The Ketogenic diet pretty much goes against everything you've been told about dieting
I'm extremely surprised by the results and how amazing I feel... I dropped 12 pounds in 6 weeks and lost about 3% body-fat (21% to 18%) and gained strength at the gym. All the bloating I used to have when clean eating went away, I have more energy and my hunger went down so much that I sometimes force myself to reach my 1500 calories per day. So even if it was hard getting into it at first, I though some of you would like to know about it!
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Keto is a very low-carbohydrates, high-fat, adequate protein diet. The Ketogenic diet is almost 100 yeard old, it was use as a treatment for the epileptic patients in the 1920 and 1930s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketogenic_diet.
How does the Ketogenic Diet work?
When you drastically limit your carbohydrates intake, your body can longer rely on it as its main source of energy, fat will become your new main source of energy which also includes your body fat. When using fat as energy, your body will first break it into Ketones. When your Ketones level is higher than normal (meaning you're burning fat), you are in a state of Ketosis.
What are the benefits of getting into a Ketogenic Diet?
1. The Ketogenic Diet helps you lose body-fat, bad cholesterol and preservers your lean body mass!
If you want to lose fat, this is the best way to do so. The reason for this is that when you're on a normal glycolytic metabolism, fat is considered as a backup fuel by your body and is only used as a last resort. On a "default metabolic state", if your body needs energy it will :
- First look for glucose in your blood-stream;
- If no glucose is found it will try to convert the glycogen in your liver into glucose;
- If no glycogen is found, it will break down MUSCLES and fat (fat being the very last option).
Under Ketosis, fat is the first option! Muscles and fat no longer compete against each other to provide energy. That is why this is the best option to lose fat and keep muscle mass.
Other facts :
Roughly 20% of your daily energy is used by your brain, under a state of Ketosis 80% of that energy will come from fat.
Also, under a state of Ketosis, your body sweat, exhale and excrete around 100 calories of Ketones per day.
For a 2000 calories diet, that represents an extra 400 calories of fat burnt per day for someone under a Ketogenic diet compared to someone who's main source of energy is carbohydrates.
2. The Ketogenic Diet can treat various diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer and epilepsy
- Studies have proven that people with a high level of blood sugar develop more cancer and that cancer patients with a high level of blood sugar have a lower survival rate. The reason for that is that cancer uses sugar as an energy source.
- Alzheimer is mostly due to low levels of beta amyloid, it has been proved that Ketosis raises the level of these beta amyloids. (Study about the effect of Ketosis on Alzheimer)
- Ketosis has been a well known and established treatment for epilepsy. (Publication about Ketogenic Diets And The Treatment Of Epilepsy)
3. Being in ketosis Reduces Hunger
The reason for that is that fat and proteins keeps you full for a longer period of time than carbohydrates. Also, the Ketosis metabolism works in a way to suppress your appetite, which naturally leads to a calorie deficit. It works so well that sometimes I have to force myself to reach my 1500 calories a day.
How Do I Get Into Ketosis
The first thing to do is the drastically limit your carbohydrates intake since Ketosis will only occur you have no more carbohydrates or sugar to use as energy and that you emptied your reserve of glycogen.
The ideal is to have 65% of your calories coming from fat, 30% coming from proteins and only 5% coming from fibrous carbohydrates.
- Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan
- Ketogenic Diet recipes (database)
- Keto Calculator (enter your information and we'll tell you the amount of nutrients you need)
It is important to consume enough protein since not consuming enough will lead to the loss of muscle-mass. It is also important to consume more fat than usual since this is your new main source of energy. You will feel tired and depleted if you're fat consumption is too low. Heavy cream and bacon are good for you.
How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis
If it's your first time doing a Ketogenic diet, it will take your body between 10 to 30 days to fully adapt to a Ketogenic metabolism. The reason why most people can't follow this diet is because of the adaptation phase. During this period of adaptation you will probably experience one or more of these symptoms : brain fog, irritability, cramps, fatigue and a craving for carbohydrates.
You have to know that each time you carb up, it will take you 2 to 3 days to get back into Ketosis.
How Do I Know I'm In Ketosis?
There is something on the market call Keto Sticks, you will have to urinate on it in order to find out the amount of Ketones (fat fragments) that's in you. Yes, that means that you're peeing fat!
What Are The Side Effects During The Adaptation Phase Of The Ketogenic Diet And How To Avoid Them?
This period isn't easy, I was used to a pretty low fat diet and sometimes that much fat gave me a bit of nausea. My way to go through it was to carb up to around 50 grams of carbohydrates when I felt like I couldn't handle it anymore and to gradually decrease over time. The hardest part was to eat less fruits but as the days passed, I craved carbohydrates less and now they're not even on my mind. But as said before, each time you carb up, it will take you 2 to 3 days to get back into Ketosis.
During this 10 to 30 days period of adaptation you will probably experience one or more of these symptoms :
- Frequent urination : this usually occurs after the day and is due to the fact that you're getting ride of the glycogen stored in your liver and your muscles and breaking glycogen will release a lot of water. It's important to drink more water to avoid dehydration. Your kidneys will also start excreting sodium as the insulin level in your blood drops, that will cause you to urinate more often as well.
- Brain fog, fatigue and cramps : This is due to a low level of minerals. By evacuating a lot of water at the beginning, you're also losing minerals like salt, potassium and magnesium. Not having enough minerals will make you feel like you have less energy. brain fog and muscle cramps. To avoid this, it is best to eat salty (drinking salty broth is also good), eat foods that are high in potassium (leafy greens, avocados and dairy foods) and to take some magnesium supplements before bed (400 mg is recommended unless you have hearth or kidney issues, then just ask your doc). It is highly recommended that you have 2 cups of leafy greens daily (I opt for baby spinach), this will regulate your hunger as well as providing you with potassium and vitamin K.
- Headaches : I don't know anyone who experienced that, but it might happen for 3-4 days. Just increase your salt intake if that happens.
- Reactive Hypoglycemia : If you used to eat a lot of carbs, your body is used to eliminate more insulin than it now needs. Read more about Reactive Hypoglycemia.
- Constipation : This will occur if you have a deficit in magnesium, to avoid it you can take magnesium supplements. You might also want to cut on your cheese intake if you eat it everyday.
- Diarrhea : This usually happens if you took the bad decision to cut your fat intake at the same time as you cut your carbohydrates. Make sure you replace the carbohydrates you are cutting with fat.
- Sugar craving : You can take L-Glutamin supplements. This is a natural amino acid that can be used by the brain as energy instead of glucose. Or read more about How To Stop Sugar Cravings.
Next : What to eat on Ketosis Ketogenic Diet : Food List
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