LifestyleNutrition The Ketogenic Diet – Is It Good for Lifestyle and Performance?


Many fad diets have blown up the market that have led to weight loss, longevity as well as a change of lifestyle for many people.

One of those fad diets include the ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet has been around since 1923 and was developed in the mayo clinic by dr. Russel Wilder. Originally introduced to prevent seizures in patients with epilepsy, it is widely known as a diet used to help aid in weight loss, without the presence of carbohydrates. [10]

What does the keto diet consist of?

This diet consists of 80% fat, less than 5% carbohydrate, and 15-20% protein. Many studies show that this diet predominantly affects physical performance, daily lifestyle, and weight loss.

Is this an easy lifestyle to follow?

Lifestyle and weight loss are interchangeably accompanying this diet. Lifestyle is one of the broader areas that the ketogenic diet impacts.

A hypothesis indicates that because of the excessive amounts of insoluble fiber on a ketogenic diet, plus the ingestion of non-starchy vegetables, there is a high chance of nutrition malabsorption to occur in the body.

Furthermore, the U.S. news and world report that the ketogenic diet is not an easy diet for people to follow. Roughly 42% of Americans follow a diet high in carbohydrates. This can explain the shock value of embarking on a diet that demands the opposite amount of nutrients applied to fat intake.

The positive effects of the Ketogenic Diet

Even though the ketogenic diet has been noted as a hard diet to follow, there are many aspects of it that have a positive impact.

Studies state that although LDL cholesterol tends to increase on this diet, small dense LDLs decrease. Triglyceride and HDL levels also seem to improve. (4)

Regarding lifestyle, there was a study on mice to see if the ketogenic diet had an impact on their irritability and rigidness (stiffness of the body) during alcohol withdrawals. Results indicated that the mice that were on the ketogenic diet were less irritable and experienced less rigidness compared to the group that had a diet consisting of regular mice food. (5)

This can conclude that there is a possibility this diet can have a positive effect on people suffering from alcoholism/alcohol withdrawal.

The Ketogenic Diet and Weight loss, does it work?

Social media specifically targeted weight loss as one of the greatest reasons to go on the ketogenic diet.

A study tested if muscle mass can be retained following a strict keto diet post-surgery. Results showed that there was an overall 10% weight loss in patients with 57% of it being fat mass. (7)

Jabekk pt in the Journal Nutrition and Metabolism did another study following the same notion. Results indicated that resistance exercise in combination with a ketogenic diet can potentially reduce body fat without significant changes in lean body mass (LBM).  Fasting blood lipids also did not seem to have a negative influence with the combination of resistance training on a low carbohydrate diet. (6)

Does this diet affect Physical Performance?

Physical performance is another area of life affected by this diet.

The Journal of Sports Science designed a study that was to test whether a keto-based diet had a negative/positive impact on peak performance in exercise. Progress was slower at the beginning of the LCHF portion of testing but increased over the next few weeks. Overall the ketogenic diet gained the same results as those on the HCLF diet after the people adjusted. (1)

Another study in the Journal of Sports and Medicine investigates the effects of a 31-day ketogenic diet on exercise capacity and efficiency. Results stated that training loads were similar but during the 70% v02 sprint the ketogenic group suffered more. This indicates that people following a ketogenic diet cannot perform short anaerobic exercises as well as those following a high carbohydrate diet. (2)

One study furthers this claim listed in the Journal Nutrition and Metabolism. In this study, every individual had a dietician counsel them for a number of weeks and checked if they were in a state of ketosis daily as well as a 7-day food record. They did all tests after an overnight fast. Findings stated that there was a mild negative effect on physical performance: endurance capacity, peak performance, and faster exhaustion. But little to no effect on daily lifestyle with a ketogenic diet.

Breaking this down to each gender, a study done by Michalski Durkalec in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that males have a better adaptation rate to macronutrient utilization versus females when completing intense exercise protocols. (8)

My Conclusion for this Diet

In conclusion, the Ketogenic diet does have an impact on many aspects of life.

This diet has an impact on weight loss, and a negative impact on peak physical performance. Also, although anaerobic exercise isn’t this diet’s high point there is evidence, it can retain muscle mass.

Science has yet to discover complications, as well as positive effects on the body while maintaining this lifestyle. With the media’s growing interest in this diet, it’s very likely they’ll do more research to prove what this diet has to offer.

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