If you want to lose a few pounds quickly, you sometimes resort to the ketogenic diet, a harder variant by Low Carb. But how does the ketogenic diet work and what are its advantages and disadvantagese?
What is the ketogenic diet?
If you want to go on a ketogenic diet, you need to prepare yourself for a very low-carb and low-sugar diet. It is based on the low carb diet, in which as little carbohydrates as possible (50 to 130 grams per day) are consumed – and here it is even less, maximum 50 grams per day. In the ketogenic diet, you can eat very high in fat and still get full. Without the sugar from carbohydrates, the body begins to burn fat instead.
This form of diet takes its name from the lack of carbohydrates that change the body's metabolism. This is called ketosis. Usually the energy for the day and all upcoming tasks is obtained from carbs. During the ketogenic diet, the body has to look for another option. This is where the liver comes in: it can convert fats into ketone bodies in order to draw energy from them. However, it takes some time for the body to get used to it.
Prohibited foods on the ketogenic diet
Since you should mainly eat fats and proteins, the proportion of starchy foods and treats such as pasta, rice or potatoes is small. The following distribution applies:
You should avoid the following foods in the ketogenic diet:
Cereals – All kinds of pasta, rice, muesli / oatmeal
fruit – especially bananas, apples, pears and other high-sugar varieties
legumes – Lentils, beans, (chick) peas
Root vegetables and tubers: Carrots, potatoes, parsnips, parsley root
Industrial fats and ready meals – Mayonnaise, industrially processed vegetable oil, microwave dishes
Finished spice mixes – often contain a lot of hidden sugar
Sugary treats such as cakes, soft drinks, sweets and the like are prohibited here as in any other diet.
Allowed foods on the ketogenic diet
What is left without carbohydrates? Fats and proteins are especially important for your diet during the ketogenic diet.
Meat of all kinds – beef, pork, chicken, turkey, …
All kinds of fish (often very fatty) – salmon tuna, trout, pollack, …
All kinds of seafood – squid, mussels, shrimp, …
Dairy products – cheese, yogurt, curd cheese, cream, butter, …
vegetables (with little KH) – broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, salads, ….
nuts – peanuts, macadamia, cashews, walnuts, …
Healthy oils – coconut oil, virgin olive oil
Fruit is also allowed in small quantities. Here you should pay attention to low-sugar varieties, such as berries.
Benefits of the ketogenic diet
In addition to rapid weight loss, the ketogenic diet is said to bring other benefits. That is why it is also used in the therapy of tumor and epilepsy diseases. Many use this diet primarily to lose weight quickly. The hunger hormone ghrelin is said to be reduced thanks to the ketosis and ketone bodies.
There are also many testimonials from diabetics that their insulin and blood sugar levels have improved enormously after switching to this diet. However, it is important that you talk to your doctor about such a change or diet if you are diabetic.
Other benefits of ketosis
Anti-inflammatory – Switching the body to ketosis is said to have a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which has a positive effect on degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Cancer patients should also benefit from this diet or change.
Increasing energy – If some scientists believe that ketosis helps the cells produce more mitochondria. They give the body energy like a power plant and ensure that you are particularly fit.
Focus increasing – Suitable for more energy, the ketogenic diet should also have a positive effect on the ability to concentrate. If the body has got used to the energy from ketone bodies, the brain can draw 75% of its needs from it. It is also supported by omega-3 fatty acids, which are found increasingly in the healthy fats of the ketogenic diet.
Disadvantages of the ketogenic diet
frustration – Most of us love pizza, pasta, and a decent schnitzel with fried potatoes. These treats are permanently eliminated through the ketogenic diet, which can lead to frustration and cravings.
illness – Many people suffer from a so-called keto flu while switching to a ketogenic diet. This term includes many symptoms that are due to the radical change in diet. These include a drop in performance (physical and mental), tiredness, insomnia, nausea and stomach upset. By the way, bad breath is a typical symptom of a ketogenic diet!
Vitamin and mineral deficiency – Due to the strong changeover and reduced intake of food, a shortage of various minerals can quickly occur. Care must be taken to eat a balanced diet and to supply the body with all important substances.
No cheatday – The effectiveness of the ketogenic diet is related to the change in the body. If you do a cheat day every now and then, you interrupt the process of switching to ketosis and will achieve the desired goals more slowly or not at all.
Please note: If you have diabetes, kidney problems, or other illnesses, you should speak to your doctor before trying any of these foods. In addition, if you want to lose weight, we can only recommend eating a healthy and balanced diet instead of going on a hard crash diet. Regular exercise and sport are good for the body, let the pounds melt and keep you fit.