How A Ketogenic Diet Works
To understand why you might burn fat better on a keto diet or being in ketosis, imagine your body as a car. Glucose is your bodys gasoline: Your body breaks down food into glucose for energy.
But what happens when your body doesnt have enough glucose to use? After all, your car cant run without gasoline.
Fortunately, that doesnt happen with your body. You have a backup fuel called ketones, which your liver creates from fat, which puts your body in a state called ketosis.
On a keto diet, you restrict carbohydrates and protein, which means you consume a diet high in fat. Insufficient carbohydrates or protein means you dont have much glucose for fuel. Your body utilizes that back-up fuel, converting the fat you eat and body fat into ketones.
Youre literally burning fat for fuel!
Shifting from glucose to ketones could take days or weeks, and sustaining it can be equally challenging. Even small amounts of carbohydrates or excess protein can prevent your body from maintaining ketosis.
That makes keto a pretty strict diet. Maintaining that plan requires:
- Keeping your fat intake high. To get and stay in ketosis, youll eat a diet thats about 80 90% fat. In other words, most of your diet will consist of dietary fats.
Keto diets can be challenging, at least in the beginning. But some devotees swear by their benefits for weight loss and much more.
Is The Keto Diet Bad For You
Both Condon and Kleinman said they wouldnt recommend the keto diet to their patients because it is ultimately not realistic or sustainable. The diet restricts fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy that can help with long term weight loss and overall health.
Theres not one diet thats good for everyone, Kleinman said. Do your research, consult a dietitian, discuss with your doctor, and make sure youre being safe.
Call the Health and Nutrition Experts atUChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial at to discuss nutrition counseling programs offered to meet your personalized needs.
Where Can I Find Out More Information About The Diet
- Epilepsy.com’s Keto News includes summaries of cutting edge research and helpful hints for people with epilepsy, parents, and caregivers who receive or provide diets for the treatment of epilepsy.
- One book available is, “The Ketogenic Diet: A Treatment for Children and Others with Epilepsy,” by Dr. Kossoff and his team, which discusses the Johns Hopkins approach and experience.
- Watch Dr. Eric Kossoff in “The Promise and Challenge of Dietary Therapy for Epilepsy” at the George Washington University Epilepsy Grand Rounds on March 8, 2016.
- In an interview for CNN en EspaÃ±ol, Dr. Joseph Sirven explains the basics of the ketogenic diet. Find more information in Spanish about epilepsy here.Description of the Ketogenic Diet in Spanish / DescripciÃ³n de la Dieta KetogÃ©nica en EspaÃ±ol
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A Brief History Of The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet was originally designed by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic to help treat kids with epilepsy seizures. During the 1920s and 1930s, it got very popular as an effective way to treat epilepsy, but as anti-seizure medication became more prevalent during the 1940s, the keto diet was shelved .
In more recent years, the popularity of the low carb diet has prompted a resurgence of interest into the keto diet plan, this time as a highly effective method of losing weight and losing fat, in particular. A lot of people have found the keto diet helps them stay healthy and in shape.
Sounds like a great plan right? However, when you mention the keto diet to medical professionals, there might be some confusion and misinformation.
The main confusion has arisen due to 2 very similar sounding words: ketosis and ketoacidosis. They sound similar but are actually very different.
How Does The Keto Diet Work By Helping You Burn Fat For Energy
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. Originally used as a treatment for epilepsy, this diet has been shown to help improve mental clarity, boost energy levels, improve sleep patterns, and lead to rapid weight and fat loss.
The keto diet works by restricting your body of carbohydrates, which is converted to glucose in your body. When your body doesnt have glucose for energy, it starts burning fat instead. When your body converts fat as its primary fuel source, you are in a metabolic state of ketosis, the goal of the keto diet.
While cutting out entire food groups may sound intimidating at first, its a lifestyle that many people find preferable to high-carb diets. For more information on how to get started on keto, view this beginners guide.
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Make Certain Your Keto Diet Is Well Formulated
While like any diet, you need to find the right proportion and balance of macronutrients in order for your body to begin burning accumulated fat rather than stored glucose.
The amount of fat you eat when following a keto diet is quite a bit higher than on most other diets. Youll want to aim to consume about 60 to 75% of your calories come from dietary fat and 15 to 30% protein, with the remaining calories for carbs, says Sharon Zarabi, RD, director of the bariatric program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
“There is still some debate on the effects of saturated fats and what constitutes a healthy dose. There has been quite a bit of buzz around grass-fed cows producing cream, dairy, and butter. Ghee has been popular on the market as well, as a clarified form of butter,” Ms. Zarabi says. “It’s really the trans fats that I think people need to understand and the harmful effects on the heart and cholesterol.”
