Within the past two decades, interest in understanding the therapeutic mechanisms of ketogenic diet (KD) action has grown steadily. Expanded knowledge about underlying mechanisms has yielded insights into the biochemical basis of brain function, both normal and pathologic. Metabolic changes of ketogenic diet includes ketosis, reduced glucose, elevated fatty acid levels, and enhanced bioenergetic reserves.
Here are the phases of ketogenic diet and what changes it brings about in the body :
- Phase I (First 8 – 10 hours of starting keto diet) : The body is still absorbing fuel from previous meals. Within 10 hours after the last carbohydrate containing meal, roughly 50% of the body’s total energy requirements are being met by free fatty acids (FFA).
- Phase II (1-2 days since starting diet) : The body will rely on FFA and the breakdown of liver glycogen for its energy requirements. liver glycogen is typically gone within 12-16 hours.
- Phase III (3-4 days since starting diet) : Gluconeogenesis has started: the body has drastically increases the production of glucose from protein and other fuels such as lactate, pyruvate and glycerol. Tissues other than the brain are decreasing their use of glucose, relying on FFA and ketones instead. Protein breakdown has increased.
- Phase IV (4-7 days since starting diet) : Ketosis has started and will continue as long as carbohydrates are restricted. Brain has increased utilization of ketones. The liver has started to produce ketone bodies in large quantities. Initial side effects of ketogenic diet including keto flu might appear.
- Phase V (After 7 days since starting diet) : Protein breakdown and gluconeogenesis has decreased considerably. Major protein sparing adaptations have occurred for ketosis. Any large fluctuations in blood sugar levels or blood pressure might require immediate attention.
By limiting your carb intake, a ketogenic diet forces your body to burn fat at an accelerated rate. The diet targets stubborn fat stores in areas, like the liver, that you typically couldn’t even see. It is always recommended to speak with a certified dietitian before starting any diet so that you know what will work for you and bring about the desired results.