By: Luke Mitchell
The twenty-first century is undoubtedly marked by an increase in awareness regarding what we choose to eat. More and more people are becoming interested in clean, healthy living as a way to promote well-being and increase life expectancy. And fortunately, we don’t have to worry about running out of options ever again.
There are plenty of diets and meal plans nowadays which serve to fulfill various fitness goals. Some examples include the Paleo diet, and, of course, the keto diet. The latter is by far the most controversial in this day and age, but the truth behind it is that it’s also one of the most effective ones. Let’s find out why.
How Keto Suppresses Appetite
The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet for short, is based on the increased consumption of natural fats and moderate amounts of protein, while at the same time drastically cutting back on carbohydrates. This puts your body in a state of ketosis, which means that it starts using pure fat to fuel itself.
This primarily happens because you are no longer getting glucose from all those carbs, so you need to be energized by something else. For this reason, the keto diet is beneficial for weight loss purposes. But there is more to it than that. Recent studies show that the ketogenic diet also reduces hunger and appetite, but how does that happen exactly? Let’s find out.
Low Ghrelin Levels
It’s no secret that our bodily functions are carefully regulated by a variety of hormones. This naturally includes eating and digestive patterns as well. Sudden hunger pangs are a clear indication that something isn’t working right on this level, and thus needs regulating. But which one should we blame in this case? The answer is ghrelin.
Ghrelin, also known as lenomorelin, is a hormone produced by the gut which is in charge of signaling the brain when it’s time to eat. For this reason, it has also been dubbed as “the hunger hormone”. Just like leptin resistance, obese people struggle with increased production of ghrelin, which stimulates them to overeat.
Regular diets stimulate its production, which is why most of them ultimately fail in keeping off the lost weight in the long run. This is where the ketogenic meal plan intervenes. By its very nature, it does not increase ghrelin levels in the body while you consume your food, which means that you won’t be inclined to binge on anything.
Another detrimental aspect of traditional diets is the fact that they also reduce the levels of satiety peptides, such as peptide YY and cholecystokinin, in the body while simultaneously increasing the number of hunger hormones. If this sounds like a recipe for disaster, that’s because it is. You might even end up feeling full for not even five minutes after a meal.
Fortunately, the keto diet can help in this respect as well. At its core, it based on satiety-inducing ingredients such as healthy fats and protein. On the one hand, by consuming ingredients such as grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil, your meal will be digested slowly, which leaves you feeling fuller for more extended periods of time.
And on the other hand, everyone knows that protein is the best source of instant satiety. Seeing as how this meal plan doesn’t restrict your intake too much, you will be able to nourish your body and suppress unnecessary cravings in no time at all. Just be careful not to go overboard, or your effort will be in vain.
Knowing what foods to eat and which ones are off limits is an integral part of the approach, but so is not worrying about their calorie counts. Unlike other restrictive meal plans, this is not an element of interest that you need to consider. Instead, focus on eating until you feel full and avoid snacking too often.
The state of ketosis itself is a natural metabolic booster, which means that you will burn fat faster than before once you enter it. Furthermore, you will turn all your adipose tissue into ketones, which fuels your body better than glucose. Thus, you will feel more energized overall, and you will be ready to take on the world.
Regulating your metabolism plays a big part in doing the same for your appetite. Due to irregular dietary choices, your biological mechanisms might have gotten a bit mixed up, but ketosis is the perfect solution to get everything back on the right track. Not only will you beat your cravings to the curb, but you will feel better for it too.
The ketogenic diet might be controversial due to its specifications, but it is one of the most effective ones when it comes to immediate results, and medical professionals back this claim up. It does require a lot of getting used to because it involves a complete change of our modern-day eating habits, but it is worth it in the end.
Luke S. Mitchell is an MS Undergraduate in Sports Journalism and manager of Defend Your Healthcare.