Thinking of going keto? Chances are you know at least one person currently following this popular diet that is singing its praises. But is this highly-restrictive plan for you? We’ll help you cut through the data to get to the core of how this diet works, revealing both the benefits and downsides…
What is the Keto Diet? And What is Ketosis?
Going “keto” means saying goodbye to most carbs and sugary foods. Instead, you replace them with a higher amount of healthy fats. Doing this allows your body to enter a state called ketosis – which is where it burns stored fats for energy once the glucose (or sugar) in your body runs out.
Starchy foods such as bread, pasta and white rice are off limits on a ketogenic diet, since your body’s natural metabolic response is to turn these carbs into glucose. Instead, it’s encouraged to eat nourishing fat sources such as fatty fish (like salmon and sardines), avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. Many of these healthy fat sources provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids – which are particularly beneficial for brain health.
While on the keto diet, it is important to keep track of your calories and macros, which can be easily done with the help of a keto calculator.
What Are the Benefits of a Keto Diet?
If you decide to test the waters with a ketogenic diet, remember that the transformation from burning glucose to fat for fuel won’t happen overnight. Instead, it can take up to a month to enter a full state of ketosis.
But once you get into that state, studies show that keto may actually benefit your health in more ways than one, starting with helping you develop healthier eating habits…
1) Helps Kick Your Sugar Addiction
Got a sweet tooth?! The keto diet can be a welcome ally when it comes to dropping sugar from your diet. You’ve probably heard that sugar is addictive, but did you know some studies show it’s even more addictive than some highly potent drugs? And obviously, bad for your health and waistline.
The good news is that once you’re on a keto diet for a few weeks, you’ll no longer miss your usual sweet treats. After initial withdrawal symptoms, you won’t crave sugar unless you eat something that contains it. Plus, typical keto foods are highly satiating. In this way, going keto is a great way to clean up your diet.
2) Provides Craving Control
Speaking of more satiating foods, keto can also help you grab the reigns on your ravenous appetite. When you eat carbs (especially simple carbs like white bread and other high sugar foods), it leads to constant fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. But eating a diet with a moderate amount of protein and a high amount of fat helps balance your blood sugar – creating stable energy and reducing cravings.
3) Supports Increased Fat-Burning
Keto can also help you win the battle on your scale. When your body is in ketosis, you literally burn your stored fat for energy instead of glucose (sugar). Therefore, you’re able to burn off body fat at a much quicker rate!
In addition, studies show that low-carb diets in general are more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets. One reason is because diets high in carbs and sugar cause your body to release the fat-storage hormone, inulin. But by greatly reducing carbs, you shut off the release of that hormone, stalling fat storage.
Downsides of the Keto Diet
Despite the fact that many people are finding success on the keto diet, it’s not for everyone. You still have to be careful to follow the directions correctly, or you could throw your body out of whack. And there will definitely be an adjustment period until you start feeling great.
Here are some potential downsides of going keto…
When you start drastically cutting the amount of carbs in your diet, you have to be careful to get enough fiber. Make sure you eat low-carb, high-fiber veggies each day (like celery and leafy greens) so you don’t suffer gastrointestinal troubles, like constipation.
Another great way to ensure you get enough fiber (especially on a busy schedule), is with a wholesome meal replacement shake. Look for one with low net carbs (only 1-3g), no sugar, and good fiber (about 5g). This keto kit comes with a high-quality shake in the flavor of your choice along with other invaluable keto essentials.
2) Eating Too Many Saturated Fats
Although adding more healthy fats into your diet is good for your health, using the wrong kinds of fats isn’t. Many people that go keto end up eating a lot of highly saturated animal fats, which may end up negatively affecting your health in the long-run. Instead, aim to use healthy, unsaturated fats like healthy oils (coconut, olive, MCT), nuts, fatty fish, avocado and more.
3) Keto Flu
Your body needs some time to adjust to not eating carbs and this transition phase is typically called the “keto flu”. During this time period, you may have actual flu-like symptoms including nausea, headaches and fatigue. You may also have additional symptoms including sugar cravings, irritability and trouble sleeping. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to up to a month.
Is the Keto Diet Right For You?
When analyzing the benefits and downsides of the keto diet, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Listen and pay attention to your body so you know what it’s telling you. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Take advantage of the solutions available to you, such as this proven keto kit.
The bundle is equipped with a high-quality meal replacement shake and shaker cup, MCT Oil to boost healthy fat levels and a keto meal plan e-book for creating quick, healthy meals. Make keto work on any schedule today with this kit!
Have you tried keto?! Let us know about any benefits or downsides you’ve personally experienced while on this diet in the comments below!