I have to tell you about this Ketogenic Diet, or as you may have heard of it “The Keto Diet”.
Committing to a keto diet meal plan can help solve no end of problems and can help you lose weight in the process.
It may be relatively new compared to some other diets, but this is no fad.
It did start to lose its impact after a few years as the introduction of new medicines were just being released onto the market.
But would you believe it, mother nature was actually doing a better job of relieving epilepsy than the new medications?
Maybe, that is why it started to become popular again around 1994.
What made it become noticed again, was when a young Charlie Abraham made an astonishing recovery from epilepsy seizures, he was having on a daily basis, so happy were his family with these results, they decided to start “The Charlie Foundation”.
No matter what they had tried previously to the Keto Diet, nothing had worked.
It should be mentioned, though, out of all the foods, it is nearly always carbs which cause the problems.
They may give us a quick boost in energy, and stimulate the brain’s pleasure centers, but there is one major downside to this, any carbs the body has not used to produce energy gets stored, and you guessed it, it gets stored as fat.
How the Keto Diet Works
The Keto diet principles are quite simple, we reduce the carbs and replace these by fats and proteins, this will after a while put the body into a state of Ketosis.
It is in this state that the body burns ketones to produce energy rather than carbs.
This simple process will lead us to weight loss and better health.
I would like to mention, there are similar diets to this which are quite famous.
Have you heard of the Atkins Diet? At least with the Keto Diet, you know it is based on scientific evidence that has been gathered over a period of nearly 100 years.
As discovered by Dr. Henry Rawle Geyelin, when a body is in a state of fasting, glucose levels contained in the blood drops, whilst at the same time, the levels of Ketones increase.
When the body burns ketones for fuel rather than glucose, there is less stress on the brain, this is what reduces the onset of epileptic seizures.
Enough of the history lesson, let me explain how it works: When carbs are consumed in foods, they are converted into glucose, and it is this glucose which is the energy source to power the body and the brain in the bloodstream.
Now the body is in a state of Ketosis, the liver will convert fats into fatty acids and ketones which can be used as a replacement for glucose to produce energy.
For the body to reach this state of ketosis, the majority of what is eaten should contain a high fat and protein content.
As the number of carbs is restricted to around 50g per day, a lot of the vegetables that are grown above ground will have to be restricted, but your body will soon become super-efficient at burning fat for energy.
Studies have also shown, once the body is in a state of ketosis it can run 70% more efficiently as these ketones are actually preferred by the body over carbs.
Once on the diet, the first target is to deplete the bodies Glycogen stores, these are the way the body processes and stores glucose as energy, when you do high-intensity activities like running, the muscles draw upon the glycogen for fuel, it is for this reason long-distance runners do “carb-loading” before big events.
In the liver, it is the glycogen that keeps the body functioning correctly all day, this includes the brain function, kidney cells, and red blood cells.
Glycogen depletion is normally brought on by switching to a low-carb diet like the Keto diet, it is in the first few days where you feel the side effects as mentioned, to fully deplete the glycogen stocks normally takes 2 -3 days on average.
Each gram of glycogen is bound to 3-4 grams of water, so not only will you be depleting your glycogen stocks, there will be excess water being flushed from your system.
When first starting the Keto diet, counting calories is not what you should be concerned with, this is one of the reasons people start to lose interest and quit.
The recipes supplied are structured to offer the best basis of how to achieve your goals.
Not only is there recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are also plenty of snack recipes included that you can have to support your main meals, all these have been supplied to help you keep that full feeling so you have less intention of giving up, although the snack recipes are arranged for each week, it is possible to mix and match these for when you feel like them.
There are sumptuous smoothies, to one cup brownies, chips for a night on the sofa and many more.
There are even popsicles and an easy to make ice cream that will stop you feeling deprived in any way.
As with the main meals, most have a limited carb count which should help you to reach a state of Ketosis in the quickest way with the minimum of effort, even these can be mixed and matched if so desired, the choice is yours.
Exercising on the Keto Diet
Strictly speaking, there is no reason, why you need to exercise whilst on the Keto diet, to lose weight, the diet will do all the work.
Although there are other benefits of exercise most of which are beneficial to your health:
1. Improved bone mineral density
Studies show that resistance training improves bone mineral density in obese postmenopausal women.
2. Improved immunity
Exercise may help you boost your immune system.
Keep in mind that over-exercising will have the opposite effect.
3. Improving diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity
Moderate aerobic exercise lowers blood sugar, the addition of one 10-second sprint after moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can reduce hypoglycemia risk in physically active individuals who possess type 1 diabetes.
4. Brain health
Exercise improves age-related cognitive decline and helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
5. Cardiovascular health
Both vigorous and moderate physical activity help prevent coronary heart diseases.
6. Anti-aging benefits
Exercise may increase life expectancy by decreasing mortality risk factors like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
You should not exercise just for the sake of burning calories to aid in weight loss, exercise should be done to promote muscle tone and help you feel good about yourself, so whatever activity you do, do it for pleasure.
If you contemplate any exercise, you should allow for plenty of rest between sessions, due to the lack of carbs, you may overdo it and be prone to dizzy spells until you have become accustomed to the diet properly.