The Complete Guide To Ketosis
Our Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment
Looking for a guide showing you how and why to get into ketosis, but keep finding resources that confuse you instead of enlightening you?
I’ve got your back.
In this guide, you’ll learn - in layman’s terms - what ketosis is, the health benefits you’ll get from a ketogenic diet, some surprising yet essential facts to help you reach your health and weight-loss goals, and why ketosis is your ancestral health birthright.
As well, you’ll discover how my Healthy KetosisTM program is different from a traditional ketogenic diet.
In this article:
- What Is Ketosis?
- Benefits Of Ketosis
- 5 Things You Must Know About Ketosis
- It’s Not Food That Gets You Into Ketosis
- Are You Making This Number One Mistake On Ketosis?
- 7 Surprising Things That Can Kick You Out Of Ketosis
- The Difference Between Ketosis And Ketoacidosis
- Nourishing Your Body As Nature Intended
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat and ketones rather than glucose (sugar) as its main fuel source.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. There’s nothing mysterious or unnatural about it. But because you’ve been told your whole life that using glucose to fuel your body is normal, you might need a little time to come around to the idea that burning fat for fuel is far superior to glucose.
I’m going to show you that your body truly prefers fat and ketones because they’re a cleaner, healthier fuel than sugar.
Benefits Of Ketosis
Of all popular diets, keto is the best way of eating for your long-term health., A ketogenic diet gives you significant benefits such as:
- promotes weight loss, especially reducing belly fat
- supports brain health by renewing and protecting your brain cells
- improves your mood by eliminating the sugar highs and lows
- eliminates your food cravings and hunger
- improves your metabolic health, including lowering the set point at which your weight is stuck
- supports insulin dysfunction that may lead to diabetes and its risk of strokes, high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fatty liver, and Alzheimer’s
- potentially enhances your athletic performance
Ketosis allows you to continue to physically and mentally function beautifully, even when you’re eating a minimal carbohydrate diet and fasting. Your body was designed this way over millennia because your ancestors had to thrive for prolonged periods without sugar.
And if you think about it, we humans would have never survived if we had to rely on a never-ending supply of food. You’re here today because your ancestors flourished on high fat, minimal carbohydrate diet combined with periods of fasting when no food was available.
5 Things You Must Know About Ketosis
Traditional ketosis has been used as a medical treatment for over a century, but the quality of the food wasn’t necessarily a consideration. My Healthy KetosisTM program, on the other hand, emphasizes a ketogenic diet of high quality, nutrient-dense foods. Which leads me to my first of five things you must know about ketosis:
- Get healthy first in order to lose weight instead of losing weight to get healthy. Primarily this means lowering your insulin levels to a normal range. Excessive amounts of insulin may increase the risk of today’s most chronic health problems: heart disease, strokes, type-2 diabetes, inflammatory conditions, and cognitive deficiencies. Sixty-five percent of us are either diabetic or pre-diabetic! A ketogenic diet will help address this health crisis.
- Combine intermittent fasting (IF) with a ketogenic diet, because it’s another tool to lower insulin and increase your anti-aging growth hormone up to 4x more than even hard-core exercise. With IF, you let your body tell you when to eat. Eat only when you’re hungry. Your hunger will naturally decrease in ketosis, which perfectly complements both intermittent and prolonged fasting.
- Don’t get caught up in measuring daily calories or macros. I want to keep this simple for you because your body is different from everyone else’s. To start, picture your plate. Half the plate should contain vegetables, one-quarter holds 3-6 ounces of protein, and the remaining quarter of the plate is for carbs such as hummus or berries to keep your carbohydrate intake where it should be.
- Eat higher fat at the start of the program and less fat as you adapt to fat burning. Higher fat at the beginning will keep you full and allow you to go longer between meals. Once you're fat-adapted - and when your hunger and cravings go away, you’ll know you’ve adapted - drop your fat amount to 75 grams or fewer to force your body to burn its own fat instead of dietary fat.
- Understand ketosis is not a diet that you’re going to go on and off in another diet-induced crazy yo-yo pattern. This is a new way of eating and a lifestyle change that will support your long-term health when you remain committed to keto.
It’s Not Food That Gets You Into Ketosis
From all the information about keto that abounds, you’d swear eating fat is what gets and keeps you in ketosis. It’s a common misperception.
Yes, it's true that low-carbohydrate eating is the primary way to trigger ketosis. But it’s actually the absence of glucose and insulin, rather than any specific food, which will promote ketosis.
When I say low carbohydrate, I generally mean fewer than 20 grams per day, although for some physically active people the threshold is 50 grams or fewer.
Since the absence of glucose and insulin triggers ketosis, combining a low-carbohydrate diet with intermittent fasting is an incredibly powerful way to get and keep you in ketosis.
