According to a survey, 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese in the United States. This prevalence of obesity is not just limited to America, it has tripled over the past 40 years throughout the world. With more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 and above, currently being overweight. Of these adults, around 650 million people have obesity.

Considering these big numbers in the obesity epidemic, one is bound to think of all the adverse effects related to obesity. These include cardiovascular diseases arthritis, low back pain, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and depression. Despite all these diseases, obesity rates are increasing.

What we can do to control this epidemic? Our answer is the Keto diet! You must have heard a lot about it on blogs, from friends, and on the TV. Some of you might even be following it. We are going to share the details of Ketogenic diet for weight loss. How it works, and we will share reviews of some users who followed this diet.

What is the Ketogenic diet?

Ketogenic diet or more popularly known as keto diet is a low carbohydrate and a fat-rich diet. Many people follow to get rid of obesity and for the treatment of various medical conditions associated with obesity.

It was initially followed by those who were diabetic patients and later onward by epileptic patients to control the progression of the diet. It is still taken by those who have polycystic ovarian syndrome, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

The ketogenic diet is particularly popular because of its high content of fat proportion, typically around 70% to 80% and a moderate proportion of proteins.

How does Keto diet works?

The primary source of energy for the cell is glucose. In the absence of glucose, the cell will start glycolysis, a process in which glycogen stores from liver and muscles are broken down to produce glucose. Once the depletion of glycogen stores occur, the cells will start the lysis of fat and convert them into ketones to generate energy.

This process is known as ketosis, and this happens at the microscopic level in the body, i.e. the cell. As the levels of glucose deplete, the amount of insulin that is secreted also decreases and this is when the body metabolism shifts from glucose to fats.

The process of ketosis happens during overnight fast, strenuous exercise and in periods of starvation. It is done by the body to supply energy to the brain which requires around 120 grams of glucose per day for normal functioning.

Those who follow ketogenic diet, ensure that their food is appropriately regulated to avoid producing a harmful state known as ketoacidosis. In this state, the body produces too many ketones that the blood pH becomes acidic. That requires prompt treatment as this metabolic disorder can result in many problems.

For some persons, ketosis begins immediately while for others it is delayed. How soon ketosis happens on the glucose and glycogen stores of the body. The number of ketones produced and the body chemistry of the individual, fat percentage of the body and the resting metabolic rate of the body.

What are the proportions of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins in a ketogenic diet?

No standard ketogenic diet specifies the exact ratios of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients present in the diet. In the ketogenic diet, one reduces the proportion of carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day. And, it can be reduced to as much as 20 grams per day.

Popular studies suggest that the fat intake per day should be somewhere around 70% to 80% of the total caloric intake per day. The carbohydrate intake should be 5-10%, and protein should be 10-20% of total daily caloric intake.

A person who takes a 2000 calorie diet, will require 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates and 75 grams of proteins per day. The amount of protein is low as compared to fat. This is because taking too many proteins in the diet can prevent the onset of ketosis state in the body.

Amino acids in the proteins can get converted to glucose, so protein intake is regulated. In a ketogenic diet, enough protein is required to preserve the lean body mass.

What does research say about ketogenic diet?

According to research studies, the keto diet has beneficial effects in the short term. Along with weight loss, a ketogenic diet also helps with insulin resistance. Moreover, it helps in controlling high levels of body cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated triglycerides.

Research says that the ketogenic diet has a satiating effect that decreases food cravings. It evokes a decrease in the appetite-stimulating hormones which includes insulin and ghrelin.

Weight loss is made by the increased calorie expenditure due to increased metabolism of fats and proteins into glucose, while the lean mass remains as it is.

A group of three Brazilian researchers conducted a study in 2014 to assess the literature available on low carb diets in a meta-analysis. They compared trials that contained less than 50 grams carbohydrates to a conventional low-fat diet containing less than 30% calories from fat.

It included 13 studies in their analysis that collectively contained around 1577 subjects.

They noticed an improvement in parameters like weight loss. A decrease in triglycerides levels, reduction in hypertension and an increase in HDL levels in those subjects who followed a keto diet.

The researchers also noticed that most of these effects were short-term and long-term assessment needs research.

User reviews about Ketogenic diet

Many users have written positive reviews about the keto diet on various blogs. We are sharing some here.

Christine, a 50-year-old has completely changed her diet habits to keto diet which in return has transformed her health. Christine writes that she started her quitting sugar journey when she was 49 and successfully gave up on all white and sweet stuff but her weight loss was prolonged.

Then she came across the keto diet through a friend and started following it. Within a week she says she felt the changes. Initially, she felt very lethargic as her body was transitioning from carb diet to keto diet.

According to her with the keto diet and intermittent fast she dropped 36kg in nine months. This diet has also helped her with her daily headaches, cystic acne, ovarian cysts, joint pain and inflammation, obstructive sleep apnea. She loves her new life, and it is so easy for her to go shopping to buy regular sized clothes.

osvaldo before after ketogenic dietOsvaldo shared his keto diet experience saying that he started the diet and within 2 and a half months he experienced a reversal in his type 2 diabetes and had significant weight loss.

He says that he had been taking Metformin for his diabetes mellitus and one day on an appointment with his doctor he was told to start taking insulin. He declined to take insulin and was pit on another medication called Januvia, but the doctor asked him for a follow up after three months.

Then, he went back home depressed and started doing research. He found out about keto diet. Eight weeks into the diet with intermittent fasting and exercise and running for 7 km daily, he observed weight loss.

After a month when he went to his doctor, he was told to stop all medications as his diabetes mellitus had reversed. He had lowered his HbA1c from 73mmol/mol to 40 mmol/mol, his weight from 74kg to 65 kg and his waist from 97cm to 86cm by following keto diet and the exercise pattern.

Bottom Line

Though available research on long-term effects of a keto diet is still limited user reviews and experience point out to the success of ketogenic diet in long-term as well.

There’s still a need to modify the components of diet in such a way that people from all groups and backgrounds can follow it as this diet is not for patients of cardiac diseases.

The ketogenic diet has proven to be useful for weight loss provided that one regularly exercises and also goes for intermittent fasting.

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Jennifer Kurtz studied medicine at the New Jersey School of Medicine (Rutgers). She is passionate about developing her knowledge of Cannabis, Nootropics, Kratom, and nutritional supplements. In addition to attending medical webinars and conferences, she loves to write research-based articles for magazines, healthcare professionals, and medical agencies.