One of the ways to do this that is yielding promising results in research is the ketogenic diet. In a 2017 study evaluating the ketogenic diet in the management of diabetes, researchers showed the diet had the potential to decrease blood glucose levels, the rudimental key to minimizing the occurrence and diagnosis of diabetes. This was further supported in a study evaluating the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet in obese patients, offering similar results in its ability to lower blood glucose levels, as well as decreasing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. [2,7] There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes. Several theories exist as to why the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss, though they have not been consistently shown in research: [2,8,9]
Medical and public health research suggests that body weight and BMI are useful indicators of health. According to the National Institutes of Health, being obese and morbidly obese is significantly associated with an increased risk of developing serious health issues such as certain cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney damage. [2, 3, 4] Maintaining a healthy weight is a critical way to prevent the onset of many of these health problems.
They can also improve your cholesterol profile. In one study, consuming MCT oils helped reduce body fat and triglycerides more than omega 6 vegetable oils. After eight weeks, the experiment showed the MCT oil group lost more weight, body fat, and subcutaneous fat, all while experiencing a 15 percent drop in triglycerides and LDL (the bad) cholesterol.
Generally a good source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, fresh fruit is a healthy way to indulge your sweet tooth. If it helps you to eat more, add a little sugar—drizzle slices of pear with honey or sprinkle a little brown sugar on grapefruit. Keep fresh fruit visible at home and keep a piece or two at work so you have a healthful snack when your stomach starts growling. Lots of grocery stores stock exotic fruit—pick a new one to try each week and expand your fruit horizons.
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil has many benefits when used properly. You may not want to cook with it at high temperatures, though. While it appears to be more stable than other vegetable oils, all oils break down and lose their nutrients and flavor when cooked on high heat. Plus, the oxidation that happens during cooking may actually create compounds that attack healthy tissues in the body. For cooking at extremely high temperatures, it may be advisable to use a more stable fat that’s a shorter chain fatty acid, like coconut oil or avocado oil.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is based on typical eating habits from the early 1960's in some Mediterranean areas, including parts of Greece and Southern Italy. During that time, the rates of coronary heart disease were among the lowest in the world and the life expectancy rates were among the highest. These trends were attributed to the eating habits in the regions. More recently, in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Mediterranean diet was shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and death related to heart problems by 30%.
Dietary fiber keeps you full longer and contains prebiotic nutrients that support a healthy gut flora, creating a win-win for weight loss. Getting insufficient dietary fiber (yes, I'm talking to you, all-meat carnivore or cave-man diet folks) adversely shifts your healthy gut flora, which will increase inflammation, insulin resistance, fat deposition around the middle, and weight gain. Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, avocado, coconut, and berries make great fiber-rich, keto-friendly foods.
More Sustained Energy: 90-120 minutes after you eat carbohydrates, your body doesn’t have readily available energy produced from the mitochondria in your cells, so you start “crashing” or lowering your energy. When you are in ketosis, your body can run off your body fat, which is an essentially limitless source of fuel. This prevents any type of crash.
If you're doing everything else right but missing these elements, you'll stall your progress. Getting subpar sleep, not moving enough, and environmental toxins are among the factors that can stall weight loss even when you're vigilantly following a keto diet. What you eat matters, but how you live also dramatically affects weight loss. For many patients, dialing up sleep, reducing environmental and psychological stressors, and incorporating high-intensity burst training can be big needle movers to overcome plateaus.
What is surprising is that the one group that had significantly less atherosclerosis than the other two was the group with the lowest levels, by far, of HDL good cholesterol. It was the polyunsaturated-fat-rich group. “Most likely, this group’s higher intake of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids provided some protection against the blood cholesterol-raising effect of their high dietary cholesterol intake,” notes Dr. Tom Rifai, MD, FACP, Founder/CEO, Reality Meets Science® LLC and member of the Pritikin Scientific Advisory Board.
The Mediterranean diet is a primarily plant-based eating plan that includes daily intake of whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices. Other foods like animal proteins are eaten in smaller quantities, with the preferred animal protein being fish and seafood. Although the pyramid shape suggests the proportion of foods to eat (e.g., eat more fruits and vegetables and less dairy foods), it does not specify portion sizes or specific amounts. It is up to the individual to decide exactly how much food to eat at each meal, as this will vary by physical activity and body size. There are additional points that make this eating plan unique:
Dr. Wendy Kohrt, of the University of Colorado Denver, leads its IMAGE program (Investigation into Metabolism, Age, Gender and Exercise) and has been studying the impacts of menopause for more than 20 years. She has found that during menopause women’s metabolisms slow by about 50 calories a day and that women experience more food cravings, less movement and more muscle loss, which together create a quadruple whammy for gradual weight gain over time. Kohrt notes, however, that menopause itself has been vastly under-researched over the years, a point shared by other commentators, considering the impact it has on the health and wellness of millions of women.
Finally, watch your protein intake, it’s very easy to go over on that and excess protein will be converted to sugars in your body (so it’s fine if you work out a lot but if you don’t then just be aware and don’t go overboard). It’s practically impossible to eat too much good fats (avoid trans fats like the plague and try to limit polyunsaturated too as too much of them can promote inflammation in the body and unfortunately they’re in lots of stuff), fats are so satieting though that you’ll nearly always feel way too full before you can eat too much of them (provided the food that they’re in isn’t secretly hiding carbs and protein too, I.e. be careful with the kind of nuts you eat, macadamia only have 5 grams of carbs per 100g but cashews have 20+ so a couple big handfuls of those will nearly knock you out of ketosis like that!)
You also need to consume coconut and other healthy fats in order absorb fat-soluble nutrients found in various foods. These include nutrients like beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A found in plants like berries, squash and leafy greens), vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and lutein. When you consume a healthy diet filled with lots of different whole, plant foods but don’t get enough healthy fat sources at the same time, your body is basically not capable of utilizing these nutrients as well.
The second reason is arguably more important: Vegies taste better with olive oil, so people are likely to eat more. “My rule of thumb is one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to one cup of veg,” Flynn says, adding that sautéing them or roasting are tasty options, plus these methods maintain much of their nutrient value. “Eating veg like this fills you up and stops you being hungry.” An added bonus, she says, is fibre from the veg also improves bowel regularity.