The keto diet has become one of the most popular diet plans in recent times. You’ll find hundreds of blogs and articles online discussing the benefits and science behind it.
With so many success stories out there, you may be thinking of trying this popular diet. However, before you decide whether or not to give it a try, it’s worth looking at how the keto diet works and how long you should follow it.
What Is the Keto Diet?
Keto is short for ketogenic. The diet focuses on high fat and low carbs. It is said that a significant reduction in carbs puts the body into what is known as ketosis. This means the body becomes extremely efficient at burning off fat. It also transforms fat within the liver into ketones, which are said to provide energy to the brain.
The keto diet is thought to improve insulin and blood sugar, while also presenting multiple health benefits. There are actually different types of the keto diet you can follow, but most follow the standard diet plan.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
So, how exactly does the keto diet work? Well, as mentioned above, the foods you consume on the diet help to put the body into ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural process which occurs when there aren’t enough carbohydrates in the body to turn into energy. When there aren’t enough carbs, the body starts to use up its fat content for energy. While burning fat, it creates ketones which are what fuels the body.
The foods you’ll eat on the keto diet provide less than 50g of carbohydrates each day. After limiting your carb intake this much, your body will start to experience ketosis within 3-4 days. The standard keto diet requires around 75% of calories to be consumed via fat, 20% from protein and just 5% from carbohydrates.
Is It Safe?
The main question people have before trying this diet, is whether or not it’s safe. And while thousands of people successfully follow this diet plan, there are a few dangers you’ll need to familiarize yourself with.
For example, it’s not uncommon to develop flu-like symptoms when the body starts to enter ketosis. While it does tend to only last for a few days, these symptoms can be difficult to deal with, particularly the fatigue that comes with it.
Other common side effects of the diet include diarrhea, a decreased metabolism, and an increased risk of heart disease if it isn’t followed correctly. Generally speaking, however, it is safe to follow the keto diet.
How Long Should You Follow It For?
While the keto diet is largely safe, it should only be followed for a set period of time. So, it isn’t a diet you can add as a new lifestyle. Experts recommend following the keto diet for no longer than a year. You’ll also need to keep an eye on kidney function throughout the diet.
If you’re looking for a short-term diet that’s going to help you to lose weight and get healthier, the keto diet could prove beneficial. Just remember that there are side effects and it isn’t a diet you should follow for the long term.