Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet –  The Original High Fat Low Carb Diet

The Ketogenic diet was originally developed in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of epilepsy.  It is a high fat, high protein, very low carb diet that leaves the body in a state of ketosis.  Ketosis happens when the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The elevated level of ketones in the blood causes ketosis, which leads to a reduction in seizures.

When the Ketogenic diet is used for weight loss, the guiding principle is that the body will burn fat stores for fuel when carbohydrates are not available.  This happens when your body is in a state of ketosis.  In order to go into ketosis, you need to have a very low intake of carbohydrates.  Depending on your age, metabolism, and the amount of weight you want to lose you may eat as few as 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, up to 60 grams.  You will be eating mainly fats and protein with green vegetables as your carbohydrates. In order for a Ketogenic diet to be effective for weight loss, you must limit the number of calories that you ingest in a day.  Pairing the diet with an exercise plan makes it more effective, though only low impact exercise is advised for the first three weeks while your body is getting used to ketosis.  Intensity may be increased after that time.

It is recommended that you discuss any diet with your physician, but it is particularly important that you discuss the Ketogenic diet with your doctor before starting it on your own.  For patients following a Ketogenic diet, your doctor may want to monitor your blood levels to ensure that your level of ketosis is effective, and that you are not bringing harm to other systems in your body.  You will be eating high fat foods that are low in protein and carbs, such as lard, butter, eggs, and coconut oil.  The fat in these foods is saturated fat, and you may be increasing your risk of heart disease by eating them for the long term.  Brain cells that help control your weight may be injured by high-fat diets.  This will be detrimental to long-term weight loss.

Many people find it difficult to stick with a Ketogenic diet for the long-term.  The nutrition requirements to stay in a state of ketosis are very restrictive.  Many diets dictate a ratio of 4 fat grams to every one gram of protein or carbohydrate.  This may make it difficult to find the foods you require when eating out or visiting with friends or family.  Without the motivation of keeping epileptic seizures at bay, this can be an overwhelming obstacle.

It can be difficult to find stories of people who have had long term success on the Ketogenic diet, however one very popular GIF is going around the Internet of a 26 year old woman named Amanda who lost 88 pounds on the Ketogenic diet.  She claims it has not been difficult to find the proper foods to keep the weight off.  Smash the Fad Diet author Sam Feltham believes “The Ketogenic diet is a sustainable way to eat. For some people it is the only way that they’ll ever be able to maintain a normal body weight, due to biochemical imbalances caused by over consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates.”

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