We’ve all come across our fair share of fad diets. These are the kinds of diets whose recipes occupy the pages of self help books. Often the diets are presented as part of a broader ‘wellness plan’, but not always. Some people clearly have tremendous success with these diets, and we shouldn’t discourage anyone who is making an effort to get into shape.
However, with all these spurious diets being thrown at us constantly, it can be hard to know which diets are valid and based on actual evidence, and which are little more than cynical cash-ins by their creators. The ketogenic diet has gained popularity as one of the increasingly rare diets that has managed to live up to the hype in terms of the results it can achieve.
While the ketogenic can certainly be a very effective diet, and has changed the lives of many people, it is also a diet that requires a more cautious approach, owing to the heavy calorie restriction involved. The following guide is designed to help newcomers to the ketogenic diet.
What is Keto?
The ‘keto’ part of ketogenic refers to ketones. Ketones are substances which your body can burn as an energy source when carbohydrates aren’t available in this state, known as ketosis, which can be induced by following a particular dietary regimen.
So, this is the big question with any diet, what foods can you eat? With a keto diet, your goal is to induce a state of ketosis by forcing your body to burn ketones for fuel. This state is triggered by a diet that consists of foods which are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Following a ketogenic diet will cause changes to the way that your body functions and metabolizes food for energy.
If you’re a fan of nuts and seeds, then this will be music to your ears. Particularly fatty nuts and seeds, such as macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, and pumpkin seeds, make for great snacks while allowing you to remain in ketosis.
When it comes to breakfast, avocados, eggs, and cheeses all make great additions to your breakfast plate. You’re going to want to forego toast for a while (too many carbs!) but you’re all good with bacon.
If you are looking for a ketogenic diet which is suitable for vegans, you can read more about it here.
There are a variety of dietary supplements, and quite a few proprietary products, which many people find helpful in inducing and maintaining ketosis. Your mileage may vary with any of the supplements recommended, but if you are struggling to make headway, this could be a game changer.
Fish oil is one example, and this is also a great supplement to be taking anyway to encourage good health generally.
If you are looking to shed a few pounds, or you’ve heard of ketos potential uses in bodybuilding, then starting a ketogenic diet might seem like a good idea, just make sure you are prepared for it. Do as much research beforehand as you can.