Is the Ketogenic diet (keto) another fad diet promising weight loss and leaner physique yet doomed for failure? Truth is, the keto diet does work.
This diet is a therapeutic kind of diet initially meant for patients with epilepsy. Years of research and mountains of results found that ketogenic diets have benefits that extend far beyond epilepsy.
They help improve health, maximize endurance and improve mental performance. Keto diet can also help with weight loss and lean muscle gains.
The ketogenic diet is high fat diet, and the notion that it can help lose weight you may seem unbelievable, but it is the truth.
So how can a high fat diet promote health, much less help with weight loss?
Why The Keto Diet Works?
This diet places extreme restriction on carbohydrates and promotes high fat intake. Protein is kept at moderate consumption. With the extreme restriction on carbs, some would classify ketogenic diet as a form of carb-restrictive diets.
The goal of the dietary requirements is to promote a state called ketosis. This is when the body uses stored fats as source of energy, instead of using readily available glucose (from rapidly digested carbs). Fats are metabolized to produce ketone bodies. In order to stay in the ketosis state, you need to pay strict attention to your macros. You can use a calculator for keto macros to make this task a bit easier for yourself.
Ketosis is a natural process. It happens when there is not enough glucose in the blood.
Some argue that the body is originally designed to depend largely on ketosis for energy, rather than the current dependence on glucose. It was only because of a shift to an extremely carb-rich diet that the body learned to prefer glucose to ketone bodies.
Ketone bodies are healthier, better and more efficient energy source. It provides more energy that lasts longer than glucose. It is also used up more efficiently by the cells, especially by the brain and muscle cells.
Glucose creates a rapid high followed by a deep crash. In the brain, this leads to very short time of high level functioning followed by a sharp decline.
This is often seen as brain fog and difficulty concentrating which comes and go, especially after meals. In the muscle cells, this is seen as high energy followed by weakness without fueling up on carbohydrates again.
With ketone bodies, energy is provided in a fairly constant basis. This results in consistently functioning of the body’s many systems. It is especially beneficial for tissues such as the brain and the heart.