The ketogenic diet, or simply the keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Recently, it is rapidly gaining popularity.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to provide tremendous health benefits, including weight loss. Therefore, many people follow this way of eating to achieve their weight loss goals.
Despite the fact that studies show that the ketogenic diet can help you shed excess body fat, there are no long-term studies to support its effectiveness.
This article examines the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet for weight loss.
Does it promote weight loss?
When following a traditional ketogenic diet, carbohydrate intake is limited to less than 5-10% of your total daily calorie intake.
This helps the body achieve ketosis, a state in which it switches to using fat instead of carbohydrates as its main source of energy. Ketones are produced in the liver.
The lack of carbohydrates is usually compensated for by an increase in fat intake to about 80% of calories, which is 155-200 grams for a 2000 calorie diet.
Protein intake is low - usually around 20% of the calories, which is 100 grams for a 2000 calorie diet.
Although long-term studies have never been conducted, there are several known mechanisms for weight loss caused by the ketogenic diet.
Reduced feelings of hunger
It is likely that one of the main weight loss mechanisms associated with the ketogenic diet is its ability to reduce hunger.
Following a keto diet causes a decrease in the level of ghrelin, which is one of the main hormones in the human body that increases the feeling of hunger.
Reducing the production of ghrelin and dulling the feeling of hunger can lead to the fact that a person will consume fewer calories during the day and this will certainly result in weight loss.
A study conducted on a group of 20 obese people following a ketogenic diet confirmed the connection between this way of eating and a decrease in the desire for food and alcohol.
The keto diet can be an effective tool for reducing hunger levels. However, its long-term safety needs to be considered.
Weight Loss Support
Another possible mechanism for weight loss on a ketogenic diet is water loss, which is caused by a measurable reduction in carbohydrate intake.
This is because carbohydrates accumulated in the human body retain water.
When carbohydrate intake is reduced, such as during the initial phase of the keto diet, the stored carbohydrates are released along with the retained liquid and this leads to weight loss.
To understand if a ketogenic diet can help you shed those unwanted pounds, it's important to consider how weight loss is usually achieved.
To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns. In other words, a calorie deficit is the main condition for losing excess weight.
A study of 17 obese or overweight men found that the keto diet resulted in a modest increase in calories burned. However, this did not result in an increase in body fat loss compared to the results of the traditional basic diet.
These results show that the ketogenic diet is not always superior to the traditional diet for weight loss, with the same calories consumed.
Therefore, the slimming effect of the keto diet is most likely the result of consuming fewer calories due to the hunger suppression associated with the high-fat and very low-carbohydrate diet in the daily diet.
Conclusion: The Keto diet helps you lose unwanted pounds, although the exact mechanisms by which this effect is achieved remain unclear. Studies show that the weight loss caused by the keto diet is likely due to a lack of calories, reduced hunger levels, and water weight loss.
Since the rise in popularity of the keto diet, there have been many supplements on the market designed for keto diets and some of them can help with weight loss.
List of the best keto supplements with a description of their characteristics:
- MCT oil (MCT oil). This medium-chain triglyceride oil helps people on a ketogenic diet add more fat to their diet and stay in ketosis. This oil is absorbed faster than traditional fats, but can have side effects affecting the digestive system.
- Exogenous ketones (exogenous ketones). The supplement is an external source of ketones that supplement the endogenous ketones naturally produced in the body. They help to increase the level of ketones in the blood, thus accelerating the achievement of a state of ketosis.
- Keto protein powders (keto protein powders). These protein powders are characterized by a reduced carbohydrate content.
- Keto electrolytes (keto electrolytes). Lack of electrolytes is common during the initial phase of the keto diet. It is caused by a decrease in the fluid content in the body. Ketoelectrolytes can help avoid common electrolyte deficiencies such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Digestive enzymes (Digestive enzymes). Due to the high intake of fatty foods during the keto diet, some people may have digestive problems. Digestive enzyme supplements, especially lipase, help break down fats.
It is worth noting that research on the effects of ketogenic supplements on weight loss is limited.
A study in mice looked at the feasibility of exogenous ketones as a weight loss supplement. As a result, some exogenous ketones and MCT oil have been found to promote weight loss by reducing hunger and continuing to consume fewer calories.
However, there is a lack of human studies to support these claims.
Although keto supplements are optional, they can help those on a ketogenic diet transition smoothly to this rather restrictive diet and increase their adaptability to the diet.
However, the use of these supplements is worth considering due to limited research, which does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about their long-term safety.
Conclusion: MCT oil and exogenous ketones can help you achieve ketosis faster and avoid many of the side effects associated with taking keto. However, although they also reduce hunger, it is not recommended to use them as a weight loss supplement.
Other factors that can affect weight loss
For best results when following a ketogenic diet for weight loss, the following number of factors need to be considered.
The exact amount of carbohydrates consumed
Keeping track of the exact amount of daily carbs you eat can make it easier for you to switch to a ketogenic diet.
This will help you achieve ketosis relatively quickly and prevent a number of symptoms related to the so-called "keto flu, " which is a set of symptoms, including headaches and confusion, associated with starting a keto diet.
If you eat a lot of carbohydrates, you will not reach ketosis and the possible benefits of the diet, including weight loss, will be reduced.
Consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day is enough to induce ketosis in any individual.
You're getting enough sleep
Sleep is an often overlooked aspect of any diet. Research shows that sleep deprivation and constant stress can negatively impact weight loss results. This also applies to the keto diet.
Research shows that sleep deprivation can negatively impact hunger hormones such as ghrelin and leptin. This, in turn, can lead to increased appetite, counteracting the hunger-reducing effects of the keto diet.
Making sure you get at least 7 hours a day of rest and sleep can help support the positive results that come with a ketogenic diet.
Lead an active lifestyle
While the keto diet alone can lead to weight loss, pairing it with the right exercise program can enhance the effect.
While adapting to the diet, the body can use fat as its main energy source for exercise. Studies show that the greatest amount of fat is burned during resistance exercise.
It is important to note that you need to be well adapted to the keto diet before starting any moderately intense exercise. This will avoid unwanted side effects.
ConclusionWhen it comes to losing weight on the keto diet, there are a number of additional factors to consider, such as careful carbohydrate intake, sleep patterns, and exercise.
Strict adherence to the ketogenic diet
One of the main disadvantages of the keto diet is the need to strictly follow the established diet for a long time.
As this strict diet is quite restrictive, some people find it difficult to stick to it.
This is especially problematic when dining out or gathering with family and friends for the holidays and are forced to switch to a different diet which can lead to reduced weight loss results.
Also, don't forget the lack of research into the long-term health effects of the keto diet.
You should definitely consider these factors before starting a keto diet.
Conclusion: You may have a hard time following the keto diet long-term due to its restrictive nature. Eating out and other situations may require special perseverance and preparation.
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It has been found to provide various health benefits, including weight loss.
Although the exact weight loss mechanisms that are directly related to this way of eating are still being studied, it has been found that weight loss is caused by a lack of calories, stifling hunger and water loss.
Keto supplements can reduce hunger and help you achieve ketosis in a short amount of time. However, it is not recommended to use them for weight loss.
While the benefits of the keto diet for weight loss may seem reassuring, it's important to consider its potential side effects, drawbacks, and lack of long-term research.