Does it suddenly seem like everyone and their mother is on a Keto diet?
Not sure exactly what a Keto diet is or if you should give it a try?
Here’s the thing: every diet has a good side and a questionable side. Before taking on any new changes to your health, understanding your body and what it needs to run at its optimal SheWarrior level is key.
A Keto diet consists of eating foods high in proteins and fats.
The diet relies heavily on eating processed and natural meats and fish, as well as eggs, nuts, butters, oils, seeds, and vegetables high in fiber like brussel sprouts and broccoli.
The word “Keto” comes from “Ketosis”, a process that your body goes through naturally when it doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy. The reason it’s so trendy for weight loss is because instead of carbs it burns fat to make energy. The substance it creates, called “ketones”, is what is used as an alternative to fuel you. It takes roughly about 2 – 4 days for your body to reach the Ketosis stage as you begin living on 20 – 50 gms of carbohydrates per day.
So, how do you know if a Keto diet is right for you?
The good side:
Trying to go down in your weight class? The Keto diet is your match.
If you’re competing in the ring, Keto is a solid option for helping you slim down and land where you want to be in weight. The diet can have major effects on your body within 10 – 28 days, making it a great solution for planning a month before weigh in.
If weight has been an issue for years and you just can’t seem to shed those extra unwanted pounds, again, a Keto diet could be a powerful solution. The diet even helps reduce hunger cravings so you can nix those recurring sneak breaks.
Another great benefit of a Keto diet is how you’ll feel after losing unwanted pounds that may have been holding on to you for years. When you feel good about your body, everything about your mental health shifts. People who have kept up with a Keto diet tend to be more motivated, happy, and have the energy to take on new activities that they may not have tried before.
It got us thinking: the mental health effects of a diet is often a topic we don’t touch on.
Research has shown that a Keto diet can actually be much more effective than medicine in supporting children with epilepsy. The neuroprotective effects of the diet have even made doctors raise an eyebrow about how it could possibly affect neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s! However, there is currently not enough evidence to show that it should be prescribed over medicine.
The questionable side:
How much protein is too much protein?
The average American diet is about 50% carbohydrates. The biggest criticism about the Keto diet is that people are eating far too much protein, not enough quality fats, and very little vegetables.
The diet can be quite hard on your digestive system as well. If you are dealing with an irritable digestive system, or suffering from kidney disease, you could be doing more damage than good to your system.
Some ugly side effects of the Keto diet can include:
- – Bad breath
- – Irritability
- – Nausea
- – Sore muscles
- – Constipation
- – Trouble sleeping
Research has also shown that even though there is evidence of faster weight loss, keeping the weight off long-term isn’t super easy. A Keto diet doesn’t show significant results compared to other diets when practiced long-term. Once you’ve decided to integrate something new into your diet, or go off a Keto diet, often no changes in weight are permanent.
Making an informed decision about a Keto diet...
Everybody and every body is different.
Although it’s quite normal for your body to start producing energy from Ketones within 2 – 4 days, it doesn’t mean that’s what happens for every body. Your unique shape, cells, and workout routine could warm up well to a Keto diet, or it could cause some of the serious side effects we’ve just covered.
As always, talk to your healthcare professional before starting a new diet that will eliminate daily foods you usually intake. Never put your body through a process that could affect your health long-term.
*There are several versions of the Keto Diet and this article is referencing the Standard version of the Keto Diet.