The Truth About The Ketogenic Diet | Successfully Reach Ketosis

Ketosis, what is it?

Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when the dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely on body fat and ketones for fuel. Sounds simple on the surface, but it’s actually quite complicated.

Your body requires a certain amount of energy in the form of ATP to function appropriately. The average person needs about 1800 calories per day to generate enough ATP to keep them alive. Your brain uses roughly 400 calories per day and runs almost exclusively on glucose, which are carbs in their most simple form after digestion. Since there are 4 calories in every gram of carbs, it takes about 100 grams of carbs per day just to have appropriate brain function.

It’s important to note that when you cut carbs from your diet, you effectively remove glucose for the brain. Without carbohydrates, the brain begins to look for energy elsewhere. Two things happen when the brain gets hungry without glucose. First, the body uses the glucose storage from the our liver stores to pump into the bloodstream, but the storage only lasts 1 day. Once that day is up, the brain begins to look for energy from body fat.

With no available glucose the liver will start producing ketones which are released into the blood stream and used by the brain and other tissues for energy.

What Does This Mean For You?

Ketogenic diets have about 70-80% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat and about 5% from carbohydrates. It’s absolutely imperative that you keep these levels consistent to burn fat and prevent stay energized.

Additionally, ingesting protein above approximately .8 grams per pound of body weight is enough to kick you out of ketosis. Despite protein being essential in building muscle, too much protein can prevent ketosis and promote weight gain.

Finally, Ketogenic diets will most certainly improve your body composition, but so does any diet that reduces calories given the fact that creating a caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight. Because of this, it’s necessary to understand the possible side effects of Keto.

Possible Side Effects of Keto

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sugar cravings
  • Flu-like symptoms AKA Keto Flu
  • Sleep Problems
  • Keto Breath
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Reduced Strength and Physical Performance

My Take on the Keto Diet…

Any diet that causes symptoms similar to almost all over the counter drugs is not for me. Having too many restrictions and being denied food with living enzymes such as fruits, nuts, tubers, and green vegetables is doing a disservice to your long term health. I don’t recommend it to any of my clients at Burn Boot Camp. The Keto Diet is just another “lose weight quick” diet much like the Atkins Diet and Mediterranean Diet because of the idea that cutting carbs burns fat fast.

Food exists to nourish your body and cure ailments – not create them. There’s no doubt you can lose weight on the Keto Diet, but the same is true for eating a well-balanced, whole foods diet. Losing weight is about creating a caloric deficit, meaning the energy coming into your body is slightly lower than the energy going out.

Most of us are curious about the Keto Diet because we want to lose the weight overnight. This is part of the problem with our society; we want to focus on the strategies without having a real purpose behind it. My mission is to help create a societal paradigm shift so we can stop chasing fad diets and start to create lasting change.

We’ve got it all wrong. We immediately think “how to” instead of “why”. We think “short term” quick fix instead of building “long term” rituals. What’s your purpose?  Use that to figure out your strategy. Losing weight should never be the goal. Instead, creating optimal health should be the goal and losing body fat a bi-product of a healthy lifestyle.

Ultimately, building muscle is what will keep the weight off long term. Muscle burns x3 more calories at rest than body fat. Building muscle is the long term strategy that wins. There’s no need for restriction when the answer is that simple!

There is no scientific evidence that the Keto Diet will allow you to build muscle mass, but there is evidence to suggest loss of performance due to lack of protein and replenishment of glycogen stores. The Keto Diet is surely not a lifestyle. If you’re wondering whether you should use it or not, I suggest that you find your purpose for wanting to reach your goals and find something that allows you to look beyond just the next 30 days.

Listen to My Podcast on The Ketogenic Diet