Extra energy, reduced body weight, and effortless fat loss. These are a few promises that a high-fat, low-carb keto lifestyle offers. However, sticking to this diet and lifestyle can be extremely difficult and challenging.

Thankfully, exogenous ketones are there to help you get rid of the excess fat from your body.

How do exogenous ketones burn fat? The basic way through which these exogenous ketones induce fat loss is the induction of nutritional ketosis.

In this metabolic state, your body switches to burning fat instead of carbohydrates for deriving energy. Combined with hormonal adjustments, this triggers a fast weight loss.

What are the detailed mechanisms by which these exogenous ketones help fat loss? Can this also help you lose weight? This article will provide you with answers.

How Do Exogenous Ketones Burn Fat?

Using exogenous ketones can help you get into ketosis much faster than usual. Ketosis is a metabolic state which can trigger weight loss. This is how:

  • You start restricting carbohydrates and adopt a keto diet.
  • After adopting a keto diet, you may start taking an exogenous ketone supplement.
  • If your diet permits, these supplements will help trigger a nutritional ketosis.
  • As you enter ketosis, you start losing fat if your macros are properly adjusted. This is because your body starts burning fat stores to make internal ketones on its own.

picture of woman exogenous ketones burn fat

Exogenous Ketones Help Burn Fat in Four Ways

#1 Glucose Regulation

When you start consuming exogenous ketones together with a keto diet, your glucose levels start depleting in the body. This forces your body to search for an alternate source of energy and to eventually start burning these ketones that you just consumed.

Eventually, the body gets adapted to using ketones for energy and triggers the internal production of ketones from the breakdown of fat from the body. This means that your body enters a fat-burning mode instead of a fat-storage mode.

#2 Hormone Regulation

Hormone regulation is another way through which exogenous ketones help burn fat. One of these hormones is cholecystokinin. This hormone is released by the intestines as you eat a meal.

Cholecystokinin is responsible for the digestion of protein and fat while inhibiting the emptying of stomach, which makes it an excellent regulator of food intake.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that people who were injected with this hormone stopped eating their food sooner than those who were not injected with it.

#3 Appetite Reduction

As your body starts losing weight, cholecystokinin secretion begins to reduce. Exogenous ketones help prevent this by maintaining ketosis. Ketosis has been found to raise the levels of this hormone back to its normal amount which, in turn, reduces cravings.

Exogenous ketones reduce appetite by altering the amount of hormones that control hunger. This means that you can hear the true hunger signals of your body without worrying about how many calories you are consuming.

#4 Blood Sugar Stabilization

When you start burning exogenous ketones together with a keto diet, this normalizes your blood sugar level. A stabilized blood sugar reduces your cravings and helps you stick to your diet to lose more fat.

Can You Lose Weight With Exogenous Ketones?

It is a common misconception that taking a ketone supplement will lead to rapid and immediate weight loss. However, remember that these supplements will only be one aspect of your entire weight loss journey.

Keep in mind that exogenous ketones are just supplements and can only “supplement” your ketogenic lifestyle.

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Exogenous ketones don’t necessarily cause weight loss. They only help induce ketosis much faster than usual. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body starts using fat as the main source of energy. Just because your body starts using fat does not always mean you will lose weight.

In fact, it is even possible to be in a deep state of nutritional ketosis (greater than 3 mmol/dL) and experience an increase in your total body fat. On the contrary, the same nutritional ketosis can also decrease the body fat percentage. This all depends on how much protein and fat you are consuming and how many carbohydrates you are restricting in your diet.

This means that exogenous ketones are just a tool to get your body into ketosis and boost your levels of energy while you are in a state of ketosis.

If weight loss is your primary goal, exogenous ketones do help you get to the starting point (i.e. the state of ketosis.) You can then combine exogenous ketones with a keto diet to go where you wish to go (i.e. your weight loss goal.)

Consuming Exogenous Ketone Supplements

Most people are able to tolerate ketone supplements on a daily basis for improving their memory and energy levels. If you wish to burn more fat with these supplements, here are the best times to take them:

Following a High-carb Meal

Taking exogenous ketones can be particularly helpful for reducing the negative effects of carbohydrates. Taking them immediately after a high-carb meal can help you maintain ketosis.

Before Working Out

Taking exogenous ketones before a workout session improves your energy and strength. This boosts your performance at the gym and increases your chances of burning fat.

In a Fasted State

Consuming a ketone supplement on an empty stomach can suppress your hunger. This is particularly useful when you are practicing intermittent fasting.


Take exogenous ketone supplements whenever you are craving carbs. This may prevent cheat meals and binge eating and increase the chances of burning fat.


Exogenous ketones are a great way to support a keto diet and support your health goals. They can regulate your hunger hormones and enhance fat burning by inducing a state of ketosis much earlier.

However, it is important to remember that these supplements are not a quick fix. Using them in combination with a keto diet can enhance their effects, but keep in mind that they will not cause overnight weight loss.

While using these supplements:

  • Never take the easy way out assuming that these supplements will induce weight loss for sure.
  • Use them as supplemental agents to your keto diet.
  • Always make a plan of how much of these supplements are needed to reach your weight-loss goals.

Should you really try exogenous ketones?

The answer to this question mainly depends on your goals. If you are already following a strict keto diet and gaining all the benefits from it, you really don’t need to use exogenous ketones.

However, if you think you are lagging behind and not burning as much fat as you should be, these supplements can be used to support your goals. Similarly, these ketone supplements can also be used if you are unable to exercise due to a lack of energy or if you are suffering from keto flu or other side effects of the keto diet.

If you think you really need exogenous ketones to reach your goal, add them to your daily diet in minimal amounts and observe how you feel. If you notice any improvement, you are good to go.

Will exogenous ketone supplements break a fast?

No. Exogenous ketones are bioidentical to the ketones naturally produced inside your body. Your body is not capable of differentiating exogenous ketones from the endogenous ones because they have the same chemical structures and properties.

Consuming exogenous ketones is not going to break your fast unless you opt for products that contain massive amounts of additional ingredients. To avoid this, make sure to check all the labels and consult the experts to choose the ketone supplements of the highest quality.

If you still think using these exogenous ketone supplements will kick you out of fasting, stick to plain water and take them during your eating window.

How does your body process exogenous ketones? Can it store these ketones as body fat?

Exogenous ketones are processed in the exact same way as the endogenous ketones. There is no difference at all. Your body will never try to store these exogenously-consumed ketone molecules as they are immediately broken down and used for energy.

If you are taking them in excess quantities, they will be simply excreted out of the body through urine.

Can the human body become dependent on exogenous ketones and stop making them on its own?

No. No matter how many ketone supplements you take exogenously, they can never reduce the natural ability of your body to create and utilize its own ketones.

What is the best time to use exogenous ketones?

The best time to use exogenous ketones varies from person to person and entirely depends on your goals. You will need to test it for yourself to search for the best time to consume them. Most people prefer taking exogenous ketones in the morning or just before their workouts for extra energy.

Can you use exogenous ketones during pregnancy?

If you are pregnant or suffer from any serious disease, it is advised to talk to your doctor before adding these ketone supplements to your diet.