What are the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet?

pros and cons of ketogenic diet

What are the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet?

Is the ketogenic diet an effective way for weight loss, sports performance or building muscle mass? 

Read the answer here!

More and more people are following a ketogenic diet. But is this really such a miracle diet?

What does it mean?

The ketogenic diet is a diet that mainly eats fats (80%) and low protein and carbohydrates (20%). The diet focuses on fat as a primary energy source. Normally the carbohydrates that are eaten are broken down into glucose, which ends up in the bloodstream, after which it is transported to the cells. With this diet, there is less glucose in the bloodstream because few carbohydrates are eaten.

The body does not get enough energy from the glucose for the basic functions. In response, the liver switches to breaking down fats, after which ketones enter the body. These ketones are then used as an energy source.


We speak of ketosis when the body uses fats as an energy source in the metabolic state.


In order to get the body into ketosis as quickly as possible, a ratio of 90% fats and 10% proteins and as few carbohydrates as possible can be chosen first. The only foods with carbohydrates that are eaten are green vegetables. Rice, bread, pasta and products with sugar are avoided. Bacon, eggs, nuts and fatty meat, on the other hand, are increased.

Different diets

  • Classic ketogenic diet: 80% consists of fats, 1 gram of proteins per kilo of body weight and the rest of the energy consists of carbohydrates. For someone of 60 kg with a daily energy requirement of 1800 kcal, this amounts to 160 grams of fat, 60 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbohydrates.
  • MCT ketogenic diet: MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) are fats that occur in palm and coconut oil. These fats differ from the LCT (long-chain fats) that are mainly found in animal products. The MCT ketogenic diet consists of 70% fats, 10% proteins and 20% carbohydrates. Because of the MCT fats, fewer fats are needed to get into ketosis. MCT fats are absorbed differently in the body. This allows more proteins and carbohydrates to be eaten.
  • Cyclic ketogenic diet: During the week is eaten according to the traditional ketogenic diet, at the weekend carbohydrates may be eaten. In this way, the stocks of glycogen in the muscles are stored again. Because of this, you will have less trouble during exercise. The strength is less, but not as bad as with the normal ketogenic diet. The first two weeks do eat according to the traditional diet to get into ketosis. Sport is played during the ketogenic days.
  • Targeted ketogenic diet: The difference with the cyclic ketogenic diet is that 25-50 grams of extra carbohydrates may be eaten on the days that you exercise. This is sufficient for average training but not for endurance sports at high intensity.

Ketogenic diet and lose weight

Many diets are based on the principle of a ketogenic or low-carbohydrate diet. For example, think of Atkins. In summary, it comes down to this:

A low carbohydrate diet in combination with a negative energy balance often leads to short-term weight loss. Losing weight is certainly possible with such a diet because you quickly achieve a negative energy balance by omitting many foods. Unfortunately, only a small group maintains this weight loss and almost everyone falls back after a few months. This is also apparent from scientific research that shows that 90% of people fall back on their old pattern. In short, a ketogenic diet does not seem to be the solution.

The figure below provides an overview of the pros and cons of a low-carbohydrate diet. This was chosen because the advantages and disadvantages are almost comparable.

Low-Carbohydrate Diet
Pros and Cons
Regular Food Pattern
Pros and Cons
Short term: a lot of weight lossBetter to maintain: No food products are excluded
Over a period of a few months, weight loss is hardly different with a healthy diet with an increased protein intakeA complete diet
Often difficult to sustainFewer people fall back to the old weight
Risks of malnutritionThe weight loss during the first few weeks is less fast than with a low-carbohydrate diet
Often no or little fat loss, but fluid loss

What is the difference between the ketogenic and low-carbohydrate diet?

Now, unlike the ketogenic diet, a low-carbohydrate diet eats more protein instead of fat. In this way, muscle mass is better preserved during the line period. However, recent research among 17 overweight adults that looked at the effect of the ketogenic diet on muscle mass shows that a ketogenic diet does not lead to more fat loss, but to more muscle loss than a fat restriction. Muscle mass increases the energy requirement, loss of this is not desirable and can lead to the so-called yo-yo effect. For that reason, I am not in favor of a ketogenic diet for weight loss.

