You’ve probably heard of the keto diet. It’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan that has been used for centuries to treat certain medical conditions.
In the past few years, keto has become popular as a weight loss and healthy eating strategy, with everyone from celebrities to athletes giving it a try.
So, how does the keto diet work? Essentially, the keto diet aims to force your body into ketosis, which is a state where your body burns fat to fulfill its energy needs rather than carbohydrates.
When your body is in ketosis, it turns to stored fat for energy, which leads to weight loss.
Read on for a more comprehensive explanation of how the keto diet works, what you can eat on the diet, and how to get started.
How Does The Keto Diet Work?
The goal of the keto diet is to force your body into a state of ketosis by consuming a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
When you consume less than 50g of carbohydrates per day, your body will run out of quick-acting fuel (blood sugar) and start to break down stored fat for energy. This process is known as ketosis, and it leads to weight loss.
Achieving ketosis will take 3-4 days on a keto diet. Once you’re in ketosis, you’ll need to maintain it by consuming a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
The working mechanism of ketogenic diets is simple; however, a lot of people fail to understand how ketosis works.
When we consume carbohydrates, our body breaks them down into glucose and insulin. Glucose is then used for energy by the body, but if we consume too many carbs, the glucose will be stored as fat.
Conversely, when there aren’t much carbs in our diet, the liver will convert fat into ketones and source energy from them.
This is how the keto diet helps us lose weight by burning fat instead of carbs.
What Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?
A keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. This means that you’ll be eating mostly fat, with a limited amount of protein and carbohydrates.
Here are some examples of what you can eat on a keto diet:
- Meat: Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.
- Fish: Salmon, trout, tuna, etc.
- Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.
- Fruits: Avocados, berries, coconuts, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.
You’ll also need to limit your intake of unhealthy fats, such as processed meats, trans fats, and vegetable oils.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t try to achieve ketosis by starving yourself. This will not only be unsustainable, but it can also be dangerous.
A healthy keto diet should consist of 80% fat, 15% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
Benefits Of The Keto Diet
Simply understanding how the keto diet works is not enough; you also need to know about the benefits of this diet so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.
There are many potential benefits of following a keto diet, including:
- Weight Loss
The keto diet is considered beneficial for weight loss in many different ways, including speeding up metabolism and suppressing appetite.
Keto-based diets involve eating foods that are satiating and, as a result, may lower levels of hormones that stimulate appetite.
Due to these factors, sticking to a keto may lessen feelings of hunger and help with weight loss.
Additionally, being in ketosis has been linked to increased fat burning. When the body burns fat for energy, it produces ketones, which can lead to weight loss.
- Acne Reduction
Reducing your intake of carbs may be beneficial because they have been related to an increase in sebum, which leads to acne breakouts.
Additionally, the reduction in insulin that a ketogenic diet may cause may help reduce acne outbreaks.
Insulin stimulates your body to produce additional hormones that lead to acne breakouts, so when insulin levels are lower, there may be fewer breakouts.
There is some evidence to suggest that a keto diet may be helpful for acne reduction, but more research is needed.
- Reduces The Symptoms Of PCOS
Polycystic ovaries syndrome, also known as PCOS, is a hormonal condition that, if left untreated, can result in polycystic ovaries, an excess of male hormones, and dysfunctional ovulation.
People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to experience harmful effects from eating a diet high in carbs, such as skin problems and weight gain.
A ketogenic diet can help by reducing the amount of carbs you consume as well as your blood sugar and insulin levels, which may help reduce PCOS symptoms.
- Can Improve Heart Health
Keto diets and heart health go hand-in-hand because when you reduce the amount of carbs you consume, you automatically increase the amount of healthy fats you consume.
When following the keto diet, it is important for a person to select meals that are beneficial to their health. Eating heart-healthy fats like avocados rather than less heart-healthy fats like pig rinds will help reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.
- May Help Reduce Seizures
The keto diet changes how the body consumes energy and causes ketosis as a result of the proportions of fat, protein, and carbs.
The metabolic state of ketosis takes place when the body burns ketone bodies as fuel.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, ketosis can reduce seizures in epilepsy patients. This appears to work best on kids with concentrated seizures, but further research is required to confirm its effectiveness.
Now that you know how the keto diet works and some potential benefits it offers, you can decide if keto is ideal for you.
If you’re looking to improve your health in various ways and lose weight in the process, keto may be right for you.
Just make sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Amit Gupta is the creator of Keto-Reviews.com.
After spending half a decade learning about every type of keto diet, pill, snack, and more, Amit has dedicated his time to helping others make informed decisions about their keto diets. Amit has also worked for a keto diet company, giving him unique and invaluable insights into this growing industry. When he’s not busy reviewing keto products or helping people with their keto journeys, Amit enjoys reading and playing sports.