Keto Diet for Weight Loss
The secret’s out—there’s no faster way to lose weight than the ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet works by forcing the body to change the way it burns fuel for energy. By starving the body of glucose (sugar), it begins a process called “ketosis” whereby it burns energy stored in fat.
The result is that pounds begin to melt away rather rapidly. Some folks swear in as little as two weeks. It takes about two weeks, however, for the ketosis process to begin.
An added bonus to ketosis that makes the diet easier to stick to than you may think is “satiety,” or that “full feeling” that makes you finally put your fork down. The chemical processes associated with ketosis causes satiety.
So, it’s important for ketogenic dieters to be patient at least two to three weeks before beginning to see those incredible results you’ve heard so much about.
Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe for Weight Loss?
A 2014 review of previously published research examined the ketogenic diet’s usefulness at treating obesity. The paper, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health, concluded, “Correctly understood, the ketogenic diet can be a useful tool to treat obesity in the hands of a physician.”
The author addressed two common concerns: difficulty sticking to the strict, reduced-carb ketogenic diet, and kidney problems related to too much protein circulating in the bloodstream.
“New kinds of ketogenic diets using meals that mimic carbohydrate-rich foods could improve the compliance to the diet,” wrote Italian researcher Antonio Paoli of University of Padova. “Attention should be paid to patient’s renal (kidney) function and to the transition phase from a ketogenic diet to a normal diet that should be gradual and well controlled.”
But Paoli noted it’s really not fair to call the ketogenic diet a high-protein diet because “the state of the art” keto diets are “normoproteic.” That means protein calories only comprise 10 to 15 percent of total calories and are calculated based on body weight for individual dieters.
Paoli called the ketogenic diet “one of the most studied strategies in the recent years for weight loss,” adding, “this kind of nutritional approach has a solid physiological and biochemical basis and is able to induce effective weight loss along with improvement in several cardiovascular risk parameters.”
Does the Ketogenic Diet Work for Long-Term Weight Loss?
The short answer is, yes.
In a 2004 paper published in the journal Experimental & Clinical Cardiology, researchers studied 83 obese patients placed on the diet. The ketogenic diet used in this study consisted of a 5:1 fat to carbohydrate ratio.
The study followed the subjects for six months. Although the sample size was small, the results were impressive.
“The … study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet,” the Kuwaiti authors concluded. “It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL (good) cholesterol.”
The author reported no side effects, determining, “The present study confirms that it is safe to use a ketogenic diet for a longer period of time than previously demonstrated.”