The Ketogenic Diet

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The ketogenic (or keto) diet is a low Carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Maintaining this diet is a great tool for weight loss. More importantly, it reduces risk factors for diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and more.

On the keto diet, your body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. While in ketosis your body is using ketone bodies for energy instead of glucose. Ketone bodies are derived from fat and are a much more stable, steady source of energy than glucose, which is derived from Carbohydrate.

Entering ketosis usually takes anywhere from 3 days to a week. Once you’re in ketosis, you’ll be using fat for energy, instead of Carbohydrate. This includes the fat you eat and stored body fat

Testing For Ketosis

You can test yourself to see whether you’ve entered ketosis just a few days after you’ve begun the keto diet! Simply use a ketone test strip and it will tell you the level of ketone bodies in your urine. If the concentration is high enough, you’ve successfully entered ketosis!

The Truth About Fat

You may be thinking, “but eating a lot of fat is bad!” The truth is, dozens of studies and meta-studies with over 900,000 subjects have arrived at similar conclusions: eating saturated and monounsaturated fats have no effects on heart disease risks 7,8.

Most fats are good and are essential to our health. Fats (fatty acids) and protein (amino acids) are essential for survival.

Fats are the most efficient form of energy and each gram contains more than double the energy in a gram of protein or Carbohydrate (more on that later). The keto diet promotes eating fresh, whole foods like meat, fish, veggies, and healthy fats and oils as well as greatly reducing processed and chemically treated foods.

It’s a diet that you can sustain long-term and enjoy.

What’s not to enjoy about bacon and eggs in the morning?

Calories & MACRONUTRIENTS

How Calories Work

A calorie is a unit of energy. When something contains 100calories, it describes how much energy your body could get from consuming it. Calorie consumption dictates weight gain/loss.

If you burn an average of 1,800 calories and eat 2,000 calories per day, you will gain weight.

If you do light exercise that burns an extra 300 calories per day, you’ll burn 2,100 calories per day, putting you at a deficit of 100 calories. Simply by eating at a deficit, you will lose weight because your body will tap into stored resources for the remaining energy it needs.

That being said, it’s important to get the right balance of macronutrients every day so your body has the energy it needs.

What Are Macronutrients?

Macronutrients (macros) are molecules that our bodies use to create energy for themselves primarily fat, protein and Carbohydrate. They are found in all food and are measured in grams (g) on nutrition labels.

  • Fat provides 9 calories per gram
  • Protein provides 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrate 4 calories per gram

Net Carbohydrate

Most low Carbohydrate recipes write net Carbohydrate when displaying their macros. Net Carbohydrate is total Carbohydrate minus dietary fiber and sugar alcohols. Our bodies can’t break them down into glucose so they don’t count toward your total Carbohydrate count.

Note: Dietary fiber is sometimes listed as soluble or insoluble.

How Much Should You Eat?

On a keto diet, about 65 to 75 percent of the calories you consume daily should come from fat. About 20 to 30 percent should come from protein. The remaining 5 percent or so should come from Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate: What Exactly Are They?

Carbohydrates are found in things like starches, grains, and foods high in sugar. This includes, but isn’t limited to, bread, flour, rice, pasta, beans, potatoes, sugar, syrup, cereals, fruits, bagels, and soda. Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose (a type of sugar) in our bodies for energy. Eating any kinds of Carbohydrate spikes blood sugar levels. The spike may happen faster or slower depending on the type of Carbohydrate (simple or complex), but the spike will still happen.

Blood sugar spikes cause strong insulin releases to combat the spikes. Constant insulin releases result in fat storage and insulin resistance. After many years, this cycle commonly leads to pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and even type 2 diabetes.

In a world full of sugar, cereal, pasta, burgers, French fries and large sodas, you can see how Carbohydrate can easily be over consumed

Long-Term Benefits of Keto

Studies consistently show that those who eat a low Carbohydrate, high fat diet rather than a high Carbohydrate, low-fat diet:

  • Lose more weight and body fat
  • Have better levels of good cholesterol (HDL and large LDL)
  • Have reduced blood sugar and insulin resistance (commonly reversing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes)
  • Experience a decrease in appetite
  • Have reduced triglyceride levels (fat molecules in the blood that cause heart disease)
  • Have significant reductions in blood pressure, leading to a reduction in heart disease and stroke

Day to Day Benefits of Keto

The keto diet doesn’t only provide long-term benefits!

When you’re on keto, you can expect to:

  • Lose body fat
  • Have consistent energy levels during the day
  • Stay satiated after meals longer, with less snacking and overeating

Longer satiation and consistent energy levels are due to the majority of calories coming from fat, which is slower to digest and calorically denser.

Eating low Carbohydrate also eliminates blood glucose spikes and crashes. You won’t have sudden blood sugar drops leaving you feeling weak and disoriented.

 

18 Replies to “The Ketogenic Diet”

  1. Hi Bibian,
    Awesome article!

    I need to lose the weight I took when I was pregnant, about 5 kilos. I’ve tried so many diets, and of course, I lost weight, but as soon as I started to eat normally, I gained all the weight back. I hate counting calories and following a diet thinking about calories, drives me crazy. Something is unclear to me about calories. How can you explain that 100 apple calories and 100 sugar calories are equal in term of number, but it affects the body differently? I mean, an apple is way more healthy and less fattening than sugar. Right?

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    1. Thanks Daniella for your comment

      Yes but even healthy calories add up. Because you probably don’t whip out a food scale every time you eat an apple, and 100 calories of apple look like 19.23 grams of sugar, So you should still watch what you eat.

