Fad diets come and go, but there’s a reason why the keto diet has kept up a loyal fanbase of advocates, 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 1920s, the basic guidelines for the keto diet include consuming moderate amounts of protein, large amounts of fat, and very 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/sugar. Once this occurs, the body starts producing ketones.
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.
Whatever reason you decide to try out the keto way of life, know that it will have health benefits.
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.
Some keto-friendly fat ideas to incorporate in your diet might be:
- Coconut oil, olive oil, egg yolks, or butter/ghee
Keto-friendly protein 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 are certain foods you want to avoid on keto.
Some proteins to avoid on keto:
- Highly processed deli meats that may contain secret ingredients and added sugars
Some vegetables to avoid:
- Starchy ones, like 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. No one says diets have to be miserable!
According to your activity level, you want to tweak the keto diet to “your version.” Let’s take a look at what this means.
For those of you that find yourselves lifting weights at the gym multiple times a week, you may want to add some more protein into your diet – this will help your 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 roughly 30 grams of carbohydrates or less per 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 study, mice that were fed the keto diet for a period of eight weeks showed improved running time without exasperated muscle injury.1 There seems to be an enhanced capacity to mobilize and metabolize fat on the keto diet.
It’s evident that being in a state of ketosis truly boosts endurance.2
If you’re an athlete and need extra oomph for that marathon, a keto diet may be able to provide that.
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-2 diabetic, middle-aged males, those following the ketogenic diet had significantly improved metabolic biomarkers compared to those eating a more traditional diet.3
Insulin resistance was favorably affected, and this proved to help reactivate AMPK pathways.
What does this mean? AMPK is a signaling molecule that helps promote fat breakdown and fat burning. In other words, the keto diet appears to help reverse type-2 diabetes and restore fat-burning mechanisms.
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 downhill.
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 forever, so you won’t magically spring into ketosis overnight.
Give it time and be consistent, the results will come!
 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.
 Volek, J. S., Noakes, T., & Phinney, S. D. (2015). Rethinking fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. European journal of sport science, 15(1), 13-20.
 Veech, R. L. (2004). The therapeutic implications of ketone bodies: the effects of ketone bodies in pathological conditions: ketosis, ketogenic diet, redox states, insulin resistance, and mitochondrial metabolism. Prostaglandins, leukotrienes and essential fatty acids, 70(3), 309-319.