Ketogenic Diet – For Science!July 10th, 2012
Hey guys, this post is going to be rather different from my usual ones, no gadgets in this bad boy!
So a little background into my health and dieting. For anyone who knows me in real life, they’d know that I’m over weight. I’m not “massive”, but I could definitely benefit from losing weight. We all know the way that is considered “best”, and that is to eat healthy and exercise but what really is “eating healthy”?
Most people believe this is generally cutting out high calorie, sugary foods. In laments, this generally means less deserts, crisps and fried food and more salad and such. I think we’ve all tried this, and the main drawback is it’s boring as hell. After all, the more fat the better it tastes! Right?
Well, the way the Ketogenic diet works is rather different from regular diets. This is all based around very little carbs and high fat and protein. This means rather than cutting out the “fun” stuff, you’re actually cutting out things like bread, rice etc.
All the following is pulled together from various research I’ve done, but as with much internet research some of it may not actually be 100% correct so please don’t take this as gospel. As with anything you read on the internet, please do your own research before taking it at face value.
How It Works
The diet works by placing your body in a Ketosis state. This means that your body is using body fat to power it’s every day functions rather than the carbs that the body is usually taking in. When the body is on a high carb diet (like most of us usually are with the amount of bread etc we eat) the body expects a constant flow of energy entering the body (the carbs). By removing these from your diet, the body is forced to look for other sources of energy to continue to power itself, and that source of energy is the fats it has stored “for later”.
But on this diet you are taking in a lot of new fats into your body, so doesn’t it just use those for fuel? Well, thank you brain for asking that question, and yes, it does to some extent but the great thing about being in this Ketosis state is that if the body has an excess of ketones (the fats) it can simply expel these in your piss. That’s right kids, you’ll be pissing yourself thinner!
Another advantage of this diet is that your body actually prefers ketones to glucose, the body’s “normal” source of fuel. Since the fat you have around your body is already set to be used for fuel (after all, that’s why it’s there) your body no longer needs to generate glucose through the process of gluconeogenesis which is a rather fuel intensive process.
As with any diet, especially one so drastically different from your regular eating regime there can be drawbacks. Here are the main ones people seem to have:
- During the first couple weeks you can feel fatigue while the body goes through it’s metabolic shift from glucose to ketones. This is actually why most people leave the diet, but if you can break through this barrier then your normal energy levels will return.
- Due to different body chemistry most people’s cholesterol will decrease, but in some cases this can increase and so this diet is not for everyone.
- If you are diabetic this diet in some cases can help, but in others it can cause a pH shift in your blood causing you to become rather ill, or even die. This is only a worry if you are diabetic though, so I’d suggest consulting your doctor before any diet change if this is the case
So, What’s on the Menu?
Ok, with all that out of the way you should now know how it works, some of the benefits and the drawbacks. But what does this mean you should be eating?
Well, basically anything that has high levels of natural fats (not cakes fatty!) and protein. Although I’m not going to go into every food you can eat (you have to do some research yourself!) here are a few of the main ingredients in the diet:
- White meat
- Red Meat
So there’s a brief list, but overall it doesn’t sound too bad right? Any diet where I can pig out on meat, eggs and cheese is a winner in my book!
So what now?
Well, now I’m going to give it a go. I’ll be counting day 1 when I get chance to go to the supermarket to stock up on all I need. I may even do a weekly update of how it’s going and what I’ve eaten so people can maybe get some ideas or follow along in case they care.
So for now, that’s it but expect another post in a week or so letting you know how it’s going.
Finally, here’s a brief video of someone I follow on youtube who has been doing the diet for 2 months now. He’s actually the reason I heard about this diet so please check it out. In this video he has just got his blood work back showing that this diet is doing him some good.