Imagine being in a state of high energy and high mental clarity where you’re burning fat and you don’t feel hungry. Sound like a good state to be in? This is what it’s like to be in ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body switches to burning more fat in the form of ketones rather than just burning glucose (a sugar). Ketosis is great- but hard to get into (if you don’t know how).
How do you know if someone does cross-fit, is married or is in a ketotic state? They’ll make sure to tell you all about it.
Ketosis kicks in either when the liver has exhausted it’s supply of carbs (glycogen). Or when stimulated from a dietary source (more on that in the next blog). Fats (triglycerides) are converted to molecules called ketone bodies in the liver. Ketones are burned as fuel in place of glucose by “cellular batteries” mitochondria.
Not only does ketosis burn fat, it has the following benefits:
- Increased healthy cholesterol levels. It can improve HDL levels (the good cholesterol)1.
- Keeping hunger at bay. Ketosis regulates the levels of the hunger and satiety hormones ghrelin and cholecystokinin (CKK)2.
- Improved brain health. It reduces brain fog by promoting healthy neurotransmitter levels (gaba) and also up regulates mitochondrial production thereby increasing thinking power3.
- Stable energy levels– for two reasons. The first is how blood ketone levels are maintained: when blood-glucose levels reach a certain level, insulin signals to the cells and liver to absorb glucose from the bloodstream and this can cause energy levels to crash. Because ketone bodies can’t be converted back to fats and have to be excreted through the breath and urine, blood levels remain consistent. The second reason is that β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), one of the main ketone bodies, is potentially burned much more efficiently by the mitochondria than glucose4. The glucose burns like highly flammable kindling that needs to be constantly replenished to keep the fire going whereas ketones burn slowly and steadily like coal.
Come back for the next in the series where we examine how to easily get into ketosis.
Thanks for reading.
Have you been in ketosis? Please leave me a comment below.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19641727 ‘Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients.’
- https://blog.bulletproof.com/ketosis-helps-lose-weight-suppressed-appetite/ ‘How Ketosis Helps You Lose Weight Through Suppressed Appetite’
- http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-fat-burning-brain-what-are-the-cognitive-effects-of-ketosis/ ‘The Fat Burning Brain: What Are the Cognitive Effects of Ketosis?’
- https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/the-fat-fueled-brain-unnatural-or-advantageous/ ‘The fat-fueled brain: unnatural or advantageous?‘