If there is something that 2020 taught us, is that you never know what could happen in the future, therefore there is no time to waste, the moment to achieve your dream of losing weight is NOW!
Let’s be honest, quarantine may have left us with a little more extra pounds than we needed, but the new year is just beginning, and so is the chance to achieve your ideal weight with the highly efficient Keto diet.
Research backs up undertaking a Keto diet to support weight loss, and it also helps the treatment of epilepsy, aids managing type 2 diabetes, amongst other diseases.
Plenty of questions pop in our heads when reading “Keto Diet”:
What can I eat? Is it only useful in diabetic patients? Who should undertake this diet? Ketosis what?
We are ready to answer all of your questions, and teach you all you need to know about Keto diet.
What is the Keto diet?
A keto or ketogenic diet is so named because it causes your body to produce “ketones”—small molecules that work as fuel.
Keto diet consists of low-carbohydrates, high-fats, and moderate-proteins consumption, which helps you burn fat more easily, showing benefits for weight loss, certain disease treatments, and improved physical and mental performance.
How does a Keto diet work?
You basically need to replace your carbohydrate intake with fat.
During this process, there is a significant reduction in carbs that puts your body into a metabolic state called “ketosis”.
What does Ketosis mean?
Ketosis can seem quite complex, but it is actually a natural metabolic state in which your body burns fat and transforms it into energy.
So, how does it work exactly?
Normally, when we are on a high carbohydrate diet, our body produces glucose and insulin.
Since glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to transform and use as energy, the fats inside your body are no longer needed, therefore they are stored.
As a consequence of lowering the intake of carbs when undertaking a Keto diet, your body is induced into the state of ketosis and it starts using fats as its primary fuel. Get ready to say bye-bye fat!
Also, during the process of ketosis fat is turned into ketones in the liver, which can help supply energy for the brain.
Who is a good candidate for the keto diet?
- People who want to quickly lose weight or body fat.
- People with seizures, since it has proven to be especially beneficial in children with epilepsy.
- People with Alzheimer’s disease who are going through cognitive impairment, since the Keto diet has proven to improve short and long-term cognition among these patients.
- People who want to improve their insulin sensitivity.
- People who are looking to improve their blood pressure, or any other health biomarker.
Who shouldn’t undertake a Keto diet?
- People with disordered eating patterns.
- Diabetic patients diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Elite athletes.
- People diagnosed with liver failure, pancreatitis, or any other fat metabolism disorders.
Health benefits of the Keto diet
Health benefits of the Keto diet
- Helps you reduce your appetite: research indicates that low-carb eating automatically reduces your appetite and calories intake.
- Helps losing harmful abdominal fat: the excess of abdominal fat is associated with inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolic dysfunction. Low-carb diets are effective at reducing abdominal fat.
- Supports faster weight loss than low-fat diets: keto diet leads to more weight loss than low-fat diets in the short-term.
- Lowers blood triglycerides: cutting carbs can lead to a very dramatic reduction in blood triglycerides (fat molecules that increase the risk of heart disease).
- Reduces blood sugar and insulin levels drastically: a low-carb diet like Keto, has shown to be helpful for people with diabetes and insulin resistance, effectively lowering their blood sugar and insulin levels.
Increases mental focus: keto diet has proven to increase mental performance. By lowering your carb intake, you avoid spikes in blood sugar, this can promote better focus and concentration.
How to follow a ketogenic diet
First, you need to start getting familiar with labels. In order to eliminate carbs you should aim for 20 to 50 grams of carbs or fewer per day, so pay attention to those labels before buying any carb product.
Then, you should plan out your meals in advance, this will make you save extra time, and it will help you avoid stress during the diet.
You also want to keep portion sizes moderate, and base your meals on low carb veggies, this will help you feel full and it will allow you to obtain the fiber you’ll no longer be getting from beans, grains and legumes (keep on reading to check out the list of what to eat and what not to eat on a Keto diet).
Once you start, it is important to track your progress. Whether it is taking photos, measurements, or monitoring your weight every 3 to 4 weeks, this will keep you motivated and on track.
What to eat on a Keto diet
You should base your meals around these keto-friendly foods:
- Low-carb veggies: green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers.
- Fish and seafood: salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel.
- Meat: chicken, red meat, bacon, ham, turkey, sausage.
- Unprocessed cheeses: mozzarella, goat, cream, blue, cheddar, cottage cheese.
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds.
- Healthy oils: coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil.
- Condiments: salt, pepper, spices, herbs.
- Dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
- Plain Greek yogurt.
- Coffee and tea with no sugar.
What NOT to eat on a Keto diet
You should avoid any food that’s high in carbs.
- Legumes or beans: kidney beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas.
- Starches or grains: rice, pasta, cereal.
- Root vegetables: carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes.
- Fruit: all fruit, except berries.
- Sugary foods and drinks: soda, smoothies, honey, ice cream, candy, cake, sweetened yogurt.
- Chips and crackers.
- Alcohol: beer, wine, and liquor.
- Condiments or sauces: ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, mayonnaise.
How supplements help optimize your keto diet
Although the use of supplements is not mandatory on keto diet, supplements can be very helpful to obtain better results in less time.
When undertaking keto diet you cut off many nutrient sources, that’s why supplements can be used to prevent having nutrient deficiencies in magnesium, electrolytes, and particularly in fiber.
Supplements are also useful to ease any side effect the diet may cause.
Some people can experience headaches, fatigue, constipation, nausea, or dizziness.
Here’s a list of the most common supplements used on a Keto diet
MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) Oil: helps increase ketone levels, provides energy, and supports brain health.
- We recommend: Garden of Life MCT Oil
MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) Powder: helps the body burn fat, and provides fuel for mental and physical performance.
- We recommend: Garden of Life MCT Powder
BHB complex: supports increased blood ketone levels, helping you lower your appetite, and giving you more energy.
- We recommend: Zhou Nutrition Keto Drive
Collagen: benefits joint and gut health, meanwhile helping maintain a healthy weight. When it is taken featuring MCT oil, it supports increased natural ketone levels.
- We recommend: Ancient Nutrition Keto Collagen
Keto Protein: helps reduce stress-related carb cravings, it also promotes healthy metabolism, healthy weight and mental clarity.
- We recommend: Ancient Nutrition Keto Protein Vanilla
Cocoa powder: it supports healthy energy, helps reduce fatigue, helps improve mental clarity and concentration.
- We recommend: Ancient Nutrition Keto COCOA powder
All of the recommended supplements can be found in Nature’s Discount Stores. Other keto-friendly supplements you might want to add to your keto diet include:
- Ancient Nutrition Keto Cold Brew: a mix of coffee, energizing coconut MCTs, and adaptogenic superfoods that increases energy, reduces fatigue, and promotes concentration.
- Ancient Nutrition Keto Matcha: supports keto diet with botanical ingredients like: Organic Coconut Fruit Milk, Green Tea Leaf, and Organic Indian Ginseng Root.
- Garden of Life Keto Fit Vanilla: designed to make the keto diet and exercise program more effective, it helps burn fat and fight cravings.
Now that you know how to properly follow a Keto diet, all you have to do is adapt it to your own lifestyle, and make 2021 the year you finally reach your ideal weight. You got this!