When it comes to losing weight, a low carb and high-fat diet has drawn fans across the globe. From Oscar-winning actresses such as Halle Berrie to the ex-deputy leader of the UK’s Labour party Tom Watson, right through to taxi drivers, athletes and radio presenters, it seems that the keto diet is picking up fans from all walks of life.
Thought by many to be able to reverse the effects of type-2 diabetes, the endorsement of eating fatty foods may seem to go against mainstream dietary advice, so can a traditional Full English breakfast help you to shed those pounds?
If you’re someone that thinks that all fats are bad for you, that they’re high in cholesterol that will block your arteries and lead to heart disease, now’s the time to think again. Popular in the 1920s and 30s for controlling epilepsy, the keto diet was created nearly 100 years ago and it involves drastically reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat and replacing them with high levels of good fats and protein.
By cutting down the amount of carbohydrates you eat, your body will produce larger amounts of a chemical called ketone, putting your body into what’s known as ‘ketosis.’ What is Ketosis? Well, put simply, when your body doesn’t have enough glucose from the carbs and sugary food you’re not eating anymore, it burns off fats instead. Ketosis changes your metabolism and, with the help of those ketones, your body will burn off fat for energy at a much-increased rate.
Reduce hunger pangs
Normally, losing weight and being on a diet sadly involves smaller meals and an increase in your appetite, however, people on a keto diet experience a reduction in hunger pangs due to the increased levels of ketones in their bodies. Made by your liver from either the fat you eat or your stored body fat, our bodies regularly produce ketones whether we’re on a high or a low-carb regime. When we’re on carb-restricted diets, our levels of insulin and glucose drop as the production of ketones increases. Once that level reaches a threshold, you are in ketosis and are burning fat at a higher rate than usual. Everyone reacts to changes in their diet differently, yet with a strenuous gym session and a low carb diet, some people can achieve ketosis in 60 minutes.
A lower appetite is a huge plus point if you’re trying to cut down and being able to eat things such as cheese, eggs or steak means that many people find a keto diet easier to stick to for longer periods, some following it indefinitely. Unlike most diets, you don’t have to count calories, go hungry and miss meals or use meal replacement supplements or shakes.
Cutting out starchy carbs such as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, along with mass-produced ready meals with high levels of sugar or artificial sweeteners can not only help you to lose weight quickly and sensibly but can also offer you other advantages. Some people feel their stress levels reduce, feel happier and benefit from a much better sense of type-2 diabetes; others feel an increase in energy – helping them to enjoy a fuller life.
The effects of changing your eating habits
Changing your eating habits can also have a few unexpected results. Some people do get a little dizzy or feel tired when they start to experience ketosis, while others suffer from a slight bout of bad breath. The good news is that these effects don’t last for long and are a small price to pay for such a positive impact on your overall health. In the case of bad breath, that is easily remedied with a mint or a quick brush of your teeth. Giving up your roast potatoes, pizza or chips might not sound like fun, but replacing an afternoon slice of cake with a bowl of strawberries and cream, or a bacon sandwich with a full English breakfast hardly sounds like hard work!
By changing the way you think about food, you can make a dramatic change to your body and your health on a long-term basis. As well as helping people to lose weight, the keto diet is considered by many to improve a number of serious medical conditions such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, which goes a long way to explain why this diet has become so popular.