Ways to measure your ketones
The most common ways to measure ketones are in your blood, urine, and breath. A simple, at-home blood test - similar to how you test your blood sugar - is the most accurate method. A normal blood ketone range to show you’re in ketosis is 1-8 mmol/L
You can also use ketone sticks to measure the level in your urine, or a meter to measure ketones in your breath. Urine and breath measurements are most helpful when you’re just starting keto and your body is excreting ketones as waste because you aren’t yet fully proficient at burning ketones.
Later, when you’re keto-adapted, there may not be enough excess ketones in your breath or urine to measure.
Are You Making This Number One Mistake On Ketosis?
The biggest mistake people make is eating too much fat. I don’t blame them - there is a lot of information that says up to eighty-five percent of your diet should be fat while on keto.
But eighty-five percent is too high. You’ll be in ketosis, all right, but you won’t lose weight because you’ll be burning dietary fat instead of your body fat. Plus, you may overwhelm your body by suddenly gorging on high amounts of fat that your body isn’t equipped to properly digest, and cause yourself digestive issues with symptoms such as bloating and right shoulder pain.
Instead, drop the fat percentage of your meal to sixty percent to force your body to burn its own fat and to reduce the chance of experiencing discomfort from too much dietary fat.
7 Surprising Things That Can Kick You Out Of Ketosis
You already know that sugar and refined carbs will knock you out of ketosis. But there are also seven common life circumstances that can, and they’ll surprise you. They are:
- Stress, because it activates the hormone cortisol. Surgery, trauma, or even allergies can ramp up your stress level.
- Excessive caffeine, because it activates adrenaline which in turn activates insulin.
- Bone broth in large quantities, because its protein content can raise your insulin. I’m not too concerned about this, even if you’re fasting. I just wanted you to be aware of this in case you test yourself and wonder why you’re suddenly no longer in ketosis.
- MSG (monosodium glutamate), also known as modified food starch, because it can spike your insulin. MSG is prevalent in restaurant foods.
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Splenda, and saccharine because they raise insulin.
- Excessive protein because it can spike insulin. The sweet spot for most people is 3-6 oz of protein per meal.
- Too many keto desserts, because they contain sugar alcohols such as xylitol and mannitol. While their glycemic index is low, the cumulative effect of more than one or two of these treats will put you out of ketosis.
The Difference Between Ketosis And Ketoacidosis
During your ketosis research, you’ve probably come across information that scared you into believing ketosis is dangerous. Many people - including doctors - get ketosis mixed up with a deadly condition called ketoacidosis.
They’re not the same; don’t worry.
Ketoacidosis occurs because a person with Type 1 diabetes can’t produce their own insulin, causing their blood sugar to rocket sky high with no way to lower it. In response, their body produces an overabundance of ketones, which build up in the body and cause the pH balance to become too acidic.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis include excessive thirst, excessive urination, dehydration, fatigue, electrolyte imbalance, and irregular breathing. With ketoacidosis, the blood ketone levels are 20 or greater mmol/L.
If you believe you’re experiencing ketoacidosis, seek emergency help. Left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal.
By contrast, in ketosis, your insulin will be low but still present, and your blood sugar will also be low. You control both your insulin and blood sugar through your keto way of eating. Normal blood ketone levels range from 1-8 mmol/L.
Nourishing Your Body As Nature Intended
Ketosis is hardwired into our genetics. Ketones, as the byproduct of fat burning, were intended to be our primary fuel source. Sugar is secondary; yet, decades ago, these two fundamentals were flipped, with the resultant disastrous health consequences of epidemic levels of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Mother Nature never intended your body to run on glucose, especially not on the average 30+ teaspoons per day you’ve probably been eating.
Interestingly, the average non-overweight person has 77,000 calories of stored fat and only 1,700 calories of stored sugar in their body. If you were meant to run on carbs, you would have a larger storage capacity for sugar. Otherwise, we humans wouldn’t have survived.
When you eat low-carb and practice intermittent fasting, you give your body a chance to tap into your fat stores instead of constantly replenishing your sugar stores by eating frequent high-carb meals.
You can see that ketosis and IF are nothing new; they’re how we humans ate to evolve and thrive.
Honor your ancestral health birthright by committing to a keto lifestyle today. Your health will significantly improve; you can even reverse diabetes or pre-diabetes, sparing yourself years of suffering.
Only you can decide for yourself.
But I bet the people who love you would be cheering for you to give yourself the best chance at living a long, healthy life.
*Any comments on our blog or websites relating to weight loss results may or may not be typical and your results will vary depending on your diet and exercise habits.
***Always consult a professional before making any significant changes to your health.