Side effects of the ketogenic diet - tips and tricks

A ketogenic diet for weight loss is different from a low-carb diet, although the basic principles of both diets are similar. With a low-carbohydrate diet, ketones do not accumulate in the blood, and the body does not use them as an energy source. And in a state of ketosis, it is ketone bodies that are the main fuel that provides body functions.

A low-carb diet simply limits the amount of glucose, and a ketone diet almost eliminates its intake from the outside. Only 5% of calories the body receives from carbohydrates, the rest - from fat. At the same time, it is important that a person successfully adapts and constantly remains in a state of ketosis.

If the diet is combined with training, you have to carefully monitor the amount of incoming protein. It should not be too small so that the muscles recover after sports. But if the protein begins to flow more than normal, the body will begin to break it down to glucose and exit the state of ketosis.

In pursuit of harmony, we are sometimes ready for the most drastic measures, depleting our body, bringing it to anorexia, which is extremely dangerous for health. Others exhaust themselves with power loads, but still cannot achieve a toned body. This is because it is better to act in a complex way, combining proper nutrition and moderate physical activity. One of the progressive nutrition systems is ketogenic, which will be discussed in our article.

The keto diet (also known as ketogenic or ketone) is an extremely low-carb diet. At the same time, fats predominate in the diet, as well as a moderate amount of protein (proteins).

In the early twenties of the 20th century, doctors faced a serious problem - the treatment of epileptic seizures turned out to be ineffective. Against the background of a habitual way of life, attacks in patients occurred regularly. Then nutritionists developed a completely new nutrition system that helped to stop the symptoms, minimizing crises. Over time, it became clear that, along with seizures, excess subcutaneous fat began to melt.

Ten to fifteen years later, anticonvulsant drugs appeared to help epileptics control seizures. But a cardiologist from the United States, Robert Atkins, invented a diet for weight loss, based on previous developments. True, in its version carbohydrates were present and proteins were not infringed, which prevented the body from remaining in a state of ketosis, on which the entire harmonious system of the modern keto diet is based.

In the late nineties, American director Jim Abrahams decided to share the story of his son's struggle with epilepsy. Due to intolerance to some drugs, as well as side effects from them, the boy could not take the prescribed drugs. The ketogenic diet helped find a way out, about which Jim made a notorious film called "Do No Harm" with Meryl Streep in the title role. So the keto diet went beyond a purely medical phenomenon and became public knowledge.

Where did the wild popularity of such a power system come from, why does it really work? Usually our body gets its energy "fuel" from carbohydrates, converting them into glucose. It also nourishes the neurons of the brain. However, with a shortage of this product, the body begins to look for alternative methods of nutrition using fat cells.

Research scientists have shown that the ketogenic diet suppresses the production of the hormone ghrelin in the body. It is he who is responsible for the feeling of hunger. With a properly selected diet of this type of food, you will stop suffering from a constant desire for something to eat. This is such a pleasant side effect of ketosis.

When our body stops receiving carbohydrates as its only source of energy, it turns to the same fat reserves that it saved for a rainy day. They are processed by the liver, breaking down into glycerol and fatty acids. They subsequently form ketone bodies that nourish the body and brain.

The process is called metabolic ketosis. It comes approximately on the seventh day of the diet. Then the body stops the process of processing glucose (glycolysis), using reserves from the muscles, liver and other tissues, while activating lipolysis - the high-quality breakdown of fats.

The peculiarity of this type of nutrition is that it is possible to lose weight by burning your own fat reserves. After all, carbohydrate feeding does not occur. At the same time, protein tissues remain intact. That is, such a diet is well suited both just for weight loss and for those involved in sports that require special endurance (heavy weights, marathons, triathlons).

The main characteristic of a ketogenic diet is a varied diet, depending on the capabilities of your body. There are three main types of diet.

  1. Standard. This is the most accessible type of diet, when carbohydrates are gradually reduced to an exceptional minimum. It is suitable for anyone involved in sports or fitness. The main principle here will be the rejection of the so-called refeeds (days on which the consumption of carbohydrates is permissible). It is highly effective and the same number of calories received.
  2. Targeted or targeted. In this type, "boot" days are acceptable, when there are foods rich in carbohydrates, it is acceptable. For example, in order to remove drowsiness or fatigue during intense training, for example, before competitions.
  3. Cyclic. This option is considered the most advanced, not available to everyone. With such a diet, you need to independently determine when it is time to replenish the supply of carbohydrates, which are needed, for example, during intense training or exhaustion of the body. It implies a return to ketosis when the balance is restored.

Nutritionists recommend starting a diet with a standard one, but if you feel unwell, switch to more gentle regimens.

The ketogenic diet was first used in the 1920s, and not at all for weight loss - it was successfully used at the Mayo Clinic (USA) to treat children with epilepsy. However, since obesity was not a global problem 100 years ago, the weight loss benefits of the diet have only recently been exploited.

