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Have You Considered the Ketogenic Diet?

Remember when the Atkins Diet was popular in the late nineties and early aughts? If you need a memory jolt, this diet promoted eating protein and staying away from carbs. Now it’s making a comeback, but under a snappy new name: the Keto Diet.

    The Keto Diet (short for ketogenic diet) is a way of eating that facilitates fat burn and promotes weight loss. Like the Atkins Diet, the Keto Diet shuns carbs. Unlike Atkins, it limits the amount of protein you eat, all in an effort to help the body reach and maintain a state called ketosis - where the body produces something called ketones. Ketones are an alternative source of fuel for the body, usually used when glucose (blood sugar) stores are in short supply. The Keto Diet switches the body’s fuel supply to run on fat, which becomes easier to access and burn, resulting in a myriad of benefits, such as weight loss, improved mental performance, and sustained energy (more benefits can be found here).

    So what foods can be enjoyed on a ketogenic diet? Glad you asked!

  • Natural fats (such as olive oil)

  • Fish and seafood

  • Meat

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Vegetables that grow above the ground (like tomatoes and egg plants)

Sugary foods, and starchy foods, like pasta, are to be cut out completely. The carb intake should be under 50 grams per day of net carbs (below 20 grams is ideal). Protein should be kept at or below one gram per day per kg of body weight. Be sure to eat enough natural fats to feel satiated - the big difference between the Keto Diet and starvation. Avoid unnecessary snacking, as that can slow down ketosis, and, if necessary, add intermittent fasting (which you can learn more about here). As with all changes in dietary habits, consult your doctor before starting a ketogenic diet, especially if you’re on medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, or if you are breastfeeding. And be aware of issues you may have when first starting a ketogenic diet, as well as less common side effects (both of which you can learn more about here).

    Have any of you gone on the Keto Diet? How did/does it work for you? Do you have any tips you can share for others who are considering it? Leave a comment below!