Ketogenic diets are all the rage, and for good reason. You see, losing weight and building/preserving lean muscle mass is tough. In fact, calling it tough is like saying that running a marathon is a bit challenging. What we should say is that it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. For those of you that have tried seemingly every trick in the book to lose weight, have you tried keto? The answer will be ‘no’ because if you had you’ll have noticed just how effective the diet is for burning fat. Though keto has only really proved hugely popular over the last decade or so, it has actually been practiced since the 1920s. But what is the keto diet, does it work, and what does it do?
What is the keto diet – The keto diet, also known as keto for short, is a diet based upon physiology and science, with a lot of positive research and feedback behind it. People often get the Atkins Diet and Keto mixed up with each other, or they simply think they’re the same diet protocols, just with different names. The two are actually very different. They are both low carbohydrate diets, but that’s where the similarities end. Atkins is a low carb, moderate fat, high protein diet. Keto is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. Your primary foods on keto are high in fats, and primarily these fats should be healthy.
How does it work? – The diet is designed to help you burn fat, preserve lean muscle, and enjoy high levels of energy while doing so. You see, normally when you eat carbohydrates, your body will take them and convert them into glucose for energy. Carbs are the easiest source of fuel and so any fat left over is stored as body fat as a backup. By restricting carbs, however, your body is forced to look for an emergency source of energy. The liver produces ketones, which allow you to tap into your body fat reserves and use fat for energy instead. Once you produce ketones you enter a state of ketosis, which is where your body is literally powering itself with its own body fat.
Does it work and what are the benefits? – If you follow the keto diet correctly, it will work incredibly well, and there are a number of benefits you can enjoy. These include:
Fat loss – When you enter ketosis, your body fuels itself with its own stored body fat. Insulin, which is a hormone responsible for fat-storage, drops sharply, so you burn fat for energy, rather than keeping it or storing it.
Regulates blood sugar levels – Because of the foods you consume, keto has been proven to naturally reduce blood sugar levels and keep them stable. For diabetics or people at risk of diabetes, the diet is therefore very useful.
Energy – When you make the transition over to ketosis, when your body is restricted of carbs and doesn’t know what to do for energy, you will feel bad. You’ll be tired, you’ll have a headache, and you’ll feel awful. This lasts around 3 days for most people. Once you enter ketosis, however, you’ll have more energy than you know what to do with. This is because not only are you burning your own body fat for fuel, you are also getting your energy from the fats you consume. You’ll become more physically active, you’ll be motivated, and you’ll feel great.