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The ketogenic, often abbreviated to keto, diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, but does the ketogenic diet really work in 2021? The Keto Diet has been shown to provide several impressive and indispensable health benefits, the main benefit and the primary drive to start the diet is of course weight loss. If weight loss is your main goal then is the Keto Diet right for you? The rest of this article is about reviewing the potential of the Keto Diet plan to help weight loss.
The main difference between other diets such as the Atkins diet and the Keto Diet is that in the Keto Diet plan weight loss is achieved by restricting carbs from your food intake so it is really important what foods can be eaten on the keto diet. This triggers a process called ketosis, a state during in which your body switches to using fat rather than carbs as its primary source of fuel.
The reduced intake of carbs is replaced by increasing your fat intake so that fat comprises the majority of your daily calorie count. Typically on the Keto Diet your daily fat consumption should be between 70% and 90% of the food that you eat, while your protein intake should be recued to around twenty percent of your daily calorie intake.
One of the primary weight loss goals is to reduce hunger, as this means less food is eaten. The Keto Diet is excellent for reducing hunger as eggs, Greek yoghurt, and nuts and seeds are a part of the Keto Diet; these foods reduce a hormone called ghrelin that increases feelings of being full. A small study comprising 20 obese people found that reducing ghrelin levels reduced food intake and led to fewer food cravings, source. Therefore, the Keto Diet can be an effective way to manage your hunger levels when trying to lose weight.
Another crucial weight loss mechanism of the Keto Diet is the loss of water weight that accompanies the reduction in carb intake. Carbs, in their stored form in your body, hold water therefore, once you reduce the amount of carbs that you consume in the initial stages of ketosis stored carbs from your body are released along with the fluid that they hold, resulting in weight loss.
To understand how the Keto Diet aids weight loss, it is important to examine how weight loss is normally achieved. If you want to lose weight you normally need to eat fewer calories per day than your body needs so as your body uses this fuel it uses more than you consume, therefore you lose weight. The Keto Diet does not work this way, while the number of calories burnt while on the Keto Diet is greater than if you were not dieting the number of additional calories burnt is very small. The way the Keto Diet works is by reducing the need to eat more calories due to the high fat/low carbohydrate content of the diet itself. As explained above, reduced levels of ghrelin increases the feeling of satiety from less food which in turn increases weight loss.
When starting a Keto Diet, it is necessary to keep track of the precise amount of carbs that you are consuming every day. The entire purpose of the Keto Diet is to trigger the natural process of ketosis as quickly as possible, so that your body can use your excess fat as fuel. The quicker you enter ketosis the less likely it is that you experience symptoms related with the diet. This is often referred to as “keto flu” and can lead to headaches and difficulty thinking (brain fog). So, it important that in the initial stages you carefully follow a strict low-carb regimen. For most people, eating 50 grams of carbs per day or fewer should be enough to start the ketosis process. We highly recommend The Custom Keto Diet to help you through the initial keto flu stages as well as for your long term health.
It might not appear intuitive for sleep to be important for any diet however studies show that not getting enough sleep and chronic stress can negatively impact weight loss outcomes, source. This remains true when following the Keto Diet. In fact, studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can negatively impact hunger hormones, like ghrelin and leptin, source. Therefore, it is important that you get enough sleep while on the Keto Diet as this will cause reduced appetite, counteracting the hunger-reducing effects of the Keto Diet. Making sure that you take time to unwind and get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night can help support the advantages of a Keto Diet.
While the Keto Diet alone may provide weight loss, combining it with a correct exercise regimen can enhance this effect. If you are not exercising you will not be able to burn the amount of calories you are consuming. As you adapt to the diet, your body will use fat as its primary fuel source for exercise. Studies suggest that this is often most beneficial in endurance-based sports. Note that your body needs to have adjusted to the Keto Diet before undertaking any moderately intense exercise to avoid the possibility of negative side effects.
One of the main downsides of the Keto Diet - especially for weight loss - is long-term sustainability particularly as the diet is quite restrictive and some people may find it difficult to keep to the low-carb requirements of the diet. The Keto Diet can create challenges when going out for dinner at a restaurant or going for dinner with family and friends. These factors must be considered before starting it.
So, does the ketogenic diet really work in 2021? Yes, it still works. The benefits of the Keto Diet are promising, but it is important to consider the potential side effects and downsides before you embark on your Keto Diet weight loss journey. However, the benefits of losing weight and leading a healthier lifestyle should surpass these side effects especially as most of these potential side effects appear during the initial stages of the diet as your body becomes accustomed to the new regimen.
For those interested I have linked to a free ebook that contains some simple and delicious Keto recipes. These are part of the Custom Keto Diet, which is a Keto Diet plan that we highly recommend for those wanting to take their health and well-being to the next level.