The ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s, when physicians used it as a treatment for those with epilepsy. Fast forward to the 21st century, this low-carb diet has been tried and tested by many people, including huge personalities, business moguls, and even couch-potatoes-turned-gym-rats who swear by it. But what exactly is the keto diet and why has it been so effective?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb eating plan. The whole aim of the diet is to have fat as your source of energy rather than carbs. Because of this transition, your body will learn to depend on fat and protein and get rid of unwanted sugars brought by eating carbs.
After a few days of consuming high amounts of fat and a limited amount of carbs, your body will enter “ketosis” which means you are now depending on fat for energy. To verify whether or not you’ve entered ketosis, a urine ketone strip can be used. But after a while of being on the diet, you’ll be able to know what ketosis should feel like without the aid of strips.
So why are people raving about this diet? Here are the major benefits of being on the keto diet:
After the first few weeks of being on the diet, you’ll start to lose some of your water weight as you cut down on carbs. Consuming healthy fats will further aid you into losing more weight. And because you’re eating whole foods and loading up on protein as well, you’ll find yourself craving less and less which makes the keto diet an ideal eating strategy for those who want long-term weight loss.
Consuming healthy fats has been proven to improve heart health by reducing cholesterol. And since you’re cutting down on carbs drastically, the keto diet is said to be helpful to those with type 2 diabetes as the diet will effectively keep your blood sugar levels at bay.
The keto diet also reduces the frequency of seizures for people with epilepsy, which were the first people to have tried the diet way back in the 1920s and 1930s.
Blood sugar levels and gut health both have an effect on the state of your skin. Since the keto diet requires you to refrain from eating highly processed and refined carbs, you are effectively preventing breakouts and other unwanted skin issues from happening.
While the keto diet has done wonders for a lot of people, you must take your time to really get to know the diet’s downsides as much as you do its upsides. For one, it’s a diet that can get incredibly hard to stick to as our bodies are so used to depending on carbs for energy. Weaning off of carbs can make you feel dizzy, hungry, or more tired than you usually feel, effects that can last up to three weeks.
You also have to watch what kind of fats you’re consuming, as unhealthy trans fats can lead to heart disease or high cholesterol. Overall, some people find that decreasing such high amounts of carbs isn’t a sustainable diet and can’t possibly be maintained in the long run.
If you’re interested in trying the keto diet, it’s wise to consult with your doctor or nutritionist first. Completely changing the way you normally eat brings such a drastic shift that you must be mentally and physically prepared for. After getting fully acquainted with keto and what it can do, look up creative recipes online to make the most out of your new and healthy lifestyle!