What is the ketogenic diet for weight loss

The very name of the diet comes from the word "ketosis". This is a metabolic state that occurs when a critically low amount of carbohydrates enters the body. It contributes to rapid weight loss, but, as studies show, only for a short period of time. In the long term (if you follow a ketogenic diet for more than a year), the results are not too different from any other diet. A balanced low-calorie diet will give about the same effect, but it will be so fast.

Stages of adaptation of the body: pros and cons

Due to differences in genetics, each person has an individual "journey" to ketosis. Some can come to it within three or four days and not leave it for a month without problems, while others cannot achieve results even after a week. No need to worry and go to extremes, giving up halfway through. The main thing is to understand what is happening in the body, where to start a keto diet and how to deal with negativity.

To accustom the body to ketosis, it will have to go through a difficult path with many changes.

Allowed and prohibited foods on the keto diet

In any food system, certain foods are excluded in favor of the consumption of others. For example, a paleo diet includes only what a caveman could get himself. So do's and don'ts on the keto diet.

  • Organic red meat: lamb, beef, pork, game, poultry with skin.
  • Lard, fat.
  • Heavy cream, butter, ghee.
  • River and sea fish of more fatty varieties (salmon, sardines, flounder, trout, tuna), seafood (shrimp, shellfish, crabs, lobsters).
  • Eggs.
  • Vegetable oils are best consumed raw: linseed, sesame, olive, coconut, macadamia and avocado oil.
  • All green vegetables.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Some types of legumes: asparagus (green) beans, peanuts.
  • Mushrooms of different varieties (forest and cultivated by humans).
  • Greens.
  • Dairy and lactic acid products (cottage cheese, kefir, fermented baked milk, yogurt).

If you follow a keto diet, you should not consume hydrogenated or at least partially hydrogenated oils in any form. They provoke jumps in cholesterol, spur inflammation, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

  • Sugar, as a sweetener and in the composition of any dishes.
  • Refined, frozen vegetable oils.
  • Bread, pastries, pastries, flour products.
  • Skimmed, condensed or whole milk.
  • Vermicelli, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna.
  • Cookies, desserts, cakes, sweets.
  • Rice, quinoa.
  • Fruits and dried fruits.
  • Any cereal.
  • Jams, preserves, mousses, puddings.
  • Powdered and sweetened drinks, soda.
  • Imitation crab meat, sticks.
  • Semi-finished products in any form.
  • Cold cuts, including salami, pepperoni, and some cured meats.
  • Sweet dairy and lactic acid products.
  • Starch, as well as starchy vegetables (potatoes, beets, corn).
  • Products containing sorbitol or fructose.
  • Bean cultures.
  • Honey and foods containing it.
  • Juices store and homemade.

The list of allowed drinks is quite wide, and it includes even light alcohol, but in extremely moderate doses.

  • Pure water.
  • Water with lemon or cucumber.
  • Bone broth.
  • Green and black tea.
  • Coffee without additives or with heavy cream.
  • Unsweetened hemp or almond milk.
  • Champagne brut, whiskey, dry martini, dry white wine (in small quantities).

At the same time, in no case should you drink juices, fresh juices, beer, energy drinks and other things that contain carbohydrates.

Using any, even the most "safe" sweeteners, you do not allow your body to wean from such a tempting offer. However, in some exceptional cases, it is acceptable to use a few popular substances, such as stevia, xylitol or erythritol. The main thing here is not to overdo it and not get out of ketosis, otherwise all previous efforts will go to waste.

Side effects of the keto diet

Proponents of the ketogenic diet acknowledge that it can have side effects such as constipation, nausea, and vomiting. But these are all the little things in life. Being in ketosis can have more serious consequences:

  • Decreased performance under load. Frequent intense training is difficult due to a decrease in the amount of glycogen in the muscles and liver. You will have to forget about serious training.
  • Slowing down the recovery of exercising athletes. On a ketogenic diet, the rate of muscle growth is reduced, and the recovery process is slower. This is also a consequence of a decrease in the amount of glycogen in the muscles.
  • Stones in the kidneys. In a state of ketosis, the risk of kidney stones increases.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Due to the lack of carbohydrates in the diet, the body's sensitivity to insulin gradually decreases, and glucose intolerance develops. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.

The ketogenic diet has nothing to do with a healthy diet. It can provoke a disease, the cause of which has always been considered to be malnutrition - type 2 diabetes. The connection of the disease with the state of ketosis was confirmed by the ETH and the Children's University Hospital Zurich as a result of a joint study. Scientists have done experiments on mice, but it is likely that people react to a state of ketosis in much the same way. It's better not to risk it.

Keto diet rules: entry and exit tips, side effects

Main postulates

The diet of this diet is based on the principle of absorbing as much fat as possible, with extreme restriction of carbohydrates, as we have already said. However, not everyone can comfortably enter into such an unusual mode. Therefore, experts give advice on what to do, where to start and what rules to follow. Let's summarize everything we've learned so far.

