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You can not scroll through your Instagram without seeing a handful of celebrities (like Kourtney Kardashian and Adriana Lima) and social media influencers showing off their flat stomachs while singing the praises of their favorite low carb foods. And if your New Year's resolution is to lose those pesky books, you could be this close to jump on the restrictive carbohydrate bandwagon.
But before becoming part of the more than 13 million people who talk about their #lowcarb life, here's what you need to know about two more and more popular weight loss programs: Keto and Atkins.
Keto Diet 101
In short, the ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, moderate protein and carbohydrates. Tried by Jenna Jameson, Savannah Guthrie and Halle Berry, this diet works by sending the body to ketosis, a physiological condition that occurs when your body is forced to burn fat cells instead of glucose (because of the l? lack of carbohydrates). d & # 39; energy.
"To achieve ketosis, you need to minimize your carbohydrate intake. So you have to eat around 75% of your calories comes from fat, 20% from protein and about 5% from carbohydratesSays Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health.
And when the body uses glucose stored in our muscles as glycogen as energy, the balance decreases. "Our muscles store about 3 grams of water for every gram of glycogen, which means we can lose a lot of weight immediately when we draw in glycogen stores for fuel," said Jaclyn London, MS, RD , Director, Director of GH Nutrition, CDN. "That's why someone who loses weight in just one week!" "A low carbohydrate diet likely results in weight loss in water, not necessarily real, but immediacy can motivate early dieting."
Upton explains that keto-approved meals contain fish (salmon, oysters, scallops), meat and poultry (pork, lamb, steak and yes, bacon!), Eggs, nuts, non-starchy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes)), fats and oils (butter, mayo, avocado oil, ghee) and high-fat dairy products (whole yogurt, sour cream, cheese cream, hard and soft cheese). Berries and artificial sweeteners can be eaten sparingly.
Foods on the Prohibited List include most fruits (apples, bananas, peaches, oranges), cereals (bread, pasta, cereals and all wheat-based foods, rice, oats or corn), pulses (all beans), root vegetables (potatoes, winter squash, turnips), some oils (canola, soy, peanut) and all that contains added sugar (desserts, honey, ketchup, barbecue sauce, beverages sweet), alcohol and absolutely nothing low in fat.
Atkins Diet 101
With Rob Lowe being the last spokesman (and first man) of this widely recognized low-carb diet, it's no wonder that people are choosing (again) the Atkins Way. "Atkins is a diet where you replace a lot of your carbohydrates with healthy proteins and fats, which means foods that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats," says Upton. (For your information: the diet was created by a cardiologist, Robert C. Atkins, in the 60s.)
The diet is divided into four phases in which carbohydrates are slowly reintroduced. Phase 1 is the most radical because it is to send your body in ketosis with a daily intake of protein, fat and 20 to 25 grams of carbohydrates, about 15 grams of vegetables. Phase 2 increases daily carbohydrate intake to 25 to 50 grams and more foods rich in carbohydrates are added to the diet, such as berries, melon and legumes. Phase 3 increases the daily intake of carbohydrates to 50 to 80 grams – where starchy vegetables, more fruits and whole grains are added to the diet. And phase 4 increases the daily intake of carbohydrates to 80 to 100 grams.
Atkins has created a more relaxed plan (called Atkins 40) in which Phase 1 begins with a daily intake of 40 grams of carbohydrates. Both versions are simple carbohydrates (bread, bagels, cereals, juices, dried fruits), starches (white pasta, white potatoes, white rice, corn, chips) and all that contains added sugar.
The advantages and disadvantages of Keto and Atkins
In general, eating less carbohydrates can be good for your health, because a typical Western diet follower consumes more than the recommended daily amount of carbohydrates (about half of our calories a day, at least half of which comes from whole grains ). 2015-2020 USDA nutritional recommendations for Americans).
However, London points out that any ultra-low carbohydrate diet – such as keto and Atkins phase 1 – can lead to undesirable short-term side effects (such as constipation and bad breath), as well as serious long-term effects (increased risk of osteoporosis, kidney and liver problems and impaired immune function). In addition, a large study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in 2018 revealed that low-carb diets should be "avoided" because followers have a higher risk of death from heart disease, of stroke and cancer.
Upton highlights the additional cardiovascular complications that can result from the keto lifestyle. "The keto diet does not focus on healthy fats – it only promotes all type of fat, like cream, butter and lard, "she explains.
London also believes that a super restrictive diet like keto prepares you for failure, because the night of an innocent mother will lead to immediate weight gain. "Keto diets are based on an extreme technique to (temporarily) reduce the balance by a few kilograms and basically eliminate any joy associated with the consumption of real foods and live life," She adds.
But that's not the case with Atkins. "What's great about Atkins 40, is that it encourages the choice of smarter carbohydrates in place of simple added sugars from sneaky sources and that it puts the emphasis on polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, two proven strategies for better health and long-term weight loss, "London said. "I also love the focus on complete food fiber sources, which makes it more realistic than extreme diets that virtually eliminate a food group."
The final result
London and Upton both find more promising results by following the Atkins plan, but this scheme is not realistic for everyone. "You can end up dreaming about bagels instead of feeling good about your plan," says London. "That said, the reincorporation of starches by Atkins and the increase in vegetable intake from the plan can be extremely effective, and the maintenance phase may seem much more feasible in the long run."
For those looking to consume less carbs in their diet, London shares this tip:
"Fill up on vegetables of all kinds – starchy foods and non-starchy – choose lean protein, low-fat dairy products, nuts and legumes as much as possible, and treat yourself to a dessert or treat (about 150-200 calories per day). Radical restrictions can backfire, so go slowly! "
Dietary preferences and dietary needs vary from one person to another, so it is advisable to consult your doctor before starting any new weight loss program.