You may have come across the term ‘keto’ while sifting through celebrity news magazines or swiping through your Instagram feed. You may have even seen the term alongside claims that it can optimize your health and lifestyle. If you haven’t yet heard about the popular trend, then we are here to inform you.
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers tremendous health benefits. In fact, there is growing support and evidence which highlights how it can positively impact your body. From improving cognitive function to supporting weight loss, this diet may be the ticket to achieving your health goals.
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
Before we can further elaborate on how this diet can benefit your body, we need to understand more about it. While the buzz terms “keto weight loss” and “reducing the risk of heart disease” showcase its outcomes, they do not help contextualize how this diet impacts specific bodily functions.
The keto diet involves minimizing your consumption of carbohydrates and increasing your intake of fatty foods. In this way, it is similar to the Atkins Diet. While fat consumption may not sound appealing and seem to contradict its goals, it’s actually one of the most efficient means of achieving weight loss (provided that you cut out the carbs). Allow us to explain why.
Ketosis is a metabolic process whereby the body produces ketones (a type of acid) to burn for energy rather than glucose. Glucose, our main source of energy, is given to the body through the consumption of carbs and sugary foods. Glucose can be an optimal source of energy for athletes as they are able to burn off the excess calories. However, most people do not perform enough demanding exercise to effectively burn it all. Calories, therefore, become stored as fat.
The state of ketosis was uncommon until researchers identified ways in which individuals can induce it. This lead to the development of the keto diet and the production of some of the best keto supplements. But how does it promote keto weight loss? Well, by cutting back on carbs (the primary contributor to weight gain) and increasing your fat consumption you provide the body with an alternative energy source – ketones and fat stores. So, rather than packing on pounds, your body fuels itself with the very fat you would usually put on. Combine this diet with one of the best keto supplements and you can achieve weight loss in no time!
The Different Types of Keto
There is no one way of achieving keto weight loss because there are several ways to conduct a keto diet. We elaborate more on these below:
- The Standard Ketogenic Diet: This is the most common method of achieving ketosis. This version of the diet calls on individuals to consume low carbs, moderate proteins, and high fats. The general percentage guidelines are 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat.
- The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: This diet suggests that individuals follow a strict low-carb diet over 5 days, following it with 2 days of high-carbs. This high-carb refeed day aims to replenish muscles that have been broken down during rigorous exercise.
- The Targeted Ketogenic Diet: Individuals should consume a small number of carbs before and after workouts. This may enhance workout performance by providing additional energy. It can also promote muscle growth as carbs provide fuel for the muscles to build up.
- The High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: A slightly different version of the standard ketogenic diet. This method involves increasing an individual’s protein consumption. The percentage guidelines are as follows: 5% carbs, 35% protein, 60% fat. This may be suitable for individuals wanting to build lean muscle mass as protein provides the building blocks of muscles.
The cyclical and targeted versions are fairly new additions. Consequently, there are fewer studies surrounding their benefits. That said, these more advanced methods are popular among fitness fanatics and bodybuilders. The reason for this is likely because of the fact that carbs are fuel for muscle growth. The standard method is the most researched, therefore, most favored among the health-conscious market.
Now that we understand more about ketosis and the ketogenic diet, we can look into the benefits that these eating patterns offer.
Keto Weight Loss
Cultures across the globe have been practicing fasting for thousands of years. Though not with the intention of burning fat, the benefits are undeniable. It has since become an increasingly popular way of promoting weight loss.
Researchers began developing the ketogenic diet to reduce the frequency of seizures many years ago. During their research, they discovered the keto weight loss potential. You can read more about their studies here. And so, the efficient weight-gain preventing diet was born.
Fasting may not, initially, seem like an ideal way of losing weight. Many concerns surround the ways in which it starves the body of essential nutrients. However, the ketogenic diet does not require individuals to go without food. Rather, it stipulates which foods are more beneficial for your body than others. As a result, you still receive enough nutrients for optimal bodily functions. The benefit is that you cut out the weight increasing substances.
There is also the misconception that fat is bad for you. People think that the consumption of fat leads to weight gain. This is not actually true. This particular diet calls for individuals to consume a large portion of healthy fats. These healthy fats support the body’s metabolic state. Consequently, the body becomes fat-adaptive. This means that it will be better at burning fat for fuel. Hence, helping you gain the maximum fat burning benefits.
Bear in mind, the fat burning potential relies on a few individual factors such as insulin resistance and body composition. In saying so, results will vary across individuals. Therefore, it may not be as beneficial for you than it is for someone else. This is, however, the case with all diets and should not steer you away from the popular keto weight loss diet.
In short, keto weight loss is clinically proven across a number of keto reviews. By combining the diet with the best keto supplements, you can achieve optimal weight loss results.
Other Keto Benefits
The diet has been shown to have several additional benefits other than keto weight loss. For example, research suggests that the low-carb diet can prevent type 2 diabetes. Click here to read more about these studies.
