Keto diet pills are a type of weight loss diet pill that come in different flavors and strengths, but ultimately do the same thing – they are an exogenous keto supplement (Beta–hydroxybutyrate (bhb)) aimed to provide the body with ketone bodies from an external source. Normally, the liver produces endogenous ketones (internally produced ketones) from the breakdown of body fat.
Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet To Reduce Stored Fat
The ketogenic diet is all about making a radical change in how you fuel your body. After adhering to the high fat, low carbohydrate diet, your body enters a state of ketosis, characterized by higher ketone bodies in the bloodstream.
Keto diets have a number of benefits. You can boost weight loss, cut your blood sugar levels, and improve your brain function. Many people claim it helps with reducing problems like diabetes and obesity too.
The keto diet is a special eating regimen in which most calories come from healthy fats with very few if any, carbohydrates consumed. The remaining calories come in the form of protein. While the keto diet does not require dietary supplements or specific keto supplements to be successful, many people do take various products to try and help them in their losing weight journey.
This low carb diet with high fat content encourages your body to burn fat, rather than sugars, to provide If your body does not have enough energy stored in the form of carbohydrates to carry out everyday activities, the liver breaks down fat. You become a long term fat burning machine. It produces ketones and they are used as a fuel for energy. The process is referred to as ketosis. Hence the name “keto”.
Do Keto Pills Work To Give A Helping Hand To The Keto Diet
Anyone new to the diet might find it difficult to adhere to the food restrictions and might want to speed up their entry into ketosis.
There are two main ways to do this:
- You can combine keto dieting with intermittent fasting (IF). Doing this increases the amount of time you’re in ketosis. This can make you feel more energetic, less hungry, and help you lose weight faster.
- Take one of the keto supplements such as exogenous ketones (bhb) as a supplement taken as keto diet pills or powder as a shortcut to put you in ketosis quicker and assist with energy levels and mental clarity.
These are the circumstances in which keto pills would be expected to come in handy. For people attempting to lose weight through the ketogenic diet, they sound like an attractive shortcut – but what exactly are they? And do they work?
What Are Keto Diet Pills?
It is important to understand two classes of ketones to understand exogenous ketones as a supplement – a.k.a ‘keto diet pills’:
- Your liver produces ketone bodies when your body has moved into ketosis. Ketone bodies replace glucose as an energy source. Ketone bodies are known as endogenous ketones.
- Exogenous ketones, however, provide your body with ketones from the outside. These are called exogenous ketones – mainly Beta–hydroxybutyrate (bhb) . Companies manufacturing them increase the ketone level in your blood by using chemical compounds to mimic the effects of ketosis. The keto diet pills can supply your body with these exogenous ketones.
The theory goes that after taking the pills, elevated levels of ketones in the blood are said to help someone transition to ketosis without having to follow such a strict diet of limited carbs.
One of the purported useful side effects of keto pills is that suppress appetite, which is attractive for people who want to shed pounds more quickly. However, are these pills really effective at helping you lose weight, get healthy, and achieve your weight loss goals?
The Case Against Keto Pills
The fact is, keto pills do not have the same effect as being on the full keto diet. If you rely too heavily on such shortcuts, it can prevent you from achieving your health goals for why you want to go on the keto diet in the first place.
By following the ketogenic diet, you are not just swapping out one type of food for another, you are helping your body enter an altered metabolic state by lowering carbs and having high fat alternatives. A ketone diet pill may help you somewhat to maintain that altered state, but without doing the hard yards and cutting out the majority of carbs, you will still struggle to keep your body in the right metabolic groove.
Studies have shown that a higher level of exogenous ketones in the bloodstream causes the liver to decrease its own production of ketone bodies. The body is an amazing machine, always trying to be the most efficient it can. So if you give it external ketones via exogenous ketone supplements, it’s going to put that into the equation and cut back on its own production of ketones. It is an important feedback process that keeps you safe from all sorts of potentially bad outcomes such as your blood becoming too acidic. In this way, your body has your back. But as a result, ketone supplements may prevent the body from using fat as fuel and delay the body’s transition into a steady state of ketosis.
