When you say, “I want to lose weight”, I believe what you want is to lose FAT. There is a big difference between losing weight and reducing body fat. This video is about the ketogenic diet and how you can lose weight and stay healthy at the same time.
Are you considering a ketogenic diet to lose weight? We here explain why a keto diet can be effective for losing fat and the role that a dietary supplement can play in ensuring you get the nutrients you need on a diet that restricts food groups.
Many diets can make the number on your scale go down, but this doesn’t mean you are mainly losing body fat. Once your body runs out of its limited store of carbs it turns to glycogen for fuel. Glycogen is a stored form of glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles. Processing glycogen requires water - for each gram of glycogen your body will store approximately 3 g of water. As your glycogen reserves are used up, so is the stored water. That’s why the first kilos you lose will mainly be water weight.
Depending on the diet approach, you can also lose muscle, vitamins, and minerals. And THAT IS NOT YOUR GOAL!
Q: what defines a ketogenic, or “keto” diet?
For a ketogenic diet, the food you choose MUST contain 70 to 80% fat, 20% protein, and less than 10% of carbs. After three days to one week of eating keto, your body will switch from burning glucose as the primary fuel to fat. The fat will be oxidized and broken down into three metabolites: acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These metabolites are called “ketone bodies”, or ketones.
Several scientific studies have linked ketones to health benefits such as weight loss, improvement in cancer therapy, reduction of childhood epilepsy episodes, and blockage of “amyloid-beta 42” as a neuroprotective mechanism to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
You may have heard the term “ketosis”. This is a metabolic state where there are a lot of ketones in the blood which the body uses as its main source of energy. Ketosis is achieved by following a diet that is high in fat and low in protein and carbs. It can significantly reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. And in addition to burning fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry and help you retain muscle.
Q: What diets do you need to follow to be in a constant state of ketosis?
Dietitians recommend exclusion of cow’s milk, grains, legumes, all types of potatoes, peas, carrots, squash, and most fruits. The food staples are red meat, bacon, eggs, butter, cream, cheese, chicken, turkey, and fatty fish.
This diet excludes many nutrient-rich foods such as beans, seeds, and fruits that are high in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. If you are not extra careful with your food choices a keto diet may lead to nutrient deficiencies in the long run.
Also, while the high fat, low carb content in fatty fish makes it an exceptional option for the keto diet, many fish are high in mercury. Eating a lot of fish can lead to mercury accumulating in your body.
Q: how can you maintain a balanced level of nutrition while on a keto diet?
First, ask your health care provider for a vitamin blood panel to check your nutrients, HDL (good), LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. The test results will help you to choose the right dietary supplement, if needed.
Second, taking an antioxidant dietary supplement can help detoxify your body if you are concerned about mercury exposure from eating a lot of fish. One study published in the “Journal of Applied Toxicology” indicates that the antioxidant curcumin may have a protective effect against mercury exposure if taken regularly.
A ketogenic diet is an effective way to enter ketosis and burn fat. It’s easier to adopt than fasting because you can eat at least three meals a day.
However, keto is a very restrictive diet that excludes many nutrient-rich foods, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies in the long run, and may result in an accumulation of mercury with increased consumption of fish.
Consulting with your health care provider to check your nutrient levels before starting a keto diet is always a wise choice. And taking the right dietary supplements along with a keto diet can ensure you achieve the best weight loss results.