A new study has researchers and Commanders alike wondering: Should the military adopt the Keto Zone Diet?
The study was conducted on the Army ROTC cadet population at Ohio State University. The purpose? To see if a Keto Zone-type diet is a better choice for military personnel. Could it improve weight, mental clarity, health, and performance?
The Study: Should the Military Adopt the Keto Zone Diet
The study was conducted by Jeff Volek, Ph.D., and is the first study to explore the feasibility and impact of a 12-week ketogenic diet on overweight U.S. military personnel (1).
In it, 15 overweight participants followed a diet similar to the Keto Zone and were compared to 14 overweight participants who remained on a standard diet. The study lasted 12 weeks and also included a physical training regimen.
In both diets, participants were not calorie restricted.
The cadets on a Keto Zone Diet:
- Lost an average of 17 pounds (7.5 kilograms)
- Resulted in a 5% overall body fat loss
- Decreased visceral fat by 44%
- Improved insulin sensitivity by 48%
Meanwhile, there wasn’t significant change for the participants on the standard diet in terms of weight or fat loss.
In both groups, the training regimen improved physical strength, agility, and endurance similarly (1).
Why the Keto Zone Diet Works
There are many reasons the Keto Zone Diet can help anyone, including military members, meet their weight and health goals. Here are the reasons it makes sense for the military to adopt the Keto Zone diet:
1. THE KETO ZONE PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS WITHOUT HUNGER
Hunger is one of the biggest reasons most people can’t stick with a standard diet. Once hungry, many people fixate on what they want to eat, but can’t have. Oftentimes, those diet-induced “intense cravings” are simply intense hunger. But there’s not a hunger issue with the Keto Zone. Keto Zone’s low-carb eating and ketosis automatically leads to a reduction in appetite (2). Which occurs for a few reasons:
- Healthy fat foods are filling and promote satiety
- Proteins are slow-digesting, allowing eaters to feel satisfied
- Ketone production suppresses appetite
- Leptin levels are optimized signaling fullness
What’s more, according to several studies, people eat fewer calories when they eat low-carbohydrate while increasing protein and fat (2).
2. KETO ZONE EATING LEADS TO QUICK INITIAL WEIGHT LOSS, MOSTLY ABDOMINAL FAT
There’s little doubt; when you cut carbs significantly, you’ll lose weight. In fact, you’ll specifically lose abdominal fat, and you’ll see the most results in the first 6 months. First, low-carb diets help your body rid itself of excess water and bloating, especially in the mid-section. Then, low-carb diets lower insulin. Even moderately high insulin levels stand as a barrier to fat breakdown and loss.
3. THE KETO ZONE HELPS LOWER HARMFUL TRIGLYCERIDES AND BLOOD PRESSURE
The military is certainly not immune to heart disease and cardiovascular issues. Keto Zone can help. How?
Triglycerides are fat molecules that circulate in your bloodstream. When triglycerides are high, there is a high risk of heart disease (6).
You’ll also see blood pressure fall. Elevated blood pressure puts you at risk of many diseases including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Low-carb Keto Zone eating is a great antidote (12, 13).
4. KETO ZONE SUPPORTS BETTER CHOLESTEROL NUMBERS
Additionally, the Keto Zone Diet will also promote better cholesterol readings.
First, Keto Zone will improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) numbers. Since a better ratio of HDL to “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) lowers your risk of heart disease, this is great news (14, 15, 16)!
Then, Keto Zone can even improve the type of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Especially if you include medium-chain triglycerides, you can reduce the bad type of LDL cholesterol that is able to enter cell walls and form plaques.
5. KETO ZONE IS GREAT FOR BLOOD SUGARS AND DIABETES
This one’s simple. If you cut carbs, you will lower blood sugars and risk of diabetes.
Unfortunately, diabetes and insulin resistance now affects millions of people worldwide (17, 18). Not only is diabetes a medical condition in and of itself, but high blood sugars also make it very difficult to lose weight.
Multiple studies have concluded that cutting carbs dramatically reduces blood sugars and insulin levels (19, 20). Cutting carbs is drastic, that it’s important to warn your doctor about the diet change, as you’ll likely need less insulin and/or medication in order to not experience low blood sugars.
6. KETO ZONE IS BENEFICIAL FOR BRAIN HEALTH
Weight loss and improved clarity and focus?
When you don’t eat as many carbs, your brain will begin to burn ketones as fuel.
Astonishingly, this change in brain fuel has shown successful for decades to help children with epilepsy vastly reduce seizures (without medications) (22).
Now, there is promising research on ketosis and brain improvements for degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (23).
What’s more, many people in ketosis report greater brain clarity, focus, and function than before.
Super Power for Navy Seals
Beyond weight loss, there may be extra “superpower” benefits for squads like Navy Seals.
According to Lisa Sanders, the director of science and technology at U.S. Special Operations Command, “One of the effects of truly being in ketosis is that it changes the way your body handles oxygen deprivation, so you can actually stay underwater at depths for longer periods of time and not go into oxygen seizures.”
If true, this may be an extra reason for specific units in the military to adopt the Keto Zone Diet.
Additionally, Keto Zone can drastically improve body composition for special forces with a combo of fat loss and muscle gains.
Keto Zone Diet Challenges for the Military
While small units would likely have a high rate of success with the Keto Zone diet, there are some challenges to adopting it military-wide.
- First, there’s the question of adherence to the diet. The military routinely conducts fitness tests, but it would be next level to also conduct ketone strip tests, or otherwise ensure that troops are in ketosis.
- Next, the cost of eating healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables may be higher than the standard American diet, full of processed foods, many eat now.
- The military’s on-the-field traditional meal, Ready To Eat meals (RTEs) would have to undergo a drastic overhaul. These meals are typically high carb, with fewer fats and proteins.
There’s little doubt that the Keto Zone Diet could have a significant and positive impact on many military service members. Perhaps the best option would be to use it with specific subgroups, either for performance benefits or weight loss and health improvements. The Keto Zone Diet is a healthy science-backed way to improve weight, health, mental clarity, and performance. These factors answer the question “Should the military adopt the Keto Zone Diet” with a “yes.”