Everything You Wanted To Know About Ketosis And Ketone Testing Strips
Ketosis is really a shortening of the term lipolysis/ketosis. Lipolysis simply means that you’re burning your fat stores and using them as the source of fuel they were meant to be. The by-products of burning fat are ketones, so ketosis is a secondary process of lipolysis. When your body releases ketones in your urine, it is chemical proof that you’re consuming your own stored fat. And the more ketones you release, the more fat you have dissolved.
If you are restricting the amount of carbohydrates you eat, your body turns to fat as its alternative source of energy. In effect, lipolysis/ketosis has replaced the alternative of burning glucose for energy. Both are perfectly normal processes.
People (and even some ill-informed doctors) often confuse ketosis, which is a perfectly normal metabolic process, with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition. The latter is the consequence of insulin-deficient subjects having out-of-control blood sugar levels, a condition that can occur as well in alcoholics and people in a state of extreme starvation. Ketosis and ketoacidosis may sound vaguely alike, but the two conditions are virtually polar opposites and can always be distinguished from each other by the fact that the diabetic has been consuming excessive carbohydrates and has high blood sugar, in sharp contrast to the fortunate person who is doing Atkins.
Why Does Lipolysis / Ketosis Work?
One of insulin’s jobs is to convert all your excess carbohydrate into stores of body fat. In a normally functioning body, fatty acids and ketones are readily converted from fat tissue to fuel. But in overweight people, high insulin levels prevent this from happening.
Most obese people become so adept at releasing insulin that their blood is never really free of it and they’re never able to use up their fat stores. By primarily burning fat instead of carbohydrates, lipolysis breaks the cycle of excess insulin and resultant stored fat. So by following a fat containing, controlled carbohydrate regimen, you bypass the process of converting large amounts of carbohydrate into glucose. When your carbohydrate intake drops low enough to induce fat burning, abnormal insulin levels return to normal – perhaps for the first time in years or decades.
How Will Ketosis Help Me Lose Weight?
Most reducing diets restrict calorie intake, so you lose weight but some of that is fat and some of it is lean muscle tissue as well. Less muscle means slowed metabolism, which makes losing weight more difficult and gaining it back all too easy. Ketosis will help you to lose FAT.
Being in ketosis means that your body’s primary source of energy is fat (in the form of ketones). When you consume adequate protein as well, there’s no need for the body to break down its muscle tissue. Ketosis also tends to accelerate fat loss — once the liver converts fat to ketones, it can’t be converted back to fat, and so is excreted.
But, Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous?
Being in ketosis by following a low carbohydrate diet is NOT dangerous. The human body was designed to use ketones very efficiently as fuel in the absence of glucose.
However, the word ketosis is often confused with a similar word, ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition for diabetics, and the main element is ACID not ketones. The blood pH becomes dangerously acidic because of an extremely high blood SUGAR level (the diabetic has no insulin, or doesn’t respond to insulin …. so blood sugar rises … ketones are produced by the body to provide the fuel necessary for life, since the cells can’t use the sugar). It’s the high blood sugar, and the acid condition that is so dangerous. Ketones just happen to be a part of the picture, and are a RESULT of the condition, not the CAUSE. Diabetics can safely follow a ketogenic diet to lose fat weight … but they must be closely monitored by their health care provider, and blood sugars need to be kept low, and stable.