The keto, or ketogenic diet, is characterized by a marked decrease in the consumption of carbohydrates (the family of sugars) and protein and by an increase in the proportion of energy that comes from fat. Although very fashionable these days, it was invented in the 1920s to decrease seizures in children with epilepsy and decrease the amount of medication they take. It is still used today at CHU Sainte-Justine to treat children with epilepsy.
The diet “works” when you are able to achieve ketosis. The claimed benefits of ketosis are numerous:
Lose weight quickly; slow down the onset of hunger pangs; stabilize the energy level during the day; Decrease the symptoms of epilepsy; Etc.
Unsurprisingly, it, therefore, meets all the criteria for a diet born to be popular:
Promise rapid weight loss; Eliminate one or more food groups; Be restrictive; Forcing yourself to eat differently from your friends or family; Have a scientific basis that gives it a little sexy side; To be supported by public figures: yes madam!
1. Food Allowed in a KETO Diet:
To achieve ketosis, you need to eat a maximum of 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrate per day (approximately 5 to 10% of your energy), which is the equivalent of a banana or yogurt in individual format… for 24 hours. In comparison, someone who eats “normally” gets about 50% of their energy from carbohydrates (so between 250g and 300g of carbohydrates).
Interestingly, just one fatty meal doesn’t get you into ketosis. To achieve this state, your body needs to be low on carbohydrates for at least 3 to 4 days. Then, if you stay the course for 3 to 4 weeks (period of keto-adaptation), the proportion of energy that your brain will seek through the ketone bodies will gradually increase, until it reaches around 70%. There you will be in true ketosis.
A small portion of the energy your brain uses will continue to come from the carbohydrates that will be produced especially for it from the fats in your body (if that’s not a special treat!).
So concretely, you have to eat foods low in carbohydrates and high in fat. For example: Red meat Bacon Ham Sausage Fatty fish (salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, tuna …) Butter Cheese Nuts and seeds Vegetal oils 35% cream Mayonnaise Etc.
The foods that you should not eat are:
Potatoes (including fries!) Rice, pasta Bread Legumes Etc.
The ketogenic diet is no forgiveness. If you inadvertently eat too many carbohydrates and leave the state of ketosis, your body will need at least 3 days to 1 month to fall back into KETO-mode.
2. How do I know if I am in ketosis?
The state of ketosis is defined by a specific concentration (0.5 mM and above) of ketone bodies in your blood. Ketones are molecules produced when your glucose stores become too low to support your brain.
When that happens, your brain (which loves sugar a lot, but is able to compromise, a good guy y’know) is forced to fuel with what’s left: fat. But the fats can’t make their way to the brain as is, so it’s broken down into acetyl-CoA and then converted by your liver into ketones to go feed your friend the brain.
To confirm that your body is in ketosis, there are tabs that you can urinate on that tell you if you are. Another device similar to the breathalyzer allows you to analyze your level of ketosis from an exhalation.
3. Does the KETO diet work?
In fact, there is nothing black or white about the ketogenic diet, it depends on the situation.
4. Weight loss on the ketogenic diet:
If you take it seriously and stay in ketosis, you’ll be successful in losing weight. However (damn!), If there is weight loss, it’s due to the fact that you are simply eating fewer calories than you spend (because fat stuffs quickly!), Not because of the mysterious god. Keto. And Since nothing is magic, it’s also possible to gain weight by following the ketogenic diet, just by eating more calories than you spend. In addition (okay that’s going to do!), It’s very likely that you get tired of eating sausage and butter when your friend goes for a sundae or your sister is going to sip a smoothie next to you. Finally, it is very likely that part of the weight lost at the beginning is muscle and water. This weight will come back if you reintroduce the carbohydrates eventually.
5. Sports with a KETO diet:
When you exercise, the fuel your body prefers to use is carbohydrates. If he has to go through fat, he manages to get his energy, but it is much longer, and the power reached is less important. Therefore have less juice to make rapid, high-intensity efforts.