A ketogenic diet that has grown in popularity in recent years is a very low-carb, high-fat diet.
Several significant beneficial effects have been shown — like the reduction of weight. Many individuals are therefore turning to this method of eating to achieve their weight loss objectives.
Although research shows that the diet could help to release body fat, there is a lack of long-term data to support its effectiveness.
This article examines the ability of the keto diet to help weight loss.
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Table of Contents
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet.
Originally designed as an alternative therapy for people with epilepsy, the diet was first designed in the 1920s.
About half of epileptic children and young people tried this diet saw a reduction in the amount of seizures by at least half and continuity of the impact after a normal diet.
The diet causes the body to consume fat instead of carbs as a source of nutrition.
Usually, grains, eggs, pulses, soy and certain fruits and starchy vegetables must be removed from the diet.
Carbohydrates are primarily obtained from non-starchy fruits, nuts, and seeds.
How does ketogenic diet work?
For about two to seven days on the keto diet, you reach a condition known as ketosis.
When your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates for your cells to use for nutrition, it enters this state.
You begin to produce ketones, which are organic compounds that your body uses to replace the carbohydrates you’re lacking.
In addition, the body begins to burn fat for energy, resulting in weight loss.
As you consume carbohydrates, the body stores fluid to preserve them as fat.
You lose water weight if you don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates. You will feel satisfied if you consume a lot of fat.
The ketogenic diet uses fat as the primary source of energy, which, when mixed with a low carbohydrate diet, causes your body to release ketones.
In certain patients with epilepsy, the changes in the body induced by a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can have an anti-epileptic impact.
Can ketogenic diet help you with your weight loss goals?
Carbohydrate consumption is restricted to less than 5–10% of total daily calories by adopting the conventional keto diet.
This causes the body to undergo ketosis, a condition in which it burns fat instead of carbohydrates as its main fuel source and produces ketones in the liver.
Increase fat consumption to about 70–90% of calories, or 155–200 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet, to compensate for the decreased carb intake.
Protein consumption is average, averaging about 20% of calories, or 100 grams for a diet of 2,000 calories.
Although long-term trials are incomplete, there are some potential weight loss mechanisms associated with the ketogenic diet.
- It can reduce cravings
The keto diet’s ability to suppress appetite is possibly one of the key mechanisms for weight reduction.
Reduced levels of ghrelin, one of the body’s strongest appetite receptors, have been related to adopting a ketogenic diet.
Reduced ghrelin levels and appetite could lead to fewer calories consumed during the day, resulting in weight loss.
In reality, a study of 20 obese people who followed a ketogenic diet found that they had less food and alcohol cravings.
As a result, the keto diet can be a successful method for regulating the appetite levels, but its long-term stability must be considered.
- It can make you lose water weight
Another possible weight-control source of the keto diet is the loss in water weight that occurs as a result of the substantial decrease of carbohydrate consumption.
This is due to the fact that carbohydrates, in their preserved state, retain water in your body.
As a result, when you decrease your carb consumption, such as during the keto diet’s introduction process, accumulated carbohydrates and excess fluid are released, resulting in weight loss to varying degrees.
- Ketogenic diet or traditional diet?
To see how the keto diet can help with weight loss, it’s necessary to look at how weight loss has historically been accomplished.
To lose weight, you must consume less calories than you consume, a process known as calorie deficit.
The keto diet was linked to a modest improvement in the amount of calories burned in one trial of 17 men with obesity or extra weight.
However, as opposed to a conventional diet, this did not result in additional body fat loss.
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When calorie consumption is matched, these findings show that the ketogenic diet is not actually preferable to a conventional diet for weight loss.
The weight reduction benefits of the keto diet are therefore much more likely to be due to decreased calorie consumption as a result of shifts in satiety signaling associated with high fat, relatively low carb diets.
While the keto diet has been linked to weight loss, the precise mechanisms are unknown. According to research, weight loss associated with the keto diet is likely due to a calorie shortage, reduced appetite, and water weight loss.
Other factors that could have an effect on weight loss
When adopting a keto diet for weight loss, there are a few other things to keep in mind to ensure success.
- Your precise carbohydrate consumption
When beginning a ketogenic diet, it’s a good idea to keep track of how many carbohydrates you’re eating on a daily basis.
This ensures that you reach ketosis early and avoids any of the complications common with the “keto flu,” which is a collection of symptoms linked to beginning a keto diet that includes headaches and brain fog.
You won’t stay in ketosis if you consume too many carbohydrates, and the diet’s possible effects, such as weight loss, will be reduced.
Ketosis can be controlled by eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs a day for most people.
- If you are having enough sleep
Sleep is a component of any lifestyle that is often ignored. Sleep loss and excessive fatigue have been shown in studies to have a negative effect on weight loss. This is especially true when following the ketogenic diet.
Poor sleep has also been shown to have a detrimental effect on appetite hormones including ghrelin and leptin. This will contribute to an increase in appetite, counteracting the keto diet’s hunger-suppressing effects.
Taking time to rest and having at least 7 hours of sleep each night will help you reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
- If you are exercising
While the keto diet can help you lose weight on its own, mixing it with a good workout routine can help you lose much more weight.
Your body will use fat as its main fuel supply for exercise after you’ve adjusted your diet. According to study, this is most useful in endurance sports.
To prevent side effects, it’s important to remember that you should be well accustomed to the keto diet before engaging in any fairly intense exercise.
The diet’s consistency
Long-term consistency is one of the major drawbacks of the keto diet, particularly for weight loss.
Some people may find it impossible to stick to the diet because it is too strict.
It’s especially difficult when dining out or being together with family and friends for the holidays because a new way of eating must be embraced, which could impact social interactions.
Numerous trials in the area of nutrition research have shown that this form of dieting may have a substantial positive effect on the physical wellbeing and bodily function.
The benefits are numerous if you can find a way to sustain the discipline.
The keto approach is certainly something worth exploring for those who haven’t had any progress in conventional methods.
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