The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, has come back in a massive way within the last 5 years and for good reason. It truly works for most people that do it properly.
The keto diet has gained a lot of momentum in recent years due to its popularity amongst groups like celebrities, athletes and biohackers.
Unlike stupid fad diets of the past like the grapefruit diet, the keto diet is well-supported through scientific research and anecdotal results.
Aside from the plethora of results you will find through a simple google search, I know that it works because I have personally been on it for months and the results I’ve experienced have been nothing short of amazing.
This isn’t another post on the keto diet by someone who has zero experience with it. Not only do I have a fair amount of experience with it, but I have a fair amount of experience with most diets.
You name it and I have done it. I’ve bounced around over the years between diets looking for that one that will give me the results that I wanted. I found some results with each one, but not the results I was looking for.
If you’ve found your way here, you’re probably saying to yourself at this point, “that’s great and all but how does a ketogenic diet work? how can it help me?”.
I can assure you that you are in the right spot to get your questions answered. I had the same questions myself not long ago and have figured out the answers to them both through experience and research.
Grab some coffee, relax and learn as I bestow my knowledge of the keto diet upon you.
What is a ketogenic diet?
I see people provide very long explanations to answer this question. I hate that. I like things to be very simple.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”- Albert Einstein
The ketogenic diet is high fat, moderate protein, low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on fat intake. The ranges of carbohydrates allowed on the diet vary a bit however, most stick to taking it under 20 grams of carbohydrates a day.
The typical types of food that you eat on the diet are things like eggs, meat/poultry, full-fat dairy and low-carb vegetables. It’s a very simple diet that people try to complicate for some reason.
How does it work?
This is the reason you’re here after all right? Don’t worry, I won’t be like those other bloggers that make your read through my entire article before I answer your question although, I certainly hope you do so. I’ll beg if needed.
The most important thing to understand about why the diet works has to do with little fuel molecules called ketones. Ketones are byproducts that occur when the body is forced to burn fat as fuel as opposed to glucose, due to a low-carbohydrate diet.
There are three things your body can burn as fuel to keep it running which are glucose, fat and protein. Glucose is the main source of fuel for most people due to their high intake of carbohydrates.
Glucose is not the ideal source of fuel for the body contrary to popular belief. Fat is. Your body runs better when it is fueled on fat. It’s an odd thing to understand at first, but after trying it you will see what I’m talking about.
Without sufficient amounts of carbohydrates in your diet, your body does not have the glucose to use as fuel. It is then forced to burn the fat within your body as fuel. This in turn produces ketones.
Your body actually uses the ketones for fuel as opposed to the fat itself. Although your body is breaking down the fat, the ketones is what the body is actually able to use for fuel.
This process is known as ketosis. It’s when your body is using fat/ketones as the primary source of energy as opposed to carbohydrates/glucose. Ketosis is the goal of the keto diet.
Think of it this way. If you want to lose weight and fat, does it make more sense to burn carbohydrates that you have to keep eating and putting into your body as fuel or does it make more sense to burn the fat already inside of your body as fuel?
As you remain on the ketogenic diet and continuously put your body into a state where it’s burning fat as fuel, you are going to decrease your body fat. You have to. You are going to become a fat burning machine!
What keto can do for you
Keto has some amazing reported benefits. Many of which I have experienced myself.
Some of the main benefits of the keto diet are weight loss, appetite control, blood sugar control, better mental focus, elimination of brain fog, more energy, lower blood pressure and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.
Most people that I know of have experienced almost all of these benefits when they have been on the diet for a while. It’s not like diets where most people will experience one or two benefits from a long list of potential ones.
This diet is so effective because it is based upon the way your body actually runs. Not made up in the mind of some hippie living amongst the flowers (sorry hippies).
This isn’t some theory that may or not work. Unless you’re an alien, your body is going to start burning fat and producing ketones once you stop giving it carbohydrates.
My experience on keto
My experience with this diet has been quite miraculous. Before I was on this diet, I had a huge problem with overeating. With all the lifting and exercise I do, I would constantly be starving.
This would lead to me eating too much at meals. I wasn’t eating bad foods, just too much! Well, I thought I wasn’t eating bad food at least. I was eating way too many carbohydrates looking back!
Even eating with what I thought were good carbohydrate choices like rice and potatoes, I was eating too much and having issues.
Shortly after a meal, I would be starving again! This would lead to me eating more and more. The cycle just continued.
I have always been able to gain weight very quickly. This is particularly helpful when it comes to adding muscle however, the issue is that some of the weight is always body fat.
Being so hungry all the time, this was a big problem with me. I was gaining muscle sure, but at what cost? I couldn’t seem to get my body fat low enough to appreciate the results.
Another big issue is that my energy would go up and down all day. I would have great energy after eating and then crash later in the day.
I didn’t realize until I was on the keto diet for a bit that the energy spikes and crashes were due to carbohydrates playing games with my blood sugar levels.
I am not a diabetic and have never had any blood sugar issues when I got it checked however, carbohydrates were wreaking havoc on me.
Since I started the ketogenic diet last spring/early summer, all of that has changed. The first and biggest thing I noticed was that my appetite became controllable.
I could eat one meal and last hours without another one. In fact, on most days I usually only eat two meals and feel fine. That’s a big deal because I was eating about 5 times a day before.
The next thing I noticed was the felt melting off of my body. It took a few weeks to get going but after that I think I turned my body into a fat burning machine.
I have veins popping out in areas I never had before. A lot of the fat has been stripped away from the main muscle groups and I can clearly see the muscles I worked so hard to build.
Also, around my abs and midsection, I have much better definition. I have dropped at least 3 sizes in my waist since starting the diet and I did not have a huge waist to begin with.
Since starting the diet, I have lost about 20 pounds in total. Most of which was excess fat that I really didn’t need.
As opposed to worrying about what I’m eating all day, I know now that I can eat one solid keto meal and go for hours if I need to. I was even able maintain it somewhat on a recept trip to Disney World which I wrote about here.
A little goes a long way too! It’s amazing that 2-3 whole eggs can now keep me satiated for hours while keeping my energy levels consistent.
Cut the fat
The keto diet is a powerful diet that is in a class of itself as far as I’m concerned. The results that I have had prove to me that it is all it’s cracked up to be.
While it may not be for everyone, I don’t think that the likelihood of it working can be denied. I have yet to hear that the diet did not work for someone who followed it correctly.
The best part about the diet is that it can be very basic. It is extremely simple to follow, and you can plan your meals around as little as 3-4 foods.
It makes shopping and cooking much easier. If you are a fan of simple things, like me, this just may be the diet you are looking for.
I know that it was the diet that I was looking for and I have no plans of ever going back to how I used to eat.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Have you tried a ketogenic diet before? I’d love to hear your experience, questions and comments below!