It’s really the trans fats that you’ll want to avoid completely. “Trans fats are highly processed, and heated to a point where they create free radicals in the body, which increase your risk of cancer.,” she says, “Trans fats are found in hydrogenated oils , and these are mostly used in the preparation of processed crackers and packaged foods.”
KETO DIET PLAN
Once youve reached ketosis, you will gain the benefits and be able to take a keto holiday , which is necessary to manage for as long as you need to.
Ketosis Cant Fuel The Body By Itself: The Importance Of Gluconeogenesis
No matter how keto-adapted you become, many of your cells will still need glucose to survive. To meet the energy needs of the brain and body that cannot be met by ketones, the liver uses a process called gluconeogenesis.
Remeber how we mentioned earlier that glycerol is converted into glucose via gluconeogenesis? Well, amino acids from proteins and lactate from the muscles can be converted into sugar as well.
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Is It Possible That The Keto Diet Doesnt Work For Some Poor Guys
Ive been eating a strict keto diet for five weeks without losing weight, but experiencing almost all the side effects , but after checking every possible reason and still have so many terrible side effects , I just wonder maybe its just not suitable for me that I have to quit
Anyway, thanks a lot for all the information and the wide knowledge!Emeline
Hi Emeline. I am sorry to hear you are experiencing those side effects. For most people they will go away within a couple weeks, especially with adequate hydrate and electrolyte supplementation. For some, however, the symptoms may last longer. Although the keto diet is an effective tool for most people who try it, there are some who may not do as well. For those people, and you may be one of them, we usually recommend a low-carb rather than a keto diet. Low-carb can mean anything less than 100 grams per day, but you want to try 50 grams to start. Just make sure you stick to high-quality, minimally processed carbs. That will hopefully relieve the side effects you are experiencing while still giving you benefits of relative carb restriction and overall health gains.
Its Costly And Leaves A Big Carbon Footprint
Your focus may be on weight loss, but the keto diet can shed dollars from your wallet, too. Most keto dieters get their fat from pricey sources like dairy and meat, which also contribute to the top causes of climate change . For people who are passionate about environmental issues, keto is not exactly the poster child for an earth-friendly meal plan.
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You Are Losing Centimetres
I cant emphasise this enough, take your measurements not on the scales!
Our body holds onto weight for a variety of reasons and often we get depressed when we step on the scale every day only to find our weight has crept up.
Measure your body at various places and focus on changing your body shape, improving muscle tone, your waist size and youll see much more progress than the scales will ever give you.
Tips For Eating Out On A Ketogenic Diet
Many restaurant meals can be made keto-friendly.
Most restaurants offer some kind of meat or fish-based dish. Order this and replace any high carb food with extra vegetables.
Egg-based meals are also a great option, such as an omelet or eggs and bacon.
Another favorite is bun-less burgers. You could also swap the fries for vegetables instead. Add extra avocado, cheese, bacon, or eggs.
At Mexican restaurants, you can enjoy any type of meat with extra cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
For dessert, ask for a mixed cheese board or berries with cream.
When eating out, select a meat-, fish-, or egg-based dish. Order extra veggies instead of carbs or starches, and have cheese for dessert.
Although the ketogenic diet is usually safe for most healthy people, there may be some initial side effects while your body adapts.
Theres some anecdotal evidence of these effects often referred to as the keto flu . Based on reports from some on the eating plan, its usually over within a few days.
Reported keto flu symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting . Other less common symptoms include:
- poor energy and mental function
- increased hunger
- digestive discomfort
To minimize this, you can try a regular low carb diet for the first few weeks. This may teach your body to burn more fat before you completely eliminate carbs.
Many of the side effects of starting a ketogenic diet can be limited. Easing into the diet and taking mineral supplements can help.
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What Are The Dangers Of The Keto Diet
If you are on diabetic medication that causes low blood sugar, those meds may need to be adjusted within a few days, Condon said. There are heart-healthy sources of fat, however if that person is not educated on heart-healthy sources of fat, they may consume excessive amounts of saturated fats that can increase your risk of heart disease, Condon said.
How Do The Various Versions Of Ketogenic Diets Differ
The Standard Ketogenic Diet appears to be the most researched particularly with regard to its ability to help people lose weight and control blood sugar. It typically comprises 70-75% fat, 20% protein and 5-10% carbs. When following a ketogenic diet be sure to include plenty of non-starchy vegetables, like kale and spinach which are very low in carbohydrate.
