Beginner's Introduction to the Keto Diet

By | October 11, 2017

Trendy new diets are all the rage in our society today. Every day there is some new plan everyone
is following to lose weight and get healthy. They usually tend to follow the same theories, such as
various low carb diets.

This is because, no matter how popular most diets are, these things typically come
from at least a little bit of scientific truth. Every once in a while, a new diet will show
up that actually is beneficial to those who follow it. Every once in a while, the newest trend may
not actually be a lie.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet, otherwise known as the low carb diet or the low carb high fat (LCHF) diet, is as
basic and straightforward as they come. A ketogenic diet’s purpose is to help the body produce
ketones in the liver to use as energy. This process naturally occurs in our bodies and is called
ketosis. Ketosis is the process our body engages in to keep us alive when we’re not eating enough
food or nutrients.

The ketogenic diet forces the body to enter the metabolic state of ketosis by starving it of
carbohydrates. By adding more fats to your diet and limiting the number of carbs you intake, the
body begins to feed on ketones for energy. This increase in the use of ketones for energy can help
an individual with their general health, weight loss, and even their physical and mental
performance levels.

The Different Types of Ketogenic Diets

Just as with many other diet trends, there are several different versions of the ketogenic diet you
could follow. Each of these versions differs only slightly while still following the basic purpose of the
ketogenic diet: to greatly reduce the number of carbs you intake, replacing them with fats.

  • The standard ketogenic diet is the version that is most researched and recommended
    compared to the others. The diet normally contains a combination of 75% fat, 20% protein,
    and 5% carbs all the time.
  • The cyclical ketogenic diet, on the other hand, follows the standard diet’s model over periods
    of time during the week, such as four days spent following the ketogenic diet and three days
    spent loading up with carbs.
  • The targeted ketogenic diet is similar to the cyclical ketogenic diet in that it includes days
    where you may eat more carbs than on other days. However, this diet’s rules allow you to
    include more carbs on days surrounding your workout schedule. This could allow a more well-
    rounded diet plan.
  • Finally, the high-protein ketogenic diet is almost exactly the same as the standard version of
    this diet. However, in the high-protein version, the ratios of nutrients are different, adding more
    protein to the diet. Usually, this diet would consist of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

It is more common for people to follow either the standard ketogenic diet or the high-protein
ketogenic diet, as these are the versions which have been more extensively researched. The
cyclical ketogenic diet and the targeted ketogenic diet are typically followed by athletes or body
builders.

The Benefits of Following a Ketogenic Diet

There are many benefits of following any version of a ketogenic diet. All versions of the ketogenic
diet would result in benefits greatly similar to other low-carb diets; however, all but the high-
protein version may have increased results due to the limitation of protein. This would increase the
production of ketones while decreasing the production of insulin (the hormone that stores fat).

Primarily, weight loss is a great benefit of following a ketogenic diet. The drop in insulin while
following this diet causes a large increase in the burning of fat. The fact that you can burn more fat
without starving yourself is one of the diet’s greatest appealing factors. Because following the diet
decreases a person’s insulin levels, along with their blood sugar, it could be an excellent way to
reverse type 2 diabetes.

On top of general health benefits, people following a ketogenic diet may also experience an
increase in their mental and physical performance. The first week or so of adapting to a ketogenic
diet may leave a person experiencing headaches and difficulty concentrating. However, after the
body has adjusted, the diet will remove any imbalances of blood sugar, resulting in an increase of
focus and concentration.

By allowing you constant access to energy from fat storage, a ketogenic diet will also increase your
physical performance and endurance. Energy from carbohydrates runs out quickly, but fat storage
could supply you with energy that could last anywhere from weeks to potentially even months.

Other general benefits of following a ketogenic diet could include epilepsy treatment, acne
management, and migraine control. This diet follows the low-carb model but takes it one step
further, allowing you access to far more benefits. Following a ketogenic diet could leave you
happier and healthier in a matter of weeks.

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