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There is a lot of buzz about the Keto diet these days. I am so happy that I found out about it almost 2 years ago now. I have not only lost weight, but I have acquired the health I really never had.
After trying many different diets and trying to follow all the advice that the Federal guidelines give us, it wasn’t until now that I have finally found freedom in a lifestyle that has ‘re-styled’ my life.
So What Is the Keto diet?
Here I will try to explain what the Keto diet is and why it is one of the most appropriate diets for us as human beings.
The Keto or ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein and very low carb way of eating. Eating low carb, real whole foods can dramatically change your health.
Carbs from any source will eventually be changed into glucose. And this is what we need to stay away from. The whole purpose of the way of eating is to lower the glucose in your blood so that your body starts to burn its own body fat.
When you limit your carbs and glucose, your liver can rid your body of glycogen and then fat burning begins. Your body will begin to produce ketones.
Ketones are the alternate, healthy fuel that your brain and body prefer. When blood sugar (glucose) becomes very low the body then naturally begins to produce its own preferred fuel – ketones.
Your fat – the ultimate energy source
Think about that for a moment. When your body runs out of the usual fuel that we put into it, it will make it’s own ‘preferred’ fuel.
When you follow a low carb way of eating, with a moderate amount of protein your body will start to produce these ketones. This is all done in the liver. It will take fat, from what you have eaten or from your own stored body fat and begin to make ketones from it. This way of eating is naturally more beneficial for your entire body – including your brain!
Think of our early ancestors. What do you imagine their diet looked like? I would say mostly meat, some vegetable, and a few berries when in season. Not only were they healthy, they were always in a state of natural ketosis – using ketones to fuel their bodies.
So when you are on a ketogenic diet, your body is switching from using sugar to fuel your brain and body and starting to use ketones. When this happens the body’s metabolic state becomes one that is called ketosis. This is when so many benefits begin to make an appearance.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
The benefits of a ketogenic diet are so remarkable and simple science at the same time. For me, I healed many different conditions through the keto diet and intermittent fasting.
Weight Loss – of course! When you reduce your intake of carbs and sugar, your body will naturally turn to the alternate fuel source. This source is simply your own stored body fat.
Ketosis is when you have burned up all of your glycogen stores and your liver begins to break down fat in order to produce ketones. Once your brain begins to use these ketones you enter a wonderful state of increased awareness, increased energy, no hunger and ultimately weight loss.
The ‘no hunger’ part is the main reason why keto is so powerful – you can lose weight and burn your fat without being hungry! Think about that…this is one aspect that brought me true freedom!
Lower Insulin – Keto will lower your insulin and stabilize your blood sugar levels. A lot of our modern diseases are directly related to high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
Mental Clarity – Since you are in ketosis, your brain will then be running or functioning on the fuel it loves, ketones. That is what will bring clarity and get rid of that usual mid-afternoon brain fog.
Leptin and Ghrelin – are brought back to normal levels. These hormones are our hunger hormones and once we get these back to normal we learn again how to know when we are hungry and eat only when we are. Plus we learn to stop eating when full.
Increased Energy – the energy you have stored in your body as fat will then become the very fuel that keeps you going all through the day. You will experience energy even in the afternoon when most people over 35 need a nap. No longer will you be affected by a drop in blood sugar.
Decreased Inflammation – Inflammation is also reversed. You will not only start to feel better mentally but physically as well. With the decrease of carbohydrates, your whole body begins to run more efficient and start to heal.
Autophagy – With this type of high fat and low carb way of eating, you automatically and intentionally begin to go without food longer between meals because you are so satisfied. This is called intermittent fasting.
When you do this, you give your body the opportunity to heal itself through a process called autophagy. Autophagy actually means ‘self-eating’. Yup, it means that your body will start to break down and eat the damaged or un-needed tissue that it has stored. So, we are talking fat, old damaged proteins, extra skin, etc..
This is how our bodies we actually created! To keep us in good health by naturally cleaning up and removing unwanted or unnecessary baggage! This is totally awesome and for me truly expected from such a Creator as we have!
How To Get Into Ketosis
So, if you decide to try Keto, then you have to know first how to get your body into ketosis. The actual time it takes for a person to enter into ketosis will vary from person to person. It will depend on the diet you have eaten up to now also it will have to do with any health issues you may have.
It usually takes around 2 to 4 days to get into ketosis if you keep your carbs less than 50 grams per day. But for some it can take longer depending on factors like your activity level, your age, and the damage you may have to your metabolism and if you keep your carb lower than 50.
But, for most, just by lowering your carbohydrate to less than 20 grams per day and eating enough healthy fats and moderate protein it should happen. There is a lot of talk on how many grams of each macro (protein, fat, and carbs) you should consume. But, 20 grams of carbs or lower is what most ‘Keto people’ agree on.
I stick to that rule for me. Usually, I am under 20 grams and that is where I feel best. For each person, it will depend on how much ‘insulin resistant‘ they are or how much they have damaged their metabolism due to years of calorie restriction and unhealthy dieting. But, the good news is, if you lower your carbs enough you should very quickly see the benefits.
Here is a video by Dr. Ken Berry explaining exactly what a Keto Diet Is
Is Keto for You?
Now let me just say that you don’t have to follow a Keto diet in order to lose weight. Intermittent fasting alone can give you weight loss and major health benefits!
But, for me, I just feel better and have experienced all the many benefits of incorporating the ketogenic way of eating in conjunction with the intermittent fasting lifestyle.
The more I learn about it, it just makes sense to me.
Just to be clear, the Keto way of eating is not a weight loss ‘diet’. It is a lifestyle and a way of eating that not only improves your health but will bring with it healthy weight loss.