Keto: a sweat-free way to lose weight for many

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Due to Covid-19 especially, many people find themselves weighing more than 18 months ago from being indoors more and facing the prospect of buying larger sized clothes.  It's not fun.

Many have turned to the Keto way of eating which is a sweat-free method of losing weight and not having to go to a gym.  Exercise is good, don't get me wrong, but some don't want to go to a gym for whatever reason, including the fact that many gyms were closed.   

Keto has become a popular way of eating for all kinds of people having different reasons for following the keto diet. Market growth trends in keto-related foods and supplements rose from 2018 at $9.6 billion in the U.S., with expectations to grow to $15.6 billion by 2027, according to paleofoundation.com.

Keto is big business, and stores now carry keto-friendly foods and supplements that were not being sold a few years ago. An example is Shirataki noodles (also called miracle noodles) that have no calories and are very low carbs. They are now found in mainstream grocery stores. Another popular item is cauliflower rice which is another keto-friendly, low-carb replacement food that can be used in place of rice. 

Stores have made going keto a lot easier, and online keto sites help by offering keto approved recipes including over 100 YouTube keto channels. A quick check of Yelp produced ten keto-friendly restaurants that are located in or around Bellevue, Washington.

What is the Keto diet?

The Keto way of eating is based on very low carbs, with more fats eaten than the normal American diet.  Keto meals are so satiating from healthy fats that eating less food is the common outcome.   This cuts calories which are not very important in the keto way of life.

The idea behind Keto is that your body converts the way it gets fuel from carbohydrates to fats. As you lose weight, your body adapts to burning fat as fuel so you have less cravings to eat, less hunger, and your health begins to improve.

Insulin, which is a hormone that stores fat in the body, is reduced so that your body stores less fat. With less insulin in the body, your body uses fat as its alternative energy source.

After a week or two of eating a keto diet your body becomes fat-adapted. It used fat as an alternate energy source to carbohydrates. You then are in "ketosis", or in the state of ketosis.

The great thing people report happens when people eat a keto diet is that their health improves as they lose weight.

Health benefits of eating a keto diet according to Dr. Jockers, are: 

  1.  Reduced Inflammation
  2. Improved Fat Burning
  3. Mental Clarity and Sharpness
  4. Abundant Energy
  5. Clear Skin
  6. Reduced Cravings
  7. Mitochondrial Biogenesis
  8. Anti-Aging Effects
  9. Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease

What is involved?

These may be healthy benefits but the work it takes to eat a keto diet can be very time consuming.

Measuring your macros (fat, protein, carbs and calories) every day must be followed carefully with probably the most important number to watch is your net carb count every day. Net carbs are the number of carbs you read on the nutritional food label minus the dietary fiber listed on the same label.  Pretty much, your net carbs should be 20 or less per day, often going as low as 5 net carbs per day.

This changes a person's diet considerably and takes a lot of getting used to.  This is where the keto diet becomes very challenging; finding recopies and planning meals in advance is necessary. It is very challenging to eat true keto every day.

Tracking macros is not very fun. Finding apps that will track your daily macros is needed by most people, especially when you're just getting started doing Keto.  Apps commonly used are CarbManager, MyFitnessPal, Senza, and Total Keto Diet app.

Something to watch for if you start a keto diet: getting enough electrolytes is a major aspect of eating keto.  The keto way of life is a science, and being in the kitchen cooking will be something you'll have to do unless you are able to purchase Keto food packages from stores like Thrivemarket.com.

Keto has been around a long time. According to dietdoc.com, "The history of the keto diet began with Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic in 1923." Yet ketoforhealth.org reports that the first documented mention of a low-carb diet dates back to 776 BC. In 1863 William Banting published a book in England about the treatment of obesity that contained benefits of a low-carb diet.

For some, keto may become a way to get started on a fitness routine without going to a gym or starting a running program. It may offer the weight loss along with other health benefits a person is looking for without breaking a sweat.

Learning about keto before you try it is the best way to go.  Getting a charley horse in the legs at night, the "keto flu" or elimination problems can best be avoided by studying how to do keto before hand.  Avoid the discomforts of making mistakes doing keto and staying on track with the keto diet may do wonders for your body and mind.  And of course, consult with your doctor about whether you should try the keto diet or not.

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