All the fat? A quick overview on the Ketogenic Diet
As you may have noticed, I’ve been posting a lot of fatty, cheesy and delicious looking photos. And for good reason. My SO has started a ketogenic diet and asked for some assistance. Now, I want to preface this article by establishing a few things:
- I don’t (can’t) eat these foods. My body reacts to dairy (I have a casein allergy)
- The keto diet is beneficial for some … and not so much for others. So before you jump on the keto-train, do your research! Here’s a good article for starters.
By definition, a ketogenic diet primarily functions to place the body into ketosis, which is a metabolic state where the body burns its energy from fat instead of carbohydrates. It is based off of how your body uses energy.
Across the board, most of us run off of carbohydrates. Our bodies love carbs/glucose. So much so, that it’s going to use that first for energy.
During ketosis, however, our body instead starts using substances called ketones which are produced by the breakdown of your body fat triglycerides (fat). It begins burning our fat stores for energy.
So, what will my diet look like?
A ketogenic diet places its emphasis on good, quality fats. On this diet, the recommended break down is:
- 70-75% of your food from quality fats (coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, raw cheeses, salmon, chia seeds, avocados, nuts and seeds)
- 20-25% from quality sources of protein
- 5% from carbohydrates
A sample day would look something like this:
Breakfast: Bullet-proof coffee -or- 2-3 eggs cooked in coconut oil/butter and a side of bacon
Lunch: Chicken, broccoli, bacon and cheese bake
Dinner: Philly cheese steak casserole and a side of salted, buttered asparagus
Snacks: Peanut butter fat bombs (recipe here), Greek yogurt & berries or almonds
Hydration: half your body weight in ounces of water!
Pros and cons
First, the good:
To some’s surprise, a ketogenic diet can promote weight loss as its targeting the burning of fat. It will also help in those who are very carb-dependent and rely heavily on the frequent consumption of carbs and sugars. It will also promote more energy and increased mental capacity.
Studies have also shown participants of a ketogenic diet stuck to it more easily than a low-fat diet because of feelings of satiety and less feelings of restrictive eating.
And the not-so-good.
Keto-flu. Yep, it’s a thing. It happens when your body starts moving away from carb- dependency and towards ketosis. It only last a few days IF you feel it. Chacterized my headaches, aches and pains and sometimes nausea.
Another big deterrent is that high-intensity workouts tend to become harder. Because or body relies on glucose for immediate energy, those in ketosis find workouts to feel more difficult. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend those doing high-intensity workouts a long duration on this type of diet. A few months, tops.
A couple other quick points to make. Hydration is especially important during this time, as well as your electrolyte/salt intake. Secondly, it may be beneficial to measure your ketones. Mark has been testing his levels to be sure we’re moving in the right direction, but also not moving too far forward.
And there we have it – a quick keto overview! If you have questions, please let me know :)
And here are a few yummy recipes we’ve tried!