The ketogenic diet and sport

In general, carbohydrates as an energy source are more effective for sports performance than fats. The reason for this is that the burning of carbohydrates requires less oxygen and therefore the energy supply runs faster. A small supply of carbohydrates in the muscles negatively influences heavy efforts. At the moment there is a lot of discussion about the effect of a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet on sports performance. It would have a positive effect on ultra-endurance performance (longer than 2-3 hours) on low effort (<80% VO2max). However, researchers are still discussing this with each other. Looking at the performance and the current scientific consensus, I will not recommend this diet. And certainly not for the average athlete.

Epilepsy and the ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is basically not designed to lose weight. It was developed in the 1920s for people suffering from epilepsy. In 30% of people with epilepsy, medication does not work or does not work well enough. The ketogenic diet can then be an option. How this works exactly is still unknown, but the diet is primarily effective in children. This is probably because the brains of young children are in full development.

Because the ketogenic diet is quite strict, it is only used in children with a difficult-to-treat form of epilepsy. The child must be admitted for a few days and adjusted to the new diet by a dietician under the supervision of a nurse, neurologist and/or pediatrician. After admission, the diet is continued at home and the child remains under control. Within 3 months it is usually clear whether the diet has an effect. After 2 to 3 years the diet will in principle be phased out slowly.

The effects are striking:

  • 1 in 3 children experiences a 90% attack reduction or is even completely attack-free.
  • 1 in 3 children has a 50-90% reduction in seizures.
  • In 1 in 3 children, the diet has no effect on the attacks.
  • It is striking that many parents think that their child is more alert due to the diet and that behavior improves.

Side effects

The ketogenic diet can have several side effects.

Think about:

  • fatigue
  • feeling absent
  • hypoglycemia
  • poorly functioning bowel movements (low in fiber)
  • dietary deficiencies
  • kidney stones.

During the introduction of the ketogenic diet, the body must get used to using fats for energy. This can cause symptoms such as nausea, lightness in the head, tiredness, feeling weak, feeling cold, diarrhea and headache.

Ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis; a dangerous state of the body where the acidity of the blood is too high. This form can occur with type 1 diabetes if there is a shortage of insulin.

This is hardly the case with healthy persons.

Summary

The ketogenic diet is a diet that mainly eats fats (80%) and low protein and carbohydrates (20%). This diet is aimed at allowing the body to use fats for energy instead of carbohydrates. In the short term, this diet can certainly help you lose weight quickly.

However, with prolonged use you will miss many nutrients, you will lose muscle mass, your performance will be negatively affected and a ketogenic diet will bring many other possible side effects. This diet is therefore not at all prepared to lose weight. It was developed in the 1920s for people with epilepsy. Here, especially with children, promising results can be seen. However, this diet must be used under the supervision of a specialized dietitian and neurologist.

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The Dangers of Losing Weight Too Fast

The dangers of losing weight too fast

The dangers of losing weight too fast

 

A large proportion of adults have been “dieting” once in their lives. In most cases to lose weight, and even better: lose weight super fast! Because the latter is the wish of everyone who suffers from being overweight. It cannot go fast enough, and I understand that impatience very well.

But if you take a look at all the available dietary advice and dietary plans that are available on the internet, I can well imagine that you immediately feel overwhelmed, you don’t know where to start. And on top of that, it appears that a lot of information is very contradictory.

Diet pills, crash diets, juice detox diets and all other diets are available. But lose weight super fast with these extreme diets: Is that effective? And more importantly, is it healthy? Don’t these extreme diets break more than they possibly do well?

Superfast weight loss

The vast majority of nutritionists agree that the biggest problem with super fast weight loss, using crash diets, for example, is that it is not sustainable. Of course, you can exclude whole food groups during a certain period, or literally “survive” on a shockingly low number of calories. Much less than your body actually needs.

But for more than a few weeks, such an “all-or-nothing” diet often doesn’t last. Unable to sustain this for a long time. Not only mentally impossible, but also a very unhealthy one.

