Are Ketogenic Diets the Best Way to Get Lean
Firstly we will discuss what a keto (ketogenic) diet is, we will then go into how it works and from here summarise. Including some best practices to take forward with you on you’re weight loss journey.
Ketogenic diets are essentially a low to nil carbohydrate based diet. They restrict the consumption of carbohydrate based foods, substituting all for dietary fats in the attempt to pursue a better way of weight/fat loss. Whether this is actually the case we will discuss further below.
So how scientifically does a keto diet work? Firstly we will look at what happens when we consume carbs. Upon consuming carbohydrates, our body’s convert these carbs into something called glycogen, this glycogen gets passed into the bloodstream and then the muscle cells to be used as energy.
When we don’t have glycogen and our carbohydrate consumption is taken away our body needs another way to provide us with energy.
This comes in the form of ketones, we produce these when carbohydrate is no longer available and enter a state of ketosis. These ketones are formed in the liver and like before in the case of glucose will be used as our primary energy source.
Moving away from science and on basic terms, when shifting from carbs to fats, we are essentially just changing the type of energy source we are using. So the question remains, do we actually need to change at all? And is going keto a better form of fat loss? Keep reading.
To understand fat loss we first need to look at how fat loss occurs, it is a fairly simple process and this is what we will ultimately base our conclusion on.
In order to lose weight/fat our bodies need to be placed into a calorie deficit, this means we need to eat less food (calories) than our bodies are burning.
To do this we do not need to restrict any form of macronutrient, meaning the reduction of carbs to nil or low isn’t essential. We simply need to restrict our calorie intake across all macronutrients.
So in that case, is there any need to go keto for fat loss & is it the best form of dieting?
The answer is simply no! Every single diet you use will work so long as you are restricting calories and you can adhere to that diet. A low carb or keto diet is just another variant, and works much the same as any other diet you may have heard of. By reducing calorie intake and placing your body into a calorie deficit.
So which is the best diet for you and is it keto? The best diet for you, will be the one which you can see yourself sticking to over a sustained period of time. If you are a person that likes to consume carb based foods, then going low carb or full keto probably isn’t going to work long term.
Becoming lean is a matter of being in a calorie deficit, the time frame for individual people will change depending on how much fat/weight a person has to lose.
The route (diet) you move forward with is your decision, but before you start ketogenic diet ask yourself these questions. Can I stick to this? Does it sound achievable? Can I see myself doing this over a period of months? Do I want to severely restrict my carbohydrate intake?
Answer no to any of the above and I would say a ketogenic diet is not for you.
In summary, in order to lose fat/weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. You do not need to restrict a particular food group or limit one single macronutrient. You can still lose fat whilst consuming foods you enjoy. The amount of calories you consume is the primary factor, and you do not need to drop your carb intake to nil.
David Clayton Charlesworth