Looking for a way to slim down without too much exercise? In recent years, the Ketogenic (Keto) Diet has turned conventional dieting wisdom on its head. Instead of focusing on low-fat food, this diet focuses on high-fat food, allowing you to eat deliciously without gaining weight. Sounds too good to be true? Let's take a look and see if it's right for you.
How does a ketogenic diet work?
On a keto diet, also known as a low carb diet, you primarily eat foods that are high in fat and protein, and low in carbohydrates. Your body converts the carbohydrates you eat into glucose to produce energy, storing fat instead of burning it. By reducing your carbohydrate intake, the keto diet forces your body to burn fat instead to produce energy, entering a state known as ketosis.
Keto dietary principles:
Pay attention to your fat, protein, and carbohydrate intake. Your rule of thumb here is high fats, modest protein, and no more than 20g of carbohydrate a day. Reduce your consumption of sweet-heavy desserts, carbohydrate, roots and rhizomes, fruits, beans, and low-fat food. Increase your consumption of foods that have medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are more easily broken down and absorbed by the body. Coconut oil, avocados, nuts, bacon, and cheese are all examples of foods with MCTs that are recommended for ketogenic diets.
Ketogenic diet pros:
- Reduce fat without reducing muscle.
- Easier to maintain weight loss, since your body burns the fat instead of storing it.
- Less hunger, since fats and protein take the place of carbohydrates and protein, reducing your hunger.
However, while a keto diet has its pros, it also has its cons – it can hurt your body!
Ketogenic diet cons:
- Ketosis may cause endocrine disorders, irregular menstruation, and even amenorrhea in women.
- High intake of saturated fats may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, while decreased fiber intake may cause constipation.
- Reduced carbohydrate intake and lower blood sugar levels may cause ketogenic discomfort, including depression, physical and mental fatigue, and nausea.
Remember, in the end, there's no magic short-cut for losing weight, and the healthiest way to a healthier you is to pair your diet with regular exercise!
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