In the age of the Internet, new ways to improve your health and fitness by changing your diet seem to appear every other month. You’ll hear of people who’ve changed their lives by going vegan, or by subscribing to a “paleo” diet that supposedly mirrors that of our ancient ancestors. These diets seem to come and go as fads often do, however there is one diet that has gained some staying power after being scientifically shown to produce some very real results. The “Keto” diet is one that follows an unexpected route of seeking to burn fat by making it a much larger part of your diet. This may not sound logical, but there’s a method to it that has been proven to promote fat burning as well as your overall health and wellness.
The key to this diet is controlling what your body burns as energy. Usually, your body relies on glucose as its primary fuel. Glucose comes primarily from carbohydrates, which break down in your stomach to become the sugar substance your body uses as a source of energy. When you hear of someone being “low on blood sugar” it is because their bodies are running low on glucose, causing them to feel the drooping effect we all know. The Keto diet seeks to shift your primary energy source away from this, instead making fat the fuel that your body burns. By following a diet that includes roughly 75 percent fats, you can shift your body into a state called “ketosis”. In this state, your body effectively begins to burn fat for energy, using it to create fuel molecules called “ketones”. With these ketones as its primary fuel source, you’re basically turning any unwanted fat deposits you may have been struggling with into reserves of fuel that will be trimmed off as your body continues to look for more fat to use as energy.
In order to achieve ketosis, your daily calories will need to come from roughly 60-75 percent fats, 15-30 percent protein and 5-10 percent carbohydrates. When following the Keto diet, avoiding carbohydrates is key to ensuring that your body’s glucose levels remain as low as possible. Your larger meals will consist primarily of meats such as seafood, beef, dark meat poultry and bacon as well as vegetables that grow above the ground such as broccoli, avocado, zucchini and leafy greens. Eggs and cheese can also be included, as well as natural fats from foods like butter and olive oil. For between meals, fruits, nuts and seeds make excellent snack options. The following is an example of what your diet might look like over the course of several days:
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with fruit and coconut flakes
Snack: Celery sticks with almond butter
Lunch: No-noodle chicken soup
Snack: Flax crackers with cheese
Dinner: Tuna steak with broccoli and cheese
As you can see, one of the wonderful things about the keto diet is that it allows you to continue eating highly satisfying meals while also tuning your body to burn off fat.
This is only half of the battle to slim down, though. As with any diet, the Keto diet is just one healthy alternative to your normal routine that can be used in your quest for a cleaner-cut figure. Daily exercise is also an absolutely crucial element to seeing the results you desire. Physical activity activates your metabolism, causing your body to begin burning through its reserves of energy at a much higher rate than it does while you’re at rest. Since the central idea of the Keto diet is to burn off fat by using it as energy, it is essential that you actually use up energy so that your body will continue to draw off fat to create more ketones.
** Women who are nursing or pregnant are typically advised to wait to begin the keto diet, and those who suffer from diabetes are similarly discouraged from trying it. If the Keto diet interests you, be sure to talk to your doctor about whether it could be right for you.
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