Keto is like, the diet buzzword of the decade, isn’t it?
I Keto, you keto, he, she, we…keto.
The ketogenic diet or as it is popularly known- the Keto diet, is high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. The keto diet involves effectively reducing the consumption of carbohydrates and replacing it with fat. This severe reduction on the intake of carbohydrates sets the body into a metabolic state called “ Ketosis.”
Ketosis is defined as a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues, which is typically pathological in conditions such as diabetes, or maybe the consequence of a diet that is very low in carbohydrates.
However, when ketosis happens, the human body becomes increasingly effective at burning fat and converting it to energy, it also converts fat into ketones (chemically known as ketone bodies, which are byproducts of the breakdown of fatty acids) in the liver which supplies energy to the brain.
When we are on a ketogenic diet, our entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases drastically. It becomes easy for the body to access its fat stores to burn them off. This will work wonders if you’re trying to lose some weight, but the keto diet also provides other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy, and keeping the body more alert and focused. Keto has also been used for a plethora of other issues including ADHD, Autism, Depression, Thyroid problems, insulin resistance, and maybe even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (only a few studies have been done so it’s not conclusive yet for the last two).
The quickest way for the human body to get to the state of ketosis is by fasting. But honestly, we can only fast for so long- and, really, any more than 24 hours and I get crazy mean.
On the other hand, when we use the Keto diet and intermittent fasting, the consumption of food is still possible, and it also results in Ketosis.
There are four main types of doing Keto that most people agree work- and all have their pros and cons.
This is the standard diet. It is a very low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs. This keto diet plan is believed to be the best for beginners, and although it might be difficult at first, you would get used to it.
Just like it sounds, you’ll cycle through 5-6 days per week of low carb eating with a day or two of higher carb days. This is what DH does because after a week or two of being in Ketosis he starts feeling terrible and getting ‘brain fog’. Don’t go crazy, though- having a day of binging helps no one.
This form of keto diet allows you to add carbs around workouts- usually 50 grams or less. This one’s really only recommended for people who work out- a LOT. I’m talking powerlifters or marathon runners or something.
This is similar to a standard keto diet but includes a higher consumption of protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
A keto diet is a very effective way to lose weight and lower your risk of disease. In fact, research has shown that the ketogenic diet is a far more superior diet to the often recommended low-fat diets.
Also, the keto diet is so satisfying that you can burn fat and lose weight without having to count calories or track your food intake. One study discovered that individuals on a keto diet lost 2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet.
As I’m sure you already know, you can’t just eat anything when on the keto diet. It is crucial to watch what you eat, as that is the basis of the diet. There are many foods that are Keto friendly- I will talk about a few of the keto diet food lists below;
• Seafood like fish and shellfish are very keto friendly foods
• Low carb vegetables like avocados, celery, spinach, cucumber, and asparagus are keto approved foods
• Unprocessed meats are also very Keto friendly
• Eggs, whether boiled or fried… eat them anyway
• High-fat dairy products like high-fat cheese and yogurts
• Nuts are good too, in moderation
Here’s the thing, though, if you cheat on Keto, it can (and probably will) knock you out of ketosis and then you get to go through the keto flu all over again- but more on that later….
WHEN you stick to keto, you’ll likely have tons more energy, lose weight, and feel amazing. And you don’t want to count macros forever, but practice makes perfect- you’ll get there.