Have you ever wondered why ketogenic diet is so popular? Did you know that every 4 out of every 10 Americans follow a diet or specific eating pattern? This scientific evidence-based diet has been so well received by people trying to lose weight that it has gained global recognition overnight, with a market size valued at $10.22 billion.
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What is the Keto Diet?
For those still in the dark, the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that involves reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. Doing so helps put your body into a metabolic state of ketosis when this happens, the body starts burning fat for energy.
Origins of the keto diet
Originally conceived by Dr Russell Wilder of the Mayo Clinic for treating epilepsy and seizures, the Ketogenic diet is a diet that has been around for almost one hundred years. However, the advancement in modern medicine and the keto diet’s ability to aid weight loss is probably one of the key reasons why ketogenic diet is so popular today.
While the diet is high in fat, which is usually considered a bad thing when trying to lose weight, the difference is that this diet supplies adequate protein and is low in carbohydrates. This combination of fats and carbs changes the way energy is used in the body. The liver converts the fat into fatty acids and what is known as ketone bodies. This, in turn, reduces the glucose content in the body, which helps in weight loss.
Different versions of the Keto diet
1. The Standard Ketogenic diet: Commonly referred to as SKD, this version involves consuming low amounts of carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein, and high fat. While following a Standard Ketogenic diet, your meal should consist of 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbohydrates.
2. Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: As the name suggests, a cyclical keto diet includes periods of a high-fat diet followed by carb re-feeds from time to time. For instance, five days of a high-fat diet followed by two days of high carbohydrates. Compared to the Standard Keto Diet, the cyclical keto diet is less common due to difficulties maintaining the cycle.
3. Targeted Keto Diet: This version of the keto diet allows dieters to consume carbs around their workout time.
4. High Protein Ketogenic Diet: The only difference between this version and the standard keto diet is that it requires you to include more proteins in your diet.
How does the keto diet work?
As soon as you adapt to a ketogenic lifestyle, your body starts to enter ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process initiated by one’s body to help you survive when your food intake is low. During this state, our body produces ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver; thus, instead of going through starvation of calories, you end up starving your body of carbohydrates to lose weight. Since our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into them – when you overload them with fats and take away carbohydrates, they will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source.
In addition, another key reason why ketogenic diet is so popular is that when you follow the keto diet plan, you are allowed to eat whenever you want as long as you are hungry. You can keep eating until you feel full. Do not overeat or eat when you are not hungry, even if it is the traditional time for eating a meal. Moreover, try and avoid counting calories or spending a lot of time weighing out your food to ensure that you are eating the right amount of weight loss.
All the work that you will do for this diet is to make sure to keep your carb count low, eat plenty of fats, and just eat when you are hungry and stop when you get full. Also, ensure that you are eating real food that is not processed and does not contain a lot of sugar and other things that can harm your body and make you gain weight. If you can follow these simple rules, you will have a lot of success with this diet plan.
Foods you can eat
The food choices in this diet are yet another reason why the ketogenic diet is so popular. With it, you can enjoy a wide variety of food while staying on a diet. These include:
- Meat—you can eat any meat you like including chicken, game meat, pork, and beef. You can keep the fat on your beef and chicken skin. It would help if you stuck with grass-fed or organic meat to achieve the best results and lose weight quickly.
- Fish—as with meat, you can enjoy any fish you like while following this diet. Even fatty fish, such as herring, mackerel, and salmon, can be enjoyed. You should remember while eating fish that they should not have any breading on them.
- Eggs are also encouraged while following this diet plan; you can prepare them in any method you prefer. If you can, pick out organic eggs for your use.
- High-fat, natural-fat sauces—cream and butter can help with the cooking process if you like. While this is different from many other diet plans, it is a great way to make your food taste great and leave you feeling more satiated. Hollandaise and Bearnaise sauces are great options, as are olive and coconut oil.
- Above-ground vegetables—there is a long list of vegetables that are highly encouraged while you are following this diet plan. You may want to try out options that include tomatoes, peppers, onions, avocado, lettuce, cucumber, olives, cabbage, zucchini, and broccoli.
- Dairy products—something that is different about this diet plan compared to some of the others and why the ketogenic diet is so popular is that you get to pick the full-fat options of dairy products rather than the low or no-fat options. The lower-fat milk and dairy product options will often have a lot of sugar, which is not allowed on this diet plan. You should also be careful of any extra sugar or flavor dairy product.
- Nuts—nuts can be consumed on this diet plan as long as you do so in moderation. Choose a few nuts for a healthy snack rather than your usual candy.
- Berries—some can be enjoyed as long as you only have them in moderation and if you are not sensitive to the sugars found in them.
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet:
Apart from losing weight, some of the key benefits derived from this diet include:
- Blood sugar improvements—you can reduce the fasting glucose levels in the body. This is beneficial to the body in keeping your blood sugar levels down, especially if you have pre-diabetes or diabetes.
- Blood pressure improvements—high blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for problems such as heart disease and stroke. The keto diet is effective in lowering the blood pressure of those who are overweight or obese.
- Triglyceride improvement—The Keto diet is effective in helping you to keep your LDL levels high so that you can avoid heart disease problems down the line. In addition, the levels of good cholesterol will increase, thus further helping you to avoid heart issues.
- Insulin resistance reductions—those suffering from metabolic syndrome know how tough it is to deal with insulin resistance regularly. Luckily, there have been studies done that show that by restricting the amounts of carbs that you are consuming, such as what is done in the keto diet, you will be able to significantly lower your insulin resistance, especially when compared to a diet that requires you to limit your fat intake instead.
So now you know why ketogenic diet is so popular as well as the efficacy of this diet, remember! The Keto Diet is a really easy diet plan for you to follow if you can just keep in mind to limit the amounts of carbs that you are eating and choose healthy fats to eat instead. By following this advice, you are forcing your body to not rely on carbs but fat as an energy source to get daily tasks done. This is a much better way to see the weight loss that you have always wanted.
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The Keto Diet is a really easy diet plan for you to follow if you can just keep in mind to limit the amounts of carbs that you are eating and choose healthy fats to eat instead.
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