27 Sep Ketogenic Diet & Weight Loss
More than one-third of the United States adults (39.8%) are overweight (1). As an effect of the rising obesity and knowledge of the related health problems, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, everyone is looking for a safe and steady way to lose weight.
The popularity of ketogenic diet (short form: keto diet) and its claimed weight loss benefits has led many individuals to inquire about keto.
Here’s some research-backed information you need to know about keto diet as a beginner.
Ketogenic diet: What is it?
Keto diet was first introduced in the 1920s for managing epilepsy. Over the years, researchers have discovered other benefits of this diet as well, such as weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. In the absence of sufficient carbohydrates, the body is forced to use fat as its fuel. The fat metabolism results in the production of fatty acids, which are then converted into ketone bodies through the process of ketosis, hence the name ketogenic diet (2).
As a result of ketosis, most cells use ketone bodies to release energy for cellular functions – the role usually played by glucose breakdown – until we start eating a high-carb diet again. During ketosis more fats are burnt for energy expenditure of the body, and hence the weight loss.
Keto diet promotes the idea of meatier meals and calls for low intake of carbohydrates – fewer than 50 grams. To give you an idea, an ounce of wheat bread contains 16 grams of carbohydrates.
Types of Keto Diet
Keto diet is actually a descendant of Atkins diet and other low-carb diets. Over the years, it has evolved to produce various versions to suit individualistic needs.
1. Standard ketogenic diet (SKD)
SKD is the most common type of keto diet and is the best version for keto beginners. The daily rules are:
- 20-50 grams of total carbohydrates
- 20-25 percent diet composed of protein (0.8 grams per pound of your body weight)
- 75 percent fat
2. Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD):
As the name indicates, CKD involves a cycle of 5-day low-carb intake followed by a 2-day high-carb diet. This form of the keto diet is usually best for athletes.
3. High-protein ketogenic diet:
This is similar to SKD, but includes more protein. Instead of the standard 70% fats, 25% proteins, and 5% carbs, high-protein keto diet requires 60% fats, 35% proteins, and 5% carbs.
Individuals who perform strength training may benefit more from this diet.
4. Targeted ketogenic diet:
The word “targeted” here implies eating before or after a workout. Targeted keto allows you to eat 25-50 grams of carbs 30-60 minutes before exercise.
Keto diet for weight loss
Weight loss is often seen as an effect of following a certain diet. But, it is usually difficult to maintain that weight because of the physiologic adaptation. Diet-induced weight loss is often accompanied by increased hunger, lower metabolic rate, and an increased tendency to restore fat (3).
With keto diet, it’s different.
Many studies have found keto diet an effective way to lose weight and keep those extra pounds off. A meta-analysis of 13 research studies on ketogenic diet suggests that individuals who lose weight following a keto diet tend to maintain that weight more easily as compared to those on low-fat diets (4).
In a study exploring the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients, it was seen that after a 24-week administration of keto diet, there was a significant reduction in the body weight of participants. Their lipid profile also improved; HDL (good fat) had increased, and the levels of triglycerides and LDL (bad fat) had reduced.
As no side effects were seen during the period of this study, it was concluded that keto diet – contrary to what was proposed earlier – may be safe to use for a longer time; if not really long, at least a 24 week period seem safe (5).
Another research showed that there was a greater weight loss in study participants who followed the low-carb diet as compared to those who were on a healthy-eating menu (6).
How to start a keto diet?
Each one of us has a different genetic makeup, metabolic rate, lifestyle, and food preferences. It is these factors that starting a new diet requires consultation with a GP and nutritionist.
In the upcoming section, we’ll provide you with some necessary details on what to eat on a ketogenic diet for weight loss, though your trip to a physician is still pending.
Keto diet foods
You’d love any keto diet menu if you are a meat and seafood lover. As a general rule, you are to add fewer carbs and more fats to your diet. Here’s the list of keto foods you can enjoy while getting nearer to your weight loss goal:
- Unprocessed meat
- Wild caught fish, especially salmon
- High-fat dairy like butter
- Unprocessed cheese
- Nuts (in moderation)
- Bone Broth
- Coffee and tea without sugar
- Veggies, such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, avocado, spinach, kale, green beans, and zucchini.
- Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
Although a keto diet is high in fats, you still have to watch out for unhealthy fats and processed diet.
Foods to avoid on keto
Low-carb foods provide you more variety to add to your plate while still following the daily bracket of 5% carbs. The list of foods given below is high in carbs, and you need to limit their intake.
- Baked beans
- Cookies and Chocolates
- Root vegetables, such as potatoes, parsnip, beetroot, onion
Key question: Is keto diet healthy?
As a physician who prefers to integrate medicine, nutritional science, and ancient healing techniques, I have helped many patients regain control of their health using the very benefits of a keto diet. It has proven an effective weight loss method in many individuals.
The benefits of keto diet are not just limited to weight loss; ketogenic foods – other than being delicious – improve heart health, acne, mental performance, and physical energy. Keto diet also helps you manage diabetes by reducing spikes in blood glucose levels.
Another huge advantage related to high-fat, low-carb diet is the ability to go on diet without having to suffer hunger. Unlike other diets, keto diet plan keeps you satisfied and full for longer.
Ketogenic diet can be an effective approach towards better health. Be it your weight loss goal or a general approach to living a healthy life, keto diet can benefit you in multiple ways.