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People Are Apparently Losing Weight with This High-Fat Diet

Here's what you need to know about the Ketogenic Diet.
People Are Apparently Losing Weight with This High-Fat Diet
IMAGE Courtesy of Barni Alejandro
Here's what you need to know about the Ketogenic Diet.

One of the health tips I personally swear by is cutting down on oil. I try not to eat fried food too often, and avoid frying anything with oil that I can with water. For me, that's healthy. So imagine my surprise when I found out that there are people who do the exact opposite for weight loss and health. Sure enough, it was a diet enigma I knew I had to investigate.

IMAGE Courtesy of Barni Alejandro

The Ketogenic Diet, or "Keto" as its followers call it, has become a big trend all over the world for its apparent weight loss effect. It's a spin on the usual low-carb diet, focusing on increasing fat intake instead of protein, similar to the Atkins Diet. Several local celebrities such as Ruffa Gutierrez and Billy Crawford have already tried it, while more and more people are recently discovering its supposed wonders. You might be wondering about what this diet is, so here's a list of things you need to know before jumping into it:

1. The diet is high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb.

The original portions for the ketogenic diet is 80% fat, 15% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. It can be more flexible if you're not using it as a medical treatment, such as The Sexy Chef's KETO program that has 60-75%, 15-30%, and 5-10% respectively. The typical sources of fat for this diet are meat, cream, butter, coconut oil, cheese, and more.

IMAGE Courtesy of Barni Alejandro

2. You need to avoid several food items.

Being low in carbohydrates, there are many things that aren't allowed to be consumed on this diet. Here's a list according to The Sexy Chef's co-owner Rachel Alejandro:

a. Grains

b. Bread, pizza, wheat/corn tortilla

c. Sugar and other sweeteners

d. Artificial sweeteners

e. Certain oils (canola, margarine, corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean)

f. Alcohol and sugary drinks (beer, wine, cocktails, fruit juices)

g. Certain high-sugar fruits (pinapple, mango, banana, papaya, grapes, etc.)

h. Dried fruit (raisins, dates, cranberries)

IMAGE Courtesy of Barni Alejandro

For those who have a sweet tooth, don't worry! You can still have dessert on this diet. Chef Barni Alejandro-Renneback of The Sexy Chef shares that she uses sugar-free natural sweeteners like Xylitol and Stevia to flavor keto-friendly desserts (yes, they exist!).

3. It triggers a process in the body that programs it to burn fat.

"Because of the drastic reduction of carb intake, the body is induced into a state called ketosis, which basically means the breakdown of fats in the liver," Rachel explains. "When you overload the body with fats and take away carbs, it will begin to burn ketones (molecules produced by the liver) for energy." In short, when you have enough ketones around, the body starts to burn stored fat for energy instead of glucose (or carbohydrates).

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4. Ketosis should start after two days of being on the diet.

"We can store a two-day supply of glucose in the form of glycogen, so after two days of consuming around only 20-50 grams of carbs, most people go into ketosis," says The Sexy Chef co-owner. In medical studies, patients usually go on a water-only fast a day before starting the diet to have a clean slate.

5. The results can be fast and drastic.

We conducted several interviews with people who've tried the diet, and most, if not all, reported satisfying results with weight loss. Photographer Dookie Ducay shares that he lost two kilos after seven weeks, and his body fat percentage went down from 21% to 17%. For makeup artist Xeng Zulueta, she lost three inches on her waist after being on the diet for three weeks. "It's the only diet I've seen and experienced weight loss and results right away. You're also able to keep the pounds and weight off," she shares.

Model Hannah Locsin said she lost a significant amount of weight after a month, while brand strategist Benj Billones reported a 30-pound weight loss in a month and a half. Chef Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck said she lost seven pounds in two weeks on the diet, a great feat for someone who has been stuck in a weight loss plateau since hitting her forties. "That's a lot for a small-framed woman like me," says Barni.

Other respondents shared that the ketogenic diet gave them more energy compared to other diets. For example, PR Manager Mary Reyes compared her experience with it to others she has tried. "Other calorie counting diets would make me feel hungry easily or weak when I'd workout. But with the Keto diet, I felt like each meal would be just the right amount and I could carry on with my regular exercise routine."

However, note that you must maintain the diet's required portions to maintain your weight loss. Going back to your regular consumption of carbohydrates will stop ketosis. So if you don't see yourself being able to do the diet in the long run, it might be best to find a more balanced way to stay healthy.

6. The diet was originally developed as a form of treatment for epileptic children.

Fact: Some of the first few people who went on the ketogenic diet were epileptic children that failed to respond to anti-epileptic drugs. Doctors found that being on the high-fat, low-carb diet decreased their seizures by more than 50%, and has eventually been found to be beneficial to adult patients and those with Alzheimer's and cancer, as well.

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7. Despite the results shown, it might still not work for everyone.

Diets are never a one-size-fits-all, so although this diet can show promising results, we don't recommend jumping into it immediately. Pregnant women, for example, might need more balanced portions of macronutrients for their pregnancy. Meanwhile, those predisposed with hypertension or diabetes might be put at risk if left unsupervised by a doctor.

Our interviews also listed constipation and a bout with the flu as a side effect for those starting the diet. Although these are said to be temporary and normal, make sure to always consult with a physician before trying it yourself!

8. You still need to watch your fat intake while on keto.

The Sexy Chef's Rachel Alejandro would also like to clarify a common misconception about the diet. "It doesn't mean, for instance, that because [the diet] dictates around 60% fat and around 20% protein that you should eat a whole block of butter and then make your meat portion 1/3 the size of the butter," she notes. "People think they can eat as much as they want of what is allowed and still lose weight. Sorry to say, that is not the case. Portion control is still key."

Going for more plant-based fats like avocado and coconut oil are recommended by keto-eaters who are also concerned with the overconsumption of certain fatty foods. Also, meat-eaters aren't the only ones who can enjoy the diet! Vegetarians can also try it through services such as Edgy Veggy's Thrive Keto Program.

9. You might have to use supplements.

It's no secret that this diet is quite difficult to maintain, but it also might not give you the complete amount of nutrients that your body needs if you're not careful. Vitamin deficiencies (D, E, iodine) are common among keto-eaters, but are easily preventable by supplementing them orally. Calcium can be an issue as well if one doesn't consume enough leafy greens. That said, studies made about the ketogenic diet also found that many epileptic patients also decided to discontinue the diet because they felt it was too restrictive.

10. Its overall results so far do confirm its weight loss claims.

If the testimonials we have gathered and those online are any indication, the ketogenic diet might actually be on to something. It has its ups and downs nutritionally, but we see why a lot of people swear by it. Just to illustrate how popular it is right now, The Sexy Chef's Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck shares that they have over 100 clients on the KETO plan alone, and they have received an overwhelming number of positive reviews since then. Billy Crawford has also made headlines for his weight loss since being on the diet. More and more meal delivery services have created ketogenic plans, as well, due to the rising demand.

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IMAGE Courtesy of Barni Alejandro

Weight loss trends come and go, but if you think the ketogenic diet is something you think you want to try, the Internet is your best friend. The diet has grown into a pretty big community with a ton of info to share. If DIY-ing it isn't an option, try local delivery services that'll save you time in the kitchen (Edgy Veggy, The Sexy Chef, and Ketogenic Diet PH).

Good luck! And if you've tried the diet before, let us know about your journey in the comments!

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