Ketosis

       There is no magic to the term ketosis.  Many patients seem mystified about being "in Ketosis".  Here's the simple truth.  Ketone bodies are produced as breakdown products of fat to be used as fuel by the body when adequate supplies of glucose are not available.  That's it. If you're short of glucose, you make ketones.  The ketone bodies produced from fatty acid break down are beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid, and some acetone.  Most of our available ketones for fuel are the first two.  
 
     There are ketone bodies in your blood at all times.  The amount of them goes up as you reduce your caloric intake or increase your exercise.  When your body is low on glucose for fuel, it makes additional ketone bodies for fuel.
 
     IF YOU ARE LOSING WEIGHT YOU ARE IN KETOSIS !!
 
     Simple right.  No magic to this.  Certainly the lower the calorie diet and the lower the carbohydrates (glucose) in the diet, the higher the level of ketone bodies.  I have many patients who fret over whether or not they are in "ketosis"... STOP.   If you are losing weight you are producing a higher level of ketones.  If you are eating too many calories, carbs, and sugars you are not burning many ketones.
 
     Many diets advocate peeing on a ketone strip to see if you are in ketosis.  This is not necessary and can be a poor indicator of whether you are burning ketones as fuel or not.  Remember, if you are losing body fat and weight, you are in ketosis.  Some patients spill ketones in the urine each morning just from their average nightly sleep.  Other patients fail to spill ketones in the urine after a couple days of fasting.  Again, this is a poor and expensive way to see if you are in ketosis.  Just get on the scales or body composition scales to see if you are losing weight.
 
     There are some more sophisticated tests to determine levels of ketosis such as a breath analysis device and some sophisticated blood tests.  These are expensive and not easy to obtain for most people.
 
     Some popular diets are called "Ketogenic" diets.  Every diet that restricts calories and carbs and makes your body dip into it's fat stores is a "Ketogenic" diet.  The Adkins Diet and the Keto-Diet are the two most well known.  Again these diets dramatically restrict glucose intake and increase fat and protein intake. Yes, you will be burning ketones.  You will burn Ketones on LEAN 51, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Zone Diet, Mediterranean Diet, and any other weight loss diet if you reduce calories, carbs, and sugars below your caloric needs.
 
     Burning ketones is a good thing, but again, not something you need to worry about.  Staying on your reduced calorie diet is so much more important.  When you're able to burn fat for a prolonged period of time, you will drop your fat percentage, your body size, and improve your health.  Find a diet that is sustainable for the long term.
 
     Not to beat a dead horse, but, If you are losing weight and body fat you are in Ketosis!
 
     Now you have it.  Keep at it.  Eat Well, Train Hard, and Live Lean, Live Long, and Live Life to the Fullest.

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