A lot of people are worried abput obesity and other metabolic diseases. These are major health concerns worldwide. In more recent years it has been found that approximatlety 13% of adults accross the world are classed as obese.
Obesity is a factor that will greatly increase the risk of metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and low HDL cholesterol (this is the good cholesterol).
In the fight against obesity a lot of diets and diet techniques have come to light. One of these diets is the Ketogenic or keto diet. Which is a diet that limits a persons intake of carbohydrates. Research suggests to us that this type of diet can have a lot of benifits to people suffering with obesity.
In this article I will explain how the keto diet can help obese people to lose weight. This diet can also help people to manage metabolic diseases.
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What is the keto diet
A keto diet is a diet that is high in fat and moderates the amount of protein and lowers the amount of carbohydrates.
As the amount of carbs is lowered in the diet, the amount of fat is increased. This causes the body to enter a metabolic state that is called ketosis. This means that the body will start to convert the fat into ketones, which are molecules that can be used to supply energy to the brain.
After a relatively short amount of time on a diet such as the keto diet, the human brain will start to be more and more efficient at burning ketones and ftas instead of the ususal carbohydrates for it energy.
The keto diet has also been shown to help lower insulin levels within the body. This can be helpful to people in that it will help improve insulin sensitivity and aid in blood sugar management.
The basic keto foods are as follows:
In contrast to any other diets, nearly all other carbhydrate sources have been eliminated from your diet.
Keto diet, fat/weight loss
There is lots of evidence to support the statement that the keto diet can help you with fat and weight loss.
Keto diets have been known to help people lose fat and preserve muscle mass. It can also help to improve many markers of underlying health issues or diseases.
There have been studies that have suggested a keto diet is more effective when it comes to weight loss then most low fat diets on the market, even if the calorie intake between the diets has been matched.
In a slightly older study, it was found that people on the keto diet, lost on average 2.2 times more wieght when compared to people on a standard low calorie or low fat diet. People oon the keto diet also found improvemnets in triglyceride and HDL cholesterol.
However, it also showed that there was no difference in ketone or lpid levels between the 2 groups. Also, those people that took part in the low carbohydrate diet also decreased their calorie intake. Finally, there was no difference in fat or protein intake between the 2 groups. this is an important note that if people are increasing their fat intake because they are following the keto diet.
However there are theories that go against each other to support the findings. Some researchers will argue the fact that the results are simply due to the fact that the people taking part in the study had a higher intake of protein, and yet there are other people that will argue that there is a metabolic advantage to the ketogenic diets on the marke today.
Some other studies into keto diets have found that following a ketogenic diet will cause a reduction in appetite and therfore food intake. This is a really important point when you apply the research to a real world setting.
A good point to make is that if you are the type of person that dislikes counting calories, the data would suggest that a keto diet is a good option for you. This is because certain food groups are eliminated from your normal food intake by the keto diet and therefore don’t need to keep track of your calorie intake.
If you decide to follow a keto or ketogenic diet, you will still have too check the food that you eat to track the amount of carbohydrates that you take in with food. This will require some attention when it comes to your food choices.
Try to keep in mind that many of the studies that have been mentioned only have a small sample size and have only been tested over a very limited time period. This will only show the short term effects of the diet.
How keto diets promote weight loss
Here are some short points of how the keto diet will promote weight loss.
- Increased protein intake. Some of the keto diets on the market will lead to an increase in your protein intake, as part of the diet. This has many weight loss benifits.
- Suppressed Appetite. Keto diets will naturally help you to feel more full. The feeling of being full will be supported by positive changes in your hunger hormones.
- Decreased fat storage. Some of the research out there will suggest that the keto diet may help to reduce lipogenesis. This is the name of the process of converting sugar in the body to fat. This is because any excess carbohydrates will be stored as fats. If you are on a keto diet then taking in a reduced amount of carbs will cause the body to burn fats as energy.
- Increases in fat burning. A lot of studies have shown that the keto diet will help the body to burn fat during normal daily activities and exercise.
These are just some of the ways that a keto diet can be used effectively to help you lose weight.
It is important to note that you need to make sur that you are meeting your bodies calorie needs through out the day when you are following the keto or any other diet. Remember that cutting calories can slow your bodies metabolism, this will in effect make it harder to lose weight over a longer period of time.
How to follow the keto diet
If you are wanting to use a keto diet to lose weight, then you need to follow certain steps.
- Eliminate carbohydrates. Check food label and set your target for 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Stock up on staple foods for the diet.
- Build a food plan. Sometimes it can be more difficult to find low carb meals for a life on the go. This is really the case for any diet. It is important to plan meals and even snacks when trying to follow any sort of diet. It can be easy to slip back into old habbits when you’re in a rush.
- Track your progress. You can track your progress with a keto diet by taking photos, measurements and monitor your weight. You can do this every 3 to 4 weeks. If your weight loss progress begins to slow, you can then re-examin your calorie intake. Make sure to eat lots of vegetables and keep your portion size moderate.
- Be consitent. There is no shortcut when it comes to success. With any diet, consistency is key.
If you want to be really accurate with your measurements then you can monitor your ketone levels with either blood or urine. Measuring your ketone levels will help you to see if you are keeping your carb levels low.
No single diet is the right diet for everyone, especially since an individuals metabolsim, genes body types and tase in food can be very different.
The keto diet can benifit people that suffer from obesity or whos have a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome. It is not suitable for everyone. A keto diet may not be suitable for people with some under lying health issues, for example pancreatitis.
There also may be some negative side effects when you start a keto diet. You may experience some flu-like symptoms. This has been known as keto flu. This may include, poor energy levels and sleep issues.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment.