The ketogenic diet has been hailed for its ability to help people lose weight and burn fat. But, can a high-fat diet really make the pounds melt away? Find out how a ketogenic diet works and how ketosis can spark weight loss.
In some ways, a ketogenic diet is similar to a standard low-carb diet. Both require you to reduce your carbohydrate intake, which limits the sugars and starches that you consume. While many low-carb diets replace the majority of the eliminated calories with energy from protein, a ketogenic diet increases your daily fat intake substantially.
However, a low-carb diet simply requires carb consumption that’s lower than normal. In contrast, a ketogenic diet substantially alters your nutritional balance and prompts your body to go into a different metabolic state, known as ketosis. Once you’re in ketosis, your body will begin releasing ketones, or stored fat molecules, into your bloodstream. Rather than relying on blood sugar for energy, your body will start using ketones and burning fat. Your body will also achieve a ketone blood reading of at least 0.5mmol/L, something you can’t achieve on a low-carb diet alone.
To confirm that you’re in ketosis, you can test for excess ketones, specifically acetoacetate, in your urine with a simple urine stick. You can also use a blood glucose meter to test for high levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), another type of ketone body. Since it’s easy to fall out of ketosis, you may need to test regularly.
While there are other ways to trigger ketosis, including fasting for short periods and increasing your daily physical activity level substantially, a ketogenic diet helps you do so on a long-term basis so you can benefit from the myriad health perks. Various sesearch studies have shown that a ketogenic diet can contribute to alleviating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms, improving the effects of type 2 diabetes, and losing weight.
If you’ve always considered decreasing your fat intake to be the best way to get rid of body fat, you might be surprised at how helpful a high-fat ketogenic diet can be for fat loss. After all, it’s designed to burn off the fat that your body has stored away. Most people enter ketosis and begin burning stored fat within three days to a week of starting a ketogenic diet.
While you could notice results quickly, as a result of your body’s switch to fat burn as a source of energy, sticking with a ketogenic diet also offers plenty of long-term weight loss benefits. For instance, if you tend to put on weight due to mindless snacking or overeating, adopting a ketogenic diet could help you kick that habit. It’s easy to feel full when you’re following a keto diet plan, so appetite suppression is a natural side effect.
When your body is in ketosis, you’ll also benefit from a natural metabolism boost. Your body will burn an average of 250 more calories per day just performing essential functions. If you aren’t supplementing that extra energy burn with additional calories, you could be increasing your weight loss potential without even knowing it.
If you currently eat a standard diet with a typical nutrient balance, you might find that your blood sugar tends to be all over the place. When your blood sugar drops, you might be tempted to grab a snack or ingest some carbs to keep your energy levels up. Since it restricts carbs significantly, a ketogenic diet has the added benefit of blood sugar regulation. While that can be great for feeling more balanced in the short term, over time, lower blood sugar can contribute to everything from better sleep to a lower risk for many chronic conditions.
Ketosis can also affect hormone regulation, which can help your weight loss efforts even more. Your body depends on hormones like cholecystokinin, which makes you feel full and triggers fat and protein digestion. Though weight loss often leads to lower levels of cholecystokinin, which can prompt you to eat more, ketosis helps you maintain higher levels of cholecystokinin so you feel full without having to go back for dessert or raid the kitchen late at night.
Even though it’s easy to feel full and satisfied on a ketogenic diet plan, it’s definitely possible to overdo things with this type of meal plan. Since fat is more calorie-dense, at 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram of protein or carbohydrates, it’s important to track both your calorie intake and your macronutrient balance.
You can easily do this with a ketogenic diet app. Choose either the stricter extreme version or the easier light version of the keto diet, and then start tracking your daily intake. With the app, you can easily monitor the number of calories you’ve consumed as well as how much protein or fat you have left to go for the day. Since the standard ketogenic diet emphasizes a daily mix of 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs, a keto app can be a lifesaver for maintaining that balance.
A ketogenic diet plan app can also help you make healthy choices as you navigate the food restrictions that go along with this type of meal plan. When you’re following a ketogenic diet, you know that you can’t consume sugary treats, starchy foods, alcohol, or most carbs. But it takes practice to get enough fatty meats, natural dairy products, omega-3-rich eggs, healthy oils, low-carb veggies, and nuts and seeds into your diet without exceeding your daily calorie count.
With a keto app, you can make sure you’re getting the right mix of fats, proteins, and carbs while eating healthy at the same time. For instance, you’ll find out ways to mix up your breakfast routine with omelets, full-fat yogurt, and rich milkshakes. You’ll also learn how to make high-fat and high-protein salads or stir-fries without getting bored. If you’re feeling peckish between meals, a keto app will even help you decide whether you should grab a hard-boiled egg, a handful of nuts, or some veggies with fresh guacamole to meet your weight loss goals.
Whether you’re considering a lighter form of the ketogenic diet or you’re ready to tackle the extreme version, a keto app can give you the tools and inspiration you need to stick with this diet plan. With all your nutritional data, fitness logs, and recipe ideas in one convenient place, committing to a ketogenic diet and adopting healthier habits is easy, even when life gets busy.
All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.