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The Keto Diet - What You Need To Know Before You Start

The Keto Diet - What You Need To Know Before You Start
Linda Guerrera

With summer approaching at such an alarming rate, it's no wonder every magazine you see at the grocery store and every scroll of your social media feed is screaming, "Lose Weight Now!"   

Oh, we are so easy to fall for those lose weight quick scams. But there must be some truth to some of these articles, right? Well...yes...and no! Yes, the diets on those covers can have potential health benefits, but think about this too: why does every magazine seem to feature some sort of weight loss plan?  

I'll tell you why! Because it sells magazines, that's why! Diets sell a lot of magazines! Did you ever think of how many businesses would fold if science ever came up with that magic pill that magically helps you to lose weight?   

These are the thoughts that keep me up at night. But I digress... let's take a look at a weight loss plan that has had a lot of press over the past few years.

The Ketogenic Diet  

I know a few people who have lost quite a bit of weight using this method. I will tell you that I practice low-carb eating, which has helped me lose weight and keep it off. But what exactly is the keto diet, and how does it work?   

Our bodies burn carbohydrates for fuel. The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that induces a state of ketosis in the body. This means that when you aren't supplying your body with carbs, they turn to that stubborn fat that you may be carrying around to burn as fuel and provide your body with the energy it needs.   

Does that make sense? No carbs around; it has to burn something, so fat it is! The keto diet has also gained popularity for its potential benefits in conditions like epilepsy, polycystic ovary syndrome, and diabetes.

So, What Is It?  

The keto diet looks like this: 70-75% of the calories of the food you consume is from fat, 20-25% from protein, and 5-10% from carbohydrates. When you consume less than 50 grams of carbs daily, the body enters ketosis and produces ketones from fats in the liver. This is when you know that your body is burning fat.   

Keto Diet

What Do You Eat On The Keto Diet? 

As you have probably already figured out, the foods you can eat are pretty limited. However, because this diet has become so popular for so many people, there are now a lot of keto-friendly foods available at your supermarket. The only problem is that they can be expensive. Supply and demand, right?   

If you love rich foods, this might be the diet for you. Foods that are keto-friendly are high in healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, and fatty fish. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are allowed as well. But if you're a bread freak, I've got some bad news for you: bread, pasta, crackers, etc. are not allowed on keto. No sugar, either. Most carbohydrates you can consume are non-starchy vegetables and small portions of low-carb fruits.

Don’t Forget Those Pros and Cons 

The keto diet has about as many pros as it does cons. If you are looking for a way to take off a few pounds and get your triglycerides and cholesterol levels in check, it's worth looking at.   

But, of course, it's really not as easy as it sounds. The keto diet can also be difficult to follow long-term; I mean, you will have to find some very creative ways to make pizza or pasta. Plus, we can't forget the keto flu! When you begin a diet that strictly limits carbohydrates, it can initially produce side effects like headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Your keto food choices may also leave you with gastrointestinal issues or vitamin and mineral deficiencies.   

Another potential problem that you should consider is that you may have to adjust your lifestyle when on the keto diet. Ordering take-out after a busy day at work will require a lot of thought. You can't just pick up your phone and order from your favorite Chinese restaurant; you must ask for flourless and sugarless menu options. Going to a friend’s house for dinner can also throw you out of ketosis if they are serving non-keto-friendly foods and desserts. 

As mentioned earlier in this article, I have seen how this diet can help with weight loss goals. But it is also important to remember that everyone is different, and everybody reacts differently. Be smart! Don't just dive in and think you know how to do the keto diet for weight loss. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons, and if you can talk it over with a medical professional, that is really your best bet.

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HPFY Linda Guerrera

Linda Guerrera

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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...

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