A ketogenic diet is similar to many strict low carb diets. However, there are a few differences between the two. First, ketogenic diets restrict the intake of proteins. Second, there is the purposeful induction of physiologic or nutritional ketosis.

What is nutritional ketosis?
Nutritional ketosis is the shifting the body’s primary source of energy from glucose to ketones. Ketones come from the body’s metabolism of the fatty acids. In the metabolic state, the body burns fat for energy instead of utilizing carbohydrates.

This metabolic shift can happen naturally in a human body as it looks for ways to adapt and sustain life when there is less food available. This process cannot take place where there is an abundance of carbohydrates, sugars, grains, and starches.

In this diet, you are allowed to take less than 20 grams of carbs daily and 1 to 1.5 grams of proteins per kilogram of your body weight daily. The protein intake may seem low, but it is way above the daily recommended allowance. This means that you cannot get deficiency diseases for following the dietary instructions to the letter. (The daily allowance for proteins is 0.8g/kg in adults).

Why is protein intake restricted?
When you take excess amino acids beyond what your body needs to repair the muscles, and for growth, the excess proteins are converted to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. Therefore, if you take large amounts of proteins, you can hinder the development of the fat burning metabolism. Protein is also known to stimulate the secretion of insulin into the blood, which in turn inhibits the breakdown of fats causing the body to store more fat.

The primary goal of burning fat in this diet can only occur when there is little glucose in the bloodstream. When there is less energy, the body is forced to turn to stored fat, break it into ketones, and use it as a source of energy.

The ketogenic diet replaces most of the proteins and carbohydrates with dietary fat. An ideal ketogenic diet has 5 to 10 percent carbohydrates, 15 to 30 percent proteins, and about 60 to 75 percent fats. These percentages may be adjusted slightly according to the work and other needs of the person taking this diet. The adjustments are not very pronounced.
If this diet is followed, you may experience weight loss as fast as the first month. It is ideal for the very obese people and can help shape long-term lifestyle and dietary changes to cutting down the body fat effectively