In a world where lifestyle-related diseases are afflicting many people, it is only reasonable to be on the lookout for methods to help prevent these disorders. While there are several diet choices and a variety of wellness products, ketosis is a bodily function that can help manage a few health conditions. For additional information about this process, continue reading.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a process where your body uses fats as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates. Many cells in the human body prefer to use glucose from carbs to fuel various functions. However, they can also use fats for energy. You get your body into ketosis through the foods you eat and dieting as well.
When you consume meals high in healthy fats, moderate proteins, and minimal carbs, your body switches to fats for energy after using the carbs. Besides, when you go for a while without eating, your body uses up all the glucose and turns to fat deposits in your body as a source of energy.
While carbs provide glucose to energize your brain for various functions, fats are broken down into ketones, which are substances that provide you with energy. Your body needs time to adjust to using fats for energy since it usually gets it from carbohydrates.
What’s Ketosis State?
A ketosis state is when your body starts to use ketones from fats for energy. In the beginning, your body may find it hard adjusting to fats for fuel but with time, you get used to it. Your insulin levels go down because there are no carbohydrates to convert into glucose for energy. Therefore, your body releases large amounts of stored fat to be used in providing you energy for your wellbeing and productivity. The fat goes into the liver where it is processed into ketones that power various functions in your body.
To know whether your body is in ketosis, there are several factors to watch out for. They include the following.
- Weight loss
The more fat your body stores, the more weight you gain. Carbohydrates are the major contributors to weight gain. Your body uses them for energy and stores the extra in the form of fat deposits in your body, which causes you to put on weight.
Ketosis uses stored fat, which are digested into ketones for energy, thus reducing the fat deposits in your body for weight loss. Besides, when you adhere to a keto diet, where you eat high fat, low-carb meals, you allow your body to get used to using fats for fuel.
- Increased ketones breath, blood, and urine
There are tests that analyze the levels of ketones in your blood, urine, and breathe. Ketosis reduces blood sugar while boosting ketone levels. A specialized meter measures BHB levels in your blood to show if they are high or low.
Besides, a breath analyzer can check for ketones in your breath to establish how much ketosis is happening in your body. A urine strip, on the other hand, is used to test for the levels of ketones in the fluid. These tests tell you whether ketosis is working for you or not.
- Appetite suppression
Cravings tempt you into eating more and it is understandable because hunger pangs affect your productivity and comfort. Junk foods are convenient to use and easily accessible. You might find yourself snacking on them to control hunger instead of having a healthy meal. Junk food and processed sugars contribute to weight gain. Your body processes the sugar fast and leaves you craving for more.
Ketosis might assist in suppressing your appetite to prevent cravings and keep hunger away. Despite this benefit requiring more research, perhaps the moderate proteins in the keto diet and vegetables contribute to you feeling full for longer. That way you only eat when your body needs the food.
- More energy and focus
The long-term effects of ketosis keep you more energized and improve your focus. You become more productive and feel great. However, in the beginning of ketosis, you might feel tired and sick, but do not give up.
Your body is adjusting to the low amount carbs you are ingesting and adapting to using fats for energy. Give it time, the effects will pass and you will feel better as you enjoy the benefits of ketosis.
What are the Benefits?
We have already mentioned the benefits of ketosis. If you need to lose some pounds, ketosis can help you get rid of the extra fat that is causing you to weigh more than you want. Ketosis triggers your body to use fats for energy instead of carbs to support weight loss.
It might also suppress your appetite to prevent you from consuming more calories that cause weight gain. Besides, cravings can make you eat unhealthy foods, which are easily accessible.
Ketosis boosts your focus and energy levels. You get to concentrate better on the essential tasks of your life and have the energy to do so as well. That is not all. It also reduces the risk of developing heart diseases, considering it reduces fat amounts in your body.
The process improves insulin sensitivity as well to help manage type 2 diabetes and lowers your blood sugar. Additionally, it can reduce epileptic seizures in children who do not respond to treatment.
Does Ketosis Have Any Negative Health Effects?
Ketosis causes negative effects in the beginning but in the end, you benefit from the increased levels of energy, weight loss, and appetite suppression. You might experience headache, for instance.
The other effect is bad breath, which means you have to brush your teeth more often than usual. If you choose to chew gum instead, use the sugar-free ones with minimal carbs that do not affect the ketosis process.
Acetone is the ketone that causes bad breath and it leaves your body through your breath and urine too.
During ketosis, you might also experience short-lived fatigue and weakness. It happens as your body learns to use fats for energy and not carbs. You feel tired for 7-30 days but it is worth it in the end. Take electrolytes including sodium, magnesium, and potassium to help reduce fatigue.
Your exercise performance goes down due to ketosis. The fatigue and weakness you feel at first makes it challenging to work out as efficiently as before.
Nevertheless, once your body gets used to using fat to fuel different functions, you can get back to your performance level and boost your ability to burn more fat when exercising.
Insomnia is another negative effect of ketosis, as your body adjusts to a new way of functioning. You were used to consuming more carbs, but ketosis involves adhering to a low-carb diet and more fat. The adjustment might cause sleep problems that improve within a few weeks.
You might also have to deal with diarrhea and constipation due to the changes in your diet. Eat vegetables with low carbohydrates levels and much fiber for better digestion.
How to Get into Ketosis Fast
Your body uses fats for energy, for example, when you skip lunch. However, it is probable that later you will have a huge meal with high amounts of carbs to replenish your body. If you need long-term ketosis in your body, you cannot continue with such a habit. You have to make some changes.
One factor that allows you to get into ketosis fats is fasting, where you do not eat for a given period. There are many types of fasting to consider adopting. However, the process means you eat less and in three days, your brain gets over 20% of energy from ketones. If you do long-term fasting, the figure rises to 60 %.
However, starving yourself a long while can be hard. There has to be another way to get into ketosis faster. It is through changing your diet from high-carb to low cab. The keto diet is based on ketosis. It involves consuming low carb, high fat, moderate protein amounts to support ketosis.
There are many foods to include in your keto meal plan. Besides, there are no calories to count when using the keto diet. The proteins will keep you feeling full for longer, the low carbs will prevent weight gain, while the fats will be the primary source of energy for your body.
Getting your body into ketosis cannot be as hard. You can do it for a few days while adhering to a low-carb high-fat diet. Remember, when we say fat we mean healthy fats from food. At the beginning of ketosis, you might feel unwell and tired, among other effects. However, the symptoms wear off as your body familiarizes with using fats for energy.
Besides, ketosis benefits, in the end, outweigh the negative short-term effects. The process helps in weight reduction, managing epileptic seizures in children, increasing energy levels, and appetite suppression to prevent cravings and more calorie intake.
Anyone can choose to go the keto way. With this guide, you are in a better position to decide if ketosis is something you want or not. Consider the benefits it offers when making your decision. The fatigue, bad breath, diarrhea, and headache are short-term effects and are manageable.