Keto — named “hottest diet of 2018” — has gotten a lot of buzz in the health and fitness world recently.
But what exactly is keto? Is it safe and right for you? And if so, how can you get started? Here are some of the keto basics to help you decide if it’s a good choice to help you accomplish your health goals.
How keto works
The goal of keto is to reduce carbohydrate intake drastically, and instead replace the carbs with fat. Keto encourages ketosis, a metabolic state the body enters when carbohydrate intake is significantly reduced. Healthline claims that once the body is established in ketosis, it becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat stored in the liver into ketones, supplying energy to the brain. Ketosis can also lead to massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels.
There are four different versions of the keto diet that conform to different goals. You’ll want to understand the goals of each if you’re trying to be strict about your eating plan.
Is keto right for you?
There are some important factors to consider before embarking on a keto diet, according to Healthline.
• Keto should only be used short-term. It may be a good choice to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle, but it shouldn’t be a permanent change.
• Keto should not be used for cosmetic purposes. Some physicians recommend keto only be used for those struggling with obesity or other extreme conditions.
• Keto is not a good choice if you’re trying to gain muscle. When the body enters ketosis, you may begin to lose muscle, which then leads to fatigue. This can make it more difficult to lose weight.
• If you have any underlying liver or kidney issues, keto is not a good choice. In this case, it can cause more harm than good.
Key benefits and pitfalls
Here are some of the top benefits of a keto diet:
• It’s a great way to get motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle because of the quick results.
• It’s simple. It only eliminates one food group, making it one of the easiest diets to understand.
• It’s proven to be very successful with epileptic children and those who struggle to lose weight.
On the other hand, here are some pitfalls to watch out for:
• It’s a very strict diet. You must adhere closely to its guidelines to see results.
• It’s not a long-term solution — and can potentially be dangerous if used incorrectly.
• It doesn’t guarantee results. Everyone is different, what might work wonders for one person may be horrible for another.
How to get started
Want to move forward or learn more? Here are three steps to take:
1. Consult with your doctor. Based on your health history, your physician should be able to determine if keto is the best option for you.
2. Check out this website. It provides a thorough explanation of exactly the kinds of food to consume and what to avoid while on the keto diet. It also provides recipes, shopping lists and multiple guides to help you succeed with keto.
3. Download a calorie counting app. This is the best way to follow keto. Most apps allow you to set goals for your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake per day, making it easier to stay on track with the keto guidelines.