While it’s true that diet trends and fads come and go at lightning speed, some diets do strike a cord and go mainstream and that’s certainly the case with the keto diet. While it’s not a”new” diet, its recently seen a surge in popularity. With keto books flying off store shelves and fans raving about its effectiveness online, it’s a diet that’s both popular and controversial. If you’re considering the keto diet or just want to know a little more about it, we’ve compiled some helpful tips below.
1. The keto diet is a low carb high fat diet with moderate amounts of protein. The goal is to have the body burn fat (instead of carbs). By eliminating carbohydrates, your body will instead burn stored fat (ketosis). The general diet breakdown is 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
2. There are similarities to low carb diets like Atkins, but keto diets are not excessively high protein. Low carb diets like Atkins and South Beach require a higher protein intake.
3. Keto diets aren’t easy and the first two weeks especially can be very hard on dieters; with some reporting symptoms including irritability, frustration, bad breath and fatigue (commonly called the “keto flu”).
4. Food choices can be restrictive – say goodbye to items like bread and most fruits, but hello to items like cheese and lamb.
5. Aim to drink a lot of water (a gallon a day is popular).
6. Expect to consume a lot of greens. Keto staples include greens like kale, bok choy, watercress and arugula.
7. The majority of people do lose weight on keto diets, sometimes a significant amount. Initially it tends to be water weight, but over time can continue into real weight loss.
8. Alcohol should be avoided while on the keto diet (at least for the first couple of months).
9. You’ll need to monitor your food intake closely and track nutritional info. Keep a food journal or join an online community like Sparkpeople.