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Fact of the Fortnight

Keytones and Keytosis

For many of us, weight loss and weight management plays a large part in our life. "What to eat, what not to eat, why to eat it etc etc"
Well, I thought i'd explain a little about weight loss, how our bodies go about losing weight and how we can lose fat and not muscle by explaining about "Keytones and Ketosis"

What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a condition in which levels of ketones (ketone bodies that are produced by the liver from fatty acids. ) in the blood are elevated. Ketones are formed when glycogen (that's sugar to you and me) stores in the liver have run out. The ketones are used for energy. Ketones are small carbon fragments that are the fuel created by the breakdown of fat stores.

However, when the body is in ketosis the individual tends to feel less hungry, and will probably eat less than he/she might otherwise do. The body switches from being a carbohydrate-burning organism into a fat-burning one. The fat stores become a primary energy source, and the person loses weight. That is why low-carb diets are so effective, especially among obese people.

We need proteins and fats for building and repairing tissue and cells - proteins and fats can also be sources of energy although we do need some form or carbohydrate, and this normally will come from our non-starchy carbs such as vegetables.

When there are plenty of carbohydrates in the body, it breaks them down into glucose, which is then converted into energy and transported into the cells of our body.

Ketosis for weight loss - as explained above, if the body can switch from being a carb-burning machine to a fat-burning one, the person loses weight. We store our fat, sometimes in undesirable places, such as our hips, buttocks, tops of thighs and our tummy.

To achieve ketosis, the body must be on a higher fat/protein and lower carbohydrate intake. Being in a state of prolonged keytosis or a too high state of keytosis, is potentially a serious condition if keytone levels go too high however with proper monitoring (speaking to your GP and /or using a urine dip stick, for example), levels of ketosis can be kept within safe limits and the person can reach his/her ideal bodyweight without suffering unbearable hunger.

There are certain risks on sustaining a prolonged high protein, low carbohydrate diet and wouldn't suggest this is prolonged without supervision. If keytone levels are not monitored properly, there may be a strain on the kidneys and there is a higher risk of developing kidney stones, plus other contraindications.

Experts are uncertain and are unable (at this time) to agree on whether ketosis caused by a low carb/high protein diet is good or bad for humans. However my advice is to reduce or cut out all starchy carbs (Rice, Pasta, Potatoes and Bread) and get the most out of seasonal veg, lentils, nuts pulses and many more food types to bulk your meals, keep you feeling fuller for longer and maintain a healthy weight.

To ensure you have some good knowledge going forward I have provided a step by step guide. Please do seek the advise of your GP or nutritionalist before radically changing your diet, to ensure this is right for you.

References: Medical News Today and NHS Encyclopedia


Cut your carbs. In order to get into ketosis, you need to eat a low amount of carbs. Cut back on starchy foods, breads, pastas and grains. To get into ketosis, you need to restrict your daily total of carbs to about 100g or less. It also usually takes a few days before you actually get into it.

Eat good protein.
Protein is a staple in a ketogenic diet. It helps to keep muscle preserved, and it also has a high thermic effect on the body. This means it takes the body a lot of energy to break it down leading to a higher metabolism. According to the book "The Ketogenic Diet," you should get 150 grams of protein a day your first three weeks in ketosis, then adjust it to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight thereafter. If you exercise, then you should get 0.9 grams per pound of body weight after the first three weeks.

Get keto test strips (urine test strips). These test strips are used to check your urine to see if you are still in ketosis, to what level and to ensure you are not too high or prolonged. Do routine checks every couple of days.

Do some cardio. Perform aerobic activities for 45 to 60 minutes three to four days a week that are light to moderate in intensity. I provide you every fortnight with a new exercise regime, however other options may be, fast-paced walking or riding a bike, swimming or elliptical training. These will help to increase caloric expenditure and overall weight loss.

Build some muscle. Building muscle can also add to your weight loss as it is metabolically active. Full body exercises, such as those on the exercise page. Being in ketosis will also mean that your muscles are getting plenty of protein for preservation. Avoid really heavy lifting.

Drink a lot of water. Water is very important anyway, but it is even more important when you are in ketosis because ketosis has a tendency to cause dehydration. There is no specific guidelines for water intake while in ketosis.

Please do seek the advise of your GP or nutritionalist before radically changing your diet, to ensure this is right for you.


Warm Up:

Grab two tin cans (full and equal weight) or weights if you have them.

This Warm-up, comes in two parts, upper and lower body seperated, but still designed to safley raise the heart rate, and warm up the muscles ready for the exercise to come.

Round One: Hand Bike 2.5 Mins.

