You’ve probably heard the hype about the keto diet. The high-fat, low-carb “ketogenic diet”, as formally called, is all the rage right now. Why? One reason could be because keto diet results are real, and it does work…technically. But how keto diet works? We will explain it below.
The premise of the keto diet for weight loss is as follow. The main source of energy for all cells in the body is glucose. It comes from eating carbohydrate foods. If you deprive the body of glucose, the stored fat will produce an alternative fuel called ketones (thus, the term “keto”-genic).
The brain demands the most glucose in a steady supply, about 120 grams daily, because it cannot store glucose. During fasting, or when very little carbohydrate is eaten, the body first pulls stored glucose from the liver, and temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose.
If this continues for 3-4 days and stored glucose runs out, blood levels of a hormone called insulin decrease, and the body begins to use fat as its primary fuel. The liver produces ketone bodies from fat, which can play the role in the absence of glucose.
When ketone bodies accumulate in the blood, this state is ketosis. Healthy individuals naturally experience mild ketosis during periods of fasting (e.g., sleeping overnight) and very strenuous exercise.
Proponents of the ketogenic diet state that if people follow the diet carefully, their blood levels of ketones should not reach a harmful level (known as “ketoacidosis”) as the brain will use ketones for fuel. And healthy individuals will typically produce enough insulin to prevent excessive ketones from forming.
How soon ketosis happens and the number of ketone bodies that accumulate in the blood is variable from person to person and depends on factors such as body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate.
That’s how keto diet works and the different situations for people. Hope it will help you.