The Ketogenic diet essentially illustrates to us the fact that healthy fat doesn’t make you fat.
Let’s just let that sink in a little deeper…
FAT WON’T MAKE YOU FAT.
So if not fat, then what makes us gain weight?
The Ketogenic diet shows us that sugars derived from carbohydrates (bread, pasta, grains, sweets) are the real culprits behind weight gain, brain fog, and body fatigue in many circumstances.
The Ketogenic diet, commonly known as the Keto diet, is constituted of a very high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate intake. The average percentage of fat intake is approximately 70% of calories, with 10% approximate carb intake.
Essentially the idea of the diet is to change the way your body burns energy. Classically our bodies will dip into sugar storage for energy use before anything else because it’s easy and quick. However when you’re depleting glycogen (sugar) stores and not filling them up again (with carbs) your body has to find an alternative fuel source. This fuel source becomes ketone bodies extracted from the fat you’re eating and the fat on your body. This type of fuel source becomes incredibly efficient for the body and especially the brain.
This diet has been used extensively to treat epilepsy but in the last decade has shown very positive results with weight loss*, increasing energy, balancing hormones and other brain related conditions**. This type of very high fat diet even has some interesting effects on the intestinal tract***, and potentially useful for existing conditions such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
As someone who has tried what feels like every diet out there, personally, the Ketogenic diet made me feel the best. During the six month period that I did high fat / low carb and eventually full on Ketogenic, I had unbounded energy, my brain was very sharp and my mood was incredibly stable. What I felt was the downfall of this diet was the amount of time and energy it took to maintain.
As aforementioned, the diet consists of very high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate – of which the specific numbers are calculated from your body measurements. This means that weighing out your macronutrients is essential for the accuracy of the Ketogenic diet.
Keto isn’t the right diet for you if:
- you have existing liver, kidney, gallbladder, or pancreatic conditions
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- if you have a serious medical condition (consult your doctor prior to committing to any radical diet)
Here’s the thing – I’m of the opinion that one diet doesn’t fit all and as such, one diet doesn’t fit one person forever. As your body changes and evolves it requires a different set of macronutrient ratios to assist it. This is why I think it’s so important to reassess your personal health goals and body’s needs regularly and make sure your diet is suited for it.
Having said that, if your goal is to balance your hormones or lose weight than perhaps a short-term low carb, high fat, Ketogenic diet might assist you with that. However, I do not believe as of yet that a full-fledged Ketogenic diet is a smart long-term choice for anyone. We don’t fully understand the long-term effects on the body and I believe that it should be considered a therapeutic diet instead of a long-term lifestyle diet.
The ultimate goal is to help you understand how to manipulate your macronutrient ratios to fulfill your needs in the current moment. The Ketogenic diets helps you understand what your body can achieve on very low carb and high fat. This means that later in life if you need to change your diet to help your hormones or increase your energy, you’ll come back to this idea that high fat is an efficient way to assist this process.
On a Ketogenic diet you might experience a variety of short term negative effects such as sleep loss, initially some low energy, some brain fog as your body shifts into burning ketone bodies, and your capacity for high intensity training will be hindered.
Everyone will experience this incredible body shift differently however, and not all of this will happen to you. If done properly the best result of a short term dedicated Ketogenic diet is weight loss.
The problem with most Ketogenic diets that you’ll find online is the adherence to dairy and other potentially allergy inducing foods. I was recently asked by someone, is it possible to do a Ketogenic diet if I don’t eat dairy or if I have food sensitivities? Yes it is. I can help you figure out the healthiest way to utilize this diet without having to worry about food allergies and/or sensitivities.
By working with me you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your body and the best foods for it. I can offer simple and easy recommendations that will help you feel more energetic, happy, balanced and calm, along with meal plans suited to your lifestyle.