Ketosis is a hot topic in the dieting world, but what does it actually mean to be in a ‘state of ketosis’? And do you really need to achieve ketosis to lose weight on a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) diet?
In this blog we answer your ketosis questions and give you some insight into the effects that this metabolic state can have on your body.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state whereby your body uses its fat stores rather than carbohydrates as its main fuel source. When you are in this metabolic state, your body will get energy from ‘ketones’ in your blood (a by-product created by your body when fat is burned rapidly) rather than blood glucose.
Following a calorie-restricted diet such as our Total Solution, 800-calorie, Flexi or 5:2 plans may cause you to enter a state of ketosis as when you enter a significant calorie deficit for an extended period of time your blood glucose and insulin levels fall. This then causes your body to enter this fat-burning, keto state.
You can often tell you are entering into the metabolic state if you experience the following:
- Hunger pangs
- Metallic taste in mouth & ‘ketosis’ (bad) breath
This makes entering into ketosis a sometimes unpleasant process, although most of these side effects tend to subside after the first few days.
What benefits can ketosis have?
Studies have shown that ketosis can support weight loss, as fuelling your body off fats can result in fewer cravings and reduced appetite, subsequently leading to a reduction in caloric intake – you eat less.
Some people have also found that their energy levels increase due to a steadier release of energy throughout the day, while others notice increased mental clarity.
Do you need to be in ketosis to lose weight?
The short answer is no, you do not need to enter into a state of ketosis to achieve your desired weight loss goals.
Entering a state of ketosis, in which your body burns fat for fuel, can support weight loss as it may allow you to feel satiated and help you to burn fat at a high rate. However, entering into a calorie deficit – in which you consume less calories than you expend (burn off) – will result in weight loss, regardless of whether you enter into a ketogenic state.
All Exante calorie plans aim to help you lose weight by providing you with low-calorie meal replacement products fortified with all the nutrients you need to remain healthy during your weight loss journey. You may enter into a state of fasted ketosis on our VLCDs (Total Solution and the 800-calorie diet) due to the reduction in calories in comparison to what you usually consume. But, if you do not enter a keto state, it does not mean that you will not lose weight!
Entering into and maintaining a state of ketosis is not easy – consuming too much citric acid, too much protein, too many carbohydrates or artificial sweeteners could throw you out of ketosis.