Ketogenic Diet: Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ketosis
Ketosis is something that many people do not understand but a very familiar word amongst the paleo community. It’s getting increasingly popular because more and more people as well as athletes (olympic competitors and the like) are realising the numerous health benefits it provides in a very short time.
|Table of Content|
|1. What is a Ketogenic Diet Menu and what a Keto diet is not|
|2. What are the benefits of Keto diet|
|3. Should you use Ketogenic Diet to lose weight?
|4. What Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?
|5. What are the side effects of keto diet|
|6. What are the side effects of keto diet
|7. Alcohol on a keto diet?|
|8. Variations of the Ketogenic Diet (CKD, SKD, TKD)|
|9. Common mistakes on a ketogenic diet|
|10. High Carb diet vs Low carb diet|
|11. Low carb diet vs Ketogenic diet|
|12. Is There A Better Way To Cycle Ketogenic Dieting?|
1. What is a Ketogenic Diet Menu and what a Keto diet is not
Ketosis is a state in which the body begins to rely on its stored fat for energy due to very low glycogen (stored carbohydrate) in the body.
The ketogenic diet menu is one that focuses on a high fat diet, while staying away from carbs as much as possible. However, this des not mean to consume glucose in your diet as there are many other ways to lose weight and ensure that you are able to have enough glucose
2. What are the benefits of Keto diet
The idea behind a keto diet is far more than just minimising carbs it’s about having an overall healthy lifestyle.
The main benefit of ketosis is that it increases the body’s ability to utilise fats for fuel, the body gets lazy due to daily consumption of high-carbohydrate diet. when low on energy, the body will feel tired expecting a carbohydrate dense energy source to enter the body. But in the state of ketosis, the body has to become efficient at mobilising fats for energy.
In Ketosis, protein is rarely converted to glucose (gluconeogenesis) for energy in the body since fat is a readily available fuel source. Protein is the MOST important macronutrient in your body. All the cells are made up of proteins: muscles, bones, organs, even hormones. This protein stores get consumed daily so you need adequate quantities of protein and calories—0.7 grams per pound of body weight per day; to stay in shape. A little extra will go a long way for someone who wants to build muscle.
High level of ketones in the body along with a good protein intake, seem to suppress appetite. A high-carbohydrate diet, on the other hand, increases hunger levels and insulin production.
Every weight-loss diet works by limiting the total amount of calories you eat so consuming a lot of fat on a ketogenic diet, which holds about 9 calories per gram means you are not getting much food volume. Hence you are not necessarily hungry on a reduced-calorie diet, you only eat to satiety which enables you maintain a calorie deficit for your weigh loss regimen.
Most people do keto because of the weight loss, but it also has other health advantages like lowering risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and more hidden benefits we have only begun to research.
4. Should you use Ketogenic Diet to lose weight?
A diet to lose weight should be one that focuses on the ability to burn fat quickly and easily.
You will continue to lose weight when you need to quickly and easily because you are shifting your consumption from carbs to fats and vegetables. There are many benefits of consuming a ketogenic diet menu, aside from just losing weight.
You will also have an instant increase in energy and will have less inflammation. When you are eating a diet of this kind, it also makes you much less prone to binge eating and you are more likely to stay off sugar cravings that may lead to diabetes.
Note that dieting does not replace physical activity. For abdominal fat for example, The Abdominal muscle toner can be used in conjunction with a regular exercise routine.
So…Which food releases stored up toxins & melts belly fat fast?The ketogenic diet will allow you to lose weight and will also ensure that you will have better health.
Many people are not sure why there are not more people who are eating a LCHF ketogenic diet, and the real reason gets down to availability as well as the need to prepare food quickly. One thing that society has lost of recent is the ability to cook a meal and to take the time to make sure that everyone has eaten it and that it is healthy. What that means is that consumers are always looking for quick solutions off the shelf that are not rich in quality.
5. What Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?
The goal of a ketogenic diet is to enter ketosis by lowering your carbs daily intake. The best way to achieve this is to monitor and plan out your meals as much as possible. There are some foods you’ll want to avoid altogether like grains, sugar, fruit, and tubers. There are also foods that you want to eat more of like fish, beef, leafy greens, above ground vegetables, high-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, and avocado and berries. The possibilities are endless when it comes to planning because the restrictions are not as wide as other diets.
6. What are the side effects of keto diet
- Micro-nutrient deficiency
Micro-nutrient deficiency becomes a common side effect when consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrate a day as they are very low in protein or fat rich foods. Micro nutrient like Thiamin, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium are usually inadequate and the best solution is to take high quality multivitamins and fibre supplements to avoiding constipation. Try meeting the recommended goal of 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily through leafy vegetables and fruits like carrot and apple.
- Poly unsaturated, mono unsaturated and unsaturated Fat
Foods are often identified by their predominant fat saturation – saturated(butter), poly-unsaturated (vegetable oil) and mono-unsaturated (olive oil)
A lot of debate has gone into the ketogenic diet centering around eating a lot of saturated, mono and poly unsaturated fats. The staggering amount calls for concern for cholesterol levels in the body. Although the liver is capable of regulating blood cholesterol levels, a rule of thumb is to avoid trans-fat like margarine and get most of your fat from natural food like meat, fish, and nuts!