  2. Hello,
    I have been trying to lose weight the last two months and my strategy was to just eat the food I love but in lower proportions. As you say this dies it low in Carbs, but I couldn’t stay away from them. I am against all diets in fact because even eating a type of food which you don’t usually eat is a struggle, and not eating the type of food that you like is a struggle. Better to focus on the foods that you like and are actually healthy and eat more of them, while eating less of the food like, but are unhealthy (but not completely eliminating them.

    1. Considering how the personal anecdotes and new studies are piling up by the day, it’s clear to see that the advantages a low-carb diet brings are worth pursuing.

      Not only do you get to eat amazingly fresh, delicious foods every day, but you also vastly improve your health and decrease the risk of illness striking in the future.

      For me, it’s a no-brainer, and I promise that if you get the hang of a low-carb diet, you won’t even want to go back to your prior way of eating.

       

  3. People put pressure on themselves when they say they are going on a diet before they even go on one.

    I believe if you say “I am changing my eating habits” you are more than likely going to keep the results as you go.

    I am two weeks into my Keto plan and I have really noticed the difference in me and my kids. We have more energy and the moods have improved dramatically from the kids who can’t get their own way! oh and mine have as well.

    I really believe I have found a diet plan that I can sustain as you say in your article as it’s basically eating the foods we were designed to eat not processed foods.

    1. Thanks for liking my post. Keep it up in your diet as you are already getting a good result from it. Going keto is just changing your eating habit to something far more better than what can only push unnecessary calories into your body. Keep good eating habit can keep life longer and more meaningful.

      Thanks for your comment

  4. Wow This is very interesting I have been seeing a lot of Ketogenic  diet Adverts, But I have been wondering exactly what it is. its funny how we always thought fat was the enemy of weight loss, the Keto diet sounds very effective, I will actually try it because despite following my healthy lifestyle for years, I have now noticed that I have added few pounds and I want them gone ASAP. thank you so much your article is very helpful and very detailed.

    1. Hi Rose,

      Thank you for finding my post helpful. All fat are not bad, some fats are needed in our body to help support our organs from destruction and damage. Though the bad fats should be eliminated and avoided because of the bad effects in our body. Thanks for commenting

  5. The ketogenic diet emphasizes cutting back on carbohydrates and eating foods that are high in fat. It may sound strange to eat fatty foods on a diet, but there’s good reason. The ketogenic diet involves depleting your body of carbs (its usual source of fuel) and forcing it to break down fat for energy. and prcently my sister is presently on keto diet because as soon as she got married she just gain fat.

    1. Ketogenic diet is a regime of diet that helps your body to use up the stored fat within the cells of your body. If you follow the program successful you will be able to gain back your normal figure

  6. I actually used to be on a ketogenic diet a few years ago. Although, back then it was called “Very Low Calorie Diet” (VLCD), where I’d eat a maximum of 500-600kcal per day. After a few weeks I was in ketosis. I could feel it on my breath, which smelled a little like acetone. 

    I managed to drop about 65 lbs, but because I never changed my dietary habits afterwards, I slowly gained weight again. 

    Looking to do keto again, but I lack inspiration for food. Do you have any easy-to-make recipes to recommend?

    Kind regards! 

    1. Following the Ketogenic diet regime may be hard on some people because it expects you to abstain from certain food. But it works for some people who follow it well and changed their eating habit. But there this detox called red tea detox which in the first time of using it it will wash most of the bad fat in your body. As you continues to take it it does its job in a silent and steady way without loosing your stool but maintains your body normal diet requirement. You are not expected to fast but you are to eat normal and healthy.

  7. Hello Bibian that exclente article I love it. When we little overweight the first thing that comes to mind is to go on a diet to but in reality most of us met stop eating, thinking that this is how you lose weight quickly. With out thinking of the damage that we put into our body. The Ketogenic Diet articles opens our eyes to the proper way to make a diet that really works and keeps us healthy and energized. This is very detail article in how we should do a healthy diet.

    Great article thank you for sharing.

    1. Nice to hear that you like my article or that it can offer help. Most people as you said starve themselves to death because they added a little weight but the truth is that if your diet is based on a healthy diet, you will not add weight but still you eat but healthy.

      Thanks for your comment

  8. i have heard so much about this diet! a couple of my friends even did it and lost like 10 kilos in 21 days!

    what im worried about is that the lard comes back once you stop the diet.

    couple of questions – 

    what is the ideal time frame for the diet

    how many times a year can you do this diet

    how do you stop the fat from coming back

    are there any side effects from eating all this ‘fat’?

    thanks

    1. Hi Tarun,

      You are right that some people still gain weight a few weeks after they stop the ketogenic diet, but the problem is not that ketogenic diet doesn’t work but that they went back to exactly those food that caused his overweight. He should have changed the way he eats, that is eating healthy. For example; more vegetables and fruits or you go for red tea detox which is a product from South Africa that helps in melting away bad fats in your body.

  9. Thanks for this excellent post. Before now, I used to think that it is not good to consume fat. In fact, I grew with a feeling that fat is not good for the body as fat is the main reason why people gain more unnecessary weight. This post is an eye opener. Glad to also about keto too. I will like to go keto when I see the need.

    I will be glad if you can elaborate more on the type of fats that are good for normal growth and which is not good. So that one can make a good choice. Thank you. 

    1. Thank you for naming my post as excellent. In fact, it pleases me to give my audience the post they value. Keto diet helps you to shade off some dirty fat from your body system. Oil from fruits and vegetables a good oil but the one from red fatty meat and red oil are not good to eat always.

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