You may have heard of the Keto diet lately, it has been a pretty popular diet in these past years and the popularity keeps growing and growing, but what is it?
WHAT IS THE KETOGENIC DIET
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets, although is now quite the same, but we’ll get on to that later.
It mainly involves reducing carbohydrate intake drastically and replacing it with healthy fats. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When in ketosis, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits.
KETOGENIC DIET VARIATIONS
There are many versions of the ketogenic diet, although they are all high fat, low carb they are not quite the same:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
However, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.
Today’s blog focus is i the SKD diet although many of the same principles apply to other variations.
KETOGENIC DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS
There is strong evidence that ketogenic diets are very effective for weight loss. They are extremely helpful when it comes to lose fat while preserving muscle mass.
Many studies have compared the typical low-fat diet to a ketogenic diet for weight loss and findings often demonstrate that the ketogenic diet is more effective, even when the total calorie intake is matched.
Other researchers have found that people can still lose fat on a keto diet even if food intake is not controlled or restricted. So, if you dislike counting calories and are looking for a long-term diet to lose weight it might spark your interest.
MECHANISMS USED IN THE KETO DIET
Here are the techniques used in a ketogenic diet to promote weight loss:
- Higher protein intake: Some ketogenic diets lead to an increase in protein intake, which has many weight loss benefits.
- Food elimination: Limiting your carb intake also limits your food options. This can noticeably reduce calorie intake, which is key for fat loss.
- Gluconeogenesis: Your body converts fat and protein into carbs for fuel. This process may burn many additional calories each day.
- Appetite suppressant: Ketogenic diets help you feel full. This is supported by positive changes in hunger hormones, including leptin and ghrelin.
- Improved insulin sensitivity: Ketogenic diets can drastically improve insulin sensitivity, which can help improve fuel utilization and metabolism.
- Decreased fat storage: Some research suggests ketogenic diets may reduce lipogenesis, the process of converting sugar into fat.
- Increased fat burning: Ketogenic diets rapidly increase the amount of fat you burn during rest, daily activity and exercise.
It is very clear that a ketogenic diet can be a successful weight loss tool compared to the recommended high-carb, low-protein and low-fat diets.
Let us know if you are thinking about getting started on the ketogenic diet and if this article was helpful.
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Here are the studies this article is based on: