It seems like every week in health and supplement news, there is a new diet, or food and health and wellness trend, dominating the headlines and contouring blog narratives. Think back on it: Atkins. the South Beach Diet, Low-Carb, No-Carb, Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan…the list goes endlessly on and on. However, the new trendy diet that people swear by in person, on Facebook, in supplement stores, and especially on Instagram, is the Ketogenic, otherwise known as Keto. To some, it’s just another low-carb diet like any other, but upon a quick closer inspection, it has an interesting twist that attracts many people to giving it a chance — and of course, posting about it on their Instagram profiles and stories.
Unlike other low-carb diets, the Ketogenic diet focuses on and encourages a high-fat intake. Picture it: all of the bacon, burgers, butter, avocados, and cheese you could fathom of eating. A charcuterie plate of salami, cheddar, and nuts? All yours. Eggs and bacon? Every morning. Have you heard about putting butter in your coffee? That’s another popular tenant of the Keto diet for starting your day. Chicken wings with stuffed peppers, greek salad, and cauliflower rice? Sign us up for that dinner. As you can, Keto is a low-carb diet with an incredible perk of eating all the high-fat foods you’ve been told to avoid all of your life. Could you ever imagine being told to have more butter and oil to lose weight? It almost seems too good to be true, right? Surprisingly, the Ketogenic diet, based on forcing your body to enter ketosis, is a natural process your body employs.
Ketosis, in simple terms, is when your body eats fat instead of sugar. Carbs are just starchy sugars, which get digested, broken down, and stored as glucose which your body uses for energy – excess glucose is stored in fat cells throughout your body. Any fan of chips, candy, or beer will know that your belly is a hot spot for fat storage. Most people on diets are trying to slim that part of their body, as well as their hips and thighs and everything around them. Ketosis, however, is the process in which your body breaks down and uses up fat cells, creating ketones, when there isn’t enough glucose to use for energy. Could this diet get any better? Let’s keep digging and look at some more pros of going Keto.
For people with type 2 diabetes, or who are pre-diabetic, the Keto diet is an attractive route to take. The Keto diet, with it’s low-carb and low-sugar intake, can help lower glucose levels and give followers a chance to take control. While it is common enough that glucose, and therefore insulin, levels lower over time while following the Keto diet, we strongly encourage you to consult your primary care physician to discuss the benefits and if the diet is the correct choice and route for you to take.
The biggest perk of the Keto diet, like any diet, is obviously the weight loss. By switching your macronutrients – otherwise known as macros, in case you come across that term in the future – to lower carbs and sugars, you will likely see the numbers on your scale drop and your pants feel a bit looser. The reason for this, despite the higher fat intake, is because those sugars cause you to retain water and after lowering them, you lose those excess pounds. Additionally, because of the higher fat intake, you will feel fuller for longer — and bringing it back to the lack of carbs, such as chips and other cracker-based foods — you’ll stop yourself from grabbing those snacks that are too easy to eat a ton of and add weight to your waistline.
So, lowers weight, helps control diabetes, and all the bacon and butter you could ever want. What’s the catch, right? Well, there are a few, but you might be one of the lucky few too dodge these drawbacks. For one, because you’re cutting entire food groups out, you may experience irregularity and some stomach troubles. With the lack of carbs, you’ll also be lacking nutritious fiber, a daily necessity. You should consider picking up a fiber supplement to offset this imbalance.
To add to the lack of foods and fiber, you may not be getting the other nutrients and vitamins you need to maintain your health. You’ll also be cutting fruits (since they are technically mostly sugar which is the building block of carbs). Bananas an apples, which are wonderfully healthy snacks, are not allowed on the diet. Again, it is a wise decision to supplement your diet with vitamins, or to at the very least discuss with your doctor your options for compensating this deficit.
Lastly, that weight loss we talked about earlier: the odds are stacked in your favor that you will see weight loss once you start the diet, as we mentioned. The water weight will fall right off your waistline. However, due to the nature of the diet, some people find it difficult to adhere to it long term. You have to give up a significant amount of foods that a majority of people enjoy. Picture yourself out at a restaurant and only having a handful of options to choose from. Imagine you’re with a friend who orders a big plate of pasta; it’s going to be tempting. It’s going to be difficult to resist the foods you love and used to eat for the foreseeable future. Maybe you have a stronger will than others and can deny those foods indefinitely. To you, we tip our hats. If you can’t, we don’t judge. We love those foods too.
We don’t recommend beginning the weight loss journey alone, nor without proper medical advice. Visit your primary care physician so they can go over your vitals and bloodwork to decide if Keto is the right diet for you. If you get the O.K. and want to learn more from fitness experts, drop us a line. We’re happy to lend our knowledge of Keto, dieting, exercise tips and tricks, and supplements to increase your chances of success. Why wait to achieve your ideal healthy body? Give us a call so we can start the conversation and get you set up and on your way to tasty Keto meals that’ll help you take control of your health.