The Benefits of Going Keto

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Everyone in the celebrity world from Halle Berry to Kourtney Kardashian seems to be following the Keto diet at the moment, but is it just one of those quick-fix fads that is here one day and gone the next? Or is it here to stay?

Faye James, author of The Long Life Plan and health and wellness coach, details everything you need to know about the Keto diet.

The Ketogenic diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. Similar to Atkins and various low-carb diets, the Keto or Ketogenic diet is a low carb, high-fat eating plan aimed at putting your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.

When your body goes into ketosis, it becomes efficient at burning fat for energy and it also turns fat ketones in the liver, supplying energy in the brain. The aim is that your body loses fat and you feel more energetic and mentally alert.

There are several types of Keto diets. Firstly, the standard one is known as SKD, which is an extremely low-carb, high-fat diet. It is composed of 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs.

Secondly, there’s the Cyclical one known as CKD, which encapsulates five days of the standard Keto diet followed by two days of high carbs. There’s also the Targeted Keto diet, which means you can add carbs on the days that you work out. Lastly, there is the High Protein Keto diet, which is similar to the Standard Keto diet but includes more protein composed of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

But does it work? The creator, Dr. Gianfranco Cappello conducted a study among thousands of dieters and found that at least 19,000 of those who trialed the diet, experienced significant weight loss, losing an average of 10 kilos after two cycles of being on the Keto plan.

Other studies have shown that the Ketogenic diet is more effective than a calorie controlled or low-fat diet.

One study showed that those on a Keto diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted diet. Various studies recommend the Keto diet for weight loss and because the diet is not calorie-restricted, it suits those not wanting to count calories while losing weight.

Although proven to be safe, various experts warn against its long-term effects.

“Once your body enters ketosis, you also begin to lose muscle, become extremely fatigued, and eventually enter starvation mode. Then it actually becomes even harder to lose weight,” says clinical dietician Lisa Cimperman.

“Keto diets should only be used under clinical supervision and only for brief periods,” adds Francine Blinten, R.D. and certified clinical nutritionist. Francine says the diet can also damage the heart and is not recommended for cosmetic purposes.

Some people complain of Keto flu while on the diet, which is said to include fatigue, headaches, brain fog, irritability, dizziness, and nausea. Some people also suffer from constipation and bad breath while on the Keto diet.

Apart from weight loss, the Keto diet has shown to lower cholesterol levels as well as reduce insulin and blood sugar levels. Blood pressure has also been shown to decrease and it is an effective treatment against the metabolic syndrome associated with diabetes and heart disease. Following a Keto diet has also been shown to reduce insulin and blood sugar levels.

On the Keto diet you can eat seafood and fish as well as lean meat and poultry, dairy, eggs, cheese, butter, cream, coconut and olive oil, nuts, seeds, berries, low carb vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, olives, shirataki noodles, dark chocolate and cocoa powder. You can also drink tea and coffee or have a soup made from low carb vegetables.

Sample Keto Meal Plan

For breakfast, you might have an omelette with bacon and avocado and for lunch some grilled chicken with salad or low carb vegetables with Slendier noodles. For dinner, you could have Slendier Edamame Bean Pasta with a bolognaise sauce and a few squares of dark chocolate or a sugar-free cheesecake for dessert.

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