In the last few years, one of the biggest trends in the weight-loss industry has been the use of the so-called ‘ketogenic diet’, (aka ‘keto’ and / or ‘ketosis’) to lose weight and burn fat by using your body’s metabolism against it. Interestingly, this is also the very definition of ‘biohacking’ or hacking the body’s biology for the purpose of inducing it to behave differently.
But how does ketosis work, and is it safe? That’s the subject of today’s article, dear readers, so if you’ve been wanting to try this biohack on yourself to drop some pounds do keep reading. We’ll be taking a closer look at ketogenesis, how it works and how you can use it to hack into your body’s fat-burning biological functions.
All Diets, Dietary Changes and Diet Supplements are Biohacks
Before we get into the intricacies of using ketosis to biohack your body, we just wanted to point out the fact that all diets are actually biohacks by definition.
Here’s the thing; a biohack is a process by which you do something that influences your body’s biology and forces it to change in some way, shape or function. That’s almost the exact definition of a diet, where you change what you eat so that your body changes its shape and function.
The ketogenic diet is no different, only the process is different. Any change you make to your diet could thus be defined as a biohack, as well as taking vitamin and nutritional supplements. Got it? Great! Let’s move on.
Why Do People Get Fat?
What many people don’t realize is that the fat we store in our bodies is actually a source of energy that can be used whenever it’s needed. Now, it would stand to reason that if fat is a source of energy and we use energy all the time, we would never get ‘fat’. But here’s the problem; most of us eat a daily diet that’s loaded with sugar, trans-fats and other carbohydrates.
These can also be used for energy and are a bit easier for your body to access, so they get used first while the fat stays relatively untouched. Plus, many folks these days lead an extremely sedentary lifestyle, with little or no regular exercise. Because of this, we don’t even come close to using all the energy our body produces from the food we eat. Thus, over weeks, months and years, the fat we store in our bodies continues to increase and we become ‘fat’.
What is the Ketogenic Biohack?
OK, so keeping in mind that both fat and carbohydrates can be used as an energy source, the goal would be to convince your body to use the fat instead, especially if you’ve got an overabundance of it in your belly, thighs, hips, etc. There are three ways this can be accomplished, all of which are technically biohacks.
Biohack 1 – Eat less or ‘Fast’. When you use a fasting diet you’re basically starving yourself, for a certain amount of time, so that your body has no choice but to use your excess fat for energy.
Biohack 2 – Intense exercise constantly. Intensely exercising will use the sugar and carbs in your body and, when they’re depleted, it will start using your stored fat instead.
Biohack 3 – Significantly reducing the amount of sugar and carbs you eat while keeping the amount of protein to a moderate level. With no sugar and carbs, your body again will need to use its fat for energy.
Now, here’s something you need to understand; all 3 of these biohacks cause ketogenesis but only #3 is what people are referring to when they talk about the ‘keto diet’.
Ketogenesis is the process by which your body burns fat for energy when it has no sugar and carbs to burn. What happens is that, with no insulin (which is more or less made with sugars and carbs) your liver starts producing ketones using your fat. Basically, the liver turns your fat into ketones and the ketones are burned for energy. Voila, ketogenesis!
Not only does this have the benefit of using up fat but ketones burn ‘cleaner’ than sugars and carbs, producing fewer free-radicals that damage your body’s cells.
Scientists also believe that, by using ketogenesis, many people with type 2 diabetes would be able to overcome their resistance to insulin, retrain their cells to become sensitive to it again, and kick type 2 diabetes to the curb.
How To Use the Ketogenesis Biohack
As we discussed earlier, there are three biohacks that rely on ketogenesis to work.
- Intense, Constant exercise
- Reducing carbs and sugar to a bare minimum
With fasting, you’re reducing the amount of food you eat to nothing, at least for a certain amount of time. There are several different methods of fasting;
- Intermittent Fasting
- Alternate-day Fasting
- Fat Fasting
- Eat-stop-eat / 24-hour Fasting
All of these (and their sub-types) reduce the number of carbs, sugars, proteins and, well, everything. Yes, they can induce ketogenesis but some argue that, since sugars and carbs will be eaten again at some pint, fasting doesn’t work as well as intense exercise or the ‘keto diet’ biohack.
