There are a lot of diets for weight loss out there that you can choose from. However, there is a diet that will not only help you lose weight but will improve your overall health as well. It’s called the ketogenic diet, often called keto for short. It focuses on eating high-fat, moderate-protein, and very low-carbohydrate foods.
It’s not a new idea as the keto diet has been around for almost a century. There are different variations of the keto diet to suit various lifestyles and goals but the standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is the most common. In this article, we will go over the basics so you can see if it is right for you.
1 – Understand the challenges
To really understand if a keto diet is for you, you have to first know about the challenges that you might face. Every diet has a set of side effects and the keto diet is no different. One of the most common side effects is the keto flu. When you start the keto diet you can feel symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and dizziness which are similar to when you have the flu. These occur as the body adjusts to burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
You should also avoid the diet if you are an athlete or pregnant. Athletes need to have some carbohydrates in their diet since their body needs them to burn during high endurance activities. Pregnant women also need to have a very balanced diet to make sure the fetus is getting the proper nutrition. The restrictive nature of the keto diet means that it is not suitable for pregnant women.
2 – Benefits of the keto diet
One of the most well-known benefits of the keto diet is its effectiveness for weight loss and management. By switching the body’s primary energy source from carbs to fat, the keto diet can end up burning a lot of body fat.
This process, known as ketosis, can also reduce your appetite, which can lead to a lower calorie intake without feeling hungry.
Another key benefit of the keto diet is its impact on blood sugar and insulin levels. The diet helps stabilize blood sugar levels since carbs are highly restricted. The lower carb intake leads to a decrease in blood sugar spikes and can improve insulin sensitivity.
3 – Meal planning
Just as with any change in your diet, you need to be very good at planning. Meal planning is going to make or break your success with the keto diet so make sure to take this seriously.
Tracking your food intake using a food diary or an app can be very helpful to get started. Start by eliminating high-carb foods from your diet, such as sugary snacks, bread, pasta, and rice. Instead, stock your pantry and fridge with keto-friendly foods like meats, fatty fish, eggs, and cheese.
Plan your menu out for the week so you can prepare for each day making it easier to stick with the diet and not make mistakes.