The EKN diet
The Enteric Ketogenic Nutrition or EKN for short, is one of the most extreme diets
What is the EKN Diet?
The EKN diet is an extreme, very low calorie (virtual starvation) diet which is followed for cycles of 10 days. Dieters consume 130 calories a day via a nasal gastric tube which is fed through the nose, and down into the stomach. This tube is attached to a pump which administers liquid nutrition through the tube on a 24-hour basis, pumping 2 litres of formula during the day and night.
Dieters must keep the tube in place all day and night, although they may remove it for a maximum of one hour per day for washing. During the daytime, dieters can carry the pump around with them, usually in a bag or backpack and must hang it up by their bed overnight.
Prospective followers of the EKN diet must undergo full medical checks and will be taught how to operate the pump. Daily routines include measuring Ketone concentration in their urine, monitoring their weight and bowel movements and noting how hungry they are on a scale of 1 to 10.
How Does the Diet Work?
The Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet works by drastically reducing the amount of calories each day by infusion of a protein liquid through a nasal gastric tube. This continual infusion creates a state of ketosis, much like the Atkins diet, whereby the body starts burning up fat resources for energy. This also removes feelings of hunger.
How Long Does the Diet Last?
The KEN lasts for an initial cycle of 10 days. This includes 24 hours a day receiving nutrients via the gastric tube. After the first cycle, dieters return to ‘normal’ eating whereby they should follow a healthy eating plan. After 10 days back on normal food, they can repeat another cycle of 10 days on the KEN. How many cycles are repeated should be discussed with the doctor.
Who is it Suitable For?
Anyone who needs to lose weight can follow the KEN diet apart from the following three categories:
- People who can’t take a normal amount of protein;
2. Those who are allergic to milk proteins;
3. Children less than 14 years old.
It could be suitable for those who have tried and failed to lose weight while following other more conventional diets. It could also be another route to try for those who are extremely overweight and want to avoid undergoing gastric surgery.
How Much Weight Can You lose?
Those following the KEN diet can hope to lose between 7% to 10% of their initial body weight during the first 10-day cycle. Dieters then follow a healthy, weight maintenance diet for 10 days before commencing another 10 day cycle of KEN which promotes further weight loss.
What Can You Eat or Drink?
Dieters eat no solid food at all while on the diet. However, they can drink while the tube is in place. Drinks include water, chamomile tea or black tea and coffee without sugar or milk. The nutrition liquid which contains protein and nutrients, provides 130 calories each day.
Are There any Side Effects?
Side effects though rare include constipation or diarrhea, bad breath, nausea or vomiting or heartburn. All these are easily controllable.