You are probably reading this article because you’ve heard a lot about the ketogenic diet.
You’ve probably tried a lot of different diets without much success in burning fat or getting healthier.
And you’re probably wondering if all the hype around the keto diet is … well … just a bunch of hype.
And above all, you’re probably wondering “is consuming a high-fat diet really healthy?”
I also don’t believe that the ketogenic diet is the right diet for everyone.
What I do believe is that it is a valuable tool that could help certain people overcome plateaus in their fat loss, increase their mental and physical energy, and perform better at LIFE.
WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?
The keto diet is short for the “ketogenic diet.” It’s a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that has the potential to turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
The keto diet changes the way your body converts food into energy. Normally, your body turns carbohydrates (think bread and pasta) into glucose for energy. Eating a lot of fat and very few carbs puts you in ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel.
WHAT ARE KETONES?
When your body can’t get glucose from your diet, your liver turns body fat and fat from your diet into molecules called ketones, an alternative source of fuel. This puts you into ketosis, aka prime weight loss mode.
You’re in ketosis when your ketone levels measure 0.8 millimoles per liter. The keto diet is one way to get your body to make ketones. Other ways to run on ketones include intermittent fasting and using up your glucose reserves by exercising.
BENEFITS OF THE KETO DIET
The keto diet quickly boosts weight loss because your body turns fat from your diet and your fat stores into ketones. And unlike glucose, ketones can’t be stored as fat because they aren’t digested the same way.
That’s surprising, right? For decades, you’ve heard that fat makes you fat. Your body is actually built to use fat as an alternative source of fuel. For most of history, people weren’t eating three square meals and snacks throughout the day. Instead, humans would have to hunt and gather their food, and they learned to thrive when there wasn’t any food available, sometimes for days on end. To keep going, their bodies used stored fat for energy. Thanks, evolution.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW BENEFITS OF A KETOGENIC DIET FILLED WITH QUALITY FATS:
- Burns body fat: When you’re on keto, your body uses stored body fat and fat from your diet as fuel. The result? Rapid weight loss.
- Reduces appetite: Ketones suppress ghrelin — your hunger hormone — and increase cholecystokinin (CCK), which makes you feel full. Reduced appetite means it’s easier to go for longer periods without eating, which encourages your body to dip into its fat stores for energy.
- Reduces inflammation: Inflammation is your body’s natural response to an invader it deems harmful. Too much inflammation is bad news because it increases your risk of chronic disease. A keto diet can reduce inflammation in the body by switching off inflammatory pathways and producing fewer free radicals compared to glucose.
- Fuels your brain: Ketones are so powerful that they can provide up to 20 percent of your brain’s energy needs, which is way more efficient than the energy you get from glucose. Did you know your brain is made up of more than 60 percent fat? That means it needs a lot of fat to keep the engine humming. The good fats you eat on a ketogenic diet do more than feeding your day-to-day activities — they also feed your brain.
- Increases energy: When your brain uses ketones for fuel, you don’t experience the same energy slumps as you do when you’re eating a lot of carbs. When your metabolism is in fat-burning mode, your body can simply tap into its readily available fat stores for energy. That means no more energy crashes or brain fog. Ketosis also helps the brain create more mitochondria, the power generators in your cells. More energy in your cells means more energy to get stuff done.
- Curbs cravings: Fat is a super satiating macronutrient. You eat a ton of good fats on keto, so you feel fuller, longer.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT ON KETO
So, how exactly do you lose weight on keto?
When you start eating more fat and cut out all the extra carbs (think sugar, bread, and pasta), you tend to stop experiencing the blood sugar swings and cravings that plague most people on the Standard American Diet. When your body runs on ketones for fuel, it has a steady supply of energy in the form of body fat. When your body relies on glucose, it needs a regular hit of carbs to keep it going.
Ketones can control your hunger and satiety hormones so you feel satisfied and full, not hangry. That means fewer cravings, more energy, and increased fat-burning. Here’s how it works.
HOW KETONES AFFECT YOUR HUNGER HORMONES
Ketones impact cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone which makes you feel full, and ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.”
- CCK: Your intestines release CCK after you eat, and it is a powerful regulator of food intake — so much so that injecting people with CCK will cause them to cut their meals short. Ketones increase CCK levels so you actually satisfied after meals.
- Ghrelin: Ghrelin is called “the hunger hormone” because it increases appetite. It’s released from your stomach and intestines, with blood levels reaching their highest point when you fast. When you finally eat a meal, ghrelin drops in response to nutrients circulating in your blood. Ketosis suppresses the increase in ghrelin levels that occur with weight loss. So, when you’re in ketosis, you aren’t constantly thinking about your next meal.
Stop Chasing Ketones, Start Chasing Real Results
In this video, Chris Albert addresses the big elephant in the room about whether or not the keto diet is safe enough to be healthy. He’ll let you find out his opinion in the video.
To your health,