If you’ve been researching weight loss methods, you may have run across the word “ketones” a few times. What are ketones, and what exactly do they do? First thing first, you should be impressed to learn that ketones may be the weight loss secret you’ve been searching for.
So, What Are Ketones?
If you’re like most people, your daily food intake includes a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat. You get most of your energy from the carbs, which are turned into glucose by your body. This glucose is what allows you to power through your day, and it’s what your organs feed off of. Unfortunately, diets that are high in carbs are those that lead to weight gain.
When you lose weight – either though diet, exercise or a combination of the two – your body burns excess fat through a process called ketosis. During this process, fat is broken down and ketones are produced. These ketones are what your body uses as fuel.
Ketones = Fat Loss
As ketones are only produced when you are burning fat, you can use them to gauge just how well your body is eliminating your excess weight. The easiest way to do this is to measure ketones in urine using test strips that are available in stores and online.
While these strips are meant for use by those with diabetes (to help ensure that they don’t develop a dangerous and often-confused condition called ketoacidosis), those who are working on ketones weight loss can also use them.
Developing a Ketones Diet
The ketones diet, better known as the ketogenic diet, is one that many people might find strange and counterintuitive. Instead of directing you to drastically reduce your caloric intake or spend hours working out, it requires you to consume large amounts of fat.
As any dieter will tell you, fat is the one thing that every diet warns you to stay away from. So, how is that the ketogenic diet asks you to eat as much as you can?
Think back to ketosis, which is the metabolic process where your body burns fat instead of the glucose produced by carbs. If you were to fuel your body with fat instead of carbs, it would learn to function using its new fuel source. When it has burned through the fat that you’ve ingested through diet, it will look for fuel elsewhere, and the only other place it will find that fuel is in the excess fat that you are carrying.
The proper dietary breakdown for a ketones diet is 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. By following this structure, you will quickly train your body to use fat for fuel instead of glucose. As with all diets, this one also comes with its fair share of symptoms, but they are manageable and pass quickly.
Common Ketones Symptoms
When discussing ketones symptoms, it’s very important to distinguish between dieting side effects and the symptoms of the dangerous and potentially fatal condition known as ketoacidosis.
The former consists of symptoms that many dieters experience, regardless of the diet that they are on. These symptoms include nausea, fatigue and headaches. The most common cause of these symptoms is reduced caloric intake and the need for your body to adjust to its new and drastically different diet. These symptoms typically last for fewer than two weeks and are not life threatening.
On the other hand, ketoacidosis is an extremely serious condition that affects those who are diabetic. While non-diabetics dispose of ketones through urine, diabetics are predisposed to a build-up of these acids. The symptoms of this build-up include vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion and abdominal pain.
Can You Manually Add Ketones To Your Body?
When you research the ketogenic diet, you may come across supplements, such as raspberry ketones, that may seem as if they are ketones-in-a-bottle. While this isn’t exactly true, these supplements may still be able to help you lose weight.
Raspberry ketones are the substance that gives raspberries their signature aroma. The bottled ketones that you’ll find in stores are man-made, and they are made to help you more easily break down fat. While these “ketones” are not the same acids that appear when you burn fat, they can also be added to your weight loss arsenal to help you drop pounds.