You hear about it everywhere … the ketogenic diet seems to be one of the most popular ways to lose weight and get on the right track in the last couple of years. However, you also hear about rules, tips and tricks and you are not really sure why this is the right choice or what exactly it implies. Let us break it down for you in simple terms.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a diet low in carbs, high in fat and with moderate protein. In other words, you eat a minimal amount of carbs and you replace your regular foods with fats or protein. It sounds more complicated than it actually is!
How does it work?
As you probably know already, your body uses carbohydrates as a primary source of fuel. When you significantly reduce the number of carbs you eat, your body gets into a state called “ketosis” (hence the name) where your body switches from carbohydrates to fats as a primary fuel source and your liver releases ketones (some molecules that are a result of this metabolic state). The result is expected: you will start losing weight along with a host of other physical benefits.
Is there anything bad about the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is not restrictive and you have the freedom to eat pretty well as much as you want from specific foods (low in carbohydrates) and it is fairly effective, so are there any negatives? Well, in order to get your body to ketosis, some people go through what you call “the keto flu”.
When your body switches from carbohydrates to fats as fuel, there is a series of symptoms that can cause some discomfort: insomnia, cough, fever, sore throat, digestive problems, stomach pain, headaches, fatigue, nausea, nervousness, stuffed nose and so on. Naturally, not everyone gets the keto flu and the symptoms are not severe in most of the cases. Even when they are, there are many things you can do to improve your symptoms, and you can get through this time without too much effort.
Is it effective in the long term?
This isentirely up to you. It is commonly known that the ketogenic diet does help you lose weight. However, in order to maintain the weight-loss, you have to maintain a healthy diet in the long term. If you give up your low-carb diet and you start eating junk food, chances are you will gain weight sooner than you thought.
Also, some people get tired of avoiding carbohydrates once they reach their desired weight. If you love eating carbs on a daily basis, this may not be the right diet for you.
Is it healthy?
In most of the cases, yes. In the end, you are eating healthy foods and you are avoiding many of the foods that are considered to be unhealthy such as processed foods, sweets, soda, chips and so on. Plus, you will discover how beneficial fats really are and how they can improve your overall health.
Should you give it a try? Definitely yes. Only in this way, you will know if it is the right choice for you and your lifestyle.