For many years, fatty foods have been thought to be the cause of extra pounds. But relatively recently, researchers revised this theory and came to a completely different conclusion. It turns out that you can eat large portions of fatty foods and . . . lose weight! There is even a special protein-fat diet known as ketone.
What is the keto diet
The ketogenic, ketone, or keto diet is a diet based on the consumption of foods that are low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in fat.
Adherence to such a nutritional program triggers a process in the body known as ketosis, which, in fact, leads to the burning of fat reserves. But that wasn't the root cause of the keto diet. The ketone nutrition program was originally used as part of a comprehensive therapy for childhood epilepsy. But after a while it became clear that this diet is very effective for weight loss. People who at least once in their life have tried to lose weight with a diet know that very often the lost kilograms are not necessarily fatty deposits, which they managed to get rid of. Often, weight loss occurs due to the removal of excess fluid from the body or the destruction of muscle mass. But on a ketogenic diet, the pounds lost are guaranteed to be split fats. To understand the principle of the ketone diet, you first need to understand what ketosis is, which, in fact, gave the name to this nutritional system.
Any food consumed by humans is a source of three important nutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. In the process of metabolizing carbohydrates, the body receives additional energy, as well as "food" for the brain cells. But if a portion of consumed food contains carbohydrates in excess, everything that the body could not process and use immediately is sent to the "bins", so to speak, for a rainy day. And these very "bins" are nothing more than subcutaneous fat deposits. And this process is repeated every time you eat a high-carb meal.
And now the main question: what will happen to the body if it is cut off carbohydrate "supplies"?. If carbohydrates are completely excluded from the diet, then, frankly, nothing good will come of it. A prolonged carbohydrate hunger strike can even end in death. But this is only as a last resort, when the consumption of the nutrient is reduced to zero and it is not replenished for a long time. However, if carbohydrates are not completely excluded from the diet, but only reduced to the minimum necessary portions, then you can count on a fairly quick weight loss.
What the ketone diet is for
When the body does not receive enough carbohydrates, it begins to look for reserve sources of energy. And such reserves already exist and they are contained in subcutaneous fat. This means that the body triggers the breakdown of fat cells, resulting in the formation of fatty acids and ketone bodies. It is ketone bodies that serve as glucose substitutes. In addition, when the body enters a state of ketosis (an increase in the concentration of ketone bodies), the incidence of epileptic seizures in people with epilepsy decreases. Why this is happening, scientists continue to investigate.
For medical purposes, for the treatment of epilepsy, the ketone diet involves eating foods with a minimum of carbohydrates, and the amount of protein and fat in the diet should be in a ratio of 1: 4. That is, all high-carbohydrate food is removed from the diet, and as much fat as possible is introduced to preserve the calorie content of the diet. But not all types of lipids make a diet equally effective. In order for the body to start ketosis, it is important to consume medium-chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil, rather than long-chain fatty acids.
For the first time, mankind learned about the benefits of the ketone diet for the treatment of epilepsy at the beginning of the twentieth century, but soon interest in this method in medical circles cooled and was revived only almost a century later. But in the meantime, the keto diet has found new uses and has become part of sports nutrition.
In addition, there has been a lot of talk lately that the keto diet is good for cancer. All complex scientific explanations aside, the process goes something like this. Cancer cells need glucose to maintain their viability. With a deficiency of carbohydrates, malignant formations lose their ability to grow. Research in this area is ongoing. But an experiment conducted in 2012 in New York with the participation of 10 volunteers with malignant tumors confirmed this theory.
The keto diet: duration, stages, adaptation
You can sometimes hear that the keto diet is a common, low-carb diet. In fact, this is not at all the case. According to the principles of influence on the body, this system is very similar to the popular Atkins diet. Ketone nutrition rebuilds the body from the usual glycolysis to lipolysis, and this takes time. Therefore, to get results, the ketogenic program should be followed for 2-3 weeks. In addition, one should not expect significant losses of body fat in the first week, since at this time the body has not yet reorganized to a new regime and continues to process the remaining reserves of carbohydrates.
The phases of body restructuring look like this:
- First. Lasts 12 hours after the last carbohydrate meal. At this stage, the body will completely use up its available glucose reserves.
- Second. Lasts 24-48 hours. At this time, the body uses up the glycogen stores contained in the liver and muscles.
- Third. The beginning of the restructuring of metabolism. The body is looking for an alternative to carbohydrates in fatty acids and proteins, including those found in muscle mass.
- Fourth. Starts on the 7th day. The body adapts to a lack of carbohydrates and rebuilds into a ketogenic state, giving up proteins as an energy source.
In addition to the listed steps, there is one more - the right way out of the keto diet. You cannot instantly switch to a full-fledged diet rich in carbohydrates. The body again needs to adapt, but this time it will have to readjust to glycolysis.
For this, carbohydrates should be introduced gradually, increasing their amount to a maximum of 30 g per day.
What the keto diet consists of
There is no clearly scheduled ketone menu for a week or more. The keto diet is a diet that is low in carbohydrates. As a rule of thumb, to get into ketosis in the body, it is important not to consume more than 30-50 grams of net carbs per day.
The keto diet, although in small quantities, still contains carbohydrates. Nutritionists advise choosing vegetables that are high in fiber as a source of this nutrient. This is necessary to maintain healthy digestive processes. You should not eat ready-made meals, semi-finished products, purchased sauces on a diet. They all tend to be high in carbohydrates in the form of starch and sugar. To prevent depletion and replenishment of carbohydrate reserves, preference should be given to foods with so-called complex carbohydrates (cereals, cereals).
