Ketogenic Diet 101
The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, very high-fat diet.
It has recently gained a lot of popularity in the wellness sphere because of some of its health benefits.
A ketogenic diet has been shown to help some people lose weight (yes, even with high fat). It can also help improve certain health conditions, like epilepsy in children.
Here we will tackle how it reprograms your metabolism (for “ketosis”), and whether or not it’s something for you to consider.
WHAT IS “KETOSIS?”
Carbs are the macronutrient in sugars and starches. They are the preferred fuel for your brain and muscles. Your body will always use carbs first, whenever they’re available.
This is why maintaining stable blood sugar can affect your attention, mood, and energy level.
However, when very low amounts of carbs are available for fuel, your body starts making compounds known as “ketones.” These are your body’s “backup fuel.” And your body makes them from fat.
Ketogenic literally means “the generation of ketones.”
After a while being on a diet very low in carbs, your blood level of ketones increases. This is the metabolic state known as "ketosis." It's the same process that your body goes through if you've fasted for 72 hours and depleted your supply of carbs as fuel. That's the trigger for turning fat into ketones.
“Ketosis” from a ketogenic diet is not the same thing as the dangerous condition known as “ketoacidosis.”
KETOGENIC DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS
With a high fat intake, it may be hard for some people to get their head around the fact that a ketogenic diet is actually very effective for weight loss.
We’ve been so brainwashed over the last few decades that if you don’t want to be fat – don’t eat fat. And from there we began our war on fat creating an insane amount of low fat or non-fat products. And what was the result? Our society has never struggled more with excess weight.
The ketogenic diet often has better results than low-fat diets. At least one study showed that people lost 2.2 times more weight on a ketogenic diet than those on low-fat or calorie-controlled diets.
How is this possible?
Eating all that fat and protein is filling! It helps release satiety hormones that tell us that we're full and satisfied, and we don't need to eat anymore. Many people don't need to count calories or track food intake, as they do with low-fat or calorie-controlled diets. And they often don’t feel hungry.
So, by eating enough fat and protein to go into “ketosis,” you can actually feel fuller and eat less food overall. Of course, this can help with weight loss. KETOGENIC DIET FOR IMPROVED HEALTH
Some studies show other health benefits of the ketogenic diet.
As you can imagine, having very low levels of carbs can help reduce blood sugar and insulin issues.
One study showed improved blood triglycerides (fat) and cholesterol numbers. Others show lower blood sugar levels, and even up to 75% improvement in insulin sensitivity.
Several studies show reduced seizures in children who follow a ketogenic diet.
Changing your metabolism has widespread health effects. And this can be beneficial for some people.
HOW TO DO THE KETOGENIC DIET
Not everyone should go on a ketogenic diet. Make sure you speak with a trained healthcare practitioner before you try it. It can have side effects, including the infamous “keto flu.”
The ketogenic diet involves getting 60-75% of your calories from fat, 20-35% from protein, and just 5% from carbs. Many people find it quite restrictive and are unable to stay on it for a long time. Not only that, being on the ketogenic diet for a long period of time can actually have harmful effects on your thyroid due to the incredibly low carbs, and reduce your vitamin and nutrient intake.
The foods to focus on for a ketogenic diet are meat, fatty fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, avocados, and low-carb vegetables (cucumber, celery, peppers, zucchini, leafy greens, etc.).
The main thing to avoid are foods that are high in carbs. These include sugary foods and desserts, grains, fruit, legumes, starchy vegetables, alcohol and “diet foods.”
And because of the limits on fruit and starchy vegetables, many people on the ketogenic diet need to take supplements. This is because, in addition to their sugar and starch, fruits and starchy veggies are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. So, if you're cutting those foods out, you still need to give your body those nutrients. And often, it means needing supplements.
HOW PEOPLE MESS IT UP
Although the ketogenic diet can have many benefits to health and weight loss, it also can have many negative effects if not done in a balanced and healthy way. More often than not, I see people doing the ketogenic diet in a very negative way. Removing almost all fruits and vegetables and replacing those high nutrient dense foods with processed meats.
Ya, I’m talking about the B word.
I don’t care how you slice it, bacon has never and will never be healthy for your body.
Worth it? Often.
But let’s not use ketosis as an excuse to eat high nitrate, sodium laden pork in place of antioxidant, vitamin filled fruits and veggies.
Another issue I see often with the ketogenic diet is dehydration and low fibre intake. Meaning you get bummed right up, man.
Hot Tip: If you aren’t pooping every day, you’ve got a problem.
You know what’s less sexy than talking about poop? Having a colon so full of poop that your belly is bloated, descended and having a bowel movement is more painful than labour.
By all means, give the ketogenic diet a try and see how it can help your health. But PLEASE read a book, buy a meal plan, and use common sense. You don’t need to feel like crap to look great. Weight loss is a by-product of a healthy balanced body, so if you don’t feel amazing – you need to reassess.
I am a much bigger fan of following a high fat low carb diet that has a larger focus on those high fiber, alkalizing foods. This way of eating allows for the benefits of the ketogenic diet while keeping your health at the forefront.
Check out my FREE webinar to learn how to use the ketogenic principles in a more relaxed way for maximum health, weight loss without all the deprivation here.
This incredible webinar goes DEEP into how a high fat low carb diet shifts your metabolism and majorly ups your weight loss. Understanding why you are doing something makes sticking to it infinitely easier.
The ketogenic diet is very popular these days. It can be helpful for weight loss, and other health conditions.
It’s not for everyone, so make sure you check with a knowledgeable practitioner before you begin and watch my FREE webinar The Secret to Losing Belly Fat Without Giving Up Wine or Chocolate to learn the right way to apply these principles without damaging your thyroid or cutting out those high nutrient dense fruits and vegetables.
LAYERED CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT FAT BOMBS (Thrive Weight Loss Program Approved)
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp granulated sweetener (xylitol or monk fruit)
¼ tsp peppermint extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
Mix the melted coconut oil with the sweetener and peppermint extract.
Pour half the mixture into six cubes of an ice cube tray. This is going to be the white bottom layer. Place the tray in the fridge to harden.
Add the cocoa powder to the remaining mixture and mix. This is going to be the top brown layer. Pour it on top of the white layer which has set in the fridge.
Place the ice cube tray into the fridge until completely hardened.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: These are (high fat) super-rich desserts. Don’t eat too many if you’re not going “High Fat Low Carb” or your body will burn the carbs rather than the fat bombs.