Who doesn’t love to be in shape? Most of us do, often reminded during the moments when we want to indulge in our favourite “cheat meal,” while promising ourselves more gym time.

From investing time and money to implement a workout schedule in our daily lives to considering a high-protein diet, to lowering our total fats and carbs consumption – there are many different ways, both conscious and subconscious, in which we try to stay in shape. 

If setting constant reminders on cell phones isn’t enough, people with weight concerns are often reminded by society and social media on dressing styles they should follow to look slimmer and more sculpted. Among such circles which promote recipes, fad diets and supplements — all with the promise of a healthier life and slimmer waistline — comes the Ketone Diet.

What is a Ketone Diet?

Ketone diet

A ketone or ketogenic diet is also known as a low-carb diet, where your body adapts to using ketones produced in the liver as an energy resource instead of glucose — our primary source of energy. When you eat carbs, your body produces glucose and thus releases insulin naturally. Glucose is the easiest convertible molecule of energy and is your body’s first and go-to source of energy.

As with most diets, there are exceptions and limitations, but generally, the ketone diet advises avoiding refined forms of carbohydrates such as wheat (bread, cereals, pasta) and starch found in potatoes, legumes and beans with a few exceptions such as avocado and berries, in moderation. What to eat during a ketone process depends on how soon your body can adapt and reach a ketogenic state for weight loss.

How Does It Work?

Human bodies are easily adaptable to dietary changes when put to the test. The ultimate objective of a keto diet is to not starve your body of carbohydrates, but use saturated fat stored in the body for deriving energy, rather than glucose. Ketones are produced from broken down fats in the liver, which are then used a preliminary source of energy. The ketosis process promotes fat burning by forcing your body into a metabolic state.

Why Should You Go for it?

One of the most obvious benefits is rapid weight loss and increased energy levels. During keto, the insulin levels in your body drop significantly to transform your body into a fat-burning machine. Some studies have also shown that a ketone diet is more effective at preventing and managing diabetes. If you are currently managing type II diabetes, talk with your doctor about implementing a keto diet as a management tool for your diabetes. Since the early 1990’s, the ketogenic diet has also been widely used to treat cases of uncontrollable epilepsy. With fewer medications and precise dietary control, the severity of the condition can be well-managed.

High levels of ketone help increase mental focus and performance. Avoiding carbs helps stabilize blood sugar levels to improve memory and cognitive functioning abilities. Consumption of fats satiates hunger longer and helps you feel more energised throughout the day.

Some critics disagree with the benefits of a ketone diet, arguing that it detracts from muscle-building and that extreme low-carb diets can have negative effects on organ functionality such as the liver and kidneys.

The Decisive Factor: Effects and Side-Effects

Experts estimate that it takes four weeks for a human body to adapt to a ketogenic diet. Toward the end of the first week, you could experience some flu-like symptoms such as odd cravings, increased heart rate, fatigue, insomnia and slow-thinking. To ease the effects on your system, you can gradually reduce carb-intake instead of doing away with all carbs immediately.

Because your body is forced switch from glucose to fats as its preliminary source of energy, you could temporarily experience dizziness, low blood pressure, loss of energy, bad breath and leg cramps from decreased sodium. A sudden switch can bring about changes in bowel habits to cause constipation as well. For an easier transition, drink plenty of water.

Moderation and Control is the Key

Now, if you are someone who already practices a strict diet regimen and controlled eating habits, then transitioning into a ketone diet will be easier for you. If not, try easing into the ketone diet gradually, so your body doesn’t feel the side effects as severely. Either way, contact your doctor beforehand to make sure it’s safe for you to try the keto diet.

Like most diets, there are several factors at play. If you’re looking for weight loss, understand that weight gain sometimes has nothing to do with the extra calories you indulge in, but a hormonal imbalance, exercise habits, sleep habits and even hereditary factors.

Do not ignore the initial signs of weight gain or loss, seek clarity to find out the real reason for fluctuations in weight at periodic intervals. Consult experts and monitor bodily changes closely to arrive at a conclusion, and then make the next best decision for a healthy lifestyle.

This is a content partnership between MyDoc and Lifestyle Collective to provide high-quality health content to our readers. MyDoc is a digital health brand that makes access to quality health easier and faster. This series is focused on educating people on general health topics. The information shared has been reviewed by third-party medical professionals.