Anna lost 25 kilos in just 5 months. Universal reaction: but how did he do it? “I completely redesigned my diet and cut back on almost all carbohydrate intake,” he explains. Reducing your sugar intake is the beginning behind many diets. But the peculiarity of the ketogenic diet is that it suggests replacing it with … fat. An amazing idea that contrasts with the usual idea of a weight loss diet.
Other applications of the ketogenic diet
In addition to weight loss, the alleged therapeutic properties of the ketogenic diet are the subject of discussion. In the 1920s, in order to treat children with epilepsy, the exact nutritional indications of the diet were set, with results often more convincing than those of medical treatments.
If no study has yet shown this, some researchers are also interested in the positive effects of a ketogenic diet on cancer. Because cancer cells are often less able to get their energy from ketones than healthy cells. This regime could therefore weaken them. Similarly, brain cells seem to benefit from this alternative source of energy. This would be helpful in the case of certain degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or in the treatment of headaches and migraines.
But so far, “no convincing scientific study has shown a long-term beneficial effect of the ketogenic diet on these pathologies,” recalls Dr. Jornayvaz.
And yet, weight loss is real and fast. It is based on a process called “ketosis”. Without carbohydrates (also called carbohydrates: glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, starch, etc.), the liver begins to produce ketones from fatty acids. And the body uses these ketones as the main source of energy. It is the same mechanism that creates and allows you to survive a prolonged speed.
Unlike a standard plate, which consists of 50% carbohydrates, 35% fat and 15% protein, that of a ketogenic diet fan contains at least 65% fat (oils, nuts, cheese, butter, etc.), one significant percentage – about 30% – protein (meat, fish, etc.) and less than 5% carbohydrates.
How does this restriction on carbohydrates – and not calories – make you lose weight? First, ketone production requires more energy for human metabolism than simply using glucose. It then promotes the weakening of body fat, therefore weight loss. François Jornayvaz, an assistant physician in charge of the Diabetes Unit at the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG), explains this mechanism: “The body enters ketosis after about two to three days. Soon, the organs will absorb the fat to function and thus “destroy” the adipose tissue. “
A (too much?) Restrictive regime
If he does not deny its efficacy, Dr. Jornayvaz, however, wants to warn against weight gain in the medium term: and the yoyo result is almost inevitable. “
The ketogenic diet would therefore not be more than other diets the magic recipe to keep the line once and for all. Added to this is the possibility of side effects during the first days of the diet: headache, fatigue, nausea.
Another element to consider if we decide to do the same: the high risk of deficiencies. “We must not forget that carbohydrate-rich foods contain essential nutrients,” warns Stéphanie Vergotte, a nutritionist at the Center for Obesity and Metabolism at La Côte à Nyon (VD) and La Tour Hospital in Meyrin (GE). In order to avoid possible deficiencies, adequate intake of vitamins and fiber must therefore be maintained and vitamin supplementation taken into account. Finally, this diet may be contraindicated for some, especially type 1 diabetics and patients with hepatocellular insufficiency or certain metabolic diseases. In any case, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a doctor or nutritionist before starting.
However, this diet, like “any, can be effective in the short term. But once you stop, you inevitably gain weight … and often more than in the beginning,” explains Dr. Jornayvaz. If you want to lose weight, don’t do it. diet, but permanently modify your eating habits. ”A balanced diet and regular physical activity, this seems to be the real recipe for effective weight loss.
Testimony: “It’s unthinkable to go back to my previous diet”
Johanne, 36, an intensive athlete and follower of the ketogenic diet for two years.
While a large course of pasta is recommended long before exercise, some athletes begin to change their habits. Proper management, a ketogenic diet could improve energy efficiency. However, there are no studies to confirm this with certainty.
Why did you start the ketogenic diet? Initially, to lose weight very quickly. I had no intention of doing it last.
Have you tried other methods? Yes, a lot of diets and supplements that didn’t do much for me.
Did you quickly feel the effects of diet on your sport? No, because the adjustment phase was too long. At first, it was rather difficult to train, I miss the energy. I had to agree to reduce the intensity of my athletic routine. On the other hand, once “keto-adapted”, it was magical. Energy and recovery really make a difference.
What was the most difficult? The hard part really increases fat. We are all excluded from beliefs about fat that scare us. However, this is necessary because we remove a lot of carbohydrates from the body and a lot of protein, so there is something else to compensate.
On the contrary, what was simpler than you thought? I was afraid of being left without fruit, without some vegetables, without sugar … And in fact, it wasn’t a problem. As the body feeds, the desires disappear.
What are the results? I’m less tired, I replaced my fat mass with lean mass, I have a better recovery, a very different metabolism. I’m no longer obsessed with food, I’m not hungry anymore. I no longer have painful periods and I almost no longer have cellulite. My seasonal allergies have also disappeared.
Published in Le Matin Dimanche on 5/13/2018.