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A Definitive Guide to the Keto Diet

Updated on September 22, 2019
BodystrongBen profile image

I have a masters degree in sports science and around 10 years experience in personal training and sports research.

Introduction

Ever since the Atkins diet proved to be so popular back in the early 1970s, low carbohydrate diets have been very popular amongst people looking to burn stubborn body fat. Despite scaremongering and naysayers in the past doing their best to discredit the benefits of low carb diets, experts have found that there are countless benefits associated with going low carb, especially as far as ketogenic diets go. But what on earth is a ketogenic diet, are all low carb diets the same, what makes them so beneficial, and is there anything else we need to know before we begin following one? All the above will be answered in our definitive guide to the keto diet.

What is The Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a low carbohydrate diet which places an emphasis on restricting carbohydrate consumption in order to allow your body to enter a state of ketosis to burn body fat as its primary source of energy. The keto diet is a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet which prioritises predominantly healthy fats as your primary macronutrient. The diet is designed to promote fat loss, although it has also been found to promote numerous aspects of general health and well-being as well. In order for you to reap the health-related rewards associated with keto, it’s important to eat plenty of low carb vegetables, and to prioritise healthy fats such as: Nuts, oily fish, seeds, nut butters, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, etc, over unhealthy processed foods containing trans fats.

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Is Keto The Same As The Atkins Diet?

No, comparing keto to Atkins is like comparing chalk with cheese. They’re similar in the respect that they both restrict carbohydrates and enable you to enter a state of ketosis, but that’s where the similarities end. Atkins is a low carb, high protein, moderate fat diet. Keto is more of a lifestyle and is low carb, moderate protein, high fat.

How Does Keto Work?

Normally, the human body gets its energy from carbohydrates. Once consumed, carbs are then easily converted into glucose by the body, which is then used by our cells as their main source of fuel. When you drastically restrict carbs your body no longer has a convenient and sustainable source of energy at its disposal. It knows it needs energy to keep you functioning, so it looks for alternative sources. It gets an alternative source of energy in the form of enzymes called ‘ketones’ which are produced in the liver. When you enter a state of ketosis, your liver produces ketones which your brain and body then use for energy. The benefits of being in ketosis come from the fact that your liver can only produce these enzymes by first utilising fat, including stored body fat. This means that you are technically fuelling your body with its own body fat stores.

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My Own Experience With Keto

The keto diet is certainly one that i have seen used by a lot of people especially over recent years. This could be due to Tyson Fury the champion heavyweight boxer losing around 116 pounds in just 8 months! Giving credit for this to the keto diet. The most appealing point from Tyson was that he claimed to have eaten burgers, sausages and cheese through this incredible weight loss journey. As for many, including myself, being able to eat these sorts of items whilst losing weight almost seems like a dream come true.

As for myself, I have never actually attempted a keto diet but would like to in the near future, however i have implemented into many of my clients diets and seen great results. Unlike Tyson however i would never recommend eating the likes of burgers and sausages ect as they will be high in trans fats. Instead to get your high fat in-take I would always suggest you try this through fish, nuts and the ever popular avocado.

Benefits of Keto

There are countless benefits associated with ketogenic diets, and whilst we don’t have time to list each one in great deal, here’s a brief overview of some of the more prominent benefits of keto.

  • Fat loss
  • Increased energy levels
  • Stronger immune system
  • Retain muscle mass whilst losing fat
  • Stable blood sugar levels
  • Reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Balanced hormones
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Promotes cognitive health and function

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Conclusion

Well, I think that this diet speaks for itself in terms of benefits and negatives. It has a wide variety of benefits as stated above but in terms of negatives i struggle to find many. The only negative that i would pick up on is the fact that a low carbohydrate diet can sometimes have a negative effect on people. This could lead to feeling hungry more often, feeling physically drained and for some people it can have an effect on your positive thinking.

In terms of the effects i have seen first hand on people in the gym and my own clients, i think this diet is a fantastic tool for weight loss. I would say personally that i would recommend it over the Atkins diet, however i would also say that everyone is different and either could work better for you. Definitely give this diet a try if your a looking to shed a few pounds and i firmly believe you will see the desired effect.

Thank you for reading and if your try the keto diet I hope it works out for you.

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