In the last few years, there has been a growing following of the Ketogenic Diet. After seeing it everywhere from glossies to Facebook, it got me thinking maybe the new Keto Craze could work for me but is it just another low protein diet?
Low protein diets have been popular for at least 40 years. Every ten years or so a new diet tribe hails there regime as working where nothing else has.
I have often been amazed by the weight-loss results of friends who have followed different high-protein or low-carb diets. Whether it be the Atkins, The Dukan or the newest Ketogenic. After enviously admiring how great they look, I’ve rushed out to get whichever book. Unfortunately, it has never really got further than that for me.
But Do Low Protein Diets Work?
There is a lot of research to suggest that a higher-protein diet will help overweight and obese people to lose weight. Part of the science behind success is hormones. Hunger signals to the brain are largely controlled by hormones and upping your protein intake can change the levels of the hormones responsible.
It also takes more energy to metabolise and digest proteins. This is termed a high ‘thermic effect’. So, protein calories are more efficient for losing weight and keeping you feeling full.
So What Is The Keto Diet?
The Ketogenic diet is actually a very low carbohydrate and high-fat diet. It was developed a hundred years ago as a treatment for epilepsy. Following this strict diet was found to trigger a biochemical process in the body ’Ketosis’, which could reduce seizers in people with epilepsy.
Ketosis happens when the body is forced to override its natural use of carbohydrates for energy. By replacing most carbohydrates intake with fat the body starts to use fat instead, it can also help speed up the use of body’s fat stores.
The Ketogenic diet gaining popularity in the mainstream may be surprising. It takes a very high level of commitment, especially in the beginning when trying to trigger ketosis in the body. Which will be hard for many people to follow or maintain long-term.
Sometimes I have wished I had the dedication and organisation needed to follow these diets. Of course, all weight loss takes some dedication. However, I’ve accepted that complicated meal planning with lots of rules and restrictions is just more than I can get my head around let alone integrate into my life. I’ve learnt that diets don’t work for me.
Deep down I know what I need to do – move more, eat less and have a balanced diet. I also know if I can summon a fraction of the will-power and focus it takes to follow an extreme diet, I will be well on my way!