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Ketosis aka (keto dieting for fat loss)

The ketogenic aka ketosis (these to terms may be used interchangeably throughout) concept has been round for many years, recently it has been Brought back into the spotlight.

So I wanted to provide my two cents on keto dieting for fat loss, answering the million pound question of "Is a ketogenic diet superior for fat loss?"

The very short answer is No, like most diets the fundamental principles are to create an energy deficit. What diet you choose is predominantly a ethical, religious or preferable decision for example, if you have a religious belief about not consuming animal protein sources and opt for a vegan or vegetarian diet you will still attain the same results providing you're in a deficit. 

But to keep it on the topic of Keto diet's, lets discuss about what occurs while in ketosis & some considerations and potential implications.

Firstly in my opinion there is a misconception with ketosis, people tend to belief that it is a high fat intake diet with relatively low protein & little to no carbs and this will elicit the adaptation of your body from using carbohydrates as its predominant fuel source to ketons, contrary to that concept, its not high fats that is putting you into ketosis, it is the elimination of carbohydrates that is. If you was to eat nothing at all your body will go into a state of ketosis but what we see is a ketogenic diet structure being we make up the calories lost from carbs & proteins by our fat consumption which leads to people perceiving high fats to be how we get into ketosis. 

Secondly we want to look at how long it takes to get into a state of producing ketons, this process can take around 3 to 12 days to fully be in a state of ketosis, The reason why it's 3 to 12 days is because it is largely individualised on how long it would take due to biological, Biochemical & hormone processes. In layman terms some people may see the conversion in a matter of days where as someone else it might take their body relatively longer to make the conversion. 

Once you're in a state of ketosis, certain organs like the brain will start oxidising fats for an energy source to function, same goes for other organelles including skeletal tissue (muscles). So with this said people tend to believe because we're mobilising (using/moving) & oxidising (burning) more fat, we're essentially going to burn more stored body fat, while this claim holds some truth, what we have to understand is that when we're consuming more dietary fats are body has a higher propensity to store body fat also, what will dictate our abilities to burn stored fat will fundamentally come down to our energy balance, which brings us back to the initial concept mentioned which is regardless of what diet you follow, you must ensure that you're in a negative energy balance (deficit) to elicit a reduction in fat free mass (stored body fat). Without this process you will not lose fat even if your body has a greater ability at mobilising & oxidising fat.

This concludes that ketogenic diets are not superior to any other diet, but rather just another means of a diet style that certain people may prefer to adopt to help SUSTAIN their weight loss. 


As for potential considerations, keeping it within contexts of dieting only, you may notice which also will be an individual response is that some people simply may not perform well on a ketogenic diet in terms of performance, work capacity and endurance during their sessions. As using fats as the predominant fuel source to maximise performance for some is like using a hose with a kink in it, it's only going to drip water (ketons) out. It also might make you feel lethargic and see a deterioration in cognitive function. (this would all largely be individual)


So in a nutshell, if you prefer a ketogenic approach and it doesn't make you feel crap then I would say have a field day and continue using it, conversely if you feel terrible following this diet, you notice an apparent deterioration in performance, mood and cognition then its probably best to adopt a different diet style. 


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