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This is a guest post by Louise Hendon, co-host of The Keto Summit and author of The Essential Keto Cookbook.
Right now, the keto diet is definitely skyrocketing in popularity. It’s being used by folks to boost their health, improve their focus and lose excess weight – and with the results keto dieters are seeing, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
But the truth is, not everyone should follow a keto diet. That’s something that a lot of the articles, videos and blog posts out there don’t address.
In this article we won’t just go over what the keto diet is, how it can benefit your health and tips for getting started. We’ll also run through who should NOT be doing a keto diet.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet is designed to put your body into a metabolic state called nutritional ketosis – by changing what you eat, your metabolism changes.
In ketosis, your body burns more fat for fuel and relies less on sugar and carbohydrates for energy. This has all sorts of health benefits, which we discuss.
What Do You Eat on a Keto Diet? And How Much Do You Eat?
The keto diet is very low in carbohydrates, includes a moderate amount of proteins, and is high in healthy fats:
- This means you will be eating foods like leafy green vegetables, meats, organ meats, seafoods, avocados, olives, healthy fats (like ghee, olive oil and coconut oil), eggs and small amounts of nuts, seeds and berries.
- It also means you will be avoiding foods like chips, pizza, bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugar, and cake. Sometimes you can occasionally treat yourself to keto-friendly versions of these foods, like Spinach Tiger’s Sugar Free Red Velvet Cupcakes.
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to do a keto diet:
- If you want to do keto the healthy way, it’s also a good idea to cut out foods such as diet sodas and focus on nutrient-dense real foods that will nourish your body.
Figuring out how much you should eat on Keto is pretty straightforward:
- People usually stay under 20 – 25 grams of net carbs per day (net carbs are carb minus the fiber count).
- Protein and fat are a bit more complicated to figure out, so the easiest thing to do is to use a Keto calculator to figure yours out.
Why Should You Try Keto? What Are The Health Benefits?
The Ketogenic Diet can help you lose weight:
Researchers found that low-carb dieters lost significantly more weight than dieters who were on a conventional weight loss diet (low-fat, high-carb). You will find tons of keto weight loss success stories with a quick internet search.
The Ketogenic diet can decrease your hunger levels (limiting overeating).
The keto diet naturally leads to lower food intake – a study found that folks on a low-carb keto diet ate less, even though they could eat as much as they wanted.
The Ketogenic diet help stabilize your mood.
The ketogenic diet may act as an antidepressant in animals, according to scientific research: which means it may potentially do the same in humans.
The Keto diet can stabilize your blood sugar (so you avoid sugar crashes).
Because you’re eating a reduced amount of sugar/carbs, and higher fat, your blood sugar levels stay much more stable. This means no more mid-afternoon slump, constant cravings or energy crashes.
The Keto diet can help you feel more focused and energetic:
Keto forums are full of folks who report that the keto diet has helped lift their brain fog, improved their ability to concentrate and given them greater mental clarity. This is definitely something I’ve noticed myself.
Who Should Try the Keto Diet & Who Should NOT Try the Keto Diet
Who should try keto?
The keto diet is an amazing tool to use if you’re looking for these benefits:
- Improve your health in the long term.
- Increase your energy levels.
- Overcome sugar cravings.
- Get rid of brain fog.
- Lose weight.
Keto has helped me personally to lose fat, reduce digestive issues and get rid of bloating. It’s also given me a lot more focus and energy.
Here is a ketogenic meal plan to get you started.
Who should not try the keto diet?
This is a hard question to answer! There are a couple of situations where keto might not be right for you at this time.
1) It might not be right for you, if you have certain underlying health conditions (e.g. an autoimmune disease).
- You may not experience the benefits of a keto diet because your other health issues will cover them up.
- You’d be better off treating your existing health issues, and then coming back to keto.
2) Keto might not be right for you if you’re just looking for a crash diet or a quick fix.
- It isn’t a magic pill, it won’t reverse the results of eating processed high carb junk foods for years (or decades) in less than week!
- But if you give it time, you will notice a stark difference in how you feel after you switch to a clean Keto diet. You’ll feel better in all sorts of ways, from reduced bloating and cravings to improved mood and energy levels.
The keto diet is a great tool for improving your health, with benefits which go beyond just weight loss. But the food you eat is just one part of your journey to long-term health.
Too many of us pin all of our hopes on a diet, and forget about all the other aspects which make up a healthy lifestyle. These include getting enough sleep, managing our stress levels and making time for exercise.
If you combine eating healthy with living a healthy lifestyle, you’ll nourish your body and move that much closer to vibrant overall health.
From Spinach Tiger: Louise Hendron has a few other wonderful keto cookbooks you might enjoy.
Here is her cookbook on Keto Snacks.
Get Louise Hendron’s Essential Keto Cookbook Here