With the seemingly infinite range of food choices, availability, and convenience in today’s world, watching what you eat has never been so important. And lacking the time (and qualifications) to draw up detailed, personalized food plans, most of us turn to diet programs at some point. But knowing which one to pick is never easy, and it never pays to start out on one without knowing what the eventual payout will be. The ketogenic diet has been consistently growing in popularity and notoriety in recent years. But it seems to be masked with a lot of confusion and misinformation. Ever wonder exactly what you can expect from the ketogenic diet? We’ll fill you in.
A lot of people think this is the best diet in the world. But what can you expect on a ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a high-fat, low-carb diet. Its bread and butter are meats, full-fat dairy, and vegetables, while it cuts out grains, high-glycemic fruits that spike blood sugar levels, and processed foods. It’s pretty radical compared to similar low-carb diets like Atkins in that it either completely eliminates or significantly reduces your carb intake. But there’s a very good reason for this.
Put simply, the ketogenic diet changes (and indeed upgrades) your body’s energy supplier. Being starved of glucose-producing carbohydrates, the body starts burning fat in the liver which, in turn, produces ketones. When these ketones become the main source of your body’s fuel, one enters into a state of ketosis (never to be confused with ketoacidosis).
Putting your body into ketosis brings amazing advantages.
Weight loss is one of the clearest benefits of the keto diet, letting you reap all the rewards of fasting without having to go through its famishing downsides. And drawing on your body’s fat reserves isn’t just great for how you look. Burning fat around your vital organs also brings a range of health benefits: reducing blood pressure and increasing levels of good cholesterol.
The keto diet is also proven to improve your concentration and balance out your moods, putting an end to those slumps that come from a diet that’s high in carbohydrates. And it goes further: the diet’s efficacy has even seen amazing results when it comes to treating epilepsy sufferers.
Even the strictest ketogenic diet can leave you feeling rough at the beginning.
Recalibrating your body from its carb-burning comfort zone isn’t always a smooth process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. A number of side effects often accompany this metabolic shift, particularly over the first few days up to a week. Don’t be surprised, for example, if you sometimes feel like your head’s full of cotton wool, if you feel more dehydrated than a Mexican cactus or if you initially experience mild flu-like symptoms (the so-called keto flu).
As long as you continue to knock back those glasses of water a day, and keep your mineral levels high with electrolyte supplements and broth, you’ll feel fine in no time. And remember that low-carb doesn’t necessarily mean no-carb, and low-carb vegetables and fiber-rich fruits are absolutely fine, particularly in the initial stages while you’re easing your way into it.
The long-term benefits of nutritional ketosis by far outweigh the short-term drawbacks.
And to help you make the most of them, we’ve created a range of recipes you can try out. So whether it’s getting your day off to a flying start with a quick and easy keto breakfast or whipping up some keto diet lunch ideas, see if you can get inspired at Ketogenic Kitchen.
If you’ve had similar experiences, have seen the same results, or had a go at any awesome keto diet recipes, we want to hear from you. You can get in touch by posting in the comments section below!