The ketogenic diet is a very successful weight-loss program. It utilizes high fat and low carbohydrate ingredients in order to burn fat instead of glucose. Many people are familiar with the Atkins diet, but the keto plan restricts carbs even more.
Healthy foods to be eaten on a Ketogenic Diet
- Nuts and Seeds
- Unsweetened coffee and Tea
- Meat and Poultry
- Low carb Vegetables(Broccoli, Cauliflower etc)
A ketogenic diet is made popular as it is a low carb high fat diet which is easier for many dieters who love their protein. The diet focuses on having low carb intake which would then force the body to the ketosis state. This state is a natural process of the body where the body breaks down food in a slower manner than our body is accustomed to. This state is what the body undergoes when in a survival mode.
Because protein helps with repair of tissues and cells, taking in protein is important. The source of protein and cut choices should also be taken into consideration as some parts are fattier and contain less proteins. Examples of protein sources include grass fed meats or wild games, free range poultry, fish or seafood, shellfish, whole eggs and whey protein powders.
These ketones are basically compounds which are formed when the liver starts using fat for energy sources. Now why would the liver starts using fat instead of glucose for bodily energy requirements? You might ask. The answer to this is pretty simple. When you start starving your body then the amount of glucose will reduce dramatically and will ultimately expire within the body. Now the liver would turn to proteins in the tissues for meeting the energy requirements but eventually these stored proteins will also expire and now there’s nothing left except for stored fats when it comes to providing energy to the body. Hence, the liver will start burning these fats for meeting the minimum energy requirements of the body.
It is at this stage that Ketones are formed. Basically they are a by-product of the lipid metabolic pathway after the fat is converted to energy. It is important to mention here that most specialist regard Ketosis or Ketone bodies as the crisis reaction of the body to a carbohydrate deficient diet. Hence it would suffice to say that ketosis diet is not recommended by a majority of specialists except for under extreme circumstances. However, this view is increasingly coming into dispute and many doctors claim that Ketosis diet can indeed work as far as weight reduction is concerned.
Hence ketosis diet or ketogenic diet, to be medically precise, is a low carbohydrate diet with emphasis on moderate protein and high fat nourishment. Conventionally, it has been used to treat refractory Epilepsy in children but in recent years several doctors have supported its claim of being helpful in weight loss. The diet works in similar aspects to starvation with an important twist. In the latter, the body is deprived of all diet for several days while depending upon juices, beverages or water for getting by but when it comes to Ketosis diet, the body is forced to burn fat in place of carbohydrate for meeting its energy requirement.
In the absence of carbohydrate, the liver will burn fat and convert it into fatty acids and ketones or ketone bodies. Of course, to accomplish the ends of ketosis diet, all carbohydrate rich foods such as cereal grains, sugar, certain vegetables etc need to be eliminated from ones diet. In addition to it, naturally occurring foods such as meat, fish, eggs etc, which contain nominal or almost no carbohydrate, should be consumed in abundance during all meals.
Ketosis is when your body has switched from burning carbs, like processed sugars, flour, and other foods that rank high on the glycemic index for energy, to using your stored and ingested fats. The Atkins diet is thought to be a high protein and no carb diet by many, but that is not the case. This is actually a fallacy. The diet uses proteins and fats with a limited amount of ‘good’ carbs that you slowly add to your diet as you go through the program. The ketosis test strips help you know you are doing the diet correctly.
If your body has switched to burning fat (both ingested and from stored body fats), you are in ketosis. This is what you want. There will be ketones in your urine, and that is what the ketosis test strips are for. They will tell you if there are any ketones in your urine, thus letting you know that you are in the fat burning stage of the diet. For some people this happens within a few days, and for some, it takes a week or so, but it will happen if you stick with the diet as described in the books written by Dr. Atkins.
When using ketosis test strips, you can tell if there is a problem with your low carb eating plan. There are times when there are hidden carbs in foods, or perhaps you have used something that has carbs but you thought it was a safe food. Most of the carbs on Atkins come from salads and certain vegetables at first, and then you add some diary, nuts, fruits, whole grains, and then some other vegetables to the diet as you go while checking to see that you are still in ketosis. You should be losing slowly but steadily the whole time. If you are not getting the right reading, you are eating something off the plan and the plan can not work if you do.
The diet is a means of effectively zapping excess body fat, leading to a more toned, shapely figure and the feeling of confidence which comes with being in better shape.
Weight loss, feeling lighter and increased energy are key indicators of the improved enjoyment of life experienced by those on the ketosis diet.
In the longer term, the principles of the low carb diet can help maintain a sensible weight. This is one of the key reasons this diet can improve long term quality of life – it’s not about depriving yourself, only to put all the weight back on when the diet is ‘finished.’
Last but not least, a low carb diet can introduce you to a world of culinary delights – in other words, a diet where you can still enjoy food!
In western diets, carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and potatoes often provide the ‘stodge’ that fills us up at mealtimes. With carbs removed, meals are replaced with high energy proteins and nutrition rich low carb vegetables.
We are encouraged to enjoy sumptuous meals such as omelettes for breakfast, delicious fish for lunch and juicy steaks or chicken for dinner with luscious salads, spinach, aubergines or asparagus to name but a few. The regular pasta dish that was once your dinner-by-default will seem tame.
Low carb diets are increasingly popular among people who want to maintain a healthy weight, feel more energetic and enjoy improved quality of life.