Almost every year, a new meal plan takes over the internet. At first, the latest fad sounds convincing and seems like a diet that will finally work for you. But here’s a truth that everyone should know when it comes to finding and choosing a diet plan: no one-diet-fits-all when it comes to choosing the healthiest option.
While strict calorie counting may work on some, it doesn’t mean that it will work as well on you. At the same time, if following the perfect Keto plans does wonders for your weight, it’s possible that it needs a few tweaks for someone else.
The effectiveness of diet plans vary from person to person. Different meal plans have different purposes. Some are for losing weight, gaining weight, lowering cholesterol or cutting down on calories. In your search to find the one that works for you, it’s inevitable that you will arrive at the best result through trial and error.
With the large number of dietary plans available, it can be challenging to sort through the marketing claims and find the one that works. The best diet for you is the plan that can easily fit your lifestyle so you stick to it over the long term.
The Ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. According to Healthline, over 23 studies on the Keto diet shows that this type of diet can improve your overall health and help you lose weight. If you’re searching for the right diet to stay healthy, happy, and on-track with your dietary goal, the Keto diet is worth trying.
Understanding Ketogenic diet
The word “Keto” comes from “ketones,” which are fuel molecules that are produced in our body through the liver breaking down fat into usable energy. These small fuel molecules are produced if a person eats very few carbs and an adequate amount of protein.
Eating something high in carbs makes your body produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is used as the primary source of energy while insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream. In a high carb diet, glucose is used as your main source of energy, so your fats are not used and are stored around your body instead. However, if you lower your intake of carbs, your body will undergo ketosis which is also the natural process our bodies go through when food intake isn’t enough.
If your main goal is to lose weight, a Ketogenic diet may be right for you. As your body produces ketones, your body enters a metabolic state of ketosis. The primary aim of the Keto diet is to reach and maintain ketosis. As your body adapts to the Keto diet and switches to burning fat as the body’s main fuel supply, and change results in dramatic weight loss. It is a normal physiological process and completely safe.
Following a Keto diet is pretty simple. You have to eat a lot of healthy fats, adequate amount of protein, and very little carbs. Make sure to choose low carb food such as meat, eggs, fish, and good fats. Dieticians recommend you limit your consumption of carbs to between 30-150 grams per day. However, there are different versions of the keto diet to choose from according to your lifestyle.
Types of keto diet
- Standard - This type of Keto diet requires you have a low carb intake, eating as few as 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day.
- Cyclical - This type of Keto diet encourages you to follow a high-fat and low carb diet for 5-6 days a week and then eating a carb-heavy meal on the remaining day.
- Targeted - Basically the same as the standard diet but you have to eat more carbs before high intensity workouts.
- Dirty - This is the latest type of Keto diet. It follows the same rules of a standard keto diet, with the only difference being that it doesn’t matter where you get your macronutrient intake. It’s a less strict type of Keto diet, allowing you to eat whatever you desire: from cheeseburgers to strips of bacon.
- Moderate - This type allows you to eat high fat with 100-150 grams of carbs per day. This diet is recommended for women who experience hormonal changes after eliminating carbs.
What to know before starting a Keto diet
Everyone knows that committing to a diet involves hard work and motivation. But before you stick to a diet plan, you need to educate yourself about other options that may also work for you. While it’s true that diets vary from person to person, it can be safe to say that the Keto diet works for most people since everyone goes into ketosis. The only difference is that the Keto diet will keep you in this state to decrease body fat.
The Keto diet is popular for its focus on minimising the intake of carbohydrates, but it isn’t the only diet that follows this plan. Popular diets such as Atkins, Paleo, and Primal are all low carb diets but have significant differences. By considering your lifestyle and the changes required with each diet, you can decide on the best option for dieting.
Atkins - Atkins diet, just like the ketogenic diet, involves minimising your carb intake while eating a lot of food that is high in protein and fat. Usually recommended for weight loss, the Atkins diet has four phases: induction, balancing, fine-tuning and maintenance. Atkins idea is that you can lose weight even if you eat a huge amount of fatty food, as long as you stay off carbs.
Paleo - Unlike Keto and Atkins, with the Paleo diet, you don’t need to eliminate your carbohydrate intake. What you can’t have with Paleo are grains, sugar, and dairy. According to experts, Paleo is more a low-glycemic diet than low-carb. The focus of Paleo is mainly on nutrient-dense food and requires you to improve your intake of protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Primal - This kind of diet focuses on following a diet that is based on how primitive people ate. It is about eating raw and minimally processed food such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy. While cooked food is allowed, it is recommended to follow a diet that is as close to natural as possible. The Primal diet is based on the belief that eliminating processed food from your diet will reduce your sugar intake.
Why choose the Keto diet
Compared to the other low carb diets aforementioned, the Keto diet is proven to have many health benefits. According to Harvard Health, solid evidence shows that the Ketogenic diet can reduce seizures in children. Moreover, this type of diet is also found to improve blood sugar levels for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
When it comes to weight loss, following a Ketogenic diet is also believed more effective than other low carb and traditional low-fat diets. This type of diet can also do more than just achieve your weight goal. The Keto diet can also improve your heart’s health, reduce acne, improve the health of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and may protect the brain’s functions.
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