Fat Burning vs Sugar Burning
A standard Western diet is high in carbohydrates, the macronutrient found in large quantities in sugar and grains. Carbohydrates of any type quickly turn into sugar called glucose in the body and make the body burn glucose as its primary fuel source.
Think of burning carbohydrates for fuel like starting a fire with paper. It lights quickly and burns bright, but it is not very hot and quickly dies out. You need to constantly add paper to keep the fire going. This same energy roller-coaster happens to your blood sugar on a high-carbohydrate diet which is why it's common to crave sugar, experience an energy slump after meals, or to be "hangry".
By eating a diet very low in carbohydrates, known as "keto", your body adapts to primarily burning fat for fuel instead of sugar. Think of burning fat for energy like starting your fire with logs. It takes a little longer to light, but once it's burning, it burns hot and steady for a long time.
Burning fat for energy means longer lasting, stable energy and that your body can more easily burn its own stored fat! As a result you lose excess body fat, be hungry less often and crave carbohydrates much less.
Ketones are a natural by-products of your body burning fat for fuel. Ketones are an efficient energy source preferred by the brain and many other organs. In fact, carbohydrates are not essential in your diet! Your body can easily make the small amount of glucose its needs from fat and protein. Ketones are also naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants. A very low-carb diet is "ketogenic" (creating ketones) and puts your body in a state of "ketosis" (using ketones for energy).
Hormones vs Calories
A keto diet also addresses the real root cause of weight gain and many other health complaints: hormones- not calories! The calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates work very differently in your body. Carbohydrates directly drive hormones that make your body store fat and prevent it from burning fat.
This hormone based approach to weight loss means you can eat to satiety on a keto diet- no calorie counting or hunger- while losing weight easily and in a healthy way.
Benefits of Keto
Because keto is a healthy way of eating rather than a forceful, starvation diet, it is useful for much more than weight loss. Keto can help with:
A keto diet is rich in tasty, satisfying foods. It includes meat, seafood, cheese, eggs, cream, non-starchy vegetables, some low-sugar fruits, nuts, and more. Additionally, there are now many low-carb versions of popular foods such as pizza, bread, desserts, and even soda and candy available!
Naturally low-carb foods are also very nutrient dense and provide all the necessary proteins, fatty acids, and micronutrients.
Low-Carb is Safe
Sugar consumption has increased 890% in the United States in the last 100 years! More than anything a keto diet is just about cutting the sugar. Healthy fats are used for energy and unhealthy fats are avoided.
A ketogenic state is natural. Real, ketogenic foods are the foods our ancestors valued. Infants are in ketosis while they are breastfed and many traditional cultures ate ketogenic type diets!