Do you ever get confused by all the different diets available today? With so many to choose from it can be hard to know which one is best for you. While there are endless diet plans and supplements that promise rapid weight loss, most are not backed-up with enough scientific evidence.
The Keto Diet is a little different. Based on research, it has been scientifically proven to induce weight loss, partly from water, but mainly fat and has become one of the most popular methods worldwide to shed excess weight and improve health.
In this article, we take a deeper look at how to use the Keto Diet to burn fat. Read on to find out more about what it is, how it works, and its benefits.
What Is The Keto Diet And How Does It Work?
The Keto Diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits including fat loss and improved overall health. The diet is rich in proteins and fats and typically includes plenty of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, oils, butter, and green vegetables, but little-to-no carbohydrates. Because of its restrictive nature, it is not designed to be followed for long periods of time but more as a short-term solution to help burn stubborn fat that you may not have been successful in getting rid of using more traditional diet and exercise.
Usually your body will fuel itself from sugar, or glucose, that it gets from carbs. After a few days limiting your carb intake on the Keto Diet, your body runs out of glucose so it starts burning body fat instead. This is called ‘nutritional ketosis’ and creates fatty acid substances called ‘ketones’ which your body can then use for energy.
The brain demands the most glucose in a steady supply of about 120 grams daily because it cannot store glucose. With limited carbohydrate consumption, the body first pulls stored glucose from the liver and temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose. If this continues for 3-4 days, and all the glucose is depleted, blood levels of a hormone called insulin decrease and the body begins to use fat as its primary fuel. Ketone bodies are produced from fat and can be used in the absence of glucose.
Why Would You Follow The Keto Diet And What Are The Benefits?
Research has demonstrated that adopting this low-carb, high-fat diet can promote fat loss and even improve certain conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline. Here are some more benefits of the Keto Diet on your body:
- It boosts weight loss.
It is true that there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss, but if followed properly, the Keto Diet can be an effective way to lose weight. The diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat, and literally turns your body into a fat-burning machine. But for this to be achieved, it requires to you deprive yourself of carbohydrates in the region of around 20 to 50 grams per day.
- It stabilizes blood sugar levels.
The Keto Diet can be particularly beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes because it helps them lose body fat and increase their insulin sensitivity, albeit on a short-term basis. If you suffer from diabetes then it is advisable to talk to your doctor first if you want to try the Keto Diet.
- It improves acne
Eating less sugar and less refined carbohydrates helps improve acne and reduces frequent break-outs.
- It improves heart health
When following a keto diet, it forces you to consider choosing foods that contain healthier fats and less cholesterol, which is good for your heart and helps to reduce your risk of heart disease.
- It protects brain function
The Keto Diet provides neuroprotective benefits, which means they can strengthen and protect the brain and nerve cells.
Basic Rules For Following The Keto Diet
A ketogenic diet restricts your intake of carbohydrates. In order for it to work you need to pay attention to your consumption of carbs and understand how fibre affects the net carb content of the food you eat. Make sure you pay attention to the number of carbs you’re consuming as otherwise you risk messing up your keto diet plan. Also, avoid high-carb fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes if you can, or at least reduce your consumption of them. Instead, have veggies like spaghetti squash and zucchini (courgette) and avoid high carb alternatives such as pasta and rice.
2. Consume protein and healthy fats
Not all fats are bad for you, in fact some are vital for the healthy functioning of our bodies. Good fats, such as monounsaturated fats found in plant-based foods like avocados and olive oil, come with numerous health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, decreasing inflammation, and aiding with fat loss. Fat is also very satiating as it takes longer to digest than other nutrients therefore it can make you feel full fast and help keep you feeling fuller for longer, keeping those hunger pangs at bay and preventing you from overeating.
3. Pile on the non-starchy veggies
According to nutritionists, most people don’t eat enough vegetables so it is good that the Keto Diet encourages you to eat greener, non-starchy varieties like cabbage, cucumber, and spinach. Veggies are rich in fibre, which aids good digestion, and because most vegetables have fewer calories, people who regularly fill their plates with veggies generally have lower fat levels overall. You can’t overdo on your greens so try to have at least a cupful with every meal.
4. Make your own meals
It’s good to make your own meals at home because you, and you only, will be in charge of what goes into the cooking pot. Keto has some restrictions and by cooking at home you can keep a close eye on what goes into your meals and decide on the right amount of ingredients. You can also browse a variety of cookbooks for keto-approved recipes which are widely available.
5. Make your family aware of your weight loss goals
Let your family know about your eating plan. You may not be able to eat whatever they’re eating and you wouldn’t want to force them to fit into your plan either, so it is wise to prepare and inform them of your restrictions and what your new diet entails and stick closely to what the diet recommends for you. Let them understand that it’s something you have researched, and you are comfortable following it.
6. Plan for the future
Because the Keto Diet is designed to be followed on a short-term basis, it is advisable to think about what your eating habits might look like once you have achieved your goal. Have a plan in place for when you finish the diet to help prevent you from falling back into your old ways and piling on the weight again.
Weight and fat loss may not be easy, but it is possible. While the Keto Diet can definitely aid your weight loss efforts, it’s important to combine it with a healthy lifestyle and ensure you are consuming nutritious foods (whilst following the rules) to maximise its effectiveness. There are other things you can do to help you on your way such as increasing your exercise through strength training or cardio, or a combination of both, and you may also think about taking a weight loss supplement.
If you do go down the supplement route then make sure you aren’t taking something that will have an adverse effect on your weight and fat loss efforts. Keto Actives is a research-backed fat burning supplement created especially for those following the Keto Diet to help accelerate results. I’ve written a review on this supplement so if you’d like more information, head over to the Product Review section or click on the link above.
Is the Keto Diet for you? Perhaps you’ve tried it and experienced fantastic results, or maybe you’re looking for a diet to follow and think this could be the one? Or perhaps after reading this you’ve come to the conclusion it’s not for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and opinions on the subject, so comment underneath and let me know!