The idea of eating low amounts of carbohydrates to lose weight is not something new. It was the idea behind the famous South Beach diet which touted a low carb, high protein diet as the best nutrient ratio for weight loss. The ketogenic diet, commonly referred to as the keto diet, touts similar principles with the exception of fat being the highest ratio to protein and carbs. Some people swear by the keto diet for its effect on fat loss, making it one of the most popular diets for weight loss. But what is the science behind the keto diet, and does it really work?
What Is the Keto Diet?
As previously mentioned, the keto diet consists of a nutrient ratio with fat being the highest, followed by protein, and then carbohydrates. For most people, this looks like a diet ratio of 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. Most keto diets allow for no more than 50 grams of carbs per day, while strict keto diets allow no more than 20 grams. The idea behind the keto diet is to put your body in a state of ketosis. Carbs serve as our body’s main form of fuel. When we go for a run for example, we tap into our carbohydrate stores for energy. Throughout the day we refill our carb stores when we eat, ensuring we have an endless supply of energy. When we are trying to lose weight however, the idea is to consume less energy than we need. This in turn forces our body to use our fat stores for energy, thus resulting in weight loss.
Ketosis is a similar process in that instead of your body using carbs for energy, it uses ketones and fat. Ketones are a product of ketosis that happens when you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet in place of fats and proteins. When your body doesn’t have any carbs to burn, it taps into your fat stores as fuel. While low calorie diets will also force your body to use fat stores as fuel, they are hard to maintain. The keto diet doesn’t restrict calories and is full of rich protein and fats which help you feel more satiated. This in turn, is why fans of the keto diet claim it is easier to maintain, thus more effective for fat loss.
How Was the Keto Diet Developed?
Originally, the keto diet was developed to help people who suffered from seizures. This is because ketosis produces ketones and a chemical called beta hydroxybutyrate, both of which can help minimize seizures. Weight loss just so happened to be a welcome side effect of the diet for several reasons. One being that when we minimize carbs in our diet, we lose water weight that was necessary to store those carbs in our body. Another reason could be because high fat and high protein foods keep you fuller longer, therefore reducing our desire to overeat. These reasons along with ketosis burning off our fat stores for fuel are what make the keto diet so effective for weight loss.
Should You Try the Keto Diet?
The science behind the keto diet is real and can produce significant results if done correctly. However, some claim the keto diet isn’t necessarily healthy due to its lack of food group variety. Additionally, some of the food choices keto dieters opt for (processed meats and cheeses for example) don’t promote health, even though they may help them lose weight. If you want to learn how to do keto the right way, check out our blog on healthy keto food options. Also, check out our Keto Pills if you’re seriously considering trying the keto diet. Hot Bod Nutrition’s Keto Pills are an all natural supplement made from magnesium, sodium, and calcium that help to stave off cravings and keep you in ketosis longer. They also give you a little energy boost throughout the day, which can be especially helpful when you’re adjusting to eating low carb. The keto diet may not be for everyone, but when it comes to weight loss backed by science, it’s definitely legit