There is a lot to know about keto before you start following it. It is not just about consuming a lot of fats and avoiding carbohydrates. Let us look at some things you should look at before adopting this diet.
Safety in Keto:
No diet can be termed as completely 100% safe and be followed to the letter every single day. The keto diet has been there for almost a century and has been used to treat patients suffering from various health conditions. This diet, unlike others, is highly restrictive. It cuts out many grains, fruits, and vegetables from your diet and deprives your body of the nutrients that you need. It may not be a nutritionally complete diet, therefore. The long-term effects of such a diet have to be studied.
Net carbs and total carbs:
Net carbs are the carbs left if you remove fibers and sugar alcohols from the carbs in a meal. This type of carbs is often not accounted for in Keto. Many keto compliant foods contain fiber that is indigestible and therefore cannot be used to produce energy. Therefore using net carbs as your tool can help maintain a high fiber seeking diet which is essential on a keto diet.
Tracking nutrient goals:
Though keto diet specifies that you should consume lesser carbs, how much you consume is a personal choice. Therefore it is necessary to set the ratios depending on your specific goals. This can be based on your age, gender and level of activity. In order to keep track of your nutrient intake, you can use tracking applications that can be downloaded on your smartphones.
Measuring weight loss:
So keto diets are known to help lose weight quickly. But how much weight will you actually lose on this diet? First, you will lose some water weight which is due to excess water being expelled from the body. Then fats start getting burnt. This may actually be slower weight loss as compared to the weight lost during the early periods. This can discourage many people and stop the diet. Cravings, however, seem to reduce drastically on this diet which is a huge plus.
The main enemy of most diets is feeling hunger. But keto is very different. The burning of fat leading you to feel very satiated and experience lesser hunger. This may have disadvantages for some people. Some people may experience irritability and loss of muscle mass as a side effect of this diet. You must consult a doctor before trying the diet.
Carbs are the first preference for your body when it comes to an energy source. Therefore the body may react when you deprive it of carbs. While the body adjusts to the changes, you may experience the dreaded “Keto flu”. Symptoms include brain fog, mood swings, fatigue, nausea etc. This may not happen to everyone and staying hydrated will help you breeze through this phase easily. There is nothing to worry about because even if you experience it, it can only last 3 to 5 days.
Other benefits of Keto:
Keto diet does have other health benefits besides just weight loss. It can help maintain blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity and reduce cholesterol in the body. It can also result in improvements in overall health in obese individuals. It can be incorporated with other meal plans to make it sustainable in the long term.