“Fat is not the enemy in your diet, fat is your friend. You need to eat fat in order to burn fat.”
The Size Zero Myth:
Keto diet seems to be trending nowadays so I should also try to do the same. Everyone seems to be losing weight so I will also lose weight.
The Wise hero Reality:
No diet should be done because it is trending. Proper research needs to be done. Remember more than real diets, there are many fad diets. Weight loss industry has become one with the largest number of scams as people are desperate to lose weight. So, make sure you do your homework before you follow any diet regime.
The first time I heard about Keto, I simply was told that it is a diet where I will have to eat fat to burn fat. It seemed so untrue and unhealthy way of losing weight. I thought if I eat so much fat, my cholesterol level will increase. Hence, I categorized Keto as a FAD diet.
But after doing some deep research I found certain important aspects of Keto which convinced me to try this myself. Yes, I have been on Keto for a week and lost 2 kgs (I know it must be the initial water weight but still exciting).
I would share my findings with you so that it helps you decide whether this diet is for you or not.
Remember the best way to lose weight is to work out and eat a balanced diet, I lost nearly 8 kgs following a healthy lifestyle. But if you have a short time and a major weight loss goal, you might consider trying the Keto program.
What exactly is KETO:
The Ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. This diet consists of HIGH saturated fat, medium protein and VERY low carbohydrates (less than 20 grams per day). Have you ever imagined drinking coffee with butter or eating a block of cream cheese and eating little to no fruit? Well in Keto diet, expect the unexpected.
A Ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called Ketosis (key-tow-sis).
In simple words, our body needs the energy to function. When we are following a regular diet, the source of energy is ingested carbohydrates which are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue.
When deprived of dietary carbohydrates (usually below 50g/day), the backup is Ketone bodies that the liver derives primarily from fatty acids in your diet or body fat. These Ketones and acetones are released into the bloodstream, taken up by the brain and other organs and used up as fuel.
I have just given the basic concept. If you are interested to know more about this, read here.
The science behind Ketosis and Weight loss:
So how do we really lose weight when we are on Keto? Let us understand this first.
Our body cells can use regular old fatty acids for energy. But our brain cannot use fatty acids to function, it needs refined fatty acids. Hence the body needs to refine fatty acids into some more easily usable fuel. Here comes the function of the liver. Its job is to break down fatty acids into molecular compounds called Ketone bodies. These Ketone bodies are easily digestible packets of energy which have been transformed from fats. Our brain can’t absorb fatty acids, but it can absorb Ketone bodies.
Ketosis is a state where the body is forced into essentially using fat as the primary fuel source instead of glucose. Hence there is visible weight loss on this diet.
Certain Myths about Keto and the Reality:
So now you must have understood the science behind how Keto diet works. Am sure you must be still unsure if this diet is for you or not. Even I was unsure. I had certain basic questions on my mind before I could start the diet plan.
If you plan on starting any diet, make sure you have all the information beforehand. I have addressed few common myths you must have heard about.
#Myth 1: Keto Diet is just like any other Low-Carb diet, I am going to feel hungry all the time:
This was my main fear when I was planning on following a Keto lifestyle, feeling hungry and low all the time is the main reason I could never be on a low-carb diet.
If you plan on following Keto diet, am sure you must have tried other low-carb diets as well. Now you must be thinking what exactly is the difference when Keto is also a form of low-carb diet. Well, let me list down the difference for you.
A Low-Carb diet means following a diet plan where the food is low in both carbs as well as fat. The main difference in Keto plan is that it encourages us to eat food which is low in carbs but has a high amount of fat. Hence you will not experience the usual hunger pangs as eating fat keeps you full. Trust me you will find it difficult even to reach your calorie threshold.
#Myth 2: Eating too much of fatty food would result in an increase in weight:
I had the same question on my mind before I got my Keto diet plan made by a friend. The first thing I noticed was calorie restrictions per day. That cleared all the doubts I had about this diet.
We know that for effective weight loss, calorie intake needs to be controlled. You might be eating more fat than carbs and protein on Keto diet but your overall calorie intake for the day would be quite less as compared to your current intake.
#Myth 3: Cholesterol level will increase if I only eat fat:
This is a very common myth everyone has. Just fat as such cannot increase cholesterol. Saturated fats which we get from eating junk food is the main culprit.
The Ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you should load up on saturated fats, though. Heart-healthy fats are the key to sustaining overall health. Keto lifestyle encourages us to eat fresh homemade food. When you follow this diet, you will see the main source of fat in your diet is from some healthy foods that are commonly eaten such as:
- fish such as salmon
- cottage cheese
- olives and olive oil
- nuts and nut butter
These are healthy sources of fat. In-fact Keto lifestyle is recommended by many experts as it helps in raising HDL cholesterol levels (a good sign of heart health) and keeping cholesterol under control as.
Positives of Keto:
Easy to Sustain:
Sustaining any drastic diet is difficult. I have tried many diets, the initial days it is easy to follow but with time it gets monotonous and boring. But with Keto, you will never get bored, at least I am not. Eating pancakes and sausages for breakfast is like a dream come true for me. This is one of the major advantages of this diet.
Encourages Healthy Lifestyle:
Keto encourages buying fresh food and eating homemade meals. I check the ingredients of whatever I buy to make sure that it is as minimally processed as possible.
You will NEVER be Hungry:
The usual trouble in sustaining a diet is hunger. Any low carb diet will make you feel hungry and these hunger pangs might be the main reason you might give up. But the best thing about Keto diet is you will have to remind yourself to eat because you will not feel hungry most of the time. You will struggle to reach the required calories goal for the day.
Increased Water Intake:
Any dietician would tell you that how drinking adequate water is important for weight loss. But drinking 5 litres of water every-day is not an easy task. But not to worry. When you reach Ketosis, you will have frequent urination, this will increase your thirst and your water intake will increase. I have had an issue of drinking less water but I must say after being on Keto diet, I am easily able to reach my 5 litres water intake goal every day.
Definitely, you will see a difference in inches within a few weeks. I am talking from personal experience.
Know the Precautions of a Keto Diet:
Some precautions must be made clear;
- this diet is not appropriate for people with any stage of kidney disease.
- this diet is not for people who are pregnant, nursing or who have Gestational Diabetes.
- if you are diabetic, you need to consult doctors and adjust your medication as doing Keto may initially lead to low blood sugar and result in hypoglycemia, but on a long run, it may be able to control your diabetes to a certain extent.
So you still want to go Keto? Then you will need help in making a grocery list. Grocery shopping made easy here.
Before I let you go, I would like to emphasise that Keto is something you should not try out without consulting your doctor first, nor is it a replacement for workout. Diet is a personal choice. All diets do not suit everyone so make sure this is the right diet for you before you start.
Also, do not force yourself if you can’t. At the end of the day, the only things that matters is being comfortable and feeling good about yourself under that skin of yours.