Over the past year I have put on about twenty pounds. According to my BMI (25) I am overweight, I won’t even get into what I think about the flaws of the BMI scale in this post because I want to focus on talking about The Ketogenic Diet, which I will begin using to lose the weight and modify my lifestyle.
Some people might think that a Keto diet is just another fad diet, but did you know that the diet was developed in the 1920’s and has been used for a long time to treat children with epilepsy? It has also been found to be beneficial for other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s by promoting enhanced mitochondrial functions.
The basics of the Keto (Ketogenic) Diet are:
- low-carb (20 grams per day, no grains and white potatoes)
- moderate protein
I want to point out that low carb doesn’t mean no carb, the carbs eaten should be nutrient dense, vegetables that grow above ground. Though root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are nutrient dense, they are much higher in carbs.
Additionally, I want to point out that high-fat should not translate to loads of hot dogs, bacon and processed meats (even though I think eating these in moderation is fine). Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, salmon and tuna should all be consumed.
When you are following a strict keto diet your body will attain ketosis. This is a metabolic state in which your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates as a source for it’s energy. I know there are people out there that say “your brain needs carbohydrates to function” That is not accurate. Your brain needs glucose and fat can efficiently be converted into glucose on a ketogenic diet.
I see a lot of people who are doing a keto diet that are constantly in search of a substitute for the processed foods they miss. I view the keto diet to be more beneficial while eating clean as well. Eating clean is typically defined as whole, unprocessed and unrefined foods.
There are thousands of articles on the internet about nutrition and how you should eat, there are varying opinions on the ketogenic lifestyle both pro and con. I began a clean eating lifestyle when I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, as a result I lost some weight, and my MS symptoms were less, my lab results (cholesterol and A1c) were good and I felt great.
The diet can scare some people away because it seems so complicated, in reality it is very simple, don’t worry about “fat bombs” or protein powders, or other supplements you might read about, you don’t need those. You will get your nutrients from whole foods.