The Keto & Low Carb Diet Plan for Fat Loss

The Keto & Low Carb Diet Plan for Fat Loss

Before starting the low carb diet plan for fat loss, become familiar with all of its components, rules, and supporting scientific research.

The ketogenic diet is a diet that takes advantage of a fascinating element of human physiology, namely ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabolic condition that happens when we ingest so few carbs that fatty acid oxidation becomes the primary source of fuel.

When fatty acid oxidation reaches a particular threshold and glucose supply is insufficient, the body produces ketone bodies.

These ketone bodies are then selectively utilized in specific tissues, including the brain.

The ketogenic diet allows us to go for long periods without eating or with very low (almost zero) carbohydrate intake.

Ketosis appears to be a survival strategy/mechanism from an evolutionary, biochemical, and physiological standpoint.

A focal point of the ketogenic diet as a fat reduction method is that it allows us to exist for long periods on virtually little carbohydrate intake and presumably lower insulin levels than normal.

One of the important aspects the ketogenic diet aims to capitalize on is the hypothesis that insulin plays a role in body composition through controlling fat storage.

History Of The Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet has an exciting history. Unlike other diets that have evolved from health and fitness circles or popular textbooks, the ketogenic diet is likely to have started in the medical industry. The ketogenic diet was initially used to help manage seizures in children with epilepsy because being in ketosis can regulate brain metabolism more “evenly” in some circumstances.

It has since been adopted by the mainstream as a fat-loss diet.

The Keto & Low Carb Diet Plan for Fat Loss

General Overview of Components & Main Principles of the Keto Diet

Ketosis is caused by a shortage of dietary carbs and lower dietary protein intake, combined with fasting or a high dietary fat intake.

When the key substrates for the Krebs Cycle (namely oxaloacetate) are depleted from fat metabolism, the body, more specifically the liver, begins producing ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone), which then become a significant fuel source for select tissues in the body (e.g. the heart and the brain).

Ketogenic Vs Low Carb

A low carbohydrate diet follows the same basic principle as a ketogenic diet: reduce carbohydrate intake to reduce calorie intake and insulin levels. While they share the same principle, they are biologically very different, particularly in terms of their effect on blood ketones.

Ketones do not accumulate in the blood to any significant extent with a low carbohydrate diet, which affects the type of substrates used in important tissue such as the brain and the heart. It may be claimed that if you go low-carb, you should go ketogenic as well to help tissues adapt better; however, this is still up for debate.

What About Ketoacidosis?

The ketogenic diet is distinct from diabetic ketoacidosis in that having low insulin (a ketogenic diet) is not the same as having no insulin (diabetes ketoacidosis).

Insulin is not present in diabetic ketoacidosis to regulate ketogenesis. The following are the blood ketone levels for “normal” levels, nutritional ketosis, and diabetic ketoacidosis:

Normal ketone levels are between 0.0 and 0.5 mmol/L.
Ketosis Nutritional Ketone levels range from 0.5 to 3.0 mol/L.
Diabetes Ketoacidosis = >5.0 mmol/L with concomitant high blood sugars and insulin deficiency

How to Stay in Ketosis

To enter and maintain ketosis, dietary carbohydrate consumption must be below a particular threshold. This threshold varies from person to person, but a decent starting point for most people is between 5-15% of daily total calorie intake.

Checking ketone levels can often assist each individual in determining their range of intake that permits them to remain in ketosis.

Keto and a low carb diet for fat loss

Protein consumption must also be kept to a minimum to maintain a ketogenic state. Ingesting protein over a particular amount is glucogenic, which means it can produce glucose for your body to use as fuel. This has the potential to “kick” your body out of ketosis.

In practice, ingesting protein at or over 15% of total daily calorie expenditure can render your ketogenic diet non-ketogenic.

Meal Timing and Frequency for this low carb diet plan for Weight Loss

On the whole, the ketogenic diet does not explicitly regulate meal schedules or frequency. However, because it is generally easier to stay in ketosis when fasting, many people mix ketogenic diets with different types of fasting, most commonly intermittent fasting.

However, by following a high-fat, low-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet, one can maintain ketosis while eating often.

Limitations and Restrictions of This low carb diet plan for Weight Loss

The ketogenic diet does not explicitly prohibit any food or food groups, but due to the nature of the required macronutrient intake, it frequently excludes vast groups of food.

Because carbohydrate intake must be limited to 0-15% of total daily energy intake, rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, fruit, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are almost hard to include in one’s diet, unless in very small amounts. To stay in ketosis, protein consumption must be kept relatively low, between 5-15% of daily energy intake.

Does it Include Phases?

The ketogenic diet does not comprise the usual prescribed and adhered-to phases. Some people will follow a cyclic ketogenic diet, which entails using a ketogenic diet, maintaining ketosis for 4-5 days, and then referring to carbohydrates.

Who is it Best Suited For?

People who prefer not counting calories, don’t mind having restrictions on what they can eat, and aren’t elite athletes are the greatest candidates for the ketogenic diet.