Keto pills are often used by people who do not want to do the hard work to cut out carbs – and that is fair enough because cutting carbs is pretty darn hard! But in the process, taking the shortcut of using the pills may mean you don’t get the benefit of a reduced appetite that comes from the process of the body producing its own ketone bodies.
The upshot is that ketone supplements don’t work the magic of allowing you to eat all the carbs you want while remaining in ketosis. You can’t get around the need for a keto based healthy diet so you become a machine at burning fat all on your own.
Are Keto Pills Worth Taking
Yes, in some instances keto pills are worth taking as general support for a keto approach because there is evidence that they help keep you in ketosis while you are fasting and help you maintain your ketones at optimum amounts. But this is very different from them being a panacea so you can get stuck into a carb-loaded meal or snack and still stay in ketosis – unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that!
Maintaining your ketones at optimum levels even if you are not consuming additional carbs is when supplemental ketones can be useful.
Maintaining Your Ketone Bodies Without Keto Pills
A key issue of this is to what degree you are fat-adapted at any particular time. If you’ve been cruising along nicely with your Keto routine for a while, that will mean your body will be highly fat-adapted, with the benefit that it is much easier to increase and control ketone bodies by adjusting the percentage of fat you eat.
You should be aiming for a ketone range of between 0.5-3.0mmol/l depending on how hard-core you’re being. Regardless of where you want to maintain your Ketone levels, it is super important to maintain a balanced, healthy routine, because it is in that routine ‘groove’ that maintaining your ketone levels becomes much easier.
If you are having trouble maintaining your Ketone levels, it is important to know that maintaining Ketone levels is much easier for some compared to others. It is also important to remember that while it is more difficult for some, it is achievable for anyone – you may just need to be ‘on it’ compared to others.
So it is important to learn the approaches you can implement to guide you in maintaining your optimal numbers and stay in ketosis.
What Increases Ketone Levels?
If you are struggling to maintain your level of ketones in the optimum range, try these tips to help you there instead of relying on keto diet pills.
Make Sure To Balance Your Macros
Individuals have their own macros to follow, so if you’re new to low carb living and aren’t sure what your intake of protein, fat, and carbohydrates should be, use a keto calculator. This tool will help you track macros as your goals, weight, and body fat percentages change, making them quick and easy to adjust. A well-balanced intake throughout the daytime generally keeps you fuller longer and helps you settle into ketosis. For example, if your daily macros for carbs are calculated at 25 grams, balance that out over two meals instead of consuming it all at dinner. But if you’d rather have your daily carbs at dinner and this is what works best for your personal schedule and body, go for it. Balance your macros in a way that works best for your individual needs and meal plan.
Use Intermittent Fasting As A Powerup Tool
Intermittent fasting (IF) is not suitable for everyone, but it does act as fuel for ketosis. Intermittent fasting involves just 8 hours of eating, say around noon to 8 pm. You can vary the 8 hours of eating and the number of times you fast to fit your schedule, but IF causes your body to go through two different states: one of fasting and the other of feasting.
This puts your body into starvation mode, so it works harder, burns calories, improves insulin sensitivity, aids cellular repair, reduces your risk of disease, and rounds out ketosis. Since you are fasting for 16 hours (yes, sleeping is considered fasting), you might even generate ketones while sleeping. IF can be a powerful way of reaching optimal ketosis, along with many of its own benefits.
Monitor Protein Levels
This is the key to reaching and sustaining optimal ketosis. High-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb are the keys, so don’t go overboard on your protein sources. For dieters who struggle to maintain high levels of ketone, consider how much protein you are eating every day… it may be more than you realize, which lowers ketone levels.
Protein is converted to glycogen via gluconeogenesis, so it can cause insulin spikes and crashes throughout the day. Even though you aren’t aware of it, when your blood sugar levels are rising and falling, your body won’t be able to get into ketosis, let alone stay there. Always monitor protein intake, and if you’re struggling to keep it down, try keeping a food diary to track your progress. Making meal plans beforehand is another way to follow your macros and ensure that too much protein is never a part of your day.
