How Does Keto Weight Loss Work?
Posted by Mike Miryala on
The keto diet has been confirmed by a recent survey to be the most popular diet in the United States. It is a very low carb diet, with high fat and moderate protein. Invariably, the keto diet typically contains at least 70% of calories from fats, less than 20% from protein, and less than 10% from carbohydrates.
As the fat is increased and carbs are reduced, the body enters into a state of ketosis. In this metabolic state, the body starts converting fats into ketones, which supplies energy to the brain.
After a short time, maybe a few days or weeks, the brain and body become used to burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs.
More so, the keto diet helps to lower insulin levels, thereby improving blood sugar management. That’s more reason why a lot of people are turning to this diet to achieve their weight loss goals.
Does the keto diet support weight loss?
The keto diet restricts your carb intake to less than 5-10% of the total calories you are getting per day. Your fat intake is also increased to around 70-90% calories. Protein intake is usually moderate, giving around 20% of calories.
So your body tends to switch to using fat instead of carbs as its primary source of energy. This you’re your body enters into ketosis fast, and ketones are produced in the liver.
How does keto weight loss work?
There are several mechanisms through which the keto diet support weight loss, including:
A Keto diet may reduce hunger
The keto diet has been studied to cause decreased levels of ghrelin - a hormone that controls hunger. This way, you tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day, and this may result in weight loss.
One study conducted on 20 obese people showed that following the keto diet caused reduced cravings for food and alcohol.
Thus, the keto diet is a good measure to regulate your hunger levels, thereby increasing your chance of losing weight.
Keto diet promotes loss of water weight
Carbs hold water in their stored form in the body, so the significant reduction in carb intake is often accompanied by the loss of water weight.
As you limit your carb intake, the stored carbs in the body are released with additional fluids. This leads to a weight loss of varying amounts.
But always ensure that you’re meeting your calorie needs as you follow the ketogenic diet. If you cut down on your calories excessively, it can slow your metabolism, hindering your weight loss goal in the long run.
The keto diet is not necessarily better than traditional diets for weight loss if the calorie intake is the same.
The keto diet works more effectively because there is a reduced calorie intake as a result of changes in satiety signals accompanying very low carb, high-fat diets.
So for you to lose weight, you must attain a calorie deficit- meaning that you must eat fewer calories than you burn.
More so, if you don’t like counting your calories, the ketogenic diet is appropriate for you because you can eliminate some foods without having to track calories.
However, you still need to check labels and keep track of your total carbs each day.
Keto supplements are high in demand in the market as they catered to keto dieters’ goals to lose weight and enjoy other health benefits.
Check out the top keto supplements and their proposed functions:
- Keto protein powder: These supplements are formulated to have a low carb content
- Exogenous ketones: These are mainly ketones gotten from an outside source. They help boost the blood ketone levels, thereby speeding-up ketosis.
- MCT oil: This is a keto supplement containing medium-chain triglycerides. They help keto dieters get fatter and stay in ketosis. These fats are digested faster than traditional fats, but can sometimes have digestive side effects.
- Digestive enzymes: Digestive enzyme keto supplement contains lipase that helps to break down fat. This supports the high intake of fat with a reduced risk of digestive issues.
- Keto electrolytes: When starting the keto diet, electrolyte depletion is commonly experienced due to water weight loss. So the keto electrolytes supplement helps prevent deficiency of electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
One study conducted in mice found that MCT oil and several exogenous ketones support weight loss by reducing hunger levels and limiting the intake of calories naturally. However, there are few human studies to back this claim.
The keto supplements work effectively to help you transition into this restrictive way of eating and support your tolerability to the diet.
But always ensure you consult your doctor or dietician before switching to the keto diet.
Basic Rules to Follow the Keto Diet
Here are some tips to help you get the best out of a keto diet:
- Aim for 20-50 grams of carbs or less every day.
- Add some staples such as cheese, nuts, meat, avocados, oils, whole eggs, and oily fish to your diet.
- Base each meal on low-carb veggies to keep you feeling full. You also get fiber from veggies instead of beans, whole grains, or legumes
- Try different tasty treats like ketogenic pasta, muffins, bread, puddings, brownies, ice cream, etc. Experiment until you find what you love the most.
- Track your progress by taking measurements and taking photos every 3 to 4 weeks. If there’s no progress, ensure you revise your daily intake. Keep your portion sizes moderate and eat enough vegetables at every meal.
- Drink enough water to get the proper amount of electrolytes, like potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
- Stay consistent
Is the keto diet suitable for everyone?
No diet works for everyone since all individuals differ in taste buds, body types, genes, and personal preferences.
Although the ketogenic diet works for people with obesity or those who have a high risk of developing metabolic syndrome, it should be avoided by people with conditions, such as liver failure, pancreatitis, carnitine deficiency, and disorders of fat metabolism.
The keto diet limits your carb intake and helps you get your energy source from fat metabolism. If you follow this diet or use keto supplements under medical supervision, you can lose weight and improve your overall health.