People who want to lose weight quickly (such as figure competitors getting ready for a show) can succeed on the ketogenic diet with a few minor adjustments.

How Easy is it to Follow this low carb diet plan for Fat Loss

It’s like asking people who they voted for at Thanksgiving, and asking how simple it is to follow the ketogenic diet. Answers will be hurled at you with fervor from both sides. Some may claim that it is extremely challenging to follow, while others will claim that it is the simplest diet in the world. 

The second is that to stay in ketosis, people must maintain relatively low dietary protein and carbohydrate intakes; for some people, making such drastic food choices may be challenging. On the other hand, this diet is appealing due to the absence of calorie counting and the potential for many people to succeed while eating as they choose.

When you carefully examine the adherence rates to the ketogenic diet in the scientific literature, it seems that they are not significantly worse than those of other dietary plans 

Mainstream Belief Behind Diet

The prevailing theory behind the ketogenic diet is that it manipulates an intriguing feature of our physiology and enables us to survive for extended periods on very low carbohydrate diets.

This is thought to enable us to maintain lower insulin levels, which may facilitate fat reduction.

Scientific Studies and Interpretation of Data

Only the Mediterranean diet has had more scientific research done on it than any other diet. A PubMed search for the phrase “ketogenic diet” yields 1913 references, showing a high level of interest in the subject.

The ketogenic diet and its benefits for weight reduction, epilepsy, cancer, and, most recently, human performance have been the focus of numerous major fields of research.

fat loss

While there is a long history of Low Carb and Keto Diet Plans for Weight Loss, it has been hypothesized that reducing dietary carbs can reduce insulin signaling and therefore promote fat loss.

For decades, these studies lacked the rigor required to eliminate significant cofounders such as total calorie consumption. Only recently have studies with a high enough level of control been undertaken to provide enough hard evidence to address this question.

After 5 days on a baseline diet, participants were given either a restricted carbohydrate diet or a restrictive fat diet for 6 days1. The study discovered that decreasing carbohydrate consumption boosted fatty acid oxidation while decreasing carbohydrate oxidation, an expected conclusion given that the body adjusts to the fuel it is supplied.

Healthy Eating
Interestingly, Restricting fat consumption resulted in a somewhat larger decrease in body fat than restricting carbohydrates. The study’s key finding was that an increase in fatty acid oxidation caused by eating more fat does not always result in more fat loss; in fact, it may have the opposite effect. So eating fat to burn fat is probably not the best way to lose fat.

The second study is one of the most rigorously controlled and well-designed dietary studies ever conducted in the field of nutrition, particularly about the ketogenic diet In this trial, overweight or obese men were admitted to metabolic wards (basically, they were locked in a testing facility) and may consume either a standard calorie-restricted diet or a low-calorie diet.

After all, it was said and done, people on higher carbohydrate diets shed more body fat in 15 days (approximately 1 pound) than those on the ketogenic diet (about 0.5 pounds).

These two studies reveal that the ketogenic diet does not appear to have any hidden metabolic benefits. This does not exclude it from being an effective strategy, as numerous studies suggest that the ketogenic diet is highly effective as a fat reduction technique, thanks to its ability to simply limit calorie intake.

Performance

One of the most contentious aspects of the ketogenic diet is its effect on performance. Several studies have been conducted on the subject, and going over them in depth will help us emphasize the benefits and drawbacks of adopting this diet in terms of performance.

In an investigation into how ketogenic diets affect moderate-intensity running, athletes lost weight, including lean mass, but their VO2 max did not change. They were, however, less able to recover.

In another study that looked at the effect of a ketogenic diet on cycling performance, the ketogenic diet increased both body composition and relative VO2 max. The fact that VO2=ml/kg/min means that if you lower body mass, you decrease the number in the denominator and hence raise the relative value

What does this mean exactly? Ketogenic diets may aid in weight loss due to calorie restriction, however, they frequently reduce maximal effort capacity in metabolically taxing tasks.

Several further trials have found the same theme of weight loss, often due to spontaneous reductions in caloric intake, with no increase in performance

The study itself proves this, as their max effort work dropped and the breakdown of the factors in the VO2 equation demonstrates that the improvement in relative VO2 was truly due to their lower body weight.

Another important piece of information is that muscle biopsies from studies revealed that the keto diet lowered muscle glycogen to nearly half of what it was before. That alone suggests that high-intensity performance may be compromised.

Conclusion of This: low carb diet plan for fat loss

The ketogenic diet is a tool that can be used correctly or incorrectly. If you are a practitioner, understand the limits and conditions under which you should and should not use this tool.

Numerous studies suggest that ketogenic diets help with weight loss, however, they may not have any magical features when compared to other dietary regimens that restrict calories and protein intake.

Furthermore, research suggests that ketogenic diets can be taken by low-intensity athletes or persons who are less active with no significant negative effects on their performance. High-intensity, high-volume athletes, on the other hand, are likely to experience decreased performance and recovery after a ketogenic diet.