The Ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high fat, moderate protein diet. When you understand the role of fat in a healthy metabolism, you can understand why the Ketogenic diet offers so many benefits when it’s done right.
Fats are used in everything, and I mean every single metabolic process. Every cell in your body is a little bubble of fat – phospholipid membrane. Even the muscle cells, the blood cells, the bone cells, but especially skin cells and nerve cells. Every single cell!
So with that said, let’s have a little rundown of the top ten benefits of the Ketogenic diet:
Higher Energy Levels – from Dawn Til’ Dusk
Most people notice an increase in their energy levels after about 1 week of eating keto. Sometimes it can take a little longer and other times it only takes a days or two.
But believe me, when it happens, it’s very noticeable. No more the sugar highs and slumping lows of the afternoon. You can expect a steady stream of energy all throughout the day.
On top of this you can expect greater concentration levels, less brain fog (even if you didn’t know you had it), deeper and more satisfying sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and raring to go.
Hugely Improved Sleep Quality
I mentioned this briefly in the last point because these two are related, and here’s why. The ketogenic diet helps to regulate your hormones. Did I mention that some of the most hormones are manufactured from fats? Yes, that’s right. They’re called Eicosanoids, and you can see from their Wiki entry that they are involved in just about everything. It was from studying them that we found out about Essential Fatty Acids – they’re essential because you need them to make Eicosanoids!
Because these local hormones affect the creation of other hormones they help to regulate everything, from body temperature to feeling of hunger, to weight, to growth and of course a woman’s monthly cycle and of course the process of menopause. Again, there is virtually no metabolic process which does not use hormones extensively.
Healthy and Safe Weight Loss
The ketogenic diet does not require you to starve yourself in any way shape or form. In fact, you are encouraged to eat as many of the right foods as you can. The idea behind it is not to restrict your intake of fats in particular. They help you to stay feeling fuller for longer, and you need to train your body to begin burning fats for fuel instead of glucose.
We all have the ability to do this, but after eating a ‘traditional’ western diet for years and sometimes decades, our bodies end up not using its fat-burning capacity at all. This is why, although your body will produce ketones and be in ketosis within a few days, it can take longer to become fully keto-adapted.
Once you are keto-adapted, you can expect any excess fat you have been carrying around just to start melting off as you continue to nourish yourself with plenty of healthy fats, veggies, and protein.
You know all those ‘low fat’ foods in the supermarket that claim to be healthy? Well, they taste awful… or at least they would do if the food makers hadn’t piled in a ton of sugar to hide the fact that they are bland and tasteless.
You know why they are bland and tasteless?
It’s because fat is what makes things delicious! Not only that, fat is so satiating. You’ll find yourself eating much smaller portions, but as long as you are keeping your intake of fat up, you’ll find that you just aren’t as hungry throughout the day. You’ll also find that you can go for several hours without food, without feeling faint, dizzy or ‘hangry.’
My meals consist of my favourite green veggies, some delicious meat like pork belly or chicken thighs (with skin), topped with some homemade mayonnaise and a couple of generous dollops of grass fed butter. Sooo good. Most of the recipes I still use to this day come from the Keto Meal Plans that I started with.
The high-carb, low-fat diet most of us have to transition from is just catastrophic for your hormonal health.
In fact, the guidelines for healthy eating in the West, recommending the low-fat, high-carb diet, came in at almost exactly the same time as obesity levels, heart disease levels, and Diabetes started to go on the increase. Coincidence? I think not.
The Ketogenic diet, in its initial phase, is all about rebalancing and healing your hormonal systems. The sudden presence of an excess of good fats and a scarcity of carbs and sugars triggers your body’s natural healing process. You’ve all heard of how good for your controlled fasting can be, well when you fast, your body goes into Ketosis.
We all have 40 – 60,000 calories stored in our body, and the reason any healthy person can go up to about three weeks without eating anything at all is that the body switches into ketosis and uses these reserves.
What this means is that when you trigger Ketosis with the Ketogenic diet, you trigger healing, and you trigger your body’s natural ability to burn fat. The net result – more sustained energy levels, as you body always has access to its reserves.
An End To Cravings
We’ve all had them. If you’re anything like me, you know food cravings can be the very bane of your existence. You feel like you need that biscuit or that cake more than you’ve ever needed anything. Then you eat it, you feel good for about as long as it takes to eat it, and shortly after you get a sugar drop, and you’ve either got to eat more, or you’re gonna get real mad, or down, or sleepy, or all three!
The Keto diet is the ultimate way to say goodbye to those cravings for good. You will be ridding yourself of sugar and carb addictions, and instead, providing your body with high-quality nutrients, and it will love you for it.
An End to Niggling Health Issues.
The benefits of the Keto diet are broadly two-fold. By reducing the stress that carb intake puts on your system, you improve a whole host of related issues. Also, by increasing the availability of good fats to your system, you are providing your body with high-quality fuel and the building blocks for healing.
Let’s take Eczema, Asthma, Acne and PMS.
These complaints often go together, since they are all malfunctions of the inflammatory and immunity system. The inflammatory system is useful, obviously, when your body needs to fight infection or heal itself. Similarly, the immune system is what keeps us healthy.
Good fats are the building blocks for the systems that regulate immunity and inflammation. It’s those good ol’ eicosanoids again. Hell, eicosanoids are also used in the process of uterine contraction, so you can see how not having enough of these beauties can give you period pain, hormonal spots, seasonal allergies, and make your eczema and asthma ten times worse than it should be.
Eicosanoids also help regulate the system of mood control, and the triggers for sleep.
Menstrual Cycle Regulation
All these systems are related, so you find improving one tends to improve a whole bunch of things. The key thing here is hormone balance and healing, which your body naturally starts to do as soon as you move into the keto way of living.
Again, this is something of a spin-off from that double whammy of reducing your carbs and increasing your intake of healthy fats.
Your PMS clears up, your spots disappear, your skin glows, your hair shines, your eyes are bright because you are sleeping well. You’ve got so much energy you can really start getting your teeth into life.
How’s your mood? Well, even without the increased levels of hormonal health and mood-regulators in your system, when you’re feeling healthy your mood is good, right?
It’s not exactly rocket science here people!
If you’re feeling like a bit of science, get stuck into this article from the Psychiatric Times. ( http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/integrative-psychiatry/use-omega-3-fatty-acids-treatment-depression )
Relief from Allergies
An allergic reaction is basically your system being in a higher state of alert to foreign bodies coming into contact with your membranes. It has been shown that the high-carb diet can over-stimulate the production of Cortisol in the system, and this can lead to a higher prevalence of allergic reactions.
Cutting out carbs and increasing fats in the Ketogenic way can again fix this problem from both sides – you stop over-stimulating the inflammatory and depressing the immune system, and you begin giving both systems more of the basic materials it needs to keep itself running efficiently and effectively.
The body is a holistic system – what I mean is that all the parts are designed to work together.
For this reason, many of the benefits of the Keto diet are just the result of your whole system getting healthier. It really is that simple!