Keto is one of the most popular diets today, and it looks like it’s not going away any time soon. Like most, you’re probably wondering what the diet is, what benefits it offers, and if it’s worth trying. To that end, we’ve put together this post outlining the essential points you need to know about ketogenic dieting.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Keto Diet?
Keto, short for a ketogenic diet, is a nutritional approach designed to push people into a metabolic state called ketosis. In it, the body switches from carbs to fats as its primary source of energy.
Being in ketosis means that your body converts a large percentage of available fatty acids into ketones (or ketone bodies), which take the place of glucose and fuel us. The body still produces some glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis, but sugar levels drop significantly.
We have to restrict our carb intake to 50 or fewer grams per day to achieve this. In doing so, we deplete the stored carbs, forcing the body to switch to alternative fuel.
Pros Of Following a Keto Diet:
- It’s Easier to Control Hunger
Keto is beneficial for hunger control because of two things:
a) Cutting out carbs from your diets brings your cravings down for these foods. As a result, you find it easier not to think about sugar once you get used to the diet.
b) You get to consume many high-fat, high-protein, and high-fiber foods, all of which fill you up without increasing your caloric intake too much.
- It Can Lead to Weight Loss
A notable benefit of keto dieting is that you can experience quick weight loss initially and reach your goals more easily. One reason for that is that cutting carbs from your diet depletes your muscles of glycogen––the complex carb form we store inside the body. Each gram of glycogen attaches to three or four grams of water. So, when you lose, say, 300 grams of glycogen, you also lose 900 to 1,200 grams of water or around 2.6 to 3.3 lbs.
- It Contributes to Steady Energy Levels
A keto diet can prevent you from experiencing sugar crashes that often occur on high-carb diets. As a result, you experience steadier energy levels without the associated slumps that often occur in the afternoon.
Cons of Ketogenic Dieting:
- It Might Not Be Sustainable In The Long Run
Everyone can get motivated enough to cut carbs from their diet for a few weeks. But sustaining this no-carb approach can prove to be a considerable challenge in the long run. Aside from being difficult to resist all carbs, following a keto diet becomes even more challenging when traveling, attending social events, etc.
- The Keto Flu
The keto flu refers to the period of adjustment your body needs when you cut carbs from your diet. Most people experience lethargy, brain fog, and extreme hunger during that time.
- Increased Risk of Nutrient Deficiencies
Another con of a ketogenic diet is the elevated risk of nutrient deficiencies. The effect occurs because you have to cut out certain food groups from your diet, resulting in lower intakes of vitamins B and C, selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
If you are thinking or have thought about doing the Keto Diet, we hope this blog has helped you with your decision.