What is The Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet, as known, is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It is similar in many ways to other low carbohydrate diets. Although you eat far fewer carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet, keep your protein intake moderate, and you can increase your fat intake. Reducing your carbohydrate intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat from your diet and your body is burned for energy.
The Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss
There are many techniques to lose weight, and jumping on the ketogenic diet is one of them. Keto is one of the most effective methods of losing weight quickly and keeping fat gone.
This does not mean that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is ideal for anyone who wants to lose weight. Some people may do better with other dietary options that better suit their current lifestyles.
In any case, it is possible to lose weight and keep it off. Like most health problems, many different issues contribute to obesity. The common factors responsible for the obesity epidemic appear to be our genetics and environment and how they interact with our eating behavior. To understand how they contribute to obesity, let's explore the organ responsible for our dietary decisions: the brain.
The brain was built over billions of years of genetic evolution. The evolution of the brain (and its deep-seated behavior patterns) depended on its capability to adapt to an environment that has nothing in common with where we spend most of our time today.
When carbs are restricted for a couple of days, the body will begin to produce ketones. This alternative fuel source offers many benefits for the brain and nervous system while promoting weight loss.
Immediately the body enters ketosis and begins to burn ketones for fuel; most keto dieters will experience increased energy levels and lower appetite. This leads to consuming fewer calories, which results in more weight loss.
Another reason keto diet and weight loss are related is that ketones have a mild diuretic effect. This is vital to know because many people will mistake their rapid weight loss for the ketogenic diet as if it all came from fat. The rapid weight loss that occurs during the first week of the ketogenic diet is mainly due to the loss of water.
Once the first week of keto has passed, and you are in ketosis, fat will steadily descend from your body (as long as you are in a calorie deficit). Average weight loss at this level is around 1 or 2 pounds per week, most of it coming from fat.
As you get closer to achieving your weight goal, and your overall body weight decreases, your weight loss will slow down. This happens because as weight decreases, the daily caloric requirement also decreases. For this issue, you might decide to recalculate your calorie needs approximately every month.
Keep in mind that weight loss may also be inconsistent. A few weeks may go by where it seems like you haven't lost anything; then you will check your weight yourself a week or two later and lose 3 to 4 pounds.
How Fast do You Lose Weight with Keto?
What's behind the unique nature of your weight loss rate? Here are some factors that determine how quickly you will lose pounds:
Your Calorie Deficit: The only factor that leads to the most significant and consistent weight loss is the calorie deficit. In other words, when we take in fewer calories than we need to maintain our weight, we will lose it. The result will be that your weight loss rate will generally increase as your total calorie intake decreases. However, there are limits to how far your deficit should go. The human body is configured to prevent massive weight loss during periods of starvation through mechanisms that make long-term fat loss much more difficult to achieve and maintain. For this reason, it is never a good idea to starve for long periods. Research indicates that calorie deficits greater than 30% are sufficient to stimulate some of these counterproductive mechanisms for long-term fat loss.
Health: Being healthy plays a vital role in how quickly you lose weight and adapt to a low-carb diet. If you have hormonal or metabolic issues, weight loss may be slower or a little more challenging than expected. Insulin resistance, excess visceral fat, and thyroid problems, for example, can have a significant impact on the rate of weight loss.
Your Body Composition: Do you have much fat to lose? How much muscle do you have? People who have little fat to lose tend to shred fat at a much slower rate than those who have many pounds to burn. This phenomenon is mainly explained by the fact that larger people can easily maintain a much higher calorie deficit, which will result in a quicker weight loss. Muscle mass also plays an important role in weight loss because it helps prevent your metabolic rate from going down as you lose weight. This can help stabilize your rate of weight loss and may even prevent a dreaded loss plateau.
Your Daily Habits: The habits you partake in daily will make or break your weight loss efforts. Consistency is the major key to keto success. Are you eating keto foods or high-fat junk food with low-quality ingredients? Aware of hidden carbs? Are you exercising? Eating the right food in the right amount leads to success in reaching your weight loss goals. Adding more physical activity to your daily life is another important factor in losing weight successfully.
When we look back at the bigger picture of our rate of fat loss, predictable patterns begin to emerge. For example, people who typically see slower weight loss are those who are sedentary and overweight with poor metabolic health and eating habits that do not exercise or control their carbohydrate and calorie intake.
In contrast, those who start with more muscle and good metabolic health, who are disciplined enough to follow their diet, maintain a calorie deficit, and increase levels of physical activity, will generally lose weight faster and get results.
In general, each person's health and lifestyle are different, which means that each person's rate of weight loss will also be different. However, we share one thing in common: each of us can optimize our body composition with our diet.