We’ve all been there. Wallowing in the misery of having gained a few (or a ton) of weight from that holiday season binge. Or maybe it wasn’t from the holidays and your weight gain was a gradual one over the years of sitting at a desk and not getting enough activity in during the day. Whatever it was, a low and slow weight gain or the shock of the century, we’re all searching for that way to drop all the pounds and get to a healthier state. With so many people eager to get thinner and more fit, there have been tons of diets circulating in health stores and the internet with wild promises of rapid weight loss and success stories that seem almost too good to be true. The fact of the matter is that most of them are too good to be true, but there are a select few diets out there that deliver consistent results as long as you stick to the regiment.
The Ketogenic Diet
One of the most popular diets out there today that have shown proven results both in scientific studies and outside the scientific realm is the Ketogenic Diet. A high-fat and low-carb program, the Ketogenic Diet is a veritable magic bullet of sorts in that it targets the stored fat in a person’s body for efficient weight loss. Essentially, the Ketogenic Diet turns the body into a mean, lean, fat-burning machine by restricting the intake of carbohydrates and fueling the body with fat instead. It can be compared to the Atkins diet or the LCHF diet but differ in the sense that there are less restrictions on protein with these two diets. The Ketogenic Diet works by forcing the body into a state of “Ketosis”. During this metabolic state, the body produces fuel molecules known as “Ketones” which the body uses for fuel in the absence of carbohydrates. Since the fuel supply completely switches, insulin levels in your body drops and fat burn increases. This metabolic state also makes accessing fat stores in the body much easier thus allowing the body to burn this stored fat off.
Things to Watch Out For
As with any diet, there are certain things about the Ketogenic Diet that you have to keep in mind before starting the program. While most people can safely start this program, there are three situations in, which consulting a physician is absolutely essential. People who are on medication for diabetes, such as insulin, may not be allowed to start the diet until they are in a healthier state. This is the same for people who are on medication for high blood pressure. Breastfeeding mothers can start the Ketogenic Diet but with some modifications. For example, they aren’t allowed to completely restrict their carbohydrates as it could be unsafe for women who are breastfeeding. They should have at least 50 grams per day for safety purposes. While on this high-fat, low-carb diet, it’s also absolutely essential to drink a lot of water and to also have a good amount of salt in your diet. This ensures that your liver remains healthy throughout the program. Remember also that change does not happen overnight and if you want to maximize your physical endurance while on the Ketogenic Diet, you will need to allow yourself at least two weeks of adaptation to burning fat.
Physical Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
It goes without saying that starting the Ketogenic Diet does wonders for your weight loss efforts. It’s extremely effective for people who have a lot of fat stores in their body from years of bad eating habits. The Ketogenic Diet is also great when it comes to preventing cravings and hunger pangs as most of the food allowed on the diet helps you stay full longer. Switching to nutrient dense food with low carbohydrates also helps when it comes to regulating your blood sugar levels and means that you’ll have a steadier level of energy through the day. Since the Ketogenic Diet naturally lowers the sugar levels in the body, the diet is a very effective way to regulate diabetes and can even reverse Type II Diabetes in some people. The Ketogenic Diet does wonders for your blood chemistry as well. It improved the triglyceride levels along with cholesterol levels, which are closely associated with arterial build up. People on the Ketogenic Diet can also say good bye to high blood pressure. On a more superficial note, the Ketogenic Diet also helps improve your skin. Studies show that those on the Keto Diet experience a decrease in skin lesions and inflammation. This is due to the low carbohydrate intake.
Mental Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
Aside from the physical benefits of the Ketogenic Diet, the program also has incredible benefits for a person’s mental and emotional help. For example, did you know that eating in line with the Ketogenic Diet helps you get rid of brain fog? What this means is that you’ll have better mental clarity and will be much more alert. You’ll be able to think your problems through with better efficiency. You’ll even notice that your mood will improve significantly. Since you’re ingesting less sugar, you’re also less prone to the mood swings that come with sugar highs and sugar crashes. Something many people don’t consider is that an improper diet actually adds to stress. While on the Ketogenic Diet, glutamate levels are low, which allows you to focus more and therefore decrease stress. You might be wondering how this all works. Simply speaking, you’ll be able to balance out the brain’s production of neurotransmitters while on the Keto Diet. This means that your brain is not firing as many neurons in the brain, which results in increased mental focus. The added benefit to this is that GABA production goes up in the brain and it’s this GABA production that lowers anxiety and stress. An extra boost is given for people to drink ketoproof or bulletproof coffee – coffee that has been blended with grass-fed butter or coconut oil.