One of the greatest health problems facing people in the 21st century is that of obesity. Due to the sedentary lives we have begun leading coupled with high-fat foods, it is no wonder that weight gain is rife across the globe. Many people choose to ignore the weight gain and continue living unhealthy lives; however, there are those who consider the health risk of being overweight and choose to do something about it. The ideal means of losing weight is to have a balanced lifestyle with an appropriate amount of exercise and healthy diet. Unfortunately, losing large amounts of weight can take time, and the option of radical diets is tempting. One popular technique is removing carbohydrates from one’s diet to achieve rapid weight loss – this is known as the ketogenic diet. This article will provide more information about this high risk, yet effective weight loss alternative.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is an extreme form of dieting whereby an individual removes or significantly reduces their carbohydrate intake. To replace the missing carbohydrates, an increase in protein is necessary as this will maintain adequate muscle mass. Protein can be found in foods such as chicken, fish, and other red meat. Carbohydrates, which must be avoided, is found in pasta, bread, honey, sugar, and fruit juice.
Adequate fat intake is also required as this enhances the body’s fat burning process while reducing fatty acids developing; thus, promoting fat loss. Optimal sources of fats include fish oil, nuts and seeds.
How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?
It is good and well to understand what one can eat, but how does the diet assist in losing weight so speedily? Basically, the lack of carbohydrates will cause the liver to produce ketones, which helps the body process fat as a source of energy instead of glucose.
Traditionally, the primary source of fuel for the human body was glucose, and our bodies would burn this glucose to gain energy. Glucose is gained from carbohydrates, and any excess glucose would be stored in muscles and liver, creating fat. As part of the ketogenic diet, all carbohydrates would be eliminated and as such no glucose would be produced. This being the case, the body would be forced to burn excess glucose in liver reserves and oxidize the fat; hence, removing the fat. While this is beneficial for losing body fat, there are certain tissues in the body which require glucose to function; and this is where the ketone production comes in.
Ketone production will allow the tissues to substitute glucose with ketones allowing one to survive without glucose producing carbohydrates. The ketones are produced by the liver as a byproduct of fatty acid breakdown; therefore, they are derived from body fat. This can be useful, but it is also the source of several side effects to the ketogenic diet. The ketones influence hormone levels which are normally used to regulate glucose movement through the body, and this is why people can feel sluggish or fatigued when using this diet. Thanks to Joan Wokefield for her information on the keto diet. Check out her story here. and connect with her on social media here: Ketogenic Diet for Women on About.me