The keto diet, sometimes called the ketoacidic diet, is a high-protein, low-fat diet that in mainstream medicine is commonly used to treat children with epilepsy. The diet forces your body to burn proteins (often referred to as ketones) instead of glucose, which results in significant weight loss. The keto diet has been around for decades, and although there are some concerns about long-term health effects, the keto diet has recently gained increased attention as a treatment for intractable epilepsy. Even though the keto diet has recently been proven to be effective for seizures, its most important effect may be on your waistline. A study published today in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrates that dieters who followed a keto diet for three months experienced a 30% reduction in their waistlines compared to those who did not take the diet.
In order to follow the keto diet, you need to refrain from eating five of the ten most popular foods like sugar, butter, cheese, ice cream, fried foods like chips and wieners, among others. You also need to severely limit your intake of meats such as pork and beef; vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables like kale and cabbage, fruits like blueberries and strawberries; and breads and grains. Cakes and sweets may be allowed up to three days a week but must be carefully monitored to avoid making you crave unhealthy sugary desserts. You also need to eat whole grains like oats, barley and wheat, and bran cereals and sprouted cereals. No cheese or other processed dairy products may be added to your diet.
For the most part, keto dieters have lower energy levels and feel tired more often because their bodies burn fewer fats for fuel. However, if you want to reach your weight loss goals faster, it’s important to combine the diet with an exercise regimen, low calorie eating plan, and a regular dose of healthy, quality carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, and whole grain breads and grains. A high-fiber, high protein diet can also help increase your metabolism, so make sure to eat plenty of lean protein, chicken, fish and egg whites. If you’re serious about losing weight and getting into great physical shape, the keto diet is a great way to start!