I am sure that by now you have heard of the Ketogenic or Keto Diet. What exactly is the deal with this low carb, high fat craze diet that seems to be happening right now? Before I dive into the Keto world, may I just say, we are all unique individuals and no two people or bodies are the same. The first thing I learned when I became a Certified Holistic Health Coach in 2010 at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition was that bio-individuality is the name of the game.
The basic principle behind bio-individuality is that each human body has its own needs. This means that there is no one diet that will work perfectly for everyone. You have likely witnessed this in your own life when a diet that worked incredibly well for your friend completely bombed for you. The concept of bio-individuality is completely aligned with my philosophies as Practitioner of Chinese medicine. No two patients are treated the same, even if they have the same chief complaint. So, please be sensible.
The Ketogenic Diet
What exactly is a Ketogenic diet? Simply put, it is a diet that consists of approximately 70% food intake from fats, 25% from protein, and about 5% from carbs. Remember, these are percentages, and everybody’s body needs are different.
The premise then of eating a keto diet is to burn fat for fuel, instead of carbohydrates. There is a myth out there that fat makes you fat. That is simply not true. When you’re eating the “good” fats, and consuming very little sugar and carbohydrates, then you are burning fat and using it as your fuel. By eating this way, you’re putting your body into a state of ketosis.
What is ketosis, you might ask. The down and dirty on ketosis is that after about 3-5 days of eating the above ratios of fats, proteins, and carbs, your body no longer has the carbs in its system to use for energy. Instead, it creates ketones to replace the carbs and burns stored fat for energy! Boom!
According to Ketodash.com, there are ways to reach ketosis more quickly, if that is your goal:
- restrict your carbs to 20g or less per day
- stop worrying about fat
- drink plenty of water — it is important always to stay hydrated, I love using lemon essential oil in my water to help stay hydrated and to help detox my cells
- increase or add in exercise — even a simple 20-30 minute a day walk will help weight loss and regulate blood sugar
- intermittent fasting with keto butter coffee
- consider adding whole food nutrient supplements, such as the Lifelong Vitality Pack (LLV) from doTERRA
What Can You Eat?
So, what can you eat on a keto diet? Stick with grass-fed lean meats, poultry, wild caught fish, lots of greens, and healthy fats such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Some fruits such as berries are acceptable in small quantities.
Used sensibly, and likely not forever, eating a ketogenic diet can support a healthy weight-loss plan. Like most ways of eating, there is typically debate over diet crazes, and this is not different.
According to an article in Women’s Health Magazine, Celebrity Health guru Jillian Michaels states:
“… if you just try to eat healthy, the keto diet is totally unnecessary”, she says. “If you’re not eating a bunch of processed carbs and processed sugar and you’re not eating too much food in general, you won’t have insulin levels that are going through the roof,” she says.
Her tips for healthy diet are:
- Getting enough sleep
- Picking a workout, you’ll actually do (and doing it regularly)
- Cutting back on how much booze you drink
- Following the 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of your diet is high quality and 20 percent is treat
The most important thing is to do what works for you and your body. You are unique, and you are the only you! I am typically not a fan of extreme choices in any area of our lives, but if this supports you, give it a whirl and let me know your thoughts.