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What is the Keto Diet?
Anyone who’s familiar with the Atkins diet might think Ketogenic Diet or simply Keto Diet, is the same thing, but technically it’s not! Although both are designed to induce a state of ketosis (where your body is burning fats instead of carbs) the Ketogenic diet is technically even more high-fat than Atkins.
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How the Keto Diet was created
The Ketogenic diet was first created in medicine to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children in 1920 and it was widely used into the next decade. The original therapeutic diet for pediatric epilepsy would provide just enough protein for body growth and repair and sufficient calories to maintain the correct weight for age and height. However, its popularity died with the introduction of effective anticonvulsant medications.
Later, in the mid-1990s, Hollywood producer Jim Abrahams, whose son’s severe epilepsy was effectively controlled by the diet, created the Charlie Foundation to promote it. The foundation sponsored a multicentre research study, a TV movie, and other promotional ventures. When the results of the Foundation studies were announced in 1996, a renewed scientific interest in the diet started that lead to what is known today as ketogenic diets as a lifestyle choice or for weight loss.
How does the Ketogenic Diet loss happen
The Keto Diet works by getting most of your calories from fat. This mechanism forces your body to use different energy pathways. Instead of carbs for energy, the body burns fat, entering a state called ketosis.
The ketogenic diet is a low carb, high-fat diet (moderate protein) that changes the body metabolism into a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body produces to keep working. When it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones
Ketones are chemicals, a type of acid, made in your liver. You produce them when you don’t have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar (or “glucose”) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead. You become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner. Your liver turns this fat into the ketones and sends them into your bloodstream. From there your muscles and other tissues can then use them for fuel.
By lowering your intake of carbs, the body begins to look for an alternative energy source and goes into ketosis.
When you lower your carb intake, glucose levels, along with blood sugar levels, drop lowering insulin levels. This mechanism allows the fat cells to release the water they are storing (it’s why you first see a drop in water weight) and then the fat cells are able to enter the bloodstream and head to the liver.
What is the main goal of the Keto Diet
The main goal of the Ketogenic Diet is to lead your body towards entering ketosis. As I described above, you don’t do this by starving your body. You enter ketosis by starving your body of carbohydrates.
When your body is producing optimal ketone levels you begin to notice weight loss and also other health, physical and mental performance benefits.
If you’re into the Keto Diet, it’s best to stick to less than 20 grams of carbs per day, a mix of about 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs on this diet. You can actually try this Simple Keto Meal Planning by following their recipes.
High fat, low carb foods are staples of the ketogenic diet menu. Many people on Keto Diet plans opt for bacon and eggs for breakfast, and pair meat with vegetable salads for lunch and dinner.
But be careful – some starchy vegetables like peas and corn, aren’t Keto friendly! If you’re really craving them you don’t need to cut them out entirely, just watch your carb count. Additionally, fruit, although healthy, has a high sugar content, so many of them aren’t keto-friendly either.
What is the core of the Ketogenic Diet
This is where the Ketogenic Diet menu diverges from other diets like paleo and raw food diets – it’s not just about eating healthier, it’s about acheiving a specific fat/protein/carb ratio in the nutritional composition of your food choices. It means a life style change, like any other diet.
Keto diet will change the way your body creates energy It is common sense to think that our body has to run on glucose but the truth is, it can actually also run on fat, which is great for your health. Fats burn much more cleanly and efficiently than carb-based sugars, your metabolism also starts to adapt, and you feel fuller longer.
Keto Diet Benefits
One of the best benefits of the Keto Diet is that many people on it feel less hungry than they do on other diets – this is because Keto Diets tend to even out blood glucose levels, allowing people to maintain a sense of satiety for longer. However, cravings for carbs can be an issue if they are your go-to comfort food! If you go over the recommended amount of carbs on your Keto Diet you might be taken out of ketosis, and you’ll go through more cravings before you get back in.
