What Is The Ketogenic Diet? {Low carb weight loss eating plan}

3 week die plan

Cooking up a ketogenic weight loss diet dinner. 

Introduction To The Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet, sometimes referred to simply as the keto diet is in many ways similar to the Atkins Diet in which it is a low carbohydrate diet eating plan in order to lose weight fast and effectively. It is a way to induce the body to go into a state of ketosis. 

Ketosis is a metabolic function in which the body is depleted of glucose for energy, so it burns up the stored glycogen (stored carbs in the liver and muscles) and body fat resulting in a build up of the acid called ketones. In other words, the diet puts you into a state of ketosis.

A typical ketogenic meal will comprise roughly about 70% of dietary fat, 25% of protein and 5% or less of carbs. By eating typical ketogenic meals, your body will deplete itself of glucose and glycogen and as such inducing the body to produce ketones which the body will use up as an energy source instead. 

Our body's first source of energy is carbohydrate and its derivatives such as blood sugar and glycogen. As a result of the diet depleting these elements, the body begins to start breaking down stored body fat and that is the objective of the ketogenic diet.

Once you are in ketosis, your body will then use the ketones as energy until you start eating carbohydrates once again. Depending on individuals and how strict they are on the diet, it usually takes about two to four days to reach the state of ketosis. At this phase, the burning of body fat is very much accelerated. This is when the powerful fat burning takes place and weight loss will be noticeable in just a matter of days.

 

However, some people think that folks on the ketogenic diet or any other form of low carb diets such as the Atkins diet may tend to consume too much protein, poor quality fats and very few fruits (fruit avoidance is because of the sugar content such as sucrose, fructose and dextrose in them). Therefore people with kidney problems should be mindful of this although this concern is just an assumption.

So far there are rarely if any reports at all about people developing kidney problems from low carb diets unless they already are at risks or have other underlying medical conditions leading to their kidney malfunction. Because of the avoidance of fruits, it is recommended that you take multivitamins and mineral supplements in lieu of fruits.

If the concern that high protein consumption may cause kidney problems is true, then many professional athletes such as weightlifters, bodybuilders, boxers, Mixed Martial Art fighters and wrestlers should be down with kidney failures because they consume much more protein than the average person or the low carb dieters, right? Then how come there are non at all?

Our regular meals are usually heavily laden with carbohydrates and this means that we are constantly producing high amount of insulin to transport the glucose all around our bodies. This eventually results in body fat storage building up and as such, the diet calls for the strict restriction of carbohydrate consumption.


 

 

1) Prevention and Reduces Seizures In Children - It is a known fact that children with seizures when put on this diet can reduce and mitigate the condition. It is also thought that the ketogenic diet may also have some possible benefits for neurological conditions such as in people with the Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, poor memory, autism, and so on. Do note that these are just hypothesis based on anecdotal evidence at the moment and are not conclusively proven by stringent scientific research yet until more studies are done.

2) Treat Type 2 Diabetes - The ketogenic diet helps to regulate blood sugar balance for patients with type 2 diabetes since the depletion of carbohydrates leads to the lowering of blood sugar level thus keeping type 2 diabetes in check.

3) Losing Body Fat Weight Rapidly – Losing weight from body fat loss will become very obvious as the weight loss can be rather rapid and noticeable even in within a few days. Your body will start to burn fat much faster because it no longer has glycogen to rely on for its energy source but your body fat.

If you are obese, losing weight by slimming down will lower your health risks of numerous diseases such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, stroke and certain forms of arthritis and cancers, just to name a few of many more health risks associated with obesity.

4) Stable Energy Levels – Your energy level will be stabilized. This is because you no longer have insulin surges and crashes caused by the spiking of insulin with carbohydrate consumption. So you will no longer experience the ups and downs of energy levels. Your mood will also brighten up. There will also be a clarity of the mind.

5) Blood Sugar Balance - Since there are no surges of insulin, your blood sugar level will balance out which is good for the prevention of diabetes and other diseases such as joint inflammations. It will also prevent fat storage and accumulation because of the lowered blood sugar level.

6) Hunger Control - Since the diet is high in fat with a moderate intake of protein, you will feel satiated and less hungry. Also as the insulin level is balanced out, it will not trigger the hunger mechanism in your brain. Indeed this is very reassuring for those who are afraid of severe hunger pangs.

7) Starve And Kill Cancer Cells - Some even claim that the ketogenic diet can starve off and kill cancer cells and also may prevent heart diseases and epilepsy. These claims are coming from more and more research findings showing that sugar is the main source of fuel that feeds the cancer cells and is contributing to the inflammatory environment in the human body. As such sugar increases the risks of getting cancer. 

With the ketogenic diet, the curbing of carbohydrates will drastically reduce the level of glucose in the bloodstream which fuels and feeds the cancer cells. This will put our bodies into a state of ketosis which should greatly help in cutting off the cancer cells of their energy supply and starving them to death. However, research in this subject area is still inconclusive and is still ongoing at the moment.

Watch the video below to see testimonies of cancer survivors because of this astonishing low carbo diet plan.



