That’s a great question!
The biggest advantage is that a ketogenic diet will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a safe and efficient way to lose body fat while preserving your lean muscle mass.
To understand how ketosis does this so well, let’s dig a little deeper into the science.
When you are in ketosis, your body is producing ketones, and using them for energy. Ketones are a normal and efficient source of fuel and energy for the human body. They are produced by the liver from fatty acids, which result from the breakdown of body fat in response to the absence of glucose (from carbohydrates such as sugars and starches).
When eating on a ketogenic diet, the tiny amounts of glucose required for select body functions can be met by consuming a minimal amount of carbohydrates, or it can be manufactured in the liver from protein. Our bodies have all the metabolic machinery in place to produce all the glucose we need to function just fine without our having to get it from food.
When we eat glucose in the form of sugar and/or starch, the body uses what it needs and stores the rest, first as glycogen, and then as fat. When we minimize the starchy carbohydrates in our diet, the body reverses the process and breaks down the stored glycogen, which is released as glucose. When the glycogen is gone, the body turns to protein as the raw material for glucose production.
The conversion of protein to glucose takes place in the liver. The liver requires energy to convert protein to glucose. Fat provides this energy. The liver burns the majority of the fat to make glucose. The remainder of the fat is converted into ketones and released into the blood where they are made available for any tissues that might want or need them for energy.
The muscles, the heart, and, particularly the brain readily use these ketones in preference to glucose and/or fat. They do this for a reason: Ketones provide a lot of energy very efficiently. The heart, for example, operates about 28 percent more efficiently on ketones than it does on glucose. When the brain, muscles, heart, etc., have used all they need, the ketones accumulate in the blood. The body disperses them through the urine and breath.
The body works very efficiently when you’re on a ketogenic diet. And being in ketosis means that your body’s primary source of energy is fat (in the form of ketones). When you consume adequate protein as well, there’s no need for the body to break down its muscle tissue. And best of all, ketosis can accelerate fat loss, because once the liver converts fat to ketones, it can’t be converted back to fat!
As you can see, eating a ketogenic diet allows you to burn body fat, lose weight, and do it all with plenty of energy for everyday life.