Diets 101: Ketogenic Diet

What is it?

Old diet, new name: The premise of the Keto Diet is that by reducing dietary carbohydrates you can lose body fat. Essentially you convince your body to burn fat by taking away its primary source of energy (carbs) so it switches to its secondary source (fat).

What can I eat?

Any food that has high protein or high fat content. This includes all types of meats, eggs, full-fat dairy products, nuts, olive or coconut oils, avocados, and non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens.

What can I not eat?

Carbs of any kind like grains and added sugars should all be kept to a bare minimum. This also includes starchy vegetables like potatoes and carrots.

 

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Pros

  • –High protein combined with high fat satiates hunger and helps with cravings.
  • –Putting the body in ketosis allows the body to burn fat for daily energy needs, resulting in fat loss when combined with a caloric deficit.
  • –Eliminating carbs/added sugar indirectly eliminates most processed foods.

Cons

  • –Keto may be difficult for those with high energy requirements like athletes or anyone who does manual labor for a living.
  • –Low energy levels are common in the first few weeks as the body adapts to using new energy sources.
  • –Despite the fact that foods with high protein and fat help with hunger control, fatty foods are calorically dense, making it easy to accidentally over eat.

Summary

Being able to eat the things you like while improving your health is important for long-term success, and for many people the inclusion of fatty meats and dairy makes the Ketogenic Diet more manageable than stricter dietary programs. I am not sure how I feel about removing an entire macronutrient long-term, however, the Keto Diet combined with a calorie deficit appears to be an effective way to lose body fat.

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