Extreme nutritional advice often initiates a slowdown in metabolism, increases anxiety or stress about your food choices, and lowers your energy levels due to thyroid imbalance.


Just to be clear: Making certain changes to your diet, such as omitting processed foods and replacing them with fresh products, is very sensible and will never cause any problems. But it is also important to realize that everyone is different and that a diet that works well for someone else may not be the best for you.


In short: Instead of losing weight super fast with crash animals, I recommend that you practice patience and focus on a longer-term approach. Develop a healthy lifestyle to ultimately lose weight sustainably and permanently.

What are “crash diets”?

According to a commonly used definition, we can describe a crash diet as follows (1):


“A crash diet is a diet in which you eat very limited food or an unusual combination of foods for a relatively short period of time, the goal is to lose weight very quickly. Most people soon get tired of this because it is very difficult to sustain this. These people fall back into their old food habits, and the lost kilos will come back very soon. Often even more! ”


Crash diets are often part of a craze, a fashion image. At one point, diet A is fashionable, and after a few years, it suddenly becomes diet B. These fashion images are often dictated by the media, and especially (often misleading) advertising campaigns.

There are roughly two types of crash diets: Low carbohydrate in combination with many proteins, and high in carbohydrates in combination with low fat.

A few examples of diets that are fashionable for super fast weight loss are:

  • Macrobiotic diet
  • Atkins diet
  • Ornish Diet
  • South Beach Diet
  • Master Cleanse Diet

Extreme diets: Figures and trends

Crash diets will keep coming and going, despite the fact that it is clear that it just doesn’t work.

According to researchers from the Boston School of Medicine, people don’t know that these types of diets often don’t work for longer than a few weeks. They are also unaware that these types of diets have a negative impact on their health and why crash-crash animals fail so often.

Just a few figures from this study (2):

  • No less than 98 percent of the people who lose weight on a diet get the lost weight back within five years.
  • And even worse: 90 percent of people who lose weight get more kilos back than they had originally lost.
  • Only 5 to 10 percent of people retain the new weight. (that is greater than 10 percent of their original weight.)
  • Some of the reasons that diets seem to fail so often are those who lose their willpower or motivation and return to their old habits, people who get sick with hunger and get tired of deprivation and feelings of limitations, and changes in ” internal signals “(hormonal signals) that stimulate the desire to eat.

Renegade Diet

4 real dangers of super fast losing weight

Superfast weight loss is anything but healthy, we all know that. But before you start to seduce yourself to do this, I want to point out to you four real dangers of super fast losing weight.

Super Fast Weight Loss: No energy and a weak feeling

Because popular diets are often offered to people who want to lose weight at all costs, they are often limited in the types of nutrients and they contain far too few calories. Taking the right amount of calories is important, and it is also very personal. There is no standard for this. It depends on your movement and many other factors, including heredity.

If you sit down a lot, this can have an adverse effect: Your body will respond with the so-called “hunger mode”: That means that your body thinks there is a problem with the food supply, so it goes to the savings mode. All possible available energy sources are stored in case this crisis lasts longer.

Remember very well that even though the scales say that you lose weight, this does not automatically mean that it is also good for your body. The loss of subcutaneous fat is of course very good, and is associated with, among other things, an improvement in insulin sensitivity. But super-fast weight loss also means that you lose a lot of mass in parts of your body where it is not desired, including your muscles. Loss of muscle mass is a major problem with these types of extreme diets.

Many studies (3) have shown that constant diets, especially in combination with extreme sports, have negative effects on your metabolism, feeling hungry, your energy, your mood, your quality of sleep, your hormone balance, your weight, and your reproductive health.

Drastic and super-fast changes in your weight can even affect the tissue of your vital organs, reduce your bone density, and you can even lose muscle mass. Moreover, your cognitive processes (such as thinking, coordination, and memory) will become slower if you do not provide yourself with the right fuel, and of course in the right amount! The result: Bad mood, constant tiredness, and muscle weakness.

