If you have ever been on or thought about going on a diet, chances are that you quickly became overwhelmed. With hundreds of different diets available online and through paid products, it gets confusing to truly understand what you should actually be doing to start dieting. There’s the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, the Cottage Cheese Diet, and many, many more. So with all of the available diets out there, which one should you use to help you lose weight quickly?
While you do have many options when it comes to diets, there is one type of diet that stands out above the rest. Now, most diets will get you some type of weight loss results, but this particular diet will get you the weight loss results that you only hear about, and fast!
So which diet is it that is going to help you achieve your weight loss goals faster than all the rest?
It’s the keto diet (ketogenic diet) of course!
Now you may be asking yourself why the keto diet is so much different than any of the other diets out there. However, before you can really understand what makes it so much more different, you must first know exactly what it is.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is based off an extremely low-carb and high in fat diet. With the keto diet, your goal is to limit your carbohydrate intake to almost nothing and replace those carbs with fats instead. Once you have done this, the absence of carbs is going to put your body into a different metabolic state than it’s normally, which is referred to as ketosis.
Once your body achieves ketosis, your body will begin to use fat as its main source of energy instead of carbs. On top of that, your liver is also going to convert your stored fat into ketones that will help supply your brain’s energy.
While you are on a ketogenic diet, you will receive massive reductions in your insulin levels, as well as your blood sugar levels. This partnered with the elevated amount of ketones in your body are going to have numerous health benefits, as well as faster weight loss results.
Types of the Keto Diet
Different than most of the other diets out there, there are a couple different types of the keto diet that you can do.
Standard Keto Diet
With this version of the diet, you are going to want to consume a diet that consists of high fats, moderate proteins, and very low-carb foods every day. With the standard keto diet, you can expect your diet to be roughly 75% fats, 20% proteins, and 5% carbohydrates.
Cyclical Keto Diet
With this version you are going to have a certain number of days following the standard keto diet guidelines, followed by a couple of days where you will consume higher amounts of carbohydrates. For example, you may go 5 days following the standard keto diet and then follow it with 2 days of higher-carb days.
Targeted Keto Diet
This version also follows the standard keto diet guidelines, but has an exception for when you workout. With the targeted keto diet, you are able to consume carbohydrates around your workouts.
High-Protein Keto Diet
Similar to the standard keto diet, the difference would be that you are consuming more protein. The typical guidelines for this are about 60% fats, 35% for proteins, and 5% for carbs.
Of these four different types of ketogenic diets, the standard version is the most mainstream and recommended one. The targeted and cyclical versions on the other hand, are considered to be more advanced and mainly used by serious athletes and bodybuilders.
Having many different benefits that other diets simply cannot provide, the two main benefits of going on a keto diet are to lose weight, as well as help reverse the affects of prediabetes and diabetes.
The Keto Diet for Weight Loss
If you are looking to lose weight, the keto diet is a very effective way to accomplish that goal. On top of that, it is also going to help lower your risk factors for disease as well. If that doesn’t want to make you try the keto diet, research has proven that the keto diet is much better and far superior than any type of low-fat diet.
To make the keto diet even better is the fact that when you are on it, you are not going to have to waste your precious time tracking how much food you consume or counting calories.
In fact, one of the studies done on the keto diet revealed that those who were on it lost 2.2x’s more than people who opted for a low fat, calorie restricted diet. The keto dieter’s HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also shown to improve as well.
All these benefits are due to the increased amount of ketones in your body, the improved insulin sensitivity, and the lowered blood sugar levels that the keto diet provides.
The Keto Diet for Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes
Some of the symptoms of diabetes include having a high blood sugar level, an impaired function of insulin, and changes in the metabolism. Going on the keto diet has been proven to help you lose your excess fat, which has been linked directly to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and prediabetes.
The benefits of going keto once diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes have been nothing but stellar. Not only are you going to lose excess weight (which id directly related to the disease, remember?), but it can even help you to get off of all diabetes medications as well.
Ultimately, if you want to reduce and lessen the negative symptoms of type 2-diabetes or prediabetes, the keto diet has been proven to do just that. This is just another way that the keto diet is different than other diets out there.
Some of the Other Health Benefits
Oddly enough, the keto diet wasn’t originally created to help people lose weight. In fact, it was actually created as a way to help treat neurological diseases like epilepsy.
That being said, there is strong evidence that the keto diet has a wide variety of benefits for different health conditions as well. Some of these conditions include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Brain injuries
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
So with the keto diet, there are many different health benefits for neurological, metabolic and insulin-types of diseases. Just be sure to keep in mind that further research is required in several of these different areas and the data that has currently been discovered is not conclusive.
All right, you have been convinced that you need to start the keto diet? But what foods are you supposed to eat? Am I able to eat anything that doesn’t have any carbohydrates in it? Do I only eat proteins and fats?
Here are the types of foods that you are not supposed to eat, as well as the ones that you are supposed to eat.
Avoid these Foods
When you are on the keto diet, your main goal is to avoid any foods that are high in carbs. The following are the different types of foods that you should limit, or even better eliminate from your daily diet while on the keto diet:
- Foods with lots of sugars – fruit juices, cake, candy, ice cream, sodas, etc.
- Starches and grains – pasta, rice, cereal, wheat-based foods, etc.
- Legumes or beans – kidney beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, etc.
- Fruits – everything except for smaller portions of berries such as strawberries
- Tubers and root vegetables – sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, regular potatoes, etc.
- Diet and low-fat products – Usually very highly processed and contain lots of carbs.
- Some sauces and condiments – many of these are high in sugar content.
- Fats considered unhealthy – this includes processed vegetable oil, mayo, etc.
- Alcohol – due to the higher amount of carbohydrates, this can easily take your body out of its ketosis state.
- ‘Sugar free’ foods – these types of foods are known to be highly processed, as well as high in their amounts of sugar alcohols that can throw your body out of ketosis.
Eat these Foods
Now you know exactly what not to eat, what does this leave you with in terms of what you can eat. To really succeed with your keto diet, you are going to want to base most of the foods you consume around these:
Meats – steak, sausage, ham, chicken, turkey, bacon, and red meat
Fish high in fats – these include trout, mackerel, tuna, and of course, salmon.
Eggs – omega-3 or pastured whole eggs are best.
Creams and butter – grass-fed is always best.
Cheese – only eat the unprocessed cheeses such as goat, blue, cream, mozzarella, or cheddar.
Seeds and nuts – walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
Avocado – either plain or in fresh guacamole
Oils – health oils such as coconut, extra virgin olive, or avocado oils.
Veggies low in carbs – tomatoes, peppers, onions, most green vegetables, etc.
While going on a keto diet can be great if you are trying to lose weight or help improve your metabolic health, it is not necessarily for everybody. As with any diet, the keto diet is only going to work if you are able to be consistent and stick to the eating guidelines. While some will find that it is easy to do so, others will struggle with it. The best thing that you can do is to try it out for yourself and see how you like it. Why not? All you have to lose is some extra weight!