OK, so you’ve arrived here and now you would like to know what all the fuss and hullabaloo is about this thing called the Ketogenic Diet for weight loss or Keto for short right? So in this articles we are going to focus on getting you up to speed as to what exactly following a ketogenic diet for weight loss means and what are some of the expected outcomes, basically the good the bad and the ugly…puts hand to ear…I love that soundtrack…
Note to self, stop getting distracted and tell these nice people exactly what they need to know so they too can experience all this energy and good vibes you have going for you over here.
In simple words a ketogenic diet for weight loss is a high fat, low carb diet that includes moderate protein, and when you follow this way of eating properly this will put you into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Well that sounds a bit scary you might say but what does it actually mean? Don’t worry we are going to stick with simple here which is far easier to understand, when you are in ketosis it means your liver has started to produce ketones, which will become the main energy source for your body. By cutting out the high carbs (sugar) your body must look for alternate sources of fuel and this is where the ketones become effective as your energy source. Read what Wiki has to say about Ketosis
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What’s all the fuss about a Ketogenic diet for weight loss?
A ketogenic diet for weight loss is identified by several names such as keto or low carb, high fat (LCHF) but they are all part of the same awesome diet. Why do so many people think its awesome? Because it completely changes how you view nutrition and makes your body act differently to achieve the healthy outcome you want.
The ketogenic diet for weight loss is based on the premise that our bodies are designed to function more efficiently as fat burners than sugar burners.
Currently the average person uses glucose as their main source of energy but the problem is, that the body generally can’t store the amount of glucose that is produced and so converts it into fat, which is subsequently stored.
Now we have a bit of a conundrum because your body uses glucose for energy when it runs out it doesn’t turn to those converted fat stores, (remember it burn glucose for energy not fat) it simply looks for a new source of glucose and reaches for the nearest sugar supply be it cakes or chocolate. Can you see where this is heading? In that its not long before you are starting to build the body you really don’t want.
So what can you do to break the cycle?
Turn into a fat burner instead of a sugar burner
Its not as complicated as it sounds, when you reduce your carb intake your body will automatically start searching round for a new source of energy to fuel it and moves into a metabolic state which is known as ketosis. But don’t worry ketosis is a perfectly natural process and has been around a long time it just hasn’t been in the news quite as much as lately.
No doubt you are aware that you are able to go a considerable time without food but only without water for a couple of days, and the reason for this is down to ketosis. Simply put your body generally has sufficient fat stored on it to sustain you for quite a while when you don’t have access to a food supply.
When you are in ketosis your body produces ketones, which are caused by the breaking down of the fat in the liver. In case you are wondering why this doesn’t happen under normal circumstance eg when you are eating a regular diet, the reason is that when your body produces insulin this in turn prevents fat cells form entering the blood stream and so they remain stored in your body.
So, if you follow the process along and drop your carb intake to very low levels, this will cause the glucose and blood sugar to drop which then in turn lowers your insulin levels. By doing this the first thing you will notice is you need to “pee” more often, this is because the fat cells are now able to release the water they are storing, which then enables them to move into the bloodstream and eventually reach the liver.
This process is the end goal of the ketogenic diet for weight loss. Basically, you don’t get into ketosis by starving your body but by depriving it of carbohydrates. Once your body reaches an optimal level of producing ketones then you will start to notice weight loss along with many other health benefits, both physical and mental.
A low-carb, ketogenic diet needs to be high in fat, not protein, to produce adequate ketones. Eating carbohydrates makes you hungry. If you don’t eat carbohydrates, there is no hunger. -Jimmy Moore
When you hear people saying that the ketogenic diet has changed their life they aren’t exaggerating, and I personally can attest to that. But having said that I was also very quick to realise that the ketogenic diet for weight loss wasn’t just a diet that it would become a lifestyle and a way of eating for the future with so many benefits to be gained.
Lose Weight Fast and Permanently
Generally speaking people check out diets as they are primarily looking to lose weight and want the quickest most effective way to do so and doing it healthily is an extra bonus.
Because the nature of the ketogenic diet is to use your own body fat as it primary energy source the benefits in doing so make themselves seen fairly quickly, though the weigh loss can be seen on the scales you should get into the habit of measuring yourself frequently as you might be pleasantly surprised at how rapidly those unwanted inches start disappearing from the waist, hips and other over endowed areas. In truth your body is turning into a fat burning machine.
Control Your Blood Sugar
It’s a bit ironic that something that is becoming so vastly popular as a ketogenic diet for weight loss and way of eating has actually been utilised in the past for those suffering from diabetes, which is caused by the body being unable to handle insulin effectively.
Because the ketogenic diet for weight loss by its very nature lowers blood sugar levels by the reduction in carb consumption it means the body doesn’t produce sufficient glucose which in turn is beneficial for those known to be pre-diabetic or having Type II diabetes. This in turn gives the person a much better control of their life by being able to control their blood sugar levels.
Heightened Mental Focus
For me this was a totally unexpected benefit of ketogenic diet for weight loss, in fact I didn’t realise how compromised my mental focus was until that brain fog suddenly disappeared. What an eye opener that was, the world was suddenly a whole lot clearer and my mental performance was excelling itself in leaps and bounds.
It wasn’t until much later that I discovered some people actually put themselves on the ketogenic diet for this benefit alone. Apparently, ketones are recognised as a great fuel source for the brain, and the increase in fatty acids is also beneficial for brain function.
