If you are like most people on this planet, then at some point you have thought about, or looked into, a wide range of weight loss options, including diet programs, exercise routines, supplements and other tactics. If you have recently decided that you want to lose weight, then you may have come across the “Keto Diet.” What is it? The keto, or ketogenic, diet program is well known for a being a low carb diet. The idea is that your body will produce ketones in your liver that will be used as energy. If you regularly consume a high carb diet your body produces glucose and insulin, and the glucose is the primary source of energy for your body. This means that any fat is not being used for energy and is therefore stored. When you lower your intake of carbs, the body enters a state of ketosis, a natural process that helps your body survive when food intake is low.
Your body is incredibly adaptive to what you feed yourself, so when you overload with fats and take away high carb foods, your body will begin to burn ketones, which will result in weight loss and physical, as well as mental benefits. Almost anyone can benefit from consuming a low carb, high fat diet – some additional benefits of the keto diet include controlled blood sugar, increased mental focus, more energy, improved cholesterol and blood pressure and clearer skin. Studies have also shown that a ketogenic diet can successfully treat epilepsy.
What can you expect from a keto diet, and is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Here’s some more information about this diet trend, how to follow it, and what you can expect in terms of weight loss.
What to Eat
Getting started on a keto diet is simple, you just dive right in! The diet isn’t difficult to follow, and all you have to do is spend some time cleaning out your kitchen pantry and adding in some important new staples. Your new diet should consist of 70% fats, 25% protein and 5% carbs, make sure to get plenty of:
- Meat – fish, poultry, beef, etc.
- Leafy greens
- Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, etc.
- High fat dairy
- Nuts and seeds
- Sweeteners – stevia and other low-carb sweeteners only
- Additional fat from coconut oil, saturated fat, salad dressings, etc.
What Not to Eat
As with most diets, when you’re on a keto diet you will want to stay away from refined carbohydrates, starch and too much fruit. This means that favorites like pasta, bread, potatoes, beans and bananas are big no-nos. You will also need to stay away from sugar, which includes honey, maple syrup and other sweeteners.
Once you begin a keto diet, your body will essentially need to adjust to a new way of converting, using and storing energy. Up until now, your body was simply breaking down carbs and using them for energy, on the keto diet your body will need new enzymes to deal with the increase in fats. In your first week on this diet, you may experience headaches, dizziness, mood swings and mental fogginess, which is completely normal with many other diet plans. Many individuals who are new to this diet will experience the “keto flu,” which is very mild and goes away after a couple of days. You may feel some added discomfort including cramps, nausea and increased fatigue. It’s especially important during the first weeks to stay very hydrated and make sure you are replacing the electrolytes you are losing. It takes about 4-7 days for your body to adjust to the diet as you enter a ketogenic state.
Some additional common side effects of the keto diet include:
- Heart palpitations
- Reduced endurance and physical performance
- Hair loss
How Much Weight Will You Lose?
It is very possible to achieve and maintain your ultimate goal weight with the keto diet. During the first week you can expect to lose anywhere between two and seven pounds, which is a very encouraging way to begin a new diet. Most of this will be water weight as your body adjusts to burning fat versus carbs. A few weeks into the diet you can expect to begin losing one to two pounds per week, which is a steady and healthy rate of losing weight.
You have to remember that no matter what diet, exercise or weight loss program you commit to, every person is different and the end result always depends on a number of different factors. If you’re interested in learning more about weight loss programs or weight loss solutions, contact us so we can answer your questions and help you put together the perfect plan for your ultimate health goals!