The Ketogenic Diet: The Top Diet for Weight Loss
The ketogenic diet is not a made up fad diet. It has been used since the 1920's and has real scientific-backed results! In fact, the weight loss potential of ketogenic diet is huge and it should not be overlooked! We think the keto diet is the best diet for weight loss, especially if you want immediate results that also last.
If you have a New Year's resolution to get healthy this year, the keto may be the solution you're looking for! Here are the top reasons the ketogenic diet is the best diet for weight loss...
Ways the Ketogenic Diet Helps With Weight Loss
Dieting can be hard work, and people want results fast. With the ketogenic diet, weight loss results do come fast. In fact, in the first week of the diet people can see in the range of a 5 lb weight loss. We will be honest that some of this weight loss is due to water weight - but, not all of it. If you follow our programs, your body will definitely start burning fat in the first week as well.
Plus, you may begin to notice a reduction of inflammation, one of the many additional benefits of the keto diet. In any case, whatever the weight loss is from, seeing results in the first week of a diet is extremely motivating. And that's just what you need when starting a diet.
Huge Fat Loss Potential
Firstly, the ketogenic diet brings on a state of constant fat-burning - what could be better than that on a weight loss diet?!
The basis of the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a constant state of ketosis - which is your body's natural fat burning state. This will naturally cause a reduction in fat storage and an increase in use of bodily fat stores as energy. As long as you're at a caloric deficit, your body will be using its fat stores for energy and therefore burning fat! Fist pump!
A low carbohydrate diet like the ketogenic diet has been shown to increase metabolism and fat burning above that of a "standard" diet (low fat, moderate carbohydrates).[i],[ii],[iii] For example, one study of men on a reduced calorie ketogenic diet lost on average around 1.3 lb per day over a 10 day period.[iv] Yep, we said 1.3 lbs per DAY! The men in this study were only consuming 1000 calories per day and this is an extreme case. But what we want to highlight here is that in order to burn 1.3 lb per day of actual weight on a normal diet, you would have to be at a calorie deficit of 4550 calories per day.
4550 calories is equivalent to walking 39 miles!
That kind of weight loss is just not possible on a standard low-calorie diet, but it was shown in this study with participants on the ketogenic diet. This would account for the numerous people that experience continued weight loss upwards of 5 lb per week throughout the diet.
A lot of people find a huge amount of weight loss success with keto when they find other diets extremely difficult. On a normal diet when you reduce calories you'll be hungry more often because of less calories consumption. This, for some people, is why they drop off a standard diet after only a few days.
Sticking to a diet is easier on the ketogenic diet because it has been associated with increased satiety. [v] People do not feel like they're starving on a keto diet, even though they are consuming less calories.
After getting used to cooking with a variety of new foods and not relying on grains to make up most of their meals, people may not even feel like they're on a diet. It's even easier these days to stick with keto when there are multitudes of low-carb ingredients and tasty recipes.
Because your body will be running on fat on the keto diet, including the fat stores in your body, you'll be able to go hours without eating and not even notice. Some studies note that during ketosis, levels of hunger hormones are lowered which suppresses hunger.[vi]
Because you don't need to eat as often for energy, a lot of people on the ketogenic diet begin to use intermittent fasting as another tool in their weight loss repertoire. One reason intermittent fasting is beneficial for weight loss is because it reduces the time window for eating, and therefore you consume less calories. In addition to being beneficial for weight loss, intermittent fasting has a lot of other great benefits for the body like reducing the signs of aging.
Improved Body Composition
On standard diets, the body has not adapted to using fat as the sole source of energy when you are at a calorie deficit. So when it goes to burn energy from the body, where does it take the energy from? Your body breaks down protein and fat stores for energy. Where does this protein come from? Sadly, your muscle mass.
On a ketogenic diet, you've adjusted your body to a state of ketosis so your body knows it should be using fat as energy, not protein. And this has been shown in studies when comparing ketogenic diets to moderate carb diets - the fat loss vs lean tissue loss was significant.[vii],[viii] As carbohydrates increase in a reduced calorie diet, the less fat is lost of total weight loss.
In the same study above about the men losing 1.3 lb per day, the weight lost was 97% fat![ix] This is a dramatic improvement in body composition to lose around 1.3 lb of actual fat mass and maintain muscle.
On a ketogenic diet, your body will lose fat and maintain lean muscle mass better than on a reduced calorie diet.
Insulin is a very important hormone in the body - especially when trying to lose weight. It regulates glucose up-take into the cells. It also regulates body fat usage and storage. In healthy people, insulin is very responsive and efficient with glucose - which is called insulin sensitivity. In others, insulin is less responsive and does not up-take glucose like it should, instead storing more as fat and not utilizing fat stores properly - a term called insulin resistance.
