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Diet Articles | Get your body in shape

Ketogenic diet

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ketogenic diet

The well known Atkins diet along with other low-carbohydrate diets and Ketogenic diets continue to be popular. Knowing the concepts behind these diets will allow you to slim down in a very safe, responsible manner and prevent certain pitfalls.

Force your body to burn fat

On a low-carbohydrate diet, your system is burning its second option for energy, fat. Normally, your system would rather use carbohydrate for energy. Whenever you eat carbohydrate-rich foods (starch, sweets, bread, etc.), your entire body first burns the carbohydrate for energy. Excess carbohydrates are then stored as glycogen (a kind of sugar inside the liver). As soon as your carbohydrate stores are full, extra carbohydrate is stored as fat. When carbohydrate calories are plentiful, one's body never needs to use its fat reserves for energy. Only once your carbohydrate intake is limited will your body reluctantly start to burn fat.

The key to dieting success

Managing your appetite is the key to controlling your calorie intake. When dieting,most people loathe that "starving" feeling and quit after a very short time. Normally, foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a rise in blood sugar, which triggers insulin secretion. Insulin pushes sugar from the bloodstream into your body's cells and liver, and keeps the blood sugar stable. Simple carbohydrates, such as pasta, breads, and most sweets get into the bloodstream too quickly, triggering a large release of insulin from the pancreas. This flood of insulin causes your blood sugar to drop quickly, triggering hunger and stress hormones to bring your sugar back up. By trying to lose weight with a high carbohydrate, low protein, low fat diet, you'll constantly be fighting insulin spikes and resulting hunger.

Low carbohydrate diet stops insulin spikes

A low carbohydrate diet or Ketogenic diet assists you to avoid unhealthy insulin spikes and the "starving" feeling. When you eat more protein in addition to fat,you give your body calories which are broken down less quickly. Protein and fat usually are not converted into sugar in the body. As a result, insulin is secreted less quickly and your blood sugar and appetite remain more stable. Fat actually slows the emptying of food from the stomach into the intestine, assisting you feel full longer. With a low carbohydrate diet or Ketogenic diet, your chances of staying on the diet and successfully losing weight are much better than a high carbohydrate diet.

What are ketones?

Ketones are molecules that are left over in your body after burning fat. Normally,they're burned for energy as well. But when carbohydrate in your diet is scarce,they are able to build-up in your body as you burn more fat than usual. Ketosis is the medical term for a metabolic state where you have extra ketones in your body. Your level of fat burning (or degree of ketosis) can be measured at your home using a simple urine test. In pharmacies and drug stores, you can aquire a paper strip that will change from pink to darker shades of purple with increasing amounts of ketones in the urine. No color change means you're not burning fat. By monitoring the volume of ketones in the urine, not only can you verify that you are burning fat, but you can also make sure you are not overdoing it. Ketosis can be harmful if not controlled, especially for people with underlying medical conditions.

Is this diet for you?

Well, tens of thousands of people have already had great success on a low carbohydrate diet. This diet plan can be safe and very effective. It is easy to adhere to even when you are traveling or just eating out. Most importantly, individuals don't feel the constant craving for food that leads dieters to abandon their programs.

Be aware of these precautions

This diet may not work for everyone. It's not appropriate for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those with severe kidney disease, gout, certain forms of kidney stones, or severe constipation.

The bottom line

A high protein, low carbohydrate, moderate fat diet, based on three small meals with one or two high protein snacks spread throughout the day, is an attractive option to burn fat in a healthy, muscle-sparing way.