Maybe you have a friend who lost a bunch of weight doing keto or a coworker is getting beach-body-ready by cutting carbs and now you’re intrigued.
Is it honestly something you could handle?
Here are 10 great reasons why the keto diet is something you should try!
1 – Keto is easier than it sounds
Cutting out carbs, particularly if you’re addicted to sugar like most people, can seem daunting. The fact is, though that after about 3 days your desire for sugar reduces dramatically, and if you can hold out the first 2 weeks – often called ketosis induction – you’ll notice your energy levels increase and your hunger decrease. This makes adherence significantly easier in the long run.
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2 – Ketogenic eating is a nearly effortless way to lose fat
When you’re in ketosis, your body downregulates hunger. In fact, it’s very easy to couple keto with fasting to produce accelerated weight loss that is difficult to match with traditional dieting alone. In fact, most people who have success with keto don’t even do much exercise, if any at all!
3 – Keto can treat, reverse, or prevent type 2 diabetes
Prolonged ketogenic eating dramatically increases your body’s insulin sensitivity, which is the primary culprit in both metabolic syndrome/pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Over time, when you stop eating sugar and your body goes back to baseline, symptoms of diabetes abate and many people are able to stop taking their medications entirely. To help combat diabetes many people opt for protein bar snacks with low glycemic index
4 – A ketogenic diet spares muscle while burning fat
If you’re a weightlifter, crossfitter, or just active in general, keto is a good way of cutting fat while sparing muscle. Once in ketosis, your body will preferentially burn fat, and though a tiny amount of protein might be converted into necessary glucose, very little will come from actual muscle, if at all.
5 – A well-formulated keto diet is incredibly healthy
Imagine eating tons of delicious veggies, healthy meats and seafood, full-fat dairy, berries, nuts, and seeds to the point you’re sated. A whole-foods, ketogenic diet is potentially one of the healthiest ways of eating possible, and very in-tune with how our evolutionary ancestors ate.
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6 – High-carb, processed foods are some of the most dangerous things you can eat
By omitting carbs and sugar, you’re partially on the way to superb health, but by further limiting your exposure to processed foods, you can dramatically reduce inflammation and your risks for stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, as well as a host of other lifestyle diseases. So what does your body do to produce glucose? This a process is known as gluconeogenesis, when your body, in the absence of glucose, it makes it all by itself. Incredible how our body works.
7 – You’ll lose weight FAST
Often in the first 2 weeks of a ketogenic diet, people report losing up to 15+ pounds. It’s worth noting that these results are not atypical, and while generally half of that can be water weight (because your body stores glycogen in water within your muscles and liver), the rest is almost certainly pure fat. Make sure to eat extra salt about 4-5 grams per day to eliminate the common “keto flu” which happens as you excrete additional salt when on keto.
8 – Keto helps eliminate or reverse fatty liver disease
Many overweight people have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and they might not even know it. One of the precursors to type 2 diabetes, fatty liver can cause severe complications, up to and including death if left unabated. Keto is one of the best ways to stop that progression.
9 – Ketogenic diets are neuroprotective
Because chronic insulin and sugar exposure causes systemic inflammation, it can damage your brain in ways that can lead to Alzheimer’s and exacerbate Parkinson’s and a host of other neurodegenerative diseases. There is ample evidence that keto can reduce Parkinson’s symptoms and it’s actively used to treat epilepsy and has been for over 100 years.
10 – Keto balances your mood
Because blood sugar swings can cause bouts of “hanger” or hunger-anger, one of the best things is that low carb eating can stop that in its tracks. It is worth noting, however, that low carb diets seem to have a profoundly positive effect on mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Though the mechanism isn’t 100% understood, it’s likely to do with reduced vessel inflammation throughout the body.