Just about all of us are familiar with the old ‘diet’ concept. You restrict your calories and fat (usually leaving you feeling very hungry) you lose a few pounds on the scales and then give up- hungry and miserable and feeling like a failure. Sound familiar? This is why this kind of weight loss rarely works, it doesn’t matter how strong you start out, how mentally ready you are- no one can restrict and feel hungry forever. This is where keto and low carb eating comes into its own, as you’re able to eat until your satiated and still lose body fat. Here’s what you need to know.
What is ‘eating keto’?
A ketogenic diet involves restricting the amount of carbohydrates you eat. You don’t need to count calories- although you shouldn’t be over indulging. Because high fat and high protein foods (such as meat, eggs and dairy) are more filling than low fat ‘diet foods’ you don’t need to eat as much of them to feel satiated.
How does it work?
A ketogenic diet works by putting your body into a metabolic state called ‘ketosis’ (not to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous side effect from diabetes). It simply means that your body is burning its own fat supplies as fuel, instead of using carbohydrates. Imagine your body’s energy supplies as a fridge freezer. The fridge section contains the energy from the carbohydrates that you eat, and the freezer contains your body’s fat supplies. When we need energy for body processes like digestion, movement, brain power and everything else- our bodies prefers to use the easy to access energy in the ‘fridge’- from the carbs we eat. As long as you keep eating carbohydrates, your body will have enough fuel to run without it ever having to dip into the backup ‘freezer’ section. Which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to lose body fat reserves! By cutting out carbohydrates, your body is forced to break down its own fat to use as energy meaning you experience far better weight loss.
Is it safe?
Keto diets are completely safe, they’re the way our bodies were designed! Think back to our ancestors, we’d eat when food was plentiful storing the excess energy as fat, and then switch to burning this as fuel when supplies were low (it’s the reason we store fat in the first place). The problem is in modern diets we eat far too many refined carbs and sugars to inhibit this natural fat burning process. When you’re cutting out carbohydrates, you no longer experience blood sugar spikes- not only is this good for diabetics but it controls your hunger levels too. The only thing to be aware of is that your food should still be good quality, cutting carbs doesn’t mean living off salami, bacon and fried eggs. Modern keto diets include low carb veggies, avocados, nuts and other ingredients that supply your body with everything it needs.
It can be a little daunting at first eating in a brand new way, but do your research and give it a try if you want to lose weight without feeling hungry.