Ketogenic Diet Plan Revealed

The Ketogenic Diet - What's It All About?

The Ketogenic diet is very similar to many low-carb diets in that it forces the body to burn fat/ketones for energy instead of glucose/carbs.

The Ketogenic plan has also been used in the past to treat children with hard-to-control epilepsy as it has been found that burning ketones vs glucose seems to cause less seizures.

This diet is also used by people to lose weight, similar to the Atkins or low carb diet approach.

How The Diet Works:

Your body has 2 forms of fuel it can burn: glucose (from carbs like bread, fruit, cookies, pizza, oatmeal etc.) or fat (from protein and fats like eggs, meat, cheese, some veggies etc.)

Your body prefers to burn carbs if that's what you give it. When you eat carbs, your body produces the hormone insulin to get the sugar (from the breakdown of the carbs) into your cells to be burned for energy.

Insulin however is also a fat-storage hormone that signals your body to store fat. So when you're producing high amounts of insulin, your body wants to hold on to extra fat and not burn it.

However when you are not eating a lot of carbs, your body turns to it's second source of energy - burning fat for fuel. In this state, you don't make as much insulin and your body is no longer in a fat-storage mode, but a fat-burning mode.

In theory then, your body will turn to burning the fat in your food as well as the fat from your hips, thighs and belly.

The proof that your body has switched to burning fat for energy instead of glucose is the production of ketone bodies (which you can test for in your urine). Hence the term "ketogenic diet". Your body is burning fat (and making ketones) instead of carbs/glucose.

Also, because ketones tend to depress the appetite, many people find that they are not hungry on this diet - so it's easier to eat less and lose weight.

Common foods that you'll eat on the Ketogenic diet are proteins such as chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish, seafood, eggs, and egg whites. These will be paired with oils, butter, and cheese.

How Does It Rate?

Is It Fast?

It really depends on how much you monitor your calorie intake, your current weight and how active your lifestyle is. If you're using the diet for health reasons (and not to lose weight), it's easy to keep your calories high enough to maintain your weight.

But if you're limiting your calories, you can probably expect to lose from 1 - 3 pounds per week.

Is It Easy To Follow?

The Ketogenic approach can be challenging, depending on the approach you take.

If you don't maintain the correct ratio of low carbs to protein and fats, you can move out of a state referred to as Ketosis where you are using those ketone bodies for fuel (burning fat).

This can cause hunger and feelings of being unwell. The appetite suppression effects are largely due to being in ketosis on this plan, so it's important to maintain that.

Is It Safe?

It really depends on how you approach this diet. If you're trying it for health reasons, talk to your doctor first.

If you're just trying it for weight loss, find a good ketogenic program that has been doctor-recommended with a balanced approach and lots of nutrients.

Does It Permit 'Treats'?

It can - but again, it depends on what specific approach you use. With the use of natural low carb sweeteners like xylitol and stevia, there are lots of low carb treats you can make or buy that would be appropriate for a ketogenic diet.

Is There Support?

Again, this depends on what approach you take. There are online support groups for this diet based on what your goal is (health, weight loss etc.)

Final Grade: C-

The Ketogenic diet is very similar to a low-carb approach. It can be used for health issues and/or weight loss and depending on the approach you take, it can be strict or more lax.

You do still have to watch your calories on this diet in order to lose weight and exercise may be limited.

Keep in mind however that there are lots of other low carb diets out there that also give you similar results - but are not as difficult or time consuming to follow.

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