Ketosis: What Is It & Why Does It Work So Well?

You've probably hear about it or you know someone doing it. But what exactly is Ketosis?

Ketosis Explained

Ketosis is the when your body begins to break down and use fat as the main source of ATP (your body's main fuel source) instead of doing so from using glucose (carbohydrates converted to sugars). Your body can now go into an efficient fat burning frenzy like it would do on a heavily calorie restricted diet, yet never actually going into caloric deficit (burning more than you're consuming). 

The way you achieve this is quite simple really, you reduce your carbohydrate intake to 30-80g per day depending on the type of individual. Back a few decades when this was used to treat epilepsy, it was kept to around 20g of carbohydrates per day, but due to the modern day diet, as with most old traditional methods, it's been modified to suit the modern day diet. Even at 50g per day, you'll be quite surprised at how difficult that actually is. 

Let's take a look at what 50g of carbs looks like in your average day.

  • 1/2 cup cooked oats = 13.5g
  • 2 slices multigrain bread = 93g
  • 1 cup of Sultana Bran = 30g
  • 100g Five Am Yoghurt (Banana & Mango) = 13.5g
  • 1/2 cup Carman's Classic Fruit & Nut Muesli = 23.3g
  • Small latte w skinny milk, no sugar = 10.1g

You can begin to see that your carbohydrates can jump up quite quickly by eating traditionally "healthy foods". If you were to have 1/2 cup Carman's muesli with 100g of Five Am Yoghurt, you've just hit 39g of carbs. If you now enjoy a morning latte, you've just hit 50g! Your carbs for the day are over! Can you now see the focus and dedication it will take to achieve this? 

I'm not saying you need to give up your coffee, but maybe chose black coffee instead? 

I'm not saying give up your oats, but plan your day around them. 

The more you can reduce your carb intake and get closer to the 50g mark, the better your results while in ketosis. 

Why Ketosis?

Ketosis is where we burn the most fat. Do I need to keep talking? 

If reducing body fat is your #1 priority, it's time to get serious with it and cut your carb intake. If you're happy with your body, then don't worry about it. But I'm pretty sure you'd also be happy if you dropped another 2% body fat yes? Thought so, keep reading!

Ketosis is just another name put on a process that will benefit you and your body composition. Not that I agree with labelling everything, ketosis is literally the name for what occurs during this process. So in this case, labels are fine. 

What Do I Need To Do First?

Before throwing yourself into a ketogenic diet, you need to be ready and prepare your body to adjust to the new diet shift. If you've traditionally been on a higher carbohydrate diet, then you may not have the required digestive enzymes to breakdown and process the extra intake of fat, so you will need to add in ketones to your diet. 

Once you have an adequate amount present, your body can now begin to breakdown and use fat as energy. Once fat is burned, it is broken down and removed via, urine, defecation and breath. 

Whilst you remain in ketosis, you'll be burning more fat than you ever thought imagineable.

Foods To Watch!

There are a lot of foods to watch out for when you take on this mighty task. Many foods have very high levels of carbohydrates, such as;

  • breads, pasta, rice
  • added sugar foods and foods naturally high in sugar
  • several fruits, eg. banana (medium) has 22g of carbs! 

If you can begin to reduce and cut out the above foods, plus more, then add in all the alternatives to keep your calories up, then you'll start burning fat like no tomorrow! 

Foods To Add

Now it's even more important to increase those foods that will support your growth while in ketosis such as;

  • lean meats (beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish, eggs)
  • high protein and high fat food sources (eg. avocado, some nuts and seeds, coconut oil, organic butter)
  • lots of fresh vegetables, but watch carbohydrate content of some, especially sweet potato
  • keep the dietary fat levels high, as your brain will require around the 50g of glucose per day to remain healthy, and your body can convert amino acids into glucose

With the heightened levels of ketones present in the body, your brain will in fact be functioning at a higher level anyway due to the increase in amino acids from the protein and fat sources in your new diet, rather than everything being filled up with empty carb calories. 

Pro's of Ketosis:

  1. Reduce insulin levels (and prevent extra fat storage)
  2. Reduce appetite and prevent over eating. Protein is responsible for this.
  3. Reduce fat storage at the same time as burning stored body fat.
  4. Achieve and maintain a leaner body capable of burning more calories through thermogenesis (the calories burned through the consumption of foods)
  5. Reduce PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovaries Syndrome, which often effects womens ability to burn stored body fat)
  6. Fat burning and fat loss becomes easier and less stressful, therefore achieving your goals faster than ever thought possible. 

So, in conclusion, ketosis is the fastest, proven, most effective way of burning stored body fat and reducing your body's ability to increase body fat %. 

Ketosis is easily achieved if you're mentally prepared, physically prepared and willing to give 100% to it to achieve the intended results. 

Ketosis will help you burn fat, get lean and stay there! 

Stay healthy,