What is the Ketogenic Diet Plan that seems to have taken over the weight loss world? Well, most people actually know it as the Keto diet. It was developed in 1924 by Mayo Clinic Doctor Russell Wilder, who laid the foundation for the Keto diet plan that’s so popular today.
Wilder originally used it as an epilepsy treatment, but, since then, several scientists, doctors, and nutritionists have built upon his work. They revisited the keto diet and developed it to become one of the most popular diets ever to lose weight.
The Keto diet also helps with certain health benefits. For instance, it boosts HDL levels (good) cholesterol and reduces blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels.
This article is meant to be informational, as I don’t advise people to diet at all. I don’t advise to diet because there are almost always mental battles we have to fight when dieting, not to mention the fact that we can’t eat the foods we love.
So, I strongly suggest, if your goal is to lose weight, simply eat at a reasonable calorie deficit. It’s much easier than to diet because it allows you to continue living your life and enjoying your favorite foods while losing weight. You can learn all about how to do that right here.
As with all diets, it is best to consult your doctor before embarking on a Keto diet journey. So, let’s get to the details of this popular diet.
What Is The Keto Diet All About?
The Keto Diet Plan is all about helping the body to achieve ketosis. Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that occurs when your body lacks adequate carbs (or glucose) to burn for energy. Due to the glucose shortage, it burns fat instead.
The Keto diet is very low-carb and high-fat. It seeks to substitute carbohydrates with healthy fats, forcing the body into ketosis for weight loss. The diet emphasizes eating more real foods and fewer processed foods. 75 percent of your daily calories will come from fat, 20 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbohydrates while on the Keto Diet.
If you follow a typical Keto diet food list, you can eat recommended foods freely, but you must limit or avoid other foods. A lot of the foods you’ll have to restrict are probably some of your favorites.
How Does Ketosis Work?
You trigger ketosis when you consume fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day; as your body breaks down fat, it produces ketone acid or ketone bodies, which becomes your primary energy source. Ketosis changes your metabolism and relies on fat for energy, causing your body to burn fat more efficiently.
Once you achieve the ketosis state, you are more likely to meet your weight loss goal. You will lose weight much faster than if you had continued eating the same amount of carbs.
Putting Your Body Into The Ketosis State
On average, your body takes 2–4 days to reach ketosis if you eat 50 or fewer grams of carbs daily. Others may take longer depending on physical activity level, age, metabolism, and carb, fat, and protein intake.
The two ways to achieve ketosis include severely cutting carbs and also incorporating intermittent fasting. You can also consult your doctor for advice on what supplements to take to help you attain and maintain ketosis.
A quick note I’d like to make on intermittent fasting. It is something I personally do, and I absolutely love it. It’s made eating so much more enjoyable. You can learn its many benefits and why it’s so beneficial for fat loss right here. However, I personally do it combined with eating at a calorie deficit and not by following any diet.
You must eat less than 50 grams (g) of carbs per day to activate ketosis. This is probably one of the most challenging aspects of following keto, and it’s why I know various people who gave it up. When you consider the fact that an average banana contains 23 g of carbs, you realize just how tough the Keto journey is.
Foods like nuts and non-starchy veggies contain small amounts of carbohydrates, meaning you can only consume limited amounts or remove these foods from your diet on this plan.
Your body converts the excess protein you consume into carbs through the gluconeogenesis process. Limit your protein intake to approximately 20 percent of your total daily calories to prevent gluconeogenesis.
To achieve ketosis through Intermittent fasting, you have the option of eating for eight hours and then fasting for 16 hours. This is actually exactly how I do intermittent fasting. But, as mentioned earlier, I don’t follow any diet.
If you want to see what a week of intermittent fasting in my life looks like by watching calories and NOT by dieting, you can check out this article here.
The other intermittent fasting option with Keto is eating a low-calorie diet for three to five days, only eating 1,200 daily calories if you’re a woman and 1,500 daily calories if you’re a man. As you consume less food, your body uses more of its fat stores for fuel. To me, eating that few of calories per day seems incredibly unhealthy.
