The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low carbohydrate regime that aims to promote the metabolism of fats into ketone bodies (rather than carbohydrates into glucose) to provide the body’s main source of energy. This diet is popular in medicine as a way to treat hard-to-control epilepsy. However, a ketogenic diet offers an abundance of benefits that allow many individuals to live a healthier, happier, and for some, a longer life.
When following a ketogenic diet, the body will be thrown into the metabolic state, known as ketosis. Ketosis is a normal response to low glucose availability, such as low-carbohydrate diets or fasting, that provides an additional energy source for the brain in the form of ketones.
One important benefit of a ketogenic diet is the reduction of the appetite. Studies consistently show that when people cut carbs and eat more protein and fat, they end up eating fewer calories. When comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, people restricting their carbs sometimes lose 2-3 times as much weight – without being hungry. In further research, studies illustrate that people on low-carb diets lose more weight faster then those on low-fat diets – even when the latter are actively restricting calories.
Once the state of ketosis is achieved, it is typical for an individual to lose anywhere from 2-10 pounds within the first week of their lifestyle change. After the initial change to the system, an average of 1-2 pounds per week following is a safe, expected weight loss.
One of the most beneficial ways to achieve a more successful weight loss journey with a ketogenic diet is accompanied with intermittent fasting (IF).
When following a ketogenic diet for weight loss, intermittent fasting has been proven to significantly increase the results. In the most basic terms, intermittent fasting consists of going without food for a specific period of time. Typically, this period is prolonged to 14, 16 or a full 24 hours, depending on the individual goals and desires.
Studies have shown intermittent fasting, when accompanied with a ketogenic diet, can stabilize the blood sugar levels, increase resistance to stress, and suppress inflammation. In addition it can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve resting heart rate and also advance brain health and memory.