Can I Reach Nutritional Ketosis Through Diet Alone?
In short, yes, I absolutely think so! And I’m living proof of it. But I know you like to know the reasons behind my reasons…
Give your body the choice and it will first go for glucose and sugar to fuel itself, then fatty acids (ketone bodies) second. If you keep fuelling your body with carbs (in the form of pastry, bread, pasta, grains etc.) then your body will rarely get to burn fat… and you will remain overweight.
But, when you reduce the amount of carbs you give your body to a minimal level, your body has no choice but to look for alternative fat sources – and those include the fatty acids that have built up in your cells.
Once you start burning these off, you really become a fat burning machine!
Why you’re not losing weight
Having spikes of insulin in your bloodstream and lots of fat in your diet is one sure fire way to never lose the weight you’re after.
What we really want is for our bodies to start burning fat for fuel instead of sugar. The production of endogenous ketones is what makes this a reality. Many people now measure their blood ketones through urine, breath and/or blood.
Nutritional ketosis is a range of .5 to 3.0 mmol/L.
Most people who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) will measure in at a .2 or .3. Getting to .5 and up only requires fewer carbohydrates (and those chosen to be from quality sources), a moderate amount of protein and a good amount of healthy fats. That’s when the body will start to burn fat for fuel.
Personally, I usually measure at .8 mmol/L and have a body fat percentage of 17%.
But how should I measure my carb intake?
This is a tough one to answer for everyone. We all work so differently and one defined amount of carbs is not going to have the same effect on each of us.
It also looks different for someone wanting to lose and maintain weight for their overall health, versus someone seriously ill with Type 2 diabetes and trying to drastically reverse the negative health effects.
For example, most of the scientific research done on ketosis levels focussed on improvements for epilepsy and cancer sufferers. Their carb intake was restricted to fewer than 15g per day.
Which foods will help me?
Sources of healthy fats that I regularly include in my diet are:
Which foods do I avoid?
Where do I get my carbohydrates from?
Do I need to take ketone supplements?
Exogenous ketone bodies (those from external sources) are just ketone bodies that are ingested through a nutritional supplement. Ketone bodies produced in the liver are more properly referred to as endogenous (internal source) ketone bodies.
However, I know that most people who are considering supplementing their diets with exogenous ketones want to do so for weight loss. This is where research is lacking.
So let’s just say that you were eating a diet with lots of healthy fats and are producing your own endogenous ketones…would supplementing with exogenous ketones also help me burn fat even faster? No!
Let me explain why…
Your body has a natural response to significantly elevated blood ketones. It will actually increase insulin secretion (the current thinking behind this is to restrict ketone production to prevent ketoacidosis). Remember, insulin is our fat storing hormone. Ketones may actually decrease fat oxidation if consumed in high enough amounts, just like other macronutrients. This is why in The MADE Diet, I have most people between 40 and 60% fat.
And from what I hear, there are some companies that will tell you that you can, “Eat carbs and stay keto-adapted.” Just. Not. True.
Personally, I firmly believe that for the vast majority of us, we don’t need to take in extra ketone bodies….if we manage our food intake properly. Of course, there will always be people out there looking to make a quick $ from those wanting to lose weight, but in reality, the external ketone bodies you buy are really only a short term solution. Switching your diet and your lifestyle is a much longer-term approach – and easier on the pocket.
Enough talking… are you ready to really make the difference your body is crying out for?
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