There is a new diet or maybe it’s just new to you called “The Ketogenic Diet” and it seems to be in the spotlight now. However, most people have no idea what it, how it works or even if it’s right for them.
What is the ketogenic diet? Quite simply. The Keto diet is a way of eating that switches your body’s main source of fuel from burning sugar (glycolysis) to burning fat (ketosis). Making that switch will place your body in a state of “ketosis,” when your body becomes a fat burner rather than a sugar burner. To do this you need to reduce your carb intake and increase your consumption of healthy fats, which help create satiety (feeling of full). Without glucose, which you can’t get from fat, coursing through your body, it’s now forced to burn fat and produce ketones instead. Once the blood levels of ketones rise to a certain point, which can be tested with test strips, you officially reach “ketosis”.
Keto diets, like most low carb diets such as the Paleo diet, work through the elimination of glucose. Because most of us live on a high carb diet, our bodies normally run on glucose (or sugar) for energy. We cannot make glucose and only have about 24 hours’ worth stored in our muscle tissue and liver. Once glucose is no longer available from food sources, we begin to burn stored fat instead, or fat from our food. This is critical as we can never burn stored fat if we keep storing it by eating sugar rich carbohydrates (high glycemic carbs) instead of burning the storage form of sugar, which is fat.
Remember the Atkins diet? Well, the Keto diet is similar to the Atkins diet which similarly boosts the body’s fat-burning abilities through eating only low-carb foods, along with getting rid of foods high in carbs and sugar. The major differences between the classic Keto and the Atkins diet, the former emphasizes healthier fats (clean Keto), less overall protein. and no processed meat (such as bacon) which is termed “dirty” keto.
So many people ask us, does the keto diet work? Yes, especially for some people, but only if you can get your body into ketosis which is hard to do. Here’s how you get your body into ketosis and start burning body fat for fuel in a keto diet for beginners:
- Consumption of glucose from carbohydrate foods — grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, ANYTHING with sugar, etc. — is cut way down.
- This forces your body to find an alternative fuel source: FAT (think avocados, coconut oil, salmon, nuts).
- Meanwhile, in the absence of glucose, the body also starts to burn fat and produces ketones instead driving you into ketosis. The main ketone that you can test is beta-hydroxybutyrate.
- Once ketone levels in the blood rise to a certain point, you enter into a state of ketosis.
- This state of high ketone levels results in quick and consistent weight loss until you reach a healthy, stable body weight.
Research from Ketogenic diets are showing a lot of promise for many different conditions including Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, Depression and so many other promising areas. For the right individuals, this is a very sensible diet if done properly.