Ketogenic diet

Ketogenic Diet

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The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet for burning fat – this is how you can describe the keto diet in one sentence. In addition to losing weight, the technique is used for the prevention of chronic diseases. An analogue is the Atkins diet , but with a difference in the amount of consumption of protein products.

Burning fat stores helps achieve ketosis (getting energy from fat, not glucose). However, Russian-speaking sources and experts in the field of sports and nutrition have interpreted Western articles with an error, adapting the data for personal needs.

Such a distortion of the original source gives rise to contradictions and misleads readers, since the data obtained from eminent athletes and from sites differ.

In this article you will learn:

  • what is keto diet and what are the benefits and harms of the method;
  • types of approach and who is keto food;
  • how to make a menu on a keto diet and what is possible and what cannot be included in the diet;
  • the term “ketosis” – what it is and how the process is needed for;


Zucchini noodles keto diet


What is the keto diet?

Keto diet is included in the category of low carbohydrate food with a predominance of fat in the diet in order to go into a state of ketosis.

The approximate distribution of macro nutrients per day:

  • proteins – 35%;
  • fats – 55%;
  • carbohydrates – 10% (5-8% comes from fiber ).

The ratio of nutrients differs from the usual methods of carbohydrate-free nutrition, but keto diet is really effective for losing weight. The technique is used by protruding bodybuilders abroad and in Russia, the diet for men and women has become a way of life, rebuilding dietary habits.


The essence of keto diet

Initially, the technique was developed as an auxiliary tool in the fight against diseases and for the rehabilitation period after operations. But then the menu of keto nutrition took root in the field of dietetics.

If keto diets are observed, fast and most complex carbohydrates  and caffeine drinks are completely excluded  . Such a diet causes stress, in response to which the body produces ketone bodies (acetone).

What is ketosis?

Ketosis is the production of energy from fats, not from glucose, which enters the body with carbohydrates. Lipids are converted to fatty acids and ketone bodies – the main source of energy. Ketone bodies are molecules that transport energy. Production occurs when glucose deficiency.

Consumption of less than 20 grams of carbohydrates in a week forces fatty acids to be rapidly released from the body’s fat reserves. A large number of acids enter the liver, where they are converted to ketones during oxidation. The resulting molecules provide the body with the necessary energy. Ketones are able to overcome the blood-brain barrier, supplying the brain with a “fuel” in the absence of glucose.

The state of ketosis is also achieved by a hunger strike, but the lack of the supply of essential micro and macroelements leads to serious health problems. Ketogenic nutrition is an alternative approach that allows you to lose those extra pounds with less damage to the body.


What is ketosis


Basic principles of the ketogenic diet

A universal diet will help get rid of subcutaneous fat, improve relief in sports, relevant for epilepsy and oncology. In drawing up a nutrition plan, you need to rely on a number of principles:

  • minimizing carbohydrate foods;
  • exclusion of sugar and sugar-containing products;
  • maintaining water balance;
  • eating high-quality fats;
  • gradual entry into ketosis.

When switching to a keto diet, the body reorganizes metabolic processes, getting energy from fats. The absence of carbohydrates does not cause insulin jumps, weight loss is accelerated.


The effectiveness of keto diet

The method is rather controversial, but the popularization of the method, a wide audience coverage and an abundance of reviews determine the effectiveness parameters:

  • when the body enters the state of ketosis, the body quickly transports fat reserves for further use as energy;
  • gluconeogenesis (the process of converting fats and proteins) requires significantly more energy than in the processing of carbohydrates, which leads to an increase in daily calorie consumption;
  • despite the refusal of carbohydrates, the feeling of satiety does not leave losing weight during the diet due to the positive dynamics in leptin and ghrelin (hormones responsible for the feeling of hunger).



There are three types of ketogenic diet:

  1. Classic – a common option with a standard diet. A distinctive feature – a high percentage of fat in the menu, the average amount of protein, a minimum of carbohydrates. It is recommended in the absence of physical activity and low level of activity.
  2. Targeted – carbohydrates are added to the diet at a certain time, the number of servings is regulated. Carbohydrate loading takes place on training days – before and after exercise to increase strength and endurance and replenish energy reserves. On rest days, it is recommended to stick to the classic diet.
  3. Cyclic – the principle resembles protein-carbohydrate alternation , when carbohydrate loading is built in accordance with the plans: training, busy work schedule, etc. The amount of fat in the diet is reduced by increasing protein foods. The amount of carbohydrates – 7 g per 1 kg of weight. Download duration – from 8 to 36 hours depending on individual needs. A cyclic keto diet is recommended for athletes, with an active lifestyle, intense mental and physical activity, in the period of illness and fatigue.


