Before I started this blog, I was already doing the ketogenic diet. I had no trouble losing weight on the keto diet.
I can honestly tell you that I lost weight just by eating plenty of fat. I know, sounds ridiculous right?
Who would have thought that eating fat can force your body to burn fat? I would never have imagined it until I watched “The Magic Pill.”
The Magic Pill is a tv episode shown on Netflix. They show doctors, patients, scientists, chefs, farmers, and journalists around the globe combating the current food pyramid.
- What is the keto diet?
- Types of Keto diet
- How does keto work?
- History of the keto diet
- How effective is the keto diet?
- Is the keto diet safe?
- Keto VS Whole 30
- More on keto
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet got its name from the word ketosis. Ketosis is a process that your body enters when you deprive it of carbohydrates.
The ideal amount of carbs to eat in a day to enter the state of ketosis is less than 50 grams a day.
[source: Ketogenic diets: Boon or bane?]
When your body enters the state of ketosis, you switch your energy source from glucose (carbs) to fat.
As you can imagine, when your body uses fat for energy, you would be burning your body fat.
Types of Keto diet
There are four types of Ketogenic diet.
- Standard ketogenic diet
- Cyclical ketogenic diet
- Targeted ketogenic diet
- High protein ketogenic diet
Standard ketogenic diet
The standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carbohydrate with average protein and high-fat diet. Typically contain 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs.
Cyclical ketogenic diet
The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carbohydrates in between the ketogenic diet cycles, for example, five ketogenic days followed by two high-carbohydrate days as a cycle.
Targeted ketogenic diet
The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet permits adding additional carbohydrates around intensive physical workout periods.
High protein ketogenic diet
The high-protein ketogenic diet (HPKD): This diet includes more protein and a ratio of around 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and five percent carbohydrates, but as can be seen, it is still a very high-fat diet.
The SKD and HPKD have been used extensively. The cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets are recent additions and mostly used by bodybuilders or athletes. SKD is the most researched and recommended.
[source: Type of ketogenic diets]
How does keto work?
As I mentioned, when you deprive your body of carbs, your body switches its energy source from carbs to fat. But that is the simple explanation.
Here’s how ketosis work, according to the smart people. Well, after three to four days without carbs, your glucose supply is reduced significantly. Your central nervous system becomes inefficient at doing its job.
The central nervous system can’t use fatty acids as a source of nutrition. Therefore, it has to look for other alternative sources of energy.
That is when ketones come in. Ketones are produced by the liver when the body is deprived of carbohydrates. And there are two types, acetoacetate and hydroxybutyrate.
When you have a significant amount of ketones running rampant in your body, it’s called ketonemia. And when it’s high, you’re in big trouble.
When your body is using ketones for energy, you are in a state of ketosis.
Ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis, which happens in type 1 diabetes patients. In ketoacidosis, ketonemia reaches 20 mmol/l. While in ketosis, ketonemia never goes above 7 – 8 mmol/l.
[source: Ketogenic diet versus ketoacidosis: what determines the influence of ketone bodies on neurons?]
History of the keto diet
You may have heard of the keto diet recently, but the keto diet has been around for decades.
The keto diet was introduced by physicians to treat epilepsy in the 1920s and 1930s. However, with the introduction of antiepilepsy drugs, which are more convenient, the use of the keto diet declined.
The keto diet’s revival started with its exposure to traditional media in October 1994. Charlie Abrahams, the son of a Hollywood producer, Jim Abrahams, tried the keto diet to control his seizures after anti-convulsant drugs didn’t work and saw great results.
Jim Abrahams started an institute to promote and create awareness about the keto diet. In 1994, there were plenty of studies done about the keto diet, and in 1996, the first scientific journal was published.
Then in 1998, various Scientific bodies have shown interest in the keto diet. More awareness was created after Jim Abrahams’ movie about a boy who has trouble controlling his epileptic seizures but had positive results after using the ketogenic diet.
