For years, we’ve been told to limit our fat intake. But this trendy diet instructs you to just the opposite, causing you to drop serious pounds—all while eating fats. Yes, you read that right.
You may have heard about the ketogenic diet, which consists of healthy fats, lean protein and a small amount of vegetable-based carbs to turn the body into a fat-burning furnace. Nutritionist David Morin says that if you follow the diet, your energy levels will be through the roof and you’ll experience more mental clarity, less bloating and fewer headaches and cravings. “You can lose five to seven pounds in the first four to six days and then about a pound per week,” he adds. “The ketogenic pathway is a way of using stored fat to produce energy because the body functions well on ketones.”
By manipulating fat, carbohydrates and protein, the body is forced to produce ketones, a source of energy, instead of glucose. “As long as 60–70 percent of your calories come from fats like cheese, uncured bacon, raw oils, avocado and nuts; 20–30 percent of your protein from fatty sources like wild-caught seafood or grass-fed protein (eating more protein than this amount can cause the protein to turn into glucose); and 10 percent from raw, green vegetables, you’ll be satiated.” An example meal would be a salad with lots of olive oil, sliced almonds, olives, cheese, bacon, avocado and a few pieces of shrimp, chicken or a piece of small steak.
He goes on to say that because the ketogenic diet gets the body into a state of ketosis, as long as you eat the right foods it will stay in that ketotic cycle, becoming more of a lifestyle where you can achieve optimal body composition. “There are some people that have stayed ketogenic for years. If done correctly, it’s healthy.”
The fastest way to get your body into a state of ketogenesis is with a fast, like the Master Cleanse. “Someone with an average amount of body fat can get into ketosis in just four days when you start the diet with the Master Cleanse. You also way to test your urine regularly to make sure that your body has entered that state of ketosis in the beginning—you can purchase ketogenic strips to gauge where you are in ketone production, which is important,” adds Morin. “Once you become ketone adapted, then you can start the transition into a truly ketogenic diet.” He also encourages cardio and/or circuit training, too, because it kicks up ketone production.
If it sounds a lot like the Atkins diet, Morin points out that there are similarities. “But, Atkins didn’t do his homework on the types of fats you can eat. The sources of fat in theory were good, but in practical terms they are bad for you because of the chemicals that they contain. In order to really lose weight and get in the best shape possible, everything you eat needs to be totally organic and raw.”