Yeah I know that picture is gross. Get an over-the-counter ketone urine test and start testing your ketone levels after day four of your diet. The test will tell you if you have entered ketosis. You can also use a blood sugar meter that measures ketones as well.
Normal blood ketone readings are under 0.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A higher level may indicate a state of ketosis.
Does this seem a bit overly complicated? Wouldn’t you rather just eat what you want, and lose weight without having to get all these devices? Learn how to do that here.
Physical Signs And Symptoms Of Ketosis Include
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Increased energy, though your energy levels may fall in your diet’s first few weeks.
- Fruity smelling breath (halitosis)
- Constipation or diarrhea
Many of these symptoms have links with what people call the “keto flu.” Experts say symptoms should subside within two weeks. I personally don’t want fruity smelling breath combined with constipation or diarrhea.
Recommended Keto Diet Foods
- Meat, including beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, and seafood (preferably wild-caught)
- Healthy oils, such as olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil (coconut oil has links to raising LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels)
- Non-starchy vegetables, like celery, asparagus, leafy greens, cucumber, and zucchini
- Nuts and seeds
Restricted Foods On The Keto Diet
● Grains, such as rice, quinoa, white potatoes, pasta, bread, and pizza
● Processed foods
● Artificial sweeteners
● High-carb fruit, including bananas, pineapples, tangerines, and grapes
● Refined oils
These restricted foods are exactly why I feel diets aren’t sustainable in the long run. Of course, we can fight hard to eliminate these all from our diets for a period of time, but how long will it be before we give up and give in?
And what upsets me even more, is that when we do give up, it’s very easy to feel defeated, as if though we lost the weight loss battle. But we shouldn’t have to feel that way. This is why I encourage eating at a calorie deficit, because you don’t have to restrict these foods. You simply must follow a few rules that easy to adhere to.
Keto Diet Pros
● You may lose more weight faster than on other diets.
● Therapeutic benefits, such as managing epilepsy.
● May Improve insulin sensitivity.
● May reduce appetite.
● Can improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Keto Diet Cons
● Constipation or diarrhea.
● Not much long-term Keto diet effect data is available.
● Known long-term health risks include; kidney stones, osteoporosis, and liver disease.
● Risk of the keto flu, possibly causing headaches, fatigue, brain fog, irritability, and lack of motivation.
● Limited fruit intake.
Some of these cons scare me a bit, especially the potential health risks associated with the keto diet.
Keto Diet Summary
So, if you were asking what is the ketogenic diet plan, I hope that this article answered that for you and provided you with details you were looking for. Some find it more challenging than others to achieve and maintain ketosis. After all, it is easy to exceed 50 grams of carbs on a given day.
Once you stick to the principles of the Ketogenic diet plan, you’ll experience significant, efficient weight loss, and many people claim it to be in the form of belly fat. I don’t know what to think of that. In fact, what I’ve personally experienced is that when you burn fat off your body, it comes off evenly from anywhere you have fatty deposits, from your belly, chest, love handles, and anywhere else it may be stored.
I guess one of the up sides of the Ketogenic diet also offers some essential health benefits including, improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But aside from that, it’s very difficult to recommend this diet to anyone. I may be a bit biased also, considering that I used to eat low carb for years, and I finally found a much better way to burn fat off your body.
Ultimately, it’s best to eat a balanced diet with a good balance of proportions from every food group to maintain a good healthy and body weight.
There are known long-term health risks of extending ketosis but also insufficient data to determine its long-term effects. Experts recommend limiting ketosis to no more than six months. In fact, they say it’s best to leave the ketosis state as soon as you have achieved the desired results. That’s enough info for me to personally stay far away from it.
By following a simple non-restrictive eating plan and a powerful workout routine, you can truly create transformational results in your body in only 90 days.
I personally lost 15 pounds and dropped 3% body fat in just a few months because of a powerful plan that taught me the truth about health and fitness. Click here if you’d like to learn about it.
I hope you found this article to be helpful and learned plenty about what the Keto diet is all about. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you so much for reading!