The first piece of the puzzle: why normal dieting does not work?
Most people want to lose weight. We have been told that limiting our food intake and increasing our exercise is how we lose weight fast. We are encouraged to eat less and move more around every corner…
But what happens when these methods no longer work? Restricting calories make us feel like crap (horrible), we give up and then we feel like failures.
You know the biggest loser contestants? The show should be called the biggest lair – most gain all the weight (and more) back. Why, because restricting calories and running like crazy lowers your METABOLISM.
Look at the two charts below. Body weight and fat percentage does go down. But by week 6 their metabolisms are slowing down. While they are exercising its fine, but the hours in the day that they are not, it is slow….
The 2nd piece of the puzzle: what does work?
A better way of losing weight would be to fix our metabolisms! We can do this by looking at what broke our metabolisms in the first place….
- When you go on a diet you will slow your metabolism – dieting slows your metabolism if you’ve dieted for many many years your metabolism is very slow. Mine was S-L-O-W
- Age slows your metabolism.
- Your bodies survival mechanism. Your body does not want you to lose weight. It’s very unnatural to lose weight because it goes against our programming.
We call it the body’s set point. It is happy to be there. It is comfortable and expecting no surprises or hard times. When you try to tamper with this set point (weight) by restricting calories or increasing activity your body will defend this weight and send starvation signals to the brain.
So instead of dieting we want to adjust your body’s set-point.
The body’s set point is destroyed by INSULIN
The Pancreas makes insulin. Insulin is there to lower sugars in the blood. (but is needed for many other functions in the body too.)
The more sugar (carbs) you eat the more insulin your pancreas produces.
More insulin in the body WILL make cells insulin resistant (they still need insulin for other stuff) but don’t absorb it anymore because they have become desensitized and won’t let insulin in. These desensitized cells tell the brain that they did not get any (insulin), so the brain produces more insulin.
While this Insulin Mosh-pit is happening
Excess sugar, fat, and protein is converted and stored as fat (body fat)
And in the presence of insulin you’re not going to burn any body fat.
Why? Because insulin is is the hormone that tells your body whether to burn fat or not!
- increases weight
- prevents the burning of body fat
- controls/ destroys your setpoint.
Our main goal is to decrease insulin so we can:
- stop storing new body fat
- Start releasing already stored body fat
- Rectify our insulin resistance
- Fix our metabolisms by changing body’s setpoint.
Think of your body as being a two storage compartment. It has a:
- Fridge – easy to get things in and out
- Freezer – downstairs, food is frozen harder to get things out
When the fridge gets full it has to add things to the freezer and the insulin tells it to. But while insulin is present it can not go out, it can not go from freezer to fridge.
How do we get rid of Insulin?
When we eat a meal Insulin is produced, but what we eat will determine the level of insulin and how long the level is raised for. In other words if Insulin drops in a timely manner there is time for fat storage burning before the next meal)
We are looking for foods that have the least effect on Insulin production. These foods are fatty protein and FAT (the ones you eat)
The ones that SPIKES insulin are: Sugar and carbs (not just a Mcdonalds burger, but things like potatoes and pumpkins etc) Some lean protein can spike insulin in some people that is why the keto diet recommends fatty meat.
The foods recommended on a Ketogenic diet and a low carb diet are foods that have a low Insulin Index. Meaning little Insulin is released.
Keto foods are naturally more satisfying, so this eliminate snacking, lowering insulin levels for longer so there is more time for the body to burn stored fat.
After time when your body realizes that the sugar and carbs at every meal is low it will produce less and less insulin at every meal. It adjusts over time (that why it is important not to cheat during the first 30 days)
The 3rd piece of the puzzle: what is Ketosis then?
Ketosis refers to a normal metabolic process where the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns your stored fats instead; resulting in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which most of the body’s energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy.
The Ketogenic diet refers to a person who is in Ketosis. The aim of the diet is to burn unwanted fat (body fat) by forcing the body to rely on fat (that you eat) for energy, rather than carbohydrates.
Glycogen (carbs and sugar) can be compared to little sticks and kindling added to a fire. They burn easy but don’t burn for very long and don’t provide much heat.
Ketones on the other hand are the big logs. They take a while to catch fire but when they do you have a long, smooth burning energy.
The person’s Ketone level is mainly linked to how many carbs they are consuming. As a rule Ketosis is achieved by having less than 20 gm of carbs a day.
Changing from Glycogen to Ketones as the energy source can be a horrible experience (known as Keto flu). The body does go through “withdrawal-like symptoms. It’s important to stay hydrated, motivated and that electrolytes are added back into the system.
This is the basis for the Ketogenic diet. Dieters have added many other “conditions” to it and there are many variations. That is why it can seem confusing to a keto beginner or someone who is looking at a low carb diet.
Some Ketogenic dieters still limit their calorie intake. The protein / fat ratio is always a hot topic as some believe to drink all the oils and all the butter to enhance the results (HIGH FAT) Other tell you that you want to use your body fat as fuel so you don’t need that much fat – eat more protein. I encourage people to try both for a month each and see how you feel (emotionally and physically) on the two different keto schools of thought.
Being in Ketosis can not only help with losing weight but has helped many with
- Mental clarity / issues (depression, anxiety, ADD / ADHD)
- Respiratory issues and allergies
- Infertility problems
- Sex drive
- And many more
Will I ever be able to eat bread again?
A lot of people have concerns about how their lives will be during and after keto. My opinion is that if you have
- corrected your insulin resistance
- Reached a healthy weight
- And you are doing Keto purely for weight loss reasons
then you can cheat or take a break or stop.
Many friends have gone the Paleo or Low carb route after reaching their goal weight (they missed fruit / wine or something) lol
I would not because of how I feel when I am in Ketosis. Because of my depression, anxiety, slight IBS and the overall improvement in my quality of life I can not see myself ever changing from a Keto diet.
==>Read my other article Why is the Keto diet so hard?