What exactly is a ketogenic diet weight loss?
It’s the same quick weight loss plan used by Lebron James last summer. And yes, it’s effective but it’s not for everyone.
Originally designed for children with epilepsy, the ketogenic diet is now being used as one of the top quick weight loss diets.
Its main goal is to achieve a metabolic state, i.e. ketosis.
Ketosis means that the ketone bodies in the blood are higher than normal levels. It triggers the breaking down of fats to be used as fuel, instead of carbs.
This process helps the body in surviving during times when there’s no food available. It can improve the symptoms of epilepsy, cancer, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
In this post, you’ll find answers to some of your questions about ketogenic diet weight loss.
Let’s start with scientific data.
What’s the science behind ketogenic diet weight loss?
It involves insulin, glucagon, and blood glucose.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas through the presence of carbohydrates. Its main purpose is to regulate blood glucose levels. You can consider insulin as a driver that drives glucose in the blood to the cells. If there’s an insufficient amount of insulin in the body, blood glucose levels would be erratic.
Glucagon to the rescue
When your body can’t produce enough insulin, glucagon comes into the picture. It’s an antagonistic hormone of insulin.
Secretion of this hormone happens when you skip meals or don’t eat enough carbs for a long period of time.
It starts to break down glycogen in the liver to form glucose.
But liver glycogen can be depleted.
What happens when liver glycogen runs out?
Ketosis comes in. When the liver runs out of glycogen, the pancreas starts to break down fatty acids and turn them into energy substrate, which is also known as ketone body or ketone.
What are the benefits of ketogenic diet weight loss?
- Forces the body to use fats as fuel. This is great so fat stores can be utilized and be eliminated. The body has no choice but to be efficient at using fats as a form of energy.
- Spares protein, as long as you consume a high amount of protein while following a ketogenic diet. When your body is in a ketosis state, it utilizes ketones, instead of glucose. This also means that there’s no need for your body to oxidize protein to produce glucose.
- Releases beneficial hormones. When insulin is put to low levels, your body starts releasing beneficial hormones, like growth hormone.
- Curbs hunger. It’s the most important benefit of a ketogenic diet to those who wish to lose weight. When your body is in the state of ketosis, it curbs your hunger. This means that you won’t crave for your next meal.
Is ketogenic diet weight loss dangerous?
It can be dangerous if you have a medical condition. You’ll also experience one or some of the following side effects:
- It happens during the first few days or weeks of following a ketogenic diet. Your body experiences fatigue and brain fog. However, this can be alleviated once your body gets used to the change. That is the use of fats as a form of energy.
- Increased levels of cholesterol. It’s one of the concerns of fitness experts. Since you’ll eat a high amount of fats in this diet, you’ll experience a high level of cholesterol in the blood. However, some followers may also experience a drop in their blood cholesterol levels.
- Micronutrient deficiency. It may occur because of the low amount of carbs you’ll be taking with this quick weight loss diet. To avoid it, you must take multivitamins each day. You also need to take fiber supplements to make sure that you’ll have regular bowel movements.
- Lowers blood pH. What does this mean? It could result in DEATH. Your blood pH will become too acidic when ketone levels get out of control causing your blood to be acidic.
How to be ready for ketogenic diet weight loss?
- Check with your doctor. Lebron James has a dietitian who monitored his progress. You should have one, too. Don’t follow this diet without checking with your doctor or a dietitian. We, at Vim Chi, recommend working with a dietitian while undergoing this type of diet.
- Obtain a carb counter guide. The ketogenic diet involves counting carbs. It’s critical to make sure that this diet is a success. Your dietitian will teach you the proper way to count carbs.
- Remove all carb sources from your fridge. High carb foods must be taken out of your fridge. And these include complex carbs. This is essential so you won’t be tempted to munch on them when you open your fridge.
- Refill your kitchen with low-carb foods. In this way, you’ll remain on the path. For meats and poultry, opt for chicken, bacon, beef or pork ribs, ground beef, and ground turkey.
- Cook your own food and eat real foods. It’s important if you want to be successful in losing weight through a ketogenic diet. If you don’t know how to cook, then now is the time to get started.
- Stay hydrated. In this type of diet, carb intake is too low causing your kidneys to eliminate excess water from your body. Thus, it’s essential that you drink enough water to replenish what has been lost.
- Take natural supplements, as recommended by your dietitian or physician. Bear in mind that a ketogenic diet may cause your body to be deficient in one or some of the essential vitamins and minerals.
- Obtain a journal that lets you track your food intake. You can use an online food intake tracker or write what you eat in a journal or a notebook. While tracking your food intake, you’re also recording how you feel about the changes in your body.
Should I be concerned about high intake of fats during ketogenic diet?
