The ketogenic diet has become very popular over the last decade, with many fans believing that it helps them lose weight and improve their health.
There are a number of benefits to this type of diet – with some studies that show that it can even help treat epilepsy.
Some fans have concerns, however, that exercise can have a negative impact on ketosis – and we took a closer look to see whether this is truly the case.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis occurs when your body starts using fat as its primary energy source.
When you first begin following a low-carbohydrate diet, you enter what’s called “ketosis” or “fat burning mode.”
This means that your body begins breaking down stored fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
Ketosis works by forcing your body into a metabolic state where it burns fat rather than carbs.
It does so by inhibiting carbohydrate metabolism and increasing fatty acid oxidation in liver cells, and this is achieved by decreasing insulin levels.
Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas that signals the body to store glucose (a form of sugar) as glycogen (stored carbohydrates).
When insulin levels drop, they signal the body to start burning fat for fuel. In fact, insulin is one of the most important hormones involved in regulating blood sugar levels.
So if you want to burn more fat, you need to lower insulin levels.
What Are The Benefits Of Ketosis?
As we mentioned, ketosis is a metabolic state where the body uses fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates.
It occurs when the liver produces large quantities of ketones, which are then used by the brain and other organs.
When practised safely and according to medical guidance, ketosis is generally considered to be a healthy state.
It’s when the body uses stored fat instead of carbs as its primary source of energy.
There are many benefits to being in ketosis, including:
Improved Brain Function
A ketogenic diet can also be used to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease.
It’s believed that the ketones produced during ketosis can provide energy to the brain and help restore normal electrical activity.
Studies show that ketosis can improve memory and focus, as well as help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Ketosis promotes weight loss through several mechanisms. First, it helps you feel full longer, so you eat less throughout the day.
Second, it reduces cravings for sugary foods and sweets. Third, it makes you more efficient at burning calories.
As an added bonus, studies show that keto diets can cause significant weight loss without hunger pains or other side effects often associated with traditional diet plans.
Better Heart Health
One study found that ketosis was effective at reducing the size of fatty deposits in the arteries of mice.
Another study showed that ketones were capable of improving the function of mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of cells.
Many dermatologists recommend a ketogenic diet for patients suffering from acne.
They believe that the high amounts of omega 3s and medium chain triglycerides (MCT) will improve skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis.
When you’re in ketosis, you tend to feel fuller faster than usual. This means that you’ll be less likely to overeat and gain unwanted pounds.
Improved Energy Level
When you’re in ketosis, your energy levels tend to stay steady throughout the day.
This makes it easier to get through your daily tasks without feeling tired or sluggish.
Is Ketosis Bad For Your Health?
While there isn’t enough evidence to say that ketosis is bad for your overall health, there are some risks associated with it.
Some of the main documented risks of ketosis include:
Increased Risk Of Kidney Stones
According to some experts, ketosis can increase the risk of developing kidney stones, especially among people who already have a predisposition toward kidney stone formation.
This is due to the increased amount of calcium in the urine caused by ketosis.
Increased Cholesterol Levels
Some experts claim that ketosis can increase the level of cholesterol in the body as a result of higher triglyceride levels.
Left untreated, high cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease.
Increased Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has been linked to elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood.
As a result, some experts believe that ketosis could potentially contribute to hypertension.
Decreased Bone Density
It’s possible that prolonged periods of ketosis could reduce bone density over time. According to some studies, ketosis may even promote osteoporosis.
How Does Exercise Affect Ketosis?
There is a common concern that exercise can have a negative impact on ketosis, knocking the body out of this state and causing it to revert to burning carbs for fuel.
However, research shows that while moderate exercise can temporarily interrupt ketosis, it doesn’t affect long-term ketosis.
In fact, exercise actually increases the rate at which the body converts fats into ketones.
When you work out, your muscles produce lactic acid, which triggers an increase in ketogenesis.
What Happens When You Are Kicked Out Of Ketosis?
If you have ever experienced a sudden drop in energy after eating too much sugar or consuming alcohol, then you know what happens when you’re kicked out of ketosis.
Your body goes into “starvation mode” and starts breaking down muscle tissue to use as fuel.
The problem is that this process takes a lot of energy, so you end up crashing hard.
The good news is that if you’ve just eaten something sugary or drunk alcohol, you can easily kick yourself back into ketosis again.
All you need to do is eat healthy fats and protein within 30 minutes of finishing your last meal.
This will help replenish your glycogen stores and put you right back into ketosis.
If you want more information about how to kick yourself back into keto, check out our article here.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining good overall health – and this includes during the process of ketosis – and so should be a key priority in your daily routine.