Are you looking for a diet for weight loss or fat loss? If so, then you might be interested in ketosis.
The question is whether you can stay on it permanently. That’s because it’s critical for any “diet” to become part of your everyday life and eating habits.
So, What is Ketosis?
It’s important to first understand what it is all about. It’s a natural state of the human body when fueled almost 100% by body fat. This state takes place during a low-carb or keto diet and fasting.
It’s important to understand how this process is related to fat loss. The term originates from the fact that the human produce produces tin fuel molecules known as “ketones.” When the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar/glucose, it gets energy from this source.
The body produces chemicals when it gets a very low supply of carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The liver’s fat produces ketones then the body and brain use it for fuel. The process is especially important for the brain since the organ can only run from glucose/ketones.
Medical research shows that early humans probably experienced the state very often. The reason is that hunter-gatherer societies ate a high-meat diet and had less access to carbohydrates than modern humans. As a result, human bodies evolved so they could get energy from fat even though it mimicked starvation mode.
Today there are various reasons why people use the ketogenic meal plan. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight or control epilepsy. The firm supporters point out the diet’s health benefits, but others note that it’s a dangerous “hack” of the body’s regular metabolic system.
These are the benefits of this process:
- Less eating due to no appetite
- More fat loss from the abdominal cavity
- Lower blood sugar/insulin levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Very low triglycerides (fat molecules)
- Higher “good” cholesterol
- Less pattern of “bad” cholesterol
- Treatment for brain disorders
- More weight loss from low carbs
It should be noted that while these are possible results of low-carb/ketogenic diets, different people will experience various symptoms when going on such meal plans. Several factors impact the symptoms that individual experiences on a diet, such as age, gender, weight, fitness, etc.
One of the main advantages of the lifestyle is the fat-burning results. The whole body’s system changes and gets nearly 100% of its energy from fat cells.
When the blood sugar levels drop, it significantly boosts the body’s fat-burning. It becomes easier for the body to access extra stored fat and burn it.
Studies show that the process can be very effective for weight loss. However, it’s only one of several benefits you can experience on a diet.
How to Stay in Ketosis and Maintain it?
So, now let’s get into the question, “how to maintain a ketosis state?” This is the real nitty-gritty of them all, right?
Well, it’s a very tough question to answer, but there are many things that you can do to maintain ketosis. And right now, I will get into them in detail.
Here are the three things that people do that help them achieve and stay in a ketogenic state:
1. Moderate your Protein Levels
This is a very common mistake for people trying to maintain the state of ketosis. Eating too much of that steak will get you out of the diet.
Why? Because when your protein level is too high while your carbohydrates are too low, your body will start to run gluconeogenesis which means that your body will start breaking down all the protein and then turn it into fuel.
To avoid this, you will need to up your intake of healthy fats so that your body will use them instead, along with the ketones to make energy for your body.
2. You Need to Track your Carbs
This is the most important thing when it comes to staying in ketosis. Tracking your intake of carbohydrates is a must; you can only take a certain amount each day, along with a very high intake of healthy fats.
The reason why is because your body will start using all its natural fat-burning capabilities and turn all that fat into energy.
You will have to be extra careful when it comes to tracking your carbs, and also knowing how much to take per day for your body is a whole other story. This is the trickiest part when it comes to achieving ketosis.
3. Test Your Ketone Levels
Here is where it gets easier. The ketogenic diet is not like any other diet in the world; it’s not something you just keep doing blindly; you can measure it. Our bodies produce ketones which burn the fat and turn it into energy, and guess what?
We can measure ketones in our bodies using special products that you buy online. We review some of them right here.
Using these products lets you keep track of your ketone levels to know when you need to ramp up your diet and when to adjust it properly. With these, you aren’t just flying blindly; you can see the maintained goal in ketosis.
Also, supplementation is the key if you want to get into ketosis fast. But choosing the right supplements isn’t always easy. Check out our reviews on the best keto supplements and products.
How Long Can People Stay in Ketosis?
This is the big question if you want to maximize your fat loss. There are some debates about whether this diet should be long-term due to the lower carb intake.
This is critical because carbs are the normal way that people get instant energy. So, in the case of the ketogenic diet, it’s somewhat of a hack of the body’s regular functionality.
But does that make it dangerous to stay in keto for too long?
Studies have shown that the Inuit (Native Americans) lived their lives in a permanent state of ketosis. A few other Great Plains tribes were at least seasonally on a ketogenic diet for their entire lives.
Children with epilepsy commonly go under keto therapy, which profoundly affects the frequency and intensity of seizures. Many of them stay with the diet for as long as 12 years.
So there are indeed examples of extremely long diet durations.
Many experts share that while a low-carb/keto diet can produce short-term results, there can be various health issues related to staying on a low-carb diet.
The USDA recommends that 80% of a person’s food should typically be vegetables, fruits, and grains, and 20% should be protein. Non-protein foods are important for issues like micronutrients, digestion, etc.
It’s generally recommended that people on a low-carb diet “carb up” from time to time. This spike in carbohydrate intake is often 1-2 days per week and sometimes mid-week.
It’s also often recommended that people who do High-Intensity Training (HIT), for example, should also avoid the lifestyle or carb up more often. The reason is they’ll need the extra energy for high-intensity exercise.
Is Keto Safe to Stay in for Too Long?
While a permanent ketogenic state can result in weight/fat loss, it can also cause health hazards. For example, some people can go from a long-term state to ketoacidosis.
In this state, the blood becomes acidic, and the person could risk experiencing major health complications. The people who get this condition tend to be people with a history of diabetes or alcoholism.
Such people should specifically avoid diets as they could become major health issues. In addition, they should be constantly monitored for red flags they’re experiencing during the state permanently. That can help to avoid becoming very sick.
There are very many people and cultures that go into ketosis and stay there for years and years without any negative effects. It might all boil down to the existing health conditions of your body, if anything.
There are also other possible risks of high-protein, low-carb diets:
- High cholesterol
- Kidney problems/stones
As with other diets, it’s important to consult your physician before starting the ketogenic diet or planning to stay in it for very long.
They’ll be able to determine if there are any precautions you should take due to your general health and fitness level, for example.