So what exactly is a ketogenic or low carb diet? The first thing to accept with a low carb “diet” is that this isn’t a diet at all. Following this way of eating is a complete lifestyle change to everything you have been taught about healthy eating!
Moving to a low carb lifestyle means that you cut out almost all carbs, stay with me here I know that sounds drastic!! Most carbohydrates that we consume now is highly processed during production, I’m talking about pasta, rice, cous cous, potatoes etc all those yummy things! As I’m sure a lot of you are aware once carbs enter your system your body converts this into fuel to give you energy and keep you going throughout the day, the fuel of choice your body chooses to convert carbs into?
Yep your body changes any carbohydrates that you consume into sugar, this is why you usually get a boost of energy right after you consume carbs but then feel sluggish after an hour or so. Sugar has the effect of giving you a spike of energy for a short period of time, whilst this is an easier way for your body to burn energy its a much less efficient way for your body to produce energy…Stay with me guys I’m going to get sciency for a bit!
Why is the keto way of eating successful?
When you eat carbs your body converts the carbohydrates into glucose (sugar). This causes your body to produce insulin, which is called an insulin spike. Glucose will always be the body’s preferred source of energy, meaning when glucose is present your body will always resist burning fat and store it instead. By replacing the carbs with fat you give your body no alternative but to burn the fat for fuel. This is called entering ketosis. Once you are in ketosis your body will be burning the fat that you have stored, this is when you start seeing one of the main benefits of the ketogenic method which is weightloss! This is also the reason that Keto kind of goes against what you typically think of when you say healthy eating, to keep you body in a ketogenic state you need to consume healthy fats instead of sugar.
Benefits of a ketogenic way of eating
The benefits of keto seem to be endless, check out the list below
- Weight Loss (Always a bonus!)
- Increases physical performance
- Improves memory and mental focus
Has also been shown to reduce symptoms for the following:
- Type 2 Diabetes
In the last year there have been a number of documentaries on mainstream television advocating the benefits of a low carb way of eating.
If you’ve read this far I’m guessing you’re wondering what you can actually eat if you decide to follow a keto or low carb lifestyle.
Be sure to check out my next post to find out, see you there!