|What is Ketogenic: How Does Keto Work?|
What is Ketogenic? In short, Ketogenic Diet is a “High Fat, Low Carbohydrate” food. It is NOT the same as regular “Low Carb High Protein” diet. The nutrition intake for Ketogenic diet can be described by this pie chart below.
How Does Keto Work?
Normally, our body use glucose as a primary energy source (comes from digested carbohydrate) However, if you do not eat or fasting, the body will adapt and switch the energy source to your stored fats. This is what we called “Ketosis” state. The body will now begin to breakdown fats and produce “Ketone” to be used instead of glucose.
You might wonder why our body didn’t use fats/ketone at as an energy source at the first place? It because glucose is much easier to produce and convert into energy. Producing Ketone, however, are more complicated chemical process and so our body decided to go for glucose first.
This is reason Ketogenic diet is invented to simply reducing the carbohydrate intake to be as low as possible and overload the fats to keep your body in Ketosis state without fasting.
Why I Should go Keto?
The are many researches and clinical studies indicated that Ketogenic diet can help with:
- Weight Loss – Keto burns Fats. With proper workout plan, you’ll get rid of your weight in a flash
- Type 2 Diabetes – Since the body will greatly produce less insulin to process the glucose.
- Epilepsy – Very well known as part of treatment plan. In some cases even eliminated seizure
- Heart Disease – Keto has shown to improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels. thus, reducing cardiovascular risk factors
- Acne – Gradually reduce the outbreak and skin inflammation
- Hunger – You’ll feel more energized during the day and hungry less often
- Energetic – Many of Keto-ers said that they feel more energize and resilient through out the day as your brain loves Ketone
There are also many other benefits of Keto that I didn’t list them here. Try google it yourself and you’ll be astonished.
Any Side Effects?
Since we’re forcing our body to adapt to an alternative energy source, there will be some temporary side effect during the adaptation phase. This is the way it works.
On the first couple of days that you start Keto-diet, the body will receive less carb intake. However, it will NOT go into Ketosis state immediately. Instead, it will access the stored carbohydrate that we called “Glycogen”. These supplies will last about 1-3 days and that’s when most people start experiencing the Keto side effect.
Without glucose and glycogen, the body have to look for alternative source of energy and pump out Adrenaline to tell the liver to start breaking down fats and produce Ketone. Yes, you’re now in Ketosis Metabolic state.
Unfortunately, the adrenalin, which is a natural hormone that comes out when we’re frightened or excited also cause these associated symptom below.
- Heart palpitations or fibrillation
- Flu-like symptom (Known as Keto-flu)
- Pee a lot!! (Ketosis has diuretic effect)
Also during the adaptation phase, you will experience some losses in endurance and strength. This is because the body is not yet familiar with utilizing the Ketosis process as the primary energy source. But don’t worry this is only temporary. Once your body became fully adapted, you’ll feel even more energized than before.
*** Those who have existed heart or kidney condition should consult their physician before starting Ketogenic Diet! ***
To prevent or reduce the side effects, you should not go full on Keto immediately on the first day. But gradually reduce your carbohydrate and increase on fats intake during the first week to aid your body in smooth transition.
You might want to increase salt intake since Ketosis has diuretic effect. Eating salt will slow down your body to pump out water and restore electrolyte balances.
As for Keto-flu, this is very common during the first week as the body is being forced to change their main power source. The symptom should last couple of days or up to a week. Don’t be discouraged by this and quit. Think of it as the opposite of the paleo diet basics and your first trial for a healthy lifestyle!
However, if you’re still experiencing side effect after the first week, add some carb or sugar to your diet in order to come out of ketosis to stop the side effect. Then slowly take the carb out again.