I’m sure many of you have heard of the “Ketogenic Diet’ before as the term ‘Keto’ dieting tends to get used very loosely by those embarking on a weight loss journey or even by those looking for a change in lifestyle nutrition. The problem here is the full scope of how specific ones nutrition needs to be in order for the body to get into full ‘Ketosis’ is more than often completely overlooked. The general consensus tends to lean towards the belief that a high protein, high fat diet with ‘no carbs’ means your doing ‘keto’, while this overall premise may hold some merit and the gist of the idea isnt that far from the truth, the correct nutritional balance however is impeccable to achieving full ‘keto’ adaptation.
So the whole point of the ‘Ketogenic Diet’ is to encourage your body to use fats as its sole energy source or to burn fat as fuel. As the body adapts to the absence of carbohydrates it uses the fat from the dietary intake and fat from bodily stores to create ‘Ketones’, these ‘ketones’ provide the body and mind with energy to burn in place of what would usually be glucose from carbohydrate sources. Now the secret to success here lies in our nutritional balance and our macronutrient ratios, the body is extremely efficient at finding and creating energy stores, it has too to keep us alive of course !! So with a ‘Ketogenic Diet’ the almost elimination of carbohydrates( less than 5%) is a very important aspect, any excess trace of carbohydrates will increase our blood glucose levels and this will become the preferred fuel source. Interestingly enough within the balance protein comes in at a higher ratio( 20%) as it doesnt effect blood sugars in quite the same way, the catch is however if we have too much protein the body will break this down and convert it into blood glucose once again preventing us from strictly using fats as our primary fuel source and preventing us from falling into full ‘ketosis’. All these variables are as important as the other, lastly our fat ratio needs to be up around the 75% mark for full ‘ketogenic’ adaptation to become possible … that’s a lot of fat when you think about it. In this regard the right type of dietary fats that can be easily converted into an energy source goes a long way to ensuring the process happens smoothly.
The picture above shows one of my clients recent ‘Keto Stick’ readings, the body excretes high levels of ‘ketones’ through the urine. The top marker indicates the level of glucose present in the urine which you can see has come back as negative, the bottom marker indicates the level of ‘ketones’ being excreted, the darker the indicator the higher the level of ‘ketones’ the body is producing. This shows us that the diet is working successfully and adding to that the cool thing about it is that in regards to the body composition testing I conduct our results over the past two weeks have shown a clear drop in her body fat percentage … WIN WIN !!
Moral of the story is the ‘ketogenic diet’ if applied correctly to the right individual can be a very successful tool in fat loss ….. its not for everybody and going at it alone without the right macronutrient balance, guidance and expertise can become harsh and exhausting with very little reward. Do your homework, research the application and/or reach out to someone with the knowledge and experience to guide you in the right direction.