Losing stubborn fat is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when getting in shape. Not only is being overweight frustrating, but it can also result in serious health issues. It can make a person vulnerable to health conditions such as heart problems and diabetes. This article will explain how it’s possible to lose body fat through Ketosis, and we further illustrate how the keto diet works in the Body Reboot book. Find out why a low-carb, high-fat diet can lead to a loss in body fat and how to jumpstart that journey.
Kiss My Keto explains why eating more fat to lose fat is helping people shed weight. A few great forces of fat to eat are medium-chain triglycerides and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Eating more fat to lose belly fat? As counterintuitive as it sounds, it does work. A 2015 study on obese subjects found that those who ate a low-carb, high-fat diet lost more weight than those on a low-fat diet. What's more, subjects on the high-fat diet shed lower belly fat, especially visceral fat. Researchers also noted they lost 4.4% of total fat mass after 8 weeks of high-fat eating.
On a keto diet, fat is essential to keep you full and also for ketone production. However, the type of fat matters a great deal. Not all fats have the same satiating effect. Research shows medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are the most satiating type of fat, which is why they're such a big part of the keto diet. You can get these either from coconut oil or MCT oil.
Monounsaturated fatty acids from olive oil are also highly satiating as are unsaturated fatty acids in general. There's also evidence that eating fats along with fiber-rich foods increase satiety. But satiety isn't the only reason fat burns lower belly fat. It provides energy which your body needs in order to burn calories. In fact, fats are the most powerful source of energy, providing 9 calories per gram.
Mammoth Hunters explains the biology behind fat burning and why it’s challenging to do so unless you’re on a diet that turns your body into a fat burning machine. Enter the ketogenic diet, which we continue to explain why this is so in this article. So keep reading!
To understand what makes belly fat so difficult to burn, let’s dive into the biology.
Burning fat is a two-part process:
Lipolysis is the process whereby fat cells release molecules of stored fat into the blood.
Oxidation is the process whereby cells burn this stored fat.
The body stimulates lipolysis through the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline (Catecholamines). Catecholamines enter your blood and travel to fat cells attaching themselves to certain points known as receptors.
Once catecholamines attach to receptors, they release the fatty acids stored within.
However, fat cells aren’t all the same and some do not respond well to catecholamines.
If you have done a diet for a certain time frame, you may have noticed this. Certain areas of your body like your chest and arms tone up, but other areas like your belly and hips seem to have not changed.
The reason for this is that fat cells contain two opposing types of receptors for catecholamines – Alpha and Beta receptors.
Alpha receptors impedes lipolysis and beta receptors stimulate it.
Therefore, fat cells with a high amount of beta receptors are easy to mobilize while fat cells with a high amount of alpha receptors make the fat burning process more difficult.
Abbott explains how the keto diet helps the shedding of body fat:
When you're on the ketogenic diet, you are in a state similar to fasting – your body is using fat for fuel. Normally your body gets energy from readily available carbohydrates, but on a keto diet, your carb intake is slashed. “When carbs are available, the body will naturally turn to them for energy instead of using dietary fat or stored body fat,” explains Pam Nisevich Bede, RD, MS, a dietitian with Abbott.
However, without regular replenishing of carbohydrates, the body begins to break down fat for energy, resulting in the formation of ketones. Ketones can eventually be used by the body for energy.
The move from carb to fat fueling is marked by an adaptation phase. This phase can come with some lethargy and other symptoms as your body adjusts (we discuss this more later) but you'll start to notice weight loss as well as more steady energy and less hunger. “This can be a hard shift for someone who's been fueling with bagels and pasta their entire life, but after three to five weeks, the body adapts,” Bede explains.
Wondering why else the keto diet helps people lose body fat? The Nutrition Source on Harvard T.H. Chan explains below:
Programs suggest following a ketogenic diet until the desired amount of weight is lost. When this is achieved, to prevent weight regain one may follow the diet for a few days a week or a few weeks each month, interchanged with other days allowing a higher carbohydrate intake.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes.
A satiating effect with decreased food cravings due to the high-fat content of the diet.
A decrease in appetite-stimulating hormones, such as insulin and ghrelin, when eating restricted amounts of carbohydrate.
A direct hunger-reducing role of ketone bodies—the body’s main fuel source on the diet.
Increased calorie expenditure due to the metabolic effects of converting fat and protein to glucose.
Promotion of fat loss versus lean body mass, partly due to decreased insulin levels.
Healthline supports the other sources we mentioned above by telling us what it is about the keto diet that helps you burn more fat as opposed to different diets.
Here's how ketogenic diets promote weight loss:
Higher protein intake: Some ketogenic diets lead to an increase in protein intake, which has many weight loss benefits.
Food elimination: Limiting your carb intake also limits your food options. This can noticeably reduce calorie intake, which is key for fat loss.
Gluconeogensis: Your body converts fat and protein into carbs for fuel. This process may burn many additional calories each day.
Appetite suppressant: Ketogenic diets help you feel full. This is supported by positive changes in hunger hormones, including leptin and ghrelin.
Improved insulin sensitivity: Ketogenic diets can drastically improve insulin sensitivity, which can help improve fuel utilization and metabolism.
Decreased fat storage: Some research suggests ketogenic diets may reduce lipogenesis, the process of converting sugar into fat.
Increased fat burning: Ketogenic diets rapidly increase the amount of fat you burn during rest, daily activity and exercise.
It is very clear that a ketogenic diet can be a successful weight loss tool compared to the recommended high-carb, low-protein and low-fat diets.
A study by BMC Proceedings in 2012 revealed that the keto diet rapidly increases the number of fat dieters burn during daily activities, rest, and exercise.
Very low carbohydrate ketogenic type diets (VLCKD) have been shown to be more effective for body weight reduction and fat loss compared to balanced or low-calorie Mediterranean diets, at least in the short-medium term, although the underlying mechanisms of its efficacy are still not well understood. Despite being a diet in widespread use there are few data available regarding effects on respiratory ratio (RR) and resting energy expenditure (REE) and, more specifically, there are no reports about the effects on RR following a return to a non ketogenic diet. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of a 20 day ketogenic Mediterranean diet with phytoextracts (KEMEPHY) and a low-calorie Mediterranean diet (MD) on RR and REE during and 20 days after finishing the ketogenic phase.
These preliminary data showed that whilst both diet protocols lead to a significant decrease in body weight, the reduction was significantly greater during KEMEPHY. The KEMEPHY diet also lead to a lowering of RR and increased fat oxidation at rest without any effect on REE. These findings suggest that one of the main weight loss mechanisms of KD might be attributed to an improvement in resting nutrient oxidation and interestingly this effect was long lasting, at least for up to 20 days following cessation of the ketogenic. Data on metabolic effects of KEMEPHY 3 months the ketogenic period will soon be available.
Now that you know how powerful the keto diet is at helping people burn fat, what are you waiting for? We outline what the keto diet is all about and what you can eat in the Body Reboot book. We believe you have the power to reboot your lifestyle and make healthy changes going forward. Just help us cover the cost of shipping and visit this page to get a free copy of the book before our remaining copies are gone. We can’t wait for you to become a part of our health-focused community!
Sources: Kiss My Keto, Mammoth Hunters, Harvard T.H. Chan: the Nutrition Source, Abbott, Healthline, NBCI: BMC Proceedings Jun. 2012
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Discover how to activate your body's “Reboot Switch” that flips on a fat burning inferno so you can finally achieve your weight loss goals!