Why Keto Diet Weight Loss Is Best
The keto diet is trending in a big way. Athletes, celebrities, and everyday people use the keto diet to lose weight. However, any diet will cut weight if done successfully. So why is it popular and should you try the keto diet?
What is Ketosis?
On average, a person derives 50-60% of their total daily calories from carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and used to fuel the various functions of the body. However, if a person drastically decreases their carbohydrate intake and increases fat intake, two things will happen:
- If maintained, weight loss will occur
- The body will utilize fat for fuel
Unlike the Atkin’s diet and various other diets which increase protein intake, fat cannot be broken down into glucose. So by greatly reducing carbohydrate intake, increasing fat consumption, and keeping protein relatively constant, you will enter into ‘ketosis’ after a few days.
What will I experience when on the keto diet?
From experience and study, here are a few things you can expect to experience with the keto diet.
#1 You will lose a lot of weight initially
You have about 500 grams of glycogen in your body (~400 in skeletal muscle and ~100 in your liver). When you exercise, you use up a lot of your glycogen stores. You replenish the glycogen in a 24 hour period from the carbohydrates you consume. A major component of glycogen is water. So when you start the keto diet, you’ll use up the glycogen and won’t be able to replenish it.
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So for the first week on the diet, you will lose a lot of weight, most of which will be water weight. The first week I did the diet I lost 12 pounds, but each week after that it slowed to about ~4 pounds of weight loss.
#2 You will have bad breath
Due to the breakdown of lipids, you will smell bad, especially your breath. Think of halitosis on steroids. Make sure to invest in some chewing gym (sugar-free, of course).
#3 You will have reduced aerobic performance
If you are an endurance athlete, you may want to reconsider the keto diet. An article, referencing some research, has shown cyclists and runners to decrease in total distance they can cover by 15%.
Resistance Trained Athletes Use Keto Diet To Cut Fat
The reason why the keto diet has gained popularity over other diets, especially in the fitness world, is because it preserves muscle. Usually when you’re in a calorie deficit, you lose weight. That weight loss includes water weight, adipose (fat), and lean mass (muscle).
After starting the keto diet, within a few days your body will slip into ketosis and start releasing the chemical beta-hydroxybutyrate. This chemical protects your body’s cells from internal stress. With the keto diet, your lean muscle mass will be spared even doing exercise coupled with a calorie deficit diet.
Using the keto diet plus supplementing with beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate when cutting weight is best for preserving lean mass. Here is a list of keto diet foods to eat and foods to avoid:
Keto Diet Foods To Eat
- Salad greens and most vegetables
- Full-fat dairy
- Nuts and seeds
- Avocadoes and berries
- Fats, such as coconut oil
Ketogenic Diet Foods To Avoid
- Grains, including rice and wheat
- Sugar, like honey and maple syrup
- Most fruit
- White or sweet potatoes
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