The first collaborative article with our nutrition partner ONP is a really really important one. With Agni Natchathiram burning everything in its wake our athletes need to be at the top of their game but stay wary of heat illness. Just about everyone in Chennai is at risk for heat Illness and symptoms are very subtle at first. Infants, elderly, Athletes, active people, Party goers, obese people are all at risk. Please do yourself a favour and read the full blog article. Spread the word and you might just save a life.
As with everything else we promote at CK, the ketogenic diet, also known as LCHF (Low Carb High Fat), is healthy, practical, simple, very effective and not necessarily in alignment with the current industry norms. Most of the diets aimed at fat-loss involve avoiding all fats in your food. But as crazy as it sounds, this diet involves you eating lots of fat, rather than avoiding it. We are keeping it simple and staying away from the scales.
There are variables with more specific (even therapeutic) applications but we have loosened up the restrictions and measurements a bit to make it as simple as possible without diluting any of its efficacy. If you want exact measurements or ratios to follow (which is a flawed science unless you can customize taking everything from weight and age to activity levels and climate patterns into consideration) I suggest doing some online research, there are a bunch of great resources around.
Before we get into ketosis, let’s see what happens when your main source of energy is carbohydrates. When your body is using carbohydrates for it’s functioning, the carbs you eat are converted into blood glucose, which the body converts into energy. The problem with blood glucose, is that it’s toxic for the body beyond an hour in the blood stream. So the body produces Insulin, which is a fat storing hormone. It converts all the excess glucose in the blood and converts it into fat. Insulin causes the production of an enzyme called Lipoprotein Lipase ( LPL ) which causes the storing of fat in our cells. The more carbohydrate and sugar we have in our diet, the more the LPL produced.
Efficient fat loss requires a change in what we eat. Instead of a lot of rice, rotis/chapattis with a little meat, vegetables and oil, we need to do the opposite. So eat as much meat, vegetables and oil with little or no rice and roti. This will turn the side dishes into your main course. And of course, no processed junk food like potato chips, coke and pepsi.
Avoiding carbs and sugars puts our bodies into ketosis. Our insulin levels remain stable, and our body starts using fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates. The fats get converted into ketones in the liver, and are used for all the functions of the body. Ketones are a superior source of energy and work better as a fuel source fuel than glucose. You will look, feel and sleep a lot better.
The body also uses fat as a store for toxins. So when you start burning fat for fuel, you are also flushing out toxins from your system.
To sum it up – Avoid all SUGARS and keep your CARB intake to about 5% of your total nutrition. Eat fats and proteins for your energy requirements. This diet is simply asking you to eliminate the foods that lack any taste by themselves. Can you eat just your roti or your rice without anything to accompany them? Not likely. The food that goes with them are the ones with all the taste. So give up the rotis, chapattis, rice and potatoes. You can eat all the food with the real taste. So that’s all the egg, curries, meat and vegetables you want. And all the butter and ghee along with it.
For the vegetarians, don’t worry. You can have all the dishes with paneer, soya nuggets, tofu, dal and some vegetables.
The first week on Keto diet will make you a little bit lethargic and maybe even moody until the body becomes fat adapted, weekend carb loading is also acceptable if you want to make the diet a CYCLIC KETOGENIC DIET (we at CK recommend this approach over the other variations). This means you stick to keto through the week and have a nice full plate of biryani for lunch and some butter naan for dinner on the weekends (sugar is still evil).
There are therapeutic ketogenic diets which are used successfully to address a huge range of complications and illnesses like Epilepsy, PCOS, Cancer, autism, depression and Migraines. Have a look around the internet and then go see a good doctor/nutritionist if you or any of your loved ones suffer from these conditions.