The majority of people today rely on carbohydrates for fuel. There is overwhelming evidence that there is an advantage to switching from carbohydrates for fuel to using fats and ketones instead. Being in ketosis can offer a boost to your physical performance, your mental clarity, and to your goals of shedding excess body fat.
Fat Loss Advantage
Following a ketogenic diet can help you lose more body fat faster, safer, and in a healthier way than other diet plans or just by cutting calories. Your body needs the right kinds of fuel to maintain a fast metabolism and nourish tissues while allowing the body to release stored fats and burn them for energy.
Keto shifts your body from the carbohydrate fueled blood sugar roller coaster that most people are stuck on to using fats in the diet and stored on our bodies to power our day. As our bodies shift into a ketogenic state, our cravings and appetite naturally decrease to more manageable levels, both of which are a huge help to anyone trying to lose weight. (2)
More than that, ketosis helps create a more favorable hormone balance in the body, which favors fat burning instead of fat storage. The delicate interplay of insulin, ghrelin, leptin, estrogen, and other hormones can be severely disrupted in those who are overweight and who eat a carbohydrate based diet. Switching to a ketogenic way of living helps to rebalance these hormones that govern the way our bodies operate, leading to a healthier equilibrium and a far easier time losing weight.
This way of eating can make us more aware of the nutrient density of our food choices as well. We’re less likely to choose fast food or junky snack foods, and instead choose the fresh vegetables and meats that are full of vitamins and minerals that keep our cells working optimally.
Keto isn’t just for weight loss. Fueling your body with fats can lead to better training session and competitions. We have a limited amount of carbs that can give us energy and power when we’re training, because our body burns it preferentially, that is, it burns sugars first when they are available. If they aren’t available as a primary fuel source, we shift to burning fats in our workouts, and we have many thousands of calories stored as fat, even in the leanest athlete. (3)
This means that once you’ve adapted to the ketogenic diet, you can work out harder for longer, without the dreaded BONK, when your body just refuses to perform. You have plenty of fuel available at all times.
When using ketosis for performance enhancement, you can give yourself a quick boost of energy with BHB salts. BHB, or Beta HydroxyButyrate is a ketone that is naturally produced in your body from the breakdown of fats. When you want to have some extra energy and power to your workouts, it can be helpful to have some extra ketones in circulation that your body doesn’t have to produce. The best way is to add them to a drink about 30 minutes before your workout. Any excess ketones that aren’t used in your training will contribute to helping you feel more energetic throughout your day, as they aren’t stored as fat.
Some people are worried that too much protein will kick them out of ketosis, but this is an unfortunate myth. There is a process called Gluconeogenesis, that converts protein into glucose. This process is demand-driven, meaning that when the body requires a small amount of glucose, it will use proteins for this need when there isn’t any glucose in the diet. Excess protein is unlikely to kick you out of ketosis, so this is one less thing to worry about. (1)
Your brain loves fats. Shifting into ketosis is one of the best things you can do for your mental processing power. For this benefit, it all comes down to the powerhouses of the cells: mitochondria.
An abundance, or an overabundance in most cases, of glucose in the blood can be hard for our cells to process safely, and it can cause premature aging of these important organelles. In the brain, this translates into cognitive decline, brain fog, and possibly even Alzheimer’s and other types of brain atrophy. (4)
Powering the brain with fats and ketones is a virtual fountain of youth, and mental jet fuel. Keto can help rejuvenate aging mitochondria, translating into faster mental performance. The first few days of shifting into a ketogenic diet can be a little mentally rough, and after this phase passes, it feels like you’ve been living in fog for your whole life and you’re finally seeing the sun. It’s a big difference in how fast and clear your thoughts are, since you’re able to process more information faster, and can enjoy a clear improvement in both short and long-term memory. (5)
Choosing a ketogenic way of living can have huge benefits for your health, performance, and cognition. A well-planned nutrient dense keto diet can help you in the office, in the gym, and in your quest for a healthier and longer life. You can start seeing benefits almost immediately as you shift into this new way of eating.