A couple of years ago, I thought I might try out the ketogenic diet. Essentially, this means cutting carbohydrates. My low-carb bible is “What the Fat?”, written by Grant Schofield, Caryn Zinn, and Craig Rodger. In it, the science behind carbohydrates is explained – it’s pretty complex stuff!
To give a brief summary:
- When you eat carbohydrates, your body produces insulin. (Insulin is the hormone that takes glucose (blood sugars) around our body, moving it into our muscles, liver, and fat cells.)
- Insulin disrupts your hunger signals (leptin), making it harder for you to determine when you are full.
- The more carbs you eat, the more insulin you produce, and the more glucose is stored in fat cells. Too much insulin, and the pancreas becomes unable to support the workload (hello Type II diabetes!).
- The more fat you gain, the less “metabolically regulated” your body becomes – so, the more insulin-resistant you become.
Not everyone has a problem with carbohydrates, because some are more tolerant of them. However, cutting carbs eliminates insulin spikes, blood-sugar mania, and gets your hunger and cravings under control.
If you’re looking to lose some weight or feel full effortlessly, without packing on the pounds, this is the best diet I have discovered. My father has lost 20 kg – 13 kg in the first 2 months! – while my sister dropped 7, and I shed 4. Various friends and family members have tried it out, all seeing quick, consistent results.
The best part? Once you get going, it’s easy! The first few days are by far the hardest, as many people undergo the “Keto flu”. This is when your body is switching from carbohydrate reliance to producing ketones – the fuel source your body obtains from breaking down fatl Basically, your electrolytic balance goes haywire. To alleviate the tiredness, light-headedness, and dizziness, add extra of salt to your meals and drink plenty of water.
Once you settle down, your metabolism is set to “fat-burning” mode: you eat fat, you burn it. Low-carb means you may eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, a moderate amount of protein, and enough fat to satisfy you. I love not being afraid of fat when going low-carb – it is virtually impossible for me to over-do it, because it makes me so full!
If you’d like to give the ketogenic diet a go, check out my Low-carb recipes. I vary my diet constantly, and swap from low-carb to low-sugar every few weeks. Diversity is key! 🙂