What is the keto diet



Keto diet is relevant for:

  • lovers of fatty foods;
  • athletes with a predominance of aerobic exercise, strength training built in multi-repetition mode with low weight. Due to the  lack of glycogen,  strength training will be difficult;
  • wanting to lose weight, but without adding workouts;
  • preservation of muscle shape without hypertrophy (building) of muscles.


While maintaining keto diets:

  • the amount of acne is reduced due to insulin stabilization (low blood sugar);
  • the risk of HDL, heart disease and increased pressure on ketogenic nutrition is reduced to zero;
  • support in the treatment of cancer, slows the growth of tumors;
  • relieving symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease;
  • reduction of seizures in epilepsy in children and adults up to 50%;
  • reduces the manifestation of Parkinson’s symptoms.



However, the technique is not without cons:

  • peculiar smell of acetone from the mouth, from sweat and urine due to increased metabolism of fats. At the same time, the more subcutaneous fat and faster weight loss occurs, the stronger the presence of smell. Not a deviation from the norm;
  • painful condition. The transition to the ketogenic menu and the achievement of ketosis is accompanied by a cold: headaches, irritability, nausea, insomnia, the desire to eat carbohydrate foods, convulsions. The last symptom is eliminated with electrolytes;
  • constipation. Lack of fiber and magnesium in the diet leads to illness;
  • risk of developing ketoacidosis in type 1 diabetes, rarely in type 2.


Creating Ketosis



Despite the benefits, keto diet has contraindications:

  • pregnancy, breastfeeding period;
  • high cholesterol;
  • diabetes;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, heart, kidney;
  • difficulty digesting fatty foods;
  • failure of the thyroid gland;
  • porphyrias.


Permitted Products

Keto diet allows food and recipes without limiting the percentage of fat:

  • meat, poultry, game;
  • Fish and seafood;
  • sausages;
  • unrefined oils, no added sugar sauces;
  • mushrooms;
  • green vegetables, greens;
  • green fruits, citruses;
  • nuts and seeds;
  • milk, dairy products;
  • cheeses;
  • eggs;
  • animal fat.

From the drinks it is recommended to give preference to mineral water, tea and decaffeinated coffee.


Prohibited Products

The list contains prohibited products:

  • vegetables, which include starch;
  • flour, flour and cereals;
  • sugar and sugar-containing products;
  • fruits, packaged juices;
  • caffeine;
  • alcohol.


What to eat on keto diet


Diet for the onset and maintenance of ketosis

We summarize: ketogenic nutrition rearranges the body from the breakdown of carbohydrates (glycolysis) to the breakdown of fats (lipolysis). The process is called ketosis. Starting the process takes 7 days. The body goes through 4 stages:

  1. Depletion of glucose – the first day on keto diet consumes a supply of glucose from the last carbohydrate meal.
  2. The processing of glycogen – reserves of substances from the muscles and liver lasts 48 hours.
  3. Processing of proteins and fats – depletion of reserves forces the body to switch to splitting muscle fibers. Stage is considered the most difficult.
  4. The triggering of fat splitting is ketosis, which occurs when carbohydrate deficiency and slow protein burning.

Diet for losing weight and maintaining ketosis is built in accordance with the predominance of fat. However, no diet will work with an excess of the energy produced, so it is crucial to correctly  calculate the daily caloric intake  and create a deficit.

Ketosis implies a change in the balance of fluid and minerals, therefore, it is recommended to increase salt intake (about 4000 mg of sodium, 1000 mg of potassium, 300 mg of magnesium per day), and on training days add electrolytes to reduce the risk of seizures.

Creating ketosis with workouts

Starting the process in addition to the diet from the allowed list of products will help exercise. The task is to deplete glycogen stores.

  • 1st day: high volume leg training ;
  • 2nd day:  split training on the back + biceps;
  • 3rd day: split training on the pectoral muscles + triceps;
  • 4th day:  high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 30 minutes.

To determine the ketones in the urine, you must purchase special strips that are sold in a pharmacy. The strips will help determine if you are ketosis.


Ketogenic diet works on the principles of ketosis, which occurs when there is a shortage of carbohydrates and proteins. The technique is effective in losing weight and is used to prevent serious diseases. If you like fatty foods and are ready to radically change your eating habits, then keto is suitable for the experiment.



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