The problems of overweight and obesity are increasingly worrying doctors and society in general. Therefore, many adults have begun to follow different diets. One of these is the Ketogenic Diet.
Its main purpose is to lose weight by changing metabolism. If you do not know anything about it, read this article. We will explain more about it and its periods. In addition, you will know the pros and cons that this diet can entail for your health.
What is it?
The basic premise of this diet lies in the almost permanent elimination of carbohydrates. In addition, for energy, it suggests adding a greater number of calories from fat. The objective of this transformation is to obtain a body capable of burning a large part of the fat, thus reducing weight.
Of course, this diet produces ketones (hence its name) that are the key to it. When few carbohydrates and proteins are consumed, the body conceives energy molecules known as ketones. These molecules are created in the liver from fat and are chosen as the source of energy in the absence of sugar.
This means the body usually gets energy from sugar which is obtained after carbohydrate digestion. In its absence, it mobilizes fat fractions for the creation of ketones. And the brain, which can feed on both molecules, continues to work in the same way as when it uses sugar.
Also, you get to burn fat more easily. It will begin to mobilize and digest liver fat but also from other areas of the body.
- Beginning of the ketogenic diet. In this first phase, people may experience emotional changes. Some of them are irritability, apathy, anxiety or nervousness. These impressions are common until the body gets used to not receiving such huge amounts of carbohydrates.
- Change of mechanism in energy control. After three days, (although it depends on each individual), the second phase begins. At this time, the body will activate the expression of genes responsible for energy regulation. This way it will burn fat and produce ketones. Some people may have feelings similar to asthenia.
- Basal metabolism increase. During this third phase, weight loss begins. The body receives an increase in molecules such as cortisol, glucagon, and norepinephrine and activates the neuroendocrine system, which will attempt to return to the initial state until the next step is reached.
- Adaptation phase. In this last phase, the body reaches harmony and assumes the changes experienced in the metabolism. This state will be achieved after the first few weeks. Even if you don’t seem to be losing too much weight, the body will continue to burn fat instead of sugar.
These are the four phases of the ketogenic diet which can also change depending on each person.
Pros and Cons of following this diet
First of all, it is important to underline that the results of this diet vary significantly according to each person. This implies that some of the advantages and disadvantages presented here will be subject to the same.
- With the ketogenic diet, a decrease in weight is more easily achieved than in other diets. It has been proved that at the time of losing weight, this diet is more efficient than others of a hypocaloric nature.
- Improves blood cholesterol levels for some patients, not all of them. While it is true that the origin of this observation is unknown, some people can prove it is true.
- A decrease in appetite is achieved. The presence of ketones in the body implies appetite loss and therefore, people eat less. This is another key factor that shows this diet helps to lose weight.
- There is a significant decrease in fat. It has been corroborated that muscle mass barely decreases, but fat does noticeably.
- A minimum contribution of vitamins, minerals and fibre. By decreasing carbohydrates, the consumption of vegetables is also limited and they have a large number of substances rich for the body.
- Constipation. The fact that you eat less fibre than other diets can cause constipation.
- The appearance of bad breath, due to the presence of excess ketone bodies.
- Reduction of the ability to concentrate and attention span. This usually happens basically, in people used to eating a lot of sugar. In addition, it is true that it is a difficult diet to follow. It is very rigorous and some people fail to complete it.
The ketogenic diet is perfect for fat removal by avoiding carbohydrate intake. However, we must take into account what the contraindications to start it are, because it is a more aggressive diet than usual.