For many of us, losing weight is more than just a lifestyle, but a habit as well. That’s why more and more diet trends have surfaced over the years. Health experts and nutritionists have tried and tested (often proven) some diet plans that are better than the other. We can find millions of references when it comes to finding the best method to lose those excess pounds and manage our health and weight.
Among these diet plans that we have come across include vegan diet, low calorie diet, no-carb diet, detox diet, Paleo Diet, South Beach diet, Juice Cleanse, Mayo Clinic Diet, Suzanne Somers Diet, and many more.
One diet plan that is currently taking the world by a storm is the Ketogenic Diet. This diet is even practiced by a lot of famous celebrities including Halle Berry, Vanessa Hudgens, Megan Fox, Gwyneth Paltrow and many others.
Ketogenic Diet – What is it?
When we consume lesser carbs, moderate protein but high fat, we put our body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is when the liver in our body produces ketones. The ketones become the primary source of our body’s energy. Basically, the ketogenic is based on the premise that we eventually program our body to run effectively by burning more fat than sugar from the type of food we eat and don’t eat. Another term coined to the ketogenic diet is the low carb and high fat diet (LCHF).
Normally, the carbs that we consume will become glucose and insulin. To better understand this, glucose is the sugar from the carbs we eat that is converted into energy that is needed by our body. Insulin, however, is the process where the glucose is transported throughout our body through our bloodstream. When glucose is used as the main source of energy, the fats become isolated and are therefore stored.
So with ketogenic diet, instead of using sugar we use ketones which are produced by the liver. They are distributed as fuel to our body for our energy. This natural process is what you call ketoses and it’s a similar effect to surviving weeks with only water.
Ketogenic Diet – What are the benefits?
When you convert your habit from eating foods with carbs to just fat, it becomes a different lifestyle altogether. With this kind of diet comes discipline and a lot of willpower to resist the kind of food you usually look for to eat. However, there are some good points when it comes to practicing this diet and a lot of people have attested to the positive effects it has to their health.
- Losing weight – ultimately the goal of the ketogenic diet is to lose weight by burning fat instead of sugar. Once the body realizes the lack of glucose, it will automatically transport fat cells to your liver and produce ketones. Effectively, your body will become a fat burning instead of sugar burning machine.
- Controlling appetite – usually when our diet consists of so much carbs, sugars get burned more often which leaves us finding ourselves hungry again. With this diet, fats remain longer in the body so it helps in keeping us satisfied longer as well.
- Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol – There’s a lot of myth surrounding the idea of eating more fats would lead to high cholesterol. With this diet, the rate of HDL (good cholesterol) is dramatically higher than LDL (bad cholesterol). This shows that low-carb diets improves blood pressure over other diet plans because of its ability to naturally lose weight.
- Controlling Blood Sugar – The reason why a lot of people suffer from diabetes is because of the high amounts of glucose running in our bloodstream and the body’s inability to deal with insulin. With keto, it helps you maintain natural blood sugar because of the higher amount of fats it burns making it more beneficial for people with pre-diabetes.
- Achieving better skin – The more fats you burn, the higher chances of achieving a better complexion and glowing skin comes with ketogenic diet. So ketogenic diet is recommended for people with acne.
- Increasing energy and improving mental health – Since keto burns fat than sugar and that fats take a much longer time to burn, this leaves us more energized during the day. When we rely on sugar as our energy source, carbs causes a spike in blood sugar levels and crashes immediately which leaves us hungry still and sluggish instead.
- Natural therapy for epilepsy – Since the 1920’s, the keto diet has been proven to be an effective medical treatment for epilepsy. This is because the keto diet allows epilepsy patients to reduce intake of anti-epileptic drugs which effectively reduces side effects of the drugs as well as improve mental health.
Ketogenic diet – what to eat and not eat?
When we go into this type of diet, the important thing to remember is to eat food with less carbs or none at all. The ideal amount of carbs that should be consumed in ketogenic diet is below 20 grams per day. The more effective the diet will be when there is fewer carbs.
What foods to avoid:
Foods that are starchy and contain a lot of sugar. Rice is the number one food that should be avoided altogether in the ketogenic diet.
Other foods to avoid include:
– Grains like pasta, white bread, corn, cereal
– Foods high in sugar like syrups, honey, agave
– Fruits like bananas, apples, oranges
– Roots like potatoes and yams
What drinks to avoid:
– Soda, juices
What foods to eat:
– Meat like beef, fish, lamb, eggs, chicken
– Leafy vegetables like spinach or kale
– Dairy products that are high in fat like cheese, butter, heavy cream, milk
– Seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, walnuts
– Fruits like avocado, all types of berries
– Other types of fats like high fat salad dressing, coconut oil, saturated fats
– Water, tea, non-sweetened coffee
Where do I start?
There are plenty of references when it comes to starting the ketogenic diet. While this diet has proven itself to be effective, it also comes with side effects. This diet is not recommended for people with certain allergies or reactions to some types of food. Make sure also that you get moderate exercise and enough sleep once you start with the ketogenic diet. Supplements can also reach ketoses faster although it’s not really required. Drinking plenty of water is important in this diet. Carbs should be restricted and protein should also be at lesser amounts. You can even consider intermittent fasting with this type of diet.
For recipes to use on the Ketogenic Diet, here are some E-book suggestions:
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