What is Ketosis?
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to Ketosis. Ketosis is a direct product from the ever popular Ketogenic Diet (keto Diet for short). Ketosis is defined in the dictionary as: a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues, which is typically pathological in conditions such as diabetes, or may be the consequence of a diet that is very low in carbohydrates (1). In other words – it is completely and totally unique at the genetic level.
Ketosis is a life changing event…yes I said event. I have been in ketosis a few different times, and it has many health benefits. My favorite benefit in the short term is the clearing of “brain fog” or just gives a person mental clarity as well as extended energy levels.
By implementing the Ketogenic diet into my fasting regimen, I have reaped the benefits of creating a fast way to Ketosis. Through many trial and error runs and experimentation with different diets and workouts, I have figured out what works for me. Throughout this article I am going to go into depth on how I have achieved Ketosis with the help of fasting and the keto diet.
I will be laying out the moving parts of ketosis, fasting and the keto diet in a way that should be easy to understand. More importantly this will allow you to start down you path to ketosis today. Before we get into how to achieve Ketosis, lets briefly go over the keto diet.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet has similarities to the paleo diet, if you remember that one. This diet consists of high fats and low carbs and protein. There are four (4) different variations to the keto diet. The most research done is on the Standard Ketogenic Diet or the SKD, this is the diet I will be focusing on. The other three keto diets are more targeted to a specific athlete type or someone to gain something specific. For example maybe a person wanting to gain muscle mass. I would encourage anyone to test out what they feel fits their specific lifestyle. To get an idea of the other three, I have listed them below along with the SKD.
Standard keto Diet (SKD)
75% fats – 20% protein – 5 % carbs
High Protein keto Diet
60% fats – 35% – 5% carbs
Cyclical keto Diet (CKD)
5 skd days followed by carb re-feeding
Targeted keto Diet (TKD)
Add in carbs around specific workouts
I know when I start out on a new diet plan, it always seemed to intimidate me. With specific numbers, percentages and strict schedules. The keto diet can seem intimidating but it truly is simple and binary. To achieve Ketosis, sticking with a high fat diet is a must. Having said that you don’t need to be in a state of “ketosis” for the diet to be effective or even to lose weight.
I like to relate everything within my posts to my personal experience. I find it easier to understand for readers andmakes it seem a bit more attainable – anybody can do it. When I started down the path to get into ketosis, I stuck with the regimen pretty strictly and I achieved my goal. I have loosened the reigns on my “keto diet” however. The goal behind the diet (in my mind) would be to lose weight, get in shape and have a better cognitive outlook. I don’t want to hate my life and be looking forward to a “cheat meal”. This diet will satisfy all of that.
The idea behind the diet is that this will create ketones. Ketones are another way for the body to burn energy. I would suggest that the majority of the population runs their energy source from carbohydrates. When the body has high ketone levels the body will start to burn fat instead of carbs, which is the beginning of ketosis.
Ketones have been used for years in medicine. Ketones create a reduction in blood sugars and insulin. Ketones get stored in the liver as fats and transfer to brain as a new type of energy.
Fasting and keto – The Dynamic Duo
Fasting has changed my lifestyle – for the better in so many aspects. I started fasting before I jumped on the keto train, which is somewhat backwards of the way some start. Fasting and keto were meant for each other. I like to talk about hacks to get in shape faster but this truly is the biggest hack of all.
The benefits of a keto lifestyle outweigh any other diet that I have been involved with, I may be biased but it works for me! I implemented intermittent fasting with the keto diet when I first started out to achieve ketosis at a faster rate. The reason fasting boosts the time frame up for ketosis is a few different factors
Autophagy, Fasting and Ketosis
These three terms go hand in hand. Autophagy is achieved quicker by fasting. When your body is in a state of autophagy it is much easier to get into ketosis. To achieve have some questions about autophagy read my article on autophagy here – How does Autophagy Work? – does it really matter? – spoiler – it does.
Fasting to Ketosis
This process can be simplified to understand the mechanics of the ketosis beast. I used intermittent fasting when on the keto diet. I describe intermittent fasting as not eating any calories until 2:00 pm. Then having a 100-150 calorie intake and not eating the bulk of calories until the evening; between 6-8 pm. This is the diet that I have adapted to my situation and it works for me. Playing around with the parameters is something you will find yourself constantly doing.
Disclaimer: “keto Flu”
In your run to get into ketosis – you may come across some unpleasant…feelings. There is what is called the “keto flu”. This will produce flu like symptoms when creating ketones. The main reason is because your body is so used to using carbs for fuel the body doesn’t know what is going on. It will make you want to give up, don’t. You can get through this by knowing this might happen. Just have to hang in there.
There are plenty of different types of fasting techniques and feel free to use whatever variations you want. To achieve are struggling with a fasting regimen check this article out – The Adaptable Intermittent 5:2 Diet?. This article will clear up the simplicity of how to fast.
When you are in ketosis everything in your body will change. You appetite will be suppressed, you will have extra energy. You will have lost significant weight (if you had some to lose). There are many factors when testing to see if you are in ketosis. Below I have compiled a list of the most common and free ways to check in on the ketosis. These are the key elements I used when testing.
- Bad Breath
- Appetite Suppression
- Boost in Energy – like a giant boost
- Mental Clarity
- Digestion will be altered (short term)
- Insomnia (short term)
You can test for ketone levels more accurately with tests. These blood prick tests may cost about $30-40 but you can have the peace of mind knowing your levels. There is also urine strips you can you to check color in relation to ketone level. I prefer the “state of mind” way. And honestly my goat isn’t to have “exact” ketone levels. I want to change my lifestyle and it is achieved through this!
Is Ketosis and the Keto Diet for you?
I am a strong believer that everyone should try the keto diet at least one time. But their are some indicators to consider deciding if the keto diet is for you. To achieve simply aren’t a fan of foods with high fats, this diet may not be the right direction. To achieve are a vegetarian or vegan this will be challenging for you as well due to the diet choices. To achieve are an elite athlete or ultra athlete you may want to reconsider the keto diet.
You can always adapt the keto diet to your lifestyle, just make it your own altered diet.
Summary – The Good Stuff
A fast way to Ketosis – The things to remember when changing your lifestyle and diet. This will take some research to fully understand the keto diet. The foods that go along with the diet as well the intermittent fasting techniques. The fasting will boost your time to ketosis tremendously and I encourage it. There may be a “keto flu”, just prepare for it and know that if will more than likely happen. Be prepared to battle the headaches and stay on track.
Ketosis and more importantly the keto diet has changed my way of life. I have more energy for my kiddos, my brain is on an entire different wave length and I have the energy I missed having as a younger version of myself. I hope you can conquer this transition to ketosis to fully understand the meaning of “new energy”. To achieve have any questions or have a “ketosis story” of your own I would love to chat about it!
Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day