Keto Diet: What's All The Hype?
If you're struggling to lose weight using traditional dieting methods, alternating between cravings and hangry hunger pangs, join the club! For the majority of people, calorie-counting diets result in fatigue, hunger and frustration, and are difficult to maintain.
This is where the Keto Diet comes in. This fat and protein-based diet alters your body's metabolic processes, boosts fat burning and satisfies hunger. Yes, you heard that right - eat fat to burn fat! Here's how it works:
The 'keto' in Keto Diet comes from ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body shifts to producing fuel molecules from fat, rather than blood sugar (glucose) or proteins. Converting fat to fuel consumes more calories than using glucose or proteins, and it burns through your fat reserves faster, resulting in more dramatic weight loss.
Your liver is the magic-worker here, converting fat into molecules called ketones. Your body, and especially your brain, use these as an alternative fuel source. However, unlike glucose, ketones can't be stored!
You enter this metabolic state by reducing your intake of carbs. This starves your body of its typical energy source and forces it to use fats to power itself. Eventually, your body burns fat twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
When your body relies on glucose, it needs regular hits of blood sugar in order to keep going. However, with your own fat reserves complementing your fatty intake, your body has a constant source of energy. You consequently don't experience the energy slumps associated with traditional dieting.
This diet is meant as a short-term weight loss solution, rather than a long-term lifestyle choice, and transitioning into and out of the Keto Diet should be done gradually.
The Keto Diet is characterized by high fat, medium protein and low carb intake. Ideally, fewer than 20gr of carbs are consumed, but anything between 20gr and 50gr still results in ketosis.
The easiest thing is to identify foods which are NOT keto foods: anything starchy, carby and sugary. Steer clear of potatoes, bread, pasta and rice, but also beer, soda and juice, sweets and desserts, and too much fruit.
Focus on foods which are high in healthy fats. These include seafood, non-starchy vegetables (cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, kale, broccoli), cheese, butter, cream, avocado, meat and poultry, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, olives, nuts and seeds and berries, amongst others.
There are countless Keto recipes and guides which can help you find the ratio of fat, protein and carbs which works for you. While carb counting can be helpful, you can more or less stay within the recommended intake by following the guidelines and recipes. These will help keep you on the straight and narrow without having to worry about calorie-tracking and hunger pangs. What's more, you'll enjoy every delicious, fatty, protein-filled morsel!