What Is Ketosis? A Guide on the Key Things to Know
Are you wondering what is ketosis? If yes, you should check out our informative guide here on the important details to know.
Are you thinking about starting the keto diet? If you’ve done any research on the keto diet, then you’ve probably heard people talking about “entering ketosis”, or “keeping their body in ketosis”.
But, what is ketosis, exactly? And, what does it mean to be a state of ketosis?
Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about ketosis and the keto diet.
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
Before we answer the question, “What is ketosis?”, let’s first talk about the ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet (also known as keto) is a way of eating that mimics the effects of fasting. The keto diet is made up of a large number of high-quality fats, a moderate amount of protein, and a small number of carbs.
When you limit the number of carbs you consume, your body begins to use fat as its main source of fuel, rather than carbs. This shift can have a profound effect on your metabolism.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis refers to the metabolic state in which your body uses fat as its main fuel source rather than carbs. When your body breaks down fat into useable energy, the byproduct is known as ketone bodies or just ketones.
This fat can be derived directly from the foods in your diet or from the fat stores that already exist in your body. In a ‘normal’ body, glucose is stored in the liver and then released as needed for energy.
However, if your carb consumption is extremely low for one to two days, then your glucose stores will become depleted. While your body can make glucose via the amino acids from the proteins you eat, it’s not nearly enough to efficiently fuel your body.
This is where ketosis comes in as an alternate energy source. Even when you eat a high-carb diet, your liver still produces ketones on a regular basis. When your body is in ketosis, it produces these ketones at an accelerated rate.
Once ketones become the main energy source for your body and brain, your body can start to burn fat at a higher rate. This means that you might reach your weight loss goal sooner than if you were to not cut carbs.
What are the Benefits of Ketosis?
Entering a state of ketosis can help you do more than just lose weight. Ketosis can also help with:
- Appetite Suppression: Many people find that being in ketosis suppresses their appetite
- Reversal of Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes: Being in ketosis can help normalize insulin response and blood sugar levels, which can potentially lead to someone no longer needing to take their diabetes medication (for Type 2)
- Boosting Athletic Performance: Ketosis may be able to provide one with a long-lasting fuel supply that helps in sustained exercise
- Managing Seizures:Studies show that ketosis can help both children and adults with controlling their epilepsy if they don’t respond to anti-seizure medication
Some also believe that ketosis can help with managing migraines and headaches, reversing symptoms of PCOS, and slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
How Do You Get Into Ketosis?
So, how do you get into a state of ketosis? You can enter ketosis by either fasting or changing your diet. Here’s what each method may look like:
For those who choose to go the fasting route, it’s suggested to only do so in a medically-supervised environment. If you’re an adult with an average build, it’ll take you around 48 hours of fasting to enter ketosis.
After your fast is complete, eating a ketogenic diet will help keep your body in ketosis. It’s recommended that you start your fast a few hours before bedtime. Then, you should break your fast two days later at the same time.
When fasting, it’s recommended that you increase your water intake to avoid dehydration. You may also find that black coffee or plain tea helps you to maintain your focus.
You can also enter ketosis through your diet. As we mentioned earlier, a keto diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs.
In order to enter ketosis, you’ll need to follow this type of diet for at least two weeks. To reach a state of ketosis through dieting, most people look at their macronutrient ratios.
While there’s no magic ratio, most people use a ratio of 4:1- 4 parts fat and 1 part protein and carbs. However, it’s important to tweak the ratio to suit your body and lifestyle. Many people can enter ketosis in a ratio that’s as low as 2:1. Here are some extra tips you can follow to enter ketosis through dieting:
- Reduce your net carb intake to fewer than 20 grams per day: This virtually guarantees that you’ll enter ketosis, and it means you won’t have to deal with figuring out macronutrient ratios
- Make sure you’re consuming healthy sources of fat, like nuts, avocados, salmon, and olive oil
- Cook with coconut oil, as it can increase ketone production
- Exercise if possible, as this may help you enter ketosis more quickly
You can also click on this link to try new keto snacks that’ll help you reach your goals.
How Do You Know You’re In Ketosis?
So, you’ve been drastically reducing your carb intake, loading up on healthy fats, and lightly exercising. Are you in ketosis? How can you tell?
Here are the top signs to look out for:
- Metallic taste in your mouth
- Dry mouth
- More frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Fruity breath, also known as keto breath
- Initial fatigue followed by an increase in energy and focus
- Decreased appetite/food intake
Once your body enters ketosis, you’ll be able to start reaping the benefits.
Are You Ready to Try the Keto Diet?
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is ketosis?”, it’s time to decide if the keto diet is right for you or not. Before you start the keto diet, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more information on the keto diet!