One of the newest biohacks is the ketogenic diet. The concept behind this diet opposes the long held belief that people who are trying to lose weight should avoid eating fats. In fact, the ketogenic diet highlights consumption of a wide variety of healthy fats.
Wondering how it works? In March Precision Athletics had the pleasure of hosting Jim Frederickson, head strength coach for the WHL Brandon Wheat Kings, to deliver a presentation on the keto diet. Here’s what we learned:
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is based on low carbs, lots of healthy fats and moderate protein.
What are the benefits of the ketogenic diet?
Beyond just the visible effects such as weight loss, the diet provides a variety of health benefits:
- Better appetite control, achieved through glucose regulation.
- Lower overall inflammation as ketones produce less waste product than burning sugar.
- Better energy as your body is burning fat and ketones vs blood sugar. When the sugar runs out you have a drop in energy, which doesn’t happen with fat and ketones.
- Fat loss – most people experience fat loss when consuming less carbs and more fat and burning fat through the ketogenic diet.
- Increased overall brain function. Your brain’s preferred fuel source is ketones. The keto diet is now being used to treat Alzheimer’s and prevent and heal people with concussions.
- Interestingly, it’s also used in the fight against cancer. Cancer cells feed off sugar so essentially it’s believed a ketogenic diet can starve them off.
The Challenge of Ketosis
Like any major lifestyle change, it can be a struggle to get started. Essentially, the principle of the keto diet is to eat in a such a way that your body goes into ketosis, where you are burning fats and not sugar or carbs for energy. It can be difficult to get into ketosis. Most people will experience sugar or carbohydrate cravings when they initially reduce their carbohydrates and increase their healthy fats. Jim made some helpful suggestions to combat this such as having healthy fat like grass fed butter and coconut oil in your coffee to supplementing with exogenous ketones to get your body into ketosis right away.
Interested in learning more? Check out this video explaining it in more detail.