A Ketogenic diet, or commonly referred to as the Keto Diet, is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat way of eating.
For much of history, people would eat a similar diet naturally. There was no mass production of food until this past century. In the past, when food was scarce, people needed food sources that would give them energy and sustain them longer than just a couple of hours. Fat was this food source. When you eat a higher quantity of fat each day, you will feel full and satisfied longer. Your cravings for carb-rich and sugary foods will no longer drive your decisions. And your body will start to fuel itself not only with the fat you eat, but the fat you are storing on your body.
When you consume carbohydrate rich foods, your body responds by increasing your insulin production, to help break down the sugars in carbohydrates. Insulin regulates the blood sugar levels. Over time, as you continue to consume higher quantities of carbohydrates and sugars, your body can become insulin resistant. This is a condition where the insulin is not able to stabilize blood sugar levels properly anymore. This leads to pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Relying on carbohydrates as your main source of food can also cause many other issues like widespread inflammation in the body, and increase in adipose (belly) fat, hormone imbalances, and many chronic diseases that have directly been related to the increase in weight and obesity.
Insulin is also the hormone that signals to the body to store food as fat. So every time you eat carbohydrates, in excess of your daily calorie needs, your insulin goes up and your body will store the fats and excess protein to fat and store it. That is the opposite of what we want! When you eat less carbs, less insulin is needed to stabilize your blood sugars, and as a result, less fat storage.
We all want to burn our excess fat. The easiest way to do this is to tell your body to target the fat for energy and fuel. As long as you are consuming carbohydrates your body will prefer them for energy. That’s how it’s been conditioned. That’s why a ketogenic diet cuts your carbs intake down low, so there is no longer an abundant amount of them. Your body will then turn to fat for its energy needs.
Once your body starts burning fat for energy every day, you will be in a state of Ketosis and your liver will start producing Ketones. These ketones are a bi-product of fat breakdown and are the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet. This is a naturally occurring process for breaking down the fat stores into fuel and energy. In scientific studies, Ketones have even been found to be a more efficient source of fuel for the brain than glucose (carbs and sugar), giving you greater focus and mental energy throughout the day.
Some of the fantastic benefits of a ketogenic diet:
- Increased weight loss, especially the more stubborn belly fat
- Reduces inflammation
- Stabilizes your moods
- Lowers blood glucose levels (reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes)
- Increases mental focus and clarity
- The daily late afternoon ‘sleepy slump’ will disappear
- Increases physical endurance and produces more steady energy
- Improves skin conditions such Eczema and Acne
- Improves Heart Burn and GERD
- Can help reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol
- Reduces Bloating and chronic or intermittent Digestive Distress
- Reduces or eliminates Sugar Cravings
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