Terrine Pearsall

What is a Ketogenic Diet and How Does it Relate to the Atkins Diet?

You’ve probably heard plenty about the Atkins Diet over the years. You know, that incredibly popular and controversial diet that involves cutting right down on your carbohydrate intake. You may have also heard of “ketogenic diets” – it’s a more scientific term so you may not recognise it.

Did you realise that the Atkins Diet is a type of ketogenic diet? In this article we’ll have a brief look at what the term means and my experience of this type of diet.

Atkins DietThe Atkins Diet

The original Atkins Diet book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, was released in 1972. Dr Robert Atkins was interested, among other things, in getting his own weight under control. Primarily using self-experimentation techniques he found that eating a diet very low in carbohydrates tended to make him lose weight quickly. His experimentation was based upon other research papers and, as a result of his own studies, he became confident that the science behind the diet was sound. The resulting book was a resounding success and, over the next 30 years up to his death in 2003, Robert Atkins continued to produce popular diet books based upon the low-carbohydrate principle.

Ketogenic Diets

Some would argue that only the first “phase” of the Atkins Diet is “ketogenic” but it’s very clear that this element is central to the whole diet. There are many other diets of this type with different names and claims but, if they talk about severely restricting the intake of carbohydrates, then they’re probably forms of ketogenic diet. The process of “ketosis” is quite complicated and would take some time to describe but, in essence, it works because cutting down on carbs restricts the amount of blood glucose available to trigger the “insulin response”. Without a triggering of the glucose-insulin response some hormonal changes take place which cause the body to start burning its stores of fat as energy. This also has the interesting effect of causing your brain to be fuelled by what are known as “ketone bodies” (hence “ketogenic”) rather than the usual glucose. The whole process is really quite fascinating and I recommend that you read up on it.

Controversy

All forms of ketogenic diet are controversial. Most of the debate surrounds the issue of cholesterol and whether ketogenic diets increase or decrease the levels HDL “good” cholesterol and/or increase or decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol. The number of scientific studies is increasing year on year and it is certainly possible to point to strong cases on both sides of the argument. My conclusion (and this is only my opinion) is that one could equally make the case that a carbohydrate-laden diet has negative effects on cholesterol and I think that, on balance, a ketogenic-type diet is more healthy than a carbohydrate-heavy one. Interestingly, there isn’t so much controversy about whether ketogenic diets work or not (it’s widely accepted that they do); it’s mostly about how they work and whether that is good/bad/indifferent from a health perspective.

My Experience

I too am a bit of a self-experimenter. I know this approach isn’t for everyone and it does carry an element of risk. I’ve experimented with a ketogenic diet for around eight years now. I sometimes lapse, mostly during holidays, but I always return to the diet as part of my day-to-day routine. I find that I can easily lose the several extra pounds that I put on during the holidays within around two weeks of starting up the keto diet again. I suppose it helps that I really enjoy the type of food I get to eat by following this regimen. Many of the foods I like are quite high in protein and fat. I do miss carbohydrate-rich foods such as pizza and pasta but I think that loss is outweighed (sic) by the benefit of being able to each rich food and still keep my weight under control. It goes without saying that I have to avoid sugary foods but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and I can still enjoy things like good dark chocolate, in moderation.

Conclusion

It’s difficult, if you are just starting out looking for a diet that works for you, to know where the truth lies in this debate; if the scientists can’t sort it out then how are you going to? The plain truth is that you’ll need to educate yourself, weigh up the arguments, then follow your own best judgement. My experience has been largely positive but you will, no doubt, have heard of friends having problems on low carbohydrate diets for one reason or another. There is no such thing as a miracle diet and most of them are just variations on a theme but all ketogenic-type diets are based upon a very specific principle and that principle has been demonstrated to induce weight loss in many people. Perhaps you should try to base your opinion on the available evidence and not on anecdotes. It’s your body and your health, after all.

Wonderfully Fit PT

10 Top Reasons You Need Personal Training

Welcome to Wonderfully Fit’s Top 10 reasons you need personal training as part of your weight loss solution or exercise routine personal training.

personal training

#1 Motivation

People are mostly creatures of habit – it is simply the way the mind works. We leave so much to the autopilot inside, the one we’ve actually conditioned to make all our responses automatically, that personal training from a motivator can actually untrain your old worn out and inappropriate responses so that you make personal training changes in your lifestyle to make real progress, no matter what weight loss solution you follow. Motivation is probably the number #1 reason you need to make personal training a part of your weight loss solution or exercise routine program.

