What Is A Ketogenic Diet?

Most of us have been told and therefore have it engrained that carbohydrates and sugar is the primary source of energy for our bodies.  However, if you want to lose weight there is a way of eating that will help flip the switch so your body burns primarily fat for fuel.

When the body consumes sugar, our pancreas works to secrete a hormone called insulin. Insulin is actually a fat storage hormone, so too many carbohydrates and sugar inhibit the weight loss process. When we eat fat on the other hand, the body metabolizes the fat and produces ketones, which are then used by cells to power their normal functions. So, yes, fat can energise cells and enable you to lose weight.

The goal in eating high fat, moderate protein and low carb is to put the body into a state called ketosis, which is a metabolic state of having ketones in the blood to use for energy.  Studies have found that being in  a state of ketosis enhances mental performance, body composition and mood – win!

So, in a nutshell ketosis is the metabolic process of using fat as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. This means your body is directly breaking down its fat stores as energy instead of slowly converting fat and muscle cells into glucose for energy.  Ketosis is when your body doesn’t have enough glucose in the way of carbohydrates available and instead must burn fat.

So, are you wondering if you should try a ketogenic diet? Well, firstly let me say you should work with a health professional that can help guide you into a state of ketosis as you want to ensure you’re doing it correctly. After that it’s not good to stay in a ketogenic state, but instead keto cycle which allows you to add carbohydrates back in in a cyclic pattern.

Here are the benefits again in a nutshell:

  1. Weight Loss – You will lose weight!  When your body is using fat as it’s primary energy source, you lose weight faster because your body has access to your fat stores.
  2. Increased Energy – By eliminating or seriously reducing carbohydrates, you don’t have the surges of glucose, (sugar), so you don’t get the sugar crashes and with it the energy spikes and dips.
  3. Increased Mental Focus – Your brain prefers fat as an energy source, it’s more consistent, so you have more consistent focus and mental stamina.
  4. Decreased Inflammation – Being in a state of ketosis has been shown to decrease inflammation, (cause of disease), alzheimers and even benefit those with cancer and diabetes.
  5. Increased Physical Performance – Ketosis has been found to use oxygen more efficiently, and of course helps you maintain a steady stream of energy versus the physical crashes of low blood sugar.

I just want to add that this diet is not for everyone, and the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins will differ per individual based on individual body responses and activity levels.  There are of course other areas I would want to look at and consider when it comes to weight loss.  If you’d like to know more, then why not get in touch and I can help you achieve a state of ketosis to drop the unwanted kilos! Heather@foodforlife.co.nz, 027 812 5071.