Summer’s here, and with it the bikinis, swimming trunks and beach volleyball. But what happens when you want to flaunt your body, but don’t have the toned stomach you yearn for? And what do you do if you’re self-conscious enough to not wear a swimsuit without jaw-dropping abs? You try a diet that’s guaranteed to work, of course. We know what you’re thinking – it’s not easy to diet. But with the ketogenic diet all your problems could be solved. Which brings us to our next question…
What Is The Ketogenic Diet And Who Is It Helpful For?
The name ketogenic means that the diet helps in producing ketones in the body (keto=ketone, genic=producing). Ketones are formed when the body uses fat for its source of energy. The ketogenic diet is a high-protein, moderate-fat and low-carbohydrate diet that assists your body in burning fat quickly and efficiently. The diet dictates that you consume less than 100 grams of carbohydrate every day.
It forces the body to burn fat instead of ingested carbohydrates. And since there are no incoming carbohydrates, the body changes its primary fuel source to fats and the liver converts fats into ketone bodies. The ketone bodies then pass into the brain and replace glucose as the primary energy source. All this results in you losing weight. While it is especially useful for bodybuilders, although it can be used by anyone who wants to get a toned, muscular and fit look. The ketogenic diet is also a treatment for epileptic patients.
An average ketogenic diet consists of 40-45 per cent calories from protein, 50 per cent of calories from fat, and the rest from carbohydrates. The percentage of fat might seem high to some, but as long as your total calories are in check, you won’t be at risk. During the time when few carbohydrates are consumed, the body produces more ketones, since the fat is converted into an energy source that your cells and organs can use. In fact, certain organs like the heart actually prefer to use energy from ketones. If your body has started using ketones for energy, it is said to be in ketosis. One way of knowing if your body is in ketosis is that acetone is a side produce. It is acetone that produces the distinct smell on the breath and urine.
Testing For Ketosis
You can also get a test done to find out if your body is in ketosis. Buy a product called Ketostix from the chemist and place the strip into your stream of urine. Then, compare the colour of the urine to the chart that comes along with the product. You need to be consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrate for it to show positively in a urine test.
What To Eat When On A Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet isn’t very difficult; there are simply a list of foods you can eat and some you can’t. Because it’s a restricted diet, your options aren’t very vast; but there is still enough choice for you to have something different every day. With the ketogenic diet menu, you need to cut out most sources of carbohydrates, including bread, pasta, soda, sugar, ice cream, pizza, milk and even most fruits. The carbohydrates you are allowed to eat include vegetables, and maybe some berries since they have a pretty low carbohydrate content compared to other fruits.
In fact, because of its restrictive nature, the ketogenic diet is particularly effective for those suffering from obesity, diabetes or epilepsy. Foods high in fat but low in negligible in carbohydrate content are preferred, such as meats, fatty fish, nuts, cream, cheese, butter, coconut oil and coconut milk. All vegetables low in carbs are permitted, with the exception of the potato, which can be very starchy.
According to kriskris.com, here’s a sample menu of the ketogenic diet.
- Breakfast: 15g coconut oil, three eggs, frozen vegetables scrambled on a pan.
- Lunch: Coconut milk smoothie with half a scoop protein powder, almonds and blueberries.
- Snack: Almonds, a handful or two.
- Dinner: Ground beef, 15% fat, fried in butter. Vegetables on the side.
Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet
- Increased fat loss – A ketogenic diet increases the body’s ability to utilise fats for fuel, causing fat loss in the body.
- Reducing hunger pangs – Going on the ketogenic diet actually reduces hunger pangs in many people.
- Excretion of fat – When your body is in ketosis and it has no use of ketones, it can simply remove them by way of urine. This way, your body is actually excreting fat when you go to pee.
- Lowers the chances of cardiovascular diseases – a ketogenic diet has been known to contribute to lowering cardiovascular diseases.