Ketogenic diets have been in health news a lot lately, but opinions and even definitions of the diet itself vary widely.
It’s time for a straightforward explanation of ketogenic diets, when they work, and how to go keto safely.
So what is a ketogenic diet anyway?
A ketogenic diet means eating high-fat, low-carb, and normal amounts of protein.
Consuming higher levels of healthy fats and lower amounts of carbohydrates forces your body to burn fat for fuel, which can be a benefit for people struggling with weight loss plateaus or dealing with certain medical issues like type 2 diabetes.
Normally, the carbohydrates in your food are converted to glucose to use as your primary source of energy. However, when you eat fewer carbs, there’s not enough glucose available for your system to rely on it.
Instead, your liver breaks down the fats you eat into fatty acids and something called “ketone bodies.” Those ketones pass through your brain and replace glucose as your main energy source, hence the term “ketogenic diet.”
How do you use keto?
Ketogenic diets were originally developed in the 1920s to help treat children with epilepsy. Doctors found that following a ketogenic diet helps drastically reduce seizure frequency, allowing some patients to discontinue anticonvulsant medications entirely.1
However, ketogenic diets are also a great short-term option for those who need a quick boost to their weight loss efforts. They’ve also been proven very helpful with type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and even brain cancer.2-4
When is keto safe?
Let’s start with the dont’s: ketogenic diets are NEVER safe for those who are pregnant or suffer from adrenal or kidney disease.
They should also be avoided if you have thyroid, fertility, or GI issues. And they’re rarely recommended for long-term use because of the excess strain they place on your adrenal system.
Unless you have a neurologist who is following you regularly and recommends a ketogenic diet for seizures, ketogenic diets should be strictly limited to the short-term. Regardless, you should always check with your healthcare provider before starting one.
How to get started
If you’ve decided you want to try a short-term ketogenic diet, it’s important not to drastically reduce your intake of carbs all at once, especially if you’re a sugar burner. (Not sure whether you’re a sugar burner or fat burner? Take this quick quiz to find out…)
If you’re primarily using carbs and glucose as your energy source, suddenly lowering that supply will lead to cravings and withdrawal, making you feel miserable and setting you up to fail.
That's why I recommend doing a trial of the Sugar Impact Diet first. That way you can gradually lower the sugar impact of the foods you’re eating and shift from burning carbs to burning fat as fuel.
Then you can ease into a ketogenic diet by swapping some of the carbs in your diet for healthy fats and non-starchy veggies. It’s the safest, easiest way to transition to keto without harming your kidneys or losing muscle mass.
Discovering where you live best
While a ketogenic diet may be helpful for a short time to break a weight loss plateau, the ultimate goal is to identify where you live best long-term, and the Sugar Impact Diet can also help with that.
The Sugar Impact Diet is designed to help you discover the impact that carbs and sugar have on your body and figure out the right amounts and types of carbs for you. It's an ideal long-term plan to help you continue burning fat and optimizing your health after a ketogenic diet.
If you think you'd benefit from more resources and support, the Sugar Impact Diet Online Program walks you through step-by-step, with plenty of videos, guides, recipes, meal plans, and community support along the way.
Find out all about the benefits of the Sugar Impact Diet Online Program HERE.