The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
How does the keto diet work?
Going ‘keto’ is all about minimizing your carb intake and maximising your fat intake to force your body to use fat as a form of energy. After a few days of eating keto, the body enters into a state known as ‘ketosis’. This is where the body can no longer make glucose from its usual carb sources (because there are no more carbs to consume) so your body resorts to using stored fat for energy instead.
When your body is in ketosis, your body has run out of glucose energy it normally gets from carbs, so it starts to eat into your fat reserves, and that’s why you can lose weight quickly.
The keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet that was initially designed to help children who suffered from seizures… believe it or not! However it proved too strict for kids to stick to, so instead keto became popular as a quick and effective weight loss solution for adults looking to slim down.
A word of warning:
- You miss out on some good stuff… like natural fibre! While the keto diet can be high in heart-healthy fats, it tends to be low in fibre and plant-based healthy nutrients. This can cause some people to experience irregularity and means you miss out on essential gut healthy, satiating fibre.
- Keto isn’t easy or flexible. Let’s be real, strict diets that cut out whole food groups like the keto diet can be difficult to follow. They can also feel incredibly restrictive and mean you fall off the wagon because the diet is too hard to sustain. For most people, applying the strict 70/25/5 rule to every meal is the hardest part and can prove next to impossible when dining out.
- You might end up eating too many unhealthy fats. The keto diet includes plenty of meat and saturated fats (foods we are typically told to avoid) and encourages a high intake of animal products. Animal products are high in saturated fat and animal protein and this can negatively impact our heart health.
- Keto is probably not a good long-term solution. When you’re in ketosis, your body is technically in a survival state. If you remain in this state for too long, your metabolism begins to slow down. Remember, diets like these are a quick fix solution and not sustainable in the long run, and more often than not you end of putting the weight right back on once you return back to your normal regime.
At the end of the day...
At the end of the day, any diet can work if you’re only after short term weight loss, Keto certainly can give fast results, but so can a more balanced approach, the best diet is one that isn’t a diet at all.