What is a keto diet?
I get this question a lot. Even today, years later people aren't sure what a keto diet is.
I often hear, oh so it's Atkins? Well, yes and no.
Keto Diet Basics:
A Keto Diet is a Ketogenic Diet. That means that the foods you eat and the foods you don't eat create an environment that puts your body into a state known as ketosis.
"Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. It involves the body producing ketone bodies out of fat, and using them for energy instead of carbs." --Source
So to recap, a ketogenic diet or keto diet puts your body in ketosis by limiting carbs (to an amount under 100 grams).
What Is A Keto Diet? The Food:
Most people avoid potatoes, high sugar fruits, legumes, and starchy veggies like peas.
After being in ketosis for a period of time it is possible to remain in ketosis even after eating often forbidden foods (like bananas).
How Do You Lose Weight?
A keto diet causes you to lose weight in the same way other diets do, but with one added weight loss benefit.
The state of ketosis has a diuretic effect on the body. T
hat means that just getting into ketosis (which takes a few days) causes you to lose water weight. I know that may seem like fake weight loss but it's really not.
Most people retain water and often feel bloated without even knowing it. You may find that losing 10-15 pounds of water weight leaves you feeling pretty good about yourself!
After the initial water weight, additional weight loss happens the same way it does in every other diet. Through a calorie deficit.
When you take in fewer calories than you burn, your body will burn fat for energy.
Some people claim that the keto diet helps metabolize fat more efficiently. While that may be true, restrictive diets are hard to sustain so most people don't reach their weight loss goal on a diet as strict as keto.
Sometimes people who have been on the keto diet have a hard time keeping weight off. One reason for this is carbohydrate binges after stopping keto. The other is because the person gains the initial water weight back after starting carbs again.
You can read a good article here about Quitting Keto Without Gaining Weight.
Who Should Try Keto?
What is a keto diet and should I try it, usually go hand in hand. If it sounds interesting to you and you aren't in love with bread then go for it.
If you are in love with bread and would like to take a break from carbs for a thirty day period, go for it!
Anyone can do keto. The real question is how long can I do keto? I personally stayed on keto for three years straight. It wasn't hard for me at the time. I do feel like trying it later caused me to binge, but I was struggling with other issues as well.
Want to start the keto diet? Try this Keto Diet Beginners Guide
Working Out on Keto:
Everyone should work out. This shouldn't even be a question. I want everyone regardless of which diet they do to work out. Got it?
I love the keto diet and have tried to return to it multiple times. Breaking the sugar addiction is the hardest part for me. As an adult with ADHD, I do function better on keto. I tried Paleo a few years ago but never saw any results.
You can read about my journey and see all of my keto diet recipes on Keto Size Me.