Many people who follow some type of a ketogenic diet are impressed by its ability to shed fat at a rate not found in any other diet, and what’s more, keep it off. Recently, new research has come up with increasing evidence that a low-carb diet may offer another huge benefit: it may burn 10 times more calories than a standard American diet.
This is the big finding from a study published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical research & Reviews. The study was done on 30 adult participants who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which is a group term for health conditions which increase the risk of developing stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
The scientists then randomly put the subjects in three group: The first group ate a low-carb (ketogenic) diet, but wasn’t involved in any resistance training. The second group ate a standard American diet and did not lift weights either. The third group ate a standard American diet and trained for half an hour a day for up to 5 days per week.
The scientists weren’t measuring how many calories each of the three groups was consuming. These were the results: In ten weeks, the first group that was on a ketogenic diet experienced significant changes in their body weight, body fat percentage, body mass index, hemoglobin A1c (a test which measures someone’s blood sugar level) and ketones (the product compounds of the body burning fat as an energy source).
Once the subjects entered into a state of ketosis, it was found that their resting metabolic rate (the rate at which the body burns calories when you’re not doing anything physical) was more than ten times greater than that of the subjects that ate a standard American diet. It was found that all the relevant variables for the group that was on a keto diet out-performed the group that exercised and the one that didn’t. What is a keto diet you might ask? It is a diet that is primarily based on a low-carb, high-fat intake which also encourages its followers to consume moderate-to-high amounts of protein. Carbohydrates in this diet are usually replaced with fats, and it is thought that this replacement forces the body to enter into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
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When on a keto diet, the dieter avoids sugar, any type of processed food, low-fat foods, grains, gluten, high-carb fruit, as well as vegetable oils. They are instead encouraged to consume lots of non-starchy vegetables, lean meats, fish, full-fat dairy products, all kinds of seeds and nuts. It’s important to note that this study was small and it mainly focused on people who were having a health condition, not on healthy people. This diet can be hard to follow in the long term and is not for everyone. However, the results are something you should definitely take into consideration if you were planning to start a keto diet for some time.