A new year, a new you. Maybe you decided to take some time off work to pursue a lifestyle change for the better. Or maybe you’re looking for ways to lose weight after a period of weight gain. Whatever the case may be, 2021 is the year for you. But how does one go about making the right changes to achieve their goals? Maybe you’ve heard of the ketogenic diet. Well, here’s an evidence-based overview of the diet for weight loss.
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that provides your body with a source of fuel in the form of ketones. When your body uses ketones instead of carbohydrates for fuel, you enter a state of ketosis, which has numerous health benefits. In general, the diet can help to regulate blood sugar levels and produce weight loss.
When your body runs on ketones rather than glucose for fuel, your blood sugar level drops and you experience fewer cravings. In addition, people who follow the diet typically report that appetite is reduced as a result of consuming fatty foods.
Why Study the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s and has been studied for its potential to fight disease and improve wellness. There is some evidence to suggest that it may be helpful in treating type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, there is a booming market for pre-workout supplements that feature ketones as an ingredient.
But the most exciting (and motivating) application of the ketogenic diet is in the realm of weight loss. With mounting evidence that obesity is one of the major health problems in the United States, the ketogenic diet is the perfect strategy for shedding unwanted pounds.
The Science Behind Weight Loss On A Ketogenic Diet
To experience weight loss on a ketogenic diet, you need to follow a specific plan. To make changes to your diet that will put you on the right track, you need to understand how the ketogenic diet works and the role that it plays in weight loss. Here are the basics.
The Ketogenic Diet Is More Than Just Fat And Protein
While the ketogenic diet is high in fat and protein, it doesn’t solely consist of these two macronutrients. For example, vegetables like sweet potatoes and pumpkin are rich in carbohydrates that can provide your body with quick and easy energy. Your body also relies on the fats you eat to produce certain hormones that affect your mood and energy levels. In order to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, you need to make sure that you consume enough carbohydrates so that your body can remain in a state of ketosis. Otherwise, you could suffer from low energy levels and poor mental health.
The Ketogenic Diet Forces Your Body Into Changing How It Uses Energy
When you eat foods that raise your blood sugar level, your body’s response is to release insulin. This hormone helps to regulate blood sugar by picking up the glucose (a type of sugar) that your body can’t use and storing it as glycogen in your liver and muscles. Because there’s no glucose in your bloodstream, your body enters a state of energy reduction, commonly known as a “energy deficit,” resulting in weight loss.
When you eat carbohydrates, your body retains more of the glucose they contain than it releases into the bloodstream. As a result, you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, which could lead to weight gain. On the ketogenic diet, you’ll experience an energy deficit because your body doesn’t produce as much insulin as it should due to an insufficient carb intake. As you lose weight, your body’s natural insulin production increases, allowing you to reestablish a state of energy balance and maintain your weight loss. In addition to losing weight, you’ll likely experience an improvement in your blood sugar level as a result of the diet. While on the ketogenic diet, your body doesn’t produce as much insulin as it does when eating carbohydrates, resulting in lower blood sugar and fewer carb cravings.
How To Lose Weight On A Ketogenic Diet
Now that you understand how and why the ketogenic diet works, you can start to figure out how to lose weight on it. To begin with, you should aim to follow a ketogenic diet that features high-fat foods and limit your carbohydrate intake. If you need help figuring out how much carbohydrate you should be consuming, seek professional advice from a registered dietician or a physician. Depending on your current weight and how much weight you want to lose, you can determine how many calories you should be eating daily.
The Role Of Exercising On Weight Loss
While you’re following a ketogenic diet to shed pounds, you shouldn’t let excess body weight become a problem. Since insulin plays a crucial role in storing energy, your body doesn’t react favorably to extreme weight fluctuations. In order to lose weight effectively, you need to stay within a moderate range that allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In this case, you need to exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy weight and prevent weight regain. In general, exercise promotes better health and allows you to live longer and more satisfying lives. In addition to boosting your overall well-being, exercise also helps to reduce your body’s need for calories, making it simpler to adhere to a ketogenic diet for weight loss.
With all of that in mind, how does one go about losing weight on a ketogenic diet? First and foremost, you should consult with a physician or dietician to get on track. As your body adjusts to the diet, you may need to readjust how much you’re eating and how much you’re exercising. But once you’re in a state of ketosis, you should be able to lose weight without trouble.
If you’re serious about losing weight, you need to put in the necessary time and effort to research the best diet for your needs and goals. When you do your research, you’ll discover that there are various forms of the ketogenic diet that are suitable for different people, and with different goals in mind. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. As the saying goes, you have to cook your own meat, so you should know what kind of diet you’re following. By closely following the science behind the diet and using that to your advantage, you can shed those unwanted pounds and get down to the business of living your life with a purpose. To learn more, check out the following resources: