The Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss
Losing weight does NOT have to mean starving yourself or eating boring food. We can teach you how to safely and effectively not only lose weight but also maintain lean muscle, increase energy levels, and become ultra healthy- simply by changing the way you eat! This is not your typical "crash diet"- it's an awesome lifestyle that, once you've adapted to it, can revolutionize your body, health, and life!
Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss FAQs
Q: How can I stop sugar cravings, get rid of extra fat, quit eating unhealthy foods and/or fight serious health issues like cancer, diabetes and dementia?
A: The ketogenic diet is a very powerful diet than can be used therapeutically for serious health issues or even weight loss. A well-formulated low carb, high fat, adequate protein ketogenic diet can help you over come chronic disease and provide you with amazing health benefits. This is not a new fad diet, it has been around for almost a century. It is really the most effective weight loss tool out there that will help you lose the weight and keep it off.
Q: What is a ketogenic diet?
A: The ketogenic diet includes a restricted amount of carbohydrates (about 5% of total daily caloric intake), moderate intake of protein, (about 20% of total daily caloric intake), and a high amount of healthy fats (about 75% of total daily caloric intake). Keep in mind that these percentages are approximate. Everyone’s body is different so specific caloric intake requirements will vary slightly from person to person.
Q: What is the main goal of the ketogenic diet?
A: The main goal of the ketogenic diet is to switch the body’s metabolism or primary “fuel” source from burning glucose to burning ketones bodies (i.e. fats). This can be stored fat (beer belly or muffin top) or dietary fat. Ketones then become the main fuel source the body runs on. The body normally runs on glucose which we get from a high carb diet. A big advantage of burning fat instead of glucose is that the body has access to around 92,000 calories from stored fat instead of only about 2,000 calories from stored glucose. This gives you long-term steady energy.
Q: What happens when you eat a very low-carb diet like the ketogenic diet?
A: Initially, some people can get pretty grumpy for the first few weeks. That is because a lot of people are “sugar-adapted” and they are going through a withdrawal period and their blood sugar is dropping. After years and years of eating too much sugar from a carby, starchy diet their bodies have come to rely on the constant influx of glucose as their primary fuel source. And because it’s a “quick burning” fuel it needs to be replenished every few hours. Therefore, it may take a few weeks for the body to become efficient at burning fats. Once this occurs, you will feel better and you will find that you can go much longer between meals without negative side effects like cravings, hunger and low blood sugar.
Q: Is the ketogenic diet for everyone?
A: No, this diet is not for everyone. People with kidney disease, liver disease or any of the following health conditions are not good candidates for the ketogenic diet.
- Carnitine deficiency (primary)
- Carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) I or II deficiency
- Carnitine translocase deficiency
- b-oxidation defects
- Medium-chain acyl dehydrogenase deficiency (MCAD)
- Long-chain acyl dehydrogenase deficiency (LCAD)
- Short-chain acyl dehydrogenase deficiency (SCAD)
- Long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA deficiency
- Medium-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA deficiency
- Pyruvate carboxylase deficiency
- Impaired liver function
- Gall bladder disease
- Kidney failure
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Abdominal tumors
- Decreased gastrointestinal motility
- Impaired gut function
Q: Who can benefit from the ketogenic diet?
A: With a few exceptions, the ketogenic diet can help most people get healthy and fight many common dis-eases. The ketogenic diet can help athletes and bodybuilders take their training to higher levels. It can also help your average person lose excess body weight and get into the best shape of their lives. People suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, depression, epilepsy, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, brain trauma, or certain types of cancer can also greatly benefit from the ketogenic diet.
Q: What health benefits does the ketogenic diet offer?
- Weight loss
- Food craving suppression (including sugar, carbs, and alcohol)
- Stabilizes blood sugar and insulin
- Reduction of body aches and joint pain
- Improved sleep
- Appetite control
- Inflammation reduction
- Improved mental focus and brain function
- Maintains lean mass
- Increased energy levels
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Decelerates aging
Q: Will I feel constantly hungry or “starved” on the ketogenic diet?
A: No, because fat is satiating and will sustain you longer than carbs will. When your body is use to eating a high carb diet, you get hungry often because your blood sugar drops within a few hours of eating and your body tells you to eat something in order to bring blood sugar back up. On a KD you are eating very nutrient dense foods that are satiating. Fats fill you up and hold you longer until the next meal. Some people go 16+ hours without eating on this diet.
Q: Doesn’t my brain need glucose to function properly?