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The best way to try to manage cravings while on keto is to come up with low-carb replacements for things you love, with the help of artificial sweeteners and gluten free flour, and a little imagination. For example, you can make keto ice cream with artificial sweetener and cream (cream is ok for keto, milk isn’t) – or try the famous fat bombs. They sound bad for you, but are actually a keto-friendly snack that you can make ahead and pop in the refrigerator for when you need a little pick-me-up.
- Increase in HDL Cholesterol (this is your good cholesterol)
- Decrease in Cholesterol
- A drop in triglycerides
- More energy
- Better Sleep
- Decrease in stiffness and joint pain
- Clearer thinking
- Improvement in sleep apnea symptoms
- Prevention of gum diesease
- Improved digestion
- Mood stabilization
- Balanced and stable Sugar levels
- Protection for the gut linen
- Balanced Blood Pressure
Why Keto diet is not so popular yet
Keto is a growing trend among the weight loss community, and a lot of people who have lost weight on the Keto Diet report that it’s much easier to lose weight with Keto than with regular calorie counting, since keto changes the way your body is responding to the food instead of just controlling food intake.
The ketogenic diet is more than just a diet, it is a lifestyle change.
Who can be on the Keto Diet
If you don’t have any medical conditions, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of the Keto diet. Be aware it will require some discipline to get into the comfortable zone where you’re losing weight, the not starving and results are getting you motivated.
It’s not for people with diabetes or anyone with stomach, bowels, pancreatic, kidney, IBS or liver issues. Don’t start before talking to your doctor about it.
While the research that has been conducted so far is exciting, there’s very little evidence to show that this type of eating is effective — or safe — over the long term for anything other than epilepsy. Plus, very low carbohydrate diets tend to have higher rates of side effects, including constipation, headaches, bad breath and more. All these side effects vary from person to person.
Keto Diet Meals Examples
The best way to find out if the Keto diet is for you, is to take a quick look at some examples of what a Keto meal looks like:
Types of Ketogenic Diets
The difference between each ketogenic diet type depends on carbohydrate intake.
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): 20-50 grams of net carbs per day
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): 20-50 grams or less of net carbs taken 30 minutes to 1 hour before exercise, best for athletes with high-intensity activities
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): Eating low-carb keto for several days, then eating higher-carb for a couple of days
Keto-Adaptation and Exercise
As the body adapts to low-carb eating, using fat for fuel (around 2-3 weeks), any work out value can increase a lot. Since the body isn’t getting carbs for energy, it must turn to the secondary form: fat. This can greatly change how the body utilizes energy when exercizing. The preferred source for muscles, glycogen, is not there any more, burning fat is the alternative.
The longer someone remains on a low-carb, Ketogenic diet, the body becomes more efficient at burning fat and using ketones for fuel. In other words, the body burns more fat during exercise.
Keto Diet products and supplements
Find more Keto recipes and menu ideas here!
Make your decision
Make a realistic decision before starting the Keto Diet, considering your life style routine. It will be a big change and adding exercise will be an important step on diving into a Ketogenic weight loss lifestyle. Talk to your doctor first to learn his opinion.
If you’re still reading this long post you’re probably, at this point, it means you’re serious about the possiblity of doing a Keto Diet.
The reality is that simply eating less and exercising longer, often with long bouts of cardio—is outdated and unsustainable. It is known now that in order to see real results, when it comes to losing weight and getting leaner, what you eat really matters. Therefore, paying attention to the quality of your ketogenic diet itself, and maintaining a steady state of ketosis, is the most important first step you can take.
A normal keto diet should be fine for low or moderate aerobic, flexibility, and stability exercises. If your goal is to work on flexibility and stability Yoga or Yin Yoga can be a good option for you. When you’re ready to take a further step, Hot yoga will definetely help on your weight loss. Yoga can also help on shaping your body.
More and more people are making the switch to Keto and enjoying an elevated performance, stable energy levels, flexible meal timing and an overall sense of wellbeing.