Ketogenic Diet Q&As

At OSR Weight Management, weight loss occurs via the process of nutritional ketosis.  Read some commonly asked questions about ketogenic diets and how they are answered by Dr. Anegawa.

Q.What is a ketogenic diet?

A. ketogenic diet is one designed to trigger nutritional ketosis, the process by which the body mobilizes its own fat stores to be used as energy. Normally, the body first uses dietary sugars and carbohydrates for energy first, making it difficult to burned stored fat.  By minimizing dietary sugars and carbs, the body is forced to metabolize its own stored fat for energy via the process of nutritional ketosis.  This is the mechanism by which weight loss occurs.  Historically though, ketogenic diets have been used for other purposes, such as to control blood sugars in diabetes and to treat seizures.


Q. Isn’t ketosis dangerous?

A. Nutritional ketosis is sometimes confused with ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition associated with the production of excess ketone bodies in type 1 diabetes. Nutritional ketosis though is extremely safe, especially when medically supervised.  Many physicians advocate for a life-long ketogenic diet to aid in weight maintenance as well as blood glucose control.  At OSR Weight Management, the main cautions that we carefully observe patients for especially at the start of a ketogenic diet are dehydration and electrolyte imbalances (due to increased urination and fluid losses while in nutritional ketosis).  With sensible hydration practices and vitamin supplementation though, these are easily preventable.


Q. I noticed that the Ideal Protein foods contain small amounts of carbohydrate. Shouldn’t I restrict all carbohydrates in order to be ketogenic?

A. The exact amount of carbohydrate restriction needed to be in ketosis is not known, and likely varies considerably from individual to individual. In general, most people can eat anywhere from 40-60g of net carbs and still remain in ketosis.  Ideal Protein foods do contain small amounts of carbohydrate which is the reason for the great taste and textures of the foods and meals.  However, this is the reason why our coaches strictly emphasize ‘no cheating on protocol!’  Any extra carbohydrates have the potential to kick a dieter out of ketosis and halt the fat-burning process altogether.


Q. I’ve tried to test my urine with Ketostix to see if I am in ketosis, but it only reads ‘trace’ ketones – am I doing something wrong?

A.Urine ketone testing is not necessary or always helpful, mainly because the ketone strips only test for one type of ketone produced by the body. Our bodies produce multiple different types of ketones that are not always picked up by the test strips.  The one way we know for sure at OSR Weight Management whether our dieters are in ketosis is quite simply by measuring the Body Fat % with our BCA monitor.  When our dieters’ body fat percentages are declining week by week, we know for sure that ketosis is proceeding exactly as it should be.


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