The Benefits And The Potential Side Affects Of The Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is getting a lot of attention at the moment for its benefits for helping people lose excessive fat, sometimes at rapid rates. 

It is also being used for other health related issues such as lowering blood sugars.

The main question most people want to know is. Can the ketogenic diet work for losing weight?

Well, it has certainly been proven to help with rapid weight loss if you follow the ketogenic diet. 

So the next question is. Is it safe and sustainable? 

Because there is so much information about diets, it is hard to workout what's the truth and what is the best diet strategy.

When you start to eat healthy you have to go with common sense. If you like certain foods that you know aren't very good, only eat them in moderation, if at all.

Try not to go to restrictive and try and find out what works for you and how it makes you feel.

Sometimes it is the quality of your food that is the most important and making.

Many people are a bit unsure about reducing their amounts of carbs. And this is a key point to consider.

Trying to follow a strict ketogenic diet can prove to be very hard for many people as is the case with many diets.

Two of the biggest stumbling blocks many people struggle with when they attempt to lose weight are, procrastination and sustaining their new eating and healthy lifestyles and strategies. 

Although the ketogenic diet can help you to lose weight quickly. There maybe a few important questions you need answering.

Maybe considering a modified keto diet, where you cut back on your carbs or if you're on a ketogenic diet, another possibility, could be to adding a few carbs. 

There is no doubt, that a ketogenic diet can help to lose fat as well as offering other health benefits.

And if you want to lose body fat, not muscle. Then it is necessary to cut back on the carbs, especially the empty carbs that can be found in, sugary foods.

Like cakes, sweets, fizzy drinks, soda's, chocolate, etc. In fact, it is recommended to cut back on most carbs, if you want to lose fat.

For years, we have been told that fat is the culprit to weight gain. What is now being discovered, is it is not fat that is the problem. The biggest villain is too much sugar.

Our bodies need a certain amount of the right fats are necessary for the functioning of the body, especially the omega 3 fatty acids.

Healthy fats are an important nutrient and cutting out all fats can have an adverse effect when you're trying to lose weight.

The bad fats are considered to be, the trans fats and vegetable fats and oils.

But it is also worth finding out, if there are any health risks or side effects, for those who stay on the ketogenic diet for the long term.

This is why it is worth speaking to your doctor first, before you make your decision. Because there are many things to consider, like.

Should you use the ketogenic diet, short term or for the longer term. Should you consider adding a few carbs or would it help to take a break from the ketogenic diet, at times?

This article takes a constructive and objective view, so hopefully it will help you in your decision to decide, whether the ketogenic diet is for you or not?

Like, is it safe to follow for longterm, how effective is it and how difficult is it to follow.

Ketogenic Diet-What is it?

At first glance you should know that the ketogenic diet (often referred to as the keto diet) is a diet that focuses on a massive reduction of carbs (or carbohydrates) in the daily diet. 

With the goal of a person's own body producing ketones in the liver to be used as energy, helping to burn off all your excessive fat.

When you virtually eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet, your body has no other choice but to use the fats stored in your body has its source of energy.

The ketogenic diet was not formally created for weight loss uses. It was originally designed to help treat epilepsy.

Today, the ketogenic diet is also being considered for the treatment of other disease such as type 2 diabetes. (Again if you think it might help you for other health issues, always seek professional medical advice first)

Most people however who are interested in using the ketogenic diet, are looking for alternative ways to lose weight.

How does that work?

Well when you eat foods that are high in carbs, your body will do two things it will create glucose and insulin. 

Glucose is basically the body's go to for converting energy in the body, it's number one and is the body's preferred source, and will be chosen over any other source of energy. Insulin is produced simply to process the glucose in the bloodstream by taking it around the body.

What this means is that because glucose is being used as the prime energy source by your body, your fats get nothing more than just stored.

So what happens when I start reducing my carbs intake?

Well your body then is induced into a state known as ketosis. Now please be aware that this is a different process than ketones as mentioned earlier, simply just posting this disclaimer to save the confusion, in case you might be reading this thinking hasn't that already been explained?

Now with that said let's explain what ketosis is.

Ketosis is a natural process initiated by the body when food intake is low. It is during this state we produce ketones as mentioned earlier from the liver but it is a result of the low carbs and fats consumed in our daily diet that are broken down by the liver and cause our body to go in to a state of ketones.

The goal is to essentially overload your body with fats (healthy fats of course) and practically eliminate carbs, and due to the adaptability of our bodies this will then force a shift in the body's primary energy source it will begin to burn ketones as the primary source of energy. 

This is essential the keto diet.

So to put it simply this state is achieved not through lack of calories or food but through the severe restriction of carbs and high intake of fats in your daily diet.

It is recommended that a person on the ketogenic diet should be aiming for daily macros in there diet that consist of about 70% fats 25% protein and 5% carbs.

Great! I now know how it works, but what are the benefits of this diet?

There are several known benefits from being on a keto diet, and almost something for everyone some of those include:
  • Weight loss
  • Epilepsy (especially in children)
  • Acne
  • Controlling ones blood sugar 
  • Increased mental focus and energy
  • Cholesterol and Blood pressure
These are just some of the claims of the main benefits of being on a keto diet, there are many more benefits to be had for following a keto diet for weight loss.