Taking MCT Oil in the Morning
A keto diet go-to, MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, offers a broad range of health benefits, including boosting your mood and helping to fight off infection. It also serves as an effective tool for weight loss as it produces ketosis, boosting levels almost immediately.Mixing 1-2 tablespoons in the morning will help your day off to an energetic start, and it’s affordable and easily accessible at your local health food store or pharmacy.
What Decreases Ketone Levels?
Here are the top reasons why you are noticing low ketone numbers.
Getting Your Macros Wrong
On the keto diet, even when you know your macros, maintaining a strong ketone level can be difficult sometimes, and you’re not sure why. A common reason? Not sticking to your macros as well as you think. Even a small piece of fruit during lunch can throw you out of ketosis, and although you might not consider it such a big deal, it makes a huge difference. Even small macro imbalances can decrease your ketones, making you exit ketosis. Once you know your number, stay consistent!
Consuming Too Much Alcohol
Thinking that glass of wine during dinner is no big deal? Think again. The smallest amount of alcohol, even if it’s in a glass of wine, will kick the body out of ketosis, since wine is loaded with sugar and carbs. These decrease ketone levels. Your body will burn alcohol for energy before it burns fat, and you will notice the level of ketones dropping drastically.
The pressures of everyday life—work stress, friends, family issues, plus coping with a fast-paced world—can throw a diet out of whack.
Stress and nutrition are strongly connected, and a healthy diet is just as important for your mind as it is for your body.
If you’re overloaded with stress, maintaining a strong ketone level will be nearly impossible, and levels will naturally decrease. Try getting in some exercise, eating a meal full of healthy fats, reflecting on the stress, and just taking a moment to breathe.
Since you focus on the big picture, stress disappears and you are healthier with higher ketone levels as a result.
Eating Too Often
The eating every few hours rule is a way of regulating blood sugar levels, so it doesn’t work for low carb dieters. The amount of energy we need from food can be obtained at any time of day, so eating frequency does not matter.
However, those on a high carb diet risk blood sugar crashes if they do not eat every few hours, whereas low carbohydrate eaters may have an advantage.
In ketosis, blood sugar is already regulated, so you don’t need to eat every few hours or at any specific time. Eat at the rate that feels right for you, and what makes you feel the most balanced.
If you’re on an intermittent fast, just consume your meals within your eating window, and your ketone bodies will remain at a steady high during the day.
If you’re not hungry, do not eat, as levels of ketones will drop if you overconsume. When you follow the eating plan that makes you feel best and stay within your macros, your ketone level will remain high, letting you stay in a state of optimal ketosis.
Starting a new diet isn’t always easy, and keto pills might seem like a convenient shortcut. But a well-rounded diet does not have quick fixes. It is based on wholesome and healthy meals with based on real food, not supplements the food and drug administration haven’t evaluated. This is why it is recommended by the experts to take keto dieting slowly. Let your body adjust to the metabolic changes that the keto diet is based on. Try to reach your diet goals predominantly with food. That is not to say that there are not some circumstances where some supplemental support can’t be helpful, but beware of unrealistic shortcuts. Check out this page on iHerb for a range of good quality bhb supplements. There are other things that may help too.
For example, there are some other supplements that help someone get through the keto flu phase of going on a keto diet. This range of products from iHerb can help with electrolytes and trace minerals to support that quite uncomfortable process. Weight loss is hard, although the keto way makes it easier than many other methods, there are still times when a little extra supplemental support is useful. The keto flu thing is one such example. There is an excellent blog about this on iHerb you may find useful that goes through the products available and how they can help provide support.
Know Your Ketone Levels Status
Another important aspect in the whole keto process is to be on top of just where your ketone levels are and just what ketogenic state you are in at any particular time of day. The cheapest way to know you’re current ketone level status is via urine test strips (but using these multiple times per day is not exactly fun), or you can get fancy and use some of the very easy and convenient devices now available that quickly tell you where your ketone levels are at. Check out some of the options at Amazon (affiliate link) if you’d like to go the more high tech way. Some of these fancier machines will also tell you your blood glucose level as well which can give you a view into how your insulin levels are going.