Have you ever said to yourself,“I have to lose weight”? You’re not alone. Many of us consistently struggle with weight loss and shedding a few stubborn pounds feels like an uphill battle. According to Organization for Economic Co-op and Development(OECD), 57.6% of Americans are obese and estimate that 3/4 of the American population will likely be overweight by 2020. How did we get here?
Breaking down the basics
For our survival, our body needs energy and we supply this energy from foods. In the early ages of human history, food was rare and inconsistent. Our bodies have adapted to this scarcity by craving food with high energy content that also stimulates storage of fat in the body. The fat is what kept us alive during extended periods of hunger.
The times have changed, but our cravings have not. In today’s world, high energy foods are not hard to find anymore. We are constantly tempted with sugar-rich foods such as burgers 🍔, pizzas 🍕, donuts 🍩, cakes 🍰, pastries 🥐, sodas 🥤, you name it. This is not a coincidence. These types of meals are specifically designed to exploit the human body and be consumed endlessly. But why are we so addicted to sugar?
When consumed, sugar gives you a burst of energy and triggers processes in your body that store fat. It also makes you feel good by stimulating the production of dopamine in your brain. Some scientists even classify sugar as an addictive drug.
Today, the only way we can stay healthy and fit is if we took charge and resisted the temptation. Ketogenic or in short,Keto diet encourages this behavior by mimicking how our early ancestors used to eat, by limiting the amount of sugars you consume. It has been around for many many years but has recently started gaining popularity due to it’s success in helping people lose unwanted weight along it’s other health benefits as well. And the best part about Keto diet is, it does not limit your entire food intake, so you don’t feel tired and hungry all the time.
How does it work?
In essence, Keto diet is a“low-carb” or“carb restrictive” diet, where you limit your daily carbohydrate intake to minimum. Your body reacts to that by starting to burn fat as it’s main source of energy. Therefore you are expected to eat more fat than you would otherwise. This is to replace the energy deficit from not eating as many carbs.
Under Keto diet, your fat intake controls how much energy you provide to your body. When you need more energy, so say when you are going for a bike ride, you’ll have to consume more fat. Or when you want to lose weight, you’ll have less. As simple as that.
Why not carbs?
Carbs are one of the essential nutrients our body needs for survival. After digestion, carbs get broken down into two main groups of components: ones you can not use for energy and ones you can.
Fibers are an example of non-energy producing carbs, but they are still essential to your digestion. If you don’t consume enough fibers for example, it can lead to constipation.
Energy providing carbs come in multiple different forms, but eventually the digestive system breaks them all down to sugars. The simplest form of sugar is glucose, and is typically the main source of energy in non-Keto diets. If you heard the term“blood sugar level”, it refers to the amount of glucose circulating in your body at a given time.
The body needs a sustained stable amount of energy at all times, but we eat our meals only a few times a day. So how does the body regulate all of this? When we eat carbs, our body uses some of the produced glucose immediately and stores the remainder to be used later. This happens through a hormone called insulin.
Some of the excess glucose get stored in the muscles and in the liver in the form of glycogen. You can think of this as the short term reserve where it can be easily converted back to glucose when more energy is needed. However, when we consume too much glucose, this short term reserve gets filled up. At that point our body converts the excess glucose to fat and starts storing it as body fat. And this is how we gain the unwanted weight!
So I should eat more fats, really?
Eating more fats to be healthy and fit might feel counter intuitive, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. After all, we have been taught fats are unhealthy and evil 👿for years. But this is just not true. Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, especially for Keto.
As we mentioned before, Keto diet is a carb restrictive diet. When carb intake is limited, the amount of glucose available to your body for energy is not enough. That’s when the body starts looking for an alternative. The best alternative energy source is actually fat and your body knows that.
When our body starts using ketones as the main source of energy, this state is called Ketosis. Achieving Ketosis is what us Ketonians thrive for. And this is why we named our bar Ketosis Bar! 😉When we reach Ketosis, our body starts using the body fat as a source of energy as well. And this is how we lost the unwanted weight!
How do I start?
This is a subject that deserves a post of it’s own. There is no right or wrong answer here, but the most preferred approach seems to be starting cold turkey, so just do it. Make sure you use an online calculator first to calculate your personalized daily macro goals(how much carbs, fat and protein you need to consume). Also keep track of your daily intake, at least until you feel comfortable with Keto-friendly food options and portion sizes.
Remember your carb intake has to be very low, about 20-50g depending on the person. Your protein intake will depend on your activity level and exercise goals, and fat is your source of energy. Have enough fat to match your daily calorie goals.
Fellow Ketonians, we would like to hear from you. Email us out at email@example.com with your questions, feedback or any other topics you would like us to cover here.