Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight is well of aware of dieting challenges. Low-fat dieters nix the fatty foods, yet may let lose on fat-free, trans-fat, and low-fat options loaded with calories that the body eventually stores as fat. Keto dieters try their best to lower carb intake and choose ideal fats to eat—tasks that require a bit of science and much tweaking. But there is a growing sentiment that, in spite of minor hitches, the keto diet yields the best results. According to prevailing science data, cutting carbs is the trick for sustained weight loss over time, and it the key to lowering or eliminating risk factors for serious illnesses, especially heart disease.
What Makes Keto Dieting So Effective?
When you refrain from eating carbohydrates for several days, your body enters a state of ketosis. In the liver, fatty acids are converted into ketones that are released in the blood as fuel. (Whereas with carbohydrates, glycogen is the fuel source.) Ketosis provide several health benefits, including:
- Energy boosts
- Better nutrient absorption
- Improved mental clarity and cognitive skills
- Better feelings of fullness
- Higher metabolic rate which encourages weight loss
Your body produces endogenous ketones during ketosis, but you can also get them exogenously. Ketone supplementation comes in various forms, but the most efficient exogenous source is beta hydroxybutyrate, or BHB. In the absence of glucose, the liver produces BHB ketones from liberated medium-chain or long-chain fatty acids extracted from fat tissue. This energy-production process is known as ketogenesis and it is what makes long-term fasting possible. BHB easily passes hard-to-cross cellular barriers, providing energy throughout the body—so you lose weight as your cells and organs function normally.
BHB and Other Exogenous Ketone Supplements
You can use exogenous ketone supplements to achieve acute ketosis benefits during your keto diet. Many people who suffer low energy while dieting or who find the keto diet difficult to follow opt for ketone supplements for higher energy levels and reduced cravings throughout the day. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are not ketones, but the body more easily absorbs these fatty acids than long-chain triglycerides (LCT) and converts them to ketones. MCTs come in softgel or liquid forms.
BHB is a direct ketone source, so you feel the effects a lot faster than with other exogenous sources. Exogenous BHB is bounded as a salt with sodium, calcium, magnesium, or potassium. Exogenous esters are unbounded BHBs that are usually not sold commercially—which is probably a good thing since they taste awful. BHB Oil Powder or BHB Oil Capsules are popular choices. Take 2 BHB oil capsules daily with 16 ounces of water. Or mix 1 scoop of BHB oil powder with 16 ounces of water and take on an empty stomach between meals (limit to 3 servings per day).
As you are transitioning from using glycogen as fuel to using fat as fuel, you may experience typical “keto flu” symptoms during the first several days of a strict keto diet. BHB supplements help stave off temporary mood swings, low energy levels, and fatigue. If you experience stomach aches while using BHB supplements, consider lowering your intake one day, then slowly increase to optimal dosage on subsequent days.