Is keto right for you? Are you looking for a way to lose weight without counting calories? Do you want to feel great while eating delicious food? Then keto might just be the diet plan for you! Ketogenic diets are high fat, low carb diets that work very well for losing weight quickly. They also help with blood sugar control and energy levels. In fact, many people who try keto find that they get super energetic and never want to go back to regular diets again. So, it keto a trendy diet you should let pass you by, or is keto right for you?
If you’ve tried every diet under the sun and nothing has worked for you, then maybe keto is the answer. It works for lots of people, including celebrities such as Halle Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow. But before you jump on board, make sure you understand how keto works and whether it will work for you.
I’m going to explain everything you need to know about keto and why it may be the perfect solution for you.
So How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work?
Ketogenic diets are high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets that force the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. This happens when the body burns stored fats instead of carbs for energy. In order to achieve this, you need to be eating 20 grams of carbs a day, or fewer.
When you eat a carb-heavy diet, your body uses carbs as its source of energy. But when you switch to a keto diet, your body starts burning fat for energy.
Ketones are produced during the process of breaking down fats into usable energy. When you eat foods high in carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels rise, causing insulin to release. Insulin allows glucose to enter cells, where it becomes stored as glycogen.
Insulin levels are static on keto, without the peaks and troughs.
This means that you burn fat for energy even while sleeping. Your body gets rid of excess water weight, and you lose inches off your waistline.
Check out our article for more info on getting started on the keto diet.
Some people experience mild side effects when following a ketogenic diet. These can include headaches, fatigue, constipation, and muscle cramps.
Some people report feeling hungrier than usual when they first cut their carb intake, but this tends to pass after several weeks.
Some people may experience gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea or nausea. In rare cases, ketones in the blood can cause seizures. To avoid this, check with your doctor before beginning a ketogenic diet.
These are normally short lived side effects, and should not put anybody off starting a keto diet.
The pros of the Keto Diet
Weight loss is a common reason why people choose to go on a ketogenic diet. People who follow the ketogenic diet report less hunger and better sleep.
They also say it helps them feel more energetic throughout the day.
When you consume fewer carbs, your body produces ketones to use as energy. Your brain uses ketones much faster than glucose, meaning you don’t experience cravings.
You’re also burning fat rather than storing it. In fact, a Harvard study showed that those following a ketogenic diet lose weight while eating more daily calories than usual.
Studies show that women who followed a keto diet, increasing their fat intake, lost more weight than those following a traditional low-fat diet.
Many people find that they feel better mentally and emotionally when they follow a keto diet. Some research suggests that ketone bodies may improve cognition and mood.
Health Benefits of Keto
A ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet that forces the body to burn stored fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. When you are in a state of ketosis, it is possible to lose weight without counting calories.
Ketones are produced during the process of gluconeogenesis, which occurs in the liver. Glucose is broken down into pyruvate, which then gets converted into acetyl Coenzyme A. Acetyl Coenzyme A then enters the Krebs cycle, which produces ATP (energy).
In addition to being used for energy, ketones are also known to improve brain function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Here are some of the benefits of eating a keto diet:
Weight Loss – Studies show that those on a ketogenic diet lost 10% of their total body weight within just one week.
Brain Health – Research suggests that ketones may prevent cognitive decline associated with aging.
Heart Disease – Eating a keto diet reduces cholesterol levels and improves cardiovascular health.
There are many, many more keto health benefits, which we will take you through below.
Only when you know all of the facts can you decide, is keto right for you.
Blood Sugar Balance
When you are in ketosis, it helps to regulate blood sugar and stabilize insulin.
As a result, you won’t feel hungry and will eat less. You’ll also lose weight because you’re burning stored fat for energy rather than glucose.
According to Dr. Jason Fung, author of “The Obesity Code,” we evolved to burn fat, not carbs. He says our ancestors ate lots of fruit and vegetables, but today’s modern diet is filled with processed foods loaded with simple sugars.
These days, most people consume about 250 grams of carbohydrates per day.
In fact, the average American Diet contains nearly 40% carbs, well over the 5% recommended for a keto diet.
When in ketosis your liver turns fatty acids into energy, producing ketones in the process. Your brain uses ketones almost exclusively for fuel.
You’re burning fat, but you don’t have the same energy surges and crashes common with traditional calorie restriction.
A few recent studies suggest that eating a lot of carbs might actually make losing weight harder. Not because carbs cause obesity, necessarily, but because they keep your blood sugar fluctuating after meals, creating constant hunger pangs.
Carbohydrates slow down metabolism, too, making it tougher to burn off the food you eat. A study published in August 2017, for example, found that people who ate whole grains had lower resting metabolic rates than those who avoided them.
With keto, people find that their hunger levels do not fluctuate and remain low, meaning they don’t get cravings.
So while there’s no doubt that cutting carbs will lead to weight loss.
Research shows that people who eat fewer carbohydrates tend to crave less often, and low carb diets help you control cravings and satisfy you better.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that ketogenic diets helped women lose weight and reduce their craving for sweets. Another study published in Obesity showed that those who followed a diet rich in fat lost more weight and had lower levels of insulin and leptin.
