It feels like everyone is talking about keto diet but no one really knows how to do it properly. The high fat, moderate protein and low card ketogenic diet has taken over the nutrition world and recently we also saw the advent of keto diet supplements, like Bulk Powders' Complete Keto Shake, aimed at bodybuilders on a keto diet.
Seeing all the jaw-dropping before and after pictures, we were interested and even intrigued to find out more about the subject. What is keto diet? What are the main benefits of keto diet?
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What is keto diet?
A keto diet is essentially a method of eating which changes the substrate your body uses for fuel. In this instance, by following a very low carbohydrate diet the liver produces ketones from fat, for the body to use as energy.
What do you eat on a keto diet?
Anything that’s low in carbs! Especially avoiding sugar. Generally, the aim is to go sub 30g carbohydrate per day. However, for most people, carbs tend to form a majority of their energy intake. As such, the calorie content needs to be replaced so those following a keto diet will bump up fats with moderate protein.
What are the main benefits of keto diet?
The main reported benefit of a keto diet is rapid weight loss. Counter-intuitively, many people report being less hungry.
Is keto diet safe?
A keto diet should be avoided if you’re on medication; especially if you’re on diabetes medication. If you’re on medication, it’s best to discuss the premise with a medical professional.
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How do you get started on a keto?
Firstly, do your research. You need to find out what foods are higher in fat and protein with minimal carb content. Popular choices are nuts (brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds), avocados, coconut oil, eggs, meat and fish.
From a vitamin and mineral perspective, be sure to incorporate fibrous fruit and vegetables such as kale, broccoli and cauliflower.
Many people choose to purchase keto strips, which detect ketones in the urine. That way, you can be sure you really are ketogenic.
How long does it take for keto diet to work?
It takes around 2-4 days to get into ketosis (assuming carbs are low enough) depending on the individual. The carb content required to reach ketosis will also vary between individuals.
Initial weight loss will be very quick, but keep in mind that a majority of that will be stored glycogen (carbs) and water. Steady weight loss will follow after by virtue of being in a calorie deficit and burning more fat as a fuel.
Can you work out on a keto diet?
Exercise can complement the benefit from a keto diet. It’s possible that training intensity may initially drop and strength may reduce. However, you’d typically expect strength to drop as body weight reduces (assuming you’re not a beginner).
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Does keto diet make you weaker/sleepier?
Many who follow the keto diet say they have more energy than their previous way.
Are supplements keto-safe?
Sure, absolutely. The main benefit of supplements is that higher fat, moderate protein and low-carb food is pretty hard to find if you’re out and about.
From a convenience angle, supplements provide a quick and easy way to add fat and protein to your diet, without loads of carbs
So, to summarise up Simon's words, keto diet is safe and beneficial for your health and weight loss if you are careful and mindful enough about it.
Easiest way to track your keto effort is to use a nutrition-tracker app like MyFitnessPal, where you can simply set your desired macro nutrient percentage/macro split (on keto, it will most likely be 75% fat, 5% carbs and 20% protein) and scan the barcodes of the food you would like to ingest.
Most importantly, as with any lifestyle change, give yourself some time to adjust. As Simon mentioned, you will see some rapid results almost straight away, but in order to keep that weight off, you'll have to stick with the diet, even if progress slows down a bit.
Slowing down doesn't mean the new diet stopped working; it only means your body is re-adjusting itself to accommodate the new diet. Weight loss, or more like shedding the unnecessary extra weight, is only a side effect of a new, healthier lifestyle, which will benefit you on a long run, not only short term.