ULTIMATE KETOGENIC OVERVIEW
KETOSIS IS THE HOLY GRAIL FOR HUMANS TO OPERATE THE MOST EFFICIENTLY.
The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported through the body for energy. Glucose gives you quick energy that doesn't last long (aka your daily afternoon crash around 3pm) and your body cells can't use heaps of it all at once so it saves some in your liver and muscles, as glycogen. Once there is enough glycogen stored in your liver and muscles the rest turns into fat. (That is definitely not a good thing and the primary reason you gain weight!)
However, if there are limited carbohydrates in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood means you are in a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is the holy grail for humans to operate the most efficiently and 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. In addition, research is now linking ketones to reduction in heart disease factors, prevention and treatment of cancer, and improved brain function (including epilepsy and Alzheimer's prevention/improvement).
HOW TO ACHIEVE KETOSIS
Getting your body to enter full ketosis is no small feat. It requires forgoing all starchy vegetables, breads, sugary drinks (including fruit juice), pasta—essentially everything that isn’t a healthy fat, quality protein or non-starchy vegetable. It’s a tall order that only gets taller, because, once you’ve started the process, the body begins feeling deprived and often undergoes a transition phase referred to as “low-carb flu.” For the first few weeks, physical and mental performance—at work, in the gym—can decrease noticeably and uncomfortably as the body tries to tap its missing fuel source. It is important to push through and stay strong - if you do, you will reach the euphoria that is ketosis! If you don't stay consistent in this way of eating, ketosis will not be maintained. As a result, this is truly a lifestyle change and not just a short-term fad diet BUT the results are worth it! See more information about starting the Ketogenic diet—here.
Switching from foods that cause chronic illness and make you fat (aka sugars, processed foods, and refined carbs) to foods that keep you permanently lean and energetic without getting hungry (healthy fats, quality protein, and green vegetables) would seem like a no-brainer. But it’s difficult, and most of us don’t know where to start. The average American today is what nutritionists call “a sugar burner.” We ingest carbs for breakfast, so our blood sugar goes up quickly then comes crashing down before lunch, when we get our next carb fix. The process happens over and over again without our bodies entering ketosis. We don't know what living to the FULLEST really is, because we are using glucose as fuel rather than the superior source of fuel—FAT & KETONES. Achieving ketosis is possible, it just takes the correct tools. Whether you choose to be strict in your diet, implement fasting, use exogenous ketones or do a combination of all of these—it is possible to get into ketosis and once you do, you will never want to go back!!! What are you waiting for?!