The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it allows the body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. This is an alternative fuel source for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).
The liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain.
The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones (excerpt from dietdoctor.com )
How Is It Used For Weight Loss?
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich eating plan that has been used for centuries to treat specific medical conditions. In the 19th century, the ketogenic diet was commonly used to help control diabetes. In 1920 it was introduced as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children in whom medication was ineffective. The ketogenic diet has also been tested and used in closely monitored settings for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
However, this diet is gaining considerable attention as a weight-loss strategy due to the low-carbs. Today, other low-carb diets including the Paleo, South Beach, and Dukan diets are all high in protein but moderate in fat. In contrast, the ketogenic diet is distinctive for its exceptionally high-fat content, typically 70% to 80%, though with only a moderate intake of protein.
How Does Keto Work?
The main fuel source for a human body is usually carbohydrates, but with a Ketogenic Diet, the carbohydrate intake is reduced to 20-30g/daily. This means the body is forced to use fat as a fuel source. The process of turning fat by the liver into sugar for the brain is called Ketosis.
- The high-fat, low-carb diet gives you energy, keeps your blood sugar stable, and leads to rapid weight loss.
- On keto, you cut way down on carbs (less than 5 percent of your daily calories) and ramp up the amount of fat you eat to 75% of your daily calorie quota. Protein makes up 20%.
- This Low Carb High Fat diet forces your body to burn fat, rather than glucose, for energy. This puts you into ketosis, aka prime weight loss mode.
- Ketones help control hormones that influence appetite. They suppress ghrelin, your “hunger hormone” that increases appetite. At the same time, they boost cholecystokinin (CCK) — the hormone that keeps you feeling full.
- Loading up on fat lowers your levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store energy, either as fat or glucose. The more insulin your body releases, the more fat gets stored.
- You eat a ton of good fats on keto, and fat is satiating, helping you you feel full for longer. (excerpt from Bulletproof.com )
Many people lose weight, but it’s a little like winning the lotto. 97% of those people end up where they began within two years. That’s right, even those on the Biggest Loser. So if you’re wanting to lose weight in all the right areas and change your lifestyle altogether so that you remain healthy and happy for the rest of your life, consider the Keto lifestyle.
Below are some inspirational before and after photos. You can find more at Women’s Health Before and After photos.
Remember it’s never too late to feel great!
Gayle Maree is Life Engineer, Counselor, Mother, Entrepreneur and Eternal Optimist.
She runs Stewart Natural Health with her husband and Natural Therapist Allan Herring and has over 20 years of Personal Development Coaching behind her.
Gayle is Director and creator of 6 Dimensions of Healing, and designs emotional bridges for people to build to get themselves from where they are now to where they want to be. Her book 6 Dimensions of Healing – Handbook is available now.