If you are thinking to accomplish your fitness goals this year, a ketogenic diet might be the best option for you. It is an eating plan that includes a moderate amount of proteins, more calories from fat, and fewer carbohydrates intake. It is also known as keto-diet and offers many health benefits to you by notably restricting carb intake. This controlled reduction of carbohydrates puts your body into a state called “ketosis” that assists in preserving a lean body mass and also improves the health.
You might decide to follow a ketogenic diet plan to limit the carbs that are easy to digest, therefore, helps in losing weight. Along with weight loss, it provides many other health benefits too such as reduces seizers, risk of cancer and acne, etc.
A ketogenic Diet:
In simple words, we can say it is a low carb, high-fat diet that allows your body to enter the state of ketosis. This diet usually works for almost all people but can also lead to various undesirable side-effects such as fatigue, Lightheadedness, excessive thirst, etc. It is much similar to Atkin’s and other low carbs diet. It restricts grains, baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables that result in long-term weight loss.
Why does the Keto diet restrict carbs?
Usually, carbs act as a source of energy for the body. Low carb-diet results in the conversion of the fats into compounds called “ketones” that act as a new source of delivering energy. They deliver energy to the kidney, heart, muscles and to the brain as well. It also helps the body in fighting certain metabolic diseases.
Could a ketogenic diet give you an edge in losing weight?
If you are looking for a diet that can help to reduce your weight loss, then ketogenic diet may be an option for you. A high percentage of people are suffering from obesity and metabolic diseases. Research indicates about 2.8 million people die from the problems related to obesity.
It burns fat and improves overall health. A body is driven into a state where the body uses fats as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates.
You can get a slimmer body through a ketogenic diet because it effectively burns body fat. The Breakdown of fat results in the production of ketones in the liver and cells start using these ketones for generating energy. Ketones are used as an energy source for the brain as well. The high-fat eating pattern has gained a lot of popularity all over the world over the past 10 years.
Along with fat-burning, the diet has many other additional benefits as well including fewer cravings and low caloric intake, more self-control and physical activity. By following a ketogenic diet plan you will notice a significant reduction in your body weight. Many people use ketosis as a treatment for their epilepsy, cancer and even diabetes.
Is the ketogenic diet healthy?
The ketogenic diet was introduced by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello. There are round about million searches on Google for keto diet every month.
Although some fats are healthy there is also a risk of increased intake of unhealthy saturated fat. Unhealthy fats are found in food like poultry skin, red meat, cheese, and butter.
Many people suggest following a ketogenic diet plan because it uses the body’s own fat-burning system to help people quickly reduce their body weight. Some consider this diet unhealthy and believe it can be dangerous as well.
It is not sustainable. There is a possibility that you might regain the weight or will gain more than you lost.
How does it work?
It takes 2 to 3 days for a person to enter into ketosis. When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of usual glucose. After forcing the body into “ketosis”, the body starts breaking down the fat and proteins into molecules known as ketones which then act as a source of energy for the body. It focuses mainly on weight loss instead of shadowing health benefits. It let the body experience a massive reduction in insulin levels and blood sugar and the body starts using fat as the first-line source of energy. There is not even a single blueprint for the keto diet but plans usually call for eating less than 50 grams of carbs a day.
It also helps in overcoming certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, various heart diseases but we have to do more research in these areas.
Keto diets are considered as the descendants of other low-carb diets e.g. Atkins diet, which gained a lot of popularity in the early 2000s. Both these diets help in weight-loss by rejecting carbohydrates in favor of beefier snacks.
A ketogenic diet is a very simple diet plan that makes the body to burn fats rather than carbs. It eliminates the entire food group which makes it easier for people to follow.
It has numerous benefits some of them are listed below,
- Helps in losing weight
- Reduces acne
- Improves overall health
- Makes heart health better by reducing cholesterol
- Treat conditions like Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, and even some sleep disorders thus protect the brain functioning
- Potentially reduces seizures
Is it better than other diets?
The ketogenic diet is better than other diets because it allows you to lose more weight as compared to other diets. The reason behind this is that it takes more calories to convert fat into energy than it does to convert carbs into energy. This diet is rich in fats and proteins.
One of the major problems that people face while being on a ketogenic diet for weight loss is it becomes difficult for them to maintain for a longer period of time. Research has proven that the weight loss that results from following a low-carb diet for more than a year tend to be the same as being on a normal, healthy diet. It is a lot easier to follow a short-term diet plan rather than the longer ones.
A body in the starvation state has no source of energy so we can say a ketogenic diet is actually a partial fast of the body. Through the ketogenic diet, the body enters ketosis in which ketones act as an alternative source of energy that contributes to significant lean body mass along with fat loss.
Rachel Kleinman once said that keto diet controls seizers in children caused by epilepsy. We do not have sufficient knowledge about the effectiveness of the diet for treating various conditions such as obesity, diabetes, etc.
Those who are asked to stay away from the ketogenic diet are,
- Pregnant women
- People with any stage of diabetes
- Anyone with decreased kidney function
- People who have history of eating disorder
- Anyone suffering any chronic respiratory conditions
- If you are on the medications that can decrease the function of the liver or kidney (i.e. metformin)
Is it safe?
This diet is not recommended to people who are experiencing,
- Liver conditions
- Gallbladder diseases
- Thyroid problems
- Conditions involving pancreas
When you start following the ketogenic diet plan that you might experience dizziness, flue, headaches, and fatigue. These are very common and can be referred to as “keto-flue”. Some nutritionists do not recommend this diet because according to them it is not realistic and sustainable.
Types of the ketogenic diet
A ketogenic diet is designed to drag a person in ketosis, which involves the breaking down of fat into ketones and ketones replaces the old energy source of the body (glucose). There are different versions of the ketogenic diet, these are
- Standard ketogenic diet
A diet that contains low carbs, fairly modest proteins, and a high amount of fat is considered a standard ketogenic diet. It contains only 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 70-80% fat. It has been benefiting people by helping them to lose weight, improve blood sugar levels and heart health as well. People on Ketogenic diets are advised to eat a lot of vegetables, particularly non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cucumber, etc. as these are very low in carbs.
- Very-low-carb ketogenic diet (VLCKD)
A diet of 800kcal/day with 20-30 grams of carbohydrates. As we know that a standard ketogenic diet also contains very low carbs so, VLCKD can be referred to as a standard ketogenic diet.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This eating routine includes times of higher-carb refeeds and you’ll cycle in and out of keto. While following the cyclical ketogenic diet you will be allowed to take more carbohydrates on 1 or 2 days in a week.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): New variation of a standard ketogenic diet. This diet plan allows you to add carbs while building muscles. Usually, low-carb athletes use TKD, these are the ones who train like a beast and eats low carbs. It is also used by the body-builders which help in building muscles without gaining fat.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: This is much similar to a standard ketogenic diet but involves the upping of protein intake just a bit. The ratio is approximately 5% carbs, 35% protein, and 60% fat. This relatively high percentage of protein in diet makes up about 30 percent of calories. You can take protein from protein-rich plants and animals. Some common sources of protein are meat, nuts, seeds, dairy, and fish.
- Lazy Keto diet: It is for those who want to enter into ketosis but are lazy enough to track fats, proteins, and calories of the diet. It is easier to follow because in Lazy Keto diet, the tracks the amount of carbs only.
Low-carbs diets make big promises of weight loss and improved health, but do you know about the risks associated with it? Let’s discuss some of them,
When you start the diet, you might experience some flu-like symptoms, such as dizziness, flue, headaches, and fatigue. These are so common that we have given them a specific name “keto-flue”. You give out tons of water weight originally, which can lead to dehydration. Other potential risks include vitamin and mineral deficiency, kidney stones, constipation, low blood sugar, sluggishness, severe weight loss.
Still a mystery
Some long-term and short term side-effects of the ketogenic diet are still unknown. We do not have enough knowledge about this low-carb diet that makes us unable to answer certain questions such as,
- How long the results last?
- Are they going to regain weight after some time?
- Will they suffer some serious health consequences?