By now most of us have heard of the term ketosis, but what exactly does it mean and how can it be beneficial to you?
What is Ketosis?
Nutritional ketosis is when your body enters a metabolic state in which it burns fat for fuel instead of glucose.
How do you do this?
Your body enters a ketogenic state when you start consuming a high-fat, low-carb diet. You see, when your body isn't getting enough fuel from carbs, it will look for energy from its second favorite fuel source, fats. When you consume more fats, you enhance your body's ability to burn fat, making it easier for your body to use stored adipose tissue – therefore turning your body into the ultimate fat-burning machine.
The breakdown of fat (fatty acids) creates what are called ketone bodies. Ketones can replace glucose as the main source of energy for cells as well as the brain. The longer you're in a state of ketosis, the easier it is for your brain and body to utilize ketones.
How do you know when you're in ketosis?
Before you enter a state of ketosis, you most likely experience a phase of adaptation which can include a number of different symptoms. These symptoms are mainly due to carbohydrate withdrawal and can include the keto flu, headaches, fatigue, irritability, light-headedness, etc. These symptoms may persist for a few weeks. However, once you begin to notice a shift in your brain, body, and overall energy levels, this is a good sign that you're in ketosis. But if you want to be 100% sure, there are ketone strips you can use to give yourself accurate data.
What are some signs you're in ketosis?
Some signs include:
- Weight loss
- Increased ketones in the blood
- Increased ketones in the urine
- Suppressed appetite
- Increased mental focus
- Short-term fatigue
- A short-term decrease in physical performance
- Digestive issues
You know the signs of ketosis, but what are the health benefits of being in this metabolic state?
What are the health benefits of ketosis?
Of course, there are benefits most of us talk about such as fat burning, re-comp, etc. But what are the other possible benefits?
Well for starters, your mood and mental health may improve drastically. Many individuals on keto experience improved mental clarity and memory.
Another common benefit experienced is the increased long-lasting energy. When your body enters a ketogenic state, it can tap and do your adipose tissue to provide you with more sustained energy without the constant need to eat (unlike carbs).
Reduced hunger is another positive benefit of keto. Consuming a diet high in fat and protein leaves us feeling satiated and full for a much longer period of time.
Nutritional ketosis is constantly being researched by scientists to study the roles it may play in different conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, dementia, and more.