Basics & Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
To the uninitiated, eating fat to burn fat most like sounds complete counterintuitive, but there are actually many scientifically proven benefits of ketogenic diets. Amongst these benefits are numerous positive metabolic and physiological changes, including weight loss, less oxidative stress, improved body composition, reduced inflammation, and increased insulin sensitivity.
However, when talking about a high fat diet, we are not talking about eating fried foods and other unhealthy sources of fat, we are referring to a diet high in healthy fats, moderate protein, and restricted carbohydrates designed to make the body burn fat for fuel. Ketogenic diets have become incredibly popular amongst athletes, ranging from endurance runners to Olympic competitors, and you too can implement a ketogenic diet to improve quality of life and performance.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
As previously stated, ketogenic diets are high in fat, moderate in protein, and carbohydrate restricted. While the exact breakdown varies from individual to individual, the approximate profile generally reflects 70-75% fat, 15-20% protein, and only 5-10% carbohydrates. It may sound like simply avoiding carbs is the key to this diet, and while it is incredibly important, eating too much protein can also be detrimental.
When it comes to producing energy, the body prefers to break down carbs or fat for fuel and save protein for other processes such as building muscle. As such, the body can only metabolise a certain amount of protein at a time and when too much protein is consumed, the excess protein may be converted to energy – a process called gluconeogenesis. Top tip: buy less meat and use the money saved to enjoy slots games for real money instead! Your body will then turn to protein to create energy as opposed to burning the already existing excess fat in your body, which could lessen your weight loss efforts.
What Does it Mean to Be Keto-Adapted?
It will take several weeks for your body to become ‘fat-adapted’ – when the body switches from using carbs to fat for energy production. ‘Keto-adaption’ refers to the body’s ability to adapt to using ketones – small lipid-derived molecules produced in the liver – and fatty acids as its primary source of energy instead of glucose.
When undergoing fat-adaption, you may feel more fatigued and sluggish than normal as your body adjusts to a low carbohydrate diet and getting through your workouts may be a bit tougher. It usually takes a few weeks for your body to fully adapt to a high fat diet, but once you are keto-adapted your energy levels will return to normal and many people report increased energy levels.
Keto-Safe Snack Options
Quick and easy snacks for a ketogenic diet requires a bit of planning, but the good news is that there are plenty of delicious, low carb options available to choose from. Here are a few great keto-safe snack options:
- Almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, and walnuts
- Mozzarella, cheddar, goat, Swiss, blue cheese, and full-fat cream cheese
- Pork rinds
- Boiled eggs
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
- Salami and pepperoni slices
- Green peppers, red peppers, celery, and cucumber sticks
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
- A decrease in resting blood glucose
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Lower triglycerides
- Increases in HDL levels
- Weight loss
- Improved energy levels
Enjoy your ketogenic journey!