Origins of Keto Diet
In the early 20th century, doctors discovered that if the body were devoid of all glucose, it would convert fat cells into ketones to fuel brain function.
This process prevented over 50% of all epileptic attacks. This led to the birth of the ketogenic diet, which used a High Protein, Moderate Fat, and Zero Carb approach to force the body into ketosis.
A side effect of the keto diet was that it led to tremendous amounts of fat loss since the calorie consumption was extremely low. In a nutshell, the logic of the diet is:
1. Bring down the blood glucose as far as possible. Let the muscles and liver be drained of glucose.
2. The body will have to turn to dietary fat for energy, converting it into ketones to fuel essential functions.
3. If the calories are sufficiently low, the body will burn body fat to obtain energy.
4. Even if the calories are a little high, the insulin surge is very low. Therefore, it is much harder for the body to store body fat, and in general, there is a favorable environment for fat loss.
5. High protein will protect the muscles from atrophy, allowing the BMR to stay elevated.
Perhaps the most famous Keto Diet is very similar to the Atkins Diet, which limits foods like carbs significantly to reach success. But just like any other fad diet, keto has its own share of pros and cons.
Pros of Ketogenic Diet
- The appetite is entirely suppressed.
- It is relatively effective at maintaining BMR.
- The hormonal environment is exceptionally favorable for fat loss.
- Calorie counting is not required; stick to the recommended foods.
- It has a significant impact on thermogenic (Releasing energy in the form of heat, leading to more substantial calorie expenditure).
- It helps treat diabetes and epilepsy and reverses insulin resistance.
- Some people may experience an increase in energy due to the release of glucagon.
Cons of Ketogenic Diet
- If the individual does not feel satiated by fats, the calories can go high.
- Most people will report a tremendous loss of energy.
- Strength will reduce due to a lack of carbs.
- After prolonged keto, there can be some muscle loss.
- Many people face severe digestive distress due to a lack of fiber in the diet.
- If the trainee is involved in an endurance sport or works long hours at a physical job, keto is not sustainable.
- It is extremely difficult for vegetarians to use the keto diet.
- If one is not used to eating so much protein, the diet can be bland and tasteless. Most people fall off the diet not due to any medical reason but just sheer boredom.
List of Foods to Eat During Keto Diet
- All nuts
- All meats
- All seafood
- Milk and dahi
- All spices and herbs
- Tender coconut water
- Coconut oil or Olive oil
- Organic butter and ghee
- Eggs, both whole, and white
- Whole fresh fruits (During workouts only)
- Paneer and cheese (fresh and unprocessed)
Sample Keto Diet
We are assuming that the individual is training in the evening. The order of the meals can be changed accordingly.
3 boiled whole eggs with salt and pepper (225cal, 18g), 25g of cheese(90cal, 5g), 15g almonds (75cal, 3g)
2 cups green tea, 15g walnuts (100cal, 2.5g)
300g of chicken stew (400cal, 30g)
Per workout 2 cups of black coffee, one banana (105cal), two apples (105cal), 1-2 scoops of whey protein. (260cal, 50g)
Stir-fried paneer with spices and ghee 200g (530cal, 36g)
DAY’S TOTAL INTAKE – 1890cal, 144.5g of protein.
The Bottom Line
It is important to remember that the keto diet was invented for those with epilepsy. While those suffering from it cannot eat any carbs at all, for fat loss, a small number of carbs can be beneficial as it will help prevent most of the side effects of keto.
It is generally accepted that 100g of carbs consumed during and immediately after a workout will prevent almost all of the side effects of the ketogenic diet. Also, if the trainee does exercise hard, 50g – 100g of carbs would be sufficient. These carbs should be in the form of high-fiber fruits.