Is it Safe?
You’ve been restricting your carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams per day, and your macros (what you can eat in carbohydrates, protein and fat) are on point for maximum weight loss. The pounds are dropping off, and you’re starting to look and feel better than you have in years.
The short answer is “that depends.” As a general rule, most healthy people can stay in ketosis for years and years without any complications. The exception to this is in the case of type 1 and type 2 diabetics with uncontrolled blood sugar levels and those battling major health problems.
Unintended side effects from ketosis can occur, so it is important for anyone with health issues to consult a physician prior to beginning a keto eating plan.
What is Ketosis
Ketosis is a normal, natural process that the body undergoes when deprived of carbohydrates. After a few days of watching your carb intake, your body begins to produce ketones (thus, the term “ketosis“), which are highly efficient molecules of energy.
These ketones are made by the fat in the liver whenever your body begins relying on its stores of fat to power itself. And tapping into these fat stores naturally yields weight loss, often significantly so.
Studies on Long-Term Ketosis
Several studies on ketosis and its effects on the body reveal that it is a generally safe and beneficial state for the body. One 2017 study reported in the journal Clinical Nutrition and undertaken over the course of 10 years found that study participants experienced no heightened cardiovascular or health risks while undergoing ketogenic dietary therapy.What’s more, proponents of the ketogenic living point to the fact that many Native American Intuit tribes lived their lives in permanent ketosis as proof of its safety.
In addition, scientists also believe that some tribes of Great Plains Indians were at least seasonally in ketosis for life, based on the availability of food throughout the year.
Determining whether your body has reached ketosis can be as simple as using a home testing kit. There are blood, urine and breath tests that determine whether or not you have reached a ketogenic state. The most common are Ketostix, a type of urine test strips available at nearly any pharmacy or big box retailer.
?COACHES TIP: Get yourself some urine strips, breath tester, or blood tester. I think it’s important to know when your body is producing Ketones.
In order to produce ketones, you have to be very low carb (30-50grams total generally). When your body produces ketones and begins to fuel itself from them, you burn MORE fat and less glucose. Your brain also receives a boost of focus and energy.
Careful with the urine strips. They really don’t measure DEGREE of ketones well, yet they can at least detect ketones in the body.
If you derail and load up on carbs, you may still see ketones in your urine or bloodstream for a day or 2 before they are deleted, so careful about a false positive.
It takes me about 3 days to get back in ketosis if I overdo the carbs.
ALSO, Overeating protein and undereating fat can keep you from getting into ketosis. Stay with your macros as best as you can.
Urine Strips: https://amzn.to/2H1Tr9T (Don’t measure the colors on the side. Not accurate for the degree of ketosis)
Breath: https://amzn.to/2L3rd0L (never used. This is purely one option on Amazon)
You can also look for the signs of ketosis, including bad breath, weight loss, reduced appetite, increased focus and energy, short-term fatigue, and digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea.
After your body has become keto-adapted, the negative effects of reaching ketosis subside or disappear while the increased energy and continued weight loss continue.
If you’re following a ketogenic or low-carb eating plan, one of your main goals is likely to reach ketosis. The main thing you need to do to put your body into fat-burning mode is to minimize the number of carbs you consume each day. A general recommendation is to eat 20 grams of carbohydrates or less per day.
Consuming fats are known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, is another ketosis hack; coconut oil is an excellent MCT to add to your diet. Being active and exercising can help speed along the process, as can fasting for up to 48 hours prior to beginning your keto diet plan.
Drinking water is important to get into ketosis, so aim for at least 64 ounces daily (more if you can). You should also balance your protein intake with your fat and carb intake; 30 percent of your caloric intake should be from protein, 65 percent should come from fats, and 5 percent should come from carbs, as a rule of thumb.
The benefits and results of a keto diet plan are varied and many, and they include both weight-loss and weight-control advantages as well as general overall health benefits.
Being in a state of ketosis leads to:
- Appetite suppression. Dieting and hunger do not have to go hand in Once you reach a state of ketosis, it automatically reduces your appetite. Researchers say this is due to eating more proteins and fats, which naturally satiate the body and don’t lead to the sugar crash of a carb-fueled eating plan.
- Faster weight loss than other diets. Studies comparing keto and low- carb diets to other types of diets found that going keto led to up to three times the weight loss.
- During the first weeks of reaching ketosis, when lowered insulin levels allow the kidneys to start shedding salt, leading to an expulsion of excess water throughout the body.
- More fat loss from the abdominal region. Weight loss through ketosis and a keto eating plan often targets visceral fat, which is the abdominal fat that surrounds the organs.
- Lowered triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are a marker for heart disease, and carb consumption drives their numbers upward. Cutting carbs generally lead to lower triglyceride levels.
- Increased “good” (HDL) cholesterol. Low-carb diets allow for greater consumption of fats, which can cause a dramatic increase in HDL in the body, lowering heart-disease risk.
- Lessened insulin and blood sugar levels. Carbs mainly break down into glucose, which enters the bloodstream and spikes blood sugar levels and causing the body to respond by sending out insulin.
- Withholding carbs removes the need for the body to release this insulin, which is helpful in insulin-resistant diabetics. In one study of type 2 insulin- resistant diabetics, a low-carb lifestyle led to 95 percent of participants lowering their medication dosages or even eliminating them after six months.
- Reduced blood pressure. Several studies have shown that low-carb and keto diets reduce blood pressure numbers, simultaneously leading to a reduction in a variety of diseases, including heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke.
The bottom line is that maintaining a state of ketosis is an excellent way to lose excess weight, maintain your current weight, and stave off a range of harmful diseases. As with any diet plan, talk with your doctor.
You don’t have to thaw out that ground beef before cooking it. In fact, our friends over at Butcher Box have made us a quick video that shows how frying frozen hamburger with avocado oil and a cast iron pan can be better.
Generally speaking, once your body has been in ketosis for a while, it will jump back into ketosis rather quickly. I’ve tested this after eating an entire plate of spaghetti just to be back into ketosis within an hour. If you are just starting on your keto journey, it will take more to get back […]
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride which is essentially processed faster than any other fat which creates more energy faster. I don’t suggest you add this in your first month of working the ketogenic way of eating. Those of you that are fat adapted and working your macros at a high level may want to add it before workouts.