You probably know low carbohydrate diets. Fewer people have heard of the ketogenic diet – also known as the ketosis diet or keto diet. It is high time to devote an extensive blog post to it, in other words!
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketosis diet is, in short, a diet where you eat even less carbohydrates than with a normal low-carb diet. Your body is therefore forced to use fat reserves as the primary source of energy. If you thereby create a calorie deficit, you will quickly lose body fat. But how exactly does this process work, and is the keto diet really recommended?
The ketose diet consists of proteins and, in particular, quite a lot of fats. The latter fill more than half of your calories. Lots of fish, eggs, meat, nuts and dairy, in other words! All this is meant to get your body into a state of ketosis.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
What exactly are the benefits of this setup? The keto diet has two important plus points, which we briefly mention and explain here:
1. No hunger
Fats saturate more than you now probably realize. The chance is therefore very small that you will ever go hungry with a ketosis diet. Moreover, because of the lack of carbohydrates, you no longer have any fluctuations in your blood sugar level .
If you now often eat a lot of fast sugars due to binge eating, that will probably also decrease! Finally, the meals that you eat are often quite tasty, precisely because of the high fat content. Only the variation is not particularly impressive.
2. Fast fat loss
One of the apparent disadvantages of fat as an energy source is that fat particles cannot reach your brain through your blood. That means it’s hard to energize your brain when you’re in a state of ketosis. Fortunately, your liver can convert fats into ketones, which can reach your brain. Ketones are also necessary for the further energy supply.
A diet where you are not hungry and lose weight – that sounds like the perfect combination! Yet there are still a few snags under the grass.
Disadvantages of Keto Diet
The keto diet also has several disadvantages, of which we list the three most important ones below:
1. Ketogenic flu
The first month that you follow a keto diet, you will often just feel bad. The reason is that your body is not used to the primary use of fats as an energy source. That makes it difficult, certainly in the beginning, to actually retain enough energy.
So you will feel good weakness for a few weeks to a month, and possibly even just flu. Headache, fatigue and drowsiness are well-known symptoms. Fortunately, this ‘ketogenic flu’ will pass over time.
2. Food shortage
A more structural problem is the one-sided side of the diet. You mainly eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy, supplemented with oil, avocados, nuts and some vegetables here and there.
What you completely miss are whole grains. While they can also provide important nutrients, such as fiber! The result is that with a keto diet you often have to take the supplements to ensure that you do not build up large deficits. Urine color changes on keto and this is very normal. There are four different shades of urine so you can adjust your water intake accordingly.
3. Less suitable for athletes
A final problem that will be important for many of our readers: a ketogenic diet is not ideal when you exercise fanatically. As an athlete you just need carbohydrates because you use a relatively large amount of energy.
Follow the ketosis diet?
Is it useful for you to follow a keto diet, or should you not do that? We advise you not to follow the diet for a longer period of time. You build up too many deficits over that period, and the lack of carbohydrates can be bad for your insulin sensitivity. Moreover, after a while you will just get tired of the limited variety of foods.
But do you want to try an alternative way to lose fat? And don’t you exercise so fanatically that you really need your carbohydrates? Then it is definitely worth trying the keto diet for a limited period!