I want to take another look at ketogenic nutrition programs. The phrase "Keto" has become such a catchphrase for a method of dieting and fasting that most people get it wrong.
Ketogenic nutrition programs got their jump-start in the early 1990's. It was around this time that the Atkins diet and notoriety from Hollywood and national news put ketogenic nutrition into the limelight. The origin of ketogenic nutrition surfaced farther back in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy in kids.
The term "Keto" is referring to a metabolic function that starts in your body called ketosis. The process of ketosis begins when you do not have enough glucose or sugar from carbohydrates for energy. If your body does not have enough glucose stored as glycogen in the liver, the body turns fat and protein into an energy source. The body will then use fat as a backup source of fuel when glycogen from glucose or carbohydrates is lacking. Keep in mind that it will also tap into muscle protein to fuel the body, keeping it functioning and alive.
When fats and proteins are broken down, this creates a buildup of fatty acids called ketones. Once the ketones get produced, the body uses this by-product called ketone bodies for energy. This process of conversion of ketones are a natural function of your liver.
Most people over-consume carbohydrates, leaving you with an abundance of glucose and stored glycogen in your system that the liver will produce very little ketones. Starving your body of carbs forces the liver to metabolize fats, and your whole body starts to depend on ketones. Ketosis burns fat and causes many chemical changes in the body that are mostly positive. This process is why going "Keto" as a lifestyle or diet is gaining enormous popularity.
For those who are familiar and adapted to ketogenic, you know how difficult it was to set your food regimen. For those of you who have a vague idea to start a "Keto" lifestyle around your food, it looks like a minimum of 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day. Imagine your whole day's carbohydrate intake from a few of your favorites like bread, one slice, rice, half a cup or a half cup of potatoes. As you can see, going "Keto" for those who love their carbs can be challenging.
When you move to a ketogenic nutrition plan and drop your carbohydrates to a low diet of 20 to 50 grams per day, your body will experience some good and bad changes. One of the first aspects you will notice is fat loss happening reasonably quickly. You may also experience more energy and better mental clarity. One thing you should know is by kick-starting ketosis, you will experience some unhealthy side effects. When your body goes into ketosis, it shifts your metabolic function which can cause - for a period - fatigue, headaches and dehydration issues, just to name a few.
With "Keto" turning into a huge industry all in its own, it comes with misrepresentation and shortcut products that supposedly takes the "hard no carbohydrates" out of the question. As most of you know, there are no real shortcuts to health, wellness or dieting. Buying expensive products that state they will start the ketosis process without reducing your carb intake is just not right.
Setting up a "Keto" meal plan and putting yourself into ketosis can be fairly complexed from a food choice and fasting schedule. All of this still requires exercise and staying active. Two excellent sources on foods choices and "how-to" with starting a "Keto" lifestyle is Mark Sission's marksdailyapple.com and the website dietdoctor.com which was started by a Swedish doctor Andreas Eenfeldt. Both of these online resources have enough information to take you on a very successful induction into ketogenic nutrition that could improve your health immensely.
It is important to know that not everyone should go "Keto." Ketogenic programs can create serious health issues for people with preexisting conditions. Always check with your healthcare provider before starting a ketogenic diet. Also be aware that some of the fake "Keto" pills and other products are not proven nor FDA approved and could be harmful to your health. Be sure to do your homework, investigate and read labels carefully. Interestingly, many of the healthcare professionals do not agree with each other, regarding the data or understanding benefits of ketogenic nutrition programs. You are likely to run into strong differing opinions one way or the other regarding "Keto" and like I stated, it's not for everyone. Going with what you feel is best for your specific health and wellness footprint is essential.
Ketogenic nutrition plans are worth looking into if you are healthy and you are willing to give up many of your most favorite foods. If starting this lifestyle change is done correctly, going "Keto" can clear up many health issues and become a great weight management option. Just know it comes with some unpleasant and uncomfortable aspects early in the process and that you really should be sure your healthcare provider feels it's a fit for you if you have any health concerns.
A recognized health and wellness presenter, fitness trainer and now primal health coach in the Inland Northwest. Now in his eighth year of bringing health and wellness through his writing, teaching and coaching, Judd delivers his well-rounded message of mindfulness, nutrition and fitness to readers and clients alike.