Diet Review: Pros and Cons of a Ketogenic Diet
What is a ketogenic diet?
Although the ketogenic diet may sound like a complicated diet plan, it’s actually a pretty simple diet that’s similar to the strictly low-carb Atkins diet. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that’s famous for turning the body into an efficient fat burner! For this reason, it’s also known as the low-carb and high-fat (LCHF) diet, because you eat a high level of dietary fat.
How does the ketogenic diet work?
The ketogenic diet has tons of benefits for the body: it can induce weight loss and improve one’s general health and performance. This is because the ketogenic diet is specifically and meticulously planned to result in ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process of the body where there is a higher level of small fuel molecules called ketone in the body tissues. This is where the “keto” in the name “ketogenic diet” comes from! Because you are not eating many carbohydrates, your body has to use a different source of fuel, so fat is the next fuel source that the body chooses.
What does ketosis do for the body?
Once the entire body reaches the metabolic state of ketosis, it changes gears and starts using fat as its fuel supply instead of glycogen. This fat is broken down into ketones, which the body and its organs then consume. The body begins to burn off its stores of fat.
What are the advantages of the ketogenic diet?
The main benefit of the ketogenic diet is that it is an entirely natural process. The metabolic state of ketosis is a natural adaptive state of the body caused by the lack of intake of carbohydrates.
Another benefit of the ketogenic diet, and the principal reason why it is so famous, is that it vastly increases fat-burning and weight loss of the body. It reduces the levels of insulin, which is the fat-storing hormone. I personally have become insulin resistant over the years, so the ketogenic style of eating is helping me heal from that. Because of this, fat loss can occur without triggering constant hunger.
One other benefit of the ketogenic diet is that it increases the body’s physical endurance. Accessing your body’s fat stores gives you enough energy to last weeks or even months! With this, you can even avoid the sensation of being ‘hangry,’ or being hungry and irritable! You” be able to go hours without feeling irritated because you need food. Once your body settles into the ketogenic state, you’ll find that your mental focus, as well as your concentration, has been enhanced.
What are the disadvantages of the ketogenic diet?
Of course, every type of diet has its own drawbacks. For the ketogenic diet, the disadvantages are mostly all in the keto-adaptive stage, when your body is still getting used to the lack of carbs. During this time, you might feel listless and lethargic. You may have difficulty concentrating, and be irritable. There is also the possibility that you’ll suffer from headaches. Basically, you have a chance of feeling like you have the flu. I personally never experienced “keto-flu”, thankfully. 🙂
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and the same can be said of the ketogenic diet. It will take your body up to 30 days to adjust to the metabolic state of ketosis. For some, it happens in a couple of days, but for others, it may take a month. But once your body makes the switch to fat-burner, you’ll feel amazing.