The Basics of the Ketosis Diet… Keto 101
So the first thing to know is that the body has two forms of fuel.
We call them
Glucose is very fast.
Think about it like lighter fluid on a fire – big flame, burns big, and goes out quick.
Depending on glucose (carbohydrates) for all your energy needs means you’re building a campfire with twigs, wadded up paper, and an occasional burst of lighter fluid when you first ingest them.
You’ll produce a lot of smoke (free radicals in your body) and have to keep adding on the fuel to keep the fire going (sugar and snacks).
Keeping with the campfire theme, relying on Ketones – burning fatty acids- is like building a fire that will burn for hours. You build the fire with big logs (stored body fat and ketones), keep it warm and let it burn clean for the long haul.
So how do you make Ketones?
Well, the liver converts fatty acids into ketones. Think of it as the back up system so you won’t die if you don’t get food.
To understand ketogenic diets, you must understand the conditions that promote ketosis.
And to do that, you must understand how our bodies beta-oxidize fatty acids for energy.
- Fatty acids are broken down into acetyl-CoA.
- Acetyl-CoA combines with oxaloacetate.
- The acetyl-CoA/oxaloacetate duo starts the Krebs cycle.
- The Krebs cycle produces ATP, the body’s energy currency.
- Congratulations. You’ve just turned fat into energy.
Where does ketosis come in?
If the supply of acetyl-CoA exceeds the supply of oxaloacetate, the liver converts any excess acetyl-CoA into ketone bodies.
These ketone bodies are an “alternative” energy source for the brain and body.
Both carbohydrates and protein provide oxaloacetate to the liver, so both carbohydrates and protein can prevent ketone production or knock you out of ketosis.
Carbohydrates also elevate insulin, which blocks the release of body fat and reduces the amount of fatty acids making their way to the liver for conversion into ketones.
A ketosis diet, then, is one that limits carbohydrate and, to a lesser extent, protein.
If You’d like to get a deep dive into the science of the Ketosis Diet,
I recommend the following resource:
Or if you’d like a more personalized narrative of how Jimmy Moore discovered Keto and lost weight from the Ketosis Diet, You have to read or listen to this book:
So, how do you get yourself into Ketosis and get the benefits of the Ketogenic Diet.
There are several ways:
Extended fasting eventually burns up glycogen stores (stored glucose in the liver and muscles), requiring the liver to begin converting fatty acids into ketones.
In a similar nature, extending endurance events can induce a state similar to fasting should you use up all available glycogen stores.
2. Make Ketones in-house: Turn yourself into a fat burner with a Ketosis diet
Eating a Ketogenic Diet (Low Carb High Fat) will begin to shift the body from relying on glucose to ketones.
The body can turn carbohydrates into glucose and can even turn protein into glucose, but it can’t turn fat into glucose. Therefore, eating a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet will require the liver to begin converting fat into fuel.
A general rule of thumb in macro-nutrient ratios is 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs. This type of ratio will most certainly deplete glucose in the body.
3. Hack it with Ketone Supplements
Based on the work of Dr. Dominic D’agastino at the University of S. Florida, Exogenous Ketones are a new frontier of supplementation for brain and body fuel.
Using these supplements provides ketones that can be used by directly by the body and the brain for a boost in energy and focus.
These supplements provide an immediate benefit of Ketosis from an external supply (rather than being made by the body).
The Ketogenic Lifestyle
Mostly likely, if you want to experience the full benefits of the Ketosis Diet and living the Ketogenic Lifestyle, you’ll use a combo of all three methods to create ketones.
Experiencing Keto and becoming Keto-adapted are two different things.
Experiencing Keto can occur from supplementing with Ketones and Fasting, becoming a Keto-Adapted means you will have to eat the ketogenic diet for several weeks to several months. This will ultimately switch your body and brain to use ketones naturally.
So what do you eat on the Ketosis Diet?
- Grass-Fed Beef
- Whole Eggs
- Coconut oil
- Fatty Meats
- Non-Starchy Carbs
Look for more info on this site for diet ideas in my Recipes Section.
Common Mistakes people make on the Ketosis Diet:
Not drinking enough water- lowering carbs forces water out of the body
Not consuming enough salt/mineral- with the flush from the body, you’ll also lose sodium & minerals
Not eating enough fat- you have to consume enough fat for the body to function and use for ketones
Why Ketosis? What are the Benefits?
It can be great for weight loss & body composition
Sharper and clearer brain & thinking
Avoid that crash – no longer “hangry” because you don’t experience the blood sugar fluctuations
Increased Insulin sensitivity
What’s great about this diet is the food tastes great, not like a typical diet, you will not be eating so called “Health Food” found in boxes and bags- which is probably some of the most unhealthy stuff you can eat.
The Ketosis diet is not for everyone- but it might be for you – The most important thing you should do is not listen to anyone that says this or any diet is the only best way. The purpose of this post is to help you understand Ketosis as an option for you.
Also- choosing the Ketosis Diet is not something you can do for a week. You have to give it at least a 30 day trial to see how it works for you. You should decide for yourself- become your own judge if Ketosis works for you.
Leave any comments, thoughts, or questions you might have.