Published : 11/06/2018
We hear it more and more: „ketogenic diet” and “intermittent fasting”. Especially today with the habit of overconsumption, and increasing numbers of people suffering from obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease, life-style and eating patterns gain increasing importance. And a ketogenic diet that is accompanied by intermittent fasting not only effects your weight in a positive way, but moreover your overall health – as confirmed by today’s research.
The ketogenic diet is based on the idea of “re-activating” our fat metabolism. From a biological point of view this one is the more important and more permanently sustaining metabolism (as opposed to our sugar metabolism), however its optimal functioning is being hold back through our constantly high blood sugar levels. The reason, why our body burns sugar first is not because it’s the preferred fuel of our cells, but because our body intends to protect itself from the dangerous effects of high blood sugar in our system. Also, glucose is more readily available for a quick energy supply. The more valuable fuel however, in both quantity and quality, is the less popular fat, or rather the energy rich molecules that are created when we burn fat: the ketone bodies. Whereas glucose is the energetic molecule made when our body burns sugar, the ketone bodies are the energy thriving molecules resulting from burning fat. A low blood sugar and insulin level strengthens our fat metabolism and boosts the production of ketone bodies. The keto diet thus stems from the idea to minimize our carbohydrate and sugar intake, supported through sufficient exercise, to shift our body’s energy usage away from carbs towards fat and ketones, essentially stimulating our fat metabolism. Where the role of sugar in our blood is primarily to provide quick energy and instant availability, the fat metabolism on the other hand is responsible for a more enduring, sustainable and efficient energy supply.
A ketogenic diet should ideally go hand in hand with intermittent fasting. Intermittent Fasting means incorporating regular periods of fasting into your daily or weekly meal schedule and generally vary around a 16h cycle. Rather than a traditional diet that is most often based on excluding your most favourite foods, view it as an eating schedule that alternates between periods of regular and irregular food intake. Essentially, fasting is a beneficial stressor and as your body responds it becomes stronger and healthier. Most obviously, intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for weight loss, but more importantly it leads to the health effect as described above: fasting lowers the body’s level of insulin. With lower insulin levels, your body turns to stored fat for energy and activates your more sustainable fat metabolis.
So grant your body some peace and quiet, slow down and it will naturally and by itself restore itself.