What is the Keto diet and where did it come from?
The keto diet is classified by a metabolic process that uses the body's ketones as an energy source instead of glucose. In other words, when your body is substantially low on carbohydrates it switches to using fats as fuel instead.
The keto diet is not the new kid on the block. In fact, it has been around since the 1920's and has been researched and tested for decades as a method to treat epilepsy. Doctors have also attempted to use the keto diet to help diabetic and morbidly obese patients.
So how does it work?
Your body is designed to operate on glucose which comes from the carbs you consume. When you drastically reduce carb intake for a lengthened period of time, your brain then sends a signal to the liver to send in backup fuel (ketones).
The body goes into a state of ketosis which is when the liver converts stored fatty acids into ketone bodies and takes on the role that glucose plays in the energy department.
Does it really work for fat loss?
The short answer is, yes. Scientifically, if the body isn't getting what it needs for energy it is going to use anything in the body that it can to survive, in this case, fat. So for weightloss, triggering ketosis can aide in the fatloss process with proper nutrition and exercise.
Do I recommend it?
The keto diet has become a trend... and from what I've seen a very fatloss-focused trend. But what about your overall health?
I've seen so many keto diet plans that recommend an unhealthy amount of saturated fats as a way to sell people on the whole - eat what you want but still lose weight - idea. There are keto diet plans that recommend eating bacon, ice cream, dark chocolate, cheese and butter as a means to help you burn fat and sustain energy on the keto diet. But what about cholesterol levels, heart health, and processed sugar?
With any nutritional routine, you have to make sure you're eating consistently clean and balanced in a way that your body ultimately benefits.
There's a way to go about the keto diet that can be healthier than others, which includes adding good whole fats that the body can easily break down and use, such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts or nut butters for example. And having processed fats in moderation.
I don't recommend the keto diet to anyone for the LONG RUN for two reasons:
1. Ever heard of low-carb brain?
It exists...trust me I've experienced it. It's pretty much the point where your brain is so low on glucose that it becomes hard for you to remember things, produce thoughts and react. Regardless of your energy level, it can get foggy after a while and adding carbs can fix it but this is just one example of why I don't recommend the keto diet as a lifesytle.
2. Speaking of lifestyle, ask yourself this question before diving into the keto diet... "Do I want to eat like this forever?" If no, find ways to incorporate lower carb days or weeks that have keto-diet practices. Or set a cut-off point for your keto-diet if it is just a means to lose some extra body fat.
If you want to live a keto lifestyle, my biggest suggestion is to consult with a professional. Everyone can't function on a keto-based diet. If you consider doing this for the long haul, It would be in your best interest to make sure you can sustain it.
For more information on how to add keto practices to your nutrition regimen or to consult about whether or not you should consider a keto diet contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can point you in the right direction.