Obesity has been shown to be linked to insulin resistance in the body, but the mechanisms have not been fully determined. In turn, there's increasing evidence that insulin resistance causes obesity.[x] Insulin resistance also effects the levels of leptin - another important hormone that regulates satiety and energy expenditure.[xi]
The ketogenic diet has been shown to nearly reverse insulin resistance in a matter of weeks in some studies.[xii],[xiii] One possible reason for this is that the reduction of sugar in-take when on the ketogenic diet decreases glucose in the bloodstream, which also reduces the need for insulin to be as active. This allows insulin levels to normalize again, therefore becoming more insulin sensitive.
Obesity Risk Factors
When a person is overweight, it causes other health problems in the body other than fitting into that old pair of jeans. Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease as well. And, did you know that one of the risk factors of Alzheimers is insulin resistance - which, as we said previously is linked to obesity?[xiv]
It is crazy to think that being overweight could have so such a wide range of detrimental effects on your health, but it does. Taking the first step and reduce your weight to improve a whole range of health factors in your body. Using the ketogenic diet can get you to your weight loss and health goals fast!
How the Ketogenic Diet Can Help with Weight Loss
You now know a lot of reasons the ketogenic diet is useful for weight loss, but here's a summary - the ketogenic diet:
- increases satiety
- reduces hunger
- increases metabolic rate (aka fat burning)
- improves body composition (reduces fat and maintains muscle)
- normalizes insulin levels (which are linked to obesity and satiety levels)
Ketogenic Diet Success
If you want to fast-track your weight loss success on the ketogenic diet, we recommend starting with one of our meal plans. It can be very difficult to understand how and what to eat when starting the ketogenic diet, especially with the complexities of your macronutrients. Cooking real meals that are satisfying can be even more difficult. We have several meal plan options available to help you along the way.
We are also beginning a keto coaching program where you can get personalized help with the ketogenic diet. There's different levels of keto coaching with different prices, from beginner to advanced levels of coaching. These are programs to try if you want immediate success on the ketogenic diet.
 It is not recommended to eat that few of calories without supervision of a physician.
 Not everyone will experience this rapid weight loss. The amount of weight loss depends on a lot of personal factors including starting weight, body fat percentage and inflammation.
[i] Feinman RD, Fine EJ. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics and energy efficiency in weight loss diets. Theor Biol Med Model 2007; 4: 27.
[ii] Grande F. Energy balance and body composition changes. A critical study of the three recent publications. Ann Intern Med 1968, 68:467-80
[iii] Feinman RD1, Fine EJ. "A calorie is a calorie" violates the second law of thermodynamics. Nutr J. 2004 Jul 28;3:9.
[iv] Benoit FL, Martin RL, Watten RH: Changes in body composition during weight reduction in obesity. Balance studies comparing effects of fasting and a ketogenic diet. Ann Intern Med 1965, 63:604-612.
[v] Sumithran P, Prendergast LA, Delbridge E, Purcell K, Shulkes A, Kriketos A. Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul;67(7):759-64
[vi] Sumithran P1, Prendergast LA, Delbridge E, Purcell K, Shulkes A, Kriketos A, Proietto J. Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul;67(7):759-64.
[vii] Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Love DM, Avery NG, Gómez AL, Scheett TP, Kraemer WJ. Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metabolism. 2002 Jul;51(7):864-70.
[viii] Young CM, Scanlan SS, Im HS, Lutwak L: Effect of body composition and other parameters in obese young men of carbohydrate level of reduction diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1971, 24:290-296.
[ix] Benoit FL, Martin RL, Watten RH: Changes in body composition during weight reduction in obesity. Balance studies comparing effects of fasting and a ketogenic diet. Ann Intern Med 1965, 63:604-612.
[x] Barbara B. Kahn and Jeffrey S. Flier. Obesity and insulin resistance. J Clin Invest. 2000 Aug 15; 106(4): 473–481.
[xi] Barbara B. Kahn and Jeffrey S. Flier. Obesity and insulin resistance. J Clin Invest. 2000 Aug 15; 106(4): 473–481.
[xii] Boden G, Sargrad K, Homko C, Mozzoli M, Stein TP. Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Ann Intern Med 2005; 142: 403–411.
[xiii] Bistrian BR, Blackburn GL, Flatt JP, Sizer J, Scrimshaw NS, Sherman M. Nitrogen metabolism and insulin requirements in obese diabetic adults on a protein sparing modified fast. Diabetes 1976; 25: 494–504.
[xiv] Kelly T Dineley, Jordan B Jahrling, and Larry Denner. Insulin Resistance in Alzheimer's Disease. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 December ; 72PA: 92–103.