Ketosis 101 - What is Ketosis?
By now, most people know that low-carbohydrate diets are far healthier and better than low-fat diets for weight loss and weight maintenance.
If you ain't heard-
Professor of Medicine and director of clinical research and exercise physiology at the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute, Kerry J. Stewart notes, “After six months, those who were on the low-carb diet lost an average of 28.9 pounds versus 18.7 pounds among those on the low-fat diet.”
That is why all of our weight loss advice is based on limiting your carbohydrate intake. IT IS PHYSIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to retain extra body fat if you are not consuming carbohydrates, unless you literally completely inactive or stuffing your face.
For the purpose of this article we will covering "dietary ketosis," defined as an ketogenic state produced by a diet with equal or less than 130g of carbohydrates. This definition of "Low-Carbohydrate" was set by the American Dietetic Association.
Please note that "dietary ketosis" in a healthy dieter is DIFFERENT from diabetic ketoacidosis- a DIFFERENT state unique to type-I diabetics that CANNOT make insulin and experience an unnaturally rapid increase of ketones from excess (uncontrolled) glucagon breaking down fat.
This Kid Told Me the I Will Die From Ketosis is if Follow a Low-Carb Diet, is that true!?
To many, it comes as a gigantic surprise when they hear that they don't "need" carbohydrates to survive, in fact- they are usually way healthier and leaner without exceeding 30-50g/day.
You don't eat bread, rice, cereal and grains that the food pyramid swears you should eat 18+ servings of a day. You don't need ANY of it.
Still, a lot of people are reluctant to drop all the carbohydrates because "that is a what they have always eaten," and get further scared off when the completely confusing issue of "Ketosis" is mentioned.
Many people think that Ketosis is a dangerous metabolic state.
Per definition, as discussed in "Living Low-Carb" by Dr. Jonny Bowden PhD. CNS., ketosis is-
"the term used to describe what happens when the body switches using fat as its main source of fuel (energy), which is EXACTLY what you want to happen when you are using a low-carbohydrate diet to lose weight."
Ketosis, however, is not required to lose weight on a low-carbohydrate diet, but rather- a preferable state since your body can use/burn body fat as energy throughout the day.
Bowden explains that ketosis from a low-carbohydrate diet is a HARMLESS state, contrary to popular belief. It is not a good state to be in if you are trying to maintain pounds of muscle mass or lifting heavy weight, but it is the EXACT state you want to be in if your #1 goal is to LOSE WEIGHT.
Ketosis is NOT Dangerous, The Reverse is True.
Ketones are a natural part of your metabolism, your body is always producing a certain level of ketones. When your body enters benign dietary ketosis (BDE) you will naturally produce ketones, they are by-product of your body burning FAT instead of carbohydrates.
The good news is- your body LOVES ketones if they are produced in a non-starvation or non-diabetic state.
They can efficiently power your heart. They can efficiently power your brain. Student led research at the University of Southern California (USC) suggests that ketones have a "profound" effect on cerebral function and it is a "stepping stone" to treating Alzheimer's disease.
A strict ketogenic diet has been used for nearly a decade at Children's Hospital of New York-Prebyterian because is it quite successful at treating children's epilepsy. A similar clinical trial is detailed in the 2008 "Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care," performed at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. If the diet was "bad" or dangerous, scholars wouldn't have been feeding it for years to epileptic children that were prone to seizures.
In the Spring semesters at college, I was generally getting ripped for Spring Break and the Summer. I lived on ephedrine, diet coke and ketones. I also got tended to be better grades in the Spring.
Why Does Ketosis Have a Bad Wrap?
There are different types of ketosis. They always confused for each other. Even some doctors can't explain it.
Since it's it not so black-and-white, it's hard for the average person to understand or even begin to look for truth if he is told "Ketosis is bad."
Dietary ketosis (BDC, this type of ketosis) is NOT the same as diabetic ketoacidosis. Dietary ketosis is NOT the same as the ketosis that you experience in legitimate starvation. Dietary ketosis is confused for diabetic ketoacidosis by so many people, even half the doctors you speak to will tell you it "bad" and to follow a balanced diet.
Ask ANY bodybuilder that knows that all he has to do is lower his carbohydrate intake and he'll get ripped as hell. Your body CANNOT physiologically retain excess body fat if you don't eat carbohydrates and make an effort to burn calories.
Again, dietary ketosis is a "good" preferable state if you want to LOSE WEIGHT. But it a "bad" state if you are trying to get stronger, get faster, get bigger or maintain large amount of muscle mass.