If you are a PT, do Crossfit, Obstacle Racing, follow Bullet Proof Diet principles etc, then you would have heard about Ketosis. We already Posted about this via a great little infographic you can find here. BUT…what does Ketosis do to your body, and should you try it?
Ketosis oxidises (burns) fatty acids in the absence of glucose. This means your body is using fat as a fuel rather than sugar(s). ‘Ketones’ are what your body uses to do this. A state of Fasting will need to be achieved in order to ‘turn’ these Ketones on. In order to do this, the diet must be high in fat, with moderate amounts of protein, and low carbohydrate. Low carb will mean lower glucose in the body, hence why you may have heard of Ketosis in relation to Paleo Diets.
What are the benefits?
Lower calorie intake, burning body fat, and eating ‘clean’ are the main physical and dietary benefits. The Ketogenic Diet was actually first established to help children suffering from Epilepsy, so it has a legitimate medical benefit too!
What are the downsides?
One of our mantra’s at Core Health Dynamics is: “One size does not fit all!”
Like any nutrition plan, a Ketosis Diet is not made for everyone. Those for whom it works will swear by it. And for the reasons above you can see why. Who wouldn’t want to be constantly burning body fat and eating more cleanly? However, putting your body into Ketosis can be problematic for some. The amount of time you need to Fast in order to reach Ketosis will vary from person to person based on current physiological attributes, genetics, and lifestyle. It also takes time to get used to not eating so much, and not eating at regular times.
Once in Ketosis, you can also feel weak, light-headed, irritable, and with reduced cognitive ability. This feeling should not last as your body adjusts to Ketosis, however this feeling can last from days to weeks.
Anyone with a hormonal imbalance, or with issues related to an imbalance such as Thyroid, Adrenal, or other metabolic maladies should be exceedingly careful if going down the Ketogenic route. You’re body will already be behaving erratically if you suffer from any of these; throwing in a Fasting, low carb nutrition plan will throw it out even further. I know this from experience having bouts of Adrenal Fatigue.
What’s my personal view on Ketosis?
When I feel good, I will go into Ketosis around 4 – 5 days per week. However, I don’t prolong this, and I definitely don’t do it if I am racing or have had a heavy training week, done excessive travelling, or am light on sleep. If you feel good, try Ketosis. If you don’t, then eating fewer carbs (not low carb) and upping your good fat intake will be a step in the right direction regardless.
Let your body and mind be your guide.
More information can be found at:
- Core Health Dynamics Ketosis Infographic
- History and Origin of the Ketogenic Diet, James W Wheless.