- The high-fat, low-carb keto diet gives you energy, keeps your blood sugar stable, and leads to rapid weight loss.
- On keto, you cut way down on carbs (less than 5 percent of your daily calories) and ramp up the amount of fat you eat to 75% of your daily calorie quota. Protein makes up 20%.
- The keto diet forces your body to burn fat, rather than glucose, for energy. This puts you into ketosis, aka prime weight loss mode.
- Ketones help control hormones that influence appetite. They suppress ghrelin, your “hunger hormone” that increases appetite. At the same time, they boost cholecystokinin (CCK) — the hormone that keeps you feeling full.
- Loading up on fat lowers your levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store energy, either as fat or glucose. The more insulin your body releases, the more fat gets stored.
- You eat a ton of good fats on keto, and fat is satiating, helping you you feel full for longer.
- You can approach the keto diet in a number of different ways. Find out about standard keto, dirty keto, and cyclical keto.
Picture this: You’re on a new diet, but instead of feeling hangry and deprived, you’re brimming with energy, your blood sugar is stable, and the weight is melting off. Welcome to the keto diet, the high-fat, low-carb eating plan that Hollywood stars and athletes credit for blasting away their fat.
It seems counterintuitive — eat fat to lose fat? But that’s exactly what happens on keto. Not only do you lose weight, you lose it fast. Find out why keto is the answer to your weight loss goals, and how to optimize it to burn even more fat.
Keto & weight loss: How it works
If you’re new to keto, read up on it with this handy keto beginner’s guide. Here’s the basic gist: You cut way down on carbs (less than 5 percent of your daily calories) and ramp up the amount of fat you eat to 75% of your daily calorie quota. Protein makes up 20%.
Limiting carbs and loading up on fat is where the keto weight loss magic happens. Here’s how:
Ketones: A fat-burning source of fuel
The keto diet forces your body to burn fat, rather than glucose, for energy. When your body can’t get glucose from bread and pasta, your liver converts body fat and fat from your diet into molecules called ketones, an alternative source of fuel. This puts you into ketosis, aka prime weight loss mode.
Keto suppresses appetite
When you’re on keto, you’re less hungry. Ketones help control hormones that influence appetite. They suppress ghrelin, your “hunger hormone,” and at the same time they boost cholecystokinin (CCK) — the hormone that keeps you feeling full. You won’t want to snack as regularly, making it easier to go longer without food. Your body will then reach into its fat stores for energy. The result? More weight loss.
Less insulin equals less fat storage and more weight loss
Loading up on fat lowers your levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store energy, either as fat or glucose. The more insulin your body releases, the more fat that gets stored. Insulin also blocks leptin, the hormone that sends a signal to your brain when you’ve eaten enough to meet your energy needs. That means when you eat carb-heavy foods, you’re at risk of overeating and won’t get that full feeling before reaching for a second helping of potatoes.
Eating fat makes you feel satisfied
You eat a ton of good fats on keto, and fat is satiating, helping you you feel full for longer. Fat also keeps your blood sugar stable, so you don’t experience energy highs and lows. When your body runs on ketones for fuel, it has a steady supply of energy in the form of body fat. When your body relies on glucose, it needs a regular hit of carbs to keep it going. Think of how you feel after eating a white bread sandwich and kettle chips for lunch. You’re ready to raid the fridge a couple of hours later. When you instead eat some grass-fed steak with butter-drenched steamed vegetables, you’ll power through your afternoon minus any distracting cravings.
The keto weight loss strategy
You can approach keto in a number of different ways. On some keto diets, , it doesn’t matter where your fats, protein, and carbs come from. So dinner could be a bunless cheeseburger with extra bacon. Eating bad fats like low-quality vegetable oils, packaged low-carb snacks, and processed cheese dials up inflammation, making weight loss more challenging.
Keto diets like Bulletproof emphasize anti-inflammatory whole foods. On the menu: Grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, organic vegetables, grass-fed butter, and good fats like dark chocolate and avocado. .
You may also want to try a cyclical keto diet, or carb cycling. You follow the standard keto diet for 6 days of the week, when you eat less than 50 grams of net carbs a day. But on one day of the week, you increase your carb intake to roughly 150 grams of net carbs. Doing this satisfies any carb cravings you might have, making it easier to sustain keto in the long-run.
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