Another consequence is a lower production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a chemical that provides your cells with energy. There will be signals to your brain that something is wrong, so that information can be misinterpreted. All these things have a negative effect on your energy consumption at rest and can even increase the risk of having problems with your metabolism, such as thyroid disorders.

Super Fast Weight Loss: Your metabolism and your hormonal health

Eating less than your body needs can lead to a sort of primal behavior to increase calorie intake very quickly. In other words, you get a clear signal that you are hungry. If you do not respond to this signal by eating more, your metabolism will slow down and eventually you will arrive again. (4) Despite the fact that you eat few calories. So don’t hurry all of them …

Crash diets with far too few calories can reduce your ability to use the energy where it should be. The hormonal signals that are sent to your body try to save energy and store it elsewhere because of a food crisis.

Extreme diets are often associated with sleep disorders, infertility, acne, the eventual increase in body fat, less (muscle) strength, and even depression.

Super Fast Losing Weight: Stress, guilt, and anxiety

Perhaps you can still remember: After another failed attempt to lose weight, you have probably noticed that your mental state, such as your mood, will come under pressure.

The moment you make a choice for a diet, you are often thinking very black and white. You have made the choice, and that is the only right one for you: A “healthy” diet that will finally work. As a result, you will view your environment much more critically. In your eyes, other people who follow a different diet are people who make the wrong choices. You enter into a discussion, which can sometimes end very badly. But not only to your environment, but also to yourself: If you ride a “crooked skate” once, you feel very guilty because you didn’t make it. And this often leads to binge eating, like comfort food.

Research has shown that sufferers often feel guilty or ashamed when they go wrong. This shame, in combination with eating behavior, is often a strong signal that there is an eating disorder. (Bustles, Anorexia, Bulimia) (5)

So if you keep feeling guilty, anxious, and/or uncontrollable about food over and over again, or if you do nothing but convince others of your successes and that they should follow it, then it is high time that you take your own approach to ‘ reviewing healthy eating.

Super Fast Weight Loss: It doesn’t work, a waste of time and effort!

It is of course very tempting to accept an offer that solemnly promises that you will fall super fast with a special diet. These are well-known marketing tricks, but of course, that was what you were looking for, what you want to hear, because you want to get rid of excess weight as quickly as possible, and preferably without too much effort. Such a message often comes in at a moment of weakness or a moment of euphoria because you have made the decision to do something about your overweight.

what 1.800 Cal looks like

But if, for example, you are allergic, intolerant, or highly sensitive to, for example, dairy or gluten, then, of course, it makes sense to avoid these products. But if you feel fine while eating these products in moderation, it can be a big waste of effort to avoid them altogether. Your diet will probably be better balanced with the products to be avoided.

Keep in mind that crash diets, in order to lose weight super fast, will completely overhaul the lifestyle and make you believe that they have to follow this one specific diet, because otherwise, it will turn out badly for you … (6)

Playing on your feelings, another clever marketing trick!

But what then? How can you lose weight permanently?

So diets work to the detriment of your health and are ultimately ineffective. We have just determined that.

But still, everyone is almost desperate to lose weight. How do you do that?

Although there is no panacea for weight loss, there are certainly important steps to take to lose weight sustainably while improving your health.


The old advice “Eat less, exercise more” is true, but certainly not complete. It also matters WHAT you eat!


Online coaching

Since the food shelves are filled with “fat-free” and “low-fat” foods (which almost always have a lot of added sugars) we have become fatter than ever. Here we have misled: The marketing says it is healthier, but that is not the case at all. Unfortunately, they never tell the whole story …

The list of healthy eating habits below is certainly not complete and should serve as a list of short hints to get you on the right track. The road to better health and a healthy weight.

Stop counting calories

A processed meal that is fat-free, sugar-free, and refined ingredients may be the right way, but such a meal also contains no nutrients for your body. Moreover, it also does not satisfy your appetite and good taste compared to nutritious ingredients such as vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, and healthy fat. (7)

If you eat more nutritious food and combine this with more exercise, your body will automatically reach its natural weight.

