What is Ketosis?
‘Ketosis’ is a state where your body relies primarily on ‘ketone bodies’ for energy, rather than on sugar. That sounds complicated, but it’s really pretty simple. And here’s why it should matter to you. Your body has 2 primary sources of energy – fat and sugar (aka glucose).
A ketogenic meal plan (AKA, a keto or ketosis ) is designed to help your body burn more fat for energy rather than glucose.
Ketones (or ketone bodies) are produced by your liver when your body breaks down fats. And the increased levels of ketone bodies in your blood puts you into the metabolic state called ketosis.
How does a Keto Really Work?
The basics of what you eat on a ketogenic meal plan are pretty simple:
- Eat Very Little Carbohydrates or Sugar
- Eat Lots of Healthy Fats.
- Eat a Moderate Amount of Protein.
In other words, you eat only low-‘glycemic’ foods. Low-glycemic foods are foods that don’t cause your blood sugar to rise very much. When you eat this way, it forces your body to start relying on fat for energy, rather than just sugar. And when that happens, you gain ‘metabolic flexibility’, which is a complicated way of saying that your body regains the ability to get energy from multiple sources.
The result is that you feel increased energy, greater mental clarity, and weight loss.
7 Proven (But Surprising) Benefits of a Keto Meal Plan
There is a lot of emerging research on the keto meal. Some of the most exciting research is around cancer and neurological diseases, but most people use a keto meal plan for much more common issues (weight loss, diabetes, etc.).
Here’s a brief list of the potential benefits of a keto meal plan:
- Decreased Hunger. Most meal plans rely on counting calories, restricting portions, or maintaining willpower. But all of that can be hard. Because a keto meal changes the way your body fuels itself, the most common result is that your hunger decreases and you automatically start eating less.
- Weight Loss. It’s not a magic solution, but by-and-large, weight loss happens more quickly and easily on a keto meal plan. This is particularly true because a keto meal helps to decrease hunger. However, you must be prepared, because the biggest downfall for most folks is not being able to stick to the meal plan.
- Healthy Blood Sugar Levels. This benefit should be obvious. If you have high blood sugar or are diabetic, then dramatically reducing the amount of sugar in your blood by removing most of the sugar from your diet is an obvious and quick benefit.
- Reduced Risk of High Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Many doctors originally thought that a diet high in fat might increase cholesterol and triglycerides. However, the opposite has turned out to be the case. Most people see a significant drop in their LDL and triglycerides when on a keto meal plan, although a small percentage of people do see the opposite effect.
- Neurological Disorders. The ketogenic meal plan was originally used to treat epilepsy – a neurological disorder. In addition to epilepsy, though, some practitioners and researchers are using a keto meal plan to effectively treat other neurological disorders – particularly Alzheimer’s disease.
- Certain Forms of Cancer. A lot of researchers are currently working on using a keto meal plan as a ‘complementary’ cancer treatment. And for certain forms of cancer – particularly brain cancer – the keto meal plan is showing a lot of benefit when used with other traditional treatments.
- Possible Other Benefits. The research is not conclusive yet, but several studies have observed other possible benefits of a keto meal plan, including treatment of acne, PCOS, respiratory conditions, and others.