I’m sure you’ve heard it before, since it was one of the top diet trends in Google these last couple years, but if you haven’t, today I’ll dive into just exactly what is the keto diet and how you can make an informed decision if this diet is right for your fitness goals.
I’ve read a lot on this topic, and basically have been on a 90% keto diet without really even trying to, or knowing what it all entails. I’ve even read an article entirely against this diet (Read: GoodHousekeeping), but with any diet or fitness regimen, there will always be people who have “better ideas.”
One of the most vocal keto diet supporters is none other than Vinnie Guadagnino from the Jersey Shore. He’s even been nicknamed “the Keto Guido.”
At the end of the day, the best diet regimen for you may not be the best for people close to you. Everyone’s body reacts differently to various types of nutrients, and we all have different genetic makeup that contributes to how our bodies need and consume fuel. Think about people with food allergies for a moment – do you think someone with a severe reaction to a certain fruit absolutely needs that fruit in their diet? Heck, no. If it’s vitamin C their body needs, there will be another fruit that can provide it, and perhaps that fruit has additional benefits due to the way their system is wired.
In short, I’ve always been a fan of “giving it the old college try” and not judging results until you have a large enough sample size. I was never a fan of Intermittent fasting until I gave it a try. It’s changed my life and helped me achieve my weight loss goals.
How the Ketogenic Diet Works
When you boil down the diet and look at it as a whole, the facts are that you eat 10% of your daily calories from carbs (which is only about 20 grams), 20% from proteins, and 70% from fats. With the body normally using carbs for energy, it turns to glucose stored in our muscles as glycogen for energy and fuel, due to the massive cutback on carb intake.
With this diet, you’ll also lose water weight thanks to the muscle glycogen being broken down. The initial weight loss can be substantial due to the fact that muscles store nearly 3 grams of water for every gram of glycogen. When the glycogen is used as fuel, this results in an initial breakthrough of weight loss, often leading to fans of the diet raving about the results obtained after just one week. This is merely water weight, keep in mind.
So in short, this is a low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet.
Another Way to think about the Keto Diet…
A solid thought process about why this diet can be effective is outlined below:
When you consume foods high in carbs, your body produces glucose and insulin. For me, my favorite high carb meals are pizza, donuts, and pasta.
Glucose is the body’s preferred energy source because it’s the body’s easiest molecule to convert to energy.
Insulin, on the other hand, is generated to break down the glucose in your bloodstream by moving it around your body.
While this may sound fine and dandy, the problem that persists here is that when you use glucose as your main source of energy, your fats become stored as they aren’t needed.
Fact: The average person follows this path of having glucose be their main supplier of energy.
Once you think about how this works, and couple that with the fact that your body can’t store an abundance of glucose, the glucose converts to fat which becomes stored fat, which doesn’t get used.
One your body is out of glucose it sends a message to your brain that it’s desiring more, so you, in turn, reach for a bag of chips or other snacks.
This all leads to your body building up stored fat!!!
Burn Fat and Not Sugar
The biggest takeaway from a thought process standpoint of the keto diet is that by lowering your carb intake (click here to read about the best low carb foods), your body searches for alternate sources of energy and enters a metabolic state called “ketosis.”
When you think about Ketosis and the human body, it all makes sense.
If you have ever watched movies about survival, or read blogs about the world coming to an end, you’ve probably heard that the human body can survive for several weeks without food, but only a few days without water.
This all comes back to Ketosis because most of us store so much fat in our bodies that we can fuel our body for a few weeks if needed. When your body enters a state of ketosis, ketones are produced. These are made from the breakdown of fat in our liver.
With a lower amount of carbs being consumed, glucose and blood sugar levels drop. This lowers insulin levels at the same time. When this happens, fat cells release stored water, causing the weight loss due to water weight and, subsequently, the fat cells can move into your bloodstream, and eventually your liver.
This is all the plan that the keto diet plans to carry out. You don’t get to that state by starving yourself. You enter this state of ketosis by depriving your body of carbs.
When your body produces the proper amount of ketone levels, you’ll find that your mental performance, weight, and health will all benefit.
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
You’ll often hear people rave about the ketogenic diet, many saying that it changed their life. This is more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Besides the initial water weight loss, many people report extreme weight loss due to their bodies using fats for energy, and the unwanted fat results in loss of weight in the face and belly.
Insulin levels dip which helps your fat cells move to the liver and become converted into ketones. This incinerates fat, like a furnace! You won’t get this type of result from even the best fat loss supplements, because change comes from nutrition first and foremost.
Control Blood Sugar
If you are looking to lower your blood sugar levels, you’ll find that the keto diet can assist you with that.
- Keto naturally lowers your blood sugar levels since your carb intake is lower and you can’t produce glucose.
- Studies show that benefits are greater with people who are pre-diabetic or Type 2.
- There is more control due to maintained blood sugar levels.
Additional Benefits of the Keto Diet
#1: Improved mental focus – fatty acids help your brain function.
#2: Energy levels increase – using fats as fuel means constant energy.
#3: Appetite Control – random cravings are subdued.
#4: Low Carb diets can reduce blood pressure.
Con’s of the Keto Diet
Okay, now for the downside. There are certain foods you know you live on that you just can’t bring into this diet.
For me, it’s the food I live on like pizza, pasta, and bread.
You’ll also have to avoid otherwise healthy foods like beans, fruit, and potatoes.
Grains, sugar, fruit, and legumes, just think of all of those like you think of an ex – GONE and FORGOTTEN.
In moderation: avocado, berries.
Also, there are rumors of lower testosterone levels in men that follow a keto diet.
Keto Foods – What You Can Eat
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, egg
- Leafy Greens – spinach, kale
- Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
- High-fat dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter
- Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
- Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
- Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
When you go keto, you’ll see not only the immediate weight loss benefit but also a long-term clarity and focus. Give it a shot if you are sick and tired of crash diets, that simply don’t work.
For all of the different diets and meal plans we review, check them all out at dietpillreviews.com/weight-loss-meal-plans/