A: While it’s true that a small part of the brain can only function on glucose the liver can easily make the necessary glucose from stored glycogen. Most of the brain can run on ketones which are readily available on the ketogenic diet. Ketones are a much “cleaner” fuel source and are beneficial for fighting neurodegenerative disease. After all, the brain is approximately 60% fat and actually “prefers” (i.e. functions better on) a high fat diet.
Q: Doesn’t the body need a significant amount of carbohydrates in order to have enough energy?
A: Carbohydrates are not essential to our diet like essential fatty acids and essential amino acids. There is no such thing as essential carbohydrates. If the body needs glucose it is very efficient and can make it from other things. This is even a healthy diet for athletes because they have a huge fuel reserve.
Q: Is this a natural diet for humans to consume?
A: There are many cultures such as the Inuit and Masai, that live on very few carbs and their health does not suffer. This diet mimics a fasting state, which the body has evolved to survive through by burning its own fat when food was not available. Our ancient ancestors the hunter gathers would have been in and out of ketosis during lean times and also when carbs were not available. We have only been eating grains for about the last 10,000 years and fruit was seasonal and bitter, not sweet like it is today. Our bodies have not adapted to this high carb lifestyle.
Q: Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis?
A: No, ketosis is when the body burns fats instead of glucose, ketoacidosis is when blood sugar is high and ketones are high and since this is a very low carb diet your blood sugar will be moderate to low. Ketoacidosis is mostly seen in Type 1 diabetics.
Q: Is the high fat content of the ketogenic diet dangerous for your kidneys?
A: People often think this is a high protein diet and they worry about it affecting their kidney function. This is NOT a high protein diet; it is an adequate protein diet. Research shows that a healthy person with no kidney disease eating high protein will not harm their kidneys. There are also many studies that show this diet will actually help someone with kidney issues.
Q: Will the ketogenic diet cause calcium loss and/or weak bones?
A: As this is not a high protein diet, (which is often associated with the body excreting calcium which can lead leading to osteoporosis) it will not cause calcium loss or weak bones. A moderate amount of protein is needed to maintain healthy bones along with calcium and vitamin D.
Q: Will I get fat on a ketogenic diet?
A: If you over eat any macronutrient, you will gain weight especially if you are eating too many carbs. If you follow a healthy ketogenic diet and consume the right amount of food for your body frame, age, and activity level you can maintain your weight easily. This diet is really the best approach to controlling your weight.
Q: Does the ketogenic diet cause high cholesterol and/or heart disease?
A: There are no studies linking cholesterol and saturated fat to heart disease. In fact, more evidence points to carbs causing heart disease, not healthy fats. I know this goes against what you have been told for years but new research is finally coming out that supports this. Some people when first starting the ketogenic diet will have an increase in LDL cholesterol levels but this will level out in time. This is because you have more circulating cholesterol but you are burning this for fuel. This diet often lowers LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, lowers stored saturated fat, raises HDL, increases particle size, (which is healthy), and lowers inflammation. You should focus more on triglycerides going down and HDL going up. However, this may be dangerous for those who suffer with hypercholesterolemia.
Q: Isn’t eating a high-fat diet dangerous for your health?
A: Fat is actually really good for us as long as we are eating the right kind of fats and restricting carb intake. In most cases, eating this way raises HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. Cholesterol gets a bad rap. We need cholesterol; it is actually protective to the body. We need cholesterol to make hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, for proper nerve transmission, and for healthy brain function.
Q: Will the diet restrictions outlined by the ketogenic diet cause a lack of key nutrients in my body?
A: No, your body will be properly nourished on the ketogenic diet. High quality pasture raised, wild caught animal-based foods are higher in vitamins and minerals than plant-based foods. In fact, plant-based foods contain many anti-nutrients (natural compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients). It is very important to focus on the quality of the food; it should always be very nutrient dense, especially while following a ketogenic diet. Choose organic non-starchy vegetables, grass fed meat and eggs, wild caught, fatty fish, grass fed butter and heavy cream, spices and herbs, sea vegetables, fermented foods, good fats, organic cheese, organ meats, nuts as these are all loaded with nutrition.
Q: Is the ketogenic diet safe for children?
A: Yes, children and babies thrive in ketosis. Breast milk contains some ketones. This diet is often used for children with epilepsy and children with glucose malabsorption.
Q: What's wrong with eating a little sugar? After all, it's natural, right?
A: The problems with eating sugar are vast! For starters, it literally feeds cancer. It also contributes to a whole host of "common" health issues. This video is a great place to start if you're on the fence about cutting sugar from your diet.
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