You found your way here probably because you saw my Pinterest boards. That’s where I continually share the latest on Keto diets/lifestyle/yoga and more.
I have been on the Keto diet for slightly over 2 years now, and I share the pain and confusion as you do when I first started. I also understand that many other bloggers fill their blogs with tons of irrelevant content; I don’t wish to bombard you with such messes.
This blog was created to clarify those concerns I wish I had at the start so I could jump into the Keto lifestyle as quickly as I could. The content you see here has been collected from those years of research in my own Keto journey.
I sincerely hope that I could help you on yours.
What is Keto?
Keto is its most commonly known and heard word when people talk about the Ketogenic diet.
Within the scientific community, Keto is actually referring to the biological process — Ketosis — where your body burns fat for fuel.
I know what you’re thinking. Don’t our bodies burn carbohydrates (carbs) for fuel instead? Yes, you’re absolutely right.
But there needs to be a further specification in the previous sentence. Our bodies burn carbs for fuel when there exists sufficient carbs to burn.
When there isn’t sufficient carbs to burn, your body actually turn towards fat for fuel. This is the Ketosis process we will be discussing in this article.
If you’re aware, Keto has seen a surge in popularity because of what it means for your body — fat burning, weight loss, low carbs. I mean, who doesn’t want to achieve fat burning and weight loss?
But the real question is: is the Keto diet really as simple and straightforward as it is?
What is the Keto Diet?
Keto is one of the few diets that is well known as a weight loss strategy.
It involves going on a low-carb diet (note: the Paleo Diet and Atkins Diet). This is to encourage your body to identify that there is insufficient carbs within your body and to look toward fat for fuel.
Note: It is important to note that low-carb does not mean zero-carb (or no carb). While it might sound like a great idea, it might actually be counteractive for your body instead.
In essence, a Keto diet looks towards whole foods which largely involves protein to fuel your body in place of carbs. One good feature of a protein-rich Keto diet is that it keeps your satiation levels high which makes you feel less hungry throughout the day. For the bodybuilders and gym-goers, it also helps you maintain muscle (another great fat burning feature).
There are two types of Keto Diets that I would like to discuss in this article; they are what I think would be the most beneficial to you:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet: Comprises 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs
- High-protein Ketogenic Diet: Comprises 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs
As you can already tell, embarking on a diet like the Keto diet would require you to be extremely measured in what you consume, and there is a real need for you to measure your macros (protein and carbs) intake at every meal. I will share with you the best free tools you can use to log these macros easily.
Now, you might wonder why do these diets comprise high percentages of fat. There is a real misconception when it comes to dietary fats.
Not all dietary fats are bad. Yes, you heard it right. Dietary fats are categorised into: Unsaturated fats, Saturated fats, and trans fats. While dietary fat provides more calories in a small amount, consuming a moderate amount of healthy fat can be beneficial to you.
The beneficial dietary fat that you would want to include in your diets belong to the Unsaturated fats category. In fact, these unsaturated fat can be beneficial to your skin, and acts as good antioxidants in defending your cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.Some of these foods include: avocado, olive, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and seeds.
What can you expect from a Keto Diet?
If you’ve been following me so far, you should realise what’s great about Keto Diets, and why they are so well-loved by millions of people across the world.
When you have a meal that is high in fat and protein, you will feel full relatively quicker. This means you will naturally avoid overeating. You can expect yourself to be well satiated with a smaller meal (and with less calories).
The real benefit here is that you can lose weight even without counting calories or tracking your food intake (only if you consume the right food items). You lose weight because each of your meals will contain less calories than your average non-Keto meal.
Some research go as far to suggest that Keto Diets might help you reduce your risk of heart disease, and it is not surprising if you’re consuming a good amount of unsaturated fat with anti-oxidative effects.
For people with diabetes, this Diet has not left you out. Other studies have also suggested that Keto Diets can be beneficial for you too — improvements in insulin sensitivity, and reduction of excess fat (which is linked to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes).
(I will go into further details in a separate article on Keto Diets and Diabetes. I’m working on it right now and you will be the first to know by subscribing to our mailing list).
Other benefits of the Keto Diet on health conditions include:
- Alzheimer’s disease: May slow the progression of the disease and reduce symptoms
- Epilepsy: Research has shown that it has large benefits in reducing seizures in epileptic children
- Parkinson’s disease: Help improve symptoms
- Brain injuries: Reduce concussions and aid recovery
- Acne: Lower insulin levels, lower sugar and processed food consumption may help improve acne situation
What should you be aware of?
Some people who are new to the Keto Diet can sometimes experience sugar and carbs withdrawal because of the sudden reduction in their consumption. Thus, you should always remember to gradually reduce their consumption by opting for a gradual shift into a Keto Diet. Never rush!
This withdrawal symptom is sometimes known as the Keto Flu. And it can include:
- Brain fog
- Stomachache/ Constipation
- Sleep issues
- Sugar cravings
- Bad breath
It might seem like a lengthy list but it is worthy to note that not everyone suffers these symptoms. You might or you might not. As always, it is important to drink plenty of water and you may be able to avoid some of these symptoms.
Some of these symptoms can be easily treated if you do experience any of them. However, should they last for an extended period, it is wise to put the Diet on hold before continuing.
Is the Keto Diet dangerous?
No. The Keto Diet is generally acceptable to many people and should pose no significant threat. However, it is wise to always approach a new diet with ultimate caution and care. Always approach new diets through gradual acclimatization and avoid rushing into it.
For people with uncontrolled diabetes, the Ketosis process can be dangerous with the build up of Ketones in your body. this can lead to severe dehydration and alter the pH of your blood. If you have uncontrolled diabetes (or not), you’re always highly advised to seek your doctor’s advice before attempting.
People with diabetes can get Ketoacidosis (or also known as diabetic Ketoacidosis). This is because there are insufficient levels of insulin in the body. If you ever feel strong thirst, or symptoms of dehydration — in your mouth, skin, or nausea — you are advised to seek your doctor.
Again, I will be further discussing Diabetes and the Keto Diet. And you will be pleased to know that you may still be able to embark on the Keto Diet.
Should you make the switch?
Yes. A Keto Diet is a great way for people to lose weight if you are overweight and diabetic individuals to improve their metabolic health.
If you are an athlete, this may or may not be suitable especially if you’re looking to add large muscle or weight (due to the low-carb diet).
One important thing to note is that for a diet to be successful, you have to be consistent and stick with it in the long term.
Additionally, you would want to subscribe to my mailing list for your 7-day Keto Diet plan to get started. This plan contains 1 week’s worth of meal plans, recipes, grocery lists, and workout plans! If you’re new to the Keto lifestyle, you definitely want your hands on it.
Subscribers will also receive the exclusive ebook that I will be launching very soon.