Are you trying to lose weight by eating fewer carbs? A low carb diet helps to lower the levels of insulin, a hormone that stores fat. This allows the deposits of fat in your body to shrink and release all of the energy they have stored. When this happens, you aren’t as hungry, so you’ll want to consume fewer calories than you expend, and you’ll be able to lose weight.
Unfortunately, many people who choose a low carb diet still have trouble losing weight. Many times they reach a plateau, and can’t seem to move past it. The problem is they aren’t getting maximal hormonal impact from what they are eating. This means they need to optimize their diet in order to achieve what is called “optimal ketosis.”
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a state in which the body is able to achieve fat-burning rates that are extremely high. Our body needs to achieve this state because the most vital parts of the body run on fat, even the brain, via ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are energy molecules that can be found in the blood, similar to blood sugar. Our liver converts them from fat, and they are used to fuel our brains.
In order for our bodies to produce more ketone, insulin levels need to be low. When there are enough ketones in the blood, the low-carb diet is producing maximum hormonal impact. This is known as optimal ketosis and is essential for quick weight loss.
If you want to know whether or not your attempts to lose weight are being stalled by a lack of ketosis, you can easily measure the level of ketones in your body. There are many reasonably priced products on the market today that allow you to do this at home. Some of these gadgets require you to prick your finger with a small needle so the device can measure the ketones in your blood. Ketone sticks are also available, however, and require a urine sample to measure ketone levels.
If you are measuring your ketone levels at home via a machine that requires a small blood sample, reading the results can be a bit tricky. You’ll want to take the test in the morning when your stomach is empty so you can achieve correct results.
If the device measures 0.5 mmol/L or less, you are not burning as much fat as you should be and have not reached ketosis.
If the devices read between 0.5 and 1.5 mmol/L you are in a state known as light nutritional ketosis. While this reading shows you’re burning fat, you aren’t burning as much as you could be.
If the reading is between 1.5 and 3 mmol/L you have reached optimal ketosis and are burning enough fat for quick weight loss.
Any reading above 3 mmol/L will not allow you to burn any more calories. In fact, this often means your insulin levels are too low, and you aren’t consuming enough food.
So, what makes ketosis so special? When you’re trying to lose weight with a low carb diet, ketosis is necessary for quick weight loss. It helps you burn fat much more quickly and avoid those dreaded weight plateaus.
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