The best diet for weight loss isn’t a ‘diet’ at all. It’s a lifestyle change that happens gradually and can be sustained long term or indefinitely.
The path to sustained weight loss won’t be the same for everyone as several underlying medical conditions should be assessed and treated accordingly. But what can be stated for nearly everyone is that a transition toward eating nutrient-dense, whole foods that are low-glycemic, low-carb and adding much higher quantities of healthy fat will encourage fat loss.
The main concept here is to consume a low quantity of carbs so that the body turns to fat as an alternate fuel source. When the diet provides considerably more fats compared to carbs we adapt to become more efficient as breaking down fats for energy. Over time, our biochemistry shifts and we become highly efficient at using dietary and stored fat for energy. This is called ‘fat-adaptation’. This is where gradual but continual fat and weight loss occurs.
When burning fat for fuel, the naturally-occurring bi-product are compounds called ketones. Over a couple weeks, the fat-adapted person, who is highly efficient as using stored body fat for energy, is also using these ketone compounds to fuel the brain, heart and muscle cells. This state is called ketosis.
Ketosis is experienced as a state of heightened cognition, (better focus and concentration), reduced fatigue, improved performance and recovery and, for those with additional stored body fat, there is significant weight loss.
The challenge here is not just reaching the biochemical ‘state of ketosis’ but also staying there. This only occurs if the blood sugar levels and insulin levels remain low. Especially when not yet adapted, it is considerably easier to exit ketosis with a carbohydrate-rich meal than it is to enter and stay there.
Adding supplemental or ‘exogenous’ ketones makes it much easier to reach and stay in ketosis. They also have a tremendously positive impact on accelerating weight loss. By increasing the availability of ketones, esp. with strategic timing, the body will stay in a fat-burning, ketotic state and will tolerate more carbohydrates in the diet before ‘slipping out’ of ketosis. This of course makes the diet much easier to practically maintain long term.
Supplemental ketones also suppress appetite, reduce food cravings, reduce inflammation (which can help reduce swelling) and help improve mood.
Starting with supplemental ketones is generally a very safe addition to the weight lost plan but a thorough medical assessment is always worthwhile to ensure that the root cause is being addressed.
In the next blog post I will describe ketone physiology from a scientific perspective and explain why I think nearly everyone could benefit from taking them.
Dr. Sal Meli ND