Keto diets. There has been no escaping them. Someone you know would have talked about it, maybe even experienced it and might even evangelize about it. Heck, you might be even on a keto diet. If you are an expert, move on, but if you wanted to know more about it, read on! I have been on a keto diet a few times, always with great results, but it is certainly a lifestyle change! Here is a quick primer on keto diets, what they are, why they (theoretically) work, and how you could start yourself. Consider using any of the keto meal kits services that can take away the thinking and keep you on track.
A keto diet is short for the ketogenic diet. The essence is that it’s a low carb (as in very low to none), high fat and high protein meal regime. This means no sugar, bread, potatoes and crisps. It does mean a lot of fatty meats (including bacon) and pretty much all the cheese and eggs you want. This is usually a selling point for most people, who wouldn’t want a cheese diet? (I will be doing this diet again in a month while we are living in France…yesss, cheese!) Word of warning though, too much of a good thing is also a bad thing. Don’t expect just to eat bacon and cheese exclusively and be fine.
The whole theory behind a ketogenic diet is that the body starts to ‘consume’ fat cells as its source for energy if there are no carbs in the body. Fat cells are turned into small molecules called ketone bodies (hence the name). These ketone bodies are then used to create the energy your body needs to survive. Again, as with the previous warning, this is an important thing to consider. When you go to the hospital with an unclear illness, doctors will check your body for ketone bodies. This, in cases not related to keto diets, is a sign of malnutrition and a reason for alarm. You must be acutely aware you are pushing your body in starvation and survival mode. The aim of a keto diet is just that, to get to a ketosis state.
In a ketosis state, your body will become exceedingly efficient at burning fat, and you will lose weight quicker. It’s ideal for those who hate counting calories, and because it’s focused on cutting out carbs, at least it will help you eliminate sugar, which we all know is bad for you. Things you need to be wary of is the so-called ‘keto flu’ which, amongst a host of other unpleasant symptoms, can cause headaches and constipation. As you are cutting out carbs, your body will show withdrawal symptoms associated with the lack of sugar and other carbs in your diet. These symptoms usually last a week or two when you first start but then should subside. Personally, I tend to be cranky the first day, a little less the second, and okay by the third. I never realized sugar was such an addiction, but it IS.
One of the biggest challenges of a keto diet is sticking to it. Many of the most delicious things in the world contain a form of rice, bread or starchy vegetable. This is also why it’s such a core element of the world’s cuisine. You might want to phase out these elements of your diet than just going cold turkey. Remember, keto is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Another major difficulty people have is finding ways to consume so much meat. It can be difficult to eat dry chicken breast after dry chicken breast, day after day. Therefore, before you get started, you want to find ways that make the experience as palatable as possible. Learn how to fix rubbery chicken and dry pork chops, otherwise your keto diet will become unsustainable.
I’ve created several low-carb recipes in the past that will help you if you decide to take on the challenge of a keto diet…including cookies and brownies! Everyone needs a treat now and again, and these won’t kill your new diet. So, give them a shot, Pin them to your Keto Board, and best of luck to you on this new lifestyle!