When you hear about the ketogenic diet, the first thing you most likely think of is what could possibly make it as good as people say. The answer is this – there are enough benefits to change your life. And I know because it certainly absolutely changed mine!
What exactly is a ketogenic diet?
The keto program recommends a diet that is low on carbs, moderate on protein and high in healthy fat. The idea is to fine-tune nutritional intake in order to send the body into the metabolic state known as ketosis.
You’ll notice I put the word healthy in bold-face. I did that for a reason! The real Keto doesn’t include eating a pound of bacon a day or devouring a wheel of cheese (believe me, I’ve done both in my life). It’s about healthy balanced fats.
The body enters a state of ketosis when it no longer has stores of glycogen sugar to fuel its energy needs. With sugar out of the way, the body has no choice but to tap its stores of fat to get by. The liver converts fat reserves into ketones to present to the body as an energy source. This is why the keto program is a good way to lose fat.
8 benefits of the keto diet
I’ve rounded up the top eight reasons I love the keto diet. These are my personal experiences and may be slower or faster than others. Either way they’re mine.
Without a doubt, weight loss is the primary goal of the keto diet. It works because it makes the body look to its fat reserves to power its metabolism. It can be interesting to go deeper into the process, however.
When the body is deprived of carbs, it enters a state of ketosis. Blood sugar and insulin levels fall when that happens. As the body taps the energy in fat cells, they release considerable quantities of water, making for some great weight loss. The fat cells are then able to enter the bloodstream and make their way to the liver, where they are turned into ketones for energy processing. As long as your diet allows you to stay in a caloric deficit, you get to enjoy the weight loss benefits of the keto diet.
My appetite was FINALLY under control and still is
When your diet isn’t heavy on carbs, you’ll find that you don’t crave as much food as before. Many people who get on the keto diet are able to fast most of the day, and only eat at mealtimes. I never believed it until I started keto and I can attest that it’s true. Most of the day I don’t even think about food any longer which was a huge HUGE adjustment for me.
Neurologically I could concentrate and focus so much better
When you choose a regular diet that puts carbs into the body, your brain has to deal with the rise and fall in sugar levels that happens as a result. Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard for the brain to focus. With the keto diet, however, the energy source is constant and consistent. The brain is better able to stay focused.
My energy levels were almost exhausting to those around me
When you are on a regular diet, your body is always on the verge of running out of energy. You need to constantly eat and refuel. With a keto diet, however, the body taps its fat reserves, a nearly unending energy source (especially for someone who started morbidly obese as yours truly did). The body, then, is able to maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. I was lethargic and exhausted most of the time after just three weeks on keto I was becoming a woman I hadn’t known in over a decade – energetic and happy and downright positive.
Unsurprisingly I’m a type 2 diabetic and am now off insulin
When you have Type II diabetes, your body experiences high levels of insulin. Since the keto diet takes excess sugar from your diet, it helps stabilize HbA1c counts, and reverse Type II diabetes. This actually happened quickly for me. I was insulin dependent and about six months on keto I was able to go off insulin which I think is pretty fast.
I went off Lipitor after four months on Keto
HDL cholesterol helps get rid of the body’s bad cholesterol reserves. When you’re on keto, your body’s triglyceride levels fall and your HDL cholesterol levels rise. That’s the basic science behind the whole thing. Now many people noticed results in a few weeks but it took me about four months before my bad cholesterol dropped to the point my doctor was willing to take me off Lipitor and I’ve been off it ever since.
My blood pressure dropped
My blood pressure was dangerously high especially considering my age. Okay so not a huge surprise considering the fact that I was morbidly obese but it did drop when I went keto. It took me about a year before I could stop taking Zestril.
My skin cleared up and looks amazing now!
So we’ve all heard how the keto diet can help clear up the skin, well, it’s actually true. I had blotchy irritated looking skin with some breakouts on my face (and elsewhere) and it took about five weeks but my skin did clear up and now looks great two and a half years later.
Of course I know most of my skin issues were because of the way I was eating. I was eating bad fats, fried foods, lots of sugar (which is terrible for the skin) and anything else I wanted even when I wasn’t actually hungry. So yes, entirely my fault but I went keto and haven’t looked back and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself!