Thesis Project: The KetoGenic Diet

After our first round of research, I decided this was the concept I wanted to move forward with.

Concept Description

This concept explores the journey into health and major lifestyle changes. After seeing the many benefits of a ketogenic diet on myself for a month of the summer, I wanted to make a deeper commitment to this discovery, and how following a strictly low carb, sugar free diet would affect my lifestyle, moods, sleeping habits, as well as any physical changes that come. the goal is to create a journal that follows this exploration, covering topics from meal plans and recipes, to mood changes and sleeping habits, as well as physical progress throughout each step of the way. I want to incorporate my own photography skills (to show meals, prep, and progress), my layout and typography expertise (by creating the journal), while showing my dedication to a challenge, while bettering myself.

The ketogenic diet has not gone viral, or been highly publicized, but is one that has a cult following, and has a ton of research backing the science behind it. Even the popular atkins diet has a two week induction period, where those dieters follow a completely ketogenic meal plan.

While it is a healthy diet change compared to my usual eating habits, this diet is not recommended for any individual unless first discussed with a doctor or dietitian. This is not meant for everybody, and by no means is it a simple or easy undertaking for any individual, let alone a carb-aholic. But this is also a great challenge, with nothing but positive outcomes for someone who stays committed, and feels supported by peers.

The target audience for this project would be individuals aged 18-55, who are either already on this diet, or who are looking to make a healthy lifestyle change and lose a good amount of weight. These individuals are somewhat skilled in the kitchen, and are open to trying new things. these are also highly commited individuals as this is a consuming undertaking.

The planned deliverables of this journey will be to create a book, sharing my findings from this experience, including a lot of data and information design, as well as progress photos, meal prep, recipe sharing, etc. I think it would also be interesting to expand this idea into an app, as the ones currently available are highly lacking.

Research

A Guide to the Keto Diet. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://
http://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/

Butler, C. (n.d.). Information Architecture: A Prototyping Guide for Web
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Everything about keto. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/

This is a reddit forum that has been curated over the last several years by those following a ketogenic diet and lifestyle. There is so much different research and information available through the many posts on this page daily, even weekly. It has a cult following, and a wonderful community of people who are insanely supportive and motivating. This is probably one of the greatest sources for information, and going to be the continual motivator of my progress throughout this year. It also has the most informative FAQ section I’ve ever seen of it’s scale, and all the tools one needs to begin on this journey.

Hozer, M. (Director). (n.d.). Sugar Coated [Video file]. In Sugar Coated.

This documentary takes a hard look at the sugar industry, a multi billion dollar empire that finds it’s way into nearly every food product on store shelves. As we are seeing the first generations of children diagnosed with type II diabetes and fatty liver disease, sugar is coming under fire as a culprit of this huge social issue. This documentary has some great interviews, lots of research and science backing these hypothesis and people who genuinely care about the future of mankind. It also really shows the harm of something that so many of us are blindly addicted to, which happens to be slowly killing us.

Fan, S. (2013). The fat-fueled brain: Unnatural or advantageous? Retrieved
August 29, 2016, from http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/
mind-guest-blog/the-fat-fueled-brain-unnatural-or-advantageous/

Freeman, J. M. (2007). The Ketogenic Diet : A Treatment for Children and

Others with Epilepsy. New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

Ketogenic Woman. (n.d.). Retrieved October 06, 2016, from http://ketogenic
woman.com/ketowoman/

Landers, R., & Heller, S. (n.d.). Infographic Designers’ Sketchbooks.

Lankow, J., Ritchie, J., & Crooks, R. (2012). Infographics: The power of visual
storytelling. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Mackenzie C., C., Sarah, D., Bobbie J., H., Eric H., K., & Zahava, T. (2016).
The Ketogenic and Modified Atkins Diets, 6th Edition : Treatments for
Epilepsy and Other Disorders. New York, NY: Demos Health.

Meirelles, I. (2013). Design for Information : An Introduction to the Histories,
Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations.
Gloucester, Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers.

Naughton, T. (Director). (2009). Fat Head [Motion picture Online]. United
States: Middle Road Pictures.

This documentary follows one man’s journey to prove that eating high fat is not as unhealthy as the media portrays it to be. Inspired by the documentary “Super Size Me,” Tom Naughton disputes the lipid hypothesis; a nutrition theory that is promoted by most of the Western World. Instead, Tom spends a month eating fast food for every meal, yet skipping out of most of the carbs. Eating around 100g of carbs a day, and high fat instead, Tom shows through medical testing and physical changes that eating high fat does not correlate with weight gain, and that you can in fact eat fast food every day, and still manage to become healthier. Though this is not exactly what the ketogenic diet is about, as ketosis requires 50g or less of carbs per day, it shows how the body uses fat as fuel, instead of burning sugar which becomes stored fat in the body when it cannot be used up. This also disproves the lipid hypothesis, which has most people believing in order to lose weight, they must pass on the fat.

Pradhanangas, A. (2014). My 3 Months Journey with Ketosis and Ketogenic
Diet. Retrieved October 06, 2016, from https://atulmalla.wordpress.
com/2014/08/20/my-3-months-journey-with-ketosis-and-ketogenic-diet/

Phase 1. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://sa.atkins.com/new-
atkins/the-program/phase-1-induction.html

Pettersson, R. (2002). Information design. [electronic resource] : an
introduction. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia : John Benjamins Pub. Co., c2002.

SHAHAF, D., GUESTRIN, C., HORVITZ, E., & LESKOVEC, J. (2015).
Information Cartography. Communications Of The ACM, 58(11), 62-73.
doi:10.1145/2735624

Taubes, G. (2011). Why we get fat: And what to do about it. New York: Anchor
Books.

Taubes, G. (2007). Good calories, bad calories: Challenging the conventional
wisdom on diet, weight control, and disease. New York: Knopf.

Taubes, G. (2013). The science of obesity: what do we really know about
what makes us fat? An essay by Gary Taubes. BMJ (Clinical Research
Ed.), 346f1050. doi:10.1136/bmj.f1050


This academic journal/essay by Gary Taubes further explores the media’s portrayal of the lipid hypothesis as the only viable understanding of weight loss/gain, but actually disproves that theory through science and research. This essay goes on to discuss that not all calories are created equally, and carbohydrate calories are far more damaging than those coming from protein and fat sources. Another huge problem with carbohydrate calories is that these are carbs coming from sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and not carbs that one would find in nature. The health detriments are absolutely astounding, and discussed in great length throughout this essay and in his two books about the ketogenic diet.

Vogel, L. (n.d.). Healthful Pursuit. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.
healthfulpursuit.com/