The Ketogenic Diet
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Are you thinking about starting a ketogenic diet but don’t have enough information about it? This guide will help give you a rundown of the basics of a ketogenic diet so you can decide if this is your next step toward overall health. A ketogenic diet is essentially a low-carb, high-fat diet which has myriad health benefits, from weight loss and appetite control to better maintenance of blood sugar levels. It may reverse the development of type 2 diabetes and helps control the onset of epileptic seizures.
The ketogenic diet, commonly known as “the keto,” is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It involves a drastic reduction of carbohydrates, replacing them with high-fat foods. This reduction in carbs makes the body to go into the metabolic state known as ketosis, hence the name. In ketosis, our body becomes more efficient at burning fat to release energy by turning fat cells into ketones in the liver, which are helpful for supplying energy to the brain. Ketogenic diets have numerous health benefits; here are just a few:
BENEFIT OF KETOGENIC DIET
The ketogenic diet promotes weight loss by turning your body into a fat-burning machine. An increased speed of fat burning and a drop in insulin levels creates the ideal circumstance for weight loss without excessive hunger.
Boosted energy levels and mental performance
A ketogenic diet stimulates the flow of ketones to the brain, which enhances brain focus and performance. It also boosts energy levels as the heavy fat cells that cause lethargy are burned.
A ketogenic diet supports better appetite control. As the body burns fat throughout the day, you have constant access to energy, which results in reduced feelings of hunger. This makes it possible for you to eat less and lose excess weight more easily while balancing your blood sugar levels.
Blood Sugar Control
The ketogenic diet controls blood sugar levels and may help reverse the development of type 2 diabetes. This happens as ketosis lowers blood sugar levels while reducing the negative effects of higher insulin levels. It may also be helpful in preventing the onset of pre-diabetes.
The ketogenic diet has been shown as an effective therapy for epilepsy because it may reduce seizures while helping to reduce the side effects of some anti-epilepsy drugs.
Enhanced physical endurance
A ketogenic diet can improve physical endurance by providing constant access to energy by continuously burning fat.
Foods to eat
A ketogenic diet includes increasing the amount of the following foods in your diet plan.
- Fatty fish: Salmon, trout, tuna, etc.
- Meat: Red meat, steak, chicken, turkey, etc.
- Butter and cream
- Unprocessed cheese
- Nuts and seeds, including almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- Low-carb veggies
- Seasonings, including salts, spices, and herbs.
Foods to avoid
Foods high in carbohydrates should be avoided or limited. The following foods should be reduced or completely avoided while on a ketogenic diet.
- Sugary and processed foods
- Grains or starches
- Fruit, with the exception of berries
- Low-fat or diet products
- Beans or legumes
- Root vegetables and tubers
- Condiments that contain sugar
- Unhealthy fats
- Sugar-free diet foods
DISCLAIMER: As a Certified Health Coach, I only recommend a keto diet for short term purposes. Maybe you need a boost before you start a weight loss program, you have that last bit of weight to lose because you hit a plateau or you have an event coming up and need fast results….these would be the only reasons I would ever suggest a keto plan. There is not enough evidence or data that has been made available about the long term results of how keto can affect your body. The reality is – keto is not sustainable or realistic. Your brain needs carbs for fuel…period. Yes your body can use fat for fuel for exercise but science has proven that you need proper carbohydrates for brain function. Please do your research and know that everyone is different in how they respond to keto and you absolutely have to follow it the right way to get the results you want.
The ketogenic diet offers plenty of benefits, but, as with many eating plans, requires a change in mindset. Consider giving it a test run for a few weeks to see if it is for you, and reap the rewards!
If you would like to learn more about my 21 Day Keto Challenge, just click here and learn how you can be successful in your weight loss goals. If you have other dietary needs or restrictions, I have options to create a customized meal plan specific to you…click here to set up a session. Or email me with any questions.
Yours in health and wellness,
Certified Health Coach
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Ketogenic Diet: A Beginners Guide, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101, October 21, 2020.
Should you try the keto diet?, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet, August 31, 2020.
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