What is ketosis?
The goal of the Keto Diet is to cause your normal metabolism to transition into a state of ketosis to lose weight. Simply put, ketosis is a special metabolic state that the body enters when there aren't enough carbohydrates available to be burned as energy. When there's a carb deficiency, your body goes into ketosis and will start burning fat.
A normal metabolism relies heavily on carbohydrates to fuel physical and mental exertion. Your body breaks them down into glucose (sugar), which then powers your daily activities. In a carb-rich diet, your body's fat stores remain unmetabolized; continuing to eat more carbs causes weight gain.
Foods that contain carbs include: dairy products, bread, processed snacks, and starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes. The average person tends to consume an excess of carbs, making weight difficult to lose.
Ketosis makes your body start breaking down its stored fat to obtain glucose for energy. When in ketosis, there's an increase in the amount of ketones in the blood. Ketones are a by-product of the fat-burning process which the body uses as fuel when glucose levels are low. It is their measurable increase that gives ketosis its name.
How do you get your body into ketosis?
If you want to induce a state of ketosis, follow the Keto Diet. The specifics are laid out in detail in the Keto Diet plan, but the basic guidelines are: low carbs, high fats, sufficient proteins.
Dramatically lowering carb intake is key when switching gears into ketosis. The goal is to stay under 20 grams of carbs daily -- a fairly huge decrease from what most people are used to. In America, for example, the average person eats over 200 grams of carbs each day. For ketosis to happen, foods like bread, potatoes, pasta, and sugary snacks must go.
Luckily, nutritional information is available for nearly every food we eat, whether printed on packaging or online. So, keeping a close eye on carb intake is relatively easy. Another encouraging fact is that the Keto Diet allows for a huge variety of delicious high-fat, high-protein foods and snacks. So, when making or purchasing food, keep that carb content under 50 grams, and you can achieve ketosis.
What happens to you when you're in ketosis?
When your body is in ketosis, it doesn't have access to the amount of carbs it's used to metabolizing. Essentially, once you're in ketosis, you'll have re-trained your metabolism to rely on fat for energy, not carbs. So, the main process taking place in your body will be the continuous burning of fat.
You'll not only be burning your own accumulated fat stores, but you'll also be burning through the high-fat Keto foods you're eating. As you eat avocados, nuts, cheese, eggs, and fatty fish (these are just some examples of awesome Keto foods), you'll be actively losing weight.
Instead of burning only glucose, your body and brain will burn ketones as an alternate form of energy. Your appetite will decrease. You'll have fewer cravings for high-carb foods. You'll see visible weight loss results quickly.
What are the side effects of ketosis?
Going into ketosis for the first time is quite a change. As your body adjusts to fat-burning, there can be a bumpy transition period where uncomfortable symptoms may appear.
In the first few days after achieving ketosis, you may experience fatigue, brain fog, headache, irritability, increased urination, and difficulty sleeping. This is often called the keto flu. You may also have some intense sugar cravings, as your body "misses" eating carbs during the adjustment period.
During this time, it's important to drink lots of water and stay on course. The good news is, if you can continue to keep your carbs low through the initial shift, these symptoms usually disappear within a week, and are replaced by some amazing health benefits.
What are the positive effects on the body?
Weight loss is the most exciting result of ketosis. However, there are many more positive effects than just that.
Lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and appetite moderation are a few things to look forward to. Don't forget about reduced triglycerides and increased energy levels. Ketosis also helps you burn far more fat during exercise than a carb-fueled metabolism burns.
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
If you're ready to begin experiencing the benefits of ketosis, start removing carbs from the equation immediately. If you consistently eat fewer than 20 carbs per day, ketosis can be achieved in just 24 to 48 hours.
For people who are used to consuming a very high-carb diet, this process could take a few more days. You will generally know you're in ketosis when you begin to experience the set of symptoms mentioned earler. Weight loss will be another indicator.
After a few days of sticking to the Keto Diet, your body will be efficiently burning fat with the marvelous process of ketosis!