Call it the latest trend if you will, but it’s the coolest diet out there for a lot of people. The celebs are doing it. The plebs are doing it. And so is a lot of us in between.
Now, the question is: how safe is this whole thing?
Pretty much like with most new dietary changes, you need to take a few points into consideration before you jump on the bandwagon. Heh heh. I know people that said they weren’t influencers or bloggers but they suddenly started blogging out of the blue. Which means, whatever you don’t wanna do at this point, you will someday for sure. Coming to the safety of Keto – it’s safe. BUT – and there’s a big but – you need to get your vitals tested, and you need to talk to your doctor before you proceed.
I’ve been on Keto for a while now. It’s been going great. I haven’t broken it much. So yay, go me. This is coming from a person who’s tried going vegetarian and vegan and couldn’t stick to either – but has successfully managed to be on Keto for a good four months now. A few pointers to get you started:
• What exactly is Keto?
Your body runs on the fuel it essentially gets from carbohydrates. But on a Keto diet, the carbs are replaced by fat and protein. So when the body doesn’t have carbs to burn, it turns to burning fat instead. That’s when your body produces ketone bodies and the process of ketosis starts. You’ll probably have a lot of bathroom problems even when you’ve just started out – and you’ll have the flu and maybe even diarrhea – along with major mood swings from the lack of carbs, but all of that should pass within the first week itself. You’ll also feel low on energy and you won’t be able to workout as rigorously. That’s probably going to go away after the first week or two. Everyone’s going to respond differently, of course. It took my body eight-ish days to adapt.
• What can I eat when I’m on Keto?
Literally pretty much all the chicken and egg you can eat. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach are all good for you. Broccoli has low carb content and it’s high in protein, plus it’s a super versatile vegetable. You can eat avocados. Cauliflower. Cheese. Bacon. Fish.
Switch this with that.
You can go with almond and coconut flour instead of the regular flour. Stevia instead of regular sugar. Use ghee or butter to fry whatever you need to fry. Bulletproof coffee instead of regular coffee. Almond or soy milk instead of regular milk. But remember, no fruits, and no bread and no pizza and no nothing. No orange juice. No smoothies unless it’s a veggie one made out of broccoli and spinach and lettuce. Most importantly, no booze.
Here’s a google-sourced image of what your Keto diet should consist of.
• Can I follow this diet if I’m a vegetarian?
Oh yes. Eat all the tofu you need. But you’ve to be mindful, since soy messes with your thyroid issues. Apart from the obvious cauliflower (which in my opinion, you need to eat in moderation because thyroid issues and cruciferous veggies don’t mix), there are other veggies you can eat. Like zucchini, Swiss chard, mushrooms, asparagus, celery, spinach, bok choy, broccoli rabe, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and lettuces (arugula, green and red leaf, endive, romaine, etc.)
Most importantly, weigh your portions.
• How effective is Keto?
The first week that I tried it, I noticed a significant drop in weight. It was probably just my water weight, but after three weeks of clean Keto – I noticed a good chunk of fat gone from the love handle area. So yes, it works. If you’re doing dirty Keto, like only eating the animal protein, you won’t notice the changes immediately because your body needs plant protein too (hello, fiber and vitamins).
• What supplements can I take?
If you’ve been prescribed supplements by your doctor, you can continue those, no problem. I take fish oil and something Indians call Triphala and they’re super useful, at least to me. Omega 3 fatty acids are something your body won’t be producing on its own stock of the essential fatty acids we know as LA (linoleic fatty acid or Omega 3) and ALA (alpha-linolenic fatty acid or Omega 6). But that’s a topic for another day.
In conclusion, do your research and spend a good chunk of time finding out what works for you. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon, like I said, because a lot of people are doing it. It’s not going to help.
Have an egg-cellent Hump Day while I go polish off my broccoli smoothie.