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What are Ketones?

If you have been around people who are trying to lose weight, you must have heard about this trendy new diet called the ketogenic diet. This diet has become immensely popular in recent days and has achieved a sort of cult-like status among people who are trying to lose fat fast. This is a very high-fat, low-carb diet. This is part of its appeal as many people like the idea of being able to eat all the fatty foods they want, like meat, cheese, butter, etc. and still lose fat. The idea behind this diet is that after you continue eating a fat dominant diet, after few days, your brain and body switches from thinking of carbs and sugars as the source of energy to using fat molecules. This leads to fat burning at an accelerated pace as the body tries to burn fat for even normal metabolic functions.

The ketogenic diet was first used as a treatment for epilepsy as an effective method to treat seizures about 100 or so years ago. There have been more advanced understanding of the mechanism in which it works since then, but the basic premise is the same. By forcing your body into a low carbs state, you gradually reduce the insulin production that would have otherwise been necessary to turn that glucose from Carbs into energy. Instead the body is now forced to use fat instead. Your liver breaks down fat into ketones, which are then transferred to the bloodstream so they can reach various organs and be used to power them.

The premise seems quite straightforward and most people do end up losing fat on ketogenic diet. It also seems to help improve insulin sensitivity which can be helpful for Type 2 diabetes condition. It has also been suggested that your focus and energy increases on a ketogenic diet.

However, most people have trouble sticking with ketogenic diet long term as its over reliance on fatty foods stops being appetizing for a while. Also, giving up Carbs is not easy as so many of our favorite foods are Carbs based. Also, our brain and body derive energy from blood glucose and it helps give sustained energy for optimum focus and performance.

In the ABCD method, we talk about a balanced diet. If the ketogenic diet works for you then by all means continue doing it. But if you have to force yourself into the ketogenic diet then you won't be able to sustain it long term. Consistency is key when you are trying to build a body that is fit for life. Try an option that you can maintain. Intermittent Fasting which does not force you into a diet is a great option to manage insulin sensitivity and achieve fat loss without getting into an unbalanced, unsustainable dieting pattern. We talk about the benefits of fasting in the ABCD method book. Hope it helps.

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