The Keto Diet – Is it for you?
The Keto – Ketogenic – diet is MASSIVE news at the moment.
But what is it?
This is the question I’ve been asking myself as I go into my usual count down to Christmas get fit push.
Yep, that’s right. It’s a thing for me. I think getting a head start means that come the new year I won’t have half as much to worry about on the healthy body front.
So, the Keto diet.
Here’s what I’ve found out about Keto from scouting around online and on Pinterest. Have a read, see what you think:
The Keto diet is all about low-carbs, moderate amounts of protein and high amounts of fat. Delicious right!!
It’s the go-to diet of the moment but is it a great way to eat long-term? Is it healthy?
In a world where we want everything yesterday, we often look to diets to have a dramatic and immediate effect.
But the reality is, healthy diets aren’t going to have you losing kilos of weight in a couple of days.
If you really want to change your body shape and feel healthy, you need to look at changing your eating habits period.
To do that you need a diet that is both healthy and enjoyable.
Could this be the Keto diet?
Changing your eating habits
Eating a Keto diet is billed as a way of eating that is going to change your body for the rest of your life, because the aim is that it will become part of your life… simply put, it will define the foods you eat, so you can sustain a healthy lifestyle.
The crux of the matter is that Keto is about getting the body to burn fat.
For the majority of us in this modern age, our bodies are all about burning sugar. However, our bodies were ‘designed’ to be fat burning.
It all goes back to the days of yore – or beyond, to when our ancestors lived in caves and ate simply meat and vegetables. This was the diet our bodies were designed to cope with.
In fact, our bodies are really efficient fat burners.
It is only in modern times, when sugar became the diet staple that it is – both through the choices we make and through being used as a filler for supposedly healthy, ‘low-fat’ foods – that our bodies adjusted to focusing on burning sugar.
Carbs convert into glucose and our bodies use that as fuel.
You know that feeling when you’re tired or hungry and you crave sugar… you feel that you need it to give you energy. Which it does. But it’s a sudden fix of energy and then your energy levels slump.
In essence, your body has used up its glucose reserves and you then crave more sugar.
What about burning fat when the glucose is gone?
This is where insulin comes in. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose travel through the bloodstream so that it can be used for energy.
Insulin also prevents fat stores from being released, which is why your body won’t start automatically burning fat once the glucose is all used up.
So the trick is to stop consuming so much carbs and sugar, so your glucose levels drop, which leads to your body producing less insulin, which means it is easier for fat cells to be released to be used as fuel.
This is when your body enters a metabolic state known as ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
When your body is in ketosis it produces ketones which the body uses for energy.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
So now you understand what ketosis is. Here’s a head’s up on the Keto diet.
The Ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, high fat diet.
The goal of the diet is to continually starve your body of carbs so that it can stay in a constant state of ketosis, which allows it to burn fat instead of sugar – ketones instead of glucose.
Eating MORE fat?!
But when you think about it, it makes sense.
Why? Because fat isn’t the problem with our modern diets….
Well, that’s the current thinking.
So, by consuming a low-carb diet, mixed with some protein and a high level of fat, you are doing the very thing that will help your body burn fat.
there is a reduction in the possible risks.
What can you eat on the Keto diet?
The general rule of thumb is 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
So, if your daily calorie intake is around 2000kcal, then 75% of those calories need to come from fat.
Yay! You can eat eggs and bacon and butter…. all the lovely foods you may well have been avoiding or going low on for years.
Because on a Keto diet the fat you eat is your fuel source.
What must you avoid?
Plain and simple.
Cut out the sugar. Cut right down on the carbs…
For example, here are the types of foods you should majorly cut down on or delete from your diet if you go Keto:
Cut the sugar out completely. Goodbye candy, goodbye fizzy drinks.
Grains, Starches, Beans and Legumes
These are converted to glucose in your body, so they need to go.
Yip. But isn’t fruit healthy?!
Well, it’s a better way of consuming sugar. But if you’re going Keto, it has to go.
BUT! They are are starchy and carby and they are going to turn into glucose when they’re broken down in your body.
I hate, loathe and detest diet products. Never touched them.
Why? Because they aren’t healthy.
They are often highly processed and often full of sugar and starch and carbs as fillers for the ‘low’fat’ foods they bill themselves as.
So ditch them. They suck.
So are ALL fats on the menu?
You will need to avoid processed fats.
In short, the best way to go Keto is to prepare your own food, using simple, healthy ingredients.
Avoid all processed foods.
Can you drink alcohol?
If you want to go full Keto you will need to cut back on alcohol significantly.
Most alcohol has a large amount of carb and sugar content.
Think of all the delightful hangover free mornings you will have!
So what can you eat when you go Keto?
Here’s a list of the kinds of foods you can eat when you move to a Keto diet:
- Fatty Fish
- Nuts or Seeds
- Healthy Oils
- Low-Carb Vegetables
- Red meats
Lashings of it!
It is great for getting a healthy balance of saturated fats.
No processed cheese! You got that?!
As with butter, it is a great source of saturated fat.
Nuts and seeds
High in Omega-3 fatty acids. High in protein as well, so great to have regularly on a Keto diet.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
These are the kinds of oils that will give you the healthy fats you need.
- Green vegetables
These are just some of the low carb vegetables you can use in a Keto diet.
What are the downsides to Keto?
There can be side effects. I guess you just need to work out if you can stomach them and think it’s worth it.
You may notice a slump in your energy levels at first. You may also feel like you have a foggy brain. This is your body adjusting to the new diet. It should only last a few days.
You might find that you don’t sleep well during the first few days of a Keto diet, again this is your body adapting to the new world order. You may feel nauseous, you may have a funny tummy.
It all reminds me of those times when you ditch the caffeine and your body goes into some sort of downward spiral for a few days.
So is Keto for you?
I’ve been reading up lots on the Keto diet and I’m going to give it a shot..
I think it’s going to be tough to start with, but I like the idea of getting sugar and carbs down to a minimum in my diet.
I would love to feel like my body is on top form and I am eating in a way that I can maintain a healthy body weight.
What do you think? Is Keto for you?