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Keto: Why I Am and Why You Shouldn’t

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Keto is fast becoming a popular new way to lose weight. When done properly, it can be effective. Unlike other fad diets such as the low carb lifestyle and paleo, keto operates on a stricter physiological principle. Keto is short for ketosis. If you are diabetic, you may be familiar with ketoacidosis, a serious and potentially fatal condition. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are two distinctly different conditions. Being in a state of ketosis may be most simply defined as having a significant presence of ketones in the blood.

To test positive for ketones you can check for ketone levels via blood, breath or urine. You can either artificially induce ketone levels via consumption or, for natural occurrence, enter a state of starvation. During starvation, a glucose deprived animal will begin to breakdown lipids (fats) for energy. Ketones are a result of this process. Fasting is a great way to kickstart and maintain ketosis. Personally I have found intermittent fasting for periods of a minimum of 12hrs to max of 46hrs are most helpful. The key to keto is preventing the body from using glucose for fuel.

Your body’s natural and preferred energy source is glucose. Glucose is sugar. This can come from ingestion of sugars, carbohydrates and you can even produce glucose from an excess of protein. Glucose is far more prevalent in daily foods than one may expect.

Think of your body as a petrol powered car, only the petrol in the tank is glucose. Going keto is like converting your petrol powered car to diesel. Lipids, or fats as most commonly called, are your body’s secondary form of fuel, so consider it diesel for this example. When you run out of available glucose, your body will switch to burning fat instead. Much like converting a car to run from petrol to diesel, this process isn’t often easy. You may have heard of the “keto flu” -this is the process of your body making the switch from burning glucose to burning lipids. During this process, you may likely feel drained of energy, legarthic, agitated, weak, light headed, achy and quite possibly like you may be coming down with a cold or flu. Hydration and certain supplements will assist in the transition to become keto-adapted.

Once you have become keto adapted, you can easily fall out of ketosis. That salad at the restaurant with your friends had a little sugar in the dressing? -you get to go thru the keto flu again. Your Mom made your favorite casserole and you had just a small taste so as to not be rude? -keto flu.

What else are the glamorous magazines not telling you? The odor. If you are producing high levels of ketones, you will also be producing high levels of acetone. This translates into overripe fruity smells from a variety of personal orifices. Though odor might be a social concern, there could be more serious conditions developing as well. I highly recommended getting blood work done before, during and after going keto. When you switch to a diet made up of at least 60% fat, you need to keep an eye on cholesterol. While eating bacon and butter may sound great, you could be seriously compromising your health. If this occurs, there are “cleaner” fats you can switch to, but again each has their trade off.

Still want to give keto a try? I’ve successfully managed to maintain ketosis for several years, long past what I would recommend anyone else do. I’ve been through keto flu countless times, have tried the pills, products and know what works and what doesn’t. Having found that most “keto” labeled products are not really so keto friendly, I’ve developed my own recipes and snacks to maintain ketosis successfully. Feel free to follow me at GearHeadGirl69 for exclusive content, keto tips and tricks.

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