The keto diet’s popularity reached its peak in 2007. Epilepsy centers have begun using the ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy. The keto diet is also being studied to treat a variety of disorders other than epilepsy.
[source: The Ketogenic diet]
How effective is the keto diet?
Many people express their enthusiasm when talking about the effectiveness of the keto diet, including me. I tried the keto diet, and I can advocate for fast weight loss in the short term.
There are reports of people dropping 10 pounds in only two weeks. Although, the weight loss experienced in the first two weeks of ketosis is more likely water loss due to the keto diet’s diuretic effect.
Talking from experience, you can lose weight on the keto diet without the boring cardio. You don’t have to participate in strenuous resistance training, and you don’t need to count calories. Which I think is tedious.
I lost 33 pounds in 4 months on the keto diet, just eating all the fatty foods. I did have a very active job on the keto diet, but I never exercised. I believe if you only eat when hungry on the keto diet, you don’t need to exercise. And, you never get hungry on the keto diet.
Although, you should still be active to keep your ticker in tip-top condition.
Is the keto diet safe?
I don’t advocate doing the keto diet for more than a year. I did the keto diet for only four months.
When you try the keto diet, it’s crucial to monitor your kidney function. Yes, you have to do tests such as a urinalysis, creatine test, blood nitrogen test, and waste filtering test.
The tests are to ensure that no irreversible damage is done to your kidneys.
Even if experts and I recommend to do the keto diet for only a year, others are faring well on the ketogenic diet for more than a year. But, no one knows the long term implication of the keto diet.
Therefore, there should be more research on the keto about its safety, effectiveness, and sustainability over the long term.
Keto VS Whole 30
Ok, so you already know about the keto diet, but what is the whole 30 diet?
The whole 30 diets are focused on whole foods, less processed foods, such as animal protein, eggs, and vegetables.
However, the whole 30 diet restricts healthy grains such as the superfood quinoa, protein-packed tofu, and the full fiber oats.
I understand restricting junk food, but excluding superfoods such as quinoa or tofu is too much.
How do they define whole foods? Legumes are whole foods that are full of super nutrients that can have a positive effect on your health.
“Legumes are an integral part of many healthy eating patterns, including the Mediterranean style of eating, the DASH eating plan, vegetarian and vegan diets, and lower-glycemic-index (GI) diets. Along with being a highly nutritious food, evidence shows that legumes can play an important role in the prevention and management of a number of health conditions.”[source: Health benefits of legumes]
The founders suspect that legumes cause stress. I don’t think so.
I’ve been eating lentils as my substitute for meat on the flexitarian diet. My stress level hasn’t gone up or changed at all.
Whole 30 seems to be like the Paleo diet. Which you only eat nature made, not human-made.
I haven’t tried the whole 30 diets, but I agree to cut out the junk off your diet and focus on whole foods.
The whole 30 diets are supposedly done for 30 days only. I don’t know the exact details of how long you should wait until you resume another Whole30 diet.
Keto VS Whole 30 – winner?
The whole 30 is only done for 30 days, and it’s not meant for weight loss. At the same time, keto has proven to be useful for a fast weight loss.
Although, many people report that they have lost weight on the whole 30 diets. Which I believe is true because if you previously have been eating calorie-rich meals but replaced it with low-calorie but highly nutritious foods, you will lose weight and be healthy.
Diets are restrictive. That’s why I don’t like “diets.” I don’t want to deprive myself of other vitamins and nutrients.
I can’t choose between the two because each has its pros and cons. It’s up to you to weigh which pros appeal more. Or, cons that you hate the worst.
Keto Pros and Cons
- Proven fast weight loss
- If you love fatty foods
- May prevent cancer by starving cancer cells
- Can help with seizures
- May help sugar cravings
- Restricting carbs in your diet can have a positive effect on Diabetes type 2
- Difficult to sustain
- Renal failure
- May increase cholesterol level
Whole 30 Pros and Cons
- Processed food restriction
- May improve medical conditions
- Promotes weight loss
- Challenging to follow when you’re out and about
- Requires careful planning
- Vitamin deficiency