Why Is The Ketogenic Diet So Popular?
The ketogenic diet is the hot new trend among people looking to lose weight. Why is this? When losing weight, burning fat is the optimal way to shed those extra pounds. When your body enters ketosis, it begins to use fat as an energy source. This allows you to burn fat at an increased rate. That is just the simple form, we will discuss the details of exactly how the process works later on. For many people, keto is the simplest and easiest way to lose weight.
What Is The Keto Diet?
The keto diet is one of the fastest and easiest ways to lose weight. Easy is a relative term depending on how willing you are to give up sugars and carbs. For me, it was pretty easy after seeing how quickly I was gaining weight from eating a very high carb lifestyle with minimal activity. This diet is popular among many people because you do not have to spend a lot of time working out to lose weight. You can still exercise to speed up the process, but this may also require slight changes to your diet. Don’t be fooled, keto is not a miracle. You won’t shed pounds in days. Like any diet, consistency is crucial for success. It is likely you will see results withing a matter of weeks if you stick to it.
How Does Keto Work?
The keto diet works by eliminating most carbohydrate intake for your body. Typically your body produces glucose from these carbs, which is used as fuel for your body. When you eliminate this energy source, your body must find another one. This comes in the form of ketones. Your liver turns fat into ketones, which the body then uses for energy. When your body begins this metabolic process, it is called ketosis. The quickest way to enter ketosis is by fasting, but you still have to eat at some point. By eliminating sugars and carbs from your diet, you are able to maintain this ketosis even when eating. This allows your body to run on fat 24/7.
In order to sustain this you have to eat food rich in healthy fats and protein. This provides a consistent energy source, while burning stored fat between meals. If you consume too many carbs while on this diet, you will actually gain weight. Your body will leave ketosis and begin using carbs for energy again. Once this happens, the fat you consume will be stored, leading to weight gain. If you are heavily active, you can consume light amounts of carbs, as your body will burn through them rather quickly.
What Can I Eat On The Keto Diet?
Most diets require you to consciously monitor what you eat. The keto diet is no different. The basis of this diet is consuming high fat and high protein foods. While doing this, you must minimize carbohydrate intake, including sugars. This is truly difficult for many people to do. On the bright side, you are not limited on how much of certain foods you can eat. Most vegetables, lean meats and seafood have little or no carbs, therefore you can eat these in abundance.
What You Shouldn’t Eat
Avoid and grain products and most processed foods. This means almost entirely cutting out pastas, breads, potatoes, fruit, rice, beer, sodas, juices, and candy. Most people think that fruit is a healthy food. In moderation, fruit is healthy for many diets because of the nutrients. For keto, fruit is not good because of the sugars. They may be natural sugars, but it can still shift your metabolism out of ketosis. Pasta, rice bread and cereal are grain and starch products that are high in carbs. Many condiments and sauces are also high in sugar. A lot mixers for liquors are high in sugar and beers are high in carbs so alcohol intake must be restricted. Beans are another food that is high in carbs. Most vegetables that grow below ground are also high in starches and bad for a keto diet.
What You Should Eat
Many people will ask “what is left to eat on keto?” There are a lot of options to choose from that are healthy. For starters, to maintain the high protein balance needed for keto, meat is an important part of your diet. Also seafood is good for keto, especially salmon, trout, tuna and other fish high in fat. Eggs are another good source of protein with very little carbs. Butter and cream are also good sources of natural fat. Unprocessed cheese, avocados and oils provide another source of healthy fats. Seasonings are a great way to flavor your food without adding carbs. Vegetables are another important source of nutrients as long as they are low carb. This includes most green veggies like broccoli, peppers, lettuce, spinach, kale, asparagus, cucumber and zucchini. There are plenty of keto friendly recipes available online.
Pros of Keto
The keto diet has a number of benefits which is why it’s quite popular. For starters, keto is great for helping you to lose body fat. This diet also reduces insulin levels, which can help people who monitor their blood sugar levels. By reducing your insulin levels, you also make your body more sensitive to the intake. This allows for smoother reintroduction to carbs at a later point. Another benefit is that it fits well with a sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary means you spend much of your time sitting or moving very little. This is perfect for people who spend most of their time sitting behind a desk, driving, or doing very little moving. I went from walking 8,000-10,000 steps a day bar tending to less than 2,000 sitting behind a desk. Within a month I gained nearly 20 pounds. Keto is allowing me to get back to an ideal weight.
Cons of Keto
When changing the way you fuel your body, there are some drawbacks. Some people get the “keto-flu” during the first couple weeks. when your body is changing, it can cause you to be sluggish because your brain is used to running off of glucose. Another con is that the diet is often hard to stick to. Swaying from it and consuming carbs can lead to weight gain. If the diet is not followed properly, you may also have nutrient deficiency from eliminating food groups and variety. This diet does not work well for athletes or people with a very active lifestyle. Their level of exercise requires carbs to meet maximum efficiency. Some people get caught up in the low carb, high fat diet that they forget to monitor calories as well. If you still intake more calories than you burn each day, then you will not be losing weight.
Some people choose to combine this diet with other diets to increase weight loss. The most popular of these is to do intermittent fasting while on the keto diet. This is often done on a 16 hours to 8 hour ratio. This means going 16 hours without eating and 8 hours where you can eat. People choose to do this because your metabolism boosts during fasting periods. This boost also helps your body enter ketosis much quicker. Fasting also has other benefits as well. There are results that show an increase natural HGH levels. HGH is the human growth hormone. This is an important factor in building muscle mass and body physique. HGH also helps to improve recovery time as well.
If you have struggled with other diets, or have had little success, then keto may be worth a try. It is working for me thus far. It is fairly simple to follow and can lead to fairly quick weight loss. Combine keto with intermittent fasting to see even more results. If you are taking medication, pregnant, or have a medical condition, then you should consult a medical professional before beginning a new diet.