Thursday, 18 June 2015

Post #4- Ketosis, Low-Carb Diets and an Update

Hi all. I know I haven’t posted to this blog in a while, but one day I got out of bed on just the right side and was inspired to share what I've been up to and drop some sweet knowledge bombs. I’ll admit, my writing is a little rusty, and a year of super-serial assignments has tilted me towards an academic writing style, but I hope you enjoy this anyway and find lessons to takeaway.  

I did bad...
In the past year I’ve seen some real change in my body. My weight expanded up to what it was before I started Paleo, and now I'm reducing it again (leaning out). Part of this was muscle but I can say that I was definitely eating too much, which lends itself to an important lesson: even if you eat very healthily, calories in/out is still vital to weight control.

I promised myself a “cut” beginning June 1st and by the time the day rolled around it caught me entirely by surprise (en route to class I suddenly noticed that the time was nigh!). I pondered whether to continue my current plan as it was bringing success, but I concluded that I should stick to my original schedule. This brings me to takeaway two of this post: whether it’s planned or unplanned, when you decide to start doing something you have to begin immediately!

There’s more to what I’m doing now, but I’ll save that for another post. I understand that my life story may not be as interesting to you as it is to me, so here’s some info on helping you to enter the “fat burning state” which you can use yourself. It’s something I’m taking advantage and, by understanding the processes behind ketosis, you can go and achieve some of your own goals.

Dem ketones doe...
First we need to understand the roles of carbohydrates and glycogen. These energy stores are first used to fill up your muscles and the liver, and then the energy is distributed to fat cells. This gives us a first inkling about how we could arrange our diets to lean out. When you are utilising carbohydrates as your main source of energy, you are in a state of “glycolysis”. What we want to be in is ketosis.

When in a fasted state, your body will switch from glycolysis to ketosis, a place where your fat stores are utilised for energy instead. Rather than using blood glucose for energy, the body will be using your ketones. This state can then be maintained beyond the fasted state by utilising low-carb diets (please note: low-carb does not mean zero-carb, I cannot stress this enough). Not only that, but this type of diet should lead to lower insulin release and therefore greater insulin sensitivity. The reason why this is so important is a) you can reduce your chance of getting diabetes and b), the reason why everyone is actually here: higher levels of insulin lead to greater fat storage by blocking the release of fat from adipose tissue (or in layman’s terms: flab).

That’s just skimming the surface, but it should serve as a useful primer if you are interested in losing fat. Otherwise, here’s a summary of the takeaways for today (I understand the irony too…), I’ll see you guys soon:

1) Calories in/out is always vital
2) Always start today! As Shia LaBeouf would say: “DO IT!!!”
3) Find out about ketosis and implement it

Are you scared? I'm scared. I guess I better do it