What should I do before starting a ketogenic diet?
If you are interested in adopting this sort of diet you should consult your GP to confirm it is appropriate and safe for you to do so. Before you start the diet, focus on liver-supportive foods like garlic and onions and try to reduce your intake of sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
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The Pricing And Availability Of Express Keto
For $60 each bottle, Express Keto is only available on expressketo.com.
If you want to get more than two bottles, youll need to buy two of everything. If you buy three or five bottles, you get a bigger discount.
The following is a breakdown of the costs:
a single bottle costs $69.95 two bottles cost $45.95 three bottles cost $79.95 four bottles cost $99.95.
Each bottle costs $39.95, but when you buy three, you get two free.
A 30-day supply of Express Keto is included in each of the boxes . The company recommends using two Express Keto tablets every day in order to lose weight quickly.
Express Keto can be purchased using a credit card from Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.
Youre Eating Too Much Fat
Image credit: Total Shape
I cant tell you how many times I have seen someone offer the suggestion of eating more fat to someone who is not losing weight with Keto.
Yes, Keto is a relatively high fat diet BUT if you are trying to lose weight, your body should be relying on some of its stores of fat for energy. This means if you eat more fat, you will burn LESS body fat, because you are eating it instead. Make sense?
Fat is not a free for all food, it is very high calorie and needs to be balanced. This article from Ditch The Carbs summarises it perfectly:
Assess how much fat youre adding to your meals and beverages and try reducing the amount. See if it has any effect on your weight, and make sure to note any changes in your hunger levels. If you feel hungry, then you have probably reduced your fat intake too much. Youre looking for the level of fat intake where youre not hungry, but your body is able to rely on its own body fat for energy.
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Keto Diet Food For Energy
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Your Exact Carb Intake
When starting a ketogenic diet, it may help to keep track of exactly how many carbs you are consuming daily.
This helps ensure that you enter ketosis relatively quickly and avoid some of the symptoms associated with the keto flu, which is a group of symptoms, including headaches and brain fog, related to starting a keto diet.
If you eat too many carbs, you will not stay in ketosis, and the potential benefits of the diet, including weight loss, will be diminished.
For most people, eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day should be sufficient to stimulate ketosis .
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You Dont Need To Lose Weight
Sometimes our expectations of the number on the scale are not aligned with reality. Sure, you used to weigh 60kgs when you were 17, but you might not be 17 anymore.
Your body requires and therefore produces more fat as you get older, and your natural healthy weight range will increase.
If this might be you, focus on body recomposition instead take your measurements.
What Are The Risks
The keto diet emphasizes protein and fat but doesnt distinguish between lean protein food and food thats high in saturated fat or overly processed . Honestly, its easy and convenient to order a burger from your favourite take-out, minus the bun, and think youre nailing the keto credo. And yet, a diet too high in animal protein, in study after study, has been associated with cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The keto diet can also lead to nutrient deficiency , liver problems and kidney problems .
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Keto Diet: What It Is How It Works And Why It May Not Be Safe
ByStephanie Pappaspublished 19 September 18
The keto diet, short for “ketogenic,” involves eating a high amount of fat, a moderate amount of protein and very few carbs even fruit is off the table. As with any fad diet, adherents tout weight loss, increased energy and greater mental clarity among the benefits. But is the keto diet all it’s cracked up to be?
Not precisely, nutritionists and dietitians say. Low-carb diets like the keto do appear to lead to some short-term weight loss, but they’re not significantly more effective than any other commercial or self-help diet. And they don’t appear to improve athletic performance.
“Depending on your approach, can contribute to significant lean body mass loss along with fat loss,” said Melinda Manore, a professor of nutrition at Oregon State University. And as with other fad diets, people typically regain the weight once they go off the diet.
Is There Anything Good About It
The diet was originally developed in the early 1920s by a Mayo Clinic doctor, Russell Wilder, as a way to reduce seizures in epileptic children, which it did, sometimes more effectively than medication. Because of the neuroprotective effects, theories have recently been posited about the possible benefits for brain disorders such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, MS and even brain cancer. But, and theres a big but, there are No! Human! Studies! to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.
Its helpful to remember the big picture: The dieting world is an industry, says Dr. Zentner, and it has convinced a population of people, particularly women, that if we just eat a certain way and exercise enough we can have whatever body we want, and whatever health we want, which is a lie. And then the accompanying subliminal message is that if you didnt achieve your goal, you werent working hard enough. What weve done as a society is to ask people to engage in prayer-based therapy to treat a multi-faceted, complex situation. And the keto diet happens to be the latest bible to read from.
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