Ketogenic Diet 101: Keto Basics Explained

February 28, 2018

Ketogenic Diet 101: Keto Basics Explained

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Nutritional Ketosis

As life enhancing and amazing as it is, beginning your keto journey can be daunting. There’s a lot of new information to take in, not to mention having to make some considerable changes to your diet and lifestyle. Luckily for you guys we’ve done a lot of the hard work for you, so you can benefit from our experience without having to make the mistakes we did. We want to make your journey as smooth as possible, and it all begins with understanding “what is ketosis?”

Fuel Up

To understand how ketosis works, we need understand some basic evolutionary biology. Our bodies are incredibly adaptable, built to withstand all kinds of environmental shifts. They can even change the main source of fuel they use to burn for creating energy. The energy we get from this fuel source is needed for all our day to day processes, like movement, thinking and breathing.
There are two types of fuel we can use. The first is carbohydrates, which we often think of as sugars. These carbs give us immediate energy and this is the fuel source that most people primarily use. The second fuel is fats, which give us a slower release of energy that can be stored. Ketosis is when we use fats as our main fuel source.
The body uses these two fuels in different ways: it always uses carbs before using fats. Any excess energy left over from food in our bodies is stored as fat. So what determines which fuel source our body uses? The answer is hormones. So how do we alter our hormones to change our fuel source? The answer is with our diet!

This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Two of Us

Our bodies cannot use carbs and fats as their fuel source at the same time. Only one can be the main fuel at any time. Our hunter-gathering ancestors needed to alternate between these two fuel systems depending on their circumstances.
For example when they found food, such as fruits on a tree, they’d consume as much as they could to sustain them for as long as possible. The sugar from the fruit is carb fuel, giving them immediate energy. If they consumed more than their carb stores could hold, the excess energy would be stored in their bodies as fat. It wasn’t until they hadn’t eaten for a while and their carb fuel had run out that their bodies would switch to using the stored fat as the main source of fuel.

Evolutionarily Speaking

For our ancestors, the ability to switch between the two fuel mechanisms saved them from starving to death. Unfortunately, some aspects of this fuel mechanism that served our ancestors well is actually damaging our health in the modern world. Why is that? Well, we don’t face extended periods of starvation nowadays, so the stored fat in our bodies doesn’t get a chance to be used up. We are usually to full of carb fuel!

Addictive Excess

Our brains love carbs and sweet, sugary foods. This is where our evolutionary biology works against us. We’re still hardwired to get as much of that sweetness as possible. This comes from our free roaming ancestors who needed to eat loads of fruit from the tree because they didn’t know when they’d eat again. The problem for us living now is that food is readily available, and we can easily eat way more carbs than we need.
This problem is worsened by a food industry that knows how addictive and profitable processed and sugar laden foods are. Diets high in sugar are linked to a host of lifestyle diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. The greatest nutritional problem our ancestors faced was scarcity of food, whereas the biggest problem for us in the modern age is an excess of food.

Nutritional Ketosis to the Rescue

The keto diet allows us to take control of this evolutionary fuel mechanism to maximise our health and happiness. By selectively choosing the foods we consume, we can switch our main fuel source from carbohydrates to fat. Nutritional ketosis converts the stored fat in our body into ketones which are then used directly as energy. When your body adapts to ketosis you feel amazing, and many people experience weight loss as a natural side effect.
The keto diet was studied in the 1960’s when scientists realized it was an effective treatment for children with epilepsy. Between then and now, loads more incredible benefits of keto have been discovered:
  • Weight Loss. Because fat becomes the body’s main source of fuel, stored fat gets used up quickly.
  • Reduced Appetite. The hormones responsible for hunger work differently meaning you feel a lot less hungry, therefore you think about food less.
  • Improved Blood Sugar Levels. Blood sugar levels improve and people have reversed their diabetes by going keto.
  • Improved Insulin Control. Enjoy long term improvements to the regulation of metabolic hormones like insulin.
  • Mental Benefits. Say goodbye to brain fog and hello to a clear mind, increased focus and improved mood and vitality.
  • Physical Benefits. Going keto can prevent and reverse many lifestyle diseases and delivers a general improvement health and wellbeing.
  • Delicious Food. While there is a restriction on some foods, there’s still loads of tasty, satisfying foods you can enjoy and the opportunity to experiment with plenty of new dishes.
These are just some of the awesome benefits keto offers. Keto isn’t another diet fad, it’s a scientifically proven method of weight loss, protection from disease, and enhancement to your health and life in general.

TAKE AWAYS

  • Our bodies have two main sources of fuel: carbs or fat but they can only use one of these fuel sources at once.
  • Because of how we’re hardwired, we’re drawn to eating an excess of carbohydrates
  • The problem with high sugar and carb diets is a deterioration of health.
  • By changing our body’s main fuel source from carbs to fat, we can boost our health!
  • Ketosis can prevent and even reverse disease, help you lose weight, and enjoy a multitude of benefits for body and mind.