A keto diet is an eating style that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. Many people follow a keto diet to control their weight, blood sugar, and food cravings.
This post explores what the keto diet is, why it is super popular now, and five benefits of following a keto diet. I'll also link to some info on how to get started with the keto diet if you think it might be a good fit for you.
What is the keto diet?
You've probably heard friends, family, co-workers or those crazy fitness buffs on social media talking about going keto. Your Instagram feed is full of fit ladies eating fat bombs, bacon and guacamole all day
What exactly is the keto diet and why is everyone talking about it?
Definition of a ketogenic diet.
A keto diet is simply a diet that is high in fat, low in carbs and moderate in protein. It allows you to go from being a sugar burner (using glucose for fuel) to a fat burner (using dietary and, best of all, stored body fat for fuel).
This is the simple, non-scientific explanation.
When you eat carbs, whether it's an apple, a donut or kale, your body converts the carbs into glucose which increases your blood sugar. Then it releases insulin to push the glucose into your body's cells. When this happens, your blood sugar decreases and guess what? You're hungry again.
But when you eat very few carbs your body runs out of glucose to use as fuel. So it converts fats (either fats you eat or, even better, stored body fat) into ketone bodies, which is an energy source for your entire body and brain.
You might think, so what? Why does being a fat burner matter? Now let's explore some benefits of the keto diet.
5 reasons everyone is talking about the keto diet.
Why is your social media feed full of folks talking about the keto diet? It's because real people, ladies like you and me, who are tired of diet hopping and feeling crappy are getting real results with this eating style. They are experiencing weight loss and reduced cravings and greater levels of health. Let's explore five top reasons why people are talking about the keto diet.
1 - Weight loss without restriction or calorie counting.
Not only will many people experience effortless weight loss on a keto diet, but most experience a reduction in hunger. That's because high fat foods are, well, highly satisfying. They will keep you full so you can easily go longer periods without food. No more eating every two hours and packing snacks just to go to the grocery store.
2 - Cravings are reduced or eliminated altogether.
Not gonna lie, this is the #1 reason I eat this way! Craving and binging and feeling out-of-control around food are my biggest problems. The only time I have felt peace with food is when I eat low carb. Within a day or two the nagging cravings disappear.
And it's not just me. Most people eating a keto or low carb diet experience very few cravings for junk food or processed carbs.
3 - Stable blood sugar levels.
You know how you eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast and then you're starving an hour later? That's because your blood sugar spikes with all the processed carbs, and then crashes. Blood sugar ups-and-downs are why people eating a higher carb diet are always hungry.
A keto style eating plan will encourage a healthy blood sugar balance and help end the vicious cycle of endless hunger and cravings.
4 - Healthy brain function.
Ever have trouble concentrating? Or walk into a room and totally forget why you're there?
These are signs of brain fog. A keto diet supports brain health and many people in ketosis report an increase in mental clarity. Some studies show decrease in migraines and memory improvement in older adults.
This article explains in more detail some of the reasons a keto diet is good for brain function.
5 - More energy throughout the day.
Just like your blood sugar no longer spikes and dips throughout the day, most people following a keto diet report an increase in energy throughout the day. No more sleeping at your desk after lunch. Many people will experience sustained energy all day long.
So what do you actually EAT on a keto diet?
Eating is the fun part! Here are some simple (and delicious) keto meals:
A huge spinach salad with bacon, hard boiled egg. red onion, and a vinaigrette or warm bacon dressing.
Grilled chicken thighs (the crispy skin is the best part!), served with roasted asparagus, yellow squash, and Vidalia onion and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Pizza Omelet…. fill your omelet with mozzarella and pepperoni, and top with a spoonful of pesto sauce.
And if cooking is not really your thing, it’s simple to eat out on a keto diet:
Order a juicy bacon cheeseburger with mayo, and skip the bun (and the fries). Order a side salad (no croutons) to fill you up.
Order grilled salmon, veggies and salad - be generous with the butter and salad dressing! - at your favorite restaurant.
Bring home a rotisserie chicken and salad-in-a-bag from the grocery store, and add some avocado.
How to get started on the keto diet.
Do you want to see if the keto diet is right for you? If you need help getting started, I highly recommend the Happy Keto Body online course. It's a 12 week online course that you can take at your own pace to learn about keto and customize an eating plan that suits your tastes and your health issues. No crazy ass "must do this" rules. No restricting carbs to 20g a day. No jumping into intermittent fasting if you don't want to. It's all about healing your body and eating for good health. Learn more here: Happy Keto Body
I also use this printable keto journal to plan meals and track my food and macros (and progress!) every single day.