Is the Keto Diet Right for You?
If you haven’t heard about the trending Keto diet yet, it’s A low carb diet that puts your body into super fat burning mode. Usually the body uses glucose as energy and when glucose is not available, our bodies use stored proteins and fats to create ketones as an alternative energy source. A lot of things happen to your body when you start burning ketones.
It used to be popular belief that the more fat you eat, the more fat you gained on your body. This is not actually the case because our bodies are a bit more complicated. If we eat a lot of fat on top of a lot of carbohydrates we will naturally gain body fat. But if we eat under 120 grams of carbohydrate a day, higher fat intake is healthier. And if we eat under 45 grams of carbohydrate a day, our body switches into “fat burning mode”.
All the genes associated with burning fat activate, and our body prioritizes fat burning. This means when we run out of fuel, our body doesn’t ask for more food, like with carbs, but quietly swaps onto burning our own body fat.
Feeling hungry less often
An added benefit of burning our own fat, as noted above, is that we don’t feel hungry as often. When we are eating a high carbohydrate diet we are trapped, chasing insulin highs and lows.
When we eat carbs, our blood sugar spikes, then our insulin spikes, our blood sugar crashes, and we feel hungry again. This causes overeating. By eating fewer carbs and burning our own body fat, we increase satiety and eat less.
The most obvious hormones rebalanced by ketosis are satiety hormones. When we eat fewer carbs our insulin levels go low and stay low. But as our stomachs are full for less time, we also produce less ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger. And as we are burning our fat cells, the amount of leptin they release increases, decreasing hunger further.
But something even better happens to our hormones when we eat more fat. Many people in the West suffer low hormones all around. This is because we do not eat enough cholesterol to make a healthy amount of our hormones. This leads to breast tissue in men, no periods or heavy, painful periods in women, infertility, and obesity, among other things. By eating more cholesterol, we improve our hormone balances.
Better skin, hair, and eyes
As our hormones improve, our appearance improves too. Our skin becomes more toned and radiant, and wrinkles plump out. Our hair grows stronger and shinier and our eyes are brighter and more youthful. \when we decrease our carbohydrate intake something else happens that is magical.
When we are eating too many carbs, our bodies store a lot of them in our muscles in the form of glucose. They also store processed glucose as fat tissue under our skin. For every gram of glucose we store, we must store three grams of water. So our fat tissue expands, and our muscles get watery and soft. This creates an unpleasant, doughy appearance. By decreasing the amount of carbs we eat, we burn some of that glucose and reduce our fluid retention, looking tighter and slimmer.
More explosive energy
When we are burning glucose, we need to keep it topped up. This is because as we burn glucose we start craving more carbs. If we’re doing endurance sport or working out really hard in the gym it’s more noticeable, but it also happens every day. When we fire into a stressful, energy-burning situation, our body uses up most of its free energy. If that energy is glucose, we feel very hungry all of a sudden. This hunger causes lack of focus, and lasts until either we eat carbs, or start producing ketones. If we are already burning ketones, then we don’t need to switch over. This allows us to cope better with sudden bursts of mental and physical activity throughout the day.
Better nutrient absorption
Finally, many nutrients are absorbed better with healthy fats in our systems. Some vitamins, like vitamin E, cannot be transported without fat. And some nutrients, like calcium, can take so long to absorb fully that if we slow our digestion with fibers and fats, we will get more out of them.