The Best Diet for Weight Loss: Is it Really Keto?
If you have heard about someone you know trying the ketogenic diet and losing a large amount of weight from doing it, you have probably been tempted to give it a shot. Before you consider doing that, I want to talk about what the ketogenic diet is, and the honest TRUTH of losing weight on a ketogenic diet, and what it could really mean for your weight loss goals.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet, is a very intense version of a low carb diet. Typical low carb diets has you focusing on decreasing carbohydrates to a small amount (50-150 grams of carbs a day), while a ketogenic diet has you eating less than 50 grams of carbs a day (virtually none.) the types of foods are typically the same, although you will likely be eating more meat and fat to make up for the lost carbs when consuming a true ketogenic diet. Typical foods eaten on keto could be a varying high fat meats, butter, cheese, fish, nuts, certain veggies, and even eggs. The main reason people lean towards this diet, is that it helps you to “burn more fat,” by putting you into Ketosis. Is this really the case?
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis occurs when your body starts producing ketones as a fuel source, because it is not getting enough energy through carbohydrates, which are converted to glucose in the body. Your brain prefers using glucose for energy, so it uses ketones as a way to provide energy to the rest of the body. Ketones are made in the liver, when fat is broken down and converted into ketone bodies. So I know what you’re thinking. That means I’ll be burning a bunch of my fat, right? Not necessarily. If you are eating in a calorie deficit, meaning that you are consuming less calories per day than you burn, you will be able to lose some body fat. The problem is that individuals who usually do keto, think that by following this diet, it exclusively burns more fat, because fat broken down is what creates the ketone bodies. As mentioned above, the primary food sources is a ketogenic diet are usually very high in fat and protein. So although you may be losing a large amount of fat from it being converted into ketones, the second you eat more fat, it is deposited directly back onto your body. Essentially, you are replacing the fat you burned. Again, this is a different story if you are in a calorie deficit. So if keto isn’t magical, why do people lose weight so well on it?
Why Does Weight Loss Occur on The Ketogenic Diet?
To answer this question, we will look at two main things. Satiety, and water weight.
A huge reason why people lose weight on the ketogenic diet is from how high satiety the diet is. Satiety is the feeling we get after we eat that keeps us full. Certain foods are much higher in satiety or the ability to keep us full than others. Shocker, a large portion of the foods eaten on a ketogenic diet are high satiety, being protein. If you are trying to lose weight in general, adding more protein would help even if you aren’t on a ketogenic diet. If you are eating food that is higher satiety, you will likely eat less calories in general. Less calories eaten than you need over time, leads to weight loss.
Another reason people lose weight exceptionally quickly when eating ketogenic is the fact that they are losing water weight. Carbohydrates help retain water when you eat them. Since ketogenic diets are lacking in carbohydrates generally speaking, this allows individuals to notice a huge loss of weight, usually within weeks of starting a ketogenic diet. This is typically not from fat itself, but the water weight. That and the fact that individuals notice less bloat, and “tighter skin,” makes it seem like you’re shedding pounds fast.
Should You Do It?
With all of this said, you might be thinking it might not be worth doing a ketogenic diet, because it doesn’t work. Well, any diet that you can stick to for a long period of time will actually work and allow you to lose fat. For some individuals, a ketogenic diet will feel incredibly natural and easy to follow. It all comes down to preference and what you can stick to. If you are considering doing a ketogenic diet, I would highly recommend to make sure you are getting a large amount of vegetables in to try to keep your fiber intake high. This is one of the biggest issues that most individuals struggle with when doing keto. The simple fact that constipation from not eating enough fiber is real.
One More Thing!
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Carnivore Diet: The Cure All? I stumbled across an interesting video on youtube the other day of an individual who tried the carnivore diet for 6 weeks. He discussed his overall attitude towards the diet, what led him to trying it out, and what his results from the diet were. Some of the claims that…
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