The Keto Diet is a popular diet that has made its way into the fitness industry. However, before dividing deeper into the keto diet, it is important to understand that there is no such perfect diet. Every individual has their own preferences and ultimately, weight loss and weight gain comes down to calorie deficit and calorie surplus, respectively.
What is the keto diet?
This is a diet where carbs are completely cut out. The only form of carbohydrates the body receives is from fat-heavy and protein-heavy foods.
In this diet, the focus is to provide the body with 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs.
How does the diet work?
First, let’s understand how the body generates energy from food. Ideally, the body needs three macronutrients - fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The body breaks down these nutrients to generate energy, especially from the glucose it receives from carbohydrates.
However, with keto, the body does not get glucose from carbohydrates to generate energy. As a result, it burns the stored fat to generate the required energy. Essentially, the idea is to push the body to burn stored fats. Once this level is achieved, it’s said that the body is in a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Benefits of a keto diet
The reason this diet is suggested is because it works and helps to burn excess stored fat for fuel. Apart from that, there are other benefits of following this diet.
Curbs your appetite
One tends to eat more when you have the appetite for it. However, when you follow a low-carb-diet, your appetite gets curbed. This results in a controlled eating habit, which ultimately helps in weight loss.
Improves blood sugar and insulin levels
A low-carb diet is potentially useful for individuals suffering from diabetes or with insulin resistance. A low-carb diet helps in moderating the levels, which lowers blood sugar and insulin levels significantly.
Can accelerate initial weight loss
With a keto diet, stored fat gets burned for fuel, which in itself is a form of weight loss. Additionally, a low-carb diet will initially accelerate the weight loss process when the primary source of energy shifts from using glucose to using stored fat.
Side effects of a keto diet
It would be wrong to assume that keto is all bad. But when something is done outside of moderation, it usually has negative consequences. Similarly, for this diet, there are some side effects that must be kept in mind.
When you jump ship and move from a traditional diet to a keto diet, you may experience some stress such as headache, fatigue, nausea, and others. Often, you will overcome these effects with time, but if the problem persists, you need to switch from a keto diet to another diet.
Again, during the initial days of following the diet, you may experience digestive problems or even diarrhea. Most digestive issues occur because your body is not getting enough water or fiber. If you can moderate those, you may be able to avoid them.
Increased heart rate
When following a keto diet, you may need to reduce the amount of coffee you are drinking. There have been instances where individuals have faced a significant increase in their heart rate. You should not experience this after the first few weeks, but if it continues, you should increase the amount of carbs per day.
Things to keep in mind
When following a diet, there are a few factors to keep in mind to ensure you do not fall sick or ill because of it.
Avoid following it for a long term
You may feel influenced to follow keto for the longer term. It is advised that you do not restrict carb-intake for a prolonged period of time. Instead, consider following keto for a couple of months before switching back to a traditional diet.
However, increase your carb levels steadily while making the switch.
Drink enough water
Keto diets can lead to a significant amount of water-weight loss during the initial phase. It is important for you to constantly hydrate yourself.
Avoid heavy workouts
When you have just begun the diet, there could be side effects. Try to follow a moderate workout routine that does not over exhaust you while you deal with the side effects.
The diet is good for you but you need to be careful about how long you do it. If you are unsure about the calories and diet, it is best to consult an expert before moving forward.