Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body uses fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. Ketones are produced when fats are broken down into fatty acids (which cannot be used directly). When the body enters this state, it burns up to 50% less calories than if it were burning glucose or sugar. The human body is able to enter this state without any external assistance. However, it requires a certain amount of time to do so, which is why some people experience symptoms before they reach this point.
The ketogenic diet involves restricting carbohydrate intake while increasing protein and fat consumption. While there are many benefits associated with such a diet, one of them is weight loss because it causes the body to burn fat for fuel rather than relying on stored glycogen in the liver or muscles.
Vegan diets are often low in animal products and high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. They may include legumes like beans, lentils or peanuts. These foods contain no cholesterol or saturated fat and have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
They’re also good sources of fiber. A vegan diet has been linked to a reduced risk of several chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease and even some forms of cancer.
The best thing about the ketogenic diet is it’s ability to force your body into ketosis. This is accomplished by depriving your brain of glucose, which it is largely unable to use as fuel. As a result, your body is forced to burn fat for energy.
The primary side effect of this is the creation of “ketone bodies,” which is simply a technical way of saying that your body begins to prefer fat as its primary source of fuel.
Over millions of years, humans lost the genetic coding necessary to plow fields, hunt prey and perform countless other tasks. With the advent of modern technology, we’ve added more than a few unnecessary jobs back into our lives, like laundry and dishwashing. However, one thing that never made it back onto our list of daily priorities is hunting for food.
The body begins breaking down fat into a substance called ketone bodies, which are then used up by the body’s cells as an alternative form of energy. This means you can maintain normal functions like breathing and circulation but ceases the breakdown of fat stores for energy. Since our bodies aren’t designed to efficiently burn fat, getting over this “ketosis hump” takes some time – around two to four weeks to reach peak fat burning!
Because your body is using up fat stores, you may find yourself losing weight quickly, and this is when many people abandon the diet. Keep in mind that this initial weight loss is mostly water and not fat, and you can prevent this by drinking plenty of water and regularly exercising to keep your muscles active and promote blood flow.
The reason why you lose weight on a ketogenic diet is due to the effect that ketosis has on your hunger. In the absence of carbohydrates, which it is very close to being completely without, your body’s hunger regulating hormones are altered. This causes your brain to secrete a hormone known as cholecystokinin (CCK), which is what tells your body when it’s hungry or full.
Ketogenic diets can help you lose weight and suppress your appetite but only if you follow the diet correctly. These tips can help you achieve success:
If you’re eating a salad or some veggies, don’t drench them in dressing. Instead, try a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and an extra squeeze of lemon or lime. This is a great way to flavor your food without adding unnecessary calories.
Choose leaner cuts of meat and trim away any excess fat. This will not only make your food healthier but it’ll also help with the overall flavor of your meal.
Dairy products like milk, cream and cheese also contain a lot of fat. Try making your coffee super strong to kill your cravings. You can also use non-dairy milks like coconut or almond milk.
Incorporate more high-fiber vegetables into your diet. There’s nothing better than filling up on fiber to make you feel fuller quicker. Foods like broccoli, cabbage, spinach and cauliflower are all good options.
Water is your friend. I don’t want to hear you’ve been complaining of headaches or your stomach hasn’t been feeling right because you haven’t been drinking enough water. It’s paramount that you stay hydrated, especially when you’re on a ketogenic diet.
Weighing your food on a food scale will also help keep you honest and ensure you’re eating the right amount.
Keep a calculator handy and track your calories. However, make sure you keep this information private as it is discriminatory and can be considered illegal in certain areas.
There are tons of keto calculators online that you can use. Try using one of those if counting calories isn’t your thing.
People have this misconception that low-carbohydrate dieting means eating nothing but meat. This is wrong. When you reduce carb intake, you have to replace those lost carbohydrates with something else, like protein and fiber.
Sources & references used in this article:
The ketogenic diet: Pros and cons by B O’Neill, P Raggi – Atherosclerosis, 2020 – Elsevier
Ketogenic diet in endocrine disorders: Current perspectives by L Gupta, D Khandelwal, S Kalra, P Gupta… – Journal of …, 2017 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The effects of popular diets on type 2 diabetes management by B Chester, JR Babu, MW Greene… – … research and reviews, 2019 – Wiley Online Library
Vegetarian low-protein diets supplemented with keto analogues: a niche for the few or an option for many? by GB Piccoli, M Ferraresi, MC Deagostini, FN Vigotti… – 2013 – iris.unito.it
Overweight and diabetes prevention: is a low-carbohydrate–high-fat diet recommendable? by F Brouns – European journal of nutrition, 2018 – Springer
The ketogenic diet for obesity and diabetes—Enthusiasm outpaces evidence by S Joshi, RJ Ostfeld, M McMacken – JAMA internal medicine, 2019 – jamanetwork.com
Very low-calorie ketogenic diet: a safe and effective tool for weight loss in patients with obesity and mild kidney failure by A Bruci, D Tuccinardi, R Tozzi, A Balena, S Santucci… – Nutrients, 2020 – mdpi.com