Fads and diets come and go, but there’s a reason why the keto diet has kept up a loyal fanbase of dieters, and that’s its variety of health-promoting abilities. From boosting weight loss to helping overcome illness, the keto diet is naturally designed for a long-lasting healthy lifestyle.

With roots set in the 1920’s, the basic guidelines for the keto diet includes consuming moderate amounts of protein, large amounts of fat, and super low amounts of carbohydrates.

It’s commonly referred to as ”keto” due to the metabolic state of ketosis that it induces.

The process of Ketosis begins when the body starts relying on fat as its primary source of energy instead of glucose, or sugar. Once this occurs, the body starts producing ketones, allowing the body to burn fat at a faster rate.

The Perks of Ketosis

Your approach to the ketogenic diet may vary according to your individual goals. Some might embark on the keto diet for weight loss, improved endurance, or for aiding in a battle against a disease.

For whatever reason you decide to try out the keto way of life, know that it will have its health benefits.

How to “Keto”

You have the freedom to choose the low-carbohydrate, high-fat foods you’d like to have in your diet, along with keto-friendly supplements, like MCT oil or collagen protein (think glue to hold your body together).

Related: Complete Guide to Collagen Supplements

Some keto-friendly fat ideas to incorporate in your diet might be:

Keto-friendly proteins ideas:

  • Fish, eggs (whole), poultry, chicken, or lamb

And, lastly, non-starchy, low-carb vegetable options may include:

  • Bell peppers, asparagus, spinach, or swiss chard

Of course, there may be certain foods you want to avoid.

Some proteins to avoid on keto:

  • Salami, or hot dogs that may contain secret ingredients

Some vegetables to avoid:

  • Starchy ones- potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes

Also, it’s ideal to avoid sugar as much as possible (no surprise here) – opt for monk fruit sweetener, or stevia, which are completely natural and contain no artificial sweetener. Experiment by mixing stevia with some lemon-juice water, if you’re craving lemonade

Ketosis can be exciting, and a great way to enhance health. Ultimately, we don’t starve our calories, we starve our carbohydrates. No one says diets have to be miserable!

Related: Keto-Friendly Foods & Meal Plans: The Ultimate List

Ketosis and its Effects on Endurance

According to your activity level, you want to tweak the keto diet to “your version.” Let’s take a look at what this mean.

For those of you that find yourselves lifting weights at the gym multiple times a week, you may want to sprinkle some more protein into your diet – this will help the muscles recover.

Or, if you’d prefer to have improved overall workout performance then consume easily digestible carbohydrates about an hour before a workout.

And, for those of you that want to lose weight and improve overall health, you should consume at least thirty grams of carbohydrates a day to induce ketosis.

Still not sure what to pick? Not to worry, check out our in-depth article on the three types of ketogenic diets to find which is best for you!

According to a 2018 study1, mice that were fed based on the keto diet for a period of eight weeks showed improved running time without exasperated muscle injury. There seems to be an enhanced capacity to mobilize and metabolize fat.

It’s evident that being in a state of ketosis truly boosts endurance.

If you’re an athlete and need extra oomph for that marathon, a keto diet may be able to provide that.

Keto and its Effects on Diabetes

Diabetics in their middle ages are one and a half times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who are older, ultimately leading to 20-50% cognitive decline. This leads to subsequent memory loss.

In a ten week study on type 22 diabetic middle-aged males, that were provided a ketogenic diet, and combined this with high intensity interval training, resulted in dramatically positive results.

Insulin resistance was favorably affected, and this proved to be reactivate AMPK pathways.

What does this mean? Well, this combination ultimately led to restored memory function, and increased neuroplasticity (muscle-building part of the brain) in the participants.

These men were able to reclaim their brains, thus their minds. Memory is a treasured gift that some take for granted.

The Downside

There will undoubtedly be a transition period, as with any diet or change in life.

During this transitory period you may suffer fatigue, cramps, or mental cloudiness. But, after the first three days or so, it’s uphill.

You can track your food so you know you’re eating enough carbs, otherwise it may take you a little longer than expected to get into the ketosis state.

You wouldn’t want to be caught with the lingering “keto flu,” if you don’t get into ketosis quickly enough.

This refers to those aforementioned symptoms of grogginess and confusion that you may experience when the body is no longer running off of carbohydrates.

Another idea to ensure you quickly reach ketosis is to keep active even if you’re tired (even if it means walking in place). The idea of this is to tap into your fat reserves to start using energy.

The keto diet advocates for drinking lots of water. So, with drinking all of that water, key electrolytes like potassium and magnesium will get flushed from the body. Thus, electrolyte consumption is important for blasting through that keto flu and prompting ketosis.

If you’re like most people, your body has probably been running on carbs for quite some time, if not always, so you won’t magically spring into ketosis overnight. Time to make the switch.

More Readings:

Is The Keto Diet Healthy? The Truth Might Surprise You…

Are You in Ketosis? Here are 10 Signs to Know if You Are

How Much & How Fast You’ll Lose Weight on a Keto Diet

The Keto Guide to Maximize Productivity and Mental Performance

If I Cheat on My Keto Diet, How Long Will it Take to Get Back into Ketosis?

References:

[1] Ma S., Huang Q., Yada K., Liu C., Suzuki K. An 8-Week Ketogenic Low Carbohydrate, High Fat Diet Enhanced Exhaustive Exercise Capacity in Mice. Nutrients. 2018 May 25;10(6). pii: E673. doi: 10.3390/nu10060673.

[2] Halikas A, Gibas KJ. AMPK induced memory improvements in the diabetic population: A case study. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2018 Apr 27. pii: S1871-4021(18)30117-6. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2018.04.033.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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