The ketogenic diet that makes you lose weight from the first week: pros and cons of the dietary regime

The ketogenic diet that makes you lose weight from the first week: pros and cons of the dietary regime. “You should not demonize the ketogenic diet: with this dietary regimen you put in place a metabolic process capable of burning fat quickly without losing muscle”. Dr. Roberta Martinoli, doctor and nutritionist, explains what one of the most discussed diet consists of.

Don’t call it a high-protein diet. The ketogenic diet is a diet characterized by a clear reduction of carbohydrates and does not include an excess of proteins. The reduction of carbohydrates triggers a chemical reaction within the body whereby the body uses only fats as an energy source. “When we hear about this type of diet, – explains to Dr. Roberta Martinoli doctor and nutritionist – immediately we give it a negative connotation, thinking that the proteins present are more numerous than those provided for other types of diet. In reality, this is not the case. The protein quota does not exceed, or exceeds in a very insignificant way, the LARN indications”. 

Ketogenic diet: all the advantages

Keto Diet
Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet has a centuries-old history. It was developed in the ’20s of the twentieth century to control epileptic seizures and, even today, in patients, often children, drug-resistant, this diet is a viable option for the control of this disease. But there are also many who undertake it especially for slimming purposes. The results are visible already after a week and this is an important stimulus to the motivation of the patient. “The ketogenic diet is built on the basis of the body weight that you want to achieve. Calculating a protein intake of about 1.2-1.5 grams per kilogram of desirable weight. In the first week you get to lose even 2-3 kilos, but it’s mostly body fluids, and then you continue to drop weight with an average of 1 kilogram per week”. At the base of the ketogenic diet there is a chemical reaction, the beta oxidation of fatty acids, which occurs within our body. “It must first be made clear that there are some organs and tissues, such as the brain, red blood cells and myocardium, for which sugars are the only energy source. For example, the brain needs about 120 grams of glucose per day. And in ketogenics, the total amount of carbohydrates allowed is only 30 grams. When carbohydrates are so low, the alternative metabolism comes into play and starts the beta-oxidation of fatty acids: dietary or storage fats are processed and from this reaction ketone bodies are obtained, the new nutrient, instead of glucose, for the body, in particular for red blood cells, myocardium and brain”. This type of process, however, is not immediate: “The body before going into ketosis, that is, before starting the production of ketone bodies, needs at least three days of carbohydrate deprivation”.

Ketogenic diet: what are the contraindications

There are many who are wary of this type of diet: “In my opinion – Dr. Martinoli clarifies – the ketogenic diet is not a diet on which to have prejudices. The patient, if followed properly, can benefit enormously. When the protein quota is adequately represented and lipolysis is stimulated, i.e. the process in which fats are used for energy purposes, ketogenic spares muscle proteins and the slimming is really all at the expense of fat storage”. One of the risks most often encountered when undertaking do-it-yourself diet regimens is the loss of muscle mass: “When in a diet you decide independently to lower the intake of carbohydrates, but the amount is still higher than the 30 grams provided by ketogenic, the body fails to initiate the process of beta-oxidation and begins to produce sugars from scratch, ‘eating’ the muscles. Although there are books, websites and articles that seem to provide all the information you need to undertake this type of diet, it is absolutely necessary to be followed by your nutritionist or your doctor. “You can’t improvise the ketogenic diet. – warns the doctor – And then there are some categories of people for whom this diet can be risky. Such as those who suffer from certain types of diabetes, those suffering from kidney failure, pregnant women, adolescents.”

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