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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Digging Deeper Into Ketosis

In session number 3 we went deeper into Ketosis:
What is it? Why do we want to go into it? How do I get into it? How do I know I'm in it?
Your body (brain) can run on either glucose or ketones. Glucose is sugar, while ketones are what your liver turns fat into in the absence of available glucose.
It can either turn your dietary fat into it (butter, avocado, etc.), or your body fat into it (yes, that pudgy stuff on you!), or alcohol into it. We train our bodies to more efficiently burn fat via eating dietary fat with no glucose in sight, so we can then let it burn baby burn! Say goodbye to those fat rolls.

Ketosis can burn it up to run your body.
However, if you reintroduce sugar (glucose), it's going to prefer that because it burns easier & faster. So it will stop burning the body fat and switch to burning the glucose in your system. Not good. So avoid sugar/high carbs.
Here's a quick 2 minute intro video to Ketosis:
There are 3 Ketones:
acetoacetate (urine sticks detect this ketone)
3-beta-hydroxybutyrate (blood tests detect this)
acetone (Ketonix breath tester detects this)
It's important to note that our bodies are very different, and it can take some people 3-4 days to switch over to ketosis, while it can take others WEEKS. Typically, most people take 4 days (myself included). Once your body starts switching over, it gets a little confused temporarily and during that period of time, you can feel a little icky. This can usually be quelled by drinking a cup of full sodium broth. Drink a cup or two per day until you feel better. This phase is common (though not always absolute), and it will pass pretty quickly (2 days or less). As your body becomes more adept at switching into ketosis, it tends not to have this hardship as much (or at all). 
You DO need to keep in mind that each time you "cheat" and get yourself out of ketosis, you will not burn ANY fat for typically 4 days (more for some). So you have to ask yourself, "Is it worth it? Is this cheat worth burning NO fat at all for 4 days?"
Not to mention the cravings! You will have to go through "detox" all over again, ridding yourself of those terrible cravings. 
Don't cheat blindly. It needs to be a pre-planned, conscientious choice you make based on all the information, not your immediate desires and weaknesses. Even better - just don't cheat.
A few things about assessing your progress:
If you choose to weigh yourself, be aware that our weight fluctuates by 2-4 lbs., both during the day, plus from day to day. Don't get discouraged. If you tend to get overly worried with it, weigh yourself once a week. Weigh yourself each time first thing in the a.m., after using the restroom.
One of the best things you can do is take measurements with a tape measure. Sometimes the fat loss doesn't show up on the scale (especially if you are building muscle), but will show up on the tape measure and also as looser clothing.
Also, as mentioned during our last session, sometimes there's a "Whoosh"! Our bodies can be freaked out by these changes and can hold on to the fat for a bit in an effort to protect us from famine (isn't that amazing?!); then determine that it's safe, we have enough food and fats in our diet, and let it go in a big Whoosh. No loss for a few weeks or so, then whoosh! 5 lbs gone.
In general, though, after the initial switch-over from being a carb-burner, 1-2 lbs per week is considered a great, healthy weight loss. And though we may loosely call a halt in loss a "stall", it is not truly a stall unless you haven't lost any weight OR any inches OR experienced any clothing looseness in 4+ weeks.
Here's a video (very science-y & in-depth) and some great, easily readable (& quickly read) information about Ketosis:
Here's a more fun, silly, easier explanation of ketosis (this one's especially for Gena...just sayin'):
Any questions?
Post in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.

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