It’s pretty much common knowledge that eating a carbohydrate-heavy diet isn’t great for weight loss, but what happens when you completely eliminate carbs? The Ketogenic diet. “This very low-carbohydrate diet severely limits the intake of carbs to force the body into ketosis, an altered metabolism that builds-up ketones,” explains Alex Caspero, R.D, HUM Nutrition Ambassador. “This happens when the body is starved of carbohydrates and is forced to break down fat for energy.” In theory, this makes sense- if you starve the body of its preferred fuel source and alter metabolic breakdown of macronutrients, it will burn more fat for fuel.
However, it’s important to understand that the brain needs more than 100 grams of glucose per day to function properly, which you get from carbs. Even though the Ketogenic diet is great for a quick start to losing weight, it shouldn’t be a long-term lifestyle. According to Caspero, “studies have shown over the first six months, low-carbohydrate diets produce greater weight loss than other dieting methods. After a year, overall success of low-carb diets is similar to other plans.” Caspero also points out that “diets high in animal protein and low in fiber (found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables) are associated with increased chronic disease risk like heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.” When it comes to the lack of fiber and other essential vitamins, minerals and active compounds you might miss when doing a Ketogenic diet, Caspero recommends taking supplements.
Interested in trying it? Here’s a three-day Ketogenic plan.
Breakfast: Eggs (and way you like them) with sugar-free sausage
Lunch: Ham and cheese rolled into lettuce wraps with 1/2 an avocado
Dinner: Baked salmon with sautéed spinach
Breakfast: Omelet with cooked chicken and spinach
Lunch: Tuna salad (tuna, mayonnaise, salt and pepper) stuffed into romaine lettuce leaves and 1 cup chicken broth
Dinner: Grilled chicken with arugula salad (arugula and olive oil/salt/pepper)
Breakfast: Breakfast ‘tapas’- cold cuts of choice, sliced cheese, cucumbers and nuts
Lunch: Cobb salad with spinach, avocado, bacon, chicken, hard-boiled egg and olive oil dressing
Dinner: Low-carb pasta with zucchini noodles, sautéed sugar-free chicken sausage, butter, and parmesan cheese
We’re curious. Have you tried the Ketogenic diet yet?