Let’s begin. Keto, short for Ketogenic diet and pronounced ‘key-toe’, has become ever so popular in the health world. Keto diets like the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet are probably recognisable due to celebrities swearing by them, and the media going bananas over them.
Simple put, keto aims to put your body in a state of “ketosis” where you begin to burn fat for fuel. In order to do this, you’ll be eating less carbs and upping your fats and proteins. Everyone’s body is different, but general rule of thumb is 60-75% of your calories from fat, 15-30% from protein, and a measly 5-10% from carbs. Between 4-7 days after beginning this diet, your body will enter a state of ketosis and begin to burn fat for energy.
The human body burns whatever it has is highest supply that will give it the most energy. Most carbs are burnt quickly and packed with high levels of fuel that give you a massive burst of energy. Whereas fats and proteins burn slower and give you a longer burst of energy as the body works through it.
Where did this diet come from?
We love how inquisitive you are about the origins of things.
The keto diet was initially used as a treatment for patients suffering from seizure disorders. It was discovered that ketones, an enzyme produced by this diet, helped to minimise seizures in some patients.
It was noticed that on this diet, many keto dieters began to lose weight and the diet plan has taken off ever since.
Why is it controversial?
Keto seems to have a terrible reputation.
When it comes to nutrition and your body, everyone is different and the results are different for everyone. Keto diets have a bad reputation, as do fatty foods and heavy oils. As with everything, there are ups and downs.
The keto diet can be a little heavy on the red meats and other fatty foods, and this combined with improper nutrition can make you sick in a flash.
Also, many people believe this diet to be terrible for the human body due to the fatigue and grogginess that a low-carb diet can bring about. But as with any diet, if its done incorrectly and without nutrition in mind, you will get sick and be unable to sustain the diet long term.
All in all, if you’re looking to change your diet but have trouble adapting to sudden dietary changes, then best to begin slowly and avoid any problems.
So without glorious, delicious carbs in their diet, what do people eat when they are following the keto plan?
- Fats & Oils: On the keto diet, aim to get your fats and oils from natural sources like meat and nuts. Supplement with saturated and monounsaturated fats like coconut, lo oil, butter, and olive oil.
- Protein: Do your best to eat organic, grass-fed meat wherever you can, just try not too go overboard on the protein on this diet.
- Vegetables: Fresh, frozen, both are fine as love as they are above ground veggies (especially your leafy greens).
- Dairy: Thankfully, most diary is okay, but make sure that you’re buying the full-fat versions rather than the diet or sugar-free ones.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds should be eaten in moderation, and the tastiest and highest in fat are macadamias and almonds (which are also SUPER AMAZING for your skin, hair, and general well-being, see our guide right hurr.
Overall, expect hearty plates of bacon, avocado, spinach, and cheese. Delicious.
Sounds amazing, but on the flip side what foods should I avoid?
- Sugar: Found in soft drinks, juices, sweets, dairy and milk chocolates, and other treats. Best rule of thumb is to avoid anything processed, artificially sweet, and anything not sweet from stevia. No sugar, really.
- Grains: Avoid any type of wheat product like bread, pasta, cereal, cakes, pastries, rice, corn, buckwheat, rye, barley, quinoa, and worst of all, beer.
- Starch: Starch found in veggies like potatoes and yams, and also in things like oats and muesli.
- Trans Fats: Found in margarine or other spreadable faux butters should be avoided as they contain hydrogenated fats (which is bad for the bod).
- Fruit: Surprising, yes, but also a big no-no because all large fruits like apples, oranges, pears, and bananas are dripping in sugar. Some berries are okay in small amounts.
- Low-fat or diet foods: Dripping in higher carbs and sugars, opt for the high-fat version and rad the label carefully.
What will happen to me when I begin this diet?
If done correctly, around 2-6 days your body will begin to go into ketosis. As with any major diet change, be wary of dietary issues such as IBS symptoms or the dreaded “keto-flu” which can make you super ill (it’s withdrawal from carbs making you feel like poo).
You may also be a bit sleepy and groggy when you begin.
As for the reason for weight loss, some experts say it is simply from a reduction of daily calories that helps the scales drop. It takes longer to burn through the energy on the keto diet and so you are fuller for longer on less (usually hovering around 1500 calories a day helps you lose weight, calories in/ calories out).
If it makes you incredibly ill and you can tell it’s not for you, then stop. You know your body better than anyone else. Always be safe (and kind) to your body.
I am interesting in trying the keto diet, what other resources can I read?
Good on you for understanding that all diet changes need to be mindful and well planned. We love these two resources for researching about the keto diet (and so will you).
Ruled.com has some easy-to-read pictographs and guides on the diet, and Reddit (the front page of the internet has large discussion groups and info for anyone and everyone.
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Let’s begin. Keto, short for Ketogenic diet and pronounced ‘key-toe’, has become ever so popular in the health world. Keto diets like the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet are probably recognisable due to celebrities swearing by them, and the media going bananas over them. Simple put, keto aims to put your body in…