You’ve probably heard of many celebrities doing the ketogenic diet, such as Kim Kardashian. Ketogenic is the term for a low-carb diet (a bit like the Atkins diet) and the main idea is for your body to get more calories from protein and fat, and less from carbs. You are also required to cut back on carbs which are easy for your body to digest – such as white bread, sugar and pastries.
When you eat a restricted amount of carbs per day, your body eventually runs out of blood sugar that it can use quickly. After this you will start to break down protein and fat for energy instead which can often make you lose weight. This is called ketosis. The ketogenic diet isn’t always used to help patients lose weight; it can also be used to manage particular medical conditions such as epilepsy and can help those with heart disease and even acne (however there needs to be more research in these specific areas).
It is always best to speak with your doctor about any new diet or lifestyle change you are considering making – in regard to the ketogenic diet you must speak with a doctor if you have type 1 diabetes.
A ketogenic diet can also possibly help endurance athletes, such as runners or cyclists when they train for example. Over a period of time, it helps your muscle-to-fat ratio and raises the amount of oxygen your body is able to use when it’s working hard; meaning you can work harder for longer. Whilst the ketogenic might help during training, it may not work as well as other diets for peak performance.
As with anything, there can be some side-effects, however majority of the side-effects associated with the ketogenic diet aren’t usually serious and they can be common. For example, you might have constipation, indigestion, or mild low blood sugar. Less common side-effects include kidney stones or high levels of acid in your body (acidosis).
Everybody is different, it is important to find out what works best for YOU.