Ketosis 101: Everything You Need to Know

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

We often hear the word ketosis when talking about a Keto or Ketogenic Diet. But what does ketosis actually mean?

Well, the Keto Diet and South Beach Diet plan are similar in a lot of ways. The South Beach Diet and the recently popular Ketogenic Diet are both based on principles guiding a lower carb approach to eating… Both advocate eating healthy fats like olive oil, fish and avocado. And, both diets take advantage of the fat-burning, energy-producing process that comes from resetting your body’s metabolic processes through a low carb meal plan.

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So what does all this talk about ketosis mean? We’ve got it all mapped out for you:

What Is Ketosis, Anyway?


The body requires energy to function. Typically, the body prefers glucose (produced primarily from the carbohydrates we eat) as its main source of fuel; however, when glucose is not available, the body can use ketones, produced from fat, as its primary fuel source. Harvard School of Public Health explains that ketosis occurs when the body shifts from a metabolic state of using glucose for energy to one that uses ketones for energy.

When you’re following a plan with very few carbs, like the Keto Diet plan or the South Beach keto-friendly meal plan, the body starts to deplete its stores of glucose and begins to breakdown fat into ketones for fuel.

How Long Does It Take to Reach Ketosis?


The length of time it takes a person to reach ketosis varies from person to person, but within a few days of significantly reducing carbohydrate intake, the body starts to regularly burn fat, and you may start to lose weight more quickly,  “Low-carbohydrate diets can be safe and effective solutions in managing weight” says Registered Dietitian Courtney McCormick. “Studies on low-carbohydrate diets have shown that this dietary pattern may help support improved glycemic control and reduce cardiovascular risks.”

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Is the Keto Diet Right for You?


There is not one standard ketogenic diet, so requirements vary plan to plan. The South Beach Diet keto-friendly meal plan has been designed to keep your net carbs around 50 grams or less each day. While strict keto diets may limit net carbs even further (some requiring as little as 20 grams a day), the South Beach Diet keto-friendly plan aims to apply principles of the ketogenic diet, based on the best available scientific evidence, without being specifically designed to enable people to achieve or maintain nutritional ketosis. “The ketogenic dietary pattern is one that is low carb and high in high-quality healthy fats,” says McCormick “The South Beach Diet aligns with this dietary pattern and we do not believe nutritional ketosis needs to be obtained to gain many of the benefits of a ketogenic dietary pattern for weight loss and overall health and wellness.”

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