Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Your body produces less glucose than it would normally do when not using fat as its main source of fuel. This causes the blood sugar level to drop, which then leads to a reduction in appetite and weight loss.
The ketogenic diet was developed in the 1970s to treat children with epilepsy. Today, it is used widely to control seizures in adults and children.
It works because it causes your brain cells to use fat as their primary source of energy rather than glucose (a type of carbohydrate). This reduces the amount of insulin required by your pancreas so that less sugar enters into your bloodstream.
There are many benefits to the ketogenic diet. You lose weight, feel better mentally and physically, and have fewer symptoms of diabetes or other diseases related to high blood sugar levels.
However, there are some drawbacks too:
It takes time to adapt to the diet. If you don’t start eating very little while following it for several weeks, you may experience severe cravings for food during this period.
You need to consume enough protein during the first few weeks until your body adapts to using fat for energy.
If you are diabetic or pregnant, talk to your doctor before starting the diet as you may need to adjust your medication.
If you do not lose weight even after six weeks of strict adherence to the diet, it is better to reconsider if the diet is working for you.
You should exercise caution if you have kidney or liver problems or are pregnant. Also, consult with your doctor first if you are diabetic.
The diet can be challenging if you do not have the support of family and friends as they can help you monitor what you eat and drink.
Some people experience a “keto flu” during the first week of strict following of the diet, which includes symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, dizziness, irritability, nausea and difficulty concentrating. If these effects become severe or last more than a day or two, consult your doctor immediately.
Even if you do not have any pre-existing health conditions, the diet may affect you differently than others.
It is important to learn about the diet first and talk to your doctor before beginning it. This way, you can start it with careful preparations and knowledge of what you can and cannot do while on it.
The dietary needs of an athlete are different from the strict requirements for a weight loss diet or a diet to control diabetes. For athletes, a low carbohydrate, high fat diet is not suitable. In this case, a moderate reduction in carbohydrates with moderate increase in fats would be more suitable.
Learning more about the diet and how it works can help you make a more informed choice about whether it is right for you or not.
Does the Ketogenic Diet Work for Everyone?
The answer to this question is definitely NO. The diet works very well for most people, but there are cases in which it doesn’t show good results. Some people don’t get good results if they are diabetic while others don’t get desired results even if they are not diabetic.
People who are obese and on a keto diet to lose weight should be able to shed a few pounds within a month or two.
Do You Need Supplements While on Keto?
How much success you have with Keto will depend on many factors and one of them is your intake of supplements. You should always take multivitamins, minerals and enough protein.
The following are some of the nutrients you need while on Keto:
Potassium – This is important for people on Keto because when carbs are reduced, the body excretes more potassium, so it is important to maintain proper levels of this mineral. You can get enough through food or as a supplement.
Sources & references used in this article:
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The effects of a low calorie ketogenic diet on glycaemic control variables in hyperinsulinemic overweight/obese females by MM Michalczyk, G Klonek, A Maszczyk, A Zajac – Nutrients, 2020 – mdpi.com
Ketonemia and Glycemia Affect Appetite Levels and Executive Functions in Overweight Females During Two Ketogenic Diets by A Lodi, L Zarantonello, PS Bisiacchi, L Cenci, A Paoli – Obesity, 2020 – Wiley Online Library
Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Muscle Fatigue in Healthy, Young, Normal-Weight Women: A Randomized Controlled Feeding Trial by A Sjödin, F Hellström, EC Sehlstedt, M Svensson… – Nutrients, 2020 – mdpi.com
A ketogenic diet is acceptable in women with ovarian and endometrial cancer and has no adverse effects on blood lipids: a randomized, controlled trial by CW Cohen, KR Fontaine, RC Arend… – Nutrition and cancer, 2020 – Taylor & Francis
Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets by A Paoli, A Rubini, JS Volek, KA Grimaldi – European journal of clinical …, 2013 – nature.com
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