What are the benefits of keto? Is keto right for me? These are two of the main questions I get asked when somebody is considering keto. My answer is a simple one – give it a go and you’ll soon find out!
- Is Keto an alternative to Slimming World, Weight Watchers and Slim Fast? [Why keto is a winner]
- Is Keto right for me?
- What have the benefits of keto been for me?
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No two people are the same, so if anybody tells you that ‘keto is for everyone’, be very cautious. Like everything in life, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Here, I will go through the benefits of keto with you and you can make the decision as to whether keto is something you want to try. Let’s go!
Is Keto an alternative to Slimming World, Weight Watchers and Slim Fast? [Why keto is a winner]
We want to preface this article with the fact that we are not doctors! The below is from years of research and our collective experience of eating a keto way of living.
I have spent most of my adult life yo-yo dieting for years, be it for special events, holidays or New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve tried Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Slim-Fast, low-calorie diets, juice diets, soup diets, you name it, I’ve tried it. Have I had success? Of course, I have! But….(and yes it has been a big butt!)
All of the above diets are designed by professional nutritionists and dieticians and are designed to work. Have any of them lasted? Not at all, every time I have put the weight back on, and sometimes more. I am not alone in this. Studies have shown that although ‘diets’ work in the short term, people are more likely to put back on the weight they have lost and more (1).
For me, this is because these diets are so restrictive. From a psychological point of view, you feel deprived of them. Also, eating low-fat high-carb foods, which a lot of these diets champion, means that you are not ‘filling’ your body up as this is the job that fat does.
Also, at the same time, you’re overloading your body with sugar. If you look at the label of any low-fat food you will see that it is high in sugar (or sugar substitutes such as aspartame).
All these ingredients do is rocket your blood sugar which gives you a rush of ‘energy’. When this has quickly been broken down and burned through you will have what we commonly refer to as a ‘sugar crash’. These are what leave you feeling tired and lethargic, on top of this, this is what gives you that ‘hollow’ hungry feeling and sees you reaching for something to eat.
My Keto for Beginners guide goes into this in more detail for you. If you are just starting out on keto this is the perfect guide for you.
Is Keto right for me?
Having been through the above cycle for years I decided that the next ‘diet’ I did was going to be the one that worked. I spent years (literally) researching diets, nutrition, exercise and the combination of all together. I considered these against what was realistic for me and the lifestyle that I want to live. I am not somebody who has the time to spend hours in the gym, nor do I want to spend my weekends exactly weighing ingredients to making overly complex recipes.
I, like most, am a busy person. I want simple recipes that I can make in advance if necessary. I need full flavor food that I can feed to my friends when they come around without them having to order a pizza on the way home.
When I looked at the science and my list of ‘demands’, keto was the way of eating that came out on top. Please note the ‘way of eating’, this isn’t a diet in the traditional sense, it is a way of eating that allows you to enjoy amazing food without the guilt. What this means for me is that keto is SUSTAINABLE. That is not something that any ‘diet’ has ever been for me and why, years on, I’m still living a keto lifestyle.
What have the benefits of keto been for me?
What I can say though is that I feel amazing, yes I have lost weight, but I also sleep better, my skin is better, I have more energy, I’m more focused at work and in life….need I go on?!
The keto diet focused on getting calories from healthy fats, eating a moderate amount of protein and dramatically reducing the number of carbs. Let’s look at these in more detail;
What are the advantages of a keto diet?
1. Reduces your appetite!
Fat makes you full. It’s as simple as that. As you regulate your blood sugar and are filling up on quality foods, you will soon find that you need to eat a lot less and less frequently to feel full. As a foodie, if you’d told me this pre-keto I would never have believed you, but it’s true!
If you want to get into the science behind this, this article explores this further.
2. Save Money
I have found that as I am eating a lot less, I am spending a lot less on my shopping. It’s not rocket science, I know. However, a lot of people coming to me about to start on their keto journey have concerns about how much it is going to cost them. I can honestly say that I am spending less on my weekly shop.
