What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Everything you need to know about starting a low-carb ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet involves consuming a low amount of carbohydrates, an adequate amount of protein, and a high amount of fat. Similar to other low-carbohydrate diets like Atkin's, the idea of a ketogenic diet is to transition your body into entering a state called ketosis, which is simply the process of your body using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
By starving your body of carbohydrates, no glycogen stores will be available in the liver, causing the body to start breaking apart fat cells in a process called lipolysis. The body is able to use the fatty acids as an energy source in a process called beta-oxidation. One of the byproducts of beta-oxidation is acetyl-CoA, some of which is turned into ketone bodies in the liver. When ketone bodies are present, a person is said to be in ketosis.
A properly executed ketogenic diet consists of a daily macronutrient breakdown of 65% fat, 30% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. Most ketogenic dieters limit their carbohydrate intake to around 20 grams per day at first, to allow them to get comfortable with low-carb eating. Many dieters slowly raise their carb intake until they find the "sweet spot" that allows them to consume the maximum amount of carbohydrates while staying in ketosis. This is confirmed by the use of Ketostix, which are urinalysis strips that test for the presence of ketones, and thus a ketoic state. Ketostix can be or found at almost any local pharmacy. purchased online
Ketogenic diets are very effective for weight loss for a variety of reasons. Eating carbohydrates causes our blood sugar to raise, which produces an insulin response. Insulin is the hormone that tells our bodies to start storing fat. Thus, by following a low-carbohydrate diet and keeping insulin levels low, we can make it very difficult for our bodies to store fat. Furthermore, keeping your blood sugar low and steady will keep your appetite steady and reduce dramatic hunger pangs. One of the primary effects of the ketogenic diet is appetite suppression, and this is the exact factor that makes the diet an easy one to follow, despite how restrictive it may initially appear.
Interested in getting started on a ketogenic diet?
Great Keto Diet Links
An amazing resource for any low carb or ketogenic dieter.
- Low-Carb High-Fat for Beginners
Do you want to lose weight without hunger? Normalize your blood sugar? Improve your health? Everything you need to know about LCHF for free.
- /r/Keto Sub-Reddit
Awesome collection of personal stories and links from a great reddit community focused on the ketogenic diet.
- A Guide to Ketosis
A great resource of the science behind ketogenic dieting and ketosis.
- Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes
The best collection of low-carbohydrate meals and recipes on the Internet, hands down.
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