The keto diet has been trending for many years. It boasts the ability to help people lose a lot of weight quickly and help cure type 2 diabetes. On top of that, some are saying it has helped with hormone issues, acne, and even some types of cancer. Those who follow a keto diet are adamant that sticking with keto can change your life. Let’s dive into the details of this diet, how it works, the validity of these claims, and what you may experience if you try this diet yourself.

The ketogenic diet is a diet in which you consume little to no carbohydrates. With this diet, you replace those calories by mildly increasing your protein intake and drastically increasing your fat intake. This pushes your body to stop using carbohydrates for energy and switch to burning fat and protein. Your body was meant to run on carbohydrates and forcing this switch actually makes your body work harder to produce energy. Your BMR, the rate at which you naturally burn calories by being alive, increases during this process. This makes it easier to reach a caloric deficit and lose weight.

The claim that this diet helps people lose weight and lose it quickly is true. Your muscles will store a carbohydrate reserve called glycogen; as your carb intake decreases, this reserve will decrease significantly over the first week of the diet. In order to store the glycogen, your muscles also need to retain water. With the loss of glycogen, you also lose water. Some individuals can see a loss of 5 to 10 lbs of water weight in the first 2 weeks of starting keto. Another reason people see quick weight loss results is the lack of insulin. With no carbs being consumed, your body does not produce as much insulin. This allows the body to release and utilize fat much more easily.

Research has shown this diet is effective for those looking to help control type 2 diabetes. The reduction in insulin levels allows those who are insulin sensitive to return to a normal sensitivity to the hormone. Aside from this, there is very little research to support any other claim for this diet besides weight loss. Type 1 diabetics should definitely consult their doctor before trying this diet because of its effect on blood sugar. 

One of the biggest side effects of beginning a keto diet is something called “keto flu.” Removing carbohydrates from your diet cold turkey can cause a spree of nasty side effects that can be almost flu-like. While these symptoms may only be temporary, learning to live without carbs can be a long process.

If you have more questions about keto or have any questions about making changes to your diet, give us a call and schedule a nutritional consultation. Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, your Rochester chiropractor, our nutritionist is familiar with many of the diets that are popular today and can help you decide if they are right for you.