In the last video we talked about how the state of ketosis can induce behavioural changes which can promote weight loss, specifically by reprogramming your body in terms of satiation.
As a refresher, when you’re fueling your body with fat compared to carbs you will have more control over your appetite which will help in the regulation of calorie intake.
However, this is only part of the reason why keto is so effective for weight loss and it wouldn’t make sense to go any further without discussing insulin.
This might get a little technical but I’ll try and keep it as simple as possible.
So, what is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone which is secreted (released) by the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise.
Many people think that insulin’s main role is to keep blood glucose levels stable in the body.
Whilst this is true, insulin actually has a number of important functions and it plays a major role in metabolism.
For example, insulin helps glucose reach important tissues where it is used for energy and it’s involved in the regulation of the macromolecules, i.e. protein, carbs and fat.
However, it also plays a critical role in the body when it comes to weight management as the main role of insulin is to store excess energy and this is why insulin is sometimes referred to as the storage hormone.
The molecular biology behind this process is extremely complex but I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.
Whilst glucose is used by several tissues, it’s the activity in the liver that’s most important when it comes to weight maintenance.
First, insulin promotes the uptake of glucose from the blood into the liver.
And in the liver, glucose is either converted into glycogen for storage in the muscles or it’s converted into triglycerides where it’s stored as adipose tissue or body fat.
Insulin is required for and facilitates both of these processes.
Now, the pancreas also secretes another important hormone called glucagon which has the opposite effect of insulin.
Whilst insulin wants to promote the storage of excess energy, glucagon’s role is to break down things in the body to provide energy.
And one of the roles of insulin is to suppress the function of glucagon.
So the easiest way to think about it is when insulin is low, we are burning energy, when insulin is high, we’re storing energy.
And this is one of the main reasons that a ketogenic diet is so effective for weight loss.
When you keep carbohydrates very low in the diet, you promote very low insulin levels so you're forcing your body into fat burning mode rather than fat storage mode.
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