Although you may associate the ketogenic diet with rapid weight loss, there’s a lot more to be discovered.
By switching your main energy source to ketones instead of glucose, you achieve a beneficial physiological state. In turn, you naturally burn fat for fuel. Before you begin, you must understand what a ketogenic diet entails.
Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Ketogenic Diet
Surprisingly, fat is NOT the enemy. Over the years, fat has gotten a bad rap — one that is unjust and, in many ways, dangerous to human health. This is why the ketogenic diet is so beneficial. If you’re considering this transition, you’ll be interested in the four following things.
You’ll get “sick” on the Keto diet — but it will be worth it
During the first week or so, you will go through what’s referred to as the “keto flu.” Although not everyone experiences the same symptoms, you may experience fatigue, light-headedness, mental fog, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and insomnia.
In reality, this “flu” is your body withdrawing from carbohydrates, as well the impact of a possible electrolyte imbalance. Once these symptoms subside (and they will), you will be able to enhance athletic performance, boost brain power, enjoy more stable energy levels, and so much more.
The keto diet was originally created to treat epilepsy
A well-established treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s, the keto diet may also support a wide range of other neurologic illnesses. Children with epilepsy suffer from a mutation which results in glucose crossing the blood-brain barrier causing seizures. Ketones are an ideal alternative fuel source for glucose. This diet may also benefit those who have suffered trauma, live with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, are aiming to manage symptoms of autism, and even help combat depression.
You can incorporate the benefits of intermittent fasting
Take your efforts to the next level by regulating your food intake through periods of “fasting” and “feeding.” After all, how much you eat, when you eat, and how often you eat, all impact your overall health. The available research shows that intermittent fasting helps improve blood lipid levels, promotes greater mental clarity, improves muscle synthesis, and may even support cancer prevention. Caloric restrictions can help prevent malignancies and improve the efficacy of cancer therapies.
You can follow a keto diet as a vegetarian
While following a ketogenic diet, consume between 75 to 80 percent of your total calories from fat, 15 percent of your daily calories from protein sources, and roughly 5 percent from carbs. Although most people associate the keto diet with plenty of meat and fish, you’re not restricted to these fat sources. If you’re vegetarian, opt for plenty of grass-fed butter, free-range eggs (preferably organic), nuts, seeds, avocados, low-carb vegetables (including dark leafy greens), and coconut oil.
When you consider that babies spend a lot of time in ketosis (and thrive), it’s clear that this state is natural. Although you are now in adulthood, you too can benefit from this state once again — but you will need to remain motivated and on-track. After all, Dr. Eric Westman said it best, “Patience and persistence are an absolute must as your pursue ketosis.”