The Keto Diet
Yo yo yo Compton Health Bar Fam! Today’s blog is all about the Keto Diet. What the heck is it? Why is it so trendy? How does it work so well? And is it healthy? We are going to tackle all these questions and more this week. Plus, we will go over some great tips to ensure success if you want to handle a keto diet yo’self!
What is the Keto Diet?
Have you ever heard of carbo loading? Well Keto is basically the opposite of that. Elite athletes often need an enormous amount of carbs, due to the amount of activity they perform. An average person with a sedentary lifestyle, however? That average person does not need a lot of carbs to function. In fact, in the average US diet, a lot of us consume more carbs than we actually burn off. The excess of carbs are stored in our body as fat.
The Keto diet is a high fat and low carb way of eating. By lowering the amount of carbs and increasing the amount of fat, the body is trained to burn fat for fuel. The body is in a state of ketosis when it turns to fat for fuel (instead of carbs). If you are interested, you can actually calculate the specific macros (fat to carb ratio) for your body frame here: Most people agree to keep it at about 20 grams of net carbs when eating the keto way.
If you have talked to anyone who has done or is doing keto you may have heard a couple things. For example, may have heard that they lost a lot of weight, fast. In the beginning, people lose water weight very quickly. Then, as the body begins to burn more fat, they will notice continued weight loss. For instance, my friend went down one dress size in one month thanks to keto.
You may have also heard of the Keto Flu. Is this diet going to give me the flu? No mames! But really- This is the body’s response as it transitions from being used to burning carbs for fuel to burning fat for fuel. During this transition, a person may feel groggy and fatigued. This source puts it beautifully: “your body has gotten used to using carbs as its primary fuel source for the majority of your life. As you force your body to primarily use stored body fat for fuel instead, the transition period may be a little rocky, at least until you’ve been doing keto long enough and your body becomes used to your new diet (aka ‘fat-adapted’).”
Though this is an unpleasant time, it is so worth getting over the hump. Once fully transitioned, energy levels and concentration are reported to be higher. So, exactly how does one get through the dreaded keto flu in the beginning?
- Hydrate- Hydrate. Hydrate! Water is your best friend always, so drink up and make sure you are getting enough of it!
- Get enough rest – rest is important to the body always, and especially during any sort of lifestyle change
- Eat enough fat – Keto is not about starving yourself. It is about switching up your sources of fuel.
- Electrolytes – check out our blog about Pink Himalyan Salt to learn more about how to use this type of electrolyte in your everyday life
- The Keto Mix from here at Compton Health Bar to support your keto journey and to ensure you are getting high nutrients. This will help you get through the keto flu and will continue to help you even afterwards.
- Eat Fiber – fiber can keep you full longer. And fiber has a special place in the keto lifestyle. We will get more into that a little later.
Ok so we have established that there will be a transitional period but that it’s totally worth it because you will see results. What better motivator exists than results, after all? And fast ones at that. That is enough to push most of us to stick with it. Now what type of fats should we be eating? What does a day on keto look like?
Fats include the following types of foods:
- Olive Oil
- Grassfed Butter
- Heavy cream
- Whole eggs (free range, organic)
- Coconut oil
- Chia seeds
- Full fat greek yogurt
- And more
Fats like these will be crucial to your way of eating. But other foods matter too. For instance, as I mentioned earlier, fiber is your friend. The type of fiber I am referring to comes from broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, etc . Consider these non starchy vegetables free foods! Fill up on them as much as you’d like. They are chock full of nutrients and will have you feeling your best. Fiber has a thermogenic effect which means that you burn calories as you digest it. So, if a cup of broccoli has 0 carbs and 3 grams of fiber, you’re actually consuming negative 3 net carbs. Therefore, if someone needs to keep your net carbs low on keto, it benefits them to eat lots of high fiber veggies with negative carbs. If you’d like to read more about this, I recommend you to read the F Factor Diet Book. It talks about the benefits of fiber both for weight loss and health. It was written by an MS, RD.
Additionally, we have talked about keto and how it is low carb and high fat. Non starchy vegetables are a free food. When it comes to protein, be sure to consume moderate amounts. Protein is not necessarily a free food.
Keeping these foods in mind, a sample day of eating on Keto can look like this:
A Day On Keto
Breakfast – Eggs cooked in organic grass fed butter with asparagus
Snack – A handful of nuts
Lunch – Protein style burger wrapped in lettuce
Snack 2 –String cheese and some blue berries
Dinner- Salmon drizzled with olive oil, served with avocado and broccoli
This can be considered a cleaner version of keto. There is of course the very popular dirty keto. Have you heard of it? You will lose weight, but you may not be getting the same nutrients that you would from, say, salmon, olive oil and avocado, for instance. Dirty keto consists of foods that do NOT feel like diet foods. Think chicharrones with nacho cheese on top. Think lots of bacon and cheese and hardly any veggies. Who would have thought you could eat these foods and still lose weight? This dirty style of keto is what makes keto so popular. You don’t need to meal prep much. It works in a pinch. After all, who doesn’t love a protein style burger from In & Out? Y Pues…why eat a bag of lettuce when you can eat a bag of shredded cheese?
Here at Compton Health Bar, we encourage balance. Maybe you start with dirty keto and transition to clean keto. If that’s what gets you to make a healthy lifestyle change, then go for it. Just check in with yourself regularly. How are your levels? How are you feeling? Or, maybe you eat a clean version of Keto during the week and a dirty version of keto on the weekends or when you’re turning up to help curb cravings. Who doesn’t want to feel indulgent every now and then? Listen to your body.
When it comes down to it, weight loss is great but health is of the utmost importance. You owe it to yourself. You are worthy and deserving of being and feeling healthy. If you are interested in a clean version of keto, check out this resource. It is a blend of the Mediterrean Diet and the Keto Diet to offer the best weight loss results and the most healthful benefits.
Speaking of Health, is there anyone who should not try Keto?
- Pregnant or nursing women
- Those with kidney diseases
- Anyone with liver conditions
When in doubt, you can always check with your doctor or book a consultation at Compton Health Bar.
Keep in mind this blog is here to offer tips and advice so that you can make decisions about your health that feel authentic for you. There is indeed some controversy around keto. Do your research. If you feel inclined, try it for a month and see how you feel. See how it affects your health, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. See if it affects your stamina, focus or energy levels. As long as you are healthy and happy, then you have succeeded.
Do you have any questions about keto? We’d love to read in the comments. Was there anything about keto that we missed? Let us know in the comments. And if you’d like to learn more about the Keto lifestyle, check out The Magic Pill, which is a documentary all about the keto diet on netflix. Until next time homies! Peace.