For many years, fatty foods have been considered 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 as well. . . losing weight! There's even a special protein-fat diet called a ketone.
What is the keto diet
The ketogenic, ketone, or keto diet is a diet based on eating foods that are low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in fat.
Adhering to such a nutritional program triggers a process in the body called ketosis, which, in fact, leads to the burning of fat stores. But that wasn't the primary reason for creating 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 in losing weight. People who have tried to lose weight with diet at least once in their life know that very often the pounds lost are not necessarily fatty deposits, which they managed to get rid of. Often, weight loss is due to the removal of excess fluid from the body or the destruction of muscle mass. But with a ketogenic diet, the pounds lost are guaranteed to be split fat. To understand how the ketone diet works, you first need to understand what ketosis is, which actually gave this nutritional system its name.
All food consumed by humans is a source of three important nutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrate. In the process of metabolizing carbohydrates, the body receives additional energy, as well as "food" for the brain cells. But if any part of the food eaten contains excess carbohydrates, anything that the body could not process and use immediately is sent to the "trash", so to speak, for a rainy day. And these "tubs" are nothing more than deposits of subcutaneous fat. And this process is repeated every time you eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates.
And now the main question: what will happen to the body if it is cut off from the "supplies" of carbohydrates?. If carbohydrates are completely excluded from the diet, then, frankly, nothing good will come of it. A prolonged carbohydrate hunger strike can even lead to death. But this is only as a last resort, when the intake of nutrients is reduced to zero and 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 fairly rapid weight loss.
What is the keto diet good for
When the body is not getting enough carbohydrates, it begins to look for reserve sources of energy. And such reserves already exist, and they are contained in the subcutaneous fat. This means that the body triggers the breakdown of fat cells, leading to the formation of fatty acids and ketone bodies. These are the ketones that serve as substitutes for glucose. In addition, when the body enters a state of ketosis (increased concentration of ketone bodies), the incidence of epileptic seizures in people with epilepsy decreases. Why this happens, scientists continue to investigate.
For medical purposes, for the treatment of epilepsy, the keto diet consists of eating foods with minimal carbohydrate content and the amount of protein and fat in the diet should be in a ratio of 1: 4. In other words, all high carbohydrate foods are 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 fat make a diet as effective. In order for the body to begin 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 of the benefits of the keto diet for the treatment of epilepsy in the early 20th century, but soon interest in this method in medical circles subsided and did notwas only revived almost a century later. . But in the meantime, the keto diet has found new uses and is now part of sports nutrition.
Additionally, there has been a lot of talk lately that the keto diet is good for cancer. All the complex scientific explanations aside, the process goes as follows. Cancer cells need glucose to maintain their viability. With carbohydrate deficiency, 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 the case at all. 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 it takes time. Therefore, in order to achieve results, the ketogenic program should be followed for 2-3 weeks. In addition, one should not expect significant loss of body fat in the first week, as at this point the body has not yet reorganized to a new diet and continues to process the remaining carbohydrate stores. .
The phases of body restructuring look like this:
- First. Lasts 12 hours after the last carbohydrate meal. At this point, the body will completely deplete its available glucose stores.
- Second. Lasts 24 to 48 hours. At this time, the body uses the glycogen stores contained in the liver and muscles.
- Third. The beginning of the restructuring of metabolism. The body looks for an alternative to carbohydrates in fatty acids and proteins, including those found in muscle mass.
- Fourth. Begins on the 7th day. The body adapts to a lack of carbohydrates and rebuilds itself into a ketogenic state, giving up protein as a source of energy.
In addition to the steps listed, there is one more - the right way to get off the keto diet. You can't instantly switch to a full-fledged, high-carbohydrate diet. The body needs to adapt again, 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 is the keto diet
There is no clearly scheduled ketone menu for a week or more. The keto diet is a low-carb diet. As a general rule of thumb, in order to enter 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 amounts, still contains carbohydrates. Nutritionists advise choosing vegetables rich in fiber as the source of this nutrient. This is essential for maintaining healthy digestive processes. You should not eat ready-made meals, semi-finished products, sauces purchased on a diet. They all tend to be high in carbohydrates in the form of starch and sugar. To avoid exhaustion and replenishment of carbohydrate reserves, preference should be given to foods containing so-called complex carbohydrates (cereals, cereals).
