Ketogenic Dieting Explained

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Every New Year carries its unique set of resolutions; some avow to stave off fast food, while others pledge to practice wholesome habits for the entirety of the year.*

*Ours was activate our glutes more using our Hip Circle !

Whether the previous year was merciful towards you or not, the idea of twelve untouched months boasts universal appeal. 

Every individual holds the capacity to start fresh, and rewrite his or her lives over a clean slate. Though we cannot control or distort time, an unblemished year motivates the masses to start anew.

Nearly 22% of all New Year’s resolutions revolve around either healthy living or weight loss. An estimated 5.5% of all resolutions focus on hitting the gym more frequently and working out to sculpt a cleaner, fitter body. 

As such, there are innumerable options when it comes to approaching clean eating and effective weight loss strategies. Individuals swap diet plans and swear upon the benefits of homemade brews, but a relatively unknown vein in the health and fitness mill is that of the ketogenic diet. 

What Is the Ketogenic Diet? 

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate approach towards traditional dieting. This particular diet is characterised by a high-fat, adequate-protein intake, urging the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet is often mistaken for the similarly-modeled Atkins diet; if both are followed correctly, the liver begins to convert fat into fatty acids, and ketones deliver energy to the body, as opposed to sugar or glucose.  

The ketogenic diet offers a range of benefits, including enhanced physical and mental performance. 

How the Diet Works

In order to fully understand how the ketogenic diet functions, it is important to identify and comprehend the process of ketosis. Initially, this term may appear overtly technical, or even confusing; however, ketosis simply relates to a metabolic state. Once an individual sets about following a ketogenic diet, the tissues in the body will carry increasing amounts of ketone bodies. 

Such ketone bodies are water-soluble molecules that are produced by the liver from fatty acids during periods of low carbohydrate intake, high exercise, starvation, or type 1 diabetes. 

The body and all of its organs – including the high-fuel-consuming brain – function efficiently due to a constant supply of energy. This energy is in the form of glucose. However, if an individual begins to cut down on his or her carbohydrate intake, they essentially force the body to switch the fuel supply to fat (or ketone bodies). The adequately-managed protein intake provides supplementary blood sugar. Consequentially, insulin levels may drop, and the body’s fat-burning abilities experience a dramatic increase. In order to supply an appropriate level of energy to the body, the individual’s metabolic state may even result in the breakdown and efficient usage of the body’s fat stores. 

What the Diet Looks Like

So what compels the body to switch its main supply of energy from sugar to ketones? Approximately 50 grams – or preferably less – of carbohydrates per day.

A typical ketogenic diet consists of 75% fats, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates. 

The body may require two to six weeks to adapt to nutritional ketosis; however, any point onwards displays a return to normal – if not increased – levels of focus, drive, and mental performance. 

In fact, a study conducted by Dr Young and colleagues concluded that lower levels of carbohydrate intake – for example, 30 grams as opposed to 100 grams – produced better results, and encouraged the body to naturally acclimatize to metabolic ketosis. 

The ketogenic diet places a heavy emphasis on the intake of various fats, coupled with a leveraged percentage of protein. Fats include heavy creams, butter, and oils. Protein intake should ideally include cheese, beef, chicken, tofu, and the like. In turn, carbohydrates should be restricted to vegetables, fruit, and pasta. The ketogenic diet imposes a blanket ban on items such as bread, potatoes, cereals, and rice, which carry higher levels of carbohydrates. 

The Benefits

The ketogenic diet is primarily employed as an effective weight-loss tactic. A study carried out by the Academic Department of Surgery, Consultation and Training Centre (within the Faculty of Medicine at Kuwait University) measured how 83 obese patients responded to the ketogenic diet. After carefully recording blood glucose levels, and performing a number of liver and renal tests, the participants were found to respond positively over the course of 24 weeks. The study discovered that the patients’ weight and body mass index decreased significantly, and left no lasting physical side effects.

Aside from standing as an effective weight-loss strategy, the ketogenic diet reduces hunger and helps maintain high levels of energy.

Individuals who follow the ketogenic diet experience enhanced mental faculties and improved focus. This is due to the ketones supplying energy consistently to the brain throughout the course of the diet, and not allowing a pitfall after stable momentum – unlike a high-sugar diet. 

Additionally, due to the diet urging the body to dig into and burn existing fat stores, the individual is able to improve both physical performance and endurance. This allows for longer, more active workouts, and ultimately leads to greater weight loss. 

Moreover, the ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920s as a means of controlling episodic epilepsy in children; a study published in the Journal of Child Neurology, 2009, focuses on how the ketogenic diet can be employed in such cases.

Likely Negatives 

Despite the aforementioned benefits, the ketogenic diet should be approached with caution. Given the strict nature of the diet, the initial adaptation to ketosis may result in sluggish or slowed responses, and decreased activity levels. 

However, these side effects are expected to subside after two to six weeks of following the diet, depending on individual body compositions and how the person responds to the diet. 

Another likely negative to consider is how the results are not immediately noticeable, which may not bode well in terms of maintaining consistent strictness regarding food intake. 

2 Day Keto Menu Plan:

Day One

Breakfast

Eggs (any style)
bacon or sugar free sausage
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)

Snack

Half an avocado with (potassium) salt and pepper

Lunch

Simple tuna salad (tuna, mayonnaise, salt and pepper)
romaine lettuce leaves (just spoon it in and eat like a taco)

Snack

12 almonds and/or 2 slices of cheese

Dinner

Salmon with sautéed spinach, garlic and onion. Parmesan cream sauce

Dessert

Walnut KETO Fudge

Day Two

Breakfast

Vanilla Protein Swirls
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)

Snack

12 almonds and/or 2 slices of cheese

Lunch

Tuna salad with mayonnaise (full fat)

Snack

2 boiled eggs sliced and spread with mayonnaise (full fat)

Dinner

Ribeye steak cooked in butter. Sliced organic mushrooms
2 cups baby spinach with carb free dressing

Dessert

BulkPowders Complete Protein Desert

This should be more than enough to get you started! Feel free to mix and match or eat the same thing every day if you want to – just as long as your net carbohydrate intake stays within 5% of your daily calorie intake. 

Jonny

References: 

Young, C. M., Scanlan, S. S., Im, H. S., & Lutwak, L. (1971). Effect on body composition and other parameters in obese young men of carbohydrate level of reduction diet. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 24(3), 290-296.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19535814

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/

diet plan fat loss fats ketogenic ketosis lose weight weight loss

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