Dr. Atkins' famous low carbohydrate diet made ketogenic diets popular. Since the publication of his books, there have been a lot of other low carbohydrate diets on the market. Most of them do not restrict carbs a severely as his does. Even though the goal of Dr. Atkins diet is to achieve a state of "ketosis," people can still lose weight by cutting down on carbohydrates with it.
The idea behind Dr. Atkins's diet revolution was to restrict carbohydrate intake to a very low level, especially at first. After a few days this throws the body into a state of ketosis, and in this state, your body should burn mostly body fat.
Dr. Atkins even suggests buying the kind of test strips at the grocery store that diabetics use. This way you can find out when you have managed to cut down on your carbohydrate intake enough.
Apparently, by restricting carbohydrates but not protein and fat, you can get your body into a state where it will begin burning fat at very high rate. This fat that is burnt is called keytones. Even your brain needs to burn this fat to function.
In order to get your body into this state, you must have very little insulin in your bloodstream. The way to lower your insulin levels is to reduce your carbohydrate intake to almost nothing. When you begin ketogenic diet weight loss programs, you will probably only be allowed about 20 grams of carbohydrates a day.
This means that you have to pass on all obvious sources of carbohydrates. This include grains, potatoes, and beans. Even most fruit and some types of vegetables have enough carbohydrates to put you over the daily limit. Your diet will mostly consist of meat and low-carbohydrate vegetables.
You are, however, allowed fat on this diet. You can put butter on your steak and lobster if you want to. The fat helps you fill up, so most people don't eat an excess of food on this diet after the first few days.
After you reach ketosis, you can start adding some carbohydrates back into your diet slowly. For example, after a couple of weeks on the very restrictive part of the plan, you might eat some berries. The main idea is to find the "sweet spot" where you can eat a maximum number of carbohydrates and still lose weight or maintain your weight.
Does The Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Work?
Low carbohydrates actually do work, and they provide a weight loss solution for many people who have been unable to stick to other diets. Except for avoiding carbohydrates, there is nothing to count. Most people can eat their fill of low-carbohydrate food, so they find this diet satisfied.
Is Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Safe?
This diet appears to be safe and effective for many people. However, if you already have blood sugar and insulin problems, you should consult with your doctor first. You may have enough problems managing your insulin levels, and restricting all carbohydrates could be risky.