Ketogenic Diet – What is It?
Ketogenic diet. Lately, I hear about this all the time, but what is it really? Some people say it’s amazing. Some people are skeptical. Others can’t live without pasta. But what is a ketogenic diet, really, and why is it so popular? Let’s take a look.
I first heard about the ketogenic diet years ago when my older daughter was doing drama camp with a peer who had epilepsy. This particular child had daily seizures, if not more frequent. The young girl’s mom and I talked often about parenting kids with unique challenges. When she mentioned that her daughter was on the ketogenic diet I was interested due to my youngest daughter’s disability. The ketogenic diet often improves the number of seizures epileptics have.
More recently I heard about the ketogenic diet with respect to people I know wanting to lose weight and change their lifestyle. I have not done this diet myself, but I am interested, as are my readers.
Ketogenic Diet – What You Need to Know
The Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is one that focuses on a drastic reduction in carbohydrates and an increase in fat and, to a lesser extent, protein. It’s a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet designed to get your body to use fat instead of carbs for fuel. By doing this, your body becomes extremely efficient at burning both the fat you consume on the diet as well as the fat that is stored in your body, which makes it good for rapid fat loss.
A ketogenic diet is said to have some similarities to the Atkins diet created in 1972 which became wildly popular and controversial in the 90s and early 2000s. A ketogenic diet also relies on low sugar and low starch. So not much fruit, very few processed foods, with the goal of no processed food and high fat. About 75 % of this diet should come from fats. There are numerous variations or types of ketogenic diets.
Lower Blood Sugar
Because the ketogenic diet is extremely low carb, people who eat in this manner enjoy huge reductions in blood sugar and a more even blood sugar level overall. This practically eliminates insulin spikes and the associated crash that goes with them.
More Efficient Energy
Everyone experiences a bit of “brain fog” as the body switches over to using the keytones produced in the liver for brain energy instead of carbs. However, after that, the fog lifts as the brain gets used to using keytones, and many people actually say that they feel sharper when their brains use keytones rather than carbs. This diet is being studied still for its potential to impact neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease for the better. And it also has been connected to improvements in traumatic brain injury and stroke.
Possible Downsides of the Ketogenic Diet
While this diet can help you loose weight – mostly fat – quickly and efficiently, it’s not for everyone. Although many otherwise healthy overweight people feel better on this diet, persons who suffer from kidney disease should not be on this diet. A diet like this is far too taxing on compromised kidneys. Likewise, there are other conditions and maladies that don’t agree with the ketogenic diet. It’s up to your doctor to decide if you can safely eat a diet like this.
The Ketogenic Diet can be Excellent for Weight Loss
The ketogenic diet is currently thought of as an excellent tool to loose weight and get healthy. It is still being studied for neurological benefits. However, it can be detrimental to some people, especially if you have kidney disease. Always consult with any physician before making drastic changes to lifestyle.
I have never heard of this before. The benefits look really good and I have been thinking about cutting out carbs. I am going to have to look into this more
I haven’t heard of the Ketogenic Diet either but it sounds like a great way to continue with my healthy eating habits. The benefits make it worth looking into. Thanks for sharing!
I have never heard of this diet before. I am trying to eat healthier but I’m not trying to cut everything out. I’m a firm believer that in moderation everything is OK but it should be more focused on healthier foods. It was very interesting that this works better for people with epilepsy. My cousin has that I may have to tell her about this.
I’m so glad you took the time to explain this! I’ve seen so many friends posting about this diet on Facebook, however I have yet to take the time to look it up! You explained it perfectly!
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
Thanks for sharing this! I’ve heard a lot about the ketogenic diet, and how well it works. I actually have a friend who started this diet, and she’s already lost about 8 pounds this week.
First time I’m hearing about this one too… definitely need to lose some weight so I may give this a go!
I have heard of a Ketgenic Diet but wasn’t overly familiar with it until reading your post. Thanks for the helpful insight.
I have been hearing a lot about the ketogenic diet, so it’s great to finally get the full scoop. Although I eat very little processed food, as a vegetarian, this may not be the right plan for me.
I have not yet heard of this before now. I love learning all things related to health and wellbeing! I am so thankful that this diet is helping your child! I have a child with disabilities as well and it is amazing how some foods can hurt or help!
That’s so funny, I was just thinking about starting the keto diet. I’ve seen many successful weight loss stories and I could stand to lose a few pounds and live a healthier life.
Thanks for this.
I have talked to my doctor about going on a ketogenic diet. He said he was willing to let me give it a try for three months and see how I do. I am excited to start.
Chrystal | Nevermore Lane
I did low carb/ keto a few years ago. There weren’t a whole lot of recipes or those who even knew what it was. It is a different world now. It works and I have seen it first hand so many times.
This is the first time I heard about Ketogenic diet. I have a friend who suffers from seizures. This might help her.
My husband and brother-in-law are in this diet but they can’t have it for long. There are cheat days of course. I am still wondering how a high fat diet can help lose weight though.
Lots of options out there for people looking to make big changes in their life. As you mention, it’s hugely important to get a doctors’ opinion!
I learned about this diet through emails I get from authoritynutrition.com. I started the diet on April 6 and lost 15.6 pounds the first thirty days (having weighed the morning of May 6 before breakfast). As of today’s weigh-in this morning I’ve lost an additional 3 pounds. I eat three meals a day plus snacks. Two snacks a day. For breakfast this morning I had coffee with Half & Half (my usual) and a two-egg omelette with sausage, mushrooms and spinach. The mushrooms and spinach were sauteed in butter first. Real butter. I’ve lost inches around my middle and, unfortunately, my breasts. This is evidenced by a blazer that button and button holes didn’t meet beforehand and now I can button completely.
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly
One of my mom’s friends tried this diet once when I was younger, and I don’t know if it’s changed since then but when she was on this diet her breathe smelled like road kill and when she stopped that did not happen anymore so I always attributed it to that diet. I wonder if others who use this diet regularly have noticed that as well?
Thank you so much for breaking this down. I have seen it around a lot on the internet, so I know it is popular!
I wish that I had the will power to give up carbs and sugar. I tend to crave sweets and it makes it so hard to lose weight. :/
I’ve tried it. I can’t do it. I don’t want to ever try again either. LOL. I have a hard time with any diet that makes you give up something.
I have been interested in the Keto Diet for a while now. This is all good information!!
I sure learn something new all the time. I’ve never heard of this diet before but it’s intriguing enough that I want to learn more.
This was really interesting to read about! I love finding out about new diets and giving them a shot if they fit my lifestyle.
I used to be a personal trainer and it always amazes me that there continues to be more and more dieting options out there! That field was and always will be a ‘continuing education.’ (you can miss out on new info so quickly!) I love that this diet option has many benefits and truly works : ) thanks for sharing!
I have never tried this diet before, however I had a friend that did and she lost a lot of weight. I was going to look into this when I get some free time.