We’ve all heard of a keto diet helping you to lose weight, which is does, but truly ketones offer our body’s so much more than just weight loss. Ketones are a natural byproduct of your body using fat for energy instead of glucose. Optimal metabolic health means your body can switch easily between these two fuel sources, which is called metabolic flexibility.
Studies have shown that ketones may have several health benefits, including inhibiting inflammation and promoting a longer life.
Humans evolved to rely on two kinds of fuel for energy - stored glucose and fat. Seasonally during times when foods were abundant the body functioned on glucose and when winter came around it was hard to find food, therefore our bodies went into a ketosis state of using stored fat. Unfortunately, these days we need to pay attention to where we source our foods, as our foods are not like they were.
What you are learning in my program is when we fast, and restrict carbohydrates, our body switches into a primarily fat burning mode. Imagine your body like a refrigerator with a freezer. Your body has access to an abundant amount of food; all you need to do is open the door of the refrigerator. This is where glucose is circulating in your bloodstream. In the middle there are drawers, and you must open those drawers to get food out, this is where we access glycogen, the glucose which is stored in your liver and muscles. The freezer represents our fat stores.
When we burn up our glucose and glycogen, we then get into using our fat for fuel, in the form of ketones - this is the freezer. Your body doesn’t entirely deplete each fuel source because it needs to maintain a minimum stable level of glucose in your blood stream.
When we eat a high glycemic carbohydrate or high sweet sugary meal, our blood sugar levels spike quickly. When we eat fiber this process of getting into our systems will slow down a bit. It is the rapid spikes all day long that affect our health. When glucose is absorbed into our system it will either be used up immediately or stored as glycogen and any excess will be stored as body fat. When we have an excess of glucose it starts to build up on our system, which can lead to chronic diseases such as obesity, inflammation, organ damage, metabolic disease like type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, Alzheimer’s, and many other health problems.
When you can switch efficiently from between glucose and fat you are considered metallically flexible.
Glucose releases insulin, which is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells for energy. One of insulin’s jobs is to store fat or inhibit fat burning and it directly puts a hold on metabolic flexibility. High insulin levels over our lifetime will produce a state of insulin resistance. That’s why weight loss is not simply a matter of calories in or calories out.
Ultimately reducing our exposure to glucose through fasting and lowering our carbohydrates and “burning” the glucose we have in our bloodstream through exercise will help our overall health.
When we look at our ketone levels, we can see that our body is in fat burning mode, using this energy source, rather than glucose for energy. If we can master this toggle between the two fuel sources you will improve your overall body composition, reduce inflammation, and increase your life span, as multiple studies are showing.
This process can take some time depending how long you have been a sugar burner. Most of us have been sugar burners our whole life. Recognizing these 5 blood patterns will help you know what you need to do.
Glucose going down
Ketones going up
Let's say you wake up and your blood reading is 85 and your ketones are too low to measure on the monitor. You decide to eat at 1 pm and before your first meal, you take your reading. I would want to see that your blood sugar went down to 83 and your ketones went up even if they went up slightly to .1 or .2. Perhaps they even went up 0.5, which would be indicative of the first pattern.
Glucose doing down
Ketones not moving
This is where you get up in the morning, take your reading and at that second reading your blood sugar has gone down, but your ketones are not changing. This is indicative that your liver is stressed. Ketones come from a healthy liver. If it's not making ketones, we need to heal the liver first. You can take a good liver supplement. You can do a good liver cleanse or do coffee enemas or what is called a castor oil pack.
Glucose going up
Ketones going up
This is indicative of the fact that you’ve got a lot of excess sugar stored. Your glucose is going up even if you have not eaten anything, but at the same time, your ketones are also going up. In this scenario, you have a lot of storage sugar. Most of us have been sugar burners our whole lives and eating all day long. This means you’ve stored sugar in your liver and in your tissues. You have so much stored sugar that the body is still dumping sugar into your bloodstream. The trick to resolve this is to keep fasting and fasting.
Glucose not moving
Ketones not moving
Let’s say you're fasting but your blood sugar is not budging and may even be going up and you can't get into ketosis no matter you try. This is your classic toxic bucket. So, when nothing is moving the needle, you have too many toxins in your body. Toxins start to block receptor sites so you're completely insulin resistant, your liver is struggling, and you have a lot of stored sugar, but nothing is budging. Therefore, you have a toxic issue. The recommendation is to get tested for toxicity with a heavy metal test, or a mold test and do a detox protocol.
Ketones going up
Glucose going too low
This final scenario is where your ketones are high, but your glucose is dropping very low. If you are experiencing low glucose while fasting this is called hypoglycemia (but it is different from hypoglycemia as we know about it). The reason why this happens is your liver and adrenal glands are affected, and both help you compensate so you don’t experience the symptoms of hypoglycemia. The symptoms of hypoglycemia are dizziness, irritability, and great difficulty in doing intermittent fasting. This can be normal. Please note this is different from the keto flu. This pattern is when you have very low blood sugar while fasting.
Remember – all these results are possible scenarios, and they all give us good clues as to what is going on with your body and how we should address it so you can enjoy an optimum outcome.