The ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that has become particularly fashionable in recent years. However, it has been used for almost a hundred years to treat certain diseases, including epilepsy.
The aim of this diet is to considerably reduce the consumption of carbohydrates in favour of fats in order to induce a state of ketosis. In addition to significant weight loss, it is said to have numerous health benefits.
Characteristics of the ketogenic diet
Here are the different characteristics that make up the ketogenic diet:
- a very high consumption of fat (75% of intake);
- unchanged protein intake;
- a considerable reduction in carbohydrate intake;
- unpleasant symptoms in the first weeks (ketogenic flu);
- rapid weight loss;
- the state of ketosis is said to have many health benefits (increased energy, protection
- against certain diseases, etc.).
- The main principles of the ketogenic diet
How does the ketogenic diet work?
The ketogenic diet for weight loss is characterised by the consumption of :
- 50g of carbohydrates maximum per day. This represents about 5% of the total calories consumed in a day. A normal diet usually provides 45-65% of our calories as carbohydrates;
- 75% fat;
- 20% protein.
This diet therefore completely reverses our traditional food pyramid and its main principles. This why it is recommended to take the best dietary supplement adapted to this diet:
How does the ketogenic diet lead to weight loss?
Normally, the body obtains its energy from the carbohydrates consumed during the day, which are necessary for the body to function properly.
In the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are extremely limited, so the body begins to draw on its carbohydrate reserves stored in the muscles and liver, known as “glycogen” reserves.
Since each gram of glycogen is bound to 3-4 g of water in the body, the significant weight loss at the beginning of the ketogenic diet is largely water loss.
When glycogen stores are depleted, the body naturally begins to use lipids or fats for energy.
When the body uses fat in the absence of carbohydrates, it produces a waste product called ketones. Ketones then begin to accumulate in the blood and their nail-polish-like odour becomes noticeable on the breath.
This is the main indicator that the body is in a state of “ketosis”. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to reach this state. Ketosis” can be checked by purchasing urine test strips from a pharmacy.
Ketosis causes a marked decrease in appetite, which contributes to a reduction in the amount of food eaten. This state can also lead to nausea and fatigue.
Although this diet does not focus on calorie counting, those who follow it actually consume fewer calories because they are not hungry and this leads to weight loss.
The ketogenic diet specifically for weight loss does not have a time limit. It is more of a lifestyle than a time-bound diet.
Foods allowed in the ketogenic diet
The foods allowed in significant quantities in the ketogenic diet are the following:
- fish ;
- seafood; ;
- meat ;
- poultry; eggs
- eggs ;
- butter ;
- vegetable oils ;
- vinegar ;
- lemon juice ;
- olives ;
- avocado ;
- low-carbohydrate vegetables (spinach, lettuce, kale, etc.);
- hard cheese (100 g per day).
Foods that are allowed, but should be consumed in moderation, are
- whole milk ;
- whole milk yoghurt;
- higher carbohydrate vegetables (except carrot, beetroot, sweet potato, peas and corn);
- wine ;
- strong alcohol;
- sugar-free coffee.
As a large amount of fat is ingested each day, it is important to be aware of the type of fat consumed. It is advisable to limit the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, which in excess have a pro-inflammatory effect.
The main sources of omega-6 are soybean, corn, safflower, grape seed, sunflower and wheat germ oils. It is therefore necessary to limit the consumption of salad dressings, vinaigrettes and mayonnaises made with these oils.
The consumption of monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts) and saturated fats (fatty cuts of meat, high-fat dairy products) is more advisable.
The use of coconut oil is recommended, as it contains fats that are easily transformed into ketone bodies.
Finally, the consumption of Omega-3 contained in oily fish, rapeseed and linseed oil, walnuts or chia, flax or hemp seeds should be sufficient.
Prohibited foods on the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is relatively restrictive; many foods are forbidden because they prevent the body from maintaining a state of ketosis. These include
- sugar ;
- sugary products ;
- starchy foods ;
- bread; pastries
- pastries ;
- pastries; biscuits ;
- biscuits ;
- pulses ;
- fruit (except berries) ;
- sweet vegetables (beetroot, maize, carrots, etc.);
- soft cheese ;
- fresh cheese;
- soft drinks;
- chocolate ;
- honey, jam, syrup;
- fruit and vegetable juices;
- sweet sauces;
- milk or yoghurt made from plant milks (soya, almonds, etc.);
- flavoured yoghurt;
- sweetened fruit compotes.
Is it a diet compatible with bodybuilding and sport?
The ketogenic diet is completely compatible with sport. Some studies even show the benefits of the ketogenic diet, which allows for better performance, reduced recovery time and facilitates effort.
For some years now, this diet has been very popular in the sports world.
How to keep the weight off?
The ketogenic diet is more of a lifestyle than a time-limited diet. It is therefore not meant to be abandoned after a few months.
However, due to the extreme restrictions of the ketogenic diet, it seems inevitable that weight will be regained if the diet is stopped.
To avoid a major yo-yo effect, it would seem beneficial to be accompanied by a nutrition professional who could help to gradually reintroduce carbohydrates into the diet without too many consequences.
Don’t stop taking your food supplement even when you stop with the diet: