If you’ve ever dieted before, you know that there are certain “golden rules” that apply to just about any weight management program you might try. They include restricting calories, cutting out certain foods and staying away from fat.
But what if there was a diet which allowed you to intake fat at your whim, and you were still able to lose weight? Say hello to the ketogenic diet.
What Is Ketosis?
The crux of the ketogenic diet is a metabolic process called ketosis. It occurs when your body turns to fat for energy instead of glucose, which is produced when you consume carbohydrates like bread, pasta and rice.
When you cut carbs (and protein) from your diet, your body literally turns to its own fat reserves in order to keep functioning. The result is successful weight loss.
The Link Between A Ketogenic Diet and Disease
While it is traditionally understood that cancer cannot be reversed without medical intervention, there is a growing movement that claims following a ketogenic diet can help kill off cancer cells, and eventually, completely defeat the disease.
How ketogenic diet is related to curing cancer? The logic behind this theory is that cancer cells, like all your other organs, need glucose to survive. If you are able to eliminate glucose and instead feed your body with fat, cancer cells – which cannot feed off fat – will wither and die.
While extremely promising, this theory is one that will require much more testing before definitive results can be proven.
Cancer isn’t the only condition that this diet can help with. The John Hopkins ketogenic diet is prescribed to both children and adults who suffer from epilepsy and seizures. The hospital has studied the diet and its effects since the 1920s, and currently places four children a month on their specialized regime.
Developing A Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan
A ketogenic diet menu is developed around the following proportions: 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates. As you can see, this diet relies heavily on fat, which is something that most diets warn you to stay away from. As such, you can’t use many of the recipes you might have saved from previous dieting attempts; instead, you’ll need to develop brand new ones.
As you have to consume so much fat for this diet to be successful, you will need ketogenic diet recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. While many followers of this diet do not watch their calories, it is important to remember that the more calories you consume, the more your body has to work through before it can start tapping your fat reserves.
As such, it doesn’t make sense to eat 10,000 calories a day if you are looking to lose weight.
A common ketogenic diet breakfast meal consists of bacon and fried or scrambled eggs, with the eggs being prepared in a generous amount of real butter. For lunch, you might enjoy a salad packed with tuna, bacon, mayo and leafy greens. For dinner, you can try a juicy burger with cheese or perhaps some delicious salmon.
Some foods that are high in the good kind of fat include:
- Chicken fat
- Macadamia nuts
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Whenever possible, you should try to incorporate these foods into your meals. Not sure how to? Olive oil can easily be drizzled over fish or a salad; you can make chocolate candy using coconut oil and chopped macadamia nuts; you can indulge in guacamole over crackers; and you can leave the skin on chicken when you prepare it.
What Kind of Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Can You Expect?
As soon as your body enters ketosis, it is said that you can feel the fat burning off. Most dieters report that they lose anywhere from 1 lb to 2.5 lbs per week while on a ketogenic diet weight loss plan. If you’ve ever been on diet before, you know that these are substantial losses.
Many doctors recommend that you do not continue with ketosis and a ketogenic diet for longer than six months. This is because there are systems in your body that do require moderate supply of carbohydrates and glucose, so it’s a good idea to get back to eating some at least for a little while.