What is Ketosis?

More and more we are hearing the word Keto, Ketogenic and ketosis being thrown around. But what does it actually mean and how is it achieved?

What is ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which fat provides most of the fuel for the body. It involves the body producing ketones out of fat, and using them for energy instead of carbs. You can get into ketosis by following a very low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet but it also happens during pregnancy, infancy, fasting and starvation.

To go into ketosis, people generally need to eat fewer than 50 grams total of carbs per day and sometimes as little as 20 grams total per day. When eating a very low-carb diet, levels of the hormone insulin go down and fatty acids are released from body fat stores in large amounts. Many of these fatty acids are transferred to the liver, where they are oxidised and turned into ketones. These molecules can provide energy for the body.

How much fat do I need to eat to be in ketosis?

Getting your carbs low is the key to getting into ketosis, however it is essential that you get your calorific needs by consuming a high amount of healthy natural fats. At Keto Reset recommend a minimum of 120 grams of fat a day, ideally 150 grams.

The fat sources we recommend are minimally processed natural sources of animal and plant fats, such as avocado, animal lard, olive oil, coconut products, macadamia and brazil nuts.

How do I tell if I am in ketosis?

Getting into ketosis can take a few days to a few weeks. We are all different and have different backgrounds. Here are some signs you are in ketosis or have converted your fuel source to ketones:

1) Bad breath 

2) Weight loss 

3) Blood, breath or urine ketones detected. But don’t go chasing high ketones, it simply isn’t necessary and we all have a different ability to produce them

4) Lack of appetite 

5) Increased energy and general feelings of wellbeing

6) Decreased brain fog, increased mental clarity

Doesn't my brain need carbs to work?

It’s a common misunderstanding that the brain doesn’t function without dietary carbs. Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy for the
brain in the absence of glucose. For the small amount of glucose the brain does need, your body can use protein to produce it during ketosis. This process
is called gluconeogenesis. Therefore, ketosis and gluconeogenesis are perfectly capable of fulfilling the brain’s energy needs.

Isn't ketosis dangerous?

People often confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis. While ketosis is part of normal metabolism, ketoacidosis is a dangerous metabolic condition that can be fatal if left
untreated. In ketoacidosis, the bloodstream is flooded with extremely high levels of glucose (blood sugar) and ketones. The body is confused, it believes that it is starving when it is isn't. When this happens, the blood becomes acidic,
which is seriously harmful. Ketoacidosis is most often associated with uncontrolled
type 1 diabetes. It may also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, although this is less common.

Read about ketoacidosis here.

What are the benefits on being in ketosis?

Ketosis may help with a number of chronic and metabolic health conditions including (but not limited to) Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, Cancer,
PCOS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s, Metabolic Disorder, High Cholesterol and Acne. It may help control seizures in individuals with epilepsy. It can also help with improving energy levels, sleep and mental clarity.

The benefits are believed to be a result of the anti inflammatory nature of a Ketogenic Diet.

Are there any side effects from being in ketosis?

There are a few side effects you may experience in the transition to a ketogenic diet. These include headache, fatigue, constipation and bad breath. These are commonly referred to as the Keto flu. However, most of the symptoms are temporary and should disappear within a few days or weeks. Make
sure you are drinking plenty of water and using sea salt on your food. Additionally you may feel a bit sick with the increase of fat - this generally comes right within a
few weeks.

How long can you be in ketosis for?

Many people stay in ketosis permanently because it makes them feel so good. Monitoring your overall health is the key to staying on any nutrition plan long term, how you feel and how your body reacts is important.

The Keto Reset Nutrition Team have consulted with doctors and naturopaths and have concluded that cycling in and out of ketosis is the most natural state nutrition. We don’t recommend long term ketosis (unless for a medical reason) because it is an 'extreme' way of eating and this can cause an unhealthy relationship with food. Plus not as many dinner out invites! By extreme we mean, having to ensure you eat enough fat to stay in ketosis can be hard work. Going into ketosis is a great reset for the body, helps improve cell function and normalise blood sugar responses. Following the seasons is a great example of this, when it's summer - focus on low carb high fat eating, and when it's winter - incorporate more starchy vegetables like potato and pumpkin.

Most importantly, with any nutrition change, you must monitor your health response. Being aware of how you are feeling and how your body responds to the food you are eating is essential. Everyone is different. Listen to your body. 

Signs that your nutrition isn't working for you?

  • Feeling tired or low energy 
  • Poor sleep
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles (regular is key)
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Low mood, feelings of depression or changes in mood
  • Aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Acne

If you experience any of these concerns, looking at changing your nutrition is the best place to start. 

Is there anyone who shouldn't go into ketosis?

Being in ketosis, as mentioned above, is a natural and normal human state. Babies are born into ketosis! However, the Keto Reset Nutrition Team does not recommend transitioning into nutritional ketosis if you are pregnant or breast feeding because this can be a big shock to the body and this is something you want to avoid during these critical times.

Everyone responds to ketosis differently. There are two health conditions where eating Keto nutrition may not be beneficial, however individual responses vary.

1) Adrenal fatigue

This is a common problem for many people in our busy, always on the go, hectic world. When your adrenal system is stressed, it doesn't like you reducing your carbs because this is seen as an additional stress to the body. This can result, but not always, in an increase in feeling of fatigue and low energy.

Read more about adrenal fatigue here.

2) Low or Under-active Thyroid

Thyroid issues are very common these days. If you have an under-active thyroid and not on medication, reducing carbohydrates can be detrimental. This is because thyroid hormones require the hormone insulin for production, without carbs, insulin isn't release as regularly. Read more about under-active thyroid here. If you suspect that you have an issue, please see for doctor.

What's the best food to eat to get into ketosis?

The Keto Reset Nutrition Team suggests that you eat a whole food Keto diet to see the best health results from being in ketosis. This means you get you carbs from low carb vegetables and berries, your protein from clean healthy animals and your fat from natural sources only. 

This is a great example of a meal that we would recommend:

Carbs - Salad greens

Protein - Chicken breast

Fat - Mayo made with olive oil

Getting the right balance of macronutrients can be tricky and often why people don't successfully get into ketosis. That is why we created the 30 day Keto Reset program. The meal plans are suitable for beginners and provide you with 3 meals a day plus fat bombs recipes, if you need them. Keto Reset does it all for you, just follow the meal plan and enjoy feeling great.

This is what Ashlee says about Keto Reset

" I can not recommend Keto Reset any more highly! It has genuinely changed my life. It’s jam packed of informative & important information, delicious recipes and of course having the shopping lists made the whole process a breeze. It’s taught me valuable lessons around keto and nutrition in general that seemed so overwhelming before. I lost 7.6kgs and 35cms in the 30 days. The community built around Keto Reset in the support group and with the guidance of Elora and Sara will set you up for success. If you’ve been wanting to do Keto but don’t know where to start, do something for yourself and invest in this plan, no regrets. I loved it! Thanks gals 💕"

You can purchase Keto Reset here:

https://30dayketoplan.com/products/keto-reset-program

If you have any questions about this blog or the Keto Reset program, please email hello@ketoreset.co.nz