#2 Exercise Routine

There are so many different pieces of exercise equipment and variety of exercise routines, how do you know which is the right weight loss plan or exercise routine for you? Personal training can guide you because personal trainers know what results each exercise routine and piece of exercise equipment can give, and many can advise on nutrition as part of any weight loss solution. Personal training can really shorten the time it takes to achieve your goal on any weight loss solution or fitness plan.

#3 Using Exercise Equipment Correctly

If you have been doing the same exercise routine regularly and not achieving the weight loss solution goal you had planned for, the chances are you may not be doing the exerise routine correctly. It could be that when you started, without personal training, that you were never taught the correct way of using a certain piece of exercise equipment or performing the exercise routine correctly. You will get results faster on any weight loss solution program or exercise routine regime, if you get personal training to help you burn fat fast.

#4 Diet Solution

Ok, so now you have your personal training sorted out and you are doing the exercise routine under supervision and following your weight loss solution to burn fat fast with advice from a professional. It is still important to know your own metabolism and the correct diet solution to accelerate your metabolism so that you can burn fat fast. The correct diet solution is important because you want to perform your exercise routine with optimal energy levels and also, to allow your muscles to burn fat when there are no “free carbs” (food from meals) around. When there is no carbohydrate fuel, anaerobic exercise routines force the muscles to burn fat into fuel for exercise and to repair muscle tissue long after you have finished your exercise routine. Personal training will help you train at the right time and just as importantly, eat at the right time.

#5 A Tailored Exercise Routine

If you enjoy a sport but want to be “the best of the best”, not just looking for a routine as part of a weight loss solution to burn fat, but you are serious about raising your fitness, agility or strength levels to get better performance in whatever sport you play and enjoy so much, then you need personal training. A personal trainer will know a variety of exercise and nutritional diet solotion to best suit your individual needs. People come in all shapes and sizes with different metabolic rates, different skeletal structure and different body mass. Personal training is essential if you want an individually tailored exercise routine to make the most of what you’ve got.

#6 Hitting The Wall

A lot of this is psychological in nature, where people in sight of the finishing line, “hit the wall” and lose energy, drive and sometimes even the hope of finishing the exercise routine or weight loss solution program. Motivation and drive from personal training can help you break through that wall. It is simply a stubborn inappropriate conditioned automatic response that needs to be broken so that you build a different belief system – a “can do” attitude, rather than “can’t go on” attitude, that has stopped you failing every time you take up a weight loss solution or program to burn fat. It’s motivation not to get started and to sustain your exercise routine and weight loss program but motivation to succeed and actually get the results your autopilot inner being has been depriving you of.

#7 Information

How many of you have trawled the net looking for a specific diet solution, a specific weight loss solution, an exercise routine or where to get, how to use, or what is the best piece of equipment for a particular purpose. When it comes to fitness, healthy eating, diet solution, a personal trainer will be able to give you the answers you are looking for – and even if they don’t know, they work with other professionals in personal training networks who will get all the answers you will need to get the results you want.

#8 Rehabilitation

If you are coming back from an illness or an injury, personal training will take all these factors into consideration so that you do not overextend yourself in your exercise regime or weight loss solution and make sure that your aerobic or anaerobic routine is complementary to where you are in your physical recovery.

#9 Family Fitness

Why not involve the whole family, children also, into a personal training program suitable for each member of the family. It means more time with the family and it can be made into being a fun event at the same time, no matter what exercise regime, weight loss plan or fitness goal you are looking for. A professional can make personal training fun for each family member.

#10 Beach Holidays & New Year Resolutions

How many of you have had an eye on summer and what to wear on the beach? How many of you are looking for that “beach body” you want to display in the sun? Personal training can help you achieve your weight loss goals, taking into account the time you have left until your holiday and the specific weight loss solution you are looking for.

At the turn of the year, we all think ahead to summer at a time of year when the focus is on eating and drinking more than we may usually do. Getting personal training in January can help you set your weight loss goals with tailor made routines to burn fat or fitness plans to ensure you stay fit and healthy no matter what you eat during the holiday festive season.

No matter what weight loss solution, diet plan or exercise routine you are looking for, personal training has so much more to offer than most people realise, at first glance.