San Diego has always been at the forefront of fit and healthy living. It’s not so surprising that in this city, fitness trends come and go very fast. One day intermittent fasting is all the rage, the next people are turning to an all-new regime. This is because fitness articles often only highlight the perks without offering enough knowledge about how these diet regimens affect the human body.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to your ketogenic diet, you must understand how it works in helping you lose fat and the five potential scenarios that might cause this diet to be ineffective.
Understanding the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet, or “keto” for short, constitutes the triggering of the human body’s metabolic state called “ketosis.” It involves the unique ratio of carbohydrates and fat that is similar to the Atkins and other low-carb diets.
To activate ketosis, the amount of carbs is decreased drastically. At the same time, fat intake is increased exponentially. This allows your body to use fat as its main source of energy rather than carbs which is how stored fat is burned.
Once ketosis begins, the fat is processed in the liver to become ketones— thus, the name— that supplies energy to the brain. This process also promotes the reduction of insulin and blood sugar levels that offers numerous benefits, including the reversal of Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance.
However, the ketogenic diet isn’t a one-size-fits-all system. So far, there are four popular versions of the keto diet that have been developed based on the varying needs of an individual, as follows:
1. Standard Ketogenic Diet
This type of keto diet contains very low carbs (5 percent), moderate protein (20 percent), and high fat (75 percent).
2. Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
This keto diet involves the inclusion of higher carbohydrate intake for specific periods to a ketogenic cycle (e.g. five ketogenic days plus two high carb days).
3. Targeted Ketogenic Diet
This keto diet supports the intake of carbs during specific periods, particularly around workouts.
4. High-protein Ketogenic Diet
This type of diet is a variant of standard keto that incorporates more protein into meals, with a usual ratio of 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs.
5 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Fat on Keto
Aside from knowing how keto diet works, you must also understand the different scenarios which might explain why you’re not losing fat. If you don’t see or feel any change in your body even after strictly following the regimen for the recommended period, there is a chance that you are:
1. Not actually going into ketosis;
According to wellness specialist Nare Davoodi, one major reason why the keto diet doesn’t work is that people aren’t actually going into ketosis due to a miscalculation of their macronutrient intake. Ketosis requires close monitoring of fat, carbs, and protein as the standard keto diet may not work for everyone.
One expert-recommended tip you can try is to supplement with medium-chain triglyceride fats (MCTs), like Brain Octane oil. Aside from promoting the burning of fat, these oils are easily absorbed by the liver and transformed into ketones to kickstart ketosis.
2. Consuming too few or too many calories;
Sometimes, people simply eat too many or too few calories so that the body cannot go into ketosis. Again, this boils down to the proper calculation of macronutrient intake. According to Davoodi, the idea that there is a single equation for the ketogenic diet that can affect everyone in the same way is a myth.
That said, it is recommended that you recalculate your required macronutrient intake every time you lose between 10 and 15 pounds to ensure that you’re on the right track. Experts also recommend consuming high-quality fats (see below).
3. Eating an imbalance of proteins, carbs, and fat;
The importance of a balanced diet has been emphasized since time immemorial, but there is very little information on what the right ratio is to achieve this so-called “balance.” In terms of the keto diet, the macronutrient ratio is considered most important.
Ideally, you must aim to divide your calories into three parts: 70 to 80 percent fat, 20 to 30 protein, and the 5 percent carbohydrates. Since keto is a high-fat diet, it is also recommended that you up your water intake.
Achieving just the right fat-protein-and-carb proportion can be difficult, so it is best that you try to get a good grasp of all your options before you begin. If you’re lacking protein, try using natural protein supplements. For carbs, stick to vegetables that contain lower carbohydrates. For high-fat protein, your best sources are grass-fed meat, avocados, coconut oil, and eggs.
4. Having allergies and intolerance to something in your diet; and
If you’re allergic or intolerant to something in your diet, there is a good chance that the ketogenic diet won’t work for you. This is because such conditions cause an imbalance in your gut which often leads to inflammation and weight gain.
5. Experiencing leptin resistance.
If you’re experiencing leptin resistance, you probably aren’t going to feel full no matter what diet you’re using. Leptin is the hormone in charge of telling your brain when it is time to stop eating. It is also responsible for the management of the fat in your body, from your consumption to your usage and storage of this macronutrient.
Fortunately, a low-inflammation variant of keto diet can help reset your leptin levels. All you need to do is consume healthy fats and protein while eliminating processed and refined sugars in your system.
Do Keto Right
The ketogenic diet has high potential in burning fat and weight loss when executed properly. Now that you understand how it works and the possible factors may affect its effectiveness, you now have a better chance of losing weight and, ultimately, getting the body you have been hoping to have.
Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.