The word ‘keto’ is a buzz word at the moment. But what is it? What does a keto diet entail? Yes - it’s high fat and low carb, but there’s a little more to it than that.
‘Keto’ is short for ‘ketosis’. Ketosis is a natural bodily process that occurs when food intake is low. If your body thinks it’s starving, it enters ketosis. And when your body enters ketosis, it produces ketones, which are formed from the breakdown of fats. Your body uses the ketones as its energy source. In simple terms, your body draws energy from fat that it breaks down.
But rather than starving yourself, a keto diet tricks your body into thinking that it is starving. How do you do this? By overloading your body with fats and restricting carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are broken down by your body into glucose, which is what it uses for energy. When you remove carbohydrates from your diet, there is nothing for your body to break down into glucose. So how does your body get its energy? From ketones.
When your body is in ketosis, it burns fat for energy. So despite having a diet high in fat, your body loses fat as it is using your fat cells for energy. This can have a drastic effect on weight loss.
And there are lots of other benefits to a keto diet, not just weight loss. A keto diet has been shown to increase your mental focus, improve energy, lower blood sugar and assist with acne.
It sounds simple, up your fats and reduce your carbs. But when you consider that fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, it can become tricky to get ensure you receive enough vitamins and minerals. And for the diet to be effective, there can be no treat meals; as one high carb meal will spike you blood sugar levels, which will take your body out of ketosis.
In its strict form, a keto diet limits all fruits and most vegetables. And then there’s a softer keto approach, which includes some fruits and more vegetables. This is the approach that we recommend and have included in our Lose meal plan within EAT Nutrition Guide.
When you follow the Lose meal-plan in EAT Nutrition Guide, your body is still highly likely to enter ketosis, however it will not be as deep a ketosis as if you limited fruits and vegetables completely.
So what does the keto diet look like? Macros vary depending on your strictness, however the Lose meal plan in EAT has a daily breakdown of 65% Fat, 25% Protein and 10% Carbohydrates. Examples of meals include this one:
What’s 'in' on a Keto diet?
- Beef, lamb, chicken, fish etc. (salmon is a must!)
- Coconut products
- Low carbohydrate vegetables such as leafy greens
- Low carbohydrate fruits such as berries
- Oils and high fat dressings
- High fat dairy products: cheese, butter, sour cream, cream etc.
- grains (wheat, corn, rice)
- high carbohydrate fruits such as apples, oranges, watermelon and any dried fruit
- high carbohydrate vegetables such as potato
- low fat dairy such as milk
Every body is different, and like with every other diet, every person will react differently to the keto diet. For some, it is really effective for weight loss and they get a real surge in energy. For others, the energy slump doesn’t let up and the weight loss is less apparent.
So is it for you? You won’t know unless you try! If your goal is to Lose weight, give our Lose meal plan in EAT a try… it was written with our BBB Babes in mind, the recipes are amazing!