A good source of quality fat is coconut oil which consist of Medium chain triglycerides which are readily converted by the body to ketone bodies without storage. An excellent alternative to cooking oils.
7. Alcohol on a keto diet?
You may consume alcohol but it is important to know that alcohol is very calorie dense. Hence, opting for a sugar free spirit like gin and vodka would be the way to go as it is very easy to over consume.
While on a keto diet, alcohol tolerance is greatly reduced which can lead to drowsiness and a terrible hangover so stay hydrated during and after drinking.
8. Variations of the Ketogenic Diet (CKD, SKD, TKD)
Cyclical ketogenic diet is a variation of the keto diet for high intensity training. You would consume your keto diet for 5 days of the week and on 2 days of your choosing you load up on carbohydrate to refill your muscle glycogen to fuel your workouts during the week.
You must strive to cut out all fat and consume carbohydrate and protein only. Also avoid indulging in candy, fast food or drinking alcohol as this may pretty much cancel out your weeks of hard work.
Some people find a 15 day CKD works better than a 7 day CKD, it all depends on your level of activity. Remember that to stay in ketosis while consuming carbs, you must be pushing your body through limits to ver come performance and workout plateaus to burn more energy in the process.
SKD is the Standard ketogenic diet with restricted carb intake , no more than 30g in a day. Moderate protein intake and high fatty foods consumption. A good source of healthy low carb is leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale which have low glycemic index and hence barely affect the insulin level in the body.
TKD is Targeted ketogenic diet which is a variation of the Cyclical ketogenic diet used by people starting out a rigorous workout regimen. They are usually not hitting their peak performance yet, hence try to get energy boost (as well as enough glucose for muscle growth) by eating around their workout – start or finish. This method allows the body to burn consumed carbohydrate immediately without interrupting ketosis state.
9. Common mistakes on a ketogenic diet
- Mistaking a low carb diet for a low ketogenic diet when building muscle
- consuming too much protein
- Not allowing the body to adapt to ketosis state
- A common confusion amongst beginners is understanding carbohydrate restriction and its effect of ketone levels in the body.
A landmark study by Dr. Charlotte Young, pHD medical nutritionist put 3 sets of obese college students in a 3 week pre-reduction weight maintenance diet, fed them on a strict calorie diet with each group consuming 104, 60, and 30 grams of carbohydrates per day respectively.
The result of her study after 9 week examination was intriguing to say the least. The students on the 104 grams carbohydrate diet lost the most muscle during the restriction period while students on 30 grams of carbohydrate lost little to no muscle weight (percentage weight lost as fat increased). Urine excretion samples also showed that ketone bodies continued to increase in the low carbohydrate group compared to the fairly constant level observed in the group consuming 104g of carbohydrate. This is important because high ketones levels have been shown to prevent amino acids like leucine from being broken down, a major building block of muscles.
- Consuming a high protein diet may not sound like a bad thing but it is important to understand ketogenic diet contains as little as 20-30% protein, 60-75% fat and no more than 5% carbohydrates. A protein rich diet may facilitate cell/ tissue repair, and a robust immune system but consuming more than 1.5 -1.8 times your body weight will only cause excess protein to be stored as glucose(sugars) in the body and leads to a counter-productive diet regime. Don’t wreck your kidneys and stick to just the right amount of protein your body needs.
- In an attempt to carry out the popular cyclic ketogenic diet where individuals go on a strict ketogenic diet for 3-5 days then load up on carbs for 1-2 days, studies including experiments have shown that reintroduction of a large amount of carbohydrates after just 3 days of ketogenic dieting resulted in large increases in fat in only a week. The major issue with cyclic ketogenic dieting is tracking amount of carbohydrate to consume and following a strict strength and endurance training – This is why it is so popular amongst athletes and olympiads.
- If you are not “hitting the gym hard” on a weekly basis, there is not really a need to add carbohydrates to your diet. CKD are for people who are pushing their body to the limits, and not to justify a craving suppression.
10. High Carb diet vs Low carb diet
11. Low carb diet vs Ketogenic diet
12. Is There A Better Way To Cycle Ketogenic Dieting?
Not everyone can manage strict keto year-round. I get it—and that’s fine! One alternative is using ketogenic dieting for short periods throughout the year, with a conservative bridge between extreme ketogenic dieting and normal-carbohydrate dieting.
This approach was studied by Paoli and colleagues in 2013. These scientists took individuals and had them do a short period (20 days) of a ketogenic diet, followed by a transition to 20 days of low-carb (20-25 percent), high-protein dieting. Finally, they transitioned for six months to a Mediterranean diet, which was moderate and balanced in terms of fats, carbs and proteins. The subjects then repeated the process.
It was found that subjects lost body fat during each ketogenic burst and maintained the loss during the subsequent maintenance Mediterranean-diet phase. Also amazing was that, of the 89 subjects who participated, only 8 dropped out in this study, which lasted over a year! Now that’s compliance.
Read about CKD here