Keto Diet – How Does It Work?
The purpose of a keto diet is to force your body into using fat for energy instead of sugar (glucose). When the body converts to burning fat for energy instead of glucose, ketones are produced and extreme weight loss is realized. As a result, the body is said to be in a state of ketosis.
To determine if you are in ketosis, you must purchase ketone test strips to check your urine for the presence of ketones.
The Ultimate Results:
- Rapid Weight Loss
- Increased Energy
- No Longer Crave Sweets
- Mental Clarity
- Reverse and/or Control Diabetes
What is a keto diet?
A keto diet is a low carb diet in which you strictly limit your carbohydrate intake to about 30 – 50 grams per day. However, the number of carbohydrate grams required per day on a keto diet will be highly dependent on your overall personal daily calorie needs.
Macronutrient Percentages Based Ketogenic Dieting
- Carbohydrates = 5% Daily Calorie Needs
- Protein = 20% Daily Calorie Needs
- Fats = 75% Daily Calorie Needs
There are 3 main macronutrients required in our diet. Our body is designed to use glucose (carbs) as its primary source of fuel. Glucose is used to keep us alive by supplying our brain, heart, and other organs with oxygen and other essential nutrients. The problem is that we eat way more carbs than the body needs for energy. So, at the end of the day (so to speak), all the extra carbs are converted and stored as fat.
However, with an extreme reduction in overall carbohydrate calories, your body will eventually be forced to adapt to burning fat for energy as you starve the body of needed glucose. In starvation mode, with a lack of glucose present and glucose storage emptied, the body will rapidly adapt to keep your organs supplied with oxygen and other essential nutrients. This is the yucky “keto-flu” phase your body will experience as it has to rapidly build more metabolic pathways for using fat to produce ketones. This takes place primarily in the liver, kidneys, and intestines to a lesser degree.
The keto-flu is the result of your body chemistry changing as it mobilize a whole “new” way of making energy. Instead of supplying the body with glucose (carbs), it will have to start making its own energy (ketones). It does so by using fat and even protein (if necessary) to create the energy required to keep your body functioning on a cellular level.
Since fat is not the primary energy source designed to be used by the body, it forces the body into a process that results in ketosis. This is a really elaborate chemical reaction that the body orchestrates to produce its own energy. The fat energy production reaction results in the production of ketones.
This process requires much more energy/calories than a readily available glucose molecule. Starting a basic low carb diet does not force the body into ketosis. Generally, only glycogenolysis and lipolysis takes place, freeing energy from glycogen and fat stores. Therefore, a healthy person will not experience any major side effects as even a healthy person will experience on a keto diet.
I am a keto low carb dieter. However, I switch to a keto diet to improve a health issue that sometimes flair up. During this time, I am a lean mean fat burning machine. When the issue slowly resolves itself, I go back to a basic low carb diet just to keep a few extra pounds. Therefore, I am very familiar with the results provided by both a keto diet and a basic low carb diet.
For keto “dieting” purposes, you must compensate the lack of carbohydrates (glucose) by increasing your fat and/or protein calories. Currently, increasing your fat intake is the most popular. In this way, you keep your organs and body from being starved of essential nutrients. Ultimately, as stated, you are providing the body with the fuel needed to make its own glucose substitute – ketones.
Initially, the rapid fat burn is a result of burning stored glucose and fat for energy. Glycogenolysis and lipolysis required the body to work harder to process the needed sugar or glucose required. Therefore, a low carb diet will also provide rapid weight loss results, but to a lesser degree. The keto diet produces extremely rapid weight loss results. Many low carb diet and keto diet eaters will have a slightly different point of view on various things, so, keep this in mind when you are deciding between a keto versus low carb diet.
How Does A Keto Diet Work?
The “latest” keto diet is highly dependent on increasing your fat consumption to a semi-shocking 75%. In doing so, it causes the body itself to burn more calories and stop storing fat. It is a win-win in the land of weight loss. However, if the body needs more fuel for energy than you are providing it with, it will automatically start using stored protein for energy.
Muscle, skin, hair, and nails are some of the things that require protein. Therefore, if needed, your body will use protein to keep your heart beating and lungs breathing if enough fat energy is not available. So, if you decide to do a strict keto diet make sure that you are eating enough fat calories to supply the body with enough energy (calories).
Otherwise, without adequate nutrition, there is the possibility that you can start losing muscle tone, skin elasticity, and the hair on your head. So, it is especially important for you to make sure that you meet your daily protein macronutrient calorie needs as you will start losing your appetite for food on a keto diet.
So, using a macronutrient calculator, you can determine your daily macronutrient calorie needs using the percentage calculation method of your choice. The calculation will be based on your height, weight, and level of activity.
So, glycogenolysis and lipolysis are our initial back-up supply of glucose for energy. Once these two processes dump out all of the body’s remaining glucose storage, the body switches to using fat to make ketones bodies for energy. Therefore, when on a keto diet, eating just a few to many carbohydrates or sugars can shut off ketosis when glucose enters the blood stream. That is why you must use ketone test strips to determine when you are in ketosis or monitor if you are drifting out of ketosis.