Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
There’s no reason to start eating keto if it doesn’t help you. If you’re thinking about starting a ketogenic lifestyle and wondering what the perks would be, here is an introduction to a few benefits both from research and personal experience.
The most obvious one and the most common reason people start diets, is weight loss. Even if you don’t lose a lot of weight, you’re bound to lose some inches off of your waist and go down a few pant sizes. In seven months, I lost 50 pounds and went from size 44 or 46 waist (depending on the brand) to a size 38. I know not everybody is looking to lose weight, but I wanted to and (in my opinion) needed to. If you’re already at a weight you’re comfortable with, a keto lifestyle will not shrivel you up into emaciation, don’t worry. The weight that I lost was excess fat, and that’s exactly what you’ll end up losing following keto.
A ketogenic diet is good for shedding excess body fat for a few reasons. Mainly, while you are in ketosis, your body is literally using fat as fuel. You are no longer storing it in your thighs and love handles, but you’re using it as fuel to be the awesome person that you are. Beyond the inherent nature of ketosis itself, the keto diet facilitates weight loss because your sugar intake becomes essentially zero. When 5% of your daily caloric intake is carbs, you really have no room for processed sugars. Without the standard influx of excess sugar, your body will naturally lose fat because, before keto, both your fat and excess sugars added on the pounds.
Beyond the health benefits which can accompany needed weight loss, the ketogenic diet aids health in other ways as well. Again, one of the health benefits of keto is simply the fact that you are eating essentially no sugar. The negative health effects of sugar are well-documented, and when you break free of the sweet-addiction cycle, your health is bound to improve. Beyond the benefits of simply avoiding sugar, the ketogenic diet also boasts a litany of health benefits including lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome, lowering triglycerides, and raising good cholesterol.
The mental benefits of the ketogenic diet are, for me, both the most surprising and most treasured benefit of the lifestyle. The ketogenic diet has been known to help brain functioning for some time, being prescribed to patients with epilepsy to curve seizures, and even being studied as a way to help Alzheimer’s patients (see the link above). Keto is also known for increasing energy, helping with focus/stress, and increasing brain function. Let me tell you now: THIS IS TRUE.
Before starting the ketogenic diet, I had been told that I might be able to notice a mental difference, but I am naturally a skeptic so I didn’t really buy into it. Then it happened. It was about two weeks into being keto full-time when it hit me. I had just had a breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, and cheese, and a nice big cup of coffee. I was working on a project that was somewhat tedious, then, BRAIN BLAST. It was similar to Jimmy Neutron, seriously. I became more alert and focused than I had ever been and I was able to knock out the tedious task like it was nothing. And still, after being keto all this time, I can still feel the difference in concentration, alertness, energy, and mood.
Not only do I not have the constant sugar crashes and cravings, but my brain is being fueled by ketones and the results are amazing. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I am no stranger to brain fog, derealization, and overall mental tiredness. The ketogenic diet has helped me immensely. I am more alert and focused than ever and my midday naps have essentially disappeared.
The benefits of the ketogenic diet are many. I hope this article has helped you some, either to encourage you to try it or to give you something to look forward to.