Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Keto. It’s become a hugely popular choice amongst those trying to lean down. Keto is short for ketogenic, a diet low in carbs and high in protein and fat. This doesn’t mean to say you can constantly fill up on hot dogs and chicken satay, but many find it a great alternative way to diet.
During the keto diet, you will stop eating carbohydrates and sustain yourself off high-protein and often increase your fat intake too. When you cut carbs completely your body is put into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when fat from your diet and body is being burned for energy instead of sugar. Essentially your body goes into survival mode and starts burning down your fat stores. It’s not as debilitating as it sounds – many find they have more energy eating this way.
What are the benefits?
Why would I put my body into survival mode you may ask? Well, ketosis has many known benefits.
Benefits of the Keto diet include:
- Your body burns fat for fuel. It’s an effective way of dieting and getting the results you’ve always wanted
- While in ketosis, the liver takes fat and transforms it into ketones. Ketones can be seen as fuel cells for muscles and brains. This can help with cognitive functioning making you feel sharper and more alert.
- It has been shown the Keto diet can help regulate cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and insulin levels. This can be a huge win for those with specific types of diabetes and PCOS and can reduce the risk of heart disease through the lowering of triglycerides.
There are some positive benefits associated with Keto but it does come with its downfalls. When entering ketosis your body gets a big shock. It can cause flu-like conditions, headaches, nausea, and general fatigue. This is expected and your body’s response to this state. Many struggle to make it past this first stage before reeling in the benefits.
Many do question the unsustainable nature of Keto, it’s great for getting results fast but perhaps not for keeping the weight off. You can spiral back into carb eating due to having them cut out for so long. When not done correctly it can be the opposite of healthy.
Foods that are Keto friendly
You can still eat a variety of tasty high fat and high protein food when on the keto diet. Think lots of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
- Regular Cream Cheese
- Full Fat Tasty Cheese
- Camembert / Brie
- Cooking Cream
- Thickened Cream
Meat & Protein Sources
- Bacon (full fat)
- Chorizo sausage
- Meat products with visible fats
- Pork Belly
- Egg Yolks
- Whole Eggs
Oils and Fats
- All varieties, i.e. Coconut oil, canola, olive, peanut oil, sesame oil.
- Coconut Products
- Coconut cream
- Coconut milk
- Coconut flakes
- Desiccated coconut
- Fruit & Nuts
- Avocado spread
- Brazil nuts
- Other Foods
- Dark Chocolate Unsweetened
- Cacao (unsweetened chocolate)
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Cashew/Macadamia Spreads
While this is a pretty good range to keep you full and fueled, there are some foods that are a big no when on the Keto diet. These include:
- Wheat and products
- Potato and products
- Corn and products
- Rice and products
- Milk & dairy products
- Baked goods
- Regular flavored yogurt
- French Fries
- High carb fruits (banana, mango, etc)
- Sugar, syrups, honey
Is Keto the right choice for you?
Keto can work for some, and many people swear by its benefits. In reality, it’s like any other diet. You still have to hit your macros in order to succeed. It’s important to assess all the options before committing to a diet change.
A diet like IIFYM is far less restrictive than keto. It allows you to eat whatever takes your stomach’s desire as long as it fits the macros! The days of binge eating and cheat meals are over as you can constantly eat what you want. We’ve created an article comparing IIFYM with Keto, so you can make a clear, informed decision around what will work best for you.
Have you tried the Keto diet before? Let us know in the comments below!