Do you know, or ever wondered, why is the keto diet so good for weight loss? Let’s dive into it.
The keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, is a low-carbohydrate and high-fat eating plan designed to shift the body into a state of ketosis. In simple terms, ketosis occurs when the body lacks sufficient carbohydrates to produce energy, prompting it to break down fats into ketones, an alternative fuel source. By severely limiting carb intake and increasing fat consumption, the body enters a metabolic state where it primarily burns fats for energy. This process is believed to promote weight loss, as the body taps into stored fat reserves.
A typical keto diet consists of foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, oils, and non-starchy vegetables, while drastically reducing or eliminating high-carb items like grains, sugars, fruits, and legumes.
The primary goal of the keto diet is to induce a shift in energy metabolism, leading to fat-burning and potential benefits such as weight loss and improved mental clarity.
However, it’s essential to note that the keto diet may not be suitable for everyone, and consulting with a healthcare professional before embarking on such a dietary change is advisable.
But, if you are new to this diet, you might be wondering: why is the keto diet so good for weight loss? Or better yet, how does it even manage to help someone lose weight if it consists mainly of eating fat?
That is what Mike Israetel talked about in a recent video. Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community.
Why Is The Keto Diet So Good For Weight Loss?
The keto diet has gained immense popularity, particularly for its effectiveness in promoting weight loss. But what makes keto such a powerful tool for shedding those extra pounds, and how can you maximize its benefits while minimizing potential downsides?
Well, it is kind of simple. Let’s enumerate why the keto diet works for weight loss, and how to exit the diet and upgrade your health further.
- Junk Food Elimination: One of the primary reasons behind the success of keto for weight loss is the drastic reduction in junk food consumption. Common culprits like pizza, ice cream, cookies, cakes, candies, and pasta are all rich in carbohydrates. By adopting a keto lifestyle, which involves cutting out or significantly reducing carbs, individuals inadvertently eliminate these tempting but calorie-dense options from their diets. The result? A cleaner, more nutrient-dense eating pattern that supports weight loss.
- Appetite Suppression: While not universal, some individuals experience a notable reduction in appetite when transitioning to a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet. This appetite-suppressing effect can be a game-changer for those looking to control their calorie intake. Pair this reduced hunger with the limited options for indulgent junk food on keto, and you’re likely to consume fewer calories overall, a key factor in successful fat loss.
- Simplicity and Consistency: Keto’s simplicity is a double-edged sword. By restricting food choices, it becomes easier to plan meals and adhere to a consistent eating pattern. This consistency often leads to a more controlled calorie intake, contributing to weight loss. Embracing keto-friendly foods like lean proteins, healthy fats, and low-carb veggies can simplify meal planning and make sticking to the diet more manageable.
- Initial Water Weight Loss: Keto’s impact on water weight is an often misunderstood but initial boost to motivation. As the body depletes its glycogen stores (carbohydrate reserves), it also sheds water associated with those glycogen molecules. This can result in a rapid loss of several pounds in the first week or two. While this weight loss isn’t primarily fat, it can serve as a powerful motivator and kickstart to a longer-term fat loss journey.
Read More: What To Do If Calorie Deficit Stops Working
How to Get the Best Results from the Keto Diet?
The journey doesn’t end when you decide to reintroduce carbs into your diet. Exiting keto without a plan can lead to rebound weight gain and disappointment. Strategically reintroduce fruits, then grains, ensuring your body adjusts gradually. This approach allows you to maintain the benefits of keto while incorporating a more balanced and sustainable eating pattern for the long term.
Embracing a more balanced diet that aligns with your body’s high-performance needs is crucial for achieving optimal results. It’s essential to recognize that the effectiveness of keto may vary from person to person.
If you respond well to keto, experiencing appetite suppression and finding a sustainable way to integrate it into your lifestyle, it can indeed yield great results. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are factors to consider before committing to this dietary path.
For those who thrive on keto, especially if weight loss is a primary goal, the initial restrictive phase can be highly effective. However, it’s crucial to understand that keto isn’t ideal by a marginal percentage for everyone. If you’re not aiming to compete in bodybuilding or become an elite athlete, keto may still be a fantastic option if it aligns with your preferences and yields positive results.
On the flip side, if keto doesn’t resonate with you, it’s crucial to acknowledge that it’s not a magical solution. Persistent hunger, low energy, and the restrictive nature of food choices can be significant hurdles. In such cases, exploring alternatives like adopting a regular, high-quality, and healthy eating plan might be more suitable.
Exiting keto requires a thoughtful strategy to avoid the pitfalls associated with reintroducing carbs. A phased approach is recommended to ease your body back into a more varied diet. Start by incorporating lean proteins, healthy fats, and green veggies for the initial weeks. Gradually introduce fresh fruits, focusing on low-glycemic options to prevent energy crashes.
As you navigate this transition, consider reintroducing small amounts of whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, and legumes. This stepwise approach ensures a smooth exit from keto while maintaining stability in body weight. The goal is to establish a long-term eating pattern that includes healthy carbs, forming the core of your diet.
By understanding the nuances of transitioning in and out of keto, you can tailor your approach to align with your body’s needs and preferences. Whether you choose to embrace keto periodically for specific goals or opt for a more balanced approach, the key is to find a sustainable and enjoyable way of eating that supports your overall well-being.
In conclusion, the ketogenic diet works well for fat loss due to its impact on food choices, appetite suppression, simplicity, and the initial loss of water weight. However, it’s essential to recognise that keto might not be suitable for everyone, and a balanced approach to nutrition may be more appropriate for certain individuals. As with any dietary change, it’s crucial to listen to your body, monitor your progress, and make adjustments that align with your long-term health and wellness goals.
Watch Israetel explain it all in more detail in the video below.
Are you keen on knowing more about the Keto Diet? Check out below our series of articles focused on CrossFit and the keto diet.