If you are currently trying to lose weight, then you may understand that a good diet plan is essential. There are many different theories, tactics, and plans you can follow to assist with weight loss. Some of these plans include cutting carbohydrates completely out of your diet. This causes your body to go through something called ketosis. Before you start your carbohydrate free diet, understand what ketosis is and why it may be dangerous if it is diet induced.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that occurs in the body. Typically, your body breaks down sugars and complex carbohydrates for energy. The energy is then used by the cells in your body. However, most people do not eat sugars and carbohydrates constantly, and this leaves the body without an easy source of energy. As blood sugar levels drop, something called ketosis occurs. During ketosis, your body breaks down fat instead of carbohydrates so all of your living cells have enough energy.
Under normal circumstances, ketosis occurs off and on throughout the day, and the body stores and uses fat according to energy needs. If your diet is a balanced one, then the fat you consume in one day is likely to be burned off along with the sugars and carbohydrates. Your weight and energy levels will be consistent when this happens.
If you do not eat enough carbohydrates and fat during the day to meet your body’s energy needs, then the body will begin to burn some of its stored fat. If you are a sedentary person, then your body will naturally burn between about 1,800 and 2,400 calories a day based on your age and sex. This means that you can lose weight and force your body to rely on ketosis for energy if you consume fewer calories than your body needs in a given day.
Why Can Ketosis Be Dangerous?
While ketosis is a natural process that can help you to reduce weight through calorie and fat reduction, some people want the process to go much more quickly. Ketosis can occur continuously to force the body to burn and break down fat. This happens if the body is not provided with sugars and carbohydrates.
It may seem like a good thing to force the body to use stored fat reserves. However, sugars are broken down easier than fat. When fat is broken down, it releases byproducts called ketones into the blood. Ketones are molecules that are filtered out of the body by the kidneys. The molecules are then excreted by the bladder in the urine.
Your kidneys are used to filtering low levels of ketones from the blood, but elevated levels can place a great deal of stress on the kidneys. Also, ketones are acidic and can change the pH of your blood. If the pH changes too much, then a metabolic acidosis condition called ketoacidosis can develop. There are a variety of health complications that can occur if you develop ketoacidosis like brain swelling, coma, and kidney problems.
That’s why you should always consult a doctor before starting a weight-loss program. There are many dangers that you may not be aware of and a professional nutritionist will guide you through the process with a balanced plan that will allow you to lose weight while staying healthy.