Keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, moderate protein, and a high-fat diet. The main difference between the Keto diet and other good diets is how it turns those foods into energy. The body usually relies on carb (sugar) reserves as a fuel, but the keto diet focuses on drastic carbohydrate reduction and replaces these carbohydrates with fats. When this occurs, the body enters a ketosis state which is the ultimate goal of a Keto diet. Ketosis is a metabolic process in which the body begins to use stored fats if there are insufficient carbs and sugar reserves.
Ketosis is a metabolic process. When carbohydrates and sugar reserves are insufficiently stored in the body. Ketosis translates stored fats to ketones in the liver, small molecules that are then supplied as a source of brain energy.
In short, the ketogenic diet turns the fuel supply into consumed fats for 24x 7 hours. The result is a significant reduction in insulin and blood sugar levels in this diet. And if you start producing fats so ketones, your body can tap into more energy reserves and burn excess fats that result in lower weight and better mood. This diet can have other advantages in relation to different conditions of health, such as:
- Heart diseases
- Alzheimer disease
- Parkinson diseases
- Diabetes (type 2)
- Brain injuries
There are several versions of the Keto diet, but a standard ketogenic diet contains:
Fats: 75 to 90 %
Proteins: 20 to 25 %
Carbs: 5 to 10 %
The Science Behind Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is characterized by low-carb, medium-protein, and high-fat intake. The combination of these three ingredients will cause the body to go into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic shift in the body in a way that allows the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates that are consumed are converted into glucose and insulin. Here, glucose is basically sugar. Glucose is the most convenient source of energy because your body can convert it to energy easier. As such, the body prefers using that up first. Another byproduct of carbohydrates is insulin, which is a hormone produced by your pancreas. This hormone helps process glucose in your body by transporting the glucose in the body to where it is needed. When your body has enough energy, the excess glucose will be converted to adipose tissue, or fat, as a backup. Of course, that does not mean that the body uses that fat first if there are carbohydrates available.
You see, the fat in your body is considered to be the backup source of power. Therefore, in a normal situation, your body would burn carbohydrates, then fats, then proteins, in that order. As such, the body does not burn fat as effectively. Ketosis promotes weight loss by making the body prioritize burning fat, thus resulting in more fat being burned.
Many ordinary diets contain plenty of carbohydrates, which are not bad in itself. It is only bad when you take in more energy than you spend it, which means you create an energy leftover which would be converted to fat. Day by day, your weight adds up very quickly. For such a diet, glucose is the main source of energy because it contains plenty of it. However, the glucose in your body can only last you a few days. Your body will convert glucose to fat if you do not use glucose up. So when your glucose store runs dry in a few days, your body will switch to another source of energy through a biochemical process known as ketogenesis.
When this process starts, your liver starts to take the fat in your body and break it down, creating an alternative source of energy. When that happens, your ketone level goes up and your body. This is the moment when you enter ketosis.
How to Enter Ketosis
You have a few options when it comes to entering ketosis.
The most direct one is by depriving your body of carbohydrates, therefore glucose, through fasting for a long period of time. When you stop eating altogether, your body will turn to burn fat as a source of energy because it has no glucose to work with. But of course, fasting and intermittent fasting is a whole different subject on its own and we will not cover that in this book. But do remember that fasting has its caveat.
Another option is to eat less. You just have to consume less than 20 to 50 grams of your daily carbohydrate intake a day. This will depend on who is fasting. Some require fewer while some require more, perhaps even more than 50 grams. However, the bottom line is that people who are on a keto diet only consume 5% of their usual carbohydrate intake.
But whatever method you use, it all boils down to this:
- Cut down on carbs intake to 5% of regular intake
- Increase fat intake to 80%
- The lack of carbs will force the body to burn fat instead
- When the ketone level in your blood rises high enough, you enter a state of ketosis
What are the Benefits of Ketos Diet
Keto diet is unlike any other diet that disappears just as abruptly as they appear. In fact, the keto diet has been practiced for far longer than you think. Its root can be traced back to the 1920s. A ketogenic diet is based on a solid understanding of physiology and nutrition science, so it is not some hogwash pseudoscience either. It is grounded on science and it has been proven to be effective.
Keto diet is very effective for many people because it provides a wide variety of benefits that anyone can benefit from, regardless of their gender or age. Some of the benefits are the direct remedy to weight gain such as hormonal imbalance (especially for menopause), elevated insulin as well as high blood sugar level. A keto diet is not only beneficial for the body either. The diet has therapeutic benefits that really help those who have brain disorders.
Weight loss with Keto Diet
Of course, the main reason why people jump on the keto wagon in the first place is the fact that the keto diet is an effective way to lose weight. A diet that is rich in fat content but low in carbs such as the keto diet minimizes hunger in your body. It just does not feel as hungry when you are in ketosis. Not only that, but your body’s ability to burn fat is also boosted due to hormonal changes in your body.
When you eat normally by following an ordinary diet, the food you eat provides your body with carbohydrates. When they enter the system, your body releases insulin. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels by converting the excess into fat for later use. With a lower level of insulin, our body is more likely to use existing fat in the body for energy instead of storing the excess energy as fat.
Moreover, a keto diet that packs a lot of healthy fat and protein is very filling, which can help suppress your appetite and prevent overeating.
the keto diet is effective for weight loss. Studies have proven that individuals lost 2.2 times more weight on Keto diet than when on a calorie-restricted diet. So let’s get into more details about how this happens.
- Limiting carb intake limits food options which reduces calorie intake. As a result, less carb consumption becomes key for fat loss.
- Increase the intake of protein result in shedding weight.
- When carbs are in short supply, the body starts burning fats and protein. This process, called gluconeogenesis, also burn additional calories.
- Keto diet always makes its consumers feel full as it has a positive impact on hunger hormone. Hence, you get to control your hunger and limit eating whenever hunger strikes.
- Since there is less carb in the food, the Keto diet has plentiful fats that help your body keep active and energetic during rest, exercise, and other daily activities.
- Last but not least, the rise in blood ketone levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and a drop in blood sugar levels also play a key role.
Now that you have made up your mind to start your keto journey, you need to make your experience the best of the best. Therefore, avoid these mistakes which keto-ers often tend to make.
Firstly, you need to understand that going keto doesn’t mean that you have to go for a food strike. No, whenever you feel hungry, you need to eat. Start with eating non-starchy vegetables. Vegetables contained essential vitamins, fiber, and electrolytes that will prepare your body for some side effects of keto diet in your initial days.
Secondly, when ketone level rises in the blood, they are excreted out of the body through sweat and urine. This way, your body loses electrolyte at an increase. Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink lots of water, take electrolyte by adding sea salt to your bone, or just have bone broth.
Lastly, fats in keto diet don’t mean consuming all type of fats. You need to make sure that the fats you eat are healthy, non processed fats. Your approach for keto food should be a clean and healthy meal based on whole foods like organic eggs, fish, butter, avocado, and coconut oil. In the same way, you can’t eat processed meats.