What Is the Keto Diet and Should You Try it?

Breakdown of the good, the bad and the ugly truths behind Keto dieting.

Keto diet

There are so many different diets to try but many can be very confusing. You may already be starting to get to terms with your diet but if you’re wanting to try something new, a Keto diet might be it. The Keto diet is simple, it’s a low carb high fat diet that tries to trick your body into a survival state.  We break down what ‘Ketogenic’ means, how you can try one and what you might experience along the way.

What is it?

A keto diet is a type of diet low in carbohydrates. It’s also known as a ketogenic diet, low carb diet,  or low carb high-fat diet. It forces your body into a ‘survival state’ normally triggered if people are in taking a low volume of food.

How does it work?

When you eat a diet with usual levels of carbohydrates your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is a molecule used as energy and Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.

Food and macro breakdown of a Keto diet.
Examples of different foods that you might eat on a Keto diet.

Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.

What are the benefits of a Keto diet?

The Keto diet wouldn’t be a thing if it hadn’t worked for someone. If you’re thinking about trying it out, here are some of the changes you might see.

  • Weight loss – Your body is now using your fat stores for energy instead of Glucose so you’ll lower your levels of body fat. Your insulin levels drop greatly and you’ll turn your body into a fat-frying furnace.
  • Increased energy and normalized hunger – Fats leave us feeling fuller for longer and is also the bodies more reliable energy source. Because of this, you’ll feel more energised and more satisfied with your meals.
  • Control blood sugar – Keto naturally lowers your blood sugars levels because of the foods you’ll eat.
  • Acne – It’s common to experience improvements in your skin when you switch to a ketogenic diet.
  • Mental focus – Ketones produced during a keto diet are a great fuel source for the brain. Many people use ketogenic dieting to increase mental performance, focus and concentration.
  • Epilepsy – The ketogenic diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully. It is still one of the most widely used therapies for children who have uncontrolled epilepsy today.
What are the side effects?

The changes in your body will cause positive and possibly negative effects so here are a few you might experience on your journey.

  • Cramps – A lack of magnesium and other minerals in our bodies can cause us to have cramps. Usually in the morning or night.
  • Heart Palpitations – This is something to worry about but to make sure your keeping healthy, drink plenty of fluid and intake enough salt.
  • Reduced physical performance – You body will need time to adjust to your new macros balance. Once it does, all of your strength and performance will return as normal.
What should I eat on a Keto diet?

Your diet will need to be well planned. Firstly you’ll have to decide how quickly you want to get to a ketogenic stage. The majority of your food will mostly come from vegetables, nuts, and dairy.

The must haves is meats. One of your sources of protein that’ll aid you if your training alongside your diet. Spinach, broccoli and other green vegetables contain important nutrients that your body might otherwise lack. High-fat dairy products need to be a staple of your diet. Fats will fill you up reducing your need for carbs and causing your body to burn the existing fats in your system. Other goods fats can include Avocado’s and oils such as coconut and olive oil.

For some recipe ideas, visit tasteaholics here.

Is it for me?

A Keto diet really depends on your end goal. It’s a great diet to lose weight. If you’re looking to lean up after a bulk or shrink your waistline for a holiday then it’s another option.

Joe Tucker
the authorJoe Tucker
Joe is an aspiring fitness journalist looking to get his foot in the industry at A fair-weather runner and sparring sissy who occasionally enjoys rolling down hills ... on two wheels that is. Any story ideas? Feel free to DM him with any ideas.

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