Of all the diet ‘fads’ I’ve seen over the years, I’m not surprised to see that the ketogenic diet hasn’t faded away. This diet is still popular – either as a tool used in the short-term for weight loss, or for it’s more long-term for benefits such as better digestion, clearer thinking, and enhanced energy.
I’m not saying the ketogenic diet is for everyone, but there are a lot of people out there who love it. There is good reason to go keto; benefits include weightloss, greater mental clarity, balanced mood, and stable blood sugar levels. About two years ago, I went keto for six months. I loved the results. I felt awesome in terms of energy, and my mood was the most stable it’s ever been.
I didn’t stick to it, but don’t let that stop you from reading on about how to do keto right. I talk to a lot of people who have switched or are thinking of switching to the ketogenic diet. Many ask for my opinion, so here’s what I think.
What should you know going keto?
So many people, to the detriment of their own health, are doing it wrong. Getting into a state of ketogenesis is about more than just giving up carbohydrates. It’s actually not even really a diet in many ways. It’s actually a metabolic shift that forces your body to find an alternate source of fuel besides carbohydrates.
Going keto involves the process of forcing your body into a state of using fat as a fuel source. Side note: this is great for those who have some they want to lose, as this has now become a possible energy source for you. The mistake I see so many people making is that they don’t increase their dietary fat intake on the keto diet.
I can’t tell you the people I’ve spoken to who have given up carbs in an effort to better their health, only to be discouraged when they feel fatigued and low energy. If you go about keto wrong, you will feel terrible. So the first question I always ask clients when they bring up keto is what kind of dietary fat sources they would plan on incorporating. Many are surprisingly unaware of the importance of this aspect of the keto diet.
Are all fats created equal?
But knowing that increasing fats is only half the battle – it is also important to know what kinds of fats are best to implement. For example, bacon is high in fat – and many on the keto diet enjoy it. However, this wouldn’t be an ideal fat source to fuel your body day-to-day. Ideal fat sources are healthy, nutrient dense, and high omega 3 fatty acid fats. A few ideal ones that can be implemented daily would be avocado, coconut oil, walnut/almond oil, nuts and seeds, and grass fed butter.
Extra virgin olive oil is excellent for cooking with, and so is coconut oil, as both are stable at high temperatures. Nuts and seeds are easy to add on to any meal. Avocado can be made into guacamole or blended into smoothies. Adding grass fed butter or ghee on vegetables is another way to increase fat while on the keto diet.
My two cents is simply this: if you decrease your carbohydrates and you don’t increase fats, your body will struggle to find a source of energy. You will be fatigued, lacking energy, and could even possibly end up muscle wasting as the body relies on protein to meet it’s energy needs.
Don’t be afraid to utilize the tools available to you when making a serious lifestyle change, especially one that can effect your functioning so profoundly. Reach out to a Holistic Nutrition Consultant or talk to an expert in the field. You can even utilize Youtube videos and online articles. The information is all there, and I encourage you to take advantage of it.
That’s my two cents on keto, and how to do it the right way. Are you curious about the pros and cons of the keto diet? Check out this post: Is the Keto Diet Healthy?