What Is Lipolysis and Ketosis?
The body typically gets its fuel from dietary carbohydrates, which includes foods like rice, bread, pasta, and other grains, along with fruit, sugars, and vegetables.
When carbohydrates, specifically starches and sugars enter the body they are broken down into glucose, and used by the body for energy. The hormone insulin then steps in to remove glucose from the bloodstream and the body either uses it for energy or stores any that is unused.
Any glucose that is not immediately used as fuel will be sent to the liver and muscles to be stored as glycogen as a fuel reserve, and any unused glycogen in the muscles, such as through exercise or energy expenditure turns to stored body fat. For people with a carb sensitivity or those with insulin resistance it’s a grim outlook that can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes…
High carb diet = high glucose in the blood = high insulin = high amounts of body fat.
Lipolysis and Ketosis
An alternative source of fuel for the body is its own body fat, this process is triggered when the intake of carbs is limited, and their sources controlled, the body enters a state called lipolysis, the most efficient biochemical pathway to weight loss and a scientifically proven alternative to the body using or needing glucose for energy.
Lipolysis occurs as the body begins to burn the body’s own fat stores for energy instead of dietary carbohydrates and the by-products of this fat burning process are ketones and so ketosis is the secondary process of lipolysis. When you eliminate carbs, the body is forced to use its fat stores instead, which literally turns into a fat burning machine. Ketones are the byproducts of ketosis and provide fuel for the body.
The only true exception to the body not needing glucose for fuel is ketones. Ketosis not only provides adequate energy for the cells within the body, it also fuels the brain and other organs just as glucose from carbs does BUT, unlike what may occur during the use of glucose, ketosis does not store fat, and actually allows the body to burn stored fat for fuel. This is the reason that low carb diets are so popular and have allowed thousands of people to lose weight and keep it off.
Effects of Low Carbohydrate Diets
There are cases where doctors will induce ketosis to medically intervene for various conditions, like epilepsy and diabetes. This involves a patient being placed on a low carb diet, such as the Ketogenic diet to increase fat and protein intake to provide fuel for energy, while reducing card intake.
When consumption is limited to less than 50 grams per day.
The ketogenic diet and the Atkins diet are two of the most popular strict carb intake plans.
One of the greatest benefits of low carb diets and using fat for fuel is that this type of eating greatly regulates the appetite, so there is no starvation or out of control hunger and erratic cravings become a thing of the past. One of the reasons for this is that carbohydrates trigger blood sugar spikes that can wreak havoc on hunger and cravings.
A study by the Academic Department of Surgery, Consultation, and Training Center at the Faculty of Medicine located at Kuwait University put it to the test. They took 83 obese patients (39 men, 44 women) and over 24 weeks studied the results of a low carb diet. The subjects were given carbohydrates in the form of green vegetables, and salad. In the end, the subject’s glucose levels, cholesterol levels, weight, and BMI numbers all fell.
Low Carb Wins Over Low Fat
The ketogenic diet has been around for decades, and while the medical community has long believed that a diet high in fats would cause weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease, many studies and randomized trials have shown low carb to actually be more effective in not only the amount of weight lost, but in reducing markers and risk factors for heart disease.
Several experts now advise that the public should be more mindful of their carb intake versus their fat intake, since obesity rates in US adults have increased during the same time that fat intake was decreased and carb intake increased.
What Is Keto Flu
The “keto flu” is a label given to a set of carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms that may occur in people who start a low carb diet that results from altered hormonal states and the electrolyte imbalances that may occur with it. In other words, it describes a cycle in the body adapting to a newly started low carb diet.
Keto stands for ketogenic, a very strict low carb eating plan. The term should really be “low carb flu” since the ketogenic diet is not the only low carb plan.
No two individuals are alike, so the symptoms can range from nothing to mild to a full-blown flu-like condition, and include
The duration for keto flu varies for each person. While some may have slight and even unnoticeable symptoms for a day or two, others might have an over the top symptom for a week or more, it really depends on how quickly your body adapts to a reduction in carbs.
Once keto flu is over you can expect a huge surge in energy levels, and once that sugar habit is fully kicked, often people feel better than ever.
Being patient as your body adapts is key, and know that it will pass, and if it does not you should seek the attention of a qualified medical professional. For most people any symptoms that occur end within two weeks’ time.
A Misunderstood Condition
People who experience keto flu after going on a low carb diet are sometimes forced to believe that they are suffering due to the diet they are on and carbs are good for the health after all. However, this only shows how dependent they have been on carbs, as their body is trying to survive without carbs and sugary substances.
In truth, carb intake, and especially refined carbs that come from processed food, sugar, sugary foods and drinks is at epidemic levels, and carb addiction is rampant in the United States and other parts of the world. It’s not your fault, those carbs are everywhere, congratulate yourself on making changes for the better with a low carb diet!
How to Reduce Keto Flu Effects
Keto flu can be nerve wrecking, no doubt, it is also sometimes a necessary evil, however, there are some things that can be done to reduce the symptoms if they appear.
Replenish your electrolytes:
Lack of electrolytes in the body is one of the major causes of keto flu. Electrolytes are the minerals found in the body and they affect its water content, acidity of the blood and functionality of the muscles.
Additionally, low carb diets feature lower insulin levels that can signal the kidneys to discard excess water, making you drink more and this results in flushing out electrolytes, where sodium, potassium and magnesium deficiencies can occur. You will have to replenish them by using supplements and with food.
Add in some salt:
Normally, the average diet is overloaded with salt, but a ketogenic diet eliminates refined and processed food and focuses on eating whole real food so when you start keto you will naturally reduce salt intake, which reduces water retention. Since a low carb diet is naturally diuretic, there is no need to worry about water retention.Generally, 5 grams of salt daily is ideal for keto flu and to replenish electrolytes, you can also get it from drinking 2 cups of broth or adding soy sauce and other sauces that have potassium to your meals.
Bone broth works well, and only requires the simmering of chicken, beef, lamb or any meat bones in water for about a day, or even canned broth or stocks from the store works well too, just make sure to read the labels for added ingredients or preservatives that you do not need. Drippings from cooked meat have a high concentration of potassium, so use them to make sauces.
300 mg of magnesium can be taken in supplement form.
Keto flu is a process that most dieters undergo while starting their weight loss or weight gain journey. While it cannot be avoided for some, you can reduce symptoms while your body adapts.
Please contact a doctor if the symptoms become too severe to handle alone.