Grab two tin cans (full and equal weight) or weights if you have them.
Sart with your strongets foot slightly behind you for stability (if your right handed, this is normally your right foot and visa versa). Stabalise your cor by pulling in your tummy towards your back and move your arms in a forward circular motion (hand bike). Keep up good form whilst trying to maintain a speed as fast as you can.
This can be modified to a seated position for any leg/back injuries.

Round 2: For the next 2.5 Mins, Side Step Skiiers
Starting at one end of your designed exercise area/room, move laterally Iside ways) to the opposite end of your room, moving your feet in a jogging/faster paced motion. Keep your arms moving throughout the exercise and makeing sure you don’t crossover your feet at any point, (step together step together). Once you have reached the opposite side of your exercise space, crossover your your body reach down and touch your toe with the oposite hand. Once you touch your toe, come back up and quickly move back towards the starting side.

Main Workout:

Pre-Festive Frolicking:

I have created a 3set, 3 round circuit. This means you will compleate 3 sests of 3 exercises, 3 times, with rest only after each compleated circuit. You get 60-120 Seconds rest, grab some water, have a quick stretch, not letting your body get too cold and get ready for your next round.

Stair Run
Using your stairs indoors, complete 10 laps both up and down as fast as you comfotably can. (Please take care, judge your speed according ly, hold on where necessary and if dizzyness occurs, take a break until you are composed or stop the action all together) One lap is up and down.

x10 Walkouts (as far as your hands can go)

x20 Mountain Climbers

Compleate this circuit 3 times with a 1-2 min rest between each circuit.

Walking Lunges
Using a whole room length, or the lenth of your garden (with your hands behind your head) compleate 6-10 (depending on space) full lengths of walking lunges. (Remain upright, good posture, abbs braced)

Shoulder Press
Sart with your strongets foot slightly behind you for stability (if your right handed, this is normally your right foot and visa versa). Stabalise your core by pulling in your tummy towards your back. With the two tins in your hands, place your arms in the surrndour possition and push the cans high above your head and return to the start, compleate this 20 times.

Tin Swings
Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart, Lean forward at your waist slightly and bend your knees so as to go into a semi-squat. Keep your back arched, tummy tight to support your back and head facing forward steadily. Take 1 heavy weight in both hands ot 2 lighter ones in each hand (if you have no weights in the house, fear not food tins do just the job) let you arms hang loosely and raise the weight with both hands over your head and inhale. Then, swing the weight with both hands in between the legs towards the back of you while exhaling. Move the weight(s) using power thrusts from the hip, thigh, and lower back muscles. powerful hip snap on every rep are musts.) Complete 20 to 50 reps

Compleate this circuit 3 times with a 1-2 min rest between each circuit.

High Knees
Jog on spot keeping knees high to chest, 60s

Back Extension
x20 or 2 Sets of 10, Lay down on a mat on your belly. Bend your elbow, bringing your hands together below your chin and lacing your fingers together. Take some deep breaths, and try to relax your body as much as possible before performing the exercise. Try to keep your spine as straight as possible. When viewed from the top, your body should look like it is in a straight line. Continue taking deep breaths. As you exhale your next breath, use the muscles in your lower back to lift your chest and arms off the ground. Raise your upper body towards the sky as much as you can without feeling pain in your back. When you can no longer extend your back any farther, inhale your breath, and slowly lower your chest and arms back down to the ground.

Rest your body on your forearms with your palms flat on the floor. Double check that your shoulders are aligned directly over your elbows. Make sure that your legs are straight behind you with your ankles, knees and thighs touching. Raise your body off the floor, supporting your weight on your forearms and your toes. You should have a straight line from your feet to your head. For comfort, you can rotate your elbows to a 45 degree angle and clasp your palms together in the center. Make sure that your back is flat and your head, neck and spine are in a straight line. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and do not let your stomach drop or allow for your hips to rise up. To avoid letting your hips or buttock rise up, tilt your pelvis towards the floor. Remember to breath. Take slow inhales and exhale steadily. Remain aware of your position and keep your abs engaged, working to keep your body in a straight line. Repeat 3-5 times. A variation of this to make it easier: Lower your knees to the ground, so instead of balancing on your toes you are in a modified plank position with your lower body supported by your knees.
Do this for 20-60s

Compleate this circuit 3 times with a 1-2 min rest between each circuit.

End ...Congratulations to anyone who completed this workout a magnificent effort!
...Until next time

Cool Down:
Repeat your warm up exercises, but in the reverse order

Ensure you adequately stretch your body ideally before and after your workout, to ensure your muscles are ready for the workout to come avoiding any unwanted injuries. If anyone has any questions on stretching, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Group Exercise Classes are here, why not come and give it a go!..

Soul Trainer Helpful Archive Pages

You can see all previous News & Interviews and Exercise & Recipe. pages, by clicking the relevant link(s) below.