Who would have guessed all these extra benefits when initially I just wanted to lose weight.
Just to recap you already know that keto helps your body turn its fat into a source of energy, but this also helps increase your energy levels.
It’s a fact that your body can only store a certain amount of glucose and when it runs out your energy gets depleted and you need to find more. Interestingly carbs cause spikes in your blood sugar levels so that is why you experience a ‘crash’ when those levels drop.
Keto helps to provide your body with a more reliable energy source allowing you to feel more energized throughout the day.
Control Your Appetite Easily
One of the major problems with the average diet of you are required to forgo all your favourite foods or exist on limited portions, fortunately this ceases to be a problem when embarking on a keto way of eating.
Because fats by their very nature tend to fill you up and leave you satiated for much longer that means you don’t have that constant urge to keep nibbling or over eating. In fact you will find as you become more fat adapted you can go a lot longer without feeling any desire to eat at all when you are following the ketogenic diet for weight loss .
Other Health Benefits of Keto
There have been a number of other health benefits recorded by people following a ketogenic diet I will just list them briefly here but will touch in more depth in a later article here.
- Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
- Insulin Resistance
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
What Can I eat on a Ketogenic Diet?
Now we’ve told you about the many benefits to be gained from following a keto diet, but like everything else in life you have to be prepared to make a bit of effort and a few sacrifices if you want to succeed and reap the full benefits of this amazing lifestyle.
Now whilst I’ve said that, don’t panic, you are in for a very pleasant surprise. You can basically forget everything you ever learned about the principals of most diets because they certainly don’t apply to the ketogenic diet. Ok let me retract that a bit there are similarities to the Atkins, Low Carb diet and moderately to Paleo but truly the ketogenic diet for weight loss stands on a platform of its own.
Unfortunately, you are not going to be able to eat everything you want, but you will find that once you reach ketosis a lot of your previous craving will disappear, and this I can definitely attest to. If you find you have a certain craving for something on the forbidden list you will generally find there are work rounds and alternatives and there are simply 100’s of keto diets freely available on the
You just need to remember that the objective is to get your body into ketosis and to achieve this you have to lower your carb intake.
A word of caution you need to be aware that junk food is not the only source of carbohydrates you will often find them hidden in healthier food as well. Its good idea to get into the habit of checking food labels for ingredients and nutritional value when you are shopping for your Keto pantry.
- All types of grains
- Sugars, especially those in honey and maple syrup
- Fruit – mangos, apples, bananas, oranges
- Potatoes and other tubers
Foods You Can Eat
- All Meats including fish and eggs – preferably organic where possible
- Leafy Greens – lettuce, spinach, kale
- Above ground vegetables – zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower
- Dairy that is High Fat – butter, hard cheese cream
- Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
- Avocado and berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Sweeteners – low-carb sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit and erythritol
- Other fats – coconut oil and healthy saturated fats, etc.
To get the complete list of foods you can eat while on keto check out my keto shopping list.
Just A Few Recipes
I mentioned earlier I am only new to this cooking malarkey but am happy to share some of my favourite experiments that turned out well in spite of my lack of knowledge and also sharing a few from my favourite places. Check these keto recipes out and enjoy.
What Are Macros?
Now I’m a detail and data type of gal so I like to be really clear on what I need to do and portions and allowances etc, so when I came across macros I got stuck into to grasping the logics and learning how I needed to manage them to work for me and see results. Understanding them is a major component to helping you be successful on your keto journey.
So what are macros? Simply, they are the main sources of calories in your food intake each day, and its important that you learn to manage the:
That you have each day to stay within a prescribed level that is suitable for you. But don’t panic there are calculators to work out the daily allowance suitable for used based on a number of factors which you supply. Check this free one out here at Ruled.Me.
Then once you have that sorted you can download an app to your phone which you can use to monitor your daily calories, fats, protein and carbs. I use the free version of MyFitnessPal which more than satisfies what I need but there are lots of others around you just need to check them out and find the one that suits you best. Everyone has individual preferences.
Keeping in mind that a ketogenic diet focuses primarily on healthy fat don’t be surprised that most of your daily quota of calories will be from fats.
An average ratio of macros is 75% fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
This means that 75% of your calories will come from fats, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs.
When you first start your keto diet, you shouldn’t be eating more than 20g of net carbs daily.
Totals Carbs vs Net Carbs is there a difference?
Whilst on your ketogenic diet for weight loss it is more than likely that you will come across reference to total carbs and net carbs. So what does this mean and are they important? In short yes, they are and you need to know that not all carbs are equal especially when you are checking out food labels.
But instead of getting too bogged down in the topic all you need to know is that total carbohydrates are broken down into fibre and sugars. You will see them on the various food labels as a sub category under carbohydrates described as sugars and fibres. Fibre doesn’t affect your blood sugar level and is therefore considered to be a zero carbohydrate for the purposes of keto. So, when looking at the labels you will need to subtract the fibre value from the sugar value to get the net carbs which you ARE counting.
I know this has been a long article, but I wanted to give you a good grounding on what a ketogenic diet for weight loss consisted of and what it entails and especially some of the health benefits you will see in addition to the weight loss.
I hope you have found enough information to help you decide as to whether a ketogenic diet is right for you. Please feel free to browse through our other articles particularly the hand holding one on how to actually start a keto diet and also the shopping lists and suggested diet plans. Just click on the links.