Ketosis and how it can help you to lose weight

Bacon and Eggs

Bacon and Eggs, one of the recommended Ketosis diet

I just participated in a fitness contest; Musclemania Africa 2015, which I came 4th. It was a beautiful experience and nothing has ever felt that right. Standing on that stage was a feeling that I can’t describe. It felt like I was showing the world what one can achieve through self belief, dedication and drive. It was not easy dieting down for 12 weeks, once every now and then I wanted to give up but I had a support team that kept me focused. How was I able to cut down 13 kgs and get down to about 5% body fat? This is how, with the help of Ketosis.

What is Ketosis

Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose for energy. Stored fats are broken down for energy, resulting in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.

Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn off unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on burning fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates.

Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients.

Ketosis facts

Here are some key points about ketosis.
1. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its main fuel source, glucose.
2. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to release energy, which also releases ketones, a type of acid.
3. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also rises, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal.
4. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma.
5. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores.
6. Ketone levels can be monitored by testing urine using specialized strips available from pharmacies.
7. People with diabetes are advised to test ketone levels every 4-6 hours when sick (as this can increase the risk of ketoacidosis), and every 4-6 hours if blood glucose is over 240 mg/dL.

Due to the fact that ketosis breaks down fat stored within the body, some diets aim to create this metabolic state so as to facilitate weight loss.

Ketosis diets are also referred to as ketogenic diets, ket diets, or sometimes low-carbohydrate diets. The diet itself can be regarded as a high-fat diet, with around 75% of the calories coming from fats. In contrast, around 20% and 5% of calories are gained from proteins and carbohydrates respectively.

Adhering to the ketogenic diet can lead to short-term weight loss. A study conducted in 2008 and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that obese men following a ketogenic diet for 4 weeks lost an average of 12 lbs during this time. The participants were able to consume fewer calories without feeling hungry while following the diet.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the ketogenic diet could have a healthy effect on serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It may also improve levels of HDL than other moderate-carbohydrate diets. 6
These health benefits could be due to the loss of excess weight and eating of healthier foods, rather than a reduction in carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet has also been used under medical supervision to reduce seizures in epileptic children who do not respond to other forms of treatment. Some studies have suggested that the diet could also benefit adults with epilepsy, although more research is required to confirm these findings.

However, longer-term adherence to the ketogenic diet does not appear to yield great benefit. A 2014 review of diets found that after a year, the difference between a ketogenic diet and a normal protein diet was only around 1 lb (roughly 0.4 kg).
The American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology, and the Obesity Society have concluded that there is not enough evidence to suggest that low-carbohydrate diets such as the ketogenic diet provide healthy benefits to the heart.

Sample Ketogenic meal plan

Here is the ketogenic diet I used when I started prepping for the show:

MEAL ONE:
3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites, 4 strips of bacon.

MEAL TWO:
170 gms meat of my choice (chicken breast, tuna, turkey breast), 1 cup veggies, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

MEAL THREE:(post workout)
170 gms chicken breast, ½ cup white rice, green beans, 1 tablespoon peanuts butter.

MEAL FOUR:
3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites.

MEAL FIVE:
Mozzarella sticks or handful almonds/peanuts with 142 gms steak.

MEAL SIX:
142 gms chicken breast, green beans in olive oil or coconut oil.