Keto Diet – What is it and what results can you get and pros and cons
*** Disclaimer – Always study and research anything before trying. With diets like the Keto Diet and other health changes always consult a medical professional and seek your doctors advice with anything before you try it. The information here is my own, results may vary. ***
The Keto diet has been around for centuries. Many of us have just heard about it recently. My brother-in-law went on it this summer and lost forty pounds doing the keto diet. This past summer I, Matt the hubby, decided to give it out. With every venture I tend to look deeply into it and become somewhat excessive about it. I try and figure out if the Keto Diet works, is the Keto Diet safe, What are the pros and cons of the Keto Diet. This is my journey on my research, who I looked into to learn about the Keto Diet and my results after 5 weeks on it. Also find out if I maintained it, do you put weight back on after the Keto Diet and would I do it again.
How long has the Keto Diet been around
A form of keto diet has been around for centuries. The name itself hasn’t been around for centuries but the method has been. Even before 500BC they have been using diet modification and fasting or not eating as a way to treat epilepsy or seizures. So way before Christ was on the earth, man realized that by fasting you could help with seizures. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that modern science came into play. In the 1920’s that two doctors at Harvard Medical School noticed that seizures improved in patients who were fasting after the first 2-3 days of treatments. About the same time in 1921 scientist first learned of two chemicals found in patients that were fasting and not eating, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyric acid.
Acetone and beta-hydroxybutyric acid are collectivly known as Ketone Bodies
So what do these two chemicals known as ketone bodies mean? It means that trough fasting and not eating the body has been put into a state of ketosis and the body is burning fats instead of glucose. Effectively this is a keto diet plan. Except in modern day we try not to starve ourselves and we increase the effectiveness of ketosis by giving it fat to burn and maintaining those levels of fat burning. We had a family friend who had a daughter who started having almost continuous seizures. Their little child went from a normal toddler to being in a wheelchair and practically a vegetable in just a few weeks. A doctor put her on what they called at the the time the John Hopkins Diet. A couple doctors became famous in modern time when they developed a program at John Hopkins Hospital and a child of a famous actor went to them to help treat seizures. our friend went on this same diet to help their child as well.
John Hopkins Diet
At the time we thought that this family was a bit desperate and frankly kind of crazy. They weighed their kids food, they restricted intake and counted everything. I mean everything down to the milligram. They had a digital scale and had strict times to eat and incredibly strict food requirement and restrictions. One time we were there for a party and they were weighing their daughters “sugar free jello”. I watched as they weighed this jello and just thought how does this work! Not long after they put her in this diet, just a few months, she went from a medical wheelchair that held her daughters head up because she couldn’t move at all to a little child running round and playing like all the other kids. We saw the changes ourselves and too this day their child acts and behaves completely normal.
What is the Keto Diet
The Keto Diet or a ketogenic diet is converting your bodies main source of fuel or energy from burning carbohydrates or sugars to burning fats. Who doesn’t want to burn fat? By putting your body into a state of ketosis your body burns fat as its main source of fuel. So instead of burning that candy bar or soda or even just pasta and bread as energy, your body burns fats primarily as fuel. Now we could go into the molecular structures, the ATP process and what happens to everything, but that can put people to sleep. In simple terms the keto diet is dramatically reducing the intake of net carbohydrates or sugars and increasing fat intake. The percentages of fats to proteins to carbs is somewhere in the ballpark of 75% fats, 20% proteins and 5% carbs/sugars.
Sugars VS fats in the body
When we eat carbohydrates or sugars our body converts it in to glucose and uses what it can. Any extra glucose is converted into glycogen and then stored in your muscles. When we eat fats it is converted into fatty acids which the body stores as body fat. Now that seems a bit strange to recommend a diet high in fat and is stored as body fat when we are trying to loose body fat. But the issue is how our body is relying on the type of source of energy as fuel. When we drop sugar and carb consumption to low levels our body goes into a state of ketosis or “keto” and starts to suck up all the fat it can get as fuel. Perfect diet plan huh?
Is Keto diet hard to do
Just like the John Hopkins diet example, you do need to start tracking what and how much you eat. I tried to keep my daily net carb intake to under 20 grams of net carbs a day. It can be real tricky to watch what you eat. you have to start looking at the labels and doing some basic math. To get enough fat intake in and reduce enough sugar intake you really have to start watching what you eat and start looking at every and I mean every food label. if you noticed I started saying “net carbs”. So what is net carbs? Net carbs is the form of measuring your sugar or carb intake after its been subtracted by the fiber you eat.
How to calculate Net Carbs
On a keto diet it is important to monitor your carbs. Carbohydrates or sugars are what we really want to focus on. Too much sugar and it reverses all the the process, time and effort it took to get us into ketosis. Net carbs is fairly simple once you understand what to look for. On all nutritional labels if you look under the subheading Total Carbohydrates you will see two items. One is Dietary Fiber the other is Sugars. Calcualte net carbs using this nutritional label. You have 37g of Total Carbohydrates and you have 4g of Dietary Fiber. To get Net Carbs subtract 4 from 37, so you would have 33g of Net Carbs using this label.
So how much carbs do I need to stay under
Personally I tried to stay under 20g of Net Carbs per day. It can be tricking considering an average slice of bread contains around 20g of net carbs per slice! An average size medium apple has around 22g of Net Carbs per apple! And a normal size yogurt container, a national brand that starts with “Yo”, contains around 25g carbs. That one little container is over your daily limit all by itself! Monitoring what you becomes your life and your eyes become opened to percentages of nutrition in food very quickly. Some people I know have tried to loose weight trying to stay under 50 or so grams of carbs with some success. I have found it to be a slower process, which in my eyes just prolongs the results.
Keto Diet Series –
Make sure you check out the Keto Recipes we have tried
Spaghetti sauce with Spaghetti squash, side tossed salad and crusty garlic bread