One of my most frequent questions about keto is, “Do I need to be in ketosis to lose body fat?”
This major myth is being propagated now that the keto diet is popular and gaining popularity. Because keto is a diet that makes it easy to lose body fat, many people are familiar with it.
Keto Myth – If you want to lose fat, you must be in ketosis
The Truth: Being in ketosis does not mean that you can burn fat. Ketosis is simply the presence of certain ketones in your bloodstream. This is not a requirement to burn fat for fuel.
Ketosis is not necessarily a guarantee of fat loss. Both can be in ketosis, and you can either lose weight or gain weight.
Although ketones in your bloodstream benefit and allow you to burn them for fuel, fat loss doesn’t require ketosis.
Ketosis has many benefits, including mental clarity, decreased appetite, the ability to go longer between meals and improved mood. It also improves digestion for people who have digestive problems due to eating a lot of refined carbs.
I’ll repeat that part: Ketosis can lead to mental clarity and appetite suppression.
A keto diet can help you lose fat, but your body will still need to sense that it consumes more energy from the food you eat.
Your body will turn to fat stores for energy if it needs more than what you eat. Keto makes this process much easier (read, more comfortable) than eating high-carb/low fat.
Now, is this a simple calories-in-calories-out equation? It’s not.
It’s not true that all calories are important here. Lifestyle factors can significantly impact what drives us to eat, stress hormones up, and how we store body fat.
Lifestyle factors that can cause you to store more body fat and make it harder for you to lose body fat:
- Insufficient or poor-quality sleep
- Stressful lifestyle: Perfectionism, go-go-go, hypercritical, and inability to relax.
- Poor quality relationships (negligible interactions, tension, and lack of unconditional love)
- A job you don’t like
- A negative outlook on life or a poor attitude
- Under exercising / Not exercising at All
- alcohol consumption
- Unidentified and unmanaged food allergy
- You can find out more about it!
These negative lifestyle factors can all impede your efforts to lose weight in many ways. These factors can increase your appetite (low sleep quality and stress levels), while others can slow down your metabolism (not exercising or drinking alcohol).
It’s possible to lose body fat in several ways. The two main approaches are either decreasing their fat intake or reducing their carbohydrate intake.
Reducing your intake of carbs and replacing them with healthy fats gets your body to ramp up its fat-burning machinery and become efficient at burning not just dietary fat but also stored body fat. That means that in moments when, as a sugar-burner, you’d be feeling “hangry” or light-headed or dizzy and desperate to eat something, you can burn body fat and feel good at the same time.
Keto is a way to reduce carbohydrate intake. It involves a drastic reduction of carbohydrates, typically around 30-50g per day.