Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss
Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: The ketogenic diet has gained enormous traction in the last few years; in fact, almost everyone has heard about this diet, even if they’re not interested in dieting at all. So, what is the ketogenic diet? And why is everyone talking about it nowadays?
Our bodies are designed to consume 3 types of macromolecules (carbohydrates, protein, and fat.); of course, most of the calories we consume come from carbohydrates (sugars), which comprises around 60-70% of our daily calories.
The ketogenic diet is based on the idea that by eliminating sugars from our diet, the body would have no other choice but to break down the fat storage it saved for situations, where food is scarce.
As it turns out, eliminating carbs from your diet could potentially have dozens of health benefits that exceed the primary goal -weight loss-.
For this reason, the ketogenic diet is becoming one of the most commonly adopted eating lifestyles out there.
Benefits of the ketogenic diet for Weight Loss
Because sugar and excess weight has been linked to a wide range of diseases, losing weight and limiting your carb intake can be very beneficial to your body, especially if you have chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood hypertension, and dyslipidemias.
Here’s a shortlist where the ketogenic diet could be beneficial:
- Weight loss
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease)
- Recovery from a stroke
How does the ketogenic diet help with weight loss?
As we mentioned earlier, the ketogenic is based on eliminating sugar from your diet; this way, your body would have no choice but to burn down the fat stored in your adipocytes (fat cells) to use for energy.
The ketogenic diet is considered superior to most other diets designed for weight loss; in fact, one study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more than people on a calorie-restricted diet.
Moreover, you can enjoy all of the benefits that come from being in ketosis without actually having to restrict your food intake.
Additionally, another study found that being on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet) reduces the feeling of hunger and induces the feeling of satiety.
The physiological mechanisms that lead to these results include:
- High protein intake: in most cases, being on a ketogenic diet means increasing your protein intake; this, as a result, can lead to weight loss.
- Decreased appetite: the ketogenic diet has been shown to stimulate the secretion of hunger-suppression hormones such as ghrelin and leptin, which decreases food intake.
For more information about the hunger hormones, read this article.
- Enhanced insulin sensitivity: by decreasing carbohydrates intake, your pancreas would have to release insulin less often; as a result, your cells will gain back sensitivity to insulin, which helps in weight loss and the prevention of diabetes mellitus.
- Increased sugar production: this is called gluconeogenesis; it is a necessary process to feed our cells since the only molecule that can be used as an energy source is glucose.
I know this might seem confusing, but just keep in mind that when you don’t consume any sugar in your diet, the body would have to produce glucose, starting from basic building blocks such as fatty acids and protein (amino acids).
- Increase fat burning: because your diet is devoid of sugar, the body has to burn fat to metabolically create glucose, simulating a state of starvation, which will help you lose even more weight.
Unfortunately, many people stop doing the ketogenic diet after the first few days because of what’s called the keto flu. This flu-like syndrome is characterized by headache, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
When people experience these symptoms, they feel like their bodies are sending them warning signs to stop this diet, where; in fact, it’s all temporary.
Getting sufficiently hydrated and taking enough electrolytes can help you shorten the period of these symptoms, so you can get in ketosis and start enjoying all the amazing benefits we mentioned above.
The ketogenic diet is considered one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Many scientific papers have been published to support the positive effects of the keto diet on weight loss, as well as other health benefits.
If you have tried the ketogenic diet before or know someone who did, we are more than happy to read your stories in the comment section below.