Keto helps you feel fuller, and therefore eat less.
In one study, researchers gave participants either a high-carbohydrate or low-carbohydrate meal. They found that those who ate the low-carb meal felt full longer, whilst reducing their caloric intake.
When it came to food intake, the low-carb group consumed about 30 percent fewer calories.
Better Brain Health
Ketones are a great way to improve brain health. They help the brain run efficiently and keep you sharp throughout the day.
Mental clarity, and less brain fog, if one of the most commonly reported side effects of the keto diet.
When we eat carbohydrates, our bodies break down those nutrients into sugar. This process requires energy. In turn, it puts stress on the liver and pancreas. These organs work hard to convert what we consume into usable fuel.
As a result, they become exhausted and depleted.
A lack of energy leads to fatigue and poor cognitive function. On the flip side, when we switch to a ketogenic diet, we don’t rely on sugar for energy. Instead, we use fat stored in the liver and muscle tissue. We also burn fat for energy.
This means that you will have more energy, which will naturally increase your activity levels, making your feel better overall.
Our brains love fats because they’re full of essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6. These nutrients support healthy brain development and function. You’ll feel sharper and less sluggish while you’re on a ketogenic diet.
Longevity and Disease Prevention
Ketones are produced during ketogenic fasting. They act like a natural anti-inflammatory and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
In addition, ketones are known to improve brain function and protect against cancer, including brain cancer, as well as being cited as reversing type 2 diabetes.
Higher Athletic Performance
Athletes who train in a ketotic state tend to have better performance.
They perform better during endurance events such as marathons, triathlons, cycling races, and long-distance running competitions.
Check out our article for more on exercising on the keto diet.
For anybody (like me) who spent a decade struggling with their weight, getting control of your weight, and health can have no end of mental health benefits.
Finally, you will feel free to live life, you will feel in control, and no longer be hiding in the back of photos.
When Not To Do Keto
Keto diets are popular among celebrities and fitness buffs because they promise quick weight loss without hunger pangs. But these diets aren’t always for everybody, for a number of different reasons.
There are many reasons why the keto diet may not be for you.
Here we will take you through some of these reasons.
Your doctor can advise you if the keto diet is appropriate for you.
There are a number of medical conditions that the keto diet is not always compatible.
If you have any health issues, or are on any medications, you should seek medical advice before undertaking any dramatic change to your diet.
He or she can also give you other recommendations to improve your overall health.
It’s created an unhealthy relationship with food
Eating according to your cravings leads to overeating. A recent study found that people who eat what they want tend to eat more calories overall. Researchers believe that it’s because we don’t feel satisfied eating healthy foods, like vegetables and whole grains. We end up feeling hungry again soon after finishing our meal. This cycle continues until we reach a state of fullness, where we no longer feel the urge to snack.
The same thing happens when you restrict yourself to just fats. When you start eating low carb, you might find yourself craving carbs. But you shouldn’t give into those cravings. Instead, try to stick to healthier options. For example, you could opt for a salad over fries. Or you could choose a piece of fruit over cookies.
Your taste buds change after starting the keto diet. In fact, researchers say that they become less sensitive to sweet tastes. So, you’ll likely crave sweets less often. However, you should still limit your intake to keep your sugar levels under control.
However, if you start to resent high fat and low carb foods, and are not enjoying your food, you should consider your relationship with keto.
There is no point continuing if you are resenting the restrictions on you, as you’re only going to start having cheat days down the road.
You’re Regularly Having cheat days
If you are regularly having cheat days on keto, it’s probably not for you, or, not for you at this point in your life. Keto can be seen as being a restrictive diet by some, which can lead to cheat days.
Although once in ketosis, and fat adapted, your body will deal with a slight increase in the number of carbs consumed, regular cheat days will knock you out of ketosis.
Fluctuating between burning fat and burning carbs can put your body under a lot of stress. Also, you run the potential of experiencing the side effects of keto every time you try and enter ketosis again.
At this point, it’s worth taking a step away from keto, assessing what your health and weightloss goals are, and then making a decision as to whether keto is for you or not.
Unbearable Social Pressures
Eating out on keto, or sharing a kitchen with those who do not eat keto, can be challenging.
If you find yourself dredging going out, or eating with others, you possibly haven’t done enough research about what foods you can eat on keto, or you’re not in the right head space to commit to it.
In reality, there is no end of keto-friendly foods which you can enjoy when eating out.
If you are in this position, you are likely to start having cheat days. As discussed above, this is not healthy and you should take a step back from keto and reassess whether it is right for you or not.
You Don’t Feel Healthy Any More
If you have been on keto for several months, and you are fat adapted, and you are still experiencing a lot of the side effects of keto, you may want to consider whether keto is for you.
Check out this article for questions to ask before starting keto.
Summary: Is keto right for you?
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a low-carb diet plan that will give you the results you want without giving you any headaches, then keto might be right for you. But before you jump into the world of keto, take a look at the pros and cons of the popular diet first. Then decide if keto is right for you based on your own personal needs and preferences. Once you’re set that keto is for you, do your research and be prepared before jumping in.