Thursday, June 18, 2020

How to Master the Keto Diet

What is a Diet? 

This is a question my friends and I have been asking for years. The answer is a piece of cake...literally! A diet is simply the kind of food a person eats, however most people associate the word "diet" with weight loss. Almost everyone that has attempted to lose weight has tried the typical small portion, no flavour, "starve yourself" diet. I think we have all done that at some point in time. Most of us have a lack of knowledge on how our individual body's work, I definitely did! My body reacts differently to the diets and workout regimes that my friends and family follow, so I started with Keto. 

What is the Keto Diet and How Does it Work? 

The Ketogenic diet (or keto for short) is a high-fat, moderate protein and low-carb diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. Not only does the keto diet have many benefits for weight loss, but also for health such as combating diabetes, alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and cancer.

The body runs on two different fuels, one is sugar formed from the carbohydrates that we eat and the other is fat. Fat comes from foods such as meat, eggs, avocados, butter and oil. The keto diet is a very low carb diet, so low that the body has to switch from using sugar as fuel to using fat. When the body is out of sugar, fat is converted in the liver into energy molecules called Ketones that fuel the brain. This diet not only allows your body to constantly burn fat resulting in weight loss, but it provides you with a much larger amount of energy that will benefit you in every aspect of your life.  

Keto is important for those trying to reach new fitness and health goals, the diet allows you to lose weight without counting calories or tracking food intake - resulting in an healthier muscle to fat ratio. This increases the amount of oxygen your body can produce whilst working out, allowing you to achieve your fitness goals without starving yourself. 

My Personal Experience 

I started my fitness and health journey about a year and a half ago. Growing up I had always been devoted to sports and was raised in a household where both my parents took nutrition quite seriously, so I never experienced health issues or weight problems. 

Once I moved away from home and began to provide for myself the discipline that I had maintained around health and fitness growing up went out of the window and food became my best friend. I am not ashamed to be a foodie although I will admit I don't know when to stop sometimes! This inevitably caused me to gain weight, if I'm honest I was never massively out of shape but I was so unhappy. I began to dislike myself so much for letting it get to that point. Now that I can reflect I definitely felt sorry for myself for way to long, when all that time if could have just done something about it. 

I did....eventually. 

Below is a picture of me between my dad and brother just before I started my weight loss journey in December 2018. I have always been ashamed of the way I look in this picture, when I saw it for the first time I was very upset and embarrassed. Not long after this I started to make changes to my diet and lifestyle. 

How To Loose Weight

  1. I started to slowly increase exercise, by going to the gym or even going on a walk. After a while you realise that you don't have to do hardcore workouts everyday. As long as you are active in some way most days you will not only start to see a change but you will feel different. 
  2. I began to introduce the keto diet. I experimented with new recipes but also continued to have the same meals as I was having before (though I had to alter them slightly) for example when eating a burger I would have it without a bun and with spaghetti bolognese I’d replace the spaghetti with shredded courgette. 
  3. Drink loads of water! Before my weight loss journey I would go for anything but water when hydrating, I had no idea how much sugar was in the drinks I was choosing. Now water is my go-to drink, it helps remove waste from the body and increases calorie burning.

Its very simple and doesn't need to be a challenging lifestyle change. Gradually implement new things into your routine and don't put too much pressure on yourself. 

Changes for me didn't happen over night and I’ve definitely not been perfect throughout this process, but I don't feel like I'm on a diet and exercise isn’t a chore for me anymore. It’s about doing the good things most of the time rather than the bad things all of the time. 

I found the Keto Diet for Beginners by Matthew Morgan extremely helpful for getting started on my keto journey.  Not only does the cookbook provide a selection of delicious recipes but it has great information on the effects and benefits of a ketogenic diet to get you started.  


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