Replace (light) soft drinks with unsweetened drinks

Diet drinks, the so-called “light” drinks, do not work. These drinks keep you craving sweets. Moreover, these drinks give you a false sense of security: You think you are doing well, but in fact, you are completely destroying all other trouble.

Instead of (light) soft drinks, you can, for example, drink homemade iced tea, or just water (with bubbles) with a slice of lemon. Do not buy Ice tea or buy lemon water, because then you will be completely finished.

Every now and then “sin” is allowed

Unless there is a medical reason for not doing so, you are allowed to sin every now and then. By occasionally allowing yourself to eat a delicious pizza, or just passing by McDonald’s, you have no craving for your (former) favorite food in between. You, therefore, feel less frustrated and you are better able to embrace and continue your new lifestyle.

Banished processed food

Tidy up your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Banish all food that will tempt you to snack. A healthy pantry ensures healthy residents. A condition for this is that everyone must participate, because otherwise, two storage cupboards will be necessary, one with a lock …

It is much easier for everyone to view it as a family challenge. And in the end, the whole family will benefit from all the health benefits.

Make sure you have a supply

Het is belangrijk om altijd een voorraadje gesneden groenten en fruit in de koelkast te hebben, klaar om gegeten te worden. Op deze manier kun je ze gemakkelijk nuttigen op de momenten dat je het even moeilijk hebt en geneigd bent om naar de winkel te rennen voor een grote zak chips. Ook kun je op deze manier gemakkelijk even wat meenemen voor onderweg.

Eat a healthy breakfast every morning

Eating a good breakfast immediately increases your metabolism. (8) If you skip breakfast, you will be bothered by your empty stomach later in the day and you will still be in the danger zone to snack unhealthily.

With everyone I talk about their experiences during their lifestyle change over the past 5 years, I notice again and again that they all say that their healthy breakfast, every morning, has helped enormously.

Healthy breakfasts can include boiled oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, whole-grain bread, eggs, and possibly tofu with a fresh salad. These are all healthy choices, and above all delicious choices!

Avoid processed carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates (cakes, sweets, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, soft drinks, fruit juice, chips, and supermarket bread) that you eat and are not burned by your body are converted to fat. Body fat. And that’s what you don’t want!

Even foods such as fruit yogurt and many breakfast kinds of cereal contain too much-added sugar in whatever form.

Replace the fruit yogurt with unsweetened Greek yogurt, opt for fiber-rich, and add small amounts of healthy fat to your meals using, for example, slices of avocado, unsalted nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

Finally…

Superfast weight loss is an extremely unhealthy idea. Even if you are so impatient, it just has no effect: The lost kilos will return in no time.

Instead, a healthy lifestyle is a much better, and more sustainable, idea. Not only for weight loss, but especially for your overall health!

Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)

Metabolic cooking

Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes!

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How do I become 100 years old?

living 100 years old

How do I become 100 years old?

Take a look at your current lifestyle!

Do you live in a way that would make you very old?

No? 

You might ask yourself: How do I turn 100? In good health? What if you could follow a simple program to help you feel younger, lose weight, maximize your mental acuity, and keep your body functioning well for as long as possible – probably well beyond your 90th birthday?Longevity hotspots

Have you ever heard of the bestseller ‘The Blue Zones’?

It is actually a detailed guide to what the writer encountered when traveling as part of a major anthropological and demographic project to five areas around the world to follow people, sometimes even 100 years old.

How do I turn 100: What can these “blue zones” teach us?

Researchers estimate that in Western European countries today the average life expectancy of a man is nearly 79 years, and that of a woman almost 83 years. On the one hand, this will only increase in the future through new technologies and medicines that will allow us to live longer. On the other hand, our poor lifestyle is a major brake on this growth.

The aim of the writer was to find populations in the world with the highest number of people over 100 (people who are over 100 years old) and who live in areas that are considered the ‘blue zones’. He then wanted to learn lessons from how these populations live and then spread this knowledge so that it can be applied by everyone.

Researchers noted that although they come from different parts of the world and have different races, nationalities and religions, people in these blue zones still share a whole list of common behavioral and lifestyle characteristics. The researchers reported that …

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