In some cases, it is permissible to consume a small amount of fast carbohydrates, but their source should not be sweets, but only fruits.
While fat in the keto diet is not a prohibited ingredient, there are certain rules for selecting foods that contain fat. Ideally, saturated fat (found in butter, meats, cheeses) should make up about 20-30% of your total fat intake. The rest should be obtained from foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
The protein plan can be achieved with foods of animal and plant origin.
Foods permitted in the diet:
- different types of meat;
- fish (especially marine fish);
- fermented dairy and dairy products (better with a lower percentage of fat, as they contain less carbohydrates);
- non-starchy vegetables (preferably leafy);
- fruit with minimal sugar content.
- sugar and other sweeteners;
- butter bakery products;
Based on this list, it is not difficult to compose a menu for a week or for a full course of diet. The main thing is not to exceed the allowable amount of carbohydrates.
The keta diet has been around for a long time. Bodybuilders use this nutritional system to burn and dry fat. But unlike the classic version of keto nutrition, in sports the fat and protein ratio shifts towards the latter. At the same time, the amount of carbohydrates in the diet of athletes should not exceed 10%. Otherwise, you will not be able to lose weight effectively.
Depending on the severity of the diet, there are three options for keto nutrition:
- standard keto diet; targeted or targeted
The standard version is considered the simpler version of the keto diet. While 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 carbohydrate. 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 all about the 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 must adhere to the standard ketogenic program. This option is the right solution for people who want to start burning fat, but against the background of carbohydrate deficiency, they feel a lack of strength for a full workout.
The Cyclic Ketone Diet provides for intermittent carbohydrate intake on certain days. This cyclicity allows you to diet for a long time, while protecting the body from critical carbohydrate deficiency. How often to repeat carbohydrate days depends on the athlete's goals, the intensity of the training, and the level of depletion of carbohydrate stores in the muscles. But before you start a cyclical keto diet, you need to go through the norm and the target.
The keto diet and muscle building
There is a lot of evidence that the keto diet works for weight loss. But is it possible to observe this nutritional system for athletes who want to gain muscle mass? Experts say that it is possible, above all, 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 cyclical version of the diet. They allow you to start "drying out" without harming the muscles.
Keto menu for athletes
Standard BJU proportions for athletes look like this. For every kilogram of lean muscle mass 0. 22-0. 44g of carbohydrate, 2. 2g of protein and 1. 8-1. 88g of fat should be provided.
If the athlete is following a targeted keto diet, then immediately before training an additional amount of carbohydrate should be consumed at the rate of 0. 5-1g per kilogram of dry weight. This portion can be divided into two meals: before and after your workout.
During a cyclical keto diet, it is usual to introduce additional carbohydrate servings no earlier than 2 weeks after starting the diet. On carbohydrate load days, nutrient intake should be increased by 5-10g per kilogram of dry weight, but instead fat intake should be reduced. 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. In the first 7-14 days, the body will rebuild itself into a ketogenic state, and a lack of carbohydrates at this point in most people is accompanied by breakdown 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, eating a large amount of fatty foods can increase the level of cholesterol in the blood, which in turn is harmful to the cardiovascular system. Plus, a generally low-carb diet is low in vitamins, minerals, and many other beneficial ingredients. To prevent the development of vitamin deficiency, regular multivitamins from the pharmacy will help.
Bowel disturbances are another threat to the keto diet. 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, kidneys, liver, or digestive tract.
But the pros and cons of the keto diet for diabetes have yet to find a clear opinion among researchers. Some claim that a zero-carb diet is beneficial for people with sugar disease. Others tend to think that the ketogenic state could make diabetic ketoacidosis even worse.
Pregnant, breastfeeding women, children and adolescents should not switch to a zero carbohydrate 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, causes fatigue and listlessness.
Thanks to a non-standard approach to weight loss, the keto 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 overweight people simply reduce the daily calorie intake of the diet and use the keto diet as the last step in weight loss - to dry out and create the effect of muscle relief.