One of the newest and most popular weight loss programs, Keto, is taking the world by storm. When used properly it can be a valuable tool in your weight loss regimen; however, this weight loss program is not meant to be used long term and can be quite dangerous if not appropriately monitored.
What Is a Ketogenic Diet?
The main goal of Keto is to force the body to go into a mild form of Ketoacidosis, called Ketosis. This is achieved by following a low or no carbohydrate diet.
The process of attaining Ketosis is completed by lowering the carbohydrate intake, and the body will begin to shift focus from working through glycogen and begin to use fats as energy.
This allows stored fat to be used which builds up ketones within the body. The body then uses the ketones as its primary fuel source and replaces the glucose from the brain and heart.
While Ketosis is not necessarily dangerous, Ketoacidosis is. This is a drop-in blood sugar levels similar to what a Type 1 Diabetic experiences. Ketoacidosis is the leading cause of death in young Type 1 patients.
With proper monitoring through and adhered to correctly Keto is a highly successful weight loss program. It has been used for decades to help those with Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s other brain disorder symptoms, and even acne control.
The main benefits are decreasing body fat, improved memory and focus, and an increase in exercise productivity.
Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are four main types of Keto diet programs:
- The Standard Keto,
- The Cyclical,
- The Targeted,
- High Protein.
The Standard Keto involves an intake of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.
The Cyclical Keto allows for protein refeeds into the system, for instance, doing a few days of Keto and following with a few days of high carbs.
The Targeted allows carbs to be monitored and added to a workout regimen.
The High Protein breaks intake to 60% fat, 35% protein, which will leave a 5% breakdown for carbs. An appropriate Keto should have a base of being plant-based.
What to Eat on a Keto Diet
When choosing foods, look for grass-fed meats, fruits, and vegetables with high fiber content, for instance, fresh green leafy vegetables.
According to Dr. Gianfranco Cappello who studied over 19,000 individuals on the Standard Keto diet, a cast majority of those in the study accomplished a rapid loss of 10% body weight loss 57% of which was fat loss.
The main side effects being suffering from the ‘Keto-Flu’ during the first week of the program. ‘Keto Flu’ symptoms are fatigue, dehydration, headaches, and constipation.
Most of these can be overcome with proper hydration, supplementation of potassium, magnesium, and salt. The symptoms will significantly reduce during the second week of Keto. During the fourth week of the program, one should start noticing the loss of weight.
To boost weight loss, one should also follow an active exercise program consisting of muscle and strength building activities as aerobic-type activities.
As always, check with your doctor before starting any new dieting program. Keto should be closely monitored and is not considered safe for those with kidney problems or diabetics.