The ketogenic diet is not a benign, holistic, or natural treatment for epilepsy; as with any serious medical therapy, complications may result. These are generally less severe and less frequent than with anticonvulsant medication or surgery. Common but easily treatable short-term side effects include constipation, low-grade acidosis, and hypoglycaemia if an initial fast is undertaken. Raised levels of lipids in the blood affect up to 60% of children and cholesterol levels may increase by around 30%. This can be treated by changes to the fat content of the diet, such as from saturated fats towards polyunsaturated fats, and if persistent, by lowering the ketogenic ratio. Supplements are necessary to counter the dietary deficiency of many micronutrients.
In one head-to-head comparison published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014, researchers analyzed 48 separate diet experiments in which participants were randomly assigned to one of several popular diets. The diets included the low-carb Atkins, South Beach and Zone diets as well as low-fat diets like the Ornish diet and portion-control diets like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.
The most common and relatively minor short-term side effects of ketogenic diet include a collection of symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, difficulty in exercise tolerance, and constipation, sometimes referred to as keto flu. These symptoms resolve in a few days to few weeks. Ensuring adequate fluid and electrolyte intake can help counter some of these symptoms. Long-term adverse effects include hepatic steatosis, hypoproteinemia, kidney stones, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.
Following a ketogenic diet puts your body into a state of “ketosis,” which is a metabolic state that occurs when most of the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood, rather than from glucose from carbohydrate foods (like grains, all sources of sugar or fruit, for example). This is in contrast to a glycolytic state, where blood glucose (sugar) provides most of the body’s fuel (or energy).
OK, that’s all good but you still need to hit your “climbing” weight. Well, as Eddy Merckx rather eloquently said, “Eat Less, Ride More”. Don’t we all wish. Basically it all comes down to taking in fewer calories than your daily caloric requirements, otherwise known as a caloric deficit. Some athletes can successfully ‘diet by math‘ to lose weight and if you want to try, I recommend a 500 calorie caloric deficit per day. Over 1 week that is 1 lb. 10 weeks = 10 lbs. Don’t diet more than that because your power on the bike and recovery off the bike will decrease.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital protocol for initiating the ketogenic diet has been widely adopted. It involves a consultation with the patient and their caregivers and, later, a short hospital admission. Because of the risk of complications during ketogenic diet initiation, most centres begin the diet under close medical supervision in the hospital.
Three times a week, do the exercises here back-to-back without resting. Warm up by holding plank pose for two minutes, then do up to three circuits (beginners, start with one circuit and build up). Use a lighter kettlebell -- like four pounds -- until you get the hang of the moves, then go heavier; always choose a weight that you can control, though. No bell? Use a five- to eight-pound dumbbell instead.
Unfortunately cycling, or any exercise, isn’t free rein to be able to eat whatever you want. Even if you are putting in 10 hours plus each week on the bike, it takes depressingly few biscuits, cakes or takeaways to nullify the calories you have burnt while riding. You are probably looking about 10 minutes of riding per chocolate digestive and more than two hours for a typical Indian takeaway. Exercise is certainly a key component in healthy weight loss but, without keeping a close eye on your diet, isn’t enough on its own.
For weight loss, today's keto diets are the descendants of low-carb diets like the Atkins diet, which peaked in popularity in the early 2000s. Both types of diets reject carbs in favor of meatier meals. There is no single blueprint for the keto diet, but plans usually call for eating fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day. (Wheat bread contains about 16 grams of carbohydrates per ounce, according to the USDA.) Celebrity adherents to the diet include Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian.
Variations on the Johns Hopkins protocol are common. The initiation can be performed using outpatient clinics rather than requiring a stay in hospital. Often, no initial fast is used (fasting increases the risk of acidosis, hypoglycaemia, and weight loss). Rather than increasing meal sizes over the three-day initiation, some institutions maintain meal size, but alter the ketogenic ratio from 2:1 to 4:1.
This workout program involves both weights and running, but the emphasis here is on quick, increasingly difficult workouts of between 30 and 60 minutes. These workouts will help you rev up your metabolism and, when combined with improved nutrition, help you lose weight. Along the way, you’ll improve strength, mobility, stability, and overall endurance.
As you will see, simple keto meals begins with the healthy fat consideration first, making sure plenty of low-starch veggies surround the fat along with a moderate protein source. Wild-caught salmon, as a high-fat fish, is a perfect keto choice, and easy keto meals can be a fatty cut of healthy protein like salmon or lamb served with plenty of green veggies.
The research is pretty conclusive: Most people who exercise only because they know they should don’t stick with it—at least not for very long. Up to 80 percent of people who start exercising throw in the towel within a year. The novelty quickly wears off, and they become bored and find things that are more fun to do. But riding a bike makes you feel like a kid. You can go places and explore, pedal through pretty scenery, and feel the fresh air wash over you. You can ride with friends or family or relish in some alone time. You’re not looking at the clock willing your obligatory 30 minutes to go by. You’re enjoying the ride. Oh, and getting some exercise.