What Is a Ketogenic Diet?
“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread. The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits.
Different Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs. Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days. Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts. High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs. However, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.
Ketogenic Diets Can Help You Lose Weight
A ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose weight and lower risk factors for disease. In fact, research shows that the ketogenic diet is far superior to the often recommended low-fat diet. What’s more, the diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake. One study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved. Another study found that people on the ketogenic diet lost 3 times more weight than those on the diet recommended by Diabetes UK. There are several reasons why a ketogenic diet is superior to a low-fat diet, including the increased protein intake, which provides numerous benefits. The increased ketones, lower blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity may also play a key role. A ketogenic diet can help you lose much more weight than a low-fat diet. This often happens without hunger.