When it’s paired with low carb meal, your body starts to increase HDL cholesterol levels while lowering your triglyceride levels.
Is it for everyone?
No, it’s not for everyone. If you have pre-existing medical conditions involving kidneys and heart, you should check with your doctor. Don’t start a ketogenic diet weight loss plan without first talking to your physician or a dietitian.
Since there are modifications in your system, these will cause some abnormalities in the secretion of hormones resulting in thyroid issues, elevated blood pressure, heart irregularities, and others.
How to safely start ketogenic diet weight loss?
The first thing that you must do is to eat high fat intake with low protein. In this way, your body can easily adjust to the changes that will happen later on.
Once your body adapts to the change, you can reduce your fat intake and increase your protein intake.
You should eat 80% of healthy fats and 20% protein. And don’t forget no carbs. Although there are still carbs in eggs and cheese, the amount is small to counter the effects of ketogenic diet.
As the protein intake is low, your insulin levels in the blood will also drop faster. And you’ll reach ketosis faster. After that, you must change the ratio of fat and protein. This time, you’ll need more protein for your muscle tissue.
The 80% fat and 20% protein should be done during the first and second day of ketogenic diet weight loss. After two days, you may increase protein to 30% and take in 5% of carb and lower healthy fats to 65%.
The change will make sure that you’ll stay in ketosis state. Since you need protein in your body, the change in the ratio will give your muscles enough protein. The introduction of carbs will make sure that you’ll have regular bowel movements while undergoing this diet.
How about when you’re working out?
You’ll experience fatigue during the first few days in this diet. Thus, you should eat small amount of carbs two hours before you workout. Protein bar can do the trick.
What good foods you can eat when you’re following a ketogenic diet weight loss plan?
Seafood, poultry, and whole meat are your sources of protein. But make sure that meat is from a grass-fed animal and seafood is wild-caught. This means that you shouldn’t go for imitation crabmeat as it has sugar in it.
Essentially, you’ll want meat that’s higher in fat content.
Eggs can also be eaten in this diet. For a great snack, you can have deviled eggs. All forms of eggs are a great food foundation for breakfast. This means that you can safely eat the following:
- Poached eggs
- Scrambled eggs
- Hard-boiled eggs
Eat natural fats, too. Butter and coconut milk are great examples. Don’t use or limit your intake of refined vegetable oils, such as canola and sunflower. They’re high in omega-6 fatty acids and may cause inflammation in the body.
Another great option for ketogenic diet is roast chicken and use it to make chicken salad. For easy snack options that are ketogenic-friendly, you can bake a pork shoulder or beef. Slice it and munch on it each time you get hungry.
Put block cheeses in Ziploc bag so you can easily grab one or two when you need to satisfy your hunger quickly.
For side dish option, opt for vegetable casseroles or stews or beef chili.
Should there be medical supervision when starting a ketogenic diet weight loss?
Yes. To make it safe for you to start with it, you must talk to your physician. He/she may require you to stay in a hospital for a few days to monitor your progress and to teach you on what to do after hospitalization.
You should also undergo laboratory evaluation before you can even start this diet. This is to make sure that your body can adapt to the change. It’s especially useful if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
Should I take vitamin and mineral supplements?
Yes. But it’ll be your doctor who’ll decide about what supplements to take.
What to expect during the first few days?
Once your body is in ketosis state, you’ll feel keto flu. It’s where headaches, fatigue and brain fogginess arise. These symptoms can take a toll on your body. Thus, make sure that you drink plenty of water
Ketogenic diet weight loss can cause you to pee often as it involves natural diuretic good foods. You’ll urinate more often than you normally do. As you pee a lot, you’re also eliminating electrolytes. Thus, your salt and water intake must be high enough to keep your body hydrated and maintain healthy electrolyte levels.
For the first two weeks, you must not eat dessert.
Other tips to help you get through a ketogenic diet weight loss?
Make sure that you know your ketogenic diet plan. Consult your dietitian every week to make sure that you’re staying on the path.
Check that your fats and protein intake matches your body weight. If not, talk to your dietitian on how to balance your fat, protein, and carb intake to achieve ketosis.
Conduct thorough research about keto diet plans. There are tons of resources online that you can go to.
Revise your ketogenic diet plan every week. This will ensure that you’re getting better.
Talk to people who are also into this type of diet. They can give you some pieces of advice on how to start and continue following this diet plan.
Ketogenic diet for weight loss has been proven to be effective for some people. As mentioned earlier, it’s not for everyone. You must check first with your doctor to know if you’re a good candidate for this diet. Lebron James has proven that this diet is a quick weight loss plan.
There are benefits and disadvantages of this diet plan. Thus, you should weigh them before you undergo such a diet. Remember that if you go overboard, it may lead to serious illnesses and even death.