If you’re looking for a new diet plan, that’s favoured by the likes of Halle Berry, Alicia Vikander and Kim Kardashian, then look no further! The ketogenic (keto) diet is the new hot ticket to losing weight and feeling great. Plus it’s actually based on science, and has been around since the 1920s.
The premised behind the keto diet is that you change your daily intake so that 75% of your ‘energy’ comes from fats, with only 5% energy from carbohydrates and 15-25% from proteins. You maintain a similar calorie level to the recommended healthy daily allowance.
The key to this progamme is your body acheiveing a state of ‘ketosis’. This is where your liver produces ketones from fat, which then becomes the fuel that your body needs to operate. Ketones are used by the body when blood sugar (glucose) is not available. Carbs and excess protein create glucose, so these are at a minimal level on the keto diet.
Ketosis can also be achieved through strict fasting, and dehydration, but these are not recommended long term diet plans!
Because your body is using fat for energy instead of glucose, it will prompts an increase in fat burning, therefore it’s great for losing weight. You should also be less hungry and the nature of the diet means that your energy levels are maintained throughout the day, keeping you focused and alert.
The keto diet has been recommended for children with epilespy since the 1920s, with patients experiencing less seizures. It can also be beneficial for diabetics, although there are no proven studies on this, and should only be undertaken under medical supervision.
The keto diet may not be suitable for the following groups, so medical advice should be sought:
– if you are taking medication for diabetes
– if you are taking medication for high blood pressure
– breastfeeding mothers
This diet relies on the premise that carb intake is minimised, to under 50g per day as a maximum and ideally below 20g. Therefore, high carb foods such as pasta, bread, rice and potatoes should be avoided, as well as root vegetables and most fruits (as they are high in natural sugar) Vegetables which grow above ground are lower in carbs, so most can be eaten freely.
Instead, calories should come from high fat options such as dairy, eggs and avocados plus moderate levels of protein.
Water, tea and coffee are the best options to drink, as long as there is no extra sugar added. A small glass of wine is fine on occasion, as long as it is incorporated into your daily carb allowance.
Because of the restrictions of the diet, additional supplements will be required to maintain your body’s levels of electrolytes (potassium, sodium and magnesium)
Although it seems like a radical diet plan, it is recommended to follow the keto diet in a burst of 4-6 weeks, and then to transition back to a more standard diet plan, to maintain your weight loss.