Ketosis (KEY-TOE-SIS) is simply the metabolic state when your body is using ketones (a form of energy from fat) for energy rather than glucose (energy from sugar).
Our bodies are pretty marvelous machines, much like a hybrid car, and are able to utilize multiple fuel sources. Conventional wisdom tells us that we should be getting our energy from carbs (ie sugar). And it’s understandable why that’s been the prevailing notion for decades.
Our bodies love all kinds of starchy and sugary foods like potatoes, rice, breads, pasta, etc. Our bodies love this because it’s a quick form of energy. Dr. Stephen Phinney, in the documentary Cereal Killers, compared this to lighter fluid when starting a grill.
However, we can pay a big price for this. If this consumed sugar is not burned, our body will convert and store the excess as fat.
Now let’s flip this coin over and examine the other side: Ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process where your body utilizes fat, rather than sugar and starches, for its energy demands. This switch is flipped by cutting out starch and sugar out of your diet. In fact for a lot of people, this means only 5% of calories come from carbohydrates.
Once the body is no longer getting energy from cheap and easy carbs, the body then switches gears and starts utilizing its stores of body fat as energy. So instead of getting energy from spaghetti, or breakfast cereal, or that muffin, your body is using the energy already stored in the form of body fat around your waist, hips, thighs, etc.
So that’s the most fundamental concept of nutritional Ketosis. In part 2, we will be explaining in a bit more detail on the mechanisms on how Ketosis works, the benefits of being in a state of Ketosis, and how to get there. Stay tuned!