In this Q&A, we look at ketosis, the keto diet, and intermittent fasting, as well as their respective benefits and risks, to help you determine if they are right for you.
What does ketosis even mean?
When we consume fewer carbohydrates, such as when fasting, our body begins to use fat stores instead of glucose. The liver begins to convert fat into ketones, and ketone levels rise in the blood. For the body to reach ketosis, your ketones must be at least 0.5 millimoles/liter or higher.
What's the difference between ketones, ketosis, and ketogenesis?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state during which the liver produces ketone bodies from fat and burns those ketones for fuel. This occurs when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to convert glucose from carbohydrates into energy so it uses ketones as fuel instead.
Ketogenesis is the process in which the body breaks down fatty acids and ketogenic amino acids to create ketone bodies or ketones.
To sum up, ketones are produced during ketogenesis to bring the body into a state of ketosis.
What are the health benefits of ketosis?
Ketosis has many known health benefits including weight loss and helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. In fact, some studies have found that following a ketogenic diet is more effective for weight loss than following a low-fat diet. When following a keto diet, you can reduce your calorie intake and still feel full.
Ketones also provide energy, and they support a healthy blood sugar level and healthy metabolism. Ketosis also supports mental acuity by providing the brain with a rich energy source. Medical fasting has been used since at least 500 BC, and the ketogenic diet was introduced in the 1920s because of its efficacy for mimicking fasting.
How can I enter ketosis?
Ketosis is the body’s natural way to survive longer when carbs are not available. You can also enter ketosis intentionally a few different ways such as by intermittent fasting or by following a low-carb, high-fat diet like the keto diet. Metabolic Switch® offers a third way for the body to enter ketosis that is similar to naturally entering ketosis. Metabolic Switch® is a type of ketone ester product, a synthetic nutritional food and supplement, which can be consumed to raise ketone levels in the blood and trigger ketosis.
Metabolic Switch® Drink
Metabolic Switch® Powder
Is ketosis safe?
Being in a state of ketosis for short periods of time has minimal health risks, and many people report an increase in cognitive function as a result. People with type 1 diabetes should avoid ketosis, as it can increase risk of complications. It’s a good idea to consult a health professional before starting a ketogenic diet.
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is not a high-protein diet. When eating a keto diet, you consume 60-75% fat, 15-20% or more of protein, and a small amount of carbohydrates. For this diet, people frequently choose meats, fish, eggs, some dairy, and butter along with olives, avocados, oils, and non-starchy vegetables.
Is a keto diet right for me?
While the thought of eating a variety of healthy high-fat foods may seem appealing, this diet may not be for everyone. To maintain ketosis, you must follow the diet strictly and eat a variety of foods to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need. For this reason, some may find an intermittent fasting regimen easier to follow. Some individuals may find that a modified keto diet (one that is slightly less restrictive), combined with intermittent fasting, is right for them. As with any new diet, consult a doctor before making any significant lifestyle changes.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting focuses on eating only during certain time windows rather than the foods you eat. There are many different methods for intermittent fasting like the 16/8 method, which usually skips breakfast and restricts the period in which you eat to eight hours per day. Other people prefer to fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. The popular 5:2 diet involves consuming 500-600 calories twice a week and eating normally for the other five days. Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, so long as you don’t consume more than normal on eating days.
Is intermittent fasting right for me?
Intermittent fasting has health benefits, including weight loss and weight management. For some, it may be easier to follow than the keto diet as it requires less meal planning. People with a history of eating disorders should avoid intermittent fasting. Other temporary side effects may include hunger, weakness, and confusion while your body adapts to a new meal schedule, though this period should be short.
Some people choose to combine the keto diet with intermittent fasting as it can result in greater fat loss and trigger ketosis more quickly. It’s up to you to choose what works best for you and what you can safely maintain.
How do I get started?
If you want to add ketosis to your lifestyle, start by thinking about which method is best for you. Does intermittent fasting, the keto diet, or adding in Metabolic Switch® appeal most? You can also combine these methods as you try them out in your daily and weekly routine. Take a small step to start and take notes when you notice you feel better. Everyone’s path to health can look somewhat different.