obese man with bathroom weighing scaleThe keto diet seeks to increase the intake of fats in our body and reduce the intake of carbohydrates. Simply speaking, keto shifts our source of energy from carbohydrates to fats.

The relationship between the ketogenic diet and our body fat mass percentage.

The body in our current state gets its energy from carbohydrates.   The body utilizes the carbohydrates we consume and converts them into glucose, the excess is converted into glycogen and is stored in the body as fat. The stored glycogen is then used when the body needs an extra source of energy, that is, when the carbohydrate intake in our bodies is reduced, the body has to look for alternate sources of energy. This then prompts the body to break down the glycogen, which is usually stored with water.

When the glycogen is broken down and utilized along with the stored water, one may find themselves urinating a lot more than normal due to the excess amount of water being released. This is the period within which a person who has just begun keto, experience rapid weight loss due to the excretion of most of the water that was stored along with the glycogen.

This is the process that the whole keto diet is based on known as ketogenesis which allows the body to utilize fats as an energy source. When the keto diet is maintained, the body’s metabolism of utilizing fats as an energy source is also maintained. The fat consumed during keto is synthesized by the body to produce energy. Many ketogenic diets differ, as some allow different types of fat to be consumed. It is best to consult with a nutritionist specialist to find out the best ketogenic diet option for you.

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In this study, scientists conducted tests on two groups of people; one group would choose to be on the ketogenic diet while the other would be on a normal diet. The goal of the study was to find out whether the keto diet reduces the amount of fat in the body. The results of the study showed that the keto diet is effective in fat loss compared to a normal diet. They also found out that the keto diet reduces appetite and increases satiety, making it easier for a person to retain their weight loss, and also, their body fat percentage reduces or stays the same, rather than increasing.

Another study done on overweight women showed that resistance exercise along with the ketogenic diet may actually reduce body fat without actively reducing lean body mass. The percentage of body fat reduces while the lean body mass remains the same. The keto diet, if well followed and maintained, can actually lead to a decrease in body fat percentage.

Why did my weight go down but body fat went higher?

In some instances, some people experience body fat gain rather than body fat loss, despite the fact they have reduced in weight. The factors that may lead to increased boy fat mass include:

  1. Not following the keto diet

Most people who do not lose the fat may have not followed the procedure by eating foods that are rich in carbohydrates, albeit unknowingly. Eating carbohydrate-rich foods means that the body continues using carbohydrates as a source of energy, thus preventing the fat from being broken down into energy.

Some people also take part in drinking alcohol that is laden with high sugar content. Dieting on keto generally means that one is prevented from taking alcohol as it has high sugar content. Having cheat days on keto can be quite tempting, and sometimes, one cheat day is a temptation enough to keep going. However, many people utilize the cheat days to have too many carbohydrates or have too many cheat days that the body is unable to decipher whether to keep with the breaking up of fats or carbohydrates. This then slows down the breaking down of fats resulting in less body fat loss.

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Additionally, some people do not get enough calories. They are on keto but are not eating adequate quantities of food to meet the body’s energy needs. Eating enough calories and protein and any other nutrients our body needs is essential. This promotes the good health of our organs and ensures that our body has enough energy as required.

  1. Lack of exercise, self-care, and loads of stress.

Exercise is important for the body as it helps promote our overall well-being. While we experience stress as humans every day, it is important to have ways of releasing it as the cortisol hormone that is released due to stress promotes maintenance of weight rather than losing it. The keto diet and any other diet really needs to be accompanied by adequate exercise and good mental health so as to help promote the feel-good hormones that ensure we keep on track with our weight loss goals.

  1. Excessive feeding on proteins.

Proteins are vital for the keto diet. However, in excess amounts, the body treats them as carbohydrates. The excess is stored in the body as glycogen, just like carbohydrates. This is through the process of glucogenesis. Remember that the whole basis for the ketogenic diet is the ketosis process in which fats are broken down into ketones? Well, glucogenesis is the exact process that produces glycogen, which is what the keto diet is all about preventing.

  1. Excessive feeding on fats.

Fats have the highest concentration of calories per gram, precisely 9 calories per gram. It is therefore important to eat just enough of the fatty foods recommended on the keto diet as a lot of calorie intake whether from fats or other sources still increases our weight gain and may contribute to increased fat mass in our bodies.

  1. Sometimes, our genes are just not suitable for the keto diet.

Some people are unfit to try the keto diet simply because their genes that regulate the metabolization of fats cannot support the keto diet. Other times, the body type of a person may also pose as a hindrance to the keto diet. This is the reason why it is vital to consult with a nutritionist specialist to determine the best diet for your weight loss plan to prevent any disappointments and waste of time.

Can you get below 10% body fat on the keto diet?

The Keto diet is known for its ability to reduce body fat mass. In this study, it was found that:

Athletes who consumed the ketogenic diet had reduced body fat percentages, respiratory exchange rates, and increased total cholesterol compared to athletes who did not consume this diet. However, body mass index, cardiorespiratory fitness, heart rate, HDL cholesterol, glucose level, and insulin level were unaffected by the diet. (4) Conclusions: Ketogenic diets had a beneficial effect by decreasing body fat percentage, but athletes with high total cholesterol levels need to be monitored when instituting a ketogenic diet.’ 

From the foregoing, it is possible for a person to lose their body fat mass to below 10% while on the keto diet. However, this has to be on a very strict keto diet as the results desired are astronomical. The best way to do it is to stick to the diet your nutritionist has recommended. The goal should not be to have a 10% body mass fat but to reach the optimal body fat mass that suits you, your body mass, and finally, your ideal look.

The aim of the keto diet is to use fats as a main source of energy in the body, the premise that there is fat loss, as a result, is therefore not surprising. However, after the first few weeks of the keto diet, one may notice that their results are not as they were before; they may have reached a plateau. This is often due to the fact that they may have changed a regular pattern in their diet or that they may have unknowingly eaten too many proteins or carbohydrates or fats without realizing it.

The best way to track your body fat mass is to have a Bioelectrical Impedal Analysis that can track your body mass composition most precisely. Perhaps the best motivation to get started on the keto diet is to realize that you will see results much faster in the first few weeks than on other diets, even better, that you may reach your desired boy fat mass much more easily and quickly by being on the keto diet than on other diets.