Coming up, I am going to do an article on this comparing my spending habits before keto and now. Initially, you will end up spending a little bit more money as you replace your normal flour for keto-friendly flours, such as almond flour and coconut flour. However, if you are planning to ‘go keto’ have a look at the panty for the best value keto products -both in stores and online. Also, if you are still in your planning phase, why not start buying your basic ingredients to start stocking up your cupboards gradually.
3. Improve Focus
This is always one of the first benefits that will come up as a positive for living a keto lifestyle. There is a good reason for this – it is an amazing benefit of keto. Do you have brain fog? Always start a task, but never finish it because you get distracted? This is what I was like pre keto. Now I am a lot more focused. I am more productive at home and at work and as such I waste less time trying to pick up the pieces of all of the things that I have forgotten! If you want to better understand ‘bring-fog’, check out this article.
4. More energy
I have so much more energy on keto!! Looking at the science behind this, this is due to fat been broken down slower in the body than carbs (sugar). The reality of this is that instead of having the peaks and troughs you get when eating carbs and sugar, you get a steady flow of energy from fat.
I read a fantastic article on this. It describes the process of getting energy from carbs/sugar as a bush fire raging. It burns through everything in sight and then suddenly stops when there is no more material to burn. Opposed to burning fat as being the glowing embers that just keep glowing for a longer period of time after the initial fire has burned out. This analogy is quite apt – I don’t feel that mid-morning or mid-afternoon lull after breakfast or lunch like I did on a pre-keto high carb lifestyle. This makes surviving mid-afternoon meetings a lot easier at work!
5. Improved Sleep
This article explains that in the short term a keto lifestyle may reduce your sleep. However, once ‘fat adapted’ you will sleep deeper and get a better quality of sleep. This is certainly what I have found – for the initial two weeks I had really light sleep. However, now I sleep like a baby. I get between 6-7 hours per night – but I feel refreshed and ready to take on the world. That’s certainly not something I have ever experienced pre keto!
6. Lowers Inflammation
A keto way of living is naturally low in anti-inflammatory foods and high in foods that reduce inflammation. This makes this a good way of eating if you suffer with any joint pain.
7. Inch Loss
Inch (or centimeters – depends on what you work in!) loss is the best measure if keto is working for you or not. You may be losing inches before you actually lose weight on keto – this is because you are getting rid of fat, which leaves the lean muscle. To put this into perspective – muscle is 80% heavier than fat. For this reason, people living a keto lifestyle tend to speak of NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories). This may be the victory of losing inches, or even getting into those jeans you wore in your early 20’s and have kept in the hope that ‘one day’ you would fit into them again!
8. Weight Loss
I know this is the one most people are interested in! When I started keto this was all I was interested in. A keto way of living will induce rapid weight loss, initially. Therefore, is perfect if you only have a short period of time to lose weight (be it at a wedding or an event). This is partly from water loss initially and is a great way to remove that ‘bloated’ look. Longer-term you will be burning through fat which will see your body reduce in inches and weight. Leaving you feeling leaner and toned.
9. Better Mood
Along with all of the above, when I’m on a keto diet, sleeping better, having more focus at work, and losing inches and weight, I feel better! Everything in life is easier when you feel better about yourself. Eating keto is by far the best self-care that I have ever done. Things in life do not phase me in the same way as they have in the past. I have a much more positive outlook on life. No amount of money can buy that. It is truly an amazing feeling that I hope all of you can experience too.
10. The Medical Benefits of Keto
Below are all medical benefits that have been associated with living a keto lifestyle. I personally have no experience of the below and am still doing research around these.
- Reduces the likelihood of heart disease
- Increased levels of good cholesterol
- Reduce blood sugar and insulin levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased fertility
- Balancing Hormones
- Aiding Autistic persons
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
If any of you do have any experience of the above, or how keto has helped with a medical ailment, please let me know either in the comments below or via email. I would be really interested to hear what your experience has been.
Hopefully, that’s given you a round-up of some of the main benefits of a keto way of living.
Like with any drastic change in your diet it is best to do your research and consult with your doctor before embarking on any new diet.
Still unsure about keto?
Check out these 78 amazing women who have embraces a keto lifestyle. Not only do they look amazing, but they are also living their lives with confidence.
Not sure where to go from here?
Check out our Keto Guide for Beginners.
Got a question about keto? Pop it in the comments below or send the team an email!