What exactly is Keto? Why is there so much hype about it? We asked ourselves the same questions.
Despite the recent hype, the ketogenic program has been around for quite some time. In medicine, it has been used for nearly 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1800s, William Banting was the first to popularise a weight loss program that limited the intake of carbohydrates.
Essentially, the ketogenic diet is a diet that releases ketones into the bloodstream. Some like to call it a diet, while we like to call it a lifestyle.
It is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat program. It is much lower in carbohydrates than most low-carb diets. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, cheeses, milk, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables.
There are a lot of different opinions of how many carbs should be ingested on Keto; however, here at loveyourself, we ensure customers are having an intake of fewer than 20 g per day (based on the 1700 calorie plan).
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is the state the body enters if it needs to break down body fat for energy. The state is marked by raised kevels of ketones in the blood which can be used by the body as fuel. Ketones that are not used for fuel are excreted out of the body via the kidneys and urine.
Ketones are chemicals that are produced by your liver, usually in a metabolic response to being in ketosis. When your body produces ketones, it means you do not have enough stored glucose (sugar) to metabolize into energy. So, when your body senses that you need an alternative to sugar, it transforms fat into ketones.
Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over 2 to 6 days.
It is important to note that it is a highly individualised process, and some may need a more restricted diet to start producing ketones.
These are symptoms you will experience in the first few days of keto as your body is turning to fats as the primary source of fuel. This also means that your body has entered ketosis. These symptoms will pass once the body has entered and remained in ketosis.
These symptoms include:
- Bad breath
Is it healthy?
A ketogenic diet could be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions and may accelerate weight loss.
Keto has been shown to improve blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. There is also solid evidence showing that it can reduce seizures in children, sometimes as effective as medication.
Weight loss seems to be the main reason why people take on this diet. Evidence has shown that there is faster weight loss recorded on a ketogenic diet than other popular diets. However, in saying this, it is hard to follow. It requires serious dedication and unfortunately, there are no cheat days allowed. Like we mentioned previously, it is a lifestyle; not a diet.
Disclaimer: Keto is not for everyone. Everyone’s bodies are different and so, what might work for some, won't for others. If you have any underlying health issues, please consult your doctor before starting this program.