For the last couple of years, the “keto diet” has been the subject of much controversy and people are left wondering as to whether it’s a healthy way to lose weight. In some medical instances it’s recommended and for weight loss it might be a good idea to try it, but the general consensus is that it’s not a good long-term solution for weight loss or your health. Going into ketosis happens when people eat a very restrictive carbohydrate diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Having low carbohydrate levels cause your blood sugar levels to drop and your body will start breaking down fat to use as energy.
Is Keto Right For you?
Starting a ketogenic diet can be beneficial in some cases for people who are seeking to lose weight. Aside from certain medical conditions where it has proven to be beneficial, those whose weight is detrimental to their health and well-being could consider it. That being said, being in a state of ketosis is supposed to be periodic (30 to 90 days). A keto diet alone won’t have much an affect on your metabolism – it can even work to slow it down and make you increase weight faster once you come out of ketosis. Many times, people yo-yo with their weight on such restrictive diets and the fat loss is rarely sustainable. There are other ways to help increase your metabolism that not only work while going keto but serve as a general rule of thumb for everyone. Eat small meals more often – every 2 to 3 hours with a good matrix of macros and fiber, drink plenty of water and build muscle. Making these lifestyle changes should be the first thing you try, while going into ketosis should be considered a last resort for most of us. Diabetics are required to avoid this diet altogether as ketoacidosis can be lethal. Check out our previous post – a beginners guide to increasing muscle with bodyweight exercises.
Benefits of Going Keto
In addition to fat loss, in combination with other lifestyle changes, keto can result in other positive effects. Many keto dieters say that it improves their mental clarity, digestion and stomach issues, and greatly increases their energy levels. A lot of the daily carbohydrates we consume are from processed foods that are difficult to metabolize and digest. This can wreck havoc on our weight and energy and lead to unsteady blood sugar and insulin levels. That’s why many of us have to load up on coffee all day, to fight against the blood sugar crashes we get from our carb heavy diets. We recommend to our clients to introduce carbohydrates gradually throughout the day, space them out, and decrease them again in the evening. A Harvard blog contributor weighed in on pros and cons – Is Keto Good For you?
The Right Way To Do It
While on a keto diet, most people consume a lot more animal fat. There’s even a diet now called the carnivore diet (or lion diet) that often works in combination with keto. However, it tends to neglect a lot of nutrients and antioxidants we need for sustainable good health over the long-term. First things first, get the highest quality meat when possible. Grass fed beef is best and attempt to limit all processed meats. Cured meats like bacon contain a lot of toxins are a nightmare for your health if eaten consistently. Focus on consuming more healthy fats like organic olive and canola oils, avocado, a variety of nuts and fish. In the beginning, many people will experience something known as “the keto flu”. This generally lasts for about a week and you may feel extreme fatigue, get headaches and severe brain fog. It’s completely normal and your gut will likely need some time to figure out how to efficiently metabolize the flood of extra fats that you’re consuming. The above list is courtesy of Popsugar.
For more information on picking the right nutrition plan for yourself, contact the Busy Bee Fitness Experts and get your complimentary assessment. We have several plans that cater towards individuals, couples, corporate fitness programs in Toronto, and we work with people of all ages and fitness abilities.