Keto and Weight Loss
Some people don't do well in ketosis. As I mentioned above, you should check with your physician if you have any concerns about starting a ketogenic diet plan with pre-existing health conditions, especially if those conditions involve kidney or heart problems. Although there is evidence that many people do well with reducing carb intake, I don't recommend going much lower than 10-20 carbs per day.
While switching to a ketogenic diet for weight loss, it is important to remember that weighing yourself every day is not a good idea. If anything, the fluctuations that you notice will only make you crazy, as your weight can vary between 2-4 pounds each day because of changes in water intake and absorption. Fat loss cannot be tracked every day. Instead, keep track of your body measurements to track your progress or weigh yourself once a week. Better yet, is to focus on the health benefits and the long-term health changes that come with eating a low carb diet.
Fears and Fallacies
Low carb diets are dangerous is really just a myth, brought about by people who have a limited understanding of how low carb diets work. The main criticisms include fears about fat intake and the process of ketosis. Increasing the amount of fat, especially saturated fat, that you have been normally consuming is what most people have trouble accepting in a ketogenic diet plan, because they are scared. The message that fat is bad has been pounded into the collective American consciousness for the last 30 years. It's hard to unlearn the message that fat makes you fat, and saturated fat especially is very bad for you. I understand that message has been repeated over and over, but it is a lie.
Here's the reality: A high carb diet drives up blood sugar and insulin levels. All that sugar and insulin are inflammatory. The standard American diet offers lots of foods that are high sugar and high in saturated fat, and in studies, these two factors were lumped together. So, although saturated fat is healthy, it got the blame for the inflammation that causes heart disease because it was studied in combination with a high carb diet. A ketogenic diet plan which is high in saturated fat and very low in carbohydrate will reduce inflammation.Knowing that you are greatly improving your health is a powerful reason to stay with a ketogenic diet plan, even if you don't lose any weight. I am going to discuss the health benefits of a ketogenic diet in detail in my future blogs, however, I recommend getting a health check-up and a blood panel test done just before starting the diet. This is not to scare you, but to track the effect of the change in your eating habits on your blood sugar, cholesterol and other health markers. When you are in 4-8 week of the diet, you can get another blood test done and see if there are improvements.
Stop Sugar Cravings
Those nagging thoughts of dessert can be overcome through supplements and techniques and get your blood sugar under control. With time, you will notice and feel that ketosis naturally leads to suppressed appetite and it becomes easier to abstain from food in general as well as from your favourite food, the longer you eat ketogenically.
Saturated fat is not harmful in the context of a low carb diet. The ketogenic diet plan is healthier because the higher saturated fat intake increases your HDL cholesterol, and at the same time, a lower carb intake decreases your triglycerides levels. These two factors are the major markers for heart disease, and the closer your triglyceride/HDL ratio is to 1, the healthier your heart. In reality, the cause of heart disease is a chronically high carbohydrate consumption, not a high saturated fat and cholesterol intake. I think the best way to learn this is to get a full blood test before you start a ketogenic diet plan, then do the diet faithfully for 3 months. Then have your blood work checked again. You'll see the difference and discover how much better you feel.
I am going to continue this discussion in my next post, so keep coming back!