Diabetes occurs when there are drastic changes in one’s metabolism, blood sugar, and insulin function. Insulin resistance, for example, is a key contributor to the condition. One of the most effective ways of combating the disease is by reducing one’s weight. Therefore, the benefits of keto weight loss lend itself perfectly to the prevention of the condition. It is not a treatment, rather a preventative measure.
There are further benefits of this eating pattern, namely:
- Reduced risk of heart disease: it can improve good cholesterol levels and reduce blood sugar levels.
- Combating acne: Studies highlight its role in lowering insulin levels. This may minimize the chances of suffering from acne.
What Should You Avoid?
You should limit your intake of high-carb foods as much as possible as these will lead to fat storage. Below is a list of some foods to remove from your meal plan to achieve optimal keto weight loss effects:
- High-sugar foods: fizzy drinks, fruit juice (high in fructose), sweet pastries, ice cream, sweets, etc.
- Grains/starches: pasta, rice, cereal, etc.
- Fruit: only consume small portions of berries as fruit contains high contents of fructose.
- Beans or legumes: chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, etc.
- Root vegetables: carrots, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Low-fat products: these are often rich in carbs.
- A few condiments or sauces: avoid ones that contain sugar and unhealthy fats.
- Unhealthy fats: these mostly include processed foods and sauces like mayo.
- Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are often high in carbohydrates.
What Should You Eat?
These high-fat, high-protein foods should feature in the majority of your meals plans if you wish to see the fat burning keto weight loss potential:
- Meat: steak, bacon, chicken, turkey, etc.
- Fatty fish: salmon, tuna, trout, etc.
- Eggs: try to consume pastured eggs as much as possible.
- Butter/cream: look for organic options where possible.
- Cheese: any unprocessed cheese. Healthier options include mozzarella and feta as they contain fewer calories.
- Nuts & seeds: Almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Oils: healthy options like coconut oil.
- Avocados: fresh avos are full of important fatty acids.
- Low-carb veggies: onions, tomatoes, most green veg, etc.
- Salt, pepper, and healthy herbs & spices: try to source quality products.
Keto Weight Loss Meal Plan
We have outlined a basic one-day meal plan to help prepare you for your keto weight loss results:
Spinach, mushroom, and feta omelet.
Oven-baked salmon with broccoli.
Grass-fed ground beef sautéed with onions and garlic with a low-carb tomato sauce.
Spicy guacamole with raw zucchini slices.
Keto Weight Loss Tips
We have provided a few additional tips to optimize your weight loss results with keto:
- Get some rest: A proper night’s rest is key to reducing stress and ensuring that the body is at its optimal performance the next day. This will combat lethargy and help you efficiently achieve your keto weight loss goals.
- Undertake an intermittent fast: Coupled with keto, intermittent fasting can further enhance your ability to burn fat.
- Exercise often: If you want the benefits quicker, then conduct exercise regularly. The sooner you are able to deplete what little glycogen stores you have, the more efficiently you will be able to burn fat for fuel.
- Drink more water: Water depletion happens faster when there are minimal carbs present in the body. This will lead to dehydration. Maintain your water consumption throughout the day to avoid setbacks.
- Consume probiotics: Probiotics are key to improving gut health. A healthy gut positively affects your digestion. Therefore, improving your body’s ability to inhibit the digestion of starch and promote fat burning. This will help you achieve your goals more effectively.
Are There Any Side Effects?
As with every diet, there are some concerns. We have outlined them below. Bear in mind that these concerns do not limit its ability to provide benefits. Staying healthy will ensure that you are not too harshly affected by them.
- You may experience the keto flu during the initial stages of ketosis. This can cause feelings of lethargy, irregular sleep, and illness. This flu should not last more than a week. It is a sign that your body is becoming accustomed to using fat for fuel rather than glucose. It’s a good thing!
- It can negatively impact the water/mineral balance of your body. This can lead to dehydration and lethargy. This is, however, fixable. Consume additional salt without worrying too much about the concerns as this will create the balance.
- Don’t restrict calories completely during the early stages as this will hinder your ability to perform daily functions. You may feel tired, week, and unable to exercise.
Keto Weight Loss Supplements
Keto weight loss supplements, which come in a variety of forms, can further enhance your ketogenic diet. They aim to optimize the benefits of the diet. However, you should not completely rely on them for weight loss. Combine the best keto supplements with your diet to achieve optimal keto weight loss.
You can also add a few of these substances to your diet for improved results:
- MCT oil
The ketogenic diet has a number of benefits. Its popularity and studies are a testament to its ability to effectively promote weight loss. While it is not void of negative side effects, you can rely on it to deliver increased fat burning capacity. The various methods, products, and meal plans cater to different individuals. This indicates the diet’s diversity in the hands of the health-conscious consumer. In short, it may be wise to consider it if you are hoping to slim down in the new year!