Ketogenic diets for weight loss
29 Jun 2018
Ketogenic diets for weight loss – what are the benefits?
There has been a lot of hype over the last few years around high protein or ‘ketogenic’ diets. But we’ve heard about the ‘latest and greatest’ diet enough times to know not to immediately trust it… So what do we actually know about how ketogenic diets can help us lose weight?
What is a ketogenic diet?
Ketosis is the term given to our metabolic state (how our bodies use energy) when we switch from using carbohydrates as our main energy source to ketone bodies from the breakdown of fats or protein. This is what happens when we fast for a prolonged period or when we eat a very low carbohydrate diet. It’s when we are in ketosis that we can potentially achieve the benefits associated with ketogenic diets and this can be measured by medical professionals looking for ketone body levels in our blood.
Why the boost in popularity of ketogenic diets?
High protein, low carbohydrate diets have been touted as the ‘holy grail of dieting’ by some as there seems to be evidence that ketogenic diets can be very effective for weight loss.
There are a few reasons why taking a high protein approach might be better than other diets:
- Hunger - protein is the most filling of the macronutrients, typically in terms of how full they make us it goes: protein > carbohydrate > fat. Therefore, those who eat a high protein diet often find that eating less calories than usual is easier as they aren’t so hungry. Hunger usually being one of the top reasons people give up on diets.
- Health - foods typically high in sugar (so-called junk foods like cake, chocolate and biscuits) are cut out in a ketogenic diet so free (or added) sugar intake is potentially reduced, providing other health benefits.
- Muscle mass - it is thought that eating a high protein diet can help protect precious muscle stores during weight loss, which are often lost on low calorie diets. This means metabolic rate isn’t reduced by as much, as muscle is metabolically active, and so you don’t have to eat even less to maintain your new lower weight.
- Fat loss - it is also thought that more body fat (especially visceral – the fat that surrounds your organs) can be lost on a ketogenic diet. This means that the right kind of weight is lost.
Can I achieve sustainable weight loss on a high protein diet?
I’m sure you’re well aware, as most people are, of the most difficult part of any diet – keeping the weight you’ve lost off! Although ketogenic diets aren’t meant to be continued for life they can be a useful tool for helping to shift some weight initially. Maintaining a focus on high protein intake while reintroducing carbohydrates can help to sustain the health benefits of the ketogenic diet and prevent weight regain in the future. The only way to safely achieve ketosis and ensure you aren’t doing any lasting damage to your body is to do it under medical supervision. This is why here at Temple Clinic we offer an effective weight loss and maintenance programme that really works, all the while under the full supervision of qualified medical staff.