Ketogenic Diet: An Effective Way to Lose Those Unwanted Pounds After the Holidays
Tue, April 20, 2021

Ketogenic Diet: An Effective Way to Lose Those Unwanted Pounds After the Holidays

The holidays are over, and many of us are starting on that New Year’s resolution to shed off the additional pounds we have gotten from all that wining and dining, which means going on a healthier diet and starting a fitness regimen / Photo by: citalliance via 123RF

 

The holidays are over, and many of us are starting on that New Year’s resolution to shed off the additional pounds we have gotten from all that wining and dining, which means going on a healthier diet and starting a fitness regimen.

But the big question is, which kind of diet should suit us and prove to be the most effective? Among the list of diet variations and regimens to help lose unwanted fat quickly, the ketogenic diet is a popular choice to do the trick. And despite the recent hype for this kind of diet, it is actually not something new. As far as the field of medicine is concerned, the ketogenic diet has been around for almost 100 years, initially to treat epilepsy in children.

In the 1970s, according to Harvard Health, the online media and publishing division of the Harvard Medical School of Harvard University, Dr. Robot Atkins popularized a very low carbohydrate diet weight-loss program that began with a strict ketogenic phase, with many other diets imitating the approach since then.


What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet, or keto diet for short, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is said to have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Meals are 70% or 80% fat, with around 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate. Evidently, it’s not a high-protein diet. It typically includes plenty of meat, eggs, processed meats like bacon and sausages, cheese, fish, nuts, butter, oils, and fibrous vegetables.

The Cleveland Clinic shared that the keto diet switches you from burning glucose sourced from carbohydrates to burning ketones sourced from fat for energy. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar as the body’s main source of energy, which comes from carbohydrates. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, our body starts breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies in a process called ketosis. Upon reaching ketosis, the body uses ketones to generate energy until we eat carbohydrates again. This is equivalent to the body eating less than 20 to 50 calories of carbohydrates per day, with carbohydrates normally accounting for at least 50% of the typical American diet.

Among the keto diet regimens, there is the standard ketogenic diet, a low-carb, moderate protein, and a high-fat diet, which typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. The cyclical keto diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, with five keto days followed by two high-carb days. The targeted keto diet allows for carbs around workout sessions, with the high-protein keto diet including a ration of greater protein than the standard at 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs. The standard and high-carb diets are the most studied among the different keto regimens.

Benefits of a Keto Diet

Above all, the keto diet is most known to help reduce fat. According to Healthline, an online source of medical information, research from the Annals of Internal Medicine (2004) studied 120 overweight individuals with elevated blood lipids, randomized and subjected to a low-carb (ketogenic diet) or a low-fat diet. This was intended to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia across 24 weeks. In total, the low-carb diet group lost 9.4 kilograms (20.7 pounds) compared to the low-fat group, which lost 4.8 kilograms (10.6 pounds). This proved that those taking meals according to the ketogenic diet had greater improvement in blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

Due to ketosis, the body becomes efficient at burning fat for energy. It turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy to the brain, reduces blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as provide numerous other health benefits.

Who Should I Try This Diet? 

Again, the keto diet has numerous benefits, which can be good for those with type 2 diabetes, those who are morbidly obese, or those who cannot control epilepsy with medications. The Cleveland Clinic shared that one study found approximately 60% of participants showing signs of reversed diabetes and an average weight loss of 30 pounds after one year of the keto diet. These patients no longer needed insulin and hypoglycemic drugs, with the diet a lot easier to manage than a calorie-restricted one. In the same way, this can help obese individuals control their weight. In addition, the keto diet is a way of treating patients with epilepsy and children who have seizures but experience bad side effects with their drug treatment. 

However, patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition. The ketogenic diet focuses on proteins and fat-processed food, which can have negative effects on those with existing problems. Additionally, the keto diet may induce bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems in some individuals. 

The most important thing to think about when beginning a diet is that it is individualized. Each person is different, with a different body. Some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones while some are not able to eat in the way that the keto diet functions, which is through fat and proteins. A particular diet may be a highly effective strategy for some but not for others.

It is important to remember that while the ketogenic diet is known to be therapeutic, it is still not for everyone. It may be a good alternative to help shave that post-holiday weight, but should there be any side effect or ill feeling, it’s best to consult a doctor or nutritionist to lose those pounds in the best way suited to your body.

The ketogenic diet, or keto diet for short, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is said to have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Meals are 70% or 80% fat, with around 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate / Photo by: bondd via 123RF