 

 

 

 

 

 

















Not everyone will experience any negative side effects. However, some do and here are just 8 of the more frequent side effects reported. There may be more though.

1) Drowsiness and Giddiness - Since the body is eliminating excess fluid through frequent urination during the diet, it will also pass out minerals and electrolytes like potassium, magnesium and salt in the process. This will cause some people to feel dizzy and drowsy, getting occasional headaches or even feeling sort of sluggish. This problem can be fixed easily. Just consume more food that contain these minerals such as leafy vegetables, broccoli and red meat will do the trick. If not, then take multivitamins and mineral pills to supplement these depleted minerals.


2) More Trips To The Toilet - You will find yourself taking more trips to the toilet to pass urine, so don't worry as it is not the onset of incontinence. You see, as your body burns off the stored glycogen in your liver and in your muscles in the first couple of days when you embark on the ketogenic diet, you will be passing out a lot of water in the process, thus the more frequent urge to urinate. You don't have to fret over this issue too much because when your glycogen level is depleted in a few days time, your urinating frequency will simply revert back to normal. It will be business as usual, right?

3) Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia) - Low blood sugar is another common side effect and especially so for folks who were eating high amount of carbs before going on the diet. You see, when the body was used to ingesting lots of carbohydrates, it automatically produces more insulin to manage the blood sugar levels.

So when the amount of sugar from your carbo intake is drastically slashed, it is then possible to experience temporary bouts of low blood sugar. This phenomenon can make you feel fatigued, hungry and even having slight tremors until the body adjusts and adapts to the low carb consumption lifestyle.

4) Constipation - As your digestive system adjusts to this new form of eating pattern, you may experience some constipation in the beginning of the diet. This is usually caused by dehydration since you are passing out more urine. Sometimes the constipation is caused by the lack of fiber in your meals since fruits and beans are restricted. The constipation problem will be easily solved by drinking more water and eating more high fiber food such non starchy vegetables.

5) Diarrhea - On the other hand, instead of constipating, some people may even experience getting diarrhea. This is as a result of your body adjusting to the macro-nutrient food ratio adjustments. In others, people restricting their dietary fat consumption (which they don't need to do so in the ketogenic diet) together with their carbohydrates, which then makes the amount of protein being consumed as too high in ratio and that causes the diarrhea. So don’t shy away from consuming dietary fat when you are on the ketogenic diet.

6) Muscle Cramps - This is caused by the loss of minerals and sodium. Again, start adding more salt to your meals, drinking more water and taking mineral supplements in order to resolve this issue.

7) Smelly Breath - Acetone is one of the by products of ketosis that causes bad breath that smells somewhat metallic. However it is good news because this means that your body is now in a state of ketosis and it is burning up tons of body fat for energy. This bad breath will resolve by itself in a week or two for most people although not for all the people. To solve this, drink more water for better hydration, keep good oral hygiene and keep that oral breath freshener sprays handy.

8) Carbohydrate Withdrawal Symptoms - Along with any addiction, some people may suffer from carb withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, sluggishness, bouts of carb cravings and so on. These are typical substance withdrawal symptoms as many of us are addicted to sugar and carbs without knowing it. These conditions are sometimes referred to as "keto flu".

But no worries though, these symptoms will also go away by itself in a couple of days when your body gets adjusted to the new way of eating food.





To a lot of people, the sheer idea of embarking on a ketogenic diet can be a rather daunting thought as it is a massive paradigm shift from their usual eating habits. Not to worry as you will get the hang of it pretty quickly enough and you will be greatly encouraged and motivated when you see pound after pound of your body fat disappearing into thin air. Even better, you don't need to count those cumbersome calories in your meals.





















However a word of warning is necessary here. Although I have mentioned some of these side effects earlier in the article, I need to emphasize them again as some people when experiencing these side effects don't know what is happening to them and may immediately ditch the diet and give it up.

Certain people may feel withdrawal symptoms since carbohydrate when broken down is simple sugar and many people are sugar addicts without even realizing it. Some of the withdrawal symptoms are irritability, slight trembling, giddiness, diarrhea and constipation. However, not everyone will experience these symptoms and even if you do, they will go away in a few days when your body adapts to your new way of eating.

Furthermore, some people are afraid to eat more dietary fat. This is a psychological problem because we are consistently being told that eating fat is bad and this mantra is etched firmly into our psyche. However the mindset can be overcome when you persist with sheer determination. For this diet to work, you must eat more dietary fat. More and more evidence is now revealing that it is not the consumption of fat that makes you obese, but the culprit is the sugar you consumed instead. So anything with sugar is out, not even artificial sugar.

Do always keep in mind that the main essence of the keto diet is high fat, moderate protein, very low or even no carbs. Period. Nothing more nothing less.

You can eat leafy vegetables. This is because although veggies are carbs, they are high in fibers, so the carbs are not so easily absorbed. Avoid bulbs like potatoes, tapioca and sweet potatoes for they are high carbs. Fruits should also be avoided as they are high in sugar. Take multivitamins and mineral supplements instead to replenish these micro-nutrients.

When extricating carbohydrates from your meals, some people absentmindedly tend to replace them with way too much protein. Watch out for that as protein intake should only be consumed only in moderation. This is because a part of the protein that you eat can also be converted into glucose. Therefore consuming too much protein will get you off from the state of ketosis. However if you are lifting weights to build muscles, then you may consume more protein.

As for the high fat content of the diet, you can eat fattier meats like streaky bacon, marbled sirloin steak and yummy chicken skin. You can dress your veggies with olive oil, butter or cheese. It is important to keep your fat intake high. As high as 70% of your meal. High fat intake contributes to your energy levels and makes you full and satiated.

Last but not least, the Ketogenic diet plan is not for everyone. If you are suffering from hormonal imbalances, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, thyroid issues or medical conditions that you think may not be suitable for this diet, please consult a medical professional before you embark on it.

If you think that the ketogenic diet is too intimidating for you, then you may like to try out this 3 week diet plan.


 




1) How long does it take for me to get into the state of ketosis? 

Ketosis is a state where there are no longer any food or glycogen to be burned for your body's energy usage and that your body is now cannibalizing your own body fat instead. When you are on a keto diet, most people will take 2 - 4 days to reach ketosis although some may take a little bit longer.

You may wish to hasten up the process by exercising on an empty stomach especially with High Intensive Interval Training commonly known as HIIT or lifting weights with compound exercises. Compound exercises are movements that involve two or more joints such as the bench press, barbell squats, chin ups, military press and dead lifts. The more body parts are being worked out, the more your glycogen store is being depleted so as to get into ketosis at a faster rate.

The idea behind working out on an empty stomach is to deprive your body from using the food you may have eaten for energy and the exercise is to deplete the stored glycogen thus forcing your body to burn your body fat and as such, developing into the state of ketosis.


2) How am I to know whether I am in a ketosis stage or not?

The easiest way is to do a urine test. You can buy ketosis urine test strips from your local pharmacy to do just that. Some people will have strange smelling breaths known as the ketogenic breath caused by acetone which is a by product of ketosis. Not everyone will have the ketogenic breath though.

For a more accurate measurement of your ketone levels, you may want to use a blood ketone meter. However, this is not necessary unless you want to have a very accurate reading which is not required in the ketogenic diet.


3) How much weight can I lose per week? 

This will depend on each individual, their genetics, how strict are they on the diet, whether do they include regular exercise into the program, how active they are and so on. However generally speaking, an average person should lose about 2-3 kg (4-6 pounds) in the first week and 1-2kg (2-4 pounds) per week subsequently.

Why the faster weight lost in the first week? That is because you don't lose that much fat at the beginning of the diet as most of the weight loss will be from stored water and glycogen. Then when you enter into ketosis, usually by the third or fourth day, the body fat loss begins.


 

4) Can I drink alcohol while on the ketogenic diet? 

Personally I wouldn't recommend that you do. However we do have to let our hair down and have fun once in a while, right? The problem is that most alcoholic beverages have sugar and carbohydrate in them and will derail your diet which you have already put in so much effort to get this far. It would be such a waste, wouldn't it?

So if you must drink alcoholic beverages, choose one that is without sugar and carbs, such as Scotch Whisky and if you must add anything else to your drink, make sure it is only ice and water. 

5) Since the article did not mention any calorie counting, can I assume that to lose weight in a ketogenic diet, even if I eat more calories than I need, I will still lose weight or should I still watch the calories that I eat?

 

Just take a look at the people you know around you. How many of them were or are still counting calories to lose weight and yet they had remain the same or have even put on more weight? Isn't this reality observation shows you that the traditional approach of calorie control or calorie deficit type of diets that has been recommended for so many decades are not working very well? In fact, a vast majority of overweight people are unable to lose weight or to keep the weight off this way.

Yes, to some extent, counting calories may have an extra impetus on the ketogenic diet for people who are not getting satisfactory weight loss results and restricting their caloric intake may help. This is because people whom are on the keto diet may eat way too much dietary fat without even knowing it and are thus piling on heaps of extra calories.

However generally speaking, strict calorie control is unnecessary when on the ketogenic way of eating. This is because the essence of the diet is not based calorie counting, but on the lowering of blood sugar level for the body to burn fat instead of carbs for its energy requirements.


 

What and How To Eat In A Keto Diet Plan?

What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet?

This chart shows you the percentages of macro-nutrients you should eat in a ketogenic diet meal plan.

Starving off cancer cells with the ketogenic diet - CBN News Video

What are the side effects in the keto diet?

Guaranteed to lose weight diet and exercise plan
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers (Q&A)
















 About The Author - Chris Chew is the health, fitness and grooming consultant to the Mister International Organization, which is the owner and producer of the Mister International and Mister Singapore Pageants. He is presently sitting on the advisory panel of Personal Trainers In Singapore.

Chris is also the Director of food health and hygiene for food and beverage establishments such as Kingdom Food Group of restaurants.

This article was researched and presented here by Chris and is meant to be helpful to the readers. It is not meant to diagnose or suggest any treatment in lieu of your medical professional's advise.

Chris is based in the cosmopolitan tropical island nation of Singapore and is still training his clients for fat loss, muscle building and general physical fitness in his free time and he can be contacted
here

 

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