Originally developed as a treatment option for epilepsy, the ketogenic diet was found to offer weight loss results and so was formalised into a more mainstream diet plan format.
The ketogenic diet promotes the consumption of high fat, low carbohydrate and low proteins. By restricting certain foods and drinks, the ketogenic diet allows ketosis to occur within the body.
Ketosis is the build up of ketone bodies within body tissues and fluids. Ketosis caused by the ketogenic diet forces the body to burn fat rather than sugar to release the body's vital energy. This burning of fat results in weight loss.
This is not a healthy eating plan and should only be used as a treatment for obesity and by extremely overweight people (with a BMI of 27+). Restricting certain foodstuffs for a prolonged period can result in nutrient deficiency diseases like beriberi, scurvy, anaemia, rickets and osteoporosis. It is essential, when following this plan, to take vitamin and mineral supplements to counteract these negative effects.