With summertime being just two months away, the battle to get in your best shape is on. Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about the keto diet — the high-fat, low-carb eating plan that promises to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. But you may ask, is it safe? Will there actually be noticeable results? What do I have to eat? Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about the keto diet.
What is Keto?
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for your daily energy & fuel. When your body burns ketones in place of glucose (coming from carbs) your metabolism is sped and enhances weight loss much faster. For starters, the keto diet isn’t like your normal no fats, no carbs diet. With keto, it is actually recommended to eat a lot of fats and very few carbs, putting you in ketosis.
There are three different types of the keto diet: standard, cyclical and targeted. The standard keto diet is best for beginners; it’s much easier to manage and to be successful in your goals. As mentioned earlier, there are numerous benefits to adopting the keto diet. The best benefit and prime reason why people start the keto diet is, of course, weight loss. By keeping your protein intake high, you will spare your muscles and lose only the fat.
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What to eat on the keto diet
Since the keto diet is made up of mostly fats, you want to make sure you also incorporate small amounts of protein, as well as carbs. Specifically, 75 percent of your daily diet should be fats: avocados, nuts, beans, cauliflower, spinach, squash, cabbage, celery, etc. 20 percent of your daily diet should consist of protein: chicken, eggs, lamb, fish, shrimp, bacon. The other 5 percent of the diet should be carbs: low-carb vegetables.
As with any new diet, there are cons. Several people who adopted the keto diet have said that it’s fairly hard to stick to this approach long term. The limited amount of foods, lack of glucose, social pressures, and diet obedience are much more difficult than with any other diet. They have also added that after about a solid week, they started to feel faint and even sick. With that being said, it is important to listen to your body!
Effects on the body
There is a such thing as a keto flu. You may start to feel like your brain is running low on energy, leading to nausea, headaches, and grogginess. Dehydration is also common as your body is low on electrolytes because the keto diet causes you to urinate more frequently. You can minimize the symptoms by drinking more water, and taking supplements to balance your electrolytes. Try switching your fluids to Pedialyte, Essentia water, or Fiji water. Don’t trink too much of Gatorade because it is mainly sugar. The keto flu is a good sign, though. It means you’re headed in the right direction to your goal. Remember, you are cutting your sugar intake which may have your body feeling a little weird at first, but if it becomes too severe to where your vision gets blurry or you can’t focus in conversations, stop the diet.
Disclaimer: if you are someone who takes medication for diabetes, high blood pressure or are breastfeeding, please consult with your doctor before beginning the keto diet as it may have bad side effects with your health.