Are you deciding if keto is the right fit for you? We have answered the Top 4 Keto FAQ's to help you understand the science and benefits of this lifestyle.
1. For starters, what is Ketosis?
The goal of the ketogenic diet is simple: to transition your body from using glucose as fuel to using ketones as fuel. Yes, contrary to popular belief, your body does in fact have two fuel sources. Let’s break down each one:
Glucose is produced by your body from the carbohydrates that you eat like grains, breads, pastas, sugar, and starches. This fuel source is easily produced by the body to use for energy, but it is not long-lasting, causes blood sugar spikes, and when you don’t burn all of the glucose that your body produces, it is stored as FAT in the form of triglycerides. \I repeat, your body stores the excess glucose in your fat cells.
Ketones are produced in your liver from stored fat. Yes, you heard me correctly: you can turn stored fat cells into energy. Ketones are a long lasting fuel that provide consistent energy with no afternoon crashes. When you use ketones for energy, your body is using its own stored fat as fuel, thus you start shedding weight.
The goal of the ketogenic diet is for your body to start burning ketones for energy instead of glucose. When the body takes stored fat through the liver and produces ketones (small molecules used as fuel throughout the body), it is called ketosis.
Why do you want to be in ketosis?
When you are in a state of ketosis, your body literally becomes a fat burning machine! Ketosis is the way for humans to operate most efficiently, it can lead to numerous benefits such as weight loss, more energy, improved focus, better sleep, clear skin, strength gain, reduced appetite, better digestion and balanced mood, to name a few.
2. How does your body transition from using glucose as it's main energy source, to using healthy fats? What is required of you (i.e. how must your diet change to achieve this)?
How do you get into ketosis? Well, it’s all about what you eat and how much you eat of each specific macro-nutrient (also known as “macros”.) There are three types of macro-nutrients in the human diet: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. On the ketogenic diet, your daily macro-nutrient breakdown should be as follows:
- 75% fat
- 20% protein
- 5% carbohydrates
It’s true – approximately 75% of what you eat each day will come from fat. Fat is actually the most essential macronutrient that the body needs. You need fat to live. It keeps you feeling full and satisfied, it keeps cravings away, and it is 100% necessary for you to get into ketosis.
Check Out This Recipe You Can Enjoy on Keto
3. How long does it take for your body to transition into ketosis?
When following this macro-nutrient ratio, you can get into ketosis within 2 to 7 days depending on your current glycogen supply, body type, and activity level. This means you can start reaping the amazing benefits of ketosis in as little as one week!
4. What are the signs that your body is in ketosis? For example, how can you tell through your energy levels, mood, sleep, appetite, etc.
The best way to tell is through ketone testing. Most beginners stick with urine strip tests that measure excess ketones excreted by the body. You can also test your ketone levels with a blood or breath meter.
Other indicators of ketosis are based on how you are feeling. Once your body fully transitions to ketones as fuel, you will experience increased energy levels as well as mental clarity (aka no more brain fog!).
You will also notice that your cravings being to dissipate and you have less hunger throughout the day. Lastly, when you are in ketosis, you are burning your own stored fat as fuel! So you will experience weight loss, which can often be fast and significant.