For the last couple of years, the keto (short for ketogenic) diet has been one of the most popular diets that people throughout the country are following.
It went from being a therapeutic diet used to help kids manage epilepsy to a major mainstream diet touted by celebrities like Rob Lowe and Kim Kardashian.
Have you been interested in trying the keto diet? Do you want to learn more about it before you take the plunge?
If you answered “yes,” you’ve come to the right place. Check out our latest keto reviews for more info about the benefits of this diet.
What Is a Keto Diet?
Lots of people these days have heard of the keto diet. They don’t have a clear idea of what it is, though.
First, the basics:
- A keto diet involves eating a high amount of fat paired with a moderate amount of protein and a very low number of carbohydrates
- By eating this way, your body depletes its glycogen stores and begins to produce ketones
- Ketones are produced when the liver breaks down fat, which it’ll do in the absence of carbohydrates or when you’re in a fasted state
- Ketones can fuel your body just as well as (if not better than) glucose
Many people find that weight loss is easier when they follow a keto diet compared to a traditional high- or moderate-carb approach.
However, the keto diet is not exempt from the basic principles of weight loss. You still need to eat in a calorie deficit (this means you eat fewer calories than your body burns) if you want to lose weight.
Benefits of Eating Keto
There are lots of reasons to follow a keto diet that go beyond weight loss, though. Some of the greatest benefits of this diet include the following:
Better Cognition and Mental Clarity
Many people find that, when they reduce their carbohydrate intake, they enjoy more mental clarity. This might have to do with the fact that they’re not experiencing severe blood sugar spikes and crashes throughout the day.
A keto diet can benefit some people who suffer from severe inflammatory conditions. For example, many folks with health issues like polycystic ovary syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis report feeling better when they reduce carbohydrate intake.
Greater Satiety and Fewer Cravings
Eating higher amounts of fat and lower amounts of carbohydrates can help you to feel satiated. When you’re more satiated, you’ll likely be less inclined to give in to cravings and stick to your diet long-term.
Improved Cholesterol Levels
In some studies, a keto diet has been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
This is surprising to some people, especially since we’ve been taught (incorrectly) for a long time that eating high amounts of fat is bad for our health. In reality, the cholesterol we consume from our diet seems to have little-to-no effect on our blood cholesterol levels.
How to Start Eating Keto
At this point, a keto diet might seem pretty enticing to you. You might have questions about how to begin, though.
If you’re interested in trying a keto diet, be sure to follow these steps:
Figure Out What You’re Eating
For most people, it helps to track your calories for a few days and figure out how many grams of carbohydrates, fat, and protein you’re eating on a regular basis. This gives you a good baseline and helps you avoid making changes that are too drastic.
Slowly Reduce Carbs
Once you know how many carbs you’re eating, work on slowly reducing that number. If you slash your carbs right away, you may experience “keto flu” symptoms like nausea, headaches, and fatigue.
Increase Protein and Fat
While you’re reducing carbs, work on increasing your fat and protein to fill in the gaps. Just be sure not to increase them by too much, or you could end up gaining weight as a result of eating too many calories.
Monitor Your Results
Pay close attention to how you feel as you switch to a lower carb, higher fat and protein diet. Focus on your mood, your energy levels, your cravings, and the way you feel during your workouts. This will give you important information on how the diet is affecting you.
Plan Your Meals
Following a keto diet isn’t too tricky, but you will need to be diligent about planning your meals, especially during the early stages. Look online for recipe ideas and prepare food in bulk so that you always have something to eat that is compliant with your diet.
Test Your Ketones
You can use ketone strips or a monitor to test your ketone levels. This isn’t 100 percent necessary, but it can be nice in the beginning to help you figure out when your body is in ketosis and how it feels.
Common Keto Mistakes
There are also some important keto diet mistakes you ought to avoid if you want to enjoy long-term success. Here are some common mistakes people make when eating this way:
- Not Eating Enough Protein: Protein will keep you satiated and help you maintain your muscle mass while dieting
- Not Staying Hydrated: Carbohydrates cause your body to hold water; when you reduce carbs, you’ll lose water and need to be more diligent about hydrating and meeting electrolyte needs
- Forgetting About Food Quality: Try to get the majority of your calories from whole foods; they’re hard to overeat and contain essential vitamins and minerals
Don’t forget to pay attention to calories, too. As this article on keto for weight loss points out, calories still matter when you’re following a keto diet, so you’ll need to make sure you’re not eating too many or too few.
Looking for More Keto Reviews?
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits that come with following a keto diet.
Now that you know more about what this diet entails and how to start eating this way, does it seem like a good fit for you? Follow the tips outlined above and you’ll have no trouble sticking to it.
If you found these keto reviews helpful, don’t forget to check out our other diet-related reviews and resources today. We’ve got lots of great tips that will help you figure out the perfect diet for your needs.