A few months ago I decided that I would try the low-carb, Keto diet. A lot of thought went into starting this diet, it wasn’t an overnight decision. This diet is not for everyone, there are numerous health risks. If you are diabetic, suffer from cardiovascular disease, Chron’s disease, and even chronic fatigue syndrome, please take caution and don’t start the Keto Diet. It is not recommended for you if you fall into any of these categories.
With that said, why did I start the low-carb/Keto Diet, the obvious reason was to lose weight, but also for the numerous health benefits that it could provide me. I don’t suffer from diabetes or any other disease that involves blood pressure or insulin levels.
Keto or Ketosis taps into your fat storage in your liver. The only way to tap into your fat storage is to ditch the carbs and lower your sugar intake. When you eat any carbohydrates your body instantly turns these into sugars. Your body is going to burn your sugar first before it will ever tap into your fat storages. By eliminating or lowering your carbohydrate and your sugar intake you are allowing your body to tap into your fat storage and begin buying that as fuel instead of sugar. You will start burning fat for energy. By lowering your carb intake and sugar intake you are allowing your body to take your fat storage in your liver and turn it into ketones (ketosis) which can supply energy for the brain also.
Some other benefits of the Keto Diet:
- More energy
- Sleep better
- Clearer thinking
- Not as hungry
- Has been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer (sugar feeds cancer people!!)
By lowering your blood sugar and your insulin levels you are shifting your metabolism away from carbs and towards a ketosis state, burning fats. So now the question, what do you eat???
- Bacon (really who can say no to bacon)
- Healthy oils (avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil)
- Butter (full fat butter)
- Cream (I love heavy cream and sour cream)
- Nuts and seeds
- Low carb veggies
- Some condiments
- MCT Oil
Read labels!!! That is how I stared this whole process. I started slowly and didn’t throw my body into ketosis too quickly. I began by reading labels and slowly started restricting my carb and sugar intake. I think that this helped me to not suffer as much from the keto-flu, more on that later!
Restrict your carb and sugar intake to 20 grams or less a day. As you move further into the process you can up your carb and sugar intake, but I wouldn’t recommend ever going over 50g of either a day.
There are cheat days and if I accidentally or purposefully do have one I simply make sure I restrict the next day and get back to where I need to be. I do have carbs, which come from all the gluten-free products that I eat, but I am very careful as to how much I eat a day. About once a week we will have spaghetti, which I make with gluten free pasta and a homemade pasta sauce or I will use Rao’s pasta sauce, which is very carb friendly. Occasionally, I will eat Glutino crackers or some other gluten free crackers, right now I am really enjoying Simple Mills Gluten Free crackers, but I only eat about 5 or 6 of them and that’s it!
For the most part, the Keto-diet is a healthy way to lose weight and to maintain. I have become more aware of what I am eating and how much I am eating, which I believe is important. Plus, my clothes fit better!