How Does Ketogenic Diet Work

By Subodh / February 4, 2015

The world is all about appearances these days. Each one of us desires to look his or her best. Be it clothes or accessories; body or hair, with money in one’s pocket no one wants to make any compromises. In the domain of looking good what stands paramount is one’s body dimensions. A fat body contour rarely pleases the eye. Therefore, in recent times dietitians and physical trainers have really made it big in profession. Amongst the many formats of losing weight, ketogenic diets have gained immense popularity.

Significance of Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is medically defined as a diet plan that comprises eating food elements that are high in fat content and low in carbohydrate content. The protein levels provided by this diet to the practitioner are rated adequate. Although traditionally, this form of diet is utilized towards the treatment of epilepsy in children; these days following a ketogenic diet has become a way of life with people aiming for weight reduction.

Ketogenic Diet

Since the terminology “ketogenic” is fairly new, there are several misconceptions attached to the same. To begin with, every diet that is low in carbohydrates cannot be termed as ketogenic. In actual terms, a ketogenic diet is one that facilitates the process of ketosis. This brings us to a point when first we need to comprehend the meaning of ketosis. Under normal circumstances, the carbohydrates absorbed by the human body through our food intake are converted into glucose. This glucose is then transported to the various organs of the body through the circulatory system. However, in the absence of adequate levels of carbohydrate, the liver is forced to convert fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. In such a situation, it is these ketone bodies that take over the function of glucose as an energy provider. This phenomena symbolizing high level of ketone bodies is referred to as ketosis.

Pros and Cons

The phenomena of the ketosis can be triggered by a low carbohydrate diet or even simple fasting. When adopting a ketogenic diet, beginners could face certain health issues.

  • In the preliminary stages, one could experience symptoms of headache, fatigue and fainting.
  • Certain temperamental changes could also be witnessed. However, towards the second week of a ketogenic diet, such symptoms generally tend to cease.
  • Ketogenic diet could work wonders for many except those suffering from diabetes. Diabetic patients should refrain from undertaking this diet as it could lead to severely drastic complications.

Apart from providing a solution to overweight, research highlights additional benefits of ketogenic diet as well. This diet is believed to play a positive role in the treatment of epilepsy, heart ailments, diseases related to the nervous system, certain forms of cancer, polycystic ovaries and acne.

Components of Ketogenic Diet

After having discussed the workability of a ketogenic diet, let us now throw light on the main ingredients of this diet and their adequate intake proportion.

Carbohydrate – This nutrient is the key component of a ketogenic diet. It is the level of this nutrient that determines the success of this diet plan. Traditionally, a diet containing less than 50 or 60 grams of net carbohydrate intake per day symbolizes a ketogenic diet. However, the rate of metabolism could cause deviations in this intake. While an athlete with high metabolic rate could initiate ketosis with 100 gram net carbohydrate intake; an aged person leading a sedentary lifestyle may require less than 30 net grams of carbohydrate intake for the same.

Protein – The protein intake in ketogenic diet tends to vary from time to time. It has been noticed that in certain people the body gains expertise in converting protein into glucose, triggering off a mechanism known as gluconeogenesis; thereby upsetting the ketosis process. Therefore, timely regulation of protein is indeed necessary towards the success of a ketogenic diet.

Fat – The intake of fat in a ketogenic diet depends upon two factors that are the amount of calorie consumption in a day and the rate of weight loss. However, it is certainly advisable to stay clear of polyunsaturated omega 6 fats.

We all want to put our best foot forward when it comes to public appearances. However, it is advisable to follow weight reduction plans with an open mind and eyes. Do not get lured by mere advertisements showcasing ace contour figures. Each one of us is different owing to our specific metabolic rates and bone structure. Looking good is certainly desirable, but not at the cost of one’s health.