What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet has become increasingly popular because of its many health benefits. Click here to learn what it is and why you should consider it.
The monstrous belly flab has struck again. You’re reading through numerous posts about nutrition, countless testimonies of “miracle pills,” and then you come across two little words you’ve probably heard before: keto diet.
Those two words can change your life.
But is it right for you? Can you really take another whack at the relentless restrictions ANOTHER diet will impose upon you?
It’s time to find out. But I will make you a promise: if you give it a try, it’s worth it.
What is the Keto Diet?
The basic foundation is that if you avoid carbs and replace them with fat, you will feel less hungry and, in the long run, lose weight.
The science behind it is pretty fascinating.
Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy. When these are eliminated, the body turns to other means to store and expend energy.
It’s kind of like when Peter Parker gets bitten by the radioactive spider and becomes a superhero. (Don’t worry; there are no radioactive dangers here.)
When carbs are eliminated, the body adapts, undergoing a process called ketogenesis, also known as ketosis.
In ketogenesis, we turn to other means in order to survive. Ketone bodies (ketones) break down fat and transform it into energy, and voila! We burn through fat and our metabolism spikes.
How Is It Different?
One word. Fat.
Yes. You get to eat lots of fat. Lots.
And that means bacon and cheese. And other yummy stuff!
Plus, lean meats are totally in.
Say goodbye to the regular diet where you have to shun practically everything tasty.
What Are Its Benefits?
Besides the obvious (ridding us of those love handles we hate so much), the keto diet comes jam-packed with a ton of health benefits:
- Reduced hunger
- Increased energy
- Increased concentration and memory
- Lower risk of disease
- Extended lifespan
- Increased levels of “good” cholesterol
- Reduced blood pressure
On top of that, it can help with several medical conditions, such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, brain disorders, epilepsy and fatty liver disease.
A Few Warnings
The keto diet isn’t for everyone.
If you are elderly, are considering it for a child or have any medical conditions it’s best to speak to your doctor before beginning.
Furthermore, you have to be dedicated.
That means no “I’ll spoil myself for one day” deals. If you do that, your body immediately jumps out of ketosis.
As Madeye Moody says, “Constant vigilance!”
But, really, if you can stick to it, the diet works. And quickly.
Does It Really Work?
Of course it does, silly bear. Otherwise we wouldn’t be discussing it so much!
Joanna Wilcox, contributor to Women’s Magazine and creator of I Am Keto in Canada, lost 60 pounds in a year using this diet.
Alyssa Sparacino of Shape Magazine lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks and increased her muscle tone.
Kristin Kirkpatrick, a dietitian and wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic, also lost weight and increased her muscle tone.
I could go on, but you get the point.
How Can I Start?
Research and Prepare
Know the Side Effects
When you begin the diet, you may feel irritable and weak during the first week or two as your body adapts to using ketones as fuel. Some people refer to this period as the “keto flu.”
This period is normal, and once it goes away you’ll feel better than ever.
In fact, almost every individual claims to have increased energy and concentration as soon as they pass this stage. They also need less sleep and are more acutely aware than ever before.
Once you’ve gotten here, congratulations: your body has adapted, and if you stick to it you will be burning through fat.
To stave off the effects of carb flu, make sure you drink plenty of water, take electrolyte supplements and eat lots of fatty foods.
What Can I Eat?
Starting the keto diet means avoiding many foods:
- Sugary foods
Really, steer clear of grains, starches, sugars, and fruits.
That may sound daunting (and it’s certainly no easy feat), but the diet makes up for this by providing numerous types of foods you can eat. And, no, they won’t just make you hungrier:
- Green veggies
Of course, this is by no means a thorough list, but it gives you an idea of what you’ll be getting into.
The next step is to find some yummy recipes.
Plan Some Meals
Know what you should purchase and make sure you’ll like it.
As Keytoned Bodies says, you should “make meals taste good enough where rather than falling off the wagon, people want to fall onto the wagon!”
You can really do it, too.
Here are some possibilities to wet your appetite:
- Chicken Parmesan
- Zucchini Pasta with Chicken and Pistachios
- Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
- Keto Cheese Shell Taco Cups
If that doesn’t make you hungry, I don’t know what will.
Stick to It
It’s super important that you don’t give in to cravings. If you do, you’ll begin gaining weight immediately.
Once you’ve become familiar with your eating habits and your body begins to adjust, try to add exercise to your routine a few times a week.
You’ll start seeing a difference and feeling like a newer, healthier person in no time.
- Count carbs the right way. Subtract the dietary fiber from the carbohydrates to get the amount of net carbs you’re actually consuming.
- Take vitamins. This will help make up for lost nutrients.
- Too tired to cook? Consider having food sent directly to you.
- Eat coconut oil to help your body ease into ketosis.
- Ensure healthy fats make up 80% of your daily food intake. Protein should make up the rest.
- Use apps, such as Fitbit, to keep track of calories.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Exhausting . . . We’re Here For You
The keto diet can truly make you look and feel great, but it does take effort.
That’s why we’re always here to lend a helping hand. Contact one of our nutritionists to get started on a plan that’s right for you today or browse our delectable keto-friendly menu.
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