In the health and fitness industry, low-carb fad diets come and go as fast as you can say burpee. The keto diet is a buzzword on everyone’s lips, so I get plenty of questions about it from so many people. Today I’m here to clear the air and tell you everything you should know if you’re thinking of ‘going keto’. As with many popular diets, there are some good sides to keto, and there are some not-so-good sides to keto. And while I review the keto diet for you, I’d also like to share a few important tips so you can make an informed decision on the best diet to help you lose weight in a sustainable and healthy way!
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet. It usually consists of eating about 70% fat, 25% protein and around 5% carbohydrates.
How does the keto diet help you lose weight?
Going ‘keto’ is all about minimizing your carb intake and maximising your fat intake so your body is forced to go into a state called ‘ketosis’, where it uses your fat as a form of energy. This is because the body can no longer make glucose from its usual carbohydrate food 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 (that it normally gets from carbs), so your body starts to eat into your fat reserves for fuel, and that’s why you can lose weight quickly.
How long does it take to enter ketosis on the keto diet?
Generally, it only takes a few days of eating a strict keto diet before the body enters into ketosis. It might take longer depending on how many grams of carbs you restrict yourself to, your age, your activity level, and other lifestyle factors.
What kind of food can you eat on keto?
If you’re going to follow a keto diet, you can expect your meals to change quite a lot from what you might be used to. You’ll see a lot of meat, cheese, butter, cream, low-carb veggies, nuts and seeds on the menu. However, you won’t see many grains, fruits, sugars or root vegetables like potatoes and carrots.
You might think the keto diet sounds pretty good at this stage. Meat, butter and plenty of cheese? Sign me up! But hold your horses – yes there are some good parts, but there are some significant downsides to going keto too.
Interesting fact about the origins of the keto diet.
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 for very long.
Of course, when the doctors saw the quick weight loss the children experienced, keto became a popular diet, promoted as a quick and effective weight loss diet for adults looking to slim down.
Keto: the good parts
There’s no denying that there are some advantages that come with going keto. Here a few of the benefits that might come with dipping your toe in the keto pool.
- You might lose weight fast. Being in a state of ketosis means the body is in fat-burning mode, so you might see results quickly. The keto diet forces you to cut out a lot of foods that are high in sugar and carbs, so this can naturally cause you to lose weight too.
- You’ll feel full and satisfied. Unlike many other low carb diets, a high-fat diet will also leave you feeling fuller and satisfied for longer because protein and fats promote increased satiety.
- You’ll benefit from healthy fats. Healthy fats and fatty acids do more than just help you feel satiated, they’re also awesome for your skin, healthy hair and tissue recovery.
- You’ll eat less sugar. The keto diet cuts out simple carbohydrates (that are found in cereals, juices and lost of packaged food) and therefore the refined sugars that are hidden in many of the foods we eat. Simple carbs are dangerous because they convert quickly to fat on the body – so cutting them of your diet is great when you’re looking to lose weight.
- The diet can be fairly simple, but as you’ll see in my summary of the bad side of keto, it’s not quite as easy a diet as you might think.
Want to give a keto recipe a try?
Try this Keto-Friendly Bunless Burger, packed with 31 grams of protein.
Keto: the bad parts
- You miss out on some important parts of a balanced diet… 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 as easy or flexible as it’s made out to be.
Let’s be real, strict diets that cut out whole food groups like the keto diet can be difficult to follow. It can be hard to find something on the menu that is carb-free. 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 healthy 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 may begin 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.
Sam Wood’s final verdict on the Keto diet
For healthy, sustainable weight loss you don’t need to go keto (unless you really want to) and I don’t believe you should cut out healthy, complex carbs from your diet. At the end of the day, any diet can work if you’re only after short term weight loss, the Keto diet certainly can give fast results, but so can a more balanced approach.
After helping over 300,000 people live a fitter, healthier life, I’ve found the best diet is one that isn’t a diet at all.
If you want long term results, that are easy to maintain, then I would recommend you look for a healthy eating plan that doesn’t demonize any one food group and includes a wide variety of fresh foods, including good carbs and healthy fats to give your body everything it needs to live an active, healthy lifestyle.
The nutrition plan at 28 works because it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. The reason why so many thousands of people love the 28 way of eating is that it is a sustainable way to live, because all food groups are allowed – in moderation of course! It includes a balanced meal plan that is loaded with real food like complex carbs, fats, protein and fibre everything your body needs to lose any excess weight and to function at its best.
Following a balanced meal plan, where you eat all kinds of foods in moderation is the best way you can ‘stick to your guns’, lose weight and most importantly keep off that weight for good.