Nutrition

What Is The Ketogenic Diet? | How To Start & Types

What Is The Ketogenic Diet? | How To Start & Types

Ketogenic diet was developed by the Charlie Foundation for the treatment of epilepsy patients. The treatment aimed at giving fewer carbohydrates and the results from the treatment were that there were very few epilepsy attacks on a low carbohydrate diet. It was concluded that the reduction is carbs minimizes the chances of epileptic seizures.


What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

The low carbohydrate diet was later on called the Ketogenic diet if the carbs consumed were around 50 grams per day. It was also observed that Ketogenic diet had a great fat loss effect. The Ketogenic Diet was therefore adopted by the masses who were aiming at fat loss at a greater rate.

To verify the validity of the Ketogenic diet, subjects were kept under observation and were fed with 30-50 grams of carbs along with moderate exercise for a time period and it was observed that the fat loss effect was prominent but some minimal muscle loss was also there. Nevertheless, considering the fat loss, Ketogenic diet was adopted by physicians and even models and actors who wanted to get back into shape as soon as possible.


Ketogenic Diet: The Principle

what is the ketogenic diet

The main aim of Ketogenic diet is to consume Fats and carbs in the ratio of 4:1. When the carbs are less, the body burns fat to produce energy – noting that the body’s primary source of energy is carbohydrates, though in the absence of carbohydrates, the body uses fats as fuel.

How To Start The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet has some pitfalls but the results are great. Some of the early disadvantages include dizziness, fatigue, low blood pressure and water loss. This is due to the shift in metabolism. This might continue for some days and eventually ends. If dehydration is continuing for longer time period, water intake has to be increased.

The body usually takes 3 weeks to get used to ketosis, so a single beneficial ketosis cycle should span 6-8 weeks. To start with, there are different techniques, which would be detailed later in the section. The first key point to be considered is to start with higher intake of fats that constitute 60-70 % of your calorie intake and the rest should be protein. Carbs should not be more than 50 grams.

As the first week passes, the fat consumption shall be reduced by 10% and protein should be increased by 10%. The +-5 to 10% has shown greater Ketogenic effects as very minimal muscle is compromised.


Types of Ketogenic Diet

what is the ketogenic diet

There has been a lot of research to make Ketogenic plans better. Scientists wanted to find out how to get the maximum benefit from the Ketogenic diet, even while consuming a good amount of carbs. Further experimentation led into the development of 2 diet plans for Ketogenic diet:

• TKD: Targeted Ketogenic Diet
• CKD: Cyclic Ketogenic Diet

Targeted Ketogenic Diet – TKD

The idea is fairly simple. People who are involved in workouts and following a Ketogenic diet have to eat carbs only twice – once before and once after the workout. On a 50 gram daily carbs cycle, 25 grams of carbs shall be consumed before the training session to fuel the workouts and the remaining shall be consumed just after the workout to restore the glycogen levels.

The best part of TKD is that none of the carbs converted to glucose for energy are stored in the body as it is quickly depleted. Post workout carb consumption ensures that you don’t feel dizzy after the workout.

Cyclic Ketogenic Diet – CKD

The CKD diet differs from TKD diet in just one way that there is a carb loading phase every week to refuel glycogen levels. During a CKD period, a carb intake of 50 grams on workout days is allowed followed by a carb loading phase which aims at in taking more carbs and fewer fats to restore the blood sugar and glycogen levels. The carb loading is usually done on rest day.

To have a better understanding of how to load carbs on a CKD, let’s consider an individual weighing 75 kg, who trains Monday-Friday and does some cardio on Sunday. For him, the carb loading starts on Friday night after his workout. He can start consuming carbs in liquid form as it will be easily digested and move on slowly to his favorite carbs. It has to be noted that there should be minimum fat associated with the carbs – so no pizza sadly. The carb loading should only continue for one single day – for the individual above it should end on Saturday night. The loaded carbs will restore the glycogen levels but they should get depleted by Monday, due to the 50 gram carb day (Sunday) and the cardio.


How Many Carbs and Fats for Carb Loading Day?

what is the ketogenic diet

Some maths will help in getting this sorted easily. Convert your weight into pounds first – let’s use 175lbs for this example. Research has shown that the fat, in grams, should be equivalent to the individual’s bodyweight. In this case, it should be 175 grams of fat. Protein should be at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight ie 175 grams.

The carbohydrates should be consumed at around 10 grams per KG of his bodyweight. For a 75 kg individual, carbs can be around 750 grams and that relative a high window. It is perfectly normal to consume the carb range below this limit also – less carbs would require less cardio the next day!


Take-Home Message

Ketogenic diet plans are tough for the first two weeks as the body needs to shift to a new metabolism state. The fat loss effects might only be visible after around 3 weeks. Follow the diet plans (TKD or CKD) for at least 6-8 weeks and you will start to see results.



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