Have you ever tried the keto diet? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard about how this diet contributes to rapid weight loss. While it may be considered a fad diet by some, others see it as a lifestyle change and a healthy shift into eating foods that push our bodies into ketosis, or fat-burning mode.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet includes foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The Adkins diet was one of the first low-carb diet plans to hit the market. Devised by Robert Atkins in the 1970s, it was marketed as a diet with carbohydrate restrictions being crucial to weight loss and “a high calorie way to stay thin”. Trimming away carbs from ones diet puts our bodies into a metabolic state of ketosis. Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes things called ketones, which it can use for fuel.
Pros of Eating a Keto Diet
Weight loss through the keto diet results from a decreased appetite, lower insulin levels that lead to rapid weight loss in the first week or two, greater weight loss of harmful abdominal fat, improved levels of ‘Good’ HDL/’Bad’ LDL cholesterol, reduction in blood sugars and insulin levels, and improved protection against metabolic syndrome that leads to diabetes and heart disease.
Health Benefits for Special Needs Individuals
The brain and body functions of individuals with special needs may be best served with a keto diet to manage health, behavior and quality of life according to ParentingSpecialNeeds.org. They report that many of these individuals have dietary issues, constipation, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), celiac, and other concerns that root this diet to be a healthy lifestyle option.
Cons of Eating a Keto Diet
Difficult to Sustain
Due to the strict restriction on food, many find the keto diet difficult to adhere to. It can be effective in weight loss when used for short periods, followed by adopting healthier eating habits. This however can lend itself to yo-yo dieting which increases mortality. There are a genre of different books and online resources to help sustain this diet with fresh ideas to turn turnips into chips and and zucchini into the best pasta noodles.
Risks of this diet include nutrient deficiency, liver problems, kidney problems, constipation, fuzzy thinking & mood swings. There is a risk of heart disease as well with the keto diet due to the high levels of fats required to sustain ketosis. One of the major concerns for this restrictive diet is that many people tend to eat too much red meat and processed foods with very few fruits and vegetables.
Reasons the Keto Diet Leads to Weight Loss
The keto diet helps you lose weight by putting your body into ketosis. When you eat minimal carbohydrates, the fatty acids in ones liver produce ketones for energy. Therefore, your liver actually burns fat to make ketones. Stored fat is then burned off due to the lack of carbohydrates that are the original source for fuel for someone not following a keto diet.
So, How Does One Start Keto?
Here’s a step by step guide to help achieve your goals when starting a keto diet plan:
Determine your fitness goal. Are you looking to gain muscle, improve performance, lost weight or improve overall health?
Calculate your keto macros. Use this tool to simplify the process in determining your macro need: Simply Keto Calculator.
Plan your keto menu. Meal times should be high in fat and low in carbs. Eat plenty of vegetables and foods high in fiber.
Stick to your goals. Find a keto friendly app or a buddy to help conquer your keto diet goals and be successful.
It is clear this diet is popular in helping people lose weight, with minimal health risks. While it may be easy to become burned out by the lack of carbohydrates, there are many creative recipes to assist in sticking to this diet plan and being successful in the long run. As a member of Wellpons, you have access to health-centric products and services related to the keto diet. Check out our offerings and see how you can save money today.