The big advantage of the keto diet is. Once you get the balance right, there is no calorie counting or portion controls.

However, you need expert advice if you go on the keto diet, because if it is not followed correctly, or rushed, then there is the potential to put your body system out of balance.

Therefore, if you go on this diet, you should look to probably plan and prepare your strategy, before following through. 

It isn't something I would suggest after reading this just to start right away, really think about it and seek professional advice from your doctor or a trained dietician.

Because yes this diet if followed successfully can have tremendous benefits and really change your life for the better, 

But if you go in to this only half committed, or pick and choose what bits of the diet you do and don't, then it could affect your health and body.

If you're thinking about trying the Ketogenic Diet. You may also need consider carefully. How long you intend to stay on the diet.

Your body also needs the daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals, which a high in protein diet may not supply you with.

The summarise the keto diet is something that has to become a lifestyle a way of life more so than just another diet until you lose your weight loss goal. 

It is important to consume enough healthy omega 3 fats in your diet.

The common sense approach is a healthy and active lifestyle and diet.

According the Dr Mark Hyman. The main basis of our diet should be plant based, with plenty of green and colorful vegetables, sweet potatoes with the right balance of fibre, proteins, including meat (Grass fed meat is the best).    

A healthy way of life that can change your life for the better in every way possible, healthier body, healthier skin a healthier life. 

But just take your time with it, don't rush in to it, seek advice, do your research and just find out if the keto diet is right for you.

Are there any negatives to the ketogenic diet?

We all know the health risks of being overweight, and we all know how important it is to stick to a healthy and varied diet and live a active and healthy lifestyle.

Obviously, the ideal scenario is to try and stick to a healthy lifestyle and sensible diet which should ideally be a way of life.

Many people these days, just want to lose weight in the quickest time possible and the ketogenic diet has been proven to achieve this.

The pitfalls of wanting to lose weight quickly is, people tend to give up and resort back to the bad eating habits and lifestyle choices.

Maybe the better option is to aim for shedding a stone or so of weight quickly but also devising and implementing a longer term plan and weight loss strategy that is a more of a gradual and natural process.

The biggest advantage of the ketogenic diet is, It produces results fast. 

If you follow the ketogenic diet, because carbs contain a lot of water, you need to becareful that you stay hydrated.

For those who follow the ketogenic diet, it is recommended that you strike the right balance of proteins and fats because the calories that you were getting from carbs should be replaced with the right amount of calories from fats. 

Experts also suggest that  your body burns off glucose it is important that you maintain your insulin levels. (Again, professional help is a good idea)  

There are a lot of claims about other health and well-being benefits of the ketogenic diet. LIke, improved cognition abilities, more energy, better digestions and even claims that it can help you live longer. 

Bold claims.

However, you have to make your own judgements, because as yet, these claims have not got scientific backing.

Some of the potential side effects of the ketogenic diet are.

The keto flu. It is suggested that, when you drastically reduce your carbohydrates, it can bring on, flu like symptoms. 

Which has often been described as, the carb withdrawal syndrome, which occurs when your body transforms from burning glucose to burning fat.

Although if you manage your keto diet well and although these symptoms subside, they may return when you switch back to introducing more carbs or you resort back to a normal diet.

A lot also depends on what job you do and how active you are or how much you exercise. Because the amount of fuel and energy, depends on our physical activities.

Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use sugar. The cells in your body use glucose as energy.

The glucose/sugar cannot enter most of your cells directly. Insulin, which gets released into your body, becomes attached to your cells which unlocks the cells to absorb the glucose/sugar which it uses has an energy supply.

Insulin has also been classed as a storage hormone that is essential for building muscle and growth, so it is important that you get your insulin levels right.

Especially, if you're still growing or you want to put on muscle mass, then the keto diet might not be advisable.

There are also reports that sticking to a mainly high meat protein diet may have other potentially negative impacts on your body.

The keto diet has also been linked to bad breath, difficulty in sleeping, fatigue and headaches and more. However, it is believed that these symptoms will subside after a few weeks.

Other things to consider are, you have to be careful of nutrient deficiency and dehydration and many keto diets are usually low on fibre.

It is certainly worth weighing up the pros and the cons, before you make your decision.

The ketogenic diet can outperform the more traditional weight loss techniques. However, you have to consider the old story of the.

"Tortoise and the hare". Approach. Where in a race, the tortoise moves slowly and steadily, where the hare starts off fast, but cannot sustain the pace, so it falls asleep, allowing the tortoise to win.

The moral of this story is. Sometimes slowly and steady, gets you there quicker in the end, and the same strategy could apply with your weight loss plan.

Statistically, many people who embark on the ketogenic diet, manages to sustain it or stick to a strict keto regime.

Questions that you may need to ask yourself are.

Should I try the full keto diet or should I try and modify it? 

If you do try the full keto diet. How long should you stick with it?

What ever you decide. It is important that you put getting the required daily supply of minerals and vitamins, at the top of your list as well as making sure you stay hydrated.

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