What is the Keto Diet?
What is the keto diet, what is intermittent fasting, and how can you reverse obesity?
With obesity rates reaching record levels, it is no wonder that many are on the search for the best way to lose weight. Chances are you've heard of calorie counting. But what is the keto diet and how can you benefit?
Calorie theory claims that body fat gained is equal to the the calories you take-in or "burn off". While this is always true, this is not the whole truth.
This model assumes that only exercise can burn excess calories. However, our heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. all require energy to function too. This is known as our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or resting energy expenditure.
Unless you are getting much more than an hour of moderate exercise daily, then you are burning less than 300-700 calories weekly. This is not the whole equation however.
Why is calorie theory wrong?
Have you ever tried reducing your calorie intake to lose weight? If yes, chances are it didn't work too well. As with most people, exercise can be beneficial, but once you stop, you gain weight once again, returning to where you started.
Why could that be? Surely, if you're eating fewer calories you should be losing weight. Add a bit of exercise into the mix and everything sorted, right? Well, not quite, let's look into how our body's energy storage system works, in order to understand the results of eating less on weight loss.
How does our body's energy storage system work?
Our bodies are pretty smart. The self-preservation instinct is strong. Dr. Ancel Key's famous Minnesota "starvation study", wherein subjects were given 1570 calories a day (more than most diets today), showed that a drop in calorie intake by 40% caused a corresponding 40% drop in BMR. So our bodies adjust BMR energy expenditure relative to calorie consumption. Eat, less, your body's internals work less, thus burning less fat.
So where's the weight loss?
Insulin is the key hormone in regulating where are body get their energy from. When we eat foods such as sugars or carbs (sugar and carbs are the same), insulin production spikes, telling the body to store energy as fat. When we get our energy from animal fats however, there are no insulin spikes. How is this?
What is the Keto Diet?
To go into ketosis, it is recommended to cut out carbs meaning grain, candy, soft drinks, legumes, potatoes and fruit. The key is to eat no greater than 20 grams of carbs per day from your diet.
By doing this your body switching from glucose (blood sugar) as an energy source, and into a ketogenic state. With reduces levels of insulin, fatty acids are transferred to the liver, where they are oxidized and turned into ketones. Thus, providing your body and brain with greater energy, a change in weight loss, and a reduction in epilepsy.
Is Keto Diet Safe?
Before drastically changing your diet, always check with your physician first. As for the keto diet being safe? Fats, bone marrow, and organ meats are all packed with the vitamins your body and brain need. Where as vegetarians and vegans may have a problem getting the needed amount of micro-nutrients and herbs, this is not a danger on the keto diet.
If you're interested in learning more about the keto diet, check out our next article on the link between Vikings and the carnivore diet.
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