June 8, 2018
by
in Lifestyle, Nutrition

Weight loss is a major challenge for people all around the world. For many years, we have found ourselves adapting to various ways of dealing with weight loss and the Keto diet happens to be one of them. The question is, does it really work? Let’s find out next.

What makes a Keto Diet?

The Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has gained mainstream popularity for being effective in weight loss. The idea is to eat a diet containing low levels of carbohydrates, moderate amounts of proteins and high amounts of fat. Well, the last bit goes against most weight loss methods that work to reduce fat intake but that’s the trick of Keto diet. It forces the body into burning fats to produce energy instead of carbohydrates.

How does it work?

When you eat a carbs rich diet, your body converts the carbohydrates into glucose. Insulin then carries the glucose to your bloodstream to be used as energy. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. So when it’s readily available, the body burns it first before burning fats.

The low-carb intake associated with a Keto diet means that your glucose levels go low, therefore, not sufficient enough to produce energy. The body is forced to look for another energy source and it turns to fats. In a process known as ketosis, your body converts fatty acids into ketones, which become the new source of energy. Increased fat intake makes your body to adapt to ketosis and becoming more efficient at burning fats.

But, will high fat not make you fat?

For so long, people believed that eating lots of fat made you fatter. Low-fat, high carb diet became the norm yet people continued to gain weight. Recent studies arrested this myth by showing that fats were not a weight gaining agent. They found that high carbs intake increases insulin and blood sugar levels while promoting inflammation. On the other hand, a low-carb diet reduces inflammation.

Another thing, saturated fats in the context of a keto diet can improve HDL cholesterol levels while reducing triglyceride levels. This lowers the risk of heart disease. A randomized trial known as OmniHeart showed that a healthy low-carb diet did a better job at lowering blood pressure than a healthy high-carb diet.

Keto Diet with weight loss results

A research conducted in 2017 examined the effects of a keto diet combined with Crossfit training on body performance. The results concluded that subjects who followed a low-carb keto diet notably reduced body weight, fat mass, and body fat percentage compared to those in the control bracket.

Subjects who followed the ketogenic diet:

  • Lost an average of 7.6 pounds contrary to those on the control class who did not lose any weight.
  • Lost an average of 6.2 pounds of fat mass (the part of the body that’s made entirely of fat) contrasted with the control group who did not lose any fat mass.
  • Lost an average of 2.6% body fat while those in the control category did not lose any body fat.
  • Improved Crossfit performance to an indistinguishable degree from those in the control class.

Another study done by Dashti et al. 2004 observed the long-term impacts of a keto diet in obese patients and found that:

  • Both weight and BMI decreased altogether.
  • The level of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) significantly increased, while LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) remarkably reduced after treatment.
  • The level of triglycerides diminished significantly following 24 weeks of treatment.
  • The level of blood sugar significantly reduced.

From these results, it’s clear that a Ketogenic diet has been tried and proven to help with weight loss.

What’s the impact on physical performance?

If you find yourself craving for the afternoon coffee, a keto routine can help prevent that. In fact, you will find yourself going for long periods of time without eating, which is quite helpful for weight loss. Steady energy levels, lack of mood swings and afternoon slumps are also benefits of adopting a ketogenic diet.

If you are a workout enthusiast, the substantial amount of protein intake on a keto diet is great for building muscle mass. Results might be slow compared to someone fueling their workouts with carbohydrates but that’s because you are building lean mass alongside fat loss.

Types of Ketogenic Diet

There are four types of Keto diet:

  • Standard Keto Diet – aims at providing 20-50 grams of net carbs on a daily basis, a moderate amount of protein and high fat intake.
  • Targeted Keto Diet – involves consuming 25-50 grams of net carbs. If you are an active person, this approach will work for you if done 30 minutes before working out.
  • Cyclical Keto Diet – like the name suggests, this approach involves switching between periods of low-carb intake and high-carb intake, usually done in several days. If you are not sure about a keto diet but want to give it a go, this can be a good way to start.
  • High protein keto diet – similar to the standard approach but here you up your protein intake unlike moderating it.

What to eat on a Keto Diet

Majorly whole, natural, non-processed foods or with little processing. Staunch keto-ers like to prepare everything at home including burgers and ghee. Check out how you can prep your meals at home effortlessly.

So, is it true that a keto diet can help with weight loss? The answer is YES. For that to happen effectively, you must:

  • Count your carbs,
  • Watch your sugar intake,
  • Watch your calorie intake,
  • Reduce your consumption of processed foods, and
  • Drink plenty of water.

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