By definition: A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It's referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc.
On average, a person's main source of energy derives from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates get broken down into glucose which releases insulin into the body and raises blood sugar. When you lower your carb intake and increase (good) high-fat foods, your body's main energy source switches from carbs to fat. Your liver will produce ketones that will be used as energy and your body will continue to burn off fat as long as you keep it in ketosis (which is the state your body is in whenever your liver is producing ketones).
There's a misconception with Ketogenic, that it's a high-protein diet. The difference between a high-fat and high-protein diet is that your body breaks down an overabundance of protein the same way it does carbs. Your body has two choices; to burn off the excess protein or break down into glucose and insulin (this results in running off of glucose rather than ketones). It's important to keep your body in a state of ketosis because it's very easy for your body to reverse back to burning off carbohydrates vs. fat.
This lifestyle change can be as hard or as easy as any other. At first you will go through the ups and downs like missing bread and pasta and craving potatoes at odd ends of the days. You will get the "Keto Flu" which happens when your source of energy switches from carbs to fat, and it will take some getting used to. However, I definitely think the research behind this diet will push you to question what we've been taught as a society.
there's something they aren't telling you...
Before you read the following, please click the link below.
50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat
Beyond the info from the link above, your body breaks down sugar, excess protein, and carbohydrates into glucose. You know the one thing your body cannot break into glucose? Fat.
Why is this important you might ask? Because in certain studies, there has been a link between glucose and cancer. Essentially cancer thrives in a glucose environment. Now, that may not seem like an important thing to you, but one detail that should be alarming is that everyone (yes, including you) has dormant cancer cells in their body. Your overall health and diet depends on whether those cancer cells become active or not.
Now, there aren't enough (human) studies, that I've come across, backing the link between sugar & cancer. However, in theory, if the Ketogenic Diet eliminates the production of glucose, then Ketogenic can aid in preventing cancer cells from becoming active, and if you have cancer it can weaken those cells. See articles 1, 2 for more information.
6 Common mistakes while on Keto
Mistake 1: Not tracking food
Let's face it, tracking your food is beneficial and necessary in any diet. However, being on a Ketogenic diet pretty much requires you to track your food so you are absolutely sure that you have been staying within your macros. (Unless, of course, you know the macros for every food off by heart! Sarcasm.)
Mistake 2: Not testing ketones
To know for sure if your body is running off of fat or not, you must test ketones that your liver is producing. Ketone test strips can be bought at Walmart or online at Amazon, click here.
Mistake 3: Not following The Moderation Rule
You can eat bacon? Butter, full-fat yogurt, and cheese?! Yes, you are "allowed" to eat all of these things while doing Keto, but that doesn't mean you should overindulge in any of it. I think this one goes without much explanation and it goes for anything in life... everything in moderation!
Mistake 4: Not IMPLEMENTING the CORRECT Ketogenic Diet
There are technically three styles of Ketogenic: Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD), Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD), + Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD). I'll summarize a bit about them...
- Standard Keto Diet (SKD): Very low carb, moderate protein, and high in fat.
- Targeted Keto Diet ( TKD): This diet involves eating carbs around your workouts.
- Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD): In short - 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
You can read more in depth about the 3 styles of Keto, here.
Mistake 6: not Utilizing fasting
Refer back to my previous post (here) about fasting and how it can kick start you into Ketosis!
My Personal Experience
The one thing I love about Keto is that it doesn't feel like you're truly restricting yourself. Yes, you can't have much of carbs but once you stop eating them, you stop craving them! On this "diet" you're allowed extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, ghee (organic butter), whipping cream, whole milk, cream cheese, eggs, full-fat cheese, endless avocados, etc. to add to your foods so the recipe possibilities are endless. It really allows you to get creative in the kitchen and snack on foods that fill you up & give you energy. Unlike carbs, if eaten in excess you ultimately become tired.
I highly recommend researching as much as possible before diving into things. Find out what your daily intake should be for carbs, fats, and proteins - here's a calculator on the ruled.me website - usually its 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs but it's good to have a specific set for yourself. This website is a huge help in any and all things Keto (Ketogenic Diet).
So why did I stop Keto? In short, I wanted to become vegan. I know... Wtf!? How do you go from Ketogenic to Vegan? Well, it didn't happen. I do eat vegan on Mondays and whenever I'm in the mood to but for the most part, I'm a meat and dairy eating gal (sorry to all my vegan followers, love you!).
The only con I have is that when I reverted back to eating carbohydrates, I blew up. My weight came back full force and I had to start back at square one. Now, I'm not saying this will happen to you (everyone is different), but it's something to keep in mind if you're on the fence of converting to Keto.
What I Ate & Still Lost Weight
If you'd like for me to share these recipes, please leave me a comment below and I'll add a few to my recipes page!
Do I have any advice? Yes.
Ketogenic is not a quick fix to weight/fat loss. Yes, you will lose both but it's meant to be a lifestyle change, which is why I hate calling it a "diet". This is something you will have to keep up with and work at every day. The benefits are there, but you need to maintain a state of ketosis to reap them.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I tried to give as much information that I've learned without confusing you! If you have any questions, or if there was something I forgot to mention, leave me a comment below or feel free to email me!