In some cases, it is allowed to consume a small amount of fast carbohydrates, but their source in no case should be sweets, but only fruits.
Although fat in the keto diet is not a prohibited ingredient, there are certain rules for the selection of fat-containing foods. Ideally, saturated fats (found in butter, meats, cheeses) should make up about 20-30% of your total lipid intake. The rest should be obtained from foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Protein plan can be fulfilled with both animal and plant foods.
Foods Allowed on the Diet:
- different types of meat;
- fish (especially sea fish);
- dairy and fermented milk products (better with a lower percentage of fat, since they contain less carbohydrates);
- non-starchy vegetables (preferably leafy);
- fruits with a minimum sugar content.
- sugar and other sweeteners;
- butter baked goods;
Based on this list, it is not difficult to compose a menu for a week or for a full course of a diet. The main thing is not to go beyond the allowed amount of carbohydrates.
The keta diet has been around for a long time. Bodybuilders use this nutritional system for fat burning and drying. But unlike the classic version of ketone nutrition, in sports, the ratio of fat and protein shifts towards the latter. At the same time, the amount of carbohydrates in the diet for athletes should not exceed 10%. Otherwise, you will not be able to effectively lose weight.
Depending on the severity of the diet, there are three options for ketone nutrition:
- standard keto diet;
- targeted, or targeted;
The standard version is considered to be the simplest version of the keto diet. Observing it, it is important to adhere to a constant ratio of BJU on a daily basis, traditionally focusing on proteins and fats, limiting carbohydrates. This diet option is suitable for athletes who do not exercise very intensely or who tolerate physical activity well without consuming a large amount of carbohydrates. In addition, this is the option that most people who want to lose weight, not related to professional sports, follow.
The Targeted Ketogenic Diet is about high carb days. This option is only suitable for athletes. Carbohydrate loads on a keto diet are done twice: immediately before and immediately after training, the rest of the time you should adhere to the standard ketogenic program. This option is the right solution for people who want to start fat burning, but, against the background of a carbohydrate deficiency, they feel a lack of strength for a full workout.
The Cyclic Ketone Diet provides for intermittent carb intake on days. This cyclicity allows you to follow a diet for a long time, but at the same time protect the body from a critical deficiency of carbohydrates. How often to repeat carbohydrate days depends on the athlete's goals, training intensity, and the level of depletion of carbohydrate stores in the muscles. But before you start a cyclical keto diet, you should go through the standard and target.
The Keto Diet & Muscle Building
There is a lot of evidence for the effectiveness of the ketone diet for weight loss. But is it possible to observe this nutritional system for athletes who are eager to gain muscle mass? Experts say that it is possible, most importantly, not to forget to count the calories consumed. An excess of calories in the diet promotes muscle growth, a deficiency leads to weight loss. But if the main task is to build muscle, then the choice should be made in favor of a targeted or cyclic version of the diet. They allow you to start "drying" without harming the muscles.
Keto menu for athletes
The standard proportions of the BJU for athletes look something like this. For each kilogram of lean muscle mass, 0. 22-0. 44 g of carbohydrates, 2. 2 g of proteins and 1. 8-1. 88 g of fat should be supplied.
If the athlete is following a targeted keto diet, then immediately before training, an additional amount of carbohydrates should be consumed at the rate of 0. 5-1 g per kilogram of dry weight. This serving can be divided into two meals: before and after your workout.
On a cyclical keto diet, it is customary to introduce additional servings of carbohydrates no earlier than 2 weeks after starting the diet. On carbohydrate loading days, the nutrient intake should be increased by 5-10 g per kilogram of dry weight, but instead, reduced fat intake. This will help maintain the correct calorie intake.
Side Effects and Potential Dangers
The first and most obvious side effect of the ketogenic diet is general weakness. During the first 7-14 days, the body will rebuild to a ketogenic state, and a lack of carbohydrates at this stage in most people is accompanied by a decline in strength and weakness. But after adaptation, the state of health will improve, and the body will learn to perceive ketone bodies as the main source of energy.
In some people, the consumption of a large amount of fatty foods can increase the level of cholesterol in the blood, which in turn is harmful to the cardiovascular system. In addition, a generally low-carb diet is low in vitamins, minerals, and many other beneficial ingredients. To prevent the development of vitamin deficiency, ordinary multivitamins from the pharmacy will help.
Another threat to the ketone diet is intestinal disruptions. Insufficient fiber intake (usually found in carbohydrate foods) causes constipation, intestinal dysbiosis and other unpleasant side effects.
In addition, the ketogenic diet is strictly prohibited for people with diseases of the thyroid, kidney, liver or digestive tract.
But the benefits and harms of the ketone diet for diabetes have not yet found a clear opinion among researchers. Some argue that a carbohydrate-free diet is beneficial for people with sugar disease. Others tend to think that the ketogenic state can further exacerbate diabetic ketoacidosis.
Pregnant, nursing mothers, children and adolescents should not switch to a carbohydrate-free diet. It is better to find another diet for weight loss for people whose work requires increased mental activity, since a lack of carbohydrates significantly affects the brain, provokes fatigue and apathy.
Thanks to a non-standard approach to weight loss, the ketone diet is of interest to many people looking to lose weight. But in addition to the fat burning effect, this nutritional system has many side effects. Therefore, nutritionists recommend that people who are overweight to begin with simply reduce the daily calorie intake of the diet, and use the keto diet as the final stage of weight loss - for drying and creating the effect of muscle relief.