About 18 months ago I started to explore the world of fasting to reduce inflammation and pain and to drop a couple of pounds.
I kept hearing and reading about the benefits but wondered if it was safe. One of my mentors, Dr. Dan Pompa was hosting a Free 5-day block water fast. I was home with my kids on winter break and my workload was lighter that week, so I said ok let’s try it. I thought I wouldn’t make the 5 days but what did I have to lose. (I did make the 5 days to my surprise)
That is where my journey began and it’s been an amazing thing to learn about and the changes I have seen in my body are oh so good.
During this period, it has also brought me down the path of eating a Keto Diet. Which I believe goes hand and hand with fasting and diet variation.
When we fast, (this can be a fast for 14 hours, 18, 24, or longer fasts, it doesn’t have to be a 5 day block fast. In fact much beyond that can be harmful to some people) eat a Keto type diet and we incorporate Diet Variation, that is when we see the best results.
The research is showing many health benefits from eating a Keto-based diet. Women however should take note of doing it differently than men. See the article Women and Keto and what they need to do differently.
The Keto Diet teaches us to eat our macros differently. I’m very excited about this because we are a society that consumes WAY TO MANY simple carbs. Pasta, bread, cookies, sugar, grains, crackers, flours. You know the white stuff. Fat DOES NOT make us FAT. SUGAR or Simple Carbs do.
When we eat carbohydrates like sugar, grains, and even fruit, it gets stored in our liver. This storage is called glycogen.
We lower our carbs, these glycogen stores are used up and release fatty acids from fat stores which allows your body to release weight. Then your liver will use the fatty acids and convert them into ketones.
Ketones, also known as “ketone bodies” are byproducts of the body breaking down fat to use for energy when carbohydrate levels are low. We can start burning ketones as fuel in the body when carbs are low, prolonged endurance exercise, starvation, or by eating a ketogenic diet.
The cells of the body and the brain both love to use ketones as fuel.
There are many benefits to following the ketogenic diet.
Reduces Cravings – when we eat higher fat our cravings will reduce or be eliminated over time. The more carbs you eat, the more carbs you want.
Mental Clarity – mental performance, short-term memory, mental re-call, sharpness will all improve.
Fasting Healing – Ketones heals your mitochondria. The mitochondria produce something called ATP which is your cell’s energy source. The more ATP you have the faster you heal and the more energy you have overall.
Fat Burning – Most people are sugar burners and not fat burners. When we eat a high carb diet usually over 50 grams of carbs or more we are using glucose for fuel. When we lower our carbs and our body starts burning ketones for fuel we burn fat for energy.
Understand that monitoring your blood glucose and blood ketones is great to know if you are burning ketones. More is not better. Meaning having a blood ketone level of .5-3.0 is a great range to be in. There is more to this reading than I have time to get into now.
Just understand that what I am explaining here is nutritional ketosis, NOT ketoacidosis which leads to blood ketones levels ranging from 5.0-10. This type of ketosis is dangerous for diabetics. Nutritional ketosis ranges from .5-3.0, is incredibly healthy for non-diabetics.
If you are looking for support in changing up your diet, menu planning, and incorporating a Keto Diet and or Fasting into your lifestyle, schedule a FREE Nutrition Strategy Session.