If you are part of the health and fitness community, it is likely that you will have heard about the keto diet. Also known as the ketogenic diet; this low-carb, high-fat diet has revolutionized the world of gym fanatics. Many celebrities and fitness influencers swear by this method of losing weight and hundreds of people have taken on the lifestyle change. However, this dietary lifestyle isn’t as easy to adjust to as it may seem. Not only does it take a lot of hard work and motivation, but it may not be right for everyone. If you are interested in the diet but unsure whether it is right for you, keep reading. 

For those unfamiliar with this diet, a ketogenic diet consists of significantly lowering your carb intake, to around 20 to 50 grams per day, to trigger your body into burning fat more effectively. Instead of eating carbs, this diet calls for high levels of protein and fats. Once your body adapts to the lower intake of carbohydrates, it will trigger a metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to turn into fuel. Instead, your body will derive its energy from burning fats, therefore your fat consumption during the keto diet must increase significantly.

A typical keto diet consists of a very low carb intake and a high consumption of healthy fats. This means cutting out sugary foods like ice cream, smoothies, and soda, as well as, grains or starches, like bread, pasta, and rice. Similarly, high-carb veggies, like potatoes and carrots should be avoided, plus any beans or legumes, such as chickpeas and lentils. Less obvious foods that need to be cut out include fruits (except small portions of berries), low-fat dressings, condiments and sauces, and alcoholic beverages, like beer or wine. Instead, your diet should consist of meals with meaty and high-fat ingredients. This includes eggs, unprocessed cheeses, butter, cream, healthy oils, nuts, and high-fat foods like avocados. In terms of protein, you can eat anything from salmon, tuna, steak, ham, chicken, to even bacon. If you have a serious sweet tooth, or if you are a sucker for a great bowl of pasta, you may find that the keto diet is not for you.     

This diet is recommended for those who are looking to lose a significant amount of weight, however, it is also highly recommended to individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is because a keto diet helps the body maintain glucose levels substantially low, but at a healthy level. Rather than experiencing bursts of energy and spikes in blood sugar, as you would with a carb-heavy diet, the body releases a more constant stream of energy. Your body will not enter the metabolic state of ketosis overnight. Instead, this process takes a while to get used to and ketosis can be identified by a number of symptoms. The easiest way to know whether your body is in an active state of ketosis is by utilizing a blood glucose meter. However, other telltale signs include bad breath, thirst, short-term fatigue, increased focus, and appetite suppression.   

Triggering a state of ketosis can be an initial shock for the body, some of the side effects are positive, although some can be very negative. Some people experience keto rashes, headaches, or an overall state of fatigue. Fitness gurus often call this unsettling period the “keto” or “low-carb flu”. However, these symptoms typically disappear after a few days, or a few weeks at most – it’s just part of the process. A keto diet is especially recommended to those who suffer from obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even children with epilepsy. However, you should always check with your doctor before deciding to take on a keto diet, especially if you are still suffering from negative symptoms like a rash or headache. 

Overall, the keto diet can be very useful if followed strictly. This diet has helped many individuals who suffer from severe health conditions or obesity. It has also been hailed as a great way to effectively lose weight and burn fat. However, the truth is that this diet isn’t for everyone. In order to successfully maintain a keto diet, you need consistency and discipline. Similarly, if you are allergic to dairy, or perhaps a sugar lover and carb-fanatic, this diet is probably not for you. In order to successfully enter a state of ketosis you must be consistent with your low-carb and high-fat diet.