One of the inherent characteristics of the twenty-first century is the increasing belief in science: the belief in empirical, tangible proof. Its application in human health and fitness in our daily lives is no different. Weight, body image, the world today is watching- with the inscrutable eye of precision. To the outside world, one kilogram might as well be one hundred.
Enter the myriad of diets and fitness programs designed by various specialists (sometimes the everyday Joe like you and me) to best attain the ultimate body composition, shape and size, fat to muscle ratio et ceter. In its day the Atkins diet was heralded as the holy grail of diets with its progressively restrictive on specific foods, low-carb approach to food. Today, the ketogenic diet has been called the new Atkins’ taking the diet world by storm from its toughest critics to those who swear by it.
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What is a Ketosis Diet and How does it Work?
So what exactly is the Ketosis-“keto’ diet and what does it mean in terms of the science of our bodies? To understand ketosis, there’s another seemingly complex term you need to understand: Glycolysis. The common denominator here is the body’s metabolism and how energy is produced.
You see in glycolysis, the body breaks down glucose obtained from the typical carbohydrate rich meal (cereal, waffles, that delectable donut) to provide fuel for the body. In the absence of glycogen, the body switches to breaking down fats to produce fatty acids as the alternative fuel for our bodies. So at night for instance, your body switches to a state of ketosis to produce energy to keep up your basal metabolic rate.
Now if you’re thinking of enhancing your rate of weight loss, the breaking down of fats already stored in the body as opposed to carbohydrates consumed at that time makes sense doesn’t it? This is therefore the whole basis of the ketogenic diet. True, this is an oversimplification of what surely, must be quite complex science. Nevertheless, it is accurate to a point. Ketosis is a state in which the rate at which the body burns fat is very fast.
The focus is fats, proteins and carbohydrates, the highest amount being in fats, the least being carbohydrates. The fats are healthy fats; olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocado. This intake goes up while avoiding your typical every day carbohydrates (think rice, wheat and all its derivatives).
The idea is to fill you up, while ensuring insulin levels drop and have you reach the optimal level of ketosis. The question of calorie restriction in the ketosis diet is one that raises divergent opinions. Some advocate for it, others don’t. In the case of an increase, upping the fat content is the way to go while decreasing it means decreasing portion sizes.
This diet is for all intents and purposes, a careful reworking of your body’s chemistry. Some have called it dangerous, while others have called it highly efficacious. Regardless of whether it is a fad or here to stay, the Ketosis diet is worth taking note of.