Throughout your fitness journey, you’ve more than likely found yourself omitting certain foods and cutting down your portion sizes to help build muscle, lose weight or maintain your current health level. You’ve probably even considered trying out a strict diet routine to keep you focused on your goals. There are always new diet plans and buzz words that get thrown around which can be a bit overwhelming at times. One buzz word I’ve been hearing a lot about for a while now is the keto diet. But what is the keto diet?
A quick metabolism and nutrition lesson before we get into what the keto diet is all about. Your metabolism is, your body’s way of supplying itself with energy by using nutrients that are gained through the consumption of food and drinks. There are three basic nutrients, more specifically, macro nutrients, that everyone has heard throughout their whole lives. Those are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Carbs are broken down into glucose, fats are broken down into fatty acids, protein is broken down into amino acids and stored throughout the body.
Well, now that we have that out of the way, what is the keto diet and how does all that nutrition and metabolism talk relate to it? Keto is short for ketosis, which is a natural metabolic process that occurs in your body when it runs low on nutrients, or when your body goes into starvation mode. Specifically, when your body runs low on glucose, which is the body’s first, and primary source of energy. But, when the glucose stores run too low for your body’s energy needs, it will resort to your fat stores for energy. The science behind this diet is by increasing your protein and fat intake and lowering your carb intake, you, essentially, trick your body into ketosis. But how safe can this be?
With any low carb diet, you’re taking away your body’s main source for energy and you will experience frequent fatigue throughout the day. But if you’re keeping your body nourished with proteins and fats, that may help balance out any unusual fatigue you’ll experience. Now I’ve had clients who swear by the keto diet, but specific plans like the keto diet aren’t for everyone. If you’re interested in the keto diet, and are concerned about how it will affect you, do some research or check with your doctor before incorporating any diet plan into your daily life.