Supposedly burns fat quickly. Too good to be true? We asked the experts.
Humans are very imaginative about everything, including our food. As a result, so many types of diets have emerged that it is already difficult to know which one works and which one is just plain old. For example, have you heard of the ketogenic or "keto" diet?
What Is The Keto Diet?
Yes, the name sounds a bit strange, as if it came from somewhere in Mongolia or Thailand. However, it has become a very common fashion nowadays.
It is a diet low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat.
This diet consists of removing carbohydrates from the diet to alter the way in which the body obtains energy and as a result burns fat faster. However, it is important to mention that initially this diet was not used in order to lose weight, but to reduce seizures.
The keto diet has been used since the 1920s as a treatment for people with epilepsy. Doctors typically recommend the ketogenic diet for patients suffering from seizures who do not see results with other treatments.
To this day it is not known for sure why a keto diet can prevent attacks, what we do know is that this diet has begun to be used as an alternative to lose weight.
How Does A Low Carb Diet Work?
There are two main sources of energy used by the body:
The first source of energy is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in most foods, including starchy vegetables, cakes, breads, potatoes, and pasta, among other foods.
The other way is through fatty acids, which are natural components of fats and oils. The energy you get from a gram of fatty acids is about 9 calories, compared to 4 calories from a gram of carbohydrate.
However, fatty acids can store 6 times better energy than carbohydrates. Think of a polar bear, it is more likely that it can hibernate from fats in meat, than from carbohydrates in some bread.
Which Energy Source Is Best For Weight Loss?
Glucose, which we mentioned earlier and which comes from carbohydrates, is the body's preferred source of energy. But when this type of energy is not available, the body is forced to seek another source of energy. It first uses glycogen stores (which is a type of glucose). Ultimately, when the tank is empty, the body uses the fat stored in the body.
By using fat for energy, we put our body in a state of ketosis (hence the name of the diet), and this results in fat loss. This is when we can say the phrase that we love: Goodbye, lonjitas!
A miracle? It depends…
This diet, like other diets, works because in one way or another we are reducing the calories we consume daily. Studies have shown that if you manage to do them within six months you can have a significant loss of weight and fat in the body. But beware! Like other diets that are based only on reducing the amount of calories, after a year of doing the keto diet there will not be much difference in weight and fat loss.
So if you're thinking of going keto or a low-carb diet, consider the following before you begin:
- Symptoms the first week: fatigue, poor concentration, increased appetite, trouble sleeping, nausea, digestive problems and physical performance problems.
- Take supplements with vitamins and minerals to complement your diet.
- Keep in mind that diets that drastically eliminate or limit a food tend to be more difficult to follow in the long run.
As always, we recommend that you speak with your doctor and / or registered dietitian before starting a new diet in order to obtain the best results.
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