THE KETO DIET | HOW IT WORKS
Ahhh, checking out info on the keto-diet? Good for you. A curious mind is a sign of intelligence. When you reach your fitness goals, you’ll be unstoppable.
We’re going to help you get there.
A ketogenic, or the keto-diet is a low carb, high fat diet aimed at making the body burn fat as a fuel rather than carbs. The theory behind this is forcing the body to tap into fat reserves to boost weight loss.
If you can say no to that croissant, donut or toast, read on challenge-lover, read on.
The Keto Diet
A ketogenic diet expedites fat loss by forcing the body into a state of ketosis.
Ketosis is when the body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose for fuel. When restricting carbs, the body no longer has glycogen storage built up from sugars in carbs, thus it has to turn to its fat for energy.
Keto-Diet and Ketosis: How it Happens
When glycogen storage runs out, the liver takes fat and converts it into ketones for fuel. When blood sugar availability drops for 2-3 consecutive days, during the oxidation of fatty acids, the liver overproduces acetyl-CoA to create ketone bodies which are then used by the body.
So, technically the body doesn’t run on fat itself, it runs on the byproduct of fat we refer to as ketones. What a resourceful body you got there!
The state the body then enters into mimics starvation—without the whole death thing—if you’re eating right.
Consuming the proper amounts of fats and proteins combats lean mass loss because the kidneys and liver can produce adequate amounts of glycogen to prevent the body from consuming on its own muscles for energy. Protein and fat have little impact on blood sugar levels, therefore you’re ensuring your resilient body taps into stored fats while staving off blood sugar levels.
Thanks, liver and kidneys.
Keto-Diet and Insulin Levels
Because you’re not consuming simple carbs and are restricting consumption, insulin levels drop and fat burning is boosted.
The reason for this is that carbs spike insulin levels and blood sugar levels. When the body digests carbs, the digestive system breaks them down into sugar and sends it to the blood. The pancreas responds by sending insulin out to prompt cells to absorb the blood sugar to use as energy or to store as love grips. When you reduce carb intake, insulin levels decrease alongside the blood sugar levels. Recall, protein and fats have little effect on blood sugar levels.
Aside from ketosis aiding in weight, the keto-diet:
- Boosts metabolic efficiency in consuming fats.
- Increases metabolic expenditure on gluconeogenesis which is the generation of glucose from non-carb sources.
- Increases benefit from the thermic effect of proteins.
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
What a Keto-Diet Looks Like
The varied types of the ketogenic diet include:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): Low carb, moderate protein and high fat intake as follows: 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60/35/5 or 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): Also called carb-cycling, it involves consecutive days of low or no carbs falling within or under the SKD, followed by carb-days. Such as 3 keto days followed by 2 higher-carb or refeeding days.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): Carbs can be consumed at normal levels only around training such as immediately before or post-workout. The idea behind this is to increase muscle growth by providing extra energy to endure and build muscle and prevent catabolic states. This one has the least evidence supporting its efficacy.
There are literally hundreds of studies linking the keto-diet, or low carb diets, to improved health, effective treatment for certain conditions and enhancing the quality of life. However; if you’re a carb lover, you might find it difficult at first. If you’re interested in trying it, make sure you can give it at least a solid week so your body has time to adapt and benefit. It will take a full 2-3 days to trigger ketosis and a full week to start feeling fuller and more energized.
If you’re putting a pin in the keto-diet and looking for alternatives, check out the rest of our blog, we have research galore on fitness, diets and nutrition to boost your results and health.
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