Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body is no longer burning glucose for fuel.
Instead, it uses ketones that the liver converts from fat.
Ketones are much more efficient than glucose, and the body actually prefers them.
You switch into ketosis when you cut your carb consumption down to a very low daily amount, typically 20g or less.
Ketosis also occurs during fasting and on Carnivore diets, as these are obviously zero-carb by definition.
Now let’s look at some of the health benefits that happen when you make this shift from glucose to ketones.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but in case you didn’t know - a Ketogenic lifestyle (either through Fasting or a Keto/Carnivore diet) promotes healthy and sustainable weight loss.
When you fast, or when you eliminate carbohydrates, your body makes that switch from burning glucose to burning stored fat. This means you lose weight!
You’ll also lose a lot of water weight, because a diet high in carbohydrates is very inflammatory.
When you cut out the carbs, you lose all that inflammation.
You might say the weight loss is just a side effect of the ketogenic state, but it’s a good one!
Hunger control is another important piece of the weight-loss puzzle.
Eating around the clock and choosing foods high in carbohydrates keeps insulin and blood sugar levels elevated.
This makes you feel hungry more often, and makes sticking to any sort of diet impossible.
People who develop insulin resistance sometimes feel hungry no matter how much they eat, because the glucose isn’t getting into the cells where it’s needed.
Fats are naturally more satiating. You’ll feel full longer when you eat healthy fats versus carbohydrates.
Also, consuming carbohydrates tends to make cravings worse. Sugar makes you crave more sugar. It’s like a drug.
Intermittent Fasting and a diet of healthy fats and proteins will help you get back in touch with your natural hunger signals and reduce cravings.
Insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels are drivers of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.
Because the ketogenic state naturally lowers insulin and blood glucose, metabolic diseases can be prevented and even reversed.
IMPORTANT: If you do have Type 2 Diabetes make sure you talk to your doctor before you change your diet, especially if you’re taking insulin or medications that may need to be adjusted.
The brain especially prefers ketones over glucose.
In fact, Keto was initially invented to treat neurological conditions.
A ketogenic diet promotes a clear mind and improves cognitive function.
Remember that a diet high in carbohydrates causes inflammation. This can feel like brain fog.
Most people who fast or follow a Keto diet report that they no longer have this brain fog.
Instead, they experience mental clarity. Many report a feeling of euphoria.
And there are studies suggesting that ketosis might prevent or improve brain diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease.
But doesn’t the brain need glucose?
It does, but when you switch from burning glucose to burning ketones, the liver actually makes its own through a process called gluconeogenesis.
Lower blood pressure
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not sodium that causes high blood pressure, it’s sodium retention.
When you eat a lot of carbohydrates, you retain a lot of water, and with it sodium.
As stated earlier, when you switch over to ketones instead of glucose, you lose all that inflammation and water weight.
So most people will see improved blood pressure readings on a Ketogenic diet.
So how do I get into ketosis?
You get there by cutting carbohydrates out of your diet.
You can do that with Fasting, or you can do that by following a Keto or Carnivore diet.
I recommend doing a combination of these.
Incorporate some Intermittent Fasting, and when you do eat, stick to low-carb foods such as meats and healthy fats.
You can have some low carb veggies, but you should aim to keep your total carbohydrates under 20 grams a day.
What about exogenous ketones supplements?
We see many supplement products on the market that include ketones. They claim to induce ketosis regardless of what you eat.
This sounds too good to be true - because it is.
If you are not already in ketosis after cutting your carbs to a minimum, these supplements will temporarily elevate your blood ketone levels. Ketone tests will reflect these elevated levels and make you think that you are in ketosis.
But this artificial elevation will soon disappear. You won’t actually get any of the benefits of real ketosis.
However, if you are already on Keto or are fasting, exogenous ketone supplements can further amplify your results.
They are also useful if you are on the brink of ketosis, or if you are trying to get back on track after a temporary failure.
Ketones are better!
The body and the brain much prefer ketones over glucose.
The bottom line is that a Ketogenic lifestyle can help you live a healthier and longer life.
Author: Roo Black
Roo is a fasting coach with over 5 years of experience. She leads the admin team of the Official Fasting for Weight Loss Facebook group - one of the largest fasting communities on social media with over 125,000 members. We highly recommend this group for anyone who is looking for fasting advice or coaching.