I get the question a lot: Are you on the keto diet? I will start with explaining what the keto diet is. Benefits of keto and ketosis? And lastly, what are the side effect and how I differ from the diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is mainly based on a no carb theory. We have all heard of the weight-loss ideas of: “if you cut out carbs you will lose weight quicker” or “it will make you less bloated if you cut out carbs”. There was a time, this became unpopular as a diet option due to the fact that it is hard to maintain a strict keto diet. However, with a bit more research behind it, it is now back in the media and it is more popular than ever. It turns out that it has several health benefits. I love this part!
Ketosis, is what?
The diet is based on the research that if you drastically cut out carbs from your diet your body will start converting your body fat into energy. This is done in the liver, where your liver creates ketones out of your body fat that then provides you with long lasting energy. This metabolic state is called ketosis.
Ketosis happens when there is limited access to glucose which is mainly found in carbs. To go into ketosis, you would need to eat less than 50 grams of carbs per day. It can be lower depending on your daily caloric intake. Rule of thumb is 5%.
When eating a very low-carb diet, levels of the hormone insulin go down and fatty acids are released from body fat stores in large amounts. Many of these fatty acids are transferred to the liver, where they are oxidized and turned into ketones. These molecules can provide energy for the body. Unlike fatty acids, ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy for the brain in the absence of glucose.
You don’t need to overthink the diet even though above seems very technical. Above is simply to give you insights to what happens with your body when you go on a keto diet. All you need to know is you should be cutting out as many carbs as possible such as bread, rice, potatoes, legumes, etc. Try and eat lean meats but overall fats are good for you, so enjoy!
Benefits to the Keto Diet
There are many benefits to the keto diet. A lot of it has good research behind it and some is still being researched. Below I have listed the benefits I have come across:
- Keeps you feeling full for longer, due to the amount of fat and protein you eat, which has been proven that both makes you feel full longer compared with carbohydrates. Checkout the research here.
- The protein heavy diet helps your cravings. Yes, you read that right. Protein has up to 60% reduction in cravings (or obsessions as the research calls it). Check our the article here.
- Due to the ketosis state, the diet burns your stored fat more so than any other diet. Check the research here.
- Keto is said to have a stronger weight loss impact than any other diet. Check out the research here.
- Ketosis has a positive impact on your cholestorol and thereby reduces the risk factors for heart related diseases. Check out the research here.
- It has a long list of benefits which you can read more about here.
Side-effect from the Keto Diet
Although, the diet has a strong of benefits it does come with a few side effects but those certainly fades in comparison to the benefits.
I certainly experienced some of them when I first changed my diet. My husband kept telling me, I had bad breath. It baffled me. I was eating well and I had just had my teeth cleaned. Later on, when I started learning more about keto and ketosis, I learned that bad breath is a side effect. It disappears though so hang in there.
My brain at some point just stopped working, I could not process thoughts the same way as I normally would but this only lasted a couple of weeks. 2 weeks is a longer stretch than most but knowing how dependent I was on carbs, I am not surprised. I have listed some of the side effects below so there are no surprises if you choose to jump into it with me.
- Bad breath
Me on Keto
How I am differing from the keto diet is that I allow myself fruit once per day. I don’t limit myself to a particular fruit and if I have a craving, I might end up eating 2 fruits in a day. I am not particularly diverting from the keto diet but I do get more carbs than the 5% that is recommended. However, I have still been able to get into ketosis state, hence my bad breath.
If you have any questions or things you think I should add to this quick run-through, feel free to leave it in the comments below.