Probably one of the craziest things you’ll hear is to eat fat to get rid of fat. How does this even work? This is called the ketogenic diet.
It’s one of several diet plans that aim to reduce overall body fat percentage. Unlike regular diets, this is composed of foods that have less carbohydrates and relies on fat and protein to help the body get rid of fat cells.
Caloric Content of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats
One of the surprising things about fatty foods is the amount of calories present. Carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9 calories per gram. This is the reason why people who have a preference for fatty foods are also at risk for diabetes.
How the Ketogenic Diet Was Made
This diet wasn’t formulated for fat loss. Ketogenic diets were recommended for children to lessen episodes of epileptic seizures. It was formulated in the 1920’s until the development of better antiepileptic drugs stopped the two-decade practice.
Fasting was the alternative for seizure reduction prior to the formulation of the ketogenic diet in the 1920’s. Fasting as a form of treatment for seizures had to be abandoned due to its inefficacy and the general lack of nutrients didn’t help children with epilepsy. The ketogenic diet was made when papers on the relationship of diet and diabetes were reviewed.
The term “ketogenic diet” was coined due to the increase of ketones in the body after fat metabolism which occurs in the liver. In epileptic patients, ketones acted as fuel for the brain. Ketogenic diet is still in use today for the treatment of epilepsy as there are types of seizures which are resistant to drugs.
Popularizing The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet gained its popularity with help from Hollywood. Meryl Streep starred in a movie where a child’s epilepsy was cured with a ketogenic diet. The movie was inspired by real life events, with Jim Abrahams’ son suffering from epilepsy. Jim Abrahams then set up a foundation for the research of ketogenic diet and the scientific community followed through.
Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss
A typical ketogenic diet includes high cholesterol and fat foods like butter, oils, heavy cream, avocados, fish, and cheeses. Proteins are also included in a ketogenic diet – beef is the preferred meat source as it has large amounts of fat. Since the diet doesn’t have carbohydrates, individuals are expected to lose weight.
Individuals who weigh 90 kg lose as much as 8 kg over a period of three months, exercise excluded. The fat loss is more than twice the amount, compared to individuals under a low fat, low carb diet.
As with any other diets, there are indications and contraindications, including side effects to a ketogenic diet. One of the most common complaints for beginners who start a ketogenic diet is darker looking urine. This is no cause for alarm, although, there’s also a concurrent risk for developing kidney stones.
A non-invasive approach to reducing body fat would be the use of hyaluronic acid or deoxycholic acid. These are trademarked under Juvederm and Belkyra, and are safe treatments used to reduce body fat.