Will Keto Ruin Your Metabolism?

Would you like to get healthier and lose weight, but don’t know how to do it?

The ketogenic diet is a good way for people who struggle with their weight and need to get their blood sugar under control.

It’s not always easy getting started, but once your body adjusts, you’ll be able to see the benefits.

The ketogenic diet forces your body into a state of ketosis. As a result, your cells will start burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.

You can put your body into ketosis by eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day and eating more protein than you usually do.

Potential side effects may include bad breath, dizziness, irritability when hungry, water retention, and constipation from the keto-flu. Be aware of these problems to help you prevent them from happening.

Your Metabolism On Keto

There are many misconceptions about keto diets circulating due to how they were initially introduced into public awareness. Keto is short for ketogenic, which is a very low-carb diet that can help you burn fat and lose weight.

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet because it was created to help people with epilepsy to have fewer seizures by restricting the number of carbs they eat.

When you don’t consume enough carbohydrates, your body is forced into starvation mode and starts using fatty acids as an energy source instead of glucose. This process is called ketosis, and it’s the signature of a keto diet.

When your body burns fat instead of glucose for energy, you no longer have to rely on insulin to transport glucose around your body or store excess sugar as fat.

Instead, your cells use their own stored sugar (glycogen) for energy. This causes your blood sugar levels to remain low and stabilize.

The ketogenic diet has also been shown to cause:

However, like other diets on the market today, misinformation leads to misconceptions.

Now that the diet is becoming more popular and more people are trying it for weight loss or improved health, there is talk about keto ruining your metabolism. Is this true? Spoiler alert: the answer is no.

Let’s explore the facts together so you can understand whether or not keto will ruin your metabolism.

Eating Frequency And Metabolism

When your body has a steady flow of food coming in, it doesn’t need to burn calories to keep going.

It can just rely on the next meal you’re about to eat if you take in enough daily calories.

This is why some people believe that eating more will somehow lower your metabolism, even if you are exercising more.

This is not the case, however. Your body still expends a certain amount of energy to keep your vital functions going regardless of how much food you eat or don’t eat throughout the day.

In fact, eating more can actually increase your metabolism due to how insulin works in your body. This is especially true when you’re trying to lose weight.

When you take in fewer calories than your body needs for fuel, it will start burning fat stores and use them instead of glucose. That’s what a keto diet does.

It doesn’t keep you from burning calories. Instead, it forces your body to burn its stored fat instead of glucose.

Cause Of The Misconception

The misconception about eating fewer calories and lowering your metabolism stems from the idea that if you’re trying to lose weight you should eat as little as possible each day so your body burns fewer calories and you can lose weight faster.

However, this is not the case. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to eat less than your body needs for fuel to create a situation of negative energy balance where your body will be forced to use its stored fat as energy instead of food.

This is why eating a low-carb diet is so effective at weight loss.

When you eat fewer calories than your body needs, it creates a negative energy balance. The only response to starvation is to burn stored fat for fuel to provide your body with survival energy.

This is why the ketogenic diet is so effective at weight loss: not because the food itself affects your metabolism, but rather due to the negative energy balance created by eating fewer calories than your body needs.

Switching To A Ketogenic Diet

What you might notice when switching to a keto diet is that your body uses energy differently.

When your body enters into a state of ketosis and starts using fat as an energy source instead of glucose, all sorts of changes happen that can positively impact your health.

Related: Lose Weight By Cutting Out Carbohydrates

Insulin And Ketogenesis

Insulin is an essential hormone that tells your body when to use glucose or fat for energy, so the most obvious change in how your body works is that keto reduces insulin.

This effect increases ketone production, so when your body switches to ketosis, you’ll actually start producing more of these fat-burning compounds than when you were consuming carbohydrates.

So, if you are concerned about your metabolic rate slowing down when starting a ketogenic diet, it will not happen. Instead, you’ll have more energy and actually burn fat instead of store it in your body.

Appetite And Satiety

A lot of people ask if keto will help with weight loss because of the satiety effect. However, a study found that people who eat a high-fat, low-carb diet feel more satisfied and less hungry in general.

When there is no longer an abundance of carbs, your body has to burn fat for energy.

The absence of cravings can also be attributed to the fact that keto lowers insulin, which typically causes sugar cravings.

Oxidative Stress

Eating a high-carb diet can cause oxidative stress in your body.

Keto reduces oxidative damage to cells, which is why some people use keto as an anti-aging strategy.

As it turns out, reducing glucose intake lowers insulin and reverses age-related problems such as inflammation and oxidative stress.

Exercise And Ketosis

If you’re an athlete, you might think that keto will affect your ability to train and perform at the highest level.

However, studies show that exercising on a low-carb diet can actually be more beneficial in terms of performance.

Some research shows that if you are not glycogen depleted, then training on a keto diet can help you burn more fat in your workouts and recover faster.

Related: How To Build Muscle Mass On The Keto Diet

Metabolic Rate And Aging

Another effect that ketosis has on the human body is that it slows down the process of aging.

Studies suggest there’s an important role for insulin resistance and metabolic rate in how fast humans age.  

This is why athletes who eat a low-carb diet seem to perform better with less oxidative stress and inflammation.

Summary

Overall, following the ketogenic diet will not slow down your metabolic rate.

In fact, if you’re exercising and eating a high-fat diet, then your body will be burning more fat than it ever has before.

Keto is all about how many grams of carbohydrates you eat per day. If carbohydrate intake is too high, the body won’t enter ketosis or use fat as fuel efficiently.

It is also true that a well-formulated ketogenic diet can help with appetite, weight loss, and satiety due to the number of fats and proteins.

The lack of carbs and a reduced insulin level might be why people feel less hungry when following this type of diet.

In any case, don’t fall for claims that the ketogenic diet will ruin your metabolism. On the contrary, using fat for energy instead of carbs can actually improve your metabolism by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

This is why many people start a keto diet to begin with – to drastically change how their body uses energy so that they can lead a healthier lifestyle overall.

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