“Keto” diets are certainly popular right now, but other than eating differently, how does it actually work? It helps to start with the basics, such as what Keto actually is: a turn in metabolism towards the state of ketosis, or when the liver produces ketones. Those ketones become the body’s main energy source, which basically reverses how a body typically functions. Ketones are the byproduct of the breakdown of fat via water release within the liver for energy production creating a better balanced system.
The human body runs more efficiently as a fat burner than a sugar burner, and since one of the primary functions of the liver is to metabolize fat and protein, consuming mainly fat kicks liver function into a higher gear. As proteins and fats are more heavily relied upon for energy with the reduction of the consumption of sugar and carbohydrates, blood sugar level stays more stable and fat is more likely to be eliminated.
On the opposite side, carbohydrates which are processed as sugar, do convert easily into energy and are a faster source for the body to process. However when glucose (sugar) is used as a primary energy source, fats are not needed and end up being stored in the body, making it much harder to eventually reduce the size of fat cells; the body never creates “new” fat cells. Humans are born with a certain amount of fat cells, so when the body stores fat, the fat cells (adipocytes or lipocytes) increase in size, and will shrink when going through lipolysis (lipolysis is when the body moves fat out of the lipocyte to use as energy). Additionally, with the faster processing of sugar and carbohydrates, the body craves more energy (in the form of calories, often sugary ones) with quickly fluctuating blood sugar levels.
A diet that balances the body’s way of efficiency by raising the process of ketosis through diet is a very healthy way to lose weight, gain muscle tone and feel a steadier balance of energy.