Fat Flux

People falsely assume that if they are in ketosis that they will automatically lose body fat. Being in ketosis simply means that you are burning fat for fuel. If you eat more dietary fat than you use for your energy needs you will not lose body fat. In fact you could
even store body fat.

There is this thing called fat flux. Your fat cells act as a buffer between your fat cells and liver. Triglyceride is the storage form of fat. Triglyceride is made of 3 fatty acids and 1 glycerol molecule. You have blood triglyceride that is made in the liver from excess carbohydrate and you have blood triglyceride made in the intestine from dietary fat.

Fat does not mix with your blood so it must be bound to a transporter ( lipoprotein) to be carried in your blood. Triglyceride made in the liver from excess carbohydrate is bound to the lipoprotein VLDL ( very-low-density-lipoprotein). When you eat long chain dietary fat it is broken down in the small intestine by pancreatic digestive enzymes into smaller units and re-packaged with the transporter ( lipoprotein) chylomicron.

Both of these types of blood triglyceride can be used for energy by the skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and the liver for ketone production. This will only happen if the insulin/glucagon ratio is correct at the current time. Certain enzymes need to be activated to allow this fat to be used for energy.

Blood triglyceride and stored triglyceride needs to be broken down (hydrolyzed) into free fatty acids (FFAs) in order to be used as direct energy by your cells. You have certain enzymes know as lipase enzymes that need to be activated to allow triglyceride to be broken down into free fatty acids.

Your liver stores a certain amount of ready available glucose called glycogen. Just like ready available glucose from glycogen in the liver you need a certain amount of free fatty acids available in the blood for use as ready available energy from fat.

Your fat cells act as a buffer and allow a certain amount of free fatty acids available to you. Think of this as a pool of free fatty acids. You also have a constant flow of blood triglycerides from the liver to the fat cells.

If you follow a ketogenic diet and are in ketosis you can definitely overeat fat and disrupt this so called fat flux. Sadly some falsely assume that because they are in ketosis they can shove 4 sticks of butter down the hatch.

When you first start a ketogenic diet you need to eat more dietary fat to activate the fat burning enzymes that have become dormant from years of a carbohydrate (glucose) based metabolism. You also need the extra dietary fat in the beginning to give the necessary fatty acids to the liver to make ketones for the brain.

My suggestion would be that once the conversion has been made and you are in ketosis, meaning the brain is using primarily ketones for fuel. Once this switch has been flipped you can now cut back on dietary fat if you choose to do so. You now have full access to your stored body fat for all your energy needs.

Once your brain is adapted to using ketones even if you eat less plate fat and use more of your own stored body fat for your energy needs it is still a high fat ketogenic diet.

Written By Jeff Cyr