By now, you’ve probably heard about the “keto” diet or you’ve seen some of your friends on Facebook share low carb recipes. As a moderator of a fitness group online, I’ve come to learn a lot about the benefits of following a low carb diet – like keto. In this article, I hope to share with you some of the things I learned and how keto might be able to help you.
In order to do this, let me first tell you exactly how the “keto diet” works. But in order to do that, I need to explain a term you might not know – ketosis.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabloic process and occurs when the body does not have enough glucose to produce energy. Instead of producing energy, your body burns stored fat. This results in the buildup of acids called ketones within your body.
Jason Fung is one of the world’s leading experts on ketosis and intermittent fasting. I recommend checking out some of his videos and TED talks to learn more about how keto works.
What is the keto diet?
This is a term I use loosely. Those in my fitness group that follow keto, have done so for many months or even years and have seen great success from following a low-carb diet.
I wasn’t really sure what the difference between a low carb diet and keto was – so I spent a few hours last summer researching the topic. I discovered quite a few channels on Youtube that helped me out.
For more information on keto friendly foods, I highly recommend checking out The Diet Doctor with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt. I’ll include some more popular resources at the end of this article that my group members shared with me.
In simplest form, keto is:
A very low-carb restricting diet to no more than 21 grams of carbs per day. But the difference with keto, is what you’re allowed to eat.
Keto followers rely on vegetables and meat for their daily intake of carbs. Foods high in carbs like bread, pastries, soda, and refined sugars are to be avoided.
Even some fruits are not allowed – as just one banana is extremely high in the carb count.
Benefits of keto:
I’ve known many folks around the globe who have tried keto and had great success with the diet. While others claim that they could only stick with it for a few months while switching to a moderate carb diet.
Some benefits to the keto diet include:
- Keto is used by physicians to help treat patients with diabetes
- Rapid weight loss in early months
- Overall improvement in physical health
- You may see improvement with problem skin conditions
Cons of keto
But there are also cons to following the keto diet. These are common complaints I heard from people who “quit” the keto lifestyle.
- The keto flu was too hard to deal with
- Constantly feeling hungry
- The diet was too restrictive for long-term sustainability
- Losing too much weight, too fast or not eating enough food
What is the keto flu?
The keto flu is a common side effect of adapting to a low-carb diet. The symptoms are different from person to person as is when the keto flu hits. Some people experience the flu within the first few weeks, while others may not even experience it.
Symptoms of the keto flu:
The keto flu is similar to a regular flu or stomach bug. You may feel nauseated or constipated. You may feel extremely lethargic or more tired than usual. People have also reported cravings of sugar and foods that are heavy in carbs like bread or pasta.
If you are experiencing the keto flu, and you feel like you can’t get rid of it, then you might consider adding some more carbs to your diet.
Is keto the right diet for me?
That’s a good question. I tried keto for a couple of weeks and it was impossible for me. I found it too restrictive and that I was hungry all the time. But I loved a lot of the recipes.
While I don’t follow keto, I do follow a relatively low to moderate carb diet. Just not as low as 21 grams per day. I love bread! I can’t cut it out completely.
Many people I’ve spoken to have tried keto, followed it for a specific amount of time to reach a certain weight loss goal. And then they switched to a less restrictive diet.
Something else I learned was that friends of mine who have diabetes, find great success managing their illness with the keto diet.
To decide if keto is right for you, it may take some trial and error. If you decide it isn’t right for you – don’t feel bad about it. There are lots of ways to lose weight and keep the weight off.
And that’s what my plan is for this blog – to share some of my learnings with you and help you along your fitness journey.
Check out some popular resources below to learn more about keto. Make sure to subscribe to my blog as I post weekly fitness articles, and am working on self-care and spiritual health articles for you to enjoy.
Call to Action
What “diet’ do you follow? Have you tried keto? What are your favorite food resources? Let me know in the comments!
Here are some resources I’ve collected over the past year from friends and group members. Let me know in the comments what resources have helped you out!
Dr. Jason Fung – The Obesity Code
Jimmy Moore is a popular author
The Keto Diet Cookbook
Dr. Mike – keto advice