Keto coffee is simply black coffee, with a few ingredients added to increase the effectiveness of the keto diet. You can’t understand the purpose of those ingredients, though, until you understand the goals and mechanisms of the keto diet.
The Simple Stuff
The ultimate goal of keto, of course, is weight loss. And the obvious “mechanism” is a drastic reduction in daily carbohydrate consumption. That’s why people following a strict keto meal plan (or any other low-carb diet like paleo) can’t eat foods loaded with carbs. Most people know keto requires them to eliminate starches and sugars from their diet, but surprisingly carb-heavy foods like fruit are also on the “naughty” list.
That’s the stuff everyone knows. Here’s what matters more to our understanding of keto coffee’s benefits: the reason why restricting carbs can lead to weight loss.
The More Complicated Stuff
Physiologists, biologists and nutritionists spend years studying the “complicated stuff.” We’ll try to explain it in a few bite-sized paragraphs.
- The body and brain need energy to function. We’re all aware of that; when we’re run down, we say that we’re “low on energy” and reach for an energy drink, an energy bar, a banana or an apple, or some chocolate. (We prefer chocolate.)
- The energy that the body runs on is supplied by glucose, often called blood sugar. Glucose is manufactured by the liver, which primarily uses the carbohydrates we eat to produce glucose.
- If the body doesn’t get enough carbs to make the glucose it needs, it experiences an energy emergency. Thankfully, it has a backup plan; it enters a metabolic state that’s known as ketosis.
- When the body is in ketosis, the liver manufactures molecules that can function quite well as a substitute energy source. They’re called ketone bodies, or ketones for short. The body and brain perform just fine on ketones instead of glucose.
- Normally, the liver burns carbs to make glucose. In ketosis, though, it burns stored body fat to make ketones. And it will continue to burn fat until normal carb intake resumes – once that happens, the body “falls out of ketosis” and glucose production resumes.
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There are three key takeaways from that explanation.
- The immediate goal of the keto diet is to put the body into ketosis and keep it there.
- The primary mechanism of the keto diet is forcing the body to burn fat, so it can produce ketones.
- Fat burning, needless to say, is an important component of weight loss. So as the body stays in ketosis and burns stored fat – the keto diet’s ultimate goal is achieved. The dieter loses weight.
Does the Keto Diet Work?
Absolutely. The ketogenic diet works, and works well, for most people. There’s no definitive “number” for how much weight you can lose on keto, since everyone’s situation, medical condition and food consumption are different. The best estimates say weight loss averages 1-2 pounds per week, after an initial loss of five pounds in water weight.
More rigorous research does show, however, that the keto diet generally leads to greater weight loss than traditional choices like a low-fat diet or the Mediterranean diet. There’s also evidence that keto lowers appetite, so people on the diet usually end up eating less. There are two apparent reasons; ketones suppress appetite-boosting hormones, and the extra fat and protein you eat on a keto diet make you feel more full.
Hopefully, at this point we’re all on board with how keto works and what it does. But where does coffee fit into the picture?