When it comes to losing weight or eating cleaner, there is always a new diet that is on trend. I have been getting questions about the Ketogenic diet a lot lately, thus this short article about what is Ketogenic and if it is healthy.
The Ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and extremely low or no carbohydrates plan, making your body use fat instead of carbs as fuel. This reduction of carbohydrates forces your body into a state of ketosis, where ketones are buildup in the bloodstream and it is used for running your body instead of glucose.
Ketosis is actually a very mild form of Ketoacidosis, which mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes and is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes under the stage of 24. However a lot of experts say Ketosis itself is not harmful.
Now who can really benefit from the Ketogenic diet? Significantly overweight or clinically obese people while being monitored by a physician or a nutritionist.
Yes it has been gaining a lot of popularity lately and many athletes do follow it. But you need to remember that those athletes have a personal dietician/nutritionist at all times, monitoring their eating to make sure they are consuming enough nutrients and not too much others. Also many of those athletes follow this plan during training and game/competition season, and not all year round.
The Ketogenic diet, very similar to Atkins, could lead to heart problems, cholesterol issues, high blood pressure and more, IF not monitored closely by a professional.
Also to be noted, not all carbohydrates are the same, unfortunately we live in a time where virtually everything we eat is processed, even if we are told it is "organic" or "natural". Because of so much processed food (the bad carbs), carbs in general have gotten a bad reputation for being bad, unhealthy, and fattening. You have to know which carbs are healthy and actually good to eat, and that would be way too long to explain here.
As I have mentioned before there is not a magic diet that is going to help you lose weight, and most people on this plan have gained most of their weight back, simply because it is very hard to maintain.
With that said, the ketogenic diet is a good way to kick start your body if you are trying to lose weight. It should be maintained only for about 7-10 days, as a way to detox your body of all its excess stored glucose (glycogen), and then slowly adding in your healthy carbs (complex and simple). This is kind of a zig zag eating plan to help you burn stored carbs and help you start you plan, the idea is NOT to commit to a ketogenic lifestyle.
Another thing to keep in mind is that on the Ketogenic plan you do need to maintain a proper exercise routine, because all the fat and protein you are consuming need to be burned or they will be stored as fat in your body, even protein (protein is not stored as protein, sorry guys)
Just remember it is not about what diet will really help you to lose weight, it is about you having a healthy and realistic lifestyle (nutrition and fitness), which allows you to maintain it throughout the year.
If you do decide to follow this diet plan, please do speak to a physician and nutritionist to make sure you are doing it properly. Also one thing to remember is that if you do want to have a serving of pasta or a birthday, it is okay to enjoy those as well as long as it is not a daily thing.