What Is The Ketogenic Diet? | sheerluxe.com

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

Anything billed as a high-fat diet is bound to create a buzz, even if it doesn’t quite mean eating cake for breakfast. And as more and more celebs sign on (think Adriana Lima, Megan Fox and Kim Kardashian), the ketogenic diet is becoming harder to ignore. Based on restricting carbohydrates instead of calories, this high-fat, new-generation Atkins is the diet everyone’s talking about…

What’s the concept?

While low-carb diets are nothing new (Atkins and South Beach have had a cult following for decades), the ketogenic diet goes one step further. Under the plan, you’re supposed to get a whopping 80% of your daily calories from fats, 15% from protein and only 5% from carbs – a ratio that science has shown to be effective when it comes to weight loss. 

Got you. How exactly does it work?

As nutritional therapist Shona Wilkinson explains, “Almost every cell in our bodies can burn two fuels: glucose and ketones. Glucose is made from sugar and ketones are made from fat. By following the ketogenic diet, you force your body to burn ketones, instead of glucose, as its primary fuel source.” When your body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat, insulin levels drop significantly and fat burning increases dramatically, making it easier to access your fat stores to burn them off.  

What are the benefits?

Aside from burning fat, the diet also promises to boost energy levels, keeping you feeling fuller and more energised for longer and has been proven to help control epilepsy; normalise blood pressure, control acne and boost mental focus as well as physical endurance.
 
Studies have also suggested it can help to reverse Type 2 diabetes (through lowering blood sugar levels) and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). However, it takes around four to six weeks for your body to get efficient at using fat – and ketones – for fuel, and up until that point, you may experience fatigue, headaches, dizziness or constipation as the body adjusts, and the diet should not be followed long-term. 

On a Similar Note

And what can you eat?

Fat sources should make up the bulk of your diet – splurge on avocados, coconut oil, egg yolks, fatty nuts (macadamias, Brazil nuts and walnuts but avoid cashews as these tend to be higher in carbs), olive oil, cheese and fatty meats like bacon and sardines. You should be aiming to have two to three servings per meal, or six to nine daily.
 
Be sure to eat plenty of protein, too, aiming for 0.6/0.8g per pound of body weight, but make sure this is less than total fat – aim for 25g of protein per meal. Lastly, not all vegetables are allowed on the diet (as a general rule, anything grown below ground, i.e. root vegetables, should be avoided), but greens such as spinach, kale, chard and lettuce are fine.

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day on the diet could start with scrambled eggs or an omelette with some herbs; lunch might be a chicken breast with herb butter and some spinach followed by baked salmon with lemon and butter for dinner.

Who’s it for?

For those looking to lose a considerable amount of weight (more than half a stone), the diet may be of interest, although the restricted nature of the plan means the diet isn’t for those who get bored easily or who struggle with meal planning. It should also only be viewed as a short-term diet, as drastically altering a balanced diet isn’t healthy long-term.
 
Plus, as Shona Wilkinson stresses, “The diet should be avoided by diabetics as a state of ketosis can be dangerous for them. And while the regime can lead to weight loss, it shouldn’t be followed for more than six months as the body does need carbs to function properly in the long run.”

 

 

Inspiration Credits: OliveMagazine.com, StephanieMorish.com
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