Weight loss diets come and go. What might be in vogue today may fall out of favor tomorrow. As a result, picking a diet that’s right for you offers a much better approach to weight loss than simply following the trends. While the keto diet is recently popular, it certainly isn’t a new diet trend. But we have learned much more about the keto diet benefits and how it works in recent decades. In your search for a weight loss diet that works for you, getting the facts can help you make a good decision. And you might just find this is the weight loss diet you have been searching for all along!
What is a Keto Diet?
“I eat healthy fats all day long, avocado, oil, coconut oil and I use butter, but don’t have any sugar. So, when your body gets trained to burn fats, it’s constantly on fat-burning mode—that’s the secret.” – Halle Berry[i]
The keto diet is a low-carb diet but to the extreme. When selecting foods, you preferentially select those that are higher in fats and protein while avoiding carbs. In fact, all your foods each day should contain less than 20 grams of carbs in total. On a keto diet, most of your daily calories come from healthy fats; Specifically, a 4-to-1 ratio where fat calories are four times those of protein and carb calories combined.
For many people, being able to have a diet high in fats sounds pretty good. Ribeye steaks, full cream in your coffee, and all the cheese you want sounds quite attractive. But at the same time, keto diet foods require cutting way back on breads, pizza, and pasta. High carb veggies like potatoes and most fruits have to be avoided as well. Depending on the foods you enjoy on a regular basis, a keto diet may or may not be for you.
How Does Keto Diet Foods Help You Lose Weight?
Unlike many other weight loss diets, the keto diet encourages eating fatty foods rather than avoiding them. At first, this seems rather counterproductive. But in actuality, it’s exactly what triggers the weight loss. By changing our diets to keto friendly foods, we alter our bodies’ metabolisms. This results in a “keto shift” that causes our bodies to more quickly metabolize fats, including fat stored in those unwanted areas (also known as ketosis). As long as carbs are kept to a minimum, our bodies adjust well to keto friendly foods. And in turn, we begin to shed the pounds while looking thinner and healthier.
More Than Just Weight Loss
You might be surprised to know that the keto diet wasn’t first used as a weight loss strategy. In fact, it was used to treat children with severe seizures. The byproducts or chemicals produced by the body when in a state of ketosis have been found to actually help control/lessen seizures. It was only after this that weight loss was recognized as one of the keto diet benefits. But it also offer many other health advantages. For instance, keto diet foods tend to increase your energy level and help your mood. Keto diets also enhance your mental clarity and focus. And without all those sugar highs and lows with a carb diet, keto diets improve glucose control. While keto diets are wonderful for weight loss, they offer many other advantages as well!
How to Create a Meal Plan with Keto Diet Foods
When deciding what to eat on a keto diet, it’s best to identify those foods you need to avoid first. Naturally, breads, cereals, pasta, and pizza are not on the list. Also, most fruits and some vegetables have to be avoided as well. Foods like potatoes, carrots, bananas, and oranges have high amounts of carbs and should be kept to a minimum. Alcohol, especially beer and cocktails with juice mixers, can have high carbs as well.
On the bright side, however, meats, dairy, and the majority of vegetables can be included in a keto diet meal plan routinely. In addition, avocados are a great keto diet food, and a variety of seasonings and oils are certainly allowed. While fats are naturally your preferred calorie source on a keto diet, healthy fats are still better than unhealthy ones. Unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats are healthier than saturated fats and trans fats. You should keep this in mind when creating your specific keto meal plan.
Is the Keto Diet Right for You?
Ultimately, determining if a keto diet works for you is a personal choice. Without a doubt, keto diet foods help you lose weight while boosting energy, attention, and mood. But the keto diet does require a change in how you eat that may or may not be ideal for you. If you do choose a keto diet, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking enough water. And expect to lose steady weight over several weeks to months. For thousands, the keto diet has been a powerful solution to the weight loss they have always desired. Now it’s up to you to decide if it’s right for you.
[i] Murphy, R. (2018). 6 celebrities who swear by the keto diet. Insider. Retrieved from https://www.thisisinsider.com/celebrities-who-follow-the-keto-diet-2018-7