Fasting is, however, a fantastic biohack for a lot of other different conditions. You can read more about it here.
Intense, Constant Exercise
When you exercise intensely, your body uses up its glucose and carbohydrate stores quickly. Once it does, it goes into ketogenesis and starts turning fat into ketones. It does this even more intensely if you reduce your consumption of sugars and carbohydrates and some say that it’s even better right after you finish fasting. The Tabata workout and HIIT workout are perfect if you want to use intense exercise to biohack-away your fat.
One thing to keep in mind if you plan to use intense exercise to increase your ketone production is that it will take up to a month for your body to adapt. While it does, you will likely have a drop in physical performance, energy, and stamina.
Reducing Carbs and Sugar to a Bare Minimum
Like fasting, the keto diet biohack is when you strictly reduce the number of carbohydrates and sugar (which are pretty much the same) in your diet. By taking away this energy source your body has no choice but to turn fat into ketones via the liver and use those ketones for energy instead.
While this third biohack is considered to be the best way to force your body to go into ketogenesis and help you lose fat, understand that it can be a struggle at first. The vast majority of people who start the keto diet will experience intense cravings in the first few days or even weeks after they start.
Experts recommend that you use grass-fed butter and coconut oil in your black coffee to reduce these cravings, and also exogenous ketones (ketone supplements) to help your body go into ketogenesis quickly.
What Are the benefits of the Ketogenic Biohack?
As we’ve discussed, when your body is in a state of ketogenesis it’s using fat to produce energy and thus you will, eventually, get thinner as your stored fat is reduced. Beyond that, however, there are a few other benefits that this biohack can produce:
- Sense ketones burn cleaner than carbohydrates and sugar, your body will have less inflammation and thus less pain. Your joints especially will feel better and any inflammation-based conditions will be reduced in their severity. These include a wide variety of diseases and conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, certain types of cancer, atherosclerosis and even periodontitis and hay fever.
- In time, your body will be able to better regulate glucose and you will have much more control over your appetite
- Your brain will function better. The preferred source of fuel for your brain is, guess what, ketones! In fact, there are scientific studies going on right now that are looking at the connection between Alzheimer’s and the keto diet!
- Cancer prevention. Cancer cells feed off sugar and, when you limit the amount of sugar your body takes in, you give cancer nothing to feed off, preventing it from starting or starving it when it does.
- Much less fatigue during the day. When your body is using sugar for energy, your energy drops precipitously once that sugar runs out. If it’s using fat and ketones for energy, this can’t happen.
Of course, for most people the biggest benefit of using the keto biohack is that they will lose fat, get slimmer and look “better”. (Although your definition of ‘better’ may vary.)
Risk Factors of the Keto Biohack
We would be remiss if we didn’t add in just a little bit about the risk factors of the keto biohack. There are several but the most important to keep in mind include the increased risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis. There’s also the risk of an increase in the level of uric acid in your blood, which can cause gout.
One last risk factor is simply that many folks find the keto diet difficult to sustain over the long term. Let’s be honest, sugar and carbohydrates are in a great many foods that we all love to eat. Cutting them out of your diet completely is difficult at best. For most, a couple of extra pounds is worth trading for the occasional ice cream sundae or a big plate of french toast.
Ketosis, ketogenesis and the keto diet biohack are scientifically proven, which is something that can’t be said about all biohacks. Convincing your body to turn fat into ketones and use them for energy isn’t new, but it sure is trendy. We’d recommend a combination of all 3 if you want to get the best results.
We hope this article gave you all the information you were seeking and answered at least a few of your questions. Also, we’d love to hear about your experience with the keto diet, ketogenesis and the keto biohack. So please, share them with us and will make sure to share them with our readers!