It is a metabolic condition where the body is using ketones as energy as opposed to carbohydrates and glucose. Ketosis is the elevation of the ketone bodies: D-beta-hydroxybutyrate, (R-3hydroxybutyrate) and acetoacetate.
Ketones are also called ketone bodies. They consist of:
By depleting the glycogen energy stores in your muscles and liver. This typically occurs during periods of prolonged exercise, carbohydrate restriction and/or fasting. Without available glucose the body is forced to breakdown fatty acids which the liver converts into ketone bodies.
Being in ketosis a natural, perfectly healthy condition brought about by the depletion of available glucose and stored muscle and liver glycogen. Primates have been going in and out of ketosis for as long as they’ve been on earth.
The only concern is with type 1 diabetics which have impaired pancreas function. The acidic ketone levels could build up in their blood which results in a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis.
Being in ketosis is the secret to the the popular Ketogenic Diet.
Once the dieter becomes keto-adapted, he can efficiently utilize ketones as energy. The ketosis adapted dieter burns fat more efficiently and suffers less hunger. When your keto or fat adapted you don’t get the “Hangy” feeling between meals.
You can also get into the state of ketosis by ingesting exogenous ketones usually in the form of (beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB).
I recently completed a real review of keto BHB that you can access here. They (exogenous ketones have their pros and cons, but they actually do raise ketone levels and can put you in a state of ketosis.
People often ask me what is the best long term diet to lose weight?
A simple keto diet explained definition would be to just say it’s a way of eating to initiate the state of ketosis in the dieter. You can lose weight (muscle/water), but you can’t reduce fat without ketogenesis. Ketogenesis is the biochemical process through which organisms produce ketone bodies through the breakdown of fatty acids.
Introducing the ketone:
Whether you follow the keto diet or any other diet, getting into ketosis and using ketones as energy is the process of any fat burning. We can’t directly use fat as energy, but our bodies can release fatty acids into the bloodstream.
Our liver can then convert that fat into ketones. Our body can then use those ketones as energy.
How do you know when your body is in ketosis?
You can taste a metallic taste in your mouth and on your tongue. The taste/smell is acetone which is a byproduct of the breaking down of ketone bodies and exhaled through your breath. This is sometimes called keto breath.
They also have pee (urine) strips that measure acetoacetate levels filtered out of your kidneys. However the best way to check to see if you’re in a state of ketosis is through a blood test. It is generally thought that to be in ketosis you need to have a blood ketone reading of 0.5 mmol/L or higher.
The State of nutritional Ketosis
This is such an informative study titled: Nutritional ketosis: implications for exercise performance and metabolism.
The use of ketone bodies as fuel is based on sound evolutionary principles to prolong survival during caloric deprivation. By harnessing the potential of these ketone bodies during exercise, athletic performance or just day to day activities one can unlock the ability to maintain a lifetime of good health.
For the first 50 years of my life I had no idea that there were two separate energy sources available for the human body. I never realize that you didn’t constantly have to eat high carbohydrate food to have energy. It’s just not something that is well known and not taught in school.
The discovery of ketones changed my life.
“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork”English Proverb
Being in a state of ketosis just means you are utilizing ketones as energy.
One of the negative aspects of keto is keto-breath. When your liver makes more ketones than you need they are expelled out of your body through the urinary tract and through your breath.
The ketone acetone is broken down at the molecular level and expelled through your breath. It is described as smelling like finger nail polish. Here is an informative article on the problems with keto and how to avoid them.
Ketone bodies are produced in the liver from circulating free fatty acids (FFA) from adipolysis. They can be made from either your stored fat, or the fat you ingest. Additionally, like I alluded to earlier, you can actually get into a state of ketosis by taking (ingesting) a supplement in the form exogenous ketones.
When we are using ketones for energy we are in a state of ketosis. This study on Pubmed shows that Ketosis is stimulated during fasting, after prolonged exercise, and when a high-fat/low carbohydrate diet is followed.
The secret to becoming a fat burning machine is to stimulate our body to burn ketones as energy. We do that by eating a ketogenic, low carbohydrate diet. An added benefit is that when we are in ketosis our appetite is suppressed and we are able to much easier stick with our diet long term.
Fasting and OMAD will quickly put you in a state of ketosis.
Purposely skipping meals and not eating any calories for extended periods of time is referred to as Fasting. Doing that at irregular intervals is called intermittent fasting. In this study, Intermittent fasting resulted in weight loss. Among the 16 trials included in this review, 11 reported statistically significant weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting also puts us in ketosis and unlocks many other health benefits. Fasting improves health and counteracts disease processes, improves mitochondrial health, DNA repair, and autophagy. It also promotes stem cell-based regeneration, alertness and the feeling of well being.
This study on Pubmed titled “Ketones and Human Performance” states it takes 72 hours of fasting to enter into a state of ketosis.
However, I have developed a process that will get you into ketosis into approximately 24 hours.
What are the Benefits of Ketosis?
- Lowers hunger (ghrelin) signals
- Eliminates the “hangry” feeling
- Improves mental clarity
- Provides fuel to the brain
- Improves insulin resistance
- Improves endurance athletic performance
- Improved mitochondrial biogenesis
Speed keto is a method to turbocharge the keto diet and get the fat burning process started.
In conclusion, if you want to be a fat burning machine and improve your overall health, then following a ketogenic diet with the addition of intermittent fasting might very well be the answer.
Here is the link to a thorough keto diet beginners guide if you want more information on the ketogenic diet.