fats are such an efficient fuel source, you get hungry less often, you cut cravings, and enjoy a more stable and elevated mood every day!
Feeling Controlled By Your Eating Habits?
When your body is metabolically adapted to burning sugar as its primary fuel source, your behavior is largely dictated by your blood sugar levels. Sugar is a quick energy source but it is also burned up quickly which means you need to eat more often.
This cycle of ups and downs in your blood sugar drives your eating patterns. This is what results in food cravings and the infamous hangry feeling you get when you don’t eat for a while
In addition, rapidly fluctuating blood sugar levels contribute to other health problems like hormonal imbalances, chronic inflammation, increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, and an overall lowered sense of wellbeing .
When you become keto-adapted this all goes away as you experience stable energy levels from healthy fats.
How Ketosis Puts You Back In Control
Speaking from the simple caloric viewpoint, fat provides more energy per gram than sugar. This means you need much less of it, compared to sugar, for the same amount of energy.
Many people who are on a ketogenic diet that I work with always report the same thing: they rarely think about food anymore.
This is awesome from a diet standpoint because many people find themselves obsessively fixated on their next meal. From a biological standpoint, the human body perceives hunger as a primary objective to be fulfilled.
This means that when you are hungry, you will likely notice that it becomes difficult to perform higher level functions like concentrating on your work or even socializing with friends. This is because when your blood sugar is low, your body begins shifting into survival mode. In this state, higher mental functions are shut down as your primary focus is to search out food.
By converting your body to a fat-burner, stable energy allows you to free up your brain for higher mental functions. This means following a ketogenic diet can literally help you have a deeper experience of life as you are no longer controlled by your hunger!
How To Get Into Ketosis
The body can either run on sugar or fat for energy. Most people, as a product of the standard American diet, are chained to sugar as their primary fuel source. By drastically cutting sugar and carbs from your diet while getting the bulk of your calories from fats, you can reteach your body to burn fat.
The fundamental strategy for getting into ketosis is to burn off excess sugar and drop insulin low enough that your body decides to start converting fats into ketones for energy. For most people who are former sugar-burners, it takes about 2-4 weeks for the cells to relearn how to make energy from ketones.
There are a few strategies for getting into ketosis:
1. Following a Ketogenic Diet (5-10% Carbs/20-30% Protein/60-80% Fat)
This is the most gradual and safest way of getting into ketosis and takes about 2-4 weeks to become fully keto-adapted
2. Intermittent Fasting w/ a Ketogenic Diet
This strategy drains sugar stores more quickly and may speed the keto-adaptation process
3. Following a Ketogenic Diet w/ MCT oil or Exogenous Ketone Supplementation
Here you follow a ketogenic diet while providing the body with additional ketones to essentially “prime the pump” and speed up keto-adaptation
Keto-adaptation is the name for the process that takes place as your body shifts its metabolism towards burning fat. Once carb intake is lowered and fat intake is increased a few things must occur before you are fully keto-adapted.
First, blood sugar must drop and signal the body that sugar is not available. Then, this signal will prompt the metabolism of fatty acids into ketones as an alternative fuel source. Finally, the cells must learn to metabolize ketones and convert them into ATP (the energy molecule that every cell uses).
The time it takes to become keto-adapted is therefore limited by the rate at which these steps occur. This is why intermittent fasting and supplementing with ketones/MCT oil is sometimes used to speed up the process by dropping blood sugar and providing the body with ketones at a much quicker rate.