What do you do when you want to maximize fat loss while still retaining muscle to achieve a lean figure?
In this post I will explain based on my own experience:
1. What is ketogenic diet?
2. Benefits: how it helped me, why it worked for me
3. Disadvantages: things to watch out for
What is the ketogenic diet?
Ever notice how rapidly your heart rate increases those times when you eat a significant amount of carbs or sugar? Here’s the basics on why that occurs.
When you are eating carbs, your blood glucose level increases. When your blood glucose level increases (glucagon) your pancreas discharges insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is crucial to regulating our carb and fat metabolism. It begins to take form in our blood cells and as a result, stops the use of our body running to fat as a source of energy. Therefore the insulin causes our muscle and fat cells to go on a full absorption mode aka the glucose intake gets stored away by the fat cells as triglycerides ( a type of fat found in the blood). Another naughty thing that insulin does? It keeps our fat cells from breaking down those triglycerides to fatty acids in order for it to be released in our blood stream for use as energy.
Well guess what?! We don’t want our fat cells to be on absorption mode. We don’t want to keep our insulin level high or else our fat cells will be in constant absorption mode which prevents our fat from being released and used as energy.
We want to use that fat as energy. We want to burn fat. We want to maximize fat loss. So therefore WE EAT FAT, TO LOSE FAT. Reason being? High protein and high fat diets do not raise significant levels of insulin. As a result we eat low in carbs and sugar, high fat and protein. When we minimize the amount of carb intake into our body, our body stops relying on carbs for energy. It runs to fats instead and we then enter the stage of ketosis (ketones-compounds produced when our body burns the stored fat for energy). Just what I like to hear 😉 . Fat now becomes the primary source for energy instead of carbs.
- High energy. I was surprisingly shocked at the amount of energy I had. Since the average human body is so used to burning carbs for fuel, I thought I would feel significantly low on energy. But I had the same amount of energy as if I was eating carbs for days.
- Metabolism increased. I found that I felt consistently hungry every 2-3 hours.
- Sharper thinking. I found that I was a lot more mentally focused and my thinking was more stabilized. I mean how did I possibly get an A writing a 10 page paper 2 hours before it was due? I had to research if ketogenic diet had anything to do with your mental stability. And to my finding, people with epilepsy are actually placed under the ketogenic diet because it enhances brain energy production and increases neural stability.
- Preservation of lean body mass.
- Rapid weight and fat loss. I dropped 5 pounds within 6 days and almost 4% body fat within 28 days.
- Clear skin. Due to the high protein intake I also felt the need to drink a lot more water than I normally do.
- Less dependent on carbs. Before my new lifestyle, me and carbs were like best friends. Jugs of ice cream and teary eyed sessions while watching The Notebook. Bowls of white cheddar popcorn and handfuls of kettle cooked chips. I do keep my carbs complex ( oatmeal, whole wheat, brown rice, sweet potatoes) but I even felt like I didn’t need those sources for energy.
- Not a long term diet that would adhere to my lifestyle. I fall back on ketogenic diet when I want to increase fat loss to reach my goals. But I find that living a lifestyle of having low carbs is unrealistic. I’m going to have my moments where I want a yummy slice of cake when I’m out with my friends or even a delicious whole wheat deli sandwich.
- Too high in saturated fats. When I partake a certain diet I do not adhere proportionally to the diet but I use it only as a guideline and I adjust it in a way that I feel my body is comfortable with. It’s all about listening your body. Ketogenic diet is very high in saturated fat. Another reason why I know I can’t eat like this for the rest of my life because a diet in high saturated fats can be detrimental to your health in the long run.
- Rapid weight gain. This is super important! If you do not plan on using the ketogenic diet as a life time way of eating, be careful what you eat afterwards. DO NOT stuff your face with carbs immediately after you have reached your fat loss goal. Instead slowly introduce carbs back into your system and work with your body. Listen to it and hear what it wants. Don’t shock your body by a sudden increase of insulin levels which WILL cause you to gain weight fast.
This also was a result of a workout regimen too so its not solely based on the diet. But as we know, our diet is 70% when it comes to reaching our fitness goals and our exercise is only 30%.
Have you ever tried the ketogenic diet? If so, how was your experience like?