We hear about the diet trends and tips all around us, some being on the top charts and some making its way down the lane of every year’s diet trends. In that very stampede of weight loss innovations and schemes you must have heard about the ketogenic diet but might wondering what it actually is, how does it actually work or is it just a fad.
So, if you are looking for a diet that gives fast results then you should be reading into this all-inclusive review about the guide to follow the ketogenic diet. Since Paleo and Atkins, this has been the trendiest of all.
It has reportedly been used by many celebs and social media stars like Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox. It is currently a high performance eating plan being followed around the world as the newest weight loss techniques. It promises to cause rapid weight loss along with cancer prevention and elimination of diabetes.
It does that by offering more fats, less protein content and zero carbs. This is why it is also known as the low-carbohydrate diet that was originally created to for the treatment of epilepsy. It apparently reduced the frequency of seizures in epileptic children and adults.
What is Ketogenic diet exactly?
A ketogenic diet also known as the low-carb diet in which the body uses ketones as the form of energy produced inside the liver. It is also referred to as the low-carb high-fat diet at some places.
It causes weight loss in a human body by zeroing the carbohydrates intake and drives the body to use fat as its primary source of energy. With low carbohydrates body is forced to oxidize fat.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which ketones are raised in higher levels in the blood. A ketone or ketone body is a byproduct which is formed by the breakdown of fatty acids in liver to fuel.
The liver oxidizes some of the fatty acids for energy production while others are partially oxidizes to form other substances. In a ketogenic state, the body will break down your own body’s fat to use it as energy form in order to aid the day to day activities.
This process is done by the starvation of carbohydrates. Our bodies are designed to be incredibly adaptive to whichever way you feed it. When you’ll stuff it with fats and stop giving it carbs, it will begin to burn ketones which are used as a primary energy source.
And these high levels of ketones produced inside the body provide many health benefits including weight loss and optimized cognitive function. Tracy A. Siegfried, the M.D (medical director) at The N.E.W. Program, a bariatric and metabolic weight-loss center in California describes the ketosis process as:
“The whole diet is based on a process called ketosis, which is when your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which can be used as energy sources. The ketones replace carbohydrates as your body’s main energy source, meaning you are running on (and burning) fat. To tell if your body is in a state of ketosis, you can measure your blood or urine for elevated levels of ketones (Ketostix, used to test keto-dieters ketone levels, are available at many pharmacies).”
How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work?
Just like most of the low-carb diets, Ketogenic diets work by eliminating glucose from the body. As we all know that our bodies normally run on glucose (sugar levels) for in taking energy.
The ketogenic diet takes away glucose to cause the body to burn its own fat rapidly. So we are left with glucose for only 24 hours stored inside our muscle tissue and liver. Now that no glucose is available from food sources, the body begins to burn the stored fat.
Fortunately this fat burning process is more beneficial towards our body than just shedding some extra pounds off it. Because it also controls insulin levels which are the root cause of the development of diabetes and many other health issues.
When we intake a carbohydrate, our body releases insulin as a reaction to elevate blood sugar levels. Insulin is also called a storage hormone that signals cells to store as much available energy as possible in the form of stored carbohydrates and fats in our muscles.
The ketogenic diet works by eliminating carbohydrates from the diet so the carbohydrate storage gets empty so less insulin is released from the consumed food. Therefore, insulin resistance is reversed which plays a vital role in the contribution of diabetes.
To reach optimal levels of ketosis which means making the body a fat burner, the body itself needs to stay in the ketosis state for at least a few weeks to get accustomed to the process and get rid of any side effects caused.
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
Like mentioned earlier, being on a keto diet just does not mean you benefit with rapid weight loss but a large number of other benefits as well that come along the way. Following are the benefits one can gain from eating a low-carb, high-fat diet.
- Improved Weight Loss
Most diets offer to lose weight by watching and cutting on calories which is stated as eating high-carb foods like fruits and vegetables and removing the foods that contain fat content from diet. These low-fat diets do not give long term results because people feel starved by following them.
Whereas low-carb diets like keto help get rid of hunger pangs and boost weight loss with hormonal reactions. Diets high in healthy fats and protein tend to be very filling, which can prevent us from gorging on unhealthy and high-calorie foods.
The ketogenic diet essentially uses your body fat as an energy source resulting in weight loss benefits. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which transforms your body into a fat burning engine.
- Control Blood Sugar
Many studies have stated ketogenic diet as an effective way to prevent and manage diabetes because it is capable of lowering your blood sugar levels by the food types it offers. So if you are a diabetic, you should consider this diet just to control your elevated insulin levels circulating inside the blood.
- Improved Cognitive Function
Ketogenic also plays a role in increasing the mental focus and improving the overall performance. Ketones are a optimum source of energy for the brain. When you decrease your carb intake, you avoid spiked levels of glucose in blood resulting in enhanced focus and concentration.
- Improved Energy & Suppressed Appetite
By fueling your body with a good source of energy, you will feel more energized to function in everyday activities. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to be burnt as fuel. In addition to that, fat is naturally more filling, hence you are left with feeling satiated for longer.
The ketogenic diet originated from being a successful epilepsy cure. It has been used since the early 1900’s as a therapy to treat epilepsy in children with uncontrolled epilepsy. And it still is one of the most widely used therapies because it allows very few medications to be used with control.
- Controlled Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Levels
A keto diet improves body’s cholesterol levels that are raised due to arterial buildup. It also controls blood pressure that is elevated due to excess weight gain. This diet does that by dramatically increasing HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and decreasing LDL (low-density lipoprotein) particle concentration unlike other low-fat diets.
Whether you’re a showbiz person, a professional athlete, seeking to lose unwanted and excess body fat or just a fitness enthusiast, it must be clear to you that the ketogenic diet is capable of delivering you an array of health benefits along with weight loss. And not just making your body habitual of using healthy fats to fuel but also improving overall health and well-being by cutting down sugars from diet.