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The Ketogenic Diet

A high-fat, low-carb diet most notably known for helping children with epilepsy.

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Eat cheesecake and creamy chicken salad and lose weight? For some this may sound like a dream diet come true, but for others, eating this way is a medical necessity.

The Ketogenic Diet is a diet that is most often used for medical reasons to treat children with epilepsy, but it is also a regimented diet program that aids in weight loss. The diet is a high fat, high protein and very low carbohydrate program. The purpose of this tightly scheduled eating plan is to put the body in a state of ketosis so that it is using ketones for its primary energy source rather than glucose. Ketones are the by-products of fat being broken down.

Normally, our bodies run on glucose. Glucose can only be stored for 24 hours until it is used up. When all of the glucose is used up, your body then turns to stored fat as its energy source. The Ketogenic Diet keeps the body in this constant state of burning fat for energy. For reasons still unknown, this ketogenic state prevents seizures in children with epilepsy, thus it is often used as an alternative treatment to seizure-controlling medication.

The Ketogenic Diet has been around for many years and it is believed that The Atkins Diet is a moderate offshoot from this more rigid diet. It is comprised of 80% fat and the remaining 20% comes from protein and certain carbohydrates. Calories must also be monitored to ensure that you are not getting more calories than what your body needs to function.

Given its ability to place the body in a continual state of burning fat for energy, it has been used to help people lose weight. Body-builders often adopt a ketogenic diet to create a "cut" or chiseled look to their muscles.

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  • The Ketogenic Diet is a drugless solution to refractory epilepsy in children
  • Can help in weight loss
  • Burns body fat
  • The Ketogenic Diet puts strain on liver and kidneys
  • Kidney and gall stones are a common side effect
  • Food plan is very rigid
  • Not a long-term solution to weight loss
  • Fatigue is a likely consequence during the first two weeks of the diet
  • Cholesterol and triglyceride levels will likely increase
  • Lacking vitamins and minerals
  • Eliminates most carbs
  • No exercise guidance

The Ketogenic Diet is a stringent plan to follow. Dieticians closely monitor those who are following it for medical reasons. Even without medical supervision, those following it to lose weight must pay special attention to the kinds of foods they are eating in order to ensure that the 4:1 ratio of fats to protein and carbohydrate is constantly being met.

Eighty percent of your calories will come from fatty foods like milk, cream, full-fat yogurt and butter. Sugar, grains, flour, cereals, rice and pasta are all excluded. Egg, tuna and chicken salads made with full-fat mayo, cheesecake, shakes and omelets are just some of the commonly-eaten foods while on the Ketogenic Diet.

A supplement is also needed since the diet is void of many essential nutrients and minerals.


There is no specific exercise program while on The Ketogenic Diet. The diet will likely cause fatigue and energy loss for the first few weeks. Therefore, an individual should workout according to how his or her energy state.

For those who are on the Ketogenic Diet for medical reasons, an exercise schedule will be worked out with his or her dietician.


Eating cheesy eggs and thick milkshakes may sound like an ideal diet to lose weight. The Ketogenic Diet, which has been around for over 80 years and most notably has helped thousands of children reduce their seizure episodes. In addition, it is sometimes used by people who want to lose weight or by body builders who want to refine their musculature before an event.

The Ketogenic Diet is not a long-term solution to weight loss. Even children who adopt this diet only do so for a maximum of two years. It is not only a very strict diet but it also comes with medical complications.

If you are looking to lose weight and the food plan behind this diet appeals to you, talk to your doctor first. You can also start researching the Atkins Diet, which is a more gentle form of the Ketogenic Diet that does not carry the great potential for all of the additional adverse side effects.

Common Misspellings

Ketogenics Diet, Ketogenetic Diet, Epilepsy Diet, Epileptic Diet, Ketosis Diet, Ketones Diet

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(Page 1 of 1, 5 total comments)

Brian Murphy


sugar substitutes on ketogenic diet? can i use sugar substiues like sgar twin ,equal or splenda while on this diet

posted Apr 3rd, 2013 10:28 pm



Super-awesome. It's a diet that isn't a money-backed fad. It's simple science. Lost 10 lbs within a month on this.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 5:04 pm

Jon W


What is with this list of alleged "cons?" What is with this list of alleged "cons?" If you do some research on the topic, you will find that the -science- shows this list to largely be false. It is not hard on the liver or kidneys. It practically cures fatty liver disease, for one. Is a very viable solution to long-term weight loss. Fatigue phase can range from nonexistant to a week. Cholesterol and triglyceride profiles nearly ALWAYS greatly improve. Lacks vitamins and minerals? Take a vitamin and eat your vegetables. This biased review has no supportive evidence.

posted Mar 20th, 2012 1:37 am



This is working great for me for short term weight loss before a New Year's Day vacation!

posted Nov 25th, 2008 2:22 pm



This is working great for me for short term weight loss before a New Year's Day vacation!

posted Nov 25th, 2008 12:28 pm


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