The Keto Diet is all about lowering your carbohydrate (carbs) intake. This is because the body burns different types of food (carbs, fat, protein) in different ways. Understanding this helps you understand how the Keto Diet works on your body. This article will explain in what order the body burns energy.
Let’s begin by looking in a bit more detail at the order. Carbs or glycogen, which is the sugar that comes from carbs, come first. In fact, we can break down carbs into two subcategories for an even better understanding.
We can find simple carbs in food such as chocolate bars and junk foods. Simple carbs are great for getting a quick ‘kick’ of energy, which is why people may eat too many candy bars when they need energy.
The problem is they are not great for the long-term energy needs. People often feel a surge of energy, and then a lack of energy after eating simple carbs. This happens because they are simple carbs and don’t stay in the body for long.
Complex carbs, as the name suggests, are more difficult to break down . They stay around in the body longer and are better than simple carbs for giving a sustained boost of energy. They are found in food such as whole grains.
Fats are next to be used by the body for energy. Everyone has fat and there are good, evolutionary reasons why that is. In times of less food, in winter or in periods of drought, the body uses fat as a source of energy.
The good thing is most of us, who live in a developed countries anyway, don’t need to worry about winter or periods of drought. The problem is that most of us eat as if we do.
This is one of the main reasons obesity is becoming such a problem, and not only in developed countries. Amongst the wealthy in developing countries, obesity is on the rise as well.
So why doesn’t the body burn fat before carbs? Simple. Carbs don’t need oxygen so they come first. Fat does so can only be used when the body has built up significant reserves of oxygen to start using fat.
This is an important point to remember when exercising. Many people struggle to lose weight even though they are exercising. This is because their bodies are full of carbs.
Even though they may be exercising for fairly long periods, they don’t get to the point where their body needs to start burning fat, because they haven’t got through all the carbs yet.
The Keto Diet is a low-carb diet. This means that when you are on the Keto Diet and you exercise, you burn fat much more quickly than people who are on other types of diets that allow more carbs.
Finally, let’s move onto protein. Protein, or amino acids, is the last to be used as a source of energy for good reason. Amino acids are not stored but are found in muscle. To get to the amino acids means breaking down the muscles. If you are in a place where your body is using your muscles as food, you are in a state of starvation.
This is not where you want to be, and you have been taking dieting to an unhealthy extreme. If you are at this stage, please consult your family doctor as you may need help.
And there we have it. Not nearly as complicated as you may have thought. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the way your body works and you can learn more here. Happy, and safe, dieting.