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Photo of an orange with measuring tape around it, symbolizing dieting.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a word that you’ve probably seen around if you’re looking for information and ideas on how to lose weight effectively. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that your body completes every day when it does not have enough glucose for energy. If it does not have enough carbs to burn for cells to create energy, it will start burning fat instead. This process creates ketones and can serve as a weight loss solution for some people.

If you’re eating a diet that is healthy and well-balanced, your body won’t normally make ketones. But if you switch to cutting way back on your carbohydrate and calorie intake, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. Not all low-carbohydrate diets are ketogenic diets. Before you consider any diet, always check with doctor or dietitian.

Ketosis and Low-Carb Diets

This is a popular weight loss strategy for many people. If you’re not diabetic or pregnant, ketosis will usually begin after three to four days of eating less than 50 grams of carbs each day or by fasting. Low-carb eating plans examples are the Atkins or Paleo diet, which stress keeping protein in your body for fuel. If used in the right way, ketosis may help you maintain muscles, make you feel less hungry, and can also help improve levels of HDL cholesterol better than a diet moderate in carbohydrates.

Some research suggest that ketogenic diets could help reduce a patient’s risk of developing heart disease and manage conditions such as epilepsy, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndromes. Other researchers have started studying the effects of the diet on cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, Alzheimers, acne, and polycystic ovary syndrome. More research is needed to understand the benefits and risks of ketogenic diets.

Photo of an orange with measuring tape around it, symbolizing dieting.

If ketosis is used in extremes, it may cause serious health problems. Ketoacidosis can occur when ketones build up in the blood and become acidic. In serious cases, it can cause a coma or death. Symptoms include abdominal pain, excessive thirst, nausea and vomiting, dry or flushed skin, fruity breath, shortness of breath, confusion and difficulty concentrating.

Before changing your eating habits drastically, it’s important to talk to your doctor. It’s particularly important to consult your physician if you have health conditions such as diabetes. Diets should always be discussed and monitored by a medical professional.

WeightWise offers a complete approach to helping patients lose weight. We offer gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and other weight loss surgery procedures. Our team includes exercise physiologists and dietitians who will help and support you in your journey to weight loss and health.

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