What is Keto?
Chances are you’ve already heard of the Keto diet. It’s been one of the most popular diets in the US for years and continues to hold its popularity due to its success and flexibility. More importantly, why should you try it?
The Keto diet was originally created to cure seizure patients because of the healing effects eating a high fat diet can have on the brain. Along with lessening symptoms of their seizure disorders, patients who stuck to a Keto diet experienced unexpected - but welcomed - side effects: healthy weight loss,, enhanced mental clarity and more every-day energy. . These side effects were noted and the Ketogenic diet became an aid in weight loss and as a helper to other health issues.
Ok, now that you know a little background info, let’s start with the weight loss advantages of eating a Ketogenic diet! Ketosis is achieved by eating a higher fat, moderate protein, and very low carb diet when thinking in macros.
A typical macros breakdown of a Keto diet could look like 70% Fat, 25% Protein, and 5% carbohydrates. (As opposed to a moderate carb diet with a macros of 35% Fat, 25% Protein, and 40% Carbohydrates.)
On a standard diet, our bodies like to use carbs as its first choice for energy, then it turns to using fats after it has burned through our carb reserves. (When we don’t utilize all our energy from the carbs we eat, those carbs turn into stored fats. Sound familiar?) Keeping the carb percentage low on a Keto diet transforms how your body creates energy, burning fats as fuel. This in turn makes it much easier for your body to switch to utilizing your stored fats for energy. TLDR, this process is essentially what weight loss is; eating less calories than you burn so that you utilize your stored fat reserves.
Now that you’re a pro, you’re probably wondering, “Is the Keto diet really special or are you just eating less calories and losing weight like you would with any other diet?”. When you are eating a traditional diet with a moderate macros balance between carbs, proteins, and fats, the switch over to burning your stored fats for fuel is typically not a fun time. You feel sluggish, you feel hungry (or worse - hangry), you feel cranky. Those uncomfortable feelings last until you hit your goal weight and start eating at a maintenance level again. The cool thing about the Keto diet is that while you do have those uncomfortable feelings in the first week of your diet, they typically subside quickly because your body is adapted to using fats as energy long-term. So, to answer the question, you may be eating the same amount of calories as any other diet, but the Keto diet tends to be more pleasant to live with on your weight loss journey!
Like we mentioned, weight loss isn’t the only advantage to a high-protein, low-carb diet. The improved mental clarity and relief from other health issues is nothing to shake your nose at! Our brains really dig having fats as fuel because brains need fat to function properly. You may especially feel big effects of this if you are a chronic dieter, used to eating a low-fat diet for weight loss. Your brain is in for a treat on the Keto diet!
What can I eat on a Keto diet?
The other most common positive symptoms of the Keto diet are less achy joints, headaches, stiffness, or soreness in the body. This is because the Keto diet consists of a plethora of anti-inflammatory foods. The top inflammatory foods in the US diet are gluten, soy, and dairy, which are not present in a “clean” Keto diet. The term “clean” is used because there are ways to cheat or adapt any diet. Eating ½ a bottle of ranch dressing on some iceberg lettuce may technically be Keto but without a focus on the nutrients in your food you aren’t doing your body or health justice. Think high-quality foods that include fish, chicken thighs, olives, avocado, fresh veggies and low carb fruits. Grains are often the culprit of creating inflammation in the human body and you will notice that on the Keto diet your carbohydrate allotment isn’t high enough for grains to be eaten. This makes it essentially a grain free diet, which also may be the underlying cause of eliminating so many health issues.
I need help on my Keto journey!
We’ve covered what the diet is and what the benefits are. Unlike most health food companies, we’re not going to stop there. Diets are hard - we get it. Life, careers, family, and the unexpected get in the way. People fall off the bandwagon. Luckily, we’ve documented what makes this diet tough to support you along the way. As always, we have a Certified Nutritionist on board to help you navigate this new lifestyle . Lets dive into the biggest challenges to staying on a Keto diet:
Firstly, there’s a lot of math and planning involved in eating Keto. You do have to calculate your custom macros every day to keep your carbs low enough that you will stay in Ketosis, otherwise you’re never going to see the full effects of eating keto! The busier we get the harder it is to meal plan for the week, grocery shop, and cook. A single “off” week tends to make most people want to give up and go back to doing what’s easiest; eat a fast food or junk food diet.
Secondly, those new to Keto are frequently unable to adopt it as a lifestyle. It’s very easy to go out to eat with friends and see everyone else order a loaded potato with their chicken or steak while you stick to your macros. Even with the most motivation in the world, you can’t get there without the determination and discipline to see your plan through.
So how do you stay eating Keto and avoid all these sabotages?! The easiest way you can go about this is to order from a meal prep company that offers Keto options like we do here at Evolve! Having your meals freshly prepared for you keeps you from having to stay on top of tricky calculations, waste time at the grocery shopping, or deal with meal prepping!
A lot of people feel like they have to choose the hardest route in order to feel like they deserve the pay off, but in a world that is constantly pushing us to do more and work more, Eat to Evolve wants to help you play more.! Did hearing that make you feel better? GOOD.
I need more support - what should I do?
Are these tips and tricks still not what you need? With Eat to Evolve you can hire a nutrition coach to help keep you accountable to reach your goals and to also help you navigate through your health journey so that you don’t have to go it alone! If this is what you are looking for, join our 6-week Keto Challenge which includes access to our in-house nutritionist and health coach for support and encouragement along with a supportive community of like-minded people taking charge of their health
We hope that we get to cook some delicious Keto meals for you and are looking forward for you to join our next Keto Challenge!