In rational nutrition, we pay a lot of attention to the balance and consumption of fat, carbohydrates, and protein in appropriate proportions. However, there are diets where these proportions are clearly disturbed, some are increased, others are reduced. This is the case with ketogenic diets, i.e. high-fat and low-carbohydrate diets. An average person eats about 35% of fats, 50% of carbohydrates, and 15% of protein on a daily basis. Increasing the amount of fat in the diet is aimed at achieving ketosis (a state of effective burning of fat reserves present in the body).
“Eat fat to burn fat.” What is a ketogenic diet about?
The ketogenic diet assumes an increased supply of fats and reduced carbohydrate intake. The standard recommendations related to the number of individual nutrients, i.e. 50% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 35% fats, are disrupted and changed. It is best to establish a ketogenic diet under the control of a doctor, a dietician who will adjust it individually to the needs of the body and the goal we want to achieve. Meals in a ketogenic diet usually contain 80-90% fat and 20% of other nutrients, so proteins and carbohydrates. An insufficient amount of carbohydrates, which are a source of energy for the body, makes it start looking for an alternative, finding it in fats. It is from them that it draws energy. In this way ketosis, i.e. the process of breaking down fats occurs. This results in an increase in the concentration of ketone bodies in the blood compared to glucose. The low amount of carbohydrates also translates into a reduced feeling of hunger. This in turn causes us to eat less.
Indications for a low-carbohydrate diet
The ketogenic diet is recommended for people struggling with many serious diseases. It was created mainly to support epilepsy treatment, especially among children. An increased amount of fat in the diet may reduce the frequency of seizures of epilepsy. There are specialists who believe that a low-carbohydrate diet has an impact on the effectiveness of the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
They also recommend it to obese people, which may seem controversial and incomprehensible to some. Today the ketogenic diet is very popular among active people who want to get rid of excess fatty tissue. It supports weight loss, of course in combination with proper training and regular physical activity. Ketone bodies inhibit the feeling of hunger and the body draws energy not from carbohydrates but from fat. The statement “Eat fat to burn fat” is, therefore, most true and best describes the assumptions and effects of a ketogenic diet.
Keto diet for active people
Why do active people reach for the keto diet? First of all, because it limits the amount of glucose in the body which is the primary source of energy. Thus, the body uses other energy substrates as a substitute, including glycerol derived from fat breakdown. However, the reduction of fat tissue is not the only advantage of a ketogenic diet that is appreciated by active people. Over the last few years, many tests and studies have been conducted to confirm its positive impact on athletes’ bodies. The studies in which cyclists on a high carbohydrate diet took part are noteworthy. They switched to a diet with increased fat content. They were tested and the results were compared. As it turned out, the high-fat diet increased the oxygen ceiling but limited the power generated.
Thus, we can see a clear impact of our eating habits on the effectiveness of our training and the effects of our diets. Fats do not necessarily have to be treated in the context of the greatest enemies of a slender figure. However, while increasing their amount in the diet, we must remember to minimize the amount of the other two nutrients.
What to eat on a ketogenic diet?
A large number of fats must appear in the diet, but possibly as little processed as possible. Therefore, we pay great attention to the quality of the selected products, which contain both saturated fats (coconut oil and butter) and unsaturated fats (avocado and nuts). It is also worth noting the polyunsaturated fats, which play an extremely important role in the ketogenic diet. However, we handle them carefully and decide only on those of animal origin. Their valuable source is fatty fish, such as salmon. We also need to avoid margarine.
In a ketogenic diet, protein should be of animal origin, so we eat meat, but of good origin, dairy products, and eggs. However, there are people on a ketogenic diet who are both vegetarians and vegans. They bet on legumes as well as tofu and soy products. When it comes to carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits are their sources. However, we avoid those that contain large amounts of sugar or consume them in smaller quantities. So bananas and grapes will not be the best choice, and we should make closer friends with green vegetables, that is kale and spinach.
The effects of a ketogenic diet
A properly planned and applied ketogenic diet combined with an individually tailored training plan results in weight loss. However, you cannot compare your effects with those of others, because the rate of weight loss depends on individual predispositions. Some lose weight faster, others need to be more patient. Lowering weight is not only important for our appearance but above all for our health and well-being. Obesity is a cause of serious cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. It also limits our mobility and speeds up the aging process. The ketogenic diet has also found its application among people who plan to model their silhouette, first by getting rid of fatty tissue and then by sculpting their figure.
When combining training with a ketogenic diet, it is not uncommon for us to use dietary supplements to speed up the effects and at the same time support our training efficiency. These include keto supplements that support the proper functioning of the whole body. Keto MCT powder is worth mentioning, which contains MCT oils that are better absorbed in powder form than in liquid form. As a pre-workout, we recommend American Metabolix Keto pump explosive workouts containing MCT complex and l-citrulline. If you want to increase the level of ketones, even more, go for Keto BHB.