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By Chelsea De Beer
The ketogenic lifestyle can add power, longevity, and clarity of mind to your life if you eat the right stuff and avoid lurking pitfalls ready to sabotage your progress. When you combine the hunger-busting qualities of the keto diet with its ability to sky-rocket performance in daily life or on the track, you have an iron-clad formula for success.
With a welcoming support system like you have in the Clinical Effects community, along with a trustworthy source of keto knowledge based on real science, triumph is only a few fat-fueled steps away.
What Is The Ketogenic Lifestyle?
First off, when we speak about the “keto diet” at Clinical Effects, we don’t mean to put ketosis in the same category as other fad-diet trends or fat-losing hacks. Keto is none of those things. Keto is a lifestyle – a way of looking at health, wellness and peak performance in a holistic, biological way. Simply eating low-carb does not mean living a ketogenic lifestyle.
By unpacking what makes ketosis work and who it will benefit best, we’ve put together this concise report to help you decide whether the ketogenic lifestyle is right for your goals, habits, and body.
Following the pervasive high-carb food pyramid model, our bodies get their energy from glucose, a simple sugar that comes from carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, grains, and other starches. Sugar journeys through your blood and is oxidized by the cells for fuel.
If you’ve taken in more carbohydrates than your body uses for energy, the spare glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, or as adipose tissue made of stored fat cells.
This work differently on the ketogenic diet, however. On keto, you withhold like grains, high-carb vegetables, and a range of sugars like fructose (found in fruit) and lactose (found in milk). The ideal macro balance on keto is around 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates in your diet.
By restricting carbohydrates to this degree, you cut off the body’s supply of glucose, forcing it to burn up glycogen stores in your liver and muscles. But what transpires when all your glycogen stores have been depleted? Well, this is where ketosis comes in.
To avoid starvation, our bodies come prepared with a metabolic “plan-B” to energize cells without any glucose or glycogen to work with. Once all the body’s glycogen stores are depleted, the body’s stored fat becomes mobilized in the bloodstream and is turned into ketone bodies in the liver.
These ketones are then used by the powerhouse of the cell, mitochondria, to energize the body instead of glucose. When your body switches from metabolizing dietary and stored carbohydrates to using ketones for fuel in this way, we say that your body is in ketosis.
Ketone bodies, or ketones, are organic molecules that cells in our bodies use for energy very efficiently. Endogenous ketones (“endo” meaning “inside”), are the ketone bodies that your liver produces inside your body when you are in ketosis.
Exogenous ketones (“exo” meaning “outside”) are ketones that are bio-identical to the kind we make in the liver, made outside the body in research, medicine, supplements and more.
Ketones are small enough to pass through the blood-brain barrier, an often-cited explanation for why being in ketosis is so beneficial for cognitive function and mental performance (Sampaio, 2016).
Getting into ketosis is a simple matter of cutting out carbohydrates from your diet. Unfortunately, getting your body used to using ketones for energy can be a challenge.
This is where exogenous ketone supplements come in. If you take keto supplements that contain goBHB, you are helping your metabolic system switch over from using glucose for energy.
When shopping around for exogenous ketones, you’d be smart to look out for ketone salts. goBHB, or D-beta-hydroxybutyrate, is a highly effective exogenous ketone bound to a mineral ion like sodium or potassium and is then used by the body as fuel.
The minerals help replenish lost electrolytes and can be safely digested. You can find these goBHB ketone salts in supplements like Keto BHBoost, which is specifically designed to fuel the body and boost performance, keto or not.
How You Could Benefit From The Keto Lifestyle
1. Water Retention Flushing
Have you ever noticed that you feel bloated after eating a high-carbohydrate meal? The body actually retains water on a high-carb diet because every 1g of carbohydrates can hold nearly 4g of water. When you start your keto diet, the body first burns through all your stored glycogen for energy and gets rid of the excess water in the process.
2. Bodyfat Oxidation
Fat is stored in your body as adipose tissue, a conglomerate of fat cells that hold on to unused energy for use later. When you are fat-adapted, or rather when your body is used to using fat for fuel, it uses the lipocytes (fat-storage cells) within your adipose tissue to make energy.
Basically, you are taking energy out of cells you don’t want and putting it into cells you need to live, heal and grow.
3. Get Rid of Cravings
Carbohydrates are high GI (glycemic index) and induce a spike in blood sugar when eaten. The energy is oxidized quickly, and soon your blood-sugar plummets, leading to intense cravings.
When you greatly restrict carbs and replace them with slow-digested, healthy fats, you sidestep the blood-sugar surge, thereby avoiding cravings altogether.
Also, when you eat a ketogenic diet, you’ll most likely be getting more fibrous vegetables and proteins in your diet than you did when you ate mostly starch.
Fibrous veggies not only help slow the digestive process (making you feel fuller for longer) but also create a good environment for healthy gut bacteria. The protein you’re getting increases your levels of satiating hormones while lowering the hunger hormone, ghrelin.
Safe, Simple Keto-Friendly Grocery Shopping
If you are thinking of experiencing the benefits of ketosis for yourself, keep in mind that 70% – 75% of your food intake should be from fats. We’ve put together a fool-proof keto shopping list that will not only boost your chances of getting into ketosis fast but also fill your pantry with wholesome, good-for-you ingredients to nourish every part of your body.
Note: these are only a few yummy suggestions and are by no means the entirety of your future food choices!
The ketogenic lifestyle is one of discovery, commitment, results, and lifelong learning. On this exciting path, you learn about your body and take control of your health and performance goals on your own terms.
Developing a better relationship between your body and the food that sustains it is essential for living a relaxed, mindful and fulfilling life driven by results. The fact that eating keto is delicious, fun and wholesome is just cream-cheese icing on the flaxseed cake!
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By Chelsea De Beer
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