  • Pay attention to carbohydrates, if possible, completely abandoning their use. After all, they not only provide an excessive amount of energy that the body is not able to process, but can even disrupt metabolism and cause various diseases.
  • Choosing vegetables on a keto diet does not mean switching to potatoes and carrots. In no way can they be. It is better to forget all the starchy gifts of kitchen gardens and orchards once and for all. It is worth giving preference to green vegetables growing above the surface of the earth.
  • Eating healthy fats should not be limited to butter and meat. Take advantage of opportunities, such as eating more oily fish, seafood, avocados, olives, and more.
  • Fans of the keto diet mostly learn to cook themselves, which is undoubtedly a plus. Due to food preferences, going to a cafe or restaurant will be difficult, because it’s not a fact that the menu there will be adjusted to you. In addition, you may not even guess at the quality and composition of some dishes. Such a trifle can "knock out" of ketosis for a week, which is why you will have to make efforts again. Cook at home, so you will be sure that everything is in order.
  • Use various vitamin complexes, dietary supplements, fermented foods during the keto diet. This will help your digestive tract, as well as the whole body, to get the missing share of substances, macro- and microelements, vitamins and other things.
  • Water is the basis of life. You need to drink it always, everywhere and a lot, especially on such a difficult diet as a ketogenic one. If it is difficult to learn how to do this, set yourself a "reminder" and drink 100-200 grams every hour.

For some on the keto diet, even the very idea of fasting is unacceptable. However, the intermittent system is quite accessible to everyone. This means that on the chosen day you assign yourself a corridor at eight to ten hours, when you do not take any food at all, but only water. This system will allow you to burn body fat even better.

Many are interested in the question of how to enter the mode so that at the same time they are smoothed out and minimal. First, you should correctly calculate the optimal calorie content for the keto diet. This is done based on individual indicators: height, weight, gender, activity, lifestyle. Mostly, you will have to maintain the correct balance of BJU: 70% quality fats, 20% protein, only 10% carbohydrates.

  • Start with water. You should drink at least two liters at first. Ideally, the amount of water absorbed per day should be 2. 7 liters for women, and 3. 7 for men.
  • To make up for the loss of sodium, you need to consume about half or a whole teaspoon of regular table salt per day.
  • Do not forget to replenish the reserves of magnesium, potassium, otherwise you will not get unpleasant consequences for long.
  • At first, give up strength training and switch to aerobics or yoga.

Meditation can significantly reduce stress, which will help you quickly adapt to a new menu. Look into yourself, set realistic goals, contemplate your body and spirit, then everything will definitely work out. A sample menu and recipes for a keto diet are discussed in detail in the article on our website, it does not hurt to read it for review.

Right way out

The ketone diet is a special food system. It so happened historically that some nationalities, for example, the Far North, live in this mode all their lives from generation to generation. However, some, having gone through drying or simply losing weight, improving their health or achieving other goals, want to return to their usual way of life.

meat for the keto diet

It is better to exit the ketoration gradually, and not abruptly. The body needs to be given time to rebuild back to eating carbohydrates, to start the process of glycolysis. Therefore, it is best to introduce carbohydrate products one by one without much fanaticism. For example, start with a slice of bread a day, half a grapefruit, an apple. This will help you not feel any discomfort.

Usually those who have tried the keto diet, talking about rapid weight loss, drying. Their bodies become more toned, the remains of unnecessary fat under the skin melt without a trace, making the muscles more prominent and beautiful. The work of all body systems is getting better, metabolism is normalized, skin, hair, nails become healthier.

However, it happens that some side effects appear, such as described at the very beginning of the article. But if the absence of hunger can be considered a plus, then the smell of acetone from the mouth is hardly. If this happens in the first week or two, there is nothing to worry about. If the process drags on, then it's time to run to the doctor.

Expert reviews

The main thing about the dangers of the ketogenic diet and a healthy alternative

There is no evidence to support the beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet on the body, other than improving the condition of children with epilepsy. It has a bad effect on the growth of muscle mass, reduces performance and can cause serious harm to health.

Long-term studies have shown that the use of a ketogenic diet for a year and a balanced diet give approximately the same weight loss. At the same time, the correct diet does not harm health, it can be followed even for a lifetime without the slightest negative consequences.

It has long been proven that any extreme diet is harmful. Violence over the body is not in vain. Of course, there are advantages to the ketogenic diet: in a state of ketosis, fat is burned quickly, and you see the first results within a month. But there are more cons, and they are dangerous. Please note that:

  • The diet has side effects. During the adaptation period, constipation, nausea and vomiting are possible.
  • A ketogenic diet reduces glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. This leads to a deterioration in well-being, a decrease in productivity.
  • Health risks are rising. The state of ketosis can provoke type 2 diabetes, the formation of kidney stones.

Think about whether you are ready to risk yourself, quickly lose weight on a ketogenic diet, and then work for the pharmacy for the rest of your days. A healthy diet and gradual weight loss are much more comfortable. Try it.