Many people are searching for healthy ways to safely and effectively lose weight all while keeping the pounds off for years and without having to sacrifice the food they love or committing to the gym 24/7.
Although healthy eating and regular exercise can help you lose weight indefinitely, there are other ways to do so without exhausting your body and/or having to count your calories.
This is called the Ketogenic Diet or just “Keto diet”.
If this is what you’re looking for, then you’ve come to the right place.
Note: This article is based on my personal experience and results. If you’re looking for medical advice, I recommend you discuss with your doctor.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Simply put, the ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet.
The idea behind it is to drastically reduce carbohydrates (processed and unprocessed), keep the protein intake moderate (you can’t really over eat proteins) and replace this drastic change with high amounts of healthy fats (Avocados, nuts and their butters, healthy oils, grass-fed butter, nut butter, etc..).
Once your fat intake increases, your body enters a metabolic state referred to as ketosis.
When ketosis is initiated, your body becomes a highly effective fat burning machine and supplies the brain with energy when fat is converted into ketones, which are stocked in the liver.
Facts about the Ketogenic Diet
Fact #1: There are many types of Ketogenic diets.
The most popular type for effective weight loss is the Standard Ketogenic Diet, which is 75% fat (very high fat intake), 20% of protein (moderate-protein) and 5% carbs (typically less than 20g of carbs a day).
This article discusses the effectiveness of this type as it is the one that worked for my effective weight loss.
The other types include the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, the Targeted Ketogenic Diet and the High-protein Ketogenic Diet.
These types are mostly used by athletes.
Fact #2: The Keto diet can cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to drastically drop.
When I started my Keto journey, I had done a lot of research beforehand and made sure I was well prepared before diving into it.
But the thing I wasn’t prepared for was the shock to my system because there aren’t many articles out there that really explain this part.
It can be so severe that you feel like giving up. Well, most individuals do give up.
The only way I can explain this feeling is your body is trying to adapt to functioning without carbs and sugar. It’s like stopping smoking or drug withdrawal. It is going to hit you like a ton of bricks! And it does take time to get better.
Fact#3: The Ketogenic Diet can help you get rid of inflammation if you stick to healthy fats and avoid dairy.
I personally am sensitive to dairy products.
However I didn’t eliminate all sources of dairy as I kept consuming cheese and butter.
I gave up yoghurt and cream though and felt so much better. If you’re not sensitive to dairy, you can still consume these products but in moderation as they can mess with your weight loss goals.
You can include avocados, eggs, butter and olive oil.
There are many Ketogenic friendly snacks that you can choose from. But keeping it simple is the key to your success.
Try to eat as many natural sources of foods as possible for effective weight loss.
What are the health benefits of the Ketogenic Diet?
There are many studies that link excessive body fat, high cholesterol levels (the bad type), high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure levels to many illnesses and diseases.
Although findings regarding the benefits on health when following a Ketogenic Diet are not conclusive, from my personal experience and when this diet is done correctly, you will notice changes in the way you feel!
In general, when you lower your sugar intake, without necessarily following a diet, you notice a big change in how you feel inside and out instantly.
You have more energy, you feel less groggy, your skin looks better and your hair becomes healthier.
Imagine if you were to actually follow a diet and be consistent. You can really transform the way you feel physically and mentally!
The two most important health benefits of the Ketogenic Diet are to control type 2 diabetes and the episodes of epilepsy.
- Diabetes: the most important point here is the weight loss.
Once you lower you carb and sugar intake, your insulin levels will naturally drop and stabilize over time as long as you stick to the diet.
Since type 2 diabetes is highly linked to excess fat, the Ketogenic Diet is your best bet.
- Epilepsy: The ketogenic diet was used as a therapy to treat patients with epilepsy as some studies found that it has an effect on the neurological system function and can drastically reduce the frequency of seizures.
Other possible health benefits of the Ketogenic diet include the reduction in heart disease, slowing the growth of cancer cells and the progression of Alzheimer’s, improving symptoms of Parkinson’s, improving some reproductive system conditions and skin conditions.
What are the side effects of the Ketogenic Diet?
You may or may not feel miserable at first. It really depends on your body.
If you’re anything like me, I’m not going to sugar coat this for you. I had the worst keto flu ever!
Keto flu is the state you’ll be in and the symptoms you’ll feel when your body is adapting to the very low-carb intake.
Not to worry though (Of course if you are worried, definitely see your doctor to make sure you are in good shape), this usually passes after the first 7 days for most individuals.
Others may suffer longer but there are ways to minimize these side effects.
I personally suffered from water retention and what I’ve noticed with this diet, is that my body was getting rid of a lot of water as I was using the washroom multiple times a day and with that water leaving my body, minerals such as sodium, magnesium and potassium were also shed.
Some of the possible side effects are:
- Tiredness and low levels of energy: If you exercise, you will notice a decrease in your performance. Drinking Gatorade zero will take care of this.
Make sure you increase your carbs a tiny bit before your workouts to allow your body to overcome the struggle. But if you’re able to push through then by all means, do your thing!
- You may have trouble focusing for long periods of time as your mental function may get affected: This is all normal and temporary.
When you feel hungry, make sure you’re eating plenty of healthy fats such as avocados and nuts. It will help with the feeling of constant hunger at first.
- Sleep issues: If you’re one of the unlucky individuals, insomnia and sleep issues may strike (melatonin becomes your best friend ;)).
If your sleep issues persist, try increasing your carbs a little bit and see if it makes a difference. If not, try eating protein before going to bed.
I personally also had some nausea, dizziness and digestive discomfort. It all went away after the first week.
I was able to overcome some of these issues by upping my water intake and taking extra supplements such as magnesium and slow releasing potassium.
I also added pink Himalayan salt to everything.
How to lose weight with the Ketogenic Diet?
The beauty of this diet is the weight loss that happens without calorie restriction.
In terms of appetite, your body will guide you and will tell you when to eat.
Once you get rid of the water retention, you will start burning fat and will continue to lose weight.
The important thing is to eat until you feel full and focus on fat.
Whatever you put in your mouth has to have healthy fats in it and fat is way more filling than carbs hence the feeling of fullness for hours.
What’s more, this diet contributes to effective weight loss over time without restricting food and without worrying about calories.
I had great success with this diet and I’m still losing weight even though I’m now doing a regular low-carb diet.
What I’ve learned is once the body gets rid of inflammation which happens once you detoxify your body by cutting out inflammatory foods from your diet (i.e. processed carbs are the biggest one), you are able to maintain a healthy weight and you no longer suffer from random cravings.
Is the Ketogenic Diet right for you?
As with all other types of diets, it does take commitment and determination to make it work.
In fact, it is proven that the ketogenic diet can be great for individuals who are looking to lose lots of weight, who are diabetic and looking to stop their medication or for those who are looking to improve or maintain a healthy metabolism and lifestyle.
As long as it becomes part of a long term solution, it will pay off.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or concerns, you can leave them in the comments below and I will be glad to respond.
Have a great day!