It seems as though every time you turn around, there’s another diet trend promising to miraculously transform your body in some revolutionary new way.
Getting bombarded with so much info makes it hard to tell the difference between the fad of the month and a legitimate nutritional plan with lasting value.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of the “keto” or ketogenic diet before, and maybe you’ve quickly discarded the term into the trend pile without realizing what it is and how it works…
Because, the keto diet isn’t a fad at all. In fact, there’s nothing like its unique ability to promote the burning of stored fat for fuel, except for maybe intermittent fasting…
What is the Keto Diet?
The core concept behind a keto diet is, training your body to burn fat as its primary source of energy instead of storing it away for later.
Sounds simple enough but is it really that easy?
Following a keto diet plan for beginners means that you are consuming foods that are primarily high in fat and low in carbohydrates.
I know, fat is bad and you need carbs for energy, right?
It may sound counterproductive to increase the amount of fat you eat in order to burn more fat but according to research and the experiences of thousands of people who have tried the keto diet, it works better than most could ever imagine.
How does it work?
To better understand how a ketogenic diet works, it helps to have a bit of knowledge how your body processes food and turns it into usable energy.
In a more traditional diet, your body relies heavily on carbohydrates to create the energy that it needs to get you through your day. Whether you’re pushing through a heavy workout or simply digesting a meal, your body needs energy.
When you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates your body converts those carbs into glucose, which your cells then burn as fuel. The downside to this is that if you fail to burn up all those carbohydrates, your body saves them for later in the form of fat.
The Keto Diet is designed to alter how your body creates energy, starting with changing the foods that you put into it!!
A high-fat, low-carb diet will trigger major changes in your metabolic process. By dramatically reducing the number of carbs you eat, you’re forcing your body to go looking for another source of fuel.
With no carbohydrates to be found, your body begins to burn off fat stores in order to create the energy it needs. If you stay consistent with a high-fat, low-carb diet, you can teach your body to burn fat more efficiently over a short time!
Actually… here… this might help explain…
Keto Blues (Argh!)
If you’re just a keto baby starting to transition to a keto diet plan for beginners, you’ll proooobably experience a short period of fatigue, irritability, and mental fogginess.
The “Keto Blues” can last for a few weeks as your body adjusts to this new method of creating energy.
Initially, the lack of carbs in your system will leave your body feeling as though it has no fuel to burn. It can take a little time for this lack of gusto to go away, as your body adapts and learns to naturally convert fat into usable energy!
But once you have a chance to adjust and become “keto-adapted,” you’ll have more energy than ever before!
Even a monthly Keto Reboot is enough…But here’s where you’ll find more information on that…;)
For most people, switching to keto means making major changes in what they eat and how they think about food…
To begin with, it just seems wrong to increase the amount of fat in your diet when you’re trying to get healthy or lose weight. We’ve been conditioned to believe that fat is bad and in order to lose weight we have to cut fat out of our diet entirely.
Following a keto diet plan for beginners isn’t quite as simple as just cutting carbs entirely and increasing your fat intake. Many people turn to fatty proteins such as eggs, nuts, meat and fish to increase their fat intake. While these are all great sources of healthy fats, adding too much protein will actually decrease the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet!!
Remember, the goal is to burn fat for energy.
If there’s an excess of protein in your system, the body will turn to protein for fuel rather than the fat you want it to burn. To prevent this, be sure to utilize oils and butter when cooking as an easy way to add more fat to your diet without overloading on protein!
Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
The growing popularity of the keto diet isn’t happening by accident! Whether you’re a serious athlete or just trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it has many effects you can benefit from:
When switching to a high-fat, low-carb diet, most people find themselves struggling with hunger less often than they have on a more traditional diet. When you reduce your intake of carbs, you naturally decrease your appetite.
Also, foods that are high in fat will leave you feeling more satisfied than the average “diet foods.” You’ll naturally start to eat less and feel much better about it.
This one may sound obvious, but most diets don’t do this as well as you might think. Once you’ve trained your body to use fat for energy rather than carbs, you’ll begin to burn fat much more efficiently…This causes you to not only burn dietary fat, but start melting away stored fat as well.
The combination of reducing carbs and burning stored fat for fuel leads directly to surprisingly effortless weight loss.
Lower Insulin Levels = Higher Fat Metabolism
When you ingest food that is high in carbs, your body starts converting it into sugar as soon as it enters your system.
In order to process that sugar into usable energy, an immune response signals insulin to be released. You may not realize it, but high levels of insulin in your blood stream will actually slow down your metabolism!
On the keto diet, by reducing your carb intake, you’re also reducing the amount of insulin released into your blood. These lowered insulin levels allow your body to burn fat more efficiently and increase your fat metabolism.
Maybe a high-fat diet sounded like a ridiculous concept to you, at first…
…but the ketogenic diet has been proven effective time and time again. While it takes some major changes and a stern commitment to push through the initial energy drought, the payoffs are well worth it!!
Once your body has time to adapt to using fats as its primary source of fuel you’ll begin to burn fat more efficiently and start shedding those unwanted fat reserves.
Because a nutritional plan that’s both high in fat and very limited in carbs is such a foreign idea to most of us, it can be helpful to surround yourself with knowledgeable and supportive people, like the Abby K Life Community!
And remember, researching a meal plan with suggested foods can be very helpful when starting out, but it‘s always best to ask your doctor first! And also, you’ll experience the best results from the keto diet when you combine it with regular exercise and healthy life choices. 🙂
The keto diet certainly isn’t for everyone, but if toning your body while eating bacon and cheese sounds good to you, maybe it’s time you gave it a try!!