What is the Keto diet?
The Keto diet, otherwise known as the Atkins diet, has been around for decades. It's been used by people of all shapes and sizes to lose weight and lose weight fast. What makes the Keto diet different from most is that you can eat as much food as you want! There has to be a catch though, right? The catch is that the diet is extremely low carbs, high fats, with a moderate protein intake. Your daily diet will consist of anything with high fat and moderate protein. Cheeses, eggs, bacon, fish, nuts, broccoli/kale, butter, dark chocolate, cream, and avocados are your best friend on this diet. Of course, there are plenty of other options and combos as well!
How does the Keto diet work?
Keto comes from the term Ketosis, which is a natural process in your body. Ketosis starts when your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to produce adequate energy so your body switches to running on fat. Your body always chooses carbohydrates first and fat second so this is why you must eliminate as much carbs as possible. Ketosis starts between 2-4 days for most individuals and is the process where your body starts using its fat intake for energy. Most people question at first how a high fat diet can help you lose weight. Your body literally eats the fat away and produces energy with it so all the fat you eat will not be stored. We have been told our whole lives that high fat is the issue. It is in fact not the issue. The issue is sugar, which is the most deadly carbohydrate. "Low fat" or "no fat" typically means high sugar which will not help you lose weight but will only make your more dependent on carbohydrates. On the keto diet most people will notice weight loss results within the first week. Another huge plus from the diet is that high fat keeps you fuller longer so you can go longer periods of time without eating and still feel full. Most people also report a feeling of clear mindedness from lack of craving carbs constantly.
My experience on the Keto diet.
When I first heard about the Keto diet a few years ago I was eager to try but never took the time to do more research and change my lifestyle. Note than I am a 22 year old male. In November 2016 I decided that I wanted to change my diet and become healthier, so I thought I would give it a try. I did my research and completely changed my eating habits to about 20g carbs per day, which is the recommended limit, high fats, and moderate protein. The first few days were the hardest because my body was having major carb withdrawals. I was determined to not give up.
I reached Ketosis in about 2 days because I exercised a decent amount. Note that exercise isn't required to go into ketosis but it is recommended to reach it faster. I got keto strips from Walgreens which monitor the ketones in your body. Ketones are a byproduct of Ketosis which indicates that your body is in ketosis. I had moderate ketones in my body which means I was in ketosis. Within the first week I noticed a huge change in myself. I had much more energy and could think and process much more clearly than I had before. I never wanted to do the diet to lose weight, more-so to have more energy and be healthier. I stopped constantly craving food and could go 3-4 hours feeling full. Even w hen I was hungry it wasn't the same hungry feeling as when I was used to eating high carbs everyday. It was a much less intense craving to eat. In the first seven days I lost 5 pounds and didn't even change anything other than my diet. I exercised the same amount and ate the same amount, just more fats, and less carbs.
My typical meals included eggs, bacon, cheeses, nuts, spinach/kale, shrimp, tuna, chicken, fat bombs (dark chocolate peanut butter balls with cream cheese), almond bread, and avocados. I am still doing this diet today (January 2017). After one month of the diet I lost 12 pounds and I've been maintaining my weight since then. I continually wake up with more energy than I used to and feel better than ever! With that being said, this diet isn't for everyone because it requires a big lifestyle change. Carbs are in so many meals, but if you're looking to try something new I would definitely recommend trying it. You can look up many great Keto recipes online and there's a big supportive community for newcomers on reddit.
Common Keto diet myths.
1. You basically have to starve yourself. Nope, totally false! On this diet you should be eating the same amount of calories you normally would, but you might not simply because you stay fuller. If you are feeling hungry, eat!
2. You can't drink alcohol anymore. Also not true. There are many low-carb beers, liquors, and wines which are keto friendly. Google is your friend!
3. Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels will go up because of the high fats. This is a misconception and most people report better blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels on the Keto diet. It also doesn't contribute to heart disease.
4. The Keto diet isn't suitable for people who exercise. I can attest that this is false because I tend to run about 5k every other day. My distance actually increased while doing the diet and my times decreased.
5. All the weight lost is water weight. It is true that you will lose water weight but the majority of everything being lost is fat. Naturally you lose water weight for the first week because high-carb diets cause excess water weight.
Keto diet progress photos:
Happy Keto everyone!