Ketosis – The fat breakdown
On the Ultra Lite Ketogenic diet, clients focus on eating minimal carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and a high amount of healthy fats to achieve ‘nutritional ketosis’.
If carbohydrates are restricted for a period of time (i.e. longer than three days), the body increases it’s ketone levels. Ketones are three water-soluble molecules that are produced by the liver. The liver creates ketones from fats when carbohydrates are restricted. Intense periods of exercise can also create ketones. Being in a state of ketosis can deliver many positive effects throughout the body. You will experience these effects in the safest and healthiest way possible when following the Ultra Lite ketogenic diet.
Normally, the body will burn carbohydrates to generate fuel. But, after a few days on the Ultra Lite ketogenic diet, the body and brain begin to utilise and burn fat for fuel. Your body can become very efficient at this. In fact, as long as humans have walked the earth, our bodies have been switching back and forth between burning carbohydrates (sugars) to stored fats. Therefore, ‘nutritional ketosis’ is a normal, safe and natural means the body uses to provide energy when no other source is available.
Nutritional Ketosis versus Diabetic Ketoacidosis
However, it is important to note that ‘nutritional ketosis’ is very different from ‘diabetic ketoacidosis’. When learning about, and understanding ketosis, other phrases and topics, such as ‘diabetic ketoacidosis’ can often be confused with ketosis. However, diabetic ketoacidosis is a state that only occurs in Type 1 diabetics. For diabetics, this is when their condition is untreated or inadequately treated. Thus, ‘diabetic ketoacidosis’ is unrelated to the Ultra Lite ketogenic diet.
Calorie Counting or Ketosis
For the past few decades, we have been encouraged to focus on the ‘calories in-calories out’ system of dieting. While in theory, you would think that consuming fewer calories and burning more calories would have to result in weight loss, this is not always the case (unless perhaps, you are a peak athlete).
The main problem with restricted calorie diets is that it allows individuals to consume highly processed foods rather than focusing on healthy food choices.
Sugar is not just the white stuff we add to our tea or coffee.
Processed or high carbohydrate foods contain sugar and are just another form of sugar flooding the bloodstream with fuel that will convert to fat and reduce blood sugar levels. So, while consuming foods such as bread, rice, pasta, cakes, biscuits may come into the calorific allowance for someone trying to lose weight – it won’t help you on your path to losing weight.
Thus, focusing on calories alone as a means of weight loss can result in little, if any weight loss. Calorie counting, fat restriction, so many other diet fads based on calorie restriction over the years, has resulted in Australians becoming a more overweight, unhealthier society in general. We search for the elusive weight loss miracle or fad to no avail.
How then can you achieve effective, safe and healthy weight loss?
The most effective way to achieve efficient, safe and healthy weight loss is for our bodies to restrict high carbohydrate foods that flood the blood with sugar, that the body converts to fat in the tissues. We need to reverse the process of fat storing to fat burning.
Furthermore, contrary to the belief that a ketogenic diet must be protein and fat alone, the Ultra Lite ketogenic diet helps provide individuals with an excellent source of healthy fruits and vegetables.
The other benefits associated with the ketogenic diet are:
- You do not produce a high volume of sugar into the bloodstream helping to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
- It provides you with proteins and healthy (essential) fats and oils supporting fat conversion into fuel for the body to burn.
- You eat healthy, wholesome, live & unprocessed foods
- It promotes body muscle with quality protein intake by providing essential fatty acids through fat & oil consumption for an energy source
- It supports hormone production, healthy skin, liver and gallbladder function.
Scientists now say a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic-style diet is better for weight loss, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome than diets focused obsessively on calorie restriction(1) (3). Obesity experts say the longstanding emphasis on calorie counting has failed, and we need to move beyond the ‘calories in, calories out’ idea(2).
Our focus needs to change:
Over the years, I have worked with many people to achieve effective weight loss and better health. As a Naturopath, I have found the ketogenic diet alongside, change of lifestyles, to be a practical solution to the weight loss puzzle. Other aspects that you will address for long-term success and maintenance are as follows:
1. Find a qualified practitioner
Firstly, you need a suitably qualified Ultra Lite practitioner. The support person you select must be trained in ketogenic diet programs. This is important as they can help you determine what your body needs to reach the optimal level of ketosis. They should also know how to manage any situation that relates to you (the client), your medical history and individual needs.
You should be taught how to:
- test for ketones
- manage your food intake
- record your eating habits and then
- report to your practitioner weekly.
If you monitor progress throughout your journey, you obtain the best results for you. Improving your health is not a quick-fix, so I do not encourage people to undertake ketogenic diets without appropriate supervision.
2. Make sure you have a support network
Secondly, to achieve successful weight loss, you need support. Over 19 years, Ultra Lite has found that those who achieve their goals are often those who receive adequate emotional support and encouragement during their journey.
As a Naturopath working with clients on this journey, your practitioner or consultant will be your greatest supporter. I want to see my clients achieve their goals. Your goals are your consultant’s goals. Support from friends and family is so important during this weight loss journey. Their lives may change for the better as they also eat healthier food options along with you.
3. Prepare to make lifestyle changes
Finally, lifestyle changes need to happen. Practitioners trained in the Ultra Lite ketogenic diet will also help you manoeuvre this maze.
Simple lifestyle changes could include:
- adding a gentle form of exercise to your daily routine
- changing your normal exercise routine to maintain ketosis
- understanding what foods are best for you
- learning new sources for recipes and much more.
Another great way to help you adapt your routine can be getting your family on board. The Ultra Lite program can also help your family to eat healthily. They can eat the same healthy foods with adjustments to suit their needs.
Nonetheless, one thing is for sure; you will need to change your lifestyle. If you don’t change bad past habits, you will continue to make the same mistakes in the future. Successful weight loss is